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Alice Reamey (Hayden) French
(1870-1923)

 

Raymond and Alice, 1891. Courtesy Stephen Sterns

Alice Reamey (Hayden) French was born in 1870 in Columbus, Franklin County, OH, the daughter of William B. and Matilda (Langdon) Hayden

 

At the age of 21, Alice married 27-year-old Raymond T. French (1864-1934), the son of Carlos and Julia Hubgbell (Thompson) French. The wedding took place at St. James's in Westminster, London, England on Oct. 1, 1891, with the nuptials reported more than two weeks later in the Oct. 17, 1891 edition of the New York Times

Book naming Raymond

Raymond's father, Carlos French (1835-1903) was a prominent manufacturer, legislator and board director in Seymour, New Haven County, CT. He served as president of the Fowler Nail Company and was a director of the Second National Bank of New Haven, the Colonial Trust Company of Waterbury and the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad Company. He also served as a member if the 50th Congress of the Connecticut Legislature. So it was into this environment of accomplishment that Raymond was born.

Alice and Raymond made their home in Seymour, CT.

Together, the couple bore three sons -- Carlos Hayden French, Raymond Langdon French and William Gordon French. 

Raymond  was an 1887 graduate of the Sheffield Scientific School at Yale University. A brief biographical profile of him was published in the 1913 book, Biographical Record of the Class of 1887, Sheffield Scientific School, of Yale University. Among other highlights, the profile said he had "made three trips to Europe, is a Democrat, and a member of the Protestant Episcopal Church."

 

 Above: Quiet Seymour, CT - early 1900s. Below: the couple's wedding photos taken in London. Courtesy Stephen Sterns

 

 

Manhattan Club, 1893

He also was a member of the prestigious private Manhattan Club, located at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 34th Street in New York. It was considered "the largest and most powerful, social, Democratic club in New York," said the book Club Men of New York. "The stated object is to advance Democratic principles, promote social intercourse among its members, and provide them with the conveniences of a club house... They occupy a magnificent house." 

The building is seen here circa 1893.

In 1894, Raymond was named president of the Arethusa Spring Water Company in Seymour. Their home was at 94 Washington Avenue in Seymour. He also was a member of the Quinnipiack and Graduates Clubs of New Haven, the Megantic Fish and Game club of Maine, the Sons of the American Revolution and Red Men. 

During the decade between 1910 and 1920, the Frenches separated. The 1920 census shows Alice making her home with sons Raymond and William on West 98th Street in Manhattan. The census taker recorded Alice as widowed when in fact she was not. Son Raymond, age 21, is listed as a "salesman - automobiles." 

At the same time, Raymond T. maintained his home in Seymour, with son William sharing time there as a residence. Also in the Seymour household in 1920 were servants Delia Murphy and Nina Halentia. The census taker marked the 55-year-old Raymond T. as divorced and without an occupation.

 

 

Manhattan Club's entrance hall, left, and parlor

 

 

Hayden mausoleum, Kensico

Alice spent her final years in Catskill, Greene County, NY. 

She passed away on July 30, 1923, at the home of her brother William "Langdon" Hayden in Alexandria Bay, NY. She was age 53. 

Following a funeral at her mother's home, led by Rev. Dr. S. DeLancey Townsend, of All Angels' Episcopal Church, her remains were laid to rest in the prominent family mausoleum at Kensico Cemetery near White Plains.

[Note -- a distant cousin also buried at Kensico was Michael H. Liady, husband of Helen Purinton, in 1909.]

Raymond passed away in Seymour on Feb. 5, 1934. The funeral was held at the family residence, followed by burial in the French family plot in Union Cemetery in Seymour.

 

~ Son Carlos Hayden "Carlo" French ~

Son Carlos Hayden "Carlo" French (1892-1962) was born on July 25, 1892 in Connecticut. He apparently was named for his paternal grandfather.

In his youth, Carlos attended Cheshire Academy, Phillips Andover Academy and Hamilton College. Then, during World War I, he enlisted in September 1917 in the 151st Depot Brigade, Camp Devens. He was promoted to sergeant and mess sergeant and then in September 1918 was named regimental supply sergeant for the 73rd Infantry, 12th Division. He was discharged from the Army on Jan. 17, 1919. Summaries of his war record were published in separate reports by Phillips Academy and Hamilton College.

