It happened this week in 1915

Oct. 16-22 Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers held at the Cranbrook History Centre and Archives

Oct. 16-22 Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers held at the Cranbrook History Centre and Archives


Support for McGill … Last Friday evening witnessed a large crowd at the Auditorium, when a dance was given by the Ancient Order of Foresters in order to raise money for a defense fund for Hugh McGill, a brother member. That it was a success financially is evidenced by the fact that approximately $100.00 was realized.

At 10 o’clock the building was comfortably filled, when the Kootenay orchestra opened the evening with good lively dance music which set the merry dancers to tripping the light fantastic.

The evening passed all too quickly, everyone had a good time, the interest in the dance being kept up until the “Home, Sweet Home” was played.

The money realized will help considerably with the heavy expense in connection with the cost of the case.

Not guilty … After being on trial for two days at the Fernie criminal assizes, Hugh McGill, of this city, charged with the murder of Samuel G. Watson, stepped from the court Tuesday afternoon at 4.30 a free man.

He arrived in the city Wednesday, accompanied by John Bird and George Couldwell, members of the Ancient Order of Foresters, who have been looking after the case on behalf of that order.

The case has been followed by Cranbrook people closely, the keenest interest being manifested throughout. When McGill arrived in Cranbrook a large number of friends were at the train, probably one hundred, who warmly shook his hand and congratulated him on being set free.

Not guilty, was the unanimous verdict of the jury which has been listening to the evidence in the murder case before the assizes court at Fernie since Monday afternoon.

The accused, Hugh McGill, of Cranbrook, was put upon trial for his life charged with the murder, on September 15th last at the McGill home in Cranbrook, of Samuel Watson, a young man of about twenty-five years of age who had been sustaining improper relations with McGill’s wife for more than a year.

The case drew the interest of a whole district, owing to the circumstances surrounding the tragic ending of the young man’s life, and the standing of McGill as well as the respect felt for the parents of young Watson.

The Crown, represented by Sherwood Herchmer, undertook to prove that McGill was the aggressor in the fight which took place on the verandah of the McGill home on the fateful 15th of September.

The defense, conducted by Mr. A.I. Fisher, showed that Watson had been unlawfully intimate with Mrs. McGill, and that McGill, upon finding out the state of affairs, reported the facts to the chief of police, with a request that Watson be kept away and warned to that effect. This was done, but Watson did not heed the warning, and made threats as to what he would do to McGill if he undertook to interfere with him.

McGill was an employee of the C.P. R. at the machine shops and it happened that he was changed from day shift to night shift on the 15th, which was an unexpected occurrence, in consequence of which McGill was at home on that afternoon when Watson came to the house and knocked on the door. Instead of meeting Mrs. McGill, as was his evident expectation, he was met at the door by McGill himself who wanted to know “what the devil he wanted there”. Watson answered by striking at McGill with a whip crop which he was carrying and McGill stated that he went at Watson with his fists, striking him and causing him to fall against a post of the verandah. The young man sustained a fracture of the skull over the temple and there were two other wounds upon the head and face.

Dr. King stated that he had examined the deceased both before and after death and thought the fracture of the skull might have been the result of a blow of a blunt instrument, and on cross-examination admitted that it might have been done in some other way.

The jury was out half an hour and returned with a verdict of not guilty.

In discharging the accused his lordship congratulated him and expressed the hope that he might be able to live down the dark shadow which had been cast across his domestic life, and also hoped the untimely ending of the life of young Watson would serve as a lesson to others regarding the breaking up of the homes of other people.

Beautiful wedding … Bright October sunshine greeted the nuptials Wednesday evening at five o’clock of Miss Dora Mary Russell, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. Russell, of Grateworth, England, and one of the most popular young ladies of Cranbrook, and Mr. Donald Bell, engineer in the employ of the Canadian Pacific railway, one of the most popular young men in the employ of that company operating on the Crow.

Rev. W. H. Bridge, rector of Christ Church, performed the ceremony.

Promptly at 5 o’clock, to the strains of Mendelssohn’s wedding march, played by Miss Mabel Wellman, the bride entered the church on the arm of Mr. Frank Sheridan. She looked charming in a suit of navy blue with hat to match, and wore white roses. Miss Amy Lewis, a girl chum, who attended as bridesmaid, looked very pretty in a costume of navy blue, with black picture hat, and like the bride, also wore white roses. Mr. James Davidson, a well-known and popular young man, supported the groom.

Immediately after the ceremony the newly married couple held a reception at their newly appointed and beautiful home on Armstrong Avenue. A large number of invited guests were present, whose greetings and good wishes were the order of the day.

Both bride and groom are great favorites, the former is a charming girl and a very popular favorite in Cranbrook. The groom has been a resident of the city for a number of years and is exceedingly popular with the railway boys, who are extending hearty congratulations to him and his beautiful young bride.

The large number of presents received testifies to the popularity of Mr. and Mrs. Bell. The bridegroom’s present to the bridesmaid was a handsome coral ring, while the bride presented the groomsman with a tie pin set with whole pearls. Wedding gifts were received from a large number of friends, including a number from the home of the bride in the old country.


