Details of Railway Incidents in the Ottawa Area

1901, February 5 - A new born baby falls from a train near North Nation Mills, CPR, Lachute sub.

Ottawa Journal 6 February 1901

Baby found by a conductor.

A Sick Girl had Passed Through on Train and is in the Protestant Hospital now.

At 11:00 last night Victor Boivert, of 528 Albert street, a Canadian Pacific Railway conductor, telephoned to the police station that an infant had been found alongside the railway track at North Nation Mills.
A young woman passenger who was on the train got off at Ottawa and took a cab to the Protestant Hospital, where she now is.
Sergeant Gilhooly inquired at the hospital and found that a girl had come there at 10 p.m. from Montreal. The sergeant also reports that Dr. Farewell, the hospital surgeon, told him that the girl would not be allowed to go before morning.
This morning the girl, who has given the hospital authorities the name of Madame de Segulay, is reported to be very ill.
The infant was alive when found and was taken to a home at North Nation Mills.
The police here are investigating the matter, but will not likely take any action unless required to do so by Montreal authorities.

Montreal Gazette 6 February 1901

Newly-Born Babe Found on Railroad Tracks
Mother Goes from Montreal to Ottawa and Is Taken Care of In Hospital There,

Shortly after the Canadian Pacific express, which left Montreal for Ottawa at 5.40 o'clock yesterday afternoon, had passed North Nation Mills station, sixty-eight miles from this city, the body of a newly born infant was found between the rails. The infant was in a nude condition, and was still living. The poor little waif was brought to the railway station and taken care of by the station master's family. As suspicion had been aroused by the conduct of a woman who was a passenger on the train, Ottawa authorities were notified to keep a lookout at the arrival of the train. Word was later received that the woman had been driven to one of the city hospitals.

Ottawa Journal 7 Feruary 1901

Its Hands and Feet Were Touched With the Frost but the Child Still Lives

The police have been working out the case in connection with the new born infant found naked in the snow alongside of the Canadian Pacific Railway track at North Nation Mills Tuesday night. One woman has been arrested on a charge of attempted child murder, while another may be arrested as soon as she can be removed from the hospital. The child is at North Nation Mills, where, notwithstanding it's rough experience, it is doing well.
Madame de Serguley of Montreal, is in the police station and Miss Amy McLean, her companion, is in the Protestant Hospital.
The charge on which Madame Serguley will be held is attempted child murder.
These are the women who arrived in Ottawa on Tuesday evening, and took a cab for the Protestant Hospital. Simultaneously with that going to the hospital, Canadian Pacific Railway Conductor Boviert reported to the police that a newly born child had been found beside the railway company's tracks at North Nation Mills.
Chief of Police Powell wired to North Nation Mills for particulars concerning the child. At the same time Detective Flanaigan went to the Protestant Hospital to see the woman who had gone there from the Montreal train. He found the younger one, Miss McClean very ill and her companion, Madame de Serguley, a Parisian, was attending to her.
He arrested the de Serguley woman on the spot.
A Rough Experience
The chief of police in the meantime had a reply from the Mills to the effect that after the westbound train had pulled out on Tuesday night a newly born babe had been found lying naked in the snow alongside the track, the people having been attracted to the spot in the darkness by the child's lusty cries. They picked the baby out of the snow and took it to the hotel where they had the child washed and clothed. On examination it was found that the baby's hands and feet had been touched with frost and until it has fully recovered, the child will not be forwarded to Ottawa, as the chief has requested. The baby is in good health otherwise. The temperature was about 10 degrees below zero when the child was found.

Ottawa Journal 8 February 1901

Madame de Serguley of Montreal Accused of Attempting to Kill th Child was Acquitted To-day.

