EARLY FAMILIES OF THE UPPER
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"Reminiscence of Theresa Barrette"
"I was born in Prairie du Chien, in the year 1805. My father was Charles
LaPOINTE, my mother was Susan ANTAYA. They were married in 1803, at Prairie
du Chien. My father was born in Montreal, Canada, in 1775. In 1797 he came
with two brothers, Francis and Peter LaPOINTE, by way of St. Lawrence river,
the Lakes, Green Bay, Fox and Wisconsin rivers to Prairie du Chien. For
a few years following he was in the employ of the American Fur Company.
In their employ, Father made several trips to Green Bay, the winters they
spent in traffic with the Indian settlements, exchanged Indian goods for
pletries, etc. But, after his marriage, he went to farming. In those days,
when they wanted land, all they had to do was take possession of it.
From that time farming was his principal occupation, though being able
to handle any kind of tool and do almost any kind of work needed on the
frontier, he worked a portion of the time at carpentering and other mechanical
pursuits. My mother was born the same year my father was (1775) in St.
Louis. Her father was Michael ANTAYA. In 1785 with his wife and three daughters,
Susan (my mother), Josephine and Mary, embarked at St. Louis in a canoe
destined for Prairie du Chien. In passing the lower rapids the canoe was
upset and only for the timely assistance of a party of Fox Indians, who
were near, the entire family would have drowned. My mother's sister, Josephine,
married Sandy SIMPSON.
After his death, she married Augustic CROCHIER, a native of Montreal
with whom she returned to Canada and died there. Mother's sister, Mary,
married Francis LaPOINTE (my father's brother) whose death in Prairie du
Chien left her with a family of eight children. She then married Michael
LaPOINTE in 1822. He was no kin to my father or uncles. He came from Red
River of the North. He was a laborer and much of the time in the employ
of the American Fur Company. By this marriage four children were born,
one of whom is now living (1884) Mrs. Madaline LARRIVIER. I was first born
to my mother. My sister Louise, widow of Joseph DESCHAMP, was born in 1807,
she lives in Prairie du Chien (1884). Her first marriage was to Edmond
RONHE (RONCHE) in 1823. One child was born to them in 1824. She is the
wife of Alexander PAQUETTE and now lives in Benton, LaFayette County, Wisconsin.
(1884). RONCHE died in Prairie du Chien in 1862.
My sister married DESCHAME in 1828, who died in 1862. They had nine
children, five of who are living: Joseph at Minneapolis, Annabelle at Chippewa
Falls, Theresa (Mrs. Moses DUQUETTE), and Edmond of Texas and Frederick
of Mineral Point. I married Peter BARRETTE, Sr., in 1821, who died on August
5, 1862. From my earliest recollections, I remember well Pierre LaPOINTE.
He was born in Canada in about 1747 and came to Prairie in 1782. He was
grand uncle to my father and my uncles, Francis and Peter LaPOINTE. About
1784 he took an Indian maid for his wife to whom were born four daughters,
Palazee (Pelgia), Victoria, Susan and Theresa. Palazee (Pelgia) married
a trader by the name of CRAWFORD. They had two children, a son (what became
of him I don't know) and a daughter named Sophia who married a trader named
MICHELL and went to Mackinaw and never returned. Palzee (Pelgia) separated
from her first husband, CRAWFORD, and about 1817 married Antoine LACHABELLE.
By this marriage she had seven more children, Theresa, Theophilus, Peter,
Bernard, Frederick, Pauline and Antoine, Jr. Theresa married B. W. BRISBOIS
of Prairie du Chien, Theophilus, if living, is in a Madison insane asylum.
He was a brilliant man and made insane by hard study.
Peter lived and died in Prairie du Chien. Bernard committed suicide
at the age of 30 years. Frederick now lives at Wabasha, Minn. Pauline is
living at Atlanta, Ga., the widow of Dr. BEACH, formerly of Prairie du
Chien. Antoine is living at the Winnebago Agency, Blue Earth, Minn. To
return to the children of Pierre LaPOINTE --- Victoria married Edward BEEZAN,
Susan died young. Theresa married an officer stationed at the Fort Crawford.
Pierre LaPOINTE was physically an athlete, strong man... tall, straight,
well formed and very active. He never made money fast, he was always employed
by others, instead of giving employment, he worked much of his time for
the American Fur Company, and independent traders. He disliked farming
but always made maple syrup in season (sugar), and died in Prairie du Chien
in 1829. Myself and my sister, Louise DECHAMPE are the two olderst persons
living in Crawford County, who were born within its limits".
(Editor's note: As one of the first born in Prairie du Chien, Mrs. BARRETTE
has seen this country pass from barbarism to civilization, the wilderness
converted into lands teeming with corn and grain, the rude "dug out" give
way to floating palaces on our river, Indian trails converted into steel
railways, crowded with commerce, and a few score of civilized people, thrity
one grandchildren and six great grandchildren. Samuel BARRETTE was born
of Louis BARRETTE in 1849, and is one of a family of nine children: Rosanne,
wife of Joseph RULE; John; Adalaine, wife of Frank DUNN; Louise; Peter
and Henry, all of Minneapolis. Samuel BARRETTE was married May 30, 1883
to Adeline HERTZOG, daughter of Flora HERTZOG. They are living on the old
homestead of Peter BARRETTE, St., with his grandmother Theresa BARRETTE.)
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