Ben Jr in Ottawa

The Huckell Hotelkeepers:

The Ottawa Era

The Huckell family was very involved in the running of small inns in the Ottawa area in the time period 1861-1903.  The table below is taken from directories and assessment roles and tracks the various location of Huckell inns and hotels in Ottawa. 

In 1861 Benjamin Sr. ran the Prince of Wales Hotel before moving the next year to the Kingston Inn which he ran until 1868; the last hotelier was John Huckell, Benjamin's son who ran the Brunswick Hotel on Sparks St. from 1889-1903. The Brunswick was by the far the most expansive part of the Huckell hotel saga. His brother Thomas ran the Queen's Hotel in Rapid City, Manitoba., and later owned the Western Hotel in Carberry, Manitoba,  until his death in 1900. His daughter-in-law Josie Heric (widow of Frederick) ran the Hotel Victor in Vancouver until 1915 with some help from Frank Huckell, a son of Benjamin Jr.
Information from Ottawa City Directories and Municipal Assessment Rolls
Feathers Hotel
Gem Hotel
Kingston Inn
 (Boarding House)
(Boarding House)
Civic Addr:
33 William
71 George
61 William(3)
97 York
98 Albert
205 Sparks
Ben Huckell (Sr)
Felix Cardinal
Felix Cardinal(7)
Mrs. Mary Herbert (bdg hs)
James Starmer
Patrick Cassidy(5)
James Starmer(4)
Frederick Evans
Ben Huckel l(Jr) (1)
Mrs. James Starmer
Thos. Douglas
No listing
Thos. Cowan
Thos. Huckell
Thos. Brown (2)
Thos. Douglas
Mrs. Benj. Huckell
Mrs. Starmer
Thos. Brown
Francis McNeely
A.P. Empey
Mrs. Huckell
Mrs. Catherine Starmer
Thos. Brown
Francis McNeely
Mrs. Huckell
Mrs. Catherine Starmer
Thos. Brown 
Eugene Robataille
G.T. Keenan
Mrs. Huckell
Mrs. C. Starmer
Francis Kilby (6)
Tim Geary (8)
D.R. McDonnell
Mrs C. Starmer (9)
Francis Kilby
Tim Geary
Mrs. Kate Johnson(dressmaker)
D.R. McDonnell
Mrs. C. Starmer
Thomas Brown
No 205 listed

In the above table I have divided the civic addresses geographically. The left most address (orange) are located in the Lower Town (Kingston Inn area) while the others are located in the Upper Town (Parliament Hill area). A question mark indicates that I didn't look up specifics on a property for that year.

(1) This has to be Ben Jr. Ben Sr. lived on Lisgar St (Upper Town) where he was self-employed as a bailiff in 1875.
(2) Known as the Alexandria Hotel after 1875. Brown had managed another hotel on William in 1874.
(3) The hotel was located on the corner of William & George and had two civic addresses
(4) Listed as a saloon in 1873.
(5) Listed as a tavern in 1872.
(6) Proprietor of the Ontario Saloon on York in 1872.Name changed to Kilby House in 1880.  In 1881 census 105-D-1-page 43, age 61 hotel keeper
(7) Proprietor of a different hotel on York, 1872.
(8) Junk shop, 1880+
(9) Mrs. Starmer is decribed in the 1881 census as a widow, age 56, born in Ireland. She is running the hotel with Tommy Doyle.

 My summary:
Ben Jr  sold the fee & grain store in 1875 and moved to the Feathers Hotel on William St. Since his business was doing well, I assume the move was done because of  Ben Jr's failing health (he died at age 33 in 1876). The business was run during the 1980s by the "Thompson Brothers".  At the time of Ben's death it is possible that his wife Katherine was in the US ( a daughter Katie was born there on Dec 29 1875) and  his brother Thomas "sat in" as proprietor of the hotel until Mrs. Catherine Starmer (assumed to be the widow of James Starmer) moved from the Gem Hotel just up the street. Ben's widow Katherine moved to the other side of town a ran a boarding house initially on Albert St., but later on Sparks St.  After 1879 she left Ottawa, for Western Canada - probably Winnipeg.

Where she went in the west might be tipped off by her children's known whereabouts after 1879:
        -Francis W. (Frank) was in Manitoba  in 1886. (at age 17)
        -Benjamin W. was in Golden BC in 1891 (at age 18)
        -Katie who was 3 in 1879, and seems remained in Ottawa
        -Caroline (married to James Durick) in Golden BC 1889 (at age 18)


Last Updated on February 3 2004