Welland History .ca

The TALES you probably never heard about

DOROTHY DIX: Shall Divorced Couple Who Still Love Remarry?

[The Welland-Port Colborne Evening Tribune, 6 October 1931]

DEAR MISS DIX- I am a young divorcee, 22 years old, still deeply in love with the young man I married. Being an only child my parents think too much of me and I was badly spoiled and I divorced my husband because they wished it. He went with the wrong crowd after we were married, did not attend to his business, and I was unhappy and became sickly and went back home to mother and dad. But, after all, I love him and he did many things to make me happy, and now he says he will never love anyone else and wants for us up to try it over again. My parents forbid me to go back to him, but I am miserably unhappy. Do you think we could make a go of it again if we tried it over?


Probably. Possibly you have both had your lesson and will be wiser and more forebearing with each other. But if you do go back to your husband, make up your mind beforehand to stick it and not go running back to mother and father every time you and your husband do not agree.

When children defy their parents and marry against their wishes, they should, at least take the consequences of their own acts and not expect mother and father to have to pay the price of their mistakes. Nothing is more unfair than for a girl and boy to marry when they are mere children and before they have established themselves in business and then bring their husband or wife home to father and mother to support. Nothing is so beastly selfish as for young women to quarrel with their husbands over trifles and rush to the divorce court and then come back and dump their children on mother and father to rear and educate.

Doubtless your husband failed very much in his duty to you, but there is no worse matrimonial bet than an adored only daughter who had been petted and spoiled all her life by her father and mother and who expects her husband to continue the process and make a doormat of himself for her.

It seems to me that in your particular case remarriage might be a good thing, for you each have found out that if you could not be happy together you are still more miserable apart and perhaps your experience will enable you to get along better together.


Sisters Comment: Marriage is supposedly a life time commitment, but there are times when that contract to each other needs a most serious overhauling. If I may be so direct as to suggest, dear Patti, you and your special someone should loop the loop in a harmonious way for a period of some months before signing your names on the matrimonial dotted line.

DOROTHY DIX: Does Every Wife’s Love for her Husband Eventually Turn to Hate?

[The Welland-Port Colborne Evening Tribune, 6 October 1931]

DEAR DOROTHY DIX- If a woman loves a man, is she just bound to hate him some day as much as she once loved him? My mother loved my father very devotedly for years, but now she seems to detest even the sight of him. She criticizes him in the presence of us children and ridicules him. She mortifies him before his friends and gives him to understand that he is a born fool and everyone knows it. I am 19 years old and have observed families all my life, and to my sorrow I find that husbands’ and wives’ love seem to turn to hate in almost every home I know.

Now I love a young man very dearly, but I would rather die alone than marry him and nag his life out of him, as my mother does my father. Is a man bound to a woman who accepts his food and shelter, yet twists him like a criminal?


You poor, pitiful young thing. What distorted and morbid ideals of love and marriage your unhappy home life has bred in you.

And what a wicked thing your mother has done in poisoning your mind until you can no longer get things straight or judge them fairly so that you imagine that all husbands and wives come to hate each other and that love is bound to turn into loathing. Why, that isn’t true my dear. If it were true, the papers would be filled with accounts of husbands and wives who had murdered each other instead of its being so rare a crime it makes the front page. Divorce would be universal and there would be no happy homes.

But all about us we see men and women who have lived together thirty or forty or fifty years and who are more devoted to each other in their old age than they were in their youth. We see men and women who have loved each other well enough to overlook each other’s little faults and for each other’s transgressions against them.

So you are all wrong when you think that love is bound to die. Real love is the hardest thing in the world to kill. It will survive neglect and starvation and bad treatment and still live on. Look at the women who still have the drunken husbands they fish out of the gutter, who cling to unfaithful husbands, who work and support lazy, trifling husbands, who wait outside of prison doors to take back the husbands who have disgraced them. Look at the men who put up with peevish, neurotic wives; who spend their lives working to give finery to extravagant wives; who even forgive the wives that they know dishonor them.

