JEAN CHARLES & ELODIE ROUTHIER
By Marie C. (Katie) Routhier
Updated by Farley Wuth
Jean Charles Routhier was the son of Sir Adolphe Basile and Lady Routhier of Quebec City, Quebec. He was born in 1865 in St. Louis de Kamaouraska, Quebec.
Dad had three sisters namely Angeline, Jeanne and Juliette, and others who died at birth.
Dad came west in 1885 as a young Lieutenant in the 65th Regiment of Quebec, at the time of the Riel Rebellion. On his return to Quebec he finished his law studies at Laval University. He then came west again to join the North West Mounted Police at Fort Macleod. He was with the Force from December 23rd, 1886 until April 21st, 1890. His regimental number was 1890.
After he resigned three years later, he decided to settle on a homestead in the Beauvais Lake District. He bought the “Eagle Hill” Ranch adjoining his homestead. The ranch was previous owned by Edward Willmott whose brand was E.W., on the right ribs and hip. This brand was in Marie Routhier’s possession through the 1970s, as the ranch was transferred to me in 1937. I sold the ranch to F. E. M. Robinson in 1945 – but retained the oil and mineral rights.
Dad joined the 113th Regiment on February 14th, 1916, during the height of the First World War, and was stationed in Lethbridge only owing to his age.
In 1894 Dad married our mother, Elodie (Bake) Pelletier. Mother was born in 1869. She came west in 1886 from St. Basile Madawaska, New Brunswick, leaving home at the early age of 16. There were thirteen in mother’s family. The first was Mrs. Annie (Harry) Steadman of Fort Macleod. Two years younger than her brother-in-law Jean Charles, she was born back east in 1867 and passed away in Pincher Creek’s St. Vincent’s Hospital on Sunday, December 1st, 1946. She had come west in 1884, travelling by train on the recently completed CPR line as far west as Calgary, and then by democrat to Fort Macleod. The remaining siblings Mrs. Sophie (George) Levasseur, Pincher Creek and Fort Macleod; Mrs. Dolphus Cyr, Pincher Creek and Fort Macleod; Mrs. Agnes (Henry) Marquis, Pincher Creek; Mrs. Alfred Pelletier, Pincher Creek; Mrs. Joe Fournier . Mother also was a frequent visitor in Pincher Creek.
There were six of us in the family.
Adolphe was educated in Quebec and graduated in Law from Laval University. He married Francoise Desauble in 1922 and had no family.
Juliette was educated in Quebec and married Eudore Boivin, a graduate in Law from Laval University. Both are deceased and had no family.
Alma was educated in Quebec and married Vincent Dukuc, also a graduate in Law from Laval University. Vincent has passed away. They had three children. Pauline has her Masters in Social Welfare. She is married to Arthur Trembley and they have two children. Charles is an Electrical Engineer and married Marthe Boivin of Chicoutimi, Quebec, and had two children. Marc is an Insurance Adjuster with a Bachelor of Commerce. He married Marthe Lortie of Chicoutimi, Quebec and they had four children.
Henry was born in 1900. He spent five years at the Kermaria Convent in Pincher Creek, and then entered Oblates Juniorate in Edmonton, and at 18 left for Rome as a chosen student. He attended Gregorian University for six years, graduating in Theology and Philosophy. He was ordained as a priest in Roviano, Italy in 1924. Back in Edmonton in 1925, he taught at the Juniorate of St. John and was appointed Superior of his order. The then became the parish priest in St. Paul, Alberta. Two years later, he became Provincial of his order in Edmonton. Six years later, he was consecrated Bishop by Cardinal Villeneuve, Diocese of Grouard in Peace River, Alberta. His resignation was accepted by the Vatican in 1972, and he subsequently lived in Aklake Provincial House in Edmonton. He was very co-operative, washing dishes or when he wanted me as a companion to go fishing in the summer or trapping during the Christmas holidays. Henri was loved by all who knew him. I know his heart is very much in the Peace River District, because he helped construct so many schools, churches, hospitals and also Senior Citizens’ homes. He loved the young and the older people. I am grateful that our family knew him as a young priest, because they have always felt at ease with him. I know all his nieces and nephews feel the same.
