Florien Giauque Sabine Parish, Louisiana

While the subject of this memoir is not in the real sense a citizen of Sabine parish, he has been prominently identified with the material progress of the parish for more than a third of a century and is worthy of special mention. At one time he was one of the largest individual land owners in this parish and still owns considerable real estate here. The data for the following sketch was gleaned from biographies of Mr. Giauque which appear in histories of Wayne County, Ohio, "Alibono's Dictionary of Authors" and in "Who's Who in America," and from his old friends and acquaintances in Sabine parish. Florien Giauque was born in Berlin, Ohio, May 11, 1843. His parents were Augustus and Sophia (Guillaume) Giauque, who were born of good families in the French speaking Canton of Berne, Switzerland, and immigrated to Holmes County, Ohio, where they were married.

In 1849 they moved to Wayne County, Ohio, Mr. Giauque's father dying soon afterward, leaving to his widow only means enough to buy a modest cottage home in Fredricksburg, where she began the work of rearing her children, sending them to the public school and to the Presbyterian Sunday school. In 1855 she married Mr. Jeanneret, also a native of Switzerland, who followed the trade of a jeweler. The stepfather, while providing for the wants of the family, did not encourage young Florien's ambition to secure an education. One of Mr, Giauque's pleasantest as well as proudest recollections of his boyhood days was that, "prizing first of all good character, he would make of himself a man as well educated and cultured and well-to-do financially as his people had ever been in Switzerland (they having suffered financial losses by immigrating to America), and to this end he determined to graduate at a good college, and, soon after, also determined to become a good lawyer." He never wavered from this determination, although his path was, at times strewn with trials. In 1861 his mother died of typhoid fever and a few days later his eldest sister, who had married, also succumbed to the same disease.

With $10 he had earned making ties, and with what he could earn while school was not in session, he attended a five months' session at Vermillion Institute, Haysville, Ohio, with a view of fitting himself for teaching. He worked for farmers that summer and secured a good school at Wooster, Ohio, for the following winter. But the Civil War was now going on and his state was calling for volunteers and he enlisted in Co. H, 102nd Ohio Infantry. He served under Generals Grant, Buell, Sherman, Rosecrans and Thomas. During his term of service in the army he never asked for nor received a furlough, and while he was in broken health when discharged at the end of the struggle, he has never applied for a pension and says he never intends to. He first came to Louisiana when the days of reconstruction were yet dark, but never tried to conceal the fact that he had been a soldier in the Union army neither did he ever make his political views the subject of a conversation calculated to offend anyone; his deportment always has been that of a polished gentleman, ever ready to extend kind words, good counsel and assistance and many citizens of Sabine parish are grateful for having formed his acquaintance.

After the war Mr. Giauque resumed the work of completing his education by becoming a teacher-student at Vermillion Institute. In 1866 he entered Kenyon College at Gambler, Ohio, where he graduated with the highest honors in 1869, having won his way into the Phi Beta Kappa society by his high standing, the only way any person may become a member except by distinguished scientific or literary work. He wears the watch charm which was presented to him by that society and esteems it as one of his most valuable possessions. Though poor in the material things of the world, he won the respect and esteem of his wealthy classmates from the Eastern states, and in his senior year they elected him the class orator, the highest honor they could bestow.

After teaching school for a while, he opened a law office in Cincinnati and has been practicing that profession ever since, and most of the time has had as a partner Henry B. McClure, Esq., who is reputed as an excellent gentleman, a finished scholar and an able lawyer. Mr. Giauque, besides being a hardworking lawyer, has been the editor of several legal works and has contributed articles to the leading periodicals of the country on request, principally on scientific subjects, and has occasionally delivered lectures.

He has taken a keen interest in American archaeology, and once had a splendid collection of stone and copper prehistoric implements, pottery etc. which were exhibited and won medals at various expositions, including the World's Fair at Philadelphia in 1776. After beginning the practice of law Mr. Giauque gave some attention to buying and selling real estate, which business has been so fascinating for him that he has continued in this line and his ventures have been uniformly successful. He has promoted additions to Cameron, Missouri and Deshler, Ohio. When the Kansas City Southern Railroad built through Sabine parish he sold 32,700 acres of land to promoters connected with that road, and they honored him by naming the town of Florien in this parish for him. He still owns several thousand acres of land in several parishes in Louisiana, but he has disposed of a large part of his lands in Sabine. For many years he spent the month of December in Many, but in recent years his visits here have been brief and less regular. He still predicts a great future for the parish and that the South will yet become the richest and grandest country in the world. Mr. Giauque was married November 18, 1884, to Mary, daughter of William H. Miller, a lawyer of Hamilton, Ohio, who was killed in action while serving as an officer in the Union army. She was the grand-daughter on her mother's side of John Woods, during his lifetime a leading lawyer of Hamilton, a member of congress, auditor of the state of Ohio, and the promoter of several important public enterpriser. Five of her ancestors did honorable service in the Revolutionary War, on the American side, and others in the earlier colonial wars. Mrs. Giauque died during the winter of 1912. No children were born to Mr, and Mrs. Giauque.

Sabine Parish | AHGP Louisiana

Source: History of Sabine Parish, Louisiana, by John G. Belisle, Sabine Banner Press, 1913.

 

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