Niagara Genealogy -- Town of Thorold -- Biographies
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JAMES H.BALL, M. A., county inspector of schools, is a Canadian by burth, having been born on a farm situated in what is now the village of Merritton, and adjoining the town of Thorold, in 1833. His parents were Jacob and Catharine (Crysler) Ball, both natives of Canada and descendants of that noble class of pioneers known as United Empire Loyalist. J.H. Ball received his primary education at the old St. Catharines grammar school, after which he took a course at Trinity College, Toronto, where he graduated with the degree of M.A. He then engaged in the teaching profession as principal of the Thorold high school, and continued to hold that position until 1871, when the present systen of school inspection was inaugurated by the department of education. Mr. Ball was appointed to the inspectorship by the county council in that year and still holds office, performing the onerous duties devolving upon him in connection therewith in a creditable manner. He is a firm adherent of the Episcopalian church. He married Miss Hester Horner, daughter of Samuel Horner, a native of Ireland. Mrs. Ball is a lady of high literary attainments, having been educated at the Wesleyan Female College, Hamilton, from which she obtained a diploma, and subsequently attended the Toronto normal school, where she obtained a first-class provincial certificate. They have five children.

JOHN BATTLE, proprietor of Thorold Hydraulic Cement Works, was born in county Sligo, Ireland, and came to Canada in 1842, finally locating in Welland County, penniless. The difficulties he had to contend with, the determined efforts he made to secure a livelihood - are shown in the fact that for some time he worked for 62 cents per day, boarding himself out of that sum and saving something to begin business with. Rising gradually, as his means accumulated, he engaged in teaming in partnership with Mr. John Riley of St. Catharines. Proving successful in that and other business at which he was employed, he ventured on the purchase of the vessel "Thomas L. Helliwell," in company with his brother Matthew and Captain Thomas Smith, both of St. Catharines. This enterprise proved a failure, the vessel being lost on Lake Erie on the third day of December, her insurance having expired three days previous. She was valued at $15,000; and insured for $12,000. Nothing daunted by this misfortune, Mr. Battle, in company with Mr. Riley, purchased the vessels "Thomas F. Parkes" and "John F. Warner." He afterwards on his own account purchase the "Jane C. Woodruff," and in 1872 built at Louis Schickluna's shipyard, St. Catharines, the vessel "Mary Battle," at a cost of $20,000. Afterwards in company with others, he bought the steamer "Scotia," of St. Catharines. He in company with A. Fraser, bought the cement business in Thorold of the executors of the late John Brown. After running the business in partnership for one year, Mr. Battle bought out his partner's interest, and is now running the works under the name of Battle & Sons. They employ a large number of men, and the mill has a capacity of 200 barrels daily. One of Mr. B.'s sons is a partner in the business of manufacturing paints and shoe-blacking under the firm name of Battle & Smyth. Mr. Battle was one of the company and chief proprietor of the pulp mills of Thorold. Our subject is a son of John and Bridget (Healy) Battle, and grandson of Matthew and Winnifred (Mooney) Battle, and Matthew and Catharine (Flynn) Healy. He went home to his native land in 1885, after forty-three years' absence. He married Cecilia, the only daughter of Patrick and Margaret (Macdonald) Cullen, of St. Catharines, Ont., natives of county Armagh, Ireland. They have a family of twelve - ten sons and two daughters ; all living with the exception of the youngest son. Mr. Battle is a member of the Roman Catholic church, and a Reformer in politics

