Jeanette Couturier- Galloway
Jeanette “Cap” Couturier, Galloway, was born in a log cabin on the north edge of Sleepy Eye. Jeanette’s parents were Hyacinthe Couturier (Also known as French Cap) and wife Rosalie De Merce (chief Sleepy Eye’s niece). They were French-Canadian and Indian.
(Rosalie De Merce and Hyacinthe Couturier)
Hyacinthe was known as “French Cap” by the early settlers in and around Sleepy Eye, came from Quebec, Canada, when he was a young man. He met and married Rosalie Demarce, who was part Sioux Indian girl.
The reason why the Couturier’s went by “Cap” was because the Germans living in Brown County could not pronounce Courtier so they began calling Hyacinthe as “French Cap”; as time passed the name stuck.
At the time of the Indian outbreak the Couturiers left their home and moved in with a French family by the name of Revier at New Ulm. They didn’t return for three years, but the log house was still standing. The Indians had tried to burn it but the green logs wouldn’t burn.
Rosalie liked chickens and such, but there were none on the place, so one day on the way back from New Ulm where she had purchased her monthly supply of groceries she stopped at a home and asked if she could buy a few chickens. She traded a calico dress for a rooster and two hens. She took them home and put them in a small shed near the log house.
Next morning when she went to feed the chickens there stood a big white cow. When she reported her find to French Cap, and asked where it could have come from, since there were only a few houses between Sleepy Eye lake and New Ulm, it was stated that it was a “a Gift from God; keep her, take care of her.” so Rosalie kept the cow. Two weeks later the cow gave birth to twin heifer calves and the little farm had its first herd of cattle.
“Believe it or not, in just such a way a month later a pig came to the place, from where no one ever knew. Shortly afterward she had a littler of twelve pigs.” French Cap made a living mostly by hunting and fishing but they also raised some crops. Wheat was hauled to New Ulm by oxen to be ground for flour. Corn, potatoes and beans were stored for winter.