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The TALES you probably never heard about

References for Dexter David Hoover

Hoover, Dexter Welland, Welland Tribune, Page 3, 09/02/1877

Hoover, Dexter Welland, Hometown, Page 64, 1959

Hoover, Dexter D. Souse: Wilson, Freddie F, Welland, Welland Tribune, Page 4, 14/12/1883

Hoover, Dexter David Welland, Rice’s, 1889, Biography.

Hoover, Dexter David, Spouse: Wilson, Freddie F., Welland, Wainfleet Genealogy, 04/09/1857

Hoover, Grant W. Welland, Welland Tribune, page 3, 11/06/1953

Hoover-dau, Welland, page 4, 02/07/1897, B

Hoover-son, Welland, page 1, 06/12/1898. B

Hoover, D.D. Welland, Welland Tribune, page 8, 26/02/1892

Hoover, D.D.  Welland, Welland Tribune, page 6, 23/11/1888

Hoover D.D.   Welland, Welland Centennial, page 64, 1958.

Hoover, Dexter, Welland, Welland Tribune, page 3, 26/09/1879

Hoover, Dexter, Welland, Welland Tribune, page 1, 30/10/1939, D

Hoover, Dexter, Welland, LHC Historic Dexter House, 1870

Hoover, Elias Grant Warren, Welland, Wainfleet Genealogy, 02/09/1885

Hoover, Frederika, spouse: Hoover, Dexter, Welland, Welland Tribune, page 3, 18/07/1938, D

Hoover, Frederika, spouse: Hoover, Dexter, Welland, Welland Tribune, page 6, 18/07/1938,D

Hoover, Frederika, spouse: Hoover, Dexter, Welland, Welland Tribune, page 3, 19/07/1938, D

Hoover, Grant, spouse: Sullivan, Maude, Niagara Falls NY, Welland Tribune, page 4, 27/08/1914, M

Louis Blake Duff

{Editorial, The Globe and Mail, Toronto, August 31, 1959}

Louis Blake Duff was one of those rare men whose intellectual curiosity molds their lives and enriches all who come in contact with them. His death at the age of 81 ends a fruitful career during which he made a notable contribution to the life and letters of this country, particularly of the Niagara Peninsula.

Dr. Duff was a man of many parts—a composite man, as a university president once called him. He began work as a teacher, became a capable newspaper editor, then had a successful career in the world of finance. Whatever he was doing, he found time to indulge his love of books, his respect for and sensitivity to local and national history.

He had the articulate ease of expression which made writing and speaking a pleasurable experience for both him and his audience. His career as a public speaker spanned 40 years in Canada and the United States, he took every opportunity which this broad platform offered to stress the importance of history, its lessons and pleasures. As a scholar. His original research brought to light many hitherto unknown facets of Canadian history and facts about the personalities who made that history.

Dr. Duff deplored what he called the booklessness of Canadians, their disinterest in literature. As a passionate bibliophile—his own library contained 10,000 volumes—he could not help but be depressed by this characteristic which he considered a national trait. He decried, too the absence of museums in Ontario, particularly in the small towns where local history could be preserved. He was critical of Canadians for ignoring their history, in contrast to the way Americans venerated their heroes and national shrines.

A man of warmth and wit, he had a multitude of friends. We join them in paying tribute to his achievements and his memory.

Louis Blake Duff: January 1, 1878-August 29, 1959

The Late Louis Blake Duff by William Arthur Deacon

The late Louis Blake Duff of Welland was the subject of a biographical article by William Colgate that appeared in the Globe Magazine in mid-August. Dr. Duff died two weeks later at the age of 82. Tributes to his character and career appeared on the editorial pages of this and other newspapers, for the man was not only extremely able but loved even more than he was admired. Now his friend George H. Smith of Port Colborne has gathered these and other similar material into a handsome, privately printed brochure of 150 copies. It would have greatly pleased the short, round man  in whose honor it has been published.

Born near Wingham, Louis Blake Duff taught for four years before a long and varied career on several newspapers in Southern Ontario. For 20 years he was the successful owner of the Welland Telegraph; but in 1926 he surrendered it to a buyer because the offer was too high to refuse—in those days. So Mr. Duff founded Niagara Finance Corporation and throve more lushly. But it was as writer and humorous speaker that he was most widely known. His great  library of rare and beautiful books was admired; and now some of the books he himself wrote are collectors’ items. The lighter side of the man came out when he was accepting an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Western Ontario. He explained that the small son of a neighbor lost interest in the promotion when he learned Dr. Duff would not be allowed to hoist a “D” on the license plate of his car.

I am grateful to Mr. Smith for a copy of his memorial book because it gives me a chance to say something. Being away from Toronto when Dr. Duff died, I lost the chance of timeliness. What has not been stressed is the man’s kindliness. A writer never forgets the first editors who bought his words nor the established senior writers who spoke encouraging words to the fledgeling in the craft. When I, an unknown young fellow from the West, was trying to make good in the then despised chore of reviewing, one of my first fan letters was from Louis Blake Duff. Nor did he stop there. He gave helpful advice; he entertained me in his home, took me to the beautiful, fairy-like Crowland he had built; insisted on a friendship that lasted 37 years.

He always attended the Leacock dinners for the Humor Medals. The last time I saw Louis was at the Meet the Authors dinner last spring, which he attended, not as the author he was, but as a member of the reading public. If slight there was, he was too big to take notice.Afterward, Greg Clark, Louis and I  were admiring John Drainie’s superb impersonation of Leacock giving a lecture from a copy of his own Orillia porch. The make-up, the stance, the intonation amazed Louis, who said: “I knew Leacock all my life; and I could have believed the man on the porch was Stephen himself.” Then he went home and wrote Drainie his congratulations (a carbon to me). This pleased Drainie, who never saw Leacock; but was so typical of the generosity of Duff.

Louis Blake Duff

The composite man

{Port Colborne, 1959 Privately printed for George H. Smith}

But what of Louis Blake Duff himself? He was born in Bluevale, a village in Huron County near Wingham, on January 1, 1878. He was named Louis by his mother after Louis Riel, and Blake by his father, an ardent Grit and follower of Edward Blake. A period as schoolteacher(1896 to 1900) was followed by a stint as reporter on The Wingham Times, The Stratford Beacon and The Galt Reporter under J.P. Jaffray, where he had as colleague J. Herbert Cranston, for ,many years editor of the Star Weekly in Toronto. “Louis Blake Duff,” says Herbert Cranston in his autobiography, Ink on My Fingers, “began his career as a schoolteacher, but after four years of verbally admonishing the young, and a few years at research for a shorthand expert in the city of Toronto, was invited by Blake Elliott of The Wingham Times to manage his weekly temporarily.”

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