Photo- Linda Seccaspina
Sometimes the past seems to come visit me even though I am not looking for a particular subject. I have told the tale of journeys through the cemeteries where names stand out and I have to go look them up as soon as I get home. Crazy? Maybe- but there is no doubt sometime thing happened like that today!
In trying to finish a piece about David Armitage Gillies I went to my file of Gillies Funeral notices looking to see if I had anything on him. A small card seemed to fly into the air and fall on the ground. When I picked it up it was the 1928 funeral notice of Miss Jessie Comrie who died on September 2, 1928. The last name seemed to hit me in the face and I went back to my computer to see what I had on her.
*Jessie Comrie- Nurse to all the Muirhead children Death Notice–Mary Gillies Muirhead posted this note on this death card.–From the collection of Linda Seccaspina–The Lost Gilles Family Ephemera Rescued
St. Fillian’s Cemetery in Beckwith
Lo and behold she was the woman who had met her fate drowned in a flume in the Bates and Innes Mill. No explanation had been found as to the way the accident occurred although examination of the body revealed many scratches about the limbs. In the 1920s to the 1950s a proportion of female homicide victims were generally ignored for the most part. For months the citizens of Carleton Place gossiped about what might have happened to Miss Comrie as some could not believe that she took a misstep.
There had been no other description about her other than she was a lifelong resident of Carleton Place and was trained nurse and was on call that Sunday night. Jessie was to relieve a nurse at James McIntosh’s home and she was enroute there when she fell, or was pushed into a flume from maybe an attempted robbery.
In finding her funeral card I was able to piece together why the card was among the Gillies/Mierhrad ephemera. Jessie Comrie had helped bring some of the Muirhead children into the world in the red brick James Street home. Jessie’s funeral took place 1:30 at the residence of her brother-in-law, Mr. Peter McDonald, Caldwell Street, Carleton Place and on Wednesday afternoon, the 5th instant, at 1:30 o’clock and interment at 2 o’clock in St. Fillian’s Cemetery in Beckwith.
A sister Mrs. *Peter McDonald is the only survivor of the family.
*5717-81 (Lanark Co): Peter McDONALD, 30, woolen manufacturer, Carleton Place, same, s/o Allan & Margaret, married Grace Morrison McARTHUR, 29, Beckwith twp., same, d/o Peter McARTHUR & Ann ANDERSON, witn: Daniel C. McARTHUR of Beckwith & John McDONALD of Carleton Place, 25 May 1881 at Beckwith twp
Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun andScreamin’ Mamas (USA)
Bitten by the Kissing Bug — A Shocking Conclusion to the Life of Carleton Place’s Daniel E. Sheppard