LOUIS AND ANN DESCHAMPS
was born in Montreal,
Canads July 12, 1842. He
was the son of Rosella Parry and Francis Deschamps.
His father was a woodsman and Louis and his brothers
helped cut and float logs 30 miles or more down the St. Lawrence River. Here they met many trappers who came from the
who told them wonderful stories of picking up gold nuggets in California.
These stories aroused the interest of Louis and his companions. At the age of 17 he left his native land for
the States with other companions.
They fell in with other travelers and, on going as
far south as St. Louis, they found employment cutting timber for a huge
bridge. Soon some of their companions
drifted away to different parts but, as he spoke only French, he was glad to
meet other Frenchmen and remained on the job.
An experience arose here that he never forgot. While hunting game one day one of the men
whom he was working with saw an Indian squaw sitting on the bank of a stream
cleaning fish. The man picked up his
gun, fired and killed the woman.
Instantly a crowd of Indians gathered around and, feeling the barrel of
the gun, they knew instantly who had done the shooting. The man was taken a few steps away while the
others were told to watch what was going to happen. They stripped the man of his clothing and
literally skinned him alive.
After this incident Louis decided to move to another
place so he started traveling westward.
He went as far as North Platte
with emigrants going west and here he took very ill with fever. His friends took him to the ranch of a French
couple who nursed him back to health.
After getting well he remained there to work, herding and feeding mules
and horses which were sold for use in the Civil War. He was well paid for his work but as his
health was poor he was advised to go to Pike’s Peak
where he was told he would regain his health.
With the money he had earned he was now able to continue his
journey. Upon arriving there he was
persuaded by another man to go to Montana
where gold had been discovered. The trip
was fruitless however and, being greatly disappointed, he went to Boise as there was also
word of a gold strike there. Arriving
there he worked at timber cutting and, according to Idaho history and his own statement, he
built the first house in Boise. He did not stay there long and after first
going back over the same route he had traveled, he went to Willard, Utah
where he lived for some time and soon became a convert to the LDS Church.
About eight or nine years previous to this, things
were transpiring in Wales that later affected the life of Louis. The David Phillip Stephens family at PenCadar, Carmathan, Wales
had been converted to the LDS
Church. Father and mother and eight children in the
family all desired to come to America. Ann Stephens, the fourth child, was a
delicate child and the family doctor advised that she be sent to the sea coast
for here health. Accordingly, she was
sent to live with her uncle and aunt by the sea. Her uncle was a sea captain and her aunt a
highly educated woman who taught Ann to read, write, embroider and sew. In addition she also paid Ann wages while
teaching her. Ann saved the money to
help pay for the trip to America. Her brother, Tom Stevens, was earning good
wages and they intended to make the trip together.
As it happened, however, there was not enough money
for both of them to make the voyage so Tom decided that Ann should go and he
would stay and earn more money to help the other members of the family. Upon arriving in America she was able to get
employment immediately as a seamstress and in time was able to repay her
brother and also assist the rest of the family in coming to America.
While living at Willard she met Louis Deschamps and they were married on March 30, 1867 in the
Endowment House at Salt Lake City.
Leaving Willard, they came to Malad and made
their first home north of the J.N. Ward Sr. home. In 1873 they moved to St. John where they established permanent
residence. They were the parents of
eleven children, four of whom preceded them in death. Louis Deschamps was
a farmer assisted by his sons until later years when he and his wife entered
the mercantile business. Louis died Sept. 20, 1902 and his
wife, March 5, 1909. Both lived as useful and honorable