Charles Patout Burguières & Lilla Elizabeth Withnell

Married June 7, 1910

Charles Patout Burguières
October 7, 1888 - December 23, 1985

Charles Patout Burguières served The J. M. Burguières Co., Limited for ten years as vice-president and director. He married Lilla Elizabeth Withnell of St. Louis, Missouri. They and their eight children lived at Midway Plantation on Bayou Salé where Patout supervised field operations on the 14,000 acres of family plantations. He was one of the first farmers to experiment with soybeans as a replacement for cowpeas to make fertilizer and fodder. Other sugar farmers followed his lead, and as a result, soybeans became a profitable legume crop. While living at Midway Plantation, he was also involved with the Segura Sugar Factory, which owned twenty-five miles of narrow gauge railroad. The J. M. Burguières Co., Limited had a 90 percent stake in that railroad. In 1931, he moved his family to New Orleans, where he became part of a team selected by the governor to share his knowledge of the sugar industry with agricultural schools in Louisiana. In his book The Story of Louisiana, E. A. Davis, wrote of Charles Patout Burguières: "With no thought of profit or even credit for his work, he has been of much assistance in improving conditions in the sugar industry and in the growing of sugar cane. He is deserving of the high esteem in which he is held by his fellowmen."

For many years, Patout assisted at daily mass. He passed away in 1985 at the age of ninety-seven.

 

Mary Elizabeth Lilla Withnell
August 4, 1887 – November 23, 1987

A member of one of St. Louis' most wealthy families and a graduate of the Academy of the Sacred Heart, Mary Elizabeth made the grand tour of Europe before taking a brief trip to New Orleans to visit friends. There, she met and later wed Charles Patout Burguières. Married for seventy-five years, she and Patout lived for a time at Midway Plantation but then moved to 1553 Calhoun Street in New Orleans near Audubon Park, where they raised eight children. "Grandmère" as she was called by her grandchildren, wrote short stories and poetry. Kind, generous, and interested in everything and everyone, she possessed a great sense of humor, lighting up every gathering with her smile. She enjoyed the entrepreneurial environment and would have loved to open her own business. Deeply religious, she said the rosary every day with Patout. A Child of Mary in the Society of the Sacred Heart, she often signed her name with "En de M" (Child of Mary). Well-respected by all who knew her, and deeply loved by her children and grandchildren, "Grandmère" lived to be 100 years old.

 

Children:

Charles and Lilla had eight children.

  • Lilla Withnell Patricia Burguières
  • Charles Patout Burguières, Jr.
  • Marie Corinne Patout Burguières
  • Antoine Pierre Burguières
  • John Paul Joseph Burguières
  • Gregory Joseph Marie Burguières
  • Marie Barat Duchesne Burguières
  • William Wainright Withnell Burguières

 

Above, top to bottom:

1. Pocket watch holds portrait of Jules M. Burguières, Sr.

2. Marie Louise Burguières poses for her portrait.

3. Jules M. Burguières, Jr. relaxes with friends.

Below:

Dr. Edouard E. Burguières received these medals and more for his service during a cholera epidemic during construction of the Suez Canal in Egypt.

Sketch on journal:

The original structure of St. Helen Catholic Church in Louisa, Louisiana was built on land donated by The J. M. Burguières Co., Limited.

medals received by Dr. Edouard E. Burguières
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