All sorts of wild rumors
circulated around Simcoe on Tuesday evening over the death of Mr. John
Henry Ryder which occurred that afternoon at Delhi.
The most serious being that he
lost his life in a struggle with Chief McInally of Simcoe, in which he
had been shoved down stairs, breaking his neck.
The real facts show that the
death, while sad, was due entirely to an accident for which no one was
at all to blame.
A trial of a rather salacious
character was down for hearing before Squire Earl of Simcoe and Squire
Whitside of Delhi.
A raid had been made some nights
before at a house in Windham, alleged to be of a disorderly character.
Three women and three men were gathered in.
Owing to the prominence of the
men interested, the case attracted much attention and the crowd drawn to
Delhi to hear the evidence would have filled the small room the
magistrates proposed to use, three or four times over.
Needless to say it was packed
when the time dame for the proceedings to open.
The magistrates, probably with
wisdom, decided to take the evidence privately and ordered Chief
McInally to clear the court.
Interviewed by the Reformer, Mr.
McInally made the following statement:
"I had got the room fairly
well cleared. Albert Wilbur remained in, but thinking he was a constable
I was not bothering about him.
"The magistrates told me
that I was to put him out and I asked him to go.
"He caught me round the
neck, I think in fun. We wrestled around some but finally I pulled away
from him and he went out the door.
"I did not see the accident
and can only say in regard to it what I was told by those who did.
"Mr. Ryder was down in the
street and started to go up the stairs. He was a magistrate and no
doubt thought he would exercise his right to hear the case.
"He had gone up about five
steps when he evidently saw Wilbur and others coming down.
"He turned, apparently with
the intent to give them the right of way, when his foot must have
slipped, for he fell, striking his head with great violence on the
"He did not break his neck,
but his skull was fractured badly and he died in about 20 minutes.
"I do not think he was
pushed or in fact touched by anyone, it was an accident for which no one
was to blame."
A jury was empanelled by Coroner
Shenhan. The members viewed the body of deceased and adjourned.
Mr. Ryder was nearly 80 years of
age, and old and well known resident, held in high esteem by the