EUGENE LAROCHELLE, one of the early visitors to Marquette, Marquette County, and one who has been closely identified with much of the industrial development of the vicinity, was born at Joliette, Province of Quebec, Canada, February 22, 1840. His father died when he was but two years of age and he has been obliged to care for himself since childhood's years. His father, Guadron de LaRochelle, a native of La Rochelle, France, was a captain in the French Army and a government contractor; he married Domitile Bellile, a native of Canada, and they had a family of five children, namely: Godfried, deceased; Joseph, of Joliette, Quebec, Canada; Eugene, our subject; and Philanie and Melie, of Manitoba. Until he was 13 years of age, Eugene LaRochelle remained at Joliette and then went to Brighton, Canada West, and worked for three years with William Platt. He then started for the mining regions of the Northern Peninsula of Michigan and the journey by rail and boat consumed three weeks; he reached Marquette, August 15, 1859, at which time the contractors were just completing the tram road. He first worked in the Pioneer mine, then started for Ontonagon to secure better employment. He reached Ontonagon by boat and walked from there to the Michigan mine. His first contracting work was a contract by which he and Thomas Byrne constructed the Norwich road. In 1860 he walked the distance from Ontonagon to Houghton, a matter of 50 miles, in order to cast his vote for President Lincoln, this being his first franchise privilege. He remained over six years at Houghton where he received the contract to saw a large amount of lumber for road construction, but in 1862 he lost his workmen, for the majority of them went into the army. He then worked one year at the Quincy mine after which he took the contract for packing and hauling with dogs, and frequently rescued the mails during the stormy seasons with his (logs. In 1866 he returned to Marquette with two teams of passengers who were then building the Union Pacific Railroad. Of the 14 workmen he hauled on that occasion, 13 were afterward killed by the Indians. In November, 1867, he started a saloon on Front street, Marquette, and has continued in this business ever since, with the exception of eight years when he again engaged in contracting. He has been a witness of the wonderful development of this whole section and has had many thrilling adventures. Mr. LaRochelle married Delima Lemire, who was born in the State of New York, and five children have been born to them, namely: Georgiana (Forsha); Josephine (Graham); Henry, who lives at home and has two children; Edwin, of Marquette, who has three children; and Alfred and Emma, at home. Mr. LaRochelle has been a member of St. John Baptiste Church for the past 28 years, ever since its organization. Although he never had any educational opportunities and is entirely a self-made man, our subject has established himself comfortably in the world, is intelligent and well informed and counts his warm friends by many a score.

Source: Biographical Record, Houghton, Baraga and Marquette Counties.  Chicago: Biographical Publishing Company, 1903.