Welland History .ca

The TALES you probably never heard about

MARGARET DEWHURST

[Welland Tribune, 21 May 1874]

DEWHURST-On the evening of the 13th May 1874, Maggie, wife of E.R. Dewhurst, aged 28 years.

THE TOWN HALL

[Welland Tribune, 9 April 1874]

To the Editors:-

I  noticed that the TRIBUNE of March 12th said that the town hall would, “as it should,” be built in the village of Ridgeway. In the issue of March 19th you give your reasons for having the hall located in a town, which I agree are quite correct, as I have always been in favor of shooting two birds with one stone, as you remark. At the same time I am in favor of fair play. The question should be decided by the ratepayers and, whatever the decision, I would not say a word. As regards the centre of the township, if you will look on the map you will find Stevensville as near the centre as Ridgeway,-and, as you very properly suggested, it ought to be built in a town, why not give the township the privilege of voting it where they choose. The Ridgeway people had petitions going the rounds for months, but never circulated any in the vicinity of Stevensville, until the people of that place got wind of what was going on, when at a late hour some little counter action was taken. If the Council had taken Mr. Councillor John Hershey’s plan to give the ratepayers an equal chance, all would have been satisfactory to the public, though for my part, I am a great stickler for good roads, and under present circumstances would rather see the money laid out on a road from one thoroughfare to another.

Yours, &c.,

A ROADMAKER

Stevensville, March 23rd, 1874.

The writer of the above, if we recollect aright, at first wanted to have the town hall built in the exact geographical centre of the township, but we are pleased to see that, struck by the cogency of our reasons for building in a village, even if not exactly in the centre, he has somewhat changed his mind in this respect, and now confines his demands to having a vote taken between Ridgeway and Stevensville. We thought this matter had been settled-and by the ratepayers themselves. We have been informed, and we believe correctly, that a large majority of the ratepayers petitioned the council to build the hall, and to build it in Ridgeway. With a petition before them endorsed by a majority of the ratepayers it would have been sheer nonsense and a piece of extravagance for the council to have asked a vote, and they, having the money on hand, very properly resolved to comply with the prayer of the petition, and, after passing a resolution to that effect, proceeded further to instruct the reeve to procure estimates, &c. If the facts respecting a majority petition having been presented are as stated in the foregoing, and we believe they are, the plea of “A Roadmaster,” had been fully forestalled and falls without weight. If the ratepayers cannot agree between two or three sites for a town hall, there is no earthly chance of their ever agreeing upon the roads which the money should be spent in case it was determined to lay it out on roads. Money has been justly propounded by good authority to be the root of all evil, and we fancy the sooner the money-the bone of contention-in this case is spent, the matter will place reign within the building of Bertie. TRIBUNE

ALEXANDER McELROY

[Welland Tribune, 9 April 1874]

The death of our dear young friend, the late Alexander McElroy, has been such a dreadful surprise, not only to his relatives but to a very wide circle of friends to whom he had deeply endeared himself by his good conduct and ambition for excellence, that we deem it only right and proper to give a short account of his character and of the untimely termination of a life so promising, for the satisfaction of his friends and as an incentive to all young persons, to imitate him in his praiseworthy efforts to excel.

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VICE-ROYALTY IN WELLAND

[Welland Tribune, 3 September 1874]

ENTHUSIASTIC WELCOME TO LORD AND LADY DUFFERIN

Address and Reply

HIS EXCELLENCY VISITS THE AQUEDUCT

             Friday last, the day named for the Governor’s visit to Welland, was all in the way of weather that could have been desired, and long before the appointed hour large numbers of people came pouring in town from the surrounding villages and townships, desirous of participating in a right hearty loyal welcome to her Majesty’s representative in the Dominion and Lady Dufferin.  Hours before the party was expected to arrive at the Welland Railway Station; its grounds were thronged by an immense crowd, estimated at about three thousand persons, all anxious to secure a position from which a favorable view of the features of the occasion might be had. The north end of the station platform had been embowered with maple branches, affording a pleasant shade from the sun’s rays, and which, being raised, would be seen to advantage from all sides. The Welland Band was present and at intervals relieved the monotony of waiting by discoursing choice music. The Welland Cavalry Troop under Capt. Buchner was formed in line in the rear of the platform in readiness to give the accustomed salute to the Commander in chief of H.M’s forces in the Dominion, and act as an escort to the party whilst driving through town.

