Mary Ann LaBouche

The Mississippi River Sculpture Park Board of Directors sponsored the “Fun”-Follies on Saturday and Sunday, January 9 and 10th as a fund raiser for the next sculpture to be added to the park. Artist Florence Bird's next creation will be Mary Ann LaBouche - first woman doctor in Prairie du Chien.

Mary Ann LaBouche was born prior to 1774 in Cahokia, Illinois. She was of African and French descent. Mary Ann moved to Prairie du Chien at a young age. She was married three times. Her first husband was a man named DuChouquette and they had two sons.

The second husband was a Gagnier and they had three sons and three daughters. Mary Anne's third husband was Charles Menard and together they had three sons and two daughters. At some point in her adult life she started to care For the sick and injured and delivered babies. When someone needed medical attention Aunt Mary was summoned. Even alter a surgeon was available at Fort Crawford many preferred Aunt Mary's help and her”yarb tea” to restore health.

We are all Familiar with the story of the baby who survived a scalping at the hands of the Winnebago and Red Bird on june 28, 1827. The baby's name was Mary (or Louisa Gagnier). Her Father was Rijeste Gagnier who was killed on that day and her grandmother was Aunt Mary. Aunt Mary's most Famous patient was presumed dead and was being prepared For burial when her breathing was noticed. Aunt Mary took over and nursed her granddaughter back to health. She supposedly put a piece of silver on the wound to cover and protect it.

Mary (Louisa) led a long and normal life. She married twice, her first husband was a man named Moreaux. He died in 1855 and left her with ten children.

The second husband was Coasm Cherrier. He was known by the name Comb. The couple had three children: Magdalene born December 6, 1863, Felix born October 7, 1865 and Louisa born February 29, 1868 and died in infancy.

Mary (Louisa) Cherrier lived to be 80 years old. She always wore a cap or piece of ribbon to cover the crown of her head. There are many in the area who can trace their roots back to Mrs.Cheerier and Aunt Marx

The “Fun” Raising Follies was a wonderful performance of singing, dancing and vaudeville-like acts. We have many talented people living in the area and it was truly a pleasure listening, watching and laughing during the very entertaining show.