Historical Society of St. Catharines

Celebrating the history of St. Catharines and its vicinity

History Tidbits

John Colin BLAIN - Past President of The Historical Society of St. Catharines (1936, 1937 and 1938)

John Colin BLAIN was born in March of 1882, the son of Thomas Pirie BLAIN and Mary Ann MONRO. Colin, as he preferred to be called, married Mabelle Beatrice SMITH, the daughter of William SMITH and Martha BERRYMAN, on April 10, 1909 in St. Catharines. They lived at 11 ½ Geneva Street, then 74 Welland Avenue before moving to 111 Highland Avenue.

Colin served as Secretary of The Lincoln County Historical Society, the forerunner of The Historical Society of St. Catharines for several years under the Society’s first president Fred R. Parnell before becoming the second president of the Society in 1936. He was president for three years and he continued his involvement in the Society for many more years.

In 1946, when the Society was somewhat inactive, Colin along with Fred R. Parnell and A.E. Coombs managed to get city council to consider ways to preserve the historical records and artifacts that the Society had collected. The collection had been stored in the basement of the public library until the space was required for library purposes and were now being housed in the Lake Street Fire Hall. City Council eventually established a local museum and the Society’s collection formed the basis of the museum collection.

His 39 year career as Collector of Customs and Registrar of Shipping in St. Catharines began in February of 1936. The February 6, 1936 issue of the St. Catharines Standard featured a front page photo of Colin being sworn in.

Colin died at his residence on Friday, September 30, 1949. His death was announced along with a photo of him on the front page of Saturday’s St. Catharines Standard. On Sunday evening members of the Maple Leaf Lodge No.103 A.F. & A.M. conducted a ritualistic service of the Masonic Order. The funeral was held on Monday, October 3 at 2:00 p.m. from the Hulse and English Funeral Home. Throughout his life, he was very active in the community and Knox Presbyterian Church and thus his funeral service was widely attended. The service was conducted by Rev. H. M. COULTER of Knox Presbyterian Church. Pall bearers were John CRAISE, Harry EDMONSTONE, James REID, Walter SHARPE, James MURRAY and S. H. FALKNER. Burial took place in Old Section ‘G’ of Victoria Lawn Cemetery.

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REEVES OF THE VILLAGE OF PORT DALHOUSIE 1863 – 1947

MAYORS OF THE TOWN OF PORT DALHOUSIE 1948 – 1960

Researched and Compiled By William J. STEVENS – Second Edition – July 2013

If you can add any information please send it to Bill Stevens at bibmstev@computan.on.ca.

Those Who Served as Leaders of Port Dalhousie

On October 30, 1862, the Municipal Council of the County of Lincoln passed a By-Law to change the status of the unincorporated Village of Port Dalhousie to an Incorporated Village of Port Dalhousie and further enacted that the first election in the village be held.

Reeves

1. 1863 – 1870 – John LAWRIE

2. 1871 – George Adams CLARK

1872 – John LAWRIE

1873 – George Adams CLARK

3. 1874 – Decatur Stephen ANDREWS

1875 – 1876 – John LAWRIE

4. 1877 – John Johnson GREGORY

1878 – 1883 – John LAWRIE

5. 1884 – 1890 – Eugene Frederick DWYER

6. 1891 – 1893 – Charles Arthur WILSON

7. 1894 – 1896 – Charles PHILLIMORE

8. 1897 – 1898 – Thomas B. READ

9. 1899 – 1900 – Albert Norton ZIMMERMAN

10. 1901 – Richard Frederick FOOTE

1902 – 1906 – Thomas B. READ

1907 – 1908 – Richard Frederick FOOTE

11. 1909 – 1911 – Alexander M. HUMPHRIES

12. 1912 – 1913 – William (Bill) G. SUTTON

13. 1914 – 1916 – Thomas Ostrom (T.O.) JOHNSTON

1917 – William (Bill) G. SUTTON

14. 1918 – 1919 – Robert Henry JOHNSTON

1920 – 1921 – William (Bill) G. SUTTON

15. Jun-Dec 1921 – William Cavers MUIR

16. 1922 – 1923 – James Albert WELLINGTON

1924 – 1927 – Robert Henry JOHNSTON

17. 1928 – 1929 – Frederick James SUTTON

18. 1930 – Charles Arthur ANSELL

1931 – Frederick James SUTTON

1932 – 1935 – Charles Arthur ANSELL

19. 1936 – 1940 – David BLACKWOOD

20. 1941 – 1947 – Robert Mercer JOHNSTON

On May 9, 1948 Port Dalhousie became a Town.

Mayors

21. 1948 – 1949 – Romaine Kay ROSS

1950 – 1960 – Robert Mercer JOHNSTON

On January 1, 1961 Port Dalhousie amalgamated into the City of St. Catharines. The following is presented in order of first term served.

1. John LAWRIE – Reeve of Town – 1863 – 1870, 1872, 1875, 1876, 1878-1883

Birth: Date – 19 May 1820 – Location – Birnicknowes, Co. Haddington, Scotland

Parents Names: Father – John LAWRIE – Mother – Margaret DAVIDSON (Parents married: 08 June 1811 – Innerwick, East Lothian, Scotland)

Came To Canada – 1837 – from County Haddington, Scotland

Marriage: – Date – _________ – Spouse – Martha _________ (b. 02Feb.1822 – d. 04Sep.1903 in St. Catharines)

Spouse’s Parents: Father – __________________ – Mother – ________________

Death: Date – 15 November 1887 (aged 67 years 6 months) – Location – St. Catharines

Burial Location – St. Andrew’s United Cemetery, Port Dalhousie

Occupation – Owned and operated a flour mill (John Lawrie & Co.)

Residence(s) – 1877- corner Main and Ann streets

Other Civic Positions – Warden of Lincoln County (re-elected 27 January 1870)

Religion – Free Church (1871 census); Presbyterian (1881 census)

Member of These Groups – Seymour Lodge No.277 A.F. & A.M.

Son – John – born 1846

Daughter – Jane “Jennie” – born 1850 – mar. 25 Jan. 1872 Alexander ROSS

Daughter – Margaret – born 1857

Son – Robert W. – he is only one listed in mother’s obit –she died 4 Sept. 1903 at Robert’s house on Ontario Street.

2. George Adams CLARK – Reeve of Town – 1871, 1873

Birth: Date – _______ 1820 -

Location – Louth Township just west of Port Dalhousie

Parents Names: Father – Col. John CLARK – Mother – Sarah ADAMS

Came To Port Dalhousie – _______

Marriage: – Date – 28 April 1845 – Spouse – Caroline A. WRIGHT (b.c.1830 St. Catharines – d. 08 Sept. 1884 in St. Catharines)

Spouse’s Parents: Father – Gershom WRIGHT – Mother – Elizabeth ___________

Death: Date – 03 August 1889 – Location – St. Catharines

Burial Location – Victoria Lawn Cemetery – section D, St. Catharines

Occupation – owned a wood and steamer supply business; 1881 – farmer

Residence(s) – 1881 – boarded near W.R.R. bridge

Religion – Anglican

Other – inherited family farm “Walnutdale” also referred to as “The Colonial Farm”

Son – William E. – married Josephine M. E. COOKE – 20 March 1882 in Port Dalhousie

Two other children.

3. Stephen Decatur ANDREWS – Reeve of Town – 1874

Birth: Date – 03 February 1844 -

Location – Clayton, Jefferson County, New York, United States of America

Parents Names: Father – Stebbin ANDREWS – Mother – Helen _____________

Came To Port Dalhousie – _______

Marriage: – Date – 31 May 1869 – Detroit, Michigan – Spouse – Mary WALKERLY (b.c. 1848 – d. _____________)

Spouse’s Parents: Father – William WALKERLY – Mother – Sarah _____________

Death: Date – 10 January 1943 – Location – (probably Collingwood) Burial Location – _________________________________

Occupation – ship builder: Andrews & Son (previously Donaldson and Andrews) – built ships in Collingwood

Residence(s) – 1877- east side James Street, Port Dalhousie – 1881 – appears in Thorold Village census – moved to Collingwood

Religion – Church of England

Other – 1881 – census – in Thorold census listed as ship builder

Son – Stephen – b. c1877

Son – William – b. c1872

Daughter – Mary – b. c1870

Daughter – Gertrude – b. c1875

Daughter – Kathleen – b. c1881

Daughter – Edith – b. c1882

Son – Henry – b. c1884

Daughter – Ellinor – b. c1878

Daughter – Loretto – b. 15 March 1891

Brother – William H.

Sister – Flora

4. Colonel John Johnson GREGORY – Reeve of Town – 1877

Birth: Date – 24 February 1839 -

Location – Niagara District

Parents Names: Father – Philip GREGORY – Mother – Sarah Ann JOHNSON

Came To Port Dalhousie – _______

Marriage: – Date – 23 February 1865 – Spouse – Augusta Clementina READ

Spouse’s Parents: Father – William H. READ – Mother – Jane McCALLUM

Death: Date – 11 December 1916 – Location – Lacombe, Alberta Burial Location – Lacombe, Alberta

Occupation – in Port Dalhousie – Post master, grocer, hardware merchant

Residence(s) – 30 Canal Street

Other Civic Positions – 1877/78 – Board of School Trustee – 1881 – Port Dalhousie Councillor -

Military: during Trent Affair and Fenian Raid – in North Bay – he organized the first school and first municipality in North Bay and left there in 1893 for Lacombe

Religion – Church of England

Member of These Groups – Seymour Lodge No.277 A.F. & A.M. – organized first Agricultural Society in Lacombe

Other: – of United Empire Loyalist descent – appears in 1871 census in Port Dalhousie

Daughter – Clara Annette – born 19 September 1867

Daughter – Laura – born 1871

Daughter – Alice Elizabeth – born 08 March 1880

Daughter – Grace – born 11 May 1874

Sister: Mrs. George Barnes of Barnsdale, St. Catharines

5. Eugene Frederick DWYER, U.E. -Reeve of Town – 1884 – 1890

Birth: Date – 16 November 1850 -

Location – Louth Township, Ontario

Parents Names: Father – James DWYER – Mother – Sarah Catharine READ

Came To Port Dalhousie – when his grandfather died

Marriage: – Date – 18 January 1877 – Spouse – Annie MAY (his cousin) (died 1930)

Spouse’s Parents: Father – George MAY – Mother – Anna LEIGHTON

Death: Date – Saturday, 06 June 1942 -

Location – at res: 45 Welland Ave., St. Catharines

Burial Location – Victoria Lawn Cemetery – section A (George MAY family plot), St. Catharines

Occupation – post master at Port Dalhousie until 1891; 1871 – telegraph operator, 1881 – merchant, grocer and agent for Montreal Telegraph Co. and American Express Co. on Front Street.; 1891 appointed treasurer of the Security Loan and Savings Co. later Premier Trust (retired in 1921).

Residence(s) – built store on Front Street; moved to St. Catharines in 1891 to 45 Welland Avenue

Other Civic Positions – Town Councillor, 1889 Warden of the County of Lincoln, 1905 appointed Justice of the Peace; member of public school board and collegiate board

Religion – Church of England (St. Thomas Church – warden and member trustee)

Member of These Groups – Seymour Lodge, Port Dalhousie (possessor of 50-year Past Master Masonic Jewel and life member); I.O.O.F. Union Lodge No. 16

Other – 1864 student at Grantham Academy; mother was descendant of United Empire Loyalists (Read, May, Secord, Hainers); His father James Dwyer volunteered for the Confederate army in the American Civil War and was killed in action.

Son – Percy – born 1879 – druggist

Daughter – Anna Beatrice – born 1880 – teacher, druggist

Daughter – Leslie Read – farmer (Mayholme)

6. Charles Arthur WILSON – Reeve of Town – 1891 – 1893

Birth: Date – 16 October 1825 (?) -

Location – England

Parents Names: Father – _______________ – Mother – _____________

Came To Canada – 1832 (?) Marriage: – Date – _________ -

Spouse – _________________

Spouse’s Parents: Father – __________________ – Mother – ________________

Death: Date – 17 February 1933 (?) -

Location – Long Beach, California, U.S.A.

Burial Location – Victoria Lawn Cemetery, St. Catharines

Occupation – Business owner: 1. Grocery Store at Main and Brock streets; 2. China and crockery store at 33-35 St. Paul Street; 3. lumber dealer in 1901 census. 1881 Directory – groceries and real estate agent

Residence(s) – 1881 Directory – house and store on Main Street corner of Brock Street. After Port Dalhousie – 176 Ontario Street, St. Catharines

Other Civic Positions – Village Councillor, Deputy Reeve of Louth, member of Lincoln County Council, St. Catharines Alderman, chairman of St. Catharines Cemetery committee

Religion – _________________

Other – does not appear in 1895 Port Dalhousie Directory

Son – Lawrie (in Los Angeles at time of father’s death)

Son – Stewart (in Long Beach at time of father’s death)

7. Charles PHILLIMORE – Reeve of Town – 1894 – 1896

Birth: Date – 1826 -

Location – England

Parents Names: Father – _________ PHILLIMORE – Mother – _____________

Came To Canada – (son born in England in 1858)

Marriage: – Date – _________ – Spouse – Eleanor KITSON

Spouse’s Parents: Father – __________________ – Mother – ________________

Death: Date – 11 September 1904 – Location – Port Dalhousie, Ontario

Burial Location – St. Andrew’s United Church Cemetery, Port Dalhousie

Occupation – ship carpenter, 1881 census – lumber dealer Residence(s) – south side Queen Street, Main Street

Other Civic Positions – County Council representative; Board of Public School trustee

Religion – Baptist Son – Rev. Charles Phillimore, died 10 May 1900 in Port Dalhousie, survived by father Charles also by wife and daughter.

Son – William – born c1858 England

Son – John J. – born c1862

Son – Walter Notman – born 31 Jan. 1872 in Port Dalhousie

Daughter – Eliza Ann married Thomas McMahon – 28 Feb. 1873 at Port Dalhousie

Daughter – Mrs. George Watson

Daughter – Annie L. – married Joseph R. Johnston

8. Thomas B. READ – Reeve of Town – 1897 – 1898, 1902-1906

Birth: Date – 27 May 1849 -

Location – Port Dalhousie

Parents Names: Father – Thomas READ – Mother – Elizabeth PLADEWELL

Came To Port Dalhousie – N/A

Marriage: – Date – 29 January 1902 – Williamsburg, Dundas

Spouse – Caroline Edith Perdity BECKSTED – born: 27 June 1874 – Williamsburg, Dundas

Spouse’s Parents: Father – George David BECKSTED – Mother – Christie Louise FROATS

Death: Date – Saturday morning 29 April 1916 -

Location – Port Dalhousie Burial Location – St. John’s Anglican Cemetery, Port Dalhousie

Occupation – 1906 Directory – farmer

Residence(s) – 1906 Directory –Main Street

Other Civic Positions – Justice of the Peace

Religion – Anglican

9. Albert Norton ZIMMERMAN – Reeve of Town – 1899 – 1900

Birth: Date – 13 May 1864 -

Location – Jordan, Ontario

Parents Names: Father – Peter ZIMMERMAN – Mother – Lucinda BARBER

Came To Port Dalhousie – _________

Marriage: – Date – 14 January 1897 in St. Catharines -

Spouse – Gertrude Grace SMITH

Spouse’s Parents: Father – David G. SMITH – Mother – Salina ___________

Death: Date – 22 October 1911 of Typhoid Fever -

Location – Port Dalhousie

Burial Location – St. Andrew’s United Church Cemetery, Port Dalhousie (private funeral service)

Occupation – school teacher and principal of Port Dalhousie Public School (McArthur), then managed a large fruit farm in Jordan which he sold prior to his death

Residence(s) – 76 Dalhousie Avenue

Religion – Church of England

Daughter – Margaret Alberta – b. 29 April 1912 in Port Dalhousie

Son – Morton – b. 06 January 1898 in Port Dalhousie

10. Richard Frederick FOOTE – Reeve of Town – 1901, 1907, 1908

Birth: Date – 03 December 1859 -

Location – Bridport, Dorsetshire, England

Parents Names: Father – Isaac F. FOOTE – Mother – Mary Harding THOMAS

Came To Port Dalhousie – 1894

Marriage: – Date – _________ -

Spouse – Josephine M. O’BRIEN – born 16 Nov. 1865

Spouse’s Parents: Father – __________________ – Mother – ________________

Death: Date – 27 January 1924 (aged 64 years) -

Location – Port Dalhousie

Burial Location – Greenwood Cemetery, Brooklyn, New York, U.S.A. – Buried on 31 January 1924

Occupation – owned Maple Leaf Rubber Co. in Port Dalhousie, then Independent Rubber Co. in Merritton.

Residence(s) – 30 Dalhousie Avenue, 24 Brock Street

Other Civic Positions – member of Lincoln County Council Religion – Church of England Member of These Groups – President of St. Catharines Rowing Club, Director of Henley Aquatic Association, Director of the Canadian Rubber Footwear Association, Director of the American Rubber Association

Other – in 1881 at the age of 21 the census of Bridport, Dorset shows Richard as an unemployed clerk, living with his parents and a sister Alice.

Son – Fred Forster (Rick) FOOTE – born 29 Dec. 1891 in South Framingham, MASS. U.S.A. – married Geraldine Elizabeth Herb Son – Christian – born 18 Apr. 1896 in Port Dalhousie

11. Alexander Meredith HUMPHRIES – Reeve of Town – 1909 – 1911

Birth: Date – 20 November 1863 -

Location – ___________ ,Ontario

Parents Names: Father – Moses HUMPHRIES – Mother – Susan McCANN (b. Wales)

Came To Port Dalhousie – c1881

Marriage: – Date – _________ – Spouse – Sarah B. JOHNSTON (born 12 Aug. 1867)

Spouse’s Parents: Father – John JOHNSTON – Mother – ________________

Death: Date – 03 February 1926 – Location – Main Street, Port Dalhousie

Burial Location – St. John’s Anglican Cemetery, Port Dalhousie

Occupation – retail grocer (house and store at corner Main and Elgin streets)

Residence(s) – corner Main and Elgin Street

Religion – _______________

Daughter – Beulah May – died aged 16 years on 01 January 1916 in Port Dalhousie

Daughter – Carrie – born 09 January 1892 – married J.A. LEWIS

Daughter – Hazel Maud – married Alton Harry WELLIEN on 16 May 1917

Daughter – Jennie (Jean)

Son – John – married Ruth BROWN on 02 January 1926 in Buffalo, N.Y.

Brother – Richard J. Brother – William

Sister – Mary FISTLER

Sister – Jane PRECORE

12. William (Bill) Goldie SUTTON - Reeve of Town – 1912, 1913, 1917, 1920, January- June 1921 (died while in office)

Birth: Date – 26 February 1855 -

Location – Stamford Township, Ontario

Parents Names: Father – Thomas K. SUTTON – Mother – Annie ___________

Came To Port Dalhousie – 1909 (to St. Catharines in 1876)

Marriage: – Date – 02 Aug. 1877 in Holy Trinity Church, Chippawa -

Spouse – Sarah ISMOND

Spouse’s Parents: Father – Isaac ISMOND – Mother – Sarah _____________

Death: Date – 6 am Saturday 28 May 1921 from a stroke -

Location – residence on Queen Street, Port Dalhousie Burial Location – Victoria Lawn Cemetery, St. Catharines (funeral under Masonic auspices)

Occupation – proprietor of grocery store then bus and livery business then shoe store and then partnership with John D. NEELON in wholesale Liquor business, also pop manufacturing, farming when he purchased farm from John CROW near Jordan and lived there one year before moving back to Port Dalhousie. He had purchased the Senator Gibson stone quarry in Grimsby and supplied stone to the Provincial Department of Highways.

Residence(s) – Queen Street

Other Civic Positions – Head of Reception Committee in 1920 and 1921, Alderman

Religion – lay delegate of St. John’s Anglican Church, funeral held from St. John’s

Member of These Groups – Old Boy’s Association of Port Dalhousie, member of Firemen’s Association, member of the Henley Aquatic Association, Mason

Other – a staunch Liberal

Son – Ralph (predeceased father as obituary)

Son – P. Thomas Daughter – A. Kate – mar. Mr. F. ROSS of Toronto.

Brother – John predeceased William

13. Thomas Ostrom (T.O.) JOHNSTON  - Reeve of Town – 1914 – 1916

Birth: Date – 04 May 1875 -

Location – Port Dalhousie

Parents Names: Father – John JOHNSTON – Mother – Caroline OSTROM

Came To Port Dalhousie – N/A

Marriage: – Date – 25 May 1907 -

Spouse – Gertrude Gladys LONGHURST

Spouse’s Parents: Father – James LONGHURST – Mother – Helen GRAY

Death: Date – 29 September 1967 (aged 92 years) -

Location – Hotel Dieu Hospital, St. Catharines

Burial Location – St. John’s Anglican Church Cemetery, Port Dalhousie

Occupation – statistical officer for the Welland Canal and latter for the St. Lawrence Seaway Authority

Residence(s) – 54 Canal Street, 92 Dalhousie Avenue, Linwell Hall

Other Civic Positions – won his first seat on Town council in 1910, County Council member, Warden of Lincoln County Council in 1916 and latter served as secretary-treasurer of the Lincoln County Past Warden’s Association, served on Port Dalhousie School Board, Port Dalhousie Public Utilities Commission

Religion – Anglican – member of St. John’s Anglican Church, funeral held from St. John’s.

Member of These Groups – member and past master of Seymour Lodge 277 A.F. and A.M. and received a 60-year pin in 1962 and lodge secretary from 1913 t0 1955 and past district grand master of the lodge.

Other – his wife predeceased him; second cousin of Mayor R.M. Johnston.

Daughter – Joyce – married James BRADENTON (lived Florida)

14. Robert Henry JOHNSTON – Reeve of Town – 1918, 1919, 1924 – 1927

Birth: Date – 06 June 1879 -

Location – Port Dalhousie

Parents Names: Father – Isaac JOHNSTON – Mother – Mary SCOTT

Came To Port Dalhousie – _______

Marriage: – Date – 10 Nov. 1915 in Toronto -

Spouse – Lillias Margaret MERCER (b. c1894 in Toronto – predeceased Robert)

Spouse’s Parents: Father – Walter S. MERCER – Mother – Susan Strald EATON

Death: Date – ______1956 (in 77th year) -

Location – at residence 10 Canal Street, Port Dalhousie

Burial Location – Victoria Lawn Cemetery, St. Catharines

Occupation – proprietor of ice and fuel business in Port Dalhousie for 45 years

Residence(s) – 10 Canal Street

Other Civic Positions – member of Lincoln County 1924-1927 and warden in 1926

Religion – Anglican, member of St. John’s Anglican Church where funeral service was held.

Member of These Groups – Royal Canadian Legion Mason – past master and member of Seymour Lodge 277 A.F. and A.M. and received 50-year jewel in 1954.

Other – Veteran of Boer War served with 3rd Canadian Mounted Rifles, was active in sports and was a prominent bicycle rider being Owls Bicycle Champion racing from St. David’s to St. Catharines in 1897, also active in hockey and rowing.

Daughter – Rhea – married Nelson WEBBER

Daughter – Mary

Son – Robert Mercer – see Mayor #20

Son – Colin Eaton – d. 31 July 2004 (in 85th year) – mar. Gloria Peters

Son – Gordon (predeceased father) A sister Mrs. Mima ATKINSON living in London at time of his passing.

15. William Cavers MUIR – Reeve of Town – June-Dec 1921

Birth: Date – 20 April 1866 -

Location – Port Dalhousie

Parents Names: Father – Capt. William MUIR – Mother – Christina CAVERS (his 2nd wife)

Came To Port Dalhousie – N/A

Marriage: – Date – _________ – Spouse – ________________

Spouse’s Parents: Father – __________________ – Mother – ________________

Death: Date – 08 July 1948 -

Location – at his residence on Ann Street, Port Dalhousie

Burial Location – St. Andrew’s Cemetery, Port Dalhousie

Occupation – operated Muir Brothers Dry Dock

Residence(s) – Albert Street (now Bayview Drive)

Religion – Presbyterian

16. James Albert WELLINGTON – Reeve of Town – 1922, 1923

Birth: Date – 28 June 1860 -

Location – Welland, Ontario

Parents Names: Father – Samuel WELLINGTON – Mother – Mary Ann FORESTER

Came To Canada – _________

Marriage: – Date – 22 July 1901 at St. Catharines -

Spouse – Catherine O’BRIEN

Spouse’s Parents: Father – John O”BRIEN – Mother – Mary BOYER

Death: Date – 17 April 1947 -

Location – St. Catharines General Hospital

Burial Location – Victoria Lawn Cemetery, St. Catharines

Occupation – 1881 census – mechanic; owned and operated Wellington Hotel in Port Dalhousie Residence(s) – at age 1 in 1861 living with parents in Thorold Township, in Port Dalhousie – Lock Street; at time of death – 21 Division Street, St. Catharines

Religion – Roman Catholic (1861 census) Funeral Service – 19 April 1947 at Church of the Immaculate Conception

Daughter – Lucy

17. Frederick James SUTTON – Reeve of Town – 1928, 1929, 1931

Birth: Date – ________ c1879 -

Location – ________, England

Parents Names: Father – Fredrick SUTTON – Mother – Catharine ___________

Came To Port Dalhousie – _______

Marriage: – Date – 03 Dec. 1913 in St. Catharines -

Spouse – Alice CHAMBERLAIN

Spouse’s Parents: Father – Charles CHAMBERLAIN – Mother – Emily HOUDE

Death: Date – Saturday 15 November 1947 – Location – General Hospital, Toronto

Burial Location – Victoria Lawn Cemetery (family plot), St. Catharines

Occupation – Contractor

Residence(s) – Albert Street (now Bayview Drive)

Religion – Anglican

Member of These Groups – Seymour Lodge No.277 A.F. & A.M.

Brother – John SUTTON

18. Charles Arthur ANSELL – Reeve of Town – 1930, 1932 – 1935

Birth: Date – __________ 1901 -

Location – _____________, England

Parents Names: Father – _________ ANSELL – Mother – _____________

Came To Port Dalhousie – (to Niagara with parents as a child)

Marriage: – Date – _________ – Spouse – ___________

Spouse’s Parents: Father – __________________ – Mother – ________________

Death: Date – Thursday, 07 November, 1957 – Location – Hotel Dieu Hospital, St. Catharines

Burial Location – Victoria Lawn Cemetery, St. Catharines

Occupation – bank clerk; started in ship building industry at Muir Brothers Dry-docks in Port Dalhousie as a clerk then general manager; in 1946 he organized Port Weller Dry Docks and in 1953 Port Weller purchased Muir Brothers, became President of Port Weller Dry Docks; president of the St. Lawrence Dry Docks in Montreal for eight years; member of Lloyd’s Great Lakes sub-committee of Toronto and the Marine Association.

Residence(s) – 58 Albert Street (now Bayview Drive)

Other Civic Positions – member Lincoln County Council 1930-1935, Port Dalhousie Public Utilities Commission in 1928 and chair in 1929

Religion – _________________

Member of These Groups – member of St. Catharines Club, very active in welfare of the community

Other – funeral arrangements by Butler Funeral Home

Sister – Mrs. Mabel BELLINGHAM of Port Dalhousie survived him.

