Home » Family History » Great-Great Uncle Eugene Jule Pleau

Great-Great Uncle Eugene Jule Pleau

Eugene, later known professionally as “Gene”, was the youngest of the Pleau brothers. Like George and Al, he was also a performer. Below is an outline of his life.

  • Born February 19, 1881 in Rochester, NY.
  • On April 30, 1899, he sustained injuries as a result of an accident on the “Bay Railroad” in Rochester. I don’t believe the injuries did permanent damage, as he was known for dancing later in his career.
  • Like his father and brothers George and Al, he began working as a shoemaker. 1900 found him working at Meldola & Coon, which made children’s shoes.
  • On November 25, 1902, he and a friend were arrested for theft (yes, more on that later!).
  • In the 1905 New York state census, Eugene listed his occupation as a…piano player!
  • By 1912, he began dabbling in vaudeville, doing blackface just like brother Al. He performed all over New York state.
  • On October 4, 1915, he married Ladonna Jackson, who was a singer.
  • Sometime in late 1918, Ladonna is no longer living with him. I’m not sure if they separated and perhaps divorced or if she died.
  • Between 1919 and 1923, Eugene was not living in Rochester. I still haven’t been able to find him on the 1920 Census, but I believe he was living in New York state since he had some acting roles during this time.
  • Between 1923 and 1937, his home base was with his sister Evelyn and her husband Charles Weilert in Rochester. He travelled all over New York and New Jersey to act, sing, dance, and perform comedy.
  • By 1947 he was living on Long Island in Blue Point, NY, and apparently wintering in Martin County, FL. While in Florida, he played piano in nightclubs and on the radio
  • He died on December 5, 1954 in Martin County, FL after an illness.
  • There are two Find a Grave entries for him in Martin County: one at All Saints Cemetery in Jensen Beach, and one at Fernhill Memorial Gardens in Stuart. However, All Saints has a picture of his gravestone, so he is most likely buried there.
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