Lafayette Parish Biographies

MOUTON, Alexandre,


Governor of Louisiana, was born on Bay on Carencro, Attakapas (Lafayette parish) La., Nov. 19, 1804; son of Jean Mouton, an Acadian refugee. He attended the local schools, studied law under Judge Simon and was admitted to the Louisiana bar in 1825. He settled in practice in Lafayette parish, represented his district in the Louisiana legislature, 1828-33 and 1836-39, and was speaker of the house for two sessions. He was a Democratic presidential elector at large from Louisiana in 1829, 1833 and 1837 ; was the defeated Democratic candidate for representative in the 22d congress in 1830; was elected to the U.S. senate to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Alexander Porter, Jan. 5, 1837, and was re-elected for a full term, serving until March 3, 1842, when he resigned, having been nominated as the Democratic candidate for governor of Louisiana. On Jan. 30, 1843, he was inaugurated first Democratic governor of the state, his term expiring on the adoption of a new state constitution in 1846. He was president of the Southwestern railroad convention, New Orleans, La., January, 1852 ; a delegate to the Democratic national convention in 1858 and 1860 ; president of the Vigilance committee of Lafayette parish in 1858, and a delegate to and president of the state convention at Baton Rouge that passed the secession ordinance, Jan. 23,1861. He was a defeated candidate at a joint session of the legislature convened to elect two senators to the Confederate congress, Nov. 29, 1861. He was twice married, first to Lilia, daughter of Jean Jacques Rousseau and granddaughter of Gov. Jacques Dupre; and secondly to Emma, daughter of Col. C. R. Gardner (q.v.), U.S.A. His son Alfred (q.v.) was a Confederate soldier, and his daughter Mathilda married Gen. Franklin Gardner, C.S.A., graduate of West Point, 1843, who defended Port Hudson. He died on his plantation near Vermillionville, La., Feb. 12, 1882.

Michael Eloi Girard was born at Baigne, France, September 14, 1828, and died in Lafayette, La., April 15, 1889. He was a son of Dr. Michael Girard, a Frenchman by birth, who came to Lafayette parish more than half a century since.  His mother was a native of Louisiana. He was an infant when his parents came to Louisiana. Young M. E., at an early age, was sent to St. Charles college. Grand Coteau, where he remained until he wan ten years of age, when his father returning lo France, young Girard completed his education in the Royal college of Augouleuie, graduating when eighteen years of Age. As a student young Girard was noted for his retentive memory, and the zeal and industry which were always characteristic of him, aided materially in ranking him the eminent lawyer he became. After the death of his father. Mr. Girard returned to Louisiana, to which he had become much attached as a boy. On his return voyage the Vessel on which he was a passenger was wrecked, and he was one of the few on board who were rescued. He arrived in New Orleans |penniless, From there he came to Lafayette parish; where he found many friends of his father, and numerous relatives of his mother. Among them he determined to make hi* home. He won entered the law office of Basil C  Crow, whose youngest daughter, Maxine. he subsequently married. As a law student young Girard was characterized by the name untiring energy that he exorcised in college, and this, aider! by his excellent memory, and made him well versed in the lore of law. He was admitted to the bar before the supreme court, of Opelousas, 1849, and shortly after formed a copartnership with his preceptor. Devoted to his profession, industrious, punctual, and attentive to business, he soon became one of the first lawyers of his district. He was an able advocate, and combined with his knowledge of civil law a patient earnestuess and pertinacity. His skill is evidenced in that he rarely ever lost a case before the supreme court. The perfect confidence of his clients was the tribute to his faithfulness as a counselor. Mr. Girard never sought political preferment, though when his services were demanded at the hands of his fellow citizens, the confidence reposed in him was never forfeited. Before and during the war he served as district attorney. He was a member of the Louisiana seceding convention; and again, in 1879, when her best talent was so much needed, he was called to the service of the state. Mr. Girard was a Mason of great prominence. He was made a member of the» order at Franklin. La., in 1855. In  1856 he was appointed Senior Warden of Hope Lodge, Lafayette and in the year following he was elected worship master, which position he filled with the exception of one year,until 1873, and was after at various time reelected. He was high priest at Gordy Chapter at Opelousas. 1868-1869. Ho organized Hope chapter at Lafayette. 1870, and was high priest until his death —nineteen years. He was eminent commander  of Girard commander for six consecutive years; he was elected a life member of the Orleans commandery by resolution; was senior warden and deputy grand commander; was grand high priest of the Grand chapter IS71-72, and was grand master of the Grand lodge, 1873- 1874. He was chairman of the committee on Masonic law and jurisprudence of the Grand lodge from 1876 to 1887. and was chairman of the committee on work in the same lodge from 1876 until his death. June 12, 1879', he reached the highest degree of Masonry. — 33" A. . A.  S. R., S .J. .U. S..A.  Socially, Mr. Girard was one of the most genial and companionable of men. His home was the haven of his heart, and a happy one it was. He became the father of four children: Dr. P. M. Girard, Mrs. Dr. P. P. Beraud. Crow Girard, Esq., aud Felix Girard.  source: Memoirs of Louisiana



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