The Sad Death of Andre Proulx

Excerpt from the Manitoulin Expositor
April 10th, 1886
Introduction to Minjmendaan
is Ojibwe for
"to keep in mind;
to remember"
Native Heritage
Minjmendaan, Summer 2003
In this issue:

100th Anniversary of Killarney's oldest hotel

Julia Peladeau of the Wapoose family

Michif: Unique language of the Metis people

News from the past:
Golden wedding at
       Killarney, 1899

Pilot rescues  
       fishermen from
       drifting ice, 1940

Remembering Killarney's Angel: Nancy Pitfield

The sad death of Andre Proulx

The Lourdes Grotto of St. Bonaventure's Parish

The Metis sash

Descendants of Ezekiel Solomon reunite

From the cookbook of Josephine Low

The sacred tree

Andre Proulx was the first husband of Julia Peladeau (who later married Henry Bateman). His parents were Andre Proulx Sr. and Marie Lavallee. Andre and Julia married in 1861. In an affidavit sworn March 1st, 1893, Julia reports that her husband died October 31st, 1874.

The following excerpt tells the story of the death of Andre and six others. It appeared in the Manitoulin Expositor of April 10th, 1886, under the title Strange Tales from the North Shore.

"Death in the Camp
Some twelve years ago last fall, a party of seven lumbermen in the employ of Williams & Murray, of Blind River, left the latter place with a scow load of oats and general supplies which they were engaged to remove inland. The scow carried some ten tons, and the party worked it up the river for ten miles by the aid of sweeps. They reached a camp on the river bank about night fall, and fearing rain, piled the bags of oats in a single row with the butts against the back end of the building. Wearied with their labors, they lay down to sleep with their head towards the bags, little thinking they were never to rise again. Piled as they were, the bags naturally inclined inwards and during the night the whole pile fell forward together, and remained on top of the weary sleepers. Owing to their recumbent position, the men were unable to rise, and all perished together as they lay, away from home, family, friends, and with no one to bear their last message to their loved ones.

Three or four days afterwards a man stopped at the camp, took from some provisions for his evening and morning meal, camped outside and remained till morning without suspecting that he was so close to the scene of a terrible tragedy, although he afterwards said that he thought once or twice he heard sounds as of breathing. About a week after the men had lain down for their last sleep on earth, Mr. Murray, becoming alarmed for their safety, started out in his canoe and arrived at the camp near midnight. First striking a light, he commenced moving the bags, and discovered a sight the horror of which it is unncessary to describe. Suffice it to say he went back and the story of what had happened soon became known.

The names of the men were Corbier, two Buies, Proulx, Connor, and two other strangers, the last three being from Goderich. One of the men, Proulx, left a wife and eight children, for whose benefit considerable relief was obtained by the generous exertions of Messrs. Gorrell, Murray, and others. Such is the story of perhaps the greatest tragedy which ever occurred in the Canadian lumber woods."