Nephew – Reginald A. ANSELL of Port Dalhousie survived him.

19. David BLACKWOOD – Reeve of Town – 1936 – 1940

Birth: Date – 25 August 1888 -

Location – Leadhills, Dumfries, County Lanarkshire, Scotland

Parents Names: Father – John BLACKWOOD – Mother – Mary MARTIN

Came To Port Dalhousie – Canada in 1910, St. Catharines in 1914, was in Manitoba prior to marriage, first appears in 1928 directory in Port Dalhousie

Marriage: – Date – 12 June 1915 in First Presbyterian Church, St. Catharines -

Spouse – Violet CROW (born in Alsonbury, Huntington, Eng.)

Spouse’s Parents: Father – William CROW – Mother – Martha JOHNSTON

Death: Date – 18 June 1962 – Location – __________________

Burial Location – ________________________

Occupation – accountant, office manager and then director of Sandham Electric

Residence(s) – Brock Street, 21 Albert Street (now Bayview Drive)

Other Civic Positions – Regimental Sergeant Major

Religion – Presbyterian

Member of These Groups – Children’s Aid Society, Port Dalhousie Lawn Bowling Club, Local Branch of the Musician’s Union

Son – Colin – (born on Brock Street – 05 August 1921) of Rothesay, New Brunswick Enlisted into Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Force at Welland on 07 February 1916, indicates 3 years of prior service with 5th Scottish Rifles, living at 45 Glenridge Avenue, St. Catharines

20. Robert Mercer JOHNSTON – Reeve – 1941 – 1947 and Mayor – 1950 – 1960 [Mayor of St. Catharines 1965 – 1967]

Birth: Date – 15 September 1916 -

Location – 10 Canal Street, Port Dalhousie

Parents Names: Father – Robert Henry JOHNSTON – Mother – Lillias M. MERCER

Came To Port Dalhousie – N/A

Marriage: – Date – _________ -

Spouse – Doris A. GARDNER (b. 02 Jan. 19140

Spouse’s Parents: Father – _________ GARDNER – Mother – ________________

Death: Date – 16 October 1985 – Location – Hotel Dieu Hospital, St. Catharines

Burial Location – Victoria Lawn Cemetery – N.C., Section A, Lot 227, Gr.1 North, St. Catharines

Occupation – owner R. H. Johnston Ice and Coal Company

Residence(s) in St. Catharines – 10 Canal Street (Port Dalhousie)

Other Civic Positions – Reeve of Port Dalhousie 1941 – 1947; Warden Lincoln County 1946; Mayor of Port Dalhousie 1950 – 1960; Alderman for Port Dalhousie Ward on St. Catharines City Council 1961 – 1964; elected three times as Conservative M.P.P. starting in 1967

Religion – member St. John’s Anglican Church, Port Dalhousie

Member of These Groups –Port Dalhousie Lions Club (charter member 1948 and president 1953, life member; member Dalhousie Yacht Club

Other – Johnston Street named after him

21. Romaine Kay ROSS – Mayor of Town – 1948 – 1949 (elected as Reeve but became Mayor when incorporated into town in 1948)

Birth: Date – 07 October 1903 -

Location – Wellandport, Welland County, Ontario

Parents Names: Father – James Always ROSS – Mother – Sarah Agnes KAY

Came To Port Dalhousie – __________

Marriage: – Date – _________ – S

pouse – Mary Margaret _____________ S

pouse’s Parents: Father – ______________ ROSS – Mother – ________________

Death: Date – 28 December 1994 – Location – Hotel Dieu Hospital, St. Catharines

Burial Location – Victoria Lawn Cemetery, St. Catharines

Occupation – Lawyer for 53 years (called to bar 19 November 1931)

Residence(s) – 50 Queen Street, Port Dalhousie; South Drive in St. Catharines

Other Civic Positions – ward alderman for 10 years on St. Catharines council, Trustee of Lincoln County Board of Education in 1970’s, Conservative Party candidate in 1953 and 1963 federal elections

Religion – __________________

Member of These Groups – founding member in 1936 of St. Catharines Junior Chamber of Commerce, Leading figure in the campaign to erect Garden City arena, Canadian Bar Association, Canadian Authors Association, President of the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies, Law Society of Upper Canada.

Other – played OHA Junior hockey with Dunnville, Grimsby and Welland

Daughter – Jane Elizabeth HAGON

Daughter – Mary Kay ROSS

Daughter – Suzan Elaine VAN GEYN

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St. Catharines Resident First Canadian Killed In Action During Spanish Civil War

By: William J. Stevens

Adrian van der Brugge was born in 1904 in Amsterdam, Holland the son of Artinus and Anna van der Brugge. In 1918, Artinus and Anna decided to leave Holland with their three children and arrived in New York City on October 22, 1918 on their way to Peterborough, Ontario. The family eventually ended up in St. Catharines and lived at 27 Beech Street.

Adrian went to Chicago and obtained his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, with honours, at the Chicago Technical Institute and was an architect and engineer.

Adrian, known as Andy by his fellow crew members, rowed for the St. Catharines Rowing Club in 1929, 1930 and 1931. In 1929 he was a member of the St. Catharines Junior Eight, the first club crew to win an eight oared event at the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta. The crew consisted of Don Thom – coxie, Ted Bramah – stroke, Dick Robinson, Andy van der Brugge, Russ Welch, George Robinson, Charlie Warren, Bert Coppen and Frank Courtney. Bob Fitzpatrick was the coach. They rowed a brand new boat called the “Dick Schram”. They defeated Wyandotte and Detroit in the Henley final. A crew photo and race story can be found on page 50 of the St. Catharines Rowing Club’s Centennial book “100 Years in a Row”.

Adrian was a member of the Communist Party of Canada and an organizer for the Niagara Peninsula. He was secretary of the St. Catharines district of the Communist Party of Canada. In 1935 the Communist Party of Canada selected Adrian to attend the International Lenin’s School at Moscow.

Adrian was opposed to Fascism and at the outbreak of hostilities in Spain, went there and joined the Abraham Lincoln Battalion of the International Brigade. At the age of 33 years, Adrian was killed in action on February 23, 1937 while fighting the Fascist invasion on the Madrid front at Jarama, Spain. He was the first known Canadian to have died in the Spanish Civil War. His death was reported in the May 11, 1937 edition of The Standard.

Adrian’s name is among 1,547 persons listed on the Spanish Civil War Memorial in Ottawa. It includes the names of all known Canadians who died while fighting the fascists in the Spanish Civil War, a cause that was not popular in Canada at the time. The national monument was unveiled by Governor General of Canada Adrienne Clarkson on October 20, 2001. It is located on Green Island, a small island at the mouth of the Rideau River and is accessed from Rideau Drive.
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The First Executive and Club Captain of the St. Catharines Rowing Club which was founded in 1903 as the St. Catharines Rowing and Canoe Club

By William J. Stevens (August 25, 2012)
President – George Warburton HODGETTS

George Warburton HODGETTS was the first President of the St. Catharines Rowing and Canoe Club and served two years, 1903 and 1904, in that position.

George was born on October 29, 1850 in West Bromwich, Staffordshire, England. He came to Toronto, Canada in 1854 and moved to St. Catharines sometime between 1880 and 1891. He was married to Jessie Agnes CLARK (b1852-d1935). Their children: Alfred Clark was born July 25, 1980 in Simcoe County; Alice Edith was born November 15, 1883; George Henry was born October 31, 1876 in Toronto; Susanna Harriet was born November 9, 1874 in Toronto. In St. Catharines the family lived at 11 York Street before moving to 165 and then 167 Ontario Street. George was the manager of the Bank of Toronto at the corner of King and Queen Streets.

In Toronto he was a member of the Congregationalist Church, by the time he arrived in St. Catharines he was a member of the Free Church and then the Presbyterian Church.

George died on December 28, 1933 at Clarkson, Toronto Township and he and his wife are buried in Old Section ‘R’ of Victoria lawn Cemetery, St. Catharines.

Vice-President – Doctor William Hamilton MERRITT

Dr. William Hamilton Merritt served two years as Vice President before becoming the second President of the Club in 1905. He likely served a second year as President in 1906.

William was born on June 13, 1865, the son of Jedediah MERRITT and Emily Alexanderine (nee) GRAYDON and the grandson of Hon. William Hamilton MERRITT.

In April of 1888 he graduated from Trinity Medical College, University of Toronto and then studied further at the Royal College of Surgeons at the University of London, England, continued post graduate studies in Edinburough, Scotland and Leipzburg, Germany. He returned to St. Catharines and opened a medical practice and practiced here until he retired in 1908.

He married Maud Cloudman HUDSON on October 12, 1892 in Chicago. They had two children: son Thomas Rodman MERRITT who married Duthga MURRAY and a daughter Marian Emily who married Murton A. SEYMOUR. The family lived in the spacious home now known as Rodman Hall.

He was definitely community minded and served as an Alderman in 1909, 1910 and 1911 and was the Mayor of St. Catharines in 1912 and 1913. He served on the Library Board; was a chairman of the Board of Education; a member of the Church of England; the Masonic Order; the Oddfellows; the Great War Veterans Association; and served on the Board of Governors of Ridley College. In business, he was Vice President of the Imperial Bank of Canada; Director of National Life; and Vice-President of the Suspension Bridge Company.

He was very active in the local military: organizing the Seventh Field Battery in 1892 and becoming the commanding officer; in 1914 he raised a battery for the second contingent to go overseas; in 1916 he went to France with the second contingent and a battery for 9 months, then transferred to the Medical Corp. and served in that capacity until demobilization in 1919 and mustered out on March 29, 1919.

Dr. Merritt died in St. Catharines on April 22, 1924 at the age of 58 years. A large funeral took place and his remains were buried in Old Section ‘P’ in Victoria Lawn Cemetery, St. Catharines.

Secretary-Treasurer – Arthur Courtney KINGSTONE

Arthur ‘Courtney’ KINGSTONE was born on October 24, 1874 in Toronto to Frederick William KINGSTONE and Henrietta Georgina (nee) GRASSETT.

He attended Upper Canada College and Ridley College and then went on to graduate with a B.A. in 1896 from the University Of Toronto. He studied law at Osgoode Hall and was subsequently called to the bar in 1899. He became a barrister and practiced law continuously in St. Catharines since 1899 with his law firm known as Ingersol and Kingstone. He received the title King’s Counsel in 1920. He was appointed to the Supreme Court of Ontario in August 1932.

He married Marion DePendergast PARMENTER in Toronto on September 28, 1902 and they had three sons: Jack, Stewart and Courtney; and one daughter: Mrs. Margaret WINGFIELD. The family lived at 53 Welland Avenue, St. Catharines.

Courtney was a Warden of St. Thomas Anglican Church; a member of the Order of Foresters; secretary of the Canadian Club; served on St. Catharines City Council for three years, 1904 through 1906 and was finance committee chair for two years; was City Solicitor in 1916. In business, he was a vice-president of the Niagara Falls Suspension Bridge Company until appointed to the bench. He belonged to the University Club, Kappa Alpha Society, Toronto Club and the Toronto Golf Club. He was also vice-president and member of the Board of Governors of Ridley College; and chairman of the Collegiate Institute Board.

Hon. Justice Arthur Courtney KINGSTONE, K.C. of the Supreme Court of Ontario passed away suddenly on Wednesday, January 5, 1938 while on vacation, visiting his son, in Vancouver. The funeral was held at St. James Cathedral, Toronto on Tuesday, August 19 with interment following in the family plot in St. James Cemetery, Toronto where both his parents are also buried.

Director – George Bennett BURSON

George Bennett BURSON was born on September 28, 1868 in St. Catharines, Ontario to Rev. George BURSON (he was minister of Knox Presbyterian Church for 28 years; died May 7, 1895) and Esther (nee) QUA (she died January 13, 1912 in Toronto).

George was educated locally before attending the University Of Toronto. He became a barrister and by 1904 was employed by his firm of Collier and Burson and eventually became a King’s Counsel (K.C.). George was a St. Catharines Alderman in 1904, 1905 and 1906 and was the first chairman of the St. Catharines Parks Board.

George lived at 18 Academy Street. He died on December 22, 1928 at the family residence 15 Midland Street, St. Catharines and is buried in the family plot in Old Section ‘G’ of Victoria Lawn Cemetery, St. Catharines. He was survived by one sister Mrs. D.C. MEYERS and two brothers: H.A. and Dr. E.C. BURSON, all of Toronto.

Director – Arthur Wellesley BATE

Arthur Wellesley BATE was born on September of 1877 in St. Catharines and lived in the city all his life. He married Harriett A. HYDE (died December 16, 1953). They lived at 37 Yates Street.

Arthur was brewer by trade, actively engaged in the Taylor and Bate Brewery as member of the firm. He was an enthusiastic hunter in his younger days and was a graduate of Trinity College, Port Hope. He was a member of the Board of Trustees of St. Thomas Anglican Church.

Arthur died in his 74th year, at his home 35 Yates Street, on Wednesday, September 8, 1948 and was survived by his wife and two brothers: H. Newell BATE of St. Catharines and Edward BATE of Toronto; one sister Mrs. E.H. FULLER of Montreal. The funeral service was held at St. Thomas Church with the internment taking place in Old Section ‘D’ of Victoria Lawn Cemetery, St. Catharines.

Director – Dr. Joseph Morley JORY

Dr. Joseph Morley JORY was born on November 8, 1869 in Norwood, Peterborough County, Ontario. Educated in Norwood and studied under Dr. FORD while in Norwood. He graduated from Trinity Medical School in 1894. He became a medical surgeon and established himself first in Bloomfield, Prince Edward County before coming to St. Catharines prior to 1901. It was said that he was the best know physician in Niagara. He served as a surgical captain in the Boer War in South Africa with the Canadian contingent. Upon returning to St. Catharines from Africa, he practices medicine and lived at 14 Queen Street, later moving to 113 King Street and then 73 King Street by 1914. He was a past president of the Lincoln County Medical Association, a past chair of the St. Catharines General Hospital medical staff and coroner for Lincoln County for many years.

In religion he was of Methodist faith and member of St. Paul Street United Church. He was a St. Catharines Alderman in 1909 and 1910. He served as chair of the Board of Education. His obituary indicated that he was prominently connected with all lines of sport, especially lacrosse; an enthusiastic golfer and member of the St. Catharines Golf Club; member of the Hunt Club and a member of Empire Lodge No. 87 I.O.O.F.

Dr. JORY died Sunday, March 20, 1932 at the age of 63 years at his residence, 153 King Street, St. Catharines. He was survived by his wife Alice Mary nee DOCKER (1878-1969); two daughters: Dorithy Alice (Mrs. Stewart ROBERTSON) of Toronto and Gwendolyn (Mrs. DORFMAN) of St. Catharines; and one son J. Donald JORY of Toronto. The funeral was largely attended and one of the pall bearers was Arthur Courtney KINGSTONE. His remains were interned in Old Section ‘T’ of Victoria Lawn Cemetery, St. Catharines.

Director – John T. GROVES

John T. GROVES was born on November 15, 1863 in Ontario. He married Ella S. HERRIMAN (born March 1, 1868 in Ogdensburg, New York, U.S.A. and immigrated to Canada in 1887). They had a daughter Louisa (born August 25, 1888).

John was an accountant. He was a member of the St. Catharines Board of Trade. In faith, he was a member of the Church of England. Sometime after he became a director of the Rowing Club in 1903 he moved to New York City, as he appears there in the 1920 census. He and Ella were living in New York City when Ella died on May 25, 1927 in Cleveland, Ohio. John died after Ella.

St. Catharines Rowing Club’s First Club Captain (1903): Ralph Bergen HAMILTON Ralph Bergen

HAMILTON was born on April 11, 1875 in Toledo, Ohio but grew up in Saginaw, Michigan with his parents were John Allen HAMILTON and Harriet Hale (nee) ROWLAND. He studied mechanical sciences at Polyteknik in Dresden, Germany and then obtained his Mechanical Engineering Degree from Cornell University, Ithica, New York in 1896.

During his time at Cornell, Ralph took up the sport of rowing and stroked the Cornell crew that went to the Royal English Henley in 1895. The Cornell crew list for Henley stated Ralph was 5-feet and 8 1/2 –inches tall, weight 155-pounds and 20 years of age, that he had stroked his freshman crew and last year was a varsity crew substitute, that he was capable of a very rapid stroke and can get way up into the forties if necessary. The crew trained on Lake Cayuga and was clocked at 6 minutes and 51 seconds over the Henley distance of a mile and 550 yards, this time having been the best time recorded at Henley, so prospects of success were good prior to heading to England to race for the Grand Challenge Cup.

After graduating from Cornell University in 1896, Ralph worked for several companies in Buffalo, New York. In 1901 he became Acting Manager of Packard Electric Company in St. Catharines, Ontario, and by 1912 he had risen to the position of President while retaining the position of General Manager. As well, he became President of several other companies including Packard Fuse Co. (1916) and Canadian Standard Products Ltd. both located in St. Catharines.

In the summer of 1899 he married Edith Raphael SEIXAS, the daughter of Gershom A. SEIXAS of New York City and the sister of Edward SEIXAS who would become the President of the St. Catharines Rowing Club and a key individual in the rowing scene of the City. The wedding took place in Trinity Chapel in New York City. A reception was held at the SEIXAS home on West Thirty-Ninth Street. Ralph and Edith had four children: three boys (Bergen Ralph, John A., Stuart F.) and one girl (Phyllis) and the family lived at 155 Ontario Street before moving to 15 Welland Avenue, and then to 30 Bellevue terrace, St. Catharines.

He was a member of many groups: including the Canadian Manufacturers Association, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and an Associate of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers; as well as the University Club of Buffalo; the National Club, Toronto; Alpha Delta Phi, New York; Club, and President of the St. Catharines Board of Trade in 1906-7. When World War One broke out Ralph he was appointed by the Imperial Munitions Board as a special representative on investigation pertaining to munitions manufacture.

In late 1919 Ralph relinquished his interests in the local Packard Electric Co. Ltd. firms and the family moved to Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Ohio. He became vice-president of the National Safe Company in Cleveland. Shortly after arriving in Cleveland, Ralph died of a heart attack on December 24, 1919 at the young age of 44 years, 8 months and 13 days. He was buried on December 26, 1919 in Lakeview Cemetery, 12316 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio.

There was also a Rowing and Canoe Committee consisting of Arthur Courtney KINGSTONE, Godfrey SPRAGGE and Frank NELSON

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Thomas BONE the Sailors’ Friend

by William J. STEVENS

“To many the Christian religion will always be a more real and vital thing, because they have known Thomas Bone.” That is the last sentence in a book titled “Thomas Bone The Sailors’ Friend”, “the story of his work on the Welland Canal”, written by Rev. Jesse Gibson in 1908 and published by The Upper Canada Tract Society, 102 Yonge Street, Toronto. Having read the book, and finding it quite interesting, I thought I would extract the personal data about Thomas Bone from the book and see what else I could find and write a short article about him and his family.

Thomas Bone was born on January 1, 1825 in Bellhaven, Scotland. At the age of nineteen he became active as an evangelist in the Glasgow area. He married Agnes Mathew on October 8, 1847 in Haddingtonshire, Scotland. In 1852 he brought his young family initially to Rochester, New York and then to St. Catharines, Ontario in 1853.

Thomas was ordained at the Queen Street Baptist Church here in St. Catharines. In 1868 he began a lifetime in Christian Missionary work along the Welland Canal as a member of the Upper Canada Religious Tract and Book Society which supported him as he fostered what became known as the Welland Canal Mission to Sailors. He went on board ships as they transited the canal to hand out bible tracts and hold prayer services. When the shipping season ended he would spend his time visiting hospitals, factories and speaking at various church gatherings.

In November of 1893 he traveled to Atlanta, Georgia to attend and speak at the World Convention of Christian Workers. His topic was “Colportage Work on the Welland Canal.” In the newspaper (The Atlanta Constitution, November 10, 1893) report on his speech it stated that “… his speech was full of dry, delightful humour. He told several good stories. … The little address put the audience in a splendid humour and the genial old Scot received a hearty round of applause as he took his seat.” Also during the convention Thomas made a report on the Welland Canal missionary work, stating that it was now in its sixty-first year.
Thomas and his wife Agnes had seven children.

1. George Jamieson – their son who had been born in Scotland drowned at Port Dalhousie, Ontario on July 16, 1861 at the age of 13 years.

2. Alexander – their son died as a baby.

3. Thomas Gardiner – their son obtained his diploma as a druggist in 1880 but gave up that profession to enter mission work with his brother-in-law Rev. A.E. de St.Dalmas near Peterborough. Thomas died on October 6, 1888 at the age of 26 years.

4. Beatrice – their daughter was born in Scotland c1852, at the time of her mother’s death in 1899 she was living in Edinburgh, Scotland and married to Mr. R. D. Shanks.

5. Agnes – their daughter married Melville F. Proctor on June 7, 1882 in St. Catharines and they lived in St. Catharines

6. Magdaline – their daughter married Rev. Alfred Ede St. Dalmas on June 28, 1883 in St. Catharines and they lived in Dixville, Quebec

7. Francis Carey – their son lived in New Rochelle, New York. Francis died on October 18, 1915 in St. Catharines

The family residence was 11 Wellington Street, St. Catharines. Mrs. Agnes Bone died on July 14, 1899 in St. Catharines at the age of 77 years. Thomas died of pneumonia in St. Catharines on November 22, 1906, with the funeral service at Queen Street Baptist Church and burial in old cemetery Section ‘B’, Division 45 west, lot 1, grave 4, of Victoria Lawn Cemetery on November 26, 1906.

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Korean War Honour Roll

Affixed to the front façade of the St. Catharines City Hall on Church Street is a plaque which reads:

Honour Roll / Erected to the Glory of God / and in Affectionate Memory of / the Men of St. Catharines / Who Made the Supreme Sacrifice / Korea / 1950 – 1953 / EHLER, Albert cpl. / GILL, John cpl. / GAGNIER, Joseph pte. / LEACH, Roger pte. / SHEA, James pfc. / ROACH, Lloyd pte. / Their Name Liveth for Evermore

So, who were these Six Soldiers from our City who lost their lives as a result of the Korean War?

Corporal Albert R. EHLER

Corporal Albert R. EHLER – Service # SF.45561 – Royal Canadian Army Service Corps. (R.C.A.S.C.)- son of Walter Henry and Annie Lavinia (nee George) EHLER – Died 27 February 1952 – Buried in Christ Church Anglican Cemetery in Queensport, Guysborough County, Nova Scotia, where his parents and several other EHLER’s are buried. He was survived by his parents, then living in St. Catharines, and three sisters and a brother. His sister Mildred Opal Eliza EHLER married 1st. John Peter VOTH and 2nd Bartley SLATER. Opal died on Sunday, November 24, 2002 at the Miramichi Regional Hospital and her obituary provides the following information on the family at that time: she is survived by two sisters Vera (VOROSHUK) of St. Catharines and Melba (MURPHY) of Dartmouth, NS; and one brother, Frank EHLER of Queensport, NS.

Corporal John Francis GILL

Corporal John Francis GILL – Service # SB.158933 – member of the First battalion of the Royal Canadian Regiment – Enlisted on January 4, 1948 in London, Ontario – died while on patrol duty on New Year’s Day, January 1, 1953 at the age of 26 years. He is buried in the UN Memorial Cemetery located in Tanggok, a suburb of Busan, South Korea – grave location 30-10-9, grave 1377 (his cemetery plaque indicates that he was a Lance Corporal). He had been in Korea for about a year. John was born on December 19, 1926 in Hamilton, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Victor and Gladys GILL of 38 Dufferin Street, Merritton and husband of Jean Elizabeth Capes GILL of Brockville and father of one son Wayne Douglas GILL. He also had three brothers: Richard, Sidney and Ronald. Born in Hamilton in 1926, the family came to Merritton when he was 10 years old. He was an employee of the Provincial Paper Company before joining the Canadian Army in January of 1945, serving as a Rifleman with Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment and C.I.C. January 10th 1945 to February 22, 1946, remaining in the military service until his death. A photo of Cpl. John GILL can be found on the front page of The St. Catharines Standard issue of Saturday, January 3, 1953. Commemorated on the Merritton Cenotaph and on Page 26 of the Korean War Book of Remembrance.

Private Joseph Leonard Raymond GAGNIER

Private Joseph Leonard Raymond GAGNIER – Service # SB7286 – member of the Royal Canadian Regiment, Second Division – Enlisted on January 10, 1951 in Toronto – died September 30, 1953 at the age of 23 years at the St. Catharines General Hospital. After a 11:00 a.m. Solemn High Mass of Requiem in St. Catherine of Alexandria Church on October 3, 1953, he was buried in Section A, Division N.C.2, Veteran’s Plot, Grave 5, 17 in Victoria Lawn Cemetery, St. Catharines. He was survived by his widow Patricia Ann (née Brunt) Donaghue GAGNIER, his parents Leonard and May GAGNIER of St Catharines, and three sisters Gloria, Donelia and Alma all in St. Catharines, and a brother Roland in Genoa, New York. Joseph was born on September 12, 1930 in Alexandria, Ontario. He was an employee in the stock room of McKinnon Industries. During the Korean War he was seriously wounded in action of June 22, 1951, he was invalided home in early 1953. He was a member of St. Catharine of Alexandria Church, Royal Canadian Legion and the United Autoworkers Local 199. Commemorated on Page 25 of the Korean War Book of Remembrance.

Private Roger Conway LEACH

Private Roger Conway LEACH – Service # SB.41474 – member of ‘C’ Company, 3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry – killed in action in South Korea on December 9, 1952 at the age of 30 years – son of Letia LEACH of 48 Chaplin Street, St. Catharines and the late Frank LEACH – survived by one sister Mrs. Robert SMITH of Toronto. He had enlisted on April 16, 1941 at the Niagara Barracks. Born September 12, 1923 in St. Catharines- he had attended Memorial School and was a graduate of St. Catharines Collegiate – had worked for the Public Utilities Commission – previously served as an infantryman in World War II in Canada, the United Kingdom and North West Europe. His death was placed on the front page of The St. Catharines Standard of December 10, 1952 – Buried in the UN Memorial Cemetery located in Tanggok, a suburb of Busan, South Korea – grave location plot 21, row 10, grave 1372 (his cemetery plaque indicates that he was a Lance Corporal).

Commemorated on page 39 of the Korean War Book of Remembrance.

Private First Class James W. SHEA

Private First Class James SHEA – Service # RA12351815 (US Army- service #19260000) – served in the United States Military – 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division during the Korean War and killed in action in North Korea on November 18, 1950 at the age of 24, just shy of his 25th birthday. He enlisted in Erie County, New York. He was a veteran of World War II, having served with the United States Navy. Born December 6, 1926, the son of Mr. and Mrs. James SHEA, who in 1950 were living at 10 Cosby Avenue, St. Catharines. He was awarded the Purple Heart and Cluster. Interment took place in Arlington National Cemetery (Section 34, Grave 309) on April 28, 1955. He had been previously seriously wounded on August 12, 1950 and returned to duty on August 23, 1950. He was seriously wounded a second time on September 15, 1950 and returned to duty on October 2, 1950. After serving in WW11, he worked for Anthes Imperial Company in St. Catharines and was working there when he enlisted in the U.S. Army and serve in Korea. An announcement of his death along with a photograph of him appears on page 15 of The St. Catharines Standard issue of Monday, December 11, 1950.

