August, 1928

Personal recollections of W. G. Anglin (153), August, 1928 (part 1)

NOVEMBER 14, 1927.

(copy given to Bill Anglin, 123323, by Tom Anglin, 15342 in 1993)

I purpose to put in writing some incidents of my early life, having been frequently requested by my son, Douglas, to do so.

My natal day, I have been informed, was October 8th, 1856, and my arrival took place in the brick house still standing on Clergy St. just adjoining the United Church, formerly known as Queen St. Methodist Church on the corner of Queen & Clergy Streets. Shortly afterwards we moved to one of a row of brick houses on Johnston (sic) Street directly opposite St. Mary's Cathedral and the R.C. Bishop's Palace. This row of houses was known as "Wesley Row". For Methodist neighbors we had Dr. M. Lavell on the Barrie St. Side, and on the other side the Methodist Parsonage, Rev. Mr. Pollard, Henry Cunningham, Richard Tossell (contractor). My sister, Annie, born in 1853 (Deceased 1879) and my brother, James Vickers, born in April, 1860, resided here until 1865, when the family moved down to 56 Earl St., to a large roughcast house, having about 46 ft. frontage on the lot which was 66' x 132'. This lot is now the site of the Winston Apartments (6) and I am writing in Apartment One, now occupied by my wife and daughter, Mary. Wendling and his family reside at 162 Earl St. Douglas and his two girls, Pamela and Doris, are living at 5 St. George's Place, Westmount, Que., with my daughter, Ruth, caring for the children. Douglas' wife, Doris Kent, died Dec. 13th, 1925. And Susie is in Moose Jaw, Sask. with her husband, McLaren Ewart and their four Boys (C.P.R. Yardmaster).

Wolfe Island,

August 10th, 1928.

Having made a beginning of this story in November last I will now continue as I have more time at my disposal, having resigned from my position as Surgeon to the Kingston Penitentiary, where I began service on May 1st, 1920. (July 28th - 6 months Holidays) I sent in my resignation in June and have been granted six months' leave of absence with pay until Jany 1, 1929. Am enjoying the freedom and it is a great relief to feel that I have not to catch the 8 A.M. ferry each morning.

To resume:- My first vivid recollection of the old roughcast dwelling at 56 Earl St. with the large yard in the rear was the billeting of half a dozen redcoats in our home owing to the "Fenian Raid" in 1866. I watched eagerly their cleaning of their white belts, and polishing their bayonets, and listening to their conversation. We were all very excited over the possible conflict as the Fenians were expected to attack Kingston. The next year was memorable owing to the arrival from Ireland of my father's brother, John, with his large family. Walter was about my own age and Thomas was the same age as my brother, James. Father had arranged the purchase of a farm for them at Pine Grove, two miles from Brewer's Mills, where his brother, Robert, and family had been living for some years. For several years after this my holidays, both summer and winter, were spent around Brewer's Mills and Seeley's Bay where my cousin, Jennie (later Mrs. Williams) a daughter of Robert Anglin, kept store. Also I have pleasant memories of Battersea, where William J. Anglin, a son of John Anglin, had the Post Office and General Store. I used to do some bookkeeping for him.

My earliest recollection of attending school was at a private school, taught by a Miss Ritchie at 110 Earl St. Then sister Annie and I attended Miss Douglas' school on Princess St., a modern building that stood just above Dr. A.P. Chown's Drug Store. Later I went to Wellington St. School - a modern building on the site of the present Sydenham School - now being converted into a Badminton Club. Teacher, William Tandy, father of Mrs. A.R.B. Williamson. My schoolboy chums here were A.F. Chown (Hardware Merchant) and Wm. Mundell (Lawyer), both living. When Mr. Tandy was made Principal of Johnston St. School, I attended there. Mr. Tandy had a brother, Rechab - both were in great demand as singers - Baritone and Tenor. Rechab had a marble yard - monuments, etc. and I well remember one April Fool's Day, Mr. Tandy asking one of the boys, Ton McGurl (later a judge in Manitoba) to go and ask Rechab for the loan of his "Round Square". After the messenger had gone, the rest of us were told of the message, and Oh! the roar of laughter that greeted Tom when he returned with the answer, "Please Sir, he is using it just now but you can have it later".

