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.

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ROBERT OFFSPRING

FUNERAL OF ROBT. OFFSPRING

[Welland Tribune, 24 January 1908]

The death of Robert Offspring was noted in last Tuesday’s Press.

The funeral was held on Wednesday morning. The weather was uncertain; it threatened rain or snow and a strong wind was blowing, yet, despite the fact, a large number of friends and mourners met at the late home of Robert offspring, Randolph street, to view the face of the deceased for the last time. There were many floral tributes. Not only was the coffin covered, but several designs of striking beauty and simplicity, too large for the hearse, were otherwise conveyed. The cortege went to St. John’s R.C. church, Port Robinson.

The bearers were Robt. Grisdale, M. Brady, Fred Edgar, Bartholomew O’Leary, Michael McAuliffe, Frank Valencourt, James Kilty and William Stapf. Rev. Father Sullivan, Thorold, conducted High Mass; E.P. Lamping and Mrs. Mullen assisting the choir in the requiem. Miss O’Brien, organist in the church here accompanied. In the first carriage were: Mrs. Offspring, Agnes, Celia and George. In the other carriages following in the order named were: Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd Spring; Mr. and Mrs. James Leary; Mr. and Mrs. William Jeffries; John Offspring, Prescott; Mrs. J. Sheeley, Montreal; George Offspring and family, Port Robinson; James and Mrs. O.Neill, Port Colborne; Mrs. William Drennan, Mrs. Thomas O’Neill and William Drennan, Port Robinson; Julia Lavin, Buffalo; Rev. Leary, Mrs. McCullough, Mrs. Tully, Mrs. O’Brien, Miss M. Brennan, Mrs. Valencourt and Mrs. M. Brady, and the members of the choir.

The remains were interred in the cemetery adjoining the church at Port Robinson.

HOWARD FRETZ MEMORY

19 August 1904-10 May 1988

It is Easter Morning, wonderful day of hope and assurance for all people. As the sun is slowly rising in the east, our family is stirring, Father, Mother, my younger sister and baby brother. Someone, likely Mother, softly singing, “Low in the grave He lays, Jesus my Saviour, Waiting the coming day. Jesus my Lord.”

We all join in, even baby brother. Father who cannot sing alone except when rocking the baby, then he has a quaint little lullaby all his own.

I hear Father open the door of the big airtight heater and with the poker stir the coals, likely a large elm knot fitted in the night before or possibly maple or beech, and with a small fire shovel he takes coals to the kitchen stove while colored sparks fly, he lays on the kindling prepared the night before.

By now the crackling of the fire has created a warm cozy atmosphere and whetted appetites.

We thank God for the food. Mother brings a steaming plate of pancakes and with liverwurst or perhaps bacon and eggs, all produced and processed on the farm. Soon the Bible is read and we have family worship with everyone kneeling in prayer. I go to the barn with Father to feed the stock, milk the cows, separate the milk and feed the calves, hogs and chickens.

Before Church we children eagerly search for small berry baskets lined with soft green moss gathered the day before on and beneath a nearby rail fence.

The boxes are covered with bright colored paper and tied with ribbon. They usually contained two eggs which had been wrapped in onion skins and boiled which gave a soft brown color, also small candy eggs of the jelly bean variety.

We hitch the team and start for the nearby Dunkard Church, later the brethren in Christ. We ride in a two seated democrat wagon with covered top and side curtains.

As we enter, the children go to a room for Sunday School, then to the sanctuary where the men sit on the right, the women on the left.

There is a raised platform at front used as a mourner’s bench where the very young and sometimes very old, bow to make their peace with God during the Revival Meeting.

On the platform is the long pulpit or desk and back of it the bench for the ministers, usually two or three in number.

One minister lines the song and calls for someone to raise the tune, today it will be “Christ Arose,” and likely the inspiring Coronation Hymn of the Church, “All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name.”

The second minister reads one of the profound resurrection scriptures followed by a sermon of one hour and all experience edification of spirit thereby.

On Easter Sunday we go to Grandpa Shafers for dinner. No one could cook like Grandma or my Mother, as they are Pennsylvania Dutch, so on this day there is a large platter of fried eggs, roast chicken, dressing, mashed potatoes and all that goes with a German Easter Dinner. Very appealing to an eight year old boy.

Grandpa asks the blessing sometimes in German. In our home the musical instruments consisted of Mother’s accordion and the children’ mouth organ. And, oh we loved to sing!!!

At Grandpa’s there is Uncle John, Mother’s younger brother, who had that marvelous invention, the gramophone with “His Master’s Voice.” Trademark, a cute little dog with turned head peering into the purple horn as he hears his Master’s voice.

Shy, likeable Uncle John, one of a kind, born in a sod house in Nebraska. When Grandpa took his family from Pennsylvania, he lived in Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska and while some settlers became wealthy, the locust, hail, prairie fires and drought drove them from State to State and to Canada in 1900 to farm. They first lost their cattle in a T.B. test and their barn by fire, but with a strong faith in God, they never quit.

Uncle John never married, and at seventy years of age sat on his bed and died with heart failure.

Part of his estate built a fine Medical Clinic at the Montreal Lake Indian Children’s Home, housing sixty-four native children, Timber Bay Indian Reserve, Sask.

Again we hear the appropriate “Christ Arose” and others pertaining to the resurrection and our hearts are lifted in Praise to God for his unspeakable gift to mankind.

At home, Mother would sing the beautiful “America” never “The Star Spangled Banner” and she taught us in German “Stille Nacht Meilige Nacht” and Gott ist die Leibe.”

