PIERRE DUSSEAU, Considerant’s Gardener

26 April 2018 21:18 น. Dallas, La Reunion ,

Thanks to Frances James for all of her hard work. She made it possible for the grave of Pierre Dusseau to be properly marked with a bronze Texas Historical Commission plaque. His grave is located at the Old Pioneer Cemetery in downtown Dallas. His original headstone disappeared many years ago. The following historical information is from her research.

Granddaughters of Pierre Dusseau

Granddaughters of Pierre Dusseau

Pierre Dusseau was born in 1800 at Carcassonne, France and was educated in the schools of his hometown. He was interested in scientific gardening and the raising of unusual plants. He was fifty-five years of age when he left France to come to Texas with the La Reunion Colonist in 1855. He had been contacted by an agent of the European American Society of Colonization and joined the first contingent to be formed arriving with his two daughters. This group was under the direction of Dr. Augustin Savardan. These forty-three people and a considerable amount of baggage sailed from le Harve on February 28, 1855 on the 1,800 ton ship, Nuremburg. Eleven of this original group were from Carcassonne, France. They docked in New Orleans where a few members remained.

Those agreeing to go on to Dallas County loaded on another ship that docked in Galveston. On June 16, 1855 they arrived in Dallas County and Pierre Dusseau was placed in charge of the large garden that was to serve the colony. In 18558, when the colony disbanded, Pierre Dusseau moved to Dallas where he lived until he died in 1867. Hi is buried at the Pioneer Cemetery in downtown Dallas. In the Dallas County Deed Records there are only two items under the name of Dusseau. One is in French and has the name of J. Dusseau and S. S. Jones.

Not long after their arrival at the Colony, Dusseau’s daughter Louise (1828-1873) met a young man from the Cedar hill area of Dallas County. Tennessee native Isaac Jones came to Dallas County before the Civil War with one daughter Elizabeth and his two sons, William A. and Samuel, who was a salesman. Samuel and Louise married on November 1, 1855 and this was the first wedding to celebrated at the colony.

Samuel Jones was not well received by colonists members since he was one of the more common Texas frontiersmen. The Texas Legislature granted a charter for Dallas to be a city in 1856 and when the first election was held Jones received ninety votes and that was more than any other person who had run for any of the other offices, even the first Mayor, Dr. Samuel B. Prior.

In 1867, Samuel S. Jones was appointed by the Military Government to be County Clerk as all the Democrats in the State had been removed by military order as impediments to reconstruction. Several members of this slate (Michel Thevenet, A. J. Gouffe and Ben Long) had been members of and had previously resided in the La Reunion Colony. Reconstruction politics in Dallas was difficult for all concerned after the Civil War when the military tried to impose various restrictions on the persons elected by the people of Dallas. In 1868, Jones was appointed to fill one of the positions of alderman (city councilman) when two other aldermen, Tenison and Bole, resigned. Then Jones also resigned and John Loupot (another La Reunion colonist) filled that position.

Samuel’s brother, William A. Jones, served as the Postmaster for the town of Dallas from 1869 through 1876. Sam was assistant postmaster for a while and it was during this period that the first money order from this location was issued. Samuel and Louise Dusseau Jones traveled to France in 1873 so that their daughter, Guillimene “Gillie”, could be enrolled in a French school. Louise died from tuberculosis while in France and was buried at East Cemetery in Lille, France. Samuel then returned to America with his daughter. She remained in Tennessee with his Jones family relatives who enrolled Gillie in a finishing school at Brooklyn, New York.

Gillie had been away from Dallas about two years when Robert B. Cockrell (1852-1886), son of Sarah Horton and Alex Cockrell traveled to Tennessee and persuaded her to come back to Dallas and be his wife. She returned in 1875 and they were married by Evangelist A. M. Dean of the Church that was meeting on the first floor of the Masonic Hall. In 1870, at the age of eighteen, Robert Cockrell was sent to Missouri with his sister, Aurelia, to visit their father’s family. Sarah Horton Cockrell, the widow of Alex, wanted her husband’s family to help choose a school for her son. In letters back to Dallas, Aurelia was concerned about Robert as he had spent the $10 his mother had given him when he left Dallas. Here, in Walnut Grove, Missouri their uncle (by marriage) Reuben Bradley Fulkerson was to choose a school for Robert Cockrell. His choice was McGee College.

Robert remained in school for one semester before returning to Dallas. In the City Directory for 1875, Robert was listed as one of the proprietors of the floor mill along with his mother and Aurelia’s husband, Mitch Gray. He lived in Dallas until his death in 1886, at thirty-four years of age.

Four years later, Gillie married S. W. Kanady. He was born in 1865 and native of Lancaster, Texas. His trade was harness making and after a trip to California in 1888, he returned to Dallas and operated a business at the corner of Elm and Pearl where he sold buggies, wagons, carriages, agriculture implements, harnesses and saddles.

Many years later Samuel S. Jones moved to Wichita Falls and from there he wrote a letter to his granddaughter, Guillimene Kanady and described her mother, Louise, as being vivacious, intelligent, and of pleasing appearance.

From “La Reunion Remembered” by Jim Foster,  2005.Additional La Reunion information can be found here.

Photos: Pierre Dusseau’s Granddaughters Mary Alice Cockrell Dealy (L) With Sister Dr. Louise Stevens