Annie Watson (inmate #1283) came to the Poorhouse as one of the youngest pregnant women at the age of fifteen on September 17, 1891. She was born in England in 1876 and immigrated to Canada with her family in 1886, which included her parents, Henry W (1844- bef.1901) and Alice (1849-1927), and her siblings: Alice M (b. Johnstone,1870-1944), William E (1871-), Lucy C (1874-), Henry (1877-1935), Arthur (1882-), and Albert (1888-).

Annie was living in London, Ontario with her family in 1891 when she became pregnant and was committed to the Poorhouse a month later. On April 22, 1892, Annie gave birth to Wesley (inmate #1324) at the Poorhouse.

She was mentioned in the Standing Committee Meeting Minutes during the 1893 Scandal because the Keeper of the House at the time, Peter Itter, would not allow Annie and her child to be discharged during the investigation process. Annie applied a few times to leave the House and failed each time. She is noted at the time as being physically able-bodied and healthy and there was no reason to not discharge her from the House. Based on Mrs. H. J. Hall’s letter published in the Galt Reformer on July 7, 1893, Mrs. Hall had suggested to Peter Itter that Annie Watson be sent to a family in Waterloo as a servant. Mr. Itter again denied her discharge from the House and when the issue was presented to the Poor House committee, who ordered Mr. Itter to release her, Mr. Itter still refused to allow her to leave, his excuse being that he was not allowing any inmates to leave the House during the investigation due to the rumours that were circulating at the time.


Source: Galt Reported 1893; Kitchener Public Library

Part 1; Source: Galt Reporter 1893, Kitchener Public Library Archives


Part 2; Source:

Part 2; Source: Galt Reported 1893, Kitchener Public Library Archives


Annie had to remain in the House for three months before she was able to be discharged on July 4, 1893 on the Warden’s order, taking her baby with her. Annie entered the Poorhouse again less than a year later on April 7, 1894, this time due to destitution. Annie came to the House alone, and it is unclear where her baby ended up. Annie stayed at the Poorhouse for another four years, finally leaving permanently on April 4, 1898. She moved in with her father, mother, sister, Alice, and brother, Arthur, in London, Ontario and stayed there with her family until she died on April 5, 1927.