Wednesday, 26 September 2012


Can you remember as far back as the year 1853? There are not may old-timers left. Here and there you will come across men and women who were very young boys and girls half a century ago, and while they may not have personal knowledge of incidents that happened, they may have heard of them from their fathers and mothers, and thus are able to keep in touch with the history of Hamilton as it was in the 50’s. Some of the real old-timers may remember the name of Hiram W. Cole, who poisoned his wife that he might marry a girl named Augusta Wheeler. Cole was a native of the state of New York, and was married in 1852 to the daughter of a widow, who lived at Lyons, in the same state. Shortly after their marriage, Cole and his wife came to Hamilton to make this city their home. They were a handsome young couple, and soon made friends. Cole had some money, and in partnership with a man named Darrows, opened a grocery store on King street east, near the Burlington hotel. They also carried on in a small way with the business of manufacturing brass and iron cloth wire, and the several branches connected with it. The business prospered for two or three years, and then Cole was compelled to retire from it, his expenses being too large for his income, which Mr. Darrow would not stand for. Within the first year after Cole’s a arrival in Hamilton a daughter was added to the family, and everything seemed happy and prosperous till Cole became infatuated with Augusta Wheeler, whose parents were respectable people. Augusta was a handsome, dashing girl, and her charms soon attracted the admiration of Cole. The Wheeler and Cole families were on terms of social intimacy, and Cole’s attentions to Augusta were not looked upon as anything but courteous. These attentions soon became so marked that Mrs. Cole became suspicious that her husband’s affections were being transferred to Augusta. Cole disposed of his interest in the grocery and wireworks and invested his money in a livery business. It was no uncommon thing for Cole and Augusta to be seen riding together in the streets, and taking drives out into the country. The fond wife was the last to hear of the unfaithfulness of her husband. Finally, the knowledge dawned upon her that something was wrong with her husband; his affection for her and their child was on the wane. Her suspicions were finally confirmed when Cole had a bedroom fitted up his livery barn, where he slept at night, telling his wife that it was necessary for him to do so to await the return of horses that were out late. Her woman’s wit soon discovered the real cause, and she and her daughter left Hamilton and went back to the old home in Lyons, New York.


        All restraint being removed, Cole led a wild and shameful life with Augusta, and it was only a few months till his business was ruined, his stable levied on for debt, and part of the stock sold. With the remains of his horses and carriages, Cole left Hamilton, accompanied by Augusta, and went to Garretsville, Ohio, where he opened a livery barn. He did succeed at Garretsville, and moved to Chagrin Falls, near Cleveland, where many of his relatives were living. The conduct of Cole and Augusta was so outrageous that his business was not prosperous, and Cole’s brothers finally induced Cole to send Augusta back to Hamilton. One of the brothers went to Lyons and persuaded Mrs. Cole to return with him to Chagrin Falls and give her husband one more chance for reformation, and in the loving sympathy of her wifely heart, she expressed herself as willing to condone the past and begin life anew. It was arranged that Cole should meet his wife at Cleveland, but he failed to connect on time. Mrs. Cole went on to Chagrin Falls and to the hotel where Cole boarded, and was shown to his room. In the bureau in the room, Mrs. Cole found a variety of articles belonging to women’s apparel, and a number of letters from Augusta Wheeler to Cole. The poor woman was overcome with the continuing perfidy of her husband, and clasping her little daughter to her bosom, she fell insensible to the floor. The chambermaid at the hotel told the story afterward. Next day Cole arrived, and being smooth of speech, he quieted his wife’s anger and promised to turn over a new leaf. A reconciliation was effected, and husband and wife began life together again.


