One thing always leads to another researching things about Carleton Place. From one advertisement found, comes a mountain of deceit, a man sued for libel, and one of the biggest frauds ever tried in the Dominion of Canada. All this from one local man who made medicine and religious quackery his forte, and was also into green silk robes.
Dr. Granby Howard was said to owned a vast amount of land in Canada, yet he lived in a home owned by Mrs. Wilke. Surprisingly as I dug deeper, he lost “his” home in the great Carleton Place fire of 1910. Howard Morton Brown thought he was a bit of a blowhard and said the following:
“Dr. Granby Howard, who claimed to have been descended from one of the original 13 Barons of England, was a big man, soft spoken, and used to relate to me about his turkey hunting trips in the U.S.A. He had a law suit with the Montreal Daily Star and lost. The Star published a pamphlet about him and distributed it to the householders of Carleton Place.”
He was a staunch Conservative, Orangemen and a friend to Dr. Preston(No Dr. Preston No!). At first I thought his cream for piles was the subject of the Montreal Star Pamphlet war. But it wasn’t! It was much more than that! Howard began a new religion consisting of thoughts of Brahmanism, Eastern Philosophy and Christianity. There was also a great deal of balderdash about the rites and ceremonies. The man of mystery was known to his converts as “the Master”-The Sage of Aru. He also carried a sword to slay the Elements. Apparently those “little elements” crawled into select local folks and horses. Howard ran into a great deal of trouble with the local clergy as he used a wee bit of the occult sciences in his ceremonies. What am I saying? He was in lock, stock and barrel. And I talked about our local Masons. Geesh!
Anyways, he embezzled a few people around the area and then took his dog and pony show to St. Louis, Mo.for a spell to see what coffers he could conjure up there. Actually, it was stated his strong hypnotic influences helped sway the townsfolk. One particular American woman was not happy he relieved her of thousands of dollars. After he could not be extradited to the United States the Montreal Star went after him. Phamphets of his dirty deeds done cheap flooded every single home in Carleton Place courtesy of the Montreal newspaper.
He was a deceiver of women (including his wife) He extracted money for his pockets by the wiles of his mysteries. Standing over 6 feet tall, with a grand bear and occasionally sporting a turban G. S. Howard– The Sage of Aru/Carleton Place definitely created the crime of the century in our town. Fasten your seat belts-we’ve only just begun- it’s going to be a bumpy ride as Bette Davis once said.
Thanks to Jennifer Fenwick Irwin of the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum who dropped everything to help me today and had me spellbound within seconds.