As part of the 52 Ancestors Challenge, I promised my Facebook friends that I would alternate between Quebec and the United States for members of the Hubou-Tourville family. So Louis Tourville is not a direct ancestor of mine but mind you, a 3rd cousin 3 times removed. 😉
I cannot imagine the emotional roller coaster the family of Louis Tourville has endured after his tragic death on that Sunday, May 12, 1895, in Chicago Post-Graduate Hospital.
All began the previous Wednesday when Louis Tourville was working on the drainage canal. He was employed for some time by Hendenreich Company Contractors. As reported in the Chicago Tribune of May 17, 1895: “…while at work near one of the dumps (…) he was caught by a cable rope which elevates cars and was jerked into the air with great violence.” Louis suffered from internal injuries and was badly bruised. They probably thought it was not that serious since they brought him back home but he was later rushed to Post-Graduate Hospital where he died four days later.Afterwards, on May 14, just as the family was preparing for the funeral and burial in Mt. Calvary Cemetery, it was stopped by Coroner McHale and the body of Louis was put in a vault until an inquest could be conducted. It was suspected that the death certificate issued by Dr. Kuraeff of Post-Graduate Hospital was not in accordance with the real facts.
The coroner’s inquest was held on May 16, 1895, 4 days after Louis’ death. The verdict issued by the jury concluded that “(…) from the evidence presented (…) the said cable was not properly protected to avoid accidents and ensure (…) Hendenreich Company Contractors for not doing so.” The jury also blamed the doctor for issuing a burial certificate not in accordance with the cause of death. The jury also recommended that the “(…) proper authorities take steps to remedy such cases in the future.”
Looking at the coroner’s inquest form, the list of witnesses included Louis Tourville, a moulder, living at 270 Forquer St., which can only be Louis’ son. So that means that Louis has witnessed his father’s accident…
Louis Tourville was born in Lachenaie, Quebec, in 1838, son of Louis Tourville and Elisabeth Lamoureux. His family moved to Montreal during the late 1830’s. Just a few Tourville families were living in Montreal at that time. Lucky enough, we actually can find them in the 1842 and 1851 Canadian Census in Montreal. Census for these periods are very incomplete.
Louis Tourville married Suzanne Bélec on September 13, 1858 at Notre-Dame Church in Montreal. The couple had 11 children, all born in Montreal, 9 making it to adulthood.
Carpenter and moulder by trade, Louis and his family moved to Chicago probably in October 1880 (according to the U.S. naturalization record of his son Victor). An economic recession that started in 1873 might have triggered him to move to Chicago where the economy was flourishing in the 1880’s. His nephew Alphonse was already there since about 1878.