September 26 – Happy Birthday Fanny Dean French

Fanny Dean
Fanny Dean

It was Amsterdam’s wedding of the year in 1904. A September 21st, Wednesday evening affair that witnessed Mr. Charles Edward French, son of Dr. S. H. French, the most prominent physician in the Rug City, wed today’s Amsterdam Birthday Celebrant, Fanny Dean, the daughter of Luther Dean, one of Amsterdam’s most successful businessmen. The wedding ceremony took place at the former First Reformed Church, which still stands on the corner of Arch and Center Street in this City’s South Side. The reception that followed was held at the bride’s parents home at 80 Locust Avenue, where guests were served a “sumptuous” sit-down wedding dinner by Caterer McElveny of Albany and were entertained by Zita’s Orchestra, which was also from Albany.


Charles E. French
Charles E. French

The new Mrs. French had graduated from Mt. Holyoke College in 1899. At the time of their wedding, Mr. French was the treasurer of the Amsterdam Savings Bank. He would later serve as president of that same institution for 60 years! The couple would have two children, a daughter Eleanor who was born in 1908 and a son Marcus, who came along five years later. Tragically, the boy would die in 1929 from a streptococcic throat infection at the age of 16. Eleanor French would end up graduating from Holyoke like her mom and then marrying a magician and professional bridge instructor named Ralph Blessing. The couple would return to Amsterdam where they opened the Marel Gift Shop up on Route 30 in Perth and lived at 42 Van Dyke Ave for many years. Fanny Dean was an active volunteer for several local organizations. She would spend the last five years of her life, seriously ill as a patient at the Amsterdam Memorial Hospital.She passed away on August 7, 1964. Her husband followed her to the grave three months later.

80 Locust Ave.
80 Locust Ave.
Amsterdam's old First Reformed Church
Amsterdam’s old First Reformed Church

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