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.


{Toronto Globe, Nov. 20}

[Welland Tribune, 26 November 1897]

A pioneer of Ontario who has seen much service in connection with that important highway of commerce, the Welland canal, and who has established an honorable record for life-saving, is William Walker of Port Colborne. His father, Alexander Walker was born at Aberdeen, Scotland, and when fourteen years of age was bound as apprentice aboard a ship. When it arrived at Quebec he left and came to Bytown, now Ottawa. He worked in a lumber camp, and then came to Lake Simcoe, working at the task of bringing supplies for the transportation of Government stores from Barrie to Penetanguishene. He married Elizabeth Swayze of Holland Landing, and they lived on the site of what is now Barrie, being at first the only inhabitants of the place. Three sons and two daughters were born to them, of whom Mr. William Walker was the second, he being born in 1832. In 1838 the family moved to St. Catharines. Mr. Walker has given a graphic sketch of his entry upon canal work: “At fifteen years of age,” he says, “I was appointed bridge-tender at Hamilton bridge in the town of St. Catharines; this made me the first bridge –tender on the Welland canal. The bridge was but 50 yards from William Hamilton Merritt’s house, and he often took a step down hill to inquire about the doings of the canal. This was my best hold. I could always give a satisfactory answer. If I was a barefoot boy at that age, I was quite a canaller, and while the locks were building between St. Catherines and Thorold for two seasons I would walk up to Thorold every Saturday, and if the weather was bad I would play truant some days in the week and go up there, and so understood the canal from bottom to top.

“Some time before I went on the canal I went aboard the first screw boat that ever swung a wheel, built in Oswego by the name of Vandillia. There were not many who boarded her besides myself, Mr. Arnold and Mr. W.B. Robertson, superintendent of the canal at that time.”

“The third season in 1849, I was placed on lock No. 3, and remained there until 1870, close of navigation. I had other work to do, measuring timber in raft, copying clearances, detaining vessels for damage done to the canal, taking out old gates and replacing them with new.”

While on the canal Mr. Walker saved no less than twelve persons from drowning, having to jump into the canal for seven of them. Growing tired of the canal, he bought and sailed the schooner Almina for one season, working on repairs in 1872, and in 1873 working on the late T. Street’s mill at Niagara Falls. After nearly two years the mill was burned, and then Mr. Walker moved to Clinton, where he carried on a flour and feed store for three years. He is at present in the grocery business in Humberstone. In 1871 he married Miss Fanny Merritt, daughter of Edward Merritt, ship-builder, St. Catharines.

  • Passed away 5 April 1910


Sudden Death of George R. Young

[Welland Tribune, 10 December 1897]

Death came with awful suddenness for George R. Young of Pelham Centre, early on Monday morning, Dec. 6. On Sunday he was in his place at the regular morning service at Bethany church, and in good health and spirits. That same evening he spent an hour or so in social chat at the residence of a neighbor. About midnight he was stricken down, living but an hour or two. Dr. Emmett was hastily called, and on seeing his serious condition, also summoned Dr. Birdsall, but to no avail. The doctors give apoplexy as cause of death. Mr. Young has been a resident of Pelham for nearly ten years. He was of a jovial, pleasant disposition, and made many friends. He was a son of Alexander Young, a well-known farmer of Wainfleet township, in which township George was raised. He has living a number of brothers and sisters, and is survived by his wife Stella, (a daughter of the late James Wiley of Gainsboro township,} and a child, a 13 years old daughter. Interment took place on Wednesday from the family residence to Evangelical church nearby, and then to Dawdy’s cemetery adjacent. The services were conducted by Revds. Sparling of Methodist church, Fenwick, and Grenzebach of Pelham Centre, and were very solemn. The church was filled to overflowing by friends from near and far, gathered to show their sympathy with the family and their respect for deceased, who had absolutely no enemies.


[Welland Tribune, 26 November 1897]

Peter Herman Ball, ex-police magistrate of Merritton, died on Saturday night at the advanced age of 80 years. He was a pioneer resident o the county, and was the son of a U.B. Loyalist, who came to this part of the country during the revolutionary war. The deceased was a farmer before being appointed magistrate, an office he filled for many years until his retirement about one year ago. He was born in the house where he spent his lifetime, and from where he passed away to his home of rest. At one time he owned a large farm around that part of the country where he resided. As the town became populated many acres were sold, but up to the time of his demise twenty-three acres were still in his possession. He leaves a sorrowing wife and daughter to mourn their loss, two sons (John and Bernard) having died some time ago.


