Wednesday, 17 July 2013


Mr. Henry Williams, son of James M. Williams, who was connected with carriage manufacturing business in Hamilton seventy and eighty years ago, thinks that the writer of ancient happenings in this old town erred in the little bit of history published in last Saturday’s musings, in which credit was given to Frederick W. Watkins and George Brown, as being among the early discoverers of coal oil in the regions west of London. Mr. Williams claims that his father was the first discoverer, and as proof says that to his father was awarded two medals, one given by Queen Victoria, and the other by the government of Canada, both of which are now in the possession of his sister, whose home is in Lockport, Now the medals are undeniable proof in favor of J. M. Williams, and we are not going to gainsay it. The writer of these musings has no data to go back to, depending altogether, or nearly so, on memory for what he writes. Sixty and seventy years is a long time for one to remember, and it is no wonder that at times errors may creep into these musings. None of us is infallible, and if we get as near the facts as possible, what more can the reader desire? The story of the discovery is somewhat along these lines : When J. M. Williams was in partnership with Mr. Cooper, he sold a wagon to a farmer who owned some land out in the neighborhood of Oil Springs. Money was scarce in Canada at that time, it being during the panic of 1857, and as the farmer was short of money when he was called upon to pay for the wagon, he offered Mr. Williams a strip of land at Oil Springs to liquidate the debt, which he accepted. The land was not considered to be of any great value, and Mr. Williams concluded that he would try and dispose of it at any price. To that end, Mr. Williams hired a well-borer to sink a hole for water, with the idea that if a good spring were found it would make the land desirable for pasture. Instead of striking water, the borer ran into a gushing oil spring, and this is claimed by the Williams family as being the first discovery of coal oil not only in Canada, but also in the United States. Now the reader has both sides of the story, and as this muser has no desire to do injustice to the memory of Mr. Williams, we leave it to some future historian to unravel its correctness.


In the year 1857, a few coal oil lamps were introduced in Hamilton by Robert Young, who had his plumbing shop in the Elgin block, on John street north, and they attracted a deal of attention from the curious. What was called rock oil, a strong-smelling oleaginous substance, had about that time been discovered down in one of the maritime provinces, and this Mr. Young burned in the lamp. It required a peculiar kind of burner for the lamp, and Mr. Young was experimenting in the construction of one in order to add the manufacture to his plumbing business. This was the first introduction of rock oil in Hamilton, and when later coal oil had been discovered west of London, it had the same smell as the rock oil. A lathe for making the burners was perfected, and Robert Young was the first to introduce it into Canada, and he was the maker of the first coal oil burners in Canada. The lathe is now the property of a master plumber in this city. Probably it was after the first “gusher” was discovered at Oil Springs that the prospectors flocked by the scores and hundreds up into the oil regions of Canada, but it is nonetheless this fact that the editor of the Globe with Frederick Watkins and hundreds of others sank thousands of dollars in the search for the precious oil, never to realize anything for their enterprise. To Mr. Williams belongs the credit of establishing the first refinery in Hamilton and in Canada, which later became the Canadian Oil company, with Mr. Williams as its president. Finally it became one of the great feeders of the Standard Oil corporation, and helped to swell the Rockefeller millions.


