“The Markets during the week were all well attended, with both buyers and sellers, and a good business was done.
Hamilton Weekly Times May 4, 1876
The James street market was getting better and better as the spring weather got warmer, the roads for the farmers more readily used and a new feature for the market was the appearance of flowers for citizen gardens:
“The most pleasing feature in the market is the great display of pot plants, which, with their brilliant flowers, attract great numbers of persons around the stands, and ready sales were made at prices to suit the times and pockets of all. Fine pot plants could be obtained ranging from 50 cents to ten cents a pot; there being a keen competition among the florists, it makes prices rule low.”
The Weekly Times also made reference to Ben Fould’s big catch down at the Beach :
“We have often heard of large fish – such as whales, sea-lions, sea-serpents, and the big fish that swallowed Jonah – but we have never heard of, nor seen, a channel catfish weighing twenty-seven pounds until we were shown the one caught in a net by Benjamin Foulds at the Beach. The skin is to be preserved and stuffed for exhibition.”
Out on Glanford Township,an serious accident occurred which was possibly caused by a business operation beside the road. The Weekly Times report called for some changes to be made:
“On the 26th, as Mr. And Mrs. Clement, of Mount Hope, were driving in a buggy in the Township of Glanford, near Terryberry’s saw mill, the horse shied, (owing to the steam puffing across the road), upsetting the buggy and throwing Mr. Clement and his wife violently into the ditch. Mrs. Clement’s arm was fractured in two places; the horses ran away, and the axle of the buggy was broken. This is not the first accident which has occurred at the place indicated, and our informant says that the proprietor of the mills should be compelled to turn off the exhaust steam from the mill in another direction.”
The Hamilton Weekly Times , on May 4, 1876, carried an article which both complimented the existing Hamilton and Northwestern railway as it existed at that time running between Hamilton and Port Dover while at the same time the article commented on the future of that railway when it was extended to Collingwood. In particular the line commented on the railway’s importance to the timber trade:
“For some weeks past we have noticed that the Hamilton & Northwestern Railway people (Lake Erie branch) have been busily engaged in bringing to the city square timber, the finest in quality which have ever seen. It is the property of Messrs. McArthur Brothers, Toronto, and has been procured in the township of Glanford during the winter. It was shipped at Rymal and Rentonville, and the last of it was delivered at the H. & N. W. wharf on Friday last. It is certainly the largest and best board pine timber ever brought into the city, and comprises 100,000 feet. The largest train brought in eighteen flat cars of masts and timber, one measuring one hundred and eleven feet in length. The timber is now being made up into a raft, and three or four weeks will be occupied before it is ready to move. The gentleman having charge of the shipments and manufacture and delivery of the timber is Mr. A. McCuaig, agent of the above-named firm, who is possessed of more than ordinary experience in such matters. The timber is to be rafted to Quebec. The firm has over 800,000 feet of pine and oak in different places in Canada and the United States, and about 200,000 staves. The advantages of the little line of railway running south are now commencing to manifest themselves, which are, we are glad to say, being fully appreciated. When completed to Barrie, the timber trade along the line will be greatly increased.
Both Hamilton daily newspapers had extensive coverage of the corner’s inquest into the circumstances surrounding the recent death on the line of the Lake Erie branch of the Hamilton and Northwestern railway.
The Times coverage follows :
“An inquest was held on Saturday before the Coroner Dr. White at Rentonville Station on the body of Thos. English, aged forty, who was run over and instantly killed by a train on the H. & L. E. R. R.
JAMES ENGLISH, the son of the deceased, deposed that he was of English birth; he left home in the Township of Glanford on Thursday last to go to Hamilton; deceased was not of temperate habits.
GEORGE WILKINS testified that he walked along the track of the H. & L. E. Railway with the deceased yesterday afternoon; he was not sober at the time.
HENRY TAYLOR, engine driver, testified : I was on No. 6 last night, going towards Hamilton, on the Hamilton and Lake Erie Railway; when I was about two hundred yards north of the Twenty Mile Creek, the engine gave a jerk, as if she had been broken, or as if there was something wrong with the track; I proceeded to Rymal Station and reported it to the section boss there; I had my head out of the cab of the engine from the time I left Rentonville; I observed nothing on the track whatever; it was a clear night; I proceeded to Hamilton; did not hear of the nature of the accident until I arrived at Hamilton; we were going at about the rate of twenty to twenty-three miles an hour; this is our ordinary rate; I came back with the engine from Hamilton; found the section boss, with other men, at the place where the body was found; he gathered up the remains and brought them here, where they were viewed by the jury.
WILLIAM DARTNELL, section foreman, testified : Was at Rymal station last evening; when no. 6 came in, I was informed that something had been run over about the Twenty Mile Creek; I took the hand car and went to the place; found the deceased on the track beside the rails, in two parts; assisted to put the remains in the baggage car attached engine, and conveyed it to this station; have seen the body just viewed by the jury; recognize it a that of Thomas English, and as the one we found dead on the track last night, part of the body inside the rails.
ABRAM GARNETT testified – Am a baggage man in the employ of the Hamilton & North Western Railway; knew deceased slightly; I was on No. 5 going south and deceased was intoxicated, but sober enough to take care of himself; he got off at Rymal station.
JAMES DICK gave similar evidence to that of the last witness.
The jury returned the following verdict : “That the deceased came to his death accidentally on the night of the 28th instant, by being run over by a train on the track of the Hamilton & North Western Railway, and your jury are of opinion that no blame whatsoever can be attached to the employees of the said road.”
In the Wentworth County Court House, the disposition of a disturbing sexual assault case was arrived at, a verdict that would be challenged strongly in the coming days:
“QUEEN VS. MICHAEL MURPHY AND JAMES ROWAN
The prisoners, two young men, stood indicted for committing a rape upon the person of Annie McLean.
Mr. B.B. Osler, Q.C., conducted the case for the Crown; Mr. John Crerar, appeared for the defence.
ANNIE McLEAN – Live on Wellington street near the Mountain on the 3rd of February last; lived with my father, and sub-let upstairs apartments to Granger and his wife; the prisoners came to my home at 11 o’clock on Sunday morning; five came in, all strangers to me; the door had been broken the night previous; I had been up all night and was lying on bed awake, Rowan and Murphy held me while another who gave his name as Dan’l Mahony, took advantage of me against my will; I pointed out the prisoners to Constable Ferris and another policeman who arrested them.
Cross-examined by Mr. Crerar at some length.
After the evidence had been heard, and an able address by prisoners’ counsel, the jury brought in a verdict of not guilty without leaving the box.”
Finally a poem, an anonymous poem about a beautiful resident of Hamilton’s Corktown neighbourhood:
"The Belle of Corktown" (Not by Jim Scott)
There’s a nice young guryl in Corktown,
Dressed out in silks of green,
Wan of the purtiest Irish guryls
That iver yit was seen.
I axed her moight I have a kiss,
When she turned up her eyes of blue –
Said she, “That’s easy to talk about,
But not so ‘asy to do.”
Then I fell down upon my knees,
And her I did implore,
Not to refuse so haystily,
But to think the matther o’er;
I tould her if she’d marry me,
I shurely would prove thrue,
Says she, “I’m the belle of Corktown,
And who the divil are you?”
Ov Dublin Universitee,
I am a graduate,
Me father is an Irish lord,
And owns a large estate,
Five thousand pounds I have a year,
Besides a farm or two,
Wild cows and pigs and ducks and geese,
Now what’s the matter wid you?”