Saturday, 16 August 2014


In the year 1854, the Cadets of Temperance and the Sons of Temperance were not holding their own as organizations, and this brought the Good Templars to the front. The order had its origin in the United States, and as it admitted both sexes to membership, it soon became popular. Father Adam got mighty lonely in the Garden of Eden, and to keep him from getting lonesome, so that he would not get into bad habits, Eve was sent to keep him company. The girls in the old days had much more influence over the habits of the young men than they have in these degenerate days, and for this reason the order of Good Templars seemed to spring into popularity as by magic. Hamilton lodge No. 2 soon had a large membership, and as the majority were young people, the influence for good was marked in the habits of the young men. Hundreds were kept out of saloons, and grew to be total abstainers, though some fell by the wayside. Through the influence of the Good Templars in Hamilton, the first check on the saloon was the closing up on Saturday night at se3ven o’clock, and that law became general throughout Upper Canada. It was a good law, for it closed the drinking places so as to give families a chance to get a portion of the weekly wages of bibulous husbands. The Good Templars first introduced street preaching on Sunday afternoons in the interest of the discussion of temperance. That old Hamilton lodge did grand work for humanity and temperance in Hamilton. In an evil hour, the green-eyed monster crept in, and a feeling of hostility to an American order was cultivated by a few ultra-loyal men who had designs on the order for political purposes. The result was a split in the order, the secessionists calling themselves the British order. While a lodge was organized in connection with the new order, it did not have a long life. To the credit of the Good Templars of Hamilton, they could not see why connection with the supreme grand lo9dge of the United States would be a detriment to temperance work in Canada. The old Hamilton lodge flourished, and its membership being on the increase, the temperance hall in White’s block became too small to accommodate the numbers who attended the weekly meetings. The second and third stories of Piper’s building, in the Elgin block, on John street, was bought by the members, each one contributing according to his or her ability, and the building was enlarged by an addition in the rear, the two stories became thrown into one.


          In the year 1854, sixty years ago, the first lodge of Good Templars was organized in Hamilton, under the name of Hamilton lodge No. 9. Dr. William Case was elected the first Worthy Chief Templar, and among the charter members were some of the prominent business men of the city and their wives and daughters. The Sons of Temperance were doing good work among the men, and to educate the boys in the habits of total abstinence, there was a section of the Cadets of Temperance under the control of the Sons. The cadets had quite a large section, and the boys were not only pledged against the use of liquor, but they were prohibited from the use of tobacco while members of the order. At the age of eighteen, the boys were supposed to graduate into the Sons of Temperance, which many of them did, and at the same time, they were absolved from their pledge against the use of tobacco. It was the fond hope of the founders that the boys, not having acquired the appetite for tobacco would continue to abstain from its use during life; but they were typical sons of Adam, and could not resist temptation. Among the boys active in the cadets were many who afterwards became prominent in Hamilton life. At least two who in afterlife were editorial managers of the Spectator were model boys in their youth and were members of the Cadets. That was away back in the early ‘50s. The use of intoxicating liquors was more general in those days, and total abstainers were few and far between. In almost every home, the decanter had a prominent place on the sideboard, and dad had to have his tansy bitters before breakfast to sharpen his appetite, and his regular nips at stated times during the day. The laws against the sale of liquor were not of much force, and as the license fee was merely a nominal sum, not more than $50 a year or less, there were double and treble the number of taverns and shebeen shops in Hamilton to supply the demand of not more than ten thousand populations than there are now to quench the thirst of over one hundred thousand. The world moves and temperance has taken a long stride ahead. There are more total abstainers now than then in then in proportion to population, but the mischief of it is the drinkers consume more than their share. The result is, the statistics show that more liquor, of all kinds, is drunk now, per capita, than at any period of the history of Canada. This is bad. It sounds strange to say that more liquor is drunk while the majority of people, counting men, women and children, are total abstainers.