When both were about age 21, in 1903 or '04, Carlos married Dorothy Burt (1893- ? ), a native of Iowa. 

They together produced a family of  three children -- Nancy Burt French, Margaret "Peggy" Sterns and Carlos French II.

Circa 1920 and 1930, when the federal census enumerations were made, the Frenches lived in New Haven, Seymour County, CT. In 1920, Carlos' occupation was listed as manager of an automobile firm. By 1930, he had become a sales manager for a metal factory. In 1930, their residence was on Washington Street in New Haven, and the family employed Bertha A. Hintz as a cook and Emma Phipps as a nurse maid.

Said the New York Times, "He was with the Seymour Products Company of Seymour before he became manager of the Fowler and Union Horse Nail Company of Buffalo, N.Y., in 1934." The family dwelled in Buffalo in 1935. Then, they "moved to West Hartford when his company was merged with Capewell [Manufacturing Company] in 1936." He then served as vice president with Capewell from 1936 to 1943. 

The 1940 census lists the family on Westwood Road in Hartford. John and Mary Barsarn, a husband-and-wife team, lived under their roof as butler and cook.

The day after Christmas 1946, Carlos was named in a legal advertisement printed in the Catskill Examiner-Recorder as an heir-at-law of his late uncle, Cotton Allen Hayden. At the time, his address was given as 42 Westwood Road, West Hartford, CT, and he would have been age 54. 

Carlos passed away in a convalescent home in West Hartford at the age of 69 on June 13, 1962. He was survived by eight grandchildren.

Daughter Nancy Burt French (1918- ? ) was born in about 1918, presumably in New Haven, CT. She was wed to (?) Safford. She was deceased by 2005.

USS Lagarto
Daughter Margaret "Peggy" French (1921-living) was born on Oct. 21, 1921 in New Haven. She attended Oxford School and then Masters School in Dobbs Ferry, NY and Pine Manor Junior College of Wellesley, MA. She was twice-wed. Her first spouse, whom she wed in Carson City, NV in 1942, was Arthur Hammond "Bud" Keeney Jr. (Sept. 3, 1920-1945). One son born to this union was Arthur Hammond Kenney III. During World War II, in 1942, Arthur Jr. graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis. He went on to serve as a naval officer and in the Pacific Theatre aboard the submarine USS Lagarto (SS-371). The vessel was involved in heavy action in the first half of 1945, helping to disrupt enemy supply routes. While on patrol on or about May 3, 1945, off the Gulf of Thailand, the Lagarto was sunk by the Japanese netlayer Hatsuktaka, with all 86 crewmates aboard. It was not officially declared lost until Aug. 10, 1945, and the wreckage was not discovered for 60 years, in 2005, sitting upright in 200 feet of water, with evidence suggesting that it had been struck by a depth charge. The widowed Margaret resided on Westwood Road in West Hartford and held a membership in the Junior League of Hartford. 

On Jan. 27, 1951, in nuptials held in the Gross Memorial Chapel of the Asylum Hill Congregational Church, she wed again to Edwin Addison Sterns (May 12, 1916-1996), son of Edwin E. Sterns of West Hartford. The Hartford Courant published both her engagement photograph and wedding portrait. The Courant reported that she "wore an aftrnoon dress of cornflower blue imported Chantilly lace over matching satin at the neckline and a sash of satin. Her small-brimmed hat was of matching lace combined with light rose velvet, and she carried a white orchid with a rose-colored throat." They dwelled for years at 39 Steep Hollow Lane in West Hartford, where Edwin was a marine underwriter with Travelers Insurance Company. He was a 1937 alumnus of Dartmouth College and a 1937 graduate of the Amos Tuck School of Finance and Administration. Edwin had served in the U.S. Army's 12th Army Group during World War II, taking part in five major campaigns, and attaining the rank of major. The pair became the parents of Dorothy S. "Deedee" Albright and Stephen Hayden Sterns. Edwin rose within Travelers to become director of the Property-Casualty Department and was a member of the boards of directors of several national insurance associations, among them the American Nuclear Insurers. After retirement in 1980, he consulted in the industry and was general manager of the Connecticut Insurance Placement Facility's Connecticut Fairplan. The couple relocated from West Hartford in 1989 to the Farmington Woods community in Avon, CT. At the age of 80, Edwin passed away in Hartford Hospital on Dec. 13, 1996. His memorial service, led by Rev. Kenneth W. Steere, was held at the First Church of Christ Congregational in West Hartford. A lengthy obituary was published in the Courant.  

