Tag Archives: McCay


George & Mary Turcon House (1938)

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Categories: 1930s, Tags: ,

9494 Division Street South

This home lies between the J.W. King house (built 1882) and Elihu Scratch house (built 1887). For many years, until the mid-1910s, this property was actually a lane to Scratch’s “coal and wood yard.” At the entrance of the lane, off Division Street South, scales were located to weigh the wagons entering and leaving the yard. In 1915, Angeline King purchased a lot on Mill Street West to be used as the new entrance to the “rear lot” and the lane was closed off. George and Mary Turcon purchased the lane and part of the “rear lot” in 1938 and had this house built. The “rear lot” was acquired by the Lions Club of Kingsville in 1946 “to be made into a playground for youth and children.”

 An important real estate deal was completed here Tuesday last when Miss King purchased a lot on south side of Mill st. west from Mr. J. Peterson, just west of Ezra Bertrand’s. The land will be used as a street to get to the rear of about fifteen lots which Miss King has in the rear of her Division street property. This is the street the town talked of putting through some years ago but failed. These lots are in an excellent location and should sell rapidly.

The Kingsville Reporter, June 17, 1915 p.5

The committee appointed to report on advisability of opening new street off Mill street south, just to the west of Ezra Bertrand’s, said they were of the opinion that the street would be too narrow, 45 feel. They had spoken to Mr. Peterson about purchasing an extra five feet from him so as to make it fifty feet in width, but had not yet got any definite answer from him.

The Kingsville Reporter, February 10, 1916 p.1


On Wednesday evening last a Lions Club was organized here by District Governor H. Irvine Wiley, of Windsor. The organization meeting was held at Kingsville Golf and Country Club.

Fred Crawford was elected president of the new service club, with Robert Healey, 1st vice-president; Carl Pickard, 2nd vice-president; Nelson Layman, 3rd vice-president; Dr. R.R. Hudgins, secretary; James S. Green, treasurer; Arthur Allan, lion tamer; Everett Moore, tail-twister; and Ernie McCay, Mayor L.C. Hillis, M.D., and William Long and A. D. Hember, directors.

The Kingsville Reporter, May 11, 1933 p.1

Lions Club Buys Property For Children’s Playground

The Kingsville Lions Club have just completed a deal whereby they purchased a piece of property behind the United church to be made into a playground for the youth and children of the town.

The property which cost about $1,500, will see tile laid next week and it is hoped to have it in shape for softball by May 24th. The Lions Club intends to put another $2,000 to $3,000 into the project this year.

The Kingsville Reporter, March 21, 1946 p.1

Lions Club to Instal Flood Lights

At an executive meeting of the Kingsville Lions Club held last Monday night, it was decided to purchase flood lights for the Lions Playground so that softball could be played in the evenings. The lights, which will cost over $1,200, will be ordered immediately.

As the club has already spent over $6,000 on the Scout Hall and another $2,000 on its playground, the lighting equipment will put a serious draw on the club’s coffers.

“We understand that some individuals would like to assist u with donations to help us put up these lights,” said President Don McCay, and added that any contributions would be very welcome as it is essential that lights are put up this year.

[. . .] This new park will officially be opened on May 24, with a double header softball game between two local men’s and two ladies’ teams taking part.

Alvin Sandord and Hubert Scott, members appointed by the local club to supervise this project, say that the two acres of land which was purchased by the club from W.G. Long, and a piece 66 feet x 76 feet, which was leased by the United Church to the Lions Club for 25 years, will be under supervision so that parents need not worry when their children are at the Kingsville Lions Club Playground.

The Kingsville Reporter, May 2, 1946 p.1


The Alexandra Cottage (1902)

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Categories: 1900s, Tags: , , ,

235 Division Street South

The Alexandra Cottage was the second cottage built by D.H. McCay and G.W. Mercer for George W. Henry in 1902. Used as a rental property until 1912 when it was purchased by Brayton “Bert” Westcott and his wife Inez. Before moving to Kingsville, Bert was a “wholesale and retail dealer in wines, liquors and cigars” in Leamington, and also carried “the finest lines of port and sherry wines and malt stout for medicinal purposes.” After selling his shop to F.W. DeLaurier, Bert settled in Kingsville to become a full time sales agent for the Walkerville Brewery. Leamington not only lost their liquor dealer who provided “personal supervision” to all orders, but also their famed baseball pitcher, who was “the first performer to introduce the body wind-up into local fandom.”

