Image Courtesy of The County of Prince Edward Public Archives
Nineteen-year-old Angus Thibault of Cherry Valley was out hunting with a friend when “climbing over or through a fence, his hand slid up the muzzle of the barrel. The trigger caught and discharged the gun, blowing his hand into shreds.”
Thibault and his friend made their way to his grandfather’s house where his hand was amputated by two local doctors who, as luck would have it, were visiting grandfather Thibault at the time.
The amputation put the young man at a considerable disadvantage. He lived in a farming community in an era when men’s livelihoods depended on their physical abilities. But Thibault refused to let his handicap slow him down. In ensuing years, he became a farmer, a politician, a businessman, and a popular auctioneer who had an honest, fair-dealing reputation throughout Prince Edward County.
A genial fellow, Thibault loved horses and harness racing in particular. On weekends and race nights, he could be found competing on the local track at the Picton Fairgrounds. (If you look carefully at the photograph, you’ll see his bad arm tucked into his jacket and he is holding the reins with just one hand.) Angus Thibault lived his short life to the fullest. He died suddenly at the age of 40 of pneumonia.