Before a man can lay claim to the title of Irishman must he prove an ancestral residence in Ireland, dating back to, let us say, the days when Brian Boru was king of Munster, or even go farther back to the pre-Adamite period? Some years ago an Irishman discussed this question in a Philadelphia newspaper, about the time when the English newspapers and politicians were claiming all the great statesmen and generals to be either of English birth or so crossed in their breed that it was nip and tuck as to their nationality. There is one thing certain, if the emigrants who remember the ancients that came over to Hamilton in 1847? Ah, but they were poor enough in this world’s goods. This old muser’s father and mother came across the sea in 1834, the father from Tipperary and  the mother from the county of Roscommon, and they landed in Canada in time to make their son a native of this country – and not a bit too soon, either. Well, those who settled in Hamilton in 1847 selected one of the choicest parts of town for their homes, and the few Scotch and English that had already settled down on the bay front  christened the spot selected by the Irish as “Corktown,” and by that name it has ever since been known. Dundas was really intended for an Irish town, for it was there that the first Catholic chapel was built, and the faithful who had settled in Hamilton used to walk out to Dundas every Sunday morning to early mass and walk back home after vespers. There is one thing about an Irishman – he is faithful to his religious convictions, be he Catholic or Protestant.
          Here is a bit of history that may prove interesting: The great British commanders of the nineteenth century were Wellington, Roberts and Kitchener. Wellington was born in Ireland, and before he became a soldier was a member of the Irish house of parliament. His family had resided in Ireland for at least two centuries before his birth in 1769. And yet there are writers of the present day who claim him as an Englishman. Aye, Hibernia!
          Earl Roberts’ family dated back to Waterford, Ireland as early as 1712. “Bobs” was born in India, where his father, a Waterford Irishman, was serving as an officer in the British army. The mother of “Bobs” was a Tipperary woman. By both sides of his family, “Bobs” was Irish, with a slight dash of French Huguenot from one of his maternal ancestors. Lord Roberts even in the days of his greatest success referred to himself as an Irishman. His first command in India was composed for the most part of Irishmen, and it was one of the crack regiments in the British service. When the outlook for the success of British arms in the Boer war was of the gloomiest, “Bobs” sent a message to the Canadian people which ran in part : “Reports which indicate that disloyalty exists among Irish regiments are absolutely untrue. In the hour of danger, my countrymen have ever been the first to lay down their lives for their Queen and country, and whether it be against the Boer, or any other nationality, the Irish soldier will be found loyal to his Queen and brave in battle.” And only a few weeks before his death, Earl Roberts wrote encouragingly to the Irishmen of Liverpool, who were enlisting for the present war, and spoke of his pride in them as an Irishman. But now that the old warrior is dead, some of the present day penny-a-liners are claiming him as a great Englishman.
          Kitchener was born in the county Kerry, Ireland, where his English father had purchased an estate. Kitchener could not help his father being an Englishman, but he always proudly laid claim to his Irish birth.
          Wellington and Roberts had ever in view the glory of the British empire; to that ideal everything else was subservient. They believed in in the union of the two islands. The next thing we know they will be claiming Daniel O’Connell, Robert Emmett, Parnell, John Redmond, and Sir Edward Carson as great Englishmen. The other day, the Toronto Globe claimed John B. Gough, the great apostle of temperance, for a Scotsman. Gough was born in Kent, England, of English parentage and came to America with his widowed mother, poor and penniless. He learned the bookbinder’s trade in the Methodist Book Concern, in New York city, and got into a bad habit of drinking, from which he was finally saved by a Quaker.
          During the American civil war, there were no braver soldiers in the Union army than the Irish; and there were no more faithful chaplains than the Catholic priests.  The priests were always ready to administer the last rites of the church to Catholic or Protestant, and when their boys got into close quarters could handle a musket with the best of them. Here in Hamilton as many as thirty or forty descendants of Irishmen are on the pension roll of the United States, while the sons of a number of them are serving with the Canadian boys in France. The Irish will fight, and are always loyal to the flag under which they live.

          One of the readers of the Daily Spectator some time ago dropped into poetry and sent his muse to the Saturday muser to help fill out his column, but unfortunately it got mislaid at the time, and only the other day it was resurrected. Better late than never. We offer apologies to the writer and here it is.
          We look upon the coming time
            In fond imaginings, and scan
          A brighter, happier destiny,
            Like summer sunshine, fall on man.

          Yes, in that future, far away,
           Dim though its mists and shadows be,
          Through Fancy’s vision may be traced
            The triumphs of posterity.

          When Canada’s remotest wilds,
            Reclaimed by labor’s eager hand,
          Shall bloom in plenty, peace and joy,
            A great, a blest, a virtuous land.

          When steeds of steam, on iron roads,
            From east to west shall hurry on,
          While snortings hoarse and whistles shrill
            Shall echo loud round Burlington.

          Laden with beauty, wealth and life,
            The lengthened train shall sweep its way,
          Fleet through Dundurn’s romantic height
            To meet the fireship on the bay.

          And our fair city, fairer grown,
            Extended far on every side,
          With hills, and towers, and spires, and domes,
            And wealth and wisdom beautified,
          May look on that stupendous power,
            Those foaming steeds that fleet in run,
          Than our fleet life, and may exclaim,
            “Behold, behold, what mind has done!”


