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Barkway (Black Bill Tragedy)

Location #2938
City: Muskoka
Basic MemberPublic
Status: Abandoned
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Created By:timo explorer
Creation Date: 7/16/2011
Last Updated: 4/12/2019
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The small village of Barkway is located south of the ghost town of Germania. Families still live there, most of the old buildings have been renovated to keep their original heritage, but remain much as they were long ago. A few abandoned gems still exist.

Barkway was established as part of Ryde Township in 1879. The first settler in the area was James Housey in 1871. The three main villages of Ryde Township where Houseys Rapids(named after James), Lewisham (a ghost town, which appears in another entry on this site), and finally Barkway. The Barkway family was the first to settle in this village, named after them in 1879. Ryde was later incorporated into the town of Gravenhusrt in 1971.

Barkway had two churches, a school, a few residences and an Orange Lodge. All still exist, the Orange Lodge being the only one left abandoned. The United Church sits restored but unused, in very good condition. The Holy Manger Anglican Church still has regular services, and welcomes all comers. The school is now a residence, but the owners have kept the exterior in the original condition, although they have humorously renamed it the University of Barkway. A few farms and cottages in the vicinity also sit abandoned.

A quiet village, Barkway does not see much traffic during the weekdays, but comes alive every weekend with cottagers.


Murder Story (courtesy C Fraser):

" The Truth and the Legend of Black Bill Ruttan

To say that I was surprised when I came across two murders in Ryde township in 1914 is putting it mildly. Suddenly there it was in glaring headlines "DOUBLE MURDER AT HOUSEY'S RAPIDS", May 21, 1914 and "RUTTAN IS COMMITTED FOR TRIAL" , June 4, 1914. Like all incidents of this nature, they do not just happen in a vacuum. An interesting story lies hidden behind it. A bad seed planted in early in life, perhaps? A soul that has been made cynical over the years? We might be able to understand more, if we go back over the life of such a man.

William Christopher Ruttan was born March 6th 1865 in Norwood Ontario to Emily Corneill (or Canille or O'Neil her name being written like this on three different certificates) and Jesse Norman Ruttan. Emily was of very normal Ontario stock born in Belmont, but Jesse came from a long line of Ruttan's loyal to the crown. Their name can be traced back to the 15th Century in middle Europe. They were U.E.L's and arrived at Adolphustown on Prince Edward County in the 1700's after many years in the U.S. and there, made a considerable contribution to the County's history, with Captain Peter Ruttan as the family patriarch. Some say that William Brant gave his pair of silver handled pistols to Peter Ruttan Jr. From there the family seems to have moved to Storrington, then Loughborough and into Peterborough and then when Ryde Township was opening up for Free Land Grant settlement, on they came, three brothers, John Wesley, Christopher, Jesse and a nephew Michael, among them. They came with their families and settled into Ryde about 1872. Jesse coming with two children Bill and Minnie born in Dummer Township and John Henry was born after they settled in Housey's Rapids on April 14, 1873.

Jesse located lot 26 Con. 9 right in the Rapids one lot north of James Housey, whom the Rapids were named after. He built a house as required in order to qualify, in time, for the deeds to his property and began to clear the land. Just when it seemed that life was wonderful, Jesse began to feel ill. The racking cough of Consumption began to sap his strength along with the loss of blood that this cough released. It was soon apparent that the family was watching its sole bread winner slowly losing ground until in August of 1874 he died. Somehow in all of this confusion an exact date of death was never recorded. We do know from the Ontario Death # 094332 that he was 34 years of age and that he was attended by no less than two doctors, that the date the death was registered the 28th of August and that Christopher Ruttan [his brother]was the informant.

