Women, girls, and babies who died during or after imprisonment

Below is a partial list of the deaths of babies born to incarcerated mothers, and the deaths of women and girls who were imprisoned, including those who died after they were released from Mercer.

This is ongoing research and may be subject to change as we locate details on the correct spelling of the names or racial origins and other deaths.  For now, we have identified some of the women:

         *British Home Children (BHC)

         **Black

         ***Indigenous

Due to the limitations of historical records, we have not verified these entries as complete or correct.

 

SurnameFirst NameAlias/Alternate SpellingDate of DeathSexAge at DeathNotes
Girls Industrial Refuge
WoonchEllenFeb 6 – 1892F3Industrial Refuge for Girls died while imprisoned
McleanKateFeb 28 – 1898F17Industrial Refuge for Girls died while imprisoned
Babies of imprisoned mothers
SharpEdwardOct 13 – 1881M4 weeksBorn while mother was imprisoned and died
BurkCharlesAug 30 – 1883M4 months 3 weeksBorn while mother was imprisoned and died
Lawrence BabyFeb 3 – 1891F3 daysBorn while mother was imprisoned and died
WilliamsAdamsFeb 28 – 1893M6 3/4 monthsBorn while mother was imprisoned and died
CunninghamFrancisOct 15 – 1894M4 weeksBorn while mother was imprisoned and died
AtchesonGarfieldNov 15 – 1894M36 hoursBorn while mother was imprisoned and died
Johnston BabyJul 5 – 1896MS.B.Born while mother was imprisoned and died
Hoam BabyMay 15 – 1899M?S.B.Born while mother was imprisoned and died
St Armour Baby***Dec 26 – 1900FBorn while mother was imprisoned and died
LovellMary JosephineJun 24 – 1907F2 daysBorn while mother was imprisoned and died
Wright BabyMar 18 – 1920?6 daysBorn while mother was imprisoned and died
Paris BabyApr 20 – 1922?S.B.Born while mother was imprisoned and died
LalondeThelmaDec 20 – 1922F2 months 20 daysBorn while mother was imprisoned and died
BarnesWilliamAp 30 – 1928M2 months Born while mother was imprisoned and died
BreatonGeraldFeb 9 – 1929M1 month 20 daysBorn while mother was imprisoned and died
Moir BabyJan 7 – 1930?S.B.Born while mother was imprisoned and died
PuttockVictor Edward Apr 4 – 1932M2 monthsBorn while mother was imprisoned and died
Soloman BabyNov 22 – 1931?S.B.Born while mother was imprisoned and died
Woodcock BabyJun 20 – 1934?S.B.Born while mother was imprisoned and died
SchramMargaret VirginiaJul 14 – 1943F2 monthsBorn while mother was imprisoned and died
Women Mercer Reformatory
RyanWinnifredMar 18 – 1881F50Died while imprisoned
HillEmilyMar 4 – 1882F32Died while imprisoned
EmsleyAnnApr 1 – 1882F25Died while imprisoned
SmithIsabellaApr 9 – 1882F41Died while imprisoned
SheehanMargaretNot knownFDied while imprisoned
AddisonMary AnnMannahMay 14 – 1884F36Died while imprisoned
FoxMargaretMay 31 – 1884F45 or 40Died while imprisoned
McGillAnnAug 19 – 1886F40Died while imprisoned
DowlingAliceAug 15 – 1887F24Died while imprisoned
LinsteadMaryJun 25 – 1888F18Died while imprisoned
BrunanMaryMay 28 – 1892F17Died while imprisoned
HuntAlice AdaDec 2 – 1898F20Died while imprisoned
Woodson**EstherNov 16 – 1900F43? Or 45?Died while imprisoned
Snake***JuliaNot knownFDied while imprisoned
Leavis?Liza Janet LeovisOct 17 – 1914F42Died while imprisoned
Brown**LauraApr 6 – 1915F18Died while imprisoned
HendersonMableMay 1 – 1916F42Died while imprisoned
NobleMyrtleMar 16 – 1916F18Died while imprisoned
StevensonMargaretOct 1 – 1917F25Died while imprisoned
Brooks**GeorginaSep 18 – 1922F30Died while imprisoned
HendersonLillian (nee Miner)Mar 4 – 1923F42Died while imprisoned
BeedieSusanFeb 6 – 1924F19Died while imprisoned
HornerMarySep 3 – 1927F49Died while imprisoned
SlausonGladysSlawsonFeb 7 – 1927F19Died while imprisoned
Tekhuma***AliceAug 31 – 1929F19Died while imprisoned
Walker (Giles)AnnieApr 28 – 1930F27Died while imprisoned
Pheasant***MaryAug 28 – 1931F34Died while imprisoned
Marshall***CatherineMar 2 – 1933F25Died while imprisoned
LongEvelynNov 18 – 1963FDied while imprisoned
Died after release of imprisonment
MaronMary EllenFeb 19 – 1897F5 monthsDied after release of imprisonment
RoyalBlancheAug 23 – 1905F20Died after release of imprisonment
BennettJanet (Jeannett)Apr 14 – 1913F40Died after release of imprisonment
Jamieson***LevinaLecourSep 24 – 1921F24Died after release of imprisonment
StewartEllaDec 12 – 1933F42Died after release of imprisonment
Jocko***EileenJun 26 – 1947F24Died after release of imprisonment
Schram (nee Dionne)Virginia MarqueriteSep 20 – 1947F29Died after release of imprisonment
Houle (nee Noon)***CecileMay 18 – 1957F22Died after release of imprisonment
Other
LessardLizzieApr 3 – 1911F30Transferred to Kingston Pen
Walker **Mary AnnJul 16 – 1913F55Died at Brantford jail while waiting to be transferred to Mercer
HolloranAliceHollandJan 19 – 1919F17Died while imprisoned at the Good Shepherd

