52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Week 14, Louis Bessette

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Louis Bessette was born September 6, 1876 in Essex County, Ontario. He was the third of 13 children born to Joseph Bessette and Marie Ozilda Lavallee. Joseph and Ozilda were from Montreal, and their first two children were born in Fall River, Massachusetts (1873) and Detroit, Michigan (1875) respectively. They settled in Essex County just before Louis’ birth and that’s where they stayed. Joseph was a carpenter, and the family lived in the town of Sandwich, which would become central Windsor later on.

Louis was baptized with the name Joseph Louis Telesphore Bessette. He married Clemence Josephine Elisabeth – or Elise/Eliza Gagnon on November 16, 1897 at St. Joseph’s parish in River Canard. The couple first lived in Sandwich town, where Louis briefly worked as a labourer in a coal pit. But by the 1911 census they had moved to Lot #17, 1st Concession in Sandwich – Louis became a farmer. Interestingly because at this time many people were choosing to move to cities and industrialized.  Coincidentally, being one of thirteen children, Louis himself had thirteen children. Their address was also noted as 938 Martin Lane in River Canard, but it appears that during the Great Depression, Louis fell on hard times and was forced to sell his farm, but remained in the River Canard area, living on 2nd Concession.

Louis died February 4, 1966 at River Canard, having been a lifelong resident of the area.

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