Monday, 29 April 2013


“Keep away from the gin mill,
  And save up your rocks,
 And you’ll always have tobacco,
  In your own tobacco box.”
What an incentive to saving in one’s younger days is the thought that when the burden of years comes there will be freedom from worry! It used to be that year s added to the usefulness of the capable and industrious man, and while he might not be able to accomplish as much work in a day at 50 as he did at 30, yet his experience was worth more to his employer. The careful, prudent workman, no matter how small or how big his pay check, is wise in his younger days if he lays by a portion each week for the coming day when, like a bit of old machinery, he is into the scrap heap. There is no pensioning provision for the faithful, worn out workman, who has given the best years of his life to his employers. WE have in mind as we write, a man who has worked for one company 40 years or more, and in that time has held responsible positions and received the average wages. He has been saving his earnings, but the expense of rearing and educating a family and providing for them the comforts of life cut heavily into his weekly pay check. The boys and girls had the example of an industrious father and mother, have grown up fitted to take their places in this workday world, and have never given their parents an hour’s sorrow because of misdoing on their part, and all but two have left the home nest to build one of their own. The old home was lonely for awhile, but father and mother became accustomed to it. They looked back in their own lives to the time when they, too, left father and mother to begin life for themselves. Forty years’ faithful service is something to be reckoned with, and if there such conditions that would put one on a pension list, surely here is a case that might be considered. And there are scores  of such even in a small city like Hamilton. Pensions are only for high up bank officials and for government officers who have held down easy jobs for thirty or forty years. “This world is a muddle.” Our Hamilton boy was born on the mountain top, and came down into this old town to begin the fight for bread and butter at a very early age, and now, having reached the three score and ten mark in the downward journey toward God’s acre, there is nothing but the scrap heap for him. Fortunately, he was fugal in his habits in his younger days, and has a home in which to finish his days and a few thousand dollars to keep the wolf from the door. The tax collector does not forget that the old boy was not a spendthrift in his youth, and he tips the wink to the assessors to dig out every dllar so that it will not escape. The man who not only saves in his youth for old age is not allowed any exemption, because he has passed the earning period, but the man who spends his earnings down to the last dollar is allowed by our laws generous exemption from the burdens of city government. But what is the use of complaining; the laws are not meant to encourage thrift, but rather for the spendthrift.
Not many years ago there was a scholarly bookkeeper and accountant employed by one of the hardware firms in this city to look after the finaces and the credits; and he was a faithful guardian of the business interests of his employers, for if ever a dollar was lost by over-crediting, it was always against his judgment . The old bookkeeper and his good wife lived in comfort, and never was a payday that they did not lay by a few dollars for the future. They were English, and came to Canada in an early day, and they loved their Canadian home and the kind neighbours by whom they were surrounded. One day the old bookkeeper received a formidable-looking letter from a London firm of attorneys, notifying that a relative had lived out her days of usefulness in this world, and, being possessed of more than she needed in her final transit, she had thoughtfully remembered him and his dear old wife in her will, and that an amount far beyond his dream of wealth would be payable on making the necessary proof. It was hard to break away from his old desk in the counting room and from the men employed in the hardware store which he had been so long accustomed to meet daily. The firm had been kind and generous in their dealings with him; and then there were the friends and neighbours with whom they had pleasant intercourse for a long number of years. To leave Hamilton and all the associations that had made life happy was no easy matter; but, in going, there was an independence in the future and a return to the old home across the seas that they had left in their youth.
To shorten up the story, the old bookkeeper and his good wife bade farewell to Hamilton and all its pleasant memories, and entered into possession of the little fortune, which, added to their own savings of years in Hamilton, made a bright future for them. No more toiling over account books, no more worry as to the future! For a few years life was very happy for those old Hamiltonians, but one day the angel of death entered that English home and bereft it of the dear old wife. Misfortunes never come singly. That simple-hearted couple had a friend in whom they placed the greatest confidence, and this friend proved in time to be a snake in the grass, and was the cause of their undoing. He persuaded the old bookkeeper to invest his means in some wildcat scheme that promised large dividends; and for a short time, the dividends were prompt, but one day the newspapers told the story of the crash of the company, and of the hundreds of innocent stockholders who would lose every dollar of their investment. The bubble of wealth had burst, and our confiding Hamiltonian was left stranded, every dollar of the little fortune that had been bequested to him and of his own savings of years going out like a flash.
There were more expert bookkeepers in old London town than there were situations to fill, and as the preference is generally for young men or young women, our Hamiltonian was out of a job. Left alone in the wilderness of a large city, with the wife of his mature years asleep in God’s acre, all ambition in life gone, he must struggle on till the death angel will make a final visit to his humble home to unite him once more with his beloved wife.
There is a lesson in this. Never trust a friend or anybody else to invest your money for you; and never loan a dollar to even your dearest friend. This old muser speaks from personal experience.
          This reminds us of another story that fits in very nicely with the one above. It might be called an ancient story were it not that the principal actor is still living. Let us go back twenty years, for it was about that time that a lady left Hamilton to make her home in a western town this side of the Detroit river. She had means aplenty to provide for her future years, and settled down in a bright little cottage, which she fitted up with all the elegancies in keeping with her refined nature. She was an accomplished scholar, and her fine library was an index to her intellectual character. Her early life had been spent among the most refined people, who made Hamilton their home a half century ago, and the future promised equal pleasure and happiness in the western town she had selected to end her days.
          That western town got up a boom, and a few sharpers took advantage of it to transfer the wealth of their friends to their own pockets. A man who had a pious reputation, and was looked upon as the very soul of honor, started a private bank, and with the promise of paying large dividends, had but little difficulty in persuading the people into purchasing stock. Even the newspaper of the town gave the enterprising banker liberal puffs for what was being done in a financial way to build up the town. Newspapers sometimes do great harm in a community by advertising wildcat speculations. The bank prospered for a season, and then there was a collapse. Nearly everybody living in that town who had a little money were stockholders, and when the crash came, it submerged the town in financial ruin. The lady of whom we are telling this story had such such confidence in the banker that she trusted to the full extent of her wealth, and even the charming little cottage with all of its luxuries, was swept into the melting pot and she was left stranded without a dollar. The banker was arrested and sent to the penitentiary for a term of years; but what satisfaction was there in his imprisonment, for on his release he had a few thousand that he had carefully stored away when the crash came, while the robbed stockholders were left with the empty bag to hold.
          The dear lady, now advanced in years came back to Hamilton to spend the closing years of her life, and with a few hundred dollars which she had saved from the wreck, secured a residence in the old ladies’ home, and is enjoying the comforts of that elegant retreat.


