Story by Mrs. Jack Basler
Ste. Genevieve Missiouri "Fair Play."
July 16, 1972
Page 2 of the Ste. Genevieve "Fair Play" {no longer in circulation}

History of Our Town Number 7

We are approaching the town proper. Contrary to present beliefs the stockades were not around individual homes, but rather completely around the town. Later we will show proof of this when we report on the archives where it shows that the fence was around the entire town and gates were to be closed at sunset, after the workers were in from the "Big Field" farms. Undoubtedly the fence or stockade was along the hill in back of the homes on St. Marys Road and Seraphin St. It is uncertain just when the stockade fences were dispensed with, but after 1804 there was a noticeable drop in mention of Indian trouble.

Crossing the South Gabouri at Main Street the first property to the East was owned by Moses Austin and Maria, his wife. It was sold in 1811 to William Shannon and described as bounded North and Northeast by a Street and other sides and ends by the meanders of the creek called the Gaboury." "A large framed dwelling house is kitchen and stable and gardens enclosed." Undoubtedly the large framed dwelling house is gone, but on this tract are several smaller houses which could have been the kitchen or slave house. We know from the construction that they were probably built about 1800 or earlier. One of Moses Austin's children was born in Ste. Genevieve, Jacque Ellias Brown Austin, October 7, 1803[?}. His son James who must have been 20 years older than this last child also lived for a while in Ste. Genevieve and three of his children were born here, Moses, 1798, William Henry, 1805, and Elizabeth, 1800. William Shannon was married to Susanne Carrier before he came to Ste. Genevieve and all of their children were born here. In the late 1820's Shannon went to Michigan for a year. He took along at least one of his slaves, "Lizzie"and signed an agreement which is recorded, promising to give "Lizzie" her freedom if she spent this year in Michigan with his family. Exactly one year later her emancipation record can be found. Also soon after this she acquired tittle to the one remaining house on the Shannon property, and this house is still standing.

Across Gabouri Street and probably one of the oldest houses in this part of town, is the large two story house set back from the street. In 1809 Louis Ratté Labruyere and his son Julien sold the property to John McArthur Louis declared in this deed that he had lived there for 25 years. That would date the house to 1784. This must have been a beautiful home with the porches facing the river. Beautiful trees and garden stretching back to Front Street. Louis married (this part is missing, but records indicate Agnes Hulin daughter of Pierre) Hulin and Dorothee Acacia (Indian) on July 13, 1747 at Kaskaskia. He was a master smith and there are contracts in the Kaskaskia Archives for Louis to make the locks and hinges for many of the old houses. He came to Ste. Genevieve about 1760. He had four children that we know of, Agnes born at Kaskaskia, Henry born at Ste. Genevieve, 1768, Louis Julien, 1770, and Marie Reine, 1766. There may have been more children that were older and remained in Kaskaskia. Agnes and Reine were married when their father died, as was Henry. Julien married Marie Robert in 1794 and they had 15 children, 13 survived and were married here.

Looking at this house and property we should resolve to do all in our power to restore these beautiful homes. It can be done if we all work together. We must clean up our town develop a sense of pride in every inch of our town. Surely somewhere there is someone who can influence the property owners who have neglected their property owners who have neglected their property to make the necessary repairs. We cannot "sit and wait," for the government or any other agency to "do it for us." We must do for ourselves as we are taught in childhood. "God helps those who help themselves."

Transcribers Note: Mrs. Jack Basler wrote many such articles for the "Fair Play." Mrs. Basler was instrumental in many facets to preserve the history of Ste. Genevieve, including "Project Pioneers," preservation of the "Old Cemetery," on fourth and Market streets, to name a couple.

Louis Ratté Normand dit Labruyere first married Catherine Clement on January 15, 1737, daughter of Marc Clement and Agnes Annard. Children known of this marriage are: Raymond Normand Labruyere, Catherine LaBrier, Louis Labruyere.

Children from Agnes Hulin: Agnes Ratté Labruyere, Louis Julien Ratté Labruyere, Marie Reine LaBruyere, Henry Ratté LaBruyere. Children's names from Ste. Genevieve Catholic church records.

If anyone has any corrections on any of these children, please let me know.

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