In the above List of Deaths there are five names that are bolded.  Sadly, Gladys Slauson died in 1927 after being transferred from a jail while very ill to the Mercer Reformatory.  Despite the scandal of her death and subsequent enquiry, it appears four, and possibly five, more very ill women would die while incarcerated after Gladys’ demise.

 

  1. Gladys Slauson (1927) Tuberculosis
  2. Alice Tekhuma*** (1929) Toxic Goiter myocarditis – Terminal Pneumonia
  3. Annie Walker (1930) Tuberculosis
  4. Mary Pheasant*** (1931) Tuberculosis
  5. Unknown (1932)
  6. Catherine Marshall*** (1933) Tuberculosis

While it appears that one prisoner a year from 1929-1933 died at Mercer, there is more to the tragic deaths of these women. 

 

For example, Annie, Mary, and Catherine were actually incarcerated at the same time in January of 1930. Research shows that Catherine and Alice had a connection as they were previously incarcerated at the same time in 1928. Sadly, Alice would die in 1929.  Catherine is also listed in the 1931 census with her infant, which means according to the Mercer annual report she was 1 of the 19 mothers who delivered an “illegitimate” baby while incarcerated that year.

 

Oddly the Mercer annual report for the year ending October 31, 1931 doesn’t list there was a death in the year that Mary died!

 

Often newspapers will report on deaths at Mercer as they did for Gladys and Alice (see news section below).  However, we haven’t been able to find mention of the deaths of Annie, Mary, or Catherine in any of the newspapers. If we do, we will update this post. 

Her Own Fault” is a 1921 film sponsored by the Ontario Government depicting the attitudes regarding those who had tuberculosis.

Ontario Motion Picture Bureau

This film was made for the Division of Industrial Hygiene of the Ontario Provincial Board of Health, to demonstrate the consequences of unhealthy lifestyle choices. The story follows two factory women, Mamie and Eileen, throughout their daily activities. Her Own Fault is an educational film that would have originally been shown in schools, churches and other public venues.

IDC: 99688.

 

Read more about the film by clicking on the following hyperlink here: Toronto’s “Girl Workers.” The Female Body and Industrial Efficiency in Her Own Faultby Shelley Stamp Lindsey

 

News Section

Stories written by descendants

"Woman Fined Selling Booze," The Buffalo News, July 13, 1922, 20.
“Woman Fined Selling Booze,” The Buffalo News, July 13, 1922, 20.
"Report Death of Girl in Toronto Reformatory," The Buffalo Enquirer, September 20, 1922, 5.
“Report Death of Girl in Toronto Reformatory,” The Buffalo Enquirer, September 20, 1922, 5.