Emily found herself a widow with 3 small children. Bill was 9, Minnie, 5 and Johnny just 1. For a woman alone back in the days when you chopped wood for fuel and carried water from the well and the back breaking work of clearing your property hadn't been finished...the only solution was to marry again. Written down in the settlers homesteading act there was a provision for widows..They were to inherit the claim while still in widowhood. When Emily remarried, Jesse's claim went to her new husband Robert Williamson Brass. Robert was the son of Robert John Brass and Caroline Roushorn. It just so happened that Robert's father Robert John, died in Aug of 1874 like Jesse, but on the 11th. He was 61 years of age and had been born in the township of Kingston and the county of Frontenac. He died of an absess or a "gathering in the side which broke inwardly after 9 days", according to his death record # 904329, a painful death indeed in a time without antibiotics or pain killers. The Brasses were of German stock like the Ruttan's and Robert's widowed mother lived just two lots east of her son and just a lot west of her other son Allen.

In a short time Emily gave birth to two more children, Amelia 1877, and Catherine Ellen 1879. They seemed to have been your normal every day family with all three Ruttan children listed as Brass's in the 1881 Census for Draper/Ryde and Oakley. By Christmas of 1885 however, Emily was in poor health and on July 2nd 1886 at age 39 years she died of complicated diseases after 6 mths. So we have William, Minnie and John now completely orphaned. We can only surmize about what went on during this time. We do know that Robert sold the Land Grant to Philetus J. Brace, an American businessman who owned the store in the Rapids and was the village money lender. He in turn sold it to Henry Cook. So in a short time Bill saw his father die a gruesome death, his mother remarry..a stepfather take over the land his father died clearing..his mother's death...and then the selling of the beloved land. I was surprised to learn that on September 20th of 1890 Robert W. Brass was accidently shot and killed. He was 42 years old. Try as I might I was never able to find out more details about this shooting. In light of what was to happen in years to come, this death lies uneasy in my mind.

Bill and John Henry disappear from the scene here after being listed as Brasses on the 1881 Census..in 1891 we find only Minnie Ruttan in Ryde, and we would have had to look closely since she had married a local boy George Chalker, who's family lived right on Bass Lake, in the Rapids, and where the name Chalker's landing came from at that exact spot. They have adopted a child, a girl names Alice Truesdale. Minnie married George, Aug 11 1886 just a month after her mother's death. Even though she was 18 one has to wonder why so soon and why not wait for the mourning period to end. I can only surmize that she did not want to live in the house with Robert Brass. After this shooting in 1890 we find all the remaining Brass's have moved to Hamilton Ontario, Caroline having died in Dec 20 1881 of Jaundice and Catherine Ellen, Bill's baby half-sister, having died Mar 9 1889 at the young age of 10 . Death seemed to be all around Bill. It could also mean that with the loss of wife and daughter Robert Brass dove into a depression with the resulting loss of life..and it could be that like the death record said he lost his life by accident, perhaps a gun misfired while cleaning it.. Perhaps one day we will know.

Since I came from a long line of Ruttan's here begins the legend or family lore that has come down by word of mouth. We find Bill living alone in Housey's Rapids in his late 20's. He has grown into a short stature and has black hair and a dark complexion. Just down the road lived the Johnston family with a 15 year old daughter Catherine Sarepta. The parents are not a young couple and Catherine is their 7th child. Most of the other girls are now married so we can sympatize with Hannah when she is trying to get the last one out of the house before they die (as Bill Cosby puts it). According to family legend she bakes all kinds of nice things and sends them down to bachelor, Bill saying Catherine has made them for him. Shortly, the inevitable happens and Bill asks Catherine to marry him and on Oct 2, 1895 when Catherine or Kate as she became known, was just 15 they were married. Bill gave her a doll for a wedding present but then her birthday was coming up on Oct 6th. Catherine having had little education and being quite young and naive was happy about all the attention she was receiving. They manage to have in short duration 8 children, Mina Adeline, Norman Lesley, Amos Morley, Ellen Lena, Elijah Jesse, George Henry, Effie Flossie, and Louise Jane known as Ruth.

It was with surprise I found this little item in the Orillia Library. More interesting to me too because Henry Nichols was the father of husband's grandmother.

