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The Beaver, Vol. I, No. 4, January 1921 by Company

French was given charge of Babine Post


style="text-align: justify;"> C. H. French Has Long Experience in H.B.C. Fur Trade

_British Columbia District Manager Entered Service in Lake Winnipeg District, 1887; Sent to New Caledonia on Important Mission in 1894_

By F. S. GARNER

[Illustration: _Mr. French in the B.C. District Office_]

C. H. French, District Manager of the Company's British Columbia fur trade district, is a man whose experience in the service during 33 years, from Lake Winnipeg to the Pacific Coast and north to Alaska, has excellently fitted him to narrate countless stories of brave adventure and stern duty under the H.B.C. flag in the great Northwest.

Mr. French, though 53, carries his years lightly. True, his hair is grizzled; upon his face is delineated the tale of dangers met and hardships overcome. Yet one would not place his age at over 45, if even that. Seasoned as an oak, with hard and healthful living in a climate which eliminates all but the fittest, Mr. French, now in lovely Victoria, may know at least a measure of the relaxation and joy of living such as is seldom granted the fur trader. The "spring" in his step and the active interest he takes in the life and development of Vancouver Island identify in him a youthful spirit which well might be envied by many men under thirty.

Mr. French

was born in Markham township, twelve miles north of Toronto, Ontario, on 23rd July, 1867.

He served a full apprenticeship at printing. Then he acquired a fair knowledge of bread-baking, fishing and sailing, which experience he says stood him in good stead after entering the service.

In 1887 Mr. French joined H.B.C. in the Lake Winnipeg District, doing work of various kinds, one job being the sailing of the boat "Beaver" under Mr. W. J. McLean at Lower Fort Garry, and afterwards Mr. Flett at Fort Alexander.

During this period he brought the body of Chief Factor Belanger in from the lake and delivered it at the Selkirk Roman Catholic Church. The Chief Factor was drowned at Norway House.

Fur Trade Commissioner Wrigley went out of office and while his successor, Mr. C. C. Chipman, was Commissioner, he had the able support of such men as William Clark. It was with William Clark that Mr. French engaged to go to New Caledonia District, British Columbia (March, 1894) to break up a ring that was pilfering merchandise from the Babine, B.C., warehouse. This was successfully accomplished, and Mr. French was given charge of Babine Post, remaining there until 1901, when installed as fur buyer at Victoria, under Mr. James Thomson. He was in charge of that work until February, 1914, when he was made District Manager for British Columbia.


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