Tag Archives: Crime

Trouble at Hays Shore—Mrs. Delores Bell– 1927

Trouble at Hays Shore—Mrs. Delores Bell– 1927

The incident would have been on the other side of the road where this building is at Hay’s Shore

Mrs. Delores Bell was attacked by an unknown man when picking berries with her three small children. Mrs. Bell of Carleton Place was the victim of a harrowing experience late on Friday afternoon when in company with her three small children she was picking berries in the woods about a mile south of the town and near Lake Park. An unknown man attacked her throwing her violently to the ground and threatening her with a knife during a brutal attack.

Fighting desperately the woman managed to wrench the knife from him and after a terrific fight scared him efficiently to drive him away. Meanwhile her screams and those of the frightened children had attracted the attention of Mr. and Mrs. John Duff and Mr. J. A. Hay, who live nearby and they rushed to her aid. Chief of Police Fred Nichols with provincial officer MacGregor and traffic officer Tomer searched the locality until midnight without success.

Men answering somewhat to the description of the woman’s assailant were rounded up by the police, one at Perth and the other at Carleton Place. Both were.taken before Mrs. Bell who found one smaller and the other of heavier build than her assailant. The search continues. Mrs. Bell described the man who attacked her as being about 5 feet 8 inches tall, weighing about 150 pounds and of dark complexion. He wore old dark brown shoes, a brown peak cap and his trousers were torn at the right knee. He spoke French. A policeman at Smiths Fails has since reported that a man answering the description of Mrs. Bells assailant, boarded an eastbound freight train Sunday night

CLIPPED FROMThe Weekly AdvanceKemptville, Ontario, Canada04 Aug 1927, Thu  •  Page 7

Hay’s Shore at the foot of the Second Lake, was James Duff’s farm from about the 1840’s. William (Bill) Duff ran a farm and a retail dairy on the shores of Mississippi Lake. Duff’s Dairy on the 11th line was later taken over and sold to John Hays in 1918. Big Bill did a big business in Carleton Place, and *Fred Hunter of Carleton Place was once quoted as saying it was real milk, as there was no such thing as pasteurization  in those days.–Hay Look Me Over! Big Bill Duff

Almonte Gazette

Tuesday afternoon some little girls were picking strawberries between the lOth and 11th lines Beckwith. A tramp appeared on the scene, and caught Maggie Garland as she, with the rest, was climbing a fence to escape.” She tried to break away, and the others hurled stones at him. They then ran off, screaming for Mr. McNeely.

No one turned up ; and the girls hurried home.. Mr. Jamieson and Mr. Demer hastened to the spot. The latter found the girl walking in a dazed way. Her face was scratched and her neck black and blue. Mr. Demer put the matter in the hands of Chief Wilson at once, who promptly acted. This morning the girl had not yet recovered her mind, and her story is not yet all known. The mother, Mrs. N. Garland, was in a dreadful condition of excitement last night.— C.C

Hay Look Me Over! Big Bill Duff

Tales from Lake Park– A Disabled Motor and Manslaughter

Miracle at Mississippi Lake-John Brown Jr.

Tales of the Mississippi Lake- Believe it or Not!

The Phantom Light on Mississippi Lake

Mr. Herman Montgomery’s Hen Coop

Mr. Herman Montgomery’s Hen Coop

Jan 1941

Arrested in Almonte Saturday night for being drunk and later, charged with stealing a chicken from Mr. Herman Montgomery’s hen coop, a local man appeared before the District Magistrate in Perth on Tuesday to answer these accusations. He was fined $10 and $7.50 costs when he pleaded guilty to being intoxicated in public and elected the alternative of ten days in the county jail.

On the charge of stealing the chicken sentence was suspended, the Magistrate taking the view that the man was scarcely responsible for his actions in his condition. It is said that Chief Norman Green pinned the theft charge on the guilty one when he found that he had only one rubber and that it corresponded with a similar article of footwear left behind in the hen coop as a calling card.

The hen, which was alive when recovered, was deposited in a local butcher shop until returned to its owner. While there it laid an egg which showed it was not unduly perturbed over its experience. The guilty one professed to be suffering from temporary amnesia as he could not remember visiting the chicken pen.

