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Leon C. Vial, Sr. (1878–1939).

Vial Era

"Early in the century, a young man would emerge on the political scene as a member of the House of Representatives and then parish assessor. Finally in 1916, at the age of thirty-eight, he would become sheriff for twenty-two years until his death in 1939. He was Leon C. Vial, Sr., whose ancestry could be traced back to the mid-1600s in Rhone, France. The family migrated over the centuries to Mexico and later to St. John the Baptist Parish. Sheriff Vial was succeeded in office..." Read More

Chart of the St. Charles Parish Government, 1807–12. The term “police jury” evolved by custom as well as the enactment of a series of territorial acts involving a novel use of the newly formed “jury.” (From the Inventory of
the Parish Archives of Louisiana. No. 45. St. Charles Parish (Hahnville). Prepared by the Historical Records Survey Division of Women’s and Professional Projects, Works Progress Administration, the Department of Archives, Louisiana State University.)

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..." Read More

Reportedly, this is the last hanging in St.Charles Parish. Generally traced to Charles Lynch, an eighteenth-century Virginia farmer who appointed himself a hanging judge in the revolutionary interest, lynching was a prescribed method of punishing criminals for various crimes until the Lynch Law was repealed. At that time in history, lynching and other forms of punishment were social pastimes.

Early Parish Laws

"FENCES: Every owner of a plantation or of land fronting on the public road shall be bound to have on the whole front thereof a well-conditioned and lawful fence, kept in good repair and shut up at all times of the year; and whenever gates are placed on such front, to keep such gates closed when not in use.All neat cattle, horses, mules, asses and jennets shall be allowed to rove at large on the levees and battures of the parish during..." Read More