          It is doubtful if one-fourth of the present population of Hamilton ever heard that there was such a household necessity as a sewing machine manufactured in this town; and it will be a greater surprise when we tell them that there were no less than seven factories, turning out hundreds of the best machines every week, and a large regiment of men and women employed at good wages. And all that happened less than half a century ago, and today there are but few to hark back to the old Wanzer machine that sold for $35, when American- made machines were selling up about the century mark, and not worth a penny more than the Wanzer machine in intrinsic value. Canadians had not got educated up to the idea of encouraging home industry, and would rather patronize the Singers, the Wheeler and Wilsons, the Elias Howes, and the other American machines that flooded the Canadian market. By the way, it may be an item of interest to the women folks to know that the first perfect machine made was through the ingenuity of a woman. The Howe was the invention of Elias Howe, but he got stuck on one point, and unless he could overcome that his machine could not be made workable. He succeeded in everything except in the adjustment of the needle, and there he was at his wit’s end. The story is told that Elias went from home on a short vacation to rest his fevered brain, and during he absence his good wife concluded to try her mechanical skill in the adjustment of the needle, and by the greatest good fortune she hit the adjustment and the machine was a success. Like a sensible woman she kept the secret from her husband till his return from his vacation, so that he might get the much-needed rest , and she triumphantly led him to the workshop and began running the completed machine. That was said to be the first perfect sewing machine ever manufactured. Elias Howe immediately took out patents to protect his invention, and it was but a few years till he became a millionaire, and all the result of having a bright wife. When the American civil war broke out, Elias Howe, like a true patriot, enlisted as a private soldier, although he was tendered a commission by the governor of his state. There were times when Uncle Sam’s bank account got pretty low, and as a consequence the paymaster was not able to pay his regiment. The wives and children were feeling the pressure as much and the men themselves were without a dollar for the necessities of camp. The regiment to which he belonged was several months in arrears in arrears. One day Private Howe suggested to the colonel that he would be able to help Uncle Sam bear his burden, and that it the colonel would tell him the amount necessary to pay off the regiment, he would advance that sum. The result was that Private Howe drew a check upon his personal account, handed it over to the colonel, and in a few days that regiment was revealing in greenbacks. Now the story as it was told more than half a century ago. What a difference between the old-time patriots and the fellows who are today making their millions out of the government by supplying the fighting troops from Canada with bacon!