Cole took his wife and daughter to Bainbridge, Ohio, on a visit to his uncle, and about the last of July, 1857, a letter appeared in the Cleveland Leader giving an account of the murder by poison of Mrs. Cole. Previous to retiring for the night, Cole gave her a teaspoonful of laudanum and arsenic, telling her it was a preparation of bloodroot and yellow dock, which had been prescribed to relieve her of her temporary ailment. The poison soon began its work, and a doctor was called, who administered an antidote. Mrs. Cole suffered terribly during the night, and early the next day she died. The news of her death was soon told in Chagrin Falls, where they had lived, and a number of prominent men went over to Bainbridge to attend the funeral. The ceremonies at the church were suspended, and it was decided hat a post-mortem examination be held. Cole slipped out of the church and made his escape, and this act fastened suspicion on him being the poisoner. A reward was offered for his capture. Search was made for letters that might indicate where he would seek refuge, and among them were a number from Augusta Wheeler, from the tone of which it was evident that Cole had been urged on to the commission of the crime. As Augusta wrote from Hamilton, the police in this city took part in the hunt for the criminal. Letters from Cole to Augusta Wheeler were intercepted by Postmaster Ritchie, in which Cole addressed Augusta as Mrs. Augusta Cole. This letter was written at Longsport, Michigan, and the Hamilton officers started in pursuit. They tracked Cole from Detroit to Kalamazoo, and there lost the trail. Cole was captured in Wisconsin, and made his escape from the officers while passing through Chicago. After five weeks’ hot pursuit, through half a dozen states, Cole was finally captured and taken back to Ohio and lodged in the jail of the county in which he committed the crime. It was nearly two years before he was tried for his crime, and as the evidence was purely circumstantial, he escaped with only a sentence of a few years in the Ohio penitentiary. Among the letters found in Cole’s bureau at the time the crime was committed, was one from a Hamilton girl, who married and moved to Kalamazoo, Mich., early in 1857. She was a friend of Cole and of Augusta, and her style of writing indicated that she was low in the scale of morality as was her friend Augusta. This woman was of respectable parentage and married a worthy man in this city. Evidently her trip to Kalamazoo did not improve her morals. This story was recalled to memory by a half-sheet poster that came to hand the other day.


        The chambermaids of eighty years ago must have had a poetic turn of mind. A traveler left an article belonging to his wardrobe at the old Burlington hotel in this town, and wrote to the chambermaid to forward it to him at the village of London by the stage coach. In answer, the chambermaid wrote :
        I hope, dear sir, you’ll not feel hurt –
           I’ll frankly tell you all about it;
        I’ve made a shift of your old shirt,
            And you must make a shift without it.


        Eighty years ago the coinage system of Canada was rather muddled. Seven coppers were counted as the sixteenth part of a dollar, and two or three coins together passed for 7 ½ d, or what was then called a York shilling. The canny shopkeepers took advantage of the system as they gained a halfpenny every time they got a hold of two three half penny bits. So with a pistereen, or, as it was called in Hamilton, a Halifax shilling, which the shopkeepers received only for eighteen pence, though it was worth nineteen and a fraction. The shopkeeper then laid his currency pieces by till he had collected perhaps one hundred shillings, which he paid out for at five for a dollar, gaining on his customers  by the exchange of three hundred farthings, or three shillings and some pence, making quite a profit. The system of Halifax currency and York shillings prevailed till the year 1853 when a change was made from pounds, shillings and pence to dollars and cents.


        To send money by mail through Canada post offices eighty years ago did not always ensure its safe arrival at its intended destination. In an old copy of the Gore Gazette, published at Ancaster in the year 1827, we find an item to the effect that a number of packages and money letters, addressed to, or mailed by, persons residing in the neighbourhood of Ancaster, had been abstracted from the mail between that place and he lower provinces. An English package addressed to the editor of the Gore Gazette, to the care of the Lord Bishop of Quebec, and delivered by his lordship to the deputy-postmaster, was mailed at Quebec, but never arrived at Ancaster. A Mr. Sheldon, of Hamilton, had mailed 78 pounds for Montreal; and Mr. Campbell, of Dundas, mailed 60 pounds to Montreal, but no trace of any of the letters could be had.


