Vincenzo Charlos Napoli, known as “Charley,” was born in Palmero, Italy, in 1866. Before coming to Louisiana, Charley married Calogera “Kate” Artall, about 1891. The couple, along with several children, arrived in New Orleans in 1897 and thereafter settled near Melville.
After several years of sharecropping in St. Landry Parish, the Napoli family opened a merchandise store at the corner of Church and Landrum streets in Melville around 1910. The retail and grocery store was passed on to four generations of Napolis before closing. The old abandoned “Napoli’s” store building still stands and has become a landmark for those passing through Melville on Highway 105. During the Great Depression, Napoli left St. Landry Parish to live in New Orleans where most of his children had located. Only his sons, John Charles Napoli (1892-1958) and Victor Napoli (1896-1982) remained in Melville. The remaining surviving children, Jasper Napoli (1903-1967), Carl Napoli (1906-1973), Joseph Napoli (born 1907), Mable Napoli Ruffino (1900-1974), Frances Napoli Sparatafora (born 1901), and Anita Napoli Franco (1904-2000), were all living in New Orleans by 1935.
Mark J. Normand is searching for additional information and photos on this Napoli family, especially the New Orleans families.