The Donaldsonville Chief – Nov. 17, 1906

– The building at Dutchtown occupied by A. J. Landry as a barber-shop was totally destroyed by fire at about 10 o’clock p. m. last Saturday, together with its contents.

– Mr. and Mrs. J. C. Bouchereau are receiving the congratulations of their numerous friends anent the birth of
their first child, a sweet little daughter, who arrived from Storkville Monday afternoon of last week.

– Miss Mabel Barton’s many friends in Ascension and elsewhere will be delighted to learn that she has almost
completely recovered from the severe attack of typhoid fever with which she suffered during the past summer.

– A bouncing boy made his appearance at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Bennie Savoy early yesterday morning, and the auspicious event’is eliciting congratulations galore from the many friends of the happy young parents.

– Mr. and Mrs. John Coquille came up from New Orleans last Saturday afternoon on a visit to Mrs. Coquille’s
mother, Mrs. John Bourg. Mr. Coquille returned home Monday afternoon, his attractive wife remaining over until yesterday morning.

– Mr. and Mrs. John Schaff’s baby daughter was christened at the Catholic church at 10 o’ last Saturday (
forenoon, Rev. L. G. Baudin officiating. The pretty name of Anna Lily was bestowed upon the dainty little lady, Miss Anna Ohlmeyer and Richard Ohlmeyer acting as sponsors.

– Attorney R. J. Chauvin left for New Orleans Wednesday morning to be at the bedside of his little son, Rend,
who is seriously ill with pneumonia at the home of Mr. Chauvin’s parents in that city. A message received to
day conveys the gratifying information that the patient is considerably improved.

– A dainty little girl arrived at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Alcee Rodriguez at 8:50 o’clock yesterday morning,,
and the numerous friends of the proud young parents are proffering their congratulations anent the auspicious
event. The Chief takes pleasure in adding a share of felicitations, and trusts that the diminutive damsel will
be blessed with a long and happy life.

– The marriage of Joseph Austin Moore, of Terrebonne parish, to Miss Leah Margaret Knobloch, of West Baton Rouge, was solemnized Wednesday afternoon at St. Joseph’s Catholic church, Thibodaux, in the presence of a large gathering of relatives and friends of the contracting parties. Miss Gertrude Folse attended the bride as maid of honor, and Ernest
Roger, Jr., officiated as best man. After the ceremony the happy young couple drove to Shriever, where they will make their home and share each other’s joys and sorrows for the remainder of their lives. The bride is a niece of Hon. W. C. Ragan, mayor of Thibodaux, and a sister of V. J. Knobloch, a well-known young busiiness man of the same town. She is an extremely pretty and popular young lady, and has a legion of friends and admirers in this community who will rejoice with her in her new-found happiness. Mr. Moore is a son of John T. Moore, a leading sugar planter and prominent citizen of Terrebonne parish, and has before him the promise of a bright and happy future.

– For Sale! The Well-Known LAUDERDALE PLANTATION Situated in St. James parish on the west bank of the Mississippi river. six miles below Donaldsonville, at the head of the Mississippi and Lafonrche Drainage District, containing nearly 1600 acres of land-1000 of which are in high state of cultivation. Balance in woodlands, with
considerable cypress timber. This money-making plantation, with all necessary adjuncts-mules, implements, carts, etc.-will have enough corn and hay for its requirements until the new crop of 1907. half of the cane crop will be D.74.
Texas and Pacific station and Lauderdale postoffice on plantation. A large modern cottage, surrounded by live oaks, magnolias and forty grafted bearing pecan trees, makes a picturesque home. Offered for sale on account of departure of owners. Apply on premises or to E. B. LAPCE

District court report in Donaldsonville Chief on Dec. 30, 1871

Adjourned Session-Hon. Raphael Beauvais, Judge,
We continue the synopsis of business transacted at the District Court
Tuesday of last week:
Lapene & Ferre rs. No. 1311, Alex. 0. Landry, Ursin Babin, inter
venor; Nicholls & Pugh, attorneys for plaintiff, Fred. Duffel, Esq., at
torney for intervenor; on motion of defendant’s attorney, this case was
fixed for trial Friday, the 22nd inst.

Augustin Allenian ves. No. 1779, Joseph Ferrier; Nicholls & Pugh,
attorneys for plaintiff, R. N. Sims, Esq., for defendant; on motion of at
torney for defendant the judgment for default rendered herein was set aside
and answered filed; case fixed for Wednesday.

John M. Lusk, administrator, vs. No. 1786, James D. Henderson et als;
R. N. Sims, Esq., attorney for plaintiff; judgment by default entered against

Victor Maurin ef ale vs. 1778, The Common Council of Donaldsonville;
R. N. Sims, Esq., for plaintiffs, Nicholls & Pugh, for defendants; on motion, leave was granted defendants to file a motion to dissolve the injunction herein, fixed for Thursday.

