Historic Sites of Manitoba: Headingley Gaol Cemetery (RM of St. Francois Xavier)
This small cemetery in the Rural Municipality of St. Francois Xavier is situated on the south side of the Trans-Canada Highway #1. Surrounded by farm fields and a chain-link fence, it is accessible via the first dirt road east of the Principal Meridian cairn. It contains the remains of executed inmates from the nearby Headingley Gaol whose bodies were not claimed by family. Once located nearer the Assiniboine River, the graves were moved due to erosion of the river banks. Small markers in the ground, showing the names of inmates and their dates of death, are listed below. A white cross in the centre of the cemetery has a quotation from the bible: “You are my dearest son, the child I love best. / Whenever I threaten to punish, / I still think of you with love. / My heart goes out to you; / I will be merciful.” (Jeremiah 31:20)
“Winnipegosis man goes to trial for life,” Winnipeg Tribune, 7 July 1931, page 3.
“Bodz captured and is held on murder charge,” Winnipeg Tribune, 28 July 1931, page 3.
“Jos. Verhoski sentenced to hang on Feb. 2,” Winnipeg Tribune, 3 December 1931, page 1.
“James M’Grath to die on scaffold today,” Winnipeg Free Press, 1 February 1932, page 1.
“Peter Piniak to pay penalty for killing, Friday,” Winnipeg Free Press, 31 August 1933, page 10.
“Two slayers at Headingly have few days to live,” Winnipeg Free Press, 17 May 1934, page 3.
“Jayhan will hang Tuesday at Headingly,” Winnipeg Free Press, 11 February 1935, page 3.
“Pawluk to hang on Friday morning,” Winnipeg Free Press, 21 August 1936, page 2.
“Triple execution early Thursday,” Winnipeg Free Press, 14 February 1939, page 5.
“Zhiha dies on gallows at Headingly,” Winnipeg Free Press, 8 May 1941, page 1.
“Mrs. Richardson, 29, dies suddenly,” Winnipeg Free Press, 8 June 1948, page 1.
“Inquest slated for Thursday in farm deaths,” Winnipeg Free Press, 30 September 1949, page 15.
“Only last-minute stay could save Stoney’s life,” Winnipeg Free Press, 10 January 1951, page 3.
Death registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
This page was prepared by Leslie Tsai and Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 3 August 2020