Joseph Nathaniel French in 1931 in Moscow

Joseph Nathaniel French I (1888-1975) attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He worked as a draftsman and architect for Albert Kahn Associates, Inc. (b. October 24, 1888; Boston, Massachusetts, USA - d. February 28, 1975; Livonia, Wayne County, Michigan, USA) Social Security Number 362094717.

Parents[edit | edit source]

Birth[edit | edit source]

He was born on October 24, 1888 in Boston, Massachusetts.

Education[edit | edit source]

He attended the Mechanic Arts High School and graduated in 1906. It is located on the street corners of Belvidere and Dalton in Boston. He was one of 152 students who graduated that year. He attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and graduated in 1911.

First marriage[edit | edit source]

He married Amie Gertrude Lathe (1885-1921) May 14, 1912, and had two children before she died.

Children[edit | edit source]

Widower[edit | edit source]

On June 10, 1921 his wife Amie died.[1]

Second marriage[edit | edit source]

He married Yolanda Christina Tandberg (1902-2003) on June 08, 1926 in Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts. Yolanda is the daughter of Thorvald Martin Tandberg (1874-1970); and Alvilde Marie Magdalene Naess (1875-1933) of Norway. Yolanda is 14 years younger than Joseph.

Children[edit | edit source]

Albert Kahn Associates, Inc.[edit | edit source]

Joseph worked for Albert Kahn Associates, Inc. in Detroit, Michigan, as a draftsman, and later an architect.

Raised Children of Ralph Tandberg and Sigrid Andreassen[edit | edit source]

Sigrid Marie Andreassen (1905-1940) was married to Ralph Christian Andreas Tandberg (1901-1995). When Sigrid died in 1940, Joe and Yolanda opened their home to Ralph and the children, Adelma and June in Detroit, Michigan.

Memories about Joseph French[edit | edit source]

  • Clifford Milner wrote on May 27, 2006: "Joe went to MIT. His training was more as a draftsman and he was Chief Draftsman at Kahn's and then I guess he ended up being an architect there. One of his projects was the steel work of the General Motors Futurama building at the 1940 New York World's Fair. He also was involved with a big Chrysler plant near Kansas City. In the early 30's he was one of the architects that worked for the Russian government. When he came back, because of the depression, he was out of work and he and his family lived at our farm up in Hopkinton, New Hampshire. Joe has two [relatives] who are architects. One is my son, the other is the son of Juanita or Kristina."
  • Sharon Cangelosi wrote on April 27, 2011: My grandfather, Joseph Nathaniel French was the only son of Joseph Brown Morse French and Erlenia Helena Matilda Faulkner. They have five children, two of whom lived to adulthood. My great-grandfather Joseph Brown Morse French was born on the 26th of April, 1854. My grandfather, Joseph Nathaniel French was the informant for his death certificate when he passed away. This is where I got his birthdate. He stated that his father was born in Chelsea, Massachusetts. I have not been able to locate his birth record. He passed away on the 11th of April, 1928 in Detroit, Wayne, Michigan and was cremated at Woodmere Cemetery in Detroit, Wayne Michigan. Erlenia Helena Matilda Faulkner was born on the 14th of July, 1856 in Wolfville, Kings, Nova Scotia, Canada. She and her family immigrated to the United States of America about 1869. Joseph and Erlenia were married on November 22, 1876 in Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts. Erlenia passed away on the 26th of February, 1939 in either Belmont or Boston. She is buried in Fairview Cemetery in Boston. Their first child is a daughter whom they named Frances Gertrude French. She was born on October 20, 1877 in Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts. Erlenia's name is Helena on the birth record. Frances lived until August 13, 1878. She died from Cholera in Boston. Her illness lasted three weeks. They called her Fanny. She is buried in Mount Hope Cemetery in Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts. On the death record, Erlenia's name is Elmira. Their second daughter was born on June 14, 1879 in Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts. They named her Emma Matilda French. She has the same middle name as her grandmother Nancy and her mother. She is listed on the census of 1880. Erlenia's name is Eleanor on the birth record. Emma lived until November 11, 1884. The cause of death for Emma was Cerebral Maningitis (spelling on death record), which she had for 36 hours. Her main illness was typhoid fever, which she had for 10 days. She also died in Boston and is buried in the same cemetery as her sister Frances. Their third daughter, Nettie Eveline French was born on March 30, 1886 in Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts. She died from Pneumonia with subsequent prostration and heart failure on February 14, 1894 in Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts. This is the sister that my grandfather adored. They were both sick at the same time, he lived and she did not. The doctor prescribed alcohol as medicine, which grandfather took, but Nettie refused, being a devout Baptist. My grandfather told me that the whole family was so heart broken when she passed on. Nettie is buried in the same cemetery as her sisters, Frances and Emma. They left the Baptist Church shortly thereafter. My Grand Aunt Marion told me that her mother Erlenia's nose went crooked after Nettie's death. Grandpa told me that they went to visit relatives in Nova Scotia for awhile. There they mourned, healed and found strength to go on. My grandfather joined the Episcopal Church sometime afterwards. His younger sister, Marion Ruth French was born on October 21, 1897 in Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts. She lived almost as long as my grandfather. She passed away on April 28, 1982 in Ayer, Middlesex, Massachusetts. She is buried in Beverly, Massachusetts. Her married name is Balch. Erlenia is the first born child of Samuel P. Faulkner and Nancy Matilda Pick. She has one sister named Priscilla A. and seven brothers. They are as follows: Samuel Alden (called Frank), James J., Stephen William, John Newton (went by Newton), Elijah B., Clarence Augustus and George W.. Most of them were involved in some kind of carpentry work. I believe that was why my grandfather was interested in Architecture and Buildings in general. Grand Aunt Marion wrote that "George sang in a quartet. He was a beautiful singer." Joseph Brown Morse French has two middle names. The Brown is his mother's maiden name. Her name is Abigail Ann Brown. Morse, according to my grandfather was a doctor. Joseph Brown Morse French's father is Frederick William French. He has two older sisters. The eldest is Clarissa R. French (called Clara) born in January 1848 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The other is Sarah Ann French who was born in Brooklyn, New York about 1850. She passed away on the 27th of December, 1852 in Boston. An interesting note: Erlenia was counted twice in the 1880 census; once at her parents house and once in her own home. She was listed as Helena Faulkner when she was at her parents house and is listed as H.M. French in her own home.

