Heritage \ Writings \

Fred La France (1857-?)
Born in Montreal, Canada, owned livery and funeral business in Bay City.

1915 Biography. - Added Oct., 2010

The History of Michigan, by Charles Moore, 1915


Among the families which became identified with Bay City when it was nothing more than a milling and living center for the lumber business, and by their subsequent enterprise and industry have contributed much to the substantial resources and the good citizenship of the community, those of the LaFrance name are of particular prominence. Francis La France is a venerable man of eighty-seven years, esteem as one of the old settlers in this part of Michigan. Fred La France, his son, was for more than fifty-five years actively identified with the undertaking business, and his recent death in an automobile accident was regarded a severe loss to the community.

Fred La France was born in Montreal, Canada, November 5, 1857, a son of Francis and Philomena (Beaudoin) La France, both natives of Canada, of French ancestry. Francis LaFrance at an early age learned the trade of blacksmith, a rugged occupation which he followed in Canada, until he removed with is family to Michigan in 1869. On his arrival in this state he had one hundred dollars left out of his small hoard of savings, and had a large family on his hand for whom he was responsible. Locating at Banks, he soon found work in one of the numerous lumber camps. Several months later he opened a blacksmith shop at Banks, and with considerable success there he later removed to West Bay City. That town was then on a lumber camp with a few scattered houses and stores. He continued successfully in his business, but finally gave up blacksmithing and became associated with several of his sons in a livery establishment. That, under the united efforts of father and sons, expanded to large proportions and at the time of his retirement from active affairs was said to be the largest concern of its kind in Bay City or vicinity. During his young manhood in Canada, Francis La France married Miss Philomena Beaudon, who was born in Montreal. The fruit of union were sixteen children. Both Francis and wife are at this writing a venerable old couple still living in West Bay City, the former eighty-seven years of age, and the later aged eighty, and they are enjoying the fruits of a long and well spent life, surrounded by their eight living children.

Fred La France, who was the second of the large number of children, attended school for a while in Canada, and later at Bay City was a student in the little schoolhouse which only the old settlers can now remember. He remained at home and was more or less associated with his father in business until twenty-nine years of age, but his record as an undertaker goes back for thirty-six years. He and his father first became identified with the livery business in 1879. Mr. La France carried on both undertaking and livery for a number of years, but for the last ten years of his life all his time was devoted to the former branch of his business. A capable business man and popular citizen, Mr. La France was elected in 1898 as coroner of Bay county, and served four terms in that office. He was a Republican in politics and a member of the Bay City Club, the Bay City Boat Club, and the Bay City Country Club. With his family he belonged to St. Joseph's church. On November 17, 1887, he married Miss Jennie Francis, a daughter of Francis Francis of Canada.

Union article 1907. - Added Oct., 2010.

Official Year Book by Michigan Federation of Labor - 1907


A gentleman who gives the most up-to-date hack and coupe service and does a general livery business is Mr. Fred La France of Bay City, at 904-6-8 Saginaw street.

Special attention is given to service for funerals, weddings and parties, and this place is open day and night.

Workingmen will make no mistake in giving their patronage to Mr. La France, for by his actions he has proven himself public-spirited and honorable and entitled to your support.

Members of La France family (unverified):

    Francis La France, father - b. abt. 1830, Canada
    Philomena Beaudoin, mother - b. Montreal, Can.; d. 4 Apr 1926 Ont., Canada.
    - Arson(Arcone), son - b. 1870, d. 15 Dec 1874, Bay City, Mich.
    - Delina daughter - b. 1878 W.Bay City (spouse P.M. Lawrence)
    - Dennis, son - b. 1876, d. 26 Dec 1894, West Bay City, Mich.
    - Edna C., daughter - b. 31 Aug 1902, Kawkawlin, Mich.
    - Ernest, son - b. 1884, d. 3 Sep 1884, Bay City, Mich.
    - Fred, son - b. 5 Nov 1857, Montreal Can.
    - Gilbert, son - b. 1873 Bay City (spouse, Sarah Roscoe)
    - Henry, son - b. 17 Sep 1880, West Bay City
    - Joseph M., son - b. 23 Nov 1858 Canada, (spouse, Mry Brenard)
    - Mary, daughter - b. 14 Mar 1901, d. 17 Feb 1951, (spouse Gregory).
    - Mone Victoria, daughter, b. 26 Dec 1844 Ont., Canada
    - Napoleon, son - b. abt 1866-69 Canada (spouse, Rosa Tauchett)
    - Peter, son - b. 15 Feb 1871, Bay, Mich. or Canada. (spouse, Marian Connally)
    - Wilford, son - b. 1883 W. Bay City, Mich.
    - Zorell, daughter - b. 1901 Bay, Mich.

Additional Notes.

    1883 Directory:

  • Bay City, Mich.:
  • La France, George carpenter, res 625 Ingraham.
  • La France, Joseph millwright Birdsall & Barker, res 417 Polk.
  • La France, Joseph laboer Eddy Bros & Co.
  • La France, Napoleon laborer, bds Joseph La France.
  • La France, Peter livery 211 3d, bds Anscomb House.
  • West Bay City, Mich.:
  • La France, Frank - (La France & Son) blacksmith n w cor Midland and Henry, res w s Center 2 s of Jenny, 2d ward.
  • La France, Frederick (La France & Son), bds Frank La France.
  • La France & Son (Frank and Frederick), livery n w cor Midand and Henry, 2d ward.

    1887 - Michigan Marriages: Bay, Mich,
    Date: Nov. 17, 1887.

  • Groom: La France, Frederick, age 28, b. 1859 Montreal, Canada, son of Francis La France and Philomanie Bowdoin.
  • Bride: Francis, Jennie F., age 21, b. 1866 Chatham, Canada, daughter of Louis Francis and Martha Mathew.

    1893 - Directory: Bay City, Mich.

  • La France, Francis, res 402 S Center.
  • La France, Fred, lab, bds Madison s w cor Elm.

    1931 Directory: Bay City, Mich.

  • La France, Alma A., usherette Washington Theatre, res 1818 3d.
  • La France, Fred (Philomene), carpenter, h. 1818 3d
  • La France, Henry L., sailor, res. 1818 3d.
Related Pages/Notes

Related pages:
La France, Napoleon Bro.
People Referenced
Beaudoin, Philomena (mother)
Connally, Marian
Gregory, Mr.
Francis, Francis
Francis, Louis
Francis, Jennie (wife)
La France, Alma A.
La France, Arson (bro)
La France, Delina (sis)
La France, Edna (sis)
La France, Francis (father)
La France, Fred (subject)
La France, George
La France, Gilbert (bro)
La France, Henry L.(bro)
La France, Joseph (bro)
La France, Mary (sis)
La France, Mone V. (sis)
La France, Napoleon (bro)
La France, Peter (bro)
La France, Wilford (bro)
La France, Zorell (sis)
Lawrence, P.M.
Mathew, Martha
Roscoe, Sarah
Tauchett, Rosa
Subjects Referenced
Anscomb House
Banks, village, MI
Bay City, MI
Bay City Club
Bay City Boat Club
Bay City Country Club
Birdsall & Barker Co.
Chatham, Canada
Eddy Bros. Co.
La France & Son Co.
Montreal, Canada
St. Joseph's church
Washington Theatre
West Bay City, MI
WRITINGS: History As It Was Written Then.