        In the early days, while Hamilton was yet in its swaddling clothes, there was the same outcry by the merchants about the people going from home to buy goods instead of supporting local merchants. Especially there was cause of complaint against salaried officers of the government, who bought all of their clothing, dress goods, household linens, etc. in the old country. An old copy of the Colonial Advocate, published in muddy little York, in the year 1827, contains the following editorial item : “One consequence of giving our judges, law officers, etc. so very extravagant salaries and emoluments is that they become wholesale dealers in almost every article they require, and which they purchase at Montreal, Quebec, New York or England, buying only of the retail or wholesale dealers in this colony a few trifles when they are out of sorts. Any one who will go to our wharves on the arrival of a steam packet will ascertain the fact.


        In the year 1801, in the town of York (now Toronto), a man named Sullivan was hanged for the crime of presenting a forged order on a store and getting goods thereon. Sullivan could neither read nor write, and although this fact was sufficient evidence that someone else forged the order, yet the proof that he got the goods procured his conviction and death. His body was buried in the jail yard. In the year 1837, when workmen were excavating to lay the foundation for a new jail, Sullivan’s coffin was found about sixteen inches from the surface. Dr. Widmer and a number of bystanders thought the remains were of a murdered man, as the skull had marks of violence on it; but Mr. McDonel, who was high sheriff at the time of Sullivan’s execution, remembered the occasion. The rope with which Sullivan had been hanged was found in the coffin.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012


On January 6, 1861, the first gun of the civil war was fired from the batteries at Charleston, South Caroline on the steamer Star of the West that was carrying provisions to the beleaguered garrison of Fort Sumter, and on April 15, 1861, President Lincoln issued the first call for 75,000 volunteers. These dates will be at least of interest to the large army of American readers of the Spectator, and this being Memorial day when the surviving soldiers of that war meet to strew flowers on the graves of departed comrades, it may not be out of place the part taken in that civil war by the old boys of Hamilton. The records of that civil war show that more than 50,000 Canadians were engaged in it; also that a large number were either killed in battle or died of wounds and disease. Actual war began with President Lincoln’s first call for 75,000 men, and ended on April 26, 1865. During the four years of bitter conflict, 2,777, 304 enlisted in the Union Army, and of these 67,058 were killed in battle, 43,012 died of wounds, 199, 720 died of disease, from other causes 43,012 died making a total of 249, 344 deaths in the union army as a result of the war. Only a partial statement of the casualties in the Confederate army has eves been compiled and this shows that 353, 864 died from wounds and disease. The greatest battle of the war was at Gettysburg, when in three days’ fighting, the union army had 3,070 killed and 14, 497 wounded.


