DUPONT, SIMÉON, priest, Recollet, b. 1671 in Paris; d. 17 Sept. 1732 at Trois-Rivières.
We do not know the exact date of Father Siméon Dupont’s arrival in Canada. His first act entered in the parish register of Trois-Rivières is dated 21 Nov. 1701, when he was assisting Father Luc Filiastre. While ministering tirelessly to the neighbouring parishes, he also carried out the duties of curate in the parish of Trois-Rivières until 1716. He was then appointed superior of the community of Recollets in that town; he also took on the office of priest of the parish, deputizing in the absence of Father Antoine Martin de Lino, who did not arrive until October 1717.
Can we maintain, as does the historian Jouve, that from 1702 to 1724 “he prepared and supervised the building of the churches of five future parishes,” namely those of Maskinongé, Rivière-du-Loup (Louiseville), and Yamachiche, on the north shore, and Baie-du-Febvre and Nicolet on the south shore? We do know that on 1 Jan. 1716 Judge René Godefroy de Tonnancour initialled the register of Nicolet at the request of Father Dupont, “a priest serving the parish of the Nativité de la Sainte Vierge et de Saint-Pierre in the seigneuries of Bécancour and Dutort.” In addition, the Recollet made the first entry in the registry of Bécancour on 12 January of the same year. On 22 July 1722 Father Siméon signed as a witness the deed of gift donating the land on which the church had been built to the parish council of Nicolet; this gift was made so that a presbytery could be erected and a garden prepared there for the missionary. It is therefore certain that he organized these missions, served them for more than 12 years, and endowed some parishes with their first registers, although this does not mean that he actually built the churches.
Father Dupont made his last entry in the register of Trois-Rivières on 10 Oct. 1731. Exhausted by long and arduous missionary trips, he died the following year at the age of 61, after 44 years in the church.
Archives de l’évêché de Nicolet, carton Bécancour. Archives de la Seine-Inférieur, H (clergé régulier), récollets, 5. AJTR, Greffe de Pierre Petit; Registres d’état civil de Trois-Rivières, 21 nov. 1701, 10 oct. 1731. AQ, NF, Doc. de la jur. des T.-R. “Procès-verbaux du procureur général Collet” (Caron), 281–83. J.-É. Bellemare, Histoire de la Baie-Saint-Antoine, dit Baie-du-Febvre, 1683–1911 (Montréal, 1911). Jouve, Les Franciscains et le Canada: aux Trois-Rivières, 124, 294, 305, 310.