THE ARRIVAL

             At a few minutes past three o’clock, the special train conveying His Excellency and suite came up to the station, having switched from the Southern to the Welland Railway at the Junction. The locomotive attached to the special was one of the G.W.R. Co’s., and was very handsomely decorated with evergreens and miniature flags. Surrounding the dome were the words of Lord Dufferin’s motto,-“Per Vias Rectas.” As the train came in, the band played the national anthem, and upon the appearance of His Excellency and Lady Dufferin upon the platform they were greeted with enthusiastic cheers. Besides his Excellency, there were upon the platform both the members for this County-Messrs. Thomson and Currie-besides the town council and many of the prominent men of the town and county. Lady Dufferin was seated on the platform and His Excellency and J.H. Price, Esq., stood in front, when the latter read as follows:

THE ADDRESS

             To His Excellency Right Honorable the Earl of Dufferin, Governor-General of the Dominion of Canada, &c., &c., &c., &c.

             On behalf of the inhabitants of the village of Welland, we now beg to render to Your Excellency and the Countess of Dufferin hearty and loyal welcome, and to thank you for this opportunity of expressing our attachment to Your Excellency as the Representative of our Sovereign, and our esteem for yourself as a nobleman, preeminently an ornament to your order.

             When we remind Your Excellency that you are now within the borders of the County which was the scene of the battle of Lundy’s Lane and others of 1812, and that many now in Your Excellency’s presence are the descendents of the heroes of those memorable battles, fought by Canadians upon Canadian soil in defense of British Connection; and that a few of the veterans of that period are still amongst us, we need hardly assure Your Excellency that you are in the midst of a people whose loyalties to the Queen and attachment to the Mother Country is not excelled in any part of her Majesty’s Dominions.

             Situated as we are, upon the great thoroughfare between the East and West, and having within the limits of our Village one of the greatest architectural works of its kind in the Dominion, Your Excellency will pardon our honest pride in stating that we are prosperous and happy in the enjoyment of our many privileges and rights as citizens of this Great Empire.

             We regret that Your Excellency’s time will not permit a longer stay amongst us that we might testify more fully than by words our appreciation of the honor which Your Excellency has conferred upon our Village and County, and we trust that before returning to Ottawa you will find an opportunity to visit the scenes of interest within the County; and that your tour through this Province may be as satisfactory to Your Excellency and the Countess of Dufferin as it is gratifying to the inhabitants of these localities honored by your visit.

             In conclusion allow us to express our sincere wish for the continued happiness of Your Excellency and that of the Countess of Dufferin and family.

E.R. HELLEMS J.H. PRICE
Clerk Reeve

             Immediately upon the conclusion of the reading of the Address, His Excellency, speaking in a tone distinctly audible to all, in response, said that he was extremely gratified by the kind and cordial welcome which had been prepared for him. He was well aware that in coming to the County of Welland he was visiting a locality which had been rendered illustrious by the warlike deeds of the forefathers of many of those present, and he rejoiced to think that it would be his privilege to make the acquaintance of some at least of the surviving heroes of those glorious days. Happily, however, the deeds of those days were reminiscences of the past, and we might confidently look forward to enjoying, uninterrupted by war or other disastrous circumstances, the independence and security which those who fought for the Crown in those years secured. He sympathized with them in the satisfaction with which they alluded to the fact that in that locality a system of works was about to be inaugurated in which both the inhabitants of Canada and the United States were equally interested, and which could not fail, when completed, to prove a source of additional wealth to both peoples. In conclusion he thanked them for these expressions in the address personal to himself and Lady Dufferin, and assured them that it gave them the greatest satisfaction to find themselves in the picturesque County of Welland. (Applause.)

             A number of gentlemen were then presented by the reeve to His Excellency amongst whom were the town council and clerk; Judge Macdonald, Mr. E.V. Bodwell, Dr. Frazer, Sheriff Hobson, L.D. Raymond, the various clergymen of the place; Messrs. Issac Kelly of Thorold, John Foster of Wainfleet and Jesse Yokum of Crowland, veterans of 1812, and several other gentlemen. His Excellency took much interest in making the acquaintance of the veterans, engaging in conversation with Mr. Kelly as to whom he served under, what battles he fought in, the particulars of the death of Gen. Brock, and other reminiscences of the war of 1812.

