I love the tags for this photo: portraits, mustaches, bus drivers and French Americans. Those sum up this picture of Joseph Cazeaux.
Joseph’s photograph is included in the Historic Photos of Southwest Louisiana in Louisiana Digital Library. The caption says he was a “peppery little driver of the bus from the depot to the town’s hostelries.”
The collection totals 5,000 photographs and documents McNeese State University, Lake Charles and Calcasieu (Lake Charles’ parish). It includes photos collected by public health nurse Maude Reid. In her spare time, Maude gathered photographs, newspaper clippings and other historical records. She pasted them into scrapbooks. Among her photographs was the picture of Joseph.
Thank goodness for amateur historians like Maude, who preserved slice-of-life moments in everyday America.
Here’s another picture captured by Maude. I assume this is a mother with her children. Because they didn’t speak English (probably spoke French), Maude couldn’t find out.
Maude also took pictures of homes, like this one that once stood at 527 Pujo Street in Lake Charles. She snapped this shortly before the house was demolished. It belonged to Mr. and Mrs. S. Arthur Knapp. I looked on Google maps. The lot is vacant with a single surviving tree.
Here’s a baptism in the Calcasieu River. Notice the women’s white dresses.
I love this image of children saying grace at the First Ward School (principal was Mary Belle Williamson), probably because one little girl appears to be peeking at what the other children are doing instead of concentrating on her prayers. I tend to be a little over curious myself.
Here’s Sonya Davidson playing ball.
Finally, here’s Maude at age 3.
In addition to being quite the amateur photographer and scrapbooker, Maude was Calcasieu Parish’s first public health nurse. She established clinics that served the parish’s poor, allowing her to come across the scenes she photographed.
To visit her collection, go to https://louisianadigitallibrary.org/islandora/object/mcneese-psl%3Acollection and type her name in the search engine. Enjoy!