          A history of that old lodge would be interesting, and its death a lesson in these days when designing men are using the sacred cause of temperance to bolster up a political party. Political action was the death-blow to the order of Good Templars, not only in Canada but in the United States. At one time, it was the most powerful temperance organization in America. Designing men got control of it for their own personal use as a political rallying cry and the end came. The old thread-worn cry of “Vote as you pray” had its effect, and the churches were appealed to. The same conditions exist today, and the temperance banner, under which men of all parties can safely rally, is being dragged in the dust in the interest of one political party.


          In the year 1854, the Canada grand lodge of the Good Templars was organized in this city. Sixty years have worked wonderful changes, and it is doubtful if more than a dozen who were connected then are living now in Hamilton. Dr. Case, who was connected with the organization of Hamilton lodge, was honored by unanimous election to the office of grand worthy chief Templar, and a Hamilton man was made grand secretary. The institution of a grand lodge gave the order in Canada a standing, resulting in the organization of subordinate lodge in nearly every town and hamlet in Upper Canada. For ten years or more, the order was on the top wave of prosperity, and then the plotters for political action got control, and so ended for years the work of the Good Templars in Canada, and also in the United States. Recently, there has been an effort to revive the order and place it on a substantial basis, and the meeting of the grand lodge in this city this week shows encouraging signs in its report of work done during the past year. A number of subordinate lodges have been organized, and the roll of membership gives evidence of a healthy increase. This old Muser had the honor of taking part in the organization of the first grand lodge in Canada, and while adhering strictly to his temperance pledge, he dropped out from the order when the “Vote as you pray” fellows got control for their own aggrandizement.


          Scientists have discovered that ice cream and candy are a sure cure for the drink habit, and that if the remedy is persevered in, the boozeries will have to retire from business. It certainly is a very pleasant cure, and is worthy of a trial. But the mischief of it is that the boozer prefers the irrigating process, and as a general thing, he wishes his throat was a mile long that he might feel the delightful irritation produced by the genuine stuff. Oranges and apples, and indeed so many antidotes for the drink habit have been prescribed, that one is lost in amazement that the army of drunkards seems to be enlisting new recruits all the time. It is like Tennyson’s Brook, it goes on forever. Legislation does not seem to stem the torrent, while the fountain head, the distilleries and the breweries, seem to pour forth their everlasting streams. Remedies without number have been prescribed, but appetite is stronger than the desire to be cured. Dr. Keeley, an army surgeon in the American civil war, hit upon a remedy that has cured thousands of the drink habit, and if persevered in, it is effectual. The remedy has been taken by a few Hamiltonians with good results; but there are others who have tried it who have gone back to their old habits. Then there have been remedies advertised that are utterly worthless, and the men who put them on the market should be prosecuted for fraud, for they only hold out a hope to the wife who is willing to pay anything if it will only cure her husband of the unfortunate appetite. Some of these remedies can be out into the coffee the man drinks, so the advertisement says, and he will never know what he has taken till his wife tells him later when he is cured. This is a cruel fake, and it is a deliberate misrepresentation. Any person may be cured of the drink habit if they only have the moral courage to quit it and take such remedies as the Keely cure. There is a drink that is in common use that has been denounced by the highest medical authority in the United States, Dr. Wiley, formerly head of the United States marine hospital bureau. It is sold by druggists and restaurants, and is so seductive that once a taste for it is acquired, it is hard to break away from. It is not intoxicating but is much worse – it is a soothing drink that leads in the end to the cocaine and morphine habit. Shun it if you value health and comfort.

