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Alexander LaRoche (1832-1884)
Born in France, Confederate soldier, and long time resident of West Bay City.

1884 obituary. Contributed by James Petrimoulx - Oct. 2008.

The Bay City Tribune - Friday, August 1, 1884 (Page 6)

Death of Alex. Laroche

Alexander Laroche, one of the oldest residents of the city, died at 2:30 a.m. Yesterday at his home on Midland street between River and Linn. He had been suffering from consumption for the past 18 months, and was but a few days over 52 years of age. A few weeks since he disposed of his restaurant business and went east with a hope of benefiting his health. He only grew worse, however, and returned home, and had been confined to his bed ever since. He was born in Lorraine, France, July 23, 1832. In 1852 he came to Syracuse, N. Y., going south a few years later and serving over two years in the Confederate army. In 1864 he returned to Syracuse and married to Miss Eleanor Morel, who survives him. In the month of March, 1867, he came to this city and engaged in the restaurant business, remaining therein up to a short time ago. He was one of the founders of the Lafayette Benevolent society, and had a large circle of friends, especially among the French-speaking population of the Saginaw Valley. He leaves widow and two daughters. The funeral will be held under the auspices of the Lafayette society, and due notice will be given in The Tribune. Lafayette hall, the restaurant formerly owned by him in this city, is closed, and the flag on the Lafayette society's hall in Bay City is flaying at half mast.

Additional Notes.

    1870 - Michigan Deaths: Wenona

  • Date: Jun. 29, 1870.
  • Federick Laroche, age 4 yrs., 6 months, parents: Alexander & Ellenor LaRoche.

    1883 - Directory: West Bay City Laroche, Alexander, Propr Lafayette Hall, Sample Room and Restaurant 115 Midland, 2d ward, res same.

    1891 - Michigan Marriages: West Bay City.

  • Date: Dec 30, 1891.
  • Groom: Edmund J. Witherspoon, age 24, of W.Bay City, b. Canada, parents: Alexander Witherspoon & Louisa Smoke.
  • Bride: Madeline R. LaRoche, age 19, of W.Bay City, b. Mich., parents: Alexander LaRoche & Leonora Morell.
  • Official: Joseph St. John, pastor P.E. Church.
  • witnesses: Timothy Tynnig & Josie Quick.

Viewers Comments:

Oct. 8, 2008 - From Ray Herek.

    Alexander LaRoche was born in Lorraine, France in 1832 and came to the United States in 1852. He stayed in Syracuse, N.Y. for two years, moved to St. Louis, MO, and thence to New Orleans.

    When the Civil War broke out in 1861, he enlisted in Company I, the Orleans Light Guard, of the 1st Louisiana Infantry (Nelligan's) and served two and a half years. This regiment participated in the Eastern Theater, serving in the Seven Days Battles, 2nd Manassas, Sharpsburg, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville (where they were part of Stonewall Jackson's flank attack), Winchestor, Gettysburg (Gulf's Hill) Payne's Farm, Wilderness, Spotsylvania, Early's Shenandoah Campaign, and the trenches around Petersburg. A bare remnant surrendered at Appomattox.

    In late 1863 LaRoche came north and stayed a while in Syracuse. He left that locale and settled in Bay City in 1867.

    He married Eleanora Morell of Syracuse, N.Y. in 1864. Thay had two children.

    In 1869 he opened Lafayette Hall, a first class restaurant and saloon, in Wenonah, MI.

    LaRoche involved himself in various civic affairs. He was a charter member and corresponding secretary for the Lafayette Benevolent Society, and fraternal organization for men of French blood. For two years he took his place as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Village of Wenonah; and he served as the foreman of the "Defiance" Fire Company in 1875-1876.

    Alexander LaRoche died on July 31, 1884 at age 52 and was buried in St. Joseph's Cemetery near Visitation Catholic Church. His body was disinterred in October, 1952 and moved to the Calvary Cemetery in Kawkawlin, MI.

Related Pages/Notes

Alex LaRoche was buried in St. Joseph Cemetery, West Bay City, later his body and that of his son, Fredie, were exhumed and moved to Calvary Cemetery in Kawkawlin, MI. Alex is the only known Confederate soldier to be buried in Bay County, MI.
Related Pages:
None at this time.
People Referenced
Jackson, Stonewall
LaRoche, Alexander (subject)
LaRoche, Frederick (son)
LaRoche, Madeline R. (dau.)
Morrel, Eleanor (wife)
Smoke, Louisa
St. John, Joseph Rev.
Tynnig, Timothy
Quick, Josie
Witherspoon, Alexander
Witherspoon, Edmund J.
Subjects Referenced
Bay City, MI
Bay County, MI
Calvary Cem., Kawkawlin, MI
Confederate army
Lafayette Benevolent Society
Lafayette hall
Lorraine, France
New Orleans, LA
Saginaw Valley, MI
St. Joseph Cem., Bay City
St. Louis, MO
Syracuse, NY
Wenona, MI
West Bay City, MI
WRITINGS: History As It Was Written Then.