Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Mystery LaFleur

I've recently got quite interested in digging up some family history. First in the literal sense, but really more now in the figurative sense. You see, 1937 my great-grandmother (Alice) died rather quickly and unexpectedly 9 days after being checked in to what was then called a "mental hospital." As a result of her death, my then one year-old grandfather had a pretty rough go at being a kid.

Alice LaFleur

First order of business: why did Alice die? The family narrative says that she died after falling off a horse, however, a person who falls of a horse isn't generally checked into mental health facility. Also, a family member visited Alice while she was in the hospital and said that she had a number of broken bones and was in bad shape, although she didn't go into the hospital in that condition. To boot, my grandpa inquired about her death a number of years ago and part of an old doctor's note said that she essential died of heart attack induced by acute psychosis and religious mania. Oh, and the doc said Alice dislocated her elbow, but said nothing about the broken bones. Things are getting pretty fishy!

Next order of business: what happened with my grandpa? He remembers being bitten by a dog at a residential school facility, living in a place under a bridge, living at some peoples home who beat him for wetting the bed, and being sad because he didn't have a mother. Poor thing! My grandma also said that he burned down a house when he was one year-old, after being left alone. Yowzer.

 I've been poking around trying to get more information and got the following record, which was written by one of the attending school nun's, sent to me yesterday:

September 4, 1941
      Today while Mr. Hogg [the caretaker] was herewith our dog ZYX* at his heels, little Freddie LaFleur, six [age is different in student register], reached out and pulled the hair on his head. At once ZYX jumped and bit the boys lip, tearing it.  The childs screams attracted Mr. Hogg who at once called and punished ZYX.  The little fellow was then taken to Dr. Moore in Duncan who advises keeping him in hospital as few days.  The Doctor sewed it up so well, that it healed perfectly in a short time.  The dog does not like children and they have been told repeatedly not to touch him.  Now Freddie and the others have a salutary lesson. (Verbatim  from1941 Chronicles)
* I replaced the dog's name with ZYX, as the actual name is one of  the only word I won't say. Which is saying something, given that I drop f-bombs every 20 seconds.

Can you even imagine?! A five year-old gets bit by a DOG WHO HATES KIDS YET LIVES AT A KIDS SCHOOL and the nun figured it was a good lesson. Things certainly have changed! 

So now I am curious about the conditions surrounding Alice's death and whether or not she had broken bones (remember the digging I wanted to do?!), and the paper trail of dog bites and mean nun's that my grandpa had to endure...

But for now, I have to get back to my actual work. Veloma!

1 comment:

  1. Wow, very interesting indeed. Keep digging!