RICHARD, LOUIS-EUSÈBE, merchant, legislative councillor; b. 1 March 1817 at Saint-Grégoire-le-Grand (Nicolet), L.C., son of Charles-Auguste Richard, merchant, and of Marie Hébert; d. 13 Nov. 1876 at Princeville, Que.
In 1840 Louis-Eusèbe Richard came to settle in the township of Stanfold, to the west of the road leading to Saint-Norbert-d’Arthabaska, and opened a general store there; he thus became the second merchant of the township. He had foreseen the importance which the spot he had chosen would assume, and he placed himself at the head of a movement that brought about a modification in the route of the Grand Trunk Railway (from Richmond to Lévis) in the Arthabaska region. As he also traded in wood, the building of this line allowed him to enlarge his fortune appreciably. Thus, according to the notary François-Xavier Pratte’s registry, in 1844 Richard began to “lend money” on recognizance, and until 1871 he arranged purchases, sales, transfers, conveyances, and other remunerative contracts.
In 1862 Louis-Eusèbe Richard, at the request of a large number of influential electors in the division of Kennebec, stood as a candidate for the office of legislative councillor against Charles Cormier*, the first mayor of Plessisville. Having to contend with the influence of the representatives of three counties, Henri-Gustave Joly* de Lotbinière (Lotbinière), Noël Hébert (Mégantic), and Jean-Baptiste-Éric Dorion* (Drummond-Arthabaska), and being up against a very highly regarded and respected man, he was defeated by a majority of 275 votes, even though he obtained the greatest number of votes in the two counties of Arthabaska and Lotbinière. In 1874 he accepted the seat left vacant by the resignation of the Honourable Isidore Thibaudeau*, the Legislative Council having ceased to be elective in 1867. Richard does not seem to have concerned himself very actively with politics, but he was known to be a Conservative.
On 15 Jan. 1841, Louis-Eusèbe Richard had married Hermine Prince, of Saint-Grégoire-le-Grand. After raising a large family, he left a sizeable fortune to his wife and four children, among them Édouard*, who was mla for Mégantic from 1872 to 1878 and author of Acadie, reconstitution d’un chapitre perdu de l’histoire d’Amérique.
Louis-Eusèbe Richard belonged to one of the most highly respected families in old Acadia. “A man of uncommon vigour, of great intelligence, of proverbial honesty, he won the esteem of all those who, through ties of kinship, or business relationships, or friendship, were fortunate enough to know him.” It was in his honour that in 1848 St Eusèbe was given to the parish of Stanfold as its patron saint.
Archives judiciaires d’Arthabaska (Qué.), Registre d’état civil, Saint-Eusèbe-de-Stanfold, 13 nov. 1876. AJTR, Registre d’état civil, paroisse Saint-Grégoire-le-Grand, II, 99; IV, 147. C.-É. Mailhot, Les Bois-Francs (4v., Arthabaska, Qué., 1914–25), II, 308–15.