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



Related reading:

John Shaw Spent a Quarter of a Million Dollars?

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

May 1928

The Lanark Era
Lanark, Ontario, Canada
04 Nov 1896, Wed  •  Page 1

About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

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