Lawsuits in Carleton Place — The Collapse of the Appleton Bridge



In May I wrote a story about the Appleton Bridge collapsing in 1899. I swear I think about it each time I cross that bridge knowing full well it could never happen today. Abraham Lincoln Morphy was born in 1864 and married at age 23 to Rebbecca Conn. He had 6 children: Hugh Franklin Morphy, Norman A Morphy and 4 others. Abe was the son of Abraham Sr. Of Ramsay and a brakeman for the C.P.R. He passed away in 1899 at age 35, drowning in the Mississippi River below the Appleton Falls

In 1899 in the Almonte Gazette it was noted that the Appleton Bridge had been built in the year 1858 by Mr. Jerry Sullivan and his late brother of Appleton. The bridge was renewed in part once or twice. In 1898 the plank was relayed, and to all appearance was above board. But after the disaster of Abraham Morphy it revealed the bridge was nothing but a mass of decayed timbers.

From the Carleton Place Herald 1899:

The Funeral has been fixed for tomorrow afternoon, at 3 o’clock, to Cram’s cemetery. It will be attended by the members of the A.O.U.W and the Railway Trainmen. Both the horses were drowned, and the carriage is a wreck. They belonged to Mr. John Campbell, liveryman, of this town. During the afternoon a number of the C.P.R. trainmen went down to Appleton to aid in the search for the body. Mr. J.R. Hamilton, in a conversation with Miss Mattie Beckett, ascertained about the spot where Mr. Morphy was last seen by her with his hand raised as he went down for the last time. He with Frank Towsley, took a boat and went directly to the spot, grappling with the body at once on reaching it. One of the horses was seen floating through Almonte late in the afternoon yesterday. An Inquest had been demanded, and is in progress this afternoon as we go to press. The Coroner’s Jury Being a Verdict of Culpable Negligence….

On the 28th of November 1899  the lawsuit went to court. No mention of the outcome




Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  24 Apr 1899, Mon,  Page 6



United+ (Pine Grove, Maple Wood, St. Fillan’s) Cemetery
Lanark Co./Reg./Dist., Ontario
Entered Into Rest
Abraham L. Morphy
Ae.35,Yrs.12 Dys.
His Wife
Rebbecca Conn
Grale M.
Dau. Of Al. & Rebecca Morphy
1897,Ae.8 Mos. 3 Ds.
Weep Not they are not Gone —


Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  19 Apr 1899, Wed,  Page 7



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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