lafourche parish, Newspaper articles, yellow fever

The scourge of yellow fever

Remember that scene in “Gone With the Wind” in which Scarlett and Melanie are reading through the list of killed soldiers? The Tarleton twins are on the list, but thankfully – for Scarlett and Melanie – Ashley isn’t.

I think about that scene every time I see a list of yellow fever deaths in a historic Louisiana newspaper. In the 1800s, newspapers were probably your best avenue of information. No phones. No internet. Just the Post Office and newspapers.

The Baltimore Sun reported this in 1853:

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Indeed, the Thibodaux Minerva in that same year revealed that yellow fever deaths were a big seller:

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Think about it. In less than two months’ time, there were 224 burials in Thibodaux. I doubt you’d want to go visiting with that much death. You relied on the newspaper for news of who had succumbed.

That same Oct. 1, 1853, issue of the Thibodaux Minerva contains a sad tribute to 4-year-old Margaret Ann Guyther, the daughter of Margaret V. White and James A. Guyther. Little Margaret Ann died on Sept. 7 of yellow fever. Making her death really sad is that her sisters Malvina and Caroline died shortly before her. Their parents buried three children in a brief span.

More victims are listed below:

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Newspaper articles, Templet family

Sheriff’s Sale for the Templets

I’ve been trying to track down what happened to Anaise Templet’s parents, Charles Valsin and Louisa Josephine Boudreaux Templet, for years. I believe Louisa died in 1854 since there’s a succession record notation for her. Sadly, the record itself is missing.

Then I came across this entry in a Louisiana newspaper. I’m fairly sure this isn’t my Charles and Louisa since Louisa had a child in 1854 so Charles couldn’t have been dead in 1850. Still, how sad this is:

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I’ll translate:

It will be offered in public auction on Wednesday, 4th day of December, 1850, at 10 o’clock in the morning, on the spot, by AF Hickman, sheriff and auctioneer duly commissioned and sworn in and for the aforesaid parish the properties hereafter described belonging to Mrs. Widow Charles Templet:

1. An earth or dwelling located at Bayou Pierre Part, in this parish, measuring five arpents of face on fourteen acres of depth, bounded on one side by the land of Narcisse Trahan, and on the other, by that of Joseph Frioux , together with all the buildings and improvements that depend on it (except the house occupied by Valery Templet). The vendense reserves the right to remain at the said dwelling until next January, 1851.

2. A Cow, a Genisse and a Pirogue.

3. The household, cookware, etc.

Newspaper articles, Riddles, St. Mary Parish Genealogy

The exasperating, frustrating and altogether annoying LeBlancs

Because I like a challenge, I’ve been trying to sort out the LeBlanc family. It’s like tumbling down a rabbit hole after a white rabbit. It just gets curiouser and curiouser.

Josephine Emiline Templet married Etienne Carville LeBlanc. in 1867. Josephine was the sister of my g-g-g-grandmother Anaise Templet. Anaise – I think – was actually christened Marie Heloise. Maybe it was supposed to be Marie Anaise, and the priest wrote it down wrong. I have no idea. All I know is we’re about to get into a trend.

Josephine didn’t go by Josephine. She didn’t go by Emiline. She was Eveline or Evalina.

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Pete’s war registration record, where he decided to go by his actual name.

Her husband, Etienne Carville, didn’t go by Etienne Carville. He was Pete, except on his Civil War draft registration, when he put down his middle name of Carville. Pete worked on the railroad and then became a ferryman in Morgan City.

Pete and Eveline had a lot of kids. I think I’ve blogged before about the confusion involving their names, but I’ll revisit since I’ve learned more. Basically,  baptism records record their kids’ names as one thing. Census records completely disagree for the most part. I’ll list the baptismal name first and put the census name in parenthesis.

Onezime Eugenie, 1867 (Olivia in 1880)

Almina Marie, 1869 (Elvena in 1880)

Odille Carmelite, 1870 (Odelia in 1880 – yeah!!)

