Oconto County WIGenWeb Project
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RITA
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The DesJARLAIS Women

descendant research contact: Sharie Merline



                                                                                                       DELINA DesJARLAIS (GIFFORD)

At the end of the 1800's a young Oconto County woman left Wisconsin and travelled to California to seek her future. Delina was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charles DesJarlais. She soon made her mark as an accomplished actress and entertainer on the stage and by the turn of the century had bookings in all the great Opera Houses of the West. Delina was among the first to see the potential of Hollywood as a capitol for the new moving picture industry and befriended many of the first "stars of the silver screen".

     MADAME DELPHINE DesJARLAIS

Madam Delphine Desjarlais is in the courthouse as being born in Canada to Toussaint Picotte-Father on 9/3/1826 and she died 4/16/1916. Her death record is 1916, Volume 7 page 86. Picotte was her maiden name, being that on her death record her father's name is listed as such.

For many years, starting in the last half of the 1800, Madame Delphine DesJarlais owned and managed the fine ladies fashion emporium on Main Street in the City of Oconto. Women came from miles around to have the latest fashions mad especially for them, as there were no "off the rack" dresses to be had. Young women saved for years in hopes of having their wedding gowns designed and made at Madame DesJarlais' where, for the first time for many, every detail was given special attention, and the client could choose from any number of styles and embellishments. In these Victorian times there was great emphasis placed on the clothing of women during rounds of fashionable parties.

                                                         OCTAVIA DesJARLAIS (ROY)

A busy and accomplished nurse and midwife, Octavia attended her patients at their homes when that was where most births occured. She was called upon to make her visits throughout the county to assist the mothers in the delivery of their babies. After the advent of hospital care, she worked for many years at Oconto Hospital when it was housed in the original county courthouse building. Octavia died at the age of 90 in the mid 1960's.

                                                                                                                                     Mary (DesMarais) and Octavia (Roy)

 

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