But because your mother is a bad wife is no indication that you will be a bad one. On the contrary, there is every reason to believe that her conduct will prove an awful warning to you and that you because she has so ill-treated your father you will probably go to the other extreme and spoil your husband to death.

You have resented the way in which your mother criticizes your father and you will be very careful not to find fault with your husband. You have felt how unjust it was in her to try to prejudice her children against their father and you will hold your husband up as a model to his children. You have felt what an unsportsmanlike thing it was for your mother to say things to your father in company that he could not publicly resent without making a scene and you will not play such a low-down trick on your husband.

The most peaceful and happy home that I know almost one in which no arguments or bickering is permitted and the husband is treated with deference and consideration, is one presided over by a woman who was reared in a home of strife and quarrelling and whose mother treated her husband pretty much as your mother treats her.

Certainly I do not think that a man is under any obligation to support the woman who mistreats him. Furthermore I consider that if a woman cannot constrain herself to be at least polite to her husband, decency demands that she should not eat his bread and salt.

But don’t be afraid of love, my child. Go on and marry your nice young man and give him a better run for his money than your mother is giving your father.


Sisters Comment: Sister Mary Ordinary, Instructor of Philosophy at the local university, who has studied the teachings of the late Tutorial Jennings, believes that doing under others as they would do unto you is an excellent philosophy to live and love by. However, in all fairness, since this appears to be a later life change in your mother’s attitude toward her matrimonial mate, perhaps a wee bit of dementia has entered the picture and could prove to be why your mother has shown this lapse of judgment. Run, don’t walk to the nearest clinic to seek evaluation before your milquetoast appearing father races into the welcoming arms of another.

DOROTHY DIX: Parents Need a Sense of Humor

.. So That They Can laugh at the Follies of Youth Instead of Breaking Their Hearts over Them-

The Only Thing That Ails Their Boys and Girls Is Youth.

[The Welland-Port Colborne Evening Tribune, 5 October 1931]

The thing that parents need most is a sense of humor and unfortunately most of them haven’t even a rudimentary funnybone in their whole anatomy. I grant you that rearing children is no merry jest. It is a serious and a heart-searching business, especially so in these days when the youngsters are given to taking every risky hurdle in their stride and knocking down all of the old bars of conventional behaviour. Nevertheless, most fathers and mothers make a mistake in regarding their adolescent boys and girls too tragically and they shed many tears over things that they had better laugh off.

This attitude isn’t good for the parents and it isn’t good for the children. Indeed, you might almost say that the more conscientious parents are in doing their duty, the less they do it. For the fathers and mothers who consider their children as an awful RESPONSIBILITY are bound to find them an awful burden, and this makes an awful barrier, that neither can surmount, between them and the children.

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DOROTHY DIX: Comfort for Girl Who Thinks She Has Spoiled Her Life.

[The Welland-Port Colborne Evening Tribune, 1 October 1931]

DEAR MISS DIX- I am a young girl in my twenties and have a hard road to travel because through love I stumbled off the straight and narrow path. I live in a small town and everyone knows about me and everyone stares at me and gossips about me. I haven’t a job. I haven’t a home. I haven’t a mother and father but am living with my sister, and I am so miserable I thought of taking poison. What would you do?


First, put all thoughts of suicide out of your mind. Don’t add cowardice to your other weaknesses. You have made a mistake, but you are young and have plenty of time in which to retrieve your error and to find life worth living again.

Keep this thought in your mind all the time; That you are not going to let fate down you. You are not going to quit. You are not going to let one wrong thing wreck your whole existence. You are going to make good in spite of everything.

Then fit yourself to do something by which you can make a good living. If your family is not able to send you to any school where you can learn a trade, go to the woman who is the best cook in your town and work in her kitchen until she teaches you how to bake bread and pies, and cakes and fry chicken and roast meat that will make any mouth water. Them when you are a blue-ribbon cook, go to the nearest city and get a job cooking until you can do something else. But there are mighty few jobs that pay better than the chef’s. What you will get will depend on your skill.

