Decendants of Nicolas Dorr

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5. Louis Adolphe Dorr was born on 12 Sep 1816 in Morhange, France, died on 6 Jun 1883 in Panola Co., MS at age 66, and was buried in Davis Chapel Cemetery, Panola Co., MS.

Louis Dorr was born in Morhange, Mosele,France on 12 September 1816 in the area of Alsoues, Loraine. His father was a draper and quite wealthy and there are stories that Louis was educated at the University of Paris. There is no documentation for this fact. He was somewhat of a scholar and speaks not only French, German and English with excellence, but can also make his way in two or three other European idioms. Before he moves to America, his mother dies and his father marries a younger woman with children. His stepmother also dies before his father's estate is settled, which complicats the estate. Evidently her children contest the original will.

There are two different versions of why Louis comes to America. First is that he is a court gentleman and is required to serve five years in the king's army. He decides to come to America instead of serving in the army. He meets Frances on the boat to America and they are married when they arrive in Mobile, Alabama.

The other version is that his stepmother's children contest his father's estate. It appears that it could be contested for a long period of time, and Louis decides that he could do better by coming to America instead of waiting for his inheritance.

The is no documentation for either version.

Upon arriving in Mobile, Alabama, Louis Dorr and Frances Benal are married on 7 June 1841. Based on the ages of Louis' children in the 1850 census, it appears that he and the family move to Kemper County between 1844-847. Louis' first three children, Selvy, Albert, and Narcissus, are born in Alabama. Lands records exist showing that Louis obtained 40 acres in Kemper County, Mississippi on 1 April 1856. Of the 12 children that Louis and Frances had, all are born except Eugene by this time.

Apparently Louis serves in the Confederate Army in 1861 and 1862.

Louis corresponds with his brother Victor in France regularly. His main interest in these letters is the status of their inheritance, and he is always interested in how the family was. Another common subject is that he is unhappy where he was and plans to move. He also writes regularly to a Madame Heric in New Orleans. It is not clear who she was, but in a letter dated 27 March 1871 he refers to her as "Sister." Also Frances writes to her so she may have been Frances' sister. Madame Heric is married and has children. She sends Louis newspapers from New Orleans, which are his only source of information about what was happening in France. He especially wants news when the Prussians invade France. The fall of France and Napoleon seems to upset him. Copies of the letters written from 1868 to 1879 exist and are the basis of the following information about Louis and his family.

Victor sends Louis money during 1866-1868. It is unclear if this is from their father's estate or personal loans from Victor. In one of the letters Louis comments that his stepmother had been very generous to the children of Fanfare. Was Fanfare Louis' mother?

It appears that in 1868 Louis writes that he is interested in obtaining an additional 160 acres in Kemper County, but at the same time he is writing to friends that he might move to Florida or Arkansas. He evidently has a poor crop and says that sickness was rampant there. Also he is not happy with the Negro situation after emancipation. In general he always wants to be somewhere else. By March1870, Martin is in Arkansas; Norman, Albert and "the widow" (?) are in Texas. Narcissus has his own place 2 miles away and works with his father for part of the crop. Louis tries to get Narcissus to move to Arkansas, but he will not move.

In late 1870 or early 1871 Louis moves to Panola County, Mississippi and buys120 acres on top of the bluff overlooking the Mississippi swamp for $2,200. This is approximately 15 miles west of Sardis, Mississippi. He writes Victor that his mailing address was Star Place, Panola County, United States. At the time he moved he was living 3 miles northeast of Tamola Station in Kemper County. Narcissus rents 30 acres of bottomland 2 miles from his father. Martin returns from Arkansas and is working with Narcissus. Norman also returns from Texas with his wife.

Louis tells Victor that his crop was excellent that year, but there was much sickness being so close to the swamp. Ed and Narcissus get the mumps; Norman's wife dies and Narcissus loses his boy. Due to all of the illness after just one year at the bluff, he decides to buy 200 acres approximately 8 miles from where he is for $3,000. He mentions that he was tired of paying the doctor half of his profits. Martin stays with Louis and rents 20 acres of his father's land. Ed works for Louis and receives $20 a month. Narcissus and Norman rent "a good little place near here." At this time he writes, "our family of 12 children are all living and four are married and live with or near us, except for Albert, who has been in Texas 5 years." In October 1873 he writes Victor, "we have made an excellent crop. Our cotton crop brought $4,000 and we are doing very well, but I am getting old and I do not think I will last long." In every letter he asks for information on the family in France. He has become a trustee for the school at Bishop.

In March 1874 he writes that "I am getting too old for the work of the farm, and I have rented it to three of my sons for 300 piastres a year." He reserves 3 acres for his flower garden to have something to keep him busy. Jenny Ruth says, "He planted his yard as the castle gardens in moons, crescents, and stars and his people in France sent Seeds and Bulbs." He says that his eyesight is becoming very bad and Francoise is as fat as a little pig. Narcissus buys 80 acres adjoining his father's place for $900. In 1875 he writes Madame Heric that they have been able to save 3,000 piastres since moving to the current farm. He also tells her, "We are doing well at the moment. Our crops this year are excellent, better than I have seen in 15 or 20 years." Norman now rents land from Narcissus and is working on his own house. Henry now stays with Narcissus.

In 1876 Martin becomes ill and Louis writes, "There is no improvement with him yet and I fear that there is no cure for him. His brain is badly affected and unless there is a change for the better soon, I am afraid he will lose his mind." Narcissus and Ed are doing very well and they buy another 160 acres. Also in 1876 Louis learns that the major portion of his father's estate has been lost to an unscrupulous lawyer.