          Well, where has this sewing machine story to do with the old-time Hamilton girl? Just wait patiently. It will come out. About the time that Private Elias Howe was drawing his check for the money to pay off the regiment to which he belonged, R. M. Wanzer had hiked from Buffalo to open a little shop on the corner of James and Vine streets in which to begin the manufacture of the first sewing machines made in Canada.  It is a fact that Mr. Wanzer was a schoolmaster by profession, but somewhat of a genius in mechanics, and to help in his new industry, he brought a half dozen or so expert machinist machinists with him. He was not bothered about patents, for by that time there was a number of different machines on the American market, and all he had to do was to combine the best in one machine, and add a few screws here and there to the Wanzer, and there you are. Mr. Wanzer’s idea was to make a strong machine and put it on the market at a small profit, and trust to his business energy to make it go. Not having an Elias Howe bank account to back him up, the new factory adopted the plan of manufacturing a dozen or two swing machines at a time, and then Mr. Wanzer and his agents travelled the country till the stock was disposed of. Then he would discount his notes with his banker and start out on a new stock. That sewing machine business grew and grew till the Vine street shop got to be too small, and then came the big factory on the lot now occupied by the Terminal station. A Yankee machinist became a member of the firm, and every boy in Hamilton that wanted work got a job. Some of those boys became preachers in course of time, and others went out into the workaday world as finished mechanics. The Yankee machinist had the euphonious name of Tarbox, and while he was head of the mechanical department business prospered. Some five or six other companies began the making of sewing machines in Hamilton, and all prospered for a time till they began to sell out to each other, and finally Mr. Wanzer had the bag to hold. Tarbox finally sold out his stock in the Wanzer factory, receiving $75,000 or more, and in those days was counted as a man of wealth.
          And here is where the old-time Hamilton girl comes in. Mr. Tarbox was the father of a family of four children. He was an indulgent father, and nothing was too rich or too good for his wife and children. When he retired from business, he bought an elegant home on King street east, said to be the present Proctor home, and furnished it with all the luxurious appointments that wealth could purchase. His daughters were specially bright girls and were educated in the public and private schools of Hamilton. It is of Jessie Tarbox, one of those accomplished daughters that we started this story with. When a young girl and a student in the Hamilton art school, Jessie first developed that talent for sketching that has made for her a name and fortune in New York city. Through unfortunate speculations, the fortune her father had accumulated in the Wanzer factory melted away so rapidly that one day the family found themselves digging down for the bottom dollars, and the family went back to their native home across the Niagara river to begin life anew. And it was then that Jessie Tarbox found that her talents and education were a mine of wealth in helping support the family. Today her skill as a sketch artist, as a photographist, and as a descriptive writer have placed her among the highbrows of culture in New York, with a bank account that is pleasant to cast her bright eyes over once a month. She is happily married, so that her name is now Jessie Tarbox Seals.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013