But get away from the little town which you lived and in which everybody knows your story. Nowhere else in the world are people’s judgements so hard nor their memories so long as in Main Street and as long as you live there you will have your disgrace thrown in your face and never be allowed to forget it.

Go away where people do not know you. Get a fresh start and never, never under any circumstances tell any human being your story.


Sisters Comment: We have space at the Convent of Less Said for young women who have travelled the road of disgrace and need lodgings to find their inner peace. Our very own Sister Mary Harry, Convent Social Convenor, has offered her services to help you in your distress. We can always use a cook. As we are a cloistered house, your secret will be most certainly safe with us.

DOROTHY DIX: How Can a Man Tell if His Fiancé Really Loves Him?

[The Welland-Port Colborne Evening Tribune, 1 October 1931]

DEAR MISS DIX- I am a man of 40 engaged to be married to a woman of the same age with whom I am passionately in love, but I somehow feel that she does not care enough for me and I have not courage enough to put her love to the test. Tell me, does a woman need to be passionately in love with a man to make him a good wife and companion? This woman is most desirable in every way and would make a wonderful pal for any man. What should I do?


Why not apply a little common sense to the situation? Ask yourself why this woman should want to marry you except for love of you.

If you are a millionaire you might think that she is marrying you for your money, but mighty few woman marry for a mere living in these days. They can support themselves as well as the average husband is likely to do it.

Nor do women marry nowadays to keep from being old maids because the stigma has been removed from celibacy for women and the girl bachelor is oftener envied than pitied. Neither do women marry just to be amarrying and for something to fill in their time, and give them an interest in life, for in these days when every avocation is open to women they find plenty to do to keep them busy and by the time they are 40 they have settled down into congenial occupation.

The men of the past may have doubted whether the women they led to the altar married them for love and themselves alone, but the modern man can be very sure that the woman he marries is actuated by nothing but affection when she gives up her job and her freedom and her pay envelope and latchkey for him.

I don’t know how a man can apply any test to a woman’s affection that would determine either its quantity or its quality. In the end it is something that he has to take her word for. I often get letters from girls who say that men have demanded that they prove their love for them by living with them before they are married.

But this is no test of a woman’s love. It is merely a test of her morals and her principles and her intelligence. Any girl who is asked to give such a proof of her affection as that might well say with Lovelace as she refused: “I could not love thee, dear, so much, loved I not honor more.”

Nor can you tell whether a woman loves you or not by the amount of petting she bestows upon you. Some women wear their hearts upon their sleeves. Others do not. Some women are gushing and demonstrative with their affection. Others are reserved. But it is eternally true that still waters run deep and that those who love truly and sincerely do not feel that they have to be always parading their affection.

It always seems to me that the real proof of love is to found in deed, not words of endearment, nor kisses. Observe whether your fiancé thinks for of her happiness or yours. Whether she is more anxious to please you than to have you please her. Whether she adapts herself to you or expects you to fall in love with all of her ways. If she is selfish toward you, then she loves herself better than she does you.

I certainty think that companionship and congeniality and mutual respect make a mighty safe basis for marriage between a man and a woman of 40. After all, at that age, one is done with wild romance and of expecting fireworks and ready to settle down to the warm, steady fire on the hearthstone. So my advice to you is to forget all about testing the lady’s love and just take it for granted that she loves you because she says she does and is willing to prove it by marrying you, and let it go at that.


Sisters Comment: Love is fragile and often in our zest for finding the perfect mate, we lose sight of the beautiful qualities of the person standing before us. Give your bride the care and respect she so deserves and she will make you a happy home.



DOROTHY DIX: Why Shouldn’t Wives become Disgruntled About Marriage

..When Husbands Make No Effort to Understand Them, to Sympathize With Them, or to Show Them Any Appreciation.

[The Welland-Port Colborne Evening Tribune, 21 October 1931]

Why do wives get peeved and get into the what’s-the-use attitude toward matrimony? Men often wonder why their wives do not make the same effort, to be attractive and agreeable after marriage as they did before. The answer is: because husbands do so little to encourage wives to hold the lady-love pose.