That is a great deal of excitement at North Nation Mills, over the new born child found alongside the Canadian Pacific Railway track there on Tuesday night. Detective Flannigan, who was down there yesterday, says that the women are flocking from points twenty miles out, to see this child wonder. They are all anxious to adopt the youngster, while Mrs. Gravelle, the wife of the hotel keeper, to whose hotel the child was taken, has developed a great fondness for this girl baby. Mrs. Gravelle told the detective that she would willingly keep the youngster. It is in good health and "as lively as a cricket" to use the detective's expression. The Babe is recovering from the frost bites and will soon be well again.
In police court this morning May de Serguley, the companion of Miss McLean, who went to the Protestant Hospital on Tuesday night, was charged with throwing a new-born babe from a Canadian Pacific Railway train, on Tuesday, February 5th, with intention to murder the child.
She pleaded not guilty and was defended by Mr. A.E Fripp.
The only evidence given was that of the Canadian Pacific Railway conductor, on whose train they came to Ottawa, and >r. Ball, North Nation Mills, who found the child.
Conductors Statement.
Victor Boivert, the Canadian Pacific Railway conductor who was in charge of the Montreal train on which Madame de Serguley and her friend came to Ottawa, told the court that he had seen the women on his train shortly after they boarded it, but did not see them again until he was about Thurso. He spoke to them then as he had not seen them before for some time. He had known the ladies for three or four years previously. He had collected their fares after leaving Thurso and did not pay any attention to them afterwards until he got to Ottawa, when he assisted them to alight from the train. When his train arrived at Buckingham he got a wire from North Nation Mills telling him that a child had been found alongside the track there. He also got a wire from the superintendent in Montreal asking him if he had anyone sick on the train.
He found the babe.
J. Ball, a brother of the station agent at North Nation Mills, told the magistrate that about ten minutes after the train had left he had heard a noise like a cat crying in agony. He went out with the lantern and about 25 feet from the station found a new born babe. He brought it back to the station and later took it to Mrs. Gravelle's hotel, where, he said, it was, well, at the present time. The babe has some frost bites and bruises but is otherwise healthy.
Mr. Fripp, who defended Madame de Serguley, asked the magistrate to take the woman's statement with regard to the matter.
She Tells Her Story.
May de Serguley told the magistrate that Miss McLean, whom she accompanied, had been ill the afternoon before they left for Ottawa and she had treated her for inflammation. Miss McLean had been somewhat excited, but she (the companion)t, had no idea that she was seriously ill. After hearing the complete statement of Madame de Serguley, the magistrate concluded that there had been no intent to harm the child in any way and that its falling from the train was merely an accident. Madame de Serguley was dismissed.
While there is a similar charge against Miss McLean, it is not likely she will be prosecuted. Madame de Serguley, who is a foreigner, was very much pleased with the magistrate's decision.

Ottawa Citizen 9 February 1901

A Case of the Survival of the Fittest - Many Ottawa Women Want the Youngster.

From Yesterday's Evening Citizen.

At the police court this morning Amy De Serguley was discharged by Magistrate O'Keefe. She was charged with casting from a C.P.R. train at North Nation Mills, a new -born child, born to Amy McLean, with intent to murder it. Mr. A. E. Fripp, appeared for the defendant entered a plea of not guilty.
The defendant stated that she was not aware that Miss McLean had given birth to a child and the magistrate believed her story. The case of Miss Mclean, against whom the same charge was preferred, will be heard in about a week as the woman is not yet able to leave the hospital.
C. Boisvert, conductor on the C.P.R. train that left Montreal at 5.40. p.m.. on Tuesday for Ottawa, said that he saw Mlle De Serguley and Miss McLean on the first-class car. He did not see them again until the train reached Thurso although he went through the train to collect fares. He collected those of the two women after the Thurso station had been passed. At Buckingham he received a message from North Nation Mills station, stating that a newborn child had been found beside the track there. There had not been any ladies on the first-class car until Buckingham was reached except Mlle De Serguley and Miss McLean.
George Ball, of Papineauville, whose brother is station agent at North Nation Mills, said that he had been in the station at the latter place shortly after the Montreal train had left. He heard screams that he thought were produced by a cat in agony. He walked up the track for a short distance and found a new-born child. He got a cloth and carried the baby to the station and warmed it beside the stove. It was afterwards taken to V. Gravelle's hotel, where it was taken care of. The infant was bruised and its hands were frost-bitten. It was living when Ball left North Nation Mills and the prospects were that it would survive. As soon as the baby was found, the intelligence was wired to the superintendent at Montreal. It was the superintendent that had notified Conductor Boisvert of the discovery.
People from all parts of the district had called at the hotel to see the baby that had stood such exposure. Many of the visitors were anxious to adopt the child.

Ottawa Journal 14 February 1901

Police Court

Miss Amy McLean, a fair-haired slight young girl from Montreal, who was charged with casting a new-born child from a Canadian Pacific railway railway train at North Nation Mills on Feb. 5th with intent to commit murder, was dismissed in the police court this morning by Magistrate O'Keefe.
The evidence did not show that there had been any attempt to get rid of the child, and County Crown Attorney Ritchie agreed that there was no case. Mr. A. K. Fripp defended Miss McLean.
The baby is healthy and is said to have quite recovered from its experience of lying naked in the snow for a few minutes.

Eastern Ontario Review (Vankleek Hill)  20 March 1903

This one happened in Ottawa and is absolutely true. Our readers will remember reading about the finding of a new born babe near the C.P.R. track at North Nation Mills about a year ago and that the investigation by the authorities disclosed the fact that a child had been born on the train the night previous to the finding of the child.
The following story is based on the above facts.
The telephone rang in the C.P.R. telegraph office at Ottawa and a messenger boy promptly responded to the call of a lady at the other end of the telephone and here is what took place.
The Lady:- Is that the C.P.R?
Messenger boy - Yes, madame.
The Lady - well I want a berth on the train to Toronto tonight.
Messenger Boy - Well, I don't know. I think you had better call up the C.P.R. station. There was a good deal of trouble about the last birth.
The messenger boy has not since had any advance in his wages.

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