Closing of the Meighen Brothers Store

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Looking North on Gore Street before 1915. In the far distance the spire of  The United Church. To the right corner of Foster and Gore Hicks House (Hotel Perth) and Shaws. To the left at foster Warren and McCarthy Hardware and Meighan Brothers. The open lot to the left would soon be home to The Balderson Theatre. Photo courtesy The Perth Museum.–Perth Remembered

 

Author’s Note–Mary Meighen brought her 5 sons to Canada from Ireland after the death of her husband in 1838. Her eldest son Arthur opened a store in Perth in 1848 also bringing his brothers into the business William and Robert by 1867. Meighen & Bros  was one of Perth’s most significant merchant houses at Gore & Foster until it closed in 1930. The Mieghens were one of the earlier cottagers on the Rideau Lakes with camps at Rideau Ferry and near the entrance of McLean’s Bay dating back to at least 1890.

Perth Courier, August 8, 1930

Closing of the Meighen Brothers Store

The historical firm of Arthur Meighen & Brothers, Ltd., in business in Perth since 1848, ceased business last Saturday night after a long and honorable career in the mercantile life of Perth.  The portion of the Meighen block, the block having been purchased some months ago by Dr. W.A. Meighen, former president of the firm, occupied by the Meighen firm, is now in the hands of the carpenters who are renovating in order that it may be used by other firms in the future.  The ground floor will be used by Chainway Ltd., of Toronto, who will open a business there next month.

The second floor will be devoted to offices.  Dr. L. Thompson will move his dental practice there and Mr. T. Arthur Rogers his law practice.  The third floor will be divided into apartments.  A coal office for Mr. J.H. Meighen is now being constructed at the rear of the block.  The other businesses occupying the remainder of the block are the Dominion Stores, Rudd & Neilson on the ground floor, Bell Telephone Co. on the second floor and the Taber Business College on the third floor.

The origin of the Meighen firm by the late Arthur Meighen in 1848 was in a building on Gore Street known as the Douglas property where the Balderson block now stands. In 1867 Mr. Meighen purchased the splendid property on the corner of Gore and Foster Streets where he afterwards carried on business.  About that time Mr. Meighen admitted as partner in the business his two brothers William and Robert.

Arthur Meighen died May 31, 1874 and the business afterwards was conducted by William and Robert when W.A. Meighen, only son of the founder of the firm, was admitted as partner.  These gentlemen carried on until April 10, 1909 when an agreement to dissolve partnership having been decided upon, Robert Meighen retired, leaving the partners W.A. and William Meighen in possession of the business.  W.A. Meighen died in June of 1914 and after his death William Meighen, the senior partner, was sole owner of the business and carried it on successfully until his death on March 1, 1917 after which the business was conducted by the executors of the estate until his beneficiaries acquired control and formed a limited liability company known as Arthur Meighen and Brothers, Ltd., with the following officers:  Dr. W. A Meighen, President; J.M. Meighen, Vice President and Treasurer; Miss L.M. Meighen, Secretary.  The firm celebrated its Diamond Anniversary in May of 1924.

The enterprise of the firm was never questioned.  They possess the means to push their projects and to carry them to a successful issue and by their honourable and straight forward manner in dealing with the public won the esteem and respect of all.  There was no firm in this section of eastern Ontario more widely or favourably known than the Meighen firm.  The late William Meighen, whose name was a synonym for honour, was associated with the business for a period of over half a century and the attributes so essential to success were possessed by him to a marked degree.

 

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Nov 19 1909—was the night of a huge burglary in the Meighen Brothers’ store.

 

Perth Courier, May 23, 1924

75th Anniversary Party of Arthur Meighen & Brothers, Ltd.

An occasion unique in the town of Perth was celebrated last Saturday afternoon and evening at the Arthur Meighen & Brothers, Ltd., which was the climax of the three days celebration of the 75th anniversary of the founding of their firm.

The firm is well known in the county of Lanark and eastern Ontario and last Saturday at their birthday party were friends and customers numbering nearly 2,000 from all parts of the county.

The occasion was honored by the presence of the Right Honorable Arthur Meighen and his charming wife as well as many members of the Meighen family, including Mrs. Templeton of Belleville who is the only surviving member of the family of the founder of the business which has just celebrated in such a fitting manner an occasion rare indeed in these times of instability.  The celebration on Saturday was a birthday party to which everyone was invited and were shown to the second floor of the store by the genial manager J. M. Meighen, one might readily forget that this was a place of business as entertainment and the good things of life were provided plentifully.