Mrs. G.W. Henry and Mrs. Fowler entertained some eighty of their friends to a Hallowe’en party last evening at Alexandra cottage. The cottage was very tastefully decorated for the occasion. The evening was spent with Hallowe’en games, participated in by both old and young, at the close of which a very sumptuous repast was provided. Everyone went away happy and only feeling sorry that Hallowe’en, accompanied by such an entertainment provided, did not occur oftener. The young ladies were dressed in antiquated costumes, which created considerable merriment. The electrician had the electric lights arranged in very artistic style for the occasion.

The Windsor Evening Record, November 3, 1902 p.3

The old hilarious game of baseball seems to have lost something of the fire and brimstone that old-time conflicts used to fan. ‘Member them games played between the old Ruthven Invincibles and Leamington, when Ruthven, always just a little too hefty, used to drub us. ‘Member when the mighty Bert Westcott came to town, heralded as the pitcher to beat the Ruthven farmers back to their ploughshares? Mr. Westcott was the first performer to introduce the body wind-up into local fandom. As I recall it, this new article was something superb. We kids all sought to emulate the gymnastic, much to the risk of bones. It was a sort of a super-contortion, which in process gave the spectator a perfect idea of the evolution of a pretsel (sic). ‘Member the first ball delivered to the late George Orton, mighty slugger of the old Invincibles? Well, our pitcher unwound himself and catapulted the ball. There resounded two sharp snaps, one when George clipped the hissing sphere, and another when the rebounding bullet smacked Bert square on the nose. That ended the game. Darn them Ruthven farmers! After that smack it always struck us that Bert’s nose seemed sort o’ drawin’ back, like as if forever apprehensive of flying missiles.

The Leamington Post, June 22, 1933 p.2

B.G. Westcott Passes Away in Leam. Hospital

Funeral services for the late Brayton Graham (Bert) Westcott 83 years; who died in Leamington District Memorial Hospital on Sunday following a short illness was held from the Ferguson Funeral Home in Kingsville on Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. with Rev. F.M. Ward officiating. Interment was in Lakeview cemetery, Leamington.

Deceased was born at Wapoose Island, Ont., son of the late Mr. and Mrs. William Westoctt. He was educated in Dresden. Later the family moved to Leamington and in 1910 came to Kingsville. He was employed in the Sales Dept. of the Walkerville Brewery for 50 years.

Mrs. Westcott predeceased her husband 13 years ago.

He was a member of St. Georges Lodge A.F. and A.M. No. 41 Kingsville, and of the Mocha Shrine Lodge in London.

Surviving is one son, William of Birmingham, Mich., three grandchildren and three great grandchildren.

The Kingsville Reporter, July 16, 1953 p.1


Robin’s Nest (1902)

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Categories: 1900s, Tags: , ,

247 Division Street South

1902 was a very good year for fruit farmer George W. Henry. His fruit exporting business was so successful that needed to build an addition to his warehouse near the Kingsville Train Station. It was also the year that Henry branched out into the cottage business. Already owning two cottages, Henry purchased two other vacant lots on Division Street South and hired D.H. McCay and G.W. Mercer as his contractors. Building began in March and when completed by June 1st, this cottage was christened “Robin’s Nest.” Spending more and more time in California, Henry sold his cottages in 1914 and Robin’s Nest became the summer home of Dr. John Brown from Toronto. Later years saw Robin’s Nest converted into a duplex with an “attractive flat above furnished to rent.”

The G.W. Henry cottages are nearly complete and are most picturesque and beautiful in style.