According to announcement in the daily papers, the New American hotel, corner of King and Charles streets, will close its doors and go out of business, for the present at least. That old hotel is one of the ancient landmarks of Hamilton, dating back seventy or more years. At one time it had a reputation for its excellent cooking that drew a large and paying patronage. Who the original proprietors were there is no record, but about 1850, we find that E. W. Berman was the smiling Boniface that gave cordial greeting to travelers as they alighted from the stage coaches. It was called the American in those days, but later the prefix of New was added, and from that time to the present, it has been known as the New American, except for a time when the name was changed to the Phoenix. It was the New American in 1855 when the printers of Hamilton celebrated Franklin’s birthday, on the 17th of February, by a banquet. The printers had organized a union on the 6th of March 1854, and this was the first opportunity that presented for the members to invite their employers to a social gathering. The names of the men who then controlled the destinies of the printing business in Hamilton may be of interest to the old-timers, not one of them living now. The Spectator was represented by John Smiley and William Gillespy; the Banner by William Nicholson, Thomas Like McIntosh and John Hand; the Gazette by Harcourt B. Bull; the Christian Advocate by the Rev. Gideon Shepard; the Canada Evangelist by Robert Peden. Hamilton then had two daily papers, one semi-weekly, and three religious. About seventy-five sat down to that banquet, of whom only three are now living – A. T. Freed, Reese Evans and Richard Butler. It was a night long to be remembered. What changes have taken place in this old town in the last sixty-two years! The second banquet of the union was held in 1857 in the Anglo-American hotel which was quite a tony affair. Substantially the same party, with a few additions to their number, partook of the feast. The announcement that the American closes its doors on next Saturday night awakens many recollections of the times when Hamilton looked forward to bright prospects in the future. The Great Western railway was just completed, and the army of men employed in the shops and in the offices of the company gave promise of a greater Hamilton, but no one dreamed that it would ever reach a population of 100,000, and become a city of nearly 500 factories. With all its wealth and numbers, it is nothing like the home town of fifty and sixty years ago. The old-timers live in the past.

Across the street, facing Charles, stood Cook’s hotel, now called the Dominion. Here was where Nelson Abel and Mr. Lee, the proprietors of the rival lines of Dundas stages, arrived and departed. Both were colored men and very popular with their passengers. Really there was no rivalry between them so far as business was concerned, for one stage would not have been sufficient to accommodate the local travel between the two towns.  Passengers were charged fifteen cents for one way, or twenty-five cents for the round trip. Able and lee drove their own stages, and were the purchasing agents for the Dundas people who wanted small articles from Hamilton. The stages made two trips a day, coming to Hamilton in the morning in time to connect with the Toronto and Niagara boats, and again in the evening for the return of the boats. They were always prompt to the minute in the accommodation of their passengers. They were a fat and jolly pair of drivers, and never got out of patience. Lee had one or two daughters who were handsome-featured girls, and had it not been for the dark tinge that betokened negro blood, might have passed for distinguished foreigners, for bot were highly educated and accomplished musicians. The oldest girl was of marriageable age, but the thoughts of having to marry one of her own race was gall and wormwood to the accomplished young lady. Lee was naturally proud of his handsome daughter and desired her marriage to some white man who was above prejudice of color, and, at the same time, who would treat her as an equal. The story was that he offered a purse of five thousand dollars in gold for such a man, but there were no takers. Rather than become the wife of one of her own race, the young lady remained single. Better that than become the bride of a fortune hunter.



In the daily Spectator of August 16, 1877, was a local item which will be read with interest by the Masonic fraternity of the present day. “We were today shown the silver trowel to be used tomorrow on the occasion of laying the cornerstone of the court house, and without doubt it is one of the finest pieces of workmanship which has been turned out in this city for many years. The trowel is of solid silver, and with ebony handle, mounted with silver, with a five-pointed gold star in relief. On the trowel are raised emblems in gold – the square, the level and the plumb. The inscription on the trowel is ‘Presented to James Seymour, Esq., Past Grand Master of the Grand Lodge, A. F. and A. Masons of Canada, by Thomas Stock, Esq., Warden of the County of Wentworth, on the occasion of laying the cornerstone of the new Court House in the city of Hamilton, on the 17th of August, A. D., 1877.’ Mr. Thomas Lees, who manufactured the magnificent implement, certainly deserves praise for the taste, elegance of design, and superiority of workmanship.” The civic holiday in Hamilton was on the 17th day of August, 1877, and that day was made the occasion of laying the cornerstone of the present court house. The ceremony had an added interest in being performed by James Seymour, an old Hamilton printer, who had risen to the honorable office of Past Grand Master of the Masonic fraternity.  Mr. Seymour was foreman of the Gazette office in the early ‘50s, but had left Hamilton some years later to publish a newspaper in St. Catharines. Twice has the honor of Grand Master of the Masonic order in Canada been conferred on Hamilton printers, the latest being Mr. A. T. Freed.

