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Riopel Family Timeline

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Location: Crookston, Minnesotamap
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1858 - Joseph Delphis Riopel[1] (also recorded Riopelle, Riopell & Reopelle) born in L'Epiphanie, L'Assomption, Québec

1878 - Delphis homesteaded land three miles north of what later became Crookston, Minnesota.

1879 - Delphis married Eugénie V. Beaudoin ON 24 Feb 1879 in l'Épiphanie, Québec, Canada

1880 - Marie Anna Albina (Riopel) McKeegan (26 Feb 1880 - abt. 1929) born to Delphis Riopel & Eugénie V. Beaudoin in l'Épiphanie, Québec, Canada

1881 - Marie Eugénie (Eugenie) born to Delphis Riopel & Eugénie V. Beaudoin on 5 Feb 1881 in Polk county, Minnesota, United States (VERIFY BIRTH LOCATION)

1882 - Joseph Henri (Henry) born to Delphis Riopel & Eugénie V. Beaudoin on 23 Feb 1882 in L’Assomption, Québec, Canada

1883 - Marie Julia (Julia) born to Delphis Riopel & Eugénie V. Beaudoin on 26 Oct 1883 in Canada

1885 - Joseph William (William) born to Delphis Riopel & Eugénie V. Beaudoin on 18 Mar 1885 in Crookston, Minnesota

1885 - Delphis Riopel filed initial papers for naturalization 12 Sept 1885.

1888 – Edmund Edward "Edwin" Riopelle (also recorded Riopel, Riopell & Reopelle) was born 19 Sep 1888 in Crookston, Minnesota at the family homestead just south of where the University campus stands today.

1889 - Joseph born (died young) to Delphis Riopel & Eugénie V. Beaudoin

1890 - The Great Railroad Fight between the Great Northern railway and the Northern Pacific railway took place on the Riopelle property (details),

1894 - Parmelia born to Delphis Riopel & Eugénie V. Beaudoin

1895 - Joseph Riopelle (38), wife Eugenie (43), Albina (15), Maria (14), Henry(13), Julia (11), Wilfred (10), Joseph (8), Hedmond (6) and Parmelia (8 months) are living in Crookston, Polk County, Minnesota.[2][3]

1900 - On June 6, 1900 Joseph D Reopelle (born May 1858) living on farm north of Crookston with wife Eugenie (March 1851) & children Abina (February 1880), Maria (Feb 1881), Henry (Feb 1882), Julia (Oct 1883), Wilfred (Mar 1885), Edwin (Sept 1888) and Parmelia (Sept 1894).[4]

1902 - Dolphis was formally naturalized as Joseph D. Riopell

1902 - Joseph D. Riopell died

1904 - Julia Riopell married Zotique (ZA) Cadieux on 22 Nov 1904 at St. Anne's Catholic Church in Crookston.

1906 - Henry & William Riopelle prosecuted for theft[5]

1907 - Ed Riopelle fined $10 for assault in a pool room[6]

1910 - On April 28, 1910 living in Crookston, Polk County we find Eugenia (née ) Riopel (59) with children Henry (28), Winifred (24), Edwin (22) Antwenette (7) as well as her daughter Julia Cadeaux (26) and Julia’s husband Arthur Cadeaux (27).[7]

1913 - Ed & William Riopelle implicated for abetting a fugitive embezzler[8]

1917 - On February 5, 1917 Ed Riopelle married his first wife (the widow of his brother, Henri), Rébecca Léa (née MÉNARD) Riopelle.[9]

1919 - William Reopelle Charged With Stealing Whiskey[10]

1920 - On February 5, 1920 Edward Riopelle (31) was living in Crookston, Polk, Minnesota with his wife Rebecca (25) and children Henrietta (6), Armand (4 years - 1 month), Edna (2 years -10 months), Irene (1 year -9 months) and Esther (11 months).[11]

1920 - On 8 Feb 1920 Rebecca Lea (née Ménard) Riopelle (wife of Henri & then Edmond Riopelle) died of the flu during the 1918-1919 Great Influenza Pandemic.

1922 - Will Riopelle killed trying to board a freight train while intoxicated [12]

1924 - Edmund Reopel found opportunity as a "rum runner" when the Canadian prohibition was lifted in 1924 and the Canadian government again allowed the sale of liquor.[13]

1925 - On 9 May 1925 Edmund Reopelle remarried to Adeline (née Nagel) Collins in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.[14]

1928 - Ed Reopelle died.[15] In January 1928 he was arrested (the family version was for public drunkenness in a dry county, state & country - although the original arrest record is no longer available) and, at 39 years of age, died in jail in East Grand Forks, Minnesota.

