B. B. Williams 51
- Born: Bef 1840, Wales 51
- Marriage: Unknown
- Died: 1 Apr 1919 51
- Buried: Guelph, Wellington, Ontario, Canada 51
The following was submitted by Ken Williams to the publication " Botany District The First 100 Years":
My great grandfather B.B. Williams was born and raised in South Wales . He studied theology there at Breconshire and became an Anglican Mini ster serving in a number of parishes throughout Britain. I n 1890 he r eceived a call to serve in Guelph, Ontario and immigrated to Canada wi th his wife and several members of his family. His son, Llew, and daug hter, Fanny, were to continue to Manitoba to be with the oldest son By ron who had come here at an earlier date. The N ½ of 2-7-22 was broke n in 1889; the south ½ in 1892. Having received a legacy from his moth er's side of the family, great grandfather invested in this property b uying the N ½ in 1889 and the S ½ in 1892. Great grandfather continue d to live in the east but did visit here occasionally. I remember seei ng him only once. My great grandmother died in 1897 and was buried a t Guelph. Great grandfather died April 1, 1919 and was also buried a t Guelph.
The following was supplied by John Wilton from a handwritten cop y of an autobiography written by Benjamin Byron Williams:
The Autobiography of Benjamin Byron Williams 1834 to 1918
My grandfather on my mother's side was a naval captain and distantly r elated to a good country family in Pembrokeshire, little England beyon d Wales. This old naval captain, living in Napoleon's days had had som e stirring experiences. My mother often spoke of them.
My mother, the old naval captain's daughter, was a remarkably beautifu l woman. I have often heard those who knew her in early life speak o f her beauty. She and her sisters were lovely singers. When I saw Lad y Tennyson's portrait, I was struck with the likeness it bore to my mo ther Mary. Mrs Dawson , resembles my mother in a large measure. When m y mother, at the age of 83, passed away at my house in Chichester, Sus sex, her face , as she lay in her coffin was singly lovely. She was cl ever, very Godly, a great church worker, a Sunday school teacher up t o the age of 81. Her body lies in the Chichester cemetery.
Of my grandfather, on my father's side, I unfortunately know nothing . What ever I heard about him has passed away from my memory. Judging , however, from what I know of his family connections, he must have be en socially important. Two of his nephews were English clergymen. On e of them had a living in Carmarthenshire (the name and place I forget ). He evidently held a prominent place in the church and did a noble w ork in the education and advancement of some of the promising young me n in the parish. It was my good fortune to meet one of these men in la ter years as the vicar of Llandilo, Carmarthenshire. This vicar, by na me Dr. Griffiths, was a fine preacher and one of the church celebritie s in South Wales. My cousins were parishioners of his . We owed his (? ?? ?) to my father's cousin, one of the nephews of my grandfather.
The other nephew, my father's first cousin, was the rector or vicar o f a parish in the outskirts of Swansea, a large town in South Wales. T his rector or vicar was a very gifted man and had a specially gifted f amily, two sons and two daughters. One of these sons, my second cousin , was a Dr. Jon Williams, practising in Swansea. He was a (life???) sc holar, often lecturing in obtuse subjects to his fellow townsmen. On e of the foremost men in the whole of England in his profession, actin g simply as a consulting physician, the field of his operation being v ery large. He was the corresponding member of the French academy in Pa ris, altogether a remarkable man. He married a Scottish lady, but alas , died a year after, comparatively young, about 43 years of age. He wa s widely mourned. The older son, my second cousin, was an English chur ch clergyman named Henry Williams. Of him I know but little more tha n that he was a very scholarly fellow. Of the two daughters, I knew bu t one. She was the wife of a solicitor, who had a large practice in th e town of Cardigan. I have repeatedly visited her and her husband. Sh e was a handsome woman and cultured.
This is all I remember about my father's family on his father's side.