It may be interesting to repeat  a bit of history of court houses in the old Gore district, of which Hamilton was  apart. The first court house was a good-sized log building in Ancaster township, on the Dundas and Ancaster road, built in the year 1816, the first in this part of Canada. George Rolph was the first clerk of the court, and the first quarter sessions and surrogate courts for the county of Wentworth were held there. Richard Hatt, a man of wealth, presided as chairman of the first quarter sessions, there being no regularly appointed judge, and while he had no legal education, his decisions gave universal satisfaction. Col. Thomas Taylor, of the Forty-First Highlanders was dispatched from his regiment and sent To Canada to organize and lead the militia in the early part of the War of 1812. He served on the staff of General Vincent, and at the battle of Stoney Creek, received seven bullet wounds in his body. After the war, being unfit for further military duty, he resigned his commission and located in Hamilton. He devoted himself to the study of law, and in the year 1819 was appointed judge and held his first term of court in the log court house between Dundas and Ancaster. Judge Taylor was a graduate of Oxford university, and was an accomplished scholar, in addition to being an artist. Some of his pictures still hold a prominent place in the Royal Academy in London. In all the years from 1819 to the present, there have been only eight judges to preside over the local court – Judge Taylor, Judge Miles O’Reilly, Judge Alexander Logie, Judge William Ambrose, Judge James Shaw, Judge Colin G. Snider, Judge Monk, and last, but not least, Judge Gauld.

In 1822, the first court house in Hamilton was built. Like its predecessor, out on the Dundas and Ancaster road, it was built of logs. In this building, court was held and the business of the county transacted till the year 1830 when the first stone court house was erected on Prince’s Square. When Thomas Stock was warden of the county in 1877, it was decided to raze that stone court house that had done duty for forty-seven years, and in its place build one of more modern architecture, in keeping with the growing importance and wealth of the county. The result is the present handsome building, of which the cornerstone was laid forty years ago yesterday. August 17, 1877 was the day set apart as the civic holiday, and advantage was taken to perform a ceremony that is a part of the history of Wentworth county. There was a fountain in the old square that was removed years ago, and in its place is a handsome flower bed. The first log court house built in town was on the east side of John streets. When it was torn down, a stone tavern was built on the site.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013


Is this old work as bad as people really try to make us believe it is? If things are as wicked as we are daily taught, then Sodom and Gomorrah have the present age worked down to a frazzle. The pulpits and the moral reformers picture to us a world so far gone in sin that there seems little hope for the future. Since the outcry of the past four or five years began about the white slave traffic, it is not safe for one’s wife, mother or daughter to start on a journey to the neighboring republic without running the risk of being held up at the border as a suspicious character, and not fit to be at large. And the same conditions exist as to women coming into Canada. Before the white slave traffic was supposed to exist, it was the proud boast of women that they could travel anywhere in Canada and in the United States free from suspicion, and that they were treated courteously by officials and every other man. It is not so now. A modest woman has to be subjected to a categorical examination by officials on both sides of the line that brings the blush of shame to her cheeks. The officials seem to be no respecters of persons. This outrage has got be so enormous that it is not safe for a woman to travel alone anymore. A woman came to Hamilton recently as a demonstrator of a certain line of goods from one of the leading houses in New York city to one of the leading houses in this city. She was a modest woman and gave close attention to her duties. Her salary, not being large enough to warrant her stopping at a high-priced hotel, and it is next-to-impossible for a woman who is a stranger to get admission to a private boarding house, she was compelled to take up her abode in one of the smaller hotels. It was not many days before the scandal manger got in her work. The story was sent abroad that this woman, who has only her reputation and ability as a demonstrator to depend upon, was engaged in the white slave traffic, and was reported to the police. The result was a detective called upon her and warned her to leave the town forthwith, and the woman would have been driven forth had it not been that her case was taken up by one of official influence. This woman was endorsed by the house in New York in whose services she was employed, and there was no reason whatever why she should have been interfered with.


