A few posts ago I talked about my great-grandfather Louis Theophile Auger being one of my most persistent brick walls. Today I’d like to focus on some of the things that I do know about him. Before I get into some of the details I must say to know anything about Louis feels like quite an achievement. He died in 1906 when my grandfather was only 16 and my Dad always told me that his Dad (my grandfather)never talked about his father, so not much about him appears to have made its way into the family oral history.
I was able to locate his death and birth records relatively easily (finding their marriage record was another story!), but had trouble putting some “meat on the bones” if you will regarding who he was as I lacked stories that are typically passed down from one generation to the next, but slowly through a series of newspaper clippings and other documents I’ve been able to learn enough to make him come a little more alive in my imagination.
I love the mention of his daughter Theodora “Dora” Auger playing piano to the group and how the group sang all the way from Lewiston-Auburn to East Poland. It sounds so “It’s a Wonderful Life” to me.
Ok, to follow my earlier theme, this could be called the “anti - It’s a Wonderful Life” document. The article describes an altercation between Louis and an abutter Frederick Disosca. I plan on trying to research what additional records may be available about this as it may be a treasure trove just waiting to be discovered. As a bit of an aside, but an important one, I’m also very curious about the mention of his wife Virginie being “sick and unable to attend court”. Now this is pure speculation, but work with me on this… In April of 1884, Louis & Virginie tragically lost three young daughters, Emma, Anna and Marie, to diphtheria, which is an infectious disease of the throat. I can’t even imagine the pain of losing one child, not to mention three young girls all in the span of eleven days. That had to have impacted the rest of their lives and I wonder if the sickness mentioned was depression. I also wondered how it may have impacted Louis’ above-mentioned “stabbing affray”. Again, this is all conjecture and not to be taken as fact, but it is interesting to ponder about.
Lastly, the above real estate ad is from when Virginie was trying to sell the farm after Louis passed away in 1906. Prior to this piece of information I had no idea their farm was so extensive. 120 acres in high cultivation certainly sounds like a major farm. Louis' obituary (which I posted previously) mentions he was a milkman, so I wonder if he was also a dairy farmer, which could attribute to why they had two large barns.