Sophie Boutron

Dressmaker from the Crescent City
Sophie was one of the sixteen uninjured people who were traveling on the train’s rear sleeper, Calmar.1 She had probably been aboard Calmar after departing from her hometown of New Orleans, where she was in charge of the Dressmaking Department at the D.H. Holmes Department store.2

Outside of the passenger list documented by Norfolk & Western, there was little recorded about Sophie’s presence on the train. The 1889 and 1890 New Orleans City directories reveal only one possible candidate, Mrs. Sophia Boutron residing at 20 St. John.3 4 It is possible that Sophie was on her way to catch a ship traveling to France. A Sophia Boutron was recorded aboard the La Gascogne which returned from France in September of 1889.5 There are a number of ship manifest records which show a Sophie or Sophia Boutron traveling to Europe in the 1880s and 1890s, and the 1894 New Orleans Times-Picayune reveals that she was on her way to Europe again that summer with a scheduled departure from New York.6

Do you have more information about Sophie Boutron? If you think she might have been an ancestor of yours, or if you have some additional information that you would like to share, I’d love to hear from you. Thanks!


  1. Fourteenth Annual Report of The Railroad Commissioner of the State of Virginia, J.H. O’Bannon Superintendent of Public Printing, Richmond, VA, 1890: p. xlv.
  2. L. Soards, New Orleans City Directory, 1886, p. 174.
  3. L. Soards, New Orleans City Directory, 1889, p. 183.
  4. L. Soards, New Orleans City Directory, 1890, p. 184.
  5. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, New York, 1820-1897; (National Archives Microfilm Publication M237), Year: 1889; Arrival: New York, United States; Microfilm Serial: M237; Microfilm Roll: M237_539; Line: 21; List Number: 1307.
  6. “Personal”, The Times-Picayune (New Orleans, LA), July 22, 1894.

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