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Le Courant

Automne 2012 | 14

An appalling Tragedy

An Appalling Tragedy Fifty-Eighth year Coaticook, Thursday, Nov.29th 1928 Coaticook and Border Towns profoundly shocked by tragedy claiming as victims three local men. Car owned and driven by Mr. Telesphore Beaudin, who was accompanied by Chief of Police Boudreau and his brother Joseph E. Boudreau, found on Friday evening in Connecticut River, Beecher Falls, Vt. Inquest proceedings not yet divulged Coaticook, and the surrounding country over a wide area, was plunged into a sorrow and gloom such as has probably never before been experienced in the locality, last week end, resulting from the tragic fate befalling three of its, well known and highly esteemed citizens. When the terrible, and distressing news came through from Beecher Falls, Vt., late on Friday evening, that the Chief of Police John Boudreau, his brother Joseph, and Telesphore Beaudin had met a sudden and tragic end together in the waters of the Connecticut river, the few people to hear it were loath to credit it, an by the time the town was well astir on Saturday morning and it was learned that the Mayor and a number of other citizens had been summoned to the scene, the whole town was as if stunned by the tragedy. Conflicting stories of the tragedy, as varied as the persons who discussed it, were rife, but all question as to the dire extent of the disaster was settled with the bringing home of the bodies of the three men on Saturday afternoon, following a Coroner’s inquest on the bodies of the Boudreau brothers, and a separate inquest and autopsy on the body of Mr. Beaudin. Accounts of when the three men were last seen varied from about 5 p.m. on Friday to 7 or 7:30 p.m. but employees of Dubois Garage, at Canaan Vermont, who were apparently the last to see three men alive, state that they left the garage around 8:20 p.m. They had travelled only about three-quarters of a mile from the garage when their tragic, fate overtook them and by 8:45 p.m. The car with their dead bodies had been recovered and was back in the garage which they had so recently left. Many stories of the discovery of the tragedy were current, but one of that seems to be reliable, was told by Mr. Gould, a farmer living near the scene of the accident. Mr. Gould’s story was that he saw some men with flashlights searching in the vicinity, and upon inquiring what they were looking for, one of the men said they had followed a car which was just ahead of them, and which they had suddenly lost sight of, and as a result of this search the car was very soon found overturned in the river, hauled out as quickly as possible, and returned to the garage in Canaan, where unhappily in spite of the short time that had elapsed, the three men were found dead. At the time of writing details of the inquests had not been published, and we are only able to report the verdicts as they came to us, that in the case of the Boudreau brothers, they had died from strangulation caused by downing and in the case of Beaudin that he had died from heart failure, due to fright. We understand that everything found on the persons of the three men, except money, has been retained in the custody of the State of Vermont. Funerals of the victims Mr. Telesphore Beaudin, the driver and owner of the Hi-fated car, was a well and widely known personality through this part of the Eastern Townships, being a Sheriff’s Officer and Bailiff of the District of St-Francis, and a well known auctioneer. He was aged of 45 years, and 9 months, and is survived by his widow (born Julia Bergeron) and their children, Honore aged 20,Lilian 17, Lorina 15, Ronald 12, Emmanuel 10, Rouville 9, Gerard 4, and Leonard 4 months. Mr. Beaudoin was born in Coaticook on February 10th, 1883, and lived here until 1909, when he moved to Sherbrooke, where he remained five years as a lumber merchant, and was one of the organisers of La Tribune From Sherbrooke he moved to Hillhurst, where he was engaged in the grocery and grain business, returning to Coaticook in 1917. He is also survived by five brothers, Pierre, Louis, and Adelard, of Coaticook, Moise of St-Jean, Quebec and Willie of St-Jean d’Iberville, Quebec. He was a member of La Société St-Jean-Baptiste, and the Knights of Columbus. The funeral was held on Monday morning last, from St Edmond’s Church, and was attended besides large number of relatives and friends by a great number of general public of all classes and creeds. Messrs John and Joseph Boudreau One of the most impressive and imposing funerals ever held in Coaticook was accorded the remains of the brothers, John and Joseph Boudreau, in which, fellow police officers from Montréal, Sherbrooke, and other towns in the district, and the members of the Coaticook Fire Brigade, of which John Boudreau was Chief, as well as Chief of Police, paid their tributes of honour and respect in the most fitting manner. John Boudreau besides being the Chief of Police of Coaticook was also a Canadian National Railways policeman, and it was a squad of the railway police, comprising a sergeant, and six constables which headed the cortege. These were followed by other police officers and the Hose Truck of the Fire Brigade bearing the remains of their late Chief with the uniformed firemen as escort. This was followed by the Mayor, Mr. Alfred Rousseau and the3 Board of Aldermen Knights of Columbus, La Société St-Jean Baptiste and a great number of the general public of all classes. The two processions proceeding from St Jean Baptiste street and Major Avenue, the homes respectively of John and Joseph Boudreau met and joined at the corner of Wellington and Main streets and proceeded by way of Main and Child streets to the church of St Jean l’Évangéliste, on Court street where they arrived about 9 o’clock. Here the church which is a large one, was filled to its’ capacity and many more were unable to gain admittance. The service most beautiful and impressive was the High Mass at which the Celebrant was the Rev. Father Caron, assisted by Rev. Father Simard as Deacon, Father Belval, sub-Deacon. It was significant of the esteem in which the deceased brothers were held, and the desire to express the deep and general mourning for their untimely end, and irrespective of language, class, or creed, practically all business was suspended in town during the course of the obsequies. The essential unity of all of our citizens was one of the most fitting tributes to this popular public official, known to all, and to his brother perhaps not so widely known but well esteemed by those who did know him. Bearers at funeral of John Boudreau were Firemen Romeo Bouchard, Henri Dandenault, Henri Lavoie, Alphonse Raboin, A. Hopkins and H. Howitt. Mr. John Boudreau Mr. John Boudreau who was in his forty-fifth year, was born at Lac St. Jean, Que., on January 18th 1884, but had lived in Coaticook for the past 34 years. He married on May 3rd, 1914, Miss Lena Benoit, who with their four children Gérard, Laurent, Gilbert and Laurette, aged respectively 12,8,7 and 6 years are left the mourn his tragic loss. The deceased had been a member of the Coaticook Police Force for the past 18 years as Chief of Police, and a very capable officer. Probably the most memorable occasion in his police career was his arrest of Harry K. Thaw, the Pittsburgh millionaire who killed Stanford White at Madison Square Garden, New-York in 1907. Thaw had escaped in 1911, from the Mattawan Asylum in New-York where he had been committed following the trial and was arrested by John Boudreau at St-Hermenegilde, Que. During the last few years he had been Chief of the Fire Brigade in which position he worked zealously to keep the brigade in a constant of efficiency. To both of these heavily bereaved families, we tender the heartfelt sympathy of ourselves and readers in their great loss. Deceased was a member of the Knights of Columbus and La Societe St-Jean Baptiste. Mr. Joseph Boudreau Mr. Joseph Boudreau the brother of the Chief of Police in the natural order of things not so widely known as John was nevertheless a well known man around the town where for about four years ago, he had been engaged in the insurance business as an Agent of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. This brought him into contact with a great many people and he will be remembered for his genial personality. Joseph Boudreau was aged 38 years and leaves to mourn his loss his widow and eight young children, the oldest of whom is about 11 years. Source: The Coaticook Observer

 Johnny BoudreauJohnny Boudreau


Joseph BoudreauJoseph Boudrekau


Télesphore BeaudinTélesphore Beaudin


Le Courant

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