La Points and MooresBernard and Paula DuPre La Point emigrated from Quebec, Canada to Grand Isle County, Vermont as a married couple sometime between the years 1840-1860. They were my great-great grandparents. The records in the Genealogy room of the Oshkosh Public Library indicated they arrived with two other couples.
Bernard was born in France and Paula in Canada according to their granddaughter Libbie La Point Pope who was the informant on the death certificate of her father Charles La Point. This certificate is on file in the Waupaca County Courthouse.
Charles was the youngest of Bernard and Paula's ten children. He came west when he was about eighteen to live with his sister Emily and her husband Tom Derga. "He had been studying," writes Libbie Pope, "to be a priest, but his health failing, and he having developed a bad cough; they were afraid of T.B., and sent him to his sisters here" (Little Wolf, Wisconsin).
"He was born on Grand Isle, Lake Champlain, Vermont," writes Mrs. Pope, "and was one of a large family of children - William, Adolphus, Fred, Elizabeth, Caroline, Emily, Polly (Paula), Hannah, Henry and himself."
"The older children didn't get much education," my great aunt writes, "but he (Charles) was set aside for the priesthood. Henry was appointed to West Point and became an army man with a big 'A' which of course meant that he forgot all about his family. When father came to Wisconsin his mother exacted a promise that he would always be a Catholic, never join any other sect. Charles eventually married a non-Catholic, and, as an adult, became essentially a non-church goer. He was the last of his family, all the rest dying before he did."
Charles married Ruth Jane Moore around the year 1870. They had three sons and one daughter. The oldest, Carleton died at the age of 55 of diphtheria, and the youngest Ernest lived about one year. A daughter Emily (Libbie) married Walter Guy Pope in her middle teens. Their other son Melvin born in 1876 was my grandfather.
Charles and Ruth Jane lived in the town of Little Wolf, Wisconsin located about four miles south of Manawa. Later in life, according to my father, they lived on "three acres of land that had a variety of fruit trees and a large garden." This is the place my father remembers as a young boy.
Charles started out his working life as a school teacher. Sometime later he became a log scaler for a lumber company. "My father always worked in the woods in the winter," writes Mrs. Pope, "but I don't think he ever worked on the river. In his later years he was always a scaler. In the summer he always worked out by the day for farmers, often taking his pay in butter and milk which Mel and I usually had to go after. He held in turn several town offices, was town clerk several years, assessor a good many years, was also school clerk for years. He could always get work, as he gave an honest day's work for his pay and was reliable and capable. In the winter pa worked in the woods till he was quite an old man. One winter he put his shoulder out of joint .... He suffered terribly. He didn't try to go to the woods after that."
My great grandmother Ruth Jane Moore came to Wisconsin from Ohio with her parents Comfort Ann Burlingame and Ransom Moore in 1858 and settled in the town of Royalton in Waupaca County. By then the land in Winnebago County and south of the Fox River had largely been claimed by easterners and immigrants from Europe.
Thomas Moore was the grandfather to both Comfort Ann and Ransome. Libby Pope writes: "My grandfather (Ransome Moore), and grandmother (Comfort Ann) were first cousins. They eloped and were married when she was 15 years old. They came with a horse team from Ohio when my mother, born September 9, 1854, was three years old bringing what furniture they could on a wagon. They settled on the place that is now owned by John Roman, later building a house a little ways farther east .... They both came of good families of well to do people. Grandmother used to tell that their grandmother was a friend of Mrs. Washington, and their grandfather was one of George Washington's aides. Grandpa Moore had a restless spirit and wanted to go west."
Libbie Pope, continuing in her autobiography: "Grandmother (was) an angel in disguise as a woman. She was always ready to go to a neighbor's house in time of sickness; and as they lived on the road between Waupaca and Northport, where boats came, it was always a stopping place for teamsters."
"Grandfather," Libbie continues, "was a fiddler and often played for us in the evening. When he had a drink or so he loved to sing and dance. That was one good thing about him. He was never ugly when he was drinking. You may think by this he was a drunkard, but, No! He drank occasionally, as did nearly everyone. It only took a little bit to make him happy and as he was naturally nervous and irritable at other times, that was the time we enjoyed him most."
My Great-Grandfather Charles La Point (1851-1930). He was born in Vermont, the last of ten children. Trained for the priesthood but developed a bad cough from T.B. Was then sent to Wisconsin to live with his sister and her husband at the age of 19.
My great-grandmother Ruth Jane Moore La Point (1854-1925). She was born in Ohio, came west with her family at the age of 4.
A New Family. Libby La Point Pope, Madge Flanagan La Point, Ruth Jane Moore La Point. This picture was taken right before or shortly after Madge married Libby's younger brother and my grandfather Melvin. By the look on my grandmother's face it was during the courtship.