The following is from a news story on page 10 of The Niagara Falls New York Gazette issue of Saturday, September 9, 1950: Koreans Wound St. Kitts Man – Pfc. James W. SHEA Jr., 24 has been slightly wounded in action with the U.S. Army in Korea according to word received by his parents Mr. & Mrs. James SHEA, 10 Cosby Avenue. He himself described the action in a letter he wrote home Aug. 17, “I wasn’t going to tell you that I got a bullet in my right arm Aug.12, but it’s going to be alright in a couple of weeks. It didn’t hurt the bone at all. We were sent out – three squads, there 27 men – with one tank and two weapons carriers to destroy three enemy machine guns on a road block. Instead of only three guns there were two regiments of Communist soldiers on each side. As we started through it was like the end of the world. A couple of guys and myself were the only ones to get through with just slight wounds.”

Private Lloyd Stanley ROACH

Private Lloyd Stanley ROACH – Service # SB.13831 – member of the Royal Canadian Regiment – died May 3, 1953 in South Korea at the age of 24 years – buried in the UN Memorial Cemetery located in Tanggok, a suburb of Busan, South Korea – grave location 37-2-10, grave 3190. He enlisted on July 28, 1952 in Toronto. Lloyd was born on June 7, 1928 in Pictou, Nova Scotia, the son of George Hocken and Sadie ROACH. He was survived by brothers Victor and Harold and sisters Margaret, Lorraine and Hazel. A brief story appeared on front page of The St. Catharines Standard issue of May 6, 1953 declaring “St. Catharines Soldier Missing” and stating that he was the son of Mrs. George ROACH of 6 George Street, Pictou, Nova Scotia. There is a digital collection relating to Lloyd, which includes a portrait of him, on the Canadian Virtual War Memorial web site.

Commemorated on page 63 of the Korean War Book of Remembrance.

Researched and submitted by: William J. Stevens

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St. Catharines Lady at Royal Wedding

Heading for story on front page of The Standard, Thursday, April 26, 1923

By: William J. STEVENS

London April 26 – The following Canadians received invitations to Westminster Abbey today in connection with the marriage of the Duke of York and Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon: Hon. P.C. Larkin, Canadian High Commissioner and Mrs. Larkin; J. Howard, Agent General of Nova Scotia and Mrs. Howard; W.C. Noxon, Agent General of Ontario and Mrs. Noxon; F.C. Wade, Agent General of British Columbia and Mrs. Wade; Sir George Perley, former Canadian High Commissioner and Lady Perley; Sir. Edward Kemp, Senator; Mrs. J.H. Woods; Mrs. and Miss Kennedy; Miss. Montizambert; Mrs. Murton, Mrs. Cassels, F.M. Eastwood, Mrs. Stuart, Sir. Cambell Stuart, Managing Director of the Times Publishing Company; George Badgerow, Miss C. Welland Merritt. (end or article)

As the article heading indicates, one of those in attendance was a female from St. Catharines, and that would be C. Welland Merritt. Considering the few Canadians invited to the Royal Wedding, it appears that she was held in high regard by the Royal Family. So who was she? Her full name is Catharine Welland Merritt and she was the daughter of Jedediah Prendergast Merritt and the granddaughter of William Hamilton Merritt. She inherited Oak Hill, William Hamilton Merritt’s Estate. In early 1916 Catharine let the government use the house as a military convalescent home for wounded soldiers. After the First World War the family moved back in. In 1923, the Merritt family donated the land and gardens around the home to the City of St. Catharines as Oak Hill Park. Catherine sold the house in 1928 and it is now used for the local radio station studios.

But from her obituary, as the saying goes, we find the rest of the story. It was during the war that her work was most prominent. In the dark days of 1914 she happened to be in Germany and it was only after a series of thrilling experiences that she was successful in reaching Great Britain. There she was summoned to Buckingham Palace and was commissioned by Queen Mary to form branches of Queen Mary’s Needlework Guild in the Dominion. Her response was immediate and enthusiastic as it was successful. During 1914 and 1915, Catharine twice crossed Canada, at her own expense, organizing branches of the society. She carried out Her Majesty’s wishes fully and then surpassed them by personally contributing material for over 1000 garments and giving 2,000 guild badges. It is likely because of her efforts and contributions to the war effort that Catharine was invited to the Royal wedding.

But, there is more to be said about Catharine Welland Merritt. She was very active in the work of the Imperial Order of the daughters of the Empire (now IODE). She was interested in history and also keen on matters pertaining to the United Empire Loyalist cause and in the collection and care of things or places of historical interest. In March of 1927 she married Sir Henry Pellatt at St. George’s Church here in St. Catharines. In Toronto she continued her active life up until she passed away at her Crescent Road residence on December 19, 1929. Her remains were brought back to St. George’s Church here for the funeral and subsequent burial in Victoria Lawn Cemetery. She was survived by her husband Major-General Sir Henry M. Pellatt, C.V.O. and one sister Mrs. A.D. Gordon of Toronto, two brothers, Prescott and John of St. Catharines.

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Charles Ashton HESSON

By: William J. STEVENS

Up until his death, Charles Ashton HESSON was the Honourary President of the Lincoln County Historical Society, the former name of The Historical Society of St. Catharines. I did not know that the Society ever had a honourary president and when I came across this little piece of information, I wondered who this individual was that was so highly thought of that the Society made him the Honourary President. When the Society was formed in 1927, Charles HESSON became Vice-President, a position he appears to have held for a number of years, perhaps up until 1935, as in 1936 he does not appear on the executive list. So he may have been made honourary president in the 1935-1936 (prior to his death) time frame.

Charles was born on March 28, 1860 in Sebringville, Perth County, Ontario.

His father was Samuel Rollin HESSON who was born in Ireland and his mother was Margaret Jane POOLEY who was born in Ontario. Samuel was the youngest of seven children that John HESSON and his wife brought from County Antrim, Ireland to Dundas, Ontario in 1830. Sadly John died in Dundas leaving his widow to raise the seven children. When Samuel was about 14 years old the family moved to lands in the area known as the Queen’s Bush, in the western part of the province, about four miles from Stratford, then called Little Thames. When Samuel grew up he moved to Stratford, where he married Margaret POLLEY on March 28, 1860. He then moved to Sebringville, Perth County where he opened a general store which included the post office and he also acted as a justice of the peace. In 1865 Samuel moved the family back to Stratford. Samuel continuously represented North Perth in the House of Commons from 1878 to 1891.

Charles attended public school in Stratford where he graduated from high school. He studied law for three years before deciding to give that profession up and head to Manitoba where he worked for the Hudson’s Bay Company and for a time was in charge of the freight shipments for the Indian and North-West Mounted Police department supplies. He then went to Brandon, Manitoba and was in the real estate business there. He left Brandon in 1882 returning to Stratford. In January 1883 he began a career in the Inland Revenue Department of the Federal Government in Brantford, then Woodstock, Ingersoll and Windsor before ending up in St. Catharines in December of 1886 where he was appointed Deputy Collector. A year later he was promoted to the Collectorship upon the death of the incumbent, Mr. SEYMOUR. He remained in that position until the amalgamation of the Inland Revenue and Customs Department in 1921 when he retired.

In 1887 Charles married to Agnes Ada LIZARS, the youngest daughter of Dr. J. L. LIZARS, of Toronto. They had three children.

Charles lived in Louth Township for 16 years prior to his death at his summer home, “Louthaven” on the lake shore on Friday, October 16, 1936 at the age of 76 years. His funeral was held on Monday, October 19 in St. George’s Anglican Church after which his remains were taken to be buried in the family plot (section H, grave 108) in the Avondale Cemetery in Stratford, Ontario, Percy HULSE being the undertaker.

Until his death he was the honourary president of the Lincoln County Historical Society; he had been an executive member of the Ontario Historical Society; a member of the Library Board; a founding member of the St. Catharines Horticultural Society; member of the Ontario Horticultural Society; member of St. George’s Anglican Church and a former warden. He was survived by his wife, two daughters, Mrs. Frederic CONRADI of St. Catharines, Mrs. W. W. (Mona) SANDERSON of Niagara Falls, New York and one son Lionel Ashton HESSON, a well known architect in St. Catharines; three sisters in Stratford and three grandchildren.

Charles A. HESSEN holds a place on page 221 in the book titled Prominent Men of Canada

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Howard Eugene ROSE – served the shortest period of time as Acting-Mayor

By: William J. STEVENS

In the 1923 election for the City of St. Catharines municipal council, Howard Eugene ROSE was elected as an alderman. In the same election, Major Edwin John LOVELACE was elected mayor. But LOVELACE was required to resign as mayor when he was appointed in early April to the position of County Court Clerk and Registrar of the Surrogate Court of the County of Lincoln, to succeed the late Johnson CLENCH.

At the council meeting of Monday, April 17, 1923 Lovelace’s letter tendering his resignation was accepted by council. In the absence of Mayor LOVELACE, City Clerk PAY took the chair and called for a resolution appointing an acting-Mayor. Alderman Howard E. ROSE was appointed on the motion of Aldermen BRADLEY and HACKER. Council then set 10:00 a.m. Thursday, April 26 as the deadline for nominations for the election of a new mayor. Current council members who wished to run in the election had to resign from council in order to run.

The local newspaper The Standard reported in the Monday, April 23 issue that no nominations had been received to date by the clerk although rumors of several people interested circulated about the city. However, at the nomination meeting held on April 26 the clerk accepted five nominations, those of: Howard E. ROSE, David W. EAGLE, Jacob SMITH, Joseph HODGINS, and J. E. RIFFER. Two of the nominees were existing aldermen, ROSE and RIFFER and they resigned from Council as required in order to run in the election.

The election was held on Thursday, May 3, 1923 and the voter turnout was very light. Jacob SMITH won the election with Howard E. ROSE coming in second.

So, when LOVELACE ceased to be mayor on April 17, 1923 the City effectively had no mayor upon his resignation. In order to have a mayor, City Council appointed ROSE as acting-mayor, a position he held until he resigned on April 26 to run in the upcoming election. Although he held the position of acting-mayor for only 10 days (if you are to count both part days of the April 17 and April 26) he none the less fulfilled the role of mayor and thus should be considered to have been a Mayor of our City, even if it was the shortest term ever served by a Mayor.

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Albert William AUSTIN and his Port Dalhousie connection

Submitted by: William J. STEVENS

Albert William AUSTIN was born on March 27, 1857 in Toronto. He was the son of James AUSTIN the founder of the Dominion Bank in Toronto. Albert was educated at Upper Canada College. He became a junior clerk in the Dominion Bank in 1874. In 1880 his father gave Albert funds to invest in mortgages when the young man went to Winnipeg in 1880 to make his fortune.

In 1881 Albert founded the Winnipeg Street Railway Company, opening the line with horse-drawn cars in 1882. The cars were operated on runners in the winter. In 1882, with the backing of his father and E. B. OSLER, Albert incorporated the Winnipeg Street Railway Company. In 1891 part of the system was electrified, thus becoming one of the first commercial electric transit systems in North America.

In 1890 the Winnipeg Street Railway Company created Elm Park, a trolley park with picnic grounds and a few rides, next to the Red River. By creating Elm Park the transportation company was able to use the street cars during off-peak times and holidays. The streetcars would stop at the entrance to River Park, also owned by AUSTIN, and Elm Park patrons would then walk to the shore and cross a pontoon bridge, apparently built at AUSTIN’s expense, where they paid admission to enter Elm Park.

Albert AUSTIN is commemorated by AUSTIN Street in Winnipeg.

While in Winnipeg Albert and his wife had two sons: James Percival (born March 1885) and Albert Edison (born November 1, 1888).

In 1894 Albert sold the company to rival interests for $175,000 and Albert and his family returned to Toronto.

On February 27, 1897 Albert’s father James died in Toronto. James was 84 years old and had been born in Ireland. James AUSTIN had purchased Spadina House in 1866 from Dr. William Warren BALDWIN. Although the property had become just 80 acres in size, James gave his son, Albert, the house and twenty acres in 1889.

After returning from Winnipeg, Albert and his family moved into Spadina House. He would enlarge the house during numerous restorations and added a third floor in 1912. He would sell most of the land to the city in 1913 for construction of the St. Clair Reservoir. From 1942 until 1982, his daughter Anna Kathleen lived in the house and although it could have been sold off, she donated it to the City of Toronto. Today, the historic Spadina House has been converted into a museum operated by the city and is known as the Spadina Museum. The museum has preserved this beautiful manor as it once looked, although somewhat developed historically.

Albert was an avid golfer and both he and his son Albert Edison were affiliated with the Lambton Golf and Country Club of Toronto, which had been founded by the elder AUSTIN. Albert W. AUSTIN was in his late 40s when he and his son Albert Edison competed for Canada in the 1904 Olympic Games held in St. Louis. The sport of golf was only held twice in the Olympics, 1900 and 1904. There were three Canadian and 72 American golfers competing. The other Canadian was eventual gold medal-winner George LYON. Albert Sr.’s score of 230, was nearly 50 more strokes than was acceptable to qualify, he finished in 73rd place out of the 75 competitors.

On April 3, 1911 George Richard HICKS and his wife Elizabeth sold Albert William AUSTIN their fruit farm of approximately 75 acres in Port Dalhousie. The lands were located in Part of Lot 19, Broken Front and First Concessions and Part of Lot 20, Broken Front and First Concessions Grantham Township. The farm extended along the Lake Ontario shoreline immediately east of “the turning basin” of the Second Welland Canal and bordered the Grand Trunk Railway lands.

Evidence of members of the AUSTIN family living upon these lands can be found in the 1911 Census of Port Dalhousie which shows the following: AUSTIN, James Percival – east of G.T.R., male, single, born March 1885. Also listed in the same household are a housekeeper and a domestic.

The Port Dalhousie Directory also contains entries as follows:

1913 – AUSTIN, A.W. – fruit grower, east of harbour

1914-15 – AUSTIN, A.W. – fruit grower, east harbour

1914-15 – AUSTIN, Jas. P. – farmer, east harbour

1916 – AUSTIN, A.W. – fruit farmer grower – house east harbour

1916 – AUSTIN, Jas. P. – farmer – boards east harbour

1917 – AUSTIN, Jas. P. – soldier – boards east harbour

The 1917 directory entry shows James Percival AUSTIN (1885-1954) as a soldier and during World War One he suffered shell shock. After the war he spent time on the farm, likely as therapy and Albert would travel from Toronto to visit his son and the farm. Fruit from the farm was shipped to Toronto. According to Albert’s obituary, he still owned the farm when he passed away in 1934. In the late 1930’s the farm house burnt down and was not rebuilt. The farm I believe was eventually owned by the BOESE family.

In 1919 Albert became vice-president and six years later he would become president of the Dominion Bank which his father had founded in 1871. He was also chair of its board of directors. He also succeeded his father as president of the Consumers’ Gas Company.

After suffering from illness for nearly two and a half years, Albert William AUSTIN died on July 5, 1934 at the age of 77 years, at his home at 285 Spadina Road, Toronto. He is buried in St. James’s (Anglican) Cemetery, Toronto.

His obituary notes that he was President of the Consumer’s Gas Company and of the Canada North-West Land Company and Chairman of the Board of the Dominion Bank, having resigned as President the previous year. He was survived by his son J. Percival who was then living in Barrie; and three daughters: Miss. Adele AUSTIN; Mrs. Stanley Seton THOMPSON; and Miss. Margaret AUSTIN. The obituary goes on to say that “His recreation was fruit farming and his farm in Port Dalhousie is considered one of the finest in the country.”

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Gordon Cline MERRITT – Past President of The Historical Society of St. Catharines -1964, 1965 and 1966

Submitted by: William J. Stevens

Gordon Cline MERRITT was born in Beamsville c1916. He was the son of Curtis James and Clare (nee WILCOX) MERRITT, both of whom were descended from Mayflower and United Empire Loyalist families. For the first few years of his life the family lived at the corner of Mountain Street and Fly Road just above Beamsville on the escarpment in Clinton Township. When Gordon was about four years old his family moved into the old “Sterling House“on Ontario Street in Beamsville. Gordon moved to St. Catharines about 1935 and lived there for 37 years prior to his passing in 1972.

Gordon’s early employment was with the Merritt Brothers feed and grain mill in Beamsville and Port Weller. In about 1957 Gordon became a real estate broker and at the time of his death he was past president of the St. Catharines-Niagara Real Estate Board.

At the 1964 annual meeting of The Historical Society of St. Catharines held at Rodman Hall, Gordon was elected president. His wife was elected corresponding secretary at the same meeting. He held the presidency for three years: 1964, 1965 and 1966, the Society at that time was known as the St. Catharines and Lincoln Historical Society

He had also been a president of the John Howard Society. He was a member of Knox Presbyterian Church.

Gordon was a very active member of Seymour Lodge No.277, A.F. and A.M. He was also a member of Plantagenet Preceptory No. 8, Knights Templar, and was a 32nd degree Mason, also being a member of Mount Moriah Chapter, Royal Arch Masons.

Gordon died suddenly on September 12, 1972 at the age of 56 years at the St. Catharines General Hospital after suffering a seizure at his home at 35 Rivercrest Drive, St. Catharines.

Gordon was survived by his wife Phyllis English (nee DEAN) MERRITT. He had three brothers: Roy Dean MERRITT of Beamsville, Bruce MERRITT of Port Colborne and Ralph; and one sister, Erma.

A memorial service was held under the auspices of Seymour Lodge No.277, A.F. and A.M. at the Hulse and English Funeral Home. Interment took place in Lot 6, block B, range 3, grave 1 of Mount Osborne in Beamsville. A large MERRITT family plot stone, but no individual marker, marks his burial location.

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William Henry SULLIVAN – submitted by Bill Stevens

William Henry SULLIVAN was born to Irish parents on August 9, 1864 in Port Dalhousie which is now part of St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada. Upon working age he became a lumberman, a career that led him to Washington Parish, Louisiana where the Great Southern Lumber Company mill was opened in 1906 by the GOODYEAR family of Buffalo, New York. They built a city around the mill in the same year, to house the sawmill workers. William Henry SULLIVAN was the sawmill manager and was town boss when the city was built (1906–1907). The town grew rapidly and Bogalusa was incorporated as a city on July 4, 1914. The Louisiana Governor appointed William Henry SULLIVAN as the first Mayor. William, ‘The Pioneer’, became known as the Father of Bogalusa and served as mayor until he died on January 26, 1929.

William married on October 4, 1886 to Elizabeth Fitzrandolph CALKINS. She was born August 20, 1866 and died on July 11, 1918. The hospital in Bogalusa is named the Elizabeth Sullivan Memorial Hospital.

Both William and his wife Elizabeth are buried in the Ponemah Cemetery, Bogalusa. A large memorial marker with a plaque placed upon it reads as follows:

William Henry SULLIVAN

A PIONEER

Nature combined in him integrity, ability and / industry, together with a fine loyalty, high ideals and an unbounded / confidence in the future that made him always a leader. / Wherever he lived he was the first man in the community / but nowhere did he find his real place as he did here. / Here amidst a virgin forest he felled the first tree to / mark the site of a great industry and a thriving city. His was the / good fortune to live to see his vision realized, and to see them / both develop and prosper, the one into an outstanding national / industry, the other into a fair city of contented and prosperous / people whose welfare was ever his chief concern. / He responded to every call of duty, whether of family, / business, city, state or nation: and everyone regardless of race, / creed or color, has benefited by his good will, counsel, and generosity. / He was a human gentleman, an outstanding, constructive / citizen. His was a great spirit long to be remembered and cherished. (end)

A second plaque is also placed here to Elizabeth, the ‘Mother of Bogalusa’.

(sources of William’s place of birth: Chapter Nine: Noteworthy 20th Century Family; The Book of Sullivan/O’Sullivan; compiled, edited and written by John J.C. Sullivan; rev. 03/29/02 and Bogalusa: The Magic City by William Ginn)

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Detailed Biographical List of the Mayors of St. Catharines from 1845 to the Present

Bill Stevens has compiled an impressive listing of all of the mayors of St. Catharines from its earliest days to the present.  Each mayor is listed along with details about their birth, marriage, death, occupation, affiliations and much more.  Definitely worth a look.  Download the 43 page pdf document here:

Book – web site list of MAYORS OF ST. Catharines-1

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Did you Know… that the Queen’s Plate was once held in St. Catharines?

(submitted by Bill Stevens)

The famous Queen’s Plate, a stakes race for thoroughbred horses, is the oldest uninterrupted stakes race on the continent. It received royal assent by Queen Victoria in 1859. It was first run at Toronto’s Carleton Race Track on June 27, 1860. The event moved around Ontario before it settled permanently, with the Queen’s approval, in Toronto in 1883.

In 1867, the St. Catharines Turf Club was selected to host the event on a leased oval track on the farm of Colonel Thomas Adams. The race was originally scheduled to run on May 24, Queen Victoria’s birthday, but track conditions due to rain and a lack of entries, caused a postponement. The new date was set for June 18, just days prior to Confederation. The St. Catharines Turf Club was criticized for the lengthy postponement by the horsemen as they had spent considerably to arrive to race on May 24th. However the delay did not impact the attendance as over three thousand people filled the grounds under ideal weather conditions. However, the original fourteen entries for the eighth running of the Queen’s Plate had diminished down to nine by the race date.

The nine horses entered were all Canadian owned, bred in Upper Canada, and had never won a match, purse or sweepstake in accordance with the then entry rules. Two heats and a final were held.

The winner of the Plate was “Wild Rose”, a six-year old chestnut mare, owned by brothers James White of Bronte and the Honourable John White of Milton. The jockey was Alex McLaughlin. White Rose had won the first heat in a record time and was only half a second slower in winning the second heat. The second heat created a degree of excitement when White Rose’s trainer (or groom), a Mr. Fagan, ran onto the track to encourage the jockey and the horse on. According to the news report in The Evening Journal, Fagan was struck in the shoulder by another horse and he was spun around and knocked over.

Though the trophy was indeed a plate in its early days, it has since been replaced by a gold cup. Plate winners earn a gift of 50 guineas from the monarch. But the little purple bag of coins contains not guineas but sovereigns. Minting of guineas was discontinued by George III, whose forebear, George I, instituted the royal gift of 50 guineas for thoroughbred race winners, a tradition that remains today.

Sources: web sites: http://www.woodbineentertainment.com; www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com; www.canadianhorseracinghalloffame.com; books: The Plate, A Royal TraditionAn Unbroken Line (Note: both books are available at the St. Catharines Public Library.

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Alexander Watson
(by Bill Stevens. Edited from the article originally published in the March 2002 Newsletter)

On the James Street and Church Street corner of St. Catharines City Hall stands a military statue placed there to honour St. Catharines native Alexander Watson. In the Society Newsletter of May 1997 there was a picture of Alexander’s funeral cortege proceeding down Ontario Street. Alexander was mortally wounded on May 12, 1885 while participating in the Federal government’s effort to suppress Louis Riel and the Northwest Rebellion. He died three days latter on May 15, 1885, and his body was returned to St. Catharines and he was buried with full military honours in Victoria Lawn Cemetery.

The following are the inscriptions on the monument in Victoria Lawn:
Alexander / son of / David & Isabella / Watson / wounded at / Batoche N.W.T. / May 12, 1885 / Died / May 15, 1885 / Aged / 28 years / called home / WATSON
(on other side) David Watson / Born / Nov. 11, 1822 / Died / Aug 8 / 1900 / A Native of Scotland / Isabella / wife of / David Watson / Died / July 23, 1897 / Aged / 63 years
(on other side) Bella / dau. of / David & Isabella / Watson / Died at New York / Apr. 3, 1889 / Aged / 33 years.

In an undated newspaper clipping titled “Watson’s Death Noted in Winnipeg Newspaper” and attributed to the St. Catharines Historical Museum, there is a picture of Watson and the following is extracted from it (additional information in brackets): Private Watson served in the 90th (Winnipeg) Battalion (Rifles) … On the day Pte. Watson was wounded the troops reached the bluffs and began to attack the Metis who were without ammunition. The Metis were then forced to retreat from the bluffs across a large, open ploughed field to the protection of the village homes. When the Canadian troops advanced across the same field, many were picked off by Metis marksmen who were hidden in the houses of Batoche. The Canadian troops, however, managed to overpower the Metis. The battle lasted only four days and was the breaking point for the Metis who had run out of ammunition … Riel was seen as the villain 100 years ago (thus the article was likely written in 1985) and Pte. Watson was the hero of this area. In September 1886 the City of St. Catharines paid for a monument that represented a Canadian volunteer in the at-ease position. Major General T.D. Middleton, Pte. Watson’s commanding officer unveiled the statue. The (limestone) monument was erected in memory of Pte. Watson, yet was to represent all volunteers who fell in the northwest Rebellion. The limestone statue was made in 1886 by James Munro’s Marble and Granite Works at 193 St. Paul St. In August 1886 St. Catharines city council had a special meeting and granted permission to the Watson Monument Memorial Committee to place the statue on the grounds in front of the old city hall building. The original intention was to have it in the cemetery. Then, in September 1886 the monument was unveiled on a Tuesday afternoon. The Thorold Post reported that it was the largest crowd ever seen in the City of St. Catharines and that General Middleton was a big attraction for the people. In 1936 the statue was moved to its present location in front of the new city hall building where it faces Church and James streets. Over the years the statue deteriorated and was in need of repair. In 1971, after much debate by city council, it was restored and three bronze plaques were added. (the article continues with an explanation of the rebellion.)
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Military Monument Plaques
(transcribed by Bill Stevens. Originally published in the March 2002 Newsletter)

There are three plaques on the military monument on the corner of James and Church streets, in front of the St. Catharines City Hall.

The first plaque on the front of the monument replaces the original lettering which could not be restored. The plaque reads as follows:
Erected to the memory of / Private Alexander Watson / 90th Winnipeg Batt. Rifles / Canadian Volunteers / and his companions in arms / who fell in battle during / the Rebellion in the N. W. T. / A. D. 1885 / Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori / Lt-Col. A.T.H. Williams / Battlefield Rifles, N. W. M. Police / Corp. W. H. T. Lowry / R.B. Sleish Const. P. Burke

The second plaque lists other soldiers who served with him and reads as follows:
BOULTON’S SCOUTS / Capt. F. L. Brown, J. French, INTELLIGENCE CORPS. / AT DUCK LAKE, FISH CREEK, CUT KNIFE, BATIOCHE. / W. Cook, W. Phillips, C. Co. I.S.C. / Private J. Watson, Bugler H. Foulkes, GGF GUARDS, / Private J. Rogers, Private Osgoode, / 10th ROYAL GRENADIERS, / Lieut. W. Fitch, Private T. Moore / 90th BATTL’N RIFLES, / Lieut. C. Swinford, Corp. J. Code, / Private A. W. Ferguson, J. Hutchinson, / W. Ennis, R. R. Hardisty, J. Fraser, G. Wheeler, / Private T. H. Damanolley, Lieut. A. W. Keppen.

