Women’s History Project
Several posters have been made to hang at the Frenchtown site, displaying the biographies of prominent Frenchtown women. Click below to read these biographies with citations and pictures.
Catherine Umfreville was born into a prominent Hudson’s Bay Company family and married Pierre Chrysologue Pambrun, an HBC clerk. They had several children and traveled widely for Pierre’s job until they settled at Fort Walla Walla in 1832.
Jane Boucher and her husband, HBC employee William McBean, settled in Frenchtown when William became clerk in charge of Fort Walla Walla in 1846. They had 11 children and were involved in the Frenchtown community, farming and donating land to be used for the second St. Rose cemetery in 1863.
Pauline Walla Walla, whose parentage is unknown, married HBC trader Narcisse Raymond in Oregon Territory and had three daughters. They lived in the Fort Walla Walla region, donating land to the St. Rose cemetery in 1863.
Suzanne Cayuse was a Cayuse woman who married the French-Canadian Mathieu Dauphin when he arrived at Frenchtown in 1838. The two traveled extensively and had several children before returning to Frenchtown. There, they were involved in the Catholic Church, Suzanne having converted. The Dauphin children married into multiple Frenchtown families.
Catherine Dauphin was the daughter of Suzanne Cayuse and Mathieu Dauphin. She married four times and had seven children. She lived in Frenchtown with her first husband, Amasa Piper Woodward, eventually moving to the Umatilla Reservation.
Rosalie Dauphin was a daughter of Suzanne Cayuse and Mathieu Dauphin. She married the French-Canadian Marcel Gagnon in Frenchtown. They were supporters of the Catholic Church, donating land for the St. Rose Cemetery in 1876. Rosalie died giving birth to their seventh child, and both were buried in St. Rose.
Julia Raymond was born in Frenchtown, daughter of Benjamin Raymond and Eleonore Finley. At the age of 17, she married Marcel Gagnon after his first wife died. They had one child, who died at birth and was buried in St. Rose.
Genevieve St. Martin was born in Clatsop, Oregon Territory and became one of the founding residents of French Prairie, along with her first husband Pierre Bellique. She was a prominent woman in the community. Genevieve had seven children with Pierre, and after his death she married Casimir Gardipe and had six more children. Genevieve died in Marion County, Oregon in 1904.
Mary Sophie Bellique was born in Champoeg, Oregon Territory, the oldest child of Genevieve St. Martin and Pierre Bellique. She came to Umatilla County after marrying Narcisse Anthony Cornoyer. They had twelve children, only three of whom were still alive when Mary Sophie died in 1920.
Esther Bellique was born in St. Paul, Marion County, the fourth child of Genevieve St. Martin and Pierre Bellique. After growing up in Marion County, she moved to Frenchtown with her first husband, Joseph Herbert. When Joseph died she remarried to Moses Tessier. Esther never had any children and is buried in Mountain View cemetery near Moses and her sister Mary Sophie.