Last Trip: The Death of Alfred Bonenfant / 21: The Post Mortem
Previous page Next page Last Trip: The Death of Alfred Bonenfant Taxi Library Home

Click on the picture to see a larger version.

Above: A two-horse cab on Parliament Hill. Most Ottawa cabs, especially "street cabs" that picked up fares from cab stands, seem to have been pulled by one horse. This was adequate for most cab loads which then as now consisted of only one or two passengers. Although two-horse cabs did appear on stands (below) they were more likely to be hired from a livery stable for occasions when four people were travelling together to a party or other event. In Winnipeg, however, two horses were the norm and one-horse cabs were a rarity due to that city's notoriously muddy streets, (see Winnipeg Cab History).


Top: Horse and carriage on Parliament Hill, Ottawa, Ont. (Topley Studio / Library and Archives Canada / PA-012803). Bottom: Western Departmental Buildings -- Parliament Buildings, circa 1880 (Library and Archives Canada / C-010017)

Last Trip: The Death of Alfred Bonenfant / 22

The Post Mortem

Dr. Ezra Haist was called to the house and got there some time before 11:30 p.m. After examining the body he estimated that Alfred Bonenfant had died three quarters of an hour earlier.

Somebody -- probably George Boivin -- called William Gascon at the American House about 11:30 to let him know that Alfred Bonenfant was dead.

Dr. Haist instructed Boivin to send for the coroner, Dr. John E. Craig, who arrived about a quarter to one in the morning.

In addition to the facial wound Dr. Craig discovered that the back of Bonenfant's skull was fractured. He reported the death to the Ottawa police and Detective Joseph O'Meara immediately began an investigation.

Meanwhile Dr. Craig organized an inquest. A jury was convened by three o'clock that afternoon at Julien's mortuary. Bonenfant's father, William Bonenfant and his brother-in-law, T.H. Newell, formally identified the body. The inquest was then adjourned until the following Tuesday pending completion of an autopsy.

Previous page Next page Last Trip: The Death of Alfred Bonenfant Taxi Library Home