George A. French

The French and Bassett Co. was a major business for many years in Duluth, established in 1884 and in operation until 1947.  One of its namesakes, George A. French, lived at 2126 East Second Street with his wife Isabel, his father Henry, and one servant in 1910.  In 1914 he moved to his new home, designed by Chicago architect Frederick Perkins, at 2425 East First Street, at which point he had two servants in 1914.  Clients included the Silbersteins, and undoubtedly many other residents in the East End.  His 1938 obituary reveals his importance in the community:

George A. French, long prominent in Duluth furniture and banking business and active in civic affairs for the past half century, died last night at his residence at 2425 East First street.  He had been in failing health for several years, but had remained at work until two weeks ago. For many years, Mr. French was in the furniture business here, first as Rainey & French and since 1882 as French & Bassett Co., one of the largest furniture houses in northern Minnesota. Two years ago it became the French, Bassett & Scott Co. Mr. French was a member of the Chamber of Commerce, the Kitchi Gammi club and was a 32nd degree member of the Masonic order. He was one of the incorporators of the Northern National bank of Duluth and the Morris Plan Co., and continued to be a director of each of the banking organizations until the time of his death. He was a strong proponent of the St. Lawrence deep waterway. Mr. French came from an old New Hampshire family, having been born in Peterboro, N. H. the youngest of four children of Henry Kendall French and Amanda Adams French…

Sources:

  • Larson, Jill. Intensive Survey of Historic Resources in Duluth’s East End (Part 1). City of Duluth, Duluth Heritage Preservation Commission, Duluth, Minn.: August 2007.
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