Death[edit | edit source]

He died on February 28, 1975 in Livonia, Wayne County, Michigan. He was buried in Roseland Park Cemetery at 29001 Woodward Avenue, Berkley, Michigan.

Funeral notices[edit | edit source]

  • Joseph N. French, Fairlane Architect. Services for Joseph Nathaniel French, a retired architect, will be at 1 p.m. Monday at St. Paul Memorial Church, 14025 Hubbell. Mr. French, 86, died Friday in his home in Livonia. A graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he came to Detroit in 1913 to work as an architect on Henry Ford's home, Fairlane. He joined the architectural firm of Albert Kahn Associates in 1914 and retired from that company in 1967. In the meantime he had served as chief architect for the Fisher Building, taught methods of industrial construction in Russia and during World War II, designed installations for the Army and Navy throughout the world. Surviving are his wife, Yolanda C.; five daughters, Mrs. Juanita Murchie, Mrs. Christina Charles, Mrs. Victor Kochajda, Mrs. Natalie Cangelosi and Mrs. David Henning; a son, Dr. Joseph N.; one sister; 22 grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren. Mr. French was a member of William M. Perrett Lodge No. 524 F&AM and Detroit Commandery No. 1. A Masonic service will be held at 7:30 p.m. Sunday at the Lambert Funeral Home, 15443 Greenfield. Private burial will be in Roseland Park Cemetery.
  • Joseph N. French, retired architect. Services for Joseph Nathaniel French, retired architect, will be held at 1 p.m. Monday in St. Paul's Memorial Episcopal Church, 14025 Hubbell at Grand River, Detroit. Private internment will follow. Mr. French, 86, died Friday in his Livonia home. A 1911 graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he moved to Detroit in 1913 to work as architect on Henry Ford's home, Fairlane, in Dearborn. He joined the Albert Kahn architectural Firm in 1914, and was a chief architect on the Fisher Building for the firm. During World War II he designed buildings and sites around the world for the U.S. armed services. He retired in 1967 after 52 years with Albert Kahn Associates. Surviving are his wife, Yolanda C.; five daughters, Mrs. Juanita Murchie, Mrs. Christina Charles, Mrs. Carolyn Kochajda, Mrs. Natalie Cangelosi and Mrs. Yolanda Henning; a son, Dr. Joseph N.; a sister; 22 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. Masonic memorial services under the auspices of Wm. M. Perrett Lodge No. 524, F&AM, will be held at 7:30 p.m. Sunday in the Lambert Funeral Home, 15443 Greenfield.

Descendants[edit | edit source]

  • First Marriage: Juanita Leslie French and Christina Lathe French.
  • Second Marriage: Carolyn Alvilde French, Natalie Joan French, Joseph Nathaniel French and Yolanda Erlenia French.
  • 22 Grandchildren as of 2010, twenty living and two of which have died; Robert Christopher Mills, son of Yolanda and Karen Ann Cangelosi, daughter of Natalie.
  • 37 living Great-Grandchildren and 34+ living Great-Great-Grandchildren as of 2010.

External links[edit | edit source]

Images[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. ^ The Technology Review. Massachusetts Institute of Technology Alumni Association. 1921. "Here is the story as written by Joseph N. French in Detroit: 'I have met with the worst of sad blows and have not recovered from it and probably never will. My pal and wife died June tenth and the two kiddies and myself are trying to find a way to live without our teacher and guide.' ..." 

Source[edit | edit source]

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