According to Leuce’s testimony, on or around January 25th, 1923, Lillian leaves on the pretense of going to her Brothers house, but actually goes to her Aunts house, who had a phone, and calls her ex-husband. What? Here we find out, that Lillian has been married before and at this point, in 1923 she’s only 20 years old, as her 21st birthday will be in July. Leuce testifies that she had called her ex-husband to convince him to take her back, but he refuses her, saying that he was enrolled at LSU, was dedicated to graduating his courses and did not have time for her. Yet it was he who brought her home that night, at midnight. Leuce continues to say that after that incident, Lillian continued to go to dances and didn’t come home until the next day, there were people who had seen her in the company of other men, alone together at times, in cars or walking the street. The relationship is at an end and Lillian finally tells Leuce she wants a divorce. Leuce agrees and says, “absolutely, even if it would cost me five hundred dollars, I’ll do it!” Lillian replies ” it won’t be long before you’ll be paddling for two and I for one!” She packs her bags and moves back to her parents house. She comes back one more time to get her things and half of the community property. During this time little Marguerite is staying with Leuce’s mother, Cornelie Landry. Leuce continues to hear the rumors of Lillian being seen with other men. Then on June 10th, Lillian shows up at Leuce’s house and tries to convice him to take her back. Leuce refuses her, but agrees to let her see the baby at his mothers house. Lillian goes to Leuce’s mothers house with a friend who has a car, and when she gets there, Cornelie lets her see the baby, but not inside, she refuses to let Lillian in her house. Lillian then takes the baby, gets in the car and leaves, basically kidnapping the baby. Leuce testifies that she did this, not out of love for the baby, but to receive alimony from him. On June 16th 1924, Lillian files for Separation of Bed and Board, custody of the child and alimony of $5.00 per week from Leuce. Leuce then counters with his own custody claim, listing all of the offences and happenings that prove in his mind, that Lillian is unfit and is doing this for the monetary gain of the alimony. The Judge decides to give temporary custody back to Leuce’s mother, until the full custody hearing can take place and grants the separation. A trial is set for July 29th, 1924. Lillian has 5 witnesses testifying on her behalf, Leuce has 15. Lillian’s side tries to prove that Leuce was mean to her at times and actually slapped her once in the presence of her sister and parents. When the sister and parents testified about that particular incident, there were conflicting statements, basically ending with the fact that if Leuce would have slapped Lillian in front of her father, that there would have been a fight between Mr. George and Leuce and that fight never took place. Testimony was given that Leuce and Mr. George had a good relationship and were actually working together fishing at night. With that story being ambiguous at best, Lillian’s side rests. Leuce’s side brought on witness after witness testifying about seeing Lillian in the company of other men and boys around the community and being seen at several dances, either unescorted or in the company of other men. Well, it was obvious that poor Lillian didn’t have a chance against overwhelming odds. The trial concluded with a divorce being granted and full custody being given to Leuce and his mother. I’m sure Lillian was devastated and embarrassed. I have no information on what Lillian did after that, all I do know is that about one year later…….Lillian was dead! At just 23 years old Lillian Thibeau Landry’s life was ended, very tragically. She is buried in the same cemetary most of my ancestors are buried. Etienne, Cornelie, Leuce and even little Margurite now lies only about 50 yards from where her mother lay reposed. When I was a child, we would visit the cemetary sometimes when we visited Leuce, my father would go to pay his respects to his Granfather and Grandmother and he would walk us over to Lillian’s grave and show us the picture that is on her tombstone and remark how she might have been our grandmother had things turned out differently. (Leuce remarried a wonderful woman named Lucette Many, my grandmother, who was loved dearly by every one who knew her.) My father also told us that Lillian had gone to Texas after she divorced Leuce and had murdered someone in a bar there and was executed, hanged by the neck. He said he had heard, that she was the first woman executed in Texas. The stories in the family are mixed about the actual murder Lillian committed. I have heard that she stabbed a man. I have heard that she stabbed a woman. My mother says that she heard that Lillian hit another woman over the head with a bar stool. Whatever the true story is, I guess we’ll never know, unless maybe one day, a Thibeau relative will see this blog and comment on what they’ve heard or maybe have a document. I tried for days to find a death certificate or any factual information on this but can come up with nothing. I searched all of the executions in Texas and cannot find her name among the rolls at all. I have read however, that back in those times, the counties carried out their own executions, and that sometimes, it may be just a few hours between the sentence by a Judge and hanging at the end of a rope! I was always kind of fascinated by this story, and have visted the cemetary several times over the years, just recently in fact, when little Margurite died, My Aunt Hazel. I had an Uncle die recently as well, and every time without fail, I seek out Lillian’s grave, and I am still mesmorized by that beautiful face and wonder what it would have been like if she were my grandmother. Little Marguerite went on to have a wonderful life, playing softball was a passion of hers and retired from The State of Louisiana after a long distinguished career. I also heard, that if you go out to that graveyard at night…Lillian can be seen wandering around, looking for a dance partner….Bwaaahhhaaaahhaaa!!
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