When most of us hear the term founding father we think of America’s first president, George Washington. The person who founded Abbeville and later succeeded in making it the Vermilion Parish seat gives a whole new meaning to that phrase.
If we are doing a story on the founding of Vermilion Parish then why are we standing in front of a church in Lafayette Parish? Good question. The answer is the founding father of Abbeville, of Vermilion Parish was a real father, a Catholic Priest who got his start here in Lafayette and had it not been for a falling out with some of his parishioners here in the Hub City he might have never made it to Abbeville.
When Father Me’gret arrived the village was known as La Chapelle, but Me’gret had big plans for the community. This is a copy of a map hand drawn by father Me’gret that shows what he had in mind. In later years he would work to have the name of the town changed to honor his home town in France, Abbeville.
Today a statue of Father Me’gret stands in front of Mary Magdalene Church. In the center of Abbeville and the center of Vermilion Parish.