Born in France, little is known about Joseph Beaudry Sr. until his marriage to Suzanne Latour at Fort Carlton, Montana. In 1842, his son Joseph Jr. married Josephte Ladouceur of Lac La Biche at Fort Edmonton. An accomplished trapper, hunter and woodsman, Joseph Jr. did contract work for the Hudson’s Bay Company. In order to provide for his growing family of eleven children, Joseph purchased land along the Sturgeon River and was already settled here by the time Father Lacombe established the Mission in 1861. In 1864, Joseph was elected by popular consent to be president of a council to enforce the presence of law in the region.
Born in Nicolet, Quebec, Olivier Bellerose joined the employ of the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1833 and was designated to work in Saskatchewan Territory, Fort Dunvegan, and Lesser Slave Lake prior to being assigned to Fort Edmonton. In the 1860’s, Olivier chose a river lot east of St. Albert as the location on which to raise his family of eight boys and five girls. A man of compassion and community spirit, Olivier was one of a committee of nine, chosen at a public meeting in 1867, to draft a code of By Laws to strengthen the process of law in St. Albert. Bellerose Drive is named in his honour.
Jean Baptiste Courtepatte
Son of a Voyageur, Jean Baptiste was born at Jasper House in 1829. After his marriage at Lac Ste. Anne to Josephte Bellecourt, Jean Baptiste and his bride settled in the Big Lake area, prior to the establishment of the Mission, to raise their family of nine. His reliability in the employ of the HBC earned him the nickname “Le Poteau” – steady as a post. Josephte, a midwife as well an expert in herbal medicines, delivered many babies in the community and eased the suffering of many others.
Joseph Paquette was born in Belgium in 1837. Shortly after moving to Canada, Joseph came west in the employ of the HBC. After serving the Company for some years, he married Madeline Durocher of St. Albert c. 1867. The newlyweds settled on a tract of land west of the St. Albert Mission, where their ten children grew to maturity. After their children were grown, the farm was sold and Joseph and Madeline moved to Peace River to live with one of their daughters. After Joseph’s passing in 1925, Madeline returned to St. Albert to live with one of her granddaughters, Bertha, who had recently married Edouard Perrault. Madeline is buried in the Mission Cemetery.
Reprinted fromThe Echoes, Vol. XXIV, No. 2, April, 2006: St. Albert Historical Society