Tales of the Tombstones — The Crozier Children


The story below is from the Fairview Cemetery on Davidson Street, Listowel, Ontario


Jessie Keith died on October 19, 1894, 13 years old “while defending her honour” – She was born December 20, 1880, and was the daughter of William and Jane (McGeorge) Keith of Elma Twp. Jessie was brutally murdered at the edge of a woodlot near the railway tracks in Elma Twp., just east of Listowel on the way home from running an errand. Almede Chattel, a tramp from Ste. Hyacinthe Quebec was arrested a few days after the murder, convicted of the crime
and hanged in Stratford jail on May 31, 1895.

The monument to Jessie was unveiled in May 1896. The Goddess Flora (goddess of flowers) dropping a rose on the grave was sculpted out of Cerara marble in Italy and waserected on a Peterhead granite pedestal from Aberdeen Scotland on an Ohio free stone base, by R. T. Kemp of Listowel. The monument was restored in June 2006 by Stratford Memorials in Listowel.  Survived by parents; sister, Ida and brother, Alexander.  Her sister Ida died 2 years later February 26, 1898, 19 years old, “with a broken heart over the tragic loss of her sister”

A statue as beautiful as the crime was ugly

‘The story reflects so well on the townsfolk of the region, the way they kept their tempers and brought the killer to justice.’ CLICK

There is nothing more tragic than the death of a child. In researching St. James Cemetery in Carleton Place for our Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum Cemetery walk October 28th. I have come across a few names I need to pay homage to. Like Cecil Cummings and Margaret Violet King– they need to be remembered.

And so I begin research on the Crozier children who all died in the same time frame within a 4 year period.


I found it odd that a small ceramic dog bed was placed at each gravestone as they had died in the 1870s. Today I found out that a Jewish lady comes to visit their gravestones on a regular basis after finding them one day. Planting flowers or leaving anything but a stone is not a Jewish tradition. It is also tradition that visiting the graves of others who are buried there is not done. Not visiting other graves is out of respect to the person who is being buried, as well as to the person previously interred.

So why does she do it? She also scatters graham cracker crumbs around the grave and gets annoyed when birds begin to eat them.Today I found out why she does that. When the cemetery would close for the evening, some mourners would come and sprinkle crumbs on their loved ones plot as some sort of tradition so that animals would keep them company during the night.

Stay tuned for more. Remember our Haunted Heritage Event at the Museum is October 15th and the Cemetery Walk is Oct 28th





Ottawa Daily Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
25 Oct 1894, Thu  •  Page 1

About lindaseccaspina

Linda Knight Seccaspina was born in Cowansville, Quebec about the same time as the wheel was invented and the first time she realized she could tell a tale was when she got caught passing her smutty stories around in Grade 7 at CHS by Mrs. Blinn. When Derek "Wheels" Wheeler from Degrassi Jr. High died in 2010, Linda wrote her own obituary. Some people said she should think about a career in writing obituaries. Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa from 1976-1996. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off she finally found her calling. Is it sex drugs and rock n' roll you might ask? No, it is history. Seeing that her very first boyfriend in Grade 5 (who she won a Twist contest with in the 60s) is the head of the Brome Misissiquoi Historical Society and also specializes in local history back in Quebec, she finds that quite funny. She writes every single day and is also a columnist for Hometown News and Screamin's Mamas. She is a volunteer for the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum, an admin for the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page, and a local guest speaker. She has been now labelled an historian by the locals which in her mind is wrong. You see she will never be like the iconic local Lanark County historian Howard Morton Brown, nor like famed local writer Mary Cook. She proudly calls herself The National Enquirer Historical writer of Lanark County, and that she can live with. Linda has been called the most stubborn woman in Lanark County, and has requested her ashes to be distributed in any Casino parking lot as close to any Wheel of Fortune machine as you can get. But since she wrote her obituary, most people assume she's already dead. Linda has published six books, "Menopausal Woman From the Corn," "Cowansville High Misremembered," "Naked Yoga, Twinkies and Celebrities," "Cancer Calls Collect," "The Tilted Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place," and "Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac." All are available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle. Linda's books are for sale on Amazon or at Wisteria · 62 Bridge Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada, and at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum · 267 Edmund Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada--Appleton Museum-Mississippi Textile Mill and Mill Street Books and Heritage House Museum and The Artists Loft in Smith Falls.

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