The third plaque lists names of four area residents who lost heir lives in the Boer War. The plaque reads as follows:

Major Henry M. Arnold
90th WINNIPEG RIFELS / CAPT. 2ND SPECIAL SERVICE BATTALION RC.R.L. / Died Feb 25th, 1900 from wounds received in action at / Paardeburg Drift, South Africa, Feb. 18th 1900

Lieut. J. Edgar Burch
ADJT. 2d DRAGOONS, attached to 1st BATTALION C.M.R. / On special duty, killed in action near Pretoria / South Africa, July 16th 1900

Private Archibald Radcliffe
1st BATTALION C.M.R. 2d TROOP, A SQUADRON / FIELD FORCE , SOUTH AFRICA / killed near Belfast, S.A. Sept. 23rd 1900

Corp. Robert Irwin
19th ST. CATHARINESREGT. / Wounded at Houtuck, South Africa May 1st, 1900 / died in Bloemfontein, S.A. July 1st, 1900

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Colonel George Horace MORGAN

By William J. Stevens

George Horace Morgan was a famous Colonel in the U.S. Army Calvary who received the U.S. Medal of Honor. Enter his name into a search engine and you will find many entries for him, including his picture. He entered the Military Academy on June 14, 1876 and graduated from West Point in the class of 1880. He was married to Mollie BROWNSON (1863-1924). He applied for a passport that was issued on July 5, 1921. The passport application states the following: that he was a retired colonel in the U.S. Army, living in Minneapolis, Minnesota, 66 years of age, born on January 1, 1855 in Canada, father George N. Morgan who was deceased and had been born in New York State. The passport affidavit also says he was born in Canada to American parents. On June 3, 1947 at West Point, General Eisenhower spoke to a group of Cadets and on page 10 of the next day’s issue of the Schenectady Gazette there was an article about the speech: “War is Stupid Folly, Gen. Ike Tells Cadets” “Only Threat to Our Way of Life Justifies Conflict for Americans, He Declares” The articles goes on to say that the speech was to 310 West Point grads of the 151st class and among the officers at the ceremony was Col. George H. Morgan, the oldest living graduate of the academy, class of 1880.

On February 17, 1948 he was buried in the Arlington National Cemetery (section 3, site 20530). So where in Canada was he born?

A review of census records reveals the following:

1880 Census – Highland, Orange County New York – Cadet –USMC, single
1885 Census – Hennepin County, Minneapolis – born Canada.
1900 Census – Bynn, Philippine Island – military and naval force – Captain – born Canada
1910 Census – San Antonio, Ward 6, Bexar, Texas – born Canada – married, spouse Mollie B., and children Louis B. age 23, Edith age 15 and Dorithy age 14 are all recorded in census.

It is not until you look at Immigration records that his place of birth in Canada is revealed –

And that would be St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada.
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Mrs.  (George) Ann Elizabeth Montgomery
(by Bill Stevens – originally published in the March 2002 Newsletter)

Ann was President from 1952 to 1957 of the Lincoln Historical Society, now The Historical Society of St. Catharines. Ann was the Society’s first female president and one of the longer serving presidents.

Ann was born in St. Catharines as Ann Elizabeth ELLIOTT on April 23, 1884. She lived her entire life here and was very active in the community. She was a frequent contributor to The Standard of articles of historical interest.

During World War II she was secretary of the Queen Mary Needlework Guild of St. Catharines and for many years was also president of the Guild. The Guild assisted in the packing of bales of clothing to be sent to the Queen Mary Needlework Guild in London, England.
When Winston Churchill was in Queenston in 1943, he expressed an interest in Laura Secord, the Women’s Literary Society, of which Ann was President, sent him a book on the story of Laura Secord. She also belonged to St. George’s Anglican Church and was a member of the Women’s Service Club. She was a member of the Athenaeum Club. She was active in the IODE and was a life member of Lord Tennyson chapter.

A newspaper write-up featuring Mrs. Montgomery in The Standard of July 17, 1962, titled “Stories of the past are her passion” pointed out her immense enthusiasm for history. She explained that her uncles had told her about their participation in the Civil War and the Fenian Raids and that her grandfather was in the Mackenzie Rebellion. She points out that her ancestors came to Canada from Ireland in 1835. Throughout the article she enthuses about the history of St. Catharines and points out that we have no local museum. She is quoted as saying, “Until we get one, people won’t part with antiques or anything worth while”…”If all the people who have been living here so long would write a history of their families, we would have something permanent. More of the historical sites should be marked, not just for interest, but so they aren’t torn down.”

The Montgomerys lived at 159 Russell Avenue. Ann passed away at the St. Catharines General Hospital on August 28, 1964, after being ill for a month. Her husband George predeceased her in 1953. At her death, four nieces and one nephew survived her. On August 29 a service was held at 2 p.m. in the Hulse and English Funeral chapel, with her burial following in Victoria Lawn Cemetery (old section M, division 29, lot 3, grave 4 west).

The monument marking her grave site reads as follows: George Ernest Montgomery Feb 22, 1885 – Oct 18, 1953 – His wife Ann Elizabeth Elliott Apr 23, 1884 – Aug 28, 1964.

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Geoffrey M. Lampard – Past President – 1951
(originally published in the December 2002 Newsletter)

The following obituary appeared in the March 26, 1973 issue of The Standard

Well-Known Lawyer Passes Here Sunday
Geoffrey Martin Lampard, a prominent St. Catharines lawyer, died suddenly yesterday in Hotel Dieu Hospital. He was 72 and lived at 112 Queen St. Although he had been in the best of health for some time, his death was unexpected. Mr. Lampard was a member of the firm Seymour, Lampard and had practiced law in St. Catharines since 1926 when he graduated from Osgoode Hall. He was appointed a Queen’s Counsel in 1949. Born in Grantham Township he had lived in St. Catharines all his life and was a member of St. Barnabas Anglican Church where he was a former warden of the church. A member of the Law Society of Upper Canada and the Canadian Bar Association, he also belonged to Lincoln County Law Association and to A.F. and A.M., GRC.  Mr. Lampard was also a member of the St. Catharines Club and the St. Catharines and District Chamber of Commerce. A veteran of the Second World War, he served initially with the Lincoln and Welland Regiment, later transferring to the records office to be posted with the estates branch at Canadian Military Headquarters in London. He was discharged with the rank of lieutenant-colonel and belonged to the Niagara Peninsula Armed Forces Institute. Mr. Lampard is survived by his wife Mary G. Lampard; his daughter, Mrs. David B. (Judith) Gittings in St. Catharines; his son, Roy S. G. Lampard in Pinawa, Man.; his sister, Mrs. B. A. Page in Toronto; his brother, Percy S. Lampard in Ottawa; and six grandchildren. A memorial service will be held Wednesday in St. Barnabas Church at 11 a.m. The family will receive friends in the church parish hall immediately following the service. Cremation will take place later.

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Past President Wilfred Rand Bald – 1958
(by: Bill Stevens; edited from what was originally published in the September 2002 Newsletter)

An article in the April 14, 1982 issue of The Standard paid tribute to Wilfred Bald, titled “Paved Way for Region”. Much of the following information is taken from this article. Wilfred Bald died suddenly on Tuesday, April 13 at the St. Catharines General Hospital at the age of 89 years. He was born on August 14, 1892 at St. Catharines and lived here all his life. He lived at 32 Wolseley Avenue. He was mayor of St. Catharines in 1959 and 1960 and was the city’s last mayor before amalgamation with the former towns of Merritton and Port Dalhousie and former Grantham Township. The newspaper article quotes another former mayor, Mackenzie Chown, “He led us through that very difficult period when we were arranging amalgamation ….  a gentleman with a sensible level headed approach to politics. He has a way about him that did us proud”. Wilfred was a St. Patrick’s Ward alderman for 13 years before he was mayor and another 10 years after being mayor, including the time that Mr. Chown was mayor from 1968-1972. Wilfred was chair of the St. Catharines Centennial Committee in 1967. For 43 years he was an accountant with the Niagara, St. Catharines and Toronto Railway, retiring in 1957. He was a member of St. Paul St. United Church (now Silver Spire United Church) where he was a member of the board of trustees. He had been a member of Maple Leaf Lodge 103, A.F. and A.M., for more than 50 years. His wife Laura Amelia was born in 1891 and died in 1979. He was survived by several nieces and nephews. Service was held at the Butler Funeral Home, with burial on April 16, 1982 at Victoria Lawn Cemetery (Old Section E, Div. 8, Lot W 1/2-1, grave 3).

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Private Alexander WATSON and the Monument 

(two newspaper excerpts originally published in the December 2009 Newsletter)

Thorold Post, June 5, 1885, p.3:

“The funeral of Private Watson at St. Catharines on Friday last was the largest by long odds that was ever held in that city. The civic council and thirty other organizations attended in bodies, and the streets were thronged by thousands all the way to the cemetery. The pageant was most imposing, the remains being borne to their final resting-place on a gun-carriage. Large numbers from Thorold and other places attended.”

Thorold Post, September 17, 1886, p.2:

“The unveiling of the Watson monument was performed Tuesday afternoon (September 14) between three and four o’clock. The crowd was, we think, the largest ever gathered in our city, fences, trees and every spot that could hold a sightseer occupied. The ceremony was decidedly tame owing to the poor arrangement of the platform, which was only about a foot high, altogether too low to enable the crowd to see or hear what was going on, and not a single cheer was heard from beginning to end. Hundreds of people in the crowd not did catch a glance at Middleton (commander of the forces that suppressed the Riel rebellion). The ceremony consisted in the handing over of the deed of the monument by Dr. Goodman, for the monument committee, to Mayor King, who called on Gen. Middleton to unveil the monument. The monument is an imposing affair, consisting of three bases, a disc containing the inscription, the cap, the whole surmounted by a statue of a Canadian volunteer at ‘stand at ease’ position.”

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Lincoln County Court Judges 1850-1969

(originally published in the December 2007 Newsletter)

Prior to 1850 the local provincial law courts were under the jurisdiction of the individual districts. The Court House and Gaol of the Niagara District was located at the Town of Niagara. (By 1850 they were separate buildings.) Effective 31 December 1849, districts were abolished and replaced with the English system of counties.

1. 1850 – 1860+

CAMPBELL, Edward Clarke (1806 – 1860+)

Called to the Bar: 1830

Practiced: Town of Niagara (1830-1841)

Previously District Court Judge (Niagara): 1841-31/12/1849

Appointed County Court Judge (United Counties of Lincoln, Welland and Haldimand) effective: 01/01/1850

Died while in office and is buried in St. Mark’s Cemetery, Niagara

2. 1860 – 1877

LAWDER, John Marjoribanks (1824/25 – 1893)

Called to the Bar: 1845

Practiced: Town of Niagara (1845 – 1856)

Crown Attorney and Clerk of the Peace (Lincoln County): 1856 – 1860

Appointed Lincoln County Court Judge: 1860 (retired November 1877)

Buried in St. Andrew’s Cemetery, Niagara

In 1862, the County Town was removed to the Town of St. Catharines. The Court and County offices took over its Town Hall and an addition was built to accommodate them. A separate County Jail was erected on Niagara Street.

3. 1877 – 1900+

SENKLER, Edmund John, Q.C. (1835 – 1900+)

Called to the Bar: 1860

Practiced: Brockville (1860 – 1863)

Crown Attorney (1863) and Clerk of the Peace (1876) (United Counties of Leeds and Grenville) to 1877

Created QC: 1876

Appointed Lincoln County Court Judge: 1877

Died while in office, buried in Brockville

4. 1900 – 1916+

CARMAN, Robert Baldwin (1843/24 – 24/01/1916+)

Called to the Bar: 1873

Practiced: Cornwall (1873 – 1879)

Served as Deputy/junior Judge (United Counties of Stormont and Glengarry): 1879 – 1900

Appointed Lincoln County Court Judge: February/March 1900

Died while in office, buried in Victoria Lawn Cemetery, St. Catharines

5. 1916 – 1936

CAMPBELL, Col. John Samuel, KC (1860 – 1950)

Called to the Bar: 1887

Practiced: St. Catharines (1887 – 1915)

Colonel commanding 19th “Lincoln” Regiment 1906 – 1910

Mayor of City of St. Catharines: 1908 and 1909

Created KC: 1910

Colonel commanding Welland Canal Force (WWI): 09 February 1915 – January 1916

Appointed Lincoln County Court Judge: Early 1916 (retired 1936)

President, Lincoln County Law Association: 1929 – 1933

Buried in Victoria Lawn Cemetery, St. Catharines

6. 1936 – 1949

STANBURY, James George Stuart, KC (1873 – 1951)

Called to the Bar: 1899

Practiced: Exeter and London (1899 – 1936)

Created KC: 1935

Appointed Lincoln County Court Judge: September/October 1936 (retired 1949)

Buried in Victoria Lawn Cemetery, St. Catharines

7. 1949 – 1969

DARBY, Thomas Jefferson (1896 – 1976)

Called to the Bar: 1925

Practiced: Welland (1925 – 1949)

Appointed Lincoln County Court Judge: 09/02/1949 (retired as Judge from the Judicial District of Niagara North in 1971)

Buried in Victoria Lawn Cemetery, St. Catharines

Effective 01/01/1970 counties were abolished by the Province of Ontario and replaced by Regional municipalities. The Lincoln County Court became part of the Judicial District of Niagara North, thus ending 120 years of separate existence under its former name. Researched and Compiled by Alex Ormston.

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Headline: A Gravestone Found In Cellar In Canal Zone

‘It Was Unearthed by One of the Canal Workers in an Old House Tuesday’

An extraordinary discovery was made Tuesday by one of the Hill-Leonard Engineering Co. laborers on the Welland Ship Canal, near Homer. The man was engaged in removing debris from the cellar of an old house which stands on the canal right of way, when he uncovered a flat stone slab. On investigation this was a tombstone with this inscription, the Christian names having been erased with a cold chisel: “In memory of ______ _________ wife of John Lancaster, died 19th February 1873, aged 25 years, 2 months.” It is hardly supposed that this can be the original location of the grave and no further search has been made.

Source: St. Catharines Standard, 15 July 1914, page 1.

(originally published in the December 2007 Newsletter)

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Headline: The First Fatal Accident On The Canal Construction

‘George Robertson Was Run Over by a Train He Was Brakeman On’

‘Taken to The Government Hospital at Homer, Where He Died Thursday Evening’

George Robertson, an Englishman recently out, 21 years of age met with a fatal accident Thursday morning between 8 and 9 o’clock, on section 3 of the new canal construction at Thorold. Robertson was brakeman on a line of dump cars, and went to jump onto the moving engine when his foot caught in a frog and he was thrown down the engine passing over both legs. He was taken at once to the Government Hospital at Homer where one leg was amputated at the thigh. He died Thursday afternoon at 5 o’clock. The funeral will be held Saturday at 2:30 from the company’s boarding house on the townline. Robertson had only been in this country about eight months and has one cousin Mr. Holden in Hamilton. It has not been decided yet as to when an inquest will be held, but an inquest is necessary, the victim having been employed on a public work, Coroner Armour stated this afternoon.

Source: St. Catharines Standard, July 24, 1914, page 1.

(originally published in the December 2007 Newsletter)

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The Naming of Lakeside Park

The following appeared in The Evening Star (St. Catharines), July 22, 1902, page 1.

‘Improvements at the Port’

The management of the N.S. & T.R. is sparing no exertions to make Port Dalhousie without any equal as a summer resort. Everything that can be done to contribute to the pleasure, comfort and convenience of summer residents and the citizens of the Port, is being done and it is greatly to the credit of General Manager Seixas that so much has been accomplished. Under his energetic and capable direction the improvements and innovations made are rapidly bringing to the Port the importance and thriving prosperity which it deserves as a first-class summer resort.

The latest work to be completed under the direction of Mr. Seixas is the erection of twenty-five bath-houses along the beach. The entire structure measures 80 by 42 feet and each of the twenty-five compartments is of ample size to give every accommodation and convenience to its occupant. For the further accommodation of bathers a four-foot walk has been laid to the bath-houses and thence to the beach. The spot will henceforth be known as Lakeside Park, and when all the contemplated improvements have been made it will be one of the prettiest spots in Ontario. For scenery, fishing, cool bracing air, and general enjoyment the summer tourists will find Port Dalhousie unexcelled.

(originally published in the December 2007 Newsletter)

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Bronze Tablets of City Honour Roll on the Front of City Hall

(originally published in the December 2008 Newsletter)

For many years the question of when the bronze tablets honouring those men from St. Catharines who made the supreme sacrifice during WW I were placed on the front of City Hall has been asked. Thanks to a discovery by Arden Phair and follow-up investigation by Bill Stevens, a newspaper story on the front page of The St. Catharines Standard issue of Monday, November 11, 1940 reports the unveiling of the bronze tablets at the Remembrance Day ceremony that same day. They were unveiled by Mayor Daley and the article indicates that they will be placed on the municipal building. When the tablets for WW II were placed is still undetermined.

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War 1812 Losses Sustained by George Adams

Originally published in the December 2008 Newsletter

George Adams who was a magistrate and a lieutenant in the First Regiment of Lincoln Militia had been dangerously wounded in the battle on the 27th May and taken to his home in the small village at the bridge over the Twelve Mile Creek, which had lately received the name of Saint Catharines. When General Vincent advanced to that place his headquarters were established in his house, probably the best available building. His claim for compensation shows that this fact did not save him from the insistent demands of a force living on the resources of the country they were engaged in defending. “Statement of Losses sustained by George Adams of the Township of Grantham by His Majesty’s Troops and Indians in the year 1813 commanded by General Vincent.

“49 sheep killed and carried away by the Troops and Indians under the Command of General Vincent in July 1813 when on the advance from Stoney Creek at 15/each = £35.11.0

“37 fat Hogs taken from my Distillery at 20/each = £37.0.0

“one Horse Wagon taken by Doctor Thomas for the use of the Hospital (never returned) on the Retreat in October  = £15.0.0

“a Receipt given by Mr. Ingham of the King’s or 8th Regt., for thirteen days of my team which I afterwards lost and never received Payment for at 15/ = £9.15.0

total line) £98.5.0

After the second retreat of the army in October, 1813, his known loyalty and the fact that he was an officer in the militia and a magistrate was considered a sufficient pretext for raiding his house and carrying him away as a prisoner of war. In a second raid his distillery was destroyed.

“Statement of damages sustained by a Party of the American Army under the Command of General Porter and Colo. Hopkins to Geo. Adams of the Township of Grantham in the month of October of 1813.”

- two Dispatch Horses which had just come off Duty From Major General Vincent taken by General Porter upon the 11th October, 1813.  £50.0.0

- two Saddles and Bridle Ditto  £10.0.0.

- a Large Distillery with three Copper Stills, &c., Burned and Destroyed by a Party of the American Army under Command of Col. Hopkins on the Night of the 19th, October, 1813 – £250.0.0. “This Distillery was situate in the village of Saint Catharines in the Township of Grantham and was occupied as a bake house for the use of his Majesty’s troops from the time of Genl. Vincent’s advance from Stoney Creek until the Retreat from the Cross Roads in October.”

(total line) Halifax Cy   £310.0.0.

Source: Page 80 and 81 of Records of Niagara: a collection of contemporary letters and documents, January to July 1813, published by the Niagara Historical Society 1939, which can be found on http://www.ourroots.ca.

Notes: George Adam’s residence was approximately where the former Hotel Dieu Hospital is located on Ontario Street. Also, Alex Ormston says that Thomas Adams’ Inn at Ontario Street and St. Paul Street was burnt by the Americans as well.

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Designation of the DeCou House Monument

By Bill Stevens – Originally published in the December 2006 Newsletter

On Sunday, October 15, 2006, I attended the designation, under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act of the DeCou House Monument located at 2350 DeCew Road in Thorold. The site is located just south of the St. Catharines City boundary. This monument incorporates the remains of a Georgian-style house built by Captain John DeCou early in the 19th century. The visible portion of the monument which was constructed in the early 1950′s, after the second of two fires had gutted the home, consists of a portion of the original limestone walls of the house rising to the level of the lower first-floor window sills, a flagstone floor and a plaque mounted on a cairn incorporated into the inside of the rear wall (unveiled October 13, 1953). Beneath the floor is the original basement which was filled with rubble from those portions of the walls of the house remained standing after the fire and which were taken down when the monument was constructed. This monument is unique in that it presents the appearance of a partly uncovered ruin or one exposed in an archaeological excavation. The DeCou house played a pivotal role in the War of 1812, the Battle of Beaverdams and Laura Secord’s famous walk. John DeCou was involved in many aspects of the areas history and development. He was a lieutenant of a militia company in the 2nd Lincoln, District of Niagara, in 1809. General Brock visited regularly at DeCou’s home. The house was used as a store and garrison for British troops in the War of 1812. Lieutenant James FitzGibbon of the 49th Regiment took up residence at the stone house, along with a troop of volunteers. At one period while John DeCou was in prison, the house was occupied by soldiers while the Indian allies camped in the nearby fields. The house remained a military outpost well into 1814. The house was ransacked twice by the Americans in 1813-14. John DeCou’s grist mills employed many local settlers and a settlement called “DeCew Town” came into being, with a school, church and blacksmith shop.

John DeCou became one of the incorporators of the Welland Canal Company when it was formed in 1824. In 1833, after the destruction of his milling business, he purchased 600 acres of bush land on Derquania Creek in North Cayuga Township, Haldimand County, where he constructed a dam across the creek and built two sawmills and a grist mill. A hamlet sprang up known as “DeCewsville.” He was active in local politics there and died in 1855, and is buried at DeCewsville.

Source: program handed out at designation by Heritage Thorold LACAC.

More information can be found at Heritage Thorold’s web site <heritagethorold.com)

The Historical Society of St. Catharines congratulates Heritage Thorold on this designation.

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The British Methodist Episcopal Church – Salem Chapel

By Bill Stevens from Church Brochure – Originally published in the December 2006 Newsletter

This National historic site located at 92 Geneva Street was open during Doors Open Niagara on the weekend of October 14 and 15, 2006. Members of the congregation enthusiastically welcomed guests, who took advantage of the opportunity to tour this treasure in our community. The church and the congregation’s history are contained in a small brochure that was available at Doors Open Niagara and is reprinted here as follows:

Bishop Richard Allen of the African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Church of the U.S.A. started the first national movement for resettling free Negroes in Canada in 1830. This movement was the first step in establishing A.M.E. Churches in Canada. The A.M.E. Church of the U.S.A. sent missionaries to Canada in 1834 to preach the Gospel among the Black settlers. In 1837, Richard Williams was sent to the St. Catharines area by the New York Annual Conference. He established the first official A.M.E. congregation in St. Catharines in 1838.

The Fugitive Slave Act was in force in the U.S.A. since 1787. The British Parliament decided to abolish slavery throughout the British Empire in 1833. By this law, Canada, a British colony, prohibited slavery; therefore, Canada became a haven for fugitive slaves. The Northern States of the U.S.A. were against slavery, they took the initiative to create the Underground Railroad movement. They were helping the fugitive slaves flee from the South to the Northern States and Canada during the years prior to the Civil War (1861-1865).

Harriet Tubman (1820?-1913) was personally aided by the “Underground Railroad”. She escaped from slavery in Maryland to freedom in 1849. She became a conductor of the Underground Railroad and made at least nineteen trips to the Southern States. She brought more than 300 Blacks from slavery to the Northland Canada despite a price of $40,000 on her head. Because of her brave activities of liberating her people from slavery, she was honoured as the “Black Moses”.

In 1851, Harriet Tubman brought eleven freedom seekers to St. Catharines. They joined the A.M.E. Church in St. Catharines. Harriet Tubman was a member of the said church and resided behind it on North Street.

Methodist Societies of the A.M.E. Church were growing rapidly throughout Upper Canada. They were carefully watching the political tension between the North and South and also the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act that passed in Congress. A splinter group was developing among the A.M.E. membership in Canada. The group wished to sever their ties with the A.M.E. Church in the U.S.A. to identify themselves more closely with the British ideals and government.

Rev. Benjamin Stewart proposed a motion to form a separate body at the A.M.E. Church Conference held in 1854. The motion was successfully passed. Then the Canadian Annual Conference of the A.M.E. Church sent a memorial to the General Conference of the A.M.E. Church in the U.S.A. seeking to withdraw from the A.M.E. Church. Their request was granted in 1856 and the British Methodist Episcopal (BME) Church of Canada was formed in Chatham, Ontario.

People of African Descent came to settle in the St. Catharines area as free Blacks and Loyalists as early as 1780. They were a major part of the early fabric of the Niagara Peninsula. They had formed an African Methodist Society of the A.M.E. Church as early as 1820. Most of the Black community lived close to the Geneva, Welland and North Streets district in St. Catharines. Abolitionists, William Hamilton Merritt and Oliver Phelps sold land on Geneva Street, at the corner of North Street, for the use of the “African Methodist Episcopal Church”. The congregation built a small church made out of crude logs. It was later demolished once the current site was built. The building work started in October of 1853 and the service of dedication for the church was held on November 15, 1855 and was conducted by Rev. Dr. Payne of Cincinnati.

The A.M.E. Church was built with the memory of the churches the freedom seekers left behind in the Southern States. Therefore, the church has significance both in its structural rarity and its social history.

The church is a small white wooden frame building with stucco over the original clapboard. It is set on a rubble foundation which has been reinforced with concrete and supported by walnut timbers. The front facade is three bays wide with two long gothic windows. The original square doorway has been altered to accept gothic doors. In addition, a protective platform has been suspended over the doorway. There are four gothic windows on both sides of the building which are identical to the front windows. The church is an exact replica of southern Baptist churches. This architecture is unique in Ontario.

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Robert Franklin Patterson Buried in Victoria Lawn Cemetery

By Bill Stevens – Originally published in the December 2006 Newsletter

Did you know that a high-ranking Civil War veteran is buried in Victoria Lawn Cemetery? Buried in old Section D, Division 27, Lot 3, his monument reads: R. F. PATTERSON / BRIG. GEN. U.S.V. / BORN / MAR 9TH, 1831 (note: other sources indicate 1836) / DIED / JAN’Y 9TH, 1907 / Fts: R.F.P.; M.B.P. Robert Franklin PATTERSON.

Robert was born in Belfast, Maine on March 9, 1836 to John and Mary Patterson. He received his formal education in Belfast before moving to Keokuk, Lee County, Iowa prior to the start of the Civil War. He enlisted in June 1861 and on July 15 was appointed Second Lieutenant and Regimental Quartermaster of the 5th Iowa Infantry and served in Company ‘C’. He served in the Missouri Campaign under General Fremont. He was promoted to Adjutant on January 27, 1862. He took part in the capture of New Madrid on March 14, 1862 and then the capture of Island No. 10. He was promoted to Brevet Colonel of Volunteers on March 26, 1862. He took part in the siege and capture of Corinth, Mississippi in late May 1862. He was wounded in the right arm on September 19, 1862 in Iuka, Mississippi. He was promoted Lieutenant Colonel on November 3, 1862 and joined the 29th Iowa Infantry. In the spring of 1863 he took part in the siege of Vicksburg; the battle at Helena, Arkansas on July 4, 1863; the capture of Little Rock in September 1863; the siege of Spanish Fort, Alabama in March 1865; and the capture of Mobile, Alabama on April 12, 1865. On May 22, 1865 he was promoted to Brevet Brigadier General “for gallant and meritorious service at Spanish Fort and Mobile.” Patterson mustered out August 10, 1865 at New Orleans, Louisiana. After the war he settled in Memphis, Shelby County, Tennessee and was engaged as a cotton broker. In April 1869, President Grant appointed him Collector of Internal Revenue at Memphis, a position he held for 13 years. He served as postmaster of Memphis from 1889 to1893. He was the U.S. Consul General at Calcutta, India from May 1897 through 1906. Robert was a Republican in politics.

