|Then on June 15th, 1927, word came from Brandon that our dad had died suddenly of a heart attack, two months short of his fortieth birthday. It was a terrible shock, but Mom's friends rallied around and took her to Brandon, while the McTaggarts took Harold and me to their farmhouse for a few days. Earlier that same day, Harold had been at a ball game when a foul ball flew back and hit him in the fact. His nose began to bleed profusely and we were all frightened, but Mom had to leave. I can remember us sleeping on the floor in an upstairs room when Harold whispered to me that his nose was bleeding again, and I was so scared when I had to go to wake up the McTaggarts. It almost overshadowed our dad's death, though when Mom came home from Brandon we shared her grief.|
William Harold McLaughlin was born in Waterloo PQ, August 6th, 1887, the youngest child of Curtis William McLaughlin (Dec. 2, 1851 - 1897) born in Swanton, Vermont, and Miriam Hall McClintock born July 29, 1857 in Granby, PQ. There were four children in the family - Cora Ethel, Lena Maud, Hugh Leslie, and our dad William Harold, always known as Mac.
Both parents died at an early age - William at 46 on March 24, 1897, and Miriam at 41 on Nov. 23, 1898, both in Warden PQ. Our dad was not quite ten years old when his father died. In the meantime his eldest sister Cora (1875 - 1930) had married in New Brunswick, and she and her husband George Thomas Higgins took Uncle Leslie and my dad to live with them for a time. I know that my father was raised by a guardian and there seems to have been money in the family as Aunt Cora mentioned in one letter how sad she was to see their beautiful old home belonging to strangers.
After Dad's death Aunt Cora was very good to our family and sent on boxes of her daughter Miriam's clothes to me - many of them too grand for Dunrea, but all eagerly accepted and appreciated. It was a red letter day when her parcels arrived. She and George had one son Curtis (Sept. 6 1896 - Nov. 15 1962). George must have died young and Aunt Cora later married his brother Harold. They had three more children, Howard (Mar. 15 1908 -), Raymond (Feb. 19 1911 - 1987), and Miriam Louise (Feb. 16 1916).
Lena Maud was the second daughter of William and Miriam born in March 14, 1879. She was studying violin in Belgium where she died on Sept. 15, 1900, just 21 years old. My mother said it was rumoured that she had been murdered but I have no confirmation of this.
Hugh Leslie was the first son in the family, born in 1881. He was our dear Uncle Leslie and he too was generous to us. He and Aunt Louise had had twin sons who died in infancy and there were no further offspring. They lived in Denver Colorado. None of us ever met Uncle Les but I still have two shinplasters (25 cent notes) which he sent us when we were little, and we wrote to him regularly. After he died in 1947 Aunt Lou invited my mother to come to Colorado and they became dear friends. Mom was somewhat intimidated by Aunt Lou at first as she had been left fairly wealthy, but although Aunt Lou had chummed with Mamie Eisenhower for years, she was just a plain friendly woman who lost no time in making my mother feel at home. In 1960 she had a very serious accident when she fell into a bathtub of extremely hot water and was badly burned. Before she came home from the hospital she asked Mom to come and stay with her, which Mom did. She was still there when Aunt Lou died on Aug. 14, 1960. She left Mom $10,000 which Mom invested in a home in Somerset - the first home she had ever owned in her life, and she was eternally grateful for it.
Last, but not least, my father William Harold McLaughlin was born Aug. 6, 1887. He is the only one of the family to come west and I have already covered what I know of his life from that time on.