CLIPPED FROMThe Lanark EraLanark, Ontario, Canada18 Sep 1918, Wed  •  Page 2

CLIPPED FROMThe Lanark EraLanark, Ontario, Canada21 Jun 1899, Wed  •  Page 3

CLIPPED FROMThe Lanark EraLanark, Ontario, Canada23 Nov 1910, Wed  •  Page 5

Mr. Allen’s Chickens– Appleton

‘Winner Winner Chicken Dinner’? Consolidated Tea Co. Sparks Street

What Came First in Lanark County? The Chicken Or the Egg?

Doin’ the Funky Chicken in Lanark County

Memories of Woolworths and Chicken in a Van

The Great Escape from the Almonte Jail 1952

The Great Escape from the Almonte Jail 1952

Since the building was erected in 1885, it has housed a variety of different operations including municipality offices, the fire station, police station and jail house, and the municipal library. The building also once housed a fire bell which was removed in 1968 upon completion of the new fire hall. Almonte.com

One of the few jailbreaks ever recorded in Almonte’s history was discovered last Saturday night when Caretaker Walter Berry of the town hall went into the lockup corridor and found that a young man who had been placed in one of the cells a short time before, had vamoosed leaving the barred door open. This insult to the impregnability of the local houseguest was perpetrated by a paratrooper who has been in the service for a couple of years and who was taking a little holiday at his home here while A.W.L. from the camp outside Ottawa.

It appears that late in the afternoon he got a little too much lubrication on board and when he went home he started taking things to pieces, including his “old man.” His “operation cut-up” sounded like the descent of a parachute during a hurricane. The provincial police were sent for and they locked him up in one of the cells. After that they left for the rink where the ice carnival was being held.

It is said that the paratrooper continued his “operation cut-up” in his narrow environment rattling the bars and expressing his opinion of the law in loud and uncomplimentary terms. When things suddenly got quiet for a time, Mr. Berry decided to investigate and he found the bird had flown from its cage. An old man sleeping off a jag in an adjacent cell heard nothing.

Mr. Berry notified the police at the rink and they searched the town but could find no trace of the paratrooper. It has since been learned that he went across the street from the town hall to Barr’s Grill and calmly drank a cup of coffee probably realizing even if the police had already learned of his escape, which they hadn’t, it would naturally be the last place they would look for him.

One theory of how he escaped was that he got his armdown through the bars and turned the key—if it was in the lock. But that does not explain how the additional hurdle of a cross bar and padlock could be surmounted. The door to the main room off which the tier of cells is located is not secured and as the police, when they lock a man in, must leave the keys some place where the caretaker can get them in case of fire, it is possible that some outsider entered and let the lad out.

A note was found in his handwriting directed to Officer Malcolm McNairn which read, in effect: “So long Mac, I’ll be seeing you.” 

Feb 1952

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa JournalOttawa, Ontario, Canada05 Feb 1940, Mon  •  Page 1

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada01 Apr 1940, Mon  •  Page 2

Jail Break 1929 Lanark County

“One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer” in Lanark County

Jailhouse Rock in Lanark County Part 2

Throw the Whole Family in Jail!

Newsies — Jailed at Nine Years Old

Run Pig Run–Shake it Off! Convictions of 1870

Throwing a Snowball is Going to Cost you $1- Your Convictions of 1898

To Steal a Barge on Ebb’s Bay— Your Convictions of 1897

Step Right Up- Here are Your Family Convictions-September, 1894

Breach of the Town Bylaws and Other Convictions.. Sept. 11 1888

Justice of the Peace Convictions for the County of Lanark–July 17, 1885

Assault Abusive Language and Bridget McNee

The Notorious Bridget McGee of Perth

Down at the Old Perth Gaol

Justice of the Peace Convictions for the County of Lanark–Dec. 13, 1898-Who Do You Know?

Auctionering Without a License and Pigs on the Loose

Going to the Chapel –Drummond Whalen and Johnson of Carleton Place

The Drunken Desperados of Carleton Place

The Young Offenders of Lanark County

From Almonte to Hull to Arnprior — Mr. and Mrs. Orlando Forest Moses — Tales of the Depression Era


October 1930, Almonte Gazette

Orlando F. Moses, of no fixed abode, was sentenced to one month in jail and a fine of $300 and costs of six additional months, after admitting in Hull- police court ownership of a still worth about $500, and also about 20 gallons of liquor.

