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Alphonse Guillet Profile

Eunice newspaper, abt 1943

copy of article sent by Dick McGee

Profiles of Our Pioneers:  Franco-Prussian War started Guillet Trek

A new life in a new world was carried out by one of the area’s pioneers, after all seemed lost in Alsace-Lorraine.

The prospering vineyard of Alphonse Guillet had been destroyed during the Franco-Prussian War in 1870. France had lost the province of Alsace-Lorraine.

But the ruined vistas of his vineyard and his disastrous setback did not dismay this cultured, sensitive man. He felt that the New World, as the United States was called in those days, held out promise of a new life for the courageous.

Came to Louisiana

He first voyaged to New Orleans, and later to the Chataignier area, where he became a merchant in the thriving little community.  He met his wife-to-be on the ship coming to New Orleans from France.

Seeing the need for a post office in Chataignier, he organized the first pot office, located in his store, and became the town’s first postmaster, a position he held until well past his 90th year.

Friend of Clemenceau, Foch

Celebrated friends in his native land had not forgotten Guillet, who had been a friend and college classmate of George Clemenceau and Marshall Foch.  Clemenceau, “Tiger of France”, once visited New Orleans in later years, and communicated with Guillet. Although it was evident that Clemenceau expected to make a visit to see his old friend, Guillet did not urge him to come.

Different Way of Life

He explained his reluctance by saying that the new way of life had made their stations “too different”, and he perhaps was ultra-sensitive, thinking that Clemenceau would not understand all aspects of life in the young, brawny reaches of Louisiana. So he decided to forego the pleasure of seeing Clemenceau, though it is thought that he continued to correspond with him and various other persons who belonged to his old life in Europe.

Numerous descendants of Mr. Guillet have been and are prominent citizens of the Eunice and Chataignier areas. He left them a heritage of determination, staunchness and practical wisdom.

He was the father of nine children, two of whom are living. They are Mrs. Albert Lavergne of New Iberia and Maxim Guillet of Houston, Texas.

Deceased children include Mrs. Pete Barker, Mrs. Cleophus Ardoin, Mrs. Theogene Manuel, Mrs. Eli Patin, Alphonse, Jr., Henry and George.

George Guillet’s children in and around Eunice include Mrs. Lucille McGee, Mrs. Frank Desplas, Miss Rosetta Guillet, Mrs. Effie McLane, and Harold Guillet.  Wade Guillet, City Clerk of Eunice, died during this past summer.

Mrs. Aldes Rozas is another Eunice granddaughter of the first Louisiana Guillet. She is the daughter of Mrs. Theogene Manuel.

There were 39 grandchildren in all. Great-grandchildren numbered 85, and great-great grandchildren, 90; and there are 5 great great great grandchildren. Thus 228 descendants are proud to have the blood of Alphonse Guillet flowing in their veins.

Owner/SourceEunice Newspaper
Linked toAlphonse GUILLET

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