Clarity Ozemee, 1872 (Clovis in 1880)

Oscar Francois, 1875 (not listed in 1880)

Mary Seraphine, 1877 (Josephine in 1880)

Joseph Arthur, 1879 (Joseph in 1880 and Arthur in 1900)

Peter Clarfey, 1881 (Clifford in 1900)

Eugenie Philomene, 1883 (Jennie in 1900)

So … I know that Jennie – the baby – married Aubin Picou and had children before dying in the 1950s. The rest of the kids were a mystery until I finally traced Peter Clarfey/Clifford only to find that he didn’t go by any of those names later in life.

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Clifford/William LeBlanc in 1910 before his wife died. 

Clifford – as he was known in a mangled fashion on the 1910 census – married May Bell Bigler and had five children.

May Bell died young. The kids went to live with her relations. Clifford then pops up in New Orleans – as William or Willie – and marries a Catherine Fallosio. They have five children.

In 1929, Clifford/William dies, leaving behind a pregnant widow. The kids – sadly – are sent to.an orphanage.

Even Clifford/William’s kids’ names are confusing. He and Catherine seemed to have had two Williams and two Clifftons as sons.

But Catherine’s story also is a name game puzzle.

Her father was James Fallosio, who served as a deputy in Orleans Parish and seemed to be quick to pull the trigger on his gun. Newspaper reports on those shootings casually mention that James Fallosio sometimes was known as James Sebastian. What the heck?

It turns out that James’ full name was James Sebastian Fallosio, but he sometimes just dropped the surname. Even his kids sometimes listed their last name as Sebastian.

And this is why genealogy is a twisting, winding road of frustration.

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James was no stranger to an alcohol-infused brawl. 

James, by the way, died in 1903 during a barroom shooting. Apparently a dispute erupted over some dope that James tried to pass to a prisoner in exchange for money.

I have no idea what name he was buried under. Probably LeBlanc. Just kidding.

 

Montet Family, Newspaper articles, St. Mary Parish Genealogy

Newspaper notes from Amelia

Miss Marple once said that local newspapers are always a useful source of information. As always, Miss Marple was right.

Here are some terribly misspelled notes from the town of Amelia in the early 1900s. I found my g-g-grandparents, Augustin and Elizabeth Giroir.

Saturday, July 27, 1918

Mrs. E. P. Schwing and children of Morgan City are the guests of Mr. and Mrs. J. K. Schwing of Amelia for a few days.

Mr. H. A. Rentrop went to New Orleans Friday, where he will take a position at the S. P. machine shop in Algiers.

Mr. Dewey Vigene of Algiers spending some time at Amelia with Mr. and Mrs. A. Verret.

Wilton Rentrop, son of Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Rentrop, is on the sick list this week.

Mr. Earl Barrilleaux, who has been working at the shipyard in Morgan City, is now spending a few days with relatives in Amelia.

Miss Rosa Rentrop has been informed by the War Department that Mr. J. Allen Thompson of the U.S. Naval Reserves has arrived in France safely.

Tuesday, Aug. 6, 1918

Mrs. A. E. Pension and children left Sunday for New Orleans to visit her sister, Mrs. W. Verret.

Mrs. Clement Landry and Miss Agnes Barrilleaux were the guests of Mrs. J. J. Greenwood at Ramos Friday.

Mrs. A. J. Mahony of Glenwild is spending some time with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. A. H. Rentrop of Amelia.

Dr. and Mrs. J. T. Prosser and daughter, Edmay, have returned from Alexandria after visiting relatives there.

Miss Bertha Patureau of Plaquemines left here Sunday after spending several weeks with her brother and sister-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Allen Patureau.

Mr. John Mahony of Glenwild spent Sunday with Mr. and Mrs. A. H. Rentrop Sr.

Mr. Lovelace Blanco has returned home after spending several days in Orange, Texas.

Mr. Robt. Morrison spent Saturday and Sunday in Morgan City the guest of Miss Alice Smith of Lake Bridge, who is visiting her sister, Mrs. Fauchet.