          Here is another side to this picture of women who come and go without hindrance. Every now and then an item appears in the city papers of colored women enticing men into alleys and robbing them of money and valuables. No sympathy need be wasted on the salacious characters who are led into the alleys, but it shows that women of that class come into Canada from Buffalo and other border towns, commit robberies and get out with the utmost freedom. Why is it that the officers on both sides of the line allow such women to come and go at their pleasure, and yet when a decent lady attempts to enter either country, she is subjected to the most humiliating catechizing because the officer has suspicions that are an insult to every virtuous woman?


          During the summer months, comers and goers from either country are subjected to the vilest suspicion, no matter how respectable the person is in appearance. A couple of years ago, an American citizen was travelling to his home in the western states on a visit, accompanied by his wife. The couple had passed the allotted three score and ten, had every appearance of health and respectability and had money enough and to spare to pay their expenses, yet the man was subjected to a most humiliating catechizing by an immigrant officer while crossing on the ferry boat to Detroit. It did not matter to the officer that the passenger was an American citizen, had served in the army during the civil war, but he wanted to know why an American citizen should live ten or twelve years in Canada, even though he was engaged in legitimate business. While the immigration laws of both countries are necessary to prevent undesirables from going to and fro, yet they were never intended to bear oppressively upon respectable people who are travelling on business or for pleasure. Canada is holding out inducements to people in foreign lands to come over and supply the demand for labor, yet let an American attempt to come across the river to seek employment and the law bars him at the entrance gates. The present condition of affairs is all a muddle, and some of these days there must come a change for the better. Not many years ago, people could go and come at will – men with families desiring a change of homes, and men who wanted to change their labor from one country to another, hoping to better their conditions. What with alien labor law and white slave traffic scares, one has to run the gauntlet in changing from one country to the other. Women of loose morals seem to fare better in passing inspection at the borders than do virtuous women and girls. For instance, the police in Hamilton make a raid on undesirable houses and the police magistrate renders the inmates to leave town or suspend business. The unfortunate inmates must live even if they do not reform, and they are driven from one town to another. They can always manage to escape the officers and get across the river or they come from across the river and pollute Canadian towns. The men, who are equally guilty, stay tight at home and keep up the work of debauching girls. From the accounts we read in the daily papers, married men desert their homes and families and elope with girls of very immature age. The police and detectives could tell many stories that never find their way into print and probably it is better that these stories should not be told to inflame the minds of other young girls. The other day a married man deserted his family in Hamilton and took from the home of her mother a girl not more than thirteen years old. That child girl is ruined for life, and her poor mother’s heart is broken. The man will probably receive a short prison sentence, and while he is living in jail at the expense of the public, his poor wife and children may probably have to depend upon the charity of the city.


          If we are to believe the reports of good people gathered in conventions this world has gotten to be one great salacious whirlpool into which is drawn thousands of innocent young girls every year to supply the demand. They tell us that Hamilton is the breeding place of vice, and that an army of victims go from here year after year to fill the place of the other unfortunate girls who have before treaded the path of vice and have ended miserable lives while yet in their youth. Certainly Hamilton is not anymore moral than is any other towns of equal population. So long as mothers allow their fallen daughters to tramp the streets night after night, to visit dance halls and five-cent shows, to keep company with young men of bad habits and visit with them cafes of questionable character, so long will new recruits be found for the life that leads down to the slums. Our city council has done a wise act in compelling the removal of high board partitions and curtains in the cafes in this city. The police could tell strange cafes, and if mothers were only to hear them it might awaken them to the dangers to which their young daughters are exposed. Girls who have no homes in the city or are far separated from parental watchfulness are still more imperiled. Small wages for their work in stores and offices and the love of finery are other powerful lures. In several foreign countries, young women are kept under strict surveillance, and are never permitted to be alone with any man. In this country, too much freedom is allowed young girls. Within the sacred precincts of the home, the girl is measurably safe; tramp around the streets till late hours at night with questionable companies too often ends in moral ruin. Cheap shows and cheap performers poison the morals of young men of both sexes, and add to these the cheap literature and stories in magazines and papers, and it is only a wonder that the whole world to damnation.


