Millinery Advertisement

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This is an advertisement from the 1882 New Orleans City Directory, for my great-grandmother's millinery store.

I'm a native New Orleanian, born in 1954 to Joseph A. Bandera, Jr. and Marie E. Laux. I'm Austrian and French on the paternal side; French, Spanish and German on the maternal. There have been no mixed marriages for four generations, so the family remains homogeneously Catholic. My family is well rooted in New Orleans, with most of my ancestors having grown up and lived in Faubourg St. John. This ad is for the millinery store of Catherine Duplain Bandera, my great-grandmother.
Simon Bandera, my great-grandfather, was born in Prague in August 1845. When Europe shook with revolution in 1848, the threat of upcoming war was likely what provoked the Banderas to send Simon to America at the age of 13 in 1858. Catherine was born November 1852 in Switzerland.  At 14, in 1866, she immigrated to New Orleans with her father, Joseph Duplain, a blacksmith who would live in the French Quarter on Royal Street. In 1870, Catherine and Simon were married in St. Louis Cathedral. They had three children, Mary Catherine, Joseph Etienne, and Beatrice. Simon and Catherine lived in many apartments in the French Quarter. Catherine originally worked in a millinery store with a partner, Mrs. Clementine Ecaille, on Royal Street. In 1882, she opened a new store at 53 St. Ann in the Pontalba Building on Jackson Square. The business must have been prosperous, as Catherine’s ad was the lead here. Her legacy of textile skill was passed on to her son, Joseph Etienne, who could touch an inch of fabric for a matter of seconds and correctly know the thread count.

Place(s): Prague, Austria, Switzerland, France, Spain, Germany, New Orleans

– Roger Bandera

Relationship:  Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more