John L French Jr.

Born in Nashville TN, John L. French was a childhood friend of George P. Dorris. They operated a coal-oil burning steam launch together in 1890, but had issues getting a license due their young ages. In order to skirt the law, they switched the engine to a gasoline motor. He moved to St. Louis in 1895, to work in his father's piano and organ company. There he ordered a Winton Motor Carriage Company vehicle, receiving the sixth one made.

His curiosity regarding automobiles continued and he invited Dorris to St. Louis to form a car manufacturing company. He drove an early model in the 1901 New York to Buffalo run, then proceeded to Boston where he successfully sold 65 cars. In the fall of 1902, French had a collision in Pittsburg with a street car that injured him severely. He returned to St. Louis, then in 1903 drove a St. Louis car to Florida, traveling through Nashville and Chattanooga. He died in Florida in May of 1903.