|Diana and Pierre Gagnon in their later years.|
|Maine Central Railroad General Office Building in Portland Maine, c.1920|
|Image taken from the online ebook: |
The Official Railway Guide: North American Freight Service Edition
The census records of Canada show the increasing size of the Gagnon family; by 1901, eight children are enumerated. The family needed larger living quarters than what could be provided by rented apartments so Pierre bought a piece of land and built a residence. As the children approached school age, Pierre and Diana desired for them to be educated in American schools. In 1905, Diana moved back to Westbrook, Maine to enroll her children in the fall term. Even though a request had been put in to change job locations, Pierre would have to wait another three years before the transfer came through. During this time, he continued to work for the Maine Central Railroad in St. Malo, and visited his family in Maine every two weeks.
|Signature section from the 1935 document|
When Pierre returned to Westbrook in 1908, he would remain a Maine resident the rest of his life. All of his offspring including the children born in Canada would later marry and vote as American citizens by virtue of Pierre's naturalization. Two sons joined the Maine National Guard; one of them enlisted in the Army and served overseas. From the statements provided by Pierre in the naturalization document, a clear picture of his means and motivation for moving to Westbrook became clear; he lived and grew his family in St. Malo because he needed to be there for work, but he and his wife's vision were to have their children be raised and schooled in Westbrook.
|Willey Brook Bridge in New Hampshire, circa 1906|