Jesse Owens
One of Gueydan's earliest pioneers, Jesse Owens was a former slave who was born in Alabama and came to Gueydan around 1893.  He worked on the Robert Simon farm and helped build the Riceville Canal.  He opened his own blacksmith shop, which was located on the lot west of Thibodeaux's Pharmacy.  He built one of Gueydan's first homes.  "Papa Jesse", as he became known, was always interested in people, especially children.  He was intrumental in founding the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church and Gueydan's first school for black children.  Jesse and his wife Mary raised eight children together.  He died in 1954 at an estimated age of 103.