The accused was arrested on Saturday Morning by Quebec Liquor Commission police, who raided a small house on Mountain road, Wrightville, Hull. Moses served as chief constable of Almonte for about a year about four years ago. Col. R. deSalaberny acted as counsel for Moses, and he asked the clemency of the court, stating that it was a first offence. Henry M. L orranger, who represented the federal excise and Inland Revenue Department, asked that a fine of $500 be imposed considering that the maximum was $2,000. Mr. Loranger also asked that the goods seized be confiscated, also the automobile owned by the accused.

Col. do Salaberry objected to the confiscation of the car, stating that no liquor was found in it. The Magistrate after hearing both counsels sentenced Moses to a $300 fine, and also one month in jail, and ordered the still and other articles confiscated, but added that the car be returned to the owner.

Moses was a former Toronto constable. He had served for more than 12 years in police forces, including Almonte. He served during the Great War and was awarded the Military Cross and also the Croix de Guerre, and also served two years with the Scotland Yard, London.

Moses was last seen on the little bridge opposite the Rosa­mond Stock Farm two months ago and told them he was married and was running a chicken farm near Hull, Que. Moses will be recalled by many different people in town.

During the Depression things were tough for everyone. But, I still can’t believe how a man who worked in authority had his finger in the passions of crime. I guess we will never know.

“When Moses was on the stand during the preliminary hearing he admitted having served prison terms for forgery, extortion and a breach of the Inland Revenue Act. At present he is in custody of the Carleton county police on a charge of house breaking.”

The Sault Star
Sault St. Marie, Ontario, Canada
16 Dec 1931, Wed  •  Page 16
The Province
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
16 Dec 1931, Wed  •  Page 13

The Montreal Star
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
16 Dec 1931, Wed  •  Page 8

That although Mrs. Moses swore that she had asked Mr. Rudd to come and see about a leak in the ceiling of the bedroom of the apartment, the roof above the place in the ceiling where there had been a leak had been repaired before Mr. and Mrs. Moses became tenants, and had not leaked while they were tenants.” “That Mr. Rudd would not have left his work to go. to the apartment in the center of the town at two o’clock in the afternoon for immoral purposes.” “That on account of his age and physical condition, Mr. Rudd was incapable of committing the crime with which he has been charged. This alone would make it necessary for me to dismiss’ the charge against Mr. Rudd.” “That the offers, first of $200 and then of $1,000 were made by Mr. Rudd and his solicitor, to avoid publicity and not to compound a felony.” “I am further convinced that no Jury would find Mr. Rudd guilty of the lesser offence of attempting to commit an indecent assault.”

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
23 Dec 1931, Wed  •  Page 5

Porr Orlando… the year after his father drowned.

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
10 May 1932, Tue  •  Page 1

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
11 Feb 1953, Wed  •  Page 20

1911 Census

Name:Orland Forest Moses
Birth Year:abt 1893
Birth Place:Osgoode Ontario
Marriage Date:8 Jun 1929
Marriage Place:London, Middlesex, Ontario, Canada
Father:James B Moses
Mother:Pricilla Moses
Spouse:Marjorie Nelles Colerick

Name:Orland Forest Moses
Birth Year:abt 1893
Birth Place:Osgoode Ontario
Marriage Date:8 Jun 1929
Marriage Place:London, Middlesex, Ontario, Canada
Father:James B Moses
Mother:Pricilla Moses
Spouse:Marjorie Nelles Colerick

Went to the US for a short stay

Name:Orland Moses
Birth Date:abt 1893
Birth Place:Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Arrival Date:6 Aug 1929
Arrival Place:Detroit, Michigan, USA
Departure Contact:Wife Marjorie Moses
Spouse:Marjorie Moses

He remarried

Name:Forest Orland
Marriage Age:65
Birth Date:abt 1893
Birth Place:Carlton County, Ontario
Marriage Date:22 Aug 1958
Marriage Place:Whatcom, Washington, USA
Spouse:Dorothy Eleanor Irons


Name:Forest Orland
Birth Year:abt 1893
Death Age:72
Death Date:9 Jul 1965
Death Location:Haney
Registration Number:1965-09-009316
BCA Number:B13273
GSU Number:2033797

Related stories

The House at Sand Point

The Jinxed House of Crown Point

Ramsay 1927 — The Depression

Rosamond History– The “Damn” Dam Case 1870

Rosamond History– The “Damn” Dam Case 1870

No 1 Mill– the dam that would have been taken out would be at the top of the falls.

