I found a book at the library the other day on the history of Catholic churches in Louisiana. I couldn’t locate my reading glasses so I borrowed a magnifying glass from the librarian and started perusing (no, it can’t be that I’m getting older; the type is getting smaller).
From the book, I learned that records for St. Patrick in Gibson only go back to 1887 even though it was a mission church as far back as 1845. Services apparently were held before a church existed.
The first entry for the Gibson church was for a burial. An African-American woman named Melia was buried in November 1887. No mention is made of her surname.
Father Hebert’s books note Melia’s death and burial.
This is all we’ll probably ever know about Melia. Her contribution to history is being a first – and only having a first name.