          May 30 was set apart by Congress and the Grand Army of the Republic as Memorial day, and the Sunday preceding is recognized by all G.A.R. posts as Memorial Sunday, when every old soldier goes to church, if he never entered a sacred edifice on any other day in the year. Today being the American soldiers’ sacred holiday, a reference to the past may not be out of place. Canada furnished at least five full regiments to the army of the Union during the war, and it is estimated that Hamilton sent more than two companies. So many Hamilton boys enlisted in the Forty-Ninth New York that it was known as the Hamilton regiment. E. D. Holt, who was head of the firm of Holt, Angell and Campbell, booksellers in Hamilton in the fifties, was lieutenant-colonel of the Forty-Ninth, and received a wound in the battle of Petersburg that troubled him till his death a few years ago. In the same battle, Maurice Sullivan, a shoemaker who was in Holt’s regiment, received a wound from the Confederates. A. J. Campbell who was captain of No. 2 fire company in this city half a century ago and a member of the same book firm with E. D. Holt, was in St. Louis in the grocery business. When the first shot was fired on Fort Sumter, he immediately began recruiting, and raised a company for the Thirty-Third Missouri, of which he was selected captain. He sold his grocery business and served from the beginning to the end of the war, participating in thirty battles, through all of which he passed safely. Captain Campbell is now living in Boston, broken in health. A. T. Freed, inspector of weights and measures in this city, learned the trade of printer more than half a century ago, and at the beginning of the war was working on the New York Tribune. On the first call for troops, he laid down his stick and went over into Connecticut and enlisted. Having served his term of enlistment, he returned to New York and joined a regiment which was being organized for three years’ service. Gus took part in several battles, but fortunately the bullets whistled past him without leaving a mark. Richard Butler, now U.S. Vice-Consul in this city, began his apprenticeship in the printing trade in the office of the London Free Press in the year 1848, and in 1850 came to Hamilton and worked on the Journal and Express, the Christian Advocate and the Daily Banner, when it was first started. When the war broke out, he was working on the Cincinnati (Ohio) Enquirer, and enlisted in the first call for three months. Subsequently, he –re-enlisted and served till the end of the war. Tom Fleming was another Hamilton printer who enlisted. In the fifties, he was one of the editors of The Growler, in which Branigan’s Chronicles was first published. Tom joined the Tenth New York cavalry, and served as an orderly sergeant of his company till the end of the war. He died in Boston a few years ago. William Nixon, who died in this city a few years ago and William Lyons were two printers who abandoned the office shooting-stick for the Springfield rifle. William Cliff, now of the Spectator office, was in New Orleans and every abled-bodied man in the south was expected to do military duty. So he shouldered a musket rather unwillingly to fight the Yankees till such time as he was relieved. William Gatchell was an apprentice in the Advocate office fifty years ago joined the Confederate army in New Orleans much against his will, but as he was in Rome, he had to be a Roman. He died in Buffalo a few years ago. Other boys who worked at the printing business in Hamilton before the war, and who had drifted over the Niagara or Detroit rivers, joined their fortunes with the Union army.


          On this Memorial Day, it would have given the writer pleasure to published the names of the Hamilton boys who served in the war between the North and the South. On a few can be remembered. John Robertson and Charles Jolly enlisted in the Thirty-Second New York, Bob Waugh served in a Massachusetts regiment; John White was a lieutenant in the Forty-Ninth New York, but was never heard of after the battle of Antietam; McVicker was killed in action (his mother now draws a pension); Bryan Cauley, David Lyons, William Macdonald, Lou Heneker, James Mahoney, Jack Munro, Philip and Don Stevens, John R. Chapell, - Blarney, J. M. Campbell, - Diamond, George Hooper, John Wiellis, Thos. Jones, John Kelloher, David Love, M. O’Regan, Thomas Anderson, - Tomes, Joseph Mottashed, James Melody, Charles McMichaels, John H. Slater are a few of the names that can be recalled. Major Ellis, who enlisted in the One Hundredth Canadian regiment away back in the fifties, did not get enough of war under the Union Jack, so when the civil war began, he went over to Buffalo and joined the Forty-Ninth New York. James Ryerson lost a foot at the Battle of Petersburg.


This afternoon the members of W. W. Cooke post, G.A.R., will remember Memorial day by strewing flowers on the graves of comrades who have been mustered out. On each grave in the Hamilton and Catholic cemeteries will be placed the flag of the United States under which so many Hamiltonians did gallant service. Many who went out never returned, and others died since the war was ended. The widows of the dead have been well provided for by the United States government, and the men who have become incapacitated for labor are generously remembered with pensions generous enough to keep the wolf from the door.


          When the Spanish-American war broke out, and the United States wanted volunteers, Canada again responded, and some twelve or fifteen went from Hamilton. One of them won a commission in the regular army, and two boys born in Hamilton, Leslie and Gibson, gave their lives as a sacrifice. The Grand Army post in this city is named in memory of W. W. Cooke, a son-in-law of John Winer, who served during the civil war and afterwards with General Custer, the gallant Indian fighter.


