The Community Moves On

[ Sign Announcing the Closure of the St. Patrick\'s Roman Catholic Church Due to Curiosity Seekers, 1964, Unknown, University of Western Ontario Archives  ]

By the mid-1880s the murder of the Donnelly family was no longer the “talk of the town.” That does not mean it was forgotten. Years later in his diary, postmaster William Porte, a friend of the Donnellys, saw fit to regularly mention the anniversary of the tragedy. For the most part though, the citizens of Lucan and Biddulph moved forward and tried to disassociate themselves and their community from the violent reputation it had acquired as a result of the murders. Interestingly though, some of the members of the Vigilance Committee suffered violent deaths. Nor did crime disappear with the Donnellys. For instance, in 1882 Porte describes a “row” on the site of the old Donnelly homestead that involved about 20 men throwing stones and firing revolvers! Constable James Carroll, eventually moved away, but only after being implicated in a number of other crimes.

Court Documents

Diaries, Journals or Reminiscences


Newspaper or Magazine Articles