The trial of Hattie LeBlanc

The following is a newspaper account of the circumstances surrounding the murder of Clarence F. Glover of Waltham, Massachusetts in 1908 and the subsequent trial of Hattie LeBlanc accused of the crime.

“Many more things than the family was centered around the Waltham Laundry company some years ago.

“Clarence Glover, head of the firm, held trysts with his wife’s French-Canadian maid in the laundry office of an evening. And in the darkened laundry Glover was shot and fatally wounded. The mystery of that unpretentious brick-building in a suburb of Boston is something justice has never been able to unravel.

“Even after Hattie LeBlanc was tried for murder and acquitted, the Waltham Laundry was still in the courts. For years there were lawsuits over its ownership, and dirty linen was washed everywhere but in the laundry.

“This is the story of two women.

“A man figures in it too. He was the husband of one and the betrayer of the other; his dying words almost sent one of them to the electric chair; either may have been his murderer. Yet, Clarence Glover is not of primary importance in this tale. The chief characters are Mrs. Lillian Marie Glover and Hattie LeBlanc, one a self-made, worldly woman and the other a 16-year-old child from the country.

“No two women could not have been more different. Despite the sordid events into which she was thrust, Hattie LeBlanc stands out in the crime annals of New England as a figure of innocence, almost of purity. She was young and trusting, too trusting. While Mrs. Glover – well, Mrs. Glover was able to cope with a none-too-friendly world and beat it at its own game. She was as wise as her little housemaiden was guileless.

“Fate cast these women in the role of bitter enemies. Hattie was accused of murdering Mrs. Glover’s husband. Her defense was that Mrs. Glover had done the killing. But it is to be doubted if they really were so hostile. They came from the same Canadian province, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. They were even said to be cousins. These two understood each other. In a situation where they were inextricably bound together, each made use of the other.

“But now – well, Lillian Glover Delmarre and Hattie LeBlanc Linden probably think of anything else on earth rather than of each other.

“The story properly begins many years ago when Lillian LeBlanc, a resourceful 11-year old girl from Nova Scotia, without a cent of cash or a word of English, was working her way up in the world. She cooked, she nursed, she did housework, she addressed envelopes at $1 a night; she was a marble statue in a travelling show, a milliner, a tailor. Rising still higher, she had a little tinware business, a hairdressing parlor, a laundry agency, a real estate business, and a fur store. Each time she changed professions, she pocketed a profit. Eventually we find her in Waltham, Mass., with several bank accounts, two automobiles, one laundry and one husband.

“She had found Clarence Glover working in the laundry and had taken him up as she rose to fortune. In Waltham, the Glovers were wealthy and socially prominent. The French-Canadian wife was responsible for the first and Glover for the second.”

Continued next week