ELWYN B. ROBINSON DEPARTMENT OF SPECIAL COLLECTIONS
CHESTER FRITZ LIBRARY
UNIVERSITY OF NORTH DAKOTA
GRAND FORKS, NORTH DAKOTA 58202
COLLECTION: OGL #142
SIZE: .25 linear feet
ACQUISITION: The Dr. Harley E. French Papers were deposited in the Orin G. Libby Manuscript Collection. The acquisition records are unavailable.
ACCESS: Available for inspection under the rules and regulations of the Department of Special Collections.
OGL#1362, Mary Margaret French Frank Papers
Harley Ellsworth French was born in Delphi, Indiana, on December 7, 1873. He was one of eight children born to David (also known as Charles) and Mina (Fischer) French. He was educated in the public schools of Kearney, Nebraska, and Palouse, Washington. After graduation from Palouse High School, he attended Spokane College, as well as the University of Idaho. During this time, he passed a qualifying examination and began teaching in rural schools in Washington and Idaho.
He graduated from Washington State College in Pullman, Washington, in 1902, with a Bachelor of Arts degree. During his time at the College, he was initiated into Phi Beta Kappa, was editor- in-chief of the student newspaper, a member of the debate team, and student body president. He earned his Doctor of Medicine degree from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, in 1907. While at Northwestern, he pledged for Nu Sigma Nu, a medical fraternity. He was also a member of Alpha Omega Alpha, an honorary medical fraternity.
He next joined the faculty at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion as a professor of anatomy and physiology. He attended four summer sessions at the University of Chicago, and graduated with a Master of Science degree in 1911. In 1910, he married Mable Townsley of Vermillion on September 3, 1910. The couple had two children: Mary Margaret and Burton Townsley.
In 1911, Dr. French left Vermillion to become the Dean of the Medical School at the University of North Dakota. Faced with scant funds, resources, and equipment, French narrowed the Medical School's scope to emphasize sound teaching and public health work. He led the school through difficult times during the Great Depression, when state appropriations dropped to such a level to threaten closure of the school. Dr. French retired in 1947, and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science degree from the University in 1948. In 1949, the newly constructed Medical School Library was named in his honor.
Dr. French served as Secretary for the North Dakota State Board of Health from 1921-1923. He was also a member of the North Dakota Medical Association, serving as President from 1921- 1922. Other medical organizations with which he was involved included the American Medical Association, the North Dakota Tuberculosis Society, the North Dakota Society for Crippled Children, and the American Red Cross. Locally, he was involved with the Masons, the Franklin Club, the Fortnightly Club, and the Lions.
Dr. Harley E. French died on February 4,1961, in Grand Forks. He is buried at Memorial Park Cemetery.
The Dr. Harley E. French Papers contains correspondence, pamphlets and miscellaneous items relating to medicine in North Dakota. Three photographs were separated and added to the Orin G. Libby Photograph Collection.
Three photographs were separated and added to the Orin G. Libby Photograph Collection.
OGL#142-1 French family home, 316 Hamline Street: 1913
OGL#142-2 Living room of the French family home, 316 Hamline Street: circa 1914
OGL#142-3 French family home, 316 Hamline Street: undated
|Original Donation||First Addition: 1917-1961|
|Second Addition: 1923-1964||Third Addition: 1953|
|Fourth Addition: 1912-1924||Fifth Addition: 1910-1934|
Return to: Faculty Papers
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