          MR. EGAN, ARTIST

          How many of the old-timers remember Mr. Egan, a portrait painter, who lived in Hamilton in the year 1849? J. B. Nelligan, of the assessment commissioner’s department, has been a collector of theatrical programs and cards of the professional men when Hamilton and he were young together, and once in a while, he resurrects the name of some Bohemian who used to strut his brief hour on the stage in the old barn, called a theatre that stood on the corner of John and Rebecca streets in the long ago; or the professional card of some ancient artist, who painted the portraits of ancient Hamiltonians. Here is one he showed the muser the other day : “Mr. Egan, the artist, begs most restfully the attention of the ladies and gentlemen of Hamilton and vicinity to a number of portraits painted by him, which may be seen at his rooms (next door to the Spectator office from 10 o’clock a.m. until 4 p.m.. Mr. E. assures those who may have a desire to patronize him that for several years’ constant practice asnd study, he feels competent to give entire satisfaction, either as Likenesses or Works of Art.” This card is dated Hamilton, December 6, 1849. There may be some of Mr. Egan’s portraits of old-time Hamiltonians still decorating the walls of homes in this city.

Thursday, 11 July 2013


        One of the wonders of modern science is the manner in which products once regarded as worthless have been turned to such good account that they have made fortunes for manufacturers and the discoverers. In the early days of gas lighting in our own city of Hamilton, the coal tar from which the gas was distilled was run to waste in a gully at the north end of Caroline street to get rid of it. It was regarded as of no value, and thousands of tons of the tar were lost to the local gas company before science discovered its use for making dyes, how it could be turned into a valuable antiseptic such as carbolic acid, and ultimately an important factor in the invention of smokeless powder and powerful explosives which have made the present war so terrible. In time, this liquid tar was shipped from the Hamilton gas works to a plant in western Detroit, where it became a valuable product, vastly increasing the earnings of the gas company from what was once a refuse turned into the Caroline gully.
          Science got busy about that time and made another important discovery that added millions of dollars to the soap boiling industry by the utilizing of a thick, evil-smelling liquid that was run off in the sewers to be got rid of. The soap makers of Hamilton ignorantly were sending down to the bay thousands of dollars’ worth of this liquid every year, and were glad to get rid of it. Old-timers will remember when a soap factory in a neighborhood was anything but a joy. Some scientific genius discovered not many years ago that this evil-smelling liquid could be utilized and add thousands of dollars every year to the bank accounts of the soap makers through a simple process, and he perfected machinery that is now in use in every soap factory. One factory alone in this city has for a number of years been shipping this crude glycerine to Omaha Nebraska, where it is distilled into refined glycerine for toilet and other uses, as well as for dynamite and other powerful explosives in use in quarries for blasting purposes and in the mining of coal, iron, etc. The income from this crude glycerine that was sent down to the bay by one firm alone in this city ha amounted to $5,000 and upward each year; and since the war has more than doubled in value.
          Not more than twenty-five years ago, it was discovered that paper for newsprint and books could be made out of wood, and that Canada had enough spruce wood timber to supply the world if only judiciously used. Pulp mills were built along the streams where this timber abounded, and by the use of chemicals, the wood ground into a fine pulp ready for the paper mills. Speculators bought up the timber limits and built pulp mills, but instead of conserving this great natural substance to Canada by converting it into paper, the pulp has been shipped out of the country to the enrichment of the paper industry elsewhere.
          Nature has blessed Canada with boundless resources that might have made it one of the richest countries in the world if the natives and those who have come from foreign lands to make a home here had only conserved them to the building up of Canada. In the mines of Ontario is the world’s supply of nickel, and yet till lately not a dollar’s worth of the matte taken from the mines has been refined in Canada. At one time, a start was made to create a refinery here in Hamilton by the erection of a large building, and some part of the machinery added, when Hamilton capitalists gave the enterprise the cold shoulder and the building finally passed from its original purpose under the sheriff’s hammer, and that ended John Patterson’s dream of a nickel refinery in Hamilton.
          About sixty-five years ago, petroleum, or coal oil, was discovered west of London, and men left their business and their homes in Hamilton to go in search of the precious fluid. George Brown, the editor of the Toronto Globe, left the management of his paper to his brothers and spent weeks and months in the western oil fields and poured thousands of dollars down into the holes in the ground, very little of which returned in oil for years afterward. But he persevered, and while he did not realize to the full the benefits of his prospecting, he located the town of Rothwell, and in time, it became the center of gushing oil wells. Frederick Watkins, one of the enterprising businessmen in Hamilton, bade goodbye to this partners in the dry goods and clothing trade, and took the Great Western railway route to the oil fields, sank a decent fortune in boring holes, and came back to his dry goods shop satisfied with his costly experience. Finally, the Standard Oil company gobbled up the whole field and added millions to their fortunes.