My father's mother was a genuine Scottish woman, her maiden name bein g Miss Mc Eagh. Her ancestors were a highland clan, known as the child ren of the mist. Sir Walter Scott refers at length to this clan, the c hildren of the mist and especially to one named Ronald Mc Eagh, who wa s an ardent royalist and a determined enemy of the Duke of Argyle. Acc ording to Sir Walter Scott, Ronald Mc Eagh characterised the Duke of A rgyle, head of the Campbell clan as "ever far and false", which was st rikingly true. Connected with Ronald Mc Eagh there was a young girl na med Annot Lyle. Dorothy Dawson bears this as one of her names in hono ur of the Mc Eagh's. I have repeatedly endeavoured to find the Mc Eag h plaid, but without success, it appears to have been lost. For some r eason or reasons unknown to me, some members of the Mc Eagh clan lef t the highlands of Scotland rather more than 200 years ago and settle d in Cardiganshire, South Wales. This migration, it would seem, took p lace because of the royalist sympathies of the Mc Eagh's. Devoted as t hey were to the Stewarts, life in the highlands became to them unbeara ble. According to the information I have received, the Mc Eagh settler s in Wales were in affluent circumstances. There successors are to b e met at this time in Cardiganshire, the name Mc Eagh being well know n and those who bear it being in comfortable circumstances.
The above is a brief outline of the relatives of my beloved wife on he r father's and mother's side.
My wife's father was David Thomas esq. of Dalgoy, Cardiganshire, the e ldest son of he Reverend David Thomas, rector of Llangranog, Cardigans hire and also rector of Nash near Pembrokeshire. If I mistake not my w ife's grandfather on the father's side had another parish, this and th e parish of Nash being served by curates, while the rector himself liv ed and served at the Llangranog rectory.
My wife's grandmother on the father's side was a sister of Captain Tas ker, who was one of the high officers of the East India Company, in wh ose service he accumulated a large fortune. On his retirement from act ive service, he purchased Upton castle, not far from Pembroke. There h e settled down and ended his days. Nash living, above referred to, wa s in the gift of Captain Tasker and so it was that my wife's grandfath er was the Rector of that parish. Upton castle is now in the possessio n of a lineal descendant of Captain Tasker. The captain was a remarkab le man. His portrait came into the possession of my wife after the dea th of her uncle, John Thomas Esq. Dr. Paynter of Pembroke, after who m my daughter is called (Mary Paynter) was an intimate friend of Capta in Tasker and as the husband of Captain Tasker's niece (a second cousi n to my wife) being very wishful to have this portrait, my wife presen ted it to him.
My wife's father, David Thomas, was the owner of a beautiful estate, c alled Dolgoy, near Llangranog, Cardiganshire. This estate he bought af ter his return from America, where he spent some years. Sometime afte r the purchase of Dolgoy, Mr. Thomas married Miss Mary Nicholls of He reford, a niece of the Reverend Charles Bird of Mordiford, near Herefo rd. As far as my memory serves me, the Thomas family and the Bird fami ly were distantly related.
