Sophia Louise Peltier, Norman Bazille and family

Charles and Mathilda Domitille (Garceau) Peltier were my 2nd great-grandparents.  Sophia Louise, my great-grandaunt, was the 4th of 10 children born to the couple.  My great-grandfather Albert would be the 5th child.

Charles was 32 years old and Domitille was 24 years old when Sophia Louise was born on May 27, 1858 in White Bear Township, Ramsey County, Minnesota.1  Sophia joined her siblings: Charles Damas (4 years old), Mathilda (3 years old) and Mary (1 year old).  I think their mother’s hands were full!

According to his gravestone, Sophia’s future husband Norman Bazille was born on June 8, 1855.2  Depending on the source, he was either born in Minnesota or in Canada.  I’ve not found any official birth or baptismal record for him.

Norman was 23 years old and Sophia was 20 years old when they married on October 21, 1878.3  The ceremony was held at St. John in the Wilderness Catholic Church in Little Canada, Father Joseph Goiffon officiated.  According to the marriage certificate, Sophia’s brother Albert, my great-grandfather, was a witness.

1878 Minnesota marriage license & certificate for Norman Bazille [Lampron] & Sophia Peltier

Notice on the certificate that Norman’s name is given as Norman Bazille Sampson [Lampron].  I’ve not yet confirmed his parents, but I believe that his father was Amable Basile [Bazille] dit Lampron and his mother was Marie Hermine Orion dite Champagne.

Stepping away from Norman’s and Sophia’s story for a moment, there are some interesting connections in the Bazille family that I’d like to point out.  Amable’s uncle, Norman’s granduncle, Charles Bazille dit Lampron came to Minnesota in the 1830s and settled in the Prairie du Chien area.  He moved to St. Paul in 1843 and through smart land investments became quite wealthy.  It is documented that he built the first frame house in St. Paul and that he essentially gave, for the sum of $1, the land on which the 1st state capitol stood.  He also is noted as being the first coroner of St. Paul.  Sadly, because of poor speculations, he died with very few assets to his name.4  However, his contributions during the early years of Minnesota still stand.

Charles Bazille (the original painting hangs in the Minnesota Historical Society)
St Paul Dispatch newspaper clipping, date unknown5
(The St. Paul railroad passenger depot is where the building was originally located.)
Charles Bazille gravemarker, Calvery Cemetery, St. Paul6

One other interesting fact before I return to the original story.  As I said earlier,  Sophia was a daughter of my 2nd great-grandparents Charles and Domitille.  It turns out that their granddaughter, Alice, who was Ellen (Peltier) Vadnais’ older sister, married one of Norman’s older sister’s sons, Ben LaBore.  I wrote about “Little Alice” in a previous post.

Norman and Sophia had their first child Clara Sophia on July 23, 1879.7  The 1880 U. S. census shows the family living in White Bear, Ramsey County, Minnesota where Norman is listed as a laborer.8

Norman, Sophie [Sophia] and Clara Lamphron [Lampron Bazille] in the 1880 U. S. census

The family was enumerated in the 1885 Minnesota census using the surname Bazille.9  Norman’s dit name, Lampron, disappears.  I’ve not found it used on any subsequent documents.

Norman Bazille family in the 1885 Minnesota census

By 1885 there are 3 more children: John William born on November 8, 1880,10 Alfred Eugene born on July 3, 1882,11 and Marie Emma born on September 30, 1884.12 

Another 4 children were born by the time the 1895 Minnesota census was taken: Harry Frank born on August 10, 1886,13 David Joseph born on August 12, 1892,14 Lillian M. born on October 14, 189415 and Jesse James born on September 15, 1895.16  Oddly, Lillian is not shown on the census record.  Norman, a section boss, is employed by the railroad, as are many people in the White Bear area during that time.17

Norman Bazille family in the 1895 Minnesota census

Their last child Gertrude Francis was born on May 18, 1899 when Norman was 43 years old and Sophia was 40 years old.18  The 9 children, 5 boys and 4 girls, would all live well into the 1900s.  The youngest boy, Jesse James would live the longest.  He passed away in 1994 at 98 years old.19

According to the 1910 U. S. census, Sophia had given birth to 12 children with 9 still living at the time of the census.20  I have searched and not found any records for the other 3 children.  It is possible that she had 3 miscarriages that were not officially recorded.

Norman was in attendance at the St. Mary Court C. O. F. (Catholic Order of Foresters) the evening of Thursday March 17, 1913 when without notice he was stricken ill.  A friend quickly transported him home and before the doctors arrived he had passed away.  He was only 57 years old.  At the time of his death he had been a section foreman for the Northern Pacific Railroad for 28 years.21

Norman Bazille Obituary in the 1913 White Bear Press

Norman’s funeral was held on Tuesday, April 1, 1913 at St. Mary of the Lake Church and his burial followed in the church cemetery.

Norman Bazille monument, St. Mary of the Lake Cemetery, White Bear Lake, Minnesota22
Inscription on Bazille monument

The 1920 U. S. census shows that 2 of Sophia’s children, Harvey and Gertrude, still reside with her, and in all probability I assume that they were her means of support.23

Sophia Bazille in 1920 U. S. census record

Sophia would live another 15 years after Norman.  She passed away on Tuesday, September 4, 1928, having lived all but her last year in White Bear Lake.24

Sophia (Peltier) Bazille Obituary in the 1928 White Bear Press

Sophia’s funeral was held on Friday, September 7, 1928 at St. Mary of the Lake Church and she was buried alongside her husband at the church cemetery.

Sophia (Peltier) Bazille gravemarker, St. Mary of the Lake Cemetery, White Bear Lake, Minnesota25

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