Welland History .ca

The TALES you probably never heard about


[Welland Tribune, 9 July 1873]

The above particulars come from Clifton. Elliot, when purchasing the marriage license, was accompanied by the young lady, the couple putting up at the City Hotel, and visiting places of business around town. They claimed to be from Cincinnati, but their appearance was not that of city folks, and the general impression was that they were a couple who had run away from home to get married. The taking out of the license shews that they were respectable and meant right. Elliot had over $400 in American money with him.-[Ed. TRIBUNE.

A telegram from Chippawa to the Toronto Mail says that the address of a woman on Cedar Street, Cleveland was found in the man’s pocketbook at the hotel, but no effects of any consequence were recovered. The bodies have not been recovered. The young man was about 20 and the young woman about 18.

FORT ERIE – Correspondence

[Welland Tribune, 12 March 1873]

A serious hitch has taken place here between the Reeve and the License Inspector. Last January Messrs. Eden and Treble competed for the Reeveship, the latter being the successful candidate.

The Council, elect, however, were favorable to Mr. Eden, and they proffered him the position of Inspector of Licenses, which he accepted, as he declared, not for the pecuniary emoluments attaching thereto; but if possible, to assist in checking the drunkenness prevalent in the village. Some one who would act independently and without ulterior motive in view was wanted, and Mr. Eden was selected. Well, Mr. Eden  went on and licensed ten houses, which, heavens knows, is enough for the village. Other applications were made, however which the Inspector rejected on the ground of want of proper accommodation. Last year several obtained licenses under false pretenses, offering stables not attached to their houses, and which accommodated neither hay, oats nor horses from one end of the year to the other. Can such be called public houses, when the law most distinctly says they shall have accommodations for at least six horses? Two of these miserable groggeries are owned by Mr. Treble, and he, the Reeve and a J.P., did his best to have them licensed, but in vain, as the Council and nineteen-twentieths of the ratepayers sustained the Inspector. One party who had gone to considerable expense in getting four bedrooms and beds, with proper stabling accommodations, obtained a certificate from the Inspector, which he presented to the Reeve for his signature.

He, (the Reeve) however, refused to sign, but went to his house and asked to be permitted to inspect it which was very properly refused, as he had no authority from the Inspector. Mr. Treble still withholds his signature, and says he will not give it unless the Inspector (Mr. Eden) gives certificates for his houses, thus attempting to coerce Mr. Eden. The other day petitions were circulated for the dismissal of Mr. Eden, but fools to sign them were not found. What a piteous position for Reeve to be found in, merely because he happens to be proprietor of two miserable groggeries, in one of which the proprietor was recently stabbed in several places at a late hour at night. The culprit was brought up before the Reeve, and committed to the lock-up, but broke out and escaped. A meeting of the Council took place on the 5th inst. Present-The Reeve and Messrs. Harris and Thompson. A resolution was drawn up by the Reeve and moved by Mr. Harris, to the effect that, in the opinion of the Council, stables a convenient distance from the tavern would be considered as attached, which resolution was forwarded to the License Inspector, who thanked the Council for their kind expression of opinion, which he said was not asked nor desired, and expressed his determination to still be guided by the statute.

Fort Erie, March 11, 1873


[Welland Tribune, 12 March 1873]

Welland gaol on Monday morning last witnessed, for the first time, we believe, an exhibition of the powers of the cat-o-nine-tails as a moral suasive agent. The victim in the case was one William Armstrong, a mulatto.

His age is set down in the gaol register as 33, but he looks at least ten years older. He says he used to live in Montreal, but he came from the States here. One of his legs is of wood, having left the original away down in the Shenandoah Valley whilst fighting the battles of Uncle Sam. The offence for which he became eligible to illustrate the reforming influence of the many-tailed cat was that of assault with intent to commit rape upon a young girl named Saylor at a farm house near Fort Erie, in December last. The punishment took place at the early hour of half-past seven in the morning, in the day room of the old wing of the gaol, and was witnessed by but the Sheriff, the Gaol Surgeon and two or three others,-and the prisoners, all of whom were summoned to have the “fearful example” fully impressed upon their minds. The “cat” was manufactured at Lemon’s harness shop, and consisted of nine whip cords fastened to a staff about a foot in length. The lashes were about twenty inches long, and were scientifically adorned with a couple of knots each, for the more efficient torture of their victim. The instrument appeared light and inefficient, but the fact that its knots deeply indented a board, even when wielded by an unaccustomed arm, evidenced that appearances in its case were deceptive. The whipping-post was the most formidable feature of the affair, and it was not surprising that the victim turned pale upon being led to it and fearfully enquired if they intended to kill him quite. It was a stout upright post with a strong cross-piece. The prisoner’s arms were stretched along the horizontal piece and finally tied, his feet-no foot, for the wooden pin defied the manacle-was fettered , his back bared and the flagellation began.

The executioner claimed to be familiar with the use of the cat, and from the artistic regular, had unremitting manner in which he laid on the stripes, no one need dispute the claim. At the first cut or two, the victim ground his teeth and convulsively pressed his head against the post, but no further expression of agony escaped him. The knots on the lash came between the shoulders every time, and after a the first few strokes, the flesh began to give away and the blood to stand out in places where the knots fell repeatedly, as well as to slightly crimson the lash. After the twenty-five lashes had been duly administered, the prisoner was untied and laid down, and his lacerations washed with salt and was water and afterwards with oil. He stood the punishment well at the time, but was too stiff to get out of bed the next morning. Before his release he is to have another flogging, also of twenty-five lashes. The man who handled the “cat” is an old British soldier, a resident of the village. He is the person who some years ago fell out of Charley Loesch’s loft, where he had been sleeping off the effects of an overdose of whiskey, and alighted upon the back of a horse tethered underneath. The horse became frightened at receiving his burden so suddenly, broke loose, and carried his load to Port Robinson. There the wielder of the cat woke up and endeavored to dispose of the animal for a few dollars, but suspicion was aroused and he was arrested and taken to Welland gaol. He gave a plain statement of the case as above, but the judge and jury rather singularly didn’t appear to place implicit reliance upon his word, and he was forced to undergo a term of imprisonment. He received $2 for whipping Armstrong-a job which he was nowise delicate about, not scrupling to perform it without disguise.


[Welland Tribune, 20 August 1873]

DROWNED-We regret this week to have it to announce that Mr. Charles Springer, of this town, came to his death by drowning in the canal, on Thursday last. Mr. Springer was a partner of Mr. Levi Sherk, in the machine shop. The firm had bought a quantity of peat, and Mr. S. was at the Peat beds dock, in Humberstone, assisting to load the peat on a scow to convey it to Welland. Whilst paddling on the canal in a skiff, the boat upset, and being unable to swim, he was drowned. The body remained in the water about two hours before being recovered. Deceased was about 30 years of age. He leaves a wife and four children. The funeral sermon was preached by Mr. Culter, in the M.E. Church in this town on Saturday, and the body was conveyed to the Overholt burying ground, Humberstone, for interment.

Died: 14 August 1873


[Welland Tribune, 6 August 1873]

Messrs. Sherk and Springer who carry on a good general machine shop business. They have built several engines this year, and are now at work for one for Mr. Sauter of this town, who contemplates using steam power in connection with his cabinet factory. We are informed that the shop has all the work it can attend to. Mr. John Gross, formerly of Ridgeville, has started the manufacture of wooden pumps in a building adjoining and immediately in the rear of Morningstar’s machine shop, having the use of the engine of the shop. Having had a long and successful experience at the business, he warrants every sale made. See adv’t.