Thursday, October 18, 2007

A lovely story

Another occurrence was not so strange as it was charmingly romantic. A young man in the employ of Robert Todd Lincoln’s law firm left Illinois for New Orleans to investigate a piano company that was not performing up to par. His name was John Virgil Dugan and he immediately went to work to see why the company was having financial difficulties. But his visit to this new an exciting city was not all work and no play, for he received an invitation to his first New Orleans Carnival Ball. And it was there that he first set eyes on the young and beautiful Laure Jaubert. After meeting her he knew that his life would be changed forever.Mr. Fortuné A. Jaubert was born in 1846 in Barcelonnette, France, a town surrounded by snow-covered mountains in the Alps of Haute Provence. As the father of John Dugan’s love interest, he was visited by the enamored suitor at his place of business, Jaubert Brothers Dry Goods on Magazine Street. Dugan introduced himself and politely asked Mr. Jaubert if he could have his permission to court his daughter, Laure.Mr. Jaubert replied, “Mais non. Quite impossible! Why, Monsieur Dugan, you don’t even speak French.”The Gaelic-Gallic impasse had young Dugan at first dejected but later empowered once he envisioned the solution. He signed up for French lessons and after three months revisited Magazine Street. This time the greeting was “Bon jour, Monsieur Jaubert.” This salutation was followed by an adequate conversation in French such that the previously reluctant father gladly relented and agreed to a proper courtship. John and Laure were married and Dugan informed the Lincoln law firm that he should stay in New Orleans and run the piano company. All lived happily ever after, at least until 1916.On September 14th of that year, a crazed streetcar passenger, Seymour Clay, ran amuck slashing the conductor three times with a knife. It started with a dispute over a transfer in a Napoleon Avenue car at Dryades. Clay jumped from the car and ran to his house to procure a loaded Winchester rifle with which he shot and wounded four people. Another person was even less fortunate. Fortuné Jaubert was riding in his automobile with his wife, daughter (Mrs. Albert Clerc) and granddaughter, Noelie Clerc. While proceeding up St. Charles Avenue a high caliber bullet from Clay’s rifle entered Mr. Jaubert’s breast as he crossed Valmont Street. Seated in the tonneau of his vehicle, he slumped forward against the driver’s seat. His family hastened to Hotel Dieu, but Mr. Jaubert was dead when they lifted him from the car. He was 69 years old. Due to senseless violence a prominent citizen was gone, a man who gave a younger man a second chance at true love. “Merci, Monsieur Jaubert.”NED HÉMARD
New Orleans Nostalgia"Lincoln Law and Loving Laure" Copyright 2006

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Very interesting story - Helen Gayle Jaubert Bellamy, descendant of Fortune Jaubert

debbie said...

Very accurate story. My Father, William Jaubert Dugan, 7th child of Laure and John Virgil Dugan told the same story to his four children. My Father passed away just 22 months ago. Are you related to the Jaubert's or Dugan's. Debbie

Richard Jaubert Murff said...

Mr. Jaubert was my Great-Grandfather. A sad story, I still have a copy of the old newspaper with the report of the killing.

Anonymous said...

I am a great grand daughter of Fortune Jaubert. His son, Fortune Jaubert Jr. was the father of my mother, Gussie Fortune Jaubert Schmidt. Would love to hear from any of my long lost cousins. Gretchen Schmidt Kirsch. Gretchen.Kirsch@mygait.com

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Edward R. Jaubert - descendant of Fortune Jaubert