93 - Eugène CHAPRON (1824 -) [1]

Louis Augustin Eugène CHAPRON was born in Orléans and married to Marie Clémence GRAVIER. (Marie Clémence was only 16 years old when she married Eugène in 1850.)

In July 1858 CHAPRON and his wife announced that they had established their residence in Luxembourg under the name of CHAPRON-GRAVIER in their capacity as entrepreneurs de la FOURNITURE GÉNÉRALE DES BOIS du réseau de chemins de fer Guillaume-Luxembourg.

CHAPRON held contracts for delivering a total of 250.000 railway sleepers to Chemins de fer Guillaume-Luxembourg. This must have been his main income source, but he also had two minor businesses:

In 1860 CHAPRON advertised that he had started a business for selling and delivering firewood to private households in Luxembourg and in 1862 he offered petites vaches bretones for sale.

On 1 December 1866 CHAPRON applied for a brevet d’importation for a 

Système d’exploitation de la tourbe préparée pour l’alimentation des machines des chemins de fer, fixes et mobiles, des foyers domestiques, etc.

The patent was granted on 30 March 1867. [2]

The entrepreneur

In 1865 CHAPRON had been taken to court by the Compagnie Royale Grand-Ducale des Chemins de fer Guillaume-Luxembourg for failing to deliver railway sleepers within the agreed specifications and the court case proceedings were published in the local press. [3]

As a reaction thereto CHAPRON started a counter-claim against Chemins de fer Guillaume in a Paris court.

Matters did not calm down since CHAPRON felt obliged to publish the following statement in 1868 [4]:

The Census of 1871 reveals that CHAPRON lived comfortably in Limpertsberg; he had a Kutscher and a Magd in his household.

Finally, in 1876 CHAPRON was declared en faillite and all his goods in Limpertsberg were put up for public auction; first, all the contents of his house and subsequently the house itself.

Even his two daughters got caught in the debacle since they had to issue a communiqué to the effect that they declined to pay for objects delivered to the CHAPRON household, possibly having been used by them, but not personally ordered or bought by them.

All these published facts point towards the conclusion that CHAPRON and his wife had run away from their financial responsibilities in Luxembourg. [5]

Through his highly publicised insolvency, CHAPRON made it into the local satirical paper [6], an “honour” reserved for well known public figures.


[1] FamilySearch database

[2] The administrative file does not reveal any information either on the nature of the invention or on the examination procedure.

[3] Luxemburger Wort, 12 September 1865, pages 1/2

[4] L’Union, 30 January 1868, page 4

[5] It is interesting to point out that, in the middle of the judicial turmoil, with the Chapron-Gravier couple moving back and forth between Luxembourg and Paris, a daughter was born to them in Luxembourg in 1874.

[6] Wäschfra, 23 December 1876, page 2