(A chronological sequence of Agibe Achille Chenier's life)
10 Feb 1883
Agibe Achille (Archie) was born, the son of Isidore Chenier & Angeline Coursol, in a little village called Bouchette about 15 KM north of the town of Gracefield. The house below which was partly owned and built by his father, Isidore Chenier in the early 1880's was the house his family soon moved in afterwards and where he grew up. The house is situated on a lonely road to Lac Cayamant, Que., a cottage & tourist and camping area today.
27 Nov 1905
The house was initialy built as a store to sell merchandise to lumber men going to and from Lac Cayamant, then a bush campsite for lumberjacks working in that area. This house was much smaller then than what is shown here today. Over the years it has grown to a large store, (at one time is was partially destroyed by fire), but is still a house with people living there.
Agibe left home as a young man and travelled to the Nipissing area of Ontario in search of work. In Sturgeon Falls, Ont., he met Fidelia Clusiau and soon they were married. While living in Sturgeon Falls they had two children. Sadly they both died in infancy, possibly stillbirths.
Agibe and Fidelia next moved to Cobalt, in Northern Ontario where it was a booming mining town with silver ore mines were the main attraction. Here they had a daughter, my aunt Germaine Ida, born 14 Feb 1910.
14 Feb 1910
23 Sep 1912
Agibe must have had itchy feet, for we next find him in Hull, Que. He live in the house below with his wife Delia and their young daughter Germain. (The house with green trimming: he lived in the upstairs unit to the right). It is while living here that my father, Gerard Magella was born, 23 Sep 1912.
While living in the above house with his new growing family Agibe was working as a store clerk in a hardware store, in the building above right. This is the same building today, however it seems Giant Tiger has "moved" in. If one "blows" up the picture one can see Agibe's apartment to the bottom left of the picture. It is down a hill. It is also believed that while living at this address Agibe & Delia had another daughter who died in infancy or was a still birth. Her name was Berthe Anina and she was born 13 Nov 1913. No death record has been found so far.
13 Mar 1915
Now, for some unknown reason we next find Agibe living in Ottawa, specifically on Nelson St. in the house pictured below. Here Agibe & Fidelia had another daughter born, 13 Mar 1915, my aunt Jacqueline Noella. In the city directories for Ottawa, in 1915, it indicates Agibe living on Nelson St. but was a store clerk at the same store in Hull. What reasons they had to move to Ottawa is still unknown.
Today this house has been designated a heritage house (amongst many in Ottawa) and a plaque so designating it is attached on the outside, to the left of the front entrance. It is located one street south of one of Ottawa's major streets, the Rideau, about one half mile east of Chateau Laurier. Pretty little house, it is.
2 Sep 1920
Agibe & Fidelia had their last child here, my uncle Bernice Theodore, born 2 Sep 1920.
The lure of prosperity and jobs was a sure factor in attracting Agibe and his family to Cobalt, by then the world's largest producer of silver and a cosmopolitain "town" of about 20,000 people, with a tram service and even an opera house.
It is while working as a clerk in Cobalt for J.C. McNabb & Co., Limited , that Agibe established his lifelong career. Family lore tell us that Mr. McNabb said to Agibe that if he wanted to take over the business of undertaker that he go to Toronto, take the course and get a diploma. It is believed he attended the "Canadian School of Enbalming" at the Banting Institute in Toronto. According to the Funeral Services of Ontario that would be the only place giving enbalming courses at that time.Once he did that Mr McNabb, it is said, gave the undertaking business to my grandfather, Agibe Achille Chenier. In 1920 it was renamed CHENIER FUNERAL HOME, (Manager: Chenier, Archie, C.)
It is recorded that Agibe ran the CHENIER FUNERAL HOME successfully for about 2 years in Cobalt, Ont. Records from the Provincial Funeral Services of Ontario indicate no records exist for his business between 1921 and 1924, however his business records re-appear in 1925 in Cobalt. After 1925 he was no longer running his funeral business in Cobalt. This seems to indicate that he moved on either in 1925 or 1926 to either Timmins or some other place.
We next find Agibe Achille Chenier in Timmins in 1933. He may have been there earlier, however as a business man his business establisment is first recorded in Timmins by the Provincial Funeral Services of Ontario as 1933, again under the name of CHENIER FUNERAL HOME, Manager: Chenier A.C.
During these years it seems he ran his business successfully without any known major problems.
At this point in time my dad must have gone to the Humber College or the Banting Institute in Toronto to get his enbalming papers. No exact date can be found but in the the City of Timmins Directory of 1938 the following 4 "Cheniers" are listed, all on the same page:
1. Chenier Achille manager Chenier's Funeral & Ambulance Service 55 Third avenue phone 78
3. Chenier Gerard enbalmer Chenier's Funeral & Ambulance Service 216 Spruce north phone 2334
4. Chenier's Funeral & Ambulance Service (Fidelia Chenier) funeral directors 55 Third avenue phone 78
My grandmother, Fidelia also ran a flower shop business next to the funeral parlour. Perhaps it came later, because none is listed under her name. However, in this year, 1938, a flower shop did exist under the Chenier name:
Codelia is actual Marie Cordelia Reale Charlebois, born in Rockland, Ont. She married Omer Chenier in Timmins in 1924. Omer Chenier was born in the state of NY, USA, but moved up to Timmins in the gold rush days. Omer is the son of Alfred Chenier & Anna Miron. He is my third cousin.
The Provincial Funeral Services of Ontario now records that Agibe changed the name of his business back to CHENIER FUNERAL HOME, Manager: Chenier A.C. It would appear Agibe had some difficulties with his business and decided to eliminate the ambulance service.
This is the year, (1947), my father, Gerard Magella, took over his father's business. Gerard, it is believed went to Sudbury, Ont to get his papers as an undertaker. It was probably due to Agibe's failing health that his son took over the business.
In so doing he became the manager of CHENIER FUNERAL HOME Manager: Gerard Magella Chenier, as recorded by:Provincial Funeral Services of Ontario.
On 27 Nov 1949, Agibe Achille Chenier at the age of 66 passed away in Timmins. Ont.
That same year, 1949, no records by Provincial Funeral Services of Ontario indicated that a CHENIER FUNERAL HOME existed in Timmins, or anywhere else in Ontario.