the Port Hope 'Weekly Times and County of Durham British Canadian' Thursday Morning September 12, 1889
The visitor to Port Hope on Wednesday was amply repaid for his trouble. Our town was givenanother opportunity of demonstrating
how well strangers can be entertained, and the occasion was made
as enjoyable as possible. Not a single hitch occurred in the
proceedings of the first two days.
By an accident at the torch-light procession on Wednesday night, a serious complication
was imminent, but as it turned out no one was hurt and the incident was as thoroughly enjoyed by all who were witnesses to it, as
any feature of the regular programme. But serious accident
was only avoided by the promptness and courage of those in charge of the waggon containing the exploding bombs, for had the horses
got away among the great crowd of spectators on Walton street, every horse standing on the street would likely have become
frightened, and plunging among the people, injured many. The escape was a very narrow one.
The first day of the fair was
devoid of much interest. The baseball tournament was commenced and two good games were played.
The second day opened
bright and clear with every prospect of auspicious weather and a great crowd of visitors. The weather was extremely warm; but
anything but a rain on such a celebrative day!
The unveiling of the Williams monument was a sight new to many. The
thousands who gathered at the foot of the monument of our hero signified their deep interest and concern in the event by round
after round of applause. Some good speaking ensued, and everybody was pleased with the ceremony.
At two o'clock the park
was thronged by an immense crowd at 25 cents per head. The exhibition was good in many features but owing to the early date at
which the show was held, entries for farm products were not as numerous, nor of as meritorious a nature, as could be wished for.
However, it is hoped this will be obviated another year.
The horse races were immense, and were appreciated to the full.
Good time was made, and a good field out. Never before did our magnificent driving park show off to such good advantage, and its
beauty and commanding position were the admiration of all.
The decorations in honour of the Premier were varied and
fitting. Port Hope was arrayed in gorgeous holiday attire, and both by decorations and enthusiasm did honour to Canada's
greatest chieftain, Sir John A Macdonald.
The base ball tournament opened on Tuesday afternoon and attracted quite a number of sporting enthusiasts. The first game was
between the Independents (Cobourg) and the Orono Clubs, of which the following is the score:
Independents......0 1 5 3 0 9 4 - 22
Orono......................0 1 3 1 0 0 0 - 5
The second game was better contested as the following score of the Atlantics and Cobourgs teams will show:
Atlantics, Port Hope......5 0 0 0 0 2 0 - 7
Cobourgs...........................4 2 3 0 0 0 0 - 9
On Wednesday afternoon the tournament was continued. The Independents beat Port Hope by 12 to 7, and also beat the Cobourgs
6 to 5, thus taking first money.
The Unveiling Ceremony
The town was liberally decorated, and it was a
gay scene that met the incomers. Flags were flying everywhere, bands
were playing and the crowds were restlessly pushing their way along the
sidewalks. The centre of attraction, of course, was the market square,
where the flag-draped statue raised its bronze sword. The public must
now be as familiar with the statue as words can make it.
John A pulling another string
On the pedestal
is this inscription:
TO COMMEMORATE The devoted patriotism and heroic bravery of Lieutenant-Colonel ARTHUR T H WILLIAMS, MP Commanding the Midland
Battalion of Volunteer Militia, who, after gallantly leading the victorious and decisive charge at the battle of Batoche during
the Rebellion in the Northwest Territories, Died of sickness contracted in the discharge of his duty near Fort Pitt, NWT, on
the 4th July, 1885 THIS MONUMENT Is erected in his native town by his admiring countrymen throughout Canada, assisted by his
companions in arms and the Government of the Dominion
The pedestal is placed on a raised mound and is surrounded with green sod
and bright flowers. It is on the east side of the Town Hall and the walls of the building were hung with bunting and flags,
while these legends were dispayed:- "THE HERO OF BATOCHE" and "His Life Was Given For His Country."
The square was crowded and every vantage point was occupied. Seats near the platform were arranged for the ladies, but after the
first ten minutes their only use to the ladies was to stand upon them to enable them, at the expense of the view of those behind,
to see over the heads of those who had pushed in front of them.
Before the ceremony, Col Benson marched up 250 men of the 46th -
Col Williams' own corps
- and they took their places near the platform. At their head were the 57th and the 46th Battalion Bands.
