Details of Railway Accidents in the Ottawa Area

1898, June 18 - Gunfight at Arnprior C.P.R. station during a burglary

Ottawa Journal 18 June 1898

Exciting Fight Between a C.P.R. Operator and Burglar
Seven Shots Fired at the Daring Intruder
A Door Saves the Thief from a Shower of Bullets - Operator Escaped Through a Window amd Left the Till to be Rifled

(Special to The Journal)
Arnprior, June 18. The C.P. R. statlon here was again burglarised at one o'clock this morning. The night operator,  Mr. McGuire. had a very narrow escape, for while fleeing - through the window two shots were fired at him, neither taking effect. In all nine shots were fired, seven by MeGuire and two by the burglar. The contents of the till - some fifteen dollars - was taken. So far there is no clue to the thief. A large party searched for him for hours. This is the second burglary inside of one month. The last was on the 24th, of May.
Bullets Flew.
Operator McGuire was busy at his desk, and hearing some one enter the station door, looked up and saw a masked man holding a revolver.
McGuire at once made a movement for his pistol; but the intruder said: "Don't draw or I fire," to which the plucky operator answered: "I don't ?ire," and fired on the man who then got behind the door which opens toward the operator's desk. McGuire then fired five more shots at the man behind the door, but they seemed to have no effect, so remembering himself he edged round behind the stove; which is in line with the door and the window. The robber then fired two shots and McGuire, firing his last one, sprang through the window and over to Gillan's boarding house for help.
The two shots fired by the burglar had gone through the window, and striking this house had aroused the occupants, who soon assisted the operator in getting the station agent, the chief of police and others, who repaired to the station, when it was found that their man had turned out the lights and taken not only the money in the till, but the till as well.
While the party were examining the premises a strange man walked in, whereupon McGuire exclaimed "You're the man." The chief at once arrested him and lodged him in jail to await further developments.

The Kingston Daily British Whig of 20 June 1898 ran an article similar to the Journal with minor editing changes.

Ottawa Journal 21 June 1898

Ottawa Valley News

Mr. Cowan, C.P.R. policeman at Ottawa, has been in town since Saturday morning looking over the clues to Friday night’s robbery. The man arrested by Chief Dodd has been released, as his story was straightforward and substantiated by after events.

Chesterville Record  23 June 1898

Masked man at Arnprior.
CPR station robbed again but under a heavy fire.
Arnprior June 18. Last night at ten minutes to 12 the masked man visited the CPR station again.  The operator, Mr. McGuire, was sitting at his table writing, when the masked man walked in and ordered him to hold up his hands.  McGuire, instead coolly put his pen in his inner pocket and reached for his revolver when he was told that if he pulled it "he was a dead man", but like a flash he began to fire and did not stop until he had fired seven shots.  The masked man got behind the door, and so escaped but fired on McGuire as he had to reach the window but he missed McGuire but knocked out two panes of glass.  McGuire jumped out calling for help and ran to his boarding house which is quite near the station, where he soon got a number of the men to go back to the station with him, but by that time the burglar had gone taking the till with him which he had broken open.  Constable Cameron of Ottawa came up by the first train, but so far no trace of him has been found, but the till, which he had thrown away on Tierney Street a short distance from the station.
Also reported in Ottawa Free Press 18 June.

Almonte Gazette 24 June 1898

Robbery and Shooting.
Another daring and successful attempt to rob the Arnprior station occurred Friday night. When operator McGuire was alone a masked man opened the door about 12 o'clock and demanded the money of the till. McGuire replied by emptying his seven shooter at the burglar, who took refuge behind the door to escape being shot, and re-entered immediately afterwards. McGuire knowing it would take too long to reload jumped out of the rear window. The burglar fired two shots after him and proceeded to break open the cash drawer and make away with the contents. The first shot wakened the residents nearby, and Mr. T. Lloyd went for chief Dodds and Mr. R. Jamieson. By this time quite a number of men were on the scene. Chief Dodds was one of the first to arrive and he arrested a man who was sleeping in the waiting room until the shots awoke him. The latter stated that the burglar had made of in the direction of the Havey section, where the cash box and the tickets were found early next morning. $14 were taken. It is the opinion of many that it is a resident of the town who is committing the deeds. The C.P.R. constables, Cowan and Flanigan, were sent up from Montreal to investigate. They left again yesterday morning. - News.

It seems there had been a problem at Arnprior a few weeks earlier:

Ottawa Citizen 28 May 1898

Arnprior May 27 - Mr. S.A. Connors C.P.R. night operator, was called to Prescott yesterday two men being under arrest there on suspicion of their having been the parties who held him up and committed the robbery at the station on the night of the 24th. Several persons have been arrested along the line but nothing could be done.

Ottawa Journal 28 May 1898

(Special to the Journal)
Arnprior, May 28. - Operator Connors was at Prescott Thursday to look over the two tramps captured near there by the conductor and brakeman of a passenger train as suspected of the recent "hold up" in town.

Kemptville Advance 2 June 1898

Arrested then Liberated.
After burglars made a raid on the Arnprior C.P.R. depot last week instructions were given station agents and other employes to look sharp for suspicious looking tramps and have the same arrested. One day last week five put in an appearance along the railroad track here and Constables Seely and Sweeney were ordered to arrest them. They did so and were brought before Reeve Taylor. They appeared to be greatly astonished to think they would be arrested simply because they were traveling on foot to their work. The Reeve gave them their liberty with the distinct understanding that they were to get out of town forthwith.

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