Welland History .ca

The TALES you probably never heard about

Dr James Orin Emmett (1843-1914)

Dr. Emmett was born April 11, 1843 in the township of Grantham He was the son of James and Elizabeth Dolson Emmett. They were United Empire Loyalists. His grandfather Stephen Emmett came to Canada in 1780 from Delaware during the American Revolution. and settled in the village of Homer in Grantham township.

Dr. Emmett attended the St Catharines Collegiate, from high school he went to New York College of Homeopathy for three years and graduated with an M.D. in 1865.

After a year  in Bellview Hospital in New York he returned to Canada and settled in Fonthill in May 1865.

He boarded with the John Gore family He married Catharine Gore , who was born August 1844. They married January 1867.

His home and office were located in separate buildings on Canboro Road, site of the previous Dr. Jordan home. The office was a two storey brick building which was later moved to Port Robinson Road, first home on north side of the road, just east of Pelham St. The building still stands today.

Dr Emmett shared his office with his wife’s uncle Joseph Gore. He was a cabinet maker and manufactured coffins.

Dr. Emmett had four daughters and two sons. He was in the mason fraternity, reeve of Pelham and farmed as well. Dr. Emmett owned a farm along South Pelham St., the location of College St and Emmett through to Port Robinson Road. He grew grapes.

Dr Emmett’s children were: Grace Emmett born 1872, she married Arthur Rowe from Watertown New York, he was a bookkeeper. They married April 1906 in Welland.

Florence Emmett was born 1874, married Fred Kinsman, a merchant and post master in Fonthill.

Kate Muriel Emmett was born in 1885 married Frank Caulie Pitkin, he was a nursery worker. They married September 8, 1904.

Mabel E. Emmett born  January 15, 1868, married John McClellan.

Herbert Northcote Emmett was born May 13, 1878, he went to United States.

Harry Emmett was born February 18, 1881, he became a medical doctor.

Dr. James Emmett practiced homeopathy. During the diphtheria epidemic in 1910 in Fonthill, his son Dr. Harry Emmett returned to assist his father. Dr. Harry Emmett introduced diphtheria antiserum. They practiced together for five years until the death of his father. Dr Harry Emmett continued the practice until his death in 1933.

Dr James Emmett died April 30, 1914 at the age of 71. He was buried in the family plot in the Fonthill cemetery. His wife Katharine Elizabeth Emmett died July 29, 1915.

More Canal Riots

St Catharines, (C.W.) Dec 14

[Buffalo Gazette, December 20,1843]

There has lately been some considerable disturbances among laborers on the Welland canal; but what is the cause, this time, we have not distinctly learned. It appears that Mr. Wheeler, one of the police officers, went out, with several assistants, to make an arrest among some of the canaller’s shanties, near Allanburgh; and on coming up with the accused, he found him armed, determined to resist the officers of justice, as well as many others of his companions, who fired at the policemen, and drove them from the ground—not, however, until Mr. Wheeler had levelled a pistol at them, which missed fire—himself receiving a ball deeply seated in the hip. An express was then sent off to D. McFarland, Esq., Port Robinson, for the assistance of a detachment of the colored corps stationed there, to quell the rioters, and effect the arrest of some of the ringleaders—which was promptly afforded, and they succeeded in securing the villian who fired on the police, and two others. They will, no doubt, receive the just reward of their misdeeds. Many of the canallers along the line, having refused to work at the reduced prices offered by the contractors, have been idle for sometime past—their funds are running low, and they are becoming desperate; and it is feared that much trouble and suffering will be the consequence during this inclement season of the year.

Riots along the Canal

[Buffalo Gazette, November 20, 1843]

Within these few days past, there has been some serious trouble among the Irish laborers, along the Welland canal. We are not in possession of particulars, but have learned incidentally, that a fracas occurred lately, between some Corkonians and Connaught men, in which several were so badly beaten, that one of them died soon after, and was buried here; and another is not expected to survive. There are a great many laborers out of employ just now—they having quit work, in consequence of the Contractors reducing their wages to half a dollar per day, and also, by the stopping of the work on the locks.

And yet another Riot on the Welland Canal

[Buffalo Gazette, December 30, 1843]

We have been informed by David Thorburn, Esq. who has just left here, in company with Mr. Power, for the scene of the outrage, that a serious riot occurred, yesterday, (Friday) afternoon, a few miles above Port Robinson, where a considerable number of men who had commenced work at half a dollar a day, with an understanding that their wages should be raised, on the first January, to five York shillings—an arrangement which, we believe, is to take effect throughout the whole line—were attacked by a large party of those who had struck for higher wages, and driven off. Our informant was not in possession of any other particulars, than that several shots were fired by the rioters, and that Mr Moore, a contractor, was very seriously if not dangerously wounded; but whether from firing, or otherwise, he was not informed. A portion of the colored troops at Port Robinson, had promptly repaired to the spot.