GEORGE BAXTER, judge of the county of Welland and master in chancery, dates his birth at the town of Killaloe, county of Clare, Ireland, March 14th, 1832. His father, Captain James Baxter, who was an officer of the 68th regiment, first visited Canada in 1825 when on a regular tour of service, taking in the West Indies, Gibraltar, and other places. He made a second visit to Canada in 1839, and upon his return to Ireland in 1841 he exchanged from Her Majesty's 68th infantry to the Royal Canadian rifles, a regiment that is now disbanded. Our subject, who accompanied his father to this country, was educated at different parts of the world, in consequence of his father's various changes in location. He completed his education in Canada, however, and was called to the bar in Trinity term, 1853; began the practice of his profession in the county of Elgin, of which county he was appointed deputy-judge in 1855. He removed to the county of Welland in 1860, and practiced his profession in the town of Thorold until the death of the late Judge Macdonald, when he was appointed as that gentleman's successor, on Jan 13th, 1882, to the office of judge of the county court of Welland, master in chancery and judge of the surrogate court, and also local judge of the high court of justice. Judge Baxter is naturally of a judicial temperament ; has a legal turn of mind ; is not afraid of work, and gives his decisions in suits that come before him form a common-sense standpoint ; the sentence he pronounces on the convicted erring one who stands in the criminal dock always bears the impress of "justice tempered with mercy." Although the Dominion Franchise Act of 1885 is looked upon by one political party of this country as a partizan measure calculated to benefit the party in power, Judge Baxter as revising officer has been so impartial in the discharge of his duty that no man can accuse him of being actuated by fear, favor or affection for the party to which he belonged before his elevation to the bench. Our subject has been connected with the militia, having raised a volunteer company at the time of the Trent affair, and held the office of captain until 1865, when he retired. On February 221st, 1856, Judge Baxter married Caroline, youngest daughter of George Low, Esq., of London, Eng. They have a family of one son and two daughters.

WILLIAM H. BLACKSTOCK, M. D., is a Canadian by birth, having been born near the village of Thornton, Simcoe County, June 1st, 1846. His parents are John and Annie (Grant) Blackstock. His paternal grandfather, whose name was also John, was a native of the county of Cavan, Ireland, who came to Canada in 1823, and lived in Stamford Township three years, took up six hundred acres of land in Simcoe County, being the first actual settler in Essa Township, and the only inhabitant for one year. The father of our present subject, who was the sixth son in a family of thirteen children, served in the rebellion of 1836-7 under Captain Armstrong of the Lloydtown volunteers. He died January 4th, 1883, at the ripe old age of seventy-six, after having celebrated his golden wedding in 1881. Dr. Blackstock received his elementary education in the schools of his native county, and took a course at Victoria University, from which he graduated in 1867 with the degree of M.D. He then began the practice of his profession at the village of Hillsdale, in Simcoe County, where he remained for eighteen years. For a portion of this time he was the only physician within a radius of forty miles. His increasing practice in Simcoe County entailed so much driving that the Doctor, in order to practice his profession without so much fatiguing physical exertion, located in Thorold July 15th, 1885. He also has offices in Merritton and Allanburgh. For the last six years of his residence in Hillsdale he was president of the Simcoe County medical association, and chairman of the board of license commissioners for East Simcoe. He was commissioned justice of the peace for the county of Simcoe in 1877. In 1874 he was, at the hands of the Ontario Government, appointed trustee of the bonuses granted by the municipalities towards the construction of the North Simcoe Railway, a position he held until the completion of the road. Dr. Blackstock is a gentleman of a genial, affable disposition, and possesses many sterling qualities, which have already won him many friends in Welland County. He already has a large practice in Thorold and surrounding country. He is a Royal Arch Mason and a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen. Previous to the Doctor leaving his old home, where he had spent so many years, and where he was looked upon as a household friend, he was entertained at a banquet, on the 19th of June, 1885, and made the recipient of a beautiful gold watch, valued at $175. An address was presented by the medical association of Simcoe County, speaking in very flattering terms of the services the doctor had rendered that body as it's president , signed by P. H. Spohn, M. D., and one from the citizens, conveying their heartfelt thanks for past services, and sincere wishes for the future welfare of one who, in their opinion, had labored long and arduously to advance their interests as citizens and in the cause of humanity. Our subject married, September 2nd, 1886, Annie Elizabeth, youngest daughter of Jno. Keefer, Esq., whose biography appears elsewhere in this volume.

