Paul Napoleon Besançon (1870-1951)

Plaster profile of Paul Napoleon Besançon (1870-1951) by his nephew, Harry Wickey.

"Study of Uncle Poly" by Harry WickeyThe plaster profile to the right, and sketch to the left of "Uncle Poly," were created by Paul Napoleon Besançon's nephew, Harry Wickey (1892-1968). As far as I know, this piece (and other Wickey artwork featuring members of the family) is in the collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Paul Napoleon Besançon was born on November 2, 1870, in Stryker, Williams County, Ohio, U.S.A. He was the son of Charles Peter Besançon (1835-1918) and Clementine Louys (1843-1931). After touring the country in his younger years as a baseball player in the minor leagues, he settled down to farm in Stryker. Paul married Lena Susan Grisier (born in Kansas but with relatives in Williams County) in 1917. The couple had six surviving children:

  1. Harry Charles Besançon (1918-1994)
  2. Ella Clementine "Clem" Besançon (1921-1995)
  3. Maizy Besançon (1921; stillborn twin sister of Clem)
  4. Paul Frederick Besançon (1923-2012)
  5. William Peter Besançon (1924-2014)
  6. Richard "Dick" Besançon (1926-2014)
  7. Robert "Bob" Besançon (1926-2004)

Paul Napoleon Besançon died in 1951. He is buried in the French Cemetery along County Road 1950, just outside of Stryker, Ohio. See his tombstone here.

Peter Besançon (1807-1895)
Paul Napoleon Besançon (1870-1951)
Jean-Georges Louys
Clementine Louys (1843-1931)
Catherine Bourquin (1808-1863)