          It was like taking a trip back into dreamland to attend the Grand this week to witness the resurrection of two of the old standard English comedies – She Stoops to Conquer, written by Oliver Goldsmith, and The Rivals by Brinsley Sheridan. It is not our purpose to attempt any criticism or eulogy further than to say that the performing company was all that could be desired; nothing omitted in the costumes and staging. It is nearly sixty years ago since this old Muser saw these plays and there were histrionic giants in those days, and the plays presented were clean and free from the double meaning that one hears in burlesque operas and vaudevilles of the present day. We wonder sometimes if any of those old players are still strutting their brief on the mimic stage of life. It is fifty years ago since we saw Mr. Nickinson and Mr. Peters on the stage in Cincinnati, and the next day we saw Mr. Nickinson lying cold in death on the sidewalk on the corner of Fourth and Vine streets, where he fell in an apoplectic fit resulting in immediate death.  Miss Charlotte Nickinson (afterward Mrs. Morrison) who played the leading lady parts died three or four years ago in Toronto, and Sunny Lee, the first walking gentleman of the old stock company, died a few weeks ago in Kingston. What a fascination the old plays have for the old-timers, and we wondered the other night, in looking over the audience in the Grand, how many there present could look back in memory to seeing the same plays in the Theatre Royal sixty years ago? Time moves ruthlessly along, and it is only here and there that one of the old school is left to dream of the past. Vaudeville and leg opera controls the stage nowadays, and sometimes the performers are very smutty in their efforts to be funny and draw the applause of the gallery gods. Evidently the people want that class of amusement, for the theatres are crowded afternoon and night, while such standard clean plays like She Stoops to Conquer and the Rivals barely draw enough to pay expenses. No wonder the minds of young theatre-goers are poisoned with immorality when it is sung and played at them in the cheap shows that are more plentiful than clean concerts, lectures and legitimate drama.


          The forestry of Hamilton was its beauty in the early days of the town. When Hugh B. Wilson laid out part of his own farm into streets, he had planted rows of shade trees on the three avenues – West, Victoria and East avenues – and today they are among the handsome streets in the city. The designers of the light, telephone and telegraph companies make periodic visits to every street in town and what has taken years to grow and spread out in leafy beauty is cut and hacked by the tree butchers. Down at the east end of Main street, the city is cutting down about two hundred forest trees that have been growing half a century or more, and the probabilities are that others will not be planted in their stead except some lover of trees who owns property on the street may plant new trees. “If I had my way,” said the governor of New York, the other day, when discussing an appropriation bill for forestry growth in the state, “I’d make every man in the state plant a tree every month. I have always planted trees, and when I was a boy on the farm, every rainy day, when there was nothing else to do, was spent in the woods. My father taught me to dig up little trees and plant them along the road. When people pass that farm today, they exclaim of the beauty of the elms and maples. That was practical forestry, and if the people in Canadian towns and who own Canadian farms would follow out that plan, the timber supply of Canada would never be exhausted.


          There is one to the credit of the male sex, no matter in what station of life the boy or man belongs, when a lady enters a crowded street car, the gallantry of the male sex prompts them to courteously tender their seats to her. On the other hand, let the same conditions exist as to the other sex, the woman or girl will spread out so that she covers two seats instead of one, and if her neighbor gets up to leave the car, she will hunch a little to get more space for herself and never thinks of making room for a woman who may be standing in front of her. This occurs every hour of the day on the street cars. It may be absent-mindedness or it may be sheer hoggishness, very likely the latter, but it shows a want of consideration and courtesy that one would naturally expect from a lady. Probably if the attention of the dear creatures was called to this lapse of courtesy, they might hunch up closer to each other and give the standers a chance.