Mrs. R.C. Robicheaux and daughter, Aline, of San Antonio, Texas, is spending some time with her sister, Mrs. Eugene Theriot of Amelia.

Mr. Earl Barrilleaux has returned from New Orleans, having failed in examination for enlistment in the navy. He will return to the city in two weeks.

Thursday, Aug. 8, 1918

Mr. C. H. Barrielleaux spent Sunday with relatives here.

Mrs. Philips, Miss Philips ands Miss White of Alexandria is spending some time with Dr. and Mrs. J. T. Prosser at Amelia.

There are many cases of charbon among the live stock at Amelia and is causing heavy loss to the community.

Mr. Louis Giroia, son of Mr. and Mrs. Augustin Giroia, left here Tuesday for Napoleonville. From there, he will be sent to a training camp for service in the United States army.

Miss Cleona Blanco is spending a few days in Morgan City.

Mr. Douglas Vining of Morgan City spent Monday and Tuesday at Amelia.

Mr. Sidney David of Amelia will leave Napoleonville Wednesday with a number of drafted men for training camps. His many friends wish him much success.

Saturday, Aug. 10, 1918

Mr. A. E. Pension was in Morgan City Thursday.

Mrs. A. J. Mahony returned to her home in

Glenwild after spending a few days at Amelia as the guest of Mr. and Mrs. Rentrop.

Mr. Sidney Barras went to Morgan City on business Friday.

Miss Edna Blanco of Amelia, daughter of Mr. B. Blanco, was quietly married Wednesday evening to Mr. Edward Bergeron, son of Mr. and Mrs. V. Bergeron of Ramos.

Eugene Rentrop, son of Mr. and Mrs. A. H. Rentrop Jr., is on the sick list this week.

Miss Alice Smith of Lake Bridge has returned to her home after spending several days in Morgan City.

The weather for a few weeks has been so rainy that the farmers of this section are unable to plant their fall potatoes. It is feared that there will be a very small crop this year. Although this rainy weather is not good for the planting of potatoes, it is very beneficial to the cane crop.

Messrs. Clement Landry, B. Blanco, Ettienne Giroir and Noah Landry went to Morgan City in a gasoline boat Thursday.

Monday, Nov. 11, 1918

Mrs. W. H. Rentrop was called to the bedside of her mother, Beadle who was formerly of this place. Her body was brought here Saturday morning. Funeral services was held from St. Andrew’s Catholic Church.

Mr. Joe Bourg was in Morgan City Friday.

Mrs. J. S. Dellucky of this place and son, Ernest, of New Orleans returned here Friday from Camp Beauregard, where they visited Private Frank Dellucky, who is at the Base Hospital having undergone an operation.

Mr. Oleus Pension, son of Mr. Alexson Pension, died here Friday at noon from at attack of influenza. A brother, Adeo, died from pneumonia two weeks ago. Besides his father, Mr. Penisson is survived by three sisters and one brother and other relatives. Funeral services were held Saturday morning from the Catholic Church.

Friday, Nov. 29, 1918

Mr. Eddie Barrilleaux of Centerville spent a few hours here Monday.

Mr. Willie Auction was in Morgan City Tuesday.

Mr. Roy Nutta returned to Patterson Tuesday after working here several days.

Mr. Anidas Lajounis left for Centerville Wednesday where he will work for some time.

Mrs. Willie Auction and daughter Miss Edna went to New Orleans Tuesday.

Mr. Adrien Barrilleaux, Noah Landry and Emile Barrilleaux are now working at Cotton Bros near Morgan City.

It has been raining here for several days and the farmers are unable to haul their cane to the wharves.

Mrs. T. Auction and daughter Mrs. Prosser are spending a few days in New Orleans.

Monday, Dec. 16, 1918

Mr. Simoneaux of Avolon was the guest of his son Mr. Walter for a few days this week.

Mr. Jos. Tellette was a business visitor to Morgan City Friday.

Mrs. J. S. Dellucky spent one day this week with her daughter, Mrs. Lyn Arceneaux in Morgan City.