The Kingsville Reporter, May 8, 1902 p.5

Mr. G.W. Henry has gone east where he will be for several weeks overseeing the packing and shipping of 7,000 barrels of apples, the Henry Co. have bought and are sending to the Old Country markets.

The Kingsville Reporter, September 30, 1909 p.5

Removing to Pasedena Cal.

Mr and Mrs G.W. Henry and Miss Maud Henry leave our town this week after a residence here of twenty years. They will visit with Mrs. Henry’s sister in Detroit for a couple of weeks before they leave for Pasadena. Mr. Henry has a home there and it is his intention to permanently reside in California. The best wishes of a large circle of friends goe (sic) with them.

The Kingsville Reporter, December 5, 1918 p.1

Wanted:  ROOMERS – For fall and winter months, refined couple, home privileges. “Robin’s Nest” Division St., near car line.

The Kingsville Reporter, October 29, 1925 p.1


Alan Richards has taken a position as watchmaker with McCreery’s Jewellery.

Mr and Mrs Richards and son Martyn arrived in Canada only recently from Cardiff, Wales where he owned and operated his own jewellery business.

The family is at present staying at the Cowan Tourist Home, but will take up permanent residence in the Robin’s Nest apartment, formerly occupied by Jamie and family.

The Kingsville Reporter, September 26, 1957 p.1


Conklin Building (1901)

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Categories: 1900s, Tags: , , , , , , ,

Corner of Division St S and Main St E

The lifetime motto of David Conklin (1854-1952) was “Do what you have agreed to do, but be careful what you agree to do.” His father died when David was six years old and he was raised by his uncle Simon Wigle, from whom he “acquired his early knowledge of timbering.” Early days included forest clearing and led David to own a very successful lumber mill. Other investments included farming and commercial properties like the Conklin Building. David purchased the vacant lot on the south-east corner of Division and Main from J.W. King in April 1901 for $1,600, and the brick block was completed by December. The building was designed by architect John A. Maycock and D.H. McCay was the superintendent of construction. Shortly after completion, Molson’s Bank moved into the corner section and “the dry good establishment of C.W. Hendershot” occupied the L-shaped store which had entrances on both Division and Main.

The contracts for the new Conklin block have been let, DH McCay does the carpenter work, Wm Maycock and Wm Davey do the brick and stone work, and Ed Kennedy the plastering.

The Kingsville Reporter, May 23, 1901 p.4

In the year 1922, under the pastorate of the late Rev. Joseph Hibbert, Epworth Memorial Hall was erected for the purpose of accommodating the growing Sunday School and meeting the needs of the increasing social demands made upon the church.

At the same time the Memorial Hall was in course of erection there was installed in the church the splendid Casavant Organ, the gift of Mr. David Conklin and his son, William, in memory of the the late Mrs. Wilhelmina Conklin, wife of Mr. Conklin and mother of William.

The Kingsville Reporter, August 6, 1931 p.1

David Conklin Passes in 98th Year

David Conklin, Kingsville’s Grand Old Man, passed away Wednesday afternoon, May 7th, at the Leamington District Memorial Hospital, in his ninety-eighth year. His life coincided with the life of his native town for almost a century, through pioneer days, forest clearing, lumbering, business expansion and town building, even into our more settled commercial and agricultural era. The residents of Main St. West and Division St. North have commented many times that Mr. Conklin’s car was as reliable a time-piece as an alarm clock. His time never varied as he pursued his regular and methodical routine of farming and operating his saw mill. He executed his business affairs until last autumn with regularity, precision, accuracy and efficiency. An unfortunate accident occurred last October when he was injured by a motorist while crossing Main St. West on foot. Since that event, the late Mr. Conklin was confined to the Leamington Hospital where he passed away.

Mr. David Conklin’s father, Thomas Conklin, was the only son of Jacob Conklin, and died when David was only eight years old. Left alone with four other children, David’s mother, Susanna Wigle Conklin, agreed to let David live with her brother, Simon Wigle. It was from his Uncle Simon that David Conklin acquired his early knowledge of timbering. Except for about three months when he attended school, Mr. Conklin’s education was obtained from practical experience and from his wife, Wilhelmina Fox, who had qualified as a school teacher.