          The above is but a sample of where Canada’s wealth has gone. It was the same when natural gas was discovered almost within the sound of St. Paul’s chimes here in Hamilton. The speculators from the other side of the Niagara and the Detroit rivers came and developed it, and for years, Detroit and Buffalo were lighting and heating their homes with Canada’s natural gift before the people of Hamilton awakened to the fact that there was such richness at their doors, and that all it required was the investment of a little capital to develop it. A few American speculators, and among their number a wealthy brewer, knew a good thing when it came under their observation, and that was the foundation of the Hamilton Natural Gas company. American capitalists now want to build a battery of coke ovens to furnish a never-failing supply of gas, but, no doubt, obstacles will be thrown in their way by men who will not invest a dollar in any home enterprise.
          Virgil Ross, a newspaper writer in Toronto, has written an interesting book on the development of coal oil in western Canada. He gives credit to J.M. Williams, of the old carriage firm of Williams & Cooper, as being one of the early discoverers of the oil wells. We think he is in error, as Mr. Williams did not engage in the oil business in this city for some years after Frederick Watkins and George Brown had sunk small fortunes in prospecting in the oil regions. Mr. Williams was one of the early carriage builders in Hamilton, and had as a partner Henry Cooper, who began as foreman for Mr. Williams. Their factory was the ancient stone building that used to front on King street west, now owned by the Aitchson Lumber company. Mr. Williams retired from the carriage manufacturing business about the year 1860-1861, and engaged in the coal oil business, being elected president of the Canadian Oil company, which was later absorbed by the Standard Oil company.
          We have drifted somewhat away from what we started out with – fortunes made out of refuse once thrown away. Let us get back to the wonders of what science has done.
          Acetylene gas was discovered by a Hamilton boy who was a clerk in a drug store on York street. It is not many years ago, and it is unfortunate that the young scientist did not live to enjoy the financial benefits of his discovery. Acetylene gas has made many fortunes in the few years that it has been in existence, but we have not heard of any Hamilton man reaping benefit from it. However, young Willson left a comfortable fortune to his family.
Lord Kelvin, one of the most noted scientists in his day, said that it was impossible for the Cataract Power company to transmit electricity from Decew Falls to Hamilton as a direct current. The thing had never been done on account of the distance between the source at the falls and the terminal in this city, and a Toronto scientist backed up Lord Kelvin and said it could not be done. John Patterson, who knew nothing about electrical science, said he believed it could be done, and he persuaded the Cataract company to risk money in making the experiment. If it succeeded, there was millions in it, for it would save the expense of building a number of stations to transmit the current. John Patterson won out and Lord Kelvin graciously acknowledged that John knew more than the scientists. The direct transmission of electrical power from Decew Falls to Hamilton has made thousands of dollars for the Dominion Power and Transmission company, and was the first long-distance transmission known to the electrical science. The system is now in general use, and the electrical world has had the benefit of John Patterson’s discovery without costing a penny to any company.
It is said that one of the most astonishing discoveries made was that by which grime, washed from sheep’s fleece, yielded millions of dollars in potash. Some observant farmer discovered that a certain amount of potash was absorbed by sheep as they chewed the meadow grass. This potash circulates through the system and eventually exudes through the skin and adheres to the wool. In cleaning the wool, this mixture of dirt and potash was recklessly washed away.  Nowadays wool cleaning establishments employ chemists to remove the potash for chemical use.
          In the early days of Canada, potash was a profitable article of commerce, and nearly every farmer engaged more or less in its production asan alkaline salt from the ashes of plants. Germany has the largest known deposits of potash, and before the war, America depended upon that country for obtaining potash for chemical and fertilizing purposes, but when hostilities were proclaimed, exports were entirely cut off. The possibilities of fieldspar, which carry twelve or thirteen per cent of potash should attract the scientists of Canada to the large supply of this material, which is now almost neglected. It is said that in the Georgian bay and Muskoka regions there is an unlimited supply of fieldspar, which might become one of Ontario’s sources of wealth.
Old-timers will remember in the early days of Hamilton when tinware peddlers started out from Dennis Moore & Co.s, George H. Blood’s, and Copp Bros.’ with their wagons loaded with tinware to return on Saturday night without a dollar in cash, but with tons of old cotton rags, for which they exchanged for tinware. The rags were sold to the paper mills at a good profit, for all kinds of paper were then made of rags. About twenty-five years ago, some scientist discovered that the spruce wood of Canada could be converted into pulp, and ten into paper, and today, instead of making paper out of cotton and linen rags, the rags are respun and worked over again into cotton textiles, and the waste of the cotton mills that went into the manufacture of paper is now converted to the making of matting and wadding and carpet linings. Old paper has a value that it never had before, and instead of building bonfires, it is now in demand at the paper mills at a higher price than cotton rags used to bring before the discovery of spruce wood pulp.
It was by accident that Sir Titus Salt, who made an enormous fortune out of manufacturing alpaca, found his wealth on waste. He bought up a lot of hair wool which was regarded as mere rubbish, for it was practically useless for spinning, and after numerous experiments produced alpaca from what had hitherto been regarded as waste material. Our Goodenough mayor has run his cutting sheers through thousands of yards of Sir Titus Salt’s discovery.


