Gourdoux Family of Flambeau

text by Richard Casey, Las Vegas, Nevada

This vignette of the Gourdoux heritage was rembered and recorded for the family by Mayme Gourdoux (ne Doheny) in about the year 1959:

Leonard Gourdoux was born and lived in a country town of Meymac, Department of Correze, France near Limoges. Leonard and Marie had four children. The daughter remained in France but the three boys emigrated to America.

Dad (Martin Alexander) and Eugene (his brother) used to buy tracts of timber and saw it by hand when the farm work was slack. This lumber was then sold for extra income.

Later Eugene was conscripted for the Franco Prussian war. Alexander had to stay home and help the old father but he later went to war voluntarily. About a year after the close of the war, England was agitating settlement of her Colony in Canada. Eugene and Alexander embarked from Liverpool to Montreal.

They planned to homestead in Quebec but while in Montreal, met a hotel Keeper, who advised them to go to Chippewa Falls in Wisconsin as so many French were located there and many good homesteads given away. So they again started in quest of a new country.

Years later they sent for the kid brother, Frank.

Martin Alex Gourdoux and brother Claude were among the earliest settlers in the Flambeau area of Chippewa County. They arrived about 1869.

WI Federal land Homestead and sales records for Alex and Eugene:

Name Date County Acres Sct Twp Range
GOURDOUX Alexander 1877 03/20 Rusk 40.0 #34 33N 7W
GOURDOUX Alexander 1884 09/30 Chippewa 40.0 #2 32N 7W
GOURDOUX Eugene F 1891 05/09 Chippewa 160.0 #2 32N 7W

The 1888 Rusk County Platt book shows Alex as owner of parcels in Sections; 34, 35, 36, as well as owning the Catholic Cemetery in Flambeau.

In November of 1879, Alexander and Eugene were among the 83 men of Flambeau who signed a pledge to raise money for construction of the church which became, St. Francis of Assisi, Catholic Church. It was completed and dedicated in 1881. Alex pledged 12 dollars and Eugene 800 board feet of plank.

St. Francis Mission Church Cemetery- County, Rd D, West of Hwy 27 on Chippewa River, Township of Washington Records show the three brothers:

1910 census Rusk Co. Washington Twp, WI 19 April

Gerdeau, Alec  	     head    65 M 34  	France France France      
         Josephine     wife    55 M 34      	WI     WI         WI
         Leonard       son     30 S               WI     WI         WI
         Celestine     dau     24 S       	WI     WI         WI
         Agnes         dau     17 S  		WI     WI         WI 
         Claude        son     15 S      	WI     WI         WI
         Christopher son     13 S    		WI     WI         WI  
The Gourdoux were active in all aspects of the community, particularly in their Catholic Church. In the period beginning with World War Two the population began to decline as young men went off to war on work in high paying war industries. Following the war Flambeau never really recovered.

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