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The TALES you probably never heard about

Wellandport Ontario

By W. Schwoob

Perhaps I should give a short history of Wellandport before my impressions of the village. It was first called the Narrows from the ridge of land separating the Chippewa River and Beaver Creek. (Chippewa is Indian for “People without moccasins”) and Beaver Creek is self-explanatory.

The first settler was John Dochstader in 1782, whose grant of land was west of Wellandport. He was soon followed by the Henry, Robins, Heaslip and MacDowellfamilies and others. These people settled along the Chippewa River as it was the easiest way to travel by boat in summer and on the ice in winter.

The river valley is so flat that when the Niagara (into which it empties) is in flood, the river backs up nearly 30 miles from it’s mouth, and raises the water one to two feet.

The first school was built on land owned by Wm Dils, west of Wellandport, after 1800, and the teacher was Mr. Weston, nicknamed “Nappertandy”. There were two churches built in 1835, both Methodist. One, just west of Elcho, and the other on Heaslip’s farm, east of the village.

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[Welland Tribune, 9 March 1876]

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN, that after twenty days from the first publication hereof in the WELLAND TRIBUNE newspaper, the undersigned will make application to the Surrogate Court of the County of Welland to be appointed Guardian of William Gould Swayzie, Lydia Maria Swayzie, and Elizabeth A. Swayzie, infant children of Elias Swayzie, late of the Township of Thorold, in the County of Welland, Yeoman, deceased.

GEORGE HAMILTON BROWN of Thorold Township, Yeoman

Township Thorold, March 3rd, 1876

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that after twenty days from the first publication hereof in the WELLAND TRIBUNE newspaper, the undersigned will make application to the Surrogate Court of the County of Welland to be appointed Guardian of MAGARET WIBLE, infant daughter of Felix Wible, late of Humberstone, in the County of Welland, Yeoman, deceased.-Louis Perlett her late Guardian, being now dead.

JACOB SCHEIHL of Humberstone, Yeoman

Humberstone, Feb. 24th, 1876

Dr. Henry Ryan Haney (1833-1876)

Dr. Haney was the first Doctor in Fenwick. The Haney family came from New Jersey. Isaac Haney in 1789 was near St John’s. He purchased land on Holland Road near Hurricane Road. Isaac was married to Hannah Drake, who was said to be related to Sir Francis Drake.

Isaac’s son was Matthew Haney, he fought in the War of 1812. He married Hannah Mains. Their children were Henry Ryan Haney and Matthew Haney. Both became doctors. There was another brother Stephen. Henry and Matthew went to school in St. John’s. The father Matthew ran a grist mill in St John’s.

Henry Ryan Haney taught school then attended the Faculty of Medicine at Buffalo University, graduating in 1856.His  older brother Matthew attended the same school and graduated in 1851 and settled in Humberstone.

After graduation Henry Ryan Haney moved to Fenwick.

He was inspector of the schools in Pelham, entered politics in 1872 for the riding of Monk, for the Librerals and in 1875 won again.

Dr. Haney’s office and residence was located on Canboro road. It was a two storey home later moved to Ridgeville. In 1979 it was demolished.

In 1878 Dr. Haney was joined by Dr. Birdsall.

On March 2, 1875 Dr. Haney married Charlotte Woods of St. Catharines. They had no children.

Dr. Haney died November 17,1876 at the age of 43. He died from cirrhosis of the liver.

He is buried in Hillside cemetery, Ridgeville beside his father Matthew Haney.


[Welland Tribune, 24 November 1876]

             CRYSTAL WEDDING- On Monday evening our worthy Reeve A. Hendershot, Esq., and his estimable helpmeet, celebrated the Fifteenth Anniversary of their Wedding Day, familiarly known as their “Crystal Wedding.” In view of the eminent social qualities of the couple who have thus far journeyed happily adown the life matrimonial, their friends, to the large number of eighty or thereabout, gathered at their residence in the evening to tender their hearty congratulations inspired by the auspicious event and leave the crystal souvenir custom attributes to the occasion. The occasion was truly an enjoyable conversasione-one of those social minglings that puts everybody on better terms with himself as well as his neighbors and fellow-citizens. Besides general social converse, the Misses Strawn and others favored the company with musical selections; Miss Minnie Girven gave a couple of well-read scenes from querulous Dame Caudle and the recreant sharer of her conjugal joys and troubles; and Misses Strawn and Stella Robinson gave a laughable comic song. The presents were many and varied, and presented a handsome tout ensemble, only equaled by the tempting spread of edibles afforded by the profuse hospitality of the favored couple, in which all partook a devouring interest. The company separated about midnight wishing their entertainers yet many happy anniversaries of the felicitous event of their entrance upon the estate of matrimony.

Welland Tribune

24 November 1876

Married: 20 November 1861


[Welland Telegraph, 3 March 1876]

 Welland, Feb. 29

            Pursuant to call of the President (Charley) a special meeting of the great Dog Convention of the town of Welland met in Dog alley, this a.m.

             Present-The President; Uno, Secretary; Little Joe, Delegate; Ponto Skip, Towser, Prin, Bravo, Fred, Rover, Dr. Fly, Roger, Jim and Constable Sport.

             On the reading of the minutes of the last meeting the Secretary displayed great nervousness. Little Joe shook his head, making the jewelry on his neck rattle, so as to attract attention from all. Lawyer Jimmy commenced rubbing his paws, evidently thinking there was fun ahead, which would bring grist to his mill.

