In a recent email from a Cowan cousin, the subject of Pelagie Roussin was raised. While musing on the subject of the black-eyed French girl who caught my great-great grandfather’s fancy, I remembered a bit of buried treasure that I’d tucked away years ago, a Roussin Roundup Bulletin from 1943.
The Roundup was an annual event with the exception of the war years, when gasoline rationing made travel difficult. The following bulletin was sent out in 1943 by Madelyne Roussin (later Warnhoff), who for many years served as the secretary of the Roussin Family association. Madelyne faithfully recorded and reported all of the newsy events of the large clan.
This particular bulletin was found in the papers of my aunt, Gladys Saucier Barron, and given to me by one of her daughters some fifty-odd years after its mailing. Contained within the bulletin are all sorts of interesting snippets of family doings – names, dates and family connections, births, weddings and deaths. There’s something here for just about everyone… dive in, the water’s fine.
GREETINGS TO ALL
Another year slips by and no ROUSSIN ROUNDUP. It is the regret of all concerned, but war imposes many setbacks and disappointments. As true ROUSSINS, dating back to the original strain, we will take it all in the same stride and hope for better times ahead. Perhaps another second Sunday in August will see us together again having the happy time known to those who have gathered in the past under the banner of the ROUNDUP.
In the absence of that pleasant occasion we must rely on the annual bulletin to keep us in touch with the clan and its most notable events. I sent out a memorandum requesting information for this year’s issue and in general the response was good. But I realize the coverage of news is not complete. There are, perhaps, as many items missing as there are included in this bulletin for all of which I am very sorry but I’ve done the best I could considering handicaps.
In the beginning, let me tell you about the very serious illness and operation which our esteemed treasurer, Mrs. Floyd D. Roussin, underwent last November. She is well and strong again now and, like the rest of us, looking forward to seeing everybody at the next ROUNDUP. Sickness seems to strike the officers of our organization. Mrs. Hattie Saucier Pace, our first president, has been physically incapacitated for many months and at this writing is under medical treatment at Mt. St. Rose Sanitorium in St. Louis where Bee Casey, sister of Danny and the late Lawrence Casey, is a nurse. The two get together often and reminisce about ROUSSIN doings. On my visit back to Missouri in May I enjoyed seeing our president, Miss Anne Waldbart, who seems in very good health. And your secretary hasn’t been stricken with anything except Washington, D.C.’s insufferably hot weather.
Three weddings have been reported to me, two from the same family. Mary Louise Whitmire married Robert Earney last year and on Jan. 30, 1943, her sister, Eva Whitmire, and Junior Otten of Union, Mo., were wed. Both are daughters of Mr. and Mrs. Roy Whitmire of St. Clair, Mo. Mrs. Whitmire is a daughter of the late Ferninand Roussin whose death was reported in last year’s bulletin. She will be remembered as the one who baked the ROUNDUP’S third birthday cake.
Chas. T. Roussin, youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. Grant Roussin of Fletcher, Mo., married Betty Leach of St. Louis, Mo., the 5th of last March. It’s certain that Cupid was more active than this in a year’s time, but no more weddings were reported to me so that’s that. I might add that a wedding to be in September is that of Miss June Roussin who will wed a soldier at that time. Many will recall her pleasant personality at the 1941 ROUNDUP when she with others came from Michigan to attend.
There are four births to announce, two of them in the same family. To Capt. and Mrs. Thomas F. Nelson a son, christened Thomas F. II, was born on June 26, 1942, at Jacksonville, Fla. On July 26, 1943, a little girl was born to this same couple at Tampa, Fla. Captain Nelson is the oldest child of Mrs. Blanch A. Nelson who is a niece of Henry Roussin, our beloved member from Durand, Michigan.
Maxine Sue made her appearance to take up residence in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Floyd Roussin. This Floyd Roussin is the son of Ben Roussin of De Soto, Mo., and is not to be confused with the Floyd Roussin on whose premises the second ROUNDUP was held.
A son was born in July this year to Mr. and Mrs. Ben Saucier. Ben is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Stuma [sic] Saucier of Washington, Mo., and carries the name of his uncle, the Ben Saucier who distinguished himself in the first World War.
Five deaths were reported to me, two of them in the same family. Richard and David Roussin, twin sons of Mr. and Mrs. Cecil Roussin, died Sept. 8, 1942. Their father is the son of Ben Roussin of De Soto, Mo.
Our Michigan relatives had sorrow in the passing of Mina Blouin (Cossett) at Traverse City, Mich. She was Rose Roussin Cossett’s oldest girl who spent all her life with Mina Roussin Blouin in Ludington, Mich.
On Jan. 5, 1943, Ben Roussin lost the wife who had been a faithful companion for many years and the mother of a large family. Her maiden name was Anna May Maness. She enjoyed our 1941 ROUNDUP so much and had looked forward to the next one. Great tribute was paid her with striking simplicity when her son, Amos Roussin, wrote thus to me about her passing, “Dear Mom, we miss her so much.”
