Tag Archives: biography

Compact with the Devil

Louis Croin Mudge an evil man once operated in the southern half of Waterloo County. Lou and his gang operated over an area between Galt and Plattsville and for a time in the 1860s at Blackhorse Corners where he ran a hotel and connected with the hotel was agang of notorious highway robbers. Locals were advised to arm themselves when travelling in the area.  He was of good honest stock from a prominent family in Blenheim and North Dumfries Townships.

Mudge,LouisCroix-AncestryPublicMemberTreeIn 1870 he was driven to move to the United States and became even more vile. Settling at Florence, Wisconsin he involved himself in prostitution, and murder.


Louis Mudge, locally pronounced “Mutch,” a notorious character living in the southern part of Waterloo County in the middle part of the last century, was believed to have made a compact for forty years with the Devil. He was much dreaded by the people living in the neighborhood. It is said that he once escaped from a moving train with a woman, and took flight across a lake, with the officers of the law in hot pursuit. He was never caught, however, because the Devil always helped him. (Roseville.)



“Black Horse Inn itself was purchased in 1853 by the owner Nelson Newcombe and his wife Fanny. He and his wife and four children lived at the inn while offering room and board for travellers passing through. A man of local history, William Campbell, once told Harley about the inn. He described the building as two storeys with a large front porch and bedrooms upstairs which could be accessed by a stairway that entered into the centre of a long narrow hall. Records held from 1851 and 1861 show that the tavern was a frame building with “five spare bedrooms and stabling for eight horses”. The foundations proves that the inn stood at a size of 70′ x 40′.

Chronicle-Telegraph Newspaper, 100 Years of Progress in Waterloo County Canada Semi-Centennial Souvenir 1856-1906 (Waterloo, Ontario, Canada: Chronicle-Telegraph Newspaper, 1906) Travelling wagon of Lou Mudge at Strasburg, ontario

Chronicle-Telegraph Newspaper, 100 Years of Progress in Waterloo County Canada Semi-Centennial Souvenir 1856-1906 (Waterloo, Ontario, Canada: Chronicle-Telegraph Newspaper, 1906) Travelling wagon of Lou Mudge at Strasburg, ontario

The inn became a popular stop-over area between Galt and Plattsville and not only did it provide a room to rest but also a bar, dining room and sitting room. It was said that it was at the Black Horse Tavern where a group of notorious highway robbers directed under Lou Mudge worked out of. David Goldie, son of John Goldie founder of Greenfield Village, was advised to bring a gun with him as he traveled down the road past the tavern.”

The Deserted Village A Black Horse Corner Mystery By Rachel Morgan Redshaw, Historical Researcher of the North Dumfries Municipal Heritage Committee http://www.ayrnews.ca/uploads/files/Historical%20Stories/Page10%20black%20horse%20corner%20pdf.pdf


THOSE AWFUL wolves!!!”

My wife exclaimed, as a long, low, blood. freezing howl sifted to our ears with the pine. needle, wind rhythms. It came from a mile north on the course of a late fall gale. Our baby, a girlie a year old, slept like a little hairless savage in a padded, corn-can box. The wolf howl did not reach the tiny ears. We were in the back room of a rakish, one. story shack. There were three such rooms, just little cages partitioned with rough ceiling boards, with broken tongues and warped edges, making cracks that pre-vented anything like eye privacy. As for hearing, our ears were not shut off at all. I used the front end of the building as a print-ing office. It contained an old Washington hand lever. press and a new Taylor cylinder, painted as floridly as a German reception room. There were two job presses, a Peerless and a Universal-both new-a paper cutter, imposing stone, type cases, small piles of print and job papers, a big box stove, and the usual athletic towel, ethiopic with ink. The smell that came from the room needed no ambergris as a matrix, but was like wild roses in the nostrils of a young, country newspaper man.

The blood. searching howl was repeated in greater volume-four wolves this time. It was getting late in the little mining town, but drunken shouts and the crack of a shot could now and then he heard.

“We can’t live here. Chase,” my wife said. “Even if we can, it is no place for the baby.”
“You arc right,” I replied. “Just give me a little time to clean this place up and make it a fit place for decent people. If I fail, we will go back to Milwaukee or some other place where outlaws are not the law.”

This took place at Florence, Wisconsin, in the heart of the Menominee iron range, One of the Lake Superior iron ore districts. Conditions here were similar to those of every new range. There is always an outlaw headquarters in all new regions remote from disciplined centers. Florence, at this period of the early eighties, was a metropolis of vice. There was gambling on the main streets, outdoors inclement weather and unscreened in-doors when driven in by cold and storm. Prostitution was just as bold. Its red passion garbing paraded every prominent place in town. A mile out of town, Mudge’s stockade was the central supply station. It was the prison used by the nerviest white slavers that ever dealt in women. A big log camp with frame gables held a bar and dance hall and stalls on the first floor. On the second Thor were rooms about the size of those in a Tokio Yoshiwara. A third. floor attic contained dungeons and two trap doors. In the cellar were dark cells and a secret passage, well timbered with cedar, leading to where the hill on which the stockade was lo-cated broke down into a dense swamp. Surrounding this camp of death, and worse, were sharp pointed palisades, ten feet high, of the kind used against the Indians to inclose pioneer blockhouses. There were loopholes. Two passages led through the stockade. One was wide enough to admit a team. This was fastened with hornbeam cross bars. The other entrance was narrower and for commoner use. It was protected by a solid sliding gate of iron-wood. On either side of this gate, inside, two big, gaunt, terrifying timber wolves were chained. It was the howls of these four wolves we had heard. This stockade was a wholesale warehouse of women. There were several in the Lake Superior iron country in the early days, but l think this one at Florence was the most notorious and the worst. It was built by “Old Man” Mudge. He was a white. livered, sepulchral individual who wore a cotton tie, a Prince Albert coat and a plug hat; even wore this outfit when he fed the wolves. Mudge worked as a preacher through northern Indiana and Ohio and the scoundrel used his clerical makeup to fine advantage. He had a ready tongue and roped in girl after girl. Not much attention was paid in chose days to pimping and procuring. Whenever a murder grew out of his acts, the old fox would so involve his trail that, if it led anywhere at all, a church was at the end of it, and that would throw off the sleuth.

Old Mudge ruined his daughter Mina, and she was “keeper” of the place. Mina Mudge was a stunning woman. Her concentrated depravity, for she too had a child and brought it up in infamy, was glossed over by a tine animal figure, a rubescent complexion, semi. pug nose, lurking gray eyes, sensual lips and sharpish chin. Her lips were the clew to passion, and eyes and chin betokened the cruelty of a she hyena. Girls were wheedled or beaten into submission, and nearly always when she sold them she had them broken to the business.

