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.



PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH – Last Services in the Old Church

A Glance Back into the Presbyterian History of This District

[Welland Telegraph, 3 January 1890]

On Sunday morning last Rev. Mr. McCuaig preached his last sermon in the old building, and notwithstanding the rough weather the church was well filled. It is always sad to say good-bye to anything that one has long been accustomed to, whether it be his native home, his business, or his friends; equally so it is to feel that you are worshipping in your church for the last time. True, one may be moving to a new house, decorated and finished in all the modern improvements that architecture can devise, still it is not like the old home and the fondness and loving memory of those who worshipped with us for so many years, will make it near and dear to many who attended this service to pay their last tribute of respect. The new house will never efface those thoughts from their memories. Mr. McCuaig has been pastor of this church for a little over two years, and in that time he has done more good work, not only in getting the members to build a new church, which betiding is an ornament to the town, but he has been the means of building up the church itself; from a few members who welcomed him here he has gone on increasing their numbers, until today it stands as one of the best attended congregations in the town, The pastor has the knack and ability of speaking to his congregation which at once makes an impression on his hearers, he pleads with them is such language that each person feels that it is a personal matter, that his preaching is a sermon to him and is not intended for so and so, who unfortunately happens to be absent. Outside the church he is more than pastor, he is a friend to those in trouble or in sickness, as well as a genial visitor to those that are well.

The choir deserves a word of praise, especially those members who have stuck to their places for so long and so faithfully; it may be that some are impresses with the novelty of being members of the choir when they first sing in the new church, or perhaps it is from pure love that the choir has marvelously increased in numbers an strength within the last few Sabbaths.

Mr. T.D. Cowper, who has been superintendent of the Sunday School for the past two years, made a very appropriate address to the scholars on Sunday afternoon, and in closing the school the last chapter in the history of the old church was concluded.

At the morning service Mr. McCuaig took his text form the 1st Samuel, 7th chapter, 12th verse. “Then Samuel took a stone and set it between Mizpsh and Shen and called the name of it Ebenezer, saying, Hitherto hath the Lord helped us.” The word Ebenezer engraved on the stone by Samuel after having driven the Philistines out of Israel , whither they had collected for battle against the Israelites, is very suitable for this our last service, for we can now say with the prophet, “Hitherto hath the Lord helped us.” The preacher than went into the reasons why they required a new church, speaking very feeling and kindly to his members, and his sermon was listened to with the keenest of interest by all present.

Below is a brief sketch of Presbyterian history in Welland:

The history of the Presbyterian church in Welland may be said to begin from the year 1834. It is true that before that year there had been occasional services held in the neighborhood. The united Presbyterian church of the United States sent several ministers into the Niagara peninsula, who travelled through the then most unbroken forest, even as early as the end of last and beginning of this century. Very faithful were these brethren, and many __journey they made in preaching the glorious gospel of the blessed savior to perishing sinners. But Welland does not appear to have been visited, perhaps because there were no inhabitants here at the time. Services were held at Cook’s Mills and from Fort Erie to old Niagara, and inland from St. Catharines to Smithville and Barton the lamp of divine truth was carried by these missionaries of the cross.

When the Welland canal was entered upon and the village of Merrittsville, now Welland commenced its history, services were a little more continuous. They were held in the old school house on the bank of the Welland river. About the year 1848 Rev. Mr. McIntosh, of the Church of Scotland, conducted worship in that house. He returned to Scotland in the following year and died there.

After the lapse of some years the few Presbyterians in Welland endeavored to revive the cause. They made applications to Rev. Mr. McAllister, then minister at Port Robinson, in connection with the united Presbyterian church of America. Mr. McAllister preached at intervals during the summer months for about two years, when he returned to the United States.

Nothing was done after Mr. McAllister’s removal to the States for a period of about ten or twelve years. Meantime the village was growing and more Presbyterians settled to be near it. It was then resolved that something should be done to maintain the ordinance of the gospel according to the ordinance of the Presbyterian church. In pursuance of this good object, a memorial was presented to the Presbytery of Hamilton, in connection with the Canada Presbyterian church, requesting that court to take the proper steps to organize then in a congregation. The Presbytery granted the request and appointed Rev. F. Burns of St. Catharines to organize the congregation. The congregation was organized in 1862 by Mr. Burns.

Our late townsman, John Dunigan, Esq., presented the congregation with a lot of ground on Church street. The deed connecting the gift is a very lengthy one. It was made in the names of Messrs. Archibald Thompson senior, and Daniel McCaw, both of whom still remain and worship in the church, and John Phillips, deceased, as trustees of the congregation and their successors. Among other conditions in the aged though somewhat ragged (through age) deed, with the wise one that the church should be built and ready for use within the period of eighteen months. This put the little congregation on their mettle and they nobly fulfilled their part as the church was opened and dedicated to the worship of God in January 1864.

