Irish News September 26th  1898


The extraordinary adventure of a child six years old have just been reported in Newry. It appears that a few evenings ago there arrived at the Bessbrook station of the Great Northern Railway, from Dublin, a little girl about six years of age labelled and addressed to be delivered at Trevor Hill, Newry, and a name - Mary Hadden- attached to her dress. It appears that the child was sent to Newry from America by a Newry woman owing to the death of its mother in America. The child landed safely in Queenstown in charge of the captain of one of the steamers, and was placed in charge of the guard of the train there, who conveyed her safely to Amiens Street station. Here the child was handed to the guard of the train which leaves for Belfast at 8.30 pm, and the booking clerk there wired to the person who was to take charge of the child that she would arrive at the Bessbrook Station at a quarter to eleven o’clock, and requesting him to meet her. Unfortunately, however, the telegram did not arrive in Newry until after ten o’clock, and as no telegrams are delivered in Newry after ten o’clock the man did not receive the intelligence of the arrival of the child, and there was no person at the station to receive the little waif. When the train arrived the guard handed over his charge to the station-master at Bessbrook, and that gentleman, after vainly looking about the station for some time, and finding no person to claim the child asked a carman if he would take the child to the address given. He consented, and the child was driven to the address, but finding no person of the name given living in Trevor Hill, the carman drove to the Canal Street Police Barrack and delivered over his charge to Constable Reilly, the guard. It being now nearly twelve o’clock the constable was in a dilemma what to do, but on reading the name on the label attached to the child he remembered that there was a family of the name of Hadden lived in Canal Street, and accordingly he brought the little one to the house, and aroused the Hadden family. The constable then related the circumstances of the strange arrival of the child, but Mr and Mrs Hadden said they had no relatives in America, and they knew nothing of the matter; but at the request of the constable they consented to keep the child for the night. Mrs Hadden after giving the child her supper discovered a letter sewn in the lining of the sleeve of her dress, and on reading it discovered that it was from a relative of the child in Stream Street, Newry, to the woman in America, telling her to send the child home. In the morning Mrs Hadden sent the letter to the police and by this time the telegram was delivered to the relatives of the child, who at once instituted inquiries, with the result that  the poor little wanderer was handed over to the care  of her own kith and kin. The child is a bright  healthy-looking one, and looks  nothing the worse for  her lonely travel of over 3,000 miles on the ocean. She states that the officers and crew and passengers  were very kind to her when she was on the steamer and gave her presents.