The History of My House: The France Family

Maybe I’m a total geek, but I researched as much as I could about who lived in 252 Banning before we did. Being 91 years old, it has history, and I wanted to know about it. I had gone to the courthouse a few years ago, but didn’t take very good notes, and lost the notes I did take. I was such an amateur. So, after finding some info on the 1920 and 1930 census, an old newspaper, and our own Ashland Cemetery, I found the rest of what I was looking for online and in the Ashland City Directories from 1930 to 1980. Here’s what I found:

Our house was built in 1920 on land that was starting to become a neighborhood, but already had a few homes on the new Banning Avenue. Elmore,50 and Elizabeth France,49 a retired farmer and house wife moved in with their two youngest children, Hazel,18 and Lila,10. There other kids had grown up and moved out, one actually just right across the street at 701 Eastern Avenue. Elmore now worked in a shoe factory in Ashland. After only 3 years in the house, Elmore died of a Cerebral Embolism, or to be blunt, a stroke. I don’t know how long after his death, the women stayed in the house, but by the 1930 census, there were new owners. Tomorrow, you can read about these new owners.


I found a Senior Picture from 1920, of the daughter Hazel that lived in this house the same year she graduated (also when it was built). Now I’m trying to figure out what happened to Hazel and her sister Lila and their mother Elizabeth after their father died in 1923. How long did they stay in Ashland? Lila’s senior picture isn’t found in the AHS yearbooks around the time she would be 17 or 18. Maybe they moved to  Akron, where the two oldest boys of the family (Carl and Earl-they were twins) lived. 


2 thoughts on “The History of My House: The France Family

  1. Leah says:

    verrry interesting. Did you find pictures of them? I’m sure not or you would have included them, but that would be interesting to see what they looked like.

    • allisonraebarnhart says:

      No, no picture of them, I wish I could find one! Maybe I’ll track down their living relatives sometime and ask!

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