Orillia Packet Dec. 26 1901 "Ryde Council met here on the 14 instant...The following orders issued since the last meeting were confirmed...Henry Nichols constable's fees for arrest of Mrs. Chalker as a dangerous lunatic $7.13."

December the 26th 1901 Henry Nichols, the constable of Ryde Township had to arrest and have Minnie Chalker declared a dangerous lunatic. Did she get the diagnosis of Consumption at this time and flip out? Her adopted daughter is not on the 1901 Census for Muskoka..what happened to her? Right after the new year on February 6th 1902 George Chalker was out felling a tree when it lodged in another on the way down. In an effort to extricate it from the other tree it suddenly slipped and striking him on the instep, it badly fractured the bone. Dr. Williams could only dress the wound as it was so severe and the Housey's Rapids minister took George down to the General Hospital in Toronto to have it seen by a specialist.

On Jan 25th of 1908 Bill lost his sister Minnie from the same dreaded disease as his father, consumption, and he signed the death certificate, so it would seem that Minnie is being taken care of, at Bill and Kates home. Another loved one, of Bill's, gone before her time. She was just in her thirty's like her mother.

Apparently life went on normally until Bill's daughter, Mina married Alfred Coutremanche in April of 1914. At this time the boys, Norman and Morley 16 and 17, were arrested for stealing Joshua Short's favorite cow. Joshua loved all his animals and couldn't abide any ill treatment of any animal on his farm. This cow was the friendliest one in his herd and he wouldn't let anyone milk her but himself. It was because she was so friendly that the Ruttan boys were able to walk off with her. Joshua noticed she was missing and he thought she must have fallen over a rock or a downed tree and broken her leg since she always came home for milking time. A few days later on Sunday, Jim and Jack Lowe who had been taking a short cut through the bush to pay a call on a new neighbour came across Joshua's cow laying dead beside Ben's Creek near Tingey bridge. They walked over to Joshua's to give him the sad tidings. Being offered some Sunday supper they stayed and ate with the family and then lead Joshua to his dead animal. It would seem the Ruttan boys had driven her along the creek , tied her to a tree, then tried to cut her and she kicked out, hitting Norman. Norman was known for his bad temper and he got mad and cut off her milk bag leaving her to die a horrible death.

The Bracebridge Gazette says May 28 1914, Boys Sentenced "After his Honor Judge Mahaffy had cordially considered the condition of the Ruttan lads, who had pleaded guilty to the charge of stealing and killing a cow, he committed them to an industrial school. From a window in the district jail these little fellows watched with great interest the display of fireworks on the streets Monday evening, they never having seen anything of the kind before, even a fire cracker." So the boys were sent off to juvenile jail.

Family lore tells us that Mina and Alfred conspired to take Bill's land. Whether she got the idea from another incidence in Draper Township of a daughter claiming incest..she told her father she was going to have him committed by telling everyone that she was pregnant and the baby was his. His sister having been committed before she died..the people of the community would believe the apple hadn't fallen far from the tree...He went berzerk.

The Toronto Star May 21 1914 "The whole country surrounding the Ruttan tragedy are so terrorized that hopes of capturing Wm Ruttan who yesterday is alleged to have shot down three members of his family, alive, are not bright.

During last night a store and a dwelling in the vicinity of the murders were burned and Ruttan is suspected, the motive being to check the pursuit and to terrorize the pursuers.
Chief Constable Sloan of Gravenhurst went out again today and is directing the efforts at capture. Ruttan, who is an old hunter and traveller knows every foot of country in the neighbourhood and it is believed he will resist arrest to every extent.

May 21st, "The barn of Henry Cook, nearest neighbour of William Ruttan, was set on fire last night. It was destroyed along with a team of horses. At Housey's Rapids fire was applied to J. P. Brace's general store and it was devoured by flames. It is now reported that another barn was burned. In the district it is alleged that William Ruttan was responsible for these fires.

