Remembering Art Smith — Clippings

Remembering Art Smith — Clippings

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“I’m scared silly,” Art Smith joked nervously on 14 Mar 1980 prior to yesterday’s business luncheon in his honor. About 40 local merchants gathered here to pay tribute to the long-time mayor who is retiring from business this month after operating his downtown electrical repair shop for 34 years.

Smith held the mayor’s office for 10 years in Almonte, longer than anyone in the town’s history, and he has been actively involved in community affairs for a lifetime. A native of Ottawa, the 72-year-old Smith was president of the Almonte Legion for eight years, reeve of Lanark County for a decade and served as county warden in 1958. Though Smith rose to become one of the town’s most prominent politicians, his inception into political life came as a surprise even to him.

“I was walking downtown one day when a friend came up to me and said, ‘you’d better hurry, you’ve got until 5 p.m. to sign your papers, you’ve been nominated for town council.” That was in 1946 and though Smith had no experience in local government he found himself in office for the next term and never looked back.

During the luncheon, congratulatory letters were read from MPP Douglas Wiseman, MP Paul Dick and Ontario Premier William Davis. Smith was presented with an engraved plaque from business organization president Fred Roy and an original sketch of a local scene from P.U.C Commissioner Jack Birgon. The longtime Almonte resident was humble in accepting the praises heaped on him from those present.

”I can only say that it’s been a privilege to be able to do the small things I’ve done for Almonte,” he said. An eternal local ambassador. Smith added, “you’re my kind of people. You’re boosting the town of Almonte, so keep up the good work.” For his retirement plans, Smith says he “will remain in town”, though he feels his only involvement in political life will be to “pass on experience” to present and future municipal representatives.

And the people who have grown accustomed to bringing their toasters or kitchen clocks into his repair shop over the past three decades won’t have to be disappointed. “I’ll still be doing repairs at home,” he said. “I can’t let people down just because I’m closing up my shop.”




Arthur James
(December 25, 1936 – September 19, 2016)
Passed away peacefully on September 19, 2016 in the Carleton Place Hospital.
of Middleville, ON., in his 80th year.
Dear husband of Janice for over 54 years. Remembered by his children Drew (Aline), Laurie (Bjorn) and Tim (Shannon). Adored “Granpa” of Rick, Dave, Sofia, Gustaf, Gabe and Jack. Survived by his siblings Laurena, Jack (Betty) and predeceased by Doug. Brother-in-law to Doug (Jean) and Marialice (Ted). Missed by his extended family as well as supportive friends and neighbours. A giant heartfelt thank-you to the medical community for their care and compassion.




December 22, 1955

Here we see the same ‘Merry Christmas’ graphic as in 1945. The gentlemen in the photos are Arthur W. Smith and Harvey Shaw, the newly elected reeves of Almonte and Pakenham respectively. The Millstone


Cliff Graham Passes Away

Clifford Wesley Graham, retired Almonte pharmacist, passed away at his home, 157 James street, on Monday, June 24, 1974, following six months of failing health. He was 69. Mr. Graham had been a pharmacist on Mill street for 25 years, before retiring from business in January of this year. He took over the drug store here following the death of his brother Harold, who had opened the business some thirty years ago. Cliff was born on the 9th line of Ramsay on April 19, 1905, a son of the late William John Graham and his wife, Elizabeth Scott Ross. He received his education at Bennie’s Corners school, Almonte High School, Alberta College in Edmonton, and the University of Saskatchewan at Saskatoon. He was a member of Almonte United Church. In 1938 he was married at Toronto to the former Marion Mahaffey, who survives, together with two daughters, Jane of Toronto, and Margaret (Mrs. Peter Buckholtz) of Kingston, and a grandson, Glenn Graham Buckholtz. Also surviving are two brothers, Sheff and Bert Graham, and three sisters, Mrs. Jennie Graham, Mrs. Nina Horton and Mrs. Emma Lawley. The funeral was held from the Comba Funeral Home, Church street, Almonte, on Wednesday, June 26th, with burial at Auld Kirk Cemetery. Rev. H. H. Brown of Clayton conducted the services. Pallbearers were Wilf Snedden, Art Smith, Carson Johnson, Henry Christie, John Graham and Peter Buckholtz.

About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

2 responses »

  1. After Art Smith’s wife, Nan, died he and my grandmother Effie Robertson spent a lot of time travelling together to different places throughout the Ottawa Valley and beyond in Canada and the United States; though they never married each other they were considered “an item” for several years.


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