1928 - In late January Ed's widow, Adeline (née Nagel/Collins) Riopelle, was left to care for and feed 10 young children (5 children of her own, 3 stepchildren from Edmund's marriage to Rebecca Ménard, and 2 stepchildren from Rebecca Ménard's prior marriage to Edmund's brother, Henri). This was at the beginning of the Great Depression and making ends meet was extremely difficult.

1928 - Marie Julia (Riopel) Cadieux (born 1883 ) died 29 May 1928 in Fergus Falls, Minnesota.[16]

1928 - Ed's mother, Eugenie Riopelle, and (née Nagel/Collins) Riopelle struggled to care for the Ed's children for six months with help from relatives. On July 4, 1928 the children of Henri & Edmund Riopelle with Rebecca Ménard were placed into a state run orphanage.[17]The exception was Edna, who was fortunate in being taken in by a Crookston-area home. The others were transported to the Minnesota State Public School for Dependent and Neglected Children in Owatonna, Minnesota on July 4, 1928.


  1. Most boys baptized in L'Assomption, Québec at that time were given a first name of Joseph and a second name. A similar approach was used for girls, who were given the first name Marie. Hence many families had a number of boys named Joseph and girls named Mary. The convention of the time was to go by their second name.
  2. Minnesota State Census for 1895
  3. Minnesota State Census - Year: 1895 Census Location: Crookston, Polk County, Minnesota, United States
  4. 1900 United States Federal Census, Minnesota, Polk County, Enumeration District 210.
  5. Riopelle’s Trial Today 22 December 1906 Grand Forks Daily Herald (Grand Forks, North Dakota)
    Men accused of Stealing From Martin Backen Deny Guilt Henry and William Riopelle, the young men accused by the Crookston police of taking the grip and $25 which were stolen from Martin Backen on Wednesday evening are on trial at Crookston today. Backen was returning from North Dakota and had been spending a few days in Crookston before going to his home which is at Twin Valley. He got into the company of the Riopelle boys and other young men of Crookston and spent his money freely. He was about to take the Northern Pacific train for home on Wednesday evening and was in a somewhat intoxicated condition. The Riopelle boys accompanied him to the station and when he was ready to board his train he noticed that his grip was missing and that he had been “touched” for $25. He at once made complaint to the police and they arrested the Riopelle boys, but so far have been unable to get any incriminating evidence against them except that which is purely circumstantial.
  6. No Place for Crookston Boys (1907) Newspaper: 22 April 1907, Grand Forks Daily Herald (Grand Forks, North Dakota)
    Judge Wilde Said That Something Should be Done – Riopelle Fined for Assault and Battery. Ed Riopelle, one of the members of the Riopelle family of Crookston, which has received more of less notoriety as the result of the actions of two of the members, were on Saturday afternoon fined $10 and costs in the justice court. Riopelle was found guilty of assault upon the person of one Schuller in a Crookston pool room. In passing sentence, Judge Wilde said:
    “I hope this case will show the citizens of Crookston the necessity for a place in this city where out young men may congregate besides these pool rooms. I do not want to sentence a young boy only eighteen years old to jail on his first offence and I will therefore fine you $10 and costs of the case or 10 days in jail.”
  7. 1900 United States Federal Census
  8. News report on aiding a fugitive (1913) Hotel Clerk Was Captured Newspaper: 28 October 1913, Grand Forks Daily Herald (Grand Forks, North Dakota) Crookston, Oct. 27 – Late Saturday afternoon Sheriff Kelley and Chief of Police Eck autoed to Red Lake Falls and arrested Gordon McKenzie, the absconding day clerk from the Palace Hotel and Ed Riopel, who had driven McKenzie to Red Lake Falls via the Riopel farm north of the city Saturday morning. They received their cue from the police at Red Lake Falls shortly after noon when a phone message brought word that Riopel was these and had arranged a livery rig to drive to Plummer. Instructions were given to arrest Riopel. The police at Red Lake had watched Riopel’s antics for a while, the latter driving about the town haphazard, with the result that McKenzie was found in the lumber yard where he had been hiding. The men were held until the Crookston officer arrived, after which they were loaded into the auto and brought to Crookston. They were brought before Judge Gossman this evening and both were held under $500 bond, which neither could furnish. They were taken back to jail until the date of the hearing, November 6. McKenzie, who had been at the hotel as day clerk for several months, stated he did not take the $85 as alleged, but about $69. Riopel did not deny driving McKenzie to Red Lake and admitted he intended to transport him to Plummer. “You can’t do anything to me,” he told the officers, “I was only helping him to make his getaway and you can’t do me nothing for that.” It is understood that McKenzie is well connected in Canada, having two brothers high in business and professional circles. It is understood they have been communicated with. Hence the day of the hearing has been scheduled enough in advance so that a letter may reach here from them in the meantime. It was William Riopel who brought the horse back Friday night which McKenzie had hired that noon from H.L. Collins. No one believed him when he said he had driven in with McKenzie and that the latter had got out of the buggy at the Palace hotel. Taking that as a cue, the officers were convinced that some of the Riopel boys knew where Ed Riopel was. Ed Riopel had driven McKenzie to Red Lake Falls through the rain, with a mule hitched to a buggy. It is understood that one of the Riopel boys asked the officers for $5 for information regarding McKenzie. At least Ed Riopel faces a very serious charge and William Riopel may also be arrested for the part he played in the affair. Riopelle Bound Over (1913) Newspaper: 19 November 1913, Grand Forks Daily Herald (Grand Forks, North Dakota) Edward Riopelle of Crookston, charged with aiding a criminal to escape in having driven Gordon McKenzie, the alleged absconding clerk of the Crookston Palace Hotel, was bound over to the district court before Judge Gossman under $500 bonds, which ha had been unable to secure at a late hour yesterday afternoon, and was bound over to the district court.
  9. Minnesota Official Marriage System; County POLK; Certificate: Q/620
  10. Crookston Man Charged With Stealing Whiskey Article in the Grand Forks Daily Herald (Grand Forks, North Dakota) of 3 April 1919
    Crookston, April 3 – Charged with having stolen 36 pints of whisky from Pat Boyce, livery man of Red Lake Falls, William Reopelle of Crookston was bound over to the grand jury, bonds being fixed at $200, after he had pleaded not guilty to the charge. When Reopelle was arrested, yesterday morning, he said he had found the three bottles of liquor which were in his possession but, according to the complainant, witnesses were available who will testify that Reopelle sold them whiskey.
  11. 1920 US Federal Census
  12. The following is found in an article in the Grand Forks Daily Herald (Grand Forks, North Dakota) of 12 September 1922:
    "Will Riopelle Trying to Board Freight Slips and Is Cut In TwoArticle in the Grand Forks Daily Herald (Grand Forks, North Dakota) of 12 September 1922
    "Crookston, Minnesota, September 11 – Will Riopelle, 30, son of Mrs. Riopelle of this city and well known throughout this section of Polk County as a farm hand, was killed at 2:30 o’clock this afternoon by a local freight train when he fell between two cars while attempting to mount the train which was moving at a slow rate of speed between the railroad yards and the depot. The trunk of the body was completely severed, one part being dragged for 40 feet before it dropped beside the rails. The whole body was so badly mutilated that portions were picked up along the track in a basket."