Ruttan ventured to his house yesterday and had dinner, so Reeve McKay of the Township of Muskoka was told by the murderer's wife. McKay took the big risk of trying to meet Ruttan because he had known him for years and hoped to get him to surrender peaceably.

Mrs. Coutremanche is being brought to Bracebridge for medical treatment her maiden name was Eva Tryon and she has lived most of her life in the township. She was married to George Coutremanche 10 years ago."

This is the testimony of Eva May Coutremanche (nee Eva Tryon) on the witness stand, of the events as they happened in her own memory.

Eva May Courtermanche, wife of the murdered man (George), testified that her husband was shot May 20th. She had gone out to do the milking and heard a shot. She returned to the house for some bran and her husband came out with her to show her some fish he had caught the night before. As they were looking at the fish she saw her husband slip down and blood gush from his breast. She then heard a shot and saw the prisoner who was working at the gun. She thought he was getting ready to fire again. She ran into the house and called to him not to shoot her husband. She heard another shot as she ran for the door. She called to her sister-in-law (Mina Ruttan) that her father had shot her husband. He came to the door and got in after a bit into the kitchen. She and her sister-in-law and Alfred were in a bedroom trying to hold the door shut. Eva's three little children were hiding under the bed. The Prisoner pushed the door and asked to be let in. "We did not let him in and he shot through the door. "
(In this shot he killed his own daughter). Eva and Alfred escaped out the window and when Bill saw her running away he shot her in the leg and she dropped down as if she were dead. Alfred ran to the nearest neighbour who was Henry Cook. Bill took off.

When it was explained to the prisoner who had no council, that he might ask the witness any questions he said, "What did you keep Mina over night for?"

"I did not keep her." answered Eva.

'You kept her several nights. She came home with a livery rig from Gravenhurst and you kept her. You were always lugging her off. We hunted till eleven one night because she was out with a gun and we thought she might have shot herself."

Prisoner was told he might give evidence himself or have witnesses.

"I would like to be able to help myself, but I can't hear. I have no chance, I can prove what I said about the girl being kept at her place."

In another account we read about the events after the murder of George Coutremanche and Mina Ruttan.

"The story of his movements after the murder as told by the constables and others in the neighbourhood and largely verified by himself, is one of extreme daring and hardihood. Leaving the house after the shooting, he occupied an elevated position and for some time watched developments. That night Henry Cook's barn and sheds were destroyed by fire along with which were a cow, three horses, and implements. Subsequently Tom Fletcher's barn on Buck River and Phyletus J. Brace's storehouses and stable were burned---just for revenge he has since explained." (remember that Robert Brass had sold Jesse's land to P.H. Brace who sold it to Henry Cook)

"Thursday he wandered about the bush, keeping a look-out for what was happening and several times being quite close to armed men who were searching for him. That night he visited his home and had something to eat and got away again, though he was discovered and several shots were fired in his direction. "

The Toronto Star reported " While a hoard of constables surrounded his house William Ruttan accused as a fugative murderer revisited his home last night ate an meal of pancakes and escaped into the bush again, where he is just as safe from capture as he was before.

Believing that Black Bill would return to the house for food Provincial detective Greer placed 3 armed officers outside the house with others stationed around the farm. It was planned that when Ruttan entered the house the three men would give the signal upon which Detective Greer and two other men would enter the farm house and make the arrest. As the armed constables lay in wait a rustle was heard in the bush and a few minutes later Ruttan reached the house making his way under cover from rock to rock. All was in readiness for the signal to be given. Detective Greer on the other side of the house did not know Ruttan had entered.

In the meantime, Black Bill, who is deaf, had stationed his children about the inside of the house to tell him when he was in danger. Ten minutes passed with Bill still in the house. Then the little girl alarmed her father, and Ruttan dived for the door. As he dashed for the shelter of the bush 10 shots were fired. Once Ruttan stubbled and fell and it was believed one of the shots had taken effect. He recovered and went on. Ruttan's wife said he had plenty of ammunition, claimed he would never be taken alive, and might take his own life in the bush.

