And yet more Houma obits

From the Dec. 31, 1972, edition of “The Houma Daily Courier & The Terrebonne Press.”

Alvin Navarre Sr., 70, died at 9:15 a.m. Saturday in Our Lady of the Sea Hospital, Galliano. He was a resident of 118 Hanley Lane, Golden Meadow. Services are slated for 3 p.m. Monday, January 1 in Our Lady of Prompt Succor Catholic Church in Golden Meadow with burial in the church mausoleum. He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Julie Boudreaux Navarre; three sons, Alvin J., Philip of Larose, and Aurestile Navarre Jr.; four daughters, Mrs. Rogers Collins, Cut Off, Mrs. Harrison Curole, Mrs. Gilmer Gaudet of Gretna and Mrs. Gene Guidroz of LaRose; and six sisters Mrs. James Toups, Mrs. J.P. Moore, Mrs. O’Neil Labit, Mrs. Octavie Babin, Mrs. Warren Burgess and Miss Julia Navarre. He is also survived by 20 grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents the late Aurestile and Julienne Navarre. First National Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Miss Clarice Bouzigard, 69, died Friday, December 29 in Consolata Nursing Home, New Iberia. She was a Golden Meadow native. She is survived by one son, Bobby Lee Seringe; two daughters, Mildred Lee Serigne and Eva Bouzigard; seven brothers, Leo, Edgar, Maurice, Norbert, Lorris, Harris and George; and eight sisters, Mrs. Eusta Lafort, Mrs. Norris Cheramie, Mrs. Inez Martin, Mrs. Julian Lafort, Mrs. Edison Terrebonne, Mrs. Hilton Davis and Miss Nora and Louise Bouzigard. She is also survived by four grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. Services are slated from First National Funeral Home of Galliano to the Cheramie Cemetery in Galliano. The time had not been set at press deadline.

McGuire Funeral Home of Vivian, La. is in charge of arrangements for Mrs. Annie Heavener, 91. She was the mother of Mrs. D. Frank Smith of 303 Sunset Blvd., Mrs. William T. Maxwell, Palms Apt., and Mrs. Claude Gray, 10 Alamo.

George Joseph Pellegrin Sr. expired at 9:10 p.m. Friday, December 29 in Terrebonne General Hospital. He was 61 years of age and a resident of Grand Caillou Rte., Box 805. Services are scheduled Monday, January 1, at 2 p.m. in Holy Family Church with interment in the church cemetery. He is survived by his wife, Josephine Marie Pellegrin, four sons George Junius, John and Perry Pellegrin, all of Grand Caillou; three daughters, Mrs. Dennis Pellegrin, Mrs. Julius White and Mrs. Michale Gautier; three brothers, Alfred, Pierre and Elie Pellegrin; and three sisters, Mrs. Vincent Scott of Dulac, Mrs. Felix Bourg of Grand Caillou Rte. and Mrs. Bernard Carrere, also of Grand Caillou. He is also survived by 11 grandchildren. Chauvin Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Mrs. Louise C. LeCompte, a resident of 618 Roosevelt St., died yesterday at 9:35 a.m. She was 79 years of age. She is survived by her husband, Clarence LeCompte; two sons, Linton and Abbie LeCompte; and two sisters, Mrs. Felicie Guidry and Mrs. Velma Bergerson. She is also survived by three grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Preceding her in death were her parents, the late Joseph and Cora Chauvin. Funeral services are set for 10 a.m. Tuesday January 2 in St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church with interment in Magnolia Cemetery. Visitation begins at 3 p.m. today until 10 p.m. First National Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Mrs. Clara Pitre, 89, died Friday, December 29 at Saco Nursing Home. Services are set for 2 p.m. this afternoon in St. Gregory Barbarigo Catholic church with interment in St. Francis No. 1 cemetery. She is survived by two sons, Evans and Virges Pitre; and five sisters, Mrs. Eddie Babin, Mrs. Ismay Duplantis, Mrs. Vivian Bourgeoise, Mrs. Bernard LeBoeuf, and Mrs. Lea Pitre. She is survived by 38 grandchildren, 71 great grandchildren and 2 great great grandchildren. Preceding her in death were two brothers, the late Harris and Eustis Pitre, and her husband, the late Augustine Pitre. First National Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Donald J. Bonvillain, 71, died Wednesday, December 27. Funeral services took place yesterday at 2 p.m. from First National Funeral Home. He is survived by two sisters, Mrs. R. L. Hodges of Houma and Mrs. William J. Hoffman of Riley, North Carolina. Bonvillain was preceded in death by his wife, the late Eunice Berwick Bonvillain.