Jan 1871 Almonte Gazette

The Dam Case — Some time during last summer four of the employees of B. & W. Rosamond & Co. were charged before a Justice of the Peace with the crime of tearing away and destroying 60 feet of the dam at the long wooden bridge leading to No. 1 mill. The case was tried a t the Perth assizes in October, and a true bill against the four men was found by the Grand Jury. 

The judge, however, had no time to try the case and it was left over to the Quarter sessions — the result of the trial being that the four men were found guilty and sentenced to three months imprisonment in the common Jail.

It is rather hard for the men to be thus incarcerated, for the facts are that the men were ordered by their employers to go out and destroy the dam, and that they (the employers) would stand between them and all harm, ensuring the men at the same time that they had the highest legal authority for doing so. 

Under the circumstances we think it is a pity that the majesty of the law could not have been vindicated quite as well by a much shorter period of imprisonment. Since the trial we have heard but one universal opinion expressed In the affair, and that is, a strong feeling of sympathy for the four employees.

In 1862 Bennett Rosamond and his brother William leased the Victoria Woolen Mills from their father under the partnership of B & W Rosamond and embarked upon a programme of rapid expansion. In 1866, they brought into the firm, now renamed B & W Rosamond & Co-MVTM

Bridge on Pinehurst

photo almonte.com

Built by Bennett Rosamond, president and managing director of the Rosamond Woollen Company, one of the largest woollen mills in Canada at the time. In 1884, he started to clear his land on the “Point” in a quiet and secluded area known as Brookdale Park, and by March 1890, had announced contracts for construction of Pinehurst, “the handsomest house” at the “prettiest location in town.” This was followed by a lodge (1892), a grapery (1894), and two outbuildings (1895). Later, an iron bridge was built on the road leading to Pinehurst from No. 1 Mill and a stone wall was built along the driveway.

photo almonte.com



28278951_10155599367996886_5754394570099429701_n (1).jpg

In November of 1920 an attempt to set aside a deed of ownership on certain Carleton Place Lake Ave property made by the late Mrs. Jane Nolan to her son. Thomas Frank Nolan, a few days before her death, was made in the Supreme Court of Ontario before Chief Justice Mr. William Meredith this morning. The case was the first on the list for the non-jury session.

The will of Mrs. Nolan, when read, shortly after her death on December 19, 1919 stated that the homestead was left to her daughter. Mrs. M. T. Comrie and Mrs. Lila E. Edwards and the remainder of the estate divided among her four sons.

Frank Nolan produced a deed to the homestead, dated December 3, 1919 in which his mother gave him the property and it is to set aside this deed that his two sons have taken action.

Undue Influence, misrepresentation and fraud are claimed to have been used by Frank Nolan in securing the deed. Dr. R. S. Preston, who attended Mrs. Nolan stated that she was perfectly conscious at the time. The case was proceeding when court adjourned. Mr. A. E Kripp, K.C. MP is acting for the sisters and Mr. W H. Stafford, Almonte, for Mr. Nolan.


I found the clippings below about the case, but never found out who won. Since he listed he was living on Lake Ave in one of the census’s later on, one can assume he kept the Lake Ave properties.  Thomas Franklin Nolan went by the name of Franklin and his occupation was listed as a ‘washer’.

UPDATE- Thanks to Jennifer Fenwick Irwin at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum we have the following.


11 Lake Avenue West, built by Thomas Nolan.

Screenshot 2018-10-30 at 13.jpg

Jennifer Fenwick Irwin– Today is known as 51 Lake Avenue West. 


  1.  -


Name: Jane Nolan (Mother)
Gender: Female
Marital Status: Married
Age: 51
Birth Year: abt 1840
Birthplace: Ireland
Relation to Head-of-house: Wife
Religion: Church of England
French Canadian: No
Spouse’s Name: James S Nolan (carpenter)
Father’s Birth Place: Ireland
Mother’s Birth Place: Ireland
Province: Ontario
District Number: 84
District: Lanark South
Subdistrict: Carleton Place
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age

James S Nolan 50
Jane Nolan 51
Henry Nolan 27
John Nolan 25
Teresa Nolan 19 (sisters in court case)
Lila Nolan 17 (sisters in court case)
Franklin Nolan 13 (Thomas)
Fred Nolan 12
Herbert Nolan 10

