BENONI5 POIRIER (BASILE4, CHARLES3, JOSEPH2, MICHEL1) was born Abt. 1786 in Miscouche, Íle-Prince Edward, Canada. He married CÉCILE RICHARD, daughter of CHARLES RICHARD and MARIE POIRIER. She was born Abt. 1790 in Ile-Prince Edward.
Children of BENONI POIRIER and CÉCILE RICHARD are:
i. SOPHIQUE6 POIRIER, b. 23 Sep 1816, Miscouche, Ile-Prince Edward, Canada; m. AMABLE GAUDET, 23 Sep 1834, Miscouche, Prince, Prince Edward Island, Canada; b. 13 Mar 1814, Tignish, Prince, Prince Edward Island, Canada.
More About AMABLE GAUDET and SOPHIQUE POIRIER:
Marriage: 23 Sep 1834, Miscouche, Prince, Prince Edward Island, Canada
ii. DENIS POIRIER, b. 21 Oct 1824, Miscouche, Íle-Prince Edward, Canada.
iii. ÉDESSE POIRIER, b. 20 Sep 1817, Miscouche, Íle-Prince Edward, Canada; m. BRUNO HACHÉ GALLANT, 25 Nov 1839, Mont-Carmel, Prince, Prince Edward Island, Canada; b. 26 Mar 1819, Mont-Carmel, Prince, Prince Edward Island, Canada.
More About BRUNO GALLANT and ÉDESSE POIRIER:
Marriage: 25 Nov 1839, Mont-Carmel, Prince, Prince Edward Island, Canada
iv. MADELEINE POIRIER, b. 25 Jul 1813, Miscouche, Íle-Prince Edward, Canada; m. MAXIME PITRE, 25 Jul 1831; b. 25 Jul 1810, Rustico, Queens, Prince Edward Island, Canada.
More About MAXIME PITRE and MADELEINE POIRIER:
Marriage: 25 Jul 1831
v. JOSEPH B. POIRIER, b. 10 Mar 1820, Miscouche, Íle-Prince Edward, Canada; d. 21 Nov 1899, Prince Edward Island, Canada; m. BARBE ARSENAULT; b. 22 Jul 1818, Malpèque, Île-St-Jean, Acadie, Canada.
Notes for JOSEPH B. POIRIER:
Joseph B. Poirier of Miscouche, born in 1820, helped pave the way for a number of other Acadian merchants, mainly family members and relatives, who later opened stores in Miscouche, Abrams Village, Wellington, Tignish and St. Louis. A farmer, Poirier opened his first store in his home village in 1857 when he was 37 years of age. He is the only store owner listed for Miscouche in Hutchinson’s 1864 Directory. He remained in business there until 1880 when his youngest son, Emmanuel, took over, but unfortunately Emmanuel died two years later of consumption at the age of 22.
In 1881, Joseph Poirier’s wife, Barbe Arsenault, died after 36 years of sickness, but according to ’Impartial, "she had always helped [her husband] in his arduous career." The same year, Poirier moved from Miscouche to Tignish where two of his sons, Avit and Damase were involved in commerce – mainly buying eggs from the farmers and exporting them to the United States. Avit later became a storeowner in the village of St. Louis where he was also the postmaster. In Tignish, Joseph Poirier soon remarried and in 1885, when he was 65 years old, opened a new store which he successfully operated for 12 years.
According to the newspapers of the time, Poirier was one of the leading store owners of West Prince. Tignish’s French-language weekly, L’Impartial, described his enterprise in 1896:
J.B. Poirier’s firm is one of the best established business in the western part of the Island. The buildings that he occupies cover an area of 6,640 [square] feet. He buys over 12,000 bushels of oats annually and from 25,000 to 30,000 dozen eggs. Monsieur Poirier exports his own products to foreign markets. His store is always full of the best merchandise that he sells to farmers in exchange for their produce, for which he pays the best prices.
An advertisement published in the same paper in 1894 offers us a glimpse of this man’s approach to business:
I am just in receipt of a lot of Flour which I can sell for $3.55 per barrel. The brand of this flour is "Evangeline", a well known brand. I have also a better brand A1 for $3.70.
My stock of boots, shoes, Rubbers, will shortly be here. All the goods that the people need can be had at my store at 10 and 15 per cent cheaper than elsewhere for ready pay.
In the meantime, I would kindly ask my customers to come and settle their accounts to enable me to continue my business with better advantage.
Due to failing eyesight, Joseph B. Poirier had to abandon his business at the age of 77. He sold it in 1897 to his stepson, Joseph F. Chaisson who had been his clerk for a number of years. Poirier then retired back to Miscouche and moved in with his daughter Sophie and son-in-law, businessman Gilbert DesRoches, where he died on November 21, 1899.
Notes for BARBE ARSENAULT:
Joseph B. Poirier’s wife, Barbe Arsenault, was a sister of Senator Joseph-Octave Arsenault of Abrams Village, another pioneer entrepreneur. Born in Cascumpec in 1828, but raised in the Egmont Bay area, Arsenault first attended the local school and then continued in Miscouche. At 19 years of age, he embarked on a teaching career which he pursued for some 17 years. Aside from taking a leave after five years in the classroom to qualify for a First Class Teacher’s certificate at the Central Academy in Charlottetown, he spent most of his teaching career in Abrams Village. In 1861, at age 32, he married 20-year-old Gertrude Gaudet of Miscouche. They settled on a farm and raised nine children.