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.


James Greenwood Goes to His Death Amid the Awful Roar of Niagara.

[Welland Telegraph, 4 September 1891]

Niagara’s latest victim was hurled to his death over the great cataract on Friday night last and the village of Chippawa lost a citizen in the person of James Greenwood, son of Mr. Wm. Greenwood, village clerk. The deceased had during the season been attending to a shooting gallery at the hotel on Navy Island, and every evening rowed across to the Chippawa shore in a small boat, a distance of nearly half a mile. On Friday evening he left the island about 8.30 and was apparently in good health and spirits as he shoved off. The night was quite dark and those on the shore soon lost sight of him, and this was the last seen of the unfortunate man. His non-appearance at home that night created no uneasiness, as it was naturally supposed he had remained on the island. Saturday morning when he did not appear at his post inquiries were made and then only it was discovered that he had evidently gone over the falls. Search was instituted and some fragments of the boat were discovered at Bass Rock, just below the falls, and other portions at the whirlpool. The deceased was subject to fainting spells and it is supposed he was seized with one of these, or that one of his oars broke and he was helplessly carried to his doom. He was about 38 years of age and unmarried.

Thomas W. Bishop (Ridgeville, Ont)

{Source unknown – Compiled by S}

There is as much real romance in industry as there is in any other walk of life. Underlying many a brief announcement of this or that change in an industrial organization there lies a story of achievement if properly told, would compel the admiration of all who heard. And such stories are by no means infrequent.

Recently announcement was made of the organization of a private corporation, capitalized at one hundred thousand dollars, under the name of the Dominion Concrete Burial Vault and Specialties Company Limited, with the head offices at Fonthill, which has purchased the following well-known firms, together with all of their assets and good-will: The Ridgeville Concrete Works, The Fonthill Concrete Products Company, and the W.H. Brown Marble and Granite business of St Catharines.

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[Welland Tribune, 24 July 1891]

Jane Eliza, relict of the late Sayres S. Hagar, who died on Tuesday, last, was a daughter of late Charles Fell of Pelham. Deceased had been in poor health for some time, being at the time of her death in the 78th year of her age. She was well and widely known and respected.

The funeral takes place today, from the residence of her son-in-law, Mr. E.A.C. Pew, Welland, where services will be held at 2 p.m. Interment at Fonthill cemetery.


[Welland Tribune, 7 September 1888]

S.S. Hagar, Esq., who passed peacefully to rest at his home in Welland on Tuesday, was born in Thorold Township in 1811, of U.E. Loyalist parentage. In 1845, Mr. Hagar entered in the lumber trade and built a saw mill in Wainfleet, of which township he was a leading resident and until his removal to the town of Welland. Under the old regime he was for many years superintendent of public schools for Wainfleet, and was also clerk of the division court for that township. For upwards of thirty years past, he has been on the commission of the peace for the county of Welland. In 1839 he married Jane Eliza, daughter of the late Charles Fell, who survives him, as also do two daughters, Mrs. E.A.C. Pew of Welland and Mrs. C.C. Millard of East Saginaw, Michigan. In religion Mr. Hagar was a Methodist, and he was also for many years prominently identified with temperance work. Of an affable and courteous disposition, he was liked as well as respected and esteemed by all with whom he came in contact.

The funeral took place yesterday (Thursday) afternoon from the residence of Mr. E.A.C. Pew to the Fonthill cemetery. It was largely attended. A number of relatives from a distance including Mrs. Millard of East Saginaw, Michigan and Mr. J. B. Burns of Warren, Pennsylvania, daughter and grandson, respectively, of deceased were present. The floral offerings included a sickle and sheaf of wheat with the word “Father.” Rev. Geo. Clarke, formerly of Welland, now of Milton, conducted the service. He preached an impressive sermon from Job 14c, 14 v, “If a man die, shall he live again.” The pall bearers were Messrs. O.H. Round, T. Teskey, Jno. Kelly, L.D. Raymond, I.P. Willson and Chas Carter.

