Big changes have come to — all content is now read-only, and member subscriptions and the Shop have been discontinued.
Learn more

Chat | Daily Search | My GenForum | Community Standards | Terms of Service
Jump to Forum
Home: Surnames: Sonnier Family Genealogy Forum

Post FollowupReturn to Message ListingsPrint Message

The Jackson and Sonnier Families Article Published in KINFOLKS
Posted by: Lee Crockett (ID *****8724) Date: May 13, 2008 at 18:41:36
  of 403

Calcasieu County Louisiana Archives News.....THE JACKSON AND SONNIER FAMILIES OF TOOMEY, LOUISIANA March 2008
Copyright. All rights reserved.

File contributed for use in USGenWeb Archives by:
Lee Crockett April 22, 2008, 10:47 am

KINFOLKS - Volume 32 No. 1 March 2008
Submitted by Lee Crockett
Copyright. All rights reserved.

Contributed by AUDREY LEE CROCKETT, Member #1424

The town of Toomey, Louisiana, in West Calcasieu Parish was originally called Jacksonville. The JACKSON and SONNIER families were among the first residents of the town. Other early families included those of JILL GRANGER, EDWARD BROUSSARD, ALFRED MITCHELL, LENSHE CARUTHERS, LEMA GUIDRY, and DAVE BLACK. Most of the early families made their living by trapping, hunting, fishing, and planting cotton and corn. They also planted pecan trees, and the pecans provided a good living until worms destroyed most of the trees.

JAMES HAMILTON JACKSON, who is credited with founding the town, was born in 1829 in Barnwell County, South Carolina. He married ELIZA HASKELL, who was born in Barnwell County in 1832. The JACKSON family went to Georgia and then migrated from Savannah by covered wagon to Louisiana about 1866. JAMES H. JACKSON, his wife, and three children settled near Blue Lake. Later he traded his land for 160 acres near the present-day town of Toomey. Not long after he settled there, the Southern Pacific Railroad came through and named the small settlement Jacksonville in his honor.

Among the JACKSON children was CHARLES WILLIAM JACKSON, who was born circa 1865-1866 at Jacksonville (Toomey), Louisiana. He married the girl next door, CAROLINE SONNIER, who was born at Jacksonville in 1872. CAROLINE was the
daughter of SAVEN1A SONNIER and MARGUERITE ANUNCIAD SONNIER, both of whom were descended from Acadians. SAVENIA SONNIER was the son of JOSEPH SONNIER. Jr. and MARIE CARMELITE BOUDREAUX of Lafayette Parish, Louisiana. Both SAVENIA SONNIER and his wife MARGUERITE ANUNCIAD SONNIER, were the grandchildren of JOSEPH SONNIER. Sr. and JULIENNE GUIDRY. With the exception of one son and one daughter, the family of JOSEPH SONNIER, Sr. moved from Louisiana to Texas, where they are found on the 1860 census for Orange County. During the Civil War, the family lost their vast land holdings due to a carpetbagger tax scam on their property in Orange County, Texas. They crossed the Sabine River back into Louisiana and bought land across the river from Orange County, in the Toomey area, adjoining the property of JAMES JACKSON.

The SONNIER family ancestors came to Louisiana with the JOSEPH BROUSSARD dit BEAUSOLEIL party that arrived in New Orleans in the spring of 1765. In Acadia, SILVAIN SONNIER had been a resistance fighter with the BROUSSARD brothers for many years. After the Acadian expulsion in 1755, the BROUSSARD party migrated to the West Indies and then came to Louisiana. SILVAIN SONNIER (born 1738, Petitcodiac, Acadia) joined the BERNARDO de GALVEZ expedition and fought the British at the battle of Baton Rouge during the Revolutionary War. Other ancestors associated with the SONNIER family who fought with GALVEZ included PIERRE RICHARD, Sr., CHARLES COMEAUX,' Sr., and JEAN CHARLES HEBERT. Descendants of these men married into the SILVAIN SONNIER line and are the direct ancestors of CAROLINE SONNIER. wife of CHARLES WILLIAM JACKSON, the parents of my grandmother, DORA JACKSON. (See SONNIER Family Lineage, below.)

After 1900, Jacksonville began to grow. In the early days the town had two stores, two saloons, a post office, and a church. The general store, owned and operated by PERRY LANGDON, also housed the town post office and saloon, and served as the train depot. The trains stopped once or twice a day for water and to deliver mail. The store was located at the turn from Interstate 10

K1NFOLKS 23        Vol. 32 No. 1

onto the old Louisiana Highway. Jacksonville had a Catholic Church in the early 1900s. A priest made the long journey from Lake Charles on horseback or buggy for special events, such as weddings and christenings, and would have to spend the night. In 1966, the old church was located at the site of the Shady Rest Motel on Interstate 10.

