Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Annie Piard, Philadelphia Serial Baby-Starving Baby Farmer - 1883

FULL TEXT (Article 1 of 2): The police yesterday entered the house 927 South Fifth street, occupied by Mrs. Annie Piard, who was on Wednesday night arrested for abandoning a baby near Twenty - third and South streets, and found in a second-story back room six children, whose ages are between two and four months, including an older child which had been adopted by the Piards. It was ascertained that the woman took infants to board at the rate of $1.25 a week each. The one she deserted and the babe she had in her arms when captured are believed to be among the number of her juvenile lodgers. About a month ago she came very near being arrested on a kindred charge to that now preferred against her. A general complaint of her doings has existed among the neighbors for some months. Formerly she advertised for babies to nurse and adopt. She kept them in a back room and their cries attracted the attention of tho neighbors. When any died they were buried quietly by Undertaker S. T. Bavis, of 937 South Fifth street. Dr. W. A, Duvall, of Fourth and Christian streets, who was accustomed to attend the children, said yesterday that he was aware that Mrs. Piard farmed babies, but he had never seen more than three of them in the house at one time. He had known of a number of deaths in the house, but could not say how many.

[“A Heartless Baby-Farmer. - Arrested for Deserting an Infant on the Street.” The Times (Philadelphia, Pa.), Feb. 2, 1883, p. 1]


FULL TEXT (Article 2 of 2): One of the most notorious of the many baby-farmers who formerly infested the city was brought to justice before Magistrate Lolar yesterday morning. Oil last Monday night Officer Voltz, of the Third district, while standing at Second and Lombard streets, was approached by a well-dressed woman leading a little girl about three years old. The woman told the officer that she had found the child on the street and did not know what to do with it. Her manner was so straightforward that the officer accepted her statement, and without asking her name allowed her to depart and took the little girl to the station house.

The Society to Protect Children from Cruelty was notified, and Agent Ward was assigned to investigate the case. From the officer's description of the woman who had accosted him he recognized Mrs. Annie Piard, a notorious baby-farmer, who has kept several establishments downtown and figured frequently in the newspapers and in court.

On Thursday he succeeded in discovering her at Fifth and Snyder avenue. He called Sergeant McCloskey and Officer Voltz to his assistance and went to the house. They found the door open and Mrs. Piard and her husband, James, inside, with two grownup daughters. There were no infants in the house. The officers seized Mrs. Piard, and was attacked by her husband, who was also taken into custody. She was fully identified as the woman at the hearing yesterday, and was held in $600 bail for trial on a charge of abandoning an infant. Her husband was held for trial for interfering with the officers.

The records of the Society to Protect Children from Cruelty show that on February 8, 1883, Mrs. Piard, who then kept a “baby-farming” establishment at South Fifth Street, was held for trial by Magistrate Findlay on the charge of abandoning an infant, and that on April 23 she was tried before Judge Thayer and convicted. According to the evidence they brought out she had been carrying on the business for four years at that address. She had five babies in the house, of which two were in a dying condition when the place was broken up. One child was lying dead in the house when the raid was made.

[“A Baby-Farmer Arrested. Annie riard a Notorious Character, Again In the Hands of the Police.” The Times (Philadelphia, Pa.), Aug. 21, 1886, p. 1]


For more cases of “Baby Farmers,” professional child care providers who murdered children see The Forgotten Serial Killers.


No comments:

Post a Comment