Biography of Lawrence M. Coudriet
Clearfield County, PA Biographies

LAWRENCE M. COUDRIET,* the popular host of the Central Hotel, situated at Coalport, was born in Covington township, Clearfield county, Pa., May 23, 1878, and is a son of Leon M. and Gonpiere (Guenot) Coudriet.

Coincident with the settlement of Covington township, Clearfield county, was the founding here of the Coudriet family, of French extraction. This settlement was effected between 1830 and 1840. Francis Coudriet and wife were natives of France and they came to America in 1831. They stopped for a short time at Lebanon, Pa., and it was during this pause that Leon Mitchell Coudriet, father of Lawrence M., was born, May 10, 1831. As soon as mother and babe were able to travel, the family came on to Bellefonte, Center county, where, for a time, Francis Coudriet worked in a furnace. He was not quite satisfied, however, and during this time made several trips to what were known as, the Keating lands, as Covington township was then styled, and after careful selection purchased fifty acres in this region, receiving as a bonus, twelve additional acres. Shortly afterward he had established his family at Clearfield town, and from that point daily walked to his newly acquired property, ax in hand, and without assistance cleared off sufficient timber to enable him to put up a log house into which the family then moved. He was an industrious man and was also one of high character. He was a devoted Catholic and contributed the stone from his farm which was used in the erection of St. Mary's church at Frenchville. He became a man of considerable importance in that village and for eighteen years served in the office of postmaster.

Leon Mitchell Coudriet was the second born of eleven children. He took charge of his father's business after the death of the latter in 1877 and proved a man of much ability, although he had already been concerned in business for himself. He worked in the woods from early years, having but little chance to acquire an education. Five of his brothers still survive: Prosper, Serdon, Lewis, Frank and Napoleon Coudriet. He was married in 1853 and for about one year afterward lived with his parents, working for his father, after which he moved to Girard township, opening a store on Buck Run. This business he conducted successfully until 1866, when he succeeded to the business formerly managed by Capt. P. A. Gaulin, at Mulsonburg, and then moved to that place. He was also extensively engaged in the lumber business and acquired a great amount of real estate, together with some of the most valuable timber lands in Clearfield county, hundreds of acres being also underlaid with a fine quality of coal.

Through the division of his father's estate he became the owner of the greater part of it by purchasing the interests of the other heirs. He owned a flour and grist mill at Frenchville, also a saw mill there and at other points he was interested in mills, at one time having three on Sandy Creek. His land possessions reached 10,000 acres. In addition he financed many enterprises and owned a large factory for the manufacture of sash, doors and blinds, at Middletown, in Dauphin county.

Leon M. Coudriet married an orphan, Gonpiere Guenot, who was born January 6, 1833, in France, and came to America after the death of her parents. She died November 1, 1908, having survived her husband from April 25, 1888. There were twelve children born to this marriage, namely: Francis, who is deceased, lived on the old homestead; Prosper, who lives where his father settled and built the stone house which is still standing; Alpheus, who is also a farmer on the old homestead; Anne J., who lives at Pittsburg; Hillary J., who is manager of the grocery department of a large store at Philipsburg; Felicia, who is the wife of James Gormount, a farmer in Covington township; Jane, who is the wife of A. L. Picard, lives at Frenchville; Kate A., who is deceased, was the wife of Dr. Newling; Celestia, who is the wife of F. J. Liegey, a justice of the peace in Covington township; Elizabeth and a sister, who both died about nine years of age; and Lawrence M.

Leon M. Coudriet always took an active interest in public affairs but declined to serve in office, making an exception when he. succeeded his father as postmaster at Frenchville, where he served thus for eight years. He contributed liberally to the support of St. Mary's Catholic church and through advice and money forwarded many movements which assisted in bringing prosperity to this region.

Lawrence M. Coudriet was the youngest of his father's family and was given many advantages of every kind. He attended school in Covington township, and afterward the Central State Normal School at Lock Haven, Pa. His mother built a saw mill on Deer Creek about 1901 and he looked after that and her other interests and remained at home until 1903, when he moved to near the mouth of Deer Creek, where Condley is now situated and there entered into a general mercantile business, soon after applying for the position of postmaster, and recciving the appointment Sin 1904. He continued to be interested at Condley until 1909, the name of this village having been constructed from the two earliest business men of the place - Lawrence M. Coudriet contributing the first part and Albert Stanley the second part of the name. In addition to his mercantile interests there, Mr. Coudriet was also in the lumber business and operated a saw mill. On October 15, 1909, he purchased the Central Hotel at Coalport and has carried on business here ever since. This house is conceded to be one of the best hotels in Central Pennsylvania, having attractions for those who demand real comfort, an excellent table and attentive service at a reasonable price. Mr. Coudriet has the reputation of having been successful in whatever he has undertaken and his management of the Central Hotel justifies it. He makes his guests so comfortable, whether permanent or transient, that he grows in popularity as a host and has a wide circle of warm friends. His building is modern in every particular and lighted by electricity and heated by steam.

Mr. Coudriet has never been very active in politics nor was his father nor grandfather, but in all matters concerning the best interests of the sections in which they have made their home, they have been foremost in fostering laudable enterprises and have been especially liberal in the cause of religion. Like his ancestors he is a Roman Catholic and is a member of St. Basil's church.

On May 227 1901, Mr. Coudriet was married to Miss Julia M. Donovan, a daughter of John and Rosa Donovan, now of Grampian but formerly of Hawk Run. They have three children: Paul B., Leona M. and Earle. The only fraternal organization with which he is connected is the Royal Order of the Moose.

Note - Sketches unrevised by subscribers are distinguished by a small astrict (*).

Twentieth Century History of
Clearfield County, Pennsylvania
and Representative Citizens.
BY: Roland D. Swoope, Jr.
Richmond-Arnold Publishing Co,
Chicago, Ill. 1911

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