Beg to acknowledge that it was a false report about Bugler John Blanchard being wounded. It was a telegram telling that he had been gassed.

Mr. Clement Landry was in Morgan City Friday.

Mrs. Sidney Barras has returned home from the St. Mary Hospital, accompanied by her sister Miss Dugas.

Messrs. A. Barrilleaux and A. E. Pennison were visitors to Morgan City Friday.

Tuesday, Dec. 24, 1918

Mr. C.C. Pension of Algiers is spending a few days here, the guest of his brother-in-law and sister, Mr. And Mrs. A. H. Rentrop Jr.

Mr. Henry Dellucky has returned home from Camp Pike, where he was mustered out of service.

Mrs. A. H. Rentrop of Algiers came Sunday to spend Christmas with relatives.

Mr. and Mrs. Lynn Arceneaux and son, Junior, of Morgan City spent Sunday with Mr. and Mrs. Dellucky and family.

Mr. Sidney Barras, who has been working in Chacahoula, is spending the holidays with his family here.

Messrs. A. E. Pennison and A. Barrilleaux are spending a few days with their families here.

Mr. O. J. Blanchard will return to his home in Scott Mond.

Messrs. Easton and Lester Domangue of Ramos spent Sunday here with friends.

Mr. C. Landry was in Morgan City Saturday.

Miss Edna Aucoin spent Saturday and Sunday here with her parents.

Private Guy Thibodeaux of Camp Shelby, Miss., is here on a few days’ furlough, the guest of his parents, Mr. and Mrs. L. E. Thibodeaux.

Mr. Anidas Lajounie returned home Saturday from Centreville where he spent some time.

Thursday, Dec. 26, 1918

Messrs. A. H. Rentrop Jr., Walter Simoneaux and A. E. Pennison were business visitors to Morgan City Monday.

Misses Annie and Inez Tellotte were visitors to Morgan City Monday.

Messrs. Emile Barrilleaux and Noah Landry are spending the Xmas holidays here, from Cotton Bros.

Mr. Percy Schwing was in Morgan City Monday on business.

Messrs. C. Landry and Earl Barrilleaux went to Morgan City in boat Monday.

Miss Pearl Schwig of Lake Charles is spending the holidays here with relatives.

Murder and mayhem, Newspaper articles

The murder of Edna Weiss and a history of insanity

Screen Shot 2019-03-12 at 10.14.49 PM.pngI was in search of my great-grandmother, Isabelle Giroir Gauthreaux, when I dove into coroner records for Orleans Parish. Isabelle died in New Orleans after a failed appendix operation. She died hours away from home so I thought she might have been transferred to the morgue until her family could make arrangements to move her body to Amelia for burial.

I didn’t find Isabelle. But I did find Edna Arseneaux Weiss.

It was Edna’s brother-in-law, Adolph Davidson, who collected her body from the morgue. He also requested her shoes and clothing. Presumably, he planned to bury her in them.

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Charles Weiss slit his wife’s throat in 1917 on a New Orleans street corner. 

Edna died in 1917 on a New Orleans street corner after her husband slit her throat. She ran a hundred feet after the attack – all while holding her 2-year-old son, Alvin. She ended up collapsing and dying on Canal Street.

Poor Edna. The day started ordinarily enough. She spent the day in the city with her husband’s sister, Louise Weiss Davidson. Toward evening, she and her husband left her sister’s house to buy Alvin a pair of shoes. For some reason, her husband grew angry as they walked down the street and slit his wife’s throat with a razor.

Edna was only 24. Her husband, Charles Joseph Henry Weiss, was 30. The Lunacy Commission found Charles to be insane. They seemed to largely base this finding on insanity in Charles’ family. Apparently his father and grandfather died of insanity – whatever that means.

Charles wasn’t set free. He was packed off to the insane asylum.

The murder happened in the days when reporters were allowed into jails to interview suspects. So, before Charles went to the loony bin, a reporter was able to interview him at the New Orleans jail.

