Joe Devine (1861)

Joe Devine’s real name was Octave Joseph Victor Rivard dit Lavigne and he was born on January 21, 1861  in a small community in Quebec called Nicolet-Yamaska, next to Trois Riviers, on the Saint Lawrence river. The first of seven kids moved to the United States some time in the late 1800′s assuming the more pronounceable name of Joe Devine. At the beginning of 1900′s he is in Colorado working between Pryor and Rouse first as a blacksmith then as a Watchman for the Colorado Fuel and Iron Corporation, and his employment in Rouse (as Marshall)  is documented between April 1903 and September 1906.

Joe marries Juanita Valdez and has one boy, his life ends violently in 1909 when he is assassinated in cold blood by an Irish miner after settling a quarrel in the Pryor saloon. A letter from Mrs. E. A. Thomas, a neighbor in Rouse, addressed to a cousin (Felix Plamondon)  survived describing his life and the circumstances of his death; his transcription can be found here.

Thanks to Joe Lavigne for the documentation/information and photos of this post.

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