CHARLES H. BRIDGER was born on board a British merchant ship of which his father was commander, he mother accompanying her husband on his voyages. She continued with her husband on board the ship until our subject was about two years old, when she settled in Sussex, England. There the boy was kept until he was ten years of age, when he began the roving career of a sailor. He can tell many interesting anecdotes of his sailor life, and has visited almost every quarter of the globe. He has rounded the Cape of Good Hope, and has been in India, China, Rio de Janeiro, and scores of other foreign places, whose names suggest to the average Canadian points so far distant that a man who has visited any one of them is a very extensive traveller. He spent a few years along the coast of New Zealand and Australia with the naval brigade, making headquarters at Sydney. From there he went to California, in 1864, and joined the Northern army, serving under Generals McDowell and Crook for three years. He next returned to England, where he married Emily E. White, and soon came to Canada and settled in Thorold, where he has sisnce remained, in the employ of the Quebec bank, of which he is messenger. He alos has a position in connection with the office of the engineering staff on the canal. He is a member of the A.F. & A.M., the I.O.O.F., and the A.O.U.W. fraternities. Mr. and Mrs. Bridger have a family of six children, one of whom was born in England, the rest in Canada.

THOMAS CONLON, son of Timothy and Bridget (Groark) Conlon, was born in the county of Mayo, Ireland, in 1843. In 1848 his parents started for America with their family, but the father died on shipboard during the passage out. The mother and children came to Allanburgh, this county, where they remained unti 1859, when they removed to Thorold, where the subject of this sketch has since resided. Mr. Thomas Conlon has prosecuted a successful business in vessels and contracting. For eight years he was elected a councillor in the town of Thorold by acclamation. In 1872 he married Ellen O'Connor, of Merritton. They have six children. Mr. Conlon is a member of the Roman Catholic church, and in politics he has always been a consistent Reformer, receiving the Liberal nomination for the Commons representation for the county of Welland in 1887, contesting the seat unsuccessfully with the former representative of the county, Dr. Ferguson.

WILLIAM T. FISH, town clerk, Thorold, was born in Niagara on the 24th of November, 1818. His father was a native of England, and his mother, whose maiden name was Frances Pters, was born near Prescott. Our subject was educated in his native town, and began life as a clerk in Clement's store. He for a number of years was engaged in mercantile pursuits in Thorold, but has not been in business since 1862. He has been town clerk since 1868. In 1871 he was commissioned a justice of the peace, and now acts as police magistrate for the town. He was married to Miss Camp, but his wife and only child are dead.

ALEXANDER FRASER, ex-mayor of the town of Thorold, dates his birth in the county of Glengarry, Ontario, Janueary, 26th, 1831. His father's name is also Alexander, and his mother's maiden name was Margaret Summers, a descendant of Andrew Summers, who was one of the early settlers of Glengarry County, having come to this country as a U. E. Loyalist. The father of our present subject was born in Inverness-shire, Scotland, on May, 1801, and came to Canada with his father when a child. He served as captain in the militia during the rebellion of 1837, and was afterwards breveted colonel, which rank he still holds, although too old for active service. Our subject came to Welland County in 1857, settling in the township of Thorold on a farm, but following the business of a contractor. He prosecuted large public works in Pennsylvania and New York during the war and immediately after. He had also important contracts in enlarging the Welland Canal. One of them was removing 800,000 yards of earth at the deep cut, and another was rock excavating at the town of Thorold. Mr. Fraser was elected reeve of Thorold for six years and was warden of the county in 1883. He held the office of mayor of Thorold for two terms. He also served as a member of the Thorold high school board. He was married in 1857 to Phoebe, a daughter of the late Joseph Upper, of Allanburgh. They have a family of six children, Sarah Frances, Alexander, Evan, Louisa, Clara and Stanley. He is a staunch Conservative in politics, holds the position of chairman of the Conservative association of the town, and is treasurer of the county association. He belongs to the Chosen Friends and the Canadian Home Circle fraternities. In October, 1886, he was selected by the Conservative association of Welland County as the standard bearer of his party at the approaching provincial elections, which he successfully contested with the present representative, Col. Morin.

