a VERMILION PARISH article
Lafayette (LA) Daily Advertiser, June 24, 1997
Villien came to America in 1855 and sold goods in New Orleans, New Iberia and Milton before finally coming to the village named for him. He married Marie Chati, who had land holdings there in her own name, and they established a home and grocery store around which the village grew.
Maurice was incorporated on Dec. 27, 1911. Joseph Villien Maurice's son, was the first mayor serving from 1912 to 1928. He was also a doctor and banker. Joseph Street leads to the old home place.
The community's first church was La Chapelle a Maurice. Sunday services were actually held in a small schoolhouse on the Villien property until January 1893, when St. Alphonse Church was built. Father Alphonse LeQuillene was its first rector, and he was succeeded in November 1893 by Father E. J. Grimeaux, the hero of the Cheniere Cominada disaster that August.
A hurricane wrecked the church in September 1915 and the church hall was used for services until a new church was opened in 1918. The present St. Alphonsus Church was built in 1969. St. Joseph Church, which serves a predominantly black congregation, was built in 1946.
The first school in the Maurice area, the Broussard Cove School, was built on land donated by Joseph Clark in 1885. The school was moved to Maurice in July 1899, to an acre of land donated by Maurice Villien. It was located on Maurice Avenue and the Indian Bayou Road. The old building burned about 1914.
A new school was built in 1926 to serve both elementary and high school students. Maurice High held its first graduation in 1928 with two students, Edes Clark and Beulah McDonald. The graduation ceremonies were held on the front porch of the elementary building. The high school was closed in 1980.
The post office was housed in the Villien Brothers store from 1902 to 1951, when it was moved to the E. G. Trahan office building. Electricity came to the village in 1929. A private telephone service was in effect until 1946, when South Central Bell came to Maurice.
U. S. Hwy. 167, formerly La. Hwy. 43, was paved from Abbeville to Maurice in 1932 and from Lafayette to Maurice in 1936.
This article is copyrighted © by the Lafayette (LA) Daily Advertiser and is used with permission. This web site was originated through a grant awarded to Carencro High School (Joel Hilbun/Bobbi Marino, Grant Administrators) by the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education from the Louisiana Quality Education Support Fund - 8(g).