Thursday, 14 August 2014


The passing of Edward Bethune, on Friday of last week, removed another old-timer from the stage of action. During the latter years of his life, he was a comparative stranger in a town where he once was active. Sixty years ago he was a partner in the confectionery business of Ecclestone & and Bethune, the firm conduction two of the leading shops in Hamilton. From the first knowledge, the writer of these musings had of Mr. Bethune, he was always interested in religious work. In 1855, he joined the volunteer fire department and was a member of No. 1 company, having a his associates George Tuckett, Charles Newberry, Harry Harding, Joshua Phillips, all prominent in business circles. In looking over the old roll of the company, the only one now living in Hamilton is James Phillips. How time rolls around! Of the 135 names of No. 1 in 1855, how few are left! The minutes of the old fire company are full of quaint doings. For instance, Edward Bethune presented, at a meeting, a bill of 17 shillings, 6 pence for beer, and after some discussion, it was allowed. The boys of No. 1 often indulged in beer and crackers and cheese at their meetings, but not to a hilarious extent. Charley Smith, the oldest living fireman in the city, celebrated his eightieth birthday a week ago last Sunday. He was born in New York city and came to Hamilton when a boy. He joined the old department in 1847, and was captain of a boys’ company, the engine being a present from John Fisher, of the firm Fisher and McQuesten, and was made in their foundry. Of No. 3 company, there are but few left. It was a temperance company, and no one was eligible for membership who smothered his face in the foam of a beer mug. The few survivors of the old department are men now ranging along about the eighties, exempting Colonel John Stoneman, and he was only a boy when he first began as a torchbearer.


          Probably one of the oldest men in Hamilton, and without a doubt, the oldest business man, ended life’s journey on Friday of last week. David Galbraith was in his ninety-sixth year; he was born in Stoney Creek and lived there till arriving at man’s estate, when he moved into Hamilton and engaged in the grocery business. When Mr. Galbraith was born, on the 18th day of February 1819, Stoney Creek was a more important point than was Hamilton, or Head of the Lake as it was then called. Being raised on a farm, his inclinations led to a farming life, and he became a student of fruit raising, which was then in its infancy, especially the cultivation of the peach, starting the first peach-tree nursery in this section. When he first came to Hamilton, there was but one brick cottage in the village, and that stood on a knoll on the corner of King and John streets. On the first of October, 1841, Mr. Galbraith opened a general store in a frame building adjoining the Waldorf hotel on the east, and did business there till early in the fifties, when he moved across the street, opposite the Waldorf. He was successful as a business man. He took an active part in politics and represented St. Patrick’s ward in the city council till he was appointed one of the commissioner in 1855, to organize a system of waterworks for the city, in connection with Charles Magill, Adam Brown, M. Wilson Browne and Peter Balfour. T. C. Keefer was the engineer who planned the system, and the commissioners ably seconded his efforts. There were diverse opinions as from whence should the supply of water come, some favoring a canal from the Grand river, others going still farther to Lake Erie, while others thought the bay would be the cheapest. Mr. Keefer decided that the present source of supply would be the purest and best and his plan was adopted by the commissioners. It was no slight undertaking for a town of less than 11,000 inhabitants to undertake, and that, too, at the beginning of one of the worst financial panics that ever visted Canada. The estimated cost of the system was $440,000, and the commissioners completed their at but little more than the engineer’s estimate. For this amount the pumping station at the beach with a complete outfit of machinery was built, the reservoir on the mountain, about180 feet above the level of the lake, was constructed, and thirteen miles of pipe, extending from Wellington to Bay street, and from Hannah to Barton, with one hundred hydrants, was completed. To provide for a population of 25,000, it was estimated would require an additional $40,000. This was the system that David B. Galbraith helped to organize. Adam Brown is the only survivor of the first board of water commissioners of Hamilton. They planned wisely and well. After Mr. Galbraith retired from business, he was appointed to a position in the customs service, which he held till superannuated. He was always in the front rank of those who loved the city and was ready to make sacrifice for its advancement.