More Houma obituaries

Here are the obits from the Oct. 8, 1972, edition of “The Houma Daily Courier & The Terrebonne Press.”


Alfreda Verdin

Mrs. Alfreda Verdin, mother of Alfred Verdin and Mrs. Orelia Verdin Williams of Houma, died Thursday, Oct. 5 at 9:15 a.m. at her residence on Big Bayou Black near Gibson. Mrs. Verdin, also survived by brother Wilmore Lee Verdin, nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, was 68 years of age. Wake services are to be Sunday night, Oct. 8, with the recitation of the rosary planned for 7 p.m. at Terrebonne Funeral Home. Religious services from St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church will take place Monday, Oct. 9, at 10 am. with burial rites to follow in New Zion Cemetery in Mechanicville. Terrebonne Funeral Home is handling arrangements.

Raymond Bergeron of 625 Pecan St. died Friday, Oct. 6 at Charity Hospital in New Orleans at 7:35 p.m. at the age of 56. He was the son of the late Sidney Bergeron and Louise Champagne. He was also preceded in death by brothers Sidney, Junius and Louis Bergeron as well as sisters Misses Laura and Thelma Bergeron. Survivors included brothers Ivy and Celestin Bergeron, both of Houma, and sister Miss Flavia Bergeron, also of Houma. Services are to be held at 11 a.m. Monday, Oct. 9 at St. Eloi Catholic Church. Burial will be in St. Eloi Cemetery in Theriot. Chauvin Funeral Home is handling arrangements.

The man credited with bringing the first large pipeline into Houma for the Texas Co., Frank William Courts, expired Friday, Oct. 6 at 2:30 p.m. at Lakewood Hospital in Morgan City. Mr. Courts, 83 and a resident of 107 Geist St., died following a lengthy illness. He was born in Duke Center, Penn. and worked in the oil field all his life in the Texas, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Louisiana areas. Most of his working career was spent with the Texas Co. He was active in the Presbyterian Church, the Shriner Club and the Masonic Lodge, No. 23, F. & A.M. in Healdton, Okla. Survivors include his wife, Mrs. Alice Turner Courts of Houma, sons W. M. Courts of Houma, R.T. Courts of Houston, sister Mrs. Ruth McGahey of Pampa, Tex., three grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Services are slated from the McCleary Chapel Sunday, Oct. 8 at 2 p.m. with the Rev. James L. Baker officiating, with burial rites to follow in the Garden of Memories Cemetery in Gray.

Mrs. George Weidenbacher Sr., mother of Houma resident Donald Henry Weidenbacher, died Saturday, Oct. 7 at her daughter’s residence in Harvey. A former resident of New Orleans, she had been residing with Mr. and Mrs. Henry Rhiehm for the past three years. She was 65 and the wife of George Weidenbacher Sr. She was also the mother of George Weidenbacher Jr. of New Orleans. Other family survivors include six grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Visitation begins tonight, Sunday, Oct. 8 at 6 p.m. from the House of Bultman on St. Charles Avenue in New Orleans. Funeral services are slated from 10 a.m. Monday, Oct. 9 from St. Henry’s Catholic Church in General Pershing in New Orleans. Following the 10 a.m. Requiem Mass, burial will ensue in the Carrollton Cemetery in New Orleans.




Houma obituaries

Here’s are the obituaries from the Nov. 19, 1972, edition of “The Houma Daily Courier & Terrebonne Press.”

Marie Benoit Francis, a resident of Box 818 Grand Caillou, died Friday, Nov. 17 at 6:10 p.m. at the age of 86. She was the wife of the late Frank Francis and daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Victor Benoit. She was the mother of Aldoir Parfait of Houma, Mabel Francis of Houma, Mrs. Rita Verret, the late Adam Francis, the late Mrs. Hilda Trosclair and the late Wilda Francis. She is also survived by 34 grandchildren and 75 great-grandchildren. First National Funeral Home is handling arrangements which were incomplete at press time.