Robert died on January 9, 1907 at St. Catharines and is buried in Victoria Lawn Cemetery.

He married Marion Benedict Hudson (nee Merritt), widow of Judge Hudson, on August 3, 1878. Marion was born on May 16, 1849 in Michigan and died on October 5, 1934 in Hamilton and is buried beside her husband in Victoria Lawn Cemetery. They had three daughters and a son:

* Maud Cloudman Hudson (stepdaughter) – born in 1872 in Tennessee. She married Dr. Wm. Hamilton Merritt on October 12, 1892 in Chicago.

* Mabel Patterson – born 1879 in Tennessee. She married Lieutenant Colonel H.F. Davies.

* Marion Patterson

* Robert Frank Patterson Jr. – born on April 17, 1881 and died on February 24, 1920. He is also buried in Victoria Lawn Cemetery.

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100th Anniversary of the Ontario Horticultural Association

By Bill Stevens – Originally published in the December 2006 Newsletter

On November 9, 1906 the first annual meeting of the Ontario Horticultural Association (O.H.A.) was held in Toronto. Sixteen delegates attended and elected the first officers of the Association. William Bartlett Burgoyne of St. Catharines was elected the first president, to serve the remainder of 1906 and 1907 and C. A. Hesson of St. Catharines was elected as a director.

Horticultural Societies existed prior to 1906 and many met in conventions in 1904 and 1905 in order to form the O.H.A. The Association’s most notable accomplishment was the culmination of the Province of Ontario passing an Act in the Legislature on March 16, 1937 adopting the Trillium Grandiflorum (white) as the floral emblem of the Province of Ontario. The emblem in varied forms is still used today.

Annual membership fees were set at $2.00 starting in 1907 for each Horticultural Society in Ontario, and delegates from member societies only were allowed to vote.

W. B. Burgoyne was born on August 2, 1855 to Henry and Martha Burgoyne. He married Mary Lavinia Darker in June 1880. They had three children: Henry, Clair and Estelle. William was the founder of the Evening Star in 1887, which lasted four years. He then purchased the St. Catharines Standard in 1892. He was an Anglican in faith, served as a City Alderman for several years and as Mayor in 1903. William was president of the  St. Catharines Horticultural Society for four years and when he died on December 31, 1921 he left provision in his will for the acquisition of what to-day is Burgoyne Woods. He donated the first civic rose garden in Canada when he was newspaper editor.

The St. Catharines Horticultural Society is still very active in St. Catharines to-day and is a member of District 9 of the Ontario Horticultural Association.

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They Lost Their Lives In The Boer War

By Bill Stevens – Orginally published in the March 2005 Newsletter

In front of the St. Catharines City Hall stands a war memorial with the name Watson prominently displayed across the front. Private Alexander Watson died during the Rebellion in the North West Territories in 1885. A plaque on the memorial lists soldiers who also died while serving in that conflict. However, there is an additional plaque unrelated to the Rebellion and that one is to memorialize four St. Catharines men who made the supreme sacrifice in the Boer War. The Boer War or South African War was fought from October 11, 1899 to May 31, 1902 when The Peace of Vereeniging ended the war and the British Empire declared victory. This war was the first time Canadians fought overseas in a war. More than 7000 Canadians were sent overseas in four separate contingents.

The plaque engraving is provided here, with additional information found about these men.

Major Henry M. Arnold / 90th Winnipeg Rifles / Capt. 2nd Special Services Battalion RC.R.L. / Died Feb 25th 1900 from wounds received in action at / Paardeburg Drift, South Africa, Feb. 18th 1900.

While the plaque reads Major, the Canadian War Memorial web site and other sources show Henry Mittleberger Arnold, as a Captain and that he died February 23rd. He was 40 years of age. He was the son of Charles Morgan Arnold. He was a member of the Royal Canadian Regiment of Infantry, 2nd Battalion and part of the First Contingent. Captain Arnold was shot in the head as he raised himself to scan the battlefield with his binoculars. He is buried in the Vendusiedrift Garden of Remembrance in Paardeberg. The cemetery is located 9.1 kilometres from the Paardeberg Museum, follow a dirt road and turn right at the Cannon sign, travel 600 metres, then turn and travel a further 200 metres. He is remembered on page 2 of the South African War Book of Remembrance on Parliament Hill. A photograph of his grave marker can be seen on the Canadian Virtual War Memorial web site (URL shown below).

Lieut. J. Edgar Burch / Adjt. 2d Dragoons, attached to 1st Battalion C.M.R. / On special duty, killed in action near Pretoria / South Africa, July 16th 1900.

Lieutenant John Edgar Burch was a member of the Royal Canadian Dragoons and was part of the Second Contingent. He was 26 years old when killed and one of two Canadians killed during the battle of Pretoria. The Boers had attacked a detachment of Royal Irish Fusiliers who were in danger of being surrounded. Two troops of Canadians under Lieutenants Borden and Burch were sent to reinforce them. During their counterattack, they led their men in a forward attack and both lost their lives. John Reeves, the Colonel commanding the Royal Irish Fusiliers, wrote, “In the few words I spoke to you (Colonel Lessard) last night at the funeral of your two very gallant officers I am afraid I failed to convey the deep gratitude my regiment owes to the 1st Canadian Mounted Rifles for their gallantry in going so nobly and fearlessly to the succour of our beleaguered detachment at Witpoort yesterday. The counterattack your regiment made occurred at a most critical moment, and doubtless saved many of the lives of our detachment.” Colonel Evans, who was commander of the 2nd Battalion at the time, wrote: “On our return from outpost duty on Tuesday night we buried two officers by lantern light. All Canadians, 1st and 2nd Battalions were there, and representatives from the New Zealanders and Mounted Infantry. The burial service was conducted by the Brigade chaplain, the Rev. Mr. Gardiner, and as the two gallant lads lay there, with a Canadian flag, which I picked up at Johannesburg, covering their bodies, and their Canadian comrades all about them, it was sad and most impressive scene, and I think all our hearts were turned toward the sorrowing ones in the dear old land we had left a few months ago.”

He was the son of Major F.O. Burch and brother of A.L. Burch, Knox College, Toronto. He was the manager of the Knife Works. He is buried in the Braamfontein Garden of Remembrance in Johannesburg. The cemetery is located on Graaf Street, off Smit Street. Enter through the gate, go 400 metres and turn right, and go 100 metres to find the Canadian graves on the right side.

He is remembered on page 6 of the South African War Book of Remembrance on Parliament Hill. His portrait and a photograph of his grave marker can be seen on the Canadian Virtual War Memorial web site (URL shown below).

Private Archibald Radcliffe / 1st Battalion C.M.R. 2d Troop, A Squadron / Field Force, South Africa / killed near Belfast, S.A. Sept 23rd 1900.

Private Archibald Radcliffe (listed as Ratcliff in the Canadian Virtual War Memorial) was killed in action when khaki-clad Boers lured him and three other dragoons into a trap killing two of them as they fought their way out. He was 21 years of age. He was a member of the Royal Canadian Regiment and part of the Second Contingent. He is buried in the Belfast Old Municipal Cemetery. The cemetery can be found by turning off the N4 towards Belfast, then going under the railroad bridge, turning left at fork (Spitskop Road), then right at Van Kraayenberg Street, then left onto Scheepers Street, which turns into a dirt road, then 150 metres to the cemetery, which is on the left and the Canadian graves are at the top centre.

He is remembered on page 34 of the South African War Book of Remembrance on Parliament Hill. A photograph of his grave marker can be seen on the Canadian Virtual War Memorial web site (URL shown below).

Corp. Robert Irwin / 19th St. Catharines Regt. / Wounded at Houtuck, South Africa May 1st, 1900 / died in Bloemfontein, S.A. July 1st, 1900.

Private (in the Canadian Virtual War Memorial) Robert Irwin, military service number 7204, died of enteric fever at age 19 years while serving in the Royal Canadian Regiment. He was part of the First Contingent. He was the son of Robert Irwin of St. Catharines. He had previously served with the 19th St. Catharines Battery. He is buried in the President Brand Cemetery in Bloemfontein, located on the corner of Church and President streets, Johannesburg.

He is remembered on page 19 of the South African War Book of Remembrance on Parliament Hill. A photograph of his grave marker can be seen on the Canadian Virtual War Memorial web site (URL shown below).

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The Canadian Virtual War Memorial

The Canadian Virtual War Memorial web site contains the names of those who made the supreme sacrifice for our country. The site contains information on those who died in the South African / Boer War, WWI, WWII and the Korean War. There is the ability to submit photographs, letters, etc. of those named and thus be made accessible on this site. If you have a picture of a soldier that currently has none on-line, please send it in. If you are unable to do so, the Society can have another member scan it and submit it. The web site is located at:

< http://www.vac-acc.gc.ca/general/sub.cfm?source=collections/virtualmem&gt;

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Lest We Forget – Richard Braithwaite Spaven

(by: Bill Stevens – Originally published in the September 2003 Newsletter)

The fourth name down on the right side of the Merritton Cenotaph reads “Richard Spavin”(sic). Who was Richard Spaven? In March of 2001, I (Bill Stevens) received an e-mail from Mrs. Kate Stirk who lives in York, North Yorkshire, England, and after a few exchanges of e-mails Kate sent me a parcel containing discs with about 60 photographs. One of those photos was of Richard Spaven, her husband’s great uncle. Richard had taken many photos as a young man living in Merritton and sent them home to show his family where he lived and what he did for a living here. Richard was born in Thornton le Clay, a small village 5 miles east of York, North Yorkshire, England. His parents were Richard and Margaret (Braithwaite) Spaven, and they had 8 children. The family business appears to have been building, carpentry and bricklaying. There are other Spavens in the village also in this line of business, possibly uncles and cousins. His father and grandfather were builders and joiners and Richard became a bricklayer.

Richard and his brother Robert both came to Merritton. While it is uncertain when Richard came here, Robert arrived sometime prior to October 1912. Robert lived here several years before going to Australia. Richard was here only for a short time before he enlisted on February 7, 1916 at age 24 and 7 months in the Canadian Field Artillery. He states that he was in the Territorial Army for 3 years (in Yorkshire). His records show him as 5 feet 8 inches tall, fair complexion, brown eyes and light brown hair. He trained at Camp Petawawa, was sent overseas and arrived in England on August 22, 1916 on board the S.S. Cameronia. One month later he caught diptheria and spent 77 days in isolation in the hospital in Aldershot. While on leave he returned home to see his parents and then, not long after, he was sent into battle, only to die on the battlefield on November 4, 1917 (possibly Vimy Ridge or Passchendaele in Belgium).

The following is inscribed on his parent’s monument in the churchyard at Sand Hutton, a village on the outskirts of York: “Richard Spaven, Gnr C.F.A., son of the above Killed in Action in the Great War. Nov 4th 1917 and buried in Brandhoek No.3 Military Cemetery, Belgium, Age 25”. Brandhoek is near Ieper (Ypres. He is also named on the war memorial in his parents village.

A short occasional article headed “Additional Casualties Among Local Soldiers” appeared in the The St. Catharines Standard, November 21, 1917, p. 1 reads as follows: “GUNNER RICHARD SPAVEN – the official casualty list contains the name of Gunner R. Spaven of this city, as having been killed in action. No official word has been received by local friends. Before enlisting he was employed at the Independent Rubber Works. His parents reside at Tulford, Kent (this is incorrect location), England. He enlisted with the 49th Battery and was a bricklayer by trade.”

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Wardens of Lincoln County From St. Catharines

(originally published in December 2005 Newsletter)

1850* – Bernard FOLEY – Reeve of St. Catharines

1854# – Elias Smith ADAMS – Reeve of St. Catharines

1856# – George Rykert – Reeve of St. Catharines

1856@ – George Rykert – Reeve of St. Catharines

1857 – James G. CURRIE – Deputy Reeve of St. Catharines

1858 – William McGIVERIN – Reeve of St. Catharines

1867 – J.C. RYKERT – Reeve of St. Catharines

1868 – J.C. RYKERT – Reeve of St. Catharines

1872 – James Douglas – Deputy Reeve of St. Catharines

1874 – Calvin BROWN – Deputy Reeve of St. Catharines

* United Counties of Lincoln, Welland and Haldimand. Haldimand County separated 1851.

# United Counties of Lincoln and Welland. Welland County separated in 1856.

@ Lincoln County only

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Dedication Of Monument to James “Chief” SMILEY

(by Bill Stevens – originally published in the December 2005 Newsletter)

On Saturday, August 20, 2005 at 11 a.m. in the St. Andrew’s Cemetery at the foot of Johnston Street, in Old Port Dalhousie, I was pleased to be able to join a small group of family and friends gathered to dedicate a monument to James “Chief” SMILEY. The monument was placed on the previously unmarked gravesite by grandson Wayne SMILEY of Brantingham, New York. The brownish granite monument reads “For My Grandfather” and a mounted photograph of the “Chief” in his gunslingers pose is prominent, following this is his name and date of birth September 20, 1884 and death date of March 18, 1948, followed by the phrase “The

Hermit of Henley and Marksman Extraordinaire”.

The back of the monument bears the following: “My rule of life is to drink and be merry. To be free from belief and unbelief is my religion. I asked the Bride of Destiny her bride price, “Your joyous heart,” she said – a passage from the Chief’s beloved Ruba ‘iyat of Omar Khayyam”.

The grave is in the SMILEY family plot fairly close to the bank of Martindale Pond, a fitting place of rest. James “Chief” SMILEY died when his house located on the banks of the Henley course caught fire and he was unable to escape the inferno.

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Pensioners of the War of 1812

(by Bill Stevens – Originally published in the June 2009 Newsletter)

In 1875 the Canadian Parliament voted to distribute $50,000 in $20.00 increments to all Canadian militia veterans of the War of 1812 who were still alive and residing in Canada. Of the approximately 2554 eligible recipients, who applied, the following veterans are shown as living in St. Catharines.

(first line) name – age in 1875 – residence – 1812-1815 rank – corp or division

BESSEY, John – age 79 – St. Catharines – private – Lincoln

Land Claim Certificate notes that he served in the Flank Co. 1st Regiment Lincoln Militia. Born in Niagara and in the census of 1871 – 21 (A) Grantham Township – age: 74 – religion: NC – origin: English – occupation: farmer. Married on 04 December 1844.

He died 28 April 1885 in Grantham and is buried in Old Section ‘F’ Victoria Lawn Cemetery – Monument Inscription: John BESSEY 1797 – 1885 / His Wife Magdalene SMITH 1793 – 1872

HARTWELL, Joseph K. – age 79 -  St. Catharines – private – Leeds

Land Claim certificate notes that he served in the Flank Co. 2nd Regiment Leeds Militia.

Census of 1871 – 021 (B) St. Catharines – age: 74 – born: USA – religion: EP – origin: English – occupation: labourer. In the 1875-76 Directory for St. Catharines he is listed as Col. Joseph K. HARTWELL living at 16 Yates Street. Burial: unknown

HAYNES, Adam – age 79 – St. Catharines – private  – Lincoln

Born in 1796. Census of 1871 – 21 (D) Louth Township –age: 72 – born: Ontario – religion: Wesleyan Born Methodist – origin: German – occupation: farmer. Adam was the son of Adam a U.E. Loyalist and his wife Elizabeth FROELICK; Adam married Magdalene SCHRAM. Burial: Maple Lawn Cemetery, Third Street, Louth – Inscription: Adam Haynes died Feb. 23, 1884 – 88 y’rs 2 mo’s & 19 days

HILL, Solomon – age 82 – St. Catharines – private – 4th Battalion

Census of 1871 -21 (B) St. Catharines – age: 63 – born: Ontario – religion: PR – origin: English – occupation: INS Manager

Land Claim certificate notes that he served in the 2nd Flank Co. 4th Regiment Lincoln Militia

Burial: unknown

JONES, William – age 78 – St. Catharines, Private, 1st Lincoln

Census of 1871 -21 (A) Grantham Township – Jones William F.  – age: 73  – born: Ontario – religion: Wesleyan Methodist – origin: English – occupation: farmer. His wife’s name was Elizabeth. Burial: unknown

OUSTERHOUT, Henry – age 79 – St. Catharines  – private – Lincoln

Census of 1852 (the surname is spelled OSTERHOUT – born: Upper Canada – occupation: farmer. His wife’s name was Hannah. Burial: St. David’s United Church Cemetery – Monument Inscription: OSTERHOUT, Henry d. Nov. 3, 1875 Age 80 y’rs.

TINLIN, James  – age 84 – St. Catharines  – 1st Lincoln

Land Claim certificate notes that he served in the Flank Co. 1st Regiment Lincoln Militia

Census of Louth Township in 1852 shows him as a carpenter, born in Scotland. His wife’s name was Margaret COON. Burial: unknown

Note: Government Sessional Papers of 1877 show JONES and OSTERHOUT as dead and not receiving their $20.00.

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The PROWETT BEYER and Charles Quackenbush

(by Bill Stevens – slightly edited from article originally published in the March 2006 Newsletter with a copy of the ad which does not appear here)

The Special Collections room in the St. Catharines Library’s Downtown branch has many old directories. Looking through these old city directories can be fun, and one never knows what interesting advertisement you will find. The following advertisement was found in an 1877-1878 City Directory of St. Catharines and reads as follows:

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The Commodious, Fast Sailing

Steam Yacht Ferry

“Prowett Beyer”

Has resumed her trips between

Port Dalhousie & St. Catharines

and will run as follows until further notice

Leaves Port Dalhousie at 8, 10, A.M., 1, 3, 5, P.M.

Leaves St. Catharines Lock 2 qat 9, 11, A.M., 2, 4, 6, P.M.

an omnibus will run in connection with the boat, to

all parts of the city.

Calls at the Ellis House will receive prompt attention.

Chas. Quackenbush,

Late Cooke & Quackenbush.               Proprietor

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One must remember that the automobile had yet to be invented and people used horses, trains and ships. In 1877 the Second Welland Canal was still in use. Remnants of Lock One still remain in old Port Dalhousie. Ships entered the harbour and passed through Lock One near the intersection of Lakeport Road and Lock Street and into the canal, which ran through today’s Rennie Park area and along a route which is now the rowing course and then under the Q.E.W. Henley Bridge. Following the route of Twelve Mile Creek, ships sailed up towards Lock Two located near Welland Vale.

The PROWETT BEYER was constructed in Buffalo, New York in 1874 and originally named the Prowett Boyer. It was registered as the PROWETT BEYER on 21 August 1875 and Port of Registry was St. Catharines. An advertisement in the October 9, 1875 St. Catharines Daily Times announces that the steam yacht PROWETT BEYER goes between Port Dalhousie and St. Catharines and that A. Quackenbush is the proprietor. The ship was built of iron and wood and had a gross tonnage of ten tons, with a net tonnage of six tons. It was 46 feet long, had a breadth of 9 feet and a depth of 4 feet, with steam screw propulsion, and one deck. The hull was built in the Carvel style with a round stern type, no figurehead and unrigged rigging and made of composite hull material. The PROWETT BEYER burned on Lake Erie on June 18, 1892 and registry closed on July 21, 1892.

Charles QUACKENBUSH was born in Fort Erie around 1853 to Alonzo and Elizabeth Quackenbush. Charles is listed on his marriage registration as an engineer, living in Toronto and a member of the Church of England. He married Mary Piuette, daughter of John and Marry Ann, at the residence of William Hutchinson, Port Dalhousie on 11 July 1879 by Rev. John Gribble of the Church of England. This was a couple years after the advertisement appeared in the City Directory. Alonzo Quackenbush is listed in the 1865 Directory living on Queen Street in Port Dalhousie and shown as a tugboat owner. Alonzo is buried in St. John’s Cemetery in Port Dalhousie. The 1877-1878 Directory lists four Quackenbush’s in Port Dalhousie (Capt. Alonzo, Capt. Conrad, Charles and Edward); Charles is listed as living on the west side of Lock Street. The 1881-1882 Directory has two Quackenbush listings in Port Dalhousie: Charles, a tug boat proprietor living on Queen Street near Gertrude; and Connor, also a tug boat proprietor, living at the corner of Lock and Main streets. In the 1881 Census Charles and his wife Mary are shown as having a baby boy, Conrad, born in September 1880. The 1898 Directory entries for Port Dalhousie show only a Capt. and Mrs. Quackenbush and they are living on Queen Street. A newspaper entry in the March 14, 1900 edition of the Standard indicates that Captain C. Quackenbush and family moved to Niagara Falls, New York to take up residence there.

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The St. Catharines Lawn Bowling Club

(Originally published in the March 2003 Newsletter)

The following article was been taken in whole from “The Canadian Lawn Bowler’s Handbook – 1903”

The St. Catharines Lawn Bowling Club originated, it is alleged, in the later part of the 18th century, its members consisting of United Empire Loyalists, who left the neighboring Republic at the time the American colonies rebelled against the mother country, and took up their residence in the Niagara district.

Associated with these early colonists, tradition says, were those brave aborigines who allied themselves with our ancestors in defence of King and country. It was these dusky allies of the primeval lawn bowlers who first introduced lacrosse, which has since become the national game of Canada. In the “archives” of the club most interesting relics exist in the shape of bowls, rudely carved from chestnut and apple-tree wood, especially chestnut, and covered with a coating of whitewash. These were the implements used by our ancient brethren. At first the orator of the club was puzzled to make out the practical use of the overcoat. He thought that it might have been used in some fierce snow-balling match in early days, in order to conceal the nature of the bowls that were projected at the unsuspecting heads of their antagonists – for “there were giants in those days” – but, after a profound research in the annals of the Paleolithic age, he discovered that the whitewash was employed to protect the bowls from the beavers who infested the banks of the Twelve and Beaverdams Creeks. The beavers, thinking they were snowballs, spared them, and did not, as they otherwise might have done, use them to construct the foundations of their ingenious habitations.

About seven years ago the game of lawn bowling, which had fallen into a shape of innocuous desuetude, was revived by the late John Hammon, a veteran English bowler, who, at his own expense, fitted up a bowling green on the premises attached to his hostelry, “The Mansion House,” and infused his enthusiasm for the Royal game into several well known citizens; many of whom take a deep interest in its welfare, and who are still honored members of the club. But, alas! poor John Hammon is no longer with us; he has passed forever beyond the bounds; and no more will the “’orn of the’unter be ‘eard on the ‘ill.”

Four years ago still greater enthusiasm became manifest, and large accessions of members were enrolled on the club’s roster. Loyal support has always been accorded by the St. Catharines club to the Dominion and Ontario Lawn Bowling Associations, and its members have been represented at many tournaments, where they have not infrequently distinguished themselves and done honor to their club as winners of trophies.

At the annual meeting of the club this year, the members decided that the green heretofore in use was inadequate for the number of teams which would probably visit St. Catharines to take part in projected tournaments; and it was determined to secure, if possible, the beautiful and perfect lawn attached to the grounds of the Welland House, an establishment which is deservedly the pride of the citizens of St. Catharines. Not only is the Welland House a source of local qualification, it is also a boon to suffering humanity, owing to its magnificent and up-to-date saline baths, unrivalled for the cure or amelioration of many diseases that afflict mankind. A satisfactory arrangement has been effected for the use of this lawn for the present year, and for its proper care and maintenance. There will be room for ten or eleven rinks; and a great deal of pleasure is anticipated by members of the club in being able to furnish to their friends from other clubs one of the most perfect and picturesque bowling greens in the Dominion. To all this should be added the advantage of imbibing – ad libitum – foaming goblets of ice-cold aerated St. Catharines mineral water to assuage their thirst and rectify any temporary derangement of the organic machinery.

“Whisky is said to be a dangerous thing,

So come and drink of our St. Catharines spring.

Hot Scotch and Lager paralyze the brain;

But splits of “Mack” will sober us again.”

The following gentlemen comprise the membership of the now prosperous St. Catharines Lawn Bowling Club; Hon. President, Dr. E. Goodman; President, M.J. McCarron; Vice-President, John Marshall; Secretary, Treasurer, J. K. Kernahan. Executive Committee – The officers and W. G. Yielding, Alex. McLaren, J. G. Moore and W. G. Finlay. Members – S. P. Anderson, C. O. Beam, L. Bissonette, Thos. H. Brown, H.W. Calkins, J. P. Casey, Jno. S. Campbell, C. H. Stanley Clarke, A. Chatfield, C. H. Connor, R. G. W. Connolly, D. B. Crombie, John E. Cuffe, W. G. Finlay, B. Fairfield, Dr. E. Goodman, Dr. J. Gray, J. T. Groves, J. G. Harris, J. K. Kernahan, Dr. Klotz, E. A. Lancaster, A. H. Malcomson, John Malcolmson, J. B. McIntyre, Robt. McLaren, Neil McGregor, Jno. Marshall, A. W. Marquis, F. H. Morey, J. G. Moore, J. G. McCarron, Alex. McEdward, C. G. McGhie, H. R. O’Reilly, H. O’Loughlin, O. G. Phelps, Wm. Peel, Geo. Rogers, H. M. Rogers, Dr. Sutherland, W. G. Sutton, J. E. Varley, Jas. N. Walker, W. G. Yielding.

The editor thanks Wes Turner for contributing this article.

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Albert Ernest “Scout” COOMBS -Past President 1950

(by Bill Stevens – this is a slightly edited version originally published in the June 2002 Newsletter)

Albert’s parents John and Susan (Tate) Coombs came from England to York County and lived there for over 60 years. In 1871 Albert was born on the family farm near Richmond Hill, Ontario on April 2, 1871. He attended public schools in Richmond Hill and in 1888 graduated from high school at the age of 17. He attended the University of Toronto, receiving a B.A. (with honours) in Classics in 1892, followed by an M.A. in 1895. Albert began a long career in teaching in 1892. In 1897 he received a Bachelor of Paedogogy degree.

Also in 1897 he married Beatrice Elliott of Richmond Hill, who died in 1948. They had 5 children. Alice who died 1920; Adele, a nurse; Margaret of St. Catharines; Madeline, a nurse in the R.C.A.F., of Leaside; and Jack, who was a Srgt. Pilot in the R.C.A.F. and lost his life overseas in 1942.

Between 1895-1899 he was principal of the Richmond Hill High School. In 1899 he became the principal of Newmarket High School and held that position until 1909. While in Newmarket he served as Alderman.

In 1909 Albert moved to St. Catharines and became principal of the St. Catharines Collegiate Institute and Vocational School (in the building which is now the Folk Arts Center, and formerly Robertson School on Church Street). He was principal there from 1909 through 1923.