          The soldier who does his duty faithfully deserves well of his country. The men who volunteered to defend the Union Jack in the Northwest and at Ridgeway, and later those who went to far distant South Africa, some never to return, are the heroes that always can be relied upon when danger threatens their native land. The song, Home Sweet Home, is their inspiration. After the battle of life comes peace to the weary soldier. The funeral march is his requiem. Today we hold in sacred memory Hamilton’s honored dead – those who fought under the Union Jack or The Stars and Stripes. Why is it, says one who speaks from personal experience, that the most solemn service ever devised  by man, that stately hush of a vast cathedral, the imposing robes, the stained glass windows, the pealing organ, all pale into insignificance beside that soul-stirring simple act – the trumpeting out of “taps” over the body of dead soldier? No man who has ever heard it, either on the field of battle, at the quiet army post, or in the haven for those weak and shattered units of the Grand Army of the Republic, ever forgets. For the bugle notes seem to take into their all-embracing cadence, the tears, the memories, the shattered hopes and the long farewell.


          Dr. David Inglis, of Detroit, Michigan, is an eminent specialist in nervous and mental diseases and has made himself a national reputation among scientist. He is the son of David Inglis, pastor of the Macnab Street Presbyterian church, The doctor is a native born Hamiltonian. It has been an education of much study to him what society should do with its helplessly defective and diseased members, and from his point of view, a man or a woman suffering from an incurable and painful disease, death is looked upon as merciful, and a thing greatly to be desired. Idiots, imbeciles and demented patients have not sufficient apprehension of their condition to make them wish for death, but the doctor humanely suggests that life is not desirable, and that death would be a happy end to a barren life. Looking at it from that point of view, to put an end to the unfortunates would be merciful. Yet it would lessen the esteem in which we hold life.


          The desire to live is the strongest part of our nature, even the animal will fight in defense of his life. There is much that is worth living for in this old world, while to many the daily grind is disheartening. “Laugh and the world laughs with you; cry, and you cry alone.” How truly is this illustrated in everyday life. There be no greater afflictions than the helplessly unfortunates that society cannot protect itself against. Many governments wisely and humanely care for idiots, imbeciles and the demented ones so that they cannot do harm to themselves or others, but there is a large class in every community against which the home and society have no protection and from which even the great specialists in nervous and mental diseases cannot prescribe, be he ever so inclined. To begin with, the law sanctions the manufacture and sale of intoxicating liquors from which drunkards are made, and the home and society have very little protection against the man maddened with drink. You may be peacefully walking in the street when you are assailed by a drunken loafer who demands of you money with which to buy more drink, and if you refuse, the chances are that he will assault you with vileness of speech or if he thinks he can master you assault you with his fists. These are the ruffians who insult women and snitch purses from their hands. The fellow is fined, and if he has no money, is sent to jail for a few days. What satisfaction is there in it for the person assailed? Such degenerates were better confined than be allowed to run at large. Indeed, society would be safer if they were under the ground with four feet of solid earth to prevent their resurrection. Then there is the man who robs his family of every comfort that he may gratify his desire for strong drink. Of what use is such man in the world? There is no apparent reason why burglars, sneak thieves and the tramps who infest the country, making life a worry to the industrious a frugal class that has the honest ambition to be something in the world beyond hewers of wood and drawers, should have a being. Scientists such as Dr. Inglis might make good use of them as subjects for dissection, and it is a question if they are even fit for scientific investigations. Such people never have appendicitis or any of those diseases peculiar to decent citizens; therefore they are not even useful for surgeons to practice the cutting art on. While it might be a blessing if Dr. Inglis could devise some way of helping the helplessly defective and diseased members of society to an easy and painless exit from a world that holds out no hope for them, he could win immortal fame in discovering a plan that would purify society of the degenerate class. There is really no room in this world for such people, and their sudden exit would drive the gloom and sorrow from many a home, even in the city of Hamilton.