Beautiful Temperanceville, Now Known as Fonthill, Interestingly Described by F. Emmett Kinsman

{Welland Tribune, 27 April 1936 }

Below is noted a striking address by Florence Emmett Kinsman upon the  historical background of Fonthill given before Fonthill W.I. on April 8th.

“Everytime through the year that I have looked at our program and seen that item “Historical Research” followed by my name, it has sent shivers up and down my spine, however. I hope you will find it as interesting to listen to as I have the preparation of it.

“Historical Research” is far too learned and awe-inspiring a name to be applied to my paper this afternoon, so I have decided it should rather be called “Reminiscences of one who was born and reared in Fonthill, and hopes, God willing, to spend several more years here.”

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Dr. Graham Albery Jordan (1898-1961)

{Compiled by “S”}

Dr. Graham Albery Jordan was born September 1, 1898 in Meaford, Ontario. His parents were Alexander Austus Jordan and Annie Albery Jordan.

Dr. Jordan graduated from the University of Toronto in 1920.

During World War I he was surg, sub-Lieut, May 1918; R.N. hospital, Hasler June 1918; H.M.S.,’Vanquisher’, July 1918., 20th Flotilla, North Sea.

Dr. Jordan came to Wellandport in 1920’s to practice medicine.

He married Margery MacLaren Mayhew on February 14, 1928. She was age 23 from Port Arthur.

Their son Graham Alexander Bruce Jordan was born September 12, 1931 in St Catharines.

In 1934 the family moved to Fonthill. Dr. Jordan set up practice at Dr Emmett’s former home at 26 Canboro Road, west.

In 1946 Dr. Jordan built a larger modern home and had the old house moved to face Churchill St, where it was converted to apartments.

According to “The Herald, June 27, 1967”

“During the  1940’s and 50’s Dr. Jordan took extensive courses in New York, Chicago, Toronto and Montreal, which led to his certification as a surgeon, by the Royal College of Physcians and Surgeons of Canada, in 1953. He practiced until felled by a stroke in 1958. He recovered fully and resumed his practice in the spring of 1959, and continued until his death in October 1961. At his death, his practice was taken  over by his son Graham B. Jordan B.A. M.D.

Graham A.B. Jordan received his early education in Fonthill Public School, Pelham High School and Upper Canada College. Later receiving his BSc (1953) and his M.D. (1957) at the University of Western Ontario.

Dr. Graham interned at Buffalo General Hospital, later spending his residency in Surgery at Montreal General Hospital, Charlotte Memorial Hospital North Carolina..”

Dr. Graham B. Jordan Returned to take over his father’s practice and remained until his death in 1979.

He had a pilot’s licence, as his dad had one as well.

During the 1970’s  Dr. Jordan volunteered his services for the Indian Population in Armstrong, Ontario.

The family is buried in the Fonthill cemetery.

Dr. William Rawlins Beaumont (1803-1875)

Dr. William Rawlins Beaumont (1803-1875)

{Compiled by “S”}

Dr. William Rawlins Beaumont was born in Marylebone, London, England on August 25,1803.

His parents were Edward and Charlotte Beaumont.

Dr. Beaumont received his medical education in London at St Bartholomew’s Hospital and studied anatomy in Paris. He became a highly competent surgeon.

August 3, 1841, at the age of 37 he married Mary Catherine Wood, in Marylebone, London England..

In 1843 he came to Canada and settled in Toronto. Here he was attending physician at the Toronto General Hospital., surgeon, lecturer, designed surgical instruments, and wrote many medical papers.

At the time of the Fenian Raids in 1866, Dr. William Rawlins Beaumont had charge of the Port Colborne Hospital. He was in charge of the wounded brought to Port Colborne after the Battle of Ridgeway.

Blindness forced Dr. Beaumont’s retirement  in 1873. He died October 13, 1875 in Toronto.

More reference: Crosbie, W.G.William Rawlins Beaumont’. Dictionary of Canadian Biography, x (1871-1880) 38-39.