Crowding around the platform were hundreds of rugged old settlers,
friends of the late Col Williams and of his father before him. They had
followed the course of his career with an interest that was earned by
his invariable courtesy and generous nature. They had travelled many
miles along the dusty concession lines of Cavan and Manvers and Hope,
and awaited the unveiling with the kindest memories of him whose virtues
they were there to see written in enduring bronze.
Among those present - Officers of the Williams Memorial Association - W Craig, Sr, President; R H Holland, Secretary, and R A
Mulholland, Treasurer, Judge Benson, D Chisholm, J F Clark, J Craick, J H Helm, Rev Dr Bethune;
Mayor E Peplow, and Councillors J McMullen, R C Smith, T Long, T A Thompson, J H Rosevear, W Craig, Jr,
and S Paterson; Town Clerk H V Sanders, Town Treasurer G M Healy.
Harbour Commisioners E S Vindin, P Robertson, W Williamson.
Mayor Stevenson, MP, of Peterborough, and Clerk James Macdonald represented the Peterborough Corporation:
Dr Willoughby, MPP, East Northumberland; C C Field, MPP, West Northumberland; Robert Mulholland, ex-MPP, Cobourg;
J Massou, MP for North Grey; Geo Guillett, MP, West Northumberland; E Cochrane, MP, East Northumberland;
Capt Howard, who worked the Gatling gun through the Northwest rebellion; the officers of the 40th Battalion were
represented by Col Graveley, Capt Givins, Major Bonnycastle, Capt Birdsall, Capt McGaughey, Lieut Richardson,
Capt Snelgrove, Capt Greer, Capt Butler, Capt Duncan, Lieut Campbell, Lieut Floyd. The officers of the 45th present
were:- Col Deacon and Col Cubitt; of the 57th there were Col Rogers, Capt Brennan, Lieut Mason; the Durham Field Battery officers
were, Major McLean, Lieut Snyder; the 3rd Regiment of Cavalry officers were, Col Boulton, Capt Sutton, Lieut Kent, Lieut Strickland;
Major Smith, who was second in command of the Midland Battalion under Col Williams, Lieut Cartwright, late of the Midland Battalion;
A M Cosby, Toronto; W W Boulter, J N Curry, Ed Merrill, Picton; E Phelan, Peterborough; W P Prower, Rev Dr McNabb, Bowmanville;
Rev Mr Sanders; Henry Battell, Colborne; J J Preston, Bethany; Jos Thorndyke, Robt Vance, Watson Hanley, Robt Woods,
Thos McCamus, of Cavan; W Vance, T B Collins, Dr Turner, R Ruddy, A Wood, J C Kells, R J Doak, Millbrook, Thos Stanton
and Andrew Benson, Pontypool; Hy Wade, Toronto; J A Polkinghorn, Ottawa; Dr Brereton, ex-MPP, East Durham;
A J VanIngen, Newcastle; Rev Mr Angell, Pittsburg; D H Minaker, Cobourg; Dr Hillier, Bowmanville; Rev J G Bell, Bethany.
Representatives of the Board of Trade - President G M Furby; Secretary D Smart; N Hockin, E Milloy, Dr Corbett, Dr Powers,
Dr Clemesha, F E Gaudrie, Harbourmaster Evans, Capt Janes, Rev J Baker, Rev Mr Reddick, Rev W McWilliams, Rev E N Baker and
Dr Purslow, of Port Hope.
Col Williams funeral procession in Port Hope
The officers of Col Williams' regiment, the 46th, turned out with 250 men and the battalion band.
The officers were:- Col Benson, Major Dingwall; Major Ward, MP, East Durham; Surgeon Might, Capt Deyell,
Capt Robertson, Capt Preston, Capt Winslow, Lieut Smart, Lieut McClurcan, Lieut Staples, Lieut Fowler.
The two sons of the late Colonel Williams, Inspector Victor Williams, of the Northwest Mounted Police, and Leo Williams,
a graduate of the Royal Military College, Kingston, were present, with Charles H Williams, their uncle.
