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Articles & Local History > 1913 - Charged With Murder - Austin Foy & Wife & Mrs. John Greenman

Tampico Tornado, Thursday, June 26, 1913

Austin Foy and Wife and Mrs. John Greenman Reported Arrested in Canada

The following account of the arrest of former Tampico citizens is taken from Canadian newspaper. The Tornado knows nothing further in regard to the terrible charges. Moose Jaw, Sask., June 15 - (Special) - From Eyebrow comes a story of human depravity and disregard for human life which has seldom, if ever, been equaled in this part of Saskatchewan. As a result three women and one man are under arrest and will be brought before J. J. McDONNOUGH and Arthur PORTER, justices of the peace at Eyebrow. The prisoners were brought up Saturday morning, but were remanded until next week on the request of Sergt. KING of the R. N. W. M. P.

It was just before the noon hour on Friday that Sergt. KING and Constable PASSE, with Arthur PORTER J. P., drove to the GREENMAN farm from Eyebrow. Mrs. GREENMAN was immediately placed under arrest and charged with the murder of her illegitmate son. That the police had good knowledge of the case before hand was evidenced by the fact that they at once went to a manure pile and with pitchforks turned over accumulation from the stables during the past winter. They had not long to work before they found the decomposed body of the child. Then with Mrs. GREENMAN and the alleged body of the infant, they started back to Eyebrow, which is ten miles distant from the GREENMAN farm.

In one rig was Sergt. KING, Mrs. GREENMAN, Arthur PORTER and all that was left of the dead child. Behind them drove Constable PASSE with Mrs. COLDWELL and Mr. and Mrs. FOY, father and mother of Mrs. GREENMAN. They were taken into Eyebrow to give evidence at the inquest held last night by Dr. JESSOP. In all there were half a dozen witnesses examined and the questions put to each by Sergt. KING showed the care with which the case had been worked up despite the short time at his command.

In short, the evidence went to show that Mrs. GREENMAN gave birth to the child in March last. Mrs. COLDWELL was the nurse in attendance, and after the birth the infant was taken to the barn and left there to freeze. Mrs. COLDWELL said that she was ordered to do this by Mrs. GREENMAN, after it had been talked over, and agreed to by Mr. and Mrs. FOY, parents of Mrs. GREENMAN. All one night the child was left in the barn and when morning came it is said that FOY buried the body in the manure pile, and then apparently the hideous crime was forgotten.

However, on the evening of June 11, Pat KELLY, a former hired man, arrived at the GREENMAN farm and demanded to see his boy. He was refused any information and at the point of a shotgun, FOY drove him from the premises. In self-defense he pulled a gun and fired a shot; being ultimately captured by an armed posse after some gun play. KELLY was committed for trial on a charge of attempted murder. He is the man who some time ago entered suit against Mrs. GREENMAN for breach of promise of marriage.

KELLY said in the witness box here last winter, when he was suing Mrs. GREENMAN for wages, that she had been his common law wife, and had promised to marry him, but her love grew cold and she threw him over.

Mrs. John GREENMAN came from Illinois with her husband and parents several years ago, but her husband died on his farm in the Eyebrow Hills, leaving her plenty of money and she had since conducted the farm herself.

Mrs. GREENMAN is under arrest charged with the murder of her child, while orders have also been given for the arrest of Mrs. COLDWELL, the nurse, and Mr. and Mrs. FOY, father and mother of Mrs. GREENMAN.

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Mr. and Mrs. FOY bore excellent reputations while residents of Tampico and their relatives and friends here are  of the opinion that things have misrepresented and exaggerated and that blame laid to them that does not belong there. These matters may al be cleared up at the trial.

Abortion and Infanticide in Western Canada 1874 to 1916: A Criminal Case
Study by William BEAHEN
Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Ottawa
 Pages 64-66 (see below for an excerpt)

A much more complicated case was the 1913 trial of three people for the murder of a newborn child in Eyebrow, Saskatchewan. Mrs. Maude Greenman was a well-to-do widow with five children living on a farm with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Austin Foy. She became pregnant by her hired man, Patrick Kelly, an unreliable character whom the police considered may have been “half crazy,”30 Mrs. Greenman tried unsuccessfully to persuade Kelly to get some abortifacient medicine for her from a drug store in Moose Jaw. Kelly, meanwhile, sued Mrs. Geenman for unpaid wages and also had her charged with breach of promise to marry him. However, in the midst of litigation Kelly stole an overcoat and was sent to jail.