Then I went to the Collegiate Institute. Samuel Woods was Principal, and Thomas Gordon Mathematical Master. I was about 15 years of age then. After a year and a half here, at the urgent solicitation of Col. Wm. Phillip, father allowed me to take a course in the Military School, held in the old Drill Shed on what is now Queen's University Grounds, Union St., just west of Division St. Here I took a 2nd Class Certificate, and continued on to take a First Class Certificate, which carried with it a bonus of Fifty Dollars, and I can well remember being called on to drill a Battalion on the site now occupied by the Douglas Library (Queen's). I had to do this successfully in order to obtain the First Class Certificate. Dwight Chown (Rev. S.D. Chown) and George Mills (Hats & Furs) were taking the course at the same time, both being two or three years older than I. I could recount many incidents of this training time but one will suffice. George Mills came up to Dwight one morning and in awestruck tones said "Do you know, Chown, that in this course we have to learn all about the internal economy of a 'Corpse'"?

Well! this military course over, I was reluctant to go back to the Collegiate, and so went as clerk in the hardware business run by Frank R. and Dwight Chown on the corner of Princess & Montreal Streets. Their father, Samuel Chown, had recently died of Typhoid Fever. I enjoyed the work and became an adept at doing up parcels and, being a husky lad, had no trouble in heaving up 100 lb. kegs of nails into farmers' wagons.

About this time (1872?) my father (15) had secured the contract for supplying the "Mail Boats" plying between Toronto and Montreal with cordwood for fuel - Steamers "Passport", "Spartan", "Corsican", "Corinthian", "Algerian", now succeeded by the larger Steamers, "Toronto" and "Kingston".

This cordwood was purchased along the Rideau Canal and lakes, as far down as Big Rideau Lake, and we also obtained a quantity on Hay Bay, Adolphustown. The cordwood was freighted up on scows and barges, and piled on the Long Wharf, now known as Swift's Wharf.

Father had an iron-gray pony ("Fanny"), a remarkably fast roadster, and made frequent trips down along the canal purchasing the cordwood. At this time also, Sir John A. Macdonald asked father to become Bursar of Rockwood Hospital, succeeding a Mr. Drummond, recently deceased, and we moved out to a cottage just West of the Main Building, now occupied by patients of the Institution. So, in the spring of 1874 Father said I must leave the hardware store and manage the wood contract. He had purchased a powerful tug, named "Grenville", and two barges, and I made frequent trips down the canal and up to Hay Bay and enjoyed the life. Alternately I acted as Manager, Pilot, Assistant Engineer, Dockhand, etc. My poor business training, I fear, was due to my indulgent parent's action at this time, for when I asked to be placed on a salary for the work I was doing on the wood contract, Father's answer was, "When you want anything, just ask me for it" and my spending money was obtained in this way. In the summer of 1875 Marine Engineers were scarce and I had to relieve the Engineer on the "Grenville" for 6 hour periods, and the crew always knew when I was on duty for the tug would be carrying a full head of steam - "Exhausting outside", especially when I could get "tamarac" for fuel.

I was yet a Mischievious boy. Coming up to Kingston on one trip a bumptious young Englishman asked for a passage and managed to "get in wrong" with the crew. The cover on the opening in the bow of the tug where we put in the wood for fuel was placed cross-wise at the time to allow of ventilation and this Englishman was seated on it and discoursing in his usual manner, when I came up from the Engineroom and noticed his position. I got some brown paper and folded up in it a tablespoonful of black powder; then, putting a live coal in a long kitchen spoon, I crawled over the wood past the boiler and, placing the powder beneath the cover of the hatch, I dropped the live coal on top of the paper package, and quickly got back on deck where I arrived just as a great cloud of smoke from the exploding powder burst out from the hatch. The Englishman was over the side of the tug hanging on by the combing, and shouting "Jump! Jump for your lives, the Boiler's busted", and the Captain from the wheelhouse turned to me with a wink as I promptly disappeared down to the Engineroom. Our passenger was more subdued for the balance of the trip.