Mrs. A. J. Bonvillain, wife of the late State Senator A. J. Bonvillain, who died Thursday, Nov. 16, was preceded in death by five sisters and one brother. They included the late Mrs. Leufroy Patout, Mrs. Jimmie Brown, Mrs. Frank Viguerie, Mrs. A.B. Caillouet, Mrs. J.C. Dupont and Leufroy Burguieres.

Randolph Babin, resident of 350 Carlos St., died Friday, Nov. 17 at 11:45 p.m. at the age of 61. He is survived by brothers Eddie, Sidney and Leon Babin of Houma as well as sisters Mrs. Delnott Kieffe of New Orleans and Mrs. Irene Butcher of Houma. Funeral services are set for 9:30 a.m. Monday, November 20, at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church with interment in St. Francis de Sales No. 1 Cemetery. Chauvin Funeral Home is handling the funeral arrangements.

Mrs. Emily Trahan Authement, a resident of St. Rte. Box 620, Chauvin, died Friday, Nov. 17 at 9:10 p.m. at Terrebonne General Hospital at the age of 78. She was the widow of Evest Authement and the mother of Felton, Magnus, Harry, Harvey, Andrew, Willard Authement, all of Houma, Eugene and Herman Authement of Bourg, Mrs. Leon (Bridget) LeBouef of Montegut, Mrs. Wilsey (Egnolia) Dupre of Pointe-Aux-Chenes, Mrs. Frank (Aggie) Picou of Chauvin, Mrs. Nola (Viona) Lapeyrouse of Chauvin and Mrs. Lucius (Leona) Martin of Chauvin. She is also survived by 42 grandchildren and 36 great-grandchildren. Wake services are to be held from Mrs. Authement’s resident with funeral services incomplete at press time. Burial will be in the St. Joseph Cemetery in Chauvin. Chauvin Funeral Home is handling arrangements.

Mrs. Edith B. Young, 62, died Friday, November 17, at 5 p.m. She is survived by a daughter, Mrs. Marvin (Loretta) Marmande; a son, Jerry Qucner; and two nieces, Hilda Williams Buyer and Stella Broussard Robichaux. Also surviving her are seven grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband, the late Joseph Young. Visitation will be from 3-11 p.m. today. Funeral services are scheduled for 11 a.m. Monday, November 20 in St. Eloi Catholic Church in Bayou Dularge with burial in St. Eloi Mausoleum. First National Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Dennis L. Trahan, a resident of 121 Westview, expired at 10 a.m. yesterday. He was 83 years old. He is survived by one brother, Levy Trahan, and three sisters, Mrs. Laura Bonvillain, Mrs. Louise Pellegrin and Mrs. Adenise Hebert. He was preceded in death by his parents, Pierre and Adolia Trahan; five brothers, Leo, Joe, J.P. Clay and Wilbert Trahan and two sisters, Elodie Hebert and May Blanchard. Funeral services are slated for Monday, Nov. 20, at 10 a.m. in St. Anthony Catholic Church with interment in St. Anthony Cemetery. Friends may call after 10:30 a.m. today. Falgout Funeral Home of Raceland is in charge of arrangements.

A Texas resident passing through Houma while on vacation suffered a heart attack several days ago and has died as a result of that illness. The man has been identified as Marvin Gay Brian of Coffman Texas, 50 years of age and the husband of Doris Shughart Brian. First┬áNational Funeral Home, which has handled local arrangements for the Brian family, said Brian died Friday, Nov. 17 at Terrebonne General Hospital, where he had been hospitalized for a few days following the attack. He was the son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Charles Herman Brian and the father of Anthony Charles Brian of Arlington, Tex.; Mrs. Janet Neff of Kemp, Tex. He was the stepfather of Mrs. Barbara Lynn Roberts and Thomas Brian Arrendell, both of Deer Park, Tex. Authorities at the funeral home reported Brian’s remains have been transferred to Anderson-Clay Funeral Home with funeral services planned from Kemp, Tex. Brian’s family was traveling with him and in Houma when he died.

