French Canadian Interview Project

Local historian, author, and civic leader (1908-96)

Adrien Richard was born on September 28, 1908 to Frederick and Nellie (Marcotte) Richard in Bradley, IL. In 1911, as a three-year-old boy, he was photographed with his father in a buggy pulled by “Lady”. Adrien’s great-great grandfather moved from Quebec, Canada to Bourbonnais Grove in the mid-nineteenth century. Adrien graduated from St. Viator’s High School and St. Viator’s College. He married Anne M. Raymond on July 27, 1935 at Maternity BVM Church. They had two daughters, Stephanie and Marcia. Adrien helped found the Bourbonnais Grove Historical Society and became its first president.

Although his career was as an accountant (at Roper Corporation and then First Trust Bank), his vocation was as a local historian who wrote The Village and Tales of Another Day. He loved speaking at grade schools and high schools about the French-Canadian heritage of Bourbonnais and its predecessor, Bourbonnais Grove. He served as Bourbonnais School Board member and for so many other organizations that he was awarded Outstanding Volunteer of Kankakee County in the Arts and Culture Category by the Junior League of Kankakee County. After the transition of St.Viator’s College to Olivet Nazarene College in 1940, Adrien helped forge trusting relationships between Roman Catholics and Nazarenes in the village of Bourbonnais. He died on January 29, 1996.