Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Phillippe Albert Olivier Richard

The following is paraphrased from the Frank J. Richard papers, which are currently held at the Institute for Regional Studies and University Archives at North Dakota State University.

Phillippe Albert Olivier Richard was my great great grandfather. He was born on February 6, 1865, in Mont Carmel, Quebec, the third of eight children of Francois Alexis "Alex" Richard and Elisabeth Levasseur.

When Albert was 12, he went with his family to Holy Cross Mission, Dakota Territory (in what's now North Dakota). The family farmed in the southeast quarters of section 9, Pleasant Township, Cass County.

Albert married Arthemise Ducharme when he was 22, on July 26, 1887. (According to what Frank wrote, they were second cousins. Arthemise's ancestry is still a mystery to me, so I'm hoping that fact will help.) They moved in with Albert's parents, until 1887, when they took over because Alex and Elisabeth moved to Willow City. Albert and Arthemise were left to care for Emma and Emile, two of Albert's younger siblings, as they were going to school nearby.

On June 25, 1888, Arthemise gave birth to twins, who both died 3 weeks later. The next year, Alphonse (my great grandpa) and a twin sister were born, and the twin died immediately. Over the next 14 years they would have 12 more children, 3 of whom died as infants or young children, one of whom died at 15, and two of whom died at 25 of influenza.

In the fall of 1898, the family moved to St. Francois Xavier, where Albert and Arthemise lived for the rest of their lives. The land they lived on had been the home of Cuthbert Grant from 1824 to 1854.

Arthemise died suddenly of a heart attack on January 11, 1935, and 5 years later, on July 2, 1940, Albert died of tuberculosis at the St. Vital Sanitarium. They were both buried, near many of their children, at St. Francois Xavier.

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