E. Marqueze & Co. rs. No. 1789, V. Paul Landry and A. T. Gautrcau;
Legendre & Poche for plaintiffs; judgment by default against defendants.

Victor Maurin et als vs. No. 1793; Charles F. Smith, Tax Collector of Ascension parish; R. N. Sims, Esq., attorney for plaintiffs, Fred. Duffel, Esq., for defendant; leave granted defendant to file answer, and case fixed for Friday.

Jean Lapeyrolery vs. No. 1796, Edward Braud, fils; John A. Cheevers,
Esq., attorney for plaintiff; judgment by default entered.

Raphael Mousse vs. No. 1799, The May or and Common Council of Donaldsonville; Nicholls & Pugh, attorneys for defendants; exception filed by defendants, and case fixed for

J. B. Leche vs. No. 1800, J. B. Arthur Claverie; Nicholls & Pugh, attorneys for plaintiff; judgment by default entered against defendant.

Azelie Babin, wife of Phirmin Duplessis, .t ale vs. No. 1801, Widow James Anderson ; Nicholls & Pugh for plaintiffs; judgment by default against defendant entered.

McCall Bros. vs No. 1806, J. B. Wilkinson et als; on motion of R. N.
Sims, Esq., attorney for plaintiffs, this case was fixed instanter and judgment
rendered against defendants asprayed for in plaintiffs’ petition.

The Grand Jury now came into the court and presented the following report of the result of their labors :State of Louisiana vs. John Carr; indictment for horse stealing. A true bill.

State of Louisiana vs. Boston Hewsley; indictment for throwing concentrated lie with malicious intent. A true bill.

State of Louisiana vs. Morgan Mitchell and James Lewis; indictment for an affiay. A true bill.

State of Louisiana rs. John Curtis; indictment for horse stealing. Not a
true bill.

To the Honorable Raphael Beauvais, Judge of the Fourth Judicial District Court, Parish of Ascension. The Grand Jurors of the State of Louisiana in and for the Parish of Ascension respectfully represent, that we have visited the perish prison and
find it in a good and clean condition; the prisoners are well and sufficiently
fed with good, healthy victuals, and expressed themselves satisfied. We
have also examined the Court-house, the Recorder’s office and the Clerk’s(
office. The former is in a good state of repair and only requires caps to be
placed over the chimney. The Recorder’s office and the records therein
are in a tolerable state of preservation, except the index, which is old, worm
eaten and all loose, and which should be made as the law requires. We
would further recommend that an iron safe be purchased for the safe keeping
of valuable papers, notes, etc., which may be deposited with the Recorder,
and which might also be used by the Clerk of the Court as a place of deposit. We would also recommend that iron bars be fixed to the transoms over the doors of the Clerk’s and Sheriff’s office.
Signed: G. GAUTREAU,

It was ordered by-the court that a copy of the above report be served on
the President of the Police Jury of Ascension Parish.
The court now adjourned until Wednesday, the 20th instant, at 10 o’clock A. M.
We defer publishing additional proceedings until next week.

Grand Coteau cemetery

My husband’s family hails from the Grand Coteau area. It’s a beautiful town with an absolutely gorgeous church and homes. We visited the graveyard to see the stones for my husband’s grandfather and assorted relatives. 

Here’s my modest list of just a fraction of the graves:

Adolph Guilbeau, March 8, 1900-Jan. 3, 1984

Laura B. Guilbeau, May 20, 1900-Dec. 11, 1974

Onesiphore Broussard, died Jan. 31, 1881, age 40

Nita Guilbeau Dugas, Jan. 14, 1881-Oct. 14, 1978

Zenon J. Dugas, July 24, 1888-Nov. 17, 1928

Lionel Guilbeau, Aug. 7, 1891-July 1, 1946

Dr. Ben Joseph Guilbeau, Sept. 3, 1860-Aug. 4, 1935

Natolia Castille Guilbeau, April 16, 1891-March 18, 1994

Saul Guilbeau, June 25, 1873-April 13, 1916

Dr. Felix C. Guilbeau, Aug. 29, 1877-July 13, 1931

Edmond C. Guilbeau, died Aug. 14, 1931

Ernest Guilbeaux, June 19, 1860-Feb. 17, 1925

Marie Thelma Durden, 1928-1962

Mrs. Oge Guilbeau, 1898-1996 (mother of Marie Thelma Durden)

