L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue – A man I never knew, and still don’t

Continuing the series, this statue of Alphonse Benoit (1809-1872) is not a trivial little adornment; no sirree, this is a monster obelisk that sits in a very prominent position in the sleepy French Provence town of L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue:

Not only that, but this man has an entire school in L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue named after him!

What did he do? Why is he so famous? Good question – I don’t know!  The only reference to him that I could easily find was this one, and it doesn’t say very much.

Here’s part of a snap at the bottom of the obelisk: