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William J. Thibodeaux Collection

Collection 326

Thibodeaux, William J. (1948– ). Collection, 2007–2023

10 inches

William Joseph Thibodeaux is a native of Rayne, Louisiana in Acadia Parish. He was born on November 15, 1948, the second of five siblings—three boys and two girls. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1966 after dropping out of school a year earlier. In 1970, after completing his tour of duty on board the U.S.S. O’Bannon DD-450, he worked for Southern Pacific Railroad as a trackman. In 1984, after various supervisory positions in the engineering department, Thibodeaux became an engineering manager working between New Orleans and Houston. In 1986, after the merger between Southern Pacific and Union Pacific Railroad, he continued his employment as an engineering manager for the Livonia Service Unit until retirement, resulting in 43 years of service.

Over the years, Thibodeaux collected stories from railroaders of various crafts and departments. Those were the first stories he began publishing in several local publications. Thibodeaux continues writing mostly non-fiction articles with historical significance to the Acadiana area. He interviews interesting people in both French and English, and manages a French table in Rayne where their events were first audio-recorded.

He, his wife Judy, and their eight-year-old toy poodle Baby Bear live in south Lafayette, enjoying retirement. They like taking daytrips to nearby locations. Thibodeaux is an avid reader and enjoys both fiction and non-fictional books, especially about local history. Beginning in January of 2015, he was asked by Hospice of Acadiana to continue their history program since their last historian, LC Melchior, died in December 2014. Thibodeaux usually talks about historical events that have taken place in the Acadiana area, i.e., Lafayette’s Serial Killer of 1916 and 1917.

This collection consists of Thibodeaux’s writings, as well as some maps and recordings.