Plantation Schools

More from my grandmother’s attic.

This comes from the “Houma Daily Courier” on Oct. 8, 1972. It’s an interesting look at small schools of yesteryear.

I’ll include the article at the very end. It’s long and not terribly interesting. It’s more fun to look at the pictures.


























Here’s the article:

“Did you know .. that these pictures are some of the one room schools that dotted our parish landscape on the plantations about 75 to 100 years ago and produced some Terrebonnians to be proud of?

That Henry J. Ellender taught in one of these plantation cabins on Hope Farm Plantation until a larger building was built which served a dual purpose: school room in the day time and a dance hall on the weekends?

The young Henry J. had just finished his course of study at Soule Business College in New Orleans in 1902, when he started teaching at Hope Farm. He taught there 15 years. Then during the depression in the late 1920s, he taught again on lower Terrebonne. Dr. Henry T. Ellender – the dentist, boat builder and great fisherman – and his famous brother, Dr. Rudolphe Ellender – for whom the Eye Clinic was named – are some of this early teacher’s illustrious children of which there were eight or nine.

The late Senator Allen J. Ellender, a cousin to the above mentioned family, and his late brother Claude, the brilliant attorney, went to school to Professor Henry as did Nelo Hebert, who is still hale and hearty and one of Bourg’s most successful businessmen.

Mr. Nelo told of an earlier one room schoolhouse at Canal Belanger, now called Bourg, that was just across the street from where Stanley Boudreaux’s filling station is today. The little house has been remodeled and restored to the extent that one cannot recognize it as the former little schoolhouse. It is occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Collins today.

In those early days some of the teachers were Mrs. Willie Hebert; a Mrs. Hornsby; Mrs. Zie Glyn, who taught Nelo Hebert and others; and Miss Ella Trahan, who had come home to Houma from school in Mississippi after the death of her father in 1890, taught school at Canal Belanger (Bourg), then married Allen A. Sanders, a young sugar planter from Montegut. His father, James Monroe Sanders, had come from Canton, Mississippi, just before the Civil War.

Lotti, Mrs. John Gazzo, and Mae, Mrs. Randolph A. Bazet, were born of this union and raised on the beautiful shores of Bayou Terrebonne at Magenta Plantation.

Pointe-aux-Chien, a winding and small bayou just before one reaches Montegut, had for one of its first teachers another Ellender cousin, Thomas Ellender. Many other teachers followed; eventually so did a larger school.

At this time, Montegut had a three room, public school, private tutors and governesses. Then came John “Bud” Wallis, who taught at the Indian school at Point au-Barre’ from about 1900 to 1915, when a storm practically wiped out the Indian settlement. Mr. Wallis was a cousin of Mr. Claude “Skipper” Wallis, Terrebonne’s oldest living Republican.

We are not at the end of the one room schools on Bayou Terrebonne yet. At Madison Canal on the lower bayou, E. Clarence Wurzlow, father of E. C. Wurzlow Jr., taught school during the 1880s and in addition to becoming Clerk of the District Court was a recognized natural scientist, particularly as relates to botany, ornithology and entomology.

That Mr. and Mrs. Emile J. Naquin had a beautiful young daughter, Leah Naquin, who taught in one of the most famous of these one room schoolhouses (I think it was called Babin School). It was on a dusty road between Ellendale and Bull Run Plantations on Bayou Black. She later married Felix J. Hebert, and they became the parents of none other than our much loved and admired U.S. Congressman F. Edward Hebert.

You know Miss Maude LeBlanc rode up to Bayou Cane with the mailman every morning, then walked home in the afternoon. She also has many school stories to tell of the one room schoolhouses. This year Miss Maude received the most coveted award of “Louisiana’s Teacher of the Year” for she taught for many years all over the parish.

In the following paragraphs are listed a few names I gathered from the Chacahoula area. Miss Marie Daigle and Mrs. Henry Bernard were teachers at the Cedar Grove School.

The name of Miss Kattie Quinian seems linked with the Maduse School where Kader and Ringold Cocke, Emile Daigle and Freddie Louviere went to school. It was in the cane fields, just across the road from the Ringold W. Cocke plantation home.