  • Grandson Arthur Hammond "Art" Keeney III (1944-living) was born during World War II. While an undergraduate at the University of Hartford, he eloped to marry Sandra "Sandy" Cooper ( ? - ? ) of Rochester, NY. The pair bore two children -- Laura Keeney and Grant Keeney. He went on to receive his bachelor of science degree from Hartford and later obtain a master's of business administration degree from the Wharton School of Business  The couple moved to Michigan and resided in the Detroit suburb of Royal Oak, where he was employed as vice president in the United States Division of the National Bank of Detroit. Arthur and Sandra divorced. He relocated to Baltimore and, on Sept. 13, 1986, wed again to Alice Lenhard (1952-living). She brought a stepson to the union, William Lenhard. Arthur in 1995 was tapped to be president of East Carolina Bank and held this role until retirement. He was quoted in an April 25, 2006 article in the Manitowoc (WI) Herald-Times after the discovery of the submarine wreckage in which his father had perished during World War II.

    Step-great-grandson William Lenhard ( ? - ? )

    Great-granddaughter Laura Keeney (1970-living) was born in 1970. She married (?) Zavala ( ? - ? ) and is the mother of Emilio Zavala. On April 6, 2022, in nuptials held in Wales, she wed again to Carson Pelo ( ? -living). The couple dwells in Rochester, NY.

    Great-grandson Grant Keeney (1974-living) was born in 1974.

  • Granddaughter Dorothy "Deedee" Sterns (1954-living) was born in 1954. She was an alumna of Conard High School and Skidmore College, where she majored in business and Spanish. As a young woman, Dorothy dwelled in New Rochelle, NY and earned a living as a personal banking representative in New York City with the Bank of New York . On Jan. 20, 1979, she entered into marriage with Peter Ibold Broeman ( ? - ? ), a New York City resident and the son of Frank I. Broeman of Cincinnati. Their wedding was held at the First Church of Christ Congregational in West Hartford, by the hand of family friend Rev. Kenneth W. Steere and Rev. Gerard DiSenso. She was pictured in related stories in the Hartford Courant and Cincinnati Enquirer. Peter held degrees from the College of the Holy Cross, Northwestern University School of Law and College of Europe in Bruges, Belgium, and at the time of marriage was an associate with the law firm of Bigham, Englar, Jones and Houston. The couple produced an only daughter, Emily Farnum. Dorothy has spent her career in the banking field. Today she is Managing Director, Private Client Advisor at the Bank of America. She has extensive experience advising hedge fund and private equity principals with a focus on cash management, customized banking, wealth strategy, trust and estate planning services, and philanthropy. After a divorce, on Aug. 22, 1993, she was united in matrimony with Dale Albright (1939-living). The couple established a home in Bedminster, NJ.

    Great-granddaughter Emily Broeman (1984-living) was born in 1984. She wed Henry Whipple Farnum IV. The three children born in this family are Hayden Addison Farnum, Henry Whipple Farnum V and Louise Elizabeth "Libby" Broeman. In giving the "Hayden" name to their eldest child, the pair assured continuation of the family legacy into another generation.   

  • Grandson Stephen Hayden Sterns (1960-living) was born on Feb. 8, 1960. He was a 1978 graduate of Conard High School in West Hartford. He then went on to Bates College in Maine, where in 1982 he earned his bachelor of arts. He dwelled in Athens, Greece, for a time and then in 1985 was named as an editor at the Ballantine Books Division of the publishing giant Random House. In 1997, he joined Columbia University Press and has remained ever since. In Baton Route, LA, on Oct. 10, 1992,, he was joined in holy wedlock with Elizabeth Bretz (1965- ? ). They dwelled in New York City. The marriage ended in amicable divorce in 2011.  Stephen graciously has provided valuable content for this biography.

