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Victoria Lanotte Santerre

Victoria Lanotte was born in 1857 in Indiana.

Victoria was the daughter of Nicholas Lanotte born in 1817 and Mary Lanotte born in 1831 and both born in Belgium.

In the 1860 census Nicholas, Mary and their 4 oldest children James, August, Victoria, and Frank (listed as Leon) were farming in Leopold Township, Perry County, Indiana. Nicholas Lanotte’s younger brother Frances, his wife Margrette Munser Lanotte and their two children are listed on the same page of the 1860 census. Leopold Township was a community with many Belgian and French immigrants and their families.

Between 1860 and 1872 Nicholas and Mary Lanotte added 5 more children, for a total of 9, all born in Indiana. As of the 1880 census Nicholas Lanotte’s family and Frances Lanotte’s family were farming their own land in the Sowers Community. Nicholas’ oldest son James is not listed in the Sowers 1880 census. No other information about James Lanotte has been found as of this writing.

Nicholas’ daughter Victoria was also not listed living with the family in 1880 because she had married Emanuel Santerre in Dallas County by at least 1876. In the 1880 census Emanuel and Victoria Santerre were living in Eagle Ford, in Dallas County with daughter Delphine aged 4 and son Rufaire (listed as Refia) age 10 months.

Emanuel Santerre was born in 1849 in France. He was the son of Francois Santerre born in 1809 in Blois France. After Francois was discharged from serving in the French Army, he married Marie Launey and had five children born in France.

Discouraged with French politics, Francois decided to take his entire family to La Reunion, a colony in Texas. Leaving with other colonists in two small sailing vessels the trip took sixty days landing in Houston. With many hardships and walking almost all the way they reached La Reunion colony two months later.

A Dallas Morning News article was written about Emanuel upon his death in 1939. It reported reflections he made earlier in his life about his family’s trip from France to Texas. Emanuel said he contracted the red measles in Houston and had the black measles when they arrived at La Reunion in approximately 1854 when he was 5 years old. When they arrived in Dallas, they found a one-street country town of frame buildings. They were ferried across the Trinity and steered their wagons a little further west to the colony site where the Santerre’s lived for the next 10 years. Emanuel was put to work herding sheep. He never went to school.

Francoise and Marie Santerre’s sixth child Gustave was born in the La Reunion colony in 1857.

Emanuel’s father Francoise was placed in charge of the development of agriculture since he was well educated in scientific agriculture and the only farmer in the colony of musicians, tradesmen, scientists, blacksmiths, and bakers. The colonists discovered that their land was unsuitable for farming. The La Reunion colony became the site of Trinity Portland Cement Company in 1909. Though dissolved by 1959, a historical marker near 5300 Singleton Boulevard commemorates two villages and a community cemetery on land donated by the cement company.

After the colony dissolved, Francois Santerre moved his family to a large tract of land at what is now the intersection of Colorado Boulevard and Westmoreland Road in Dallas.

Emanuel and Victoria Lanotte Santerre lived on the family tract near Eagle Ford in a two-story frame house.

Eagle Ford was first settled by the family of Enoch Horton, who moved there from Missouri in 1844 and established a home at a shallow part of the West Fork of the Trinity River, which became a fording spot for travelers. When Horton found an eagle’s nest in the area, he named the crossing Eagle Ford.

Today Eagle Ford is located west of Dallas and south of Irving. Loosely defined between the Trinity River to the north, Walton Walker Blvd to the west, Singleton Blvd to the south and Westmoreland Rd to the east.

Victoria and Emanuel would have 5 children all born in Dallas County. Delphine, Rufaire, Leona, Emma and Maud. Several of Victoria and Emanuel’s immediate family members would pass prior to 1900; Victoria’s mother Mary in 1886, her father Nicholas in 1896 and two of her siblings, Delfin in 1880 and Hubert in 1884 who are all buried at Sowers.

Emanuel’s father passes in 1889 and Mother Marie passes in 1892. His brother Appollinaire died in his teens around 1860. All are buried at La Reunion cemetery near Eagle Ford.

Victoria Lanotte Santerre passes away October 8, 1891, at age 34. Her headstone reads:


Victoria’s husband Emanuel Santerre remarries Rilla Scott in 1893 and they had three children George, Totty and Annie.

Victoria Santorre
Dau. of




Oct. 8, 1891,


34 Years

  • Victoria’s brother August Lanotte, helped to establish the first Catholic Church in Irving in about 1902. Her brother Nicholas J. Lanotte would purchase lots in the new town of Irving in 1904.

  • Besides Victoria’s parents Nicholas and Mary Lanotte, 5 of their 9 children are buried at Sowers; August, Victoria, Franklin, Hubert and Delfin.

  • Francois Santerre, wife Marie and 4 of their 6 children are buried at La Reunion cemetery at 3300 Fish Trap Rd.: daughter Ceasarine Santerre Remond, and sons Appollinaire, Germaine, and Emanuel.

  • Francois and Marie’s daughter Lucy Santerre married Charles Voirin in 1867. Both Lucy and Charles are buried at Sowers.

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