The sun is sinking in the west and we return home and the chores of the morning are repeated. As we snuggle down in our warm feather beds, we thank God for our parents, family love, our home and that “THE LORD IS RISEN INDEED.” Luke 24:34

ADELE LEVERNIER

Stamford News

[Welland Tribune, 5 January 1909]

Mrs. Jules LeVernier from France died at the old Whirlpool House last week, aged over 80 years.

McGREGOR-McCORMICK

[Welland Telegraph, 30 April 1912]

A quiet but interesting wedding took place at the home of Mr. and Mrs. R.J. McCormick, East Main Street, on Monday afternoon, when Mr. McCormick’s mother, Mrs. U.V. McCormick of Port Huron, Mich., was united in marriage to Dr. J.R. McGregor of Detroit. The ceremony was performed in the prescience of immediate relatives by the Rev. J.H. McBain of the Methodist church. Doctor and Mrs. McGregor will reside in Detroit.

GARRET E. McCOMBS

[Welland Telegraph, 30 April 1912]

The death occurred at his residence on Garner Avenue on Friday of Garret E. McCombs, aged 25 years. Mr. McCombs was a sufferer for some time of tuberculosis which was the cause of his death. He leaves a sorrowing wife and two small children. His mother and several brothers and sisters also survive.

The funeral took place on Sunday with services at the residence by the Rev. J.H. McBain and the Rev. Mr. Robertson. Interment was made in Fonthill cemetery, the Rev. Mr. Robertson officiating at the gravesite. Deceased was a member of the Orange Lodge, and members attended the funeral in a body.

FRANK EADES

[Welland Telegraph, 30 April 1912]

Frank Eades, an English boy who made his home with William Vanalstine for the past three years, died at the Welland County Hospital on Friday, where he had been confined for the past eleven weeks suffering from tuberculosis of the bowels. He was a bright and intelligent lad and will much missed, not only at his home but as well by many young friends. He leaves a mother and a younger brother who resides in Thorold township, and also a sister in England. The funeral took place on Saturday with interment at Fonthill.

WILLIAM BAXTER

MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR MR. W. BAXTER

VICTIM OF LUSITANIA DISASTER

[People’s Press, 1 June 1915]

On Sunday morning last a memorial service was held at the Baptist Church, Welland, for William Baxter and his little son, who was murdered by the Germans on the Lusitania.

The pulpit and Mr. Baxter’s empty pew were draped with black, and the pastor, Rev. Cowan, gave a very impressive sermon.

Mr. Baxter was a true and faithful member of the Sons of England, and forty-two representatives of the Order turned out to pay their last tribute to their brother who was a victim of the foul deed.

The Sons of England wish to thank the Baptist Church for allowing them to take part in the service, also the choir who rendered some appropriate hymns and anthem.

ELIZANA BUCHNER MARSHALL

[People’s Press, 1 June 1915]

On Friday, May 28th, the remains of Elizana Buchner, relict of the late John Marshall of Crowland, were interred in Doan’s Ridge Cemetery. Service was held at the homestead and was conducted by Rev. Mr. Turnbull of Crowland Presbyterian Church, of which congregation she had long been a member.

Mrs. Marshall was born in the township of Crowland, on February 18th, 1841, of United Empire Loyalist descent, the daughter of the late John Bender Buchner and Jane Learn. She was 74 years, 3 months and 7 days of age at the time of her death. Her husband predeceased her within a few days of eleven years.

There are left to mourn the loss of a kind and faithful mother, five sons and one daughter, namely, W.S. of Vancouver, B.C; John C. of Niagara Falls, N.Y., Arthur W. and Warren W. at home; Edward E. of West Lorne, Ont., and Ella, wife of James Ives, Chippawa, who were all present at the obsequies. The five sons and son-in-law bore the casket to the grave, followed by a large concourse of sorrowing friends.

Mrs. Marshall also leaves twelve grandchildren and one great grandchild; also one brother, Alem Buckner of Tonawanda, N.Y., and one sister, Mrs. George Storm of Humberstone, to mourn a void and loss which is irreparable.

DOUGLAS-TRAVER

[Welland Telegraph, 13 November 1908]

A very pretty wedding will be solemnized Wednesday afternoon at four o’clock at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Curtis Traver, West Main Street where their daughter Miss Bessie was married to Ross Douglas, manager of the Bell Telephone Company at Welland. Rev. James Thompson of Holy Trinity Church conducted the ceremony. The bride was unattended. The presents to the bride were many and beautiful. The silver tea service presented by the Bell Telephone Company was especially handsome. The honey moon will be spent in Toronto and other eastern cities.

The Telegraph extends congratulations to the young couple.

Mrs. Douglas will be at home to her many friends after December 1st.

FRANCIS G. FOLEY

[Welland Telegraph, 7 November 1913]

Buffalo, N.Y., Nov. 3-Francis G. Foley, forty-two years old, native for thirty-five years resident of Welland, where he was for some time compositor on the Welland Telegraph, died Saturday night, November 1, at is home here, No. 21 Vary Street having an illness of one year of tuberculosis. After leaving Welland seven year ago he came to Buffalo, where he worked as compositor on the Buffalo Express, which position he was forced to abandon one year ago and for several months since then has been in the Buffalo General Hospital.

Deceased was born in Welland on September 10, 1871, and was educated in the public school. His parents were Mary Foley, formerly McMahon, and the late John Foley. The late Mr. Foley is survived by his brother, Leo Foley of Buffalo, and two sisters, Mrs. James Neelon and Mrs. B. Bill, also of Buffalo. Funeral services were held Tuesday morning, Nov. 4, from the home of his sister, Mrs. James Neelon, at 21 Vary street, at 8.30 o’clock, and one hour later from St. Columba’s Catholic Church, the Rev. Father James Noonan, rector, officiating at burial services. Interment was at Holy Cross cemetery, Buffalo.