JOHN JOSEPH GEARIN, Esq., was born in the township of Pelham, county of Welland, December 12th, 1852, and is a son of John and Ellen (Collins) Gearin, who came to Canada about 1850 from the county of Limerick, Ireland, and settled in the township of Pelham, where they followed farming for a number of years, but latterly has been appointed to the position of foreman on the old canal from the county line of Lincoln to Allanburgh. Our subject received his education at Thorold, having come there when quite young with his father, and engaged in his present occupation of flour and feed merchant in 1876. He was appointed clerk of the fifth division court of Welland County in January, 1885, and justice of the peace in July, 1885. He carries on in connection with his other business an insurance agency ; is a member of the Board of Trade of the city of Toronto ; is a trustee on the separate school board of the town of Thorold, and a member of the Roman Catholic church. He married, January 22nd, 1878, Ellen, a daughter of Patrick and Mary (Fewry) Garner, of Irish descent. They have a family of four children, named in the order of their ages : Camilla, May, William, and Loretta.

REV. WILLIAM EDWARD GRAHAME, late rector of St. John's church, Thorold, and St. Paul's. Port Robinson, was born at Hartlepool, in the county of Durham, England, June 20th, 1841. He is the youngest son of John Grahame, Esq.,collector of H.M. Customs at Seaham, county of Durham, England, which position he held for a period of thirty years. Our subject received his education primarily in England, and, coming to Canada in 1859, completed his education by taking the theological course at Trinity College, Toronto. He was ordained deacon in October, 1874, by the Right Rev'd Dr. Bethune, second bishop of Toronto, and December 19th, 1875, was admitted to the priesthood by the Right Rev. Dr. Fuller, first bushop of Niagara. Mr. Grahame was until recently rector of Thorold, one of the most important parishes in the diocese of Niagara, which is now presided over by the Right Rev. Charles Hamilton, D. D., successor to the late Dr. Fuller. Mr. Grahame married February 19th, 1878, Miss Henrietta Burgess, second daughter of the Rev. Henry Caswall, D. D., vicar of Figheldean, Wiltshire, England, and prebendary of Salisbury cathedral. Dr. Caswall was author of " America and the American Church, " and other well-known works. He was fourteen years in the service of the church in Canada and the United States.

JOHN HAMMON, proprietor of the City hotel, Thorold, was born August 23rd, 1833, in Lathbury, Newport, Bucks, England. He is a son of Ellis and Ann (Speaks) Hammon. After having learned the engineering trade at Wolverton, England, he came to America in 1863, landing at New York. He was employed for some time by a New York firm who furnished arms to the American Government for use in the civil war. Subsequently he came to Canada, and for fourteen years he was in the employ of the Great Western Railway Company of Canada, a portion of which time he was locomotive foreman and steamboat inspector. In 1882 Mr. Hammon bought the City hotel in Thorold, and since then has conducted it, keeping a house in every way meeting the requirements of the travelling public. In 1857 our subject was married to Ann, daughter of Mr. John Canning, of the Canning family, a direct descendant of him who is referred to in English history as Lord Canning, who was once Governor-General of India.

CHARLES HAIST, of the firm of Haist Bros., proprietors of the West Side grocery, Thorold, was born in the township of Pelham on the fifth day of April, 1866. His parents are George and Agnes (Klump) Haist, both natives of Germany, who settled in Pelham the 18th day of September, 1853, and are among the most highly respected residents of that township. Our subject was brought up on his father's farm, but decided upon a mercantile career. He begon life on his own account when sixteen years of age as a clerk in the store of Mr. F. W. Hutt, of Fenwick, and afterwards filled an engagement with Taylor Bros., Welland. In August, 1866, in company with his brother he purchased the business of Andrew Hardie, in the town of Thorold, and still continues to conduct it at the old stand. A large and well selected stock of general groceries, crockery, etc., is kept constantly on hand, and a good trade is enjoyed by the firm. Our present subject, who has the entire management of the business, is a young man of good business training and ability. These qualities, combined with strict integrity and close attention to business, will no doubt bring to our young friend the success he so richly deserves.