A school was built in 1906 on a two-acre tract of land owned by MANNA SONNIER. The first teacher in the school was Mrs. JENNIE HAMILTON SUTTON, who lived in Vinton. "Miss Jennie" used to ride from Vinton to Jacksonville on her little blue horse. Since there weren't many public buildings then, the schoolhouse was used for many religious and social activities. In an interview, LeROY CORMIER, grandson of JAMES JACKSON, told that he remembered that a Rev. BISHOP who lived at the Bluff (Niblett's Bluff) came when he could and held services at the schoolhouse. Brides-to-be would wait for the minister or judge to come from
Lake Charles or some other town and perform the marriage ceremony in the schoolhouse. The school was moved three times in thirty years, and finally the children were sent to school in Vinton. Today there is a marker located about 150 feet east of the rest area on U. S. 90 at Toomey, designating the spot where the old schoolhouse used to stand.

BRADY and STINE operated a big sawmill in the area and employed about 200 people. Most of the people either worked at a sawmill or raised cattle. Among the cattlemen with large herds were the BROUSSARDs, who drove their herds across the Intracoastal Canal and down to Johnson Bayou for winter grazing in the marshlands. In the spring, the cattle were driven back, then branded and sold. Dr. D. C. ILES of Sugartown, the first resident doctor in Jacksonville, was also the first person to own and drive an automobile in the area.

Blue Lake, the site of the original JACKSON home, came to life in the 1920s when the first road was built across the Sabine River to Orange, Texas. A barrow pit was dug near the road, close to the old Grove Night Club on U. S. 90. The water mysteriously turned blue, and the lake became a favorite spot for swimmers. Bath houses were built and rope swings were hung from the huge trees along the lake. No one knew what caused the blue water, but it didn't last long; heavy rains and overflow from the Sabine turned the lake a murky brown, and the tourist attraction failed.

No one seems to know when the town's name was changed to Toomey. CORMIER said that the railroad company requested the change since mail which was addressed to Jacksonville, La. was constantly being confused with mail from Jacksonville, Texas. In 1910, a new postmaster general, FRANK H. HITCHCOCK, moved the post office from Toomey to Vinton. About this time, the oil fields were slowing up, and there was an exodus from Toomey. It became a quiet, rural little town. A few years ago, my brother stopped at Niblett's Bluff and asked for directions to Toomey. He was told that Toomey was just a state of mind... it no longer existed.

Sources: Patrick. "History of Toomey Area Recalled" The Orange Leader(7/20/1966)
Ross. Pioneers of Calcasieu Parish, Vol. I

1. LOUIS SONNIER (b. 1663, Vitre, France) m. LOUISE BASTINEAU dit PELTIER (b. 1668, France)
2. ETINNE SONNIER (b. 1702, Grand Pre, Acadia) m. JEANNE COMEAUX (1706, Port Royal, Acadia)
3. SILVAIN SONNIER (b. 1738, Petitcodiac, Acadia) m. MARGUERITE BOURG (b. 1744, Isle St. Jean, Acadia)

KINFOLKS 24 Vol. 32 No. 1

4. SILVAIN SONNIER (b. 1771, Opelousas, La.) m. HUMILDE COMEAUX (b. 1773, Opelousas, La.)
5. JOSEPH SONNIER (b. 1792, Opelousas, La.) m. JULIENNE GUIDRY (b. 1794, St. Martinville, La.)
6. JOSEPH SONNIER (b. 1818, St. Martinville, La.) m. MARIE CARMELITE BOUDREAUX (b. 1818, St. Martinville, La.)
7. SAVENIA SONNIER (b. 1839, Lafayette, La.) m. MARGUERITE ANUNCIAD SONNIER (b. 1843, Lafayette, La.)
8. CAROLINE SONNIER (b. 1872, Toomey, La.) m. CHARLES WILLIAM JACKSON (b. 1865, Toomey, La.)
9. DORA JACKSON (b. 1894, Toomey, La.) m. JESSE EMMET CROCKETT (b. 1879, Logansport, Ind.)

6. CHARLES EMILE SONNIER (b. 1815, St. Martinville, La.) m. CAROLINE HEBERT (b. 1817, St. Martinville, La.)
7. MARGUERITE ANUNCIAD SONNIER (b. 1843, Lafayette, La.) m. SAVENIA SONNIER (b. 1839, Lafayette, La.)
8. CAROLINE SONNIER (b. 1872, Toomey, La.) m. CHARLES WILLIAM JACKSON (b. 1865, Toomey, La.)
9. DORA JACKSON (b. 1894, Toomey, La.) m. JESSE EMMET CROCKETT (b. 1879, Logansport, Ind.)

Additional Comments:
Kinfolks Magazine is published quarterly by the Southwest Louisiana Genealogical Society, Inc. I wrote this article about my Jackson and Sonnier families.

File at:

This file has been created by a form at

File size: 9.4 Kb

Notify Administrator about this message?
No followups yet

Post FollowupReturn to Message ListingsPrint Message
Search this forum:

Search all of GenForum:

Proximity matching
Add this forum to My GenForum Link to GenForum
Add Forum
Home |  Help |  About Us |  Site Index |  Jobs |  PRIVACY |  Affiliate
© 2007 The Generations Network