    Sister Lucille's recollections Sister Lucille's recollections (Sister Lucille Cadieux (a nun also known as Marie Blandine ) was born in Crookston, Minnesota on September 20, 1907 to Liboire Joseph [Cadieux] and Maria Riopelle.) Sister Lucille had just celebrated her 75th birthday when this interview was recorded: Q. Tell about Joseph Willfred.

    A. He was killed by a train. He was drunk, and tried to jump on a freight train and missed his step. My dad (Liboire) helped with the body.
  13. Edna's recollections provide insight into Edmund's career:

    “My father, always wanting to give us the best chance, decided to move the farm from Crookston and got a strip of land over the North Dakota border, close to Grand Forks, when he’d found some work. I wasn’t sure what he’d be doing, but I didn’t want to ask too many questions, either. Everyone was having trouble making ends meet in those days, and it was no secret that he found occasional work as a “rum runner,” smuggling whiskey in from Canada during the prohibition. Despite the stiff penalties he’d face if he got caught, my father kept at it. I think he did it mostly to keep food on the table, although he certainly didn’t seem to mind the excitement of it. As nerve-wracking as it must have been, he used to love to tell us how he could “outrun a jackrabbit if it was in the way” when he was trying to escape. He must have been telling the truth, because poor as we were, we never went hungry and he never went to jail!"
  14. Marriage 9 May 1925 • Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada Name: Edward Reopelle Gender: Male Spouse: Adeline Negel Marriage Date: 9 May 1925 Marriage Place: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada URL: http://vitalstats.gov.mb.ca/Qu
  15. Death Certificate Index Certificate Number: 1928-MN-012176 Death: January 11, 1928 County of Death: Polk County, Minnesota, United States Subject: Death records Type: Text, Government Record, Historical Records
  16. In her youth Julia had suffered a head injury in a buggy accident which caused episodic fits of epilesy. She could be difficult when having an epileptic fit, and had more when ZA was around, so ZA ultimately left her. She then lived with her mother, as did her brother Wilfred. Later she was hospitalized at the Fergus Falls state hospital, where she passed away.
  17. Excerpts from Aunt Edna’s Recollections (written by Edna Riopelle who was one of Esther's sisters.)

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