The word "Chataignier" is French and means chinquapin, a small type of chestnut tree. Chinquapins (castenea punita) grew abundantly in the prairie surrounding Chataignier until the chestnut blight wiped them out and may now be nonexistent in the community. Gleanings from old records indicate that Chataignier’s first settler was Ursiana Manuel who came from Mexico via New Orleans about 1793 when Louisiana was a Spanish Colony and George Washington was serving as President of the new republic known as the United States of America. The descendants of Ursiana Manuel are still living on the original land grant obtained by him during the Spanish domination of Louisiana. The second oldest church in the Evangeline country was founded in Chataignier. The settlers of that area enjoyed the benefits of religion, education and postal service in that order. The Chataignier community’s educational background dates back to the pre-Civil War year of 1858 when the first known school, the Onezine Lafleur School, was located in the upper Chataignier community. The Chataignier post office was established on November 20, 1879 in what was known as St Landry Parish. In 1901 the very large area of St Landry Parish was divided up to form several other parishes, one of which was Evangeline. Chataignier now occupies the southeastern part of that parish. The Village of Chataignier was incorporated in January, 1972 with a population of 375. The economy of this area is agriculturally based.
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