It was shortly after half-past ten when a cab containing Sir John Macdonald arrived. He was accompanied by Sir Adolphe Caron,
Judge Benson, Judge Ketchum, Major Ward, MP, Mayor Peplow, Col Smith, the Deputy Sergeant-at-Arms of the House of Commons,
and Mr Fred White, Comptroller of the Northwest Mounted Police. He was loudly cheered as he ascended with a youthful step the platform
near the statue.
President Wm Craig, Sr, presided and called on Town Clerk Sanders to read an address from the corporation of the town.
The clerk, who has kept the town records for over thirty years, with neat elocution read the following welcome:-
To the Right Hon Sir John A Macdonald, KC, OCB, Premier of the Dominion of Canada:
The Municipal Council of the Town of Port Hope, on this occasion of your first official visit to out beautiful town, desire, on behalf of the citizens,
to convey to you their warmest welcome and their congratulations upon your good health and useful activity.
The object of your coming is one upon which all sections of our townspeople can cordially unite in paying a just tribute to
a gallant soldier, and at the same time in doing honour to themselves by extending a hearty and frank welcome to
yourself as a foremost servant of Canada and of our beloved Sovereign.
The statue as it was at the time of the unveiling and after Hurricane Hazel
struck Port Hope on October 16, 1954
The beautiful statue which is this day dedicated to the memory of our citizen soldier, in whom we all feel a deep
personal interest, and the fact of your consenting to preside at the unveiling of it, are justly objects of pride to us,
and we make no doubt that the occasion is also to yourself one of a very gratifying nature, one that offers to you
the opportunity of expressing the sincere friendship you entertained for the late Colonel Williams, and the high
appreciation that you and your Cabinet felt of the devotion shown and patriotic services rendered by our dead hero to his disturbed country.
We trust that your visit to this town will in every way be of a pleasant character, and that you will
continue to take the interest in our affairs that you have in the past and preserve pleasant memories of the day.
Dated at Port Hope this 4th Sept, 1889.
Signed on behalf of the Council of Port Hope by his Worship the Mayor and the Town Clerk.
E Peplow, Mayor.
H V Sanders, Town Clerk.
Sir John's Reply
Sir John was again given a welcome of the heartiest kind as he received the address from the clerk. In replying, the Chieftain said he
scarcely needed to say that he heartily appreciated the cordial address which they had accorded to him. He had come to Port Hope to do
honour to a good man, a good soldier, a good subject, a good citizen, and he (Sir John) was especially pleased to recognize the kindly
spirit with which the municipality of Port Hope had greeted him.
The corporation of Port Hope had pursued the proper course in
forgetting political differences on occasions of this kind. They were united in doing honour to the memory of their gallant townsman.
Of late his engagements had been such that he had not been able to visit Port Hope as often as he would have liked. He then described
the beautiful surroundings of the tidy town, and showed the great agricultural advantages of the surrounding country. He also reminded
those present of what he had done to promote the interests of Port Hope. He wished
the town every prosperity. (Loud cheers.)
Unveiling the Statue
Rev C J Bethune, DCL, principal of Trinity College School, who
wore his canonical robes, then offered up the following prayer amid solemn stillness, notwithstanding the presence of the vast multitude:
Our help is in the name of the Lord
Who hath made heaven and earth.
O Lord, hear our prayer,
And let our cry come unto Thee.
Lord, have mercy, upon us,
Christ, have mercy, upon us,
Lord, have mercy upon us.
Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name;
Thy Kingdom come; Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us
our trespasses as we forgive them that trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.
Preserve us, O Lord, in all our doings with Thy most gracious favour and further us with Thy continued help;
that in all our works begun, continued and ended in Thee, we may glorify Thy holy name, and finally, by Thy mercy
obtain everlasting life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Money was voted by parliament for the monument, and more was raised by subscription in places such as Toronto and Montreal and wherever
people were willing to contribute. There was much disagreement at the time as to where the monument ought to be placed. Among the
suggested sites were - the middle of the intersection of Walton and Pine Streets, facing east; the hill at the Town Park on Elgin Street;
the corner of Peter Street and King; some thought that behind the Town Hall was a better spot because ice damage was less likely there
in the event of a flood; four lots in the middle of town were offered as a public park to contain the statue, but the offer was declined.
The officers of the Williams Memorial Association finally decided to put it in the Market Square, where the weigh scales were then situated,
and there it has stood ever since.