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St. Genevieve County, Missouri

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Valle, John Felix
John Felix Valle, secretary of the Desloge Consolidated Lead Company of St. Louis, was born on the 14th of December 1861, in the city which is still his home, his parents being John B. and Lucie (Desloge) Valle, who were also natives of Missouri. The father was born in Ste. Genevieve, Missouri, in 1820, and represented one of the oldest and most prominent French families of the state. His parents were Francois B. and Catherine (Beauvais) Valle. The ancestry is traced back to Pierre La Vallee, the first of the name in America, who emigrated from Rouen, France, to Canada about the year 1660. He was born in 1645 and was the son of Pierre La Vallee and Madeleine Dumesnil, of the parish of St. Saens in the district of Rouen. Pierre La Vallee, the emigrant, was married at Quebec. January 12, 1666, to Marie Therese Le Blanc, who was born in 1651, a daughter of Leonard Le Blanc and Marie Riton. They had ten children, the seventh in order of birth being Charles La Vallee, who was born in 1679 and was married at Beauport, September 12, 1707, to Genevieve Marcou. He died February 22, 1753, at the age of seventy-five years, and his wife died May 9, 1756. They were parents of twelve children. The fifth in order of birth was Francois La Vallee, the ancestor of the Valle family of Missouri. He was brave and adventurous and left his family home at Beauport to seek his fortune in the Mississippi valley. Some time prior to 1748 he arrived at Kaskaskia, the commercial center of the Illinois country. In that year he married Marianne Billeron, dit Lafatigue, and not long afterward removed to Ste. Genevieve on the Missouri side of the Mississippi. There is a tradition in the family that when it became known that the Spanish authorities were to take possession of Upper Louisiana, many of the inhabitants of Ste. Genevieve wished to leave and in great excitement went to Francois Vallee and threatened to kill him if he would not accompany them. This he refused to do. A day or two later, when Don Pedro Piernas, Spanish officer in command, arrived, Francois Vallee met his request for food and supplies, although he could not help regarding the Spaniards as intruders. Piernas and Vallee, however, became friends and when the former assumed the governorship of Upper Louisiana at St. Louis, Francois Vallee was made commandant of the Post Ste. Genevieve and civil and military judge of the settlement, which office he held until his death in 1783. It is thought that it was about this time, 1770, that the second "e" in the name was dropped and thereafter Francois Valle thus signed all his official papers, although it is said that in his private letters he continued to use the double vowel. He was married January 7, 1748, to Marianne Billeron, who was born in 1729 and died in 1781. The Spanish census of Upper Louisiana for 1787 gives a record of the Valle families of Ste. Genevieve, including the following: "Don Francisco Valle, aged twenty-nine; Donna Maria, his wife, aged twenty-eight; Francisco, Marie and Juliana, their children; thirty-nine slaves; three houses on his place; products for the year were eight hundred and ninety minots of wheat, twelve hundred pounds of tobacco, two hundred pounds of salt, eleven hundred minots of corn. He was a lieutenant of militia; forty-seven persons dwelt in his establishment."
The fifth child of Francois and Marianne (Billeron) Valle was Jean Baptiste Valle, who was born September 25, 1760, and died August 3, 1849. He became the grandfather of John B. Valle. On the 7th of January, 1783, he married Jeanne Barbeau. After the death of Francois Valle, the founder of the family in Missouri, the position of commandant at Ste. Genevieve was filled by several others and eventually by Francois Valle, the brother of Jean Baptiste Valle, who succeeded to that office upon his brother's death in 1804 but served for less than a year, owing to the purchase of the Louisiana territory by the Americans. He was one of the most influential citizens of his section and was greatly beloved, being called Pere Valle by his relatives. In 1804 he was appointed Justice of the general quarter sections of the peace by William Henry Harrison, then governor of Indiana Territory and the district of Louisiana.
His second son, Francois B. Valle, was born in 1785 and died July 30, 1851. He married Catherine Beauvais, who died June 3, 1854, aged sixty-seven years. Their children were: Amedee, who married Marie Louise Sarrade and is now deceased; Mary, the wife of Anthony La Grave; Neree, who married Aglae Chouteau, a daughter of Henry Ghouteau; Clotilde, the wife of Adolf Rozier, of New Orleans; John B., father of John Felix Valle of this review; Francis, who is deceased; and Juliette, the wife of Dr. Thomas Reyburn.
John B. Valle removed to St. Louis in early manhood and here engaged in the commission business, meeting with very substantial success for several years. He then became interested in mining near Fredericktown, in Madison county, and was widely known as one of the foremost representatives of mining interests in the state. He likewise assisted in promoting various business enterprises of Importance in St. Louis and his contribution to the city's development and upbuilding was a distinct and vital one. He passed away in St. Louis, August 22, 1869, at the age of forty-nine years. He was a democrat in politics and his opinions carried weight in party councils, but he was never an aspirant- for office. His widow survived him for many years, passing away in 1918, at the age of eighty-two.
John Felix Valle, who was one of a family of three children, was educated in the public schools of St. Louis and in the manual training school of the Washington University at Eighteenth street and Washington avenue. He was a member of the first .class graduated from this department, completing his course in 1883. For a short time thereafter be was associated with a grain commission hous6 and then became identified with the lead industry, being made secretary of the old Desloge Lead Company. In 1886 the plant was destroyed by fire and they sold their properties. In 1889, however, they purchased other properties and organized the Desloge Consolidated Lead Company, of which John F. Valle became the secretary. Through much of his life therefore he has been connected with the development of the lead mines and the marketing of the product and his business is now one of gratifying and extensive proportions.
In 1912 John F. Valle was united in marriage to Miss Blanche Holland, of New York city. He and his wife are members of the New Cathedral Catholic church and Mr. Valle is also a member of the St. Louis Country Club. In politics he maintains an independent course, voting according to the dictates of his judgment with little regard for party ties. He ranks with the leading and representative men of St. Louis and his entire record is a credit to that of an honored ancestry his family having for several generations been one of the most distinguished and representative French families of the state.
(Source: Centennial History of Missouri, One Hundred Years in the Union, 1820-1921, Vol. V, Published 1921)

Michael Vieh, one of the well known citizens of Ste. Genevieve, is a native of Alsace, Germany, born October 30, 1830, and is the son of Michael and Catherine (Kaufmann) Vieh, both natives of Alsace. They came to America in 1846, located in St. Louis, and here the father engaged in merchandising. He died in St. Louis about 1874 at the age of seventy-one years. The mother died in 1876 at the age of sixty-nine. When Michael Vieh was sixteen years of age he began learning the baker’s trade, and in 1848 he accepted a position as pastry cook on the United States steamer “Fanny,” used to transfer the troops from Mexico. In 1859 he established a bakery in St. Louis, and remained there engaged in this employment until 1877, when he came to Ste. Genevieve and established his present bakery business. In 1859, while living in St. Louis, he married Miss Christina Peters, a native of Germany, who came to America with her parents about 1840. Eight children were born to this union, three sons and one daughter now living. Mr. Vieh is a Republican in his political convictions, and the family worship at the Lutheran Church.
Source: History of Southeast Missouri (1888). Transcribed by Kim Mohler.


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