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Looking for information on my scandalous grandfather

Letter to the Editor,
This past weekend my sister and I visited Rainy River, Ontario and Baudette, Minnesota, in search of our mother's childhood. Your office was closed, but we were able to visit with residents on both sides of the river, heard a few stories, tried to find the house where she was born in Rainy River and did find the empty lot where her house once stood after the family moved to Baudette. Unfortunately, our mother died in 1986, before it occurred to us to ask her lots of questions, and most of her friends and neighbors, who would be well into their 90s, have also died. We picked up a few tidbits of information and had a chance to see the towns and imagine her childhood, but a very big question remains about out grandfather, Charles H. Slater.
Charles worked for the Canadian National Railroad most of his career during the teens and the 1920s. According to his obituary, he was a switchman and last worked at the Rainy River station. We know some sort of scandal occurred in 1929 because he left Rainy River abruptly and sought work on the west coast. We also know, from our grandmother Ann Slater's few stories told to our father, her son-in-law, that he robbed trains. (A bucket of lead seals and metal cables were found in his possession, so he was able to cut the cables on boxcars and reseal them.) My hunch, given the time period of Prohibition in the US, is that he was running liquor across the border.
Rainy River and its residents were wonderfully welcoming to us as we snacked on cupcakes at the quilt show, knocked on doors in search of our mother's house and also visited her contemporaries, with the help of some wonderful nurses, in the long-term care facility at the hospital. With luck, maybe we'll find a history buff or a story collector among your readers.
I am a novelist and hope to turn the facts into a fictionalized story based on my mother who must have been very confused by the wrongdoings of a man she adored.
Thank you very much.
-Jane O'Reilly
Editor's note: If you have any information please send it to Mrs. O'Reilly via email at: