GALLIPOLIS — On Saturday, Our House Tavern, in partnership with the Bossard Memorial Library, invite guests to travel back in time to meet Dr. Antoine Saugrain, a French-born physician.
Explore his experience as one of the French 500, his efforts in the establishment of Gallipolis, and learn how he outfitted Lewis and Clark with medical supplies during their journey down the Ohio River in a seminar presented by Char Ollinger Waughtel, his 4th great granddaughter.
The day begins at 9 a.m. at the Bossard Memorial Library, 7 Spruce Street, in Gallipolis, when guests will be introduced to Dr. Saugrain. His early life, settlement in Gallipolis, and marriage to Genevieve Rosalie Michau will be covered in the morning sessions.
Following a lunch break, Waughtel will present information about his later life that includes his experimentation with early versions of phosphorus matches and his manufacturing of thermometers and barometers in Gallipolis, as well as his involvement with the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
Dr. Saugrain was also a chemist, and part of a scientific expedition to explore the Ohio River. An early proponent of vaccines, he was the first physician west of the Mississippi River to use the Jenner cowpox vaccine to prevent smallpox, offering it to anyone, regardless of their ability to pay.
His genealogy and associated articles, including pictures and books documenting his “Extraordinary Life”, will be presented during the program.
Waughtel shared her thoughts on history in an earlier presentation in Gallipolis: “Our ancestors are woven into the fabric of history. Your family explains who and why you are the person you are. If you can understand where you come from, you have a better idea about where you’re going.”
The event is free and open to the public. Saugrain and Michau descendants are encouraged to attend, as well as descendants of French 500 families, and anyone interested in the rich history of Gallipolis.
For a full schedule or more information of the day’s events, visit bossardlibrary.com., or contact the Our House Tavern at 740-446-0586, or Lynn at Bossard Library, 740-446-7323 extension 229.
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Lorna Hart is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing.