Famous figures of the Saosnois

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Joseph CAILLAUX (1863-1944)

Joseph Caillaux

He was a colourful figure from the 3rd. Republic, whose political career extended from the Dreyfus Affair to the fiasco of 1940, punctuated by many stormy passages which added a certain piquancy to the life of this representative for the Sarthe.

His wife asassinated  Gaston Calmette, who was the editor of The Figaro.  Her arrest and subsequent highly publicized trial at the height of the War caused shock waves among the political strata.

Not only did he instigate the Income Tax law which he advocated before the 1914 Peace Treaty with Germany, thus getting around the grave problem of Alsace and Lorraine but this cantankerous moderate managed to torpedo the Popular Front in 1937.

Upon declaration of the Second World War, Joseph Caillaux retired to Mamers where he died in 1944.  His body is buried in Père Lachaise cemetery in Paris.

René DAGRON (1819-1900)

René Dragon

Inventor of the first microfilms, based on a revolutionary technique, this native Sarthois was born in Beauvoir.  He left his village aged 15 to go to Paris in order to finish his education. He worked as an assistant to a coal supplier in order to earn money to pursue his studies.

In 1839, François Arago, permanent secretary to the Scientific Society, introduced the works of Niepce and Daguerre to his colleagues.

Dagron, who was 20years old at the time, had studied chemistry and physics.  He was so fascinated by the findings of Niepsce and Daguerre, that he studied far into the night, after his work in order to keep up to date, making serious sacrifices in order to do so.

Owing to Dagron's discovery, when Paris was surrounded in 1871, the city was able to communicate with others by using homing pigeons which carried over 18,000 negatives converted into the microfilm that he had invented.


Charles GRANGER (1812-1886)

In 1829 at la Ferté Bernard, he became a student in pharmacy.  Later, with a friend, he founded "Le Courrier" newspaper connected to the many Republicans based in the Sarthe,  many of whom were Freemasons.

Around 1834 he was arrested by the police.  In July 1835 he escaped from his Paris prison by an underground tunnel and hid amongst his family.  Leaving later for Switzerland, he founded a bookshop and stationers, then continued his pharmaceutical studies.  He came back to France in 1840 and installed a pharmacy at the Place des Halles in Mamers.  

He was the only person able to treat successfully an fever epidemic.


Henri MANCHON (1871-1951)

General sporting manager for the Tour de France and the Velodrome d'Hiver.  He lived in Mamers, where he is buried.


Jean BRUCE (1921-1963)Jean Bruce

Born in Beauvoir, his real name was BROCHET.  He joined the police force where he wrote his first manuscript which was published by an editor in Paris.  In 1949, "Inspector Brochet" became Jean Bruce and entrusted his literary investigations to Hubert Bonisseur, best known under the code name of "OSS 117".


Veron DE FORBONNAIS (1722-1800)

Véron de Forbonnais

Born in Le Mans at "the Siren's House" in St. Nicholas's parish the 3rd. October  1722.  His family owed their wealth to the manufacture and negotiation of muslin.

After his education  in Le Mans and the College of Beauvais in Paris, he worked for his father, then travelled in Italy and Spain

His translations into French of Ustaritz's "Questions on Spain's Finances" in 1753, then "Studies and Questions of French Finances from 1595 to 1721", published in 1758 made his reputation.  He became a renowned and reputed economist in France and Europe.  He is considered today as one of the founders of political economics.


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Maurice LOUTREUIL (1885-1925)

Artist, painter, idealist, he drew his inspiration from actual reality, from real-life imprMaurice Loutreuilessions; the most simple and spontaneous experiences.

He spent the first two thirds of his life in the Sarthe, up to secondary education, where he discovered a passion for art, which led to initial artistic lessons.  He left for Paris in 1909.  He tried in vain to enter the school of Beaux Arts. Drawing caricatures for newspapers in order to earn much needed money.  His artistic career took off in 1913 when he gained his first commission for a fresco for an exhibition in Ghent, later taking part in the annual Autumn Fair.

From 1914, he was frequently to be seen in Paul Baudoin's fresco studio, where he

met Paul Masson.  They both  obtained student grants, which enabled them to spend a few months studying in Italy.

Although declared unfit for active service because of bad health, he was called up for War duty.  Rebellious, he left for Italy and Sardinia where he worked as a conscientious objector, convinced that his duty lay in painting and not in war.

Denounced as a deserter and spy, he was arrested in Naples in 1916.  He was imprisoned in Marseille.  A medical report achieved his release at the end of 1916, describing his behaviour as "lunatic reasoning".

Under difficult conditions he left for Tunisia to pursue his path, only returning to France in the Spring of 1918, where he stayed with Masson in Cagnès, then in Martigues.  With Masson and Soutine, he met up with Pinchus Krémègne in Céret at the beginning of 1919.  He returned to Paris in 1920, where he went to Montparnasse, his cafés and societies. He was nicknamed "The Russian".

His first individual exhibition was at the headquarters of the "Montparnasse Magazine" in 1922.  After exhibiting in Berlin, he brought back several important works which were featured during the same year's Autumn Fair.

He died in 1925, from viral hepatitis caught a year earlier in Senegal, just when the future seemed to smile on him.

THÉRÉSA (1837-1913) ou Eugénie Emma VALLADONThérésa

Born the 28th. April 1837 at Bazoche-Gouet.  Her father was an open air café musician  (Michel Valladon), which meant that she grew up knowing all the old songs and melodies of that era.

She was nicknamed as "The Gutter Prima Donna", beginning he career in various café concerts in Paris, but was known as "Thérèsa" when she starred at the "Alcazar".

She lived in Neufchatel en Saosnois and died there in 1913.  Her tomb is in Père Lachaise cemetery in Paris.


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