I have been reading through a book of old obituaries and articles which have been kindly loaned to the museum, and to say that some of them are fascinating would be an understatement. Although a little different than what we usually showcase on Vintage Westport, I am going to share a few that I find particularly interesting as I come across them.

We will start with an entry from Newboro:

The Drowning Death of Herbert S. Foster

“The residents of Newboro and vicinity were cast in deep sorrow on Wednesday, June 28 when it was learned that Herbert S. Foster could not be located. On Tuesday night after ten o’clock he went upstairs to retire but owing to the excessive heat he came down, having taken his glasses off. He took a walk to the canal and must have been closer than expected and dropped in. His watch was stopped at 10:30 so drowning must have been at that time. When he did not return Wednesday, the villagers searched the waters and about five o’clock in the evening the body was found in the canal.

The funeral took place from his late residence to St. Mary’s Church under charge of the Masonic Lodge. The service was conducted by Rev. H.K. Coleman who preached a very touching sermon. It was one of the largest funerals held here in some time. The floral tributes were numerous and beautiful showing the high esteem in which the deceased was held.

He leaves to mourn his loss two sisters, Mrs. A.W. Butman, of New York, Mrs. G.S. Wrathall, of Newboro, four brothers, William of Calgary, John of Buffalo, George of Montreal, and Ernest of Smiths Falls. The deceased was a life long resident of Newboro and will be greatly missed. The remains was buried in the family plot in St. Mary’s Church cemetery.”

H.S. Foster can be seen on the left in this photo from 1907. He would drown in the canal in 1933. “Lawn bowling in Newboro, Ontario in 1907. Left to Right H.S. Foster, W.H. Sturgeon, J.J. Gallagher, Bank Clerk, Dr. R.B. King, A.H. Tett, J.T. Gallagher.” Photo Source: Rideau Lakes Public Library, via Lakes and Islands Times Past portal on ourontario.ca

And next is an article regarding the “Dumb-bell Murder” in the U.S.A., which has a local tie:

“Dr. James A. Kearney, assistant surgeon on the staff at Sing Sing Prison, who conducted the autopsies upon Mrs. Ruth Snyder and Henry Judd Gray [both of New York], electrocuted there Thursday, is a native of Westport, where his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Michael Kearney, reside. He is a graduate in Medicine of Queen’s University and served overseas with the C.A.M.C., afterwards becoming connected with a military hospital in Western Canada before accepting appointment to the staff of Sing Sing five years ago.”

Although we don’t have a photo of Dr. James Kearney, we do have one of his younger brother, Father Francis Kearney. James was born in 1890, and Francis in 1892. Photo Source: The Review-Mirror