Two days before, in the evening, a shrinking, girlish young woman was found just outside our door by my wife. She cowered and shivered and looked wild. eyed. It took some time to coax her tn. After warmth and food, she told her story. Old Mudge had found her on a farm in Ohio. An orphan, she was sort of bound out, and her life was one of work and little else. Rather attractive, she was spied by the old serpent, and taken north “to a good home.” In her heart the girl was good and she was brave. Mina Mudge starved her, beat her, tied her ankles and wrists with thongs and, to break her in with terror, fastened her just out of the reach of the wolves. It was night, and the girl grew cold with exposure and fear. Her wrists and ankles shrunk some, and she wriggled out of the cutting thongs. Then she fled to the swamp and hid until hunger forced her to search for food. We took as good care of her as our means afforded and planned her complete rescue. The day we heard the wolves howling, as men-tioned in the beginning of the chapter, the girl disappeared. It was years later before I knew what had befallen her. Mudge’s gang had located and trapped her. They forcibly kidnaped her and carried her to the wolf stockade. There she was given no chance again to escape. Her spirit was broken. She was sold to a brothel. keeper in Ontonagon County, Michigan, and was murdered by him one night in a ranch near to the Lake Superior shore. Murders often occurred, but those guilty were seldom pun-ished. When this girl so mysteriously disappeared from our house, I was suspicious. I went to the sheriff, an Irish saloon-keeper, but could not get him to act. He was either a member of the gang or honestly afraid.

The Mudge gang was organized over a territory including the region for five hundred miles south of Lake Superior from Canada to Minnesota. “Old Man” Mudge was as much of a genius in some directions as he was a devil in others. Compared with him, Machiavelli was a saint. They did not confine t hem selves to woman stealing. They would run off witnesses when arrests occurred near the law. and. order line. If they could not get rid of them any other way, the witnesses were killed. Any man who showed an inclination to oppose the gang was either intimidated or murdered. Within their own ranks a rebel never got away alive. Mudge tolerated no rivals. No sea pirate was ever more bloodthirsty or vengeful. The most notorious murder he was responsible (or was that of Dan Dunn at Trout Lake. Dunn was just as bad a man as Mudge, and not so much of a sneak about it. That was really how Mudge came to get him.

Such were conditions in the iron country when I arrived. The picture cannot he overdrawn. I had gone there upon a telegram sent by Hiram D. Fisher, discoverer of the Florence mine, to Colonel H.. A. Watrous of Milwaukee, asking him to “send up a young fellow not afraid to a newspaper.” It was a weekly publication. The owner and editor, a man of culture and courage, too old and too fine for the rough pioneering and outlaws, had just “disappeared.” The gang was against all newspapers and dead against any that tried to improve conditions or oppose them in any way. Just a little time before they had burned the Manistique Pioneer office and had tried desperately but unsuccessfully to assassinate its brave editor, the late Major Clarke, a veteran of the Civil War. All along the line they had terrorized editors if possible. So the first night after I arrived they shot out my windows and shot a leg off one of the job presses, just to show me what they would do to me it I wasn’t “good.”

A short time before that the gang had gotten down on Captain William E. Dickinson, superintendent of the Commonwealth mine, two miles from Florence. Captain Dickinson had come there from the New York mine in one of the older Lake Superior districts. He was fearless and a man of order and high ideals. With a fine family of young children, he felt the necessity of improving conditions. Successful in his previous environment, he did not apprehend serious trouble. But he did not correctly take the measure of the desperate characters who made up the Mudge gang. Hardly had he started to move against them before they stole his little son Willie. They sent him word that if he fought them they would kill the child. It was a knife in his heart, the wound of which finally carried him to his grave. Captain Dickinson spent money, followed clews, sent spies to join the gang and gave up every thought except the recovery of his little son. It is nearly forty years ago now. Captain Dickinson has gone to his final reward. Where Willie Dickinson is or what became of him or whether he is dead or alive, is a mystery to this day. It is the most piteous tragedy of scores enacted by the iron pirates.

Something had to be done. I began a study of the situation in detail. The encouraging fact was developed that the law. abiding citizens outnumbered the outlaws. A majority of them were timid and could not be depended upon to act, but we could be certain that not many of them would openly join the leeches. Many men with families deplored conditions but feared that a war on the toughs would hurt business. Hasn’t it been always so? Then to my amazement and chagrin, for I was only twenty. three years old and to a degree unsophisticated, I uncovered the fact that that Borgia of a Mina Mudge had something on half or more of the merchants, who thought easily or made that excuse to their conscience, that they had to be good fellows and go to her place with the miners and woodsmen in order to get business. The outlaws laws were able to keep close tab on the plans of any who threat. coed them through these dwellers in the twilight zone of morals.

As soon as I could he certain of some backing, I attacked Mudge and his gang in my little paper. It was a thunderer there though, no matter what its size. I charged crimes home and named those who were guilty or probably so, whenever I had facts or tangible suspicions. The time must have been just ripe for it, for some astounding things occurred. Some of those against whom I made charges came to see me; not all peaceably. But from some of them I obtained denials of participation, and one or two gave to me invaluable inside information. Consequently I was informed in advance when my office was to be wrecked, and when I was to be gotten rid of. I built a little conning place of glass and kept someone on watch there every daylight moment. Also I bought Winchesters for all the office force, and for a long time every type stand was a gun rack for a repeating rifle. At night I took extra care and kept watch.. A couple of faithful dogs with plenty of bulldog blood guarded the office, and were much better for the purpose than Mudge’s wolves, but did not make as terrifying a setting in the mind of a tenderfoot.

I found a fighting preacher at the little mission church in Flor-ence in the person of Harlan Page Cory, a young Presbyterian just suited to the work to he done and entirely unafraid. An undersheriff named Charley Noyes, from the Androscoggin country, was found to be clean and brave and dependable. Bill Noyes, his brother, was a six looter plus, and the best shot and dry ground trailer anywhere around. He was not afraid of a mad catamount, and his morals had sprouted in the Green Mountains where Ethan Allen got his. Bill was eager to help clean up.

A little concave chested hardware man named Rolbstell, with whiskers like a deer mouse and a voice like a consumptive cuckoo, was found, when the meter was applied to him, to be as full of good points as a box of tacks. There was no law against shining deer in those days; anyhow not in Florence. Rolbstell built a scaffold one day, twenty feet up in a birch that leaned over a connecting gut of Spread Eagle Lake, where a fine runway crossed. The first dark, soft night that came he climbed up there with a bull’s. eye lamp cocked over his left eye. He nearly went to sleep before he heard anything. Then he suddenly came to and saw a pair of silvery eyes and let go at them. Forgetting in his state of mind where he was, he stepped off the scaffold just as if he had been on the solid ground and down he went. That is where Rolbstell made his reputation. He lit astride of a two- hundred pound buck that he had wounded and which was floundering in about four feet of water. Of course, he lost his gun in the descent. Pulling out his tomahawk, he nearly chopped the buck’s head off before he succeeded in killing him. Rolbstell had plenty of that intestinal courage that was the fascination of Tsin, who built the Great Wall and measured all men by it. So he he. came a leader, if not the leader, in the new movement.

With these and others assured, we called a meeting and organized the Citizen Regulators. The meeting was such a hummer and so many joined that the sheriff and district attorney had a street duel the next day, growing out of a row that was caused by each trying to shift blame upon the other. I had publicly charged them both with being controlled by the Mudge gang. The district attorney shot the sheriff through the lungs. A lot of the sheriff’s friends gut a rope ready to hang the lawyer, who really was one of the worst of citizens, while the sheriff had told several that he intended to join the Regulators. Meanwhile, the sheriff lived long enough for the mob to cool off. The preacher and I decided that we must get rid of all crooked and cowardly officials.