In October 1877 he writes, "I am too old to have anything to do with the farm, and I have concluded for the boys to divide the farm among themselves by paying a small rent to defray the expenses on the place." By now both Ed and Norman have been able to buy land. Rufus and Henry have rented a plantation of 120 acres. Martin lives with Louis but works for Narcissus. Eugene is the only one home with his parents at this time. In 1879 Albert asks his father to send him money so he can return home.

The 1880 census shows that all of Louis' children are living in Panola County. Narcissus has married and has five children, Norman is married with three children, Edward is married with three children, Henry is married and Sylvia is married and has three children. The other children are farming/living with Louis. Louis is now 64 years old and has 14 grandhildren.

His letters end in 1879.

Paul Dorr's Comments

Grandpa headed out for (let us hope) a better clime about 1883. I never knew him. His epitaph says (with which my father seemed to agree) that he was a loving husband and an indulgent father. He was somewhat of a scholar and spoke not only French, German and English with excellence, but could also make his way in two or three other European idioms. I have been informed that he was more-or-less a Freethinker, having little regard for the dogmatism of religion, taking the Life of Jesus as an example, and considering the essence of true religion to be morality and kindness. I get the im-pression that this is about the view of my correspondent (Raoul) in France. Grandma was a very fine character, with a wide-embracing love for, and a universal interest in, ALL of the grandchildren. She stored in the cellar barrels of apples every year, and whenever we went to see her Aunt Lilly would go down - often taking us with her - and fetch up apples for us. The two maiden aunts and Uncle Martin lived with Grandma. Your father and mine, and their other brothers, had for their mother almost a reverence.


Louis married Francoise "Fannie" Benal on 7 Jun 1841 in Mobile Co., AL.,3 daughter of ? Benal and Unknown. Francoise was born on 5 Jun 1821 in France, died on 10 Jan 1901 in Panola Co., MS at age 79, and was buried in Davis Chapel Cemetery, Panola Co., MS.

Children from this marriage were:

+ 12 M    i. Narcisse "Narcissus" Louis Dorr was born on 2 Dec 1844 in Mobile, AL, died on 5 Mar 1916 in Panola Co., MS at age 71, and was buried in Davis Chapel Cemetery, Panola Co., MS.

   13 F    ii. Sylvia Marcellia Dorr 1 was born on 6 Mar 1842 in AL and died on 25 Mar 1882 at age 40.

Sylvia married Harry Hampton Hay Sr. on 14 Jan 1880 in Panola Co., MS. Harry was born on 18 Dec 1827 in S.C. and died on 16 Apr 1915 in Panola Co., MS at age 87. They had no children.

Noted events in his life were:

Probate: Panola Co. Will Bk. C, P 61.

   14 M    iii. Albert Jacob Dorr Rev. was born on 29 Apr 1843 in Mobile Co., AL, died on 20 Dec 1912 in Ptocowa Springs, MS at age 69, and was buried in Davis Chapel Cemetery, Panola Co., MS.

Albert married Frances Dees.

Albert next married Sally\Eliza (Widow Baker) Lnu.

+ 15 M    iv. Norman Franklin Dorr was born on 27 Mar 1847 in Kemper Co., MS and died on 13 Feb 1922 in Panola Co., MS at age 74.

   16 M    v. Martin Cullen Dorr was born in 1849, died in 1918 at age 69, and was buried in Davis Chapel Cemetery, Panola Co., MS.

He never married and had no children

+ 17 M    vi. Edward Charles Dorr was born on 16 Mar 1851 in Kemper Co., MS, died on 16 Jan 1934 in Panola Co., MS at age 82, and was buried in Rose Hill Cemetery, Sardis, Panola Co., MS.

+ 18 M    vii. Henry James Dorr was born in 1854 in Kemper Co., MS.

+ 19 M    viii. Rufus Marion Dorr was born on 24 Dec 1855 in Kemper Co., MS, died on 14 Jul 1950 in Parchman [MS?] Home Of Grdtr Mrs. Andy Anderson at age 94, and was buried in Davis Chapel Cemetery, Panola Co., MS.

+ 20 F    ix. Frances "Fannie" (S. F.) Dorr was born about 1857.

+ 21 M    x. Eugene Emile Dorr was born on 14 Mar 1859, died on 28 Sep 1942 in Panola Co., MS at age 83, and was buried in Davis Chapel Cemetery, Panola Co., MS.

   22 F    xi. Mary Louisa "Ninny" Dorr was born on 13 Sep 1861 in Kemper Co., MS, died on 30 Apr 1919 in Panola Co., MS at age 57, and was buried in Davis Chapel Cemetery, Panola Co., MS.

She never married and had no children

   23 F    xii. Susan Lilla "Lillie" Dorr was born about 1865, died in 1924 in Panola Co., MS about age 59, and was buried in Davis Chapel Cemetery, Panola Co., MS.

She never married and had no children

6. Victor Dorr was born on 2 Mar 1808 in Morhange, France.

Victor was a clothmaker like his father and apparently a wealthy man. He sent Louis money regularly for most of the time Louis was in America. Victor lived in Nancy and had one daughter.

Victor married Elisabeth Schoumert.

The child from this marriage was:

   24 F    i. Victorine Dorr was born on 17 Jul 1838.

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