Welland History .ca

The TALES you probably never heard about

TALES to tell and MUSINGS to mind!

This is where you will find interesting TALES of the various people that lived in and around Welland during the 1800s and 1900s.

We’ve also introduced a new subcategory: HISTORICAL MUSINGS by select featured authors.




Eddie Viel of Brown’s Nurseries

Killed by the Accidental Discharge of a 32-Calibre Revolver

[Welland Tribune, 29 October 1897]

The officers and employees at Brown’s Bros. Nurseries, Pelham, as well as the residents of the township, are in deep grief over the accidental shooting of Eddie Viel, book-keeper for the Brown Bros. Nursery Company on Monday night last, from the effects of which he died on Wednesday, Oct. 27. The facts of the case are as follows: Eddie Viel and Archie Fisher.


-and room mates. Both were employed t the nursery-Archie is a son of Charles Fisher, superintendent of the nurseries, and Viel was a book-keeper for the company, his parents residing on Mutual street, Toronto. The young men were very intimate, and on Monday evening went to the harvest home services at the Friend’s church. Reaching home about midnight, Fisher picker up the revolver, which was empty, and proceeded to load it. In doing so


-and the bullet struck Viel, entering the lower part of the stomach, passing through the body and lodging near the backbone. The alarm was at once given and Drs. Emmett of Fonthill and Barker of Fenwick instantly summoned. On Tuesday morning, in response to a despatch, the father of the unfortunate young man reached here; a professional nurse was secured from St. Catharines hospital, and everything possible done to relieve the patient’s suffering, and if possible to save his life. The grief of the father, and of the members of the Fisher family, was pitiable to witness. After the arrival of the father, while sufficient yet remained in the weakening frame of the brave young fellow, and in the presence of surrounding friends, he exonerated Archie Fisher from all blame. “Don’t worry so much he said.


-and it might just as well have been him as me.” On Wednesday morning additional medical aid assistance was summoned, with the intention of removing the bullet, if deemed advisable, but before the surgeon could begin their task a serous collapse set in, and


-just thirty-five hours after the accident, the mother was on her way from Toronto, but a message interrupted her, and she returned home without seeing her boy alive. Deceased was eighteen years of age. The remains were conveyed to the 8.40 T.H. &B train yesterday morning at Fenwick, and from thence taken to Toronto, where burial will take place today. Before the body was removed from the grief stricken home of the Fishers a brief but


-was conducted by the Rev. Mr. Crowle, pastor of the Fonthill Methodist church, the neighbors attending as a mark of sympathy and respect for one they esteemed so much. Six colleagues bore the casket from the hearse, and the nursery officials and office employees proceeded to Toronto to attend the final obsequies of their well-beloved comrade there. Eddie Viel came here last spring, although he had been in the employ of Brown Bros. Nursery Co. prior to that time. His brief life here had won him many friends and no enemies. He was a young man of good habits.


-and always had an eye single to the best of his firm. The kindliest expressions of regard are heard on every end, and sympathy comes from all who know the details of the distressing and fatal affair.

It is but right to say that the revolver was the legitimate property of these young men. Both were frequently employed in conveying messages to and from the bank and valuable mail matter, and the firm


Both, too, were accustomed to the use of firearms and many a time had risen with the sun and gone hunting together in the bush. In fact Fisher was almost an adept in the use of firearms, and the discharge of the revolver was purely accidental. Blame can attach to no one, despite the terrible consequences that have followed.


Wellandport News

[Welland Tribune, 5 November 1897]

Albert Eitle died on Sunday evening last. He had lived on the farm where he died. He was never married; his mother and sister kept house for him until his mother died, then his sister took charge. He was deaf and blind for quite a number of years. His word was as good as his bond; he was strictly honest in all transactions, and very much respected I the neighborhood. Much sympathy is felt for his sister, who is left alone on the old homestead. Deceased was a brother to J. V. Eitle of Niagara Falls.

d: 1 November 1897


Fenwick News

[Welland Tribune, 5 November 1897]

Mary Eliza, relict of late David F. Stringer, died at the residence of her son-in-law, John Effrick, Fenwick, on Thursday last week, Oct, 28 th.,at the advanced age of 78 years and 8 months, after a long period of illness and poor health. Her husband predeceased her over eleven years ago, she leaves one son and two daughters-Leonard Stringer and Mrs. John Effrick of Fenwick, and Mrs. Wm. Hamilton of Muskoka. Deceased was a lifelong and consistent member of the Methodist church, respected by all who knew her. The funeral took place on Saturday, and was very largely attended. Services were conducted by Rev. Mr. Sparling in the Bethany church; interment at Dawdy’s burying ground.


