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Rankin Family History Project

Theo Picou


Theo Picou, a native of Ascension Parish, La., was born in 1827, and is a son of Joseph and Gertrude (Hamilton) Picou, also natives of Louisiana and of French ancestry.

Joseph Picou was the owner of a sugar plantation in his native State, and owner of a number of slaves. Prior to the Civil War both plantation and slaves were disposed of, and Joseph Picou removed to Newburg, Ind., where he purchased a residence and other property, and remained several years.

During the war he returned to Louisiana, and took charge of a wharf boat at the Red River Landing, owned by Gustavus, one of the sons, at which point he was captured by Admr. Farragut. After his release he located with his family at Donaldsonville, La. After the location of his son, then in Perry County, Mo., he and wife removed thither in 1867, and passed the remainder of their lives within its border.

In 1841 Theo Picou was sent by his parents to St. Mary Seminary, Perry County, Mo., to finish his classical education from whence, after his graduation in 1848, he returned to his native parish, and assumed charge of a sugar plantation belonging to his father and W. H. Gilbert and managed the same for several years. While in Southeast Missouri he became fascinated with the country and foreseeing her future wealth and prosperity, returned thither in 1850. For several years he was engaged in merchandising at Bailey’s Landing.

On May 21, 1850, he was united in marriage with Mary DeLassus, by whom he became the father of six children: Trasimontl (deceased), Cornelius (who married Mrs. Mattie Meredith), Delia (who became the wife of James B. Russell), Eudora (the widow of John Young), Mary E. (the wife of David Brown) and Theo E. (who married Edith Scadears).

Mr. Picou was early employed as a teacher in the public schools of Claryville, where for five years, he served as principal. His education and strict methods of business soon made him a man of note in the community, and in 1864 he was elected justice of the peace and has served almost three terms in that capacity, being in office at this date (1888). He is also recording secretary of the Bois Brule Bottom Levee Drainage & Agricultural Association.

His first wife, died in October 1863, and on March 8, 1864, Rachel Patterson became his wife. To this union have been born nine children. Those living are Nancy Manetie, Rosetta Corinne and Delphine, all of whom are at home.

The family are well known and highly respected. During the Civil War Mr. Picou served as captain in a company in the Sixty-fourth Enrolled Missouri Militia.

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The Goodspeed Publishing Company compiled a series of histories of various counties in the U.S. in the late 19th century. The information in the History of Southeast Missouri, published in 1888, was provided by the contemporary residents of Perry County and her neighboring counties. The biographies are a valuable source of genealogical information, despite a few minor inaccuracies. We are glad to present the transcribed biographies here for anyone researching Perry County's history.

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