Merritton News

[Welland Tribune, 26 November 1897]

Charlotte, widow of late Edward Carter of this township, died at the residence of her son-in-law, George Newman, St. Catharines, on Saturday last, at the advanced age of 79 years. She leaves two sons and two daughter to mourn her death, viz., Nelson Carter of British Columbia, Lachlan Carter of Thorold township, and Mrs. George Newman and Mrs. Joseph Newman, St. Catharines.


[Welland Tribune, 3 December 1897]

In the death of Mrs. Mary Cogan, at the residence of her son-in-law, Mr. Thos. Roach, on Monday last, the county of Welland loses one of its oldest inhabitants, deceased having reached the advanced age of 88 years. Mrs. Cogan’s maiden name was Henessey; she was born in Ireland and married her first husband, the late Mr. Quinlan, there, the couple coming to America in 1831, 66 years ago. Upon Mr. Quinlan’s demise deceased married William Cogan, who also predeceased her. For nearly all this long period in this country she resided in the county of Welland, over 45 years in Port Colborne, where she was highly respected and honored by all. About a year and a half ago she came to live with her daughter, Mrs. Roach, here. The last time the late L.G. Carter and Charles Carter of Port Colborne were in Welland together they called on Mrs. Cogan, who had been a neighbor of theirs for nearly half a century. She was quite smart until about a week ago, but at last, as natural for one of her great age, succumbed rapidly to the common lot of all. The impressive funeral service of the Roman Catholic church was said by Rev. Father Trayling at the Welland church yesterday morning, interment in grounds adjoining the church. The funeral was largely attended. Two sons, Luke and Thomas Quinlan and one daughter, Mrs. Thomas Roach, Welland, survive to mourn the loss of an ever kind and affectionate mother.


[Welland Tribune, 10 December 1897]

“John Guinter is dead.” This announcement on Monday last, though not unanticipated by his friends, carried sadness to many hearts throughout the Niagara district, Mr. Guinter having a circle of warm friends, equalled in extent by few, if any, in this section. In his death this district loses one of its most progressive and successful farmers, the Liberal party an active and powerful champion, and many friends one whose many social qualities has endeared him to them.

John Guinter as born in this township of South Cayuga, county of Haldimand, on the 25th of June, 1837, the son of Peter Guinter and Louisa, his wife, natives of Wurtemberg, Germany, who came to Canada in 1837. Our present subject, John Guinter, was brought up a farmer and began life on his own account on the farm on which he lived and died. Richly endowed with habits of industry and perseverance and possessing good business ability, he made a marked success at farming and allied enterprises, accumulating property and other assets valued at $40,000 a few years ago, from a beginning on a capital of $1,000 twenty-five years previous. Owing to falling land values and failing health limiting his opportunities this ample competence has probably not been much increased of late years, but so well were his lands and buildings maintained that his estate came nearer holding its own in values than most others. His lands comprised 300 acres fully stocked with horses, cattle and sheep, with buildings among the finest in the county, rich orchards. All the etceteras of the up-to-date farmer. In 1861 he married Bertha Laws of Pelham township, of which union four children were born. Of these, the eldest died in infancy, two daughters were taken away in the bloom of young womanhood, and on son-J. Fraser Guinter-survives. The bereaved widow also survives, but in a most precarious state. A few hours after the death of her loved life partner she was the subject of a stroke of paralysis, and at this writing was hovering between the living and the dead.

In politics Mr. Guinter was a sterling Liberal. He was a justice of the peace, and has represented his township at both the local municipal and county councils, and for many years held positions of trust on public school and agricultural society boards. He was one of a most hospitable and social disposition, and his many guests ever met with a warm welcome in his large and bountifully supplied mansion home.

For nearly a year past, Mr. Guinter was quite apparently a doomed man; a victim of that slow but remorseless destroyer, consumption, which followed an attack of pneumonia. But with that indomitable will and energy for which he was noted, he refused to give up, and it was not until one week before he died that he actually took to his bed.

The funeral took place on Wednesday, services at his late residence at 1 p.m., and interment at Hansler’s burying ground. Friends and mourners gathered from near and far to pay the last tribune of respect the departed friend and tender their truest sympathies to the bereaved survivors.


