Jean Philippe Soquet and Esperance (Hannon) Soquet

Jean Philippe Soquet and Esperance (Hannon) Soquet.  There is one dark secret in our branch of the family tree. This page will literally blow the lid off of that secret. It involves my Great-great grandfather and his wife, Esperance. Jean Philippe Soquet was a Belgian immigrant. He settled in the Door County area at first and then in Preble county, in what is now Greenbay WI. He is thought to have killed, by beating, a young boy, poisoning my great-great grandmother, Esperance after bearing his child,  and beating and killing his next wife, whom it is thought, poisoned her first husband and was a mistress and accomplice in the poisoning of Esperance. Jean Philippe was tried and sentenced to Waupun Prison in WI. While on work detail, he dressed as a nun and escaped. He fled to Oregon, where his son, Jules Ego lived, and lived under an alias, John Raino. He died in Oregon in 1910. Yes. This is all true. This page is dedicated to a man I can never forget, my Great-Great grandfather, Jean Philippe Soquet and his wife, Esperance. If there are any concerns or info please contact me at

newspaper article

Link to the Jesmer family history page.    A letter about Jean’s and Esperance’s descendants 

Link to Jenny (Genevieve Soquet) Jesmer and Nelson A. Jesmer

Link to Jesmer Mysteries page.    Nethen Belgium: The region where the Soquet’s immigrated from.

 Link to Waupun WI State Prison page    Link to the page about Jean Philippe’s incarceration

Link to articles of the Peshtigo Fire 1871 History of Walloon People in Belgium

The Children of Jean Philippe Soquet:  Maria Soquet; Theresa Soquet;  Genevieve (Jenny) Soquet Jesmer ; Fredrick Soquet; Alice Soquet; Josephine Soquet;  Julius (Jules) Soquet Ego; Rosalie Soquet, Clara Soquet

Child from Jean Philippe Soquet’s first marriage to Marie Catherine Gillard;  Marie Henriette Soquet

A short summary of the notorious acts of Jean Philippe Soquet

Jennie jesmers home Greenbay

“Yes, that the picture of the Soquet Farm House that I have too the one eaten up by mold. The house burned down in 1938 and my Grandfather had a new one built.  I have pictures of the new farmhouse but a lot of their property was destroyed in the fire. The farm is in the city of Green Bay now but back when the picture was taken it was in the Township of Preble.  That was the Soquet’s second farm the first one was in Robinsonville on the lower Door County Peninsula.  That was where Josephine Soquet was born and maybe your Great Grandmother also.  I believe that first Soquet farm was destroyed by fire in 1859 and they purchased the Preble farm to replace it that just a guess on my part I know that  their father Jean Philippe Soquet held the land patent for a section in Robinsonville and that the Peshigo Fire destroyed that land in 1859 when it jumped the Bay (Green Bay).  Robinsonville township is now Champion and the site of the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help. My father told me about his cousins coming down from Canada and visiting the family out at the old farm.  The picture of the sisters was taken at Grandpa’s, Fred’s, town house  that was the house he purchased after my Grandfather purchased the old Soquet Farm  but his legal residence was at the house and farm he owned in the town of Scott it was about a Mile north of the old Soquet Farm.  The first picture is at Fred and Jose’s Anniversary with their sons there is another picture with the daughters but I don’t have that one.  The second photo is of the whole family in 1911 they are the people standing in front of the old Soquet farm.”   – Henry Beno,  May 2014

SOCQUET Jean Philippe. Age 28. Originating from Veltem.  Arriving from Antwerp, May 23, 1855 to New York on the Henry Reed.

Also on the ship, the Henry Reed, was Marie SOCQUET, age18 m.

Concerning Jean Soquet, a descendent wrote and told me that there is some family lore involved with Jean.

Some think that Jean got arsenic from a drug store that was in the family. He fed it to his wife, Esperance while she was recovering from delivering their child. He then married the woman he was having an affair with, from the next farm. He husband had also died from mysterious causes.

A few years later, an investigation into the murders began. The investigation with the mistress and her husband.

Apparently, the son, Jewel helped to move the body of Esperance, Jean’s murdered wife. (and my g-g-grandmother) in the night, after the investigations over the deaths began. The body of the husband of Jean’s mistress was being exhumed and tested for traces of poison. Before Esperance could be exhumed, Jean and his son Jule, dug up the body of Esperance, wrapped it up and carried her away. When doing so the arm fell off.  In the following years, her hand was found with a wedding ring on when the fields were plowed.  Jule would do such a thing, because many family members thought that Jean was innocent. That would explain why he could make some trips home.

Apparently Jean made several trips back to Green Bay WI and visited with family. He always had to visit incognito for he was an escaped convict from Waupun Prison in Wisconsin. His grandchildren would learn that “the old man” was visiting and they would be scared. One child hid behind the full length drapes listening to his voice, knowing who he was and being very scared. The family later stopped believing in Jean’s innocence.




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