The other day a lot of women were discussing this subject and one of them said:

“When I got married I was very romantically in love with my husband, and on his birthday, which happened to fall on a particularly hot August day, I worked for hours in a steaming kitchen making him a large and ornate cake. Then I sat down and wrote him a love letter in which I poured out my whole soul to him and told him how I adored him and how happy I was and how I blessed heaven for bestowing him as a husband upon me.

I made the dinner table very festive with candles and flowers and when I brought on the cake with the billet doux on top of it I waited with my heart in my mouth for my husband’s exclamation of joy and surprise and for his kiss that would have in it all that he felt for me and all that our marriage meant to him.

But nothing happened. Instead, he pushed his chair from the table and said: “Gosh, but it’s too hot to eat a gooey cake tonight!” Then he glanced causally at the beginning of the love letter and, remarking, “Why the gush note?” and stuffed it in his pocket without even reading it. So far as I know he never read it, for he has never mentioned it to me again.

I can laugh at the little fiasco now, but I shed a barrel of tears over it that night. And it was the last time I ever made a burnt offering of myself on the kitchen stove making a birthday cake for my husband and I have never tried since to tell him how much I cared for him.”

“Oh, I guess the most of us go through the same painful experience when we are cutting our wisdom teeth on matrimony,” said another woman.

“When I was first married I use to work myself nearly to death trying to keep my husband fascinated. I would doll myself up within an inch of my life in my prettiest frocks and I would buy the colors I thought he admired and I would spend hours grubbing over stock reports so that I could discuss intelligently with him the subjects he was interested in.

And after a while I found out that when I would ask him how he liked my new dress or hat he would look at it vaguely and say: “Is that another one? What is the matter with the one you have been wearing?” And then I would realize that he hadn’t looked at me enough to notice whether I had on a rag or a Paris confection.

And when I would hand him out of line of what I supposed was my spellbinder conversation he would just grunt by way of reply and I would know that he wasn’t listening to a single word I said.

So I gave up trying to look like a living picture and keeping him vamped, and now I dress to suit myself and have developed the evening-paper-and-sixth-best-ever habit myself, and we sit upon an evening in the usual family silence that is so thick you could cut it with a knife.”

“I married a poor and ambitious young man,” said the third woman, “ and determined to be a real helpmate to him. So I did all of my housework and kept his books for him at night and squeezed every nickel until I got six cents out of it and went shabby and did without everything on earth I wanted until finally I helped shove my husband over on Easy street.

But did he ever say ‘thank you’ to me? Or appreciate the sacrifices I made for him? Not much. All I did was to implant the idea in his mind that I was an abnormal woman who liked to work until she made her hands stiff and who didn’t care for the clothes and jewelry and the pretty things that other women love, and now when I spend money for the luxuries we can well afford, he thinks I have gone crazy with extravagance.”

And there you are gentlemen. Is there any wonder that wives get peeved with their husbands who never try to play up to them in their emotional moments? With husbands who never try to understand them? With husbands who never show any tact in dealing with them?

The marvel to me always is that so many women have the courage and the persistence to carry on in the face of the discouragement, that they daily have, that they keep on loving men who are just as cold and unresponsive as a graven image would be and who turn the back of their ears instead of their lips for a kiss; that they keep on baking cakes for men who knock them when they are heavy and gobble them down without a word of praise when they are as light as a feather; that they keep on trying to make home pleasant for grouches who never give them a pleasant word.

In his heart every man wants his wife to be sentimental about him. He wants her to adore him. Yet when she shows him some little romantic tenderness, he will wet-blanket it by his indifference, and he will even kill her love by his neglect.

Every man feels that it is his wife’s duty to make herself attractive to him and to be thrifty and economical and make him a comfortable home, but what encouragement is there for a woman to make any effort to please a man who never rewards her with a word of praise or by even showing that he thinks that she has turned out a satisfactory job?

Ninety-nine times out of a hundred a woman tries to live up to her husband’s ideal of her. She is what he makes her. She will love him as long as he will let her love him and so long as he responds to her affection. So long as her husband pays her compliments she will keep herself looking attractive and she will work her fingers to the bone to help the husband who regards her as a partner instead of a servant.