Here’s what Charles had to say:

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Yep, he accused his wife of slitting her own throat.

I don’t know what happened to Charles. Little Alvin died in 1990.

Assumption Parish Genealogy, Bergeron Family, Newspaper articles, St. Mary Parish Genealogy, Uncategorized

The Planters’ Banner

The Planters’ Banner was a newspaper that published in St. Mary and Iberia parishes from 1836 to 1871. It sounds like it should have printed crop reports, but it was a hodgepodge of items.

It had poetry.

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Obituaries from the East Coast (the publisher hailed from Maine).

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Lots and lots of attorney ads. Some things never change.

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And cures for chlorea – a very helpful recipe in the 1800s. Basically, you administered deer horn, wine, cold water and sugar. Then you did a lot of praying because there’s no way in hell that recipe cured anything.

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What disappoints me about the paper is the scarcity of local news. The paper would give you tales of haunted houses in England and gold certificate robberies on the streets of New York, but local goings-on were a bit sporadic.

The really good stuff was dug up by other newspapers and reprinted, like this woeful story from 1871.

Alcee Gautreaux’s father owned a plantation called Hard Times in Assumption Parish. Optimistic name for a farm, huh?

The Gautreaux family leased the plantation to a Mr. T. T. Cobry, who threatened to shoot anyone who came onto the property even after his lease expired. Alcee convinced carpenters with the last names of Bergeron and Gilbert to go with him to Hard Times for the purposes of assessing needed repairs to the sugar house.

Knowing this wasn’t going to be a picnic in the park, Alcee grabbed a double barrel shotgun for the excursion. When the trio got there, Cobry was standing in the road dressed in his shirt sleeves. Spying the men, he ran into the blacksmith shop and retrieved a revolver.

Cobry didn’t seem to be the most reasonable of guys. He asked the men if they had a deputy with them and then started swearing. An argument ensued. Cobry was shot and killed.

The carpenters were probably just sorry they agreed to accompany Alcee that day since the whole matter ended up in court with Alcee acquitted of murder for acting in self defense.

Here’s The Assumption Pioneer’s tribute of sorts to Mr. Cobry, may he rest in peace:

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Now, if only I could figure out if that Bergeron was a relative. Alas, no first name was reported.

 

Newspaper articles

The Great Baking Powder War of 1919

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Never heard of it? Well, where have you been? It was quite the dustup.

To be fair, the baking powder war wasn’t confined to 1919. That just happens to be the year in which I stumbled across ads in a Morgan City newspaper for baking powder.

Think about it. Without baking powder, we wouldn’t have cake. OK. We’d have cake.

But, after reading an article about baking in the days before baking powder and store-bought yeast, I probably would have done without cake. If you go back far enough in history, you had to make yeast before you made cake. That meant letting stuff ferment and create yeast. So maybe Marie Antoinette wasn’t being callous when she suggested the peasants eat cake. Maybe she was just trying to occupy their time so they’d leave her alone.

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Baking powder as we know it dates to the 1880s. This was revolutionary. It literally transformed recipes. Cookbooks had to be rewritten. Baking powder was big business. Soon, a number of manufacturers sprang up, including cost-cutter Calumet. And then things got nasty.

Screen Shot 2019-03-07 at 6.37.08 PM.pngRoyal Baking Powder started advertising its baking powder as the pure baking powder and suggested other brands might harm your health. Then Royal started handing out bribes and convinced the Missouri Legislature to ban baking powders – like Calumet – that contained acid sodium aluminum phosphate.

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Millions of dollars in bribes exchanged hands. Folks were locked up and fined for selling illegal baking powder. All to bake your ancestor a cake.

Eventually, Missouri’s lieutenant governor was forced to resign because he was ferrying bribes. How many people can say their political career was ruined by baking powder?

The saga didn’t end there. The advertising war raged on until the number of baking powder companies diminished. Calumet still exists, by the way. It’s now owned by Kraft.

So now you know the cost of changing the way your ancestor baked. Be thankful the next time you crack open a box of Betty Crocker cake mix.