Maurice, Louisiana is a small village in South Louisiana.
Maurice is known as the "Gateway to Vermilion Parish”. Look at
the map. Can you find Vermilion Parish?
The small Louisiana village Maurice was named after Maurice
Villien. Both Maurice Villien and his wife Marie Chati Villien
had land in the area and they established a home and grocery
store. When they were married they created a plantation. The
village was originally called Mauriceville.
Maurice Villien, was a native of Savoy, France and he came to
America in 1855. He sold goods in New Orleans, New Iberia and
Milton. Maurice and Marie Villen had two sons named John and
The town was incorporated on December 27, 1911. Maurice and
Marie Villen’s son Joseph became mayor and remained at that post
until 1928. Do you know who the mayor is now?
The community's first church was La Chapelle a Maurice and
Sunday services were held in a small schoolhouse.
St. Alphonse Church was built in January 1893. On May 29, 1889, Villien donated the ten acre site, on which the church and
rectory in Maurice were to be built.
Maurice has one school. Maurice Elementary is a Pre K through
6th grade school. When the children get to 7th grade they transfer
to North Vermilion High School in Leroy. Like all other
communities in Vermilion Parish. The
Maurice schools have gone
through changes through the years.
The Broussard Cove School was the first school built on land
donated by Joseph Clark in 1885. In July 1899 it was moved to
Maurice on land donated by Maurice Villien. It was located on
Maurice Avenue and the Indian Bayou Road until 1914 when it
In 1928 Maurice High School had its first graduation with 2
graduates In 1977, the largest graduating class ever with 49
graduates graduated. In 1980, the last class graduated from
Maurice High School.
In September 1980, Maurice became an elementary school for
grades K-6 then a 1981 fire destroyed the Maurice school on
Maurice Elementary opened in 1986. In 2007 it was
renamed “Cecil Picard Elementary at Maurice” after a prominent
Vermilion Parish and Louisiana educator, Cecil Picard.”
In September 1980, the high school moved to a new location four
miles south. The consolidated school combined students from
Maurice, Indian Bayou. Leroy and Meaux areas to form
Vermilon High School.
The school houses 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th,
11th and 12th grade.
was a Maurice resident who became the State
Superintendent of Education. Cecile Picard was born in 1938 to
the late Romain and Evangeline Picard . He grew up on the
grounds of Maurice High School because his father was the
principal. Picard graduated from Maurice High School and
University of Louisiana at Lafayette and became a teacher.
When his father died in 1969, Picard was named principal of
Maurice High School for 11 years. Picard a retired as principal
and he became a Senator. In 1996 he was named Superintendent of
Education for the state of Louisiana.
He died in 2007. Maurice Elementary is now named after him.
is a famous US Jockey was born in Maurice in
1970. Desormeaux started racing in 1986.
He is a Hall of Fame jockey who holds the U.S. record for most
races won in a single year, 1989. In 2004, Kent Desormeaux was
inducted into the
National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. In
2008, he won his third Kentucky Derby.
Many terrible things happened through the years. In 1917 World
War 1 began. In 1941 World War II began. The Korean War began in 1950. The Vietnam War began in
1965 and in 1991 men fought in the Gulf War and many have served
since the September 11th terrorist attacks.
Maurice survived many tragedies with fires, hurricanes, floods
Their resources like other Vermilion Parish areas are farming,
hunting and fishing. Maurice is a great village to visit. It is
named the "Gateway to Vermilion Parish!"