Horse trough at Omni Royal Orleans

This watering trough in the French Quarter was a gift from Col. Vincent to the SPCA.

Hey Blake,

Near Royal and St. Louis streets, across from the Omni Royal Orleans Hotel, there’s a horse trough with tiles spelling out the name “Anna D. Vincent.” Who is she and why is her name there?

Dear reader,

Anna Dellaway Vincent and her husband, Col. William Germain Vincent, were prominent citizens of New Orleans in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Anna was a native of Boston and William was born in Norfolk, Virginia in 1828 but grew up in New Orleans. His Oct. 29, 1916 Times-Picayune obituary called him the last local survivor of the Mexican-American War and a Confederate officer during the Civil War.

After the Civil War, William entered the wholesale auction business and invested in real estate. The newspaper called him a “man of brilliant mind, of many attainments.” He built a home at 2016 St. Charles Ave., where he and Anna entertained often, particularly at Mardi Gras. William served on the boards of Charity Hospital and the Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat Free Hospital.

The couple had no children, and when William died in 1916, his will called for a portion of his estate to be given to local institutions, including $30,000 to Charity Hospital to build a ward for treating contagious diseases. Gifts of $1,000 each were given to the Little Sisters of the Poor, the Jewish Orphans’ Home and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. That money was to be used for horse troughs bearing his wife Anna’s name.

When Anna died in 1924, her will included a donation of $150,000 to Loyola University and $60,000 for a fund at Tulane University to study tropical diseases and hygiene.

“Col. and Mrs. Vincent were among the most forward of our citizens,” the New Orleans States wrote in a July 25, 1924 editorial. “How much their hearts were attuned to the welfare of the community is reflected in their bequests to our educational and charitable institutions.”