Joseph Bloch was born in France in 1833. He moved to the Americas and Louisiana when he was 21. Bloch owned a mercantile business in Ascension parish before moving to Opelousas. Bloch’s store was located on the northwest corner of Main and Bellevue streets in downtown Opelousas. The store building was eye catching and was a big part of the community for many years before Bloch located there. Not only was Joseph Bloch one of the largest merchants in the city but one of the well-respected citizens of Opelousas. The Bloch family is also very heavy involved in the Opelousas Communities. The Bloch family made sure that they are at events and activities that were going on in the city. Joseph Bloch and his family made an impact on Opelousas.
In 1878, the citizens of Opelousas petitioned the Opelousas Board of Police to have a street open from Union Street running east to west, passing through the property of Joseph Bloch and connecting with a street running west through the property of Alexandre LeJeune. The Board of Police meeting of Tuesday, April 23, 1878, the committee of streets reported that Joseph Bloch agreed to give the right of way for the street through his property provided a fence was put up on both sides of the street. The Board of Police authorized for payment of the fence, and it was approved. It was decided at that meeting to name the new street Bloch Street in honor of Bloch (Hartley). Joseph Bloch wasn’t a war hero, a famous musician or big-time doctor. He was just a good businessman who helped out the city that he loved.