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Parish officials, circa 1890, are standing in front of old courthouse. Back row, left to right: Anthony Madere, a later sheriff; Mr. Bestoso, court crier; Mr. Terregrossa, a deputy sheriff, and Frank Friloux. Mr. Charles Elfer, assessor, stands in the middle. Lower row, left to right stand: Judge Gauthier; Hicks Lewis Youngs, police juror; Sheriff Lewis Ory, who was later murdered; William Lussan, who later served as president of the police jury and its treasurer for twenty-eight
years; and J. C. Triche, Sr., clerk of court, whose family owned the the St. Charles Herald for over sixty years.

Public Education

"The LeMoyne brothers, Iberville and Bienville, were timeless advocates of schools to educate the colonial children. "He [Bienville] proposed the establishment of a school in New Orleans where the boys could be taught geometry, geography, and other subjects. He wrote, 'young men brought up in luxury and idleness are of little use.'" (E. Davis, Louisiana: The Pelican State) During the colonial..." Read More

Hahnville High School in 2010.

New Schools

"Two new public high schools opened in 1976: Destrehan High School in Destrehan and Hahnville High School in Mozella. They continue to serve students at the same sites in 2010. Both schools offer advanced studies programs, as well as art and music. They both are known for their top notch athletic programs. A recently opened Satellite Center in..." Read More

Raymond K. Smith, teacher, principal, supervisor of colored schools, and assistant superintendent of schools, was keenly aware of the value of education and did all he could to see that the
students under his care had what was necessary for them to succeed. For his contribution
to education, the Raymond K. Smith Middle School in Luling opened in 2006 and was dedicated in
his honor.

Education Expansion

"Raymond K. Smith, teacher, principal, supervisor of colored schools, and assistant superintendent of schools, was keenly aware of the value of education and did all he could to see that the students under his care had what was necessary for them to succeed. For his contribution to education, the Raymond K. Smith Middle School in Luling opened in 2006..." Read More

Mexican Petroleum Company School students pictured in 1917.

Public Education

"With the arrival of the petroleum industry in the early 1900s, a major shift took place in the public school district. These major industries would not only begin to provide tax revenues which would help to bolster public education, but would also promote better schooling for their employees’ children. Because of their keen awareness of the importance of education, schools were established on some of the industry sites. Mexican Petroleum in Destrehan ..." Read More

Madisonville School, 1899—Ama. (Photo courtesy of Mrs. John M. Walton, Sr.)

19th Century School Superintendents

"J. M. Dieudonne, 1852–1888; T. T. Baudoin,1878–1888; Owen McLaren,1888–1890; Emile Rost,1890–1891; Hiddleston,1891–1893; H. Kenner,1893–1896; T. B. Sellers,1896–1912..." Read More

A speaker addresses students during ceremonies for the first and last Hahnville Colored High School graduating class in 1952.

Education Update

"In the early sixties, the parish school system began to plan for desegregation of public schools. The voluntary integration of schools began in 1965–66, but it was not until 1969 that total integration of all schools occurred. Diligent and deliberate preparation by the administrators, faculties, and staffs and the cooperation of the parents and their children facilitated the implementation of integration..." Read More

Cover of ACTS, which documents proceedings of the second session of the first legislature of the Territory of Orleans. (Photo courtesy of Law Library of Louisiana)

The Birth of St. Charles Parish – 1807

"St. Charles Civil Parish was fourth on the list of the nineteen original parishes that were simultaneously created out of the Territory of Orleans by Act I of 1807. Act I made no attempt to do more than merely list parishes, except, perhaps in a very limited venue, to convey some semblance of their general locality. Prior to 1807, the so-called “parishes” were neither political nor legal subdivisions of the state, but mere ecclesiastic vicinities. Act I lifted St. Charles and the other parishes it created out of the..." Read More

Health and Education of the Colony

Health and Education of the Colony

"The French government policy to provide a doctor for each settlement failed when they were unable to attract enough physicians. Priests treated diseases through prayer, novenas, and the application of reliquaries and relics. Diseases such as small pox, yellow fever, malaria, mumps, fevers, and other illnesses often became epidemic in the settlement. No regulations existed regarding ..." Read More

In 1996, the Bethlehem Benevolent Society Hall is shown on its journey to the West Bank Bridge Park
on River Road in Luling to be used as the St. Charles Parish Tourist Information Center. (Photo courtesy of St. Charles Department of Economic Development and Tourism)

Bethlehem Benevolent Society

"The Bethlehem Benevolent Society was incorporated in 1881. It was an example of one of the many benevolent societies for St. Charles Parish Negroes. These fraternal organizations provided medicine, paid doctor bills, purchased food and apparel for those in need, and helped to bury their dead. Each society purchased enough property..." Read More

Levees became major public projects in the late 1800s.


"By the turn of the nineteenth century, crude levees were in place along the Mississippi River and provided a measure of protection. Individual landowners were responsible for construction and maintenance of the levee system. By the 1830s, states began to be involved with flood control by receiving direct funding and creating levee boards. The boards were then responsible for levee construction and maintenance ..." Read More

In June 1976 the last full-term elected police jurors were sworn into office in the Old Schexnaydre IGA Building in Taft. Pictured, left to right: Leonard LeDoux, A. J. Faucheux, Steve DeBenedetto, Harney Hooper, and Roosevelt Dufrene. Not shown are Frankie Pizzolato and Freddie Giangrosso. Crowded conditions in the old courthouse forced the police jury to spend several years in the Schexnaydre Building.

Police Jury to Home Rule

"St. Charles Parish, one of the most affluent and progressive parishes in Louisiana, became one of the first parishes to adopt a new form of government. Louisiana’s 1974 Constitution provided to the people of a parish their right to establish a home rule form of government. Home rule would give local government..." Read More

The former slave quarters of Destrehan Plantation became freed Negroes’ homes after the Civil War.

Reconstruction – 1866-1877

"The period from 1865 to 1877 has been called the “Reconstruction Period.” This term implies that building and reconstructing should have taken place. However, little of that occurred or was even addressed by the federal government. In reality, it marked a period of non-violent military occupation. Slaves were freed, the economy was in chaos, and poverty was widespread. Many of the slaves chose to remain on the plantations, residing in the same living quarters working for the..." Read More