|Birth: ||Feb. 16, 1871|
|Death: ||Jul. 11, 1923|
Theodore Joseph "Ted" Lavigne was born February 16, 1871 in Escanaba, Michigan about six months after his parents marriage on August 1, 1870. His father Joseph Isidore was 32 and his mother Elizabeth "Lizzie" was 16 at the time of his birth. Ted was a second- generation full-blooded French Canadian to live in the United States and the first native born. Theodore was baptized at Saint Joseph Roman Catholic Parish the same day he was born probably by Charles Langer the parish priest. A year later he had a younger brother, Joseph, who would pass away when Theodore was 3 1/2. A sister, Celia, was said to have been born about 1874-1877 and passed away very young although her exact date of death and year of birth are not known.
On August 3, 1878 when Theodore was 7 years old his father was killed in a railroad accident. Joseph was a railroad brakeman probably for the Chicago & Northwestern (CNW) railroad. On October 13th of the same year his mother gave birth to his only full sibling that would survive to adulthood, Fred. Theodore's mother would struggle to support herself and her two young children as a 24 year old widow. From about 1878-1880 documentation is found in Escanaba city council meeting minutes where Lizzie pleaded the city for financial assistance. On the 1880 Census she had turned her home into a boarding house full of several male lodgers. The same year she remarried one of the lodgers, Thomas Shandonay, on October 1880. Thomas would become Ted's stepfather when he was 9 years old. Its unknown if or what kind of relationship Thomas and Ted had, however, when Tom died in 1913 Ted was not listed as a survivor in the obituary. Lizzie's second marriage would give Theodore seven additional half-siblings born from 1880-1895.
Theodore first married Corrine (Peltier) Allard, a divorcee, on February 18, 1898 in a civil marriage ceremony by a Justice of the Peace in Escanaba, Delta County, Michigan. They are found together on the 1900 census residing in a rented home in Escanaba. There is also a newspaper article from the same year where a Chicago & Northwestern (CNW) passenger train bound for Green Bay, Wisconsin accidently hit some ladies in the evening who were attempting to crossing the tracks. Ted is cited as the locamotive fireman on that train. From this we know Ted was employed for CNW railroad. Ted and Corrine lived together at least until early 1905 when they separted. It appears he abandoned her - there is no divorce record on file in the state of Michigan or in St. Louis County, Minnesota where he relocated. Corrine is listed as "Mrs. Corrine Lavigne" in the 1905-06 Escanaba directory and had returned to her maiden name of "Corrine Peltier" by the 1907-08 directory and thereafter.
By the 1905 Minnesota state census Ted is found living in the Virgina, Minnesota area working as an engineer. The state census actually reports the number of months a person was a resident of the state - Ted appears twice on the census living at two locations. The months of resident vary slightly, but from the two it appears he moved to the area in February or March of 1905. On one census he is living with his Uncle Leonard Vilmur and family - Leonard was the widower of his deceased maternal Aunt Maggie (Rousseau) Vilmur.
Available documentation supports Ted lived in Saint Louis County, Minnesota from 1905 at least into 1909. In 1907 he is found in the Virginia, Minnesota city directory working as an engineer for the Drake and Stratton Company. He is next found in the 1909 Eveleth, Minnesota city directory where he was staying at the Windsor Hotel working as a brakeman. He has also has been found in a list of employees who worked for the Great Northern (GN) railroad working as a brakeman - this may have been at the same time.
GN was headquartered out of St Paul, Minnesota - working for that railroad could have taken him all across Minnesota as well as into North Dakota, Montana, Idaho and maybe even Washington state. It is probable that while working in an unknown location for GN he met and possibly married "Julia Fleming" - he has yet to be located on the 1910 Census despite many available indexes and could have been missed altogether during its compilation. He definitely had met Julia by April or May 1910 for his son to have been conceived and born early the following February.
By February 7, 1911 he was living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He is cited on his son's birth certificate living at 449 Jackson Street with a career as a "[locamotive] fireman." Ted is also found in yearly 1911 Milwaukee city directory living in the same neighborhood a block away, residing at 444 Van Buren Street #3 working as a janitor. It was during this time his son and only known child, Edward Theodore Lavigne, was born to him and "Julia Fleming" his assumed second wife.
He was survived by his wife Edith J. Lavigne; Son Edward T. (Robert Fleming) Lavigne; Step-daughters Pearl (James) Van Vliet and Frances (Diehl) Thornton; Mother Elizabeth Shandonay; Brothers Fred (Bertha) Lavigne, Tom (Margaret) Shandonay, Bert (Mary) Shandony and J. Joe (Tillie) Shandonay; Sisters Clara Shirley, Maude Shandonay, Esther (Robert) Barton and M. Loretta (Levi) McClary.
Written by his Great Grandson 12/29/12 - Find-a-Grave Contributor #41712388
Joseph Isidore Poudrette dit Lavigne (1838 - 1878)
Elizabeth Rousseau Shandonay (1854 - 1942)
Corrine G. Peltier (1876 - 1950)
Julia Fleming (1876 - ____)
Edith Jane Dewstow Thornton (1867 - 1938)*
Robert Frank Fleming (1911 - 1970)*
Note: No grave marker
Created by: In Remembrance
Record added: Apr 15, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 68418776
Added: Mar. 5, 2013
Great grandfather, thinking of you often lately. I never knew you and what I know of you is very little. But your a part of me, no matter who you were. RIP, Ted.|
Added: Jan. 12, 2012
Je me souviens! --- My great grandfather.|
Added: Apr. 19, 2011