I started to Milwaukee and Madison to enlist influence and see the governor, in order to have the district attorney removed and a man appointed who would enforce the law. All the way to Milwaukee I was harassed by telegrams for my arrest. The gang tried to capture me at the train, but I learned of their plans in time to elude them. Then we had a wild race through the woods to the Michigan line. If they had caught me in Wisconsin they were going to finish me in some way. The pursuit kept up almost to Inns Mountain, which was nearly as bad as Florence at the time. I dodged them but was afraid to stop at Iron Mountain be-cause the local authorities there were believed to be under the control of the Mudge outlaws. It was night. I had expected to
take an evening train. Prevented from doing this, I ran two miles through the woods to Commonwealth. There one of my faithful printers, an Irish lad named Billy Doyle, had a team in waiting. Hastily climbing into the buckboard and taking the lines, I lashed the horses into a gallop. Over any shoulders l could see the gang coming on foot, on horse, and in rigs. I had a Colt’s revolver and could shoot it quite well enough. Billy had thrown in a Winchester. I made up my mind they would not take me in Wisconsin without a fight. We madly galloped over the corduroy roads in the dark. That it was night and the pursuers were unorganized was all that saved me. We crossed the line. On the outskirts skirts of Iron Mountain I gave the reins to Billy and jumped out and went on alone. Safely making a detour of the town, I took the railroad track and hiked southwards towards law and order.

I was in Michigan. Between Keel Ridge and Quinnesec three alien stepped out of the gloom and leveled guns at my head. I obeyed their order to hold tip my hands and they took me hack to Iron Mountain by main force, and not a sign of legal warrant. They were Mudge agents. It was after midnight. I made a big roar as soon as I got where anybody could hear. In spite of the racket I made they took me to a place which was not the jail and locked me in a room. Before they got me confined I managed to send word to Cook and Flannigan, whose firm of attorneys at Norway was the ablest on the Range. The late Hon. A. C. Cook got to me and secured my release. To this day I do not know how he did it. Perhaps his partner, R. C. Flannigan, now a prominent mining country judge, and a good one, could tell if he wished to. I continued on my way. Efforts were made to stop me at Mari-nette and Green Bay. These were unsuccessful. Finally I got to Milwaukee where I had any number of strong friends. Lemuel Ellsworth had just become chief of police, and the present Mil-waukee chief, John T. Janssen, was on the detective staff. I went to the central station to call upon them, as they were old friends of mine dtving my police reporter days. The chief handed me a telegram to read. It was for any arrest. They had sent it to the wrong place. I told my story. All of us knew the chief affectionately as Lens. He said: “Glad to see you, Chase. Now, let’s do something to those hell. hounds. I will wire I have you and ask them to send for you with a strong guard. This will possibly bring a crowd of them down, and I will throw them all into the bull pen. ”
“Of course I can’t wait to do that,” I replied, for I had to accomplish my bigger mission and return as quickly as possible. During the afternoon l received a telegram signed “H. P. Cory.” It read: “Don’t come back. They are going to kill you if you do. ”

I knew it as a fake at once, for that preacher would have had me come back and he killed rather than have me run away from the fine fight I had started. 1 felt the same way. It was only wisdom to be apprehensive enough to be on the alert, as the gang had not hesitated to resort to murder in the dark before.

I saw rugged Jeremiah M. Rusk, then governor of Wisconsin, and secured the appointment of a clean, but rather gentle lawyer named Howard E. Thompson as district attorney, to succeed the Mudge gang lawyer, who, although possessed of a kind of brute bravery, got out of the way. Before he had downed the sheriff that officer had bowled him over, after being shot through the body himself, and stood over him, futilely snapping a revolver, all the loads of which had been discharged, in a frantic attempt to kill. Then the sheriff fell into the pool of blood that had trick-led around his feet and the lawyer bad man was nut off.

Governor Rusk gave me every encouragement.

“Go after them, boy,” he said, “and if you need help just say the word. I’ll back you with the troops if it is necessary. ”

I made my way back north about as rapidly as I had fled. The gang was in a panic when they saw me and heard of the support the governor had fortified me with. I had it told to them in as amplified and impressive a manner as possible and then I played it up in my paper with all my might and type. The gang was on the run from that time, but it was not beaten yet. Dives and re-lays were started along the border so that the outlaws could jump from one State to the other handily.

Claudius B. Grant was a circuit judge in the adjacent region of Michigan. He became a terror to the had men and women and clearly showed what a man rightly constituted can do with the law in his own hands. He was waging a solitary war against the gang, and sheriffs and prosecuting attorneys who were their tools. Finally he made it so hot for them on his side, and we so reciprocated on our side that the had people began to look for other and less troublesome pastures. They tied to Seney, Trout Lake, Ewen, Sidnaw, Hurley and other points in the Lake Superior country out of Grant’s jurisdiction, and out of our reach, where they operated for some years without molestation. There was a temporary renascence of outlawry in Judge Grant’s district because the gang had gotten rid of him by designedly electing him to the Supreme Court of Michigan. But it did not last long. Civilization must have something more than that kind of outlawry to subsist upon, and civilization was growing a good deal like a weed.

All of this was not achieved as easily as it has been briefly written. There were many clashes and exciting performances. Both sides were high handed. Shootings occurred by day and night, and the tight was a real battle.

At first the gang had nearly all the law officers on its side. By degrees we changed this. The average fellow in office is quick to try to pick the winning side. These trimmers, usually so despicable, were a real help to us because they trimmed gradually to our side.

Mudge withdrew his worst operations to more remote spots in the woods. The Regulators determined to clean all of them out. The law was too slow under the conditions that existed and the punishments inadequate. At the time there was really no law against white slavery and procuring.

Pat McHugh, a bully and retired prize fighter, was Mudge’s head man. Nearly everybody was afraid of him. He had even been known to fight in the daytime with his backers at hand, and he was fairly quick with a gun, but could not fan. On a day agreed upon the Regulators, armed with Winchester rifles, Colt revolvers and blacksnake whips, starred on a rodeo. They drove the toughs off the streets. Those who did not move quickly enough were lashed smartly with the blacksnakes. Theirs had been a reign of terror long enough. It was our turn. They showed as many temperaments as one could find among any men and women. Some were whimpering cowards. Others were sullen. The women were most hold and loudest in profanity and vulgarity. A woman has capacity to be the very best and the very worst. McHugh was one of the first to run. He hid in the swamp stockade with half a dozen others of the gang. The Regulators rode down against them. They opened a Ian fire with Winchester repeaters. The Regulators replied and charged. It fell to Bill Noyes to capture Pat McHugh. The bully had often boasted what he would do to Bill if he ever got a chance. Now he hid into the swamp, revolver in hand. Bill saw him and ran after him. They dodged from tree to tree, Indian fashion, exchanging shots from time to time. Bill was too good a woodsmen for McHugh. He loaded his gun as he ran and soon had a drop on the leader of the outfit. McHugh fell on his knees and begged for mercy. Bill spared him. He said to me only a short time ago:

“Chase, I reckon I oughta killed that red. handed devil that day I got him in the swamp, but I’m kinda glad I didn’t, ’cause it goes agin the grain with me to kill anything I can’t eat. ”

After that we burned a number of stockades and stain had the community so fit to live in that I spent four happy years there. And my wife, who had given up a good home to share her lot with a young reporter, was contented, and our girlie grew (at and crowed when her first brother was born in the little boarded rooms full of cracks, in the rear of the one. story, country printing office.