Friday, 21 September 2012


It is true, as the Herald remarked the other day, that Rev. John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, “wore his priestly garments and bands when preaching indoors,” but it is also true that the grand army of preachers that followed him never took to the gown and bands. Wesley began his ministry in a church that believed in robing its ministers during service, and force of habit clung to him even after he became a great leader of Methodism. It is a long distance between Mr. Wesley and the gown-wearing preachers of St. James’ Methodist church in Montreal. Wesley counseled against extravagance in dress and the building of costly meeting-houses, while the St. James congregation went to the extreme of building an expensive temple and dedicating it to the Lord with over half a million dollars plastered on it. There be churches in Hamilton where the ministers have always worn gowns during the Sunday services, and it is not amiss because it is the rule of the church, and the congregations are accustomed to it; but to introduce a gowned minister to a Hamilton congregation of Methodists would be an innovation rather startling. Leave ritualism where it belongs and to those who conscientiously believe in it; but let Methodism stick to the simplicity of the early fathers of the church. There is a tendency nowadays to introduce too many new fads into religious worship, and more worldliness than is beneficial is creeping into the membership of the churches. This part of the subject is a proper them for discussion for religious journals, not for one that caters to the world.


        Down one of the avenues in this city, a home was bereft some years ago by the mysterious disappearance of a bright boy, the idol of his parents. The boy was somewhere between 12 and 15 years old, and had every comfort and pleasure that his parents could provide for him. He was of studious habits, and was remarkably free from the wildness of boys his age. One afternoon, after returning from school, he went out to play with some of his companions, and from that hour his parents never set eyes on him. Those he went out to play with were not able to account for his mysterious disappearance. The last they saw of him was when they broke up their game and went home. Search was made everywhere but to no avail. Days and weeks and months passed by and the heart of the bereaved mother was well-nigh broken for the beloved son who came not. For years, the door of the home was never locked, and a lamp was always kept burning during the night for the wanderer’s return should he still be in the land of the living. The parents could not believe their boy had deserted the home where his every wish was gratified, and the conclusion forced itself upon them that he had met death. Still the mother is always looking for the return of her boy, and many times during the day does she look up and down the street from the door of her home hoping that at last he may be restored to her arms. “Where is my boy tonight?” is the sad refrain that goes out from her heart as she retires to rest. The world has lost its charms for that dear mother. Will her boy ever return or was his young life ended in some mysterious manner?


        Away back early in the sixties, when the war drums were beating across the river in the United States, and the young men not only of the republic, but of Canada, were enlisting to fight the battles of the north against the south, a party went over from Belleville to Buffalo, and enlisted in the union army. One of the number was a bright, young fellow, a book-keeper, and the main dependence of his mother, who was a widow. He was of sober, industrious habits, and frugal in his expenditures, for he seemed to live only that his mother might be made comfortable and happy, for the latter years of her married life had been blighted by a drunken husband. After his enlistment, the boy kept up a correspondence with his mother for some months, until after one of the heavy battles, his letters ceased to come. From that time on, she never heard from him, and at last was forced to the conclusion that he had been slain in battle, and she mourned for her brave soldier boy. For some reason, the mother could not learn from those who were his comrades anything about her son. Years rolled on and the mother moved from her home down by the lake to Toronto, where she earned a living for herself and family; and long after her children were able to provide for themselves, she kept on working till the burden of years became too great, and she was finally compelled to accept a home in Hamilton with one of her children. The old lady had an independent spirit, and preferred to make her own way through life while her health and strength lasted. She has now passed the four-score milestone on life’s journey, yet looks as bright and active as many one-third years younger. Some friend suggested to her that the United States government made provision for the parents of those who died in the service, and she applied to the commissioner of pensions at Washington. Then for the first time did she learn that the son she mourned as dead for nearly forty years was supposed to be alive, and tha6t for many years he had been drawing a pension from the government, and that the last place he had reported from was the Soldiers’ home at Dayton, Ohio. She then corresponded with the governor of the Dayton home, and traced her son to the Soldiers’ home at Bath, New York, and from there learned that a comrade in Buffalo might be able to furnish the desired information. She wrote to Buffalo, and a few weeks ago received an answer that her son had but recently died, and that for years h had made his temporary home in Buffalo. Here he was living within sixty miles from the mother who mourned his death, and the probabilities are that more than once he visited Hamilton. So far as the mother and son were concerned, there was no reason why he should keep under cover during all the forty years since he left home to enlist in the union army. It was a sad blow to the aged mother, for now she mourned her boy as one having recently passed over the river of death. Strange things happen in this world.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012