But after this exertion the cause seems to have settled into a state of dormancy for another eight years, or rather, it was in the mission station, getting a supply of preachers from the Presbytery were able to give it. Although number of the congregation stuck with the tenacity peculiar to Pres. and hold on to the cadee for that. Then a united call was given to W. Hancock, a minister of the Presbyterian church from congregations of Crowland, Port Colborne and Welland. Mr. Hancock was received as a pastor into the Canada Presbyterian church and acted as minister of the three churches, 25th August 1872. Mr. Hancock had this charge until the 12th January 1875 when he resigned and became minister of North Pelham and Port Colborne. He now resides in Toronto.

When Mr. Hancock left there was a vacancy of about a year. Reverend Clarke was called and became minister on 25th July 1876. He remained a few months, when for reasons he kept to himself, he resigned his position 1876.

A vacancy of rather more than ten months occurred, during which Port Colborne separated from Welland. Various ministers preached, and in 1878 they made a united call to Rev. James McEwen of Westminister, who was inducted in August of that year. Mr._ associated with him as a…

Remainder of article is scanty due to poor microfilm.

Alexander Reid, of Crowland and James McCabe of Thorold …until the congregation should …choose elders from….This, however did not take place …when Messrs. J.M. Dunn and J.H. Burgar were elected and duly ordained and inducted. Mr. George C. Cowper was added to the number of that session as an elder. Mr. McEwen remained ..of Welland and Crowland until. of 1885, when he resigned his…the hands of the Presbytery again became vacant. This continued for about eighteen months ..which some ineffectual steps were made to secure a minister. Meantime, the congregation was increasing in number ..in the summer of 1887 the congregation extended a call to Rev. F. McCuaig, which call was placed before the Presbytery and soon Rev. F. McCuaig who was inducted in October, 1887. ..In August addition was made to the session with Alexander Robertson, J.H. Burgar (elected) and Thomas D. Cowper having been chosen by the members to the office of the eldership.

The membership of the church was steadily increasing. At the first the number of members might have been counted on two hands.. Communion after Mr.McEwen the number was only 27. The number on the session roll at this time ..this did not represent entirely who have been members……


Thorold News

[Welland Tribune, 23 April 1897]

The infant son of John P. McKeague died at his grandfather’s home in Merritton on Tuesday. The funeral took place to the R.C. church here on Thursday, interment at St. Catharines.


Thorold News

[Welland Tribune, 23 April 1897]

Died, in Thorold township, on Tuesday, April 20, Jane Upper, relict of the late James Upper, aged 81 years. The funeral was held yesterday afternoon from her late residence to the family burying ground.


Niagara Falls Village News

[Welland Tribune, 30 April 1897]

The community were pained to hear of the death of Mrs. Monroe of Stamford, and daughter of the late Mr. Fisher. Deceased lived for many years with her uncle, the late James Oswald, from which place she was married to Mr. Monroe. A sorrowing husband and three sons and three daughters survive-Carleton, Frank, John, Lena, Eva and May Monroe. The youngest child is about twelve years of age. Mrs. Monroe ws seized with a severe pain in the head about two weeks ago, and on Thursday of last week became unconscious, sinking slowly till death. The remains will be interred at Stamford burying ground today, funeral from the family residence at 2 p.m. Rev. Mr. Wilson of Drummond Hill will conduct the service. The heartfelt sympathy of all is extended to the deeply bereaved family.


Niagara Village News

[Welland Tribune, 23 April 1897]

George Packer’s little child, aged about three years, died suddenly of diphtheria one night last week, and was buried next day. The same family lost a daughter by being killed by the cars some years ago. In their deep affliction Mr. and Mrs. Packer have the sympathy of our people.


Effingham News

[Welland Tribune, 23 April 1897]

Henry Smith, an old and respected resident of this section, passed away last week. Mr. Smith came to St. Johns early in the forties, and was employed in the foundry of that place for years. He was buried in Thorold R.C. cemetery, of which church he was a lifelong member.


Port Colborne News

[Welland Tribune, 23 April 1897]

Residents of this village will be pained to hear of the death of John W. James, who succumbed to an attack of typhoid fever at Rossland, B.C., last month. Mr. James was a member of the staff of engineers engaged here during the canal enlargement, and many warm friends sincerely mourn his death. Deceased was a prominent resident of South Bend, Washington, for several years, and the Herald of that place says: “Too high tribute cannot be paid to the memory of J.W. James. He was a man of noble character, fine integrity and high ability.”


