Eloise (1915-2014) is the baby in this 1915 photo being held by her mother, Adele Elise Hueville Santerre. Eloise’s grandparents were members of La Reunion Colony.
Eloise related many stories
to me about the trip her ancestors made on the journey from Galveston to La Reunion Colony at Dallas. She also mentioned that the families spent three long and difficult months at sea before they reached Galveston.
One of her stories that I will always remember was about the shortage of oxen and carts once the group arrived in Galveston. After the passengers disembarked the ship a search was made for transportation to Dallas, but it seems that the previous arrivals had bought or hired most of the carts. Some of the new arrivals had to leave a portion of their belongings at Galveston.
Due to the shortage, a higher price was charged for the teamsters and carts. Luggage was even charged at the same rate as that of a person. Only the elderly and children rode in the carts.
The teamsters believed that the water was not safe to drink. They also felt that they would become ill unless the water was purified so they would add generous amounts of whisky to the water. About three quarters of the way to Dallas the teamsters ran out of whisky. After a brief discussion, the teamsters decided to return to Galveston. The carts were unloaded and the future members of the colony were left to walk the rest of the way, leaving most of the belongings behind. One of the party members became to ill to travel. He was left with a family that had settled in the wilderness along the trail. That person eventually recovered and arrived safely at the colony with another group several months later.
Courtesy La Reunion Remembered by Jim Foster. Photo courtesy Eloise Santerre.