Jack the Hugger–The Reign of Albert Haley in Smiths Falls

Jack the Hugger–The Reign of Albert Haley in Smiths Falls

On May 7th 1928 –Albert Haley, known in Smiths Falls as “Jack the Hugger,” made a reappearance there and was sentenced to six months in prison. Back in 1913 he got the nick-name by instituting a reign of terror in which young women were accosted on dark corners. —Almonte Gazette

What?  Jack the Hugger?  In Smiths Falls? When I did a search in the newspaper archives there were no less than 267 matches for Harry and Jack the Hugger. Apparently there were some real bad numbers roaming the local streets accosting women and they called them huggers. Some huggers!

On September 8 of 1913 Albert Healy went to prison after “the clever constables” finally caught the man who had terrorized the streets of Smiths Falls in the winter of 1912. Of course he is not to be confused with another ‘hugger’ Robert/John Shaw who was called “Christmas”  who originated in Carleton Place and then made his way to Perth.

Healy was first arrested in North Bay for a similar offence, travelled to Jasper and then decided to walk to Smiths Falls. Let’s face it, the hamlet of Jasper is so small that a hugger could be caught in no time. After all after you have hugged one– or maybe two you have pretty well hugged the whole darn village.


Adventure Rider Photo take in Jasper, Ontario

However on the way to Smiths Falls he stopped at a farmhouse and savagely attacked *Mrs. Delbert Barber who was alone with her young daughter. Mrs. Barber fought him off and managed to telephone the neighbour’s home for *Chief George Phillips. Phillips managed to apprehend Healy at the farm of *Levi Davis. Healy pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 18 months in prison. He admitted in court that he was Jack the Hugger who had caused such fear in the streets of Smiths Falls in 1912.

On 1928 Jack Healy was arrested once again in Almonte, Ontario and there is no word what happened to him after that.




Delbert Holmes Barber

Birth: Aug. 24, 1868
Ontario, Canada
Death: 1952
Ontario, Canada

Family links:
 Philip Barber (1837 – 1902)
 Rachel Belrose Barber (1839 – 1879)

Bella Jane Buell Barber (1875 – 1959)

 Cecil Floyd Barber (1898 – 2000)*
 Audrey Margery Barber Sterling (1900 – 1964)*
 George Ross Barber (1902 – 1969)*
 Vera Belrose Barber (1905 – 1962)*
 Dorothy Ray/Rhea Barber (1907 – 1991)*
 Charles Edward Barber (1910 – 1981)*
 Mona Frances Barber Jones (1912 – 2005)*
 Freda Barber Atkinson (1912 – 1993)*
 Enid O. Barber Cross (1915 – 1971)*

 Delbert Holmes Barber (1868 – 1952)
 Anna Barber (1871 – 1954)*
 Ellen Jane Barber (1875 – 1876)*

*Calculated relationship

Wolford Rural Cemetery
Leeds and Grenville United Counties
Ontario, Canada
Plot: Stone ref. 262, P6-R15

1933  Chief George Phillips Smith Falls
Chief Phillips resigned. Chief Phillips had served 21 years, almost all as Chief.
Graham Bromley is hired as Chief of Police. Chief Bromley had previously been the Chief of Police in Campbellford and Elmira. Department staff increased to four men during this year, but would be reduced to three in early 1934 as a cost cutting measure.

Chief Mitchell resigns.
George Phillips reappointed Chief Constable by town council.
Department reduced to two men at this time.
George Mitchell, a former Chief Constable in North Bay, is appointed Chief in Smiths Falls, after a reorganization of the police department. George Phillips was reassigned to the rank of Sergeant.
Department now had three men.
George Phillips is hired as Constable and is appointed Chief Constable only months after joining department, when Chief Sweet resigns.

*Levi Davis from the Township of Elizabethtown



The Jasper hotel is located on the site of the old Connor Hotel. Jasper was quite popular from the 1940s to early 80s and the hotel prospered. The owners of the old Connor Hotel include Levi Davis, Mr. Connor, and Frank Fitzgerald.

Fitzgerald owned the hotel when it burnt down on July 18, 1939. It was then rebuilt and sold to Mr. Watson. The hotel then passed through the hands of Mr. Leslie Church, Cecil Wainman, and Leo LaRocque, who renamed the hotel the Jasper Hotel. Don Wilson bought the hotel in 1976 and ran the business mainly as a bar but also catered to banquets and parties. The hotel closed on April 28, 2005. The building had ten guest rooms


Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun and Screamin’ Mamas (USA)

Related reading:

John Shaw Spent a Quarter of a Million Dollars?

Robert Shaw “Cold as Ice” in a Cardboard Box?

May 1928

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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