Thursday 17 May 2012

May 18, 1876

“Great complaints are being made by the residents of Maiden Lane street (north side) west of Bay, for want of a crossing on Bay street.”           Hamilton Spectator    May 18, 1876

The Hamilton Spectator’s ongoing directions to the city’s municipal leaders for needed work to be done continued with an item concerning the street then known as Maiden Lane, now Jackson Street West.
The weather had been quite rainy for some time and pedestrians using Maiden Lane were negatively affected by the condition of that street:
“Persons coming down Maiden Lane street in wet weather have to go through mud over their shoes, or else go over to the other side of the road, where the crossing is in a very bad condition. The Board of Works should attend to this matter at once.”

Given the recent weather conditions, this new equipment put into service for the first time may have seemed superfluous, but it would certainly be needed as spring progressed into summer:
“Today, for the first time, the new street sprinkler purchased by the corporation was set at work on our streets. It works admirably and is a great improvement on the other clumsy carts now in use. It sprinkles the water evenly without leaving it in puddles, and takes a wide swath. It is drawn by two horses, and is worked by a man and a boy. It is hoped that the corporation will get several more and do away with the old carts.”

A slow day at the Hamilton Police Court, but there were a couple interesting cases brought before Police Magistrate James Cahill:
“Chatte, the ‘bus driver of the Royal Hotel, was fined $4 for using insulting language to a cab driver named Grace.
                   COWS AT LARGE
Several women were fined twenty-five cents each for having cows at large.
Robt. Robson was charged by the Chief of Police with extinguishing street lamps. The case was dismissed.”

The little village of Rockton in the far north Western sector of Wentworth County rarely got a mention in the Hamilton papers, but it did on May 18, 1876 :
“The other evening several lads pelted down Howard’s boot and shoe sign with stones, and committed other depredations on the premises. They would all have been arrested had it not been for the owner of the property, who interceded for them. They were let go with a warning.”

A rather odd story was unearthed by a Spectator reporter who witnessed the climax of the story and then did some leg work to find out the whole background:
“In spite of the vast amount of influence which has been brought to bear on our reporter to suppress the little narrative detailed below, the story is given to our readers as something too rich to be lost to the public generally.
On last Christmas Day, a handsome young fellow, well-known to most people in Dundas as a vagabond, called at a farmer’s house in the Township of Dumfries , about twenty-five miles from this city, and asked Mr. Mulholland, the head of the house, if he wanted a farm hand, saying that he was out of health, out of work, had no money, and wanted to do something to keep himself from starving during the winter. Although Mr. Mulholland had really nothing for him to do, he took pity on the young fellow, who gave his name as Philip Hulbert, and set off a comfortable room above the kitchen as his bedchamber. It is hard to say what the future may be, but the bargain so far has been an unfortunate one for Mr. Mulholland. He had no family with the exception of his wife and daughter, a good-looking damsel of twenty-five years of age. Hulbert became quite a favourite in the family, but Mr. Mulholland never for a moment imagined that his daughter who had arrived at a mature age, who was an acknowledged beauty, the mistress of a large fortune, and who visited a wealthy aunt in Albany once a year, would ever fall in love with his hired hand. He was mistaken. An intimacy sprung up between the two which was no sooner noticed by Mr. Mulholland than he ordered young Hulbert out of the house, and paid him three months’ salary in advance. Hulbert coolly took up his residence at the next door neighbour’s, and kept up a correspondence by stealth with Miss Mulholland which was concluded by the pair eloping on the 24 of April last, the girl taking $50 of her father’s money and a silver watch with her. Hulbert borrowed a horse and buggy, which he then left at Queen’s Arms Hotel in Galt, and then took the train with his lady love on the Great Western to Brantford, and then to Paris by the Grand Trunk, where they got married by a German Methodist minister. After staying in that town for a couple of days, the pair now being man and wife, they returned to Brantford where Hulbert hired as a bartender in a hotel, and his wife as housemaid. In the first week in May, the girl, now Mrs. Hulbert, became homesick, and declared that she would no longer would as a housemaid in a hotel any longer. Hulbert then brought her to this city, where they put up in one of our well known west end hotels. From here, Mrs. Hulbert wrote to her father asking to be forgiven and be taken back. Last evening, Mr. Mulholland came to this city and interviewed the pair in the corridor. The old gentleman first knocked down his son-in-law and then shook hands with him, and invited them to come and stay with him. The scene was rather interesting, and was witnessed by none with the exception of our reporter who had got into the secret and another person. The party drove out to Dundas last night, and while there, Hulbert was detained by several parties who insisted on having their little bills liquidated. These amounted to some $200, all of which were settled by Mr. Mulholland by note. Hulbert has feathered his nest pretty well, and is certainly better off than working as a deck hand on a steamer as he did last summer.”
Two items thought to be of interest to Spectator readers were copied from the weekly Dundas Standard:
“NEW MONUMENTS – Among several new monuments recently erected in the York Road Cemetery, those on the plots of the Rolph and Hall families are very handsome. The Rolph monument is a plain column composed of Aberdeen granite with the inscription in gold letters. That erected by Mr. Wm. Hall is a very handsome white marble headstone with a double panel. The design is not common and is very chaste and attractive.
SABBATH BREAKERS – The juveniles of the West End are in the habit of indulging in outdoor games on Sundays, to the annoyance of such as cannot regard baseball and kindred amusements a fitting pastime for the Sabbath. A few  of these boys were brought before the Mayor one evening last week, and after being cautioned as to the repetition of such breaches of the Sabbath observance, were permitted to escape the penalty attached to such offences. It is well that boys should know that the law does not permit such unseemly disregard of the day set apart for rest and religious exercises.”

The investigation into the suspicious death of Georgia Macrae took a macabre turn :
“Yesterday, the body of Mrs. Macrae was exhumed and placed in the dead house in the Cemetery, when Doctors MacDonald, Mullin and Malloch held a post mortem examination. This afternoon the results of their labours will be heard at the adjourned inquest to be held at the Police Court at 4 o’clock.”

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