What became of Mudge will never be told. Only a half dozen Regulators ever knew.

The Iron Hunter by Chase Osborn 1919


Friedrich Emanuel Doering – world traveller, sheep rancher, dentist, trapped by Germans – born Philipsburg, Ontario

Dr. Friedrich Emanuel Doering.


Word has come through the Red Cross informing us of the death of Dr. Frederich Emanuel Doering in a nursing home on the Isle of Jersey on September 14, 1943, in his eighty-ninth year. Over a period of years he paid occasional visits to America, as is well remembered by his many New Church relatives and friends in Canada and the United States; and he attended several General Assemblies, including the one held in London, England, in the year 1928.

We are indebted to Miss Celia Bellinger, his niece, for the following sketch of his career:

He was born in Phillipsburg, Ontario, in May, 1850, and was baptized and confirmed in the New Church by the Rev. F. W. Tuerk of Berlin, now Kitchener. The older brothers and sisters of a family of thirteen attended the New Church school at Urbana, Ohio, but after the death of their father, Christopher Doering, the younger children were unable to attend that school.

Dr. Doering studied dentistry in Canada. Later he took a postgraduate course in Philadelphia and graduated as Doctor of Medicine. He worked his way through medical school by practicing dentistry in small mining towns during vacation.

After graduation he sought adventure in new fields, and established a large practice in Johannesburg, South Africa, and later one in Pretoria. As his love and interest had also been in sheep ranching, he procured large tracts of Government grants in Kenya Colony, near Nairobi, which he stocked with herds of cattle and sheep.

Africa had become his home, and after the Boer War he devoted his talents to the development of the country he loved so dearly. But when he retired from active duty he became a world traveler, searching out remote places of the earth; for his interest lay in the opening up and development of new lands.

Finally he settled in a comfortable home in Jersey, one of the Channel Islands, where he found keen pleasure in experimenting with a French gardener in raising unusual fruits, grains and trees.

At the outbreak of the war he was in London, England, about to sail for Canada. Being taken very ill, and returning to his home in Jersey to convalesce, he was unable to leave when the Islands were occupied by the Germans in June. 1940. All communication with the outside world was cut off, and in the course of three long years he received and answered but two messages from members of his family, through the instrumentality of the Red Cross.

New Church Life, January 1944, Vol. LXIV [submitted by Wayne Babb 2014]



The above Trust holds monies available “for the purposes of educating such male children who are citizens of the Dominion of Canada as are selected by any minister of the General Church of the New Jerusalem in Canada, in consultation with the Trustees (Royal Trust Company, Toronto) provided, however, that such applicants shall embrace the faith of the New Church and shall be acceptable to my trustees.”

The obvious intention of the will is that such male students shall receive their education at a New Church school. Therefore the parents of male children who are citizens of the Dominion of Canada, and who embrace the faith of the New Church, desiring to benefit from this Trust by sending their children to the Academy of the New Church during the school year 1955-1956, are asked to communicate with the Rev. Norman H Reuter, 14 Linwood Avenue, Kitchener, Ontario; the Rev. Martin Pryke, 35 Elm Grove Avenue, Toronto, Ontario; or the Rev. Roy Franson, General Delivery, Gorande Prairie, Alberta. Application should be made before April 15th.

New Church Life Vol. LXXV January 1955 No.1

Losing Even More History

Image from Kitchener Public Library

Image from Kitchener Public Library

The city of Kitchener, is ordering the demolition of the historic Mayfair Hotel because the 110-year-old building poses a public safety risk. Now is it is rumored that the owners of 156-158 [the adjoining buildings] are going to ask Council to withdraw its intention to designate that building too. Whether they want to demolish it, along with 11 Young Street, the Mayfair Hotel, we won’t know till they speak at council.

It seems appropriate to pass on a little history of the people associated with these buildings.

Henry Lippert of the Mayfair Hotel building



Had Active Career As Manufacturer, Merchant, Hotelman, and City Builder

Edward Lippert, 62, former alderman, senior member of the undertaking firm of Lippert and Hunter, and prominent Kitchener businessman, died at his home, 42 College Street, at 8:30 o’clock last evening following an illness that set in early in the year.

Mr. Lippert had been confined to his bed for about two months. Recently and up until yesterday there was a slight improvement in his condition but pneumonia set in. He was communicative and conscious until about 15 minutes before he passed away.

The deceased was elected to the Kitchener City Council at the last municipal election, but owing to his illness he was able to attend only a few meetings. He resigned about two months ago, and was succeeded by C. C. Hahn, former mayor.

Successful in Business

Mr. Lippert’s death means termination of a long and successful business career. The deceased was son of the late George Lippert Sr., founder and head of the former Lippert Furniture Company Ltd. and for many years, chairman of the Kitchener Public Utilities Commission. He was born in Preston but the family subsequently moved to Kitchener where he attended St Mary’s school.

Leaving school at 12 years, he learned the upholstering trade, working in various local shops. Subsequently he was employed in Grand Rapids, Salt Lake City, Utah, and Central City, Colorado. It was while he was working in a Central City furniture and undertaking establishment that he entered his first business venture.

He wanted to quit his job, but the employer induced him to stay by taking him into partnership. This was successful. The second milestone of his business career was becoming financially interested in 1902 in the furniture factory started by his father, the late George Lippert, located on Louisa street.

Mr. Lippert quit the Central City partnership in 1905 when he returned to Kitchener. In that year, he also undertook his first real estate enterprise. He built the first three stories of the block on the northeast corner of King and Young streets at that time and started a retail furniture and undertaking business. He conducted this business at this stand for many years.

His faith in Kitchener and his aggressiveness resulted in him becoming interested in other real estate properties, which he owned or of which he was part owner, up until his death. Mr. Lippert’s real estate purchases were always followed by improvements. It was his policy not to allow his buildings to become dilapidated.

The deceased sold the furniture end of the business in 1920. In the same year he bought the Brunswick House, at the northwest corner of King and Young streets, then an apartment house. He changed the name to the Windsor House and again turned the place into an hotel. after completing refurnishing it.

He operated this hotel until 1924, when he sold it to Charles Bruder, the present owner.

Builds New Block

Following his sale of the Windsor property, he built the block of stores on the north side of King street west between Water and Francis streets, in which he subsequently started up a new retail furniture business and which he later turned over to his sons, Harold and Edward Jr. and to Alexander Reinhart. the present owners. The modern funeral home, Lippert and Hunter, is located in this block He opened the Mayfair Hotel, King and Young streets, where the furniture and undertaking business was formerly located, on Sept. 11, 1929. By coincidence, his death occurred exactly on the sixth anniversary of the day on which he received his first hotel guests.

Before opening this hotel, he put on three more storeys over the three old ones, and had the distinction of being the first owner of a six-storey building in Kitchener.

Active in Texas

Mr. Lippert’s enterprise, however, was not confined to Kitchener, but extended far beyond the city and even out of Canada. In addition to owning Toronto and Calgary properties, he opened an entirely new business section in a Texas town. He built the first row of business buildings in the district, had the street widened and other improvements made.

The deceased, in addition to being an enterprising and aggressive business man, was a citizen interested in his home city. Of late years, he was particularly interested in the improvement of municipal government. He fought for lower taxation and easing of the burden on the taxpayer, and it was largely through this activity that the Kitchener Taxpayers’ Association was organized some years ago and that as a result a public forum from which municipal issues could be discussed was provided. He also believed in the necessity of Kitchener getting new industries.

