In the fall, we have a wonderful opportunity to get in the spirit of Halloween, and for us, that involves sharing the French family history in a fun, and slightly creepy manner. Unfortunately, over the years, family facts get forgotten or ignored in favor of more sensational, nonfactual stories – and those are the ones remembered.
We would like to set the record straight concerning one of our French family members – Electa Jane. Electa Jane was the oldest daughter of John Jay and Sally French, born in 1823 in or near Utica, New York . We know that she traveled to Louisiana from New York with her family in 1835 and then into Texas in 1838. After that, the details are fuzzy.
The facts regarding Electa Jane are this, we simply do not know what happened to her. What we do know is that she apparently displeased her father to a point where he disowned her and drew a line through her name in the family bible writing next to it “Died at birth”. There is speculation that she may have become involved with a man of mixed blood from a prominent Beaumont family, but that is all it is, speculation. We also believe that she continued to have contact with her sister, Nancy Burrell.
There has been research done in the past to try and locate Electa Jane, thinking she may have gone back east, but those efforts came up empty. We welcome anyone interested in genealogy (and mystery solving) to put the mystery to rest!
In conclusion, the current staff has not experienced any paranormal activity in the home, but I will leave you with this old story documented in our docent manual: Many years ago, there was a woman named Mary Mosely and her children who would deliver newspapers in the area of the French home. On one such occasion, they reported that they saw a man, wearing a hat and dressed in period clothing, standing at the far end of the home, seemingly watching them. After a time, he simply faded away. Hmmm.