Fortune is fickle. We believe that the truth has been formulated before, but at the risk of plagiarizing the log line of philosophers who have already made its discovery, we humbly venture to repeat it. Our excuse is a matter of ancient history, and the experience of a Hamilton drummer who went up against a poker game in Dundas, when Pete Riley presided behind the leading bar in the valley city.
Draw poker was then somewhat of a fashionable game among tinhorn sports, and our Hamilton drummer’s flirtation with the Goddess of Chance proved indifferently successful, and the evening wore away without any sign that his advances were making the slightest impression. His pocketbook was growing flatter and flatter, and he had almost reached his “bottom dollar” and was about drawing out of the game while he had enough change left to pay Nelson Able, the owner of the Hamilton and Dundas ‘bus line, for a ride home with his sample grip. But he would try another deal, and see if the goddess was really going to desert him in his hour of distress and, tremblingly, he took a peep at his hand and discovered that the lady was not only smiling up into his sad face, but was positively inviting him to embrace her. To put the matter more prosaically, he was holding a royal flush.
Needless to say, things began to happen about that time. The happy drummer lit one of Quimby’s best 5-cent cigars and carelessly tossed his watch – a fine gold one that had been bought from Thomas Lees, who had recently opened a new jewelry store on James street – into the pot. That watch was a present from his fellow drummers on his recent marriage, and his conscience kicked him a little for risking it in a poker game. Raise succeeded raise till the kitty commenced to look as if it had swallowed a mastiff. The drummer spend the time between the raises dreaming of a trip with his girl wife to New York, and he promised himself never to take any more chances with the goddess once he would get out of that game with his pockets stuffed with the silver and bank notes out of that kitty that was accumulating. And then the Goddess of Chance decided that she was in danger of losing her reputation.
Whether it was that the limit of the kitty cracked the rafters on its way to the roof. Pete Riley could never tell, but as the drummer leaned over to rake in the pot, the ceiling over the table gave way, and a 75 pound chunk caught him just above the medulla oblongata. When he recovered consciousness, he was in a cot in the old Hamilton hospital down at the foot of John street, wondering who had confiscated the pot.
The moral of this ancient poker game in Pete Riley’s Dundas hostelry is, of course, never to dally with the giddy goddess without first examining the ceiling. And readers of these musings that refuse to go on a sunshiny day without an umbrella should paste this bit of local history in their hats to remind them that joy is fleeting and silver linings often plated. The gold watch that had been a wedding gift from his drummer friends, and the trip to New York with his young wife, had all vanished with the ‘chips that pass in the night.’

