Harry Malcolm Graham
Electric Railroad scam

Evening Guide November 3, 1911 - page 1
Eastern Railway Will Touch Lindsay
(Lindsay Post)

The presence of a staff of surveyors in Lindsay and district during the past fortnight has caused considerable comment and enquiries have been made regarding the reason for their presence here. The Post has been informed that the surveyors are making a preliminary survey of the route of the proposed Eastern Electric Railway, which it is said, is financed by McKenzie and Mann and which will run through a number of the Lakeshore towns including Oshawa and Whitby and will take in Lindsay and Peterboro as well. It is understood that a staff of surveyors are working between here and Peterboro. It is also rumored that the survey means that the C N R  will touch Lindsay. The town is on the route I of the proposed electric line and it I is the intentions of the promoters to push it to a speedy completion.

The Pickering News adds — The Toronto and Eastern Electric Railway surveyors made the final survey through the village on Monday and are now working westward. Those who are in a position to know say that the actual work of construction will begin in a few days. They also say that it is their intention to proceed with the work during the winter when their work will be confined chiefly to cutting down the hills where necessary. In such places the frosts of winter will not materially interfere with the progress of the work.

A dispatch from Lindsay to the Globe is as follows, - The survey for an electric road from Port Hope through Peterboro, Omemee and Lindsay to Orillia is under way in this section under the supervision of Messrs. Graham & Mann.

It is proposed to connect the line at Port Hope with an electric line from Montreal to Toronto and it is hinted that the C N R are back of the deal as they wish to tap this section of the country. Power for the cars will be furnished from the rails and the current will come from Niagara Falls.

Evening Guide November 6, 1911 - page 2
Line between Port Hope and Orillia via Peterboro will be commenced next year

The Lindsay Warder says:
The survey of the electric line between Port Hope and Orillia is under way. Mr Harry Graham son of one of the firm of Graham and Mann, the parties, who propose the construction and operation of the road is now in town, and with a gang of men has commenced the survey of the proposed line east of Lindsay.

The Warder in an interview with Mr. Graham received such information as was possible for him to impart at the initial stage. Port Hope is the proposed place from which the line will start. At this point it will connect the electric line running from Toronto to Montreal coming west to Peterboro,
Omemee and Lindsay will be touched and thence on to Barrie and Orillia. As to how the road will run west of Lindsay the engineer could not speak in a definite way as all plans and specification are not fully prepared. The line will take its course north of the GTR from Peterboro to Lindsay and traverse Ridout street on its way to Kent Street. A street car service will be given to the residents of probably 15 minutes intervention. Construction work will begin next spring and will be pushed forward as fast as possible towards completion. Power of the car will be furnished from the rails. This will do away with the cost of erecting poles for trolley wires. Niagara Falls power will furnish the electricity used in operating the cars. Stations will be placed at a suitable distance along the proposed line and switches and sidings will be erected whereon cars can be backed for the convenience of farmers who may order coal and other requisites in connection with domestic life. The coal cars will be operated automatically, so no shovelling will be required to convey the dusky diamonds to the purchasers vehicle. Very little grading is necessary to form a roadbed. Cement trestles will be used where necessity compels the company to carry the cars over gullies and ravines. The reporter asked Mr Graham if any danger might be dreaded from the electric currant passing through the rails to cars. He replied that there would be no danger as the rails are so constructed that it would be next thing to impossible for an accident to occur from this source. The company expect that purchase of the right of the way will be expensive as the lands to be traversed by the line are of a valuable quality. This will add more to Lindsay's greatness as a centre and the growing pains which it has had of late will be argumented in a greater degree.

