Campti • McKnight • Cloutier

Campti is a small town in Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana, about 10 miles north of the City of Natchitoches, located on the Eastern Bank of the Red River.

Natchitoches was settled by the French who came directly from France, unlike the Canadian French (Cajun) who settled South Louisiana after they were expelled from Canada by the English. Some of the names of the early French settlers were: Barberousse, Chategnier, Cloutier, Desadier, Fonteneau, Grappe, Laurent, Lambres, LeBrun, Lestage, Levassieur, Maricelli, Metoyer, Meziere, Perot, Prudhomme, Roubieu and Trichel.

My great-great-grandfather Hasbit Miles Nesbit McKnight (1823-1872), an Episcopal Minister, came to the Campti area about the 1830’s from North Carolina, and married Zeline Fredieu in 1844. It seems like he may have owned and/or had connections with the Red Plains Farm and The Pre Aux Cleres Farm. Zeline died in 1900. They had 11 children.

Hasbit McKnight and family
Hasbit McKnight and family Standing: Joseph Ralph, Jessie Ernestine, Caroline Azalie and Rena Phelimine Seated: Curiaque, Marie Julie Periot, Mary Julie and William Laffitte

1847 entries written and signed by Hasbit McKnight.
Courtesy of Stephanie Peltier, Baton Rouge, LA

James Hart McKnight (1852-1895) Mary Phelimine Julie Perot (1853-1909)
James Hart McKnight (1852-1895) - Mary Phelimine Julie Perot (1853-1909)

My great-grandfather James Hart McKnight was born in 1852 at Red Plains Farm and died at Oak Hill Farm in 1895. He married Mary Phelimine Julie Perot (1853-1909). They had seven children.

My grandfather William Lafitte McKnight was born at Oak Hill Farm near Campti in 1872 and died at Shreveport Hospital in 1921 of a ruptured apendix, but was living in Campti. He was married in 1904 in Campti to Louise Lillian Cloutier (born in 1876, died at Residence Farm in Houma in 1960. They had three children.

My maternal great-grandfather was Charles Alexis Cloutier (1833-1905). He married my Great Grandmother Marie Louise Aimee Metoyer (1838-1887) in 1859. The town of Cloutierville is named after him.

Charles Alexis Cloutier's house in Cloutierville
Charles Alexis Cloutier's house in Cloutierville

My mother Lillie Lea Cloutier McKnight (1908-2011), the daughter of Lillian Cloutier and William Lafette McKnight, was born in Campti where she attended high school. She went to North Western Louisiana Collage in Natichotiches and received a teaching degree in 1926.

She came to Houma to teach in 1927 where she meet my father Wilson J Gaidry Jr. (1901-1973). After a brief courtship they married in 1930. They both lived and died on Residence Farm in Houma.