                                                A PERSONAL COMPLIMENT
          One never grows too old not to appreciate a kindly word from even a stranger, and this muser certainly enjoys it from B. F. Churchill, a Kilbride subscriber to Hamilton’s ancient Spectator. Here it is:
          “To Richard Butler, whom I revere and respect, the muser, and oracle of the Hamilton Spec; the history of past ages of yore, from the present a link, to years threescore. His counsel is good, sets his foot on the wrong, his musings uplifting, put a veto on crime. Calls attention to the present, and the years that are past, may his counsel be heeded by the young and the fast. If the young would be guided and study the past, and the trials of yore, they would not get too fast. However, I’m eighty, and in my weak way a tribute I’ll pay the muser, and pray that log may he live to help make the world better in his pleasant way.”

Friday, 5 July 2013


          The science of medicine has got beyond the old salts and senna and cupping and bleeding stages in the treatment of disease. It was suffering enough to be sick without adding nauseous compounds to turn one’s stomach upside down. Not many years ago, smallpox, that most loathsome of disease, was considered almost certain death; but that day has passed and now doctors and nurses so well understand the treatment of small pox that death is a rare result. There was a time when tuberculosis was considered a family disease, handed down from one generation to another, from which there is no escape, but science has changed all this, and there is hope of cure if taken in the early stages. Fresh air and sunlight, the cheapest remedies that nature can furnish, and that are within the reach of all , are now depended upon by scientists more than medicine, and hundreds are restored to health who, a few years ago, would have been given up to die. Fancy the disgusting doses of cod liver oil and of medicine the poor consumptive was compelled to swallow, and compare the treatment prescribed today by Dr. Holbrook and his medical staff at the mountain sanatorium. If one must die from consumption, and there does not seem any necessity for it under the present scientific treatment, why not make it as gentle as possible? But science proves that the majority of cases can be alleviated, if not entirely cured.
          We have in mind a Hamilton printer who applied for admission to an Oddfellows’ lodge more than sixty years ago and was rejected by Dr. Ridley and Dr. O’Reilly because they discovered in him tendencies to consumption. The young printer’s father had died of consumption, and of course, he must go the same way. That printer is now in his eighty-fourth year, and healthy and strong for his years. The science of medicine has undergone some changes since then.


          Hamilton is blessed with a class of citizens ever ready and willing to make sacrifices to help their less fortunate neighbors, and it is not in words alone, but in deeds, that this is evidenced. As far back as memory will carry the oldest Hamiltonian, its hospitals and benevolent institutions have been the special care of the city, and no expense has been spared in the cost of buildings or in management. And the best of all is that the women and men interested in their management not only give their time, but their money without stint in carrying on these humane enterprises. There is no graft to induce the tightwads to enter into the spirit of giving in the hope that profit may come their way, for a stingy soul never gives where it cannot see some future profit in return. Hamilton ought to be proud of its benevolent institutions and of the men and women who sacrifice time and money to make them prosperous and a blessing. Go back to Hamilton’s first hospital built on the mountain side, a modest two story frame building, furnishing a home in sickness for the unfortunate without homes, and the small population made it its special care, benevolent men taking the responsibility of its management and providing for its financing where the town fell short; and then follow on down through all the year the advancement made till today no town in Canada can excel Hamilton’s present prospective hospital accommodations. The Catholic church is doing noble work for humanity in its splendid St. Joseph’s hospital, and the city at large never stands at expense for the care and comfort of the sick and those injured by accident. In time, and when the new hospital on the mountain top is completed, there will be ample accommodations for a population of twice the size of the present one. The board of hospital governors and its indefatigable chairman are instant in season and out of season in giving their time and business ability without expectation of any future preferment. Let Hamilton thank God for its generous share of men and women who were born with benevolent souls that can take into their keeping those less fortunate in the battle of life.
          It must have come as a Divine inspiration to a dear mother heart in Hamilton the necessity of special hospital privileges for that fatal disease, the white plague, for she planned for the building of the first hospital for its treatment. From that humble beginning, in which money was not spared in building or furnishings, has grown the present sanatorium. Two men who had made generous fortunes in Hamilton in business, beginning life in a humble way half a century ago, backed up the giving of that dear mother heart by presenting a farm on the mountain top as a thank offering for the blessings that had made them prosperous, and the result is the foundation of one of the greatest benevolences that will live for all future time, and stand as a monument for not only the founders but of the generous citizens of Hamilton who have responded liberally to every call made for money. The Hamilton sanatorium has been one of those benevolences that has appealed to the people of this generous-giving city, for what home is proof from that terrible scourge, the white plague?