A. Writings 1-01 through 2-04
B. Maps and Recordings 6 Disks


Box 1
  A. Writings
    1-01 Abbeville High School’s first football team
      Abbeville’s Old Ice factory
      Abbeville’s Past Snowstorms
      Able and Baker Test, The
      Above and Beyond
      Acadia Parish
      Acadia Parish’s Costliest Court Case
      Acadia Parish Feud
      Advertiser through the ages
      After the Storm
      Aftermath of the 1927 flood
      Agricultural Train of 1910
      Aldus Roger’s Accordion
      All the marbles
      All my heroes Rode Horses
      All or Nothing
      Ancient Coin
      Amazing Grace
      An American Hero
      American Locomotive Headlamp, The
      An American Patriot
      Andrew Jackson’s Monument
      Anthrax Scare in Acadia Parish
      Atomic Veterans
      Attempted Train Robbery at Baxter’s Curve
      Automobile concerns from Years Ago
    1-02 Baionne
      Bandalore Anyone?
      Bank Robber, The
      Bataan Death March Survivors
      Battery Powered Emerson
      Battle of Wills: The Arlington Outrage
      Baxter’s Curve
      Beginning of the End, The
      Belle Isle mining catastrophe still stings
      Belle Isle Tragedy
      Bicycle Brigade, The
      Big Bang, The
      Big Brother
      Big Race, The
      Black Sunday
      Blanc Brothers, The
      Bobby Dunbar Tragedy, The
      Body Art
      Born to Ride
      Bouvier Keys
      Bowie Knife
      Boy Who, The
      Boy Who Wanted to Fly, The
      Breaux Bridge Ace
      Buggy Tracks
      Bully, The
      Bygone Episode, A
    1-03 Cabin on the Couleé, The
      Cajun Music Hall of Fame & Museum
      Camphor Tree, The
      Cardboard Box, The
      Case Against Andre Servinien, The
      Casey Jones
      Celebrating Rice
      Century Oaks
      Citizen Committee
      Code Duello of 1925
      Condemn or Defend the Unwritten Law
      Conspiracy to Assassinate Huey P. Long
      Contest Letter, The
      Coozan Dud
      Country-Parish Government
      Criminal at Birth
      Culmination of Events Helped Win World War II, A
      Culture of becoming a brakeman in the 1900s
      Curious Emick Curly C. Duson’s Greatest Venture
      Curtain Call
      Cypress Forests of Old Dwindle into Urban Myth
    1-04 Day Bonny and Clyde Came to Town, The
      Day of Remembrance
      Day the Trains Stopped, The
      Deadliest Maritime Disaster
      Deadliest Natural Disaster
      Dear Editor
      Death of a Community
      Deja’ vu
      Deputy Sheriffs of Acadia Parish
      Derailment Attempt near Rayne
      Developing a Strong Work Ethic
      Devil’s Brigade, The
      Dilemma, The
      Disastrous 1903
      Disgruntled employee turns into railroad vandal
      Distracted Drivers
      Dots and Dashes
      Dots, Dashes and Railroads
      Double Jeopardy
      Dowell Lefleur
      Drive-By Shootings
      Drought of 1924, The
      Droughts, Fires, Boredom, and the Greatest Wildfire of All
      Dudley J. LeBlanc - The Most Famous Cajun
      Duel of 1881, The
    1-05 Early Weather Forecasting
      Editor Challenged to Duel
      Edvar Daigle’s Dancehall
      End of an Era, The
      Endure the Unendurable and Bear the Unbearable
      Eradication of Yellow Fever
      Events that helped win World War II
      Exodus - And Entry to the Promised Land, A Tale of Two Cities, by Hamil, Marshall
      Expedition, The
    1-06 Ferroequinology
      First Public Clock, The
      First Statewide Accordion Contest
      First Thanksgiving, The
      First Thanksgiving, The
      Five Old Muskets
      Flood of 1940, The
      Flying the Hump
      Fontenot-Young Feud, The
      Fontenot, Royne
      For Whom the Bell Tolls
      Forgotten Benefactor
      Fountain of Youth
      French Village
      Frog and his Kite
      Frog and his Stories
      Frog Left Rayne Louisiana
      Frog stopped the old, green pickup
      From France to Tee-Mamou
    1-07 George H. Broussard, A Renaissance Man
      George Armand Martin, A Man for all Seasons
      German POWs Kept in Louisiana During WWII
      Get in the Bubble
      Go Fly a Kite
      Gold Discovered
      Good Ole Days, The
      Good Roads Movement, The
      Graham, J.W.
      Grand Isle, Louisiana
      Great Seal of the United States
      Growing Up in the 60’s
      Growing up in Rayne
      Gueydan as Seen Through Newspaper Articles
    1-08 Habits
      Have you seen General Marque de Lafayette’s statue at Parc Lafayette?
      Hazardous Job, A
      Hen Loi
      Herd your cattle
      Heroes of the Greatest Generation
      Historic Cannon
      History of Improvised Explosive Devices
      History of Louisiana’s Prison System
      Hitler Hoax
      Horn and Hand Signals
      How Towns Are Built
    1-09 If Walls Could Talk
      Inside-out Program, The
      Interesting and Lost Customs
      Iron Bar Incident, The
      Iron Clad Document, An
      Iron Rails in Acadiana
      Island in the Sun
      Island on the Mermentau
    1-10 James Gant, The
      Jesuits’ Bark
      John Wilkes Booth’s Connection to Crowley
      Jonathan “John” Cole
      Knappville’s Huron Plantation Railroad
    1-11 La Fin du Monde (The End of the World)
      Lafayette’s Serial Killer
      Lafitte’s Tomb of Treasure
      Lantz House, The
      Lantz, Wilbert early memories of father’s death
      Last Man Standing
      Last Spike, The
      Lastie’s Story
      Legend of Tee Dom and Alice
      Letters detail life of William Robertson
      Life on the Atchafalaya Swamp
      Life Saving Horses
      Lighter Than Air
      Lincoln’s Documents