Death came May 8, 1943, for Mrs. Cyrus Curtis of Fletcher, Mo., who with her daughter, Mrs. I.H. Asplin, made the ROUNDUP’S acquaintance in 1941. She was born June 14, 1864, near Richwoods and was the daughter of Etienne and Agatha Thedeau and the granddaughter of Wash Roussin.
THE BOYS UNDER THE COLORS
Hats off to those of our clan serving their country both here and abroad. Their number is many and their records all splendid. I wish a copy of this bulletin might be sent to each one of them. I am retaining some extra copies and if the parents or other relatives of these boys share my wish, they have only to write me and I will see that everyone is furnished with a copy.
Where addresses were supplied me I have given them herein and again I urge readers of the bulletin to select a name or names of boys in the service to write to. Make your motto “Get Better Acquainted With My Relatives by Writing to the Boys in Service”. You’ll be killing two birds with one stone since it will not only promote good will among the clan but also help boost the morale of our fighters at the front.
Corporal Glennon Oscar Thedeau, son of Mr. and Mrs. J.C. Thedeau, is an airplane mechanic with the U.S. Army Air Forces and was stationed a year in Newfoundland. He is now at Micthel [sic] Field, N.Y. with the 20th Anti-Sub Squadron.
Norman Roussin, son of Clyde Roussin and the grandson of Ben Roussin of De Soto, Mo., is in the Navy. No further details supplied me.
Robert Earney, husband of Mary Louise Whitmire Earney, since last year has been a private in the Army, 376 Infantry, APO 94, Company F, Camp Phillips, Kansas.
Another “in-law” in the service is Patsy Cowan’s husband whose name I do not know. He is from California and is the son-in-law of Jo Saucier Cowan of Columbia, Missouri.
Pvt. Chas. T. Roussin, youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. Grant Roussin of Fletcher, Mo., is stationed at Camp Hulen, Texas, where he drives a truck convoy. He is with Battery C-555, A.A.A. Bn. The Grant Roussin’s also have a grandson in the forces, fighting in North Africa and the Sicilian campaign, but name and address I do not know.
Pvt. Clement Bourisaw, brother of L.A. Bourisaw, 1469 Graham Str., St. Louis, Mo., is with the 127th Infantry, Company “D” somewhere in Australia. Mail addressed to the brother will reach him. This also goes for the following two boys.
Pvt. Clement Coleman with an infantry regiment somewhere in Alaska (having seen two years in service) and Pvt. Linnus Coleman who, at only seventeen, enlisted in some branch of the air service and has already made a trip overseas. Their father is the son of Sarah Roussin Coleman of Richwoods, Mo.
Lt. Chas. B. Pace, son of the ROUNDUP’S ex-president, Mrs. Hattie Saucier Pace, is now serving somewhere in England with the Corps of Engineers. His brother, Lt. (J.G.) Jack T. Pace, is an instructor in aviation at the Hutchinson, Ks., Naval Air Base.
Mrs. Lawrence Casey has one boy a “blue jacket” and the other in khaki. Theodore, in Panama, has been promoted to a captain while Frank (Francis) is a Pharmacist first class in the Navy. He has served his country three years in service and at present is in Australian waters.
Pvt. Stewart Roussin Fischer, son of Mr. and Mrs. C.H. Fischer and nephew of June Roussin, is stationed at Camp Barkeley, Texas, where he is not only a member of the band and orchestrates some of its numbers but has also completed the cooking course at Cadre School. What that kind of combination turns out to be is beyond my guessing. His address is 30-454-756 M.N.T.C. [partially obscured] Band, Camp Barkeley, Texas.
Pvt. John T. Reinhold is the son of John Reinhold and the grandson of Lucy Roussin Reinhold. Many will recall her gracious presence at the 1941 ROUNDUP when she made her first acquaintance with the annual get-together. Playing the clarinet and winning for himself many medals for his musical ability during school days, it is no wonder Pvt. Reinhold is now a member of the 343 Infantry Band. APO 450, Camp Howzie [sic], Texas.
Chas. J. Reinhold, son of Charles Reinhold and another grandson of Lucy Roussin Reinhold, has been in the Coast Guard 2 1/2 years and has seen considerable active duty. His home was at Mobile, Alabama, but address him now U.S.C.G., CPO USP Docks, Algiers, Louisiana.
Edwin Roussin, the grandson of James Monroe Roussin (brother to Lucy Reinhold), is in the Army but his address is not known to me. His father, Edwin Roussin, died many years ago.
Jack Steffen is somewhere in the Aleutians, caught as he says “in the world’s worst hole in which troops are stationed”. He doesn’t expect a furlough until the war is over and he’s been in service 4 years next October, three of which have been spent in the Alaska country. I think here is a lad who would truly appreciate “fan mail”. Write him in care of his mother, Mrs. Zoe (La Beaume) Steffen, De Soto, Mo. His brother Paul has more recently entered the armed forces, March 16, 1943, and is stationed at Camp Butner N.C., where he has been promoted to corporal in the Corps of Engineers.