JAMES JONES, the subject of the following sketch, is of Welsh descent. His family left Wales and settled in Brosley, England, 1593, in the neighbourhood of which he was born in the year 1835. He came to America in 1855, and entered the milling business, and continued therein twenty-seven years. He was among the first to introduce "rolls" into milling, and invented and patented several machines of this kind. By uniting these different machines he formed the system of milling known as "The James Jones System," and having successfully introduced it into several mills in the United States, he came to Canada in 1882. Here his patent was soon in demand; and having converted several mills to his system, he settled in Thorold and changed the Welland mills to it also, and joined the firm, the name of which then became Howland, Jones & Co., whose mill doubtless is one of the finest in the Dominion, having a capacity of 500 barrels per day. Mr. Jones married M. A. Collard, daughter of J. H. Collard, Enmore Mills, Somersetshire, England, by whom he had seven children, four of whom are now living. Their eldest daughter married Rev. J.D. Symonds, Baptist minister, Louisville, Ky. Their daughters Jessie Collard Jones and Leonie Irene Jones, with their son, Aldred Jones, are still with them. Mr. Jones and family are much esteemed in Thorold and in the county ; being always ready to help in every good work, and in whatever contributes to the advancement of general good.

JOHN KEEFER, is a Canadian by birth, having been born at what is now the town of Thorold, January 13th, 1813. He was one of a family of a thirteen children. His father was George Keefer, a native of New Jersey, and his mother's maiden name was Catharine Lampman. The grandfather was a native of Germany. He was taken prisoner the time of the American revolutionary war, and died on board ship, still a prisoner. George Keefer came to Canada about 1790, and settled where the magnificent residence of our present subject now stands. He built a grist mill, the first in the town and the fourth in Welland County, 1n 1827. John Keefer learned the trade of miller in his father's mill, and was engaged in that business for about twenty years. The mill has since been sold to James Lawson & Co., and Mr Keefer has led a retired life. Three brothers of our subject were engineers, assisting in the building of the old Welland Canal. John Keefer is one of those unassuming men, so seldom met, whose candor and honesty is stamped in indelible characters on their countenances. He was married October 9th, 1838, to Sarah, a daughter of Gilbert McMicking. They have a family of four children living, viz. John Gilbert, Hugh Forbes, now in British Columbia, Mary, the wife of Arthur Lindsay, of Ottawa, and Annie E., wife of Dr. Blackstock. Mr. Keefer is a member of the Episcopalian church.

JOHN C. LAMPMAN, deceased, was born in Stamford Township, July 24th, 1833. He was a son of Peter, born in Stamford in 1803, and Catharine (Cole) Lampman, and grandson of Frederick, of Dutch descent. The Grandfather of our subject came to Canada about 1785, as a U.E. Loyalist, and settled in Stamford Township. The ancestors, as far as the above mentioned, were all farmers, and Mr. Lampman was brought up to that occupation, receiving his education at the schools of his native place. His first attempt in mercantile pursuits was as clerk in a dry goods establishment in Thorold, for a short time, then, going to Woodstock, he was employed in a hardware store for four or five years, when, returning to Thorold, he was confidential clerk for Mr. A. Schwaller for ten years. In 1873, he embarked in the grocery business for himself, continuing therein up to the time of his death. He was treasurer of Thorold for the years 1865 and 1866, and was elected to the council board in 1875, and was chairman of the board of school trustees for the town at the time of his death, which happened suddenly at Hamilton June 14th, 1886. He married in June, 1862, Elsie, a daughter of Elias and Anna (Chrysler) Durham, natives of Lincoln County, Ont. They have but one daughter, Elsie Alberta, born April, 1863. The family are adherents of the Church of England

