topic family names

WRITER Helen Reulet Gravois Poiriers Felix Poirier Eugenie Breaud


   THE POIRIERS

   Felix Poirier and Eugenie Breaud were married on April 25, 1891 at St. James Catholic Church in St. James. They had seven children:

   Helene Marie Poirier, who married John Victor Reulet of Vacherie (my parents).

   Carmen Poirier, who married Wilson Dugas of Harvey, originally of Houma.

   Aline Poirier, who married Eddie J. Plaisance of Lockport.

   Raoul Poirier, who married Elizabeth Martinez of Harvey.

   Olga Poirier, who married Edward Carlos of Harvey, originally from Houma.

   Roger Louis Poirier, who married Lucille Ory of Marrero. She died in 1935. A few years later married Virgie Ford of Westwego.

   Ulrich Poirier, who married Gertrude Martinez of Harvey.

topic Donaldonville

Donaldsonville


   At one time, Felix and Eugenie had lived near Donaldsonville. I know this because Mama made her First Communion at the Ascension of Our Lord Catholic Church in that town. They later moved down river to St. James where Felix worked on the Graugnard Plantation.

topic Plantation

Graugnard Plantation


   There was a lane on the west side of the Graugnard Plantation Store with houses for the workers. Felix and Eugenie lived with their young family in the first house next to the store. I remember many years later when Uncle Roger had a car, he visited St. James and had someone take his picture sitting on the porch of the house where they had lived. All of those buildings are gone today, including the store.

topic cooper

Felix


   Felix worked as a "cooper" or barrel maker, a trade that he had learned from his father. Eugenie sewed for "out", meaning that she sewed for people to earn money for the household. Mama learned to sew from her mother and probably helped her mother with the sewing.

topic St James

Helene Poirier


   Mama and her siblings went to St. James School (which was located across the tracks from the present day site of the St. James Post Office). There was no high school available to them then. However, what Mama and the others learned at the St. James School was probably equivalent to a high school education. She also learned to read and write French. After she married, Mama corresponded with her mother in French. Her mother had only French schooling as did most of the children of her era. However, her mother did learn to speak some English when they later moved to Harvey.

topic derrick

Pepere Victor derrick


   Papa(Victor Reulet), who was from Vacherie, went to St. James to work on the Graugnard sugar plantation. His job was weighing the sugarcane at the derrick during the harvest season. People living and working on the Plantation would often gather around the derrick to visit and socialize. Mama, who was living with her family on the Graugnard Plantation, and some friends often went for a walk to join the group at the derrick. That is how Papa and Mama met. Their courtship soon began. When their wedding plans were announced, a friend asked Memere Poirier if she was worried about her daughter marrying someone from Vacherie. She answered that the young man was presentable and seemed to be all right. Mama came to visit Papa's family in Vacherie for a week before the wedding, her first visit to Vacherie.

topic 1910

wedding


   Papa and Mama were married on February 1, 1910. They came to live in Vacherie with Papa's mother, Appoline Falgoust Reulet, who lived with her unmarried brothers and sisters in the rather large Falgoust family house. Papa got a job working at "Cut Store" (The Falgoust Brothers Store) as a clerk and bookkeeper at that time.

topic teacher

Aline Poirier teacher


   When Aunt Aline was in the highest grade at St. James School, a teacher was needed at the nearby Baytree School. The principal advised Aline to apply for and take the teacher test. She passed the test and got the job. It was a one-room school for all grades. There were boys taller than she. Dick and Irving Schexnayder were among the students. She worked there a couple of years then came to teach at Vacherie School. While teaching in Vacherie, she boarded with other teachers at a Mrs. Joseph Becnel (known to all as "Mrs. Book"). When she did not visit her parents in St. James on the weekend, she would often come to Memere Poline's, where Mama was then living. She became good friends with the Reulet and Falgoust families.

topic Raoul

Raoul Poirier


   In the meantime, Uncle Raoul was growing up and needed clothes. Pepere Poirier was not making enough money to buy clothes for Raoul. He had to quit school to work. The Principal asked Pepere why Raoul had quit since he had been doing so well in school. One of Memere and Pepere's friends had moved to Harvey. She wrote to Memere Poirier to tell her that if Raoul went to Harvey he could find work and live with them, and if the family moved there, Pepere and the girls could work too. Within a year, the Poiriers moved to Harvey. That was in 1914. Roger and Ulrich went to school there. Aunt Aline was still in Vacherie at that time. When I was born in 1915, she brought me to church for my Baptism, probably with "Ida" (Nonc Tetin's mule) pulling the buggy. At the end of the school year, she went to join her family in Harvey and soon found a job there.

topic 1910

wedding


   In the spring several weeks after Papa and Mama's wedding, Pepere Poirier came to visit Mama and Papa at Memere Poline's, his first trip to Vacherie. The large farmhouse, the large yard, the abundance of farm and animal products, the freshly-plowed fields, the corn and sugarcane sprouting, made quite an impression on him. When he returned home, he told his wife that she did not need to worry about Helene anymore because she was better off than they were.

topic 1934,1942

Felix Poirrier died on January 19, 1934. Eugenie Breaud Poirrier died on February 25, 1942. They are both buried in New Orleans.















Poirrier