Corbin, Corbine

John (Jean) Baptiste Corbine (Corbin) The wooded shores of the beautiful Courte Oreilles Lakes were the homes of the Ottawa Indians when the white man first appeared on the scene. It seems that the 'short ears' of the Ottawa's were an exception among the various Indian tribes of this region who followed the practice of distending the ears. From this physical characteristic of the inhabitants of the lake area, the French white man named the lake 'short ears' - Courtes Oreilles. By the time the mission was established the Chippewa had replaced the Ottawas.

The first records of Courtes Oreilles Mission are to be dated back about 100 years when Mr. John Corbine, a pious and well educated Frenchman, settled among the Indians here at the ear of the Big Lake, called Lac des Courtes Oreilles. No priest could be found at that time. Said John Baptiste Corbine made by his christian and pious life great impression upon the Indians, who began to show most favorable feelings towards the religion of the white man. Many of them enjoyed the benefit of private baptism in danger of death.

About the year 1796, John Baptiste Corbine came from Canada to the Lake Superior country. During the latter part of the 18th Century a trading post had been started at Courtes Oreilles, the Hudson Bay Company and the Northwest Fur Company traded with the Indians in 1800. The trading post at Courtes Oreilles was given to J.B. Corbine. In 1808 his store was pillaged by the Courtes Oreilles Indians and he had to fly for his life to La Pointe. However, he soon returned to his trading post at Courtes Oreilles and traded there as heretofore for the Northwest and Astor Fur Companies. He died there at the ripe age of 99. Mr. Corbine is buried in the Catholic cemetery in the churchyard at the mission.

After the arrival of Father Baraga at La Pointe, John Corbine and his family traveled to this place when possible to assist at Mass and receive the Sacraments.

(taken from 'A History of St. Francis Solanus Mission in Reserve, Wisconsin')

Jean Baptiste Corbin or Corbine, French Canadian, Jean Baptiste established a trading post at Lac Court O'Reilles in the year 1800. He died in the month of March , 1866. His first wife Gakabishikwe was a daughter of Wabiziwisid, according to the 1877 Historical rolls of the Lac Court Oreilles Band of Chippewa Indians.

Two sons were born to this union, Alexis Corbine and Louis Corbine.

(Louis Corbine, son of Alexis, was the first husband of Keganiganis or Mary Martin Corbine Rageotte.)

A woman by the name of Madeline or Magdalena, or Gitchi-Wabakosi, was the Second wife of Jean Baptiste Corbine. They were married at St. Ignace, MI 7/24/1831 by Rev. Samual Mazachelli. The names of her parents seem to be unknown.

Daughter, Marie Corbine was baptized at LaPointe, Madeline Island, 1/26/1836. Marie died about 1902 and had no issue.

Submitted by Jan Coté

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