Told by Mrs. Ruttan that Black Bill when he visited the house Thursday swore that he would shoot down Alfred Courtremanche if he attempted to follow the remains of Ruttan's daughter to the cemtery. The mourners who followed the victims bodies to the grave yesterday, were heavily armed. Almost everyone carried a rifle on the 3 miles drive to the cemetery. Alfred Coutremanche stayed home while an additional guard of 9 armed constables went with the funeral procession. Ruttan, however, did not put in an appearance.

Forty constables are scouring the woods for the fugitive today. Barns throughout the district are guarded from attempts to fire them. As an evidence of the terror that grips the district the schools have been closed, parents refusing to allow their children to attend until Ruttan is apprehended." Toronto Star

The Toronto Star reported "A great feeling of rest has swept over the vicinity of Housey's Rapids since the surrender of Wm Ruttan on Saturday. Ruttan presented a pitiable appearance when taken by the police. He was half famished, his clothes were wet through and in tatters and his hands and face were lacerated by the bush.

Throughout Friday's heavy rainstorm Ruttan lay concealed in the bush and he told his wife Saturday morning that once when his pursuer's were within 25 yards of him he was forced to swim the Buck River to escape detection. His wife said that it was primarily the message from their minister the Rev. Findley Crowther that persuaded her husband to surrender, He told me to tell him it would be far better to surrender to the law. He said that although Will might have to pay the death penalty he still had the opportunity to get right with his maker and that this was the greater thing. I gave him the message and he said "I think I will". Go out and tell them not to shoot when I walk out. I have lost my rifle in the rocks and do not wish to harm any person. "

He talked freely of his movements in the bush and he said that on one occassion the searchers passed within a few yards of him while he was concealed within two huge stones. He named off nearly every person who was in the party and added "I looked carefully for Henry Cook and my son-in-law but they were not there; if they had been I would have shot them down sure. At certain intervals he cursed the luck that did not allow him to shoot Cook and his son-in-law before he was captured. " That was the reason I fired Cooks farm because I thought I could get a shot at him while he was trying to put it out", he told the police officers.

After Ruttan had left for Bracebridge Mrs Ruttan found his gun near a new fence which he was just finishing building on the farm a few days before the murder. At the Bracebridge jail Ruttan was permitted to see his two sons who are incarcerated there for beating a neighbours cow to death but they were not informed of the nature of the charge against their father". Tuesday May 26 1914

Friday the double funeral was held, Rev. Croucher, Housey's Rapids, conducting the service. The four mile route to be travelled was partrolled by armed constables as it was feared an attack might be made on some of the mourners by Ruttan, who had threatened to "get his son-in-law Alf. Coutremanche and Henry Cook. Neither of them attended, however, and it was fortunate indeed they did not as Ruttan watched the procession carefully from a short distance prepared to shoot them on sight. That night rain fell, it turned colder, and the man began to suffer intensely from exposure and hunger, so that on Saturday he was quite willing to give himself up. In a conversation Thursday night with his wife he expressed regret for the death of his daughter but said he hoped to get some of the others before he was captured.

"William Tryon arrived from Housey's Rapids with his wounded daughter, Mrs. George Coutremanche after dinner yesterday. He confirms all that has been said as to the murders and horrible state of family affairs in the Ruttan home. Mr. Tryon also expresses the fear that Ruttan will be the author of further serious mischief before he is captured.
Is it alleged that last night Ruttan burned Thomas Fletcher's barn, George Coutremanche's house, and Joseph Tryons house. The latter is the brother of George Coutremanche's wife.

The bodies of two of the victims are at Joseph Tryon's home and it is feared that the deperado will try and settle an old quarrel with two of Tryon's sons.

The neighbours are all in a state of panic and alarmed as to what will happen next.