Coming up up out of the Engineroom one extremely hot day in this summer of 1875, I sat in the sun on the bow of the tug and in my heated condition became the victim of a slight "sunstroke", which did not send me to hospital, but resulted in persistent headaches, and vomiting, and in the ensuing fall and winter I was incapacitated, so that I could not read for any length of time, nor attend church or public meetings. I did what I could in assisting my father as Bursar of Rockwood Hospital with his bookkeeping, as I wrote a very good hand. The wood contract ceased in 1876, and being unable to study, at the request of Captain Patterson of the propeller, "Africa", in the spring of 1876, I went on the "Africa" plying between Montreal and Toronto with package freight, and assisted the Captain in the position of purser. Captain Patterson lived on the corner of Union and Albert Streets, just opposite William B. Anglin's house (Penrose's father) and he evidently was fond of me and suggested that sailing with him would be good for my health. About this time I was friendly with George and Harry Richardson and was frequently at the house on Stuart St. where I met Hattie Gould, Mrs. Richardson's Niece, who had been living with her Aunt since she was about 6 years of age. She was four years younger than I, and we were apparently mutually attracted to each other. (We were married in 1886). I well remember Hattie Gould and G.Y. Chown being passengers on the Africa in the summer of 1876 from Kingston to Toronto, also Rev. E.A. Chown and wife.

While in Montreal harbor we saw at an opposite pier a large oceangoing sailing vessel. The "Lake Michigan" of the Beaver Line, and while we were admiring her fine lines and stately masts, Captain Patterson said, "Willie, I believe an ocean voyage would be just the thing for you. Let's go over and see what we can do about it". We saw Captain Daniel Lamont and found he was willing. Then went to the Company's office and they agreed to give me a return ticket for Eighty Dollars ($80.00). Montreal to Glasgow and return, and I was to be the only passenger. I came home with the news, and father and mother, being only too anxious to do anything to help me recover, agreed to my going, and on the 10th of August, 1876, I started on my first ocean voyage.

The evening before, Captain Lamont told me how delighted he was to have a good Christian boy as a passenger and suggested we go up to the Y.M.C.A. for a time. Owing to my poor digestion, etc. a crate of live chickens, and a quantity of digestive biscuits were added to the ship's larder. We started down the St. Lawrence early in the morning and went ashore at Three Rivers in the evening for a short time. Then we passed Quebec the next day without stopping. I was enjoying my experience very much and my quarters in the cabin were very luxurious. One morning about 11 o'clock we were becalmed off the west end of Anticosti in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and, as we paced the quarter deck, Capt. Lamont said "supposing we fish". " All right", I replied, "will we take the small boat and row over to the shore?" "No", he said, "we'll fish right here. Steward, bring me a line", and the Steward brought a line with an iron bar about 2 ft. 6 in. long to which were attached three hooks about 2 feet below the bar, baited with fat pork. The captain lowered this line over the side and I watched it descend, marked every 6 feet with red tape until I had counted twenty tapes, when the bar evidently touched bottom. Lifting up about 6 feet, he said: "I've got him". "Yes", I said, "You've got that iron bar allright (sic)." Nevertheless, I watched anxiously as he hauled up the line until a fine 20 pound codfish appeared, and was promptly landed on the deck, and over went the line again. "Ha! A good one this time", as he pulled vigorously on the line, and lo, there were three fine fish this time, too heavy to pull up. So a rope ladder was placed over the side, and a sailor went down to the water's edge and handed up the fish one at a time to another sailor above him, and so to the deck. "Let me try!" "Go and get a line for yourself", and so the Steward, having given me a line, I set to work, and was soon busy pulling up the Cod. When I got 30 pounds on, it was some tug to get him to the surface. Soon everybody on board, who could get any kind of line was busy fishing, and by 2 P.M., when a breeze sprang up, and we were forced to desist, the deck of the huge vessel was literally covered with fine fresh codfish. We had no time to get our regular midday meal but just ate a sandwich or two. For days afterwards my arm muscles were so sore that it was difficult to eat properly. Fortunately there were a large number of tubs on board and the fish were salted down in these and I was told brought 6d a pound when we arrived in Glasgow. In a couple of days we were through the Straits of Belle Isle and out on the broad Atlantic with a favouring breeze. Then began a remarkable experience. After breakfast I was pacing the quarter deck with Captain Lamont and turning spat to windward and the white spittle blew on the deck. Suddenly the Captain turned with a ferocious expression and demanded to know "What the devil I meant by spitting on his deck?" Up to this moment our relations had been all that could be desired. I at once expressed my regret, etc., etc., but nothing would passify him, and he continued to rave. I went below to my cabin, and getting in my berth, settled myself to read, and opened the cabin porthole. In a moment or two he was down demanding to know "What the devil I meant by opening the port. Did I want to sink his ship?" The sea was comparatively calm.

