Part Forty-Four ~ the two Billy Burns

June 18, 2017

Back in the early part of the 1900’s, people died in many unusual ways.  A lot.  Mr. Ben Tett was found dead in his chair in December of 1915.  Miss Mary Black was found dead sitting on her chair on Fair Day in 1917.  George Hartwell was found dead in his chair in May of 1921.


And those are just the chair-related deaths in Nell’s Diary.


No matter how you died in Westport, in the end you might just end up being looked after by Billy Burns.  Or at least by one of them.


As there were two Billy Burns in the village, and to save confusion, they were known as “Church Billy” and “Undertaker Billy”.




 One of the Billys



 Billy Burns’ team of blacks at St. Ed’s Cemetery. The driver is one of the two men hired to dig the grave and each were paid $1.00 for the task.





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