Albert was noted for his promotion and part in the organization of the first Boy Scout Troop in Canada in St. Catharines. In January 1909 a group including Coombs, William Griffiths and Harris Neelon, who became the first Scoutmaster, organized the first troop of Boy Scouts in St. Catharines that was officially recognized by Baden Powell in a letter dated Dec. 22, 1909. This is mentioned on page 308 of The Scout newspaper of July 9, 1910 (the Official News and Notes of the Boy Scouts, headquarters 114-118 Victoria St. London, Eng., S.W.). The newspaper also indicates there are already six patrols. A photo of a very early camp held at Hick’s farm in Port Dalhousie exists. The charter was received in 1910 from Baden-Powell of London, England, in Toronto where he was opening the Canadian National Exhibition. Albert was involved in Scouts for 16 years and was Vice-President of the first Provincial Boy Scout Council in Ontario in 1910 and afterwards appointed Commissioner. At the end of his term, he was given a warrant as Permanent Boy Scout Commissioner. It is from this connection that he derived his nickname “Scout”.

During World War I, he was a Captain in the 19th Lincoln Regiment.

In 1923, he stepped down as principal of the Collegiate and became the Classical instructor, a position he held until he retired in 1935.

Albert was a Freemason and was a Grand Senior Warden of the Grand Lodge of Canada in Ontario and Grand Scribe N., in the Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons. He was a Past Master for over 50 years and was a member of Temple Lodge. He received both the 50-year Masonic Jewel and the Past Masters Jewel. From 1927-1953 he held the office of secretary of the St. Catharines Maple Leaf Lodge, and was member for over 46 years of this Lodge. He was also secretary of Mount Maria Chapter, Royal Arch Masons for many years.

During 1930 he was an officer of the Grads Basketball team, which that season reached the Canadian finals in Vancouver. Also in 1930, he wrote The History of the Niagara Peninsula and New Welland Canal, published in 1930 and reprinted (and enlarged) in 1950. He also wrote a History of the Niagara Peninsula Sanitariums.

After a 43-year teaching career, he retired on pension from the Collegiate in 1935. That same year the King honoured him when he attended at Buckingham Palace to receive the Silver Medal in commemoration of their Majesties’ Silver Jubilee. In 1935 he also ran unsuccessfully for the Liberal Party in the federal election. Following his retirement, he taught at Ridley College and in addition, became an examiner at Normal College for 3 years. He sought a seat on St. Catharines City Council and was successful, serving as an Alderman for 6 years from 1940-1946.

In the late 1940’s, the Ontario Historical Society met at St. Catharines, and Mr. Coombs was one of the local hosts of the meeting. In 1950, after several years of being defunct, Albert’s interest in history prompted him to become involved in the reorganization of the Society. Albert became the first President of the Lincoln County Historical Society. He subsequently was made the honourary president of the Lincoln County Historical Society. Another member who became President of the Society, G.M. Lampard, QC, was a former pupil of Mr. Coombs.

His interests were varied. He was president of the Classical Association, he belonged to the Royal Canadian Legion, he played lacrosse and raced bicycles. In later years he took up lawn bowling and for several years he was President of the St. Catharines Rowing Club in 1925 and 1926. He assisted in the Juvenile Court of Revision in St. Catharines. He had a large non-denominational Bible Class in St. Catharines and was a member of the Anglican Church.

Albert resided at 197 Church Street where he passed away on Wednesday, January 9, 1957. (His wife died 10 years prior to his death). His burial took place in Old Cemetery Section J, Division 40, west ½ Lot 3, Grave #4 Victoria Lawn Cemetery, St. Catharines. His death was announced on the front page of the Thursday, January 10, 1957 edition of The Standard and under the headlines were the following words “Noted local Historian, educationist and author ..” Survived by daughter Adele at home; Mrs. Arnold (Margaret) Grimshaw of St. Catharines; Mrs. N.W. Mealing (Madeline) of Ottawa. He rested at Hulse and English Funeral Chapel, service at St. George’s Church. At the time of his death, Mrs. George E. Montgomery, then president of the Lincoln County Historical Society said: “Mr. Coombs was a valuable member of the organization. We all had the deepest respect for him and are very sorry he has left.” Mayor John Smith remarked that Mr. Coombs was one of St. Catharines great citizens.

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The Marquis Family

by Bill Stevens; originally published in the March 2004 Newsletter

John Anderson Marquis

John was born on March 4, 1832 in Fachabers, Scotland; his parents were Alexander and Jamesina (DEAN) MARQUIS. John was christened April 1, 1832 at Bellie, Moray, Scotland. He came to Canada about 1855. He worked at the Bank of Montreal in Montreal, starting as a junior clerk and rising to the position of accountant. The bank moved him to Prescott, Toronto, Bowmanville, Guelph and Dundas. In 1869 John left the bank and moved to Niagara where he took a position as accountant at the Riordon Paper Mills, a position he held for 35 years.

In a previous write-up on John it says that he married Catharine Mathison, an event that perhaps occurred in 1861/62. However, an entry in the Wentworth County marriage register shows him marrying Ellen McAusland in 1867 and his residence as Dundas.

John appears in the 1871 Census for the Town of Thorold, with his wife Ellen, and children Alexander and Isabella. St. Catharines City directory entries for 1874 has John at 18 Geneva Street; for 1875/76 at 4 Albert Street; for 1898 the family is listed at 16 Albert; and the last listing for John in the 1904-06 directory shows him at 19 Catherine Street.

Ellen died on September 23, 1903. The funeral took place on Saturday afternoon from her late home at the corner of Catharine and Albert streets to Victoria Lawn Cemetery. Rev. J.H. Ratcliffe officiated. Pallbearers were A. St. John, L.H. Collard, D.L. Cruickshank, J. Henderson, C.A. Case, and R.T. Hill.

John died a sudden death on Monday, February 13, 1905. He had been at his office at the Riordon mill almost until his passing. John was a prominent member of the First Presbyterian Church and a very active Mason. He held several positions, including that as Past Master of Maple Leaf Lodge, No. 103, A.F. & A.M. He had been a member of the Queen’s Own Rifles while living in Toronto and was a Conservative in politics. John left a brother and a sister in Scotland.

Four children survived his passing: two daughters and two sons:

Isabella D. MARQUIS – was born January 17, 1869 in St. Catharines. She married Alex. E. Adam and they lived in Hamilton, Ontario in August of 1947 and then in Milltown, N.B.

Jean E. MARQUIS – was born September 6, 1875 in St. Catharines. Jean lived at the family residence (City Directory entries as follows: 1898 – 16 Albert Street; 1911, 1916 and 1926 – 92 Church Street).

William McAuslan MARQUIS – was born on September 1, 1873 in St. Catharines. William was a life-long resident of the City (City Directory entries as follows: 1898 – clerk – 16 Albert St.; 1904-06 – clerk – Marquis and Gilleland, boards at 19 Catherine St.; 1911 – Marquis and Lane – house at 92 Church St.; 1926 – accountant at Marquis and Pepler, house at 92 Church St.). He was a member of Knox Presbyterian Church and was choir librarian for many years. He was associated for over fifty years with the legal firm established by his brother Alexander. He retired in 1944. William died August 5, 1947. Funeral service was from Hulse and English Funeral Chapel with entombment in the Victoria Lawn Cemetery Mausoleum. Rev. Jason Graham of St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Thorold conducted the service. Casket bearers were Wm. Livingston, R.N. Johnston, Lewis B. Tripp, Stewart Watt, Alec McPhail and Currie Brown.

Alexander William MARQUIS, K.C. – Mayor City of St. Catharines, 1904

Alexander William Marquis was born October 27,1862 in Bowmanville, Durham County, Ontario. He attended Grantham Academy (St. Catharines Collegiate Institute). He was a member of the original Athletics Lacrosse Club, an outstanding tennis player and later in life joined the St. Catharines Golf Club to pursue golfing. He made preparation for the Bar as a student in the office and under the direction of J.C. Rykert, K.C. and afterward became a member of the firm of Rykert, Ingersoll & Marquis, so continuing until 1896. He then practiced alone for a short time with offices at 13 Queen Street.

Alexander married Miss Alice Maude Norris, a daughter of Captain James (a merchant and member of parliament for the County of Lincoln) and Elizabeth Norris, on June 4, 1896 at the family home on Ann Street.

[Alice Maud, was united in the holy bonds of wedlock to Mr. Alexander William Marquis, one of our most prominent young lawyers. The drawing room presented a very pretty sight, decorated with flowers and plants. At the hour of 5 o'clock the bride appeared leaning on the arm of her brother, Mr. Charles Norris. . . . The newly wedded couple left on the 7:34 p.m. train for New York and eastern cities, amid showers of rice, old shoes and good wishes. About fifty friends assembled at the station to bid them farewell for a short time. [Evening Journal - June 5, 1896]. A brilliant society wedding was consummated on Thursday afternoon at the Residence of Mrs. James Norris when her daughter, Alice Maud, was united to A.W. Marquis, barrister, of this city . . . and was witnessed by about 100 guests. The bride, who was most charmingly attired, was attended by her sister, Miss May, and her cousin, Miss Annie Norris, the latter from Montreal. [The Daily Standard - June 5, 1896]. They were followed to the depot by many of the guests, and given a real, hearty send-off, with the aid of a quantity of rice, which was fairly distributed over everybody. – Evening Star – June 5, 1896].

The couple took up residence at 9 Ann Street, now Norris Place. In the City Directory for 1904-06 Alexander is shown as a barrister at Marquis and Gilleland, located at 16 Queen Street. The City Directories of 1911 and 1916 show Alexander as a barrister at Marquis and Lane, 16 Queen St.

The Directory for 1926 shows Alexander, K.C. at Marquis and Pepler barristers at 16 Queen St.

Alexander was a Conservative Party supporter. Between 1900-1903 he was an alderman for the City of St. Catharines and was elected mayor on Monday, January 4, 1904 by a majority vote of the electorate, defeating Alderman Wilson by 219 votes. He served only a one-year term as mayor. In 1916 he became solicitor for Lincoln County and twice appeared before the Privy Council. In 1921 he was appointed a King’s Counsel.

Alice Maude NORRIS MARQUIS passed away on Tuesday, March 8, 1921. Funeral services were held on Thursday, March 10 from her home at 9 Ann Street (now Norris Place) to the Victoria Lawn Cemetery Mausoleum. Maud was a member of the I.O.D.E., Knox Church.

In 1929 Alexander married a second time to Miss. Ethel Florence LAMB of Ottawa. She was a member of Knox Presbyterian Church. Ethel died on Thursday, December 6, 1951 at the St. Catharines General Hospital. Funeral was from Butler and Son Funeral Home, 33 Duke Street, with entombment in Victoria Lawn Cemetery Mausoleum. Rev. Granville Taylor-Munro officiated. A brother, William H. Lamb of Montreal, Quebec, survived her.

Alexander was a president of the Lincoln County Law Society, 1935-37 and in November of 1938, upon completing 51 years of practice was honoured by the Society with a banquet and presentation. At the time of his death he was the oldest practicing lawyer in the city. He was a member of the board of management of the Niagara Peninsula Sanatorium, for many years a director of the Imperial Trust Company of Toronto, which became Premier Trust Company and he was instrumental in having them open an office in St. Catharines. He was a member of the Masonic and Odd Fellows lodges, the Sons of Scotland, the Royal Arcanum, the Canadian Order of Elks, the Independent Order of Foresters, the St. Catharines Club and Knox Presbyterian Church (serving 20 years on the board). He died on Sunday, June 30, 1940. Funeral service was held Wednesday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. from the family residence, 9 Ann Street (now Norris Place). Interment in Victoria Lawn Cemetery, Cullinen Mausoleum. Among the pallbearers were Judge Campbell and Dr. Sutherland. A street was named after him, Marquis Street, which runs between Carlton and Russell streets.

Children of Alexander and Alice Maude MARQUIS:

Marjorie C. – was born about 1900 in St. Catharines and lived at 9 Ann Street (1926 Directory). Marjorie died September 6, 1985 at Chateau Gardens in the Town of Niagara-On-The-Lake and is entombed in the Cullinen Mausoleum in Victoria Lawn Cemetery.

James Norris (“Norrie”) – was born October 22, 1901 in St. Catharines. Norrie was a graduate of Ridley College and Osgoode Hall. He joined his father in the practice of law as Marquis and Marquis. In 1947 Norris was appointed local Registrar for the Supreme Court of Ontario and Clerk of the County Court and Surrogate Court Registrar for the County of Lincoln, a position he held until his retirement in 1966. He was president of the St. Catharines Baseball Club, Past Master of Perfection Lodge. Norrie died November 30, 1970 at Albright Manor in the Town of Lincoln. His wife Helen Louise Wilson, known as “Nellie” died on Tuesday, November 25, 2003 at Henley House, St. Catharines in her 95th year. They were members of St. Paul Street United Church. Both Norrie and his wife are buried in Fonthill.

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Plaques around St Catharines… (note: the dashes represent the next line on the plaque)- transcribed by Bill Stevens; originally appeared in March 2004 Newsletter.

Plaque in the lobby of Burgoyne Arena

THE / BILL BURGOYNE / MEMORIAL ARENA / 1974 / BUILT BY THE CITIZENS OF ST. CATHARINES / UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE CITIZENS / FUND RAISING AND BUILDING COMMITTEE / ROBERT MAKINS / LLOYD HAMILTON / ALPHONSE GIGNAC / JOHN NEWMAN / MAX KAMINSKY / DOUGLAS CARR / DR. DONALD URSINO / ARTHUR BERRY / CHARLES TANNER / JAMES McNULTY / MACKENZIE CHOWN / RICHARD COLES / KERRY HOWE / JACK GATECLIFF / HARRY FERNAY / JOHN STEVENS / DOUGLAS FAVELL / JAMES SAXTON / WILLIAM BANNAN / EDWARD GROSSKURTH / FREDERICK JACKSON / GARY BABCOX / BRIAN ANDERSON / JAMES THOMPSON / ROBERT WILLIAMS / H.E. LANGFORD / R.A. SMITH / ROBERT BELL / DEDICATED SATURDAY, APRIL 6TH, 1974

Plaque in Mountain Locks Park facing Mountain Road near Bradley Street

THE MOUNTAIN LOCKS / This is the site of Locks 16-21 of the Second Welland / Canal. These interlocking cut stone locks were built / in the vicinity of wooden Locks 22-30 from the First / Welland Canal. This tightly grouped series of locks / overcame the 85-foot height of the escarpment. / The section of this canal between Thorold and Port / Dalhousie remained in operation after the opening of / the Third Canal in 1887 in order to service the local / mills who used its water as a source of power and as / a transportation facility. / Much of this park was under drained in 1961 leaving / only the stone locks as a

reminder of a once great / navigation route. / Erected in co-operation with the United Auto Workers / Local 676 and the Ministry of Culture and Recreation 1978.

Plaque on the front of the Port Dalhousie Library Branch

PORT DALHOUSIE TOWN HALL / Originally erected by the Good Templars c.1863 / it later became the Town Hall. It was the social / cultural and political centre for the community / until amalgamation of the town by the City of St. / Catharines in 1961 / In 1984, the hall that then housed a branch / library was preserved by the people of Port / Dalhousie. It was renovated by the Port Dalhousie / Quorum, with assistance from the City of St./ Catharines, Government of Canada and the St. / Catharines Public Library Board.

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Early Governance as it Relates to Grantham Township

By Bill Stevens (I wish to thank Alun Hughes and Alex Ormston for their assistance in compiling this article)

The settlement of what is now known as Ontario was precipitated by the declaration of American Independence and subsequently the fall of British rule in what is now the United States of America. Some

of those wishing to remain Loyal to the British Crown fled to Fort Niagara. In May of 1781 the British purchased lands on the west side of the Niagara River from the Mississauga Indians. A small number of settlers had settled on the west side in 1780 and this number grew quickly with the land purchase and survey in 1782. In 1783 the Peace Treaty was signed and England officially recognized the U.S.A. The growing number of Loyalists resulted in the purchase of additional lands from Mississauga Indians on May 22, 1784 (and confirmed by a treaty signed on December 7, 1792). It was this second purchase that now allowed settlement in Grantham Township. Soon after the purchase settlers began to make their way into the area that would become Grantham Township. But it wasn’t until after the survey undertaken between December 27, 1787 and March 31, 1788 by Daniel Hazen of Township Number 3 (which was later called Grantham Township) that these settlers could claim their land holdings with the Land Board.

During the above time period of 1780 to 1791, the area of Grantham Township was part of the British Province of Quebec and the following were the Governors of the Province of Quebec:

1778 – 1786 – Sir Frederick Haldimand

1786 – 1791 – Sir Guy Carleton, 1st Baron Dorchester (Lord Dorchester)

By proclamation of July 24, 1788 Upper Quebec, now known as Ontario, was divided into four districts for the primary purpose of administering justice and land distribution. The area of Grantham Township would become part of Nassau District.

On June 19,1791 royal assent was given to the Constitutional Act, commonly called the Canada Act, which came into affect by proclamation of August 24, 1791, split the Province of Quebec into Lower Canada and Upper Canada. From December 26, 1791 to February 10, 1841 the area now known as Grantham Township was in the British Province of Upper Canada. The Legislature of 1792 for Upper Canada consisted of 16 representatives elected by the people and the Legislative Council consisted of 7 councilors nominated by

the Crown. The capital was at Newark (now Niagara On-The-Lake).

On July 8,1792 John Graves Simcoe was appointed the first Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada. He

served in this position until 1798, but was in England for the last two years of his term.

On July 19, 1792 a proclamation divided the Province of Upper Canada into 19 counties. The counties

would provide a basis for elections, the distribution of lands and organizing the militia. Sixteen representatives were elected to the first Legislative Assembly. Lincoln County was divided into 4 ridings and the first representatives were: Riding #1 – Nathaniel Pettit who also represented York County and Durham County; Riding #2 – Benjamin Pawling; Riding #3 – Isaac Swayze; Riding #4 – Parshall Terry who also represented Norfolk County.

On September 17, 1792 the first parliament of Upper Canada met at Newark. At this first session of the Legislature, the names of the four districts (previously named by Lord Dorchester in 1788) were changed and the Nassau District became the Home District.

On April 9, 1793, there came into operation “An Act to provide for the nomination and appointment of Parish and Town Officers within the Province.” The era of town meetings and quarter sessions began and lasted until 1841, when Upper and Lower Canada were reunited. Presumably Grantham Township held meetings starting in 1793, however the records for 1793 – 1817 are lost.

On July 21, 1796, in the absence of Lieutenant-Governor Simcoe, Hon. Peter RUSSELL was appointed President of the Executive council of Upper Canada, a position he held until August 17, 1799. During his term the Provincial offices in Newark closed with the move of the capital to York.

On August 17, 1799 Hon. Peter HUNTER was appointed Lieutenant-Governor and held this position until his death on August 21, 1805. During his term of office, on January 1, 1800 the four districts were revised and the number of districts expanded, at which time the Home District area was changed and the District of Niagara was created. Niagara consisted of four ridings of Lincoln and Haldimand.

In 1800 the following officials of Niagara District are known: Clerk of the Peace – Ralfe Clench; Sherriff – James Clark; District Court Judge – William Dickson; Surrogate Court Judge – Dr. Robert Kerr.

In the absence of a Lieutenant-Governor, the head of state from September 11, 1805 – August 25, 1806 was Hon. Alexander GRANT who was President of the Executive Council.

August 25, 1806 – 1812 – the Lieutenant-Governor of the Province of Upper Canada was Hon. Francis GORE. He went to England on leave October 8, 1811 and until his return, the head of state was the administrator or president, which was committed successively to the senior military officer. During Gore’s absence, the following served as President Administering the Government of Upper Canada:

- October 9, 1811 – killed October 13, 1812 – Major-General Sir Isaac BROCK

- October 20, 1812 – June 18, 1813 – Major-General Sir Roger Hale SHEAFFE, Bart.

- June 19, 1813 – December 12, 1813 – Major-General Francis Baron de ROTTENBURG

- December 13, 1813 – April 13, 1815 – Lieut. -Gen. Sir Gordon DRUMMOND, G.C.B.

- April 25, 1815 – June 30, 1815 – Lieut. -Gen. Sir George MURRAY (Provisional Lieut.-Gov.)

- July 1, 1815 – September 21 1815 – Maj.-Gen. Sir Frederick Phipps ROBINSON, K.C.B. (Provisional Lieut.-Gov.)

* Francis Gore returned September 1815 and left the country again on June 11, 1817.

- June 11, 1817- August 13, 1818 – Hon. Samuel SMITH

August 13, 1818 – November 4, 1828 – Maj.-Gen. Sir Peregrine MAITLAND, K.C.B. served as Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada. Following the death of the Duke of Richmond Maitland served as administrator of Lower Canada between March 8 and June 30, 1820. During his absence Hon. Samuel SMITH acted as the administrator of Upper Canada.

From November 5, 1828 until he resigned and relieved on January 25, 1836 the Lieutenant-Governor was Maj. Gen. Sir John COLBORNE, K.C.B., later Baron Seaton.

From accession on January 25, 1836 until March 23, 1838 the Lieutenant-Governor was Maj. Sir Francis Bond HEAD, K.C.B.

From accession on March 23, 1838 until February 10, 1841 the Lieutenant-Governor was Maj. Gen. Sir George ARTHUR, K.C.B.

Grantham Township records from 1818 to 1900 can be found in the Special Collections area of the St. Catharines Public Library. These records list the following Township Clerks as of the first meeting in January of each year: 1818 – 1819 – William CHISHOLM; 1820 – Samuel WOOD; 1821-1842 – Charles ROLLS.

In 1841 the “District Councils Act” was passed and continued through 1849.

Between February 10, 1841 and June 30, 1867 Upper and Lower Canada became the united Province of Canada. Upper Canada became known as Canada West. The first Governor of the Province of Canada was Lord Sydenham who served in that capacity from February 10, 1841 until his death on September 19, 1841. His death prompted the appointment of Sir Richard Downes Jackson as Administrator until Sir Charles Bagot was appointed Governor on January 12, 1842 and he served until March 30, 1843. He died at Kingston on May 19, 1843. Following Bagot as governor was Sir Charles Metcalf from March 30 to November 26, 1845. Lord Cathcart was then appointed Administrator on November 26, 1845 and governor on April 24, 1846 until January 30, 1847. Lord Elgin was governor from January 30, 1847 until December 19, 1854.

In 1849 the “Baldwin Municipal Act” was passed which provided for the creation of municipal councils.

Thus on January 1, 1850 Grantham Township was incorporated and Township Council was elected. The council members then elected a Reeve from the council members. The first Reeve was John Gilleland. A complete list of Grantham Township Reeves from 1850 to 1900 can be found in the Society’s March 2005 newsletter. —- This article originally appeared in the June 2005 Newsletter —-

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The St. Catharines Cenotaph

The St. Catharines Cenotaph is located on the west-side of St. Paul Street between the Burgoyne Bridge and Ontario Street.

The inscription on it reads as follows: (front face) “The men were very good unto us and we were not hurt, they were a wall unto us both by night and day”

“In Memoriam / Requiescat in Pace”

“1939 – World War II – 1945″

“1914 – World War I – 1918″

“1950 – Korea – 1953″

(north side face) PASSCHENDAELE – AMIENS – ARRAS – SOMME – VIMY – 1914-1918

(SOUTH SIDE FACE) ” St.JULIAN – 2ND Battle of YPRES – FESTHUBERT – CAMBRAI – MONS – 1914-1918

(back face) “This cenotaph was dedicated on August 7th AD 1927 and the first wreath placed hereon by His Royal Highness Edward Prince of Wales after the cenotaph had been unveiled by Brigadier General W.B.M. King, C.M.G.D.S.O.”

originally published in September 2000 Newsletter

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History of The Historical Society of St. Catharines

This is part of an article titled “Historical Society in St. Catharines” originally published in Junius A to Z and reprinted in the Society’s November 1999 Newsletter.

The first public meeting was held January 21, 1927. It is now known as the St. Catharines and Lincoln Historical Society, as our interests cover both city and county. Mr. Frederick R. Parnall was the first president with Mr. H. Colin Blain as secretary, until 1936 when Mr. Blain became president with Mrs. J.A. Brighty as secretary.

The aims as stated in 1927 were “the collection, preservation, and exhibition and publication of materials for the study of history, especially that of the County of Lincoln, and to this end acquiring documents and manuscripts, obtaining narratives and records of pioneers, conducting a library of historical references, maintaining a gallery of historical portraits and pictures and in some degree a historical museum, thus diffusing information relative to the history of the County as well also of the province and of the Dominion, and in general encouraging and developing the study of history.”

In 1930 the Society published their Annual Report of 1929 and a first list of exhibits, and a list of their members – 68 with 7 of them being life members.

In June of 1932 the Ontario Historical Society held their Annual Meeting in St. Catharines. Mrs. Brighty prepared the Societies first pamphlet, an information guide for these visitors.

In June 1934 a committee meeting met to discuss the advisability of forming a branch of the United Empire Loyalists in St. Catharines and on the 27th the actual organizational meeting was held at the Y.M.C.A. with over 20 persons present.

By 1938 the meetings became less frequent and their collection was stored in an attic in the fire hall. A suitable place for exhibition became the cry of the group headed by A.E. Coombs M.A., B.Paed. With the Society’s revival in 1950, the Ontario Historical Society Annual Meeting was again held here. G.M.Lampard headed the group in 1951 followed by Mrs. George E. Montgomery. In 1953 the first Laura Secord pilgrimage to Decou Falls was held and by 1955 this was managed by the Society at the request of City Council. In 1957 Alderman Wilfred Bald became president, resigning in 1959 when he became mayor. The vice-president R.S.K. Welch (now the Honourable Provincial Secretary), took office. It was during his term of office that the Historical Society held its first meeting at Rodman Hall in May of 1960 – finally permanent quarters. When Mr. Welch resigned in 1961, Norman MacDonald became president and the Society continued to grow. Gordon C. Merritt became president in 1964 and it was under his direction that the hope and dream of the Society “THE MUSEUM” became a reality. It is here that the collection of the years will be housed and displayed and now the Society can carry on with other phases of history under the direction of the 1967 president David Plumb.