A good political education might be obtained by an investigation and study of the industries in Hamilton, and indeed in all Canada, that have been made possible because of the protective policy that was incorporated into the laws of the Dominion by that wise statesman and patriot, Sir John A. Macdonald. One of the object lessons is the cotton industry in Hamilton, which gives employment to some 1,300 operatives besides the well-paid office force necessary to manage the details of the business. There are three large cotton mills and two knitting factories which send their product to nearly all parts of the civilized world. The Ontario mill, on James street north, covers a whole block, and gives employment to the largest number of hands. This mill manufactures tickings, sheetings and denims, and its principal market is in Australia and New Zealand. The Hamilton Cotton Company is a close second in number of operatives employed, and its product is cottoandes, denims, yards and webbing, all of which finds a market within the Dominion. The Imperial mill, for the manufacture of duck and twines, which is in the east end of the city, and has only been in operation about one year, gives employment to as many operatives as either of the other mills. What an army of men, women and boys are dependent upon the success and prosperity of these three cotton mills? The Ontario mill is owned by the Canada Cotton Mills company, while the other two are independent and under control of local capital and management. The three mills are run at their full capacity at all times, and occasionally have to do overtime to fill their orders. The aggregate capacity of the three mills is 83 carding machines, 699 looms and 27, 746 spindles. Over 900 operatives are employed, the average wages running from $8 to $10 for men, and $5.50 to $6 for women. A number of boys are employed at $2.50 per week, while many of the experts in the mills have salaries ranging from $20 to $25. The wages paid in the mills in Hamilton compare favourably with what are paid in the best mills in the United States, and far better than the same class of operatives receive in the cotton mills in England and other European countries. During the past year, the three mills used 12,563 bales of cotton, and the value of output of manufactured goods was $1,285,000. The raw cotton comes from the southern states, and is admitted free of duty, and the mill owners have such favourable shipping rates from the south that, in point of cost on freight, they are about on an equality with the New England cotton mills. While the duty on cotton goods ranges from 25 to 35 per cent, yet the keen competition among the Canadian manufacturers tends to keep prices down. Take off the duty and every cotton mill in Canada would be closed down so quick as one would say scat! That the industry is a blessing to Hamilton will be heartily endorsed by the 600 and more operatives who are secured steady employment and at a scale of wages equal to any other branch of labour where the same talent is required.


But Hamilton only gets its share of the prosperity that comes from the cotton industry. In the Dominion there are thirty mills, some larger and many smaller than any of the three in this city. Fifteen of the mills are located in Ontario, and give employment to 2,500 operatives; eight are located in the province of Quebec, and seven more in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Outside of Ontario, not less than 10,000 operatives are employed in the mills.


An American company engaged in the knit goods business opened a branch in this city last May for the manufacture of fine cotton lisle and worsted hosery. As a starter, it employs fifty operatives whose wages range from lisle to $2 per week. The girls and women are unskilled at the work now, but when they become expert they will be able to earn more money. Thirty-seven knitting machines, 19 ribbers, and 12 loppers are now being operated and the product is 250 dozen of hosery and the company has been very fortunate in finding a good market for its output, the goods being attractive in appearance and well-made. This is another industry that protection has forced into Hamilton, and it is able to compete with the German and English hosiery that now controls the Canadian market.