Miss Nicholls, my wife's mother, was highly educated and very gifted . Her talents lay in the direction of drawing, music and languages. Th ough an English lady, living up to the time of her marriage, in Herefo rd she acquired soon after her settlement at Dolgoy such knowledge o f the Welsh language that in the course of about six months she was ab le to read it fluently and speak it correctly, a remarkable feat, as a nyone acquainted with the Welsh language knows full well. Though a mem ber of the Church of England she always extended the warmest hospitali ty to the ministers of the other denominations. In those days minister s travelled largely through the country in the capacity of evangelists . Dolgoy, the beautiful home of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas was known far an d near as a place where warm welcome would always be received. To Mr . and Mrs. Thomas there were born three children, two daughters, Mar y Elizabeth Ann (my beloved wife), Harriet and one son David. The fath er according to the testimony of those who knew him well was one of th e sweetest, gentlest men that ever lived. Moreover he was a gentlema n in the truest sense, as a man of wide travel, his culture and experi ence were of a rare order. While the three children were yet young an d tender in years the father unfortunately passed away. The loss whic h this involved to the wife and children was simply terrible. Mrs. Tho mas survived her husband for about three years, she then passed away , so the little ones at the ages of 9,10 and 12 were left orphans. A n aunt, Mrs. Thomas, took charge of the boy David and she, by her ow n indulgences, while lovingly devoted to the boy, helped to ruin him , so that his subsequent life was marked by unsettledness. He eventual ly emigrated to one of the western states of America and the last I he ard of him was when, as one of the trustees of what was known as the " Bird fund", I had to send him the portion to which he was entitled ou t of that fund. It may be well to state here that a large amount of mo ney which ought to have been distributed to the various members of th e Bird family was for some reason retained by the Reverend Bird of Mor diford, Herefordshire. Some time after his death, his son, the reveren d Tom Bird, Yorkhill, Herefordshire desired as his father's executor t o have the claims upon the estate settled as far as possible. Whereupo n the brother in law Thomas Cooper Esq. Lincoln's Inn Fields, husban d of one of my wife's cousins was entrusted with the family papers an d instructed to examine them with a view of clearing up and settling t he long standing claims. The result was a claim upon the Bird estate o f a sum not much less than £20,000. The whole business, however, was o f such long standing and so complicated that the amount available fo r distribution was not much in excess of £110,000. This amount was ves ted in three trustees, Rev. Thomas Bird, Sir William Fitzwentworth an d myself. The distribution was made in due time, each member receivin g not just what he or she was really entitled to, but on pro rata line s. As the only surviving trustee the papers relating to the importan t matter are in my custody and may be found in my tin box that has th e initials BBW.
The two little girls, Mary and Harriet became the charge of their grea t uncle, Rev. Mr. Bird of Mordiford and were taken to Mordiford Rector y about 4 miles from Hereford. Mrs. Bird was the sister of Miss Glove r of Norwich, well known as the inventor of the Sol-Fa system, a syste m developed and improved by the late Rev. Mr. Curwen of Plaistow, Esse x and now very popular in many quarters. For a time the education of t he girls Mary and Harriet were carried on at Mordiford Rectory under t he charge of a governess whose name I do not now remember. Eventuall y Mary (I am not quite sure about Harriet) was sent to a ladies schoo l at Lancaster where the element of severity was very prominent. Ofte n have I heard my dear wife complain strongly of the harsh treatment w hich she received there. Before the girls had reached the age of 20 ye ars, they decided to go to Brussels and there enter a ladies school, k ept by our Rev. W.P. Tiddy with the assistance of competent lady teach ers and professors. It may be well to state here that the Rev. W.P. Ti ddy was an agent of the British and French Bible society at Brussels a nd that he had in that capacity the charge of the whole Belgian fiel d with, if I mistake not, portions of Holland. The girls became connec ted with Mr. Tiddy through the Rev. Dr. Phillips, one of the home agen ts of the Bible society and who resided in Hereford. These two gentlem en took a tender and gentle interest in the two girls, by whom they we re held in the most affectionate respect, so much so that they were ca lled by the two girls father Tiddy and father Phillips. After a cours e of study at Brussels extending over 2 years or more the girls went t o Germany in order to perfect their knowledge of the German language . While there their health suffered seriously, especially that of Harr iet, so they returned to England. Harriet being seriously ill went t o Mordiford and there after a brief time she passed away in the Eterna l Home. Some of her last words to her sister were "Mary, be sure and f ollow and meet me there". I had met friends who knew Harriet well, acc ording to their testimony (not to refer to that of her sister) she wa s a most lovely girl and unusually gifted , especially in music. Her e xecution of the piano was simply marvellous and her musical memory jus t as marvellous. She was a beautiful Christian, impressing all who cam e in contact with her that she had caught the spirit of her Saviour i n a very rich manner. I have oft regretted that I had not the privileg e of knowing her. Her surviving sister Mary suffered through this bere avement, both in mind and body. Knowing some friends at Brecon County , South Wales, she paid them a lengthened visit and it was during thi s visit that she and I became acquainted and engaged, I being a studen t at the Theological College in that town. In October 1856 we were mar ried in the Camberwell Road Church, London. Dr. Phillips and the Rever end W.P. Tiddy being the officiating ministers. These gentlemen prese nted to us on the morning of our marriage a family bible which we bot h prize greatly. I hope this bible will be carefully preserved by my s uccessors. Dr. Phillips, Mr. Tiddy and Mr. Powell of Llanelli, South W ales were the three trustees of our marriage settlement. My wife an d I spent a little time on the continent on a wedding tour, visiting v arious cities in Belgium and Brussels especially. On our return to Eng land we made a short stay with the Tiddy's at Camberwell and then sett led down at our home 12 Queens Ave., Neath, Glamorganshire.
