Peter Edwin Davis was the son of Stephen Davis and a girl whose surname was Dillon. He had two brothers, Stephen and Samuel, and a sister, Mrs. Charles Emory (hmmmm, could he have murdered his sister's brother-in-law?)
CLICK ON THE PHOTO ABOVE TO READ ORIGINAL NEWS REPORTS
MURDER IN SHANNICK!
"For some years Peter Davis was at Matthew McGarvey's and was as one of the family. That was before Mary McGarvey married William Emory. Davis was but a boy then and Mary was several years his senior. They had a great liking the one for the other, and after the girl married Emory, Davis' made his home with them much of the time helping Emory on his farm in harvest time, gathering ginseng in its season, and hunting and trapping in the winter. He was young and active with a well formed head, a bright intelligent eye which gave him the appearance of possessing more than ordinary, intelligence Old settlers who knew his grandfather say that Davis resembled him in many particulars.
He won the young wife's love and in her weakness she forgot her vows to her wedded husband. It is not known when her unfaithfulness began nor when her husband's suspicions were aroused. Clerks in the general stores at Marmora suspected several years ago that' all was not right between Mrs. Emory and young Davis. They did their trading at the quiet village and a few people of the village began to discover that the woman and Davis would visit friends in Trenton at the same time and when Emory and people in the Emory neighborhood thought that Davis was in the woods hunting or gathering roots.When Emory's suspicions were roused, Davis was ordered from his premises. Bitter enmity sprang up between the men and the woman became more open in her demonstration of attachment for her young lover Emory's restrictions to her conduct were defied. The friends in Trenton were discontinued. Davis would go near Emory's house, discharge his gun and Mrs. Emory, understanding the signal would meet him. Emory knew Davis' character and had to endure in silence, fearing that Davis would take his life if he interfered. Last summer, Davis declared to Mrs. Emory's sister, that he would get Mrs. Emory and that before long.
So wrote one newspaper in 1890, outlining the history leading up to the murder of Mr. Emory in Shanick.
Peter Davis was in the employ of Mr. Emory until he was discharged the previous winter following a violent row wherein Emory accused Davis of being on too intimate terms with his wife, Mary Martha McGarvey. On September 19th, 1889, Emory went to cut grass in a marsh on the Beaver Creek, 2 miles north-east from his home at the south half of lot 28, Conc. 6, Marmora Township. That night, he did not return. Mrs. Emory, explaining she had had a dream he was shot, gathered up her brothers, David and Matthew McGarvey, and went straight to the crime scene, where they found Mr. Emory shot in the heart with his own bullet, with the sythe in his hand, pipe in his mouth and his own rifle stuck muzzle down in the sod a few feet from his body.
Although the evidence to arrest Peter Davis was all circumstantial, there were enough witnesses to testify that Peter Davis and Mrs. Emory were paramours with intentions to rid themselves of Mr. Emory. Jerome Keene (who was later murdered himself- click here) confirmed that Mrs. Emory told him Peter Davis had bad intentions. The accused's brother, Stephen Davis, reported that Peter intended to get in the first bullet, and neighbour, Daniel Reid, described a whole scene of Mr. Emory begging for his life. Arrested by Constable Bonter of Marmora, Davis and Mrs. Emory were housed in Belleville jail until their trial on April 17, 1890.
While Mrs. Emory was acquitted, even though she admitted to having knowledge of the intent to kill, it took the jury 35 minutes to return with a guilty verdict for Mr. Davis, and he was immediately sentenced to be hanged on June 20th, 1890.
HE GOES TO THE GALLOWS WITHOUT A TREMOUR
THE MURDERER'S LAST MOMENTS
Despite a petition being signed by 600 people to commute the death sentence, the request failed to influence the Minister of Justice. Davis spent the night with Reverand Daw and Reverand Bogart, to whom he protested his innocence, right up to the gallows.
"Dear Friends, I have to thank Rev. Mr. Daw for his kindness which he has shown towards me. I am innocent of this crime, so help me God," were his final words. As the last line of the Lord's Prayer was uttered, the hangman pulled the cord and the weight fell, a few seconds before 8 o'clock a.m, "with a thud, and the culprit's body was jerked to a height of two feet. For about a minute and a half his legs twiched convulsively, then all was still." ( North Hastings Review on June 20th, 1890.)
Interestingly, in another newspaper column written in 1890, the reporter who gave a full description of the whole proceedings (see below), makes reference to the hangman being very nervous as he " remarked quietly to an Ontario reporter that he did not think the jerk would break the victim's neck". Sure enough, Drs. Farley, Jones (of Marmora), Sprague and Youker later declared the cause of death to be strangulation.
As for his jail guard, "That man died innocent", was his emphatic opinion.
AND THE PUNCHLINE.......................
ACCORDINGLY TO ONE NEWSPAPER, MRS. EMORY MARRIED A MR. GRAY ONE WEEK LATER
However, this may not be true. Family records show that upon the death of Mr. Emory, Mary Martha Emory, his wife, along with their three children, William, David and Albert, moved in with her father, Matthew James McGarvey. Later, in Feb. of 1896, Mrs. Emory married member of a second McGarvey family, Adam McGarvey. Three marriages took place between these two McGarvey families
THE FAMILY TIES - THE TWO McGARVEY FAMILIES INTERTWINED
Children of Robert McGarvey and Susannah McNally Children of Matthew James McGarvey and Sarah Jane Belford JAMES McGARVEY ELIZA ANNE McARVEY(1885) MARRIED JAMES HAMILTON ELIZABETH JANE McGARVEY (1876) -------MARRIED ------- EDWARD McGARVEY (1878) ADAM McGARVEY (1860-1925) -------- MARRIED --------- MARY MARTHA McGARVEY EMORY (1857) The co-accused CATHERINE McGARVEY MATTHEW McGARVEY SUSANNAH McGARVEY ELIZABETH JANE McGARVEY (1868-1935) MARRIED JAMES GRAY ALLAN McGARVEY ------------------------MARRIED ----------SARAH ELEANOR McGARVEY SARAH ISABELLE McGARVEY WILLIAM McGARVEYc(1866) WILLIAM McGARVEY ROSE McGARVEY(1860) DAVID McGARVEY (1863-1943) MARRIED MARY ANN REID
(Mary Anne Reid is the daughter of Barbara Keene and Daniel Reid. Both Daniel Reid and Barbara's brother, Jerome Keene, were witnesses at the trial. Jerome Keene was later the victim of an unsolved murder)