Evening Guide November 28, 1911 - page 1 and 2
Promoter of electric railway pleads guilty at Lindsay to obtaining money fraudulently

Lindsay, Nov 27th — One of the cleverest crooks that has traveled through Ontario for years was captured on Saturday by the chief of police of this town. The facts of the case are as follows.
Harry A Graham, who from reports has a prison record drifted into Lindsay about the 29th day of October last. He registered at an hotel in town, and at once set to work to survey an electric line from Port Hope to Orillia. Graham got good and busy; he engaged a staff of men to assist him in his work, for which in return a wage of $2.50 per day was paid, in fact wages were of little consequences to the promoter of the great line, which was supposed to be under the directorship of Graham and Mann. The new system was supposed to revolutionize anything in the line of electric railway. It was to be a two rail system, the motive power passing from the rails to the controller on the motor. Trolley poles and overhead wires rested in oblivion with this railroad magnate. His was the only and most up-to-date system in existence; his father had become a millionaire through this invention whereby the overhead wire was eliminated in the operation of the cars. Graham went about his work like a fellow who meant business, kept sober, took nothing more than a glass of ale and a cigar, and seemed to be an all round decent chap, and anxious to keep work going.
Each morning he could be seen with his men locating the mythical line. The first week he paid his men. Now came his innings; money was required to keep the pot boiling and he was getting to understand how to play his cards better, so he hired men at any price from $3 to $6 per day, and from each who possessed the wealth, asked for a loan. They naturally felt anxious to stand in with the promoter, and passed over anything from $10 to $80 on his demand.

Harry was doing well he determined on settling down in life, so he cast about him for someone upon whom he could bestow his love. The object of his affections came forth and a happy marriage was the result of the meeting. Business was too pressing for any time to be lost on a honeymoon trip, for the electric road which would connect Port Hope and Onllia had to be built and pushed forward to completion. Engineers who were engaged at $6 per day must be kept on the qui-vive; honeymoon trips of this kind must be postponed until the completion of the line, and the happy couple would then take their own special car, at the corner of Kent and William streets connect with the main line at Port Hope, which was supposed to start at Buffalo, and terminate at Montreal, and from thence to the coast. He hired livery rigs, boarded in the hotels, but paid nothing. Finally his men began to clamour for the wages due to them. His father, or "the old man" as he termed him, was likely to drop in any time with a bag full of gold, never loomed up, and the men became incensed. People shook their heads, and talked low, everyone became suspicious. The police were informed of what was going on some time on Friday last, which 'finally ended in his capture. The officer, having got a clue from parties that something was radically wrong on Friday morning, at once started to look him up. He arrived in town from Omemee on that day at 2 o'clock pm. The chief met him on King street and spoke to him. Graham said certain reports were going around town which were of a detrimental nature, and wanted to correct them as they would hinder his scheme to put the railway through. He was invited by the officer to the police station, when after convening for an hour, Graham left and the chief set a constable to shadow him. This was kept up until Saturday noon, when the chief, after losing sight of his man for about an hour, discovered him taking the shunter east to the diamond. Here the prisoner jumped off and returned to town, and was caught by the officer on William street, who at once placed him under arrest. Much credit must be given to the "volunteer boy scouts," who pressed upon the chief the advisability of arresting Graham at sight. The promoter of the great electric line appeared before Magistrate Jackson on Saturday afternoon and was remanded until Monday morning. At this morning's court he pleaded guilty to three charges of obtaining money from T Thompson $31, William Wallace $50 and John J Andrews, $30, under false pretenses. His counsel, Mr George Jordan, asked for remand until the prisoners father could be communicated with and make restitution for such monies obtained. Mr L V O'Connor said that he would also ask to have the men paid for time lost. Mr Jordon — "I will do all in my power to adjust an agreeable settlement." Magistrate Johnson said court would be adjourned until 9.30 on Friday next, when the prisoner will come up for sentence.

