1875-xx Update


Archive - 1875

Homicide #1875-xx

Date - 1875-09-25

Victim - ATKINSON (ORMAND), George (??)
Accused - MCIVOR, Angus (Roderick) (24)
Charge - Murder

Murder near Ellice.

From Mr Charles W Thompson, late of the Mounted Police, and just, in from Polly, we gather the particulars of an atrocious murder committed near Ellice a week since. It seems that Francois Charette, son of Mr. Joseph Charette, of St. Norbort, and Roderick Mclvor, who was brought up in the family of Mr Nolin of Pointe de Chone, had for some time, accompanied by two women, been on a trading expedition, and had decided to move further west. Between Ellice and Qu'Appelle they camped in the immediate vicinity of the camp of a white man named George Ormand. The latter visited the camp of the former, and upon approaching it was immediately, and without a word, shot dead by Mclvor. Charotte endeavored to interfere, and intimated, after the deed, that Mclvor would get himself into trouble, whereupon the latter fired two shots at Charotte, dangerously wounding him. Tho Mounted Police, hearing of the affair, have arrested Mclvor, and taken him to Ellice for preliminary examination, and he will probably be lodged in jail here in a few days. It is understood that the affair grew out of some old grudge, as the wife of Mclvor had been heard to threaten the life of Ormand. Charette is recovering rapidly from his wound, and will be able to attend at the Queen's Bench here to testify against the murderer.

(September 9, 1875. pp3) Daily Free Press.

COMMITTED —The Ellice murderer, Mclvor, has been committed for trial for the murder of George Atkinson, and for shooting with intent to murder Baptiste Charotte. The evidence in the former case, as adduced at the preliminary trial, is purely circumstantial, although very strong.

(October 4, 1875. pp3) Daily Free Press.

The other case is that of Angus Mclvor. He is charged with two capital offences, one for the murder of one Atkinson by shooting him, in the head with a pistol, and the other with shooting with intent to kill one Charette, both offences having been committed during the month of September last, not far from Fort Ellice in the North-West territory. These cases have the greater importance as the crimes involved, were committed far away from the abodes of civilization and where it might be supposed the arm of British justice would not reach. It is at considerable disadvantage in many points of view that the persons charged are at last brought before a court of justice. Public law and order, and the interests of justice alike demand that we should deal firmly but cautiously in all these cases. We must let it be known from the Rocky Mountains to the boundaries of Quebec and Ontario that all are under the protection of, and answerable to, British law, and that however far removed from settlement, and however remote from the habitation of the white-man, the commission of crime may take place, the Argus eyes of justice will find it out, and the law will apprehend, bring to trial and punish the offender.

(October 12, 1875. pp5) Daily Free Press.


Execution of McIvor - He Meets his Fate like a Man - Jack Ketch Bungles his Job.

The unfortunate man, Angus McIvor, who paid the extreme penalty of the law, to-day, was but twenty-four years' of age. His father (now dead) was a Scotchman, and his a mother, a French Half-Breed, and is now the wife of J.B. Desjerbais of St.Boniface. At the trial, evidence was given of McIvor being a peacable and good character up to the time of the commission of the crimes, for one of which he just suffered such an ignominious end.


for which McIvor was punished by death, were the attempted murder of Baptiste Charette and the murder of George Atkinson.


About the first of September last, Baptiste Charette left Winnipeg with a load of freight for the Hudson's Bay Company, for Carlton, and had hired McIvor to go with him to assist in driving the carts. After being some days on the way, when at Shoal Lake, Charette's party overtook one George Atkinson who had one cart-load of goods. Atkinson's cart being over loaded, he arranged with Charette to take part of it on his carts. Thenceforward they journeyed together. One night they camped near Fort Ellice, at a place called Beaver Creek. Atkinson and McIvor camped at the top of a small hill, and Charette, with his wife and children some distance off. About midnight Charette wakened by McIvor calling him and telling him that something was wrong with one of the oxen. Charette went out, looked after the matter, returned to his camp and fell asleep, when he was again awakened by a pistol shot, and a pain in his head. McIvor was kneeling beside him, pointing a pistol at him. Charette was wounded on the nose. He arose and grasped McIvor. Both rolled outside the tent; Charette dodged round the cart, and McIvor fired at him five or six times. Charette asked McIvor if he was crazy, to which he replied that it was not he that was firing, but some Americans. Charette shouted for Atkinson. McIvor desisted from firing, and proposed to go to Atkinson's tent, expressing his belief that Atkinson was dead. They started. On the way Charette snatched the pistol. Arriving at the tent, McIvor turned down Atkinson's blanket, and said he was dead. McIvor fell on his knees, and asked for forgiveness. Charette forgave him, so far as he was concerned, but told him that he must answer for the murder of Atkinson. A man named Robillard lived a short distance from the camp, and McIvor agreed to go there if Charette would support the story about the Americans. They went, and told that Atkinson had been killed. Robillard started for Fort Ellice, for assistance from the Mounted Police. He brought a policeman, who arrested McIvor, and brought him to Winnipeg. McIvor was committed upon the charge of the murder of George Atkinson and for the attempted murder of Charette; and, as related, was convicted and sentenced upon both indictments. Before being sentenced, in reply to the ordinary inquiry whether he had anything to say why sentence should not be passed upon him, he declared he had no knowledge of the crime, and that the night referred to was to him a perfect blank.