On the charge of Arson, Henry Cook was the only witness and during this interview Ruttan made several assertions towards the witness, he labored on the impression that the witness wanted his farm. Ruttan who is very hard of hearing could not catch much of the evidence taken and remained very cool during the hearing. Billy Ruttan has always been known as a fair dealing man and something deeper than spite caused the rage that ended in murder.

The Grand Jury returned with 4 true bills against Ruttan: arson, two murders, and attempt to murder. One of the true bills states :-
1. The Jurors for our Lord the King present that William Ruttan did at the Township of Ryde in the District of Muskoka on the twentieth day of May A.D. 1914 wilfully and without legal justification or excuse set fire to a building to wit a stable the property of George Ernest Courtemanche situated in the said Township.
2. The said Jurors further present that William Ruttan did at the Township of Ryde in the District of Muskoka on the twenty first day of May A.D. 1914 wilfully and without legal justification or excuse set fire to a building to wit a barn the property of Henry Cook situate in the said Township. Witnesses Eva May Coutemanche, Henry Cook, Arthur Fielding and Thomas Little.

Bill was a small man wearing no beard, receding forehead, rather protruding lower lips. He was just an ordinary looking man, under 50 wearing the expression of having failed in the battle of life. Being very deaf, the charge had to be shouted into his ear. When asked how do you plead he said "I am guilty" hestitated and began "according to my " and then seemed bewildered. When asked if he desired a lawyer he said "Yes if it will do me any good." The Judge advised the Crown to advise him to change his plea to "Not Guilty", and try to get him counsel. He afterwards beckoned the clerk and said "I am guilty of the shooting. They told me I am. But I do not know where...." and then his words died away. No more pitiable man could well be imagined and it afforded relief when two neighbours Long and Ruttan, asked and were permitted to take him away and talk to him.

After the interview Mr. Creswicke announced there was nothing to do but go on. The jury was impaneled and the trial held and the jury went out for 17 minutes then returned with a verdict of guilty with recommendation for mercy.

In giving their reasons for the recommendation to mercy foreman I. B. Aulph explained they thought the prisoner suffered a severe handicap through his deafness and lack of council.

When the court opened at 10:00 am the next day the condemned man was brought in and addressed by the judge and sentenced. For the first time since the trial began he showed evidence of grief. His chin quivered and tears streamed down his face as he stood there facing the judge though hearing not one word either of the address or of the dreadful sentence. The sentence was that he would be taken back to the common jail at Bracebridge and there kept until Friday January 15, 1915 and that he be then hanged by the neck until dead.

The unfairness of it all that a prisoner with a capital offence be committed for trial without council and the recommendation of the jury for leniency played on the mind of A. H. Tyrer and although Bill firmly believed he would be executed in January of 1915 from May until January of the following year..A petition was put into the Muskoka Herald at Christmas time 1914 which stated....

Dear Sir:-- A brother of mine and of yours and of everyone else in this world (or else Christianity is a farce and we are all hypocrites) is at the present moment lying in Bracebridge jail awaiting the day and hour when you and I and the rest of us are going to hang him. We are a part of the State and what the State does we are all responsible for unless we make protest. I make vigorous protest against the murder of this man Ruttan and I call upon all others, who see the matter as I see it, to protest also and to save this man's life---a life that under the circumstances may perhaps be of infinitely more value to him than my life is to me. " He goes on to say.." I call upon all who read these words to make the effort to save their brother from the hangman's rope by signing the printed protest at once and forwarding it to me direct or to sign the paper I enclose herewith which I ask you to hang in your office and to see that it reaches me before the New Year."