Elected to Council

During the last municipal election held in December, Mr. Lippert was induced by a number of citizens to stand as a candidate for alderman, and he was returned to office.

Mr. Lippert was a staunch Liberal, and during the 1924 provincial election, took the platform in support of the party and local candidate and the Canadian Woodmen. He was a member of St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church, St. Boniface Society,
Kitchener Daily Record 12 Sep 1935

The Hymmen Family [Hardware business from 1850-1960]


August and Charles Boehmer in the sixties owned a hardware, stove and tinware store at 58 East King Street. In 1874, they began manufacturing paper boxes, after selling the hardware stock to C. E. Moyer and the tinware shop to Peter and Henry Hymmen. Hymmen Bros. first leased quarters in the Canadian block from J. Y. Shantz, and later on in the Germania block. Hardware and plumbing were added to their lines. In 1892, Peter Hymmen bought his brother’s share. In 1906, he opened up West King Street as a business section, erecting a large block at No. 158. Mr. Hymmen was active until shortly before his death in 1930. Prior to his departure, his sons, H. I.. Hymmen and Homer Hymmen, had been their father’s associates and now direct the enterprise. After Henry Hymmen left the firm he was for four years with H. Wolfhard & Co., and then bought C. E. Moyer’s hardware stock. He carried on in the Dunke block until 1900, when he was appointed superintendent of the waterworks. George Potter, who for many years had been with John Fennell & Son, bought Mr. Hymmen’s stock, and is still doing business at the old stand.

A History of Kitchener, W. V. (Ben) Uttley, Kitchener, Ontario 1937, pg 159


Hymmen Bros. & Chamberlain, Hardware, Stoves, Pumps, etc., King Street – The hardware trade in Berlin is one in which a large amount of capital is invested, and in which employment is furnished to many hands. The goods handled are those in use in all building operations, houses, stores, offices, etc., and consequently the demand is large and the field of operations extensive. Among those actively and prominently engaged in this line of industry is the firm of Messrs. Hymmen Bros. & Chamberlain, whose business has been established for the past six years, Mr. Chamberlain having been admitted a partner last spring. The premises occupied are large and commodious, being 20×124 feet in dimensions, where a large and well assorted stock of hardware, stoves, pumps, tinware, hot-air furnaces, cutlery, etc., etc., is carried in profusion. The firm manufacture their own tinware both from order and for stock. They give employment to 8 competent assistants and skilled workmen, and use one team for the delivery of goods to customers, who come from the town and surrounding sections of country. The business since its inception has been constantly improving and still steadily increases, the volume of business transacted this fall being very large and in advance of former years. All members of the firm are natives to Canada, and imbued with all the business characteristics which have made the country such a successful commercial one. They are held in the highest regard by all who know them.

Industries of Canada Historical and Commercial Sketches Hamilton and Environs 1886


Article now a Bitter pill

Former Mayfair Hotel and Hymmen Hardware in Kitchener’s Centre Block are designated by Kitchener City Council

December 15, 2008

Former Mayfair Hotel and Hymmen Hardware in Kitchener’s Centre Block are designated by Kitchener City Council.
On November 24, a representative of the North Waterloo Region Branch, made a brief presentation to Kitchener City Council in support of Heritage Kitchener’s submission to designate 11 Young Street, the former Mayfair Hotel and 156-158 King Street West (P. Hymmen Hardware). Both buildings have cultural heritage significance. Happily, City Council passed a motion to designate these buildings.

In its statement of cultural heritage value, Heritage Kitchener stated that the exterior condition of both buildings is good. Concerning the former Mayfair Hotel, the report states that the building has an historic association with prominent Kitchener business man Edward Lippert,who in 1905 built a 3 storey structure for his furniture and undertaking business, as well as other buildings in the downtown. Lippert served as a city councilor in the 1930’s. This building is of a Renaissance Revival Style, a relatively common style for commercial buildings of the period; in 1929, three storeys were added in art deco style which was popular in the 1930s. The two styles blend well.

Here is a quote from the report :”contextually, the former Mayfair Hotel makes an important contribution to the downtown streetscape. Apart from the replacement of windows and minor alterations to the façade at street level, the building appears as much as it did in 1929, and adds to the visual and architectural continuity of the historic main street. It was the tallest building (at six storeys) in the downtown following the construction of the 1929 addition and continues to occupy a prominent location on King Street.”

Regarding, the former Hymmen Hardware Building the report states that it “makes an important contribution to the downtown streetscape. Apart from the replacement of windows and minor alterations to the façade at street level, the building appears much as it did in 1909, and adds to the visual and architectural continuity of the historic main street… the façade shares the same construction and architectural detailing as the original three storeys of the former Mayfair Hotel….”

Congratulation to Heritage Kitchener and the Heritage Planning Department for your success!

http://www.arconserv.ca/news_events/show.cfm?id=128 2015

Robert Hays – Founder of Haysville, Ontario

In memory of Robert Hays, Esq., J.P. – Founder of Haysville, Ontario

Robert Hays“This gentleman died at his residence, in McKillop, in the County of Huron, Canada, on the 18th inst., aged 80 years. He had been a long time in an infirm state and his death was not an unlooked for event. His funeral took place on Sunday the 19th, and the procession was fully 3/4 of a mile in length, the largest ever seen in McKillop. He was inteered in the Harphurhey burying ground. He leaves five sons and two daughters and his aged partner in life, behind him. One of his sons, as is well known, is the ex-Registrar for North Huron, and also an ex-M.P.P., and by profession a lawyer. As the deceased gentleman was a man of some note, a more lenghtened notice seems to be demanded. He was born near Londonderry, Ireland, somewhere about the year 1794, and when a boy, went to the Parish School of Comwell, where he received a fair education. When about 24 years of age he married, and his father dying about this time, divided his farm between his two sons, hence the subject of this memoir went to farming, and married about the same time. He continued in this occupation for about five years, during which time he was strongly impressed with the injustice of the tithe system and the oppressive taxation which burdened the people. He told an old friend that while working one day in the field, he began to think that surely there was a freer and better country somewhere, where a poor man would not be kept down by oppressive taxation. His resolution was taken. He threw down the spade with which he was working, sold his far, and never wrought another day in his native country.