Mr. Alcide Lasseigne taught at the Daigle school. Miss Mabel Roussell and Miss Sydney Watthus and Mr. O. J. Pellegrin were Forest Grove teachers.

Miss Marie Lajaunie and Miss Marie LeBlanc also were connected with the Daigle School. Miss Aline Lirette and Mrs. Ezelle Wallace Dillard taught either on the railroad or on Schriever Route.

Miss Georgia Connely took the train in Houma every morning from 1908-1920 to Central which was about halfway up the railroad between Houma and Schriever. Later she was transferred to Ashland Plantation’s “one room,” but commuted every day at an easier pace because Mr. Jean Caillouett, the plantation owner, gave her a car for her own transportation.

Did you know? She taught the Buquet boys among many others. The president of the Chamber of Commerce, Mr. A. J. Buquet Jr., has fond memories of Miss Georgia as his teacher.

That Miss Margerite Moody, today known as Mrs. Jules Daigle, taught at Sunrise in 1912. She then went on to Ashland for one year in 1913, when E. T. Brady Sr. attended that school. It is noted that Brady’s favorite pastime was climbing the flag pole. Miss Moody returned then to Chacahoula in 1914, and she then married Jules Daigle.

That Miss Ada Munson started teaching by riding a bicycle to the Residence Plantation, south of Houma every morning. Later she rode the train daily to the Bertilot one roomer near Ardoyne Plantation. It is noted that she changed schools several times: Dug Road, LaCache, where she had to board in, then her last years in Ashland.

Miss Lolita Theriot, a pretty little teacher, came onto the scene at Ashland at this time. She later married Leon Gary and became “Houma’s First Lady” during her husband’s administration of 1948 to 1962.

Way across the cane fields of Ashland, the Rauch Plantation on Little Caillou had a schoolmaster named Mr. Elfert, and the school was named the Elfert School. Boys from miles around rode their ponies to the school. Some names to remember were the Maginess boys, the Connely boys, the Edmund boy who later became a surgeon, the Gaynar boys, and so on and son on.

Way back were the days when Miss Mable Kelly got up early in the mornings and hitched up her buggy to go to the country school near Houma. Her brother, Irvin Kelly, taught at Chacahoula and then at Little Caillou, where boarding in for three weeks at a time was common practice. Miss Lillian Atkins was another teacher of this time.

That Willow Wood School on Upper Coteau had Miss Mildred Pontiff as its teacher for 21 years. For years she rode the New Orleans bus as far as the Coteau Road, and then walked the last mile to the one room schoolhouse. Later the school furnished transportation means of school buses.

When asked who were some of the children she could be most proud of, her answer was Father Jules Robichaux, who was ordained in Houma only a few years ago, Miss Valerie Duplantis, Mrs. Emile Charpentier, Miss Inez Lirette. Mrs. Johnny Stevens also went to the Upper Coteau School.

That another pretty young schoolteacher from Mississippi came to Terrebonne and later became Mrs. Stanwood Duval. She was Mamie Richardson, and she taught at Rebecca. State Senator Claude Duval and Catherine – Mrs. Harold Dean – are her Terrebonne children.

Did you know that Dr. C. F. Breaux, father of Henry Breaux (present superintendent of the Terrebonne Parish School Board), was born on Mandalay Plantation on Bayou Black. In his childhood he attended a one room plantation school known as Bonvillain School on Bonvillain Plantation. His teachers were Miss Cecilia Bonvillain and Miss Emma Bourgeois.

This little school building, which was built before the Civil War, still stands today.

The Wallis Family of Houma


Another genealogy story from the Oct. 8, 1972, issue of “The Houma Daily Courier”

“Dr. and Mrs. Price and daughter Mary Howard of Natchez, Miss., came to Terrebonne to make their home. After Dr. Price died, Mrs. Price had her daughter move to Philadelphia, Penn., to live with an aunt there. Mrs. Price wanted her daughter to finish her education there.

While in Philadelphia, she met Dr. Hugh Maxwell Wallis, who had studied and received his degree as doctor of medicine there.