George Drummond Stuart was born in Scotland in 1884.

His wife Isabella Liston McIlvride was born in Scotland in 1895.

The families immigrated to Welland.

George and Isabella were married in Welland April 20, 1916.

They had a daughter Margery Patricia Stuart in 1919.

In 1940 they were living on Harcourt Lane in Welland. George was a Foreman(machinist) and Margery was a student.

George died in 1971, Isabella died 1941, Margery died in 2003. All are buried in the Fonthill cemetery.


1 Funeral of Isabella is located on this website

2 Tombstone for the family  in Fonthill cemetery is located on this website.

3 Stuart, George, spouse McIlvride, Isabella People’s Press Welland page 4 25/04/1916 marriage

4 Stuart, daughter People’s Press page 8 11/03/1919 birth

5 Stuart, Marjorie Welland Tribune page B8 02/07/2003 death

6 Stuart, Isabella McIlvride spouse George D Welland Tribune [page 3 02/12/1941 funeral

Compiled by “S”

Does anyone have anymore information on the Stuart family?


Thorold News

[Welland Tribune, 23 April 1897]

The many friends of Mrs. Matt Henderson learned with regret of the death of her daughter, Clara, at Port Colborne, on Saturday, from that dread disease consumption. The deceased had many warm friends here, where she was born and lived until a year ago. On the death of Mr. Henderson, Mrs. Henderson and daughter moved to Ingersoll, afterwards removing to Connecticut. About a month ago they returned to Port Colborne. The funeral took place on Monday afternoon at 5.30, from the G.T.R. station to Lakeview cemetery. Rev. Dr. Clark conducted the services.




[Welland Tribune, 2 April, 1897]

Dear uncle, as your birthday comes in sight
I feel a strong desire some lines to write.
And, first of all, I wish you health and peace;
From every care God grant you sweet release;
May, He whose love has guarded all your days
Still guide and keep you thorough life’s devious way.

Although the psalmist, with inspired pen,
Has bounded life with three score years and ten,
Yet God in grace has given you seven beside;
And still, we pray, He’ll let you long abide
To cheer us in this world of care and woe,
From which we all must soon or later go.

My fancy’s flight now takes me ‘cross the seas
To Mellguards, nestling ‘neath o’erspreading trees
Where long ago you played, an artless boy.
And found on Petterill’s banks unending joy;
To that dear home you turned your wandering feet,
In winter’s cold and summer’s fervent heat.

Nut Syke, Cross Hill and Southwaite in those days
Were sacred to your merry games and plays,
In Broughton Gill, o’er wooded banks you’d stray,
And while away full many a summer’s day,
Till all the fields and lanes and plantings round
Become familiar and enchanted ground.

Soon came the time when you must go to school
And learn to master many a tedious rule;
That pleasant walk to Hescott oft you took,
With satchel holding dinner, slate and book,
Till perseverance and steadfast will
Conveyed you safe up Learning’s rugged hill.

Methinks I see you crossing Southwaite bridge,
And then ascending, step by step, the ridge;
Past Moorhouse Hill and Tally Ho you wend,
And on to Lingey Moor and Barney Ling ascend;
The turnpike gained, you travel more at ease
Past Toll Bar and the jerry house, Cross Keys.

Ascending still, past Salutation Inn,
Where neighbors met to quaff their ale or gin;
The hoary church and churchyard next you pass
Where all your fathers sleep beneath the grass;
And ere you reach the White Ox tavern grand
The modest school house on your right will stand.

Though many years since you those ways have trod
And schoolmates all may sleep beneath the sod,
Yet memory oft brings up each lovely scene
And views the fields in ever-changing green;
In dreams you have tread the well-known paths once more
And feel life’s joyance as in days of yore.

The vale through which the winding Petterill flowed
Dear lovely vale, your childhood’s first abode,
Is bound to you by many sacred ties.
At every turn a thousand memories rise;
For though in this fair land for years to roam,
We still are exiles yearning for our home.

How grandly rose the peak of Barrock Fell,
O’erlooking river, brook and woodland dell,
And fertile holms of never-fading green,
With winding Petterill flowing fair between, (sweet)
While woods and fields and flowering hedgerows
In wildest beauty and profusion meet.

Our dear loved home, around which mountains
Our picturesque old county, Cumberland, (stand)
Dear land of river, lake and towering fell,
Shall ever in our inmost memories dwell;
And though we tread its smiling fields no more,
We aye shall love it as we did of yore.