Jeannette attended school at the Beauvais School, the Kermaria Convent and the High School in Pincher Creek. Further studies were taken in Quebec City. She lived many years in Quebec with our devoted Aunt, Dad’s sister, and then came west again. In 1937 Jeanette married Paul Poirier of Edmonton, a law graduate from the University of Alberta who had passed away by the early 1970s. They had four children. Paul Jr. is an oblate priest who was ordained in Rome in 1965 by his Uncle Henri Routhier who is now an Archbishop. Since his return to Canada, he taught at the College and at present is Rector of St. John’s French University College in Edmonton. Guy is a graduate from the University of Ottawa in Business Administration and is working for North-Western Utilities in Edmonton. He married Elizabeth Godsal, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Godsal of Toronto. They have four children. Claire graduated in nursing and subsequently obtained her Masters in Social Work from the St. Pat’s College of the University of Ottawa. She married Marc Robertson, the hospital administrator, and they live in Hanover, Ontario with their three children. Rierre died shortly after birth.
Marie C. (Katie), born in 1903, was the youngest of the Routhier family. She attended Beauvais School, Kermaria Convent and Pincher Creek High School. A few schoolmates were Tommy Cox, Annie Connelly, Ruth Bare, May Terrill and many, many others. Our principal was Mr. J. J. Stevenson and we certainly owe him a great deal. He was such a competent teacher. Katie graduated from Normal School in Calgary in 1922 and taught first at Beauvais School and later at Twin Butte. In 1930, she married Thomas J. Farrell, the Superintendent of P. Burns Ranches. There were seven children born in their marriage. J. Michael was born in 1931. He had his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Alberta, and is a graduate of Law from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He served as the Crown Prosecutor in Calgary. He is married to Karine Anderson of Halifax and they have two children Thomas Douglas and Beatrice Marie. Lawrence Patrick was born in 1932. He attended St. Mary’s High and Mount Royal College in Calgary. He worked with the Livestock Commission and Packing Plants. He is married to Joan M. Turner of Radcliffe, Alberta, and they have seven children: Debbie, Laura-Lee, Shawn, Mark, Mary (who died at birth), Larry and Jeffrey. Thomas John was Lawrence Patrick’s twin brother and died at birth. Marie was born in 1933 and graduated as a nurse from the Holy Cross in Calgary. She was a cancer consultant for six years in Calgary and then went into real estate. She married Patrick Rowland. They live in DeWinton, Alberta, and have two girls Frances and Denise. Beatrice Jeanette was born in 1936, and she has her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Alberta as well as her Masters in Social Work from St. Pat’s with the University of Ottawa. She married Tony Quaglia, a hospital administrator. They live in Winnipeg and have four children, Michele, Anthony, Jonathan and Mona E., who was named after great grandmother Routhier. Rose (Betty) was born in 1940. She attended St. Mary’s Girls’ School and Mount Royal College as well as one year in Sacred Heart Convent in Vancouver. She married Gordon Jensen who was with Sunnyside Green Houses in Calgary and they have two boys Warren and Grant. Thomas Adolphe Routhier, who was born in 1947, was named after his great-grandfather, the author of O Canada and his Uncle Adolphe, my brother. He is a graduate in Commerce of the University of Alberta and also received his Chartered Accountant’s Degree from the same University. He is employed by Gordon and Clarkson Chartered Accountants. He married Bernice Wahl, a registered nurse from Battleford, Saskatchewan.
Marie Farrell passed away in Calgary on August 17th, 1992, just short of her 89th birthday.
Sorry to say, the name “Routhier” has come to an end after our generation. Marie and Thomas Farrell’s son Thomas is the only one of the twelve grandchildren that has Routhier as a middle name and he was the youngest of all of Jean Charles and Elodie Pelletier Routhier’s grandchildren.
Dad died in 1935 at the age of 70, and Mother passed away in 1963 at the age of 94. Both parents are buried in Pincher Creek, Alberta.
The organ in St. Michael’s Roman Catholic Church in Pincher Creek bears a silver plaque Routhier. This organ was donated by our Grandmother, “Clorinde Mondelet” Routhier. Grandmother always hoped that dad would someday play in the church – but he chose otherwise. When the organ arrived here in 1901, its purchase price was 1500 dollars. When it was restored some eighty years later, its value was estimated to be 80,000 dollars.
Unfortunately, few ever heard dad play the piano, but he was a very accomplished musician.
Sources: Adapted from Routhier, Marie C. (Katie), “Jean Charles Routhier”, Prairie Grass To Mountain Pass, Pincher Creek: Pincher Creek and District Historical Society, Published 1974, Third Printing 1981, pp. 239 – 242; “Death Removes Mrs. Stedman”, The Pincher Creek Echo, Vol. XLVII, No. 19, Thursday, 05th December 1946, p. ; Pincher Creek and District Historical Society, Cataloguing Database re the Routhier Family; and Library and Archives Canada, NWMP Personnel Files re Jean Charles Routhier, and Soldiers of the First World War Files re Jean Charles Routhier.