Son Carlos "Carlo" French II (1926-2005) was born on June 11, 1926 in New Haven. He was united in matrimony at the age of 39 with 34-year-old Elaine (Gebhardi) Van Steenburgh (1931-2015). The nuptials were held in West Hartford on June 26, 1965. A native of West Hartford, Elaine was the daughter of Gustave and Evelyn (Thompson) Gebhardi and is said to have been "the first C-section at Hartford Hospital." Elaine had been married once before, to Richard F. Van Steenburgh, and brought children to the marriage -- Laura V. Marchese, John E. Van Steenburgh, Richard D. Van Steenburgh and R. Dana Van Steenburgh. Carlos and Elaine had one son of their own, Carlos French III. He also had a daughter Andrea Anderson. Carlos and Elaine enjoyed nearly four decades of marriage together. The family were members of the first Church of Christ Congregational in West Hartford. After attending Kingswood preparatory school and Westminster School, Carlos attended Williams College. The Hartford Courant noted that "He served in the Navy during World War II and the Korean War. Carlos was an avid skier and a member of the Mt. Laurel Ski Club and part founder of Sundown Ski Area. He started his career at Fuller Brush in Hartford and retired from Pratt & Whitney Aircraft of East Hartford, after more than 35 years of service. He spent most of his retirement in Myrtle Beach, SC and enjoyed his days on the golf course, and traveling with his wife and friends." Elaine, said the Courant, "graduated from Old Hall High School, [West Hartford], and had many fond memories of her class reunions and Green Mountain College, VT. She worked for many of years as a medical secretary for Hartford Hospital, UCONN Health Center, and Children & Family Services." In retirement, Elaine resided in Myrtle Beach, Boston and Santa Fe, NM. Of Elaine, the Courant said that she was "known for her heart of gold to help others and her contagious smile. She had a love for animals, especially rescuing cats, volunteering, playing bridge, golf, skiing, traveling to Mexico and Europe, suntanning, and flowers (past member of the WH Garden Club). Most of all, she was very proud of her family and enjoyed hosting many family gatherings at her home in West Hartford, including the many enjoyable times at the Mt. Lakes vacation home in New Hampshire." In 2003, Carlos and Elaine moved to Boston to be with their son and closer to family in Connecticut. Having suffered for two years with heart disease, Carlos passed into eternity at the age of 78 on March 16, 2005.  Funeral services were held in the First and Second Church of Boston and also a memorial service at the First Church of Christ, Congregational, in West Hartford. Elaine survived him by more than 10 years. She died in Albuquerque on April 14, 2015, at the age of 84. Burial was in Fairview Cemetery in West Hartford.

  • Granddaughter Andrea French married (?) Anderson.
  • Granddaughter Laura Van Steenburgh married John P. Marchese Sr.. They had two sons -- John Marchese Jr. and Christopher Marchese. The Marcheses eventually divorced.
  • Grandson John E. Van Steenburgh was wedded to Margaret L. "Meg" (?). They did not reproduce.
  • Grandson Carlos French III was a partner with Druh Shah.

 

Hartford, in the 1930s

 

~ Son Raymond Langdon French ~

Son Raymond Langdon French (1898- ? ) was born on Aug. 11, 1898. 

He married England-born Gertrude (?) in about 1921, when he was age 23 and she 29. They had three known children -- Marjorie French, Jean French and Gloria Frances Browning Cain. 

When the federal census was taken in 1930, the Frenches made their home on Ocean Drive in Stamford, Fairfield County, CT. Raymond's occupation was listed as an automobile dealer. That year, Anna Belang (nurse) and Anna King (cook) were servants in the household.

On Dec. 20, 1939, the New York Times printed a photo of daughter Gloria to illustrate a story about her introduction to society luncheon at Sherry's Restaurant. At the time, the family made its home at 910 Park Avenue, New York. 

