Murder and disappearance
of baby in Prince Albert
At eleven o'clock on the morning of
March 6th, 1881, Doctor J. E. Ware, the resident
physician of Prince Albert, visited the home of
Mrs. Mina Eddy. Her husband Rice Eddy had died four
years earlier. Widow Eddy's daughter Mary was in
the final stages of labour.
Dr Ware delivered a healthy baby.
The doctor knew that Mary was not married and he
was unable to obtain any information about the father.
The following Monday, the doctor returned to check
up on the child and reported that the child was
extremely healthy and appropriately clothed.
On Saturday Dr. Ware went to check
up on the newborn. Upon arrival at the house he
was told that the baby had died that morning. Dr
Ware examined the corpse of the infant and reported
that he "saw no marks of violence upon it,
but the child looked quite gaunt."
Dr. Ware summoned the coroner, Dr.
Richard Jones in Port Perry, to carry out an inquest.
That evening, Dr. Jones called on the two Justices
of the Peace, John Nott and Reuben Crandell, and
three others in order to form a jury. Mrs. Eddy
refused to permit the jury to enter the house.
On Monday morning, after much argument
and delay, the jury was admitted into the house.
The constable explained that they had to see the
body of the dead child in order to determine the
cause of death. Mrs. Eddy and Mary both said that
they had not seen the childŐs body after the doctor
had left on Saturday and knew nothing about the
Dr. Jones then contacted the Provincial
Attorney-General. By now the news of the affair
had become a front-page item in the Toronto newspapers.
The Toronto Globe reported, "On Thursday, the
17th, Government detective Murray went to Prince
Albert. In company with local constables, he made
a diligent search throughout the house, even to
digging up the clay in the cellar, but found no
trace of the child. Detective Murray then arrested
Mrs. Eddy and her daughter on a charge of murder."
John Nott, a Port Perry Justice of
the Peace gave the Eddys a severe lecture and then
released them. The murder charges were dropped because
of lack of evidence even though both were guilty
of concealing the facts.
Two weeks later a letter to the editor
signed by Mr. J. A. McDonald, denied any knowledge
of wrong doing but acknowledged that he had been
a lodger in the Eddy house for the past year. The
contents suggested that he could have been the father.
Mary Eddy never married but remained
at home to care for her mother. Mrs. Eddy died in
1895 at the age of 75. Mary Eddy was only 47 years
old when she died in 1907. The fate of the Eddy
infant remains a mystery to this day.
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