Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Auger Family of East Poland - Part Two

Before following the Augers to Lewiston, I wanted to post a few additional photos of the family on the Empire Road in East Poland, but before doing so wanted to give a little context to the family first.

Leon Henri Auger was born on June 17, 1890 in Poland, Maine, the son of Louis Theophile Auger and Marie Virginie Laflamme. Leon had five older siblings who lived to adulthood: Artheline, who was the oldest child and went by the nickname of “Lena” ; Louis Mathias; Theodora “Dora”; Alfred Dominque; and Oscar.

Leon grew up on a 140-acre homestead farm in agrarian East Poland as his father Louis was a well-known local farmer and milkman. The farm was located on what is currently known as the Torrey Road, historically known as the Bray Hill Road. The house burned a number of years ago, the property was subdivided and newer dwellings now exist on the property.

Below is a photo taken at the old homestead on Torrey Road in 1916.

Left to right back row:
Theodora “Dora” Auger Provancher; Alfred Provancher (baby ); Arthelene “Lena” Auger Martin; Leon Henri Auger

Left to right front row:
George Provancher (Dora’s husband); Oscar Auger; Alfred Dominique Auger; and Virgine Laflamme Auger. The photo was taken by Alfred Auger's wife Sarah Hill.

Sadly, Leon lost his father at the young age of sixteen when Louis succumbed to stomach cancer in 1906. As the youngest child Leon continued to live with his mother Virginie until in 1920 he married Marie Diane Catherine Gagne on April 26th at Saint Peter’s & Paul’s Church in Lewiston.

Diane, as she was commonly known as, was born on December 4, 1893 in Lewiston, the daughter of Jean Evangeliste Gagne and Marie Celanire Voyer. Diane’s father Jean (known as John) was a prominent Franco-American businessman and served as tax collector for the City of Lewiston. In 1919, Diane suffered a fate similar to her soon to be husband, in that she was a young woman of only 25 when her father passed away.

Leon and Diane had their first child Gerald Henry Auger in 1921. Lucille Florence, who commonly went by her middle name, was born next, followed by Leon Marcel, Louis Paul and Alfred Dominic. Their sixth child Oscar Edmund came eight years after Alfred in 1937. As in many families it is interesting to see similar family names repeated from generation to generation and the Augers were no exception.

In 1926 Leon & Diane bought their own home on Empire Road in East Poland, just down the road from where Leon grew up on his parent’s farm and started to raise their young family there. The property had ample land for an extensive garden for Leon while Diane kept house for a busy household of eight including herself and Leon. Unfortunately, the Great Depression began soon after buying their home and beginning in 1930 Leon and Diane began having difficulty paying taxes on the property, which continued for several years. Eventually the family moved to Lewiston in the late 1930’s. The family retained the house on Empire Road until 1942 when it was sold to Edith Trafford.

As promised, here are additional photos of the family on the Empire Road in East Poland taken in 1931.

Leon & Diane on the farm:

Flo and Louis (Dad):

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