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Heritage Remembered: The May-Clark-Seiler House

By: Bill Stevens; originally published in September 2006 Newsletter

An old house located at the end of Sparkes Street was scheduled to be demolished, but a group of heritage enthusiasts convinced the owners that the house should be saved. Thus in January of 1981, Heritage St. Catharines was formed to investigate the feasibility of preserving and restoring the historic May-Clark-Seiler House. The group set about fund raising and seeking support for the preservation, even Pierre Berton, then Chairman of Heritage Canada became an Honourary Patron. In order to create an awareness of the project, the homes history was researched and it quickly became apparent that it could be the oldest home in St. Catharines and perhaps one of the oldest in the province. William May, of German decent, a member of the Indian Department, a private in Butler’s Rangers and a United Empire Loyalist emigrated to Upper Canada from New York State in 1783. He petitioned for and was granted (by Crown patent) a 700 acre tract of land in the wilderness of Grantham Township. Here, about 1790, he built a home for his family. William May died in 1827, but the family remained there until 1838, when his grandson William May Junior sold the house to Colonel John Clark, a former officer of the Lincoln Militia and a member of the House of Assembly at York, who was then Collector of Customs at Port Dalhousie. Col. Clark renamed the house and farm Walnut Dale Farm. He died in 1862 at the age of 79 years and is buried in Victoria lawn Cemetery. The house had a number of owners over the next 100 years, when in 1961, Herman and Inge Seiler bought it. In 1979, the Seilers built a new house on the south side of the old home and decided to remove it. However, they understood that the home was old and when approached by the group of heritage enthusiasts, gave them permission to come up with a plan to preserve it. As Heritage St. Catharines set about the task, even to the point of having an historical plaque made, fire struck on October 30, 1984 and the dreams of preserving this unique piece of our heritage was destroyed. The community and especially the members of Heritage St. Catharines were devastated by this unfortunate turn of events. Time passed, the plaque that was to be placed at the restored home was forgotten in the home of a committee member, only to resurface 21 years later, having been moved once and then placed in the hands of a local man very interested in family history. He realized what it was and contacted Arden Phair at the museum, who picked it up and took it to the museum. Arden advised several former members of the Heritage St. Catharines group that he indeed had the long forgotten plaque.  It was decided that even though the home was gone, the site, the history of the home and the efforts of the group that had almost reached their goal needed to be remembered and thus almost 22 years after the fire, the plaque unveiling and historical commemoration took place on Friday, August 18, 2006. A very large crowd attended the presentation by the City of St. Catharines Heritage Committee, including descendants of the families that had lived there. The plaque unveiling was done by John Beverley Clark, Johan May, Vanessa Peters and Lynn Corbey. Following the programme at #3 Sparkes Street, there was a tour of the small May Family Cemetery located south and across the ravine from the house location, hidden behind cedar trees at 18 and 22 Ziraldo Road. A reception followed at another former May home, which is now the Mayholme Foundation Family Research Centre located at 525 Ontario Street. Here, descendants of the May and Clark families were able to look at their family trees, while guests mingled about and enjoyed a peach and cake dessert. A marvelous day and a tribute not only to our past but to those who made the effort to try and preserve our heritage.

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Lest We Forget – Lance Corporal Fred Fisher

By: Bill Stevens; originally published in September 2006 Newsletter

On April 23, 1915 Lance Corporal Fred Fisher was killed in action in the area of St. Julien. Fred went forward with the machine gun, of which he was in charge, under heavy fire, and most gallantly assisted in covering the retreat of a battery, losing four men of his gun team. Later, after obtaining four more men, he went forward again to the firing line and was himself killed while bringing his machine gun into action under very heavy fire, in order to cover the advance of support. For his bravery, he was the first Canadian born male to be awarded the Victoria Cross while serving in the Canadian Army. He was born on August 3, 1895 in St. Catharines to Mr. and Mrs. William Henry Fisher. The family moved to Westmount, Quebec where he attended Westmount Academy and then McGill University. He enlisted on August 6, 1914 at the young age of eighteen years. He went overseas with the 13th Battalion (Royal Highlanders of Canada) in the Canadian Expeditionary Force. He was promoted to the rank of Lance-Corporal on December 22, 1914. His grave in the trench where he was originally buried by his comrades was lost. His name is inscribed on panel 24-26-28-30 of the Menin Gate (Ypres) Memorial in Belgium.

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Lest We Forget – Private William Brown

By: Bill Stevens; originally published in September 2006 Newsletter

Each Remembrance Day veterans and citizens gather in front of the cenotaph at the corner of Ann and Main streets in Port Dalhousie to pay their respects to those brave souls who made the supreme sacrifice. Their names are inscribed on the cenotaph so that we may never forget them. William Brown’s name appears under those who lost their lives in World War One. William was born on March 25, 1896 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Sometime prior to the outset of the war, his family moved to a house on Main Street in Port Dalhousie. William worked as a shoemaker. He signed up for service in Niagara on August 4, 1915 and was assigned the service number of 141631. He was sent overseas and served with the Canadian Infantry, Central Ontario Regiment, 58th Battalion.

At 10:30 p.m. on October 8, 1916 Private William Brown was on his way into the front line just north of Courcellette. As he marched forward, a line of tired soldiers were heading back from the front through the muddy terrain. Unbelievably, his older brother Charles was one of those soldiers and he and William paused briefly to greet each other, Charles wishing his brother well at the front. They had not seen each other since the start of the war and it would also be the last time they were to see each other, as by midnight William would be killed in action. William was 20 years old.

William left behind his family, including his mother, Mrs. Charlotte Brown, who had moved to Toronto, an aunt, Mrs. Mary McKey of Merritton, and his brother Charles. His belongings were sent home and the Silver Cross was sent to his mother in 1920, but the family was never able to find out where his remains had been buried. Twenty years later a group of researchers doing excavation near the battlefield in Courcellette found a single grave containing badges, buttons and the identification disc along with the remains of Private William Brown. The Department of National Defence in Canada informed his family here in Canada and William’s remains were removed and reburied in Grave 2.A.12 of the London Cemetery Extension, High Road, Longueval, about two miles south east of Courcellette. Because the location of his remains had not previously been known, William’s name had already been inscribed in the Vimy Memorial, but a suitably inscribed headstone was placed on the grave. The family finally was to receive his remaining belongings, his identification disc, eighteen years after the war ended.

When William’s brother Charles returned to Canada after the war, he settled in Toronto and started a family. He named his eldest child in memory of his brother. Charles’ son William knew about his namesake. He had a newspaper clipping from 1936 describing how his uncle’s remains were found. He knew that his uncle’s name is inscribed on the cenotaph in Port Dalhousie and also on page 60 in the Book of Remembrance displayed in the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill each year on February 16th. Although his children have never been to Port Dalhousie, they now have photos of the cenotaph and William’s inscription through the kindness of a stranger. Private William Brown has not been forgotten.

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REEVES OF GRANTHAM TOWNSHIP

John GILLELAND – 1850, 1852

Robert LAWRIE – 1851, 1854, 1855, 1856

A. C. HAMILTON – 1853

William JUNKIN – 1857

W. N. WATT – 1858

J. C. RYKERT – 1859, 1860, 1861, 1862

Angus COOK – 1863, 1865, 1866

Andrew BOYLE – 1864

Thomas KEYES – 1867, 1876, 1877, 1878, 1879

David W. BEADLE – 1868, 1874

D. W. CORBIN – 1869

O. J. PHELPS – 1870

J. W. JOHNSTON – 1871, 1872, 1873, 1875, 1880, 1881

Solomon O. SECORD – 1882, 1883, 1884, 1885, 1887, 1888

Seymour PARNALL – 1886

Salem DAVIS – 1889, 1890

James R. R. SECORD – 1891, 1892, 1893, 1894

Albert PAY – 1895, 1896

M. W. SWAYZE – 1897, 1898

James A. STEWART – 1899, 1900

James O. WILSON – 1901, 1902

John SCOTT – 1903

Fred C. READ – 1904, 1905

Samuel ARBUTHNOT – 1906, 1907, 1908

William BOWMAN – 1909

William W. READ – 1910

W. H. SECORD – 1911, 1912, 1913

Frederick STEWART – 1914, 1915, 1916

W. Charles BUSH – 1917

G. Arthur WELSTEAD – 1918, 1919, 1920, 1921, 1922

Fred C. HAYNES – 1923, 1924, 1925, 1926, 1927

Oscar F. JACOBSON – 1928, 1929

William K. MASTERSON – 1930

J. Arthur SWAYZE – 1931, 1932, 1933

Alex. E. STEWART – 1934, 1935

William C. NICKERSON – 1936, 1937

Ernest H. HACK – 1938, 1939, 1940

John C. DRESSEL – 1941, 1942, 1943

Cecil SECORD – 1944, 1945, 1946, 1947

Ivan BUCHANAN – 1948, 1949, 1950, 1960

James W. RODGER – 1951, 1952, 1957, 1958, 1959

Keith D. WALKER – 1953, 1954, 1955, 1956

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Reeves of Louth Township

1850 – William ADAMS

1851 – D. BRADT

1852 – William ADAMS

1853 – D. BRADT

1854 – William ADAMS

1855 – 1858 – G.P.M. BALL

1859 – 1861 – Solomon SECORD

1862 – William ADAMS

1863 – Nathan H. PAWLING

1864 – Eli GREGORY

1865 – 1866 – G.P.M. BALL

1867 –1869 – Nathan H. PAWLING

1870 – 1876 – Henry WISMER

1877 – 1878 – John D. CROWE

1879 – 1887 – Frank WYATT

1888 – 1893 – D.B. RITTENHOUSE

1894 – 1896 – W.F. WILEY

1897 – 1898 – M.A. BALL

1899 – 1902 – Elisha STAFF

1903 – 1904 – Adam CRAISE

1905 – E.W. FRY

1906 – Camby WISMER

1907 – Stewart RANDALL

1908 – 1912 – Adam CRAISE

1913 – J.A. WILLS

1914 – 1919 – C.H. CLAUS

1920 – 1921 – E.W. FRY

1922 – 1924 – A.C. GREGORY

1925 – S.C. HONSBERGER

1926 – William SCULL

1927 – 1930 – M. HONSBERGER

1931 – S.H. RITTENHOUSE

1932 – 1935 – J.R. STORK

1936 – 1937 – H. FAWELL

1938 – 1944 –N.D. MILLER

1945 – 1946 – George Edward WILEY

1947 – J.R. STORK

1948 – 1951 – J.D. TAYLOR

1952 – 1954 – Charles PLATTS

1955 – 1957 – W. Elston HONSBERGER

1958 – 1959 – Herbert S. COLE

1960 – 1963 – Frederick Dawson McKENZIE

1964 – 1967 – R.H. RITTENHOUSE

1968 – 1969 – Frederick Dawson McKENZIE

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IODE Park and the History of the IODE

Originally published in the March 2006 Newsletter

By William J. Stevens

At the November 2005 General Membership meeting, Alex Ormston brought forward a motion, which was approved, that the Society request that the City of St. Catharines name the park at the intersection of Church and King streets the IODE park in recognition of the IODE’s 100 years of service to the community. A letter was prepared by the Society president, who approached Councilor Dawn Dodge, and she agreed to put our request forward as an ‘extra’ at the November 28, 2005 City Council meeting. The request was received and forwarded to Parks staff for a report back to Council. At the December 12, 2005 City Council meeting, staff recommended that the park be named the Imperial Order Daughters of the Empire / IODE Park. Councilor Dodge moved to accept the staff recommendation and the motion passed unanimously.

Imperial Order Daughters of the Empire / IODE Park Background

On April 28, 1902 a local chapter of the Imperial Order Daughters of the Empire (I.O.D.E.) was organized and it was subsequently chartered in 1905. The local chapter was very active from the beginning. The chapter was instrumental in organizing the Niagara Peninsula Sanatorium and on October 19, 1909 the local chapter unveiled a tablet to commemorate the furnishing of the Consumptive Hospital, as it was first known. The Sanatorium was subsequently renamed The Shaver Hospital for Chest Diseases in more recent years.

In 1912 another chapter, the St. Catharines Municipal Chapter I.O.D.E., was chartered. This chapter was also very active from the beginning. Early minutes of the Chapter indicate that property was purchased from James M. McBride for the sum of $1,700.00. A newspaper article in The Daily Standard, of September 30, 1913, indicates that the old frame structure formerly used by J. M. McBride as a planning mill has been nearly all torn down to make way for a new park. This property was located at the gore of King Street and Church Street. On Dominion Day 1917, Mrs. Bessie Mulock (1868-1952), a charter member of the new chapter, presented the property to the City of St. Catharines. Mayor W.B. Burgoyne, accepted the gift on behalf of the City. The members wished the property to be designated as “Memorial Park”, but this name, was given to the park on St. Paul Street, adjacent to CKTB Radio Station, and the I.O.D.E. lands simply became known as the King-Church Gore. The city continues to do a wonderful job of maintaining this downtown beauty spot.

1917 Presentation of the Park to the City.

(The following are excerpts from an article on the Events on Dominion Day in the July 3, 1917 issue of the St. Catharines Standard, page 3, column 4)

Another feature of the day’s events was the presentation of the deed of the park at the junction of King and Church streets to the city from the City of St. Catharines Chapter I.O.D.E. The presentation took place in the pavilion shortly after the parade had disbanded. Mrs. Dr. Mulock as Regent of the Chapter made the presentation to Mayor Burgoyne. Mrs. Mulock referred to the work of beautification, which the Chapter had done, and how the lot at the corner of King and Church streets was purchased and beautified without using any or the Chapter’s patriotic funds. To Mr. Robert Mills she paid tribute for his generous contributions to the beautification of the lot. Mrs. Mulock at the close of her address presented the Mayor with the deed to the lot. Mrs. Williams, Regent of the Municipal Chapter referred to the day as a great one in the history of Canada and remarked on the thousands of school children on parade and was of the opinion that the returned soldiers were glad to note the inspiration of the event and to see the children for whom they have been fighting. She congratulated Mayor Burgoyne upon being head of the city at such a notable time and gave a brief outline of the prosperity of the I.O.D.E. in this city and of the work, which the Society is doing. She referred to the work of beautification undertaken by the St. Catharines Chapter and of the work for the soldiers and their dependents, which is being done by all the chapters. Mayor Burgoyne was deeply honoured to be the recipient of the beautiful lot and accepted it on behalf of the City Council. He congratulated the St. Catharines Chapter for their generosity and also spoke of the generosity of one of St. Catharines former citizens Mr. Robert Mills who donated liberally to the beautification of the lot. To St. Catharines His Worship referred as “The most beautiful small city in the Dominion,” and the larger cities could perhaps be included. He congratulated the St. Catharines Chapter for having a large part in the beautific action of the city. And still he saw where much more could be done and which after the war and after our boys had returned victorious, would be accomplished. Members of the St. Catharines Chapter and other chapters of the I.O.D.E., His Honour Judge Campbell and Ald. Gray were among those who witnessed the presentation.

The IODE in St. Catharines Today

According to the IODE Canada web site, the mission of IODE, a Canadian women’s charitable organization, is to improve the quality of life for children, youth and those in need, through educational, social service and citizenship programs.

The IODE was founded in 1900 by Margaret Polson Murray as Imperial Order Daughters of the Empire. The IODE, as the organization is now known, has changed over the years to meet the needs of all Canadians from coast to coast, with a particular focus on children and their needs. The name was officially changed to IODE in 1978.

In Ontario the IODE has over 4,000 members in 171 chapters. Membership is open to Canadian women of all ages, backgrounds and interests. In St. Catharines there are two chapters. The Earl Mountbatten Chapter, which was founded in November 1947 by Gertrude Millward. The William Hamilton Merritt Chapter was established on May 6, 1957. Both chapters hold monthly meetings and new members are always welcome.

The Osage Orange Tree
by William J. Stevens – edited version of article which appeared in the May 2000 Newsletter

The Osage Orange (Maclura pomifera) tree is sometimes referred to as a hedge apple and is quite rare in the Carolinian forest area of Southern Ontario. There are a few locations in Niagara where they exist, but the best example I know of is the hedge row along the south edge of the road side ditch of the main drive into Brock University which is the extension of St. David’s Road. The tree is not native to Canada; a few early pioneer settlers brought it into Canada. The tree only grows to about 30 feet in height here, although slightly higher in the southern USA. It is thought that the tree was first found in Oklahoma and Texas and named after the Osage tribe of that area. The Native Americans used the branches for bows, as the wood is very elastic and does not easily rot as it is a very strong and dense wood. The trunk of the tree has lots of low branches which have sharp inch long thorns at the base of the leaves. It is this feature that prompted the pioneers to grow these trees in rows in order to keep their animals confined to their fields and also provide a wind break. The branches being low and the thick bark prevented cows from destroying the trees by rubbing their backs on the trunks as with several other tree varieties. Planting a hedgerow of Osage Orange trees was very easy for settlers, as they grew quickly and shoots grow from fallen fruit on their own. There are male and female trees and this is needed to produce the fruit. The fruit look like deformed oranges or scrambled brains and are greenish orange in colour. The fruit is not edible. The fruit is quite hard until rotten, and smells like orange peel. It contains citronella a natural insect repellant and settlers used them for that purpose. They were tucked into bedding areas to repel insects and they were used as moth repellant as well. They were gathered and dried to a hard ball and used until the next crop in the late fall. As I mentioned only a few of these trees remain in Southern Ontario and the few that remain are a forgotten reminder of early nineteenth century farm life.
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Best From The Past and an update on Edwin C. POOLE
By William J. Stevens

“A TINKLE OF GLASS”
From March 1993 Issue (article slightly edited) – Submitted by Sheila Wilson

Anyone who has seen photographs of early scenes of St. Catharines and area must have come across the name of Edwin C. Poole, photographer. Born in England in 1845, he first settled in Chatham and then in 1876 moved to St. Catharines, where he established a photography studio and soon gained a reputation for his fine photographic work. In 1878 he was awarded Honourable Mention at the Paris Exhibition, and he also received a diploma from New York City, a bronze medal at Toronto, and a gold medal at Hamilton Photographic Conventions in recognition of his work. He was also one of the founding officers and member of the Canadian Photographic Association.

While Poole’s work was mainly portraits and studio work, it is his series of pictures of St. Catharines and other towns such as Thorold that local historians are so interested in, because of the reproductions of his prints, which appeared in such publications as the 1907 Souvenir number of the St. Catharines Standard. Some of his prints were also reproduced in the Toronto papers. Apparently he systematically photographed most of the buildings and the landscape of St. Catharines and area, and it is thanks to his prints that we have some idea of what St. Catharines looked like at the turn of the century, since many of those landmarks have disappeared. When Edwin Poole retired, his business, including all his negatives (in those days glass plates) were acquired by another photographer, his successor, a Mr. Friesman. He in turn offered to sell the plates to the St. Catharines Public Library, and the minutes of the Library record this transaction in 1922.

The Public Library also had some historical artefacts acquired by donations through the years, and since its main concern was for its book collection, the artefacts and the glass plates were put in the hands of the St. Catharines and Lincoln Historical Society for safekeeping. As the Society met in a room in the Library this seemed a good idea but no formal release of those artefacts was given to the Society. In the passage of time, the Library outgrew its quarters and changing internal arrangements meant that the Historical Society had to seek new premises. For a while they met at Rodman Hall and had some of the artefacts stored there. Then it was thought a good idea to store things above the old Fire Hall on Lake Street. During these moves, the glass plates were moved several times, but therein lay the mystery of what finally happened to them. When I became head of Reference in the St. Catharines Public Library in 1960, my predecessor asked me to trace those interesting plates, but to no avail. Every older member of the Historical Society was quizzed; the late Miss Kathleen Duff said that she remembered hearing a “tinkle of glass” in one of the moves.

All the other artefacts became the nucleus of the present St. Catharines Museum, which the Historical Society helped to establish in 1967, but no one has seen or remembers these priceless Poole prints.

Dennis Gannon’s note: A memorandum summarizing the proposed Library purchase of Poole’s negatives contains some fascinating details. It refers to the Library Board acquiring “the first photographic negatives taken in this city, …taken over by Mr. Poole when he started his business here …”  It also says the price would be $10 “per thousand,” noting that “It is impossible to estimate the number of the plates.” So we have AT LEAST 1,000 plates, many of them Pre-Dating Poole’s arrival in 1876 (dating back to the 1860’s? the 1850’s? the 1840’s?) That “tinkle of glass” recalled by Miss Duff robbed us of more than anyone probably realized at the time.)

The story continued in the June 1993 Newsletter – “Responses to Poole story.”

Corlene Taylor responded with information about Poole and his family and mentioned a Standard article dated January 15, 1920 that reported on the donation of Poole’s negatives to the St. Catharines Library and also noted that the Poole gift included the negatives of other photographers, including J.T. See (active here ca.1868-1874). Corlene suspects that the destruction of Poole’s glass plate negatives probably took place while they were stored in Rodman Hall; during the time the Society stored its artefacts and records there.

Another local researcher found the following paragraph in the 1929 Annual Report of the Lincoln Historical
Society, forerunner of our Society: We have listed 892 of the negatives from the collection from Mr. E. Poole’s studio. These comprise buildings, general views, vessels, waterways, official and society groups, personal portraits and miscellaneous subjects.

In the September 1994 Newsletter, a photograph of Poole’s Photo Studio on St. Paul Street appeared and the photo was dated March 1902.

EDWIN POOLE
In the May 1999 Newsletter, a portrait of Edwin Poole appeared, along with the reverse side of the portrait, which was an advertisement for his Studio and acted as a business card.
The article included a short biography of Poole as follows: Edwin Poole was a noted photographer who conducted a successful business in St. Catharines until his retirement in 1921. His work won several awards at photographic competitions around the world.
In an advertisement ca.1878 he was closing his shop to attend the Paris picture exposition.
For many years he was the superintendent of the Sunday school at the Lyman St. Baptist Church before becoming a faithful member of the Queen St. Baptist Church. For 44 years (1885-1929) he was secretary of the Upper Canada Bible Society. He was a prominent worker for the establishment of the YMCA here. He was one of the oldest members of Union Lodge I.O.O.F.

Edwin’s wife predeceased him by seven years and two children died young. He loved children and he always carried peppermints in his pocket for those who sought him out. Edwin died on January 27, 1931 at his home at 11 Race Street, St. Catharines. He is buried in Farringdon Cemetery in Brantford, where other members of his family are buried. At his death, he had two sisters, Mrs. Frances Staniland of Brantford and Miss. Agnes Poole of St. Catharines. He also had two brothers, William Poole of England and L.J. Poole of Detroit.

Since the above articles appeared in the newsletters the following information was found in two death notice entries:
February 8, 1893 – Died Brantford, February 7, Matilda, relict late John Poole and mother of E. Poole, Photographer this city, aged 75 years 9 months.
January 2, 1923 – died at late residence 11 Race Street, January 1 – Mary H. wife of Edwin Poole, Interment, Brantford.

Edwin Poole and several family members are buried in Farringdon Cemetery, Old ‘J’ Section 1 Row 3 beside the church. The cemetery is located on Mount Pleasant Street, Brantford, Ontario.

The POOLE monument was photographed and transcribed for me by K. Jackson. (I thank you, Karen, for this, Ed.)

There are ten people listed on one monument. The transcription on the POOLE monument in Farringdon Cemetery reads as follows:

(on the east side) – JOHN POOLE / died July 17, 1878 / Aged / 61 years 19 days / Thy will be done / Matilda / beloved wife of / John Poole / died Feb. 7, 1893 / aged / 75 years 8 mos / rest in the Lord and wait / patiently for him (on the west side) EDWIN POOLE / 1845 – 1931 / Mary H. / wife of E. Poole / died / Jan. 1, 1923 / aged  73 years  (on the north side) Alfred E. / son of / John and Matilda / Poole / died / Sept. 11, 1889 / aged / 36 years 5 months / He giveth His loved sleep / Agnes POOLE /
born / July 14, 1885 / died / Feb. 10, 1940 (on the south side) HENRY W. STANILAND / aged 50 years / died / Nov. 20, 1896 / his wife / FRANCES POOLE / 1850 – 1932 / CLARISSA A. / age 2 yrs 7 mos / died / Oct. 23, 1893 / GLADYS  READWIN / 1891 – 1971

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NEWSLETTER December 2001

The Historical Society of St. Catharines’ First President: Fred R. Parnell

Fred Parnell was certainly instrumental in founding the Society and was President from 1927 – 1935. Upon his death, the following article appeared on the front page of The St. Catharines Standard on Wednesday, 28 Feb. 1951. It is transcribed here, only correcting some obvious typos. There is also a picture of Fred with the article, however it has not been included due to clarity of the copy. As you will see from reading this article, Fred was truly a great citizen and historian.

Fred Parnell, Former MPP, Dies at 82

Fred R. Parnell, well known throughout St. Catharines district, died Tuesday night at his home on the Lakeshore Road.

Mr. Parnell was well known as a historian of this area, for he was born of United Empire Loyalist stock on the banks of the Ten Mile Creek, and took an active interest in the history of this part of Canada, contributing many articles to The Standard and papers to the Ontario Historical Association on this subject.

He was also very active in the political and civic life of this community and served as a member of the provincial parliament for a time under Premier W. H. Hearst, as well as being on the Board of Education and Board of License Comcation (sic), the Water Works Commissioners.

Mr. Parnell was active in Memorial Church, and for about 42 years was either a teacher or officer in Memorial Church Sunday School. He was superintendent for eight or nine years, and was secretary for many more years. For 10 years he was treasurer of the United Church Bible Society of St. Catharines.

For 53 years he was a member of the board of the church, and for 31 years was its recording steward. He was also chairman of the trustee board.

In military activities Mr. Parnell was a member of the Welland Canal Field Battery in the late 1880’s, and during the Second World War served as sergeant in the Home Guard under Capt. Graves. He was also a member of the Recruiting League at that time, and later was on the committee chosen to select the site for the War Memorial.

For many years Mr. Parnell was secretary of the Conservative Association of St. Patrick’s Ward, and became first president of the riding of St. Catharines when it was formed. He remained president for five years when he resigned to contest the riding in a by-election brought about by the death of the late Dr. E. Jessop, member of the provincial parliament. He was successful and remained in the provincial house under the leadership of Premier W. H. Hears, during his term of office.

Municipal Life

In municipal life Mr. Parnell represented St. James Ward on the Public School Board, when the city was divided into six wards. Later he was a member of the Board of Education for eight or nine years as representative of the County of St. Catharines.

For 10 years he was also a member of the Water Commission, in two elections being returned by acclamation, and in one election receiving the highest vote of any individual on any board. For four years he was a member of the (sic) for the City of St. Catharines, and for one year was its chairman.

When the Lincoln Historical Society was instituted Mr. Parnell became the first president and continued as such for 10 years. He was also the first president of the United Empire Loyalist Society and was largely instrumental in arranging the U.E.L. memorial in Memorial Park. Another activity in which he took part was the St. Catharines Lawn Bowling Club of which he was a past president. Mr Parnell was the last surviving member of the original Grantham Brass Band.

Historical Matters

During his life he took an active interest in historical matters and spoke to numerous clubs. At a meeting of the Ontario Historical Association in St. Catharines he read a paper prepared by himself on “History of the Niagara Peninsula.” (ed note: the OHS held it’s annual meeting June 22-24, 1932 in the parish hall of St. George’s Church.)

He also wrote a history of the Township of Grantham, the Banks and Valley of the Ten Mile Creek, the History of Memorial Church, and a History of the Old Methodist Church at Beaverdams, near Thorold.

Other literary activities included a column published regularly in The Standard on lawn bowling.

For more than 30 years Mr. Parnell was connected with the wholesale grocery business in the city, most of the time a general manager of his firm. He was for a time president of the Independent Wholesale Grocers of Ontario. During recent years he was president of the coal firm of Parnell and Garland ltd.

Lodge Activities

Lodge activities also took up much of Mr. Parnell’s time. He was a Past Master of the Grantham Loyal Orange Lodge, and of the Lincoln County Orange Lodge. For 10 years he was Grand Registrar of the Royal Black Knights of Ireland of Western Ontario, and for one year was Grand Master.

He had the 50-year medal in the Masonic Lodge and for a number of years was secretary of Maple Leaf Masonic Lodge No. 103. He was a 32nd degree Mason. Another lodge in which he was active was the Scottish Rite.

Among his many hobbies were fishing, hunting, lawn bowling, history, poetry and growing flowers.

Born in Grantham

Mr. Parnell was born in the Township of Grantham on the banks of the Ten Mile Creek on June 24, 1868, the son of the late Lewis Parnell, Sr. who passed away Jan. 3 1898, at the age of 65, and of his wife, the late Susan Read Parnell, who passed away May 24, 1929, at the age of 99.