They were married in Kent County, Chestertown, Maryland, Jan. 17, 1870 (THIS IS PROBABLY SUPPOSED TO READ 1860). A son Morley Howard was born there in Nov. of 1860.

Because of the Civil War, Dr. and Mrs. Wallis decided to come to La. Another son, Hugh Maxwell, who was born here in 1862, lived only one year.

On July 30, 1863, a third son was born and was given the name Hugh Maxwell.

The first daughter, Rosalie, was born on Jan. 11, 1866. She died ten years later of small pox.

When the Civil War was over, Dr. Wallis thought of returning to Maryland but learned that everything they had once owned there had been destroyed during the war.

Their fifth child, Ida, was born July 11, 1868. She never married but made her home here in Houma.

Granville, the sixth child, was born on the 22nd of Nov. 1870. He married Amelia and lived in New Orleans most of his life. They had two sons, Norman and Mitchell, and a daughter, Ruth.

The seventh child was Ellersley, born Nov. 27, 1872. He married Marie Clement and lived here in Houma all their lives. They had three children, Reginald (deceased), Audry and Mary Margaret.

Mary Helen Wallis, the eighth child, was born Nov. 27, 1875. She married Theophile Bazet and had four children, Hugh, Norma (deceased), Ione and Helen.

Claude H. Wallis (Skipper), the ninth child, was born Oct. 24, 1877. He married Birdie Labit and they had four children – Ouida, Meredith, Maxwell (deceased) and Claudia.

The tenth child was a daughter, Ethel Rosalie. She was born on Feb. 16, 1880. Ethel married Allen Munson and they had a son Allen and a daughter Margaret.

Percy, the 11th and last child of the Wallis’, was born Sept. 20, 1885.

Dr. Wallis lived with his family in an antebellum, while columned home on School St. where the Houma Courier Building now stands. The doctor’s office was on the corner of School and Church. Skipper can recall the days when he would go with his father on his calls throughout the parish. In those days, you didn’t go to the doctor; he went to you. The doctor had a certain day of the week to visit different sections of the parish. When he went to Gibson, the people on Bayou Black, Chacahoula and that section, would meet him in Gibson. Claude said he would tend to the horse all day. They had three horses and would alternate each day.

The favorite of the horses was Shoo Fly, the family horse. The trips were long and tiresome. The roads were dirt, and the weather, at times, very bad but Skipper can recall interesting and exciting days.

Dr. Wallis was not only M.D. but also Houma’s 11th mayor, from 1878-1882. The town was reincorporated during his administration. He was also a newspaper publisher. ‘The Terrebonne Times’ born on Church St. sometime during the McKinley era was the Republican voice of Terrebonne.

Dr. Wallis died in 1904, his son Ellersley who had been working for his father went with Joseph Menville to publish the ‘Houma Times’ on Main Street. His son Percy ran the commercial printing shop. Morley and Claude had also helped to publish the ‘Terrebonne Times.’ The editorials in the paper were written by Dr. Wallis.

Dr. Wallis’ brother-in-law, I. M. Price, was the 14th mayor of Houma. His son Hugh Maxwell Wallis Jr. was the city’s 18th and 20th mayor and later became a district judge.

Hugh Maxwell Wallis Jr., a local attorney, married Sylvia Briant. They had one daughter, Juanita, who is married to Madison Funderburk.

Morley, the eldest child, was married to Laura Moody. After her death, he married Eloise Theriot. They had one son Morley who now lives in Houston. Morley was postmaster of Houma from 1889-1895.

Claude Wallis, ‘Skipper,’ the only living child of Dr. and Mrs. Wallis was postmaster under Pres. Teddy Roosevelt and Taft from May 14, 1908, to 1916. He was the first mail delivery man in Houma. That was in 1917.

A person had to have sidewalks (wooden) in the front of his home and a number on his house in order to receive mail. Calvin Wurzlow, who was then mayor, helped greatly to get this all set up.

Claude was married to Birdie Labit on Sept. 8, 1902. Skipper and his wife, Birdie, celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary this year. He will be 95 on Oct. 24th and his wife was 90 in June. They have been living at 423 Goode St. for the last 60 years. Skipper is the last of the Dr. Wallis family in Terrebonne bearing the name Wallis.