ROBERT BARCLAY MACPHERSON, deceased, late senior member of the Thorold Woolen and Cotton Manufacturing Company, was born in Inverness-shire, Scotland, on the 17th day of December, 1817, and came to Canada with his parents, John and Margaret Macpherson, in 1823. The family settled in Glengarry County, Ontario. Although following the business of a merchant in Scotland, John Macpherson directed his attention to agricultural pursuits from the time that he arrived in Canada until he died. Mr. R. B. Macpherson's was a life of unceasing activity and responsibility. He left home at the early age of thirteen years, and from that time depended on his own resources. His first employment was in a country store ; subsequently he was engaged in assisting at forwarding timber purchased in this vicinity to Quebec. After the completion of the old canal, he had charge of different stores north and west of Toronto. In 1868 he built a flouring mill, and another in 1873, furnishing the contractors and the men working on the new canal with supplies. He was a member of the Thorold council from 1856 to 1862, and a member of the county council for two years. In politics and religion he was a Liberal. Mr. Macpherson was general business agent for a firm of contractors on the improvement of the Welland Canal in 1843. For a period of thirty years he filled the important position of general business agent of the late John Brown of Thorold, a large public works contractor, and after his death completed his unfinished contract on the Welland Canal, a work amounting to about on million dollars, having been appointed by the court of chancery as administrator of the Brown estate. He built the woolen and cotton manufactory and started running it in 1882. It is one of the best of its kind in Ontario, having a capacity for completing eighty to one hundred thousand dollars worth of goods annually. Mr. Macpherson married in 1855, Madeline, a daughter of James Secord. Their family numbered eight children. Our subject died suddenly on the 1st December, 1886, at an hotel in the city of Buffalo, whither he had gone on business.

WILLIAM McCLEARY, the present mayor of the town of Thorold, was born in that town, then a village, November 5th, 1853. His parents were Beatty and Matilda (McCabe) McCleary, both natives of Ireland. His primary education was received at the public school, after which he attended the Thorold and Beamsville high schools, and subsequently took a course at Day's Commercial College, Toronto. He is now the senior partner of the firm of McCleary & McLean, whose saw and planing mills are situated in the village of Merritton. This firm does an extensive business, their sales exceeding sixty thousand dollars annually. Mr. McCleary was first elected to the council of the town of Thorold in 1881. In 1883 he was elected deputy-reeve, and again returned in 1884, and had by that time gained so much popularity in the county council that he was chosen as the incumbent fo the warden's chair, being the first deputy-reeve who ever got the position of warden in Welland County. In 1885 the people of Thorold raised Mr. McCleary from the office of deputy-reeve to the reeveship, re-elected him for 1886, and placed him in the mayor's chair by acclamation for 1887. Our subject is a member of the Masonic, Odd Fellows and Orange fraternities, and also of the Ancient Order of United Workmen. He was married December 6th, 1877, to Jennie, daughter of James and Susan Ewart. Mrs. McCleary is a Canadian by birth, of Scotch descent on her father's side, and Irish on her mother's. They have two surviving children, Leonard Beatty and Annie Fawcett. They have also buried two children.

ANDREW McCULLOCH, M.A., principal of Thorold high school, was born at Houston, near Glasgow, Scotland, on the 28th of July, 1845. The family emigrated to Canada in 1846, and settled in Hamilton, where they remained until purchasing the estate of Caleb Hopkins, M.P., near Wellington Square, county of Halton, at which place the subject of this sketch was reared. Mr. McCulloch received his early training in the central school, Hamilton, and his classical training from Dr. Greene, graduate of Trinity College, Dublin, rector of Wellington Square. He matriculated at Queen's University in 1868, taking a scholarship for general proficiency, and was graduated as B. A., with first-class English honors, in 1871. In 1874 he obtained the degree of M.A. After graduation he was for some time associate principal and proprietor of the Canada Business College, Hamilton, having for partner Mr. Conklin, the present member for the city of Winnipeg. Mr. McCulloch remained here until appointed headmaster of the Brant County high school, which he taught for two years, when he received the headmastership of the Drummonville high school. He was appointed headmaster of Thorold high school in 1877, which position he still holds. Mr. McCulloch's career as an educator and disciplinarian is too well known to require any comment. He married on the 11th August, 1879, Theresa Elizabeth Ball, only surviving daughter of the late Frederick Ball, Esq., of Grantham. Mrs. McCulloch died June 5th, 1885, leaving three daughters.