        There are 70 cotton and woolen knitting factories in the Dominion of Canada, and all seem to be prospering. They give employment to a large army of women at fair wages. In this city, the Eagle Knitting company employs 300 operatives, and has in service 150 knitting and 125 sewing machines. It manufactures children’s flat, fleeced and ribbed underwear, and the demand for its product requires the hands to add to their wages by working overtime during the busy seasons of the year.


        All the good things of this life are coming Hamilton way. It is less than three months ago that a bylaw was defeated that was to give a bonus to secure the location of the Deering Harvester works in this city. It was a close call for an industry that now promises to be one of the largest in the city. The council acted wisely in the matter, and while it could not vote a money bonus, it had the power to give certain privileges that will fully equal the amount asked for in the bonus bylaw. The Deering company bought a tract of 35 acres of land, and is now erecting workshops that will cost $95,000. And this is not all. This week the International Harvester company with a capital of $120,000,000, of which $95,000,000 is in cash, for a working capital, has been incorporated. The five leading corporations in the United States engaged in the manufacture of agricultural implements and farm machinery of every description, have united their interest, and the Deering company, being one of the five, will make Hamilton its headquarters for the manufacture of all classes of farm machinery. Instead of 300 or 400 hands, which the Deering company expected to employ in this city, the demand for skilled labour may run up much higher in the hundreds, and probably, in the thousands. The Deerings are already planning to enlarge their shops at once, so as to have plenty of room for the new lines of implements that will be manufactured here. The establishment of the headquarters of the International Harvester company is another triumph for the protective policy. Could the Deerings and McCormacks, and all the other agricultural implement companies, have sold their goods without having to pay duty at the border, not one of those large corporations would think for a moment of building a manufactory in this country. The market would be theirs without extra cost.


        The Otis Elevator company, one of the leading concerns in that line in the United States, saw the possibilities of a large business in Canada. The Dominion government had wisely provided that the men in Canada, who could build elevators, should at least have a fair chance for the trade. The Otis company had plenty of capital, and wanted to branch out into new territory, so the directors decided to buy out the Leitch and Turnbull company and locate in Hamilton, because of its great facilities for shipments and in electric power. The company is now building a large factory in this city, and fitting it up with the most approved machinery.


        The Norton Manufacturing company, with Col. W. C. Breckenridge as its local manager, is planning greater things to meet the demands of its Canadian customers. The company is now negotiating for the purchase of the plant at the foot of Emerald street, that was built for the National Cycle and Automobile company. Col. Breckenbridge needs more room for the annual increase in trade, and possibly some new lines in the manufacture of tin ware may be added when the factory is moved into its new quarters.


        The Hamilton Steel and Iron company keeps on adding to its large plant with increasing demand for steel and iron in Canada. This week the company has paid a six per cent dividend on its capital stock, added a good slice of the profits of the past year to its surplus account and decided to spend $200,000 at once in new and improved machinery.


        But the best of the wine is left for the last of the feast of a few of the great manufacturing industries of Hamilton. Some wealthy American capitalists are now looking over the field with a view of building a large tin plate factory in Hamilton. All the tin now used in Canada comes from England or the United States. Each year the demand for tin plate is increasing, and these Americans with money to spare see no good reason why a tin plate factory in Hamilton would not pay a profitable interest on the investment. There are some things to be considered, and if the difficulties that now present themselves can be overcome a tin plate factory in Hamilton will be one of the great industries in the near future. The enlargement of the facilities of the Hamilton Steel and Iron company is an indication that one great difficulty – an abundant supply of steel billets – is in a fair way of being removed. The other points may be as easily settled. The gentleman the Hamilton end of the enterprise feels hopeful of speedy results.