My first pastoral charge was at Neath. Here my wife laboured earnestl y and was greatly beloved especially by the Quaker friends who were a n influential body in the town. One of my trusted and dear friends wa s a Mr. James Kenway, a Quaker merchant after whom one of my sons is c alled "Kenway". My wife and I were very happy to be in this charge a t Neath. We had many opportunities of visiting our friends at Swanse a (8 miles off), such as Mr. Bird, my wife's cousin, Dr. Tom Williams , my cousin, Dr. Michael, Dr. Evan Davies etc. to no small regret w e found that the Neath climate told unfavourably on my health and it b ecame necessary therefore to leave. Just at this time I received a cal l from an important church in Cardiff, but I declined it. A little lat er I was called to take charge of a church in Pembroke, capital of Pem brokeshire, a pretty and most interesting little town. I was strongl y advised to take this call and I did so. Before we left Neath our fir st child, Byron was born. For the sake of my health it was thought wel l that we should spend a few months quietly at my fathers home at Solv a, Pembrokeshire. Accordingly, thither we went, with the child and nur se. Our stay there for three months was the means of setting me up i n health and so we entered upon this work in Pembrokeshire. There my w ife's cousin, Mrs. Paynter lived. As the town is in the area of Milfor d Haven, we were quite near to that haven, considered to be one of th e finest in the world. Nash Church and vicarage, also Upton Castle wer e near and of great interest to me by reason of my wife's relatives co nnection therewith.
Pembroke Castle , the birthplace of Henry VIII so of great historica l interest and is finely situated. Tenby, one of the loveliest place s in Britain is but 10 miles distant. Pembroke dock, with its naval do ckyard, was two miles off. Altogether Pembroke is a most interesting l ittle town. The people are for the most part are descendants of the Fl emings who came over from Belgium and settled in the district in the r eign of one of the Edwards. While at Pembroke, two of our children wer e born, Harriet and Mary. After a pastorate of over four years I recei ved a pressing invitation to take charge of a free Church of England c ongregation at Ross, Herefordshire. While I had the invitation under c onsideration I was asked to supply the pulpit of a church in Chicheste r, Sussex. This was in the summer of the year 1862, the year of the fi rst exhibition in London. In response to this invitation, I supplied t he pulpit for three Sundays in Chichester and a few days after returne d to Pembroke I received a unanimous call to the pastorate of the chur ch in that city and under the circumstances I felt it right to declin e the call from Ross and accept the one in Chichester.