So gentlemen, if your wives don’t please you look for the fault in yourselves.


Sisters Comment: Having experienced limited knowledge to such goings-on, I most heartily suggest that unfortunate married ladies who are mired in the unsentimental endearments of husbandly souls, face the inevitable and plan their exit as discreetly as possible.




[The Welland-Port Colborne Evening Tribune, 26 November 1931]

This synopsis of Presbyterian church history covering a period of one hundred years was prepared by the present minister, Rev. Donald H. Currie, for the Centennial of the Wellandport Presbyterian church, observed on Sunday, October 25th, 1931, by special services in the church, and on Monday, Oct. 26th, by a supper served by the Ladies’ Aid in the “Tourists Inn,” followed by a reunion and program in the church. The sketch is dedicated to the memory of the pioneers who came into the forest to hew out homes for themselves, and build schools and churches that their children might be provided for materially and spiritually.

My sources of information are from Dr. Gregg’s History of the Presbyterian Church in Canada, and from the session and congregational minute books of Wellandport church. The church in Gainsboro on the Twenty Mile Creek was organized by the Rev. D.W. Eastman in 1809. From its organization this church at St. Ann was under the care of Mr. Eastman, something like twelve years, and he was succeeded by the Rev. Mr. Goodell. In 1831 there were two Sabbath  schools, and Mr. Goodell divided his labors between St. Anns and another congregation six miles distant in the same town.

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Foresight Shown in Early Real Estate Purchases-Also invested in Humberstone and Now Operate Flourishing Concerns in Both Centres

[The Welland-Port Colborne Evening Tribune, 18 November 1931]

Seventeen years ago there moved to Port Colborne from Buffalo a family by the name of Shibley. No one would have said at the time that this family were going to do as much for the building program of the lakeside town as any other family of old standing and wealth, but such was to prove the case. At the beginning of their career in Port Colborne they were not very well known and without any great show and with a great deal of foresight, they bought up some of the strategical and choice building sites of future years. To keep themselves going they set up a couple of confectionery stores, one on the east side of the canal and another in the old Schooley building which was later wiped out by fire.

The east side store was in the area now a part of the new Welland Ship canal. The family all helped in the stores and by skillful handling of funds they have gradually increased their places of business and opportunities. The family later went in for real estate, investing on a larger scale and bought up considerable property that was taken up by the new canal. One of these properties was the Commercial hotel of old time fame and renown. However, anticipating the growth in the western part of the town, they bought up several desirable building sites there, one of which was the site of the present postoffice.

Always Proud of Port

Joseph Shibley stated that the family has always been proud of Port Colborne and its steady growth ever since they decided to make the town the scene of their attempts in business and that it was their desire to add their contribution to the growth of the municipality and to improve the beauty of its streets. Whatever money they had made through fortunate investments they have spent in improving other locations to the betterment of the town as a whole. He said that of late people were appreciating their efforts and now their business was such that they were able to sell wholesale and retail buying direct from the factory in large quantities.

The Shibley family have not kept their investments and building program to Port Colborne only, but in recent years have built in Humberstone and also bought up considerable throughout the township. At the present time they have one of the finest stores in Humberstone in the middle of the village’s business section where it is in contact with all tourist traffic.

Operate Many Stores

Job F. Shibley, the father of this prosperous family, has five sons and one daughter, all but one of whom are still with him in business. The other son, Anthony, has branched out for himself and now has his own shop on Clarence street, Port Colborne, and his family own the new modern building on the corner of Clarence and King streets, directly west of the postoffice. One of the other sons, Joseph, is now manager of his father’s business. Besides their confectionery stores, they run an up-to-date taxi service. If conditions are favorable they may open a restaurant also in the near future. With the addition now of their new store on Clarence street, this family will own several of the finer-type business blocks in town.