The following is a statement in part of his indebtness: J Windt, 21 days, $50; John Andrews, borrowed money, $39, and ten days at $2.25 per day, $66; John Kennedy, 16 days at $2,50 per day, $40; William Wallace, 14 days and $30, net loss $115; William Jenkins, 14 days work and a straight loan of $75 loss $110; John Hudson, 24 days $4S; Thomas Thompson, borrowed watch and $31, returned watch, work included in all, $63; S Davey, 12 days; $30; Bert Bryson, 11 days $22; Thomas Lambert, 5 days $7,50; Felix Felore, 15 days, $30; Frank Pearson, 6 days, $12; James Worral, 2 days and borrowed money $10,25; Thomas Chambers, 6 1/2 days, $16,25; W Whippie, 2 days railway fare and $3 borrowed money, $7,25 Albert Allen 9 days $23; Hugh Watson, 2 days and $1 borrowed, also railway fare, $5,25; bills in Omemee have totaled up $113, or in all about $1000. Harry Malcolm Graham absorbed of the people's money from his inception in Lindsay in or about the last days of October till his arrest on Saturday last about $1000. It is understood that the prisoner belongs to the town of Trenton, his father following the occupation of painter and paperhanger on Cedar street. Young Graham is about 26 years of age, stout build, weight about 150 pounds, height about 5 feet six inches, light gray eyes and brown hair; has a sad look at times on his face which drifts away into that of vacancy. He is also a dope fiend, using the drug with a "gun" as he puts it.

The Evening Guide November 29, 1911 - page 2
Graham broke heart of pretty St Kitt's Girl
(Lindsay Warder)

Chief Chilton has kept the wires warm since the incarceration of H M Graham the promoter of the electric road with headquarters at Port Hope, and its terminus at Orillia. The chief was informed that during the past summer H Malcolm Graham illuminated the horizon around St Catharines, until gathered in. He was full of business, and was there for the purpose of furthering an electric wiring business. He engaged men, purchased supplies, and went about his business in a straightforward manner. Harry Graham must have the best. He purchased an auto at $1800, and drove it in a way to win the heart of a pretty St Catharines girl. In that town he borrowed money from the unwary until he was finally apprehended, pulled up on a short turn, as it were, but through his subtle ways escaped justice, being given his liberty on suspended sentence. That he has a bad record Chief Chilton has been made aware of through information received from his home town — Trenton. A few years ago he was convicted of a heinous crime, for which he was sentenced to Kingston penitentiary for two years, and to-day the unfortunate criminal stands to face probably more stern justice.

The Evening Guide November 30, 1911 - page 1
"Stung" Englishman with his nerve
(Lindsay Warder)

One of Mr H M Graham's (of electric line fame) victims, a young Englishman, met a Warder reporter to-day and when asked how the promoter of many false enterprises worked his game, he informed the reporter that his first introduction to Graham was in an hotel in Orillia when the latter was engaging men to work on the proposed line of road. The Englishman was hired at $1.50 per day board included. Graham was anxious to catch the train for Lindsay and desirous of having all the employees on the ground to set to work in the morning, so he took his newly acquired assistant down street en route for the station. On the way down Graham stepped into one of the banking institution for a few minutes, and on coming out he informed the Englishman that his money which he expected to draw was by some mistake of the bank officials delayed, and he was short of money until he reached Lindsay. The Englishman was then asked how much collateral he had to assist him out, as he was short his fare. He replied "Seven dollars." "Let me have six of it," said the railroad king. The newly hired revolved the matter in his mind for a few seconds, and banded a five spot to Graham, who pushed it down in his corduroys without even saying thank you. Some days previous to Harry Graham's apprehension by the police, the electric road promoter, paid a visit to the county jail. He may have been promoted to do this by a speech made by Governor Balfour at a banquet, when he invited all present to call upon him at any time. The governor said he would be pleased for citizens to call at the institution before he went after them. The would-be promoter of the scheme for a competing line between Port Hope and Orillia, which would keep the G T R guessing to follow him, when he started cut-rate tickets and carrying light freight made a tour of inspection of the county building. The jailer showed him through, he viewed the prisoners and expressed satisfaction at the interior and its workings. This day Mr Graham was a gentleman in the eyes of Lindsay citizens. Two days after he went back a prisoner and as he stepped into the cell to mingle with offenders incarcerated therein the jailer told them that they had better get a shave and hair cut as a gentleman was now to occupy a portion of their domicile.