Before I settled in Chichester we thought it well to spend a couple o f months at my father's home, so we went there with the three childre n Byron, Harriet and Mary and our servant Hannah. At the end of Septem ber 1862, we left Solva for Chichester, taking Hannah with us. Her int erest in the family was very real and she remained in our service up t o within a short time of her marriage to Harry Clark. In Chichester w e had a lovely home, known as "Westfield" just outside the city limits . The house in which we lived and the one adjoining it stood in thei r grounds a short distance from the Portsmouth Road. There were abou t six acres of pasture land. This beautiful and valuable property I pu rchased a few months after our tenancy began. In Chichester we found o urselves in a circle of delightful friends. Those with whom we were as sociated in church work were some of the noblest and dependable tha t I have ever known, so that our Chichester life was of the happiest k ind. There were born Margaret Caroline Bird, Janet Allison, Kenway Tho mas, Fanny Lucy (who to our great sorrow and that of the dear mother d ied at birth). She was strikingly like Janet and Henry Llewelyn, thu s making nine children in all. Although I had the opportunity of movin g from Chichester to Salisbury, a larger and financially better charge , we were so attached and rooted to the place that it seemed as thoug h we were to be settled there permanently. In about the fifteenth yea r of our Chichester life tidings came one day of my fathers death at t he ripe old age of 86. He was buried in the graveyard of the parish ch urch near Solva. We urgently desired my mother to come to us at Chiche ster, but her wish at that time was to end her life at the old home. A fter the lapse of a year however she altered her mind and longed to b e with us. My dear wife, with her usual tender devotion went to Sout h Wales in order to bring my mother to us. Having settled matters at S olva they started on their journey, stopping for one night at Newport . On a certain Thursday evening, which I remember so well, they arrive d at "Westfield" where they were received with the warmest welcome. M y mother was so full of joy and thankfulness to be with us. Her deligh t at seeing the children was unbounded. We cherished the hope that sh e might be spared to us for some years, to be a light in our home an d a blessing to us all, but the journey was too long and too fatiguin g for her. She was with us four days only. The following Monday evenin g it was evident that the end was quite near. Before the end came sh e expressed thankfulness and satisfaction at being with us. About midn ight she entered unto rest, a remarkable woman, a most Godly woman. Gr eat was our grief over the loss which we had sustained, all the greate r because we had counted upon her presence for at least a few years. S he had reached 83 years and now her body lies in Chichester Cemetery , the ground being my freehold, the grave was made for two. This grav e will I think be looked after by my successors.
After a pastorate exceeding seventeen years at Chichester we decided t o move to Hastings, where I acted for some time as Chaplin at Universi ty School. Although I had no desire or intention of accepting a pastor ate for some time there came to me unexpectedly a call from Kiddermins ter to take charge of what was then known as "The Old Meeting House" a nd of great historic interest. I was reluctant to remove from Hasting s but the call from Kidderminster was so urgent and this charge so imp ortant that I decide to accept and after a residence in Hastings of ra ther more than two years I settled at Kidderminster, my wife and daugh ters still living at Hastings. My life at Kidderminster was full of wo rk, for I had a very large congregation to minister to and watch over . At the close of one year of my pastorate I was urged to undertake th e building of a new church. I yielded and took in hand a mighty task . I collected 25,000 donations. Before the foundation stone was lai d I had the plans drawn by a London architect and superintended the bu ilding in all stages. In addition to this I collected funds, conducte d services in the town hall and did a large amount of visiting among m y parishioners. The strain involved in all this told on me very disast rously and soon after the opening of the church, now called "Baxter Ch urch", one of the finest in the Midlands, I felt it necessary to resig n the pastorate and rest for twelve months, during which time I too k a voyage to the Mediterranean and was greatly built up thereby. Imme diately upon my return from this voyage I was invited to supply the pu lpit at Dudley. This I did for twelve months and then accepted the pas torate of King Street Church. There the work was beset by difficulties , nevertheless I and my wife were greatly interested in it. My wife st arted a mothers meeting, beginning with five members only and it gre w steadily and at length numbered over one hundred and fifty. In thi s work she was greatly encouraged. It fell to my lot to deal with th e housing of the poor. To the discredit of the owners and also