Nolan, Lake Ave. Carleton Place. -

Clipped from

  1. The Ottawa Journal,
  2. 29 Nov 1904, Tue,
  3. Page 5

Name: Thos Franklin Nolan
Age: 25
Birth Year: abt 1879
Birth Place: Carleton Place, Ontario
Marriage Date: 24 Nov 1904
Marriage Place: Carleton, Ontario, Canada
Father: Jos S Nolan
Mother: Jane Cunningham Nolan
Spouse: Estella Agnes Cluff



Clipped from

  1. The Ottawa Journal,
  2. 04 Feb 1942, Wed,
  3. Page 7


Clipped from

  1. The Ottawa Citizen,
  2. 30 Jul 1943, Fri,
  3. Page 19

Almonte Fire of Nolan’s and Wylie’s Stable

Names Names Names of St. James Carleton Place Genealogy

It’s Smyth not Smith Falls?

It’s Smyth not Smith Falls?


Vintage Smiths Falls & Perth  —Smiths Falls-Main Street. c1908



Smiths Falls, or rather the site of it was allocated In the year 1784 to one Major Thomas Smyth, a United Empire loyalist, -when lands were being given out by the Imperial Commission to the men who had suffered land losses and hardships as a result oi their loyalty to the crown during the American Revolution. To this Major Thomas Smyth fell lots one and two in the fourth concession of Elmsley in the county of Leeds. The central portion of the now prosperous town of Smiths Falls is located in the center of the Smyth allocation. The unfortunate part of the story i that Major Smyth lost possession of this property with its fine water power in the year 1825, just two years before the starting of the Rldeau Canal. In the year 1810 the Major became financially distressed. On the strength of this Rideau River property he borrowed two hundred and thirty-three pounds from one Joseph Bewell, a Boston merchant. The mortgage was for a year.



Smiths Falls- Joshua Bates’ and Truman Ward’s Wool and Grist Mills on Old Sly’s Road with the CNR train bridge in the background. c1870 —Vintage Smiths Falls & Perth

In 1824 the debt not having been repaid. Mr. Sewell brought action at York (Toronto) for foreclosure the mortgage. He obtained judgment. In August. 1825, Sheriff John Stewart offered the property for sale. The sale took place at Brockville. Charles Jones (afterwards the Hon. C. Jones) was the highest bidder. The property went to him at 105. In the following year the property sold by Mr. Jones to Abel Ward, one of three brothers (Empire Loyalists), who lived near Brockville. Mr. Ward, who was a lumberman, paid six hundred pounds for the property. Building of Canal. Then came the building of the Rideau Canal in 1827 and with it a voting surveyor from New York state, named James Simpson. Young Simpson bought two-thirds of the Ward property for fifteen hundred pounds. The value of the place was being rapidly enhanced. Ward and Simpson became partners in Improvements. They erected grist and sawmills and stores. Simpson made his home at the Falls. Simpson became a leader among the settlers. He initiated road building by means of “bees.” it was he who opened the first road from Smyth’s Falls to Beckwith. He took a contract for work on the Smyth’s Falls section of the canal.

In the year 1829 the village was “laid out” as a townsite for the owners bv John Booth, deputy provincial land surveyor, who lived at Elizabethtown. In 1832. the year the canal started operations, James Simpson sold out his interests to his brother, William Simpson, and went to California. Between 1832 and 1845 much of the village site had been disposed of in lots of a fifth of an acre. These lots were sold at an average price of one hundred and twenty-five pounds.


Image may contain: one or more people, sky, outdoor and text

Vintage Smiths Falls & Perth —Smiths Falls- Activity in front of the Russell Hotel on Beckwith street. c1905


By 1840 there were Methodist, Roman Catholic and Presbyterian churches in existence. The Anglican body used a government workshop as a place of worship. There were eight stores and fifty dwellings, a cabinet shop, a chair factory, a tannery, cooper shop, saddler’s, a foundry, two flour mills, two sawmills, and an oat mill. Up to the year 1835 no question of the validity of the Ward-Simpson title had been raised. Major Smyth died in 1831. In 1833 his two sons, Terence and George, who resided at Merrickville decided to take advantage of the establishment of a court of chancery and endeavour to regain possession.

