Welland History .ca

The TALES you probably never heard about

ELIZABETH DUNIGAN

[Welland Tribune, 2 May 1884]

MRS. JOHN DUNIGAN- We are called this week to record the death of Mrs. John Dunigan, which occurred on Monday night last. Mrs. Dunigan was a native of Oneida, County, N.Y., was married to Mr. Dunigan at Utica, and after residing some time in Western New York came with her husband and family to Canada in 1858; having been for the past thirty years a resident of Welland and vicinity. Her children, Warner and Albert Dunigan and Mrs. James Bridges, were all abroad at the time of her death, which occurred quite suddenly and unexpectedly. A few evenings previous she attended a public gathering in town, death resulting from the effects of a severe cold on the lungs. Mrs. Dunigan was a woman without reproach, with charity toward all and malice to none, possessing more than the esteem-the love-of all who knew her. The funeral was held on Wednesday, services by Rev. J. McEwen, Presbyterian, and interment at Fonthill Cemetery. The general attendance testified the public regret at the passing away of this good and respected woman, and those near and dear who survive have the sympathy of all friends.

EMMANUEL United Church of Canada 1884-1984, Wellandport Ontario

By Rev. Sharon L.W. Menzies

Our Roots in Gainsborough Township

As has been mentioned earlier, the Methodist Church in the Niagara area goes back to the work of Major George Neal in the 1780s. Major Neal’s work was both unofficial and much frowned upon by his British Army superiors who saw army discipline and Anglicanism as like virtues. It was Darius Dunham, though, who can claim to be the first regular itinerant preacher in Niagara. He was appointed in 1795 to serve a circuit covering 2.400 square miles. One of the early records of the Niagara circuit described it as follow:…”the circuit included the whole of the Niagara Peninsula, wherever there were settlements, from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario and from the Niagara River westward to the township of Oxford, and required a tour of six weeks, and preaching almost daily, to complete a single round.”

Circuits in Canborough and Grimsby were formed over the next two decades and there is at least an intimation of rivalry between the two for prominence in the township of Gainsborough. In a Quarterly Meeting report dated 6 August 1836, John Hodge, Emmanuel Jones, Emerson Bristol, Samuel Jones, Joseph Dochstader and two other men were appointed trustees of the log meeting house in Gainsborough. This log meeting house was built as School House #9 on property owned by Alfred McPherson located on Elcho Road. Given the attitude of children toward higher learning  for many generations, We believe that it was this school house that bore the affectionate name “the log jail”

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CLARENCE MICHAEL CARPENTER

[Welland Tribune, 1 August, 1884]

About 2 o’clock afternoon of Friday last, a lad named Clarence Carpenter, aged fourteen years, fell off Hagar’s dock, just above the new canal bridge of the town and was drowned. The deceased was a son of Mr. Wm. Carpenter, Griffith street, and was subject to fits, which possibly many have been the cause of his drowning. The lad’s uncle’s scow had been at the wharf a minute before the accident. As the scow moved away, the boy was standing alone on the wharf, back from the water’s edge and near the bank, supposed to be going away. A few minutes after, those on the scow heard a noise, and looking behind saw the lad’s head in the water out from and below the wharf. Immediately after having been seen, the unfortunate lad sank to rise no more alive. Immediately after the accident the boy’s mother arrived at the scene and gave vent to her great grief in a heart-rending manner. Although immediate search was made for the body it was not found until some six or seven hours after, when Mr. Vanalstine, bridge-tender, recovered it with an apparatus consisting of a lot of fish hooks attached to an iron rod which was thus proved far more effective than the ordinary grappling hooks. The body was found about half way between the wharf and the bridge float, and at the bottom of the canal slope. The funeral took place on Sunday, interment at the R.C. burying ground in this town. The family have the sympathy of all in their affliction.

MICHAEL BAKER SR.

