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.
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.”
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.
“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.”
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 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
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.
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.
Jennifer Fenwick Irwin– Today is known as 51 Lake Avenue West.
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 Nolan50 Jane Nolan51 Henry Nolan27 John Nolan25 Teresa Nolan19 (sisters in court case) Lila Nolan17 (sisters in court case) Franklin Nolan13 (Thomas) Fred Nolan12 Herbert Nolan10
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.
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.
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.”
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?
The first of a series of stories I have been told…..
On a cold November night three young men approached a strange, dilapidated house that rested on a hillside far from neighbouring homes. In it lived a man the neighbours feared, a huge, black-bearded man of mystery, a wizard, who could cast spells and who they believed was in a league with the Evil One.
All three were bound on a singular mission. They sought to pluck two hairs from the wizard’s head, with which they could destroy his most potent spell. A light gleamed through a window of the wizard, and they knew he was home. Cautiously, whispering among themselves, the three men knocked at the door. A huge head emerged from a window to welcome them, and in a few moments the grim, black-bearded man had invited the visitors into his lonely home.
The blaze was low in the fireplace and the man with the black beard stepped outside and brought back an armload of wood. As he turned toward the hearth, a signal passed among the three men and in an instant they were upon him. They began a struggle, one man against three. They beat him with the logs, leapt upon him and instantly were thrown aside. The black-bearded recluse seemed to possess the power of a demon, but finally one of his assailants seized a chair and crashed it upon his head. The struggle ended. The mighty man lay dead. They say his power of witchcraft had been broken that night.
The men who had gone on this strange mission had driven to their destination in an automobile. Yet it was belief in witchcraft that had urged them on, and their leader was a man who professed the power to cast out spells and to remove curses. The homicide was discovered two days later and within six hours three suspects were arrested, imprisoned, and charged with the murder. When they first told their story to those that listened no one would not believe it. Witchcraft! It was unbelievable–but many knew this tale was true and that there were many others out there.