Châteaubourg: a century of memories with the Bobille family

Family Bobille Chateaubourg
Paul, Patrick, Jacques and Marie-Luce, Félix Bobille’s grandchildren ©Le Journal de Vitré

There are names that resonate more in the minds of Castelbourgeois than others. That from Babylon is one of them.

The elders surely remember Felix Bobilla. Yes, but which ones? Because of Félix Bobille, there were several and all were mayors of the city.

Mayor from generation to generation

First there was Félix, the great-grandfather, mayor of Châteaubourg de 1896 to 1904then Félix the grandfather, mayor of Châteaubourg from 1930 to 1962, and finally Félix the father, mayor of the city from 1968 to 1971.

This timeline alone shows the popularity of the Bobille family in Châteauburg at 20e Century. But let’s look at Felix the grandfather. For several months, his grandchildren have been working with the present municipality to name a Rue Félix Bobille in Châteaubourg. A decision confirmed during a local council earlier in the year. A pride for the family.

With his hat and his notebook

In the house of Paul Bobille, in the center of Châteaubourg, four of Félix’s grandchildren have gathered to retrace their grandfather’s story. We find Marie-Luce, the eldest, Patrick, Jacques and Paul, the hosts of the place. Together they evoke memories of their youth, pull out photos, read old press articles about their grandfather.

The emotion at the mention of her grandfather is still palpable, especially in Marie-Luce who undertook research to learn its history.

I spent all my holidays in Châteaubourg with him. In the morning we walked over his construction site on the Boulevard de la Liberté. Then we joined the old town hall. Always on foot. Always with his hat.

Felix Bobilla
Felix Bobille ©DR

Walks that were also useful for his role as mayor. Marie-Luce remembers certain details: “He always had a small notebook with him. People called him to comment. He took notes and then returned to City Hall to put things in order and discuss the issues. »

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It must be said that Châteaubourg was far from being the city it is today. It was more of a big city counted in between 1300 and 1500 inhabitants “It was a time when everyone knew each other,” Paul said.

“The Bobille houses are solid! »

In addition, the Bobilles were also a large family business based in Châteaubourg, specializing in building. “We’ve often heard people say: if it’s a Bobille house, it’s a solid house! laughs Paul.

Félix, the grandfather, took over the reins of the company after the end First World War. “He always used materials he found near Châteaubourg. He took his wood with Pinault and the stone came from the quarries of La Bouëxière, for example. At peak times, around fifty employees worked under the direction of Félix Bobille.

Under Félix Bobille, Châteaubourg also had access to electricity, but surprisingly also to a collective freezer:

At the time it was only the second in the department. It was a shed equipped with some sort of cage where anyone could store food to freeze. It was at the top of Rue des Cottages. It was mainly used by farmers to preserve meat when killing animals.


Interviewed during the war

Little anecdotes like this the grandchildren a shovelful can tell about Félix. And one thing above all that they are particularly proud of: “Our grandfather was a generous person. He transferred all his mayoral allowances to the social welfare office. »

Or some less happy stories around the second World War, when the Nazi flag was hung in Châteaubourg town hall. “He was interrogated by the Germans in Rennes. His house was also confiscated. He had to seek refuge with the nuns in Saint-Didier. But that’s all we know, our mother Lucienne (Editor’s note: the mother of Marie-Luce and Patrick is the daughter of Félix Bobille) does not want to talk too much about this period. »

Besides, it is Lucienne, 102 years old, which still provides valuable information about Felix’s life. “We ask him questions and try to find out a few small details every time,” smiles Marie-Luce.

Felix Bobilla
Felix Bobille ©DR

The crowd for the funeral

And then there was this crucial moment. Félix’s funeral in 1963 when he was mayor. The press of the time reported a very long procession that accompanied the aedile’s coffin. “Since he was also a departmental councillor, particularly Alexis Méhaignerie, Pierre’s father, many political figures of the time attended his funeral,” explains Paul.

Then his son, a new Félix, took over the post of mayor for three years. then Paul and Jacob will also start, but without reaching the rank of mayor. Paul slips with humor: “I just didn’t have the right first name to be mayor. »

Even if the Bobilles are no longer there At the mayor’sthe name of the family will be engraved in marble with this street in the city center which will bear the name of Félix Bobille.

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