Image may contain: car, tree and outdoor

Smiths Falls- Activity in front of the Russell Hotel on Beckwith street. c1905

A chancery lawsuit was begun by the Smyths. It lasted a long time and proved very costly. The case was not settled till 1844. The Smyth suit was dismissed. It is worthy of note that Abram Green, a brother-in-law of the Smyths, drove alt the way from Charleston, Penn., in a sleigh to give evidence in their behalf. Abel Ward lived till 1882. James Simpson went to California when he left Canada. He became a world rover and died at sea. Just how or when the name Smyth became corrupted to Smith is not clear. The CP.R. gave Smiths Falls its second boost in 1885 when it made the place a divisional point on its new Montreal to Toronto and Chicago “short line.”




 - flllegeO Severe Treatment Was JoH it H....

Clipped from

  1. The Ottawa Journal,
  2. 15 Jun 1899, Thu,
  3. Page 1



Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun and theSherbrooke Record and and Screamin’ Mamas (USACome 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. Tales of Almonte and Arnprior Then and Now.



Downtown Smiths Falls 1887

Dr. William Pratt — Murder of his Housekeeper in Smiths Falls

It Started in the Candy Kitchen Restaurant– Kerfoot Fire Smiths Falls

Slot Machines in Smiths Falls– Not Good For the Public

Over She Goes — The Perils of Niagara Falls

Over She Goes — The Perils of Niagara Falls

 - 1 TIM SI GOES ! The Startling Cry of Arthur Bay...

Clipped from

  1. Buffalo Evening News,
  2. 06 Oct 1890, Mon,
  3. Other Editions,
  4. Page 5

At the Welland assizes, Arthur H. Day was convicted of murdering his wife by shoving her over the embankment at Niagara Falls, and was sentenced to.be·hanged on November 18th october 1890


From the files of Doris Blackburn/ Karen Blackburn Chenier

 - Poshed His Wife Over tbe rMs Ottawa, Ont, Dec....

Clipped from

  1. Harrisburg Daily Independent,
  2. 11 Dec 1890, Thu,
  3. Page 1


From the files of Doris Blackburn/ Karen Blackburn Chenier


Clipped from

  1. Western Mail,
  2. 19 Dec 1890, Fri,
  3. Page 5


From the files of Doris Blackburn/ Karen Blackburn Chenier


 - Sad Death of a Lad at Niagara Falls Other...

Clipped from

  1. Manitoba Morning Free Press,
  2. 16 May 1894, Wed,
  3. Page 1

 - Goes Safely the Rapids Niagar a Falls, N Y.,...

Clipped from

  1. Willmar Tribune,
  2. 18 Jul 1900, Wed,
  3. Page 2
  4. Protection


    Rash Attempt to Roll Across Lake in “Foolkiller No. 3” Ends in Death

    “NOTE NO. 1” IS FOUND.

    Friends Believe Voyager Survived Trip and Perished After Reaching Land.

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

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. Tales of Almonte and Arnprior Then and Now.


The Legend of Horseshoe Falls

“The Italian Job” from Carleton Place?– Dr. Howard I Presume

“The Italian Job” from Carleton Place?– Dr. Howard I Presume

howardaa (1).jpg

He was a deceiver of women (including his wife) He extracted money for his pockets by the wiles of his mysteries. Standing over 6 feet tall, almost the size of a grand bear and occasionally sporting a turban G. S. Howard– The Sage of  Aru/Carleton Place definitely created the crime of the century in our town, yet no one  in Carleton Place questioned his guilt– ever. He was always considered one of the pillars of the town and was said to be treated unfairly.

In December of 1922 the fact was being deplored that Canada had let “slip over the border” one of the finest art collections on this continent.” This collection” had been housed at Carleton Place and was said to be priceless, containing as it did works by such artists as Gainsborough, Titian, Rubens. Rembrandt, Greuze, Veronese and Raphael and others of like renown.

For this act of dereliction of duty the National Gallery of Canada was being chided. Now there has come a sequel. The owner of the collection, one Dr. Howard, from Carleton Place is at present a fugitive from the law in Bermuda. The “priceless” collection which he sold to a New York collector for $300,000 has been pronounced by experts as practically worthless and a series of copies and imitations. With this view Mr. Eric Brown, director of the National Gallery, agrees, as also does Mr. Ernest Fosbery, of Ottawa, both of whom had an opportunity of inspecting the best of the collection at Perth, where it had temporarily been removed.