[Welland Tribune, 2 April 1897]

ASSAULT- Joshua Moyer, who resides near Chippawa, was arraigned before his honor Judge Fitzgerald on the charge of assaulting and beating his wife. The case is referred to under Niagara Falls South items…Mrs. Moyer was first called. She swore that her husband drove his team recklessly from the Clifton House hill to Falls village, swore at her and attempted to push her from the wagon. That when he stopped at Dune, Durham’s hotel she, being afraid of her life, left the rig and went to Mrs. Marr’s near by for protection. That he came there to take her home, and when she refused he pushed her down, shook her, tore her clothing, soused her in the ditch, and tried to drive the team over her. She said her husband had been drinking and was ugly because she would not give him a greater portion of some money that she had received as an option on the farm, which she owned. Mrs. Moyer said the abuse had been going on for a long time, and she could stand it no longer. She swore that he threatened to brain her. She intended to sue for alimony. To Mr. Crow-I have been advised to bring this suit…Mrs. Marr and Mrs. Marr’s son gave very clear evidence, corroborating the wife’s testimony as to the assault in front of Mrs. Marr’s house…F.R. Abbs swore that Moyer used some very forcible language in his store, but did not strike or assault his wife there. As far as witnesses knew the defendant’s reputation was good. …This closed the case, and Mr. Crow for the defence said it was only a family quarrel and asked for an acquittal. Prosecuting Attorney Maccomb  strongly objected, and thought the evidence warranted conviction…His Honor said it was one of those unfortunate family affairs, and he hoped man and wife could make up and go home and live together another seventeen years. However, the defendant had been proven guilty of common assault, and he would fine him $10 and costs (which were quite heavy) and have him bound over to keep the peace.


She Does her Work as a Man Does His

The Pet of the Force

[Welland Tribune, 2 April 1897]

The new woman has broken out in a new spot. This time it is the constabulary of the city of Alleghany, Pa., which she has invaded. Miss Florence Klotz can scarcely be called even a woman constable, though for she is only 18 years old. But she’s a constable all right. She serves warrants, summonses and subpoenas with all the authority and determination of a male minion of the law. Miss Klotz’s father is an alderman, whose regular constable was an old man who had an inconvenient way of being sick or invisible when he was wanted for duty. On one of these occasions, about two months ago, the despairing alderman pressed his daughter into service. That settled the matter. The girl constable proved to be the pluckiest, quickest, most reliable one in town. Her very first mission was to serve a subpoena on a farmer living four miles east of town. Miss Florence put on her bloomers, mounted her wheel and went after her man. When she came back, tired, muddy, but triumphant, she found a crowd in front of her father’s office to welcome her.

“I served them, papa,” she exclaimed, and then, womanlike, she cried, even though she was a constable.

She says she would rather deal with 100 men than with 10 women. The women think it is a joke, but the men think that the law must be obeyed even if it is embodied in an 18-year old girl. Before she went into the constabulary she wheeled through Alleghany county getting trade for her father’s candy factory. Next summer she and her sister will ride a tandem, geared to 68, on the same errand. She is described as slight and handsome, with raven black hair and snapping black eyes.

In one case Miss Klotz acted as councillor as well as constable. A butcher had kicked in the door when he found his hallway locked up by the baker who, with his family, occupied the rest of the house. The locking was by order of the landlord, who demanded that it be done at 10 p.m. The butcher was sued for malicious mischief. Miss Klotz brought subpoenas for witnesses, arranged the details of the hearing, cross examined the witnesses and finally had the case dismissed on her recommendation that each of the parties be furnished with keys. The costs were divided, and the young lawyer-constable smiled with delight as she counted over her share.

The only unruly case she has run across was a youngster of 14 who refused to go with her. She took the dilemma by the horns and the boy by the collar, tripped him up, and with a handy copy of “Pilgrim’s Progress” administered a series of businesslike blows where they would do the most good and led him weeping to court. A little jeweled revolver is her only weapon. It was presented to her by a big constable who was filled with admiration of her pluck. She says she doesn’t know what she would do if she ran against an ugly customer, but she declared, with a snap of her black eyes, that she would get him. She is the pet of the municipal force, and if she ever sent word for help the entire retinue of clerks, heads of departments and underlings would turn out to the rescue of Constable Florence. –St. Louis Globe-Democrat.


[Welland Tribune, 2 April 1897]

Adam Misener, of Troy, township of Beverly, celebrated his 99th birthday a few days ago, He is still hale and hearty considering his age and he made all his own garden last summer. He is a descendent of the old U.E. Stock. His wife died about two years ago in her 97th year. He is a brother of John Misener of Crowland (who still survives) and of the late Betsy Bender of Niagara Falls. He is also an uncle to Squire Muma of Drumbo.


[Welland Tribune, 2 April 1897]

A HAPPY CORRECTION- Contrary to the usual, it is the greatest pleasure we make correction of an incorrect report published in last week’s TRIBUNE. We refer to the report of the accidental death of John Jardine, Niagara Falls, N.Y., which was all a mistake. From the manner and circumstantiality of detail with which the report reached us we were fully warranted in accepting it as correct, but happily it was wholly without foundation, except as probably originating from the accidental death of Joseph J. Bauer at the time and place in question. Mr. Jardine, therefore, is one of the few who has the distinction of reading his own obituary.