This was too much for me and I made my way on deck, and sought the Mate, Davie Blacks, a fine young, curly-headed Scotchman, and told him of my trouble. "Willie", said he, "I should have warned you. The Captain is always like this when we get on the Ocean. He is all right when we are in fresh water, but we call him 'Mad Jack' at sea." So for the rest of the voyage (We made the North of Ireland in 13 days, and got to Glasgow in 21 days - owing to strong head winds the last week), I slept mostly in the daytime and spent the lovely August nights on deck with the Mate, and ignored the mad Captain as much as possible, much to his surprise. Sure enough, as we got into the Clyde, I found the changed Captain at my side one morning, bland as at first, saying, "Here Willie, won't you use my glasses? There's Rothesay over yonder, and the Ryles of Bute." Spiritedly I replied, "Nothing doing. My first duty will be to report your outrageous treatment of your passenger at the office", and as soon as possible I made my complaint. I well remember the Manager listening to my tale, and twirling his thumbs as he told me: "We are exceedingly sorry. We know the Captain is eccentric, but he is a very valuable seaman. Of course we cannot ask you to return with him, as your ticket calls for, but you can return on any other of our ships, either sailing or steam, and we will gladly extend the time of your return for one year, if you so desire", and so the matter was settled and I received the necessary documents.

I went to a very comfortable Temperance Hotel, close by the River Clyde and remained in Glasgow some days, and ran over to Edinburgh for a visit.

My father had spoken to me about going to Ireland to see Bandon, Co. Cork, where he was born. In some way I came to find a family by the name of McDermott, living in Glasgow, who were relatives of the Anglins in Cork, and was hospitably entertained by them for about a week and they told me about the people in Cork, and so I went by Steamer from Glasgow to Dublin, and after being entertained by a Mr. Jamieson, a watchmaker on Sackville St., Dublin, an old friend of my father's, I went by train to Cork, and was warmly welcomed by a host of relatives - Anglins, Dukes, Waughs, etc., and finally found myself residing with a widow and her family of seven, five girls and two boys, the eldest girl being about 17 years old.

This widow, whose husband had recently deceased, was Annie Waugh (224), nee Duke, and her mother was an Anglin [Mary Anne (22)]. Her husband had been prosperous in business - shipping calves and pigs to Plymouth, Bristol and London on a large scale, and also had a large corner stall in the Grand Parade Market where he sold veal and pork. Just opposite to this stall was another operated by Frank Duke (22a), who sold beef and mutton (a brother of Mrs. Waugh).

After I had been in residence about ten days, and had got interested in watching the conduct of the business, visiting fairs in the surrounding district, with the buyers of pigs and calves, Mrs. Waugh"s business manager became insane and was removed to the Cork Asylum for the Insane. I asked Mrs. Waugh what she was going to do, as while she could conduct the retail market business, she could not visit the Fairs and she told me she would send for her brother, John, who was employed in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, U.S.A. It would take some time to put this arrangement into effect, and I volunteered to do what I could to assist her in the meantime.


     Go to Personal Recollections (part 2) for the next section of W.G.'s recollections.


     Return to THE ANGLIN FAMILY STORY, PART 3.2 .