of th e town council many of the houses quite near King Street were disgrace fully and cruelly unfit to dwell in. After repeated visits to these re tched hovels I wrote to the local papers calling attention to them an d urging the authorities to take some action, but with no immediate re sults, save that of the stirring up the opposition of some members o f the town council, especially Alderman Billing. I was elected a membe r of the school board and took an active part in the management of th e schools. I was credited, even by the Tory (???) with having been kn own as the "Religious and Sectarian Difficulty". Despite the somewha t rough element in the town and neighbourhood and the difficult charac ter of my church work I was greatly attached to Dudley and the distric t, but the numerous calls on me for services in the neighbouring churc hes and on platforms involved a very heavy strain. So that when a cabl egram arrived from Canada asking if I would accept a call at Guelph, O ntario I was advised by medical friends and others to accept. This I w as most however reluctant to do, then was it until the lapse of nearl y four months that I was able to see that it would be wise to go. Eve n then I had serious misgivings and tried to recede, but that seemed i mpossible. Consequently we made preparations to sail in early June. I t was decided that Llew and Fanny should go with us, their destinatio n being Manitoba, there to join my son Byron. As Mary's youngest child , dear little Dorrice was far from strong it was thought that she, Dol ly and Dorrice should accompany us and stay for some months. D'arcy ha ving lived with us from his babyhood and being as one of our own was a s a matter of course taken with us. For the sake of the little ones w e took with us a nurse, Tom and Kenway being left behind at Dudley -s o nine in all. We sailed from Liverpool in the steamship "Vancouver" , arriving in Montreal on Sunday evening June 20th 1890. We went on b y C.P.R. on Monday evening, reaching Guelph on Tuesday evening and wer e met at the station by a large number of friends who received us mos t kindly.
We had not been long in Guelph before we discovered that we had mad e a serious mistake in leaving England. The representations made to m e as to the conditions and prospects of congregationalism in Canada , I found to be quite misleading, but we resolved to face the situatio n bravely and do our best. In the congregation there were a few Englis h families who were loyally and faithfully devoted to us, but the bul k were not to be depended upon. A strong but subtle anti English feeli ng prevailed and as to approaching a fine sense of humour, that did no t exist. Outwardly all seemed favourable for some years, but we were n ot mislead. The health condition of our dear little Dorrice caused u s great anxiety at the onset of our Guelph life. In the course of si x or seven weeks after our arrival this lovely child passed away. By r eason of this and other circumstances Tom decided to join Mary and arr ived in Guelph at the end of September. After the lapse of a few years , dear little Hugh was born, but it was evident from the time of his b irth that he was not likely to live long. However he did live long eno ugh to be entwined around our hearts. He was a lovely child and when h e passed away our hearts were filled with sorrow. Little Dorrice and h e now lie in a quiet and beautiful place in the Guelph cemetery.
In the autumn of 1896 it became evident that it would be wise for me t o resign the pastorate of the congregational church, accordingly earl y in the year 1897 I tendered my resignation with a request it be acce pted without delay. The resignation to take place in the month of Apri l following. My dear wife, although fully approving of this step, wa s greatly troubled and her health was seriously affected. An attack o f grippe early in March ended in pneumonia and despite every effort t o save her precious life she passed away on Monday afternoon March 29t h 1897 at 5 o'clock P.M. This was the darkest and saddest day of my li fe. In order that Harriet, who was then down in Virginia, might be pre sent the funeral was fixed for Saturday April 3rd. On that day, at 2 P .M. a brief service was held at the house conducted by Dr. Wardrope an d Dr. Torrence. The members of the family present with me at that tim e were Harriet, Tom and Mary, Kenway, Llew, D'arcy and Dolly. At 3 o'c lock my dear wife was laid in the grave, the Arch Deacon officiating , as the grave was in the English church portion of the cemetery, a lo vely spot.
In the course of two months, Margaret and her little baby boy and Jane t came out from England on a visit to me. Soon after they arrived Kenw ay returned to England accompanied by Mary and Dolly, who were to visi t some friends in the old land. In August following tidings came of th e death of Arthur, Margaret's husband. Up to spring 1903 there was n o other break by death in the family circle. On the 22nd December 190 2 I went to New York to spend some time with my children there at th e "Gosford", my visit turned out to be more extended than I expected w hen I left Guelph.