JOHN McDONAGH, Esq., was born in Rivers-town, county of Sligo, Ireland, on the 6th day of February, 1822. His parents were William and Elizabeth (Carson) McDonagh. His father was the youngest of five brothers, the four eldest of whom served in the peninsular war, under the Duke of Wellington. Three of the brothers were killed in those campaigns, only one surviving the battle of Waterloo. The father of our subject was for 25 years a volunteer in the yeomanry. On signifying his intention of resigning, having made up his mind to come to America, he was presented with an address and a sword for faithful services. He emigrated to Canada in 1841, settling in the township of Caledon, afterwards removing to Tecumseh Township, where he died at the age of eighty years, and where he is buried. Mr. McDonagh's mother died a few years previous to his father's death. Our subject, at the age of seventeen years, joined the revenue police of Dublin, serving for three years in several of the cities in Ireland under command of Col. Brararton, of the Royal Artillery, a veteran of Waterloo, when he resigned and came to Canada in 1843. He landed in New York, came by packet boat to Rochester and took a steamboat from that city to Toronto. Having stopped there for a couple of months he next came to the county of Welland. In April, 1850, he, in company with twelve others from Welland County, started overland to California, walking all the way from the Missouri river. They left St. Joseph's, on that river, May the 9th. Their outfit consisted of four wagons, carrying their equipments, with four yoke of oxen to each wagon. Taking the trail to the mountains they first reached the big and little Vermillion rivers, then the big and little Blue, where they saw their first buffaloes, and on to Fort Kearney, on the platte bottoms ; up that stream to the south fork, which they forded from three quarters to a mile in width, thence to Ash Hollow on the main platte ; up that river to Court House and Chimney Rocks, afterwards crossing the Laramie river, and on 120 miles to Fort Laramie, where they crossed the main platte ; from there to the Black Hills to Sweet Water river ; crossing this river sixteen times they came to Rock Independence, and on the night of June 18th stood on the South Pass. From this place they began their descent, first striking the Green river, then the Bear river and mountains, through which Mr. McDonagh says they encountered the most difficult travelling on the journey. On July 1st they reached Soda or Steamboat spring, and next struck the head waters of the Humboldt. Travelling down it 400 miles to the sink, a place where this river loses itself in the desert, they crossed the plain 40 miles to Carson river. At this point Mr. McDonagh and three others of the party, with 36 pounds each on their backs, left the teams and proceeded the last 200 miles, making the journey in about three and a half days. They arrived at Hangtown, or Placerville, where he first witnessed mining for gold. After remaining here four days he went south 70 miles to the Moqualima river, where he worked six or seven months. He next went up in the mountains, to the north fork of Jackson creek, where he remained for nearly four years working alone, and for two years of the time not within four miles of the habitation of any English speaking person. In the above the route of Mr. McDonagh and his party has merely been outlined. The dangers and difficulties of the journey have not been portrayed, nor will it be necessary to say more than that on the trail made by the old forty-niners evidences of the ferocity of the Indians were frequently met with in the shape of the dead bodies of white people, the destruction of their wagons and camp equipments, and many superfluous articles not prized by the red man. There the mining was no sinecure. After working as long as he could see, and getting supper by torch-light, so as not to spend any of the daylight that was useful in mining, he would start down the mountain to the nearest station, four miles distant, carrying back 50 to 100 pounds on his back. Among the perils of mining, especially alone, just one incident will suffice: - On coming from his work one evening, and just as the last trip was made from an 18 feet shaft, the whole depth of earth, including an additional quantity from the mountain side, perhaps twenty-five feet in all, fell, burying the shaft out of sight and striking Mr. McDonagh on the shoulder a slight blow ; a half a minute earlier and it would have been "Good-bye John." Mr. McDonagh took the steamer Brother Jonathan at San Francisco, Feb. 15, 1854, for the Isthmus, crossed over to Greytown and from there to New York, arriving March 15th, 1854. He took his gold to the Philadelphia mint, where they coined it without charge, and courteously invited him to inspect the works. The first piece of gold he ever found was made into a ring, which he keeps as a souvenir of California. About a year after his return he settled in Thorold, starting a saw mill, and is still conductin a lumber trade. Mr. McDonagh married, in 1854, Mary Ann, a daughter of Daniel Willson of Allanburgh. For 25 years he was a member of town council of Thorold, was for four years elected by acclamation as reeeve, and was for four years mayor, for three of them being elected by acclamation. He joined the A.F. and A.M. in 1858, and has attained the degrees of R.A. and K.T. in that body. He has held for 16 years the chairmanship of the Conservative association for Welland County, and has been for 15 years chairman of the Conservative association of Thorold Town. He is still hale and hearty, enjoying the respect and esteem of all who know him.