Driving oxen as a boy of 10 or 12 was no easy task. There were few roads, and most bush trails involved negotiating swamps, Essex County then being probably one-third under water. Little David had not been exposed to higher religion and lived in the tough logging camps. He could remember as a little boy getting lost with his oxen in Hog Marsh, north of Kingsville, “I would cry a little, then swear a little. Eventually I got through all right.”

As a boy of 16, his uncle gave him a job of bidding on the timber in Walker’s Marsh, about 12 miles from Kingsville. Mr. Hiram Walker was at first disdainful of the boy but his respect mounted when David’s tender took the timber by one dollar.

At 17 his uncle put David in his first responsible job – foreman of a logging camp of 75 French-Canadians. His duties were varied. Not the least interesting was the Saturday night chore of rounding up the men from the bars in Kingsville, lining them up and marching them out of town, singing, to their camps a few miles distant. If left alone, the men would have wrecked the town. “They respected me,” he would say. “One reason was that I didn’t use liquor or tobacco.”

The international boundary in Mr. Conklin’s early days was ignored. He timbered in Wayne County, Michigan, along with his operations in Essex County. One of his jobs was removing timber from the site of Detroit’s present Willow Run Airport. Included was elevating timber from the near-by valleys, which others could not do, but which Mr. Conklin performed by a clever arrangement of pulleys. At this time he was earning highly skilled wages, amounting to $1.00 per day.

Leaving his uncle’s employ in about 1882 at the age of 28, Mr. Conklin entered a partnership operating a grist mill in Kingsville. The following few years saw him interested in various enterprises including the district’s first gas well. Steam power was coming into popular use by this time, and about the 1885 he returned to his first love, purchasing a sawmill three miles north of Kingsville.

Twice his sawmill burned to the ground, and each time he rebuilt. Even this years, Mr. Conklin still operated a small sawmill on the site of his original mill. Along with this, he operated six farms. Still possessing a car driver’s license despite rigorous yearly examinations, Mr. Conklin supervised these activities in person. He was ever the man who saw at once the trouble and the cure when some piece of machinery was misbehaving.

There were many serious business depressions in his time. Each of them lasted three years or more. The worst of the early ones started in 1873, 1893, and 1901. His solution in 1901 was to expand his activities, rather than to retrench. Labour and material were lower priced and easily available, and much was supplied to him by debtors as a way of paying their accounts. At this time he built two store buildings on Kingsville’s chief business street, providing accommodation for a bank and ten stores, with office and apartments in the second storey. “Be sure you are right, and then go ahead,” was his advice. “A depression time can provide opportunities as well as hardships.” Until this year Mr. Conklin still looked after these store buildings himself, even keeping his own careful accounts of his revenue and expenses without the aid of a book-keeper.

Mr. Conklin was active in the Methodist Church for many years dating back to the first Methodist Church on Main St. East. He was a member of the building committee for the original Methodist Church on the site of the present Epworth United Church, and has been a trustee since 1887. His lifetime motto was “Do what you have agreed to do, but be careful what you agree to do.”

David Conklin was the only remaining one of the eight children born to Thomas and Susanna Conklin. He was born November 4th, 1854, in Kingsville, on the Conklin lot east of his late residence. He married Wilhelmina Fox, daughter of Mr and Mrs William C. Fox, on February 24th, 1875. His wife predeceased him on March 20th, 1922. His survivors are: William Thomas Conklin, his only son; three grandchildren, Mrs. Manly Miner (Lucile) of Kingsville, William David Conklin of Kingsville, Mrs. Russell Skitch (Nora) of Toronto; seven great-grandchildren, namely: Mrs. Robert Stoffes (Wilhelmina Miner) of Detroit, Annetta, David, William, and Janet Conklin, of Kingsville, Russel and William Skitch of Toronto; and one great-great-grandchild, Suzanne Steffes [Stoffes?] of Detroit.

The Kingsville Reporter, May 8, 1952 p.1