Frances Dondanville, the fourth child and second daughter of Ludwig Dontenville and Clara Brumpt, was born in St. Maurice, Alsace on April 28, 1845. She immigrated to La Salle County, Illinois with her parents in 1850. The 1860 census revealed that at the age of 15 she was employed as a domestic servant in the household of Mary Heupp in Adams Township.
Antoine Charles Chalus was born in France, January 26, 1844. There are conflicting reports as to where. The History of St. Matthew's Parish, Clare Iowa, publisher in 1979 states that he came from Paris. Research by others suggests that the Chalus family came from the tiny village of la Claquette on the Bruche River, near Rothau, in Alsace. In the early records of LaSalle County, Illinois and St. John's Church in Somonahk, Illinois the family name was variously recorded as Shaloue, Shalue and more correctly as Schalute. Exactly when Charles came to the United States is not known. Research by Del Chalus, a descendant of Charles' brother Benoit, revealed that Benoit Chalus arrived on June 6, 1960 at the age of 19. Charles and another brother Edward may have arrived later.
Charles befriended Lester Benoit when he arrived in Illinois. It is possible that Charles Chalus and Lester Benoit were cousins. It would not have been uncommon in those days for Charles' older brother, Benoit Chalus, to be given his mother or maternal grandmother's family name.
In October 1864 Charles Chalus and Lester Benoit were mustered into the Union Army together in Joliet, Illinois. They served in the 12th Illinois Cavalry, Company K. They fought in a major engagement in Liberty, Mississippi in late 1864. The unit moved into Tennessee where they carried out raids in early 1865. When the War ended in May, they were assigned to escort and guard duty in Texas. They were mustered out of the Union Army in Galveston, Texas, October 9, 1865.
On October 17, 1867 Charles married Frances Dondanville, whose older sister Mary had married Lester Benoit in 1862. Frances and Charles established their home on a rental farm in Serena Township in the vicinity of the Wallace Dondanville farm. There their five children were born Louis Julian in 1868; Henry Leo, 1870; Charles Edward, 1873; Clara Elizabeth, 1875; and Eleanor (Nora) in 1879.
In 1874 Lester and Mary Benoit moved to Webster County, Iowa and established a farm near Clare. With a strong desire to have their own farm, Charles and Frances followed the Benoits to Webster County in 1882. They settled on a farm two miles west and one mile south of Clare. Charles and Frances retired from farming in the mid 1890s and moved to Pioneer Iowa where Charles operated a dray business. Charles died in Pioneer on July 28, 1915. Frances died in Whittemore at the home of her daughter Elizabeth McCreedy on March 22, 1933. Both are buried in St. John's Cemetery, Gilmore City, Iowa.
14.1 LOUIS JULIAN CHALUS - MARY HOOD
14.2 HENRY LEO CHALUS - SADIE TRUESDALE
14.3 CHARLES EDWARD CHALUS - JANETTE KENNEDY
14.4 CLARA ELIZABETH CHALUS - WILLIAM MCCREEDY
14.5 ELENORA CHALUS - LESLIE MC KINSTRY