             A great pow-wow ensued, consequent on the astounding discovery that the Secretary had willfully altered the minutes to suit his political proclivities. At this juncture a wail of discontent arose, and Uno was summarily ejected from the convention, and was last seen entering the doorway at the head of the rickety stairs at the rear of that two storey brick block, which contains that great ear of Juggernaut, with his caudal appendage closely pressed to his nether extremities, and as he closed the door behind him a howl arose from the convention which bore unmistakable proof that his conduct received the entire disapproval of its members.

             Ponto was the appointed Secretary pro tem.

             Lawyer Jim then seconded the platform, and said that all present were aware of the scandalous action taken by the late Secretary, and in moving for the appointment of a new one, he would simply draw attention to the evidence adduced at the last meeting from Ponto, Prin, Bravo and Fred, and for the information of those who were not present at the last meeting, he would read over the said evidence. He then proceeded in a clear distinct voice to read over the testimony of the above canines, commenting thereon as he went along. He summarized the whole by stating that all agreed that it was some kind of a workshop where they were enticed into by offers of cake, &c., but at times they were summarily dragged in by boys, (without any hair on their face) while the man with the dark hair was invariably present (bow-ow). The difficulty seemed to be to locate the exact spot where these dastardly acts had been committed, and to definitely describe the perpetrators. He had, since the last meeting been busy, with the aid of the evidence then adduced, endeavoring to ascertain the name of the shop where these cowardly acts were committed, and on enquiry had found there was only one such establishment in that neighborhood, and there has been only one there for over fourteen months, and hence the question was to his mind, satisfactorily solved (bow-ow). The late Secretary had willfully and maliciously misconstrued the evidence and has laid the fault at the door of the wrong party, and restitution should be immediately made (bow-ow). He was sorry to hear that the man with the dark hair had left the town, and he had heard through his (the speaker’s) master that a Government situation had been bestowed on him that he May Govern the customs to better advantage than he did those rascally set of imps in his employ here. He had also heard it said that this dark haired man had a partner-a boy, apparently some 16 or 18 years of age, who was, no doubt, one of those alluded to by Prin in his evidence, (bow-ow). The speaker concluded his remarks amid uproarious cheers, by moving that Ponto be appointed Secretary in place of Uno who had been expelled.

             Dr. Fly, in seconding the motion, said he corroborated all that his learned brother of the bar had said, and would add that he considered any establishment what would allow tin pans to be attached to a canine’s extremity should receive the severe censure of the community. The guilt was, beyond doubt, fastened now on the proper party. The evidence was straightforward enough. There had only been one establishment of the kind in that neighborhood, and in fact, on that side of the street for over fourteen months and that was proof positive. And further, the dark haired man and the boy 16 or 18 years of age correspond well with the description given of the occupants of that one-horsed establishment, (bow-ow). He was happy to hear that they had made arrangements to leave the premises, and felt sure that after that convention would not be further troubled. The venerable doctor, who by the by, lost one of his feet in a battle for liberty, then resumed his position.

             The motion was then put and carried.

             Rodger, a new member of the convention who, though young, stood some six inches above any of the rest, then asked permission to address a few words. He said that on Monday last being called down to the Court House on business from his residence near the North School House, he was decoyed by a young man 16 or 18 years of age, who wore a light overcoat, up a flight of stairs in a two story brick building. As he was going up he heard a bell ringing violently on the street and a boy calling out loudly, something about an auction sale. Well, I was led through a doorway into just such a shop as has been described her today, where, a lot of type was lying around and soon a cord was attached to my narrative so tightly that I ran from his cruel grasp and bounded through the back door, which was open, and down the steps and thinking he was after me, I ran through Dog Alley and made for home. On my arrival there I found it was not he who was following me but a tin can daubed with, what my master said it was, printer’s ink was attached to the cord so as to strike my heels as I ran.

             At this juncture the manifestation to lynch or tear the boy to pieces was so great that Constable Sport had his scierice taxed to the utmost while a vote was passed with authorizing each member present to bite that beardless boy of the Tribune.

             The president then stated that this notorious practice would now be put a stop to, by reason of the guilty parties moving from the vicinity, he did not see the necessity of having such an organization, and would; therefore, on the dismissal of his meeting destroy the constitution by law and charter.

             The members then dispersed leaving instructions with the Secretary to hand a copy of the proceedings to the Telegraph for publication.




[Welland Telegraph, 3 March 1876]

Yesterday a rather interesting trial was held here before Justice Daniel Willson. John Dunigan and Abraham Hendershot, Messrs. Alex. Griffith, Jos. McCallum, J.V. Strawn and Wm. Buchner were arraigned on a charge of furious driving on our public streets on Tuesday last. Joseph McMurray bid the information. Mr. Griffith was the first one called up for trial. Considerable evidence was adduced, the bulk of which went to show that the above mentioned gentlemen were out examining their horses and were driving at the rate of about eight miles an hour. Five witnesses were heard for the prosecution and six for the defence. As the fact of furious driving was not established, the case was dismissed. As the same evidence applied to all the parties, the whole of the cases were thus disposed of. Attorney Gilchriese appeared on behalf of the prosecution and A. Williams, Esq., for the defendant. Who pays the costs?