      Link & Pin
      Little Known Louisiana Facts
      Locomotives & Feather Dusters
      Long Bridge
      Loose Lips Sinks Ships
      Lost Cities, The
      Lost Communities of the Basin
      Lost Harpoon, The
      Lottery Winner
      Louisiana Colony Myth, The
      Louisiana In 1912
      Louisiana Resorts
      Louisiana’s Serial Killer
      Louisiana Tigers
      Louisiana Vacation Resorts
    1-12 Magic Bullet, The
      Man of Vision
      Many Thanks to Parke County, Indiana
      Marais Bouleur and the Bosco Oil Field
      Marque de Lafayette’s Statue
      Marsh Island conservation through the years
      McNeese at Crowley
      Memories of Frog and Tayaut
      Men of raw courage manned cargo ships during WWII
      Meus Lafleur
      Mid Air Collision
      Missing Oak, The
      Missing Records
      Modern Day Evangeline
      Morgan’s Railroad
      Monsieur Stanislaus, The Traiteur
      Murder on the Evangeline Prairie
      My Favorite Place
      My Side of the Story
      Mysterious Formations on the Prairies
      Mysterious Frog
    1-13 Namesake
      Nathan’s mark
      Negro Island
      New Beginnings in Acadia Parish
      New Construction
      New First National Bank of Crowley
      New Orleans, Opelousas & Great Western Railroad
      Newspapers chronicle Gueydan’s beginnings
      New Speed Ordinance
      No Honor Among Thieves
      None Placide, the Traiteur
      Not all Frogs are Amphibious
      Not all Roads Lead to Rome
      Not One Iota
      Notes for Family Tree
      Notorious Train Robber
    1-14 O’Bannon, The
      O’Bannon DD-450, USS
      Oil Drilling
      Old George Key
      Old Uncle Lisha
      Old Verot School Road, The
      Old Violin, The
      Olive, The
      On va les embêter
      One Fell Swoop
      Operation Jubilee
      Origin of Bowie Knife
      Oriole Orphan Train Riders, The
      O’ Express, The
    1-15 Petit Manchac
      Phantom Helicopter, The
      Pierre (3) Thibodeau
      Pierre (4) Thibodeau
      Pirogue Races
      Place in Time, A
      Placide’s Family Moves to Higher Ground
      Placid, the Traiteur
      Plaquemine Point Massacre
      Polka-Dot Shirt, The
      Politics, the Economy and Foolishness
      Political Cartoonist
      Postal Route
      Postal Service
      Power of Prayer
      Prank Incidents
      Pre-Historic Island Paradise
      Presidents and Generals
      Preserving the Past
      Preserving the Past - One Piece at a Time
      Protecting the Neighborhood
      PT Boat Sighted in the Gulf
    1-16 Rabbit Hunter
      Race, The
      Rails West
      Railroad across Trembling Prairies
      Railroad’s history, story of Lafayette Parish
      Ramsey Plantation
      Rainey, Paul J. Wildlife Sanctuary a special stop for the birds
      Rayne youths were trained for war industries
      Rebirth of Cajun Music
      Reconstruction in Louisiana
      Relic Incident, The
      Remebering Lastie’s Story
      Remembering Teachers
      Rewriting history
      Rice, railroads and some irrigation canals
      Richard, Te-John
      Robertson Letters
      Robin Hood
      Roosevelt’s New Deal
      Rosenwald Schools
Box 2
    2-01 St. Paul’s Bell
      Saboteur, The
      Sailing the Medlenka River
      Salt of the Earth
      Sam Walker’s First Railroading Days - 1941
      Second Home: German POWS at Camp Livingston, Louisiana, and its branch camps, 1943-1946
      Seventeen-Mile Push, A
      Shadowed Death
      Sherman’s Louisiana Connection
      Short and Humorous Railroad Tales
      Short Life and Tragic Death of a Cajun Musician
      Shot in the Dark, A
      Sid’s Monument
      Simon murders from 1859 still fascinate
      Slaughterhouse Cases, The
      Speed Ordinance
      Staged Train Wreck of 1896
      Stanislaus, the Traiteur
      Story of Octave Thibodeaux, The
      Strange ponds and hills puzzle historians
      Street Names of Former Railroad Men
      Sue Can Be
      Summer Biography
      Summer in the Life of Beatrice the Maid
      Summer of 1960
      Summer Job
      Sunday Commentary
      Sunset Symbol
    2-02 Taking a Bite Out of Crime
      Tante Rase
      Teche Extension, The
      Telegraph Man, The
      Temporary Surrender
      Things They Carried, The
      Thirteen-Year Experiment
      Three Penny
      Tom and Jerry
      Tough Times During Second World War
      Tragedy at Landry Switch
      Tragedy at Ricohoc
      Tragic Incidents
      Train Ride, A
      Train Robbery at Baxter’s Curve
      Train Wreck at Crush, Texas
      Traiteur, The
      Travelers in St. Martinville end up with wild stories
      Treasure Seekers
      True American Hero, A
      Trumped by the Walls
      Two Executions of Willie Francis, The
      Two Moons over Texas
    2-03 UL’s Life Writing Classes
      Unannounced Visit
      Underground Disturbance
      Versatile Potato, The
      Violin Marker, The
    2-04 Walking the Dog
      What If?
      What’s in a Name?
      Weekly Radio Commentary, A
      When the Martians Landed
      Where the West Begins
      Who was the greatest Confederate general?
      Who was Leroy Johnson?
      Without a Trace
      World War One and the 1918 Influenza
Box 3
  B. CD's
    1. Maps; other
    2. Shirley Ray Bergeron Story; Williams Recordings, recordings 1 through 19
    3. Williams Recordings: recordings 20 through 36; audio recordings 19 files; Mike LeBlanc’s recordings, 17 items
    4. Writings
    5. Voice Folder: recordings 1 through 23
    6. Voice Folder: recordings 24 through 49