Monday, November 21, 2016

Augers of Lewiston-Auburn Part 2

This is the second of a series on The Augers of Lewiston-Auburn where I explore the descendants of Mathias and Marine (Desmarais) Auger who were among the earlier immigrants to the area from Quebec in the mid 1800’s.  The first part can be found here:

Today I’ll talk about the second of their three sons who settled and raised a family in the area: Alphonse Toussaint Auger.

Alphonse was born on October 31, 1846 in the village of Saint-Jean-Baptiste, Quebec east of Montreal.    The story of how he and his family came to Maine can be found in an earlier post of mine:  Alphonse, similar to his brother Pierre went into the grocery business, owning J & A Grocers on Lincoln Street. 

A very detailed accounting of his successful business career was published in 1915 in the “Franco-Americans of the State of Maine, U.S.A., and Their Achievements: Historical, Descriptive, and Biographical” by R.J. Lawton.  It described Alphonse as “Among the most prominent and successful Franco-American business men of Maine, who came to the State in the early years of French-Canadian immigration.”    The publication also heaped significant accolades on Alphonse’s character:  “Mr. Auger is not only a pioneer Franco-American business man, but one whose long and active career is decidedly representative of French-Canadian enterprise, public spirit and mercantile integrity, and in achieving pronounced success he has gained as well a high personal standing among his fellow men. He has not departed from his sterling qualities of citizenship to enter the strife of politics, and being a great lover of home and family has not even become affiliated with fraternal orders, and that Mr. Auger has been sagacious in this as well as in business, we have only to point to his large, fine family of children which he has brought up and educated, not only with credit to himself but to the entire community.”   High praise indeed!

Alphonse married Clara Briere in Lewiston, Maine on Sept 7, 1872, but she passed away soon after in 1876.  He remarried in 1879 to Marie Elmire Pelletier, with the ceremony being held in St. Pascal, Quebec.   Alphonse and Marie lived in Auburn and they had at least eight children who lived to adulthood:

Arthur Joseph Auger 1881- 1944
Albert Louis Auger 1886 - 1966
Marie Eugenie Alexina Auger 1889 - 1956
Alphonse Winifred Auger 1897 - 1967
Albertine Auger
Amelia Alma Auger
Anna Auger
Alice Auger

I have not done the research to delve into the details of each of the children’s lives and likely this has been done already by some of their descendants, but a few tidbits include that Arthur was a well-known local grocer, Albert was a well-known music studio operator and teacher and Alphonse wrote the wonderful family history of Mathias and Marine from which we know so much about them.  Three of the daughters were nuns, including Alexina.   I welcome any information folks may have about this family, especially the daughters. 

Alphonse lived until 1935, outliving Marie (who died in 1928), his parents and his two brothers.  Alphonse is buried with Marie and his sons in St. Peter’s Cemetery, Lewiston, Maine

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