The cemeteries of the River Parishes are as old as their oldest New Orleans counterpart. They date to late-eighteenth century settlements of Germans and Acadians and memorialize the names of families that still dwell in the area: Waguespack, Aime, Webre, Roman. Moreover, they bear the names of some of the best-known French-associated stonecutters of New Orleans: Florville Foy and Paul Hippolyte Monsseaux, especially.
But among the craftsman names inscribed on tombs and tablets of River Parish cemeteries is one name that will not be found in New Orleans: L. GEX. Written only on a handful of headstones, this is the last memorialization in stone of a man who may himself not have a grave marker at all. In this blog post, we will attempt to share what we know (and what we do not know) about Lucien Gex, one of southern Louisiana’s only rural stonecutters.