Memorial donation in honor of Iberville Parish native Marionneaux

Staff Writer
Plaquemine Post South
Jean Philogene Marionneaux and Sallie Ann Sharon Marionneaux

Elizabeth Brantley, curator of the Iberville Parish museum, announced a memorial donation to the museum made in honor of Jean Philogene (Philo) Marionneaux, born on November 6th, 1873, who was a native and lifelong resident of Iberville Parish.  Memorials are being accepted to pay tribute to past and present civic leaders and citizens of Iberville Parish, contact the museum at 225.687.7197 or email the ibervillemuseum@yahoo.com. Philo was raised on the north side of bayou Plaquemine about 4.5 miles down the bayou from Louisiana Highway 1, on what is now Louisiana Highway 77 (2013).

His ancestor, Pierre Marionneaux came from La Rochelle, France as a French marine, stationed at Fort St. Jean the Baptist at Natchitoches, Louisiana.  They were there to settle and prevent any intrusion from the Spanish in neighboring Texas. The census of May 1, 1722 lists him there.  His grandson Francois Charles Marionneaux was the first Marionneaux to come to Iberville Parish in 1775.

Captain Philogene Marionneaux married Sallie Ann Sharon on January 20, 1897 at St. John The Evangelist Catholic Church here in Plaquemine. They made their home on the north side of the bayou on land inherited from his father, Antoine Albert Marionneaux. He fathered 10 children: Alma, Myrtis, Philo Jr., Amelia, Cecelia, Myra, Mercedes (Dutch), Sadie, Pansy, George, and Janice.  Two of his children, Philo Jr. and George would follow his boating career on the bayou and Mississippi on many boats including the Carrie B Schwing. 

Captain Marionneaux piloted the Carrie B Schwing, a stern wheel, steam-driven boat, through the Plaquemine lock when it opened on April 9th, 1909. It was the first boat to go through the lock and he was the only Captain of the Carrie B from her construction in 1904 until his untimely death in 1930. The primary use of the boat was towing cypress logs to the Schwing Saw Mill. However, the boat was often used for excursions through local waterways and bayous. His career on the river was long, prestigious, dedicated and enthusiastic, thereby encouraging and inspiring others to pursue careers on the river.

On January 29, 1930 at the age of 57 he died while cranking his car at Achee’s Garage on Main Street in Plaquemine. His legacy continued through his son, Philo Marionneaux, Jr. who became Captain of the Carrie B following the passing of his father. His career spanned 45 years on the river until he retired in 1966. This memorial was made possible by the descendants of Jean Philogene (Philo) Marionneaux Sr. from proceeds collected at a family reunion in his memory on April 27th, 2013, by those in attendance.