According to the American Art News of New York, he is a native of the southern United States and was a resident of an Ontario town, which is Carleton Place. On November 16th and the 22nd there  were letters in the Toronto Globe and an Ottawa paper from Mr. E. Billing, of Carleton Place. In these letters Mr. Billing, no doubt convinced of the genuineness of the canvases as others had been, said that he could not help deploring the apathy of “our art directors in Canada,” adding that a truckload of valuable paintings had just crossed the St. Lawrence into the United States.

The next chapter in the story, following the crossing of the border, is that printed by the American Art News for December 31st. It said: “in New York city at the  present time is an aged man, ill in body and with mind distraught, because he paid more than $300,000 for old masters which art experts have declared in affidavit not to be worth more than $500.

Back in Bermuda, watched by detectives, was Englishman called Dr. Howard, of courtly appearance, who sold him the pictures, and who sailed from New York on the day following the discovery of the true value of the property, lie claims the right to the title of nobility. His activities in the art world would have extended over several years. He is declared to have been the owner of three old masters which ex Senator Clark purchased in 1910.

The victim of the transaction whose name is not divulged, out of deference to the wishes of his family, is a retired New York business man. He had the acumen to amass a comfortable sum of money and  he ‘fell for the lure of old masters or the idea of fabulous riches to be made out of them forgetting that the making of money honestly in art transactions is the work of specially trained minds and of a knowledge so highly specialized that it takes years and years of experience to acquire it.

Mcliurk was the first New York expert to denounce the pictures,

“There Is not one picture in the whole collection,” was Mr. Mcliurk’s verdict.

“What do you mean?” asked the victim, who had lost a fortune.

“I mean that there is not a picture here which would bring more than ten dollars on the market,” replied Mr. Mcliurk. Augustus Lefevre, of Silo’s, was called, and corroborated Mr. Mcliurk.


Last Saturday’s issue of the American Art News retracts its reflection saying:

“We owe an apology to England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, and all the rest of the British Empire, with the exception, perhaps, of Canada, because it said an Englishman had sold a retired New York business man a collection of 85 old masters which experts had valued at $500. It goes on to say that the man was a native of the southern section of the L S. A., albeit a resident for a number of years of a small city in the province of Ontario.

This man, it adds, is now about 80 years old and is extremely picturesque, in the proverbial southern colonel style. He wears a long goatee,  is declared to be about six feet tall, and to be a most convincing talker. He bears the appellation of  ‘doctor’ and is a maker on a small scale of patent medicines.

It appears that G. Frank Muller, another expert, had before inspected the pictures and placed their value at $1,500. Mr. Muller found on the pictures labels of Budworth’s and of the Manhattan Storage Warehouse, and of different New York auction houses. Thanks to the “apathy” of Canada’s art directors, this country was not victimized by the picturesque Carleton Place “art” salesman.




In 14 February 1922, Granby Billings, a 90-year-old chemist, arrived at Southampton from New York. Billings was described as having lived in Canada; with him was Edith Billings, a 42-year-old widow from New York. Both gave the same London address: 7 Endsleigh Gardens. Soon after, in 2Q 1922, it is recorded that Edith S. Billings married Granby S. Howard in Pancras, London.

It is thought that this was Granby Staunton Howard who had quite a fascinating background. In 1894, Howard — then around 60 years of age — was accused of swindling $5,000 from Mrs. Joseph H. Sprecht, wife of a wealthy St. Louis clothing dealer who lived at Gunton Hall, VA.

Howard was living in Montreal and styling himself as “Dr.”, although he held no medical license in Canada and was making a living selling patent medicines. Dr. Howard stood over six feet in height, and was described as having “a really handsome face and courtly address, he has the added advantage of a splendid education and great power of self-command.” Howard claimed at various times to have been descended from the historical Howards of Norfolk on his father’s side; that he was a baron by descent, one of the original thirty barons of England; that while he was heir to the baronial estate he went to India, entered the Brahmin-Indian order and gave up his heirship to his younger brother.

The libel action failed and costs were awarded against the plaintiff. It was not the last time that Dr Howard found himself in trouble. The New York Times on 24 January 1922 reported that a New York pearl merchant named David I Rogow was launching an action against Granby Staunton Howard of Carleton Place, Ontario, for selling him $150,000 worth of paintings which Howard claimed were the original works of old masters and famous modern artists but proved to be copies.