[Welland Tribune, 21 March 1884]

We have again to report the death of another of our oldest settlers, Michael Baker, Sr., who was buried at the New Mennonite church, west of this place, on Saturday last, March 15th, the funeral services being held by Rev. Mr. Long, of Williamsville, N.Y., and Wilson Near of this county. Mr. Baker had attained the patriarchal age of 85 years, 1 month and 25 days. He was the son of George and Mary Magdalene Baker, who came to this country in the year 1798. He was born at Black Creek on the 17th of January 1799, on the farm now owned by Mr. Barnhard, and his father died when he was but two years old. His mother subsequently married Ezra Bearss, with whom her children lived, until Michael, the subject of our notice, was seven years old, when he went to Markham, where he resided until 17 years old. Whilst there he lived with his uncle Rueben Waite, and was a member of the flank guards, assisting in guarding supplies sent out from Toronto. Returning to Black Creek, he worked two years at the blacksmith trade there with a Mr. Bitner, thence he moved on a farm now owned by Jacob Danner, where he lived four years, when he purchased what is now known as the Baker homestead, where he remained 62 years and until his death. At the age of 27 he married Rebecca Beam, who now survives him aged 82 years. They had eleven children, 9 sons and 2 daughters, two of whom (Reuben and Abram) have since died. He leaves behind him, therefore, 9 children, 62 grandchildren, 22 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild, in all 85 living descendents. The deceased was a strong, healthy man. It is said of him that he was never sick a day in his life until the infirmities of old age came upon him. Whilst working for Mr. Bitner, he cut 6½ cords of wood (supposed to be basswood) in one day, and it was a common occurrence for him to cut _. He got cut the timber for the old Thompson mill at Fort Erie, and by contract chopped and logged 300 acres besides his own farm. The last 18 years he was a member of the Mennonite church. In politics he was a reformer, taking considerable interest in political contests in his earlier life. He was thrifty and industrious and has left his large family in good circumstances so far as this world’s goods are concerned. His long and useful life being ended, may he rest in peace, is the prayer of all who knew him. E.W.S.

REVEREND CHARLES WALKER

[Welland Tribune, 7 March 1884]

We have this week to record the death of Rev. Charles Walker, formerly of this town, which occurred at Lockland, Ohio, on Feb. 27th. The deceased had removed there some five or six months ago, and was living happily with his family and in the successful charge of a large congregation. He woke up at 6 o’clock in the morning, complaining of feeling unwell. Mrs. Walker applied some simple remedy which seemed to relieve him, but shortly afterward a gurgling noise attracted her attention to him, and a few minutes later he breathed his last. Physicians pronounced the cause of his death to be apoplexy. The body was brought to Stratford for burial. Elder Walker, as he was best known, was a man of unusual ability, mental activity, and intellectual attainments. He was a sterling Liberal in politics, and would, had he chosen the field of politics instead of the church, undoubtedly have won a commanding position in the political arena. He was stationed in Welland at the time the editor of this paper, then in his teens, assumed charge of its columns, and to the Elder’s advice and cooperation we were largely indebted for a satisfactory initiation of our journalistic career. Mr. Walker was married to a daughter (Abigail) of Samuel Rice, Esq., of Pelham, who, with a family, mourn their irreparable loss.

Man Caught Between Bumpers, Shoulder Crushed

[Citation appears to be Bru Can Sim, September 3, 1884]

Brakeman Pearl, of the Loop Line Railway, met with a painful accident on Wednesday evening. He was coupling cars at Welland when he got caught between the bumpers and his shoulder was terribly crushed.

Dakota

For the Welland Tribune

              DELL RAPIDS, Dakota, March 17- Today begins to look like spring. The snow was about 18 inches deep on the level, but is nearly all gone at last. The ground is frozen very deep. It has been a long, cold winter; and the times have been hard, but things are beginning to liven up again now. The immigration into the southwest part of this territory and Nebraska and California is immense. People here will soon begin to sow their grain. They do not wait for the frost to go out of the ground. If they did it would be very late in spring before they would get on the land, for the frost is deep and the ground dries as fast as it goes out. As a general thing there are no rains here in winter. The old people say that they had more snow this winter than generally. I wish the Welland folks could see some of the sleighs that people have here, especially the Norwegians. It would make them smile. I saw a man in town one day with his horse hitched to a hay rack for a sleigh. He had the front ends rounded off a little and rode along as happily as if airing himself in a Portland sleigh.

             We have had no high water yet, but it is feared that our town will get a ducking when the water from the North comes down the Big Sioux.