Corinne Guilbeau Huter, Feb. 24, 1931-Oct. 24, 1965

Marie Pollingue Guilbeau, July 17, 1868-Feb. 7, 1939

Isabel Guilbeau, Oct. 1, 1898-May 14, 1955

Willie L. Sibille, Dec. 3, 1891-Feb. 17, 1963

Lilburn Guilbeau (wife of Willie Sibille), March 14, 1896-Sept. 28, 1952

Harry Adrian Barrilleaux, April 6, 1897-June 21, 1969

Lorena Blanco Barrilleaux, Dec. 3, 1899-Dec. 11, 1987

Havard Guilbeau, April 20, 1918-May 15, 1996

Mrs. Oscar Guilbeau, July 20, 1885-Dec. 4, 1966

Elie Guilbeau, may 20, 1894-Feb. 12, 1970

Blanche S. Guilbeau, Sept. 28, 1896-1979

Earl J. Savoie, Oct. 30, 1913-May 27, 1976

Wilhelmina G. Savoie, Oct. 31, 1913-Oct. 19, 1988



Woodrow Wilson Hebert?


I volunteer what little spare time I have indexing records for the Church of Latter Day Saints. I’m Catholic, but I have a deep appreciation and gratitude for the Church of Latter Day Saints’ dedication to preserving and distributing genealogical records. Besides, indexing is great fun. I indexed passport records the other day from the 1920s. Imagine my surprise when I cracked open a few and discovered family photos. Not my family photos. We had little reason to get a passport. Everyone immigrated here. Seriously, for the first 12 years of my mother’s life, she lived next door to her grandfather, aunts, uncles, cousins, great-aunts, great-uncles, etc. It was like the Kennedy compound, but a lot less wealthy. 

I always smile when I index a record for someone obviously named for a president. I guess it’s amusing to me because Cajuns didn’t do that. Everyone was Jean Baptiste, Joseph or Marie. The only exceptions in my family tree were Cordilier (a man), Desire (again, a man) and a myriad of Florentins. None of those names is presidential.

Then we celebrated my father-in-law’s 95th birthday. I’ve always known him as Baker Joseph. Come to find out, he has a third name. Wilson. Baker Joseph Wilson. As in Woodrow Wilson. 

Benoits and Bergerons

I don’t know much about the Benoits and Bergerons in my family tree. My g-g-grandmother was a Benoit. Her mother was a Bergeron. G-G-Grandmother Benoit died long before my mother was born. She died of breast cancer, leaving a legacy of that particular form of cancer for her descendants. What’s also interesting about Eugenie Ella Benoit Hebert (don’t you just love that name!) is her Uncle Jean Baptiste Homere Bergeron. Homere – as no doubt he was called since his father was a Jean Baptiste – entered the world in 1844 and left it just 21 years later. He died of smallpox. How do I know that? Homere entered the Union army. He served in the First Calvary. He was known as Omer. He was among 5,000 to 10,000 ( Louisianans who fought on the Union side during the Civil War. Homere may have participated in the siege at Port Hudson. Thousands more from Louisiana joined the confederate side, including two men from the family into which Eugenie Ella married. Exactly what the Bergerons thought of Homere’s choice is unclear. After his death, his mother received a pension from the federal government for her son’s military service. 