JAMES MILLAR, merchant tailor, Thorold, was born in Banffshire, Scotland, March 22nd, 1823 ; received his education at his birthplace, and learned his trade at Fachabers, Murrayshire, Scotland, and afterwards carried on business for twelve years in Aberdeenshire. He came to Canada in 1857. After remaining one and a-half years in Hamilton, he went to Hastings Road, then being opened up for settlement, taking up a lot of bush land ; but having to carry his flour on his back for 12 miles, the novelty of farming in the bush was lost ; thence he came to Thorold, where he worked at his trade for seven years. In 1866 he started business on his own account, an had the misfortune to be burned out. He soon resumed, and has since that time done a very successful business in Thorold. Mr. Millar was married in his native country, April 13th, 1857, to Ann, a daughter of David Mair, a native of Fifeshire, Scotland. They have a family of six children, viz : James E., David E., Elizabeth H., Mary J., Jessie and Robert M. Our subject has been a member of the Thorold school board. He was president of the Sunday school convention, and is a member of the Methodist church.

AMANTUS SCHWALLER, general merchant, Thorold, was born in the province of Lorraine, December 25th, 1810, when that province was a French possession, and came to Canada in 1830. He is a son of Francis, who was fond of relating to his son what privileges the people here have, to show the contrast of the laws and customs fo the present with the feudal times in that province, as by recount handed down by his ancestors. For instance : The head of a family was accorded, in baronial times, the right to cut four cords of wood, in addition to six trees, for use for any purpose ; and a further right to cut four trees to use in his business, if the person was a mechanic, for the support of himself and family. Mr. Schwaller has resided, with the exception of three or four months he was in Buffalo, continuously in the county of Welland. On his arrival he was almost penniless, and his first employment was as a day laborer for George Keefer, working for that gentleman a good part of the time up to 1840 in a mill. In 1844 he bought a farm for $1,300, and improving and working on it for ten years, he sold it for $5000. He next embarked in the occupation of merchant near the premises he now occupies, about the year 1856, building up a lucrative trade, until at present he is in the possession of a large property, and on of the finest residences in Thorold. Mr. and Mrs. Schwaller have a family of three children, named Louisa, now the wife of Dr. Lemon, Amanda and John. Mr. Schwaller was for thirteen years a member of town council, six of those years holding the position of reeve, and is an adherent of the Roman Catholic church.

REV. T. J. SULLIVAN, pastor of the Church of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, Thorold, was born in the county of Cork, Ireland, in 1842, and came to Canada about 1849 with his father, John Sullivan, who settled in St. Catharines, where he still resides. Our subject received his theological training in the seminary of Our Lady of Angels, Suspension Bridge, N.Y., and was ordained priest, August 15th, 1868, at St. Catharines, by Archbishop Lynch of Toronto. After having pastoral charges in the town of Niagara and the township of Adjala, in each of which places he remained about 18 months, he took charge of his present pastorate in 1871, and has remained there ever since. It has been under Father Sullivan's administration that the splendid church edifices, school and convent have been erected in Thorold, and that gentleman has, by his own energy, raised the large sum of thirty thousand dollars of the money required for their construction. His congregation numbers about eight hundred. The church is educating about 190 children in the schools, in which four teachers are employed permanently and one temporarily. There are six Sisters of the Community of St. Joseph, who are teachers both in the common branches and music. Father Sullivan is also president of the C. M. B. A. He possesses sterling qualities, which endear him to his flock and command for him the respect of the whole community irrespective of creed.


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