One of the family traits has always been to give the best of service and they are still carrying on this and hope to do so for a long time to come. They also hope to be able to continue their plan of improvement in the future so that the buildings of Port Colborne will rank with those of any other town of its size and population anywhere. Mr. Shibley stated that he had great confidence in the town and its industries and also in the Welland Ship Canal Industrial Area commission. “We pay much to the town in taxes and so we want to see the town on the map,” Mr. Shibley said. “With the erection of the new store, we are keeping our plans of advancement moving and in its style we are also keeping up with the times regarding beauty.”




[The Welland-Port Colborne Evening Tribune, 31 December 1931]

Only a brief illness preceded the death of Dr. S. Nixon Davis of Welland who passed away yesterday and it was a shock to his friends to realize that his genial presence would be known no more. Dr. Davis was a well known and popular citizen. His professional activities brought him in contact with a large section of the community but he was also a leading figure in the political sphere by reason of his position as president of the Welland City Liberal Association. He took an active interest in the administration of the county hospital and was associated with various organizations for the advancement of community life in the city.

Dr. Davis was a man with a mind of his own. It was this positive feature of his character that made him capable of accomplishment and his influence was invariably felt in the circles where his interests lay. But he possessed a cheerful disposition and a kindly heart which endeared him to many.

His devotion to duty was expressed not only by his attention to the demands of his profession but by his public service and his ready response to his country’s call following the outbreak of the Great War.



Widely Known Medical Practitioner Succumbs to Pneumonia-In 64th Year


Deeply Interested in Welfare of County Hospital-Had Notable War Record

[The Welland-Port Colborne Evening Tribune, 30 December 1931]

Death this morning dealt a severe blow to Welland, when Dr. Sidney Nixon Davis, aged 63, widely known medical practitioner and a leading figure in the public life of the city and county, succumbed at his home, 196 East Main street, to pneumonia, which malady he contracted nine days ago. Dr. Davis had been critically ill for over a week, but appeared to be slightly improved yesterday. The end came, however, shortly before noon today.

Dr. Davis, a prominent Liberal was widely known and was president of the Welland City Liberal Association. He was a staunch advocate of Empire principles and always associated himself with any movement for community betterment. He was kindly in disposition and some of his political opponents were his greatest personal friends.

In his death, Holy Trinity church, Welland, has sustained another severe loss, as Dr. Davis, a devoted member of the church, was lay delegate to the synod for many years. He was president of the Welland club for the past several years and members readily credited him with a major part in the placing of the club on its present excellent status. He was a member of the Masonic order, being affiliated with a lodge at Parry Sound, Ont.

Notable War Record

Dr. Davis possessed a notable war record. He enlisted in January 1916 with the 114th Haldimand Rifles and went overseas holding the rank of major and second in command. On the re-organization of the Canadian forces overseas, he joined the Canadian Army Medical Service Corps and served in France and England. He returned in 1919.

He was born in York, Haldimand county, September 5, 1868, and attended Caledonia high school, then entering Queen’s University for the study of medicine. He graduated from the Kingston college in the early nineties and established practices at York and Cayuga. During his college days he had the honor of being a member of the first hockey team to represent Queen’s University.

After a few years sojourn at York and Cayuga, Dr. Davis moved to Parry Sound and practiced there for some time. He located in Welland in 1912 and with the exception of the war years, had been here since that time.

He was extremely interest in the welfare of the Welland County General hospital and for a number of years represented the medical profession on the institution’s board of governors. For some years he held the position of coroner, and was still active in that capacity until his fatal illness. He held membership in Lookout Point Golf and Country Club, and the Ontario Club, Toronto. He was also a director of the Davis Stationery Company, Welland.

In addition to his widow, Daisy Maud Davis, four sons and one daughter survive. They are: Cecil R., Toronto; A.E.N. Davis, William A., and Patrick, all of Welland, and Miss Mary Florence Davis at home. Two brothers and two sisters also survive as follows: Arthur F. Davis, Chicago; Herbert H. Davis, Montreal; Miss F. Davis and Miss M. Davis, both of Hamilton.

Funeral  arrangements have not been completed but it is anticipated the service will be held from Holy Trinity church on Friday.