Welland History .ca

The TALES you probably never heard about


Beloved Civic Official Succumbs to Complications Following Pneumonia Attack


Was Long and Honored Figure of City and County Public Life

[The Welland Evening Tribune, 28 January 1928]

J.F. Gross has passed away.

And that means the going on of a man long identified with the public life of this city and of the county of Welland, a member of the old guard of the Liberal party, and an outstanding figure hereabouts for many years. In March of last year, Mr. Gross while on a trip to the Pacific coast was stricken with pneumonia at Vancouver, and there lay for a long period. He was brought home in August, and has since been confined to his home on Division street, this city, where death came to him Friday night at ten o’clock.

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A.L. Ellsworth, Connected With Many Business Corporations

[Welland Evening Tribune, 15 December 1928]

             Albert Leroy Ellsworth, the subject of the following story, will be remembered by the older residents of the city, as his father, the late George A. Ellsworth, was a contractor and builder in the early days of Welland, and a few of the remaining old buildings are monuments to his handiwork. The subject of the story was married to Miss Bessie Burgar, daughter of the late George H. Burgar, the second postmaster in Welland, and who held the office until succeeded by the present postmaster, W.H. Moore.

             The Sanitary Age, Toronto-

             Getting oiled up and ranking a real success of it is merely one of the accomplishments of Albert Leroy Ellsworth, president of the British American Oil company limited, and of its producing and refining subsidiaries. Every time you pass a B.A. service station you can figure that Albert has a finger in it, and, in future, that whenever you install or see the new Corona radiation or any other product of the Imperial Iron Corporation, you will know that the same Al has something to say about that also.

             Born at Welland, Ont., in 1876, he spent the first 18 years there and matriculated from the high school. The appeal of greater possibilities in the States drew him across the border into Buffalo, where he found himself a job with W.A. Case & Son, manufacturers of pipe fittings, etc. This lasted for two years, following which he attached himself to the Standard Oil Company of New York and remained with that fairly-well-to-do outfit for about nine years.

             It was in 1905 that he conceived the idea of establishing an oil company in Canada and accordingly he moved to Toronto where he set up an office for the present company. For the first several years he acted as secretary-treasurer and vice-president becoming president in 1927. Mr. Ellsworth is president also of the Toronto Pipe Line company, Wichita Falls, Texas; The Toronto Iron Works, limited, Toronto; Fess Oil Burners of Canada limited, Toronto; Clear Vision Pump company limited, Toronto; Service Station Equipment company, Bryan, Ohio; and is a director of the United Utilities and Service Corporation, Philadelphia.

             Just for the variety, Mr. Ellsworth has attached himself to more clubs than a police force, and in Toronto alone he is a member of York, Empire, Canadian, Granite, Carleton, Lambton Golf, Toronto Skating and R.C.Y.C.  He is a member of the Lake Placid Club also, and, when abroad, can sometimes be found at the American Club in Paris.

             As might be guessed from the above list, his hobby is likely to be practically anything, but in reality it is golf and he follows this with the enthusiasm that characterizes his business endeavors. As a member of the Board of Directors of the Imperial Iron Corporation, Mr. Ellsworth will have associated with him some of the most prominent figures in this industry in Canada, which accounts in part for the tremendous optimism permeating the atmosphere around St. Catharines and vicinity these days.