Monday, December 30, 2013

Elise Reuss Memorial School And George B. Reuss

File:Iberville Parish Abandoned School.jpg
Reuss, George B., successful and well-known sugar planter, was born at New 
Orleans, La., Feb. 15, 1858; son of John and Helena (Lotz) Reuss, both natives 
of Hesse, Darmstadt, Germany.  The father came to America about the year 1850, 
locating in Iberville parish, La., where he engaged in the saddlery business.  
Later he removed to Ascension parish and located on the Chatham plantation.  
Still later, in the year 1867, he purchased the Germania plantation, consisting 
of 2200 acres of land, and became an extensive planter of sugar cane and corn.  
He gave close attention to his business, and prospered greatly.  In the year 
1896 or 1897 he went on an extended tour of Europe, in the course of which he 
died, in 1898, at the age of 75 years.  His wife preceded him in death in 1890, 
at the age of 58 years.  George B. Reuss was the only child born to his parents.  
In the course of his education he attended Spring Hill college, Mobile, Ala., 
from which in due time he graduated.  Following the completion of his education, 
the young man passed one year in the city of New Orleans, after which he became 
active assistant to his father in the management of the plantation business and 
so remained until the death of the latter, when the son succeeded to the 
ownership of the property left by the father.  He has successfully managed the 
estate and added largely to it, acquiring the Belle Helene property and 
organizing the Belle Helene Planting Co., the stock of which is held by himself 
and his children.  Mr. Reuss is a member of the Lutheran church, and is 
affiliated with the Sugar Planters' association of New Orleans, and 
Donaldsonville Lodge No. 1153, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.  Jan. 4, 
1888, George B. Reuss was married to Miss Bertha E. Spor, a daughter of J. G. 
and Eleanor (Bettinger) Spor, both natives of Alsace, German, Empire.  The 
parents came to America about the year 1850, locating in the city of New 
Orleans, where the father engaged in the wholesale grocery business.  He died in 
the year 1897 and the mother in 1907.  To Mr. and Mrs. George B. Reuss 4 
children have been born, namely:  Helene, a graduate of the Sophie B. Wright 
school, New Orleans, wife of W. C. Hayward, of New Orleans, and now the mother 
of 3 children, namely,  Helene Reuss,  John Reuss, and  William Campbell 
Hayward;  Elise, who died in the year 1898, and to whose memory her father 
erected a loving memorial in the form of a splendid school building, which is 
perhaps the finest of its kind within the state of Louisiana outside of the 
larger cities;  Ethelyn, also a graduate of the Sophie B. Wright school, and now 
residing at the parental home;  Gussie, another graduate of the Sophie B. Wright 
school, and also of the National park seminary of Maryland.  Mr. Reuss is a 
public-spirited and actively progressive citizen, and has served the people of 
his part of the state in various capacities.  For a number of years he was a 
member of the school board, and has always been zealous in his efforts toward 
the improvement of the schools of his parish.  He served as a member of the 
police jury for 8 years in the capacity of president of the jury.  During this 
time the Donaldsonville high school building was erected, Mr. Reuss being a 
member and chairman of the building committee.  Many years ago Mr. Reuss had 
made the survey and acquired the right-of-way for a railroad between Belle 
Helene, Gonzales and Galvez, through the New River section.  Seven miles of this 
road have been built, and a few years ago the line was extended from Belle 
Helene to the new and progressive town of St. Elmo, the railroad being now known 
as the St. Elmo, Belle Helene & Louisiana Eastern R. R.  About 15 years ago Mr. 
Reuss also had a survey made for the purpose of draining the lands of his 
section into Bayou Bijou.  There was much opposition to his project at that 
time, but in 1914 Mr. Reuss was greatly gratified by the forming of the Bayou 
Bijou drainage district, of which he was appointed a commissioner.  This 
drainage commission virtually accepted Mr. Reuss' original survey, and the large 
drainage canal, with several laterals, is nearing completion, and will reclaim 
thousands of fertile acres.  At all times Mr. Reuss is found in the lead of any 
movement directed toward the betterment of the material advancement of the 
interests of the people among whom he lives.
Elise Reuss Memorial School - abandoned brick school building - Iberville Parish, Louisiana... Amazing Architecture!!! This Has To Be SAVED!!! 
Derelict brick school building, Iberville Parish, Louisiana.

On February 29, 2008, Baret and I took a graving trip out to Iberville Parish, so that I could - as Iberville Parish Keeper - record the cemeteries in and around Plaquemine and White Castle for Find A Grave.

Just outside of White Castle, along the River Road just inside the Ascension Parish line, we saw this old, abandoned brick abode. We found a way to get to it, and snapped some photos.

On the facade's front brick column were two white marble panels detailing the building's history.

The first read: Elise Reuss Memorial School

Erected 1907 To the loving memory of our daughter Elise Bertha Christine Reuss
Born June 9th 1890 Died November 19th 1894

The second panel read: Architects Mackenzie Goldstein and Biggs New Orleans, LA
Builders Lydien Colet S.P. Braud

Source: Internet


  1. Thank you for the info on George Reuss. I had originally looked for this info back when we found the building in 2008 but was unable to come up with anything at that time.

    As for the photos and their commentary, I would appreciate it if you link the photos back to my Flickr account and give me credit as the writer of their description. If you prefer, you could just link to the entire set of photos we took February 28, 2008 of the abandoned building and surrounding property:

    Thank you.

    I do not know if the building still stands - people have recently told me they looked for it but were unable to find it. I'd like to travel back that way and see if we could stumble across it again. It was a strange, eerie site, to be sure.

    Shanna (aka skatoolaki)

    1. Has anyone found out if the building is still there. I would like to see it.

    2. It's still there. We found it just last year but you'd have to park on the road and walk to it. It's a good bit off the road.

  2. What is the address of this building?

  3. if you could send me a pin that would be awsome id love to see this place!