Three weeks later, “Granby Billings” and Edith S. Billings arrived in Southampton aboard the Cunard liner Aquitania. Howard, over six foot in height and reputedly aged 90, accompanying Edith Billings, under half his age at 42 and small at 5 feet 2 inches, with blue-eyed with dark brown hair. They must have made an interesting couple.

After their marriage in 1922, there is almost no trace of Granby or Edith Howard. Edith’s novel, Cleomenes was re-registered for copyright by Edith S. Howard, of Rutherford, N.J., in 1944, so we have to presume that she returned to the United States some time in between. By then she was in her late 70s, so it seems likely that she died in New Jersey.

As for Granby, he is even more elusive. Virtually nothing turns up on a search for him, other than two passenger records noting his arrival in Canada in 1921, where his age is given as 60 and his birthplace as Northumberland, England, and his arrival in New York on 29 December 1921 from Bermuda. Again, the age is 60 and he is English. In the latter it would appear, although the record itself isn’t easy to read, that he is travelling with his niece.

Are 60-year-old Granby Howard and 90-year-old Granby Howard one and the same? Was Edith Billings the niece he was travelling with from Bermuda to New York in 1921 and was Howard the “Granby Billings” who travelled from New York to England in 1922?

Was Granby Howard even his real name? It doesn’t turn up on any birth records in the UK (although if he was born in c.1831, that would predate births being centrally registered) or marriage records — and the court case in 1898 revealed that he was married. It is also known from the court case that he adopted the name Wilson for some time, so other identities are also quite possible.

And how did Edith Billings end up marrying a man who appears to have been a serial conman?

All mysteries for another day. Read more here







More on the Despicable Dr. Howard of Carleton Place

Dr. G. S. Howard of Carleton Place — Just Call Me Master!

The Shenanigans of Dr. Howard of Carleton Place – Part 2

Did You Know Who was Cooking in Back of Lancaster’s Grocery Store? Dr. Howard I Presume! – Part 3

Looks like Dr Howard’s business was located on the second floor of the Grand Hotel for a bit… 1899 Carleton Place Herald.

Dr. Wilton Pratt — Murder of his Housekeeper in Smiths Falls

Dr. Wilton Pratt — Murder of his Housekeeper in Smiths Falls


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Clipped from

  1. The Ottawa Journal,
  2. 14 Mar 1934, Wed,
  3. Page 24

His Home on Daniel Street in Smiths Falls

Daniel Street Home in Smiths Falls

Name:Wilton Pratt
Event Type:Marriage
Marriage Date:1898
Marriage Place:Smith’s Falls, Ontario, Canada
Spouse:Elizabeth Brady
The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
06 Jun 1930, Fri  •  Page 2
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
11 Aug 1928, Sat  •  P

Housekeeper that was killed

Name:Eva Elizabeth Mclean
Birth Date:abt 1874
Birth Place:Smiths Falls, Ontario
Death Date:31 Dec 1933
Death Place:Lanark, Ontario, Canada
Father:James Mclean
Mother:Elizabeth Sly
Page number:22
The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
20 Apr 1934, Fri  •  Page 25

Eva Elizabeth McLean

DEATH1933 (aged 58–59)
BURIALVanDusen CemeteryRosedale, Lanark County, Ontario, Canada
MEMORIAL ID126742780 · View Source
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
18 Apr 1934, Wed  •  Page 12
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
25 Apr 1934, Wed  •  Page 4
The Lethbridge Herald
Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
19 Apr 1934, Thu  •  Page 1

The good doctor got cleared for murder but was performing illegal abortions

The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
10 Apr 1934, Tue  •  Page 14

The Windsor Star
Windsor, Ontario, Canada
01 Feb 1934, Thu  •  Page 1

Additional reading

Who Killed William Muldoon of Smiths Falls? Gossip Lies and Perjury

Murder or Accident — Bates & Innes Flume

Murders and Mysteries of the Mississippi Hotel

Not Guilty in the Murder of His Grandmother –George Watt Jr.

Fame and Murder Came to Balderson in 1828

Murder or Accident — Bates & Innes Flume

Murders and Mysteries of the Mississippi Hotel

Clippings of the Saunders Brothers Shoe Scandal in Smiths Falls–Local Politician Runs Amuck!

Smiths Falls Fire-Coghlan & Moag

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

James J. Hands – Dies in Perth — Former Mayor Accidentally Drowns in House Bath
The Bomb Girls of Smiths Falls


Dr. Wilton Pratt — Murder of his Housekeeper in Smiths Falls