Arapahoe County COGenWeb Genealogy © 2001 The Arapahoe County COGenWeb Project


Denver Post, Denver, Colo.
January 1, 1899 Page 6

Mrs. Gerard Spent Thousands to Find Her Son.

Mrs. Albert Gerard of Roseland, British Columbia, has found her lost child in Denver after having searched the country over for two whole years and spent at least $5,000 in trying to learn its whereabouts. The child's name is John Gerard. He is now 6 years old and is an inmate of the Denver Orphan's Home, where he was left last July by his father, who kidnapped him in the fall of 1896. Mrs. Gerard arrived in Denver on Thursday last having been summoned here by Detective Germerig of Spokane, Wash., to identify her son and take him back to her far away Canadian home. Detective Germerig was employed by Mrs. Gerard to find the child after it was learned that the father had come this way. But it is doubtful if the overjoyed mother will get possession of her loved one without going to court.

The trustees of the Orphans' Home are divided on the question of turning the child over to her unless she presents stronger proof than she has that she is its real mother.

Mrs. Gerard is stopping at the Grand Central Hotel. Last evening she called on Chief of Police Farley and District Attorney Malone and asked them to intercede for her in her efforts to get the child, but they will be unable to take any action in the matter until after the Orphans' Home trustees meet tomorrow. Mrs. Gerard's story is a peculiar one. She says:

"It was in October, 1896, that my husband, Albert Gerard, then a prosperous carpenter of Rosland, left home suddenly and without warning and took Johnny, our only child, then 4 years of age, with him. Our domestic life had always been of the best and to this day I am unable to explain his action.

"It was a year before I got a trace of the child though I had put the case in the hands of detectives and paid them a big price in advance, with offers of a large reward if they could find my husband and son. In the meantime I had accumulated considerable money by successful investments in mines in our neighborhood, and I was determined that I should find that child even if I had to spend every dollar of it. Along in the latter part of 1897 I heard that my husband was in Salt Lake City. I wrote to him but received no answer. Finally I notified the police and then the private detective agency at Spokane which I had employed on the case to look out for them in Utah. A little later I learned that Albert had left Salt Lake with Johnnie just soon as he found out that I was on his track.

"From there Detective Germerig traced him to San Francisco, then to Seattle, then to Tacoma, and then back to Salt Lake again, but he managed to elude the officer and get away before he arrived in town. It seemed as though Albert was determined that I should not get the child. Last summer Albert was seen in Leadville, but we lost trace of him again until just recently when Johnnie was located by the detective in the orphan asylum here. The boy has but four fingers on his left hand, one of them having been blown off with a toy cannon before he left home. The detective was searching the various charitable institutions in Denver and located him in this way. When I visited the home Johnnie recognized me right away, but they would not let me take him, unless the father agreed.

"Mr. Gerard, I have since learned, is in Leadville. He paid for Johnnie's board six months in advance when he placed him in the home last July. The trustees told me that a woman who claimed to be the child's stepmother, was with Albert the day he took Johnnie there, and it was she who made all the arrangements for his stay. I propose to remain in Denver until I get that child, and will make trouble for somebody if I don't succeed."

The home trustees state they must hear Gerard's side of the story before they will give up the child. Gerard is in Colorado Springs and has been sent for to come to Denver.

Donated by: Rita Timm 1895 Denver