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Chateau De Mores Lesson 1 - Family Biographies

Marquis de Mores with top hatAthena´s

Medora did not arrive in Dakota Territory until several months after the Marquis. She waited in New York for the birth of their first child, a girl who was named Athena´s after Medora’s mother. Athena´s was just a few months old when she was brought out to the family’s new home. She was cared for by a nurse. That was very typical of the upper classes. When the family left in 1886, Athena´s was about 3 years old.

Athena´s was married at the age of 22 to Baron Pichon, a French ambassador, in Paris at the St. Louis des Invalides. Her daughter, Tha´s died at age 10 in a horseback riding accident in Switzerland. In 1929, Athena´s married Baron de Graffonrud who died in 1936. She then married Henry Guerracino. They went to Argentina during World War II, but returned to France in 1950 where she died in 1969. She is buried along with the rest of the family at Cannes.


Louis was born in New York in 1885, but brought to Dakota Territory as an infant. He also had his own nurse. The children were fed and cared for by the servants and never ate their meals with the adults in the formal dining room. When they returned to New York in 1886, Louis was about one and one half years old.

The children spent their childhood in France and did not return to Medora until 1903 when their mother brought them back for a visit.

The Marquise with her children Athena´s and Louis in front of the Chateau. Louis is on horse back

It would be the last time they were there as a family. Louis spent only a few days in Medora since he was entering Yale University. He married Marie- Therese du Bong in 1918. A son, Antoine de Vallombrosa de Mores was born in 1921. In 1936, Louis retired from Morgan Bank and moved to Switzerland. That year he deeded the Chateau and 125 acres of land to the state of North Dakota to be maintained and open to the public. He died in New York in 1959.


A third child was born after the family returned to France in 1887. Paul was born in 1890 and was only six years old when his father was killed in 1896. He made one visit to Medora in 1913 when he spent about a week in the area taking photos of the Vallombrosa family property. He had been working in a bond brokerage in Montreal for 3 years. He was a Lieutenant in the French cavalry from 1914 - 1918. Paul married in 1928, but did not have any children. He died in 1950.


Louis’ son Antoine or Tony was born in 1921. As a child, he visited Medora with his father and made several visits in the 1970's and early 1980's. He died in 1982 without having married or had any children so was the last of the direct family line.

Something to think about:

Would you have liked to be a child at the Chateau?

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