 

Shippan Point, Connecticut

The day after Christmas 1946, Raymond was named in a legal advertisement printed in the Catskill Examiner-Recorder as an heir-at-law of his late uncle, Cotton Allen Hayden. At the time, his address was given as Shippan Point, Stamford, CT, and he would have been age 48. Houses above the Shippan Point coastline are seen here. 

Nothing more about Raymond or Gertrude is known.

Daughter Marjorie French (1912- ? ) was born in about 1912 in New York. She grew up in Fairfield, Stamford County, CT.

Daughter Jean French (1913- ? ) was born in about 1913 in New York.

Daughter Gloria Frances French (1923- ? ) was born in about 1923 in New York. She was married twice, first to William Hull Browning 2d (1918-2005).On Aug. 25, 1940, the Times carried a prominent article about Gloria's wedding to William, the son of William C. and Elizabeth (Miner) Browning of Ridgefield, CT. (There is no Browning connection between our clan and Elizabeth's Miners.) At the time, Gloria was age 17. The nuptials were held at St. John's Protestant Episcopal Church in Stamford. Said the Times, "The bride attended Miss Hewitt's Classes in New York and Miss Porter's School, Farmington, Conn. Mr. Browning is a graduate of the Middlesex School and has studied also at Harvard University. He is a member of the Squadron A Association and the Apawamis Club of Rye, N.Y." Gloria and William had one daughter, Deborah Mykolyk. They are thought to have resided in Manhattan and Pound Ridge, NY. During World War II, William served as an ambulance driver with the American Field Service in the African and Italian theatres of war. He received the Medal of the Order of the British Empire for bravery and meritorious civil service.After the war, said a newspaper, William became an "international businessman ... [who] was associated with Kerby Saunders in Manhattan, and with two associates he formed the corporation Geodyne. Both companies were very involved in Pakistan and the Middle East." Gloria and William divorced after only four years of marriage, in 1944. He married again twice, and had more children. He suffered a "massive stroke" while in London en route to Jordan. He died at the age of 77 on New Year's Day 2005.In March 1946, after the war's end, Gloria married Lieut. Comdr. Cain ( ? - ? ), the son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles C. Cain of Babylon, NY. They were wed at Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church. Up to the time of the wedding, Charles had served for five years with the Coast Guard, having received his education at Brooklyn Polytechnic Preparatory School. They had at least two children, Langdon French Cain and Wendy Cain.In April 1959, the Times reported that William had been named vice president for the realty development company Gulf States Land & Industries, Inc., in New Orleans, a subsidiary of Webb & Knapp, Inc. Said the Times, "He has been industrial and commercial director since January, 1958." 

  • Granddaughter Deborah Browning married (?) Mykolyk.
  • Grandson Langdon French Cain, an automobile restorer, was a Navy veteran of the Vietnam War. He died in 1998 at the age of 50, having lived in New Orleans for 32 years.
  • Granddaughter Wendy Cain (?).

 

~ Son William Gordon French ~

Son William Gordon French (1900-1923) was born in Seymour on May 29, 1900. 

He attended Amherst College from 1919 to 1921, following preparatory school education at Cheshire and Seymour High Schools. 

William was married to (?) and had one daughter, Julia Sylvia French.

Sadly, he passed away in New York City at the age of 23, on Jan. 28, 1923. 

His widow lived for years afterward on Cole Hill Road, R.F.D., Morristown, NJ. 

The day after Christmas 1946, daughter Julia was named in a legal advertisement printed in the Catskill Examiner-Recorder as an heir-at-law of her late grand-uncle, Cotton Allen Hayden. At the time, her married name and address were unknown. She was named in the ad in care of Mrs. William Gordon French, Cole Hill Road, R.F.D., Morristown.

A short profile of William was printed in the Amherst College Biographical Review, 1963. 

Julia's fate is not yet learned.

 

Copyright 2009-2010, 2015, 2022 Mark A. Miner

Stephen Sterns generously has contributed images and content for this biography. Club Men of New York title page courtesy of Google Books. Manhattan Club sketches originally published in Harper's Weekly, March 15, 1890. Hayden mausoleum photographs courtesy of Linda Burton Kochanov.