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William J. Thibodeaux Collection

Collection 326

Thibodeaux, William J. (1948 - ). Collection, 2007-2017

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 thru 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
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
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
Contest Letter, The
Coozan Dud
Country-Parish Government
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
Duel of 1881, The
1-05 Early Weather Forecasting
Editor Challenged to Duel
Edvar Daigle’s Dancehall
End of an Era, The
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 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
Hitler Hoax
Horn and Hand Signals
How Towns Are Built
1-09 If Walls Could Talk
Inside-out Program, The
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
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
Loose Lips Sinks Ships
Lost Cities, The
Lost Harpoon, The
Lottery Winner
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
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
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
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
Power of Prayer
Prank Incidents
Pre-Historic Island Paradise
Presidents and Generals
Preserving the Past
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
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 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 of 1960
Summer Job
Sunday Commentary
Sunset Symbol
2-02 Taking a Bite Out of Crime
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
Box 3
B. CD's
1. Maps; other
2. Shirley Ray Bergeron Story; Williams Recordings, recordings 1 thru 19
3. Williams Recordings: recordings 20 thru 36; audio recordings 19 files; Mike LeBlanc’s recordings, 17 items
4. Writings
5. Voice Folder: recordings 1 thru 23
6. Voice Folder: recordings 24 thru 49