On March 25, 1913, Mrs. Greenman gave birth to a baby girl, assisted by a trained nurse, Mrs. Jane Caldwell. The event took place during the night and Mrs. Greenman was most anxious lest her other children and some visiting relatives hear the infant’s cries, as they did not know that she had been pregnant. At the behest of the mother the nurse administered chloroform and laudanum to the infant to keep her quiet but without effect. After consultation with her parents, Maude Greenman pleaded with Jane Caldwell to get rid of her child for her. Reluctantly, Caldwell complied and, accompanied by Mr. Foy, she carried the child in freezing weather to an unheated meathouse on the property and placed her in a box on the floor. She checked her several times during the day until she was sure she was dead and then she buried her in the chicken coop.

This homicide came to the attention of the Mounted Police in a bizarre way. When Patrick Kelly was released from jail, he visited Maude Greenman on June 4, 1913, and threatened her with a revolver. She called for help over the rural telephone and brought forth the local Justice-of-thePeace and two other men in an automobile who chased Kelly, fleeing the scene in a buggy. Kelly fired some shots to ward off his pursuers, but they caught him. Just before being subdued Kelly pointed the revolver at the J. P.’s head and pulled the trigger. Luckily the hammer struck a defective cartridge. Kelly was charged with pulling the trigger of a firearm with intent. In the subsequent investigation, he told police how Maude Greenman had killed their child. A few days later Jane Caldwell and Austin Foy were arrested and charged with murder and Maude Greenman with conspiracy to commit murder. All were tried separately.

The stories of the three accused supported the main facts of the case but put a different complexion on each individual’s responsibility for the crime. Maude Greenman denied that she was a party to the murder, contending that Jane Caldwell had been solely responsible. Caldwell confessed to her part in the crime but implicated Greenman and Foy as accomplices. A Dr. Snow, a former employer of Jane Caldwell, put an unusual medical angle on the affair. He claimed that Mrs. Caldwell suffered from a disease of the head and throat which affected her mind at times. Furthermore, he stated that Mrs. Caldwell was menstruating at the time of the offence, which clouded her judgment. Austin Foy claimed that when he helped put the baby in the meathouse he thought that she was already dead.31 At the trials held at Moose Jaw in November, 1913, Maude Greenman and Jane Caldwell were found guilty of reduced charges of manslaughter and sentenced to ten years each in the penitentiary at Edmonton. Austin Foy was acquitted. Patrick Kelly was convicted at the same November sitting of the Alberta Supreme Court and sentenced to one year hard labour in prison.32

31 RG 18, Vol. 3247, File HQ-681-F-11, Criminal Case file-Greenman, Caldwell, Foy; Regina, The Morning Leader, June 14 and 18, 1913; Regina Daily Standard, June 14, 16 and 18, 1913.
27 Ibid, Section 240.
28 Ibid, Section 239.
29 Mounted Police Annual Report, 1913, pp. 177-178; Department of Justice records, Public Archives of Canada, RG 13, Cl, Volume 1483.
30 RG 18, Vol. 3247, File HQ-681-F-11, August 30, 1913, Report from Moose Jaw Subdistrict to Officer Commanding, Regina District.


FYI: Additonal information submitted by Les Niemi: John GREENMAN died Jan. 7, 1911 in Moose Jaw,  Maude died August 29, 1939 in Sutter, CA. Austin FOY (Maude's father) died in 1914 in Minot, SD. (Les, I checked the on-line Death Index for Minot, ND and find Austin T Foy died Sept. 2, 1914, Minot, Ward County, North Dakota. Their town slogan is "Why not, Minot"? to help folks remember it is pronounced as "My not")

You can order the court documents from Canada (.40/page)
contact info to order file http://www.collectionscanada.ca/contact/index-e.html
Here is the info you will need:
Description found in Archives
Jane (Mrs. William) Caldwell; Maude Greenman (Mrs. John) and Austin T. Foy - Eyebrow, Saskatchewan - re the death of an infant

File Part of: Criminal Investigation Branch
Date(s): 1913
Conditions of Access Textual records
(Volume) 3247 90: Open
Finding aid no. 18-23
Reference Numbers
Former archival reference no.: RG18-F-2
Volume: 3247
File no. (creator): HQ-681-F-11
Additional Information
Subject heading
Caldwell Jane (Mrs William)
Greenman Maude (Mrs John) Foy Austin T

Source. Government
Other system control no.: FIND018/30551
MIKAN No. 880559

Click here for link to above info

Saskatchewan,  Eyebrow
2001 population: 136
(Source: Statistics Canada)
Eyebrow is a village in the province of Saskatchewan.
The community was named for the shape of a hill above Eyebrow Lake.

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