Naquin, Ozeme, formerly of Thibodaux, Lafourche parish, La., was born at the old Naquin plantation home, on the line separating Lafourche and Assumption parishes, Louisiana, Jan. 28, 1843, and his long and active life closed at his home in Thibodaux Sept. 15, 1912.
He was a son of Maximillian and Azilie (Richard) Naquin, both of whom were born in Lafourche parish. The death of the father occurred at the plantation home Sept. 1855, and that of the mother at Thibodeaux April 15, 1901.
The paternal grandfather, Joseph Naquin, married Celeste Prechant. Both were natives of Louisiana. The paternal great-grandfather, Naquin, came from France directly to Louisiana and located in Lafourche Parish. Following the death of the father, the mother, in 1856, moved with her children to Thibodeaux, and it devolved upon Ozeme and his brothers to seek employment by means of which to keep up the household, and thoughts of a higher education for the time being had to be abandoned.
Ozeme, however, managed to so contrive, with the aid of his mother, as to enable him to attend public school for a few terms, and in this manner acquired sufficient education to enable him, resourceful as he was, to launch forth and assist his mother in providing for the home. He possessed the qualities of self-perfection in an unusual degree, and his efforts at acquiring knowledge, therefore, did not cease with his departure from the public school. He secured employment at the Thibodeaux foundry, where he remained three years.
At the beginning of the Civil war he enlisted in the 26th Louisiana infantry, at the age of 18 years, and served the cause of the Southern Confederacy with distinguished valor for 4 years, during which time he participated in several notable engagements, including the memorable siege of Vicksburg. At the close of the war he went to New Orleans and succeeded in finding employment at the Leeds foundry at one dollar per day. He remained in this position until he had saved some money, and also found a more remunerative place, as clerk in the house of Theodule Picou, of Schriever. After some time spent in this clerkship, he embarked in mercantile business with A. L. Naquin.
Later he and Felix Delatle became partners in a mercantile business in Lafourche parish, but after some time he determined that merchandising did not meet his requirements, and decided to resume his trade as a mechanic. He was employed on various plantations until 1879, when in the course of his employment an accident befell him that came near terminating his life.
While at work on the Ardoyne plantation a gas machine exploded and he was so severely burned that he was confined to his room for nearly eighteen months, and while he ultimately otherwise recovered, he never regained the free use of his hands, which were drawn up and terribly seared. This misfortune proved a terrible blow, but his indomitable will came to his aid and he determined that he would learn the business of sugar-boiling. He did so, and in this vocation was eminently successful.
This also prompted him to acquire a small plantation in the upper portion of the parish, where for years he was a successful planter. In 1881 Mr. Naquin bought a half interest in the Thibodeaux boiler works, and in 1887 he became sole owner of this business and conducted it alone. Later the business was converted into a joint stock company, with Ozeme Naquin as president and treasurer and he continued at the head of this corporation up to the time of his death. Previously, however, he had decided to go more extensively into the sugar business, and furthering this idea, he purchased the St. Bernard plantation, which he developed to a high state of efficiency and an exceptionally valuable property. The Waverly Sugar Planting & Manufacturing Co. came into existence partly through his efforts, and as a recognition of his abilities he was made president of this corporation. As time went on he acquired a controlling interest in the Waverly properties, and later added to these the Ridgefield plantation, all of which holdings he continued to control throughout the remainder of his life.
Mr. Naquin was a life-long Democrat, but while he was a public spirited citizen and man of large affairs, always in the forefront of every movement for the upbuilding of his town, parish and state, he never sought elective office, the honors and emoluments of which afforded no attractions for him. Through a sense of obligation he was induced for a time to occupy a position on the board of aldermen of the city of Thibodaux, and for similar reasons he was a member of Protector Fire Co., No. 2. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus, and of the Young Men's Benevolent association, and a charter member of Braxton Bragg Camp, No. 196, United Confederate Veterans.
At the time of his death he was a member of the staff of Maj.-Gen. T. J. Shaffer, with the rank of major and assistant inspector. Mr. Naquin was a stockholder, director and vice-president of the Bank of Thibodaux from the time of its organization in 1891 to his death. He was a member of the Roman Catholic church.
Mr. Naquin was first married to Miss Amelia Naquin, and 2 children of this marriage survive, namely: Joseph, now secretary of the Thibodeaux boiler works, and Mrs. Arthur Bethancourt, of Houma.
His second marriage was to Miss Leontine Braud, and 4 daughters born of this union are Edna, Agnes, Pauline, and Lucile.
May 8, 1883, Mr. Naquin was married to Miss Marie Bergeron, daughter of Valfroid Bergeron, the father having been born in Lafourche parish and the daughter in Terrebonne. Her grandfather, Seymore Bergeron, was born in the same parish as that in which the birth of his son, her father, occurred. Mrs. Naquin's great-grandfather originally came from France to America and located in Lafourche parish. To Mr. Naquin and his third wife were born 5 children, four of whom survive, they being Jules, Eugene, Beatrix, and Isabella.