Paradis

A Spunky Little Lady
Source: River Parish Focus, January 1979

Marie Martin Labry, great-granddaughter of John Baptiste LaBranche and sister of J. B. Martin, the “Father of St. Charles Parish Education,” was herself an educator. One stop on her journey through the system was in l914 at the Paradis School built by a Chicago firm called Louisiana Development Corporation. In an article in the River Parish Focus of January 1979, she shared some of her memories with Henry E. Yoes III.

“They were going to move the Courthouse there; they were going to move everything there (Paradis). They built a big building and called it a high school but it wasn’t. They were coming down here to develop this land and we were very, very glad. A bank was built and lots of cottages. Along the railroad there was a park and a big old gray hotel. There was a moss gin and a saw mill. They even had street lights. At first they were very successful.” Unfortunately the settlement failed in later years. Mrs. Labry, however, was successful and flourished in the school system for forty-one years. She taught in many schools at many levels and apparently enjoyed all of it. When asked at the age of 86 if she had any regrets she said, “Yes, I wish I was still teaching.”

The Paradis School
The Paradis School built by a development company. In 1914, Ms. Labry (on steps, in black dress) was one of its teachers. (Source: River Parish Focus, January 1979)

This text is copyright © material by Marilyn Richoux, Joan Becnel and Suzanne Friloux, from St. Charles Parish, Louisiana: A Pictorial History, 2010.

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