The inquest of the death of
Mr. Homer Waffle was held Tuesday evening in the town hall. Dr.
Gilvery presided; Arthur G. Slaght represented the Crown; Hugh P.
Innes, K.C., the family of the deceased.
Five witnesses were sworn and
testified as follows:
Dr. Bowlby -- Said he was
called to the mill some time after four o'clock; found the body in
cog wheel of machinery; Waffle was dead when he got there; the head
was in fairly good condition, but the body was terribly mangled.
Death must have been instantaneous.
Mr. Harry Brook, proprietor
of the mill -- Said Waffle was superintendent and had been in his
employ for 15 or 16 years; he had been talking with Waffle on the
day of the latter's death, probably 10 or 15 minutes before the
accident; nothing was said that would give indication of death;
Waffle was very familiar with the place -- it was his duty as
superintendent with the plant under his charge.
Mr. Brook was asked if he
noticed anything unusual about Waffle on this particular occasion,
and replied that Waffle appeared rather nervous. He did not pay much
attention to it as Waffle was of a nervous temperment and a very
excitable man. The place had been inspected by a factory inspector
recently, who instructed that guards be put up in the wheel-house.
This had been carried out under Waffle's supervision.
He was in the office at the
time of accident; heard a terrible scream and somebody said
"Waffle's killed!" Had found out that the shaft was not
working properly and than Waffle was a a spot where be ought not to
have been with the machinery running. He had no business to be in
the position he was in, and was taking desperate chances.
Mr. William Murphy -- In
employ about  years; first saw Waffle between 7 and 8 o'clock on
day of accident; had been asked by Waffle to got with him to locate
trouble in machinery; Waffle sent Jeffrey on roof; had been previous
trouble with machinery earlier in the afternoon, probably an hour
before; was only man with Waffle at time of death; Waffle asked him
to hold lantern; witness got on cement platform with hand on pipe
that goes across; lantern passed through three times, backwards and
forwards, irregularly; witness was not looking directly at Waffle,
who was within three feet, a little forward, on his knees on the
floor, within a foot back of machinery, left hand on upright shaft;
heard Waffle scream; gear caught him on the side.
Mr. Murphy stated that Waffle
toldd him he wanted to fix the gear because he might not be there
the next day. He was asked if Waffle had said anything in reference
to rumors of any kind and replied "No."
Mr. Andrew Jeffrey -- In
employ about 20 years; had talked with Waffle; nothing said about
incident; had conversations with Waffle on Saturday previous; Waffle
said he had received anonymous letters through the post; turned
On Monday wanted opinion on
shaft about 10 minutes to four; sent witness on roof. Had left roof
and arrived at the door when accident happened. Machinery running at
Mr. Brook (recalled): In
reference to statement made by Mr. Murphy that Waffle said "he
might not be there the next day," Mr. Brook stated that Waffle
had told him Monday afternoon that he was going away. For reasons of
his own he did not ask Waffle where he was going or how long he
would be away.
Waffle wrote instructions in
the office on "how todo carbonizing," and said there were
a few other little things he wanted to fix up before he went away.
He found out after the
accident that Waffle had drawn $900 from the bank on that day
and also found three life insurance policies around the office. He
did not ask permission to go away and Mr. Brook asked no questions.
It was the only occasion of a talk of that character. As to the
disposition of the $900, Mr. Brook said it was found in Waffle's
overcoat at the house and placed in the bank in Mr. Brook's name in
Mr. James Bint -- Did you
know anything about the accident; was given a parcel on the day in
question by Waffle to take to Mr. Harry Johnson, and was to deliver
it to no one but Mr. Johnson. Did not know the contents.
Mr. Brook (recalled) -- Did
Waffle have a desk of his own at the mill? Yes.
We the jury empanelled to
inquire into the death of Homer Waffle, find that he came to his
death by accidentally being caught in the gears at the mill of the
Simcoe Wool Stock Co., in the Township of Woodhouse, about 4:30 p.m.
on Monday, 10 Nov 1919.
We further find that deceased
was guilty of carelessness in examining said gears while in motion
and we find no blame can be attached to any person or persons but
H. R. Crabb