is that Mclvor desired to possess himself of the valuable goods with which the carts were laden, and to that end murdered Atkinson, and intended doing the same to Charette; and his saying it is Americans that were shooting at Charette, was to leave that impression upon Charette's wife, who lying in the tent close by, would bear him so speaking.


Mclvor mentained a calm almost passive demeanor; and was under the spiritual direction of Rev. Father Lacombo.


At five o'clock last evening, devotional exercises, at which the friends of the condemned man were present, were held. At half past nine o'clock,after partaking lightly of some refreshments, McIvor retired to bed, and slept soundly till four o'clock this morning, when he was awakened by the deputy sheriff. He arose, dressed himself and appeared bright and cheerful. The holy communion was administered to him by the reverend fathers in attendance at 7 o'clock, and mass said half an hour afterwards.


was hoisted at a quarter to nine, by which time a large crowd of persons had congregated in the vicinity of the Court House. It was expected that the execution would take place at 9 o'clock, and at that hour the crowd had been largely increased. Those holding passes were admitted into the Court House and jail yard shortly before ten o'clock, and besides the officials there were between seventy and eighty persons present.


which was the same as that used at the hanging of Michaud, was erected on the west side of the Court House, and till nearly ten o'clock was exposed to the view of the assembled throng; then a black curtain was drawn across in front, and the public were shut out from witnessing the final act.

At a quarter before ten Mclvor, accompanied by Fathers Lacombe and Baudin, and some gaol officials, came up through the trap door into the Court House. He appeared calm and collected, but looked downward, and once in a while his lips quivered. He repeated in a low voice the prayers of the priests. The executioner, who was disguised in a loose black gown and cloth mask, then advanced and pinioned his arms with a leather strap. Mclvor was then led to the scaffold, still accompanied by his spiritual advisers, and knelt on the trap. Father Lacombe delivered a prayer in English and French, and spoke a few words on behalf of the doomed man. The rev gentleman said that the prisoner had asked to be forgiven for the crimes that he bad committed, that he had made his peace with God, and was prepared to die. The priests then bade him good bye, and retired, bathed in tears. The hangman placed the cap on, and adjusted the rope around his neck. Exactly at ten o'clock the lever was drawn, and Mclvor was launched into eternity, meeting his fate like a man.


The person who undertook the duties of executioner horribly bungled his part. The rope was badly and loosely fixed, and the noose immediately slipped around under the unfortunate man's chin. He struggled and clutched convulsively for two minutes and a half, and one minute later life was extinct. His neck was unbroken, and death was caused by strangulation. The body hung for about twenty minutes, when it was taken down and placed in a coffin. His face was calm and placid, and did not show any signs of suffering. When executed Mclvor was dressed in a black coat and striped tweed pants.


in accordance with tho statute, was held before Dr Benson, coroner, and a verdict rendered according to the facts, the only evidence given being that of the deputy sheriff, who produced a copy of the death sentence passed by Chief Justice Wood, and of Dr A G Jackes, the medical man in attendance, as to the cause of death.


was given over to his friends, and immediatly after the inquest was taken over to St Boniface, the burial being largely attended.


Mclvor made no confession to the authorities, whatever he may have confessed to his spiritual advisers,and maintained to the last that the night of the murder was a perfect blank to him, and that he was unconscious of having committed the fatal deed of which he was convicted.


on the occasion is, of course, unknown. He was only engaged a few days ago, and a rumor being current yesterday that he had refused to do the job, there were two applications after twelve, o'clock last night to the sheriff, by men who were willing to play " Jack Ketch " for a handsome consideration. However, neither were engaged.

(January 7, 1876. pp4). Daily Free Press.