Ex Wellander

 Welland Tribune

28 March 1884

Letter From Mr. Bridges

              The following extract from a private letter to the editor of the TRIBUNE under date of Los Angeles, Cal., March 23rd, will be of interest to the many friends of Mr. Bridges and family here.

             We all arrived in California safe and sound. Mrs. Bridges had a very bad cold after we arrived, but she is better now and we are all very comfortable in our new home. I have purchased a very nice place in East Los Angeles for $2,500. Willie and I have just got through our potato planting. We have a fine lot of trees on the place. Our orange trees have fruit on them and blossoms as well, and our flower garden is fine. Those lilies and geraniums that we had so much trouble with at home bloom here out of doors all winter. We have a large tree of paradise that has flowers the year round. The city is lighted with electric light. There is one mast near us 150 feet high; it lights our garden like moonlight, so that we could see to make garden at night. On Friday last I went to De Turks, hired a pair of ponies and a covered carriage for the day (for which I paid $5) and drove Mrs. B., Rosa and Willie to Pasadena, a beautiful place. It has improved very much since I was there, two years ago. Land sells there from $800 to $1200 per acre. We then drove to Sierra Madre Villa, which they tell me is one of the finest places in the world for invalids. Then we drove to Old San Gabriel, a very old Spanish village, where they have an old mission church, 112 years old. From there we returned home, a little tired and very well satisfied with our day’s trip. I have not been to see my friend’s yet, Oscar Griffith, R. Larter or Mr. Beckett, on account of the rains washing away the track, and I don’t like to ford the rivers between here and Santa Anna.

Welland Tribune

4 April 1884

For The West & Nebraska

             FOR THE WEST- Mr. J.H. Spencer and family of South Norwich left for Beatrice, Nebraska, a few days ago, with the intention of locating there. We regret to know that the change had been necessitated as probably beneficial to Mrs. Spencer, who is in poor health, and trust that it will prove as efficacious as hoped for. J.H. Spencer is a son of friend Adam Spencer, formerly of this county. He was highly valued as a Reform and temperance worker in South Norwich, where his departure is deeply regretted. Whilst assembled at the station on the eve of departure, an address was read by Mr. Alex McFarlane, reeve of the municipality, and numerously signed by residents, assuring the departing friend and his family of the high esteem in which they were held in the community, acknowledging Mr. Spencer’s worth as a member of the community, prominent in support of good works, regretting the departure and the cause that led to it, and praying that the change may be beneficial and successful in every respect. Mr. Spencer made a touching reply, acknowledging with gratitude the kindness shown, and expressing the hope that health and happiness might ever reign in the homes of the friends left behind; Adam Spencer, father of Mr. J.H. Spencer, closed the proceedings just before the train came which was to bear him away, by a prayer that brought tears to many eyes.

 Welland Tribune

7 March 1884

Nebraska

             The following extracts from a letter written by James H. Spencer, recently of Norwich, Ont., dated Beatrice, Nebraska, March 2nd, 1884-have kindly been furnished us for publication:

             By this time we have some idea of a prairie life. Yesterday we dined at our own table. Ever since we arrived a stiff cold breeze has been blowing from the north. An Eastern man cannot realize the force of the wind until he faces it. The air is extremely dry and has an effect to cause hunger. We all eat heartily. The water is clear and good, yet quite soft, coming from driven wells. The land is rolling, and the soil a rich black earth 8 or 10 feet in depth. Blue River, a stream half larger than the Otter at Tilsonburg, runs through the centre of the city, with high banks. The roads are smooth. The city dam is built of stone and water lime. I am not able to give an idea of the amount of business done here, but may in the near future. The mammoth roller flouring mills are driven by water, and are obliged to run night and day to supply the demands. They buy No.1 spring at 70¢ and sell best brand of flour from $2.35 to $3.00. This wheat makes a much better quality of flour than that grain in Canada. The streets of this city are thronged with merchandise from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The citizens are made up from nearly all nations. There are many Prussian Mennonites here, and mostly wealthy. Western corn is the great crop, and stock raising is carried on successfully, and forms a greater part of the wealth in this State, or Gage County. Making money appears to claim the attention of the people. They are generally untidy about their farms, and the absence of forests presents to the foreigner a barren look.

Welland Tribune

21 March 1884