          From the beginning of the sanatorium down to the present time its support has been somewhat precarious. It began as an individual benevolence promoted by a few generous men and women, backed up by private donations from the citizens of Hamilton at large, for no call was ever made for money that was not promptly responded to by the people. The association was fortunate in selecting for its directors men of liberal business ideas and public-spirited, who were willing to devote all the time necessary for its management, and better still a board of women whose hearts were warm for the affflicted. Unitedly have they worked together for one common object during the past  eight or ten years, and from a farm of about one hundred acres to start with have built up a sanatorium that today is in a measure bringing back to health and life nearly three hundred patients with the terrible white plague staring them in the face. A few years ago it was deemed almost beyond the hope of medical science to restore to health one of a tuberculous nature, while now it is looked upon almost a surety that if taken in time there is balm in Gilead to heal and restore to health. Talk with Dr. Holbrook, the surgeon of the sanatorium , and he will cheer the most despondent with the hope he holds out to those who have not put off till too late taking such treatment as the scientific men of the present day prescribe. With his own cheery nature, Dr. Holbrook inspires even the most despondent, and as he passes from one building to the other in his rounds of visits through the sanatorium grounds, the eyes of the patients brighten up as with a gleam of sunshine. And so it is with all the attaches in their intercourse with the sick, if they feel sad because of the sorrow that surrounds them, they keep a cheerful face and try to something to make the patients forget for the time the uncertainly of health and life.
          There is an average of three hundred patients to be housed, fed, provided with skillful, with medical attendants, and in many cases with clothing suitable to their condition. The expenses of such an institution counts up in the thousands of dollars every month with even the most economical management. The original farm has been reconstructed from plowed fields into streets, sidewalks, flower beds; in fact, into a model park where every prospect will brighten the lives of patients who at the best feel oppressed on account of disease. It was only a few short years ago that the land on which the sanatorium is located was virtually in a state of nature, without buildings or improvements. To change all this required large sums of money, and this had to be supplied by the generous men and women of Hamilton in sums ranging from a few dollars upward. And the people were not stingy in their giving, as can be evidenced by the substantial buildings that have been erected and the improvements made in a few short years.
          The Hamilton Health association was fortunate in its organization in enlisting the sympathies of a class of women and men with souls as well as pocketbooks, and in the selection of a board of directors that was not looking for profit or self-glorification, but were willing to devote their God-given talents for the benefit as a return for the hours and days they spend in managing the affairs of the institution. Here is a dozen or more busy men who are ready to answer the call of the president, leave their private business and meet together to plan to save and restore to health those afflicted with tuberculosis. Hamilton’s mountain sanatorium began in a small way. R. Tasker Steele was a generous soul in his lifetime, and was always planning some blessing for humanity. A family in whom he became interested was afflicted by two bright young daughters being stricken with tuberculosis, and this aroused his sympathies to the necessity of doing something for their relief. Money was needed to build and sustain sanatoriums, and he went around among his business friends and collected nearly $20,000 and sent it as Hamilton’s contribution to a hospital. This suggested to Mr. J. J. Evel, Mr. McMenemy and to Mrs. Robert Evans the idea that instead of sending Hamilton money to other institutions, why not build one in their own town, where there seemed a special need for one. To make a long story short, plans were started by Mr. Evel to do for humanity, and with the active sympathy of Mr. McMenemy, a house was rented on the mountain for the accommodation of the caretakers and a tent erected for two young girls who were afflicted with tuberculosis. Fresh air and proper nourishment, it was hoped, would effect a cure. That was the beginning of what in the past ten years has grown to be the present mountain sanatorium., where more than fifteen hundred patients have been treated, with a diminishing death rate each year. During the last year, there was an average of 317 patients in the hospital, with only a death rate of 21. During the past year more than 100 children have been treated, and of this number 39 were discharged as cured. The doctors say that if they can only get the children in the first stages of the disease it will only be a question of time till they hope to see the white plague stamped out. Mr. Evel and Officer McMenemy began a work for humanity in Hamilton that will call down the prayers and blessings of future generations.