Newspaper articles, terrebonne parish

A Cajun Jed Clampett

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The Harry Bourg family in Dulac: Bertha Luke (a cousin), Mr. and Mrs. Harry Bourg, Lena (sitting on the table), Dorothy, Mildred, Evelina, Gertie, Nora and Albert.

“The Houma Daily Courier” told many interesting stories for a special edition in 1972. One of them concerned the late Harry Bourg, who was a Cajun Jed Clampett of sorts.

Harry grew up working in a shrimping camp. He didn’t speak English until he married at age 20 and his wife taught him another language besides French.

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Harry Bourg (left) in the late 1920s.

What’s interesting about Harry is that he died a millionaire. That’s unusual for someone living on the bayou who makes his living off the land and water.

Harry had an inquisitive mind. He wondered why he caught more shrimp on some days than others. After thinking about it, he fashioned a piece of wood into an airplane propeller with a weight and net. The contraption would go to the bottom of the water and stir up the shrimp, guaranteeing a full net.

His invention was so successful that he had to build another invention. He created a drying platform for the shrimp.

Harry also was a collector. He snapped up land – a little plot here and a little plot there. By 1928, he owned 12,000 acres. Some of that land held oil, turning Harry into a millionaire.

In 1963, Harry died. He fathered seven children (I’ll put husbands in parentheses): Norah (Hughes Breaux), Mildred (Russell Voisin), Gertie (Cyrus Theriot), Dorothy (Lawrence Bergeron), Lena (Bob Martin), Evelina (Eli Gallier) and Albert.

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