Louis Rousseau Brooks is said to have passed away February 1892 - allegedly in Grand Forks County, Grand Forks, North Dakota at the age of 68.
The uncertainty as to the date and place of Louis' death is that, to date, no authoritative record can be found.
In those days there were many roving missionary priests. It is remotely possible that one of these attended to the funeral of Louis and then later recorded it back in his home parish. Unless this was relative Father Joseph Albert Ephrem Rousseau from St. Boniface Manitoba this seems unlikely as the Rousseau/ Brooks were strongly catholic and it would seem that St. Michael's/ Calvery Cemetary would have been the most logical place to go. Finally, it is known that Louis had a number of relatives in the area. Perhaps Louis (along with Siffroid Rousseau Brooks who's grave site is also MIA) is buried in some Rousseau/ Brooks "family plot" in an adjacent Grand Forks County cemetary. BUT THEN, why wouldn't Luce have been buried alongside her husband when she died, as opposed to being buried in the St. John Catholic Church cemetary in St. John?
I keep thinking of the comment that Michele Delmore, Secretary, St Michael's Church made to me: "Records weren't as important in those days as they are now so the records can be really confusing. There was generally a problem with with english speaking persons recording french names with the resulting transcription being done phonetically which led to some interesting spellings of french names AND the literacy level was not generally at the highest level AND the handwriting is also either very cursive script or very bad making it hard to interpret so many years later, you may find some names that don't make a lot of sense. Just keep that in mind."
Perhaps the "good news" is that the place of burial for both Louis Rousseau Brooks and Siffroid Rousseau Brooks can not be found. Perhaps if we find one, we will find the other! The question is where further to look?
The following "news" items were in the St. John Rumblings section of The Turtle Mountain Star late January and February 1892.
|Jan 28, 1892||Mr & Mrs Fred Plante & Mrs Eugene Turcotte went south on last Thursday’s train bound for Grand Forks to visit with relatives.|
|Feb 4, 1892||Mr. Turcotte was on hand for Saturday’s train and was badly disappointed in not finding his wife on Board. Fred Plante arrived home from Grand Forks|
|Feb 4, 1892||Fred Plante arrived here from Grand Forks Thursday|
|Aug 25, 1892||Mrs Louis Brooks formerly of St John, but now a resident of Grand Forks, has returned to St John from a visit to her children at St. Boniface Manitoba.|
MY CURRENT THINKING:
Calvery Cemetary in Grand Forks can find no records of Louis being buried in Grand Forks. There is no "record" in the Grand Forks Herald newspaper of Louis' passing. If Louis were buried in Grand Forks, one would think that his wife Luce would have been buried alongside of him when she died as opposed to being buried in St. John. On the other hand the uncertainty as to the St Michael's church records being burned for that period AND perhaps some possible transcription issues with the French name Rousseau AND perhaps the coincidental arrival of a number of Louis children ( but not Hubert) in February 1892 leaves some lingering doubt that Louis may indeed be buried somewhere in Grand Forks.
Although the St. John Catholic Church can find no records of Louis' burial in their cemetary, this holds no credibility due to the mess that their records are in. More convincing is the statement from the catholic diocese of Fargo ND that Louis is not buried in St. John. Neverthless, the uncertainty remains due to the destruction of the Catholic cemetary in St. John ( tombstones and all) with the opening of the new cemetary south of the town, AND the fact that wife Luce was buried in St. John ( perhaps next to her husband - however for this to occur Louis' body would have had to be exhumed from Grand Forks and later brought to St. John -- perhaps too much of an effort back in those days.)
The more I think about it, the more I wonder if Louis body was sent back to Quebec for burial in a Rousseau family grave plot or perhaps Louis died while back in Quebec and was buried there. This might explain WHY there was no newspaper notice in the early 1892 time frame, and why the various churches have no record of his burial. What is missing is newspaper records of key family members travelling back to Quebec to attend the funeral.
The other possibility is that the oral history February 1892 date for Louis' death, is completely wrong and we are simply looking in the wrong timeframe ( although the Calvery cemetery online death records has NO Louis Rousseau or Louis Brooks or anything close to this for any time period.)
Hubert's sister Flora (Marie Germaine Florida) Brooks had married husband Freddy (Marie Joseph Alfred) Plante on June 8, 1891 and moved up state almost next to the Canadian border to Freddy's home town of St. John N.D.
Following the February 1892 passing of Louis (Rousseau) Brooks in Grand Forks
wife Luce Brooks moved in with daughter Flora (and Flora's husband Freddy Plante) in St. John N.D..
Luce was to stay with Flora in St. John until her own death in St. John on April 10th of 1901. Luce was buried initially in St John's Cemetary (located immediately adjacent to the Catholic Church) in St John N.D. In 1953 all St John's graves were moved to Holy Cross Community Cemetary (about a mile and a half down the road).
Hubert Brooks and Family followed sister Flora and mother Luce to St. John in the late 1892/early 1893 time period.
(Again the book "St. John City At The End of the Rainbow" states that Hubert Brooks (along with Marie) came to Rolette County in 1892. However it may have been the following year in 1893 if the Grand Forks Land Ownership documents are correct. Clearly there is a slight time line descrepancy unless Hubert arrived in St. John late in 1892 and the Allendale Township Land Ownership map survey was done in 1892 and only published in 1893.)
Although family migration was common back in those days, and as detailed in the following section, St John at the time seemed to hold out opportunity for adventuresome pioneers, there must have been some misgivings as the family was leaving Marie's Grégoire relations behind in Allendale/Walle Townships!
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The Life and Times of Hubert Brooks M.C. C.D.