My Granny’s great-grandfather Joseph Florentin Montet died on Jan. 20, 1886. His son and namesake, Joseph Florentin Montet Jr., died just a few weeks later at a young age. I have no idea if they died of the same illness. They died before death certificates, and the local newspaper didn’t record the causes of death.
This much is clear: It was a bad time for the Montets. Florentin Sr. died first. His wife’s half brother died five days later. Then Florentin Jr. died quickly followed by Florentin Sr.’s sister-in-law.
Here’s how The Assumption Pioneer summed it up (I’ve clumsily translated the French to English): “In a calm and epidemic-free time, these consecutive and close trials seem to represent a fatality of which only God knows the end – our compliments and condolences to this respectable, honorable and honored family. Hope that providence will put the reward next to the misfortune.”
Successions were filed, and it’s clear from them that Florentin Jr.’s death was unexpected. Court officials just tacked his succession onto his father’s, giving it a 1/2 to differentiate it from his father’s succession number. Florentin Jr. was a young father when he died.
From Joseph Florentin Montet Sr.’s succession, here is the inventory of what he owned when he died:
- The lower divided and separate half of a certain sugar plantation situated in the said parish of Assumption on the left bank of Bayou Lafourche, measuring six arpents and a quarter, more or less, front on said Bayou Lafourche probably by a depth of 40 arpents, bounded above by land of Bazile Ben and below by land belonging to the succession of Narcisse Templet, together with the double concession belonging thereto, said double concession measuring 222 3/100 arpents more or less.
- The lower divided and separate half of lots No. 3, 4 and 5 of fractional section No. 55 in township No. 13, Range No. 15 East, which lower half of said lots contains 165 superficial acres, more or less, and is situated in the rear of the double concession of the above described plantation and is appraised by the said appraisers at the full sum of $820.
- The one undivided half of the sugar house on the above described plantation and its machinery and accessories of two arpents of land on the center of which the said sugar house is situated, of the stable near said sugar house, of the cookhouse, harness house and cabin also near said sugar house, and of the corn mill on said plantation, appraised by the said appraisers at the sum of $2,000.
- Seven mules, appraised in block for $1,050.
- One mare and colt, $40.
- One cow and calf, $20.
- One stubble digger, $50.
- Three No. 2 plows, $25.
- One No. 1 1/2 plow, $5.
- Three sets gears, $8.
- Two spades and two shovels, $3.
- Three hoes and two picks, $1.25.
- Two three mule carts, $100.
- Two cart saddles, $1.50.
- One bagasse cart, $15.
- One harrow, $4.
- One croplut saw, $2.
- One buggy, $20.
- Corn seed, $75.
- One old boiler now on land of the succession of James O’Keane on the Attakapas Canal, appraised at $20.
- Cash on hand left by deceased, (unreadable) of crop of 1885, $1,673.56.
Grand total: $10,278.39.