Lt. Nicholas C. Nelson is a regular Navy man on board the U.S.S. Card (aircraft carrier). He is the youngest child of Mrs. Blanch Roussin Nelson of Gulfport, Fla. Her other son, Capt. Thomas F. Nelson is in the Medical Corps and operates five days a week in the Station Hospital at Ft. Benning, Georgia. She also has a son-in-law in the service, Lt. Leslie Haverland, Commanding Officer of the St. Petersburg Coast Guard – Aides to Navigation Department. Six years in the Coast Guard, Lt. Haverland takes care of deep water navigation all along Florida’s west coast. He married Maxine Nelson.
As far as I can ascertain, the ranks of ROUSSIN have only one feminine member in the service. She is Miss Rosalie Roussin, oldest daughter of Victor Roussin of Grand Junction, Colo. That makes her my own niece. Rosalie is a WAC and the last I heard about her she had been selected as one of seven to attend Radio Instruction School at Kansas City.
Others of the clan reported in last year’s bulletin (but about which I received no information for this year’s issue) I jot down here to remind you of their services given to our country and let us remember them all in our prayers that they may return safely to home and loved ones: Paul Nicholson (Navy); Joe Roussin (Cavalry); Ester Cotoon’s son (Navy); Ernest Wall’s boy; Rhodell Sherk; Wm. E. and Chas. J. Saucier; Richard and Alex Waldbart; Alvin D. Saucier; the Pratt boys; M.M. Saucier; and Bernard Saucier.
It is with deepest regret that the death of Arthur Sanford (Jerry) Higginbotham is announced. He died July 16, 1943, as a result of multiple burns following enemy action while in the performance of his duties and in the service of his country. Jerry, Motor Machinist Mate, second class, U.S. Naval Reserve, enlisted last Labor Day and was serving on a minesweeper in the Atlantic when his number “came up”. The son of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Higginbotham of Potosi, Mo., he was 38 years old and though not long in the service covered himself with glory while therein and was buried an honored hero in the waters of the Atlantic. A faithful attendant of the ROUNDUPS, Jerry will meet with us no more. But in memory we will pay him homage and remember how great our debt of gratitude to all who lose their lives fighting this war for us.
In closing I want to voice the hope that another year will find us clear of the present conflict, free to Enjoy another get-together of the ROUSSIN clan. In saying this I am echoing the wishes of all who communicated with me in helping fix up this bulletin. Their regret at the war stopping the ROUNDUP is superseded only by their hope that the war itself will soon stop.
Memories of past ROUNDUPS live pleasantly on as witness this report recently written to me by Mrs. Henry Roussin of Durand, Michigan, “We never tire talking about the wonderful reunion and the wonderful people we met while there. I only wish we could be with you all longer —– to know you better and you to know us.” In anticipation of the next ROUNDUP she continues, “And believe me, the next ROUSSIN ROUNDUP will find not one but two car loads on their way to be with you. Surely hope and pray that will be in 1944 with the war all over!”
I’m sure we have many delightful prospects in store for us at the next get-together. With more of those Michigan cousins attending, we are certain of added interest. And I’ve scared up a brand new batch of Roussins in Maine. That shouldn’t be surprising, however, because all Roussins on this side of the Atlantic came from Quebec so that any descendants living in nearby Maine aren’t near as far from the original stomping grounds as those in Missouri where the tribe seems to have thrived in greatest profusion.
As for Roussins across the Atlantic, history records the fact that Joan of Arc stayed with a woman named “Roussin”. And lately here in Washington I met a French lady recently from Paris who says she knew several Roussins there. So we are well represented on two continents. I have heard it frequently expressed among members of our clan that they wish there was some kind of family history compiled so that they could tell who they are kin to and to what extent. I have been working on something of this order and any family history you may care to send in will be much appreciated and used to good advantage.
Our organization is running low on funds. No dues were asked last year, so that while we had enough in the treasury left from the 1941 ROUNDUP to meet 1942 expenses, your secretary is advancing the money to cover postage, paper, and printing costs for 1943’s bulletin. No set dues have ever been prescribed, but as a matter of policy it is generally agreed that at least ten cents per person be looked upon as nominal dues with anybody giving more that wants to. Dues should be sent to our capable treasurer, Mrs. Floyd D. Roussin, St. Clair, Mo. She carefully records all receipts and sees that all bills are paid.
Added notes: Though not reported to me by the families involved, I have heard through other channels of the marriage last summer of Virgil Nicholson, twin brother of Velma Robinson and both children of Mrs. Laura Roussin Nicholson of Potosi, Missouri, and also of the death of Fred Collins last June. He was the husband of Myrtle Roussin Collins and was widely known throughout the ranks of the clan for his friendliness and the hospitality extended to all within his home.
A late item on our WAC member, Miss Rosalie Roussin, discloses the fact that she has been assigned a secret code number and presumably has been sent to England or elsewhere outside the continental limits of the United States to handle the radio work for which she was trained at Kansas City.
And now until another year, God bless and keep you all.Miss Madelyne Roussin, Sec’y, 1320 Valley Place, S.E., Washington, D.C.