Before leaving Ireland, he went six months to the Grammar School of Letterkenny. He then went to the United States, leaving his wife and family in the meantime in Ireland, until he would make a home for them on this side of the Atlantic. He went to the States and engaged in the milling business with his wife’s uncle, General (George) McLure, who fought in the war of 1812. Here he remained for a few years after which he went to Rochester and engaged in milling again for three or four years. On the whole, his milling operations were not successful, for though an active, industrious, honest, painstaking man, he did not nearly receive the pay which he was promised for his labor. This at first disheartened him. At this time he sent for his wife and family, having resolved to make America his future home. He next came to Canada and bought a farm near Ingersol, and united with it the business of tanning. After four years residence in Ingersoll he removed to the village now known as Haysville; the place having been named after him. Here he bought 200 ares of land, and built a mill and made the village. Here he remained for about 8 years, being somewhat discouraged at times by his mill dam being carried awway. He sold out in Haysville and bought 200 acres of land in McKilop, where he spent the remainder of his days. He has been, we believe, about 30 years a resident of McKillop, and during about 25 of that time he has been a magistrate, and one of the clearest headed and best we have ever had, and of him it can be said what can be said of but few, that though his decisions were frequently appealed from no appeal was ever sustained. He sat in the County Council as Reeve for quite a number of years, when we believe McKillop, Hullett, Morris, Grey and Howick were in one municipality, and old settlers maintain that the business of the country as fully as well transacted then as it as ever been since. He was always a staunch advocate of Common School Education, and was the first, we understand, to advocate the taxation of property for that purpose. His ideas became law, and a certain amount was rated on the propety, and since then the principle has been gradually extended until the Free School system has become universal. While in the County Council he advocated the taxing of the wild lands of the Canada Company, which also became law; but for this he was looked upon with enmity by that powerful Corporation. He was always a friend of Temperance, and no man, from his earliest days until his death, ever saw him the worse of liquor. As a public speaker, he was too nervous and excitable to succed well when he was opposed by calm, cool heads; but when unopposed and uninterrupted he could express his ideas in good plain language and reason well. In politics he was a rather extreme Reformer, up to the time his son ran for member. At this time he was very much annoyed at his old neighbors voting against his son, and fromt that time he never acted with the Reform Party. In religion, he was a Prespyterian. He was always a firm believer in the grand truths of Christianity. Reverence for the Bible, the Sabbath day, and a detestation of profanity were strong features of his character. Several years ago he had an apoplectic attack which impaired is intellect, and for a time he lost the power of speech. He knew that his intellectual powers were failing, and resigned his office as Treasurer of the Township, and his commission as J.P., recommending at the same time several younger and more active men, who were appointed by his advice. From this time he was preparing for death, as he knew that the sands of life were almost run. We believe he died the death of a true Christian, and of him it might be said – “Mark the perfect and behold the upright, for the end of that man is peace.”

Obituary newspaper unknown.

A Tale of a Slave of Wellesley Township



I was born in Petersburg, Va. When very young, I was taken to Montgomery county. My old master died there, and I remember that all the people were sold. My father and mother were sold together about one mile from me. After a year, they were sold a great distance, and I saw them no more. My mother came to me before she went away, and said, “Good by, be a good girl; I never expect to see you any more.”

Then I belonged to Mr. T–N–, the son of my old master. He was pretty good, but his wife, my mistress, beat me like sixty. Here are three scars on my right hand and arm, and one on my forehead, all from wounds inflicted with a broken china plate. My cousin, a man, broke the plate in two pieces, and she said, “Let me see that plate.” I handed up the pieces to her, and she threw them down on me: they cut four

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gashes, and I bled like a butcher. One piece cut into the sinew of the thumb, and made a great knot permanently. The wound had to be sewed up. This long scar over my right eye, was from a blow with a stick of wood. One day she knocked me lifeless with a pair of tongs,–when I came to, she was holding me up, through fright. Some of the neighbors said to her, “Why don’t you learn Eliza to sew?” She answered, “I only want to learn her to do my housework, that’s all.” I can tell figures when I see them, but cannot read or write.

I belonged to them until I got married at the age of sixteen, to Mr. John Little, of Jackson. My master sold me for debt,–he was a man that would drink, and he had to sell me. I was sold to F–T–, a planter and slave-trader, who soon after, at my persuasion, bought Mr. Little.

I was employed in hoeing cotton, a new employment: my hands were badly blistered. “Oh, you must be a great lady,” said the overseer, “can’t handle the hoe without blistering your hands!” I told him I could not help it. My hands got hard, but I could not stand the sun. The hot sun made me so sick I could not work, and, John says if I had not come away, they would surely have sold me again. There was one weakly woman named Susan, who could not stand the work, and she was sold to Mississippi, away from her husband and son. That’s one way of taking care of the sick and weak. That’s the way the planters do with a weakly, sickly “nigger,”–they say “he’s a dead expense to ’em,” and put him off as soon as they can. After Susan was carried off, her husband went to see her: when he came back he received two hundred blows with the paddle.

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I staid with T–more than a year. A little before I came away, I heard that master was going to give my husband three hundred blows with the paddle. He came home one night with an axe on his shoulder, tired with chopping timber. I had his clothes all packed up, for I knew he would have to go. He came hungry, calculating on his supper,–I told him what was going. I never heard him curse before–he cursed then. Said he, “If any man, white or black, lays his hand on me to-night, I’ll put this axe clear through him–clear through him:” and he would have done it, and I would not have tried to hinder him. But there was a visitor at the house, and no one came: he ran away. Next morning, the overseer came for him. The master asked where he was; I could have told him, but would not. My husband came back no more.

When we had made arrangements for leaving, a slave told of us. Not long after, master called to me, “Come here, my girl, come here.” I went to him: he tied me by the wrist with a rope. He said, “Oh, my girl, I don’t blame you,–you are young, and don’t know; it’s that d–d infernal son of a–; if I had him here, I’d blow a ball through him this minute.” But he was deceived about it: I had put John up to hurrying off.

Then master stood at the great house door, at a loss what to do. There he had Willis, who was to have run away with us, and the man who betrayed us. At last he took us all off about half a mile to a swamp, where old A–need not hear us as he was going to meeting, it being Sunday. He whipped Willis to make him tell where we were going. Willis said, “Ohio State.” “What do you want to be free for?

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G–d–you, what do you know about freedom? Who was going with you?” “Only Jack.” G–d–Jack to h–, and you too.” While they were whipping Willis, he said, “Oh, master, I’ll never run away.” “I did n’t ask you about that, you d–d son of a–, you.” Then they tried to make him tell about a slave girl who had put her child aside: but he knew nothing about that. As soon as they had done whipping him, they put a plough clavis about his ankle to which they attached a chain which was secured about his neck with a horse-lock.

Then they took a rheumatic boy, who had stopped with us, whom I had charged not to tell. They whipped him with the paddle, but he said he was ignorant of it: he bore the whipping, and never betrayed us. Then they questioned him about the girl and the child, as if that boy could know any thing about it! Then came my turn; they whipped me in the same way they did the men. Oh, those slaveholders are a brutish set of people,–the master made a remark to the overseer about my shape. Before striking me, master questioned me about the girl. I denied all knowledge of the affair. I only knew that she had been with child, and that now she was not, but I did not tell them even that. I was ashamed of my situation, they remarking upon me. I had been brought up in the house, and was not used to such coarseness. Then he (master) asked, “Where is Jack?” “I don’t know.” Said he, “Give her h–, R–.” That was his common word. Then they struck me several blows with the paddle. I kept on telling them it was of no use to whip me, as I knew nothing to tell them. No irons were ready for me, and I was put under a guard,–but I was too cunning for him, and joined my husband.

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My shoes gave out before many days,–then I wore my husband’s old shoes till they were used up. Then we came on barefooted all the way to Chicago. My feet were blistered and sore and my ankles swollen; but I had to keep on. There was something behind me driving me on. At the first water we came to I was frightened, as I was not used to the water. It was a swift but shallow stream: my husband crossed over, and I was obliged to follow. At the Ohio Bottoms was a great difficulty,–the water was in some places very deep,–it was black, dirty water. I was scared all but to death: but I had become somewhat used to hardship. If I had seen a white face, I would have run into the river.