Fine example … In May last, Hep Chong, a Chinese merchant, imported a quantity of Chinese wine and paid a war tax thereon of some $27.00. In some time the Customs authorities found they were not within their rights in making this charge and prepared the necessary papers to enable Hep to get back the money. No. He did not want it. Let it go for the war, to the Patriotic Fund or the Red Cross, for the wounded men coming back from the war, said he.

And so it was arranged, and to the extent of the money some of our poor fellows will benefit by the recognition by a Chinese gentleman, for that is what Hep Chong is, that our laws are good and the country which gives him the shelter of its constitution is worth supporting in hard coin in the hour of her need.

A deal could be said on this little matter. But it all comes to this, that it points the line of duty for the whole of us. Hep Chong is a good citizen, a man worth knowing, and a splendid example for others to follow.

A little girl … Mr. Charles Little, of the firm of Little & Atchison, is wearing a roguish smile this week. Asked by a Herald representative for an explanation, he said: “Well, it’s a girl. It arrived on Tuesday. That’s the story. Have a cigar.”


Overseas club … The Overseas Club held their monthly social last Tuesday in the Maple hall, when an enjoyable evening was spent, and where a large number were present to take part in the programme. Mrs. D. Campbell won the ladies’ prize, while Mr. J. F. Lower carried home the gentleman’s trophy. A good programme of music and recitations were given, the Overseas club numbering among its membership a number of finished musicians. Refreshments, served in an appetizing manner, were passed at the close of the programme. The evening closed at midnight with the singing of the National Anthem. Next Tuesday, October 26th, the regular monthly dance will be given in Maple hall, commencing at 9.30 p.m. There will be the usual good programme of dances, with special music. Non-members will be welcome to the dance, the charge for that occasion being, gents 50c., ladies, 25c. Any British subject of good character, naturalized or otherwise, can join this branch of the Overseas club by sending in their applications to the executive committee.

Wonderful window decoration … Joe Kennedy, of the P. Burns staff is to be congratulated on the splendid window decoration of this (Thursday) evening. The arrangement was perfect, showing the high quality of goods carried by this firm, which were displayed with a taste which only Joe can carry out. The display was most complete, even to the placing of “Uncle” in the window.

Only Friday afternoons … The fair damsels from the trenches in Hill 60 will hereafter not be allowed the freedom of the city. Constable Collins has received military orders to the effect that the “babes” will only be allowed the privilege of coming to the city once a week, on Friday afternoon, from 2 to 4.

This, we are given to understand, has come about as the result of the visit of Attorney-General Bowser to the city recently.


Whist party … St. Mary’s hall was nicely filled Wednesday evening when the first series in the whist parties was concluded.

Miss Josephine Filker was the successful lady to win the first prize, which consisted of half dozen silver spoons, a useful and ornamental prize which will be of service in the course of shortly.

Mr. Jack Macdonald won the gentlemen’s prize, a watch fob. The games were closely contested and interest was manifested throughout the evening.

The regular prizes for the evening were won by Mrs. Harry Briggs, being awarded a cut glass atomizer, and Mr. Wm. Harris, a collar box.

Next Wednesday evening the first game of the second and last series will commence. This series will run for five weeks.

The usual two hours of dancing was indulged in after the party which was, as usual, up to the mark of excellence, both in good music and congenial company. The usual round of refreshments was served.

School plots … The school children of the Central school are already preparing their garden plots for next year. The grounds have been thoroughly fertilized and turned over to receive the winter’s moisture. Digging in the dirt seems to please most Cranbrook kids, for a more contented lot than those at work on the school gardens never lived.

Scout meeting … Every citizen is urged to attend the meeting of the Boy Scouts Association which is called by the mayor at the city hall next Monday evening. Parents of boys who are enrolled with the Scouts should consider it their duty to attend and see that an efficient corps of officers is elected to conduct the affairs of the Association.

There will be an election of officers, the naming of a good strong executive and the formation of a permanent association.

The training of boys as it is undertaken by the Boy Scout movement is an important one in the lives of young Canada and should be encouraged and supported by all good citizens.

Any persons who have had previous experience with this movement or similar organizations are especially requested to attend and lend the benefit of their experience.

The Cranbrook Scouts have been increasing in numbers under the direction of Scout Master Crebbin. They now have their own club house and are all keenly interested in the work. Now is the time for the general public to assist and help boost the work along

The Scouts’ motto is, “Be Prepared”. Cranbrook should be prepared to give the boys every opportunity for carrying on their work with success.


Official ribbons for poultry fair … The executive of the Poultry association are working overtime with one end in view; to make the second winter show bigger and better than the first. Tuesday evening, the 19th, a meeting was held, with all members present, except the show secretary.

The show secretary had turned in typed copy of prize list for review before going to printers. The orders for ribbons and coops were passed, the ribbons are to be the official ribbons of the American Poultry Association.

A letter from Fernie was read stating that the association had changed their show dates to December 7th and 8th, also informing the executive that Fernie reciprocated in all special rules in prize lists and privileges.

A communication from Invermere also was read, requesting information on association rules, etc., with a view to a number of fanciers up there joining. The secretary was instructed to write them, sending membership book and other information and to express the hope that we shall see some birds from them at the coming show.