DAUPHIN – DOFA – McDOFA – DUFFY
The names are all spellings by different people on Mathieu Dauphin and his family. Mathieu did not read or write.
Mathieu was born in 1815/16 to Abraham and ______. His grandparents were John Baptiste Dauphin and Catherine Constant. They were married 27 August 1787 in the Old Cathedral of St. Louis, Missouri.
Mathieu came West in 1838 with Joe Meek, Captain Bonneville and Dr. Hake, bringing Narcissa Whitman’s wagon to Waiilatpu (Whitman Mission).
He married Suzanne Cayouse in 1840. Suzanne was born in 1824. They traveled to Fort Hall, Utah Territory. While there, Abraham was born in 1842 and Catherine in 1844. Going West again to the California gold fields in the Yuba River area, Rosalie was born in 1847. During this time Mathieu worked for Dr. William Hake and Dr. John McLoughlin.
Moving North to the French Prairie by the Pudding River near Gervais, Oregon they homesteaded. On the 1850 Agriculture Census they are listed with – land valued at $1,000.00, 320 acres of wheat and oats, 18 horses, 2 cows, 6 cattle, 18 swine.
3 June 1850 Mathieu witnessed and served as Godfather for the Baptism by Archbishop Blanchet of the five Cayouse convicted by trial for the Whitman Massacre.
Felicite was born 1852 at their home on the French Prairie. Moving again to Wasco County, near the Dalles, Oregon, they homesteaded again. Julien was born here in 1854. Mathieu served as a juror in the First Session of the District Court of Wasco County, The Dalles, Oregon.
29 May – 11 June 1855 found Mathieu serving as an interpreter and witness for the Nez Perce at the Treaty Council with Governor Stevens presiding in the Walla Walla Valley. The Tribes ceded their lands to the United States Government.
1856 Sophia Ann was born at their homestead in Wasco County, Oregon.
After the 1855 Battle of Frenchtown, they moved back here. Their homestead was 160 acres by the Walla Walla River. Their land was where Lowden, Washington is now. Their home was 16 x 22 feet with a kitchen attached of 14 x 16 feet. It has a shingled roof, board floor, doors and windows.
John Baptiste was born in 1858. Sophia Ann died in 1860 of a lung cold. Constance was born in 1861.
Mathieu died 10 May 1867 and was buried on the bluff north of their home by his daughter, Sophie Ann.
The Title of their homestead came to “Suzanne Dofa, widow of Mathieu Dofa” 1 August 1871. This made Suzanne, a full blood Cayouse a “Landowner”. If this was known it would not have happened. The Land Office was in Vancouver, Washington.
Suzanne signed the “Right of Way” for the Walla Walla & Columbia River Railroad to go through her land on 17 June 1875. Dr. Baker was financing this endeavor.
Suzanne died 17 June 1876 and was buried in St. Rose Cemetery, Frenchtown. Suzanne’s Indian name is unknown.
Their Catholic faith was important to them. The children were baptized, received communion, confirmed, married, given Last Rights and buried in their faith. Records are in the Helen Munnich Books.
Mathieu named his children after his parents and grandparents in the French custom.
Mathieu and Suzannes’s children married into other French Metis families – Gagnon, Pambrun, Bonnefant, Woodward LaRocque and Picard. The children received allotments on the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation. Many of their descendants are living in the area. Julien married an Indian woman named Mary. After Julien’s death all trace of wife Mary, son Mathieu and daughter Anna was lost. Mary’s Indian name is unknown.