GAUTHIER, FÉLIX-ODILON, lawyer, recorder for Quebec City, judge of the Superior Court; b. 18 Aug. 1808 at Quebec, son of Augustin Gauthier and Marie Trudelle (Trudel); husband of Marie-Sophie Lapane; d. 29 April 1876 at Montmagny, Que.
Félix-Odilon Gauthier, whose father was the treasurer of Quebec City from 1851 to 1868 and one of the founders of the society of St Vincent de Paul in Canada, studied at the Petit Séminaire of Quebec, and then received legal training under Jean-Baptiste-Édouard Bacquet. He was called to the bar in 1833, and for 23 years carried on his profession at Quebec. In 1847 he was a captain in the 3rd Battalion of Quebec militia.
In 1856 the town prevailed upon the legislature to create a recorder’s court, the recorder’s role being to ensure the collection of debts and fines and to judge certain offences committed in the town. The court sat every day in a room in the town hall. The recorder was therefore a highly placed municipal official, appointed by the crown, and he drew a salary greater than that of the mayor. Félix-Odilon Gauthier was the first to hold the office, from 1856 to 1860. At a time when Quebec was the principal port of entry into Canada, his post was not a sinecure. Each summer brought its procession of unruly sailors.
In 1860 Gauthier accepted the post of judge of the Superior Court for the newly created district of Montmagny. For 10 years he discharged his duties, and earned the respect of the population. When he retired on 27 May 1870 he remained at Montmagny, where he died six years later. He was buried in the cemetery of that town.