(The Ville Platte Gazette, ville Platte, LA, 29 Jan 1942)
Chataignier, a little village located in the southeast section of Evangeline, is considered the third oldest settlement in the parish. It was originally designated as Point Chataignier, meaning Chestnut, or Chinquapin Point. This region, according to the earliest records obtainable, was first settled by Ursiana Manuel. The Spanish Judicial Records of 1796 reveal that an emigrant from Mexico by that name settled in the Opelousas country. According to the tradition of this pioneer's descendants he settled in Chataignier, which was a part of the Opelousas country during this period. The American State Papers, Public Lands records show Jacque Fontenot, General Garric de Flaugeac, Louis Ridon, and Arteman Lafleur as being the earliest landowners of Point Chataignier. These land grants were confirmed in 1811. but the date of their original occupancy is not given; it is possible that such grants could have been made at a much earlier date.
Other early settlers of the community were: Pierre Manuel [father of Augustine P. Manuel, wife to Antoine Miller], Pierre Dondiegue Lafleur, Antoine Miller, (1) Lastie Rosas, Henty Young, Celestin Fontenot, and the VeilIon family, who are the forebears of Louis "Celestin" Veillon, Sr.
Valentine Savoy, an early settler of Chataignier, was born in 1836. He was a conspicuous figure during the period of the late 1850's, because he was the first man in the Opelousas Country to begin the manufacture of spinning wheels. His ancestors had been prominent pioneers in Opelousas for many generations.
Mr. William Ashford, whose parents were natives of South Carolina, was born in St. Landry Parish in 1849. He started life at Chataignier as a schoolteacher just after the Civil War. He became one of Chataignier's leaders in political and civic circles.
According to Boudier's Catholic Church in Louisiana the first church services to .be held in the vicinity of Chataignier was in 1856 by missionaries from Opelousas. The tradition of today, as related by some of the older citizens, is that these services were conducted in the open air and under crude sheds. In 1869 the parish of Our Lady of Mount Carmel was created with Father Jean Batiste Bre as first pastor. The land for the church was donated by Mr. Bertrand Paussion.
Postal service was established at Chataignier in 1879 by Mr. Alphonse Guillet, a native of France. The mail was brought to this point from Washington, Louisiana by horseback service. Mr. Guillet served as postmaster continuously from 1879 to 1940 with the exception of one year when this position was filled by Mr. J. A. Hardey. This community obtained railroad and telegraph service in 1908, when the Texas Pacific railroad was routed through the territory that is now known as the settlement of Chataignier. Mr. Adam Rozas acted as receiving agent until the appointment of J. D. Heck Sr., as the regular agent.
The coming of the railroad and location oi the depot in its present location marked the beginning of this community. Beside the railroad, telegraph, and postal service which is still maintained in this community, Chataignier has a state approved high school, two cotton gins, a number of modern stores, and for a number of years the Evangeline Bank and Trust Company maintained a branch there.
(1) Antone MIller Family Book