I the early part of February I was continually haunted by anxious thou ghts about Margaret, the dread of some imminent peril was ever presen t in my mind. Early in the last week of February tidings of her illnes s reached us. The Guelph doctor was telegraphed to ask particulars b y Harriet. About six o'clock on Friday evening February 27th the docto r's reply by telegraph was "case hopeless". When the telegraph came Ha rriet was packing my trunk, preparatory to my journey that evening b y the 8 o'clock train for Toronto and Lindsay (?) at which place I ha d accepted an engagement to take charge of St. Andrews church for a mo nth. Of the effect of that telegram upon me I need not write. I left a t 8 o'clock with a sad, heartbroken heart and ill fitted for the impor tant service at St. Andrews Lindsay (?) on the following Sunday Marc h 1st. Harriet left New York that Sunday evening arriving in Guelph o n Monday afternoon, she found Margaret at the general hospital, a sa d wreck in health. Through the constant and tender ministry of Harriet , Margaret seemed to rally slightly and hopes were cherished that alth ough complete recovery could not be, her life might be saved. At the e nd of a fortnight Mary went up and both sisters did their utmost for M argaret, who expressed a strong desire to be taken to New York. With t he doctor's consent preparations were made accordingly. Every possibl e precaution was taken, all that thoughtful, tender love could sugges t was done. A competent nurse was engaged, arrangements were made wit h the railway people, so that the journey might be as easy as possibl e for the dear patient.
On Wednesday morning, March 19th they left Guelph, reaching Toronto so on after twelve o'clock. I met them there and was painfully shocked a t the sight of Margaret's condition. At 4:30 she was placed on board t he C.P.R. train for New York. In bidding Margaret farewell I tried t o hope even against hope that her life might be spared. At 5:20 the tr ain left, New York was reached at 7:50 on Friday morning. The dear pat ient having borne the journey remarkably well, the New York doctor spo ke of her somewhat hopefully and up to Wednesday 25th the reports tha t reached me in Lindsay were rather encouraging, but alas before break fast on Thursday morning, the 26th a telegram arrived announcing the d eath of dear Margaret, at 2:30 Wednesday afternoon March 25th 1903. O h the darkness and sadness of that early hour when the fatal news came . A beautiful casket, hermetically sealed and carefully encased was pr ovided. On Thursday evening , the 26th, Harriet, Mary and dear littl e Jack (Tom had gone on by a morning train) left New York with the bod y at eight o'clock for Guelph via Toronto, here I joined them. On Tues day March 31st her body was laid by the side of her mother in a grav e specially designed for two. The Reverend Mr. Davidson, vicar of St . George officiating at the house and at the grave at 4 P.M. The membe rs of the family present were Harriet, Mary, dear little Jack, Tom an d myself. Llew was absent by reason of serious illness. It was simpl y impossible for the other members of the family to be present. A phot o was taken of the grave and doubtless every member of the family wil l have a copy which will be highly prized. The quiet spot where our lo ved ones lie has an additional sacredness to us all. There I hope to h ave a grave by the side of my dear wife.
In closing the outline of the history of my family and that of my wif e I desire to state that there never was a wife more constantly and te nderly devoted to her husband than mine was to me, a more unselfish an d self sacrificing, loving mother there never breathed. The children k now that full well, her memory is blessed.
Up to the 25th March 1903 the circle of eight children was complete, b ut now that dear Margaret has passed away the circle is a broken one . The heart sorrow and the spirit anguish consequent upon her death an d burial, God only knows. The earnest and constant prayer of a bereave d father and husband is that his children who still remain may be me t for the eternal time yonder, that not one of them or theirs may be a bsent from that home.
The closing prayer is that merciful God be a father and mother to darl ing Jack.