He received his education in the old brick school, S.S. No. 2 in Grantham Township. He then went to the old Collegiate Institute now known as Robertson School, and finally to St. Catharines Business College.

Mr. Parnell’s great-grandfather, William Parnell, Sr. came to Canada from Cornwall, England, in the year 1796 and settled on Queenston Street immediately east of Grantham Ave. He was a member of the First Lincoln Regiment during the war of 1812. Mr. Parnell’s grandfather Stephen Parnell was a member of the Dragoons in 1837-8 during the Mackenzie Rebellion and at one time was a member of the Grantham Council.

Lewis Parnell, Mr. Parnell’s father, was one of the pioneer fruit growers of the township of Grantham, and along with the late W. H. Bunting made one of the first direct shipments of apples to England during the early 1880’s. He was a member of Capt. Cooke’s Flank Company, attached to the XIX Regiment during the Fenian Raids of 1866.

U.E.L. Stock

On the other side of his family, Mr Parnell came of U.E.L. stock. His great-grandfather, George Read, enlisted at the age of 16 in Butler’s Rangers and fought with that celebrated unit until peace was signed in 1784. At the close of the American Revolution he, with his brothers William and John, settled at Homer, where they obtained 1,100 acres from the crown.

William, with the assistance of his neighbours, erected the first Episcopal Church (1795) in this section, on his property. Divine service was performed there by Rev. Addison, first Episcopal minister in this district.

Mr. Parnell’s grandfather, Cornelius Read, Sr. was a member of Capt. McErwin’s company of the First Lincoln Regiment during the War of 1812 and saw service at the battles of Queenston Heights and Lundy’s Lane. He was also present at the burning of Buffalo. He was one of the three commissioners appointed more than 100 years ago to conduct the affairs of Grantham Township when St. Catharines was still part of the township.

Susan Read Parnell, Mr. Parnell’s mother, was the youngest child of Cornelius Read and was born in the old Read home on the banks of Ten Mile Creek, Lakeshore Road, Grantham Township, in 1830 and lived more than 99 years. She retained a remarkable memory up to the day of her death, a gift she passed on to her son.

“Very few people love the beauties and enchantments of nature any more than I do,” wrote Mr. Parnell in 1943. “The wooded and grassy hillsides and the old winding Ten Mile Creek on my father’s farm will never be forgotten by me as long as my memory lingers with me.

“The song of the grey-bird (song sparrows) along the sloping hillsides in the early springtime will always remain as music to my ears, and the beautiful spring flowers carpeting the hills and valleys will forever stay a beautiful landmarks of my happy boyhood days.”

Mr. Parnell is survived by a daughter, Mrs. Arthur C. (Nellie) Gander, Grantham Township, and a grand-daughter, Margaret E. Arbuthnot, and a son, Dr. Harry M. Parnell, predeceased him.

Mr. Parnell will rest at the funeral home of Butler and Son, 33 Duke Street, where funeral services will be held on Friday at 2:30 p.m. Interment will be in Victoria Lawn Cemetery.

Death Notice – from the Wednesday February 28, 1951 issue of The St. Catharines Standard

Died – PARNELL, Frederick R. – In the Township of Grantham on Tuesday, February 27th at his late residence Lake Shore Road. Frederick Raymond Parnell ex M.L.A. husband of the late Margaret Arbuthnot and dear father of Mrs. Arthur C. (Nettie) Gander of Grantham Township and grandfather of Margaret E. Gander, aged 82 years. Resting at the Funeral Home of Butler and Son, 33 Duke Street, where service will be held on Friday afternoon at 2:30 o’clock. Internment in Victoria Lawn Cemetery.

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Heritage Remembered: The May-Clark-Seiler House
By: Bill Stevens; originally published in September 2006 Newsletter
An old house located at the end of Sparkes Street was scheduled to be demolished, but a group of heritage enthusiasts convinced the owners that the house should be saved. Thus in January of 1981, Heritage St. Catharines was formed to investigate the feasibility of preserving and restoring the historic May-Clark-Seiler House. The group set about fund raising and seeking support for the preservation, even Pierre Berton, then Chairman of Heritage Canada became an Honourary Patron. In order to create an awareness of the project, the homes history was researched and it quickly became apparent that it could be the oldest home in St. Catharines and perhaps one of the oldest in the province.

William May, of German decent, a member of the Indian Department, a private in Butler’s Rangers and a United Empire Loyalist emigrated to Upper Canada from New York State in 1783. He petitioned for and was granted (by Crown patent) a 700 acre tract of land in the wilderness of Grantham Township. Here, about 1790, he built a home for his family. William May died in 1827, but the family remained there until 1838, when his grandson William May Junior sold the house to Colonel John Clark, a former officer of the Lincoln Militia and a member of the House of Assembly at York, who was then Collector of Customs at Port Dalhousie. Col. Clark renamed the house and farm Walnut Dale Farm. He died in 1862 at the age of 79 years and is buried in Victoria lawn Cemetery. The house had a number of owners over the next 100 years, when in 1961, Herman and Inge Seiler bought it.

In 1979, the Seilers built a new house on the south side of the old home and decided to remove it. However, they understood that the home was old and when approached by the group of heritage enthusiasts, gave them permission to come up with a plan to preserve it. As Heritage St. Catharines set about the task, even to the point of having an historical plaque made, fire struck on October 30, 1984 and the dreams of preserving this unique piece of our heritage was destroyed. The community and especially the members of Heritage St. Catharines were devastated by this unfortunate turn of events. Time passed, the plaque that was to be placed at the restored home was forgotten in the home of a committee member, only to resurface 21 years later, having been moved once and then placed in the hands of a local man very interested in family history. He realized what it was and contacted Arden Phair at the museum, who picked it up and took it to the museum. Arden advised several former members of the Heritage St. Catharines group that he indeed had the long forgotten plaque. It was decided that even though the home was gone, the site, the history of the home and the efforts of the group that had almost reached their goal needed to be remembered and thus almost 22 years after the fire, the plaque unveiling and historical commemoration took place on Friday, August 18, 2006. A very large crowd attended the presentation by the City of St. Catharines Heritage Committee, including descendants of the families that had lived there. The plaque unveiling was done by John Beverley Clark, Johan May, Vanessa Peters and Lynn Corbey. Following the programme at #3 Sparkes Street, there was a tour of the small May Family Cemetery located south and across the ravine from the house location, hidden behind cedar trees at 18 and 22 Ziraldo Road. A reception followed at another former May home, which is now the Mayholme Foundation Family Research Centre located at 525 Ontario Street. Here, descendants of the May and Clark families were able to look at their family trees, while guests mingled about and enjoyed a peach and cake dessert. A marvelous day and a tribute not only to our past but to those who made the effort to try and preserve our heritage.

Lest We Forget – Lance Corporal Fred Fisher
By: Bill Stevens; originally published in September 2006 Newsletter
On April 23, 1915 Lance Corporal Fred Fisher was killed in action in the area of St. Julien. Fred went forward with the machine gun, of which he was in charge, under heavy fire, and most gallantly assisted in covering the retreat of a battery, losing four men of his gun team. Later, after obtaining four more men, he went forward again to the firing line and was himself killed while bringing his machine gun into action under very heavy fire, in order to cover the advance of support. For his bravery, he was the first Canadian born male to be awarded the Victoria Cross while serving in the Canadian Army. He was born on August 3, 1895 in St. Catharines to Mr. and Mrs. William Henry Fisher. The family moved to Westmount, Quebec where he attended Westmount Academy and then McGill University. He enlisted on August 6, 1914 at the young age of eighteen years. He went overseas with the 13th Battalion (Royal Highlanders of Canada) in the Canadian Expeditionary Force. He was promoted to the rank of Lance-Corporal on December 22, 1914. His grave in the trench where he was originally buried by his comrades was lost. His name is inscribed on panel 24-26-28-30 of the Menin Gate (Ypres) Memorial in Belgium.

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Lest We Forget – Private William Brown
By: Bill Stevens; originally published in September 2006 Newsletter
Each Remembrance Day veterans and citizens gather in front of the cenotaph at the corner of Ann and Main streets in Port Dalhousie to pay their respects to those brave souls who made the supreme sacrifice. Their names are inscribed on the cenotaph so that we may never forget them. William Brown’s name appears under those who lost their lives in World War One. William was born on March 25, 1896 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Sometime prior to the outset of the war, his family moved to a house on Main Street in Port Dalhousie. William worked as a shoemaker. He signed up for service in Niagara on August 4, 1915 and was assigned the service number of 141631. He was sent overseas and served with the Canadian Infantry, Central Ontario Regiment, 58th Battalion.
At 10:30 p.m. on October 8, 1916 Private William Brown was on his way into the front line just north of Courcellette. As he marched forward, a line of tired soldiers were heading back from the front through the muddy terrain. Unbelievably, his older brother Charles was one of those soldiers and he and William paused briefly to greet each other, Charles wishing his brother well at the front. They had not seen each other since the start of the war and it would also be the last time they were to see each other, as by midnight William would be killed in action. William was 20 years old.
William left behind his family, including his mother, Mrs. Charlotte Brown, who had moved to Toronto, an aunt, Mrs. Mary McKey of Merritton, and his brother Charles. His belongings were sent home and the Silver Cross was sent to his mother in 1920, but the family was never able to find out where his remains had been buried. Twenty years later a group of researchers doing excavation near the battlefield in Courcellette found a single grave containing badges, buttons and the identification disc along with the remains of Private William Brown. The Department of National Defence in Canada informed his family here in Canada and William’s remains were removed and reburied in Grave 2.A.12 of the London Cemetery Extension, High Road, Longueval, about two miles south east of Courcellette. Because the location of his remains had not previously been known, William’s name had already been inscribed in the Vimy Memorial, but a suitably inscribed headstone was placed on the grave. The family finally was to receive his remaining belongings, his identification disc, eighteen years after the war ended.
When William’s brother Charles returned to Canada after the war, he settled in Toronto and started a family. He named his eldest child in memory of his brother. Charles’ son William knew about his namesake. He had a newspaper clipping from 1936 describing how his uncle’s remains were found. He knew that his uncle’s name is inscribed on the cenotaph in Port Dalhousie and also on page 60 in the Book of Remembrance displayed in the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill each year on February 16th. Although his children have never been to Port Dalhousie, they now have photos of the cenotaph and William’s inscription through the kindness of a stranger. Private William Brown has not been forgotten.

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Stone Cairn in Grantham Avenue Park
by William J. Stevens
Slightly edited from an article originally published in June 2008 and September 2008 Newsletters
In the June 2008 Newsletter a photo of a stone cairn located in Grantham Avenue Park appeared, which I suggested was placed there to honour Elva Stoneman who lived across the street from the park. No inscription is on the marker. Mrs. Stoneman was the first president of the Grantham Women’s Institute in 1914. Her husband William James Stoneman died on February 9, 1917 in Grantham Township and is buried in Victoria Lawn Cemetery. Further information was requested and indeed received from Edie Williams who found Elva’s death notice: Mrs. Elva Stoneman – St. Catharines, Dec. 11 – In the death of Mrs. Elva McCall Stoneman, at her residence, Grantham Avenue the Township of Grantham loses one of its well-known and highly esteemed residents. The deceased, who was in her sixty-eighth year, was born in Simcoe, Norfolk County, her parents being of U.E. Loyalist descent and one of the first families to settle in that District. She was a school teacher before coming to this district and on the passing of her husband resumed her profession and for several years was on the staff of the Grantham School Board. She was a former member of First United Church, St. Catharines, and latterly became affiliated with the Grantham United Church, taking a great interest in affairs of the church and Sunday School. She was also a member of the Women’s Institute, being its first President. She leaves one daughter, Mrs. Harold Baines of St. Catharines, and one son, Gordon of Grantham Township; three sisters, Mrs. W.D. Cronkhite, Mrs. John Boyd of Toronto, and Mrs. W. H. Johnston of South River, Ont. (source: Niagara Falls Review, Monday, Dec. 11, 1933, p. 5 A verbatim obit. appears in the St. Catharines Standard, December 9, 1933, p. 2.)
Following up on the above information, her gravesite was located in Section ‘J’. The monument inscription reads as follows: William J. Stoneman / 1865 – 1917 / His Wife / Elva G. McCall / 1866 – 1933 / Stoneman.
The Stonemans lived in a two-and-a-half storey home at 464 Grantham Avenue, in Concession 3, Lot 12. (source: the files at the St. C. P. L. Special Collections, binders arranged by street)

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The Naming of Lakeside Park

(originally Published in the December 2007 Newsletter)The following is sourced from: The Evening Star, St. Catharines, Ont., Tuesday July 22, 1902, Page 1.
Improvements at the PortThe management of the N.S.&T.R. is sparing no exertions to make Port Dalhousie without any equal as a summer resort. Everything that can be done to contribute to the pleasure, comfort and convenience of summer residents and the citizens of the Port, is being done, and it is greatly to the credit of General Manager Seixas that so much has been accomplished. Under his energetic and capable direction the improvements and innovations made are rapidly bringing to the Port the importance and thriving prosperity which it deserves as a firstclass summer resort.
The latest work to be completed under the direction of Mr. Seixas is the erection of twenty-five bath-houses along the beach. The entire structure measurers 80 by 42 feet, and each of the twenty-five compartments is of ample size to give every accomodation and convenience to its occupant. For the further accomodation of bathers a four-foot walk has been laid to the bath-houses and thence to the beach. The spot will henceforth be known as Lakeside Park, and when all the contemplated improvements have been made it will be one of the prettiest spots in Ontario. For scenery, fishing, cool bracing air, and general enjoyment the summer tourists will find Port Dalhousie unexcelled.

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“Auntie” Katherine Deveaux
By Bill Stevens (originaly published in June 2007 Newsletter)

While researching a totally different topic, I came across an interesting story and photograph on page 3 of the August 28, 1931 edition of The St. Catharines Standard. I decided instead that I would research this article further and present it to you. The story and photograph of “Auntie” Deveaux was about her celebrating her 100th birthday that week. She is quoted in the story as saying “Work hard if you would live long.” Mrs. Katherine Deveaux was born into slavery on a plantation in Charlottetown, South Carolina on August 24, 1831. Katherine was only five when her mother was sold and left the plantation. Later her father committed suicide rather than be sold. She married Dennis Deveaux, who was also a slave and they had eight children. At age 31 (1862), she became a free woman, and her husband became free near the conclusion of the Civil War. Not sure that freedom would last, they left the plantation and made their way to St. Catharines in 1863, making their first home on Niagara Street. She voluntarily worked day and night and was a devoted early riser. They later moved to Geneva Street and then a third time, to the east side of Lake Street, two doors north of Albert Street, where “Auntie” lived for 37 years. Her husband Dennis died at the Lake Street home. This house was destroyed, along with her meagre belongings, by a rare cyclone on August 2, 1902. She also lost a sheepskin on which was inscribed her date of birth. She was left destitute, but continued to work day and night, and managed to buy a home of her own at 146 Dufferin Street. She grew a vegetable garden, and depended upon the produce to sell door to door to supplement her earnings from cleaning and doing laundry. She was a member of the Queen Street Baptist Church and regularly attended services there. In politics, she was a Liberal and relished the opportunity to vote. At the time of her 100th birthday, she was living alone at 146 Dufferin Street and surviving on an old age pension. Almost three years later, “Auntie” Katherine Deveux died on June 25, 1934, just days before her 103rd birthday. The news of her early morning death “spread throughout the city this morning as citizens of all walks of life halted in their day’s activities to pay sincere tribute to this district’s oldest resident, who died from suffocation when her small home at 146 Dufferin Street was destroyed by flames.” The newspaper report continues: “Auntie Deveaux is dead, said one resident to the other, and there was great depth of feeling in the mere statement of fact. The tragic surroundings of the death of this far famed Negro women, in the home which she had struggled for years to pay for, cast a pall of gloom over the city. “Auntie” who always responded with a cheery smile and a kind word to greetings from residents had been one of St. Catharines’ best known residents …. “ The fire call had come into the Central fire hall at 5:55 a.m. and the firemen found the house in engulfed in flames upon arrival. The cause of the fire was not immediately known, but she did used coal oil on the wood to start fires in the stove, and there was a can of coal oil in front of the charred kitchen stove. The story indicates that the stove likely overheated and in turn ignited the kitchen and “the timbers burnt like matchwood.” Katherine was found lying across her bed in the adjoining bedroom and had suffocated. Katherine was survived by one daughter, Mrs. Harry West, and two sons, Fred Deveaux and Dennis Deveaux, all of St. Catharines. Funeral services were held the following Wednesday from Butler and Son Funeral Home to the B.M.E. Church and then to Victoria Lawn Cemetery. Auntie Deveaux was buried in Grave #3, Row 128, Section F of the New Cemetery, near the back (north) property line of the cemetery. No marker or monument marks “Auntie’s” plot.

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An Interesting Advertisement

By Bill Stevens (Originaly published in June 2007 Newsletter)

The following advertisement was found on page 107 of 1874 Directory for the City of St. Catharines.
“Marilla Snively an ‘Artist in Wax’”
Marilla was born about 1820 in St. Catharines. Her parents, Mary Shainholts and Jacob Snively, were married in 1805 in St. Catharines. Jacob was of German background. According to the 1881 census, Marrilla was living with her sister Eliza, who’s husband was Richard Collier, who had died. Marrilla was not married and Wesleyan Methodist in religion.

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“Old Raceway Was Factor Bringing Factories Here
Source: The St. Catharines Standard, March 25, 1960.

The old hydraulic raceway built in 1824, which generated power in its tumultuous water, was the factor that brought factories and mills to St. Catharines in the early days, Francis Goldring told members of the Lincoln Historical Society last evening. Mr. Goldring illustrated his talk with early maps. Many other communities, started at the same time as Shipman’s Corners, which became St. Catharines, did not continue to grow. The old raceway wended its way from Hayes Steel Mill to Hutchison’s Mills, later the old Kinleith Paper Co. Many old lanes, Mr. Goldring said, led down from St. Paul St. to the mills along the raceway where horse-drawn wagons took their loads down, at William, James, Tannery Lane, Hill, Head and Race streets. Some of the factories were Riordon Paper Mills, Oille’s mill, Garden City Paper, Grantham Flour Mills, Phelps’ Mill and Packard, first to use the water from the raceway. Mr. Goldring also described types of water wheels used in the mills, turned by the strong raceway current. Norman Macdonald presided at the meeting. Another meeting will be held March 30 in connection with forming a Lincoln Historical Museum at the new Arts Centre in Rodman Hall. A delegation from the society will go to city council to urge the preservation of Lock three of the first Welland Canal. R.S.K. Welch, the society’s president, is its representative to the Arts Council.”
(Originally Published in the June 2007 Newsletter)

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Charles Daley Park

By Bill Stevens (Originally Published in th June 2007 Newsletter)

Charles Daley Park is one of the few public beach fronts along the shore of Lake Ontario in the Niagara Region. It is owned by and located in the Town of Lincoln, adjacent to the western limits of the City of St. Catharines. Access by automobile is from Regional Road 39 (QEW North Service Road), which forms the southern limit of the park. Fifteen Mile Creek on the east side of the park is also the municipal boundary line. Sixteen Mile Creek is essentially the western park limits. This area was part of the former Township of Louth, Lots 9 and 10 Broken Front Concession. Cottage communities were once located at Fifteen and Sixteen Mile beaches along the Lakeshore Road. The cottages are gone and the road has long since disappeared due to erosion and now sits out in the lake beyond the beach. The provincial government expropriated lands for the construction of the QEW beginning in 1937 and this left a strip of land along the shoreline where the park is located. In 1960 the Niagara Parks Commission (NPC)purchased an 11-acre site between the two creeks, which included 2600 feet of sandy beach and access directly from the QEW. The site ran to a sheer bluff at the lakefront. A large 30-foot-high hill was removed to create a 500-space parking area, some of which is still present today. In 1961 the shoreline was subject to extensive remediation work. Access from the QEW was closed in 1961 with the construction of the Service Road. With the construction of some park buildings, the park officially opened on July 1, 1962 and was named after the then Chairman of the Niagara Parks Commission, Charles Daley. A small campground was added soon after. In 1972 fill from further QEW construction was placed in the park, narrowing the channel and pond of Sixteen Mile Creek and raising the ground level for additional campground area. Because of low day-use the parking lot size was reduced and some trailer sites were added. In 1962 and 1974 the NPC purchased adjoining lands, including two large ponds formed by the creeks, to encompass 39 acres and 3070 feet of beach, and this represents today’s park lands. In 1990, the NPC deeded the park to the Town of Lincoln for a nominal sum. The campground use was discontinued and the park is now only used for free day-use purposes.

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John W. Abbott and Company

by Bill Stevens – originaly published in March 2008 Newsletter

John Abbott established the Abbott Company, a sewing machine manufacturing business in St. Catharines in 1865 or 1866.  The company manufactured a single thread machine called Abbott’s Noiseless Family Sewing Machine, which would work by hand or treadle.  Production ceased when John died in St. Catharines on February 9, 1872, even though two of his sons had been involved in the business.  His death announcement on page 2 of the Evening Journal (St. Catharines) of February 9, 1872 read as follows: “It is with feelings of sincere regret that we announce the death of J.W. Abbott, proprietor of the Abbott Sewing Machine Factory, one of our most enterprising, ingenious and popular business men.  Mr. Abbott we believe was a native of the State of Vermont, and a few years ago removed from that State to Canada, locating at first in Hamilton.  The superior advantages of St. Catharines as a manufacturing point subsequently induced him with a few others to remove here, where he has carried on an extensive business for the past six or seven years and where he succeeded in gaining many warm and true friends.”

John William Abbott was born on July 30, 1824 in Claremont, Sullivan County, Vermont.  His parents were Israel (born November 13, 1792, Charlestown, New Hampshire) and Lydia Kittredge Abbott.  John married Alvira Achsah Wellman (daughter of Timothy and Achsah Wellman) on November 22, 1843 in Dunnerston, Windham County, Vermont.  Alvira was born on January 31, 1824 in Brookline, Windham County, Vermont.  John and Alvira had four children, all born in Dummerston, Vermont:

1.  Julia Alice – born March 30, 1845; married July 19, 1872 to George Cushing

2.  Henry Eugene – born September 3, 1846

3.  George Arthur – born April 8, 1848

4.  William Alba – born February 4, 1853

The 1871 Census records John’s religion as being Congregationalist, of English origin and a sewing machine maker.  The factory employed 12 men, and with the help of a three-horsepower steam engine, was producing 2500 machines a year.  The average wage of the employees was $41.67 per month.  The machines were sold through two general agents in Toronto:  G.W. Grout and Company (until 1868) and W.H. White and Company (1868-72).  The Abbott machine, with a black walnut stand, in 1868 sold for $15 to $23.  An 1871 patent (No. 831) was taken out by Abbott for improvements in the plate of sewing machines.

After John’s death, his wife and family moved to Defiance, Ohio.  The 1880 Census shows Alvira living with her son Henry E., who was working in a machine shop; her son Willie A., who was a bookkeeper; her daughter, Julia A. Cushing, was now a widow, with her 7-year-old son Richard E. Cushing; Julia was working as a dressmaker.

Also living in Defiance was Alvira’s son, George A. Abbott and his wife Fanny H. and their family.  George is listed as a machinist.

The St. Catharines Museum has an Abbott sewing machine in its collection.

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Heritage Designation Winchester-Larkin House and Captain Patrick LARKIN

by Bill Stevens – originaly published in March 2008 Newsletter

Some years after the designation of the Winchester-Larkin House, circa 1845, a ceremony was finally held on Wednesday, December 12, 2007 at the house, now Dom’s Pasta and Grill at 22 Academy Street. Current property owners and restaurant owner Heather Fasulo accepted the plaque from Heritage St. Catharines Chair Frank Caplan with a large audience gathered in the lounge area.

The building was built by Deacon Lucius D. Winchester between 1845 and 1850. This two-and-a-half-storey Victorian-style red-brick building has an irregular-shaped plan due to brick additions at the front, side and back. The roof is trimmed with simple bargeboards and minor decorative accents. The front dormers on the second floor have pediment roofs with one having engaged columns at the sides and a shed dormer on the uppermost level. The main front door is semi-circular with pilasters and a hood. It is a double three-panel door with moulded rails with a recessed panel and leaded glass with jewelled inserts. The main windows are flat and have moulded trim and radiating voussoirs with large two-sash double-hung windows. Many of the windows are stained glass with jewelled inserts and there is decorative saw-toothed patterned brickwork on the east and west gables about the windows.

The house was purchased by Captain Patrick Larkin in 1872 and he added the fancy work: the tower, the two bay windows at the side, several of the stained-glass windows, plus the fine wood work and the imported fireplaces.

Captain Patrick Larkin was born on March 1, 1829 in County Galway, Ireland. In 1837 he came to Canada and to St. Catharines in 1853. By 1853, he had attained the title of Commander. He married Ellen Mary Maguire on January 21, 1861. At various points in his life, he was a sailor, ship commander, vessel owner, grocer, contractor for large Welland Canal contracts and builder of portions of railways across Canada. He was a founding member of Lincoln Paper Mills, a Director of the St. Catharines Electric Light Company, served several years as member of City Council and then Mayor of St. Catharines in 1882 for one year. He was Roman Catholic in faith and a Reform Party member in politics, serving as President of the Lincoln Reform Association. Larkin died on August 31, 1900 at the age of 71 at his residence and is buried in Old Section Q of Victoria Lawn Cemetery. The Larkin family lived in the house until 1942.

Colonel George Horace MORGAN

By William J. Stevens

 

George Horace Morgan was a famous Colonel in the U.S. Army Calvary who received the U.S. Medal of Honor. Enter his name into a search engine and you will find many entries for him, including his picture. He entered the Military Academy on June 14, 1876 and graduated from West Point in the class of 1880. He was married to Mollie BROWNSON (1863-1924). He applied for a passport that was issued on July 5, 1921. The passport application states the following: that he was a retired colonel in the U.S. Army, living in Minneapolis, Minnesota, 66 years of age, born on January 1, 1855 in Canada, father George N. Morgan who was deceased and had been born in New York State. The passport affidavit also says he was born in Canada to American parents. On June 3, 1947 at West Point, General Eisenhower spoke to a group of Cadets and on page 10 of the next day’s issue of the Schenectady Gazette there was an article about the speech: “War is Stupid Folly, Gen. Ike Tells Cadets” “Only Threat to Our Way of Life Justifies Conflict for Americans, He Declares” The articles goes on to say that the speech was to 310 West Point grads of the 151st class and among the officers at the ceremony was Col. George H. Morgan, the oldest living graduate of the academy, class of 1880.

On February 17, 1948 he was buried in the Arlington National Cemetery (section 3, site 20530). So where in Canada was he born?

A review of census records reveals the following:

1880 Census – Highland, Orange County New York – Cadet –USMC, single

1885 Census – Hennepin County, Minneapolis – born Canada.

1900 Census – Bynn, Philippine Island – military and naval force – Captain – born Canada

1910 Census – San Antonio, Ward 6, Bexar, Texas – born Canada – married, spouse Mollie B., and children Louis B. age 23, Edith age 15 and Dorithy age 14 are all recorded in census.

It is not until you look at Immigration records that his place of birth in Canada is revealed –

And that would be St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada.

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