             An invitation was then tendered to the vice-regal to take a drive through the town, and to the Aqueduct which was accepted by Lord Dufferin, who, accompanied by Messrs. Thomson, Currie and the town council, proceeded to the Aqueduct. Lady Dufferin and other members of the party were too much fatigued to accept of the invitation, and retired to the superb palace car in which they were travelling.

THE DECORATIONS

             In coming down Main street, the party passed under the three handsome arches, trimmed with evergreens and ornamented with printing and mottoes erected under instruction of the town council. The first of these was situate at the Junction of Burgar and Main street, and bore the Irish motto-“Caed Mille Failthe”-(a hundred thousand welcomes) upon one side and “Farewell” upon the other, the later motto to face the party when driving back. The second arch was in front of the Dexter House, and bore the mottoes “Peace and Prosperity” and “God save the Queen.” The third arch was near the canal and upon it were placed the appropriate mottoes, “Trade and Commerce” and “The Welland Canal-the Eastern and Western connecting link.’ The street presented a gay and busy appearance, the stores being all open and with wares displayed to the best advantage, besides which many of the places of business were handsomely decorated with evergreens, flags, &c. Conspicuous amongst these were the Dexter House, Commercial Hotel, City Hotel, Post-office, McConachie’s, Teskey’s, Morwoods’s, and other stores. Mr. T.F. Brown’s store had a distinguishing national badge- a representation of the ‘harp that once thro’ Tara’s halls”- placed in front of the second story, besides being otherwise handsomely decorated. The streets were lined with people who repeatedly cheered the party in passing, which His Excellency graciously acknowledged from time to time.

AT THE AQUEDUCT

             Arrived at the Aqueduct, the party alighted to and examined it at considerable length, His Excellency appearing much interested in the noble piece of engineering and mechanical skill by which the waters of the Canal cross those of the Welland River. Upon expressing a desire to know how the Aqueduct would be adapted to Erie level, His Excellency was referred to W.G. Thompson, Esq., resident engineer at this place, who was present, and who stated that the matter was at present under consideration of the Government. Three prepositions to overcome the difficulty had been proposed,-1st, to deepen the present Aqueduct; 2nd, to construct a new one; and 3rd, to lock around. Of these as yet none had been adopted. Having satisfied their curiosity in respect to the Aqueduct, the party returned to their carriages and were driven to the train, accompanied by the cavalry as an escort and the band, which had accompanied the party through the town.

INCIDENTS  &c

             The plain, unassuming style of Lord and Lady Dufferin agreeably disappointed many of our country folks who are more accustomed to the “snobcracy” or sham than genuine aristocracy, and won for them golden opinions.

             Upon their entry upon the platform Mrs. Stewart Lamont presented Her Ladyship with a bouquet. Both Lord and Lady Dufferin, upon learning that Mrs. L. was from and familiar with the same county in Ireland as Lady Dufferin, shook hands with her and entered into friendly conversation.        

             The people of Crowland put in an appearance in force, headed by a large wagon in which was displayed the Crowland Reform flag. Good for “Skinner’s Corners.”

             His Excellency, we are informed, remarked upon the address that it was one of the best and most appropriate that he had received; also, whilst being driven through the street, he referred in favorable terms to the enterprise of the place in gravelling the streets.

             Before closing our report we think it but just to compliment the town council upon the very satisfactory reception accorded the vice-regal party. The reception was certainly better carried out than could have been expected, considering that this place was not down in the official programme as of those to be visited, and the consequent short time to prepare. With the one exception of the want of a guard on foot to surround the platform to prevent crowding, the arrangements were the best that could have possibly have been made in the brief time allowed for their perfection. Indeed, we are informed, His Excellency and others of his party, expressed themselves as most agreeably surprised with their reception at Welland.

J.B SHRIGLEY – Water-Powered Mill, 1874

A NOTE by WellandHistory.ca: We found this article and photos in the Dorset museum. Roy Shrigley was borne in Pelham, County of Welland in 1835.