By and by, we succeeded in crossing the last one. Then we struck a light at a shingle-getter’s shanty, made a fire with the clapboards and dried ourselves. We were merry over our success in getting so far along, and had a good laugh as we burned the boards and part of the shanty itself. I felt afraid at getting into a boat to cross the Ohio River: I had never been in any boat whatever. Now to get on this in the night, frightened me. “John,” said I, “don’t you think we ‘ll drown?” “I don’t care if we do,” said he. We reached Cairo well enough.

We never slept at the same time; while one slept, the other kept watch, day or night. Both of us never slept at one time,–if we had, we would not have reached Canada. One morning, as I was watching by a fire we had made, John sleeping, I saw a dog, and told John. Said he, “‘t is some old white man hunting a hog,–however, we had better go from this fire.” We went down into a valley and there remained. In the afternoon, an hour before sunset, a white man came

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suddenly upon us, while we were getting ready for a night’s march. I started to run: John stood. The man said, “Stop, there!” But I kept on; his face was so white, that I wanted nothing to do with him. John said, “What did you say?” “Stop, there.” John said, “I ‘ll do no such thing.” Then hard language passed between them. The man said, “I ‘ll have a pack of hounds after you before night.” John answered him with an oath to frighten him, “You had better do it, and be off yourself, or I ‘ll blow a ball through you.” The man never had heard a negro swear at him before. They are generally so cowed down, that John’s swearing at him, alarmed him more than a bullet from a white man. It showed that he was desperate,–and that was the only reason why he used such language. The man struck spurs to his horse, and went off in a hurry. We followed him, as he went the same way we were going, and kept as close to him as we could: for, if the man got hounds he would start them at the place where he had seen us; and coming back over the same route with hounds, horses, and men, would kill our track, and they could not take us. But we saw no more of the man.

Soon after dark, we came to a lake. We found an old white man there in a shanty, who was caring for a slave that had been shot by his master a few days before. We went in and saw him,–he was an old, gray-headed man. His master had threatened him with a flogging, and he took to the river: just as he reached the water, his master shot him behind. But he got across. He was wounded, and without hat or shoes. In this place we were informed about our route. It was in Kentucky.

While we were stopping at the shanty, a day or two,

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John went out one evening with the old man, to hunt for provisions. I went to bed. By and by the dogs barked; the door opened, and by the fire I saw five white men. One said, “Who you got here?” “Only my own family.” I was afraid, and crept out slyly on my hands and knees, and hid behind an ash-barrel until they were gone.

In a few days we crossed the ferry. Then we went on, and were without provisions, except some corn, which we parched. We met here a runaway slave, who knew the route of the country above us. He was returning to his master, where he had a wife and children.

At Cairo, the gallinippers were so bad, we made a smoke to keep them off. Soon after I heard a bell ring. Said I, “John, somebody’s dead.” It was a steamboat bell tolling. Presently there she was, a great boat full of white men. We were right on the river’s bank, and our fire sent the smoke straight up into the calm. We lay flat on the ground. John read the name–Maria. No one noticed us: after the boat was gone, we had a hearty laugh at our good luck. Thinking there was no more trouble, we did not put out our fire. Presently came a yawl boat: they saw our fire, and hailed, “Boat ashore! boat ashore! runaway niggers! runaway niggers!” We lay close, and the boat kept on. We put out our fire, and went further back from the river, but the musquitoes were so bad, we made another fire. But a man with a gun then came along, looking up into the trees. I scattered the fire to put it out, but it smoked so much the worse. We at last hid in a thicket of briers, where we were almost devoured by musquitoes, for want of a little smoke.

Next day I lay down to sleep, while John kept watch.

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When I awoke, I told him I had dreamed about a white cow, which still seemed a white woman, and that I feared we would be caught. We were in the woods, in a low, damp place, where there was no bit of a road, and we knew not where the road was. We started to find a road, and then met with a white woman. I reminded John of my dream. “Good evening, good evening,” said she. My husband asked if she would sell him some bread: this was to make conversation, so he could inquire the road. “Oh yes, just come to my house, I’ll give you some bread.” We went to the house, and presently her husband came in. He asked, “Have you got free papers?” John answered, “No.” “Where are you travelling to?” “To the upper lakes.” “We are not allowed to let a colored man go through here without free papers: if we do, we are liable to a fine of forty dollars.” He allowed us to remain all night,–but in the morning we were to go before a squire at Dorrety, and, if we were free, we would go on. This was the woman’s arrangement: the man did not seem inclined to stop us. She said, “If we stop you, we shall get fifty dollars apiece for you: that’s a–good–deal–of–money,–you know.” The man asked John if he had a pistol. John produced one. The man said ‘t was no harm, he would take care of it for him,–and locked it up. They lived in a little, dirty log hut: they took the bed off the bedstead, and lay down on it close to the door, so that it could not be opened without disturbing him. The man took a nice silver-mounted pistol from a cupboard, loaded it, and placed it where he could reach it in the night. We lay on the bedstead–they on the floor. She was the evil one: she had made the plans. Their name was Smith.

At about three o’clock in the morning, husband

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aroused me,–“I’m going away from here; I don’t value them, now other folks are asleep.” We both got up. John spoke roughly, “Mr. Smith! Mr. Smith!” He aroused: “we are unwell, and must pass out,–we ‘ll be back very soon.” Mr. Smith got up very readily, and pulled the bed away a little, so we could slip out. As John passed by the pistol, he put his hand on it, and took it in exchange for his old one. It is a beautiful rifle pistol, percussion lock,–John has been offered fifteen dollars for it. If the man will come here with John’s old flint lock, my husband will exchange back, and give him boot. I am very sorry for my friend, Mrs. Smith, that she did not get the hundred dollars to go a shopping with in Dorrety–am much obliged to her for our night’s lodging. We went across a small stream, and waited for daylight. Then we went on to Dorrety, and passed through the edge of it, without calling on the squire, as we had not time.

One Sunday morning, being on a prairie where we could see no house–about fifty miles west of Springfield–we ventured to travel by day. We encountered an animal, which we at first supposed to be a dog; but when he came near, we concluded it to be a wolf. He yelped something like a dog: he did not attack us. We went on and crossed a stream, and then we saw three large wood-wolves, sneaking around as if waiting for darkness. As we kept on, the three wolves kept in sight, now on one hand, and now on the other. I felt afraid, expecting they would attack us: but they left us. Afterward we made a fire with elder-stalks, and I undertook to make some corn bread. I got it mixed, and put it on the fire,–when I saw a party of men and boys on horseback, apparently approaching us. I put out the fire; they turned a little away, and did not appear

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to perceive us: I rekindled the fire, and baked our bread. John managed to keep us well supplied with pies and bread. We used to laugh to think how people would puzzle over who drank the milk and left the pitchers, and who hooked the dough.

I got to be quite hardy–quite used to water and bush-whacking; so that by the time I got to Canada, I could handle an axe, or hoe, or any thing. I felt proud to be able to do it–to help get cleared up, so that we could have a home, and plenty to live on. I now enjoy my life very well–I have nothing to complain of. We have horses and a pleasure-wagon, and I can ride out when and where I please, without a pass. The best of the merchants and clerks pay me as much attention as though I were a white woman: I am as politely accosted as any woman would wish to be.

I have lost two children by death; one little girl is all that is spared to me. She is but four years old. I intend to have her well educated, if the Lord lets us.

