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Abbeville, Louisiana


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Title: Abbeville, Louisiana

  • Abbeville, Louisiana

  • Have you ever heard of Abbeville,
    Louisiana? If you have, did you know that a
    priest named Father Antoine Desire Megret was the
    founder of Abbeville. When it began though,
    Father Megret spelled Abbeville ("Abbville")
    without the "e". The "e" was added later on.

Statue of Father Antoine Desire Megret
  • In 1842, Father Antoine Megret arrived
    in Louisiana. He lived in the Perry area a while
    then moved along the Vermilion Bayou. 
  • On July 25, 1843, Father Megret bought
    land from Mr. Joseph Leblanc.  He paid 900.00
    for the land. Some say that he built a little
    church named "La Chapelle".  At that time, a few
    buildings were also built.  That is how this city
  • Exactly how the community was named is
    not really known.  Some say it Some say it was a
    combination of "Abbe" for Abbé Mégret and "ville"
    for town or the Abbé's town, while others say
    Father Mégret named it after his hometown
    Abbeville, France.

Father Antoine Desire Megret (Photo from the
Vermilion Historical Society)
  • Abbeville kept growing. In 1847, the
    Abbeville Post Office was established. Abbeville
    was incorporated a town in 1850. The first mayor
    at that time was Theophil Veazey. 
  • Abbeville became the new Parish Seat in
    1850.  It was in Perry before this time.
    Abbeville was incorporated in 1850.
  • In 1851, St. Mary Magdalen Catholic
    Church Parish was established. Father Megret died
    of yellow fever in December 5,1853. 

This is a picture of St. Mary Magdalen Catholic
Church. completed in 1884. This church stood
until 1907, when it was destroyed by fire. (Photo
from the Vermilion Historical Society)
St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church today.
St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church completed in
1911. (Photo from the Vermilion Historical
  • At that time, fires caused tragedies. 
    In 1854, the church burnt. St. Mary Magdalen
    Church was rebuilt. There was another fire later
    on as well.

  • Abbeville is the largest city in
    Vermilion Parish and has over 11,000 people.  As
    the Parish Seat, it has the Vermilion Parish
    Court House. 

  • The Court House in Abbeville has an
    interesting history. In 1847 a wooden structure
    was erected on property donated by Father Megret.
  • On April 6, 1885, the Abbeville Court
    House burnt down and destroyed all documents. A
    replacement began in 1890 and lasted until 1951.
  •   The structure that stands now was dedicated
    in 1952.

Old Vermilion Parish courthouse, completed 1891
and was torn down in 1951. (Photo from the
Vermilion Historical Society)
  • On the evening of February 19, 1903, a
    huge fire on Concorde Street caused the National
    Bank of Abbeville and many businesses around the
    area to burn down. Several buildings on Jefferson
    and State Streets.

Group photograph of 22 uniformed firemen and two
little girls. Abbeville Volunteer Fire Dept. 1880
sic, the photograph was taken on July 4, 1889.
Photo courtesy of the Vermilion Historical
  • Many tragedies happened in Abbeville
    through the years.  World War I began in 1917. In
    1940, Abbeville had a flood. In 1941 World War II
    began. The Korean War began in 1950 and men
    served in the Vietnam War too.  The Gulf War was
    in 1991. Some have served since the 9-11-01
    terrorists incidents. Many area men fought in
    these wars. Some lived to share stories and some
    died during the war.
  • Sickness, hurricanes, and hard life
    brought tragedy to Abbeville also. Hurricanes
    Rita and Ike brought flood waters to Vermilion
    Parish and some Abbeville areas.

Dr. Easton Chauvin (Photo from the Vermilion
Historical Society)
  • Abbeville has had many schools in the
    past.  The first Abbeville High School was built
    in 1902.
  • The old Abbeville High School building is now
    the Vermilion Parish School Board Office. 

Abbeville High in 1902. Photo from the Vermilion
Historical Society.
Old Abbeville High Building is now the Vermilion
Parish School Board Office.
  • Abbeville, Louisiana had six public
    schools. Those are Abbeville High, Eaton Park
    Elementary, James A. Herod, J.H. Williams Middle
    School. Both Eaton Park and Herod Elementary
    are feeder schools for JH Williams and Abbeville

J.H. Williams Middle School
Eaton Park Elementary
Abbeville High School
Herod Elementary
The two private schools in the Abbeville area
are Mount Carmel Elementary and Vermilion
Catholic High School.
Mount Carmel Elementary
Vermilion Catholic High School
  • Abbeville has grown through the years and
    now has government buildings, many stores,
    businesses and places to visit.

  • The resources are cattle, certain animals, crops,
    oil, hunting and fishing.

There is an Abbeville Museum with artifacts,
photographs and art.  It is called the Abbeville
Alliance Museum and Art History. This building
was once the Abbeville Parish Library.
If you are interested in learning about
Abbevilles history, You may want to look at the
Vermilion Historical Society Website!
  • Abbeville has the Cattle Festival, Giant
    Omelette Festival, Day Lily Festival and other
    celebrations each year.
  • The oldest is the Cattle Festival which
    started on September 24, 1949 by Roy R. Theriot,
    Sr. It was originally known as the Dairy
    Festival, the name was changed in 1979.
  • The Annual Les Lumieres de Village
    festivités is another city event!

Click here to see Giant Omelette Video
Cattle Festival Parade
Les Lumieres de Village
  • Sometime you can see people go to
    Magdalen Square to rest or visit. When they are
    there they see the statue of Father Antoine
    Desire Megret and remember that he started it

Statue of Father Antoine Desire Megret
  • The End

  • Internet References
  • City of Abbeville
  • Abbeville Walking Tour
  • Vermilion Historical Society
  • Abbeville, Louisiana - Wikipedia, the free
  • Giant Omelette Video
  • Vermillion Parish Louisiana Abbeville Link
  • Vermilion Parish Information
  • Vermilion Parish Kids Page
  • Vermilion Parish Schools
  • Cattle Festival (Formerly the Dairy Festival)
  • Giant Omelette Festival
  • Vermilion Parish Clerk of Court Website
  • St. Mary Magdalen Church
  • Early Pictures form Abbeville, Vermilion Parish,
    Louisiana (Rootsweb Site)
  • Historical Images (Vermilion Historical Society)
  • Photo Credits
  • Vermilion Historical Society
  • Stacy Bodin
  • Jude Dubois
  • Kimberly C. Etie
  • Theresa Hardy

Story Written by Miranda Hebert, Joseph
Oliva.Revised by Stacy Bodin to update