Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Victorin Charles Comeaux and Marie Henriette Braud

Victorin Charles Comeaux and his family made so many contributions to the Sardine Point area and West Baton Rouge Parish in Louisiana that I feel it necessary to include a biography about them.  This information was obtained from a family biography written by Stephen Coumeaux Greer:

"Victorin Charles Comeaux, born 01 August 1848 near Baton Rouge, was a great great grandson of Charles Comeaux of Canada who, after being exiled in Maryland with the Acadians, arrived in St. Gabriel, Louisiana in 1767. Although he was baptized Victorin Pierre at St. John the Baptist Church in Brusly, he always used the name Charles, even in his business transactions.  He was the son of Charles Daniel Comeaux of Iberville Parish, Louisiana and Sylvanie Florestine Tullier, daughter of a prominent West Baton Rouge planter.  Charles Daniel and Sylvanie had another son, Charles Daniel, who was born 20 February 1860 and died 28 August 1954.  Victorin's paternal grandparents were Charles Daniel Comeaux and Marie Carmelite Hebert, daughter of Benonie Hebert and Marie Madeleine Allain.  His maternal grandparents were Jean Baptiste Tullier and Pelagie Celeste Aucoin.  His paternal great grandparents were Jean Charles Comeaux, who came to Louisiana with his father in 1767, and his second wife Ann Catherine Bush.  

Shortly after the Civil War, Victorin and his father crossed the river in a skiff to the West Baton Rouge side of Manchac Point where they bought two arpents of land, a mule and a plow.  From this meager beginning, Victorin became a prominent successful planter, rice grower and political force in his area.  

He married Henriette Braud, daughter of Joseph Braud and Aureline Daigre.  She was born in 1850 and died in 1922.  Nine children were born of this union and they reared a half-orphaned girl, Cornelia Comeaux, who was the daughter of his brother, Charles Daniel.

As Victorin's family increased, he acquired more land on the West Baton Rouge side of Manchac Point.  When planters were required to name their properties, he named his place "Cleanwood".  In 1887, he purchased 180 acres on the Iberville side of Manchac Point; this place was known as "Clara Bell", having been named for its bell.  The bell was moved to Cleanwood Plantation.  We still remember its beautiful tone. A plantation bell controlled men's lives, it gave the time of day, it sent out distress calls for assistance and Grandpa rang in the New Year with our bell.  The only time it was used in an emergency was when Uncle Sidney died in a sugar mill accident.  

Victorin was able, self assured and independent.  He participated in the political affairs of the state and parish.  He served the West Baton Rouge Parish Police Jury for 30 years and was a justice of the peace.  He also served in several other parish offices.  One of the first to promote public education in West Baton Rouge, he served the school board as committee man from the first ward for many years.  A teaching certificate was granted to him by the governor and he taught school for several years.  In 1893, he donated the front corner of his original two arpents for Cleanwood School.  He said he gave the land so that none of us would leave home to attend school.  It was a priceless gift.  

The new Catholic chapel was built on Cleanwood in the late twenties.  The building now serves St. John the Baptist Church as a parish hall.  Manchac Point was expropriated in 1931 for use in the development of a flood control system designed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to protect the U.S. Lock of Plaquemine.  Victorin then removed his residence to Mark, Louisiana where he died on 01 January 1936.  He and Henriette have many descendants and we still own the rights to Cleanwood.  We all honor their memory."

The children of Victorin Charles Comeaux and Marie Henriette Braud were:
i.    Sidney Comeaux, 1870-1892, who died without issue
ii.   Florence Comeaux, born 1873, who died without issue
iii.  Nettie Comeaux, 1876-1951, who married James Hill
iv.  Alcee Comeaux, 1879-1960, married Marie Laura Dupuy
v.   Linda Comeaux, 1878-1955, married John Gardner Aucoin
vi.  Vivia Comeaux, 1881-1975, married Joseph Raoul Robeau, Sr
vii. Victorin Comeaux, 1883-1963, married first Myrthe Boudreaux, married second Elizabeth Jones
viii. Rudolph Pierre Comeaux, 1885-1978, married Sybil Agnes Rivet
ix.  Ernest Comeaux, 1886-1942, married Julie White
x.  Cornelia Comeaux, born 1895, married Ensign Rivet

An illustration of the land owned by Victorin C. Comeaux in Manchac, or Sardine Point as it is also called, can be seen viewed here on the Sardine Point Residential Illustration.  See Lots #13 and #17.

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