Location: Bloomington, Minnesota USA
Surnames/tags: Davies LaBrie St._Martin
Mary Angele was born to a large, influential family of French Canadians who homesteaded in the Bloomington area of Hennepin County in Minnesota. Her father's brothers immigrated together with their parents around 1840 and shaped the area that would become Minneapolis/St Paul. Her uncle Pierre St. Martin cut the logs for the dam at St Anthony Falls and helped build the fort at Crow Wing, Minnesota. Her Uncle Emmanuel enlisted in the CIvil War in Company H, Minnesota 2nd Cavalry Regiment on 14 Feb 1865. Mustered out on 13 Feb 1866. Uncle Pascal was the oldest brother and maintained the household where they lived in 1850.
Her parents--Sauver St. Martin and Rose Angele Garceau-- were married by Bishop Cretin in the St. Paul Cathedral on July 14, 1851. The log cabin church on the river bluffs was designated a Cathedral just 10 days earlier, due to the arrival of its first bishop, Father Joseph Cretin. She was the sixth child of a family that eventually numbered 11 children. In the 1880 census she was 19 years old, living on her parents' farm, surrounded by other relatives. During the next few years she married a man called Kimball W. Davies born in 1858 in Maine. Together they had three daughters: Laura in 1884; Myrtilla in 1885 and Georgia in 1889. Plus Willie in 1888. They lived at 116 W. 28th , Minneapolis, MN, just a few blocks from the Minneapolis Fire Station where Kim was a pipeman (a firehose handler) and then a driver for the fire department. There were difficulties; their middle daughter Myrtilla had epilepsy which was untreatable and they lost their son at birth. For whatever reason, Davies abandoned his career and family in 1984 and disappeared "To Parts Unknown" according to the records of the Fire Department. Destitute, Mary Angele moved to her brother's house and Myrtilla went to the state hospital in Faribault. Angele applied for a position as a housekeeper to a widower in South Dakota and moved there in the fall of 1896 with her daughters, Laura and Georgia. The widower, Arthur Labrie, was also French Canadian and had four small children: Edward, Pearl, Amelia and Leona. The situation worked well and he married Mary Angele in Jan 1899 in Turton, Spink, South Dakota.
She had two sons with Arthur, Victor and Wesley. She was known to be frugal and capable: she ran a boarding house in their home on Main Street in Turton, SD. Travelers, salesmen and dance orchestra members came by train or horse and buggy so the boarding house was busy and exciting. Rooms were 50 cents per night, breakfast was 25 cents. From her boarding house savings, Angele bought an upright Story and Clark piano in 1903 which cost $500. Her son Vic and his children learned to play on it and it brought generations of music to the South Dakota Prairie. It was donated to St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Turton, SD. Mary Angele outlived her husband until 1950. She chose to be buried in her family's cemetery plot in Minneapolis at St. Mary's Cemetery, Chicago Avenue. The 1900 shows Myrtilla in Faribault, Rice, Minnesota, living at Faribault Home for the Feeble Minded. The Census shows she is able to read and write but Faribault records show no enrollment updates in the home's elementary school. There are notes in her file from her mother, checking on Myrtilla's needs. She died of seizure exhaustion in 1916 and was buried in the institution's cemetery. Two of her daughters chose their husbands in South Dakota. Her daughter Laura died young of fever in 1910 and left 3 children. Daughter Georgia married John Adam Lesh and had 5 children, moved to North Dakota and eventually Monrovia, California. The location of Kimball Davies was never known by his family. Much later, census records showed him living in Chicago, working as a laborer where he died in 1932.
Coincidently, the emigration of Mary Angele to South Dakota launched a major courtship of St Martin young women from Minneapolis with Turton area young men who were land-rich farmers but lonely. Eva St Martin came to help her cousin and married Ray Lenz. Lillian Victorine St Martin married Oscar Labrie.
- Cain, Sr. Joan, and Paul Nelson. Rocky Roots, Geology and Stone Construction in Downtown St. Paul. St. Paul: Ramsey County Historical Society, 2004.
- Interview by Maurice LaBrie of Mary Angele St. Martin LaBrie, 1948.
- Patient Records of Myrtilla Davies, Faribault State Hospital through 1916, Minnesota Historical Society, research by Robin Rainford.
- Minnesota Deaths and Burials Name: Willie E. Davis Gender: Male Death Date: 19 Jan 1888 Death Place: Minneapolis, Hennepin, Minnesota Age: 0 Birth Date: 1888
Birthplace: Mpls. Race: White Marital Status: Unknown Father's Name: Kimball Father's Birthplace: Me. Mother's Name: Angie Mother's Birthplace: Minn.