Fenwick News

[Welland Tribune, 22 October 1897]

A company of unusual proportions assembled at the home of William Crow, one mile east of Fenwick, on Tuesday last, to celebrate that gentleman’s sixtieth birthday. It was a complete surprise, gotten up by the family, in which invited friends joined, forming a company of nearly one hundred persons-from Pelham, Gainsboro and Clinton. The guests came heavily laden with good things, and the tables, when laid, were a pretty and appetizing sight. When the first table was being seated, reeve Hyatt arose to his feet and presented to Mr. Crow, on behalf of the family, a comfortable arm chair in oak, accompanying the gift with a brief, neat speech, in which the hope was expressed on behalf of the whole company that the recipient would long be spared to enjoy the beautiful present. Mrs. Crow was Sarah Jane Huntsman, daughter of the late John Huntsman of Clinton township. The happy marriage took place in 1863, and in 1864 Mr. and Mrs. Crow moved to Pelham, where they have since resided, commanding always the respect not only of their neighbors and friends, but the community at large. Two of their children have passed away, those surviving being Mrs. H.G. Diffin of Pelham Centre, and Alandes Crow, who lives at the old home. Tuesday was an ideal October day, warm and pleasant, and the large company walked about the beautiful lawn or sat beneath the shading trees, and indulged in games and social chat. It was a genuine old-fashioned happy visit, enjoyed by a host of old friends, who will long remember the gathering with sincere pleasure.


Thorold News

[Welland Tribune, 29 October 1897]

The sad intelligence of the death of Robt. Martin in Chicago was received by his brothers in Chicago on Friday. The deceased was an iron worker and was employed on the erection of a 10-storey building. He, in company with another man, had just fastened a large piece of iron to the derrick and was watching it being lifted to the top of the building, when the fastening gave way and the heavy mass fell on him. Death was instantaneous. The remains were brought to Thorold on Saturday and taken to the home of his brother, Addie Martin. The funeral took place on Sunday afternoon to Lakeview cemetery and was very large attended. Rev. Mr. Calvert officiated. The TRIBUNE extends its sympathy to the brothers of the deceased.


NIAGARA, Sept. 28th, 1897

[Welland Tribune, 1 October 1897]

To the Editor of the Welland Tribune:

DEAR SIR- I have just read with great pleasure an article in your issue of Sept. 24th relating to Capt. Martin McLellan, and so I am able to add a few interesting particulars, think it only right to do so, hoping that every municipality in the country may be stirred up to imitate the very laudable example set by Thorold in preparing a local history. In two old record books in the town may be found items referring to both William McLellan, the father, and Martin McLellan, the son, honorable to each. In the record book of St. Andrew’s church, dated 30th Sept., 1794: “A number of people met this day and resolved that as religion is the foundation of all societies, and which cannot be so strictly adhered to without a place dedicated solely to divine purposes, that a Presbyterian church should be erected in the town of Newark, and that subscriptions for that purpose be immediately set on foot, as well as for the support of a clergyman of the same persuasion. “ The committee consisted of seven-John Young, Four Mile Creek, chairman; Ralph Clench, Andrew Heron, Robt. Kerr, Alex. Gardiner, William McLellan and Alex. Hemphill.

In the record book of the Niagara library, from 1800 to 1820, the name of Martin McLellan, who must then have been twenty-two years of age, occurs as one of the forty-one proprietors who formed the library, and also one of the tow trustees the first year (the other Andrew Heron}; during the years following he is frequently mentioned as trustee till 1811, and in the list of payment of fees, his name occurs till 1812, the year of his glorious death, showing that he was not only a brave soldier but a reader, and one who wished to help others in the laudable undertaking of founding a library.

In the rooms of the Niagara Historical society may be seen the pocket book kindly loaned by Mr. Martin McClellan, Fonthill with the subscription in his own hand, the writing the same as the signature in the above mentioned record book. Since the pathetic circumstance is now known in respect to his giving the purse to his wife the night before his death still greater interest will be shown by visitors in inspecting this valuable historic relic.

It is also told that the morning of the battle, when our forces retreated before such over-whelming forces, he and his three companions went back, favored by the heavy fog, to spike the guns, but the fog just then lifting they were all shot down.

It is believed that many interesting historical items might be collected, and it is to be hoped that all will help to gather these into suitable form while those are yet living who know the full circumstances, and thus prove conclusively that Canada has indeed a history of which she may be proud.