The room, which at other times comprises the millinery, ready-to-wear and home furnishings was transformed into a beautiful tea room decorated and laden with good things for the party.  The table decorations consisted of roses, snap dragons, carnations and sweet peas in profusion and the color scheme in pink was a picture pleasing to the eye.  At the other end of the large table pouring tea were daughters of the late William Meighen, Mrs. Robert F. Kellock of Cornwall and Mrs. J. Campbell Douglas of Smith’s Falls.  The huge birthday cake, which was on exhibition in the window for some days previous, was on the table and the honors of cutting the cake fell to the eldest daughter of the late William Meighen, Mrs. Gordon C. Edwards of Ottawa, assisted by Miss Nora Meighen, daughter of Dr. W.A. Meighen, president of the firm.  Passing through the crowd, serving the good things provided, were the other daughters of the late William Meighen:  Mrs. Arthur H. Campbell of Montreal and Miss Lenore Meighen and his granddaughter Miss Edna Edwards and they were assisted by members of the staff of the millinery department and the wives of the men of the staff.

One noticed mingling through the crowd the familiar face long associated with the Meighen business and one well known to any one who has had business dealings with the firm during the past forty years—Hugh Robertson, who, though no longer actively connected with the business is a valued family advisor of every member of the firm.

The store was beautifully decorated for the occasion and the windows attracted much attention.  The one window to the right contained the birthday cake and as a background an elaborate shield in white and gold with the figure “75” and the words “Year” standing out well on the shield.  White satin drapery and numerous plants and ferns made a fit setting for the cake and other decorations consisted of a dress worn over 83 years ago with a bonnet of that period while a costume of the present year was shown in comparison.  The other large window contained the safe used by the firm 75 years ago and also the ledger used in the business.  A piece of glace(?) china purchased 75 years ago, well preserved and in beautiful design was also among the exhibits.  Dresses of 1848 with hats of that time in between the large coal skuttle  and the smaller bonnet attracted much attention and a lady’s carriage parasol of 100 years ago also received a great deal of attention.  An umbrella of 85 years ago completed this exhibit which was shown in a window having as a background brown and gold drapery with large gold figures “75” carrying out the idea of the 75th anniversary.  This window also held plants and ferns aplenty and received mush favorable comment.  To Miss Meighen and Miss McCann much credit is due for the decorating and the success of the event.  An orchestra provided music during the afternoon and evening and until 10:00 people continued to come and partake of the hospitality of the firm at their 75thanniversary.

During the afternoon those who were fortunate to be present at the moment listened to an address by the Hon Arthur Meighen who after announcing the winners for the ladies register congratulated the firm of Arthur Meighen and Brothers on their record of 75 years.

 

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in Hometown News

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About lindaseccaspina

Linda Knight Seccaspina was born in Cowansville, Quebec about the same time as the wheel was invented and the first time she realized she could tell a tale was when she got caught passing her smutty stories around in Grade 7 at CHS by Mrs. Blinn. When Derek "Wheels" Wheeler from Degrassi Jr. High died in 2010, Linda wrote her own obituary. Some people said she should think about a career in writing obituaries. Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa from 1976-1996. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off she finally found her calling. Is it sex drugs and rock n' roll you might ask? No, it is history. Seeing that her very first boyfriend in Grade 5 (who she won a Twist contest with in the 60s) is the head of the Brome Misissiquoi Historical Society and also specializes in local history back in Quebec, she finds that quite funny. She writes every single day and is also a columnist for Hometown News and Screamin's Mamas. She is a volunteer for the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum, an admin for the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page, and a local guest speaker. She has been now labelled an historian by the locals which in her mind is wrong. You see she will never be like the iconic local Lanark County historian Howard Morton Brown, nor like famed local writer Mary Cook. She proudly calls herself The National Enquirer Historical writer of Lanark County, and that she can live with. Linda has been called the most stubborn woman in Lanark County, and has requested her ashes to be distributed in any Casino parking lot as close to any Wheel of Fortune machine as you can get. But since she wrote her obituary, most people assume she's already dead. Linda has published six books, "Menopausal Woman From the Corn," "Cowansville High Misremembered," "Naked Yoga, Twinkies and Celebrities," "Cancer Calls Collect," "The Tilted Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place," and "Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac." All are available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle. Linda's books are for sale on Amazon or at Wisteria · 62 Bridge Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada, and at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum · 267 Edmund Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada--Appleton Museum-Mississippi Textile Mill and Mill Street Books and Heritage House Museum and The Artists Loft in Smith Falls.

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