Sometimes a tree burns and hits you

In 1878, a tree at Lake Verret fell and killed poor Auguste Arsement. 

My grandmother’s parents, Albert Gauthreaux and Isabelle Giroir Gauthreaux, didn’t live long. Albert died in his early 40s of kidney disease. Isabelle died in her early 20s of appendicitis. Their daughter (my grandmother) made up for it by living to 95. But I digress.

Our ancestors died of all kinds of things: Yellow fever, typhoid, childbirth, etc. Life was hard before vaccines and urgent care centers.

And, sometimes, a tree just up and hits you and your “lady friend,” creating a family of destitute orphans (anyone else picturing Oliver Twist here?).

Pioneer of Assumption
March 30, 1878

On Thursday, the 28th, Auguste Arsement, more familiarly known under the sobriquet of Joami, a fisherman, was killed by the fall of a tree. It appears the deceased, in company with several other fishermen and a lady friend, had encamped for the night on the shores of Lake Verret, near a partially decayed tree, in close proximity to which the ordinary camp fire was left burning. In some inexplicable way, during the time all the party was wrapped in deep sleep, the fire came in contact with the decayed tree and readily ignited the same. Soon after, the flames having weakened the tree, there was a crash and poor Auguste was mortally wounded and the lady seriously injured. Mr. Arsement survived until the next day. He was about 50 years and leaves a family of destitute orphans, his wife having died some two years since.



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