Joann Voyce generously shared a story about Mary Coules and why she was nicknamed Mary Cool Ass in Carleton Place. Imagine my surprise that the history of Mrs. Coules did not end there.
In December of 1961, on the 26th to be exact, poor Mary was the subject of a robbery so awful it was documented in the Ottawa Journal and other newspapers. Despite roadblocks on Christmas Eve of 1961 the police never apprehended the robbers that held Mary Coules who was 65, and her boarder William Flynn age 59 both of Bridge Street at bay.
Mrs. Coules had just returned home from the Carleton Place Hospital following an operation and Flynn had gone to bed when there was a knock at the door. The man asked if Mike lived there and when Mary said no, so the gunman forced his way in her home. A second man entered and they shut the lights, pulled the blinds down, and demanded Mary give them money. Mary, who had a heart condition, told them she had none and they proceeded to ransack her home.
Mary began to scream and they told her if she did not stop they would shoot her. Flynn by this time woke up and came downstairs to see what all the ruckus was about. Flynn was struck with a gun and they stole $90 from him, which was his recent pay cheque from Findlay’s where he worked. Mrs. Coules was then tied to the chesterfield with tape and Flynn tied to his bed with strips of sheets.
Around 9 pm Mary finally freed herself and called the police. Chief Cornell put all his available men on the job and the OPP immediately set up roadblocks around the area. It was reported that only 18 months previous a similar attack on a Carleton Place resident had occurred. Thankfully they missed $500 which Mary had hidden away behind an old trunk.
Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read.
Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in Hometown News and now in The Townships Sun