John Wannamaker, formerly postmaster-general of the United States, does not take kindly to long Sunday services. Now no one can accuse Mr. Wannamaker of a lack f reverence for the Sabbath, for he has been an earnest worker in the church and in the Sunday school from his youth up, but he has the courage of his convictions and is not afraid to speak out in a meeting at the mid-year conference of the Pennsylvania State Sabbath School association held in Philadelphia last week, he said, “You spend too much time fussing with programs, speeches, meetings and movements. You will win greater success if you adopt some of the methods used by Billy Sunday, the evangelist. Religious services are too long and too dry anyhow, and the church or Sunday school that expects to meet with success must deliver the goods the people want.” Some people object to Billy Sunday’s language. It’s pretty hard to break away from the language a fellow has been using since childhood, and we should not overlook the harvest to examine the harrow too closely. Mr. Wannabaker added that Sunday schools should try to follow the principles of vocational training by discovering and developing the inclination of each pupil.


The present tightness of the money market and the consequent depression in business does not seem to make any appreciable difference in the value of real estate in Hamilton. While the transactions are not as many, yet prices keep advancing steadily. The scarcity of inside property stiffens up the price. There may not be as much building within the next few months, but this will not reduce the value of houses, rather tend to an increase in price. The prospect for the building of new churches and of improving the old ones is going to set a good many thousands afloat during the coming summer. If money is as scarce as it is claimed for it, then it is certainly not among churches, for the Easter reports indicate a liberal giving that is unprecedented. Seventeen years ago, a newcomer to Hamilton was in search of a lot on which to build a house, and he was offered about seventy-five feet on the corner of West avenue and King streets – the corner just east of the First Methodist church – for $2,000. The site was all that was desirable, but being from the country, he had the horror of the noise of the street cars passing by, so he let it pass. There are three brick houses on that lot, which pay an annual rental that would have been a big interest on the $2,000 invested. However, he let the opportunity pass. A couple of years ago, the trustees of the Methodist church offered $15,000 for the lots, and would have gone a little better rather than miss getting them. The owners turned up their noses at even $20,000, and now are holding them at $30,000. This is but one instance of the increasing value of property in this city. We might cite several cases where large sums have been paid for desirable lots even within the past couple of years, but this one takes the bun. We presume the assessors have not yet learned the increased value of that property, but somehow or another residence property keeps on increasing in value according to the assessors.


Those get-rich-quick advertisements we read in the daily papers certainly offer tempting inducements, and thousands of dollars pass from the pockets every year of the gullible ones into the pockets of the sharpers. For instance, an advertisement which has grown gray in the service is that which offers to furnish literary employment to those who want it, where they can make a good salary writing for the newspapers, and it does not cost the applicant a cent. Generous souls, to give free information to those ignorant of newspaper work! But when the applicant writes for a position then the advertiser gets in his work, and bleeds the unfortunate one so long as there is a dollar to be had, and at last to find out that there is nothing in it. Then there other advertisements of a similar nature offering free information that will make the fortunes of the applicants, and all one has to do is write and have the good thing handed out to them without fee or reward. When one writes for information, then a small fee is required, and so it goes on so long as the innocent one can be gulled. These sharks live on the ignorance and gullibility of those who are always who are always on the lookout for some means by which they can get rich without work. Pay no attention to such advertisements and you will save money.


How are you this morning? Fine and dandy, are you? Want to know how to remain in that condition? Then listen to the advice of a governor of an eastern state: “Take a good long walk every morning; eat wholesome food; refrain from alcoholic liquors; refrain from excessive use of tobacco, and particularly from inhaling the smoke; and, having attended in all these matters, pray hard, for nothing can keep you healthy and strong except the Grace of Almighty God.” Here is a recognition of the Supreme Director from a man who finds time in the midst of the cares of a great office in a great state, to remember the things that be of the spirit. He has learned that the restful spirit makes for bodily health and strength – an easy lesson to learn for which no particular cult is needed – just calm, common sense. Some of us learn it early, some late, but to all the fact some day comes home that the troubled, vexed spirit makes much of pain and ill for the outer man, doesn’t it?