The Evening Guide December 1, 1911 - page 1
On bogus claim of $40,000 legacy—Graham at St Kitts

Mr Harry Graham, the young promoter of the fake electric trolley line from Port Hope through Lindsay to Orillia and Barrie, who is at present incarcerated in the Lindsay jail, and who is being tried to-day, was a high-flyer at St Catharines.

Following is an article from the St Catharines Journal of July 27, telling of Graham's operations in St Kitts :
"The king of bluffers has been found. He is Malcolm Graham, of Trenton, Ontario who was arrested on Wednesday night and is now confined in the county jail on a week's remand. Graham surpassed all records as far as what is known as 'four-flushing' on the street is concerned, and his career, though short, contained enough interesting features to fill a book. He came to the city practically unknown, and after a few weeks began cutting a swath that would make Mr Pierpont Morgan blink, or would have done justice to John D Rockefeller for some other aristocrat. But it is doubtful if John D would make such a splash in such a short time, with all his millions. Graham started in in grand style, and so easily won the confidence of those with whom be came in contact, that he had smooth sailing from the start and for that matter might have been sailing on yet, had his conscience not started working and caused him to admit that his pretensions were false. Graham came to the city about a month ago and secured employment a the Simcoe Canning factory on Lake street. He worked for about two weeks, when he secured a job with Mr Ed Barratt, as an electrical worker. For Mr Barratt he worked for a time, after which be was engaged by the Martin Electric Supply Company. It was at this point that Graham started to break into the 'classy style.' For two days he laid off to attend the funeral of an uncle, he said, and upon his return stated that a small fortune of $44,000 had been left him. He also said that his father was the owner of two fine automobiles and was staying at Niagara Falls for a few days before coming to St Catharines. To further strengthen his case, he appeared with a fine Reo auto, for which he said he had paid $1457.50. He was not a bit selfish, either, taking Mr Martin and family out for spins and treating them in fine style. He also made overtures towards buying an hotel.
After a few days, he expressed a desire to purchase some stock in the Martin Electric Company and as his representations seemed good, Mr Martin decided to sell him some 35 shares at $100 per share. The papers were made out and duly signed, but the cheque from Mr Graham was not forthcoming, and the bluff was only called when the 'millionaire' admitted to Mr A F Fifield, the manager of the Reo garage, that he had no money and could not pay for the auto which be purchased. Mr Martin was notified, and in turn notified the police, who arrested the man last night."

The Evening Guide December 6, 1911 - page 1
Gave up his clothes to fellow prisoners.
(The Lindsay Warder)

Harry Malcolm Graham, the fake electric road promoter, left town on Tuesday morning; en route for Kingston penitentiary, where for three years he will remain surrounded by stone walls and iron bars.  Chief Chilton and Constable George Foster accompanied the prisoner on the trip. There was a certain amount of pathos in connection with young Graham's leaving the home which Governor Balfour supplied him since his arrest. Although he was possessed of indomitable nerve, and acted as a ghoul on the innocent and unwary, he had some feeling also, but those characteristics from his wayward method have become dormant. Before leaving his cell, when upon the arrival of the two constables, he called his fellow comrades around him and said in tones expressive of feeling and a look which betokened remorse at his past offences: "Boys I am going to the pen for three years. I know the rules of that institution; the clothing which I possess will all be burned on my entrance, and I will now divest my self of my garments and will accept in exchange your old and shabby clothes. The prisoners never got such a windfall since their maiden aunt died as this and rushed for them like a lost boy for his mother. Harry pulled off an elegant pair of shoes, which cost $11 and accepted an old pair from a hobo, who for days has been his companion in the cells; to another he gave his grey sweater, another a pair of corduroy trousers, and so on until all his outside garments were changed. He was then taken by the two constables to the station, where the trio boarded the train for Kingston.

The prisoner exposed no regret for what he had done, nor neither did he complain of the many days that were ahead of him.
Governor Balfour, of Lindsay jail, spoke well of Graham's prison conduct while under his care.

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