Achille Minnaert

Music Professor

Bro Stabers history of Campion mentions the last names of some renowned early music professors. Minnaert was one of them.

We have documentation of Achille Minnaert directing the Campion Orchestra Concert in 1922
His Concert Band Toured Wisconsin starting on May 9, 1927.

Bro Staber wrote a letter to Mrs. John Rammelfanger in 1975 indicating when Achille worked at Campion and a little of his history. Bro Staber also documents other music professors tenures.

The Letter

Here we have a newspaper article stating he was moving to San Antonio, Texas from Canada in 1920.

Following are notes provided by Minnaerts Great Granddaughter

I checked through the handwritten notes from the granddaugther of Achille Minnaert.

This is what she wrote: {I've edited some of the account}

"Achille Minnaert was born May 16, 1868   {although I think it was 1866 in Gent, Belgium"}
His family owned a tobacco factory, and enabled him to get a good education.  He was a
graduate of the Belgian Music Conservatory and played nine musical instruments and spoke
seven languages.  He was called Prof......

The family emigrated to Canada in July 1911 and lived in Winnipeg, Manitoba for awhile......

Professor Minnaert taught music and was a concert pianist as well.  ....

He had a music studio in San Antonio Texas for a few years. Enclosed is an article
about him from the Newspaper. 

Professor and Mrs. Minnaert moved to the United States in 1922  {although
the San Antonio article was 1920} and he taught at Campion College in
Prairie du Chien, Wis., St. Mary's College, Oakland, California, and
St. Mary's College Winona, Minnesota.

He was in a train accident and was unable to continue with his career, in about 1926-27.

He and Grandma lived in Kenosha for a year or two and in May 1928 they went back to Belgium....

Achille's daughter, Cecile was also a pianist and piano teacher?  Well, it seems that after
her first husband's death in Manitoba in 1921, she too, either "followed her parents" to
the United States or they subsequently followed her (??)

According to the Family History sheet from Wisconsin...

Seems like she was in Prairie du Chien in December 1923, then Oakland California in
Sept. 1925, Kenosha, July 1926,  Dubuque, Iowa  Sept. 1930, Prairie du Chien March 1931,
 Hannibal, Wis.  Oct. 1934  and Kenosha 1936.

Her second husband was Richard Edward Smith.  He died in 1945 and she in 1975.

I recently discovered a Newspaper article from Manitoba...just that it mentions Achille
and Cecile involved in the War Effort Concert Benefit. 

There is also mention of  ACHILLE MINNAERT in the Ellis Island site...I gather on a
return visit from Belgium...that identifies him  as a "Music Teacher".

Great Grandfather died in Berchem, Belgium in 1939.