Saturday, October 05, 2013

Gretna Centennial History: Confederate Edition...

...From the Times Picayune:

There are four major women's national lineage organizations active in our area. They are Colonial Dames of the 17th Century, the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Society of 1812 and the United Daughters of the Confederacy.

These women are direct descendents of the men of the David Crockett Volunteer Fire Company No. 1, and member s of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, whose local chapter is named for the company. Seated, from left, are Patsy Artigues Butts, Laverne Hepting Bordelon, Glenda Hepting Bonneval and Judy Kleinpeter Lotz. Standing are Kathy Weigel Billings, Ursula Ramm, Mary Thorning Coludrovich, Val Maness Coles, Laurie Hourgettes Ledet and Mary Grace Curry. 
To be accepted into any of the groups, women must be able to provide indisputable proof of birth, death and marriage, dates and places for every man and every woman in every generation between the member and their ancestor who fought, died or gave material aid to the respective cause.

Although many Jefferson Parish women have been members of these four organizations in the past 100-plus years, only the United Daughters of the Confederacy has ever had a chapter domiciled in Jefferson Parish. Chartered in 2003, it is named for the David Crockett Volunteer Fire Company No. 1 Chapter 2631.

“In 1861, exactly 151 years ago on this very night, Dec. 11, 45 men who were members of the David Crockett Volunteer Fire Company No. 1 met next door in their 1859 fire station to form Company G of the Fire Battalion of the Louisiana Militia, also known as the Gretna Fire Guard, and the fire station was designated as the official armory,” UDC Chapter Founder and President Mary Curry said.

“There are some ladies in this chapter who are direct descendents of the men of Company G, thus descendents of the volunteer fire company. Some of these ladies have been friends their whole lives and their ancestors three, four and five generations prior were also friends. To me that’s what makes this chapter so amazing and incredible. One of our ladies, Kathy Weigel Billings descends from two of the men, Martin Moll and Peter Weigel,” Curry said.

About a third of the chapter’s 80 members descend from early members of the Crockett Company.

“Crockett’s is the oldest continuously active volunteer fire company in the United States and it is believed by some fire company historians to be the oldest continuously active fire company worldwide,” Curry said.

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