I am yours sincerely,



[Welland Tribune, 24 September 1897]

In all the historical researches in connection with the scenes of 1812-14 a remarkable oversight hs been made in the case of the McClellan family, Capt. Martin McClelland having fallen in active service, and was interred with others in old St. Mark’s cemetery, Niagara. Two descendants, grandsons, now live in Fonthill-Martin and Luther McClellan. Luther O. was requested by Rev. Canon Bull to furnish a short history of his grandfather’s life, which he has kindly consented to do, and has given us the following for the historical society, which met at Beaverdams 15th Sept, 1897


Captain Martin McClellan was born in the year 1778 in Cherry Valley, New York state. At the age of twelve years the Indians became troublesome and barbarous with the whites, so much so that they were obliged to sacrifice their property and forsake all and escape for their lives. His father, Wm. McClellan, was captured by the Indians and rings put in his nose and ears. He made his escape with his wife and family of three boys, with the exception of one son, Captain Martin McClellan, who was captured by the Indians and kept in custody for three months. He was taken away down to Ogdensburgh, and on their return with him to Cherry Valley was recaptured by the whites and brought to Niagara for the remainder of their days, raising three sons, Martin, John and William. John settled in Caledon and lived to the age of ninety-six. William settled at Beaverdams and owned a farm there, where the battle of Beaverdams was fought across; he lived to the age of eighty years. Martin remained on the old farm joining the Queen’s bush at Niagara. His father was owner of a large estate in New York state, that was confiscated through the Indian trouble. Captain Martin McClellan was given the power of attorney by his father to dispose of the property that was surrendered. A large portion of it was never disposed of on account of the war of 1812 coming on, and, unfortunately for his financial interests, Captain Martin was one of the Canada’s true loyal subjects, and stood manfully up to defend his country that was near and dear to him. He fell as a hero in that war, consequently nothing more was done as regards the property in New York state. Captain Martin McClellan was killed at the battle of Fort George at the age of 34. He was also in the battle of Queenston Heights, and stood very close to the brave Brock when he fell at the foot of the mountain. He left seven descendants (grandsons) living-Martin and Luther, living at Fonthill; Dr. Martin McClellan, Chicago; Dr. J.W. McClellan, California; Dr. Frank McClellan, Michigan; C. Thompson, Niagara Falls; and A. Thompson, Virgil. Captain Martin McClellan fell on the 27th day of May, 1813. In the old St. Mark’s church, Niagara, a tablet, fastened to the wall, bears the following inscription:

In Memory of
Aged 34 years.
In the 25th year of their age.
Of the First regiment, Lincoln, Militia,
Who gloriously fell on the 27th day of May, 1813
Also, Adjutant LLOYD,
On the 8th King’s Regiment.

This tablet was in the yard until a few years ago, when interested parties saw it was going to places removed it to the church and fastened it to the wall to secure it, as it was looked upon with exceeding interest. It brings back to the mind the tattle of musketry and rush of foemen-the day when Niagara was taken. A very remarkable and sad event took place the evening prior to his death. He was deeply impressed that he should go and see his wife and family, who were taken from Niagara to Virgil during the trouble. After a short interview with his wife he said: “I have come to see you for the last time; I have been deeply impressed this afternoon that this is my last day I have to live; I expect to be numbered tomorrow with the slain; my convictions are so strong I must bid you good-bye; here is my watch and purse, you will never see me again alive.” Before three o’clock the next day he fell, with three others that were buried with him. Cameron and Wright were relatives and Lloyd a near friend. Strange to say, the ball penetrated the watch pocket, and many of his friends thought if the watch had not been removed from the pocket his life would have been spared, as the watch was a heavy English watch. My brother Martin has the purse in his possession that he handed to his wife, purchased five months before his death. Inside the following inscription is found in his own hand writing: Martin McClellan’s property, Niagara, Dec. 21st. 1812.” His wife was left with a family of five children, three girls and two boys, my father being the youngest, only six months old. Captain Martin McClellan was owner of a large estate. The law was in those days that the eldest son inherited all. His wife suffered a heavy loss financially; the buildings were burned, and but one house could be found out of six. He had a large quantity of brick hauled to build a house. The Americans replied them and used them for breast-works for a defence. And now when reflecting, notwithstanding the friendly feeling that exists between the two nations, it stirs up a spirit of enmity in the minds of those that had relatives that were compelled to sacrifice their lives to save their country, which was near and dear, from falling into the hands of a nation that was taking a great advantage of the Canadians at that particular time. Whilst old England had her men engaged in a vigorous war with another nation, it was certainly very unjust on their part to ponce upon us, a mere handful compared to them, and to me it seems cruel in the extreme, and certainly was the means of making many fatherless homes with one to eight in number, and should cause a remorse of conscience in the hearts of those that were the instigation of that cruel invasion. Consequently we should manifest a more grateful memory of those who protected and preserved this land as a British possession.


