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Archival description
Only top-level descriptions O'Hearn, William (Bill), 1905 - 1964 Ontario With digital objects
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Hillson O'Hearn family fonds

  • Fonds
  • 1925-1963

Fonds consists of two accessions of records donated by Bert O'Hearn, grandson of James Albert "Bert" Hillson, who was Peel County Jail (Gaol) governor from 1935 to 1943. Accession 2003.017 (file 1) comprises correspondence (including telegrams) to James Hillson in his capacity as jail governor, as well as other ephemera and documentary memorabilia collected during his tenure. Correspondence notably includes letters from Salvation Army prison secretary Wallace Bunton regarding prisoner welfare, and letters from prisoners and family members of prisoners. Other documents include copies of official records pertaining to the trial and death by hanging of Gordon Ross Matthew in 1941. Peel County Gaol letterhead is included in this accession.

Note that several items are currently on display in the jail exhibit of the museum. These include a receipt for the effects of Gordon Matthew (1941), letter from Kingston Penitentiary (1944), letter from family of "Ken" (1941).

Accession 2016.031 (files 2 and 3) comprises records documenting the activities of Mildred O'Hearn nee Hillson, the daughter of James Bert Hillson and the mother of Bert O'Hearn (the donor), and her husband William "Bill" O'Hearn, as well as other relatives. Notably records include photographs of James Bert Hillson and youngest son, John Hillson, as well as "Aunt Annie," posing outside the jail. Photographs and ephemera document the Brampton-based social activities of both Mildred and William which include church and musical involvement. Photographs depict the following: employees at Copeland-Catterson Ltd. in 1960; various lacrosse teams ca. 1900 and 1924, the Ionic Male Choir of Brampton in 1949; Brampton High School class of 1926-7; the Brampton Citizen's Band in 1955; what is possibly Grace Church Choir in the 1930s in the church's sanctuary; the Grace Church Choir production of Iolanthe ca. 1930, Baptist Church softball team c. 1930.