Then in the Thursday edition Jan 14, 1915 Bracebridge Gazette..the front page declared in large headlines. " RUTTAN WILL NOT BE HANGED.........Government has commuted the death sentence to Life Imprisonment. He will be placed in Kingston penitentiary. "

This action was the direct result of the intercession of friends, who signed the petition above and otherwise sought to save Ruttan's life, and perhaps in a large measure, due to the personal intervention of the Dominion member, Mr. William Wright, who visited the Minister of Justice at Ottawa and laid the matter carefully before him and other members of the cabinet. Another who spared neither time nor expense on behalf of the unfortunate man was Rev. A. H. Tyrer, of Etwell.

Bill was examined carefully by a number of medical men including Dr. Bruce Smith of Toronto, who visited him in prison. By all he was pronounced below normal in every way and to a large measure irresponsible.

When Bill was informed that his sentence had been changed he burst into tears. He had finally come to see more clearly what a terrible position he was in and the strain had begun to tell, although since the trial he had improved greatly in general health and appearance.

An account in the Gravenhurst Banner at this time would be disapproving of Bill's 11th hour reprieve and speak of the fear that still remained in some members of Ryde township.
Many would still believe that he deserved to die..Still if we look at his wife, Kate, left at home to mourn the daughter shot and killed by the man she loved..and her two boys in Industrial School and her husband in prison awaiting his death..the small relief to her of this local headline might make us give pause to think and reflect. Kate would not ever have it easy in her lifetime. A short time later one of the children set fire to the house and her remaining children were taken from her by the Childrens Aid and placed forever in other homes far away, raised with names other than Ruttan, and knowledge that they were Ruttans kept from them. When her boys returned from prison she was to live through another humiliation of her son Norman having shot Harold Wiser dead, in the bush, which was deemed an accident, but did anyone really believe that in the community? And what about Robert Brass...they would say? How was he really shot?

Katherine found some solace in the Anglican Church and was confirmed in the old log church in Barkway when she was a good age.

Bill would die a lonely death in the Guelph Prison hospital in 1928. By this time his half sister Amelia was married. His brother John Henry (a.k.a One Armed Johnny) had lost his hand in an industrial accident in Michigan but still he came by to visit his brother as he lay dying. Bill's son Norman would die when he was hit by a car and Morley and Kate would live an almost hermit existence back in the Eastern Germania Road until she died and he was sent to a retirement home. Morley never learned how to drive a car or own one. He could be seen riding his bike to town in summer, or walking to town or hitch-hiking. A sad end to one branch of the noble family of Ruttan's who remained loyal to the crown and opened up the lands and townships of Ontario, Saskatchewan and British Columbia.

There are no markers to mark the graves of George Coutermanche, Mina Ruttan, Morley, Norman or Kate, all buried in the Barkway Cemetery in Ryde Township. There is no one left here of Ruttan's family to remember or mourn his loss, but the local's repeat the story now and again to those who would listen and learn of the life and legend of Black Bill Ruttan."

* The daughter of Andrew Johnson & Hannah Garrison..was married to Black Bill Ruttan...

8. Catherine Cerepta Johnson b. 28 Oct 1879 (Record # 016963 Ontario) d. Sept 9, 1950 Row H1-1 Barkway Cemetery, m.1895 William C. Ruttan (Black Bill) b. 1866 d. 1928 Guelph Prison Hospital William and Catherine's children:- See Ruttan Family

1. Mina Adeline b. Mar. 15, 1896 died 1914 shot by her father Bill m. Geo. Ernest Coutremanche

2. Norman L. born Feb. 7, 1898 Ryde died Apr. 11, 1953. (accidently shot Harold Wiser)

3. Amos Morley born June 14, 1899 Ryde Twp. d. Oct 15, 1983 Ryde Twp.

4. Ellen Lena 1904- 1954

5. Elijah Jessie 1907- (Known as Joe)

6. George Henry 1909 -Carpenter, Gold Miner m. 1942 Jessie Lafferty b. 1909- 1975 raised as a Young"

Carol Fraser- Muskoka
May 2006


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kylesparling79 5/8/2012 9:17:24 AM

This isn't really a good location for people who want to walk about the area. It's right at a crossroad with houses all around.

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