This painting depicts self-taught businessman Charles Pagé, larger than life and full of presence, while he was an alderman for the Notre-Dame district in Trois-Rivières.

Charles Pagé was born on November 5, 1856, in Cap-de-la-Madeleine. He was baptized the following day under the given names Charles Octave. At his birth, he already had four brothers and two sisters. His father was Thomas Pagé, a farmer; his mother was Marie Glover, of Scottish origin. First a farmer, then a park ranger, grounds inspector in Saint-Maurice, and bridge repair contractor, Charles Pagé went on to settle in Trois-Rivières. He was interested in municipal politics. In July 1886, he ran as an alderman in the Notre-Dame district. He was not elected. He ran again in 1889 and won. The motto and coat of arms of the City of Trois-Rivières also appear under his fist on the table, on the right side of the painting, on what appears to be a folded sheet of paper.

In 1891, a wooden bridge contractor, Charles was 34 years old; he was still single. He was staying with Barthélémi Saint-Hilaire, who ran a boarding house with his wife. Among their other boarders were an office clerk in a factory, a seamstress in a shoe factory, and a picture peddler.

Five years later, in 1896, Charles Pagé, the owner of the Hôtel Pagé and a recognized contractor, and again the alderman for the Notre-Dame district, got married. In November, he linked his destiny to that of Maria Georgia (Georgina) Mina Dargis (ca. 1862-1910) in the Immaculate Conception parish of Trois-Rivières. As both of Charles’ parents were deceased, Richard Stanislas Cooke, a lawyer and the mayor of Trois-Rivières, acted as a witness to their marriage.

Like most of his fellow citizens, during the terrible fire in Trois-Rivières in June 1908, Pagé suffered heavy material losses estimated at $22,000 for his hotel alone. Charles Pagé chose to rebuild but changed its name to the Hôtel St-Louis. Two years later, misfortune struck him again. Georgina, his wife, died on October 14, 1910, at the age of 48. Charles, his sons Léon and Charles-Édouard, and his daughter Jeanne would resolve to live without her.

Although he may not have only had friends, his opponents in business or politics recognized his frankness, determination, and big heart. No one could have imagined such a sad end for this man. However, Charles Pagé suffered for a few years. His doctors convinced him to undergo an amputation, since one of his feet had gangrene. Everything should have gone smoothly. However, Charles died in November 1921 at the age of 65 as a result of this surgical operation at the Hôpital Normand in Trois-Rivières.

As for the artist, Albert Deschamps, Sr. (1871-1936), he first lived in Montreal with his wife, Églantine Proulx. The couple had a son, Albert (1905), as well as four daughters: Églantine (1906), Claire (1907), Claudine (1908), and Mariette (1911), who died at an early age.

From the almanacs of Trois-Rivières addresses, we know that Albert, Sr. a painter and decorator, and his family came to settle in this city first at 15, rue Richard, from 1915 to 1916. However, the 1921 Canadian census reveals that the family lived at 167, rue Laviolette. The Seminary with Turrets was just across the street.

Furthermore, that year, in the daily newspaper Le Nouvelliste, certainly between February and November, A. Deschamps, artist/painter and decorator, advertised his services as a “general painting contractor, churches and public buildings” each week.

We also know that Albert Deschamps, Sr. produced theatrical sets, among other works, for the five-act play Les Pauvres de Paris, presented by the Association dramatique Notre-Dame on February 6 and 7, 1922.

Albert Deschamps, Sr. went blind and had to give up painting.

He died on September 12, 1936, in Trois-Rivières.

Donation from the Pagé family
Musée Pierre-Boucher Collection
2004 1045 P