[August, 2017]

I was born in the Welland Hospital and have two sisters, Elaine and Brenda, and a brother Fred. We lived on Deere St. with our parents Lorraine (from Saskatchewan) and Andrew (born in Detroit). Andrew worked at the Page Hersey as a welder for almost 40 years. My grandfather George lived on Harriet street after his rum-running days were over in Windsor/Detroit area. My father’s sister, Rose, told me about the gypsies which used to pass through Welland occasionally. When she got up early on the farm, just west of Eastdale high, to do her chores, now and then off things would occur. The eggs were gone and the cows had already been milked. She said the neighbors also had the same problem. Then someone spotted a gypsy encampment outside  of town. The men got on their horses and rousted the camp, running the gypsies far out of town. My father’s brother, George, owned the grocery store next to the Tastee Freez on Ontario Road. They moved away to Stratford.

I learned to swim at the Memorial Park pool and then moved on to the old canal and the rock quarries and beaches around Port Colborne. I remember almost drowning at Nickel Beach and also the big flour mill fire out near the Pt Colborne pier

My elementary school was the now non-existent St Peter and Paul school. Some nuns could be very strict and mean but there was a piano in every room and they taught us to sing every day. We also used to clean the school yard of litter a few times a year. The school boundaries would change often so I went to Centennial Secondary, Eastdale, Welland High School and a stint at Niagara College.

As teens, my pals and I  would chase girls down at Long Beach and Niagara Falls. The drinking age in Ontario was 21 so we’d all pile in cars and go ‘over the river’ to Buffalo. where the age was 18. Bars there were a lot of fun, much looser than the uptight Ontario. I worked at Dominion and A&P stores in Welland, Niagara Falls and Dunnville.

I left town for traveling in 1973, returning in 1975 for a few months and worked at Stelco in Hamilton before leaving again for good.

In my middle grade books on Welland, I string together real characters and incidents Wellanders can enjoy too. The stories bring back memories and their kids seem to be interested in what life was like back then, too.


[Welland Tribune, 17 December 1897]

Mrs. Waddell, aunt of Mrs. Chas. Lewis, died on Wednesday evening (8th) of last week at the age of 58 years, of typhoid pneumonia.  Interment took place at St. Paul’s cemetery on Friday last, Rev. P.W. Smith officiating. The pall-bearers were: C. Riselay, Wm. Anderson, Thos. Warren, Wm. Rainsford, Thos. Lewis and John Lewis.


[Welland Tribune, 24 September 1897]

Elisha C. Taylor, who died at his residence in Pelham on Thursday evening, Sept. 16th inst., was born on the farm on which he resided all his life, and which was purchased by his father, John Taylor, from the Crown in 1790.The Taylor family were natives of Duchess county, New Jersey, and were members of the Society of Friends. They came to Canada as U.E. Loyalists-John Taylor referred to being at that time eighteen years of age.

Our subject, Elisha C. Taylor, was twice married. His first wife was Caroline Moore; his second, Hannah Cox of West Creek, N.J., who survives. Of his children eleven survive, and all were in attendance at the funeral. They are in order of age, as follows: _ Mrs. (Rev.) J.F. Barker, Hamilton; Mrs. Thomas Hill, Pelham; J. Bruce Taylor, Welland; A.E. Taylor, Niagara Falls; Mrs. (Dr.) Karn, Picton; L.H. Taylor, Niagara Falls; James B. Taylor, South Pelham; Mattie, at home; Mrs. Park Southworth, Pelham; and Charles and Alberta, at home. Until within a comparatively recent time Mr. Taylor was a strong, healthy man for his years, but last spring he suffered from lagrippe, and this was followed by jaundice, which proved fatal, after an illness of five months borne with true Christian patience and resignation. At the time of his death he was in the 74th year of his age. In politics Mr. Taylor was a pronounced Liberal, but always avoided rather than sought public office or position. In religious belief, like his forefathers, he was a consistent member of the Society of Friends.

The funeral took place on Sunday from his late residence at 10 a.m., services in friends’ meeting house, where Pastor William Rogers gave an appropriate address from the inspired and inspiring promise of holy writ, “I am the resurrection and the life.” William Wetherald also spoke in feeling and eloquent language of the deceased, whom he had known as warm friend for fifty years. The funeral was the largest ever held in that section of country, the community assembling on masse to testify their love and esteem for one so eminently deserving. The pall-bearers were the five sons of deceased, and Thomas Hill, the eldest son-in-law. The grandchildren present included Dr. Barker of the Johns Hopkins hospital, Baltimore, as well as all those living in this section. The floral offerings were profuse and indescribably beautiful. Among them were a pillow, the gift of the five sons; a sheaf and sickle, from A.E. and L.H. Taylor, and a wreath from Mrs. Frank Rounds, Welland.

Deceased was possessed of warm social qualities and a genial, sunshiny nature, as well as deep religious convictions; and his removal leaves a void in the community that will not be soon nor easily filled. But our loss is his gain. As the sequel of a well-spent life, death had for him no terrors, the grave no sting. In common with this community the TRIBUNE feels his loss as that of a friend, and tenders most sincere sympathy to those more immediately and deeply bereaved.