A triple execution in St. James

Donaldsonville Chief — Sept. 30, 1871


St. James: The triple execution of John Williams, Alfred Decaraux and Noel,
alias Madison Hampton, convicted of the murder of Francis S. Menteath,
on the night of the 10th of May last, took place today, and was witnessed
by over one thousand persons, both men and women.
As your readers nay not be familiar with the particulars, I will give a
short account of the fiendish deed and the subsequent trial and conviction of
the perpetrators.
On the night aforementioned, four men–James Parker, John Williams,
Alfred Decaranx and Noel-started from the vicinity of Judge Beauvais’
residence with the intention of committing a robbery. It seems that
after trudging a distance of about ten miles up the river, as far as the
St. Michael’s Church, and not having come to any determination as to
which store they should rob, they halted and held a consultation which
ended in the selection of Choppin’s store, situated upon the batture front
ing the Welham place.
Arrived at this store, John Williams made an attempt to wrench the
back door open, which was at first unsuccessful, but he immediately
made a second trial, and being a powerful man, succeeded in wrenching the
door entirely from its fastenings.
Parker immediately rushed in and seized young Menteath by the throat,
holding him thus until John Williams produced a rope and adjusted it
securely around the neck of the victim, when each of the villians took an
end of the rope and pulled it until Menteath was strangled to death.
The arms and legs of the young man were then tied, and John Williams
took the body upon his back and threw it into the river. The store
was then pillaged and the fiends started away, but had proceeded but
a short distance when Williams proposed to return and burn the store in
order to destroy all vestige of their crime. Acting upon the suggestion
of their leader, they returned and set fire to the store which burned to the
The foregoing facts were elicited from Parker, who was accepted as State’s
evidence, and gave his testimony in a remarkably clear and straightforward
manner. Williams attempted to prove an alibi by his wife, but she stated
that he was not at home the night of the murder, There was no rebutting
testimony; Parker’s statement being corroborated by other witnesses, and
also by the confessions of Decaraux and Noel, consequently the three men
John Williams, Alfred Decaraux and Noel, alian Madison Hampton, were
found guilty of murder in the first degree and sentenced to death. Some
time after the trial the Governor signed a death warrant. Alfred Decaraux and Noel were visited by their mothers, who bade them a last farewell. Noel’s mother reproached him with deserting the Catholic religion-in which faith he had been born and
raised–and joining the Baptist sect. She told him that this change of religious views had cost him his life, as they were Baptists who had induced him to become a party to the crime for which lie was to pay the penalty with his life. Williams was visited
by his wife. with whom he had been on very bad terms. He forgave her for having testified against him at the trial, and expressed the hope that she had forgiven him for his great crime.
At sunrise, this morning, the prisoners were baptised by the Rev. Samuel Cook. The unfortunate men remarked that, last night was the longest they had experienced during their confinement, and expressed a desire for the our of exection to arrive.
A few minutes before nine o’oclock, everything being in readiness, a wagon
containing three coffins drove up to the jail door to receive the prisoners.
Decaraux was the first to make his appearance. He came down the stairs looking pale and haggard; he mounted slowly into the wagon, and took his seat upon the coffin which
bore his name, gazing around at the assembled crowd, expectantly, then dropping his head upon his breast and swinging himself to and fro: Noel came out next with buoyant step, and sprang lightly into the wagon, seating himself near Decaraux, and nodded to some friends in the crowd. John Williams was the last of the condemned men to come forth from the jail. His step was slow and faltering, and he was evidently weak and depressed by mental suffering. He shook hands with several friends, then jumped into the wagon with the others. Parker, the accomplice to the deed who had turned State’s evidence and saved his own neck, mounted the driver’s seat and took the reins.
Randall Coleman, a prisoner who was under charge of murdering a man, was brought forth securely bound, and placed in the cart with the condemned murderers, he having expressed a desire to witness the execution.
At nine o’clock the Sheriff gave orders for the start, when a numerous
guard immediately formed around the prisoners, and proceeded towards the place of execution. The wagon containing the condemned was followed by the executioner in a buggy covered with the colors of death-white and black. The scene was a solemn one.
Three men condemned to die, dressed in white, with white caps on their heads, and the executioner following behind their wake.
The place where the murder was committed being too small for the execution, a spot, one mile above, on the batture in front of the upper portion of the Welham plantation, was selected. A circle was formed with a rope, in the centre of which was the gallows. Guards were stationed around this circle and none of the spectators were admitted within it. The prisoners were now ordered to descend from the wagon. Decaraux came first and mounted to the platform of the gallows, seating himself upon the right. Williams and Noel followed; the former taking-the middle seat, the latter the one upon the left. The Sheriff then notified the condemned that if they wished to say anything, now was the last opportunity that could be given them. Decaraux was the first to speak. He said:
“Here I am before you, and you know what brought me here. I am glad my time has come, I shall soon be with my Heavenly Father.” On the rope being adjusted around his neck he exclaimed ” Good-bye, old world, good-bye.” Williams then arose and commenced singing a psalm. He essayed several times to speak, but got no further than “Don’t be alarmed, my friends,” then broke down. Noel spoke last, in a cool and indifferent manner: ” You see we are before you; you know what brought us here. Let it be a warning to you all not to follow in our tracks.” The time allotted them for speaking having expired, the executioner was summoned. Mounting the scaffold he pulled the caps over the faces of all three of the men,. and adjusted the ropes around their necks, and bound their hands atop feet. The Sheriff ordered the executioner to do his duty. Like a thunder clap the
three criminals were suspended in mid-air. Noel was killed immediately. Decarax showed
signs of suffering, raised himself convulsively, then fell with a lurch. Williams also showed some signs of pain, but they were not as perceptible as Decaranuxs. At five minutes to twelve the bodies were cut down, after having hung fifty-five minutes. When the rope holding Wiliams was cut, the body fell with great velocity and rebounded from the earth like an elastic ball. Deputy Coroner Gray empanelled a jury, and held an
examinaton upon the bodies, declaring them lifeless. Williams was buried three yards from the gallows; while the mortal remains of Decaraux and Noel were delivered to their friends for interment elsewhere. And thus ended a scene which will be remembered for a long time to come in this community. A very large number of people witnessed the execution, and were visibly affected.