“A north-side view of slavery. The refugee: or, The narratives of fugitive slaves in Canada. Related by themselves, with an account of the history and condition of the colored population of Upper Canada”

Blanch Alexandrine “Adine” Seagram Bowlby’s tragic death

A Tragedy Marred Holiday Celebration


Mrs. G.H. Bowlby Lost Her Life in Fatal Motor Car Collison. Cars Collided at Victoria and Edward Streets. Other Occupants Escaped With Slight Injuries

An Inquest Into Death

The holiday festivities in the Twin Cities were marred by a fatal accident in which Mrs. G.H. Bowlby lost her life and a number of other citizens were badly shaken up and bruised.

The accident was caused by a collision between two automobiles at about one thirty o’clock on Saturday afternoon at the corner of Victoria and Edward Streets. Mrs. Bowlby with the four-year-daughter of Captain Tom Seagram of Waterloo, who was driving a Peerless car, was in the back seat of the machine which was going easterly on Victoria Street. At the same time a Ford Roadster, driven by Mr. Harvey Kennedy, who was accompanied by Mr. L. Wellheuser and Mr. Harry Lang, the latter sitting on the door, was going up Edward towards Victoria. A crash came. While Capt. Seagram swerved his car sideways it received the full impact of the other car. The machines were turned turtle and the occupants thrown out and underneath the cars. They, except Mrs. Bowlby, were able to extricate themselves from them machines and willing hands were soon offered. It was found that Mrs. Bowlby was pinned underneath the car was severely injured. Her brother, Capt. Seagram, extricated her from the wreckage. She was unconscious. Medical assistance and the ambulance were summoned. Dr. Kalbfleisch was on the scene soon. The ambulance arrived; she was removed to the hospital, where Dr. Kalbfleisch arrived a few minutes later. An examination of her injuries revealed a fracture of the skull, a broken collar bone and several broken ribs, which also caused internal injuries. An operation was deemed necessary. This was performed by Drs. Kalbfleisch, Gillespie and Hagmeier but unfortunately the efforts to save her life could not be brought to a successful conclusion and her death followed. This was about half an hour later.

A post-mortem examination was held later in the day and through it the opinions of the medical men on the character and extent of the injuries received by Mrs. Bowlby were ascertained.

Injuries Sustained by Others

Captain Seagram’s injuries were: sever abrasions on the face and a severe shaking up. The little daughter aside from the nervous shock and scratches, escaped unscathed. The occupants in the other car all escaped with slight injuries. Mr. Kennedy, however, received bruises in the side of his body. But none of them were incapacitated. Both machines were badly damaged. The Peerless car, however, after it was put on its wheels was taken to a garage under its own power.

Had Been Out Berry Picking

It should be added that the occupants in the Ford roadster had been out berry picking and were homeward bound with their berries.

Inquest Deemed Necessary

Coroner Dr. Kalbfleisch deemed an inquest necessary and immediately had a jury empanelled. Later in the afternoon they viewed the body of the deceased and also inspected the scene of the accident. They then adjourned until 1:30 Wednesday afternoon.

In connection with the cause of the accident the facts, it is expected, will be brought out at the inquest. Incidentally side from the cause, it is noteworthy that the corner of Edward and Victoria Streets does not afford a clear view to people traversing the streets. On three corners buildings are near the street line and hide the view from one street to the other.

Mrs. Bowlby’s Death a Severe Loss

The death of Mrs. Bowlby under the tragic circumstances caused intense sorrow among the citizens of Kitchener and waterloo. The loss sustained by the family is also keenly felt by the people of the community and b hundreds of friends that Mrs. Bowlby had elsewhere. Possessing a pleasing personality and endowed with noble qualities of kindness, charity, and an interest in the welfare of others, she had a warm place in the hearts and thoughts of all who knew her. Mrs. Bowlby gave valuable service on not a few organizations of public benefit and patriotic purposes among them being the Daughters of the Empire.

When the late Major B.H. Bowlby went to England in 1915 where he was engaged in surgical work in military hospitals, she accompanied him. Since his death which was caused by falling over a cliff in September 1917 she engaged in Red Cross work until she returned home about a year ago, to be with her father, who was in poor health.

Mrs. Bowlby was a daughter of Mr. Joseph Seagram, ex-MP, of Waterloo. Surviving her are her father and four brothers, who are Mr. E.F. Seagram, Captain Tom Seagram, Mr. Joseph Seagram, Jr., Orillia, and Mr. Norman Seagram, Toronto.

Seven Eye Witnesses Empanelled

Quite a number of witnesses are being empanelled to testify at the inquest, among them being seven eye witnesses. The jury consists of the following gentlemen: J.E. Bilger, foreman, B.H. Ziegler, J. Welker, L.S. Orlowski, Geo. C. Doerr, S.H. Hessenauer, Charles P. Knapp, George Steinmetz, J.A. Fuhrmann, V.R. Berlet.

Funeral Tomorrow

The funeral of the late Mrs. Adine Bowlby will be held tomorrow afternoon. There will be a service at the residence, 11 West Weber Street, at 4 o’clock and afterwards at St. John’s Anglican Church. After the church service the remains will be taken to Montreal.

Kitchener News Record – 21 Jul 1919 pg 1

Millicent Milroy of North Dumfries – Princess?

Millicent Milroy

Millicent Milroy

On Monday, Millicent Milroy of Rockwood was buried beneath a Monument in a Cambridge cemetery, taking with her to that grave the details of a mystery that received international attention in 1972. The inscription she had engraved on that monument explains the controversy the ex-teacher stirred. It reads:

Millicent A.M.M.M. P.St.Daughter of James and Helen Jane Milroy 1890- wife of Edward (VIII) Duke of Windsor 1894-1972

Duke of Windsor

Duke of Windsor

The initials stand for Agnes Mary Maureen Marguerite, Princess of the Royal House of Stuart. The later designation is based on her claim that her father, James, was Prince James of Scotland, pretender to that throne until he came to Canada. The monument – engraved in 1968 – gained wide attention in 1972 when the duke died. Milroy said she secretly married the duke during one of his frequent visits to Canada.


Although she refused to give any details of that event in later years,she told a Galt Reporter writer in 1972 that the marriage took place in western Canada and the couple had two sons, Edward and Andrew. Edward VIII abdicated the throne to marry Wallace Simpson, and American devorcee, in 1936. When asked for prove of her marriage, Milroy said that the duke had taken all pictures, records and momentoes of the event with him to back England. A Guelph woman who befriended Milroy in 1983 said Milroy promised to remain silent on the matter ‘They’ll have to wait until I die: then they’ll know,’ the woman quoted Milroy as saying. She added that Milroy also mentioned a family Bible that would clear up some of the mystery. Milroy, 95, was born in Galt (Cambridge) and went to school there. She taught school in Lambton Mills, Malton, Northern Ontario and Rockwood for 35 years. She also wrote a book for senior students and centred the action in Rockwood. In later years, she was a regular contributor to the Letters to the Editor section of the Mercury as she commented on events of local and national interest. She died at Guelph General Hospital on Saturday and a private family service was held Monday. She is survived by a niece and nephew in Guelph. Then internment took place in Cambridge’s Mount View Cemetery, beneath the monument that put the quite, private woman in the public eye just over a decade ago.

Guelph Daily Mercury Guelph, Wednesday, October 16, 1985