[People’s Press, 29 January 1907]

The town of Welland lost an old and highly esteemed citizen on Wednesday last, when Thomas Roach, proprietor of the Commercial hotel, passed away. Deceased has been suffering for years from rheumatism, and had been confined to bed for the past six months. A complication of diseases was the cause of death. He was 73 years of age and was born in Halifax, N.S. He first came to Welland in 1841. Later he spent some years in the State of Ohio, but returned here twenty-four years ago and for this period of nearly quarter of a century has been proprietor of the Commercial where he was universally popular. Deceased has always been a staunch Liberal in politics. He is survived by a widow, eight daughters, Mrs. M.J. Brady of Welland, Mrs. J. O’Brien of Buffalo, Mrs. B. Murphy of St. Thomas, Mrs. N. Ryan, Misses Alice, Gertie, Stella and Kitty Roach of Welland-two sons, Garret and David Roach-three brothers, David of Port Colborne, James of Akron O., and John of Dayton, O., and one sister, Mrs. Wm. Morris of Dayton, O. The funeral takes place on Saturday morning at 9.30 o’clock from his late residence to the R.C. church, Welland, where mass will be celebrated. Interment will be made in the cemetery adjoining.


[Welland Telegraph, 10 April 1891]

Michael McAlpine who died on the 23rd of March, was born February 5th, 1833, on the place where he died. He was the third son of the late Christopher and Sarah McAlpine, and was well known as a very quiet, peaceful man of the most sterling integrity, and who always attended strictly to his own business. He was a consistent member of the Church of England, and was fully prepared and anxious to lay down the burden of life after the weary years of hard labor and aches and pains incident to a farmer’s life. In 1852, at the age of 19, he accomplished his father to Australia and followed mining and lumbering in that country with varying fortune for more than ten years, burying his father at Ballarat in September, 1858. He afterwards crossed the Pacific via Port Horn to Liverpool, making a brief stay in England, and then returned via Quebec and Toronto to his old home, which he reached after an absence of just eleven years, bringing with him a large collection of specimens of the animal, vegetable and mineral kingdoms of Australia. After a brief stay at the old home he went to Tuscolo County, Mich., where he remained 7 years, and in 1868 he married Elizabeth Pearson of Crowland. Coming back to Canada he bought the interests of the principal heirs to his old birthplace, and settling down began in earnest to restore the old farm which had suffered from long neglect, but which he made to “blossom as the rose.” The widow, who mourns the loss of a loving husband, was a devoted partner, sharing alike his joys and sorrows and doing much to stimulate his ambition in the improvements to the old homestead. On Wednesday, March 25th, his remains were consigned to the earth at Doan’s Ridge, the funeral being attended by his brother, Volney, of Butler, Pa., three years his senior and “now the last of his race, but who did not arrive until after his brother’s decease.-COM


Her Reported Death Bed Confession of Complicity in the Murder

The Terrible Story-Mrs. Quigley is Alleged to have Told her Mother-

She Helped Day Throw his Wife Over the Precipice.

(Buffalo Courier)

[Welland Telegraph, 27 March 1891]

On the 18th day of last December Arthur Hoyt Day was hanged at Welland, Ont., for the murder of his wife Desire, whom he pushed over the high bank at the Canada side of the river at Niagara Falls. He maintained an air of bravado to the last, and also to the last declared his innocence of the crime. A witness at the trial was his sister, Mrs. Quigley, of Rochester, who accompanied Day and his wife to the scene of the tragedy. Interest in the case was revised here by the publication in Friday morning’s papers of a dispatch from Rochester saying that Mrs. Quigley was dead, and that in her dying hours she confessed that she assisted her brother in the murder, and was equally guilty with him. Later reports quoted Mrs. Quigley’s mother as denying that such a confession was made. The Democrat and Chronicle of Friday had a long chapter on the case, from which some parts may be republished as interesting.

That paper says that Mrs. Day, the mother of the executed man and of Mrs. Quigley, confided the fact and details of her daughter’s confession “to a gentleman whose veracity is unquestioned and whose name will be announced if necessary.” She told him this:

“Mary kept moaning and tossing all the morning and kept looking at one spot on the wall opposite the bed. She would look at this spot half an hour at a time without taking her eyes off it. I asked her what she was looking at and she said that she could see Arthur there, and then all of a sudden she burst out crying and said: “Oh, mother, I have got something on my mind that I must tell you.”

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