The Will finally was publicized in 1914
When I saw this it did not surprise me..
Things were different in the old days. People lived by values, and when they felt the world’s values were not tough enough they created their own. Inside the beautiful home down at the end of Lake Avenue East once lived the Burgess family. George Arthur Burgess was a wealthy local businessman, who also served as Mayor of Carleton Place in 1903 and in 1922. Burgess was also farmer who once operated a large dairy mill, sawmill and of course the brickyard. But, he also had another side to him some were not aware of. Well, maybe they were. It wasn’t only Dr. Howard in the town of Carleton Place that had tongues wagging.
Burgess was also an eccentric who expressed his views in guest speaker appearances to anyone who would listen. In a flyer that was given out at an engagement in Las Vegas he stated many things that today might be considered controversial. Burgess wanted everyone to know that he was a truthful, honest, sober, and a bodily-peaceful person. But, he was also a mental fighter for what he believed to be right, and was totally against what was wrong.
In the same sentence he said he had travelled ‘This Great World’ at least six times but refused to “accept a lease” (refuse to consent to the sublet if there are reasonable grounds) of every restaurant in Carleton Place.
The eccentric said he had been cruelly and unjustly charged in the Supreme Court of Ontario as a supposed lunatic, by a greedy untruthful wife aided by bigoted, untruthful, jealous persons. Those would be the solicitors for his ex-wife Marjorie Burgess-Stewart, Hope and O’Donnell of Perth, Ontario.
So why not screw up a will? Alright Mr. Burgess– welcome to Carleton Place’s Whimsical People lineage. Please stand right next to Dr. Howard of Carleton Place if you please. I am sure I will be joining this list when I pass on– in fact I am quite certain! After all, life is all about finding people who are your kind of crazy.
The asizes open in Perth next week. Carleton Place will figure conspicuously this time. There is the case of Dr. Preston against the Ontario government, who questioned the validity of the Burgess will. He will seek to establish its bonatides. April 10 1903- Dr. Preston and Mr. Burgess were best friends.
The case of the attorney-general against Dr. Preston of Carieton Place, contesting the Burgess will, reached a settlement this week, the will being allowed to stand as it is, in favor of Dr. Preston– April 17 1903—-
Ottawa Daily Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
17 Jan 1895, Thu • Page 2
In Victorian Britain, readers were entertained with bitter statements of disapproval that made it into many wills. Sir Thomas May of London, for example, who in 1887, cut off his wife and daughter with a shilling each, while bequeathing an annual sum of £100 to his lucky servant.
In 1850 only around 15 per cent of adults who died left enough wealth to make inheritance a matter worth caring about; most people died with nothing or they were in debt. By the mid-1930s that proportion had shifted to approximately 23 per cent of dying adults
Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place and The Tales of Almonte
Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun Screamin’ Mamas (USA) and The Sherbrooke Record
If you read
Daniel McLaren was William Muirhead’s uncle, the brother of his mother Agnes. He also was a bachelor and very well to do. Mary McLeod and her sister Isabella were Daniel’s housekeepers and apparently upon his death when his will was read; he had left his estate to the McLeod sisters.
And so it began
So who won?
John A. Stewart, McLaren’s nephew
In 1896 COL. A.J. MATHESON, became the proprietor and editor with CAPT. J.W. MOTHERWELL as publisher. Both these worthy newspaper men have also passed to the great beyond. In 1886 CHAS. F. STONE, fresh from Perth Collegiate, entered the Expositor as “printer’s devil,” and completed his apprenticeship in September, 1890, when he secured a position on the Deseronto Tribune, later on the Wiarton Echo and the Petrolia Advertiser. In 1893, on account of the illness of Capt. Montherwell, Mr. Stone was offered the position of publisher and accepted it in March of that year. Three years later, after Col. Matheson had received the endorsation of the electors of South Lanark to represent them in the Provincial Legislature, the control of the Expositor passed into the hands of Mr. Stone, who was its editor and proprietor until early in 1914, when he was appointed Collector of Inland Revenue. His son, the late HAROLD E. STONE, who was killed overseas, published it until December 1914, when the Expositor passed into the hands of Mr. John A. Stewart. Perth Remembered
In 1900 a bottle of McLaren’s “old Perth malt whiskey” sold for 90 cents; 80 cents if you brought your own bottle. Today, an empty McLaren bottle with label intact sells for as high as $5 in antique shops across Ontario. One collector of old bottles predicted in twenty years the price for these fast disappearing artifacts of old Perth would go as high as $15 each. Full bottles of which there are still a few left just are not for sale at any price.
Despite the disparagement in prices now and in the old days, John A. McLaren, Perth’s whiskey king, managed to eke out a fairly comfortable living. In fact, he became one of the town’s wealthiest businessmen and his product was known to hundreds or thousands of Canadians from the Pacific to the Atlantic.
John A. was one of the first liquor manufacturers to put out what is known as “mickies” (12 oz bottles) on the Canadian market. The product came in amber with clear bottles the latter having a bluish tinge.
The McLaren distillery was founded in 1831 by Robert McLaren, father of John A. , who followed the traditions of the great Scotch whiskey manufacturers of his day, many of which are still going strong. “Old Perth Malt” had a unique flavor due to wood being used in the malt making, rather than peat as used in Scotland and Ireland. Its Canadian contemporaries were made in four days while McLaren was processed a full 30 days.
One of the wealthiest if not the wealthiest manufacturing establishments in Perth was the McLaren Distillery, located on what is now Stewart Park directly behind the home of Mayor E.S. Burchell on Market Square. Opposite the mayor’s house stood the McLaren stables, which boasted more than 100 bulls happily thriving on the mash left over from malt making.
Stewart Park might well stand today as a monument to John A. McLaren as well as to John A. Stewart for it was from the enterprising “booze king” that the Stewart fortune and holdings were acquired. Stewart, a relative of McLaren’s, was the principal heir in the malt maker’s will and himself became a national figure in business and politics. He served as M.P. for Lanark and entered the Bennett cabinet as Minister of Railways and Canals.
When John A. McLaren died at the turn of the century, Stewart continued the operation of the distillery along with other enterprises including the Henry K. Wampole Company and later the Perth Expositor. He was described as a shrewd businessman and opportunist as well as a master of litigation.
Perhaps Stewart’s finest display of legal finesse came with the handling of the McLaren will. Although he proved to be the legal heir, it took a bit of explaining to the powers that be before the fortunes of his kinsman could be added to Stewart’s coffers.
“Old Perth Malt Whiskey has gained such a high reputation among the judges of fine liquor it is regarded as non-injurious and has become a household staple where other whiskies would not be tolerated” said the proponents of the day.
Unfortunately, despite the eloquent pleas put forth by the hidden persuaders of yesteryear, the Ontario Temperance Act disagreed and in 1917 “Perth Old Malt Whiskey” along with its imitators was banished from the Ontario market. Prohibition had descended on the land and the whiskey sellers, the licensed ones at least, were left with empty shelves. Article from The Perth Courier– Perth Remembered
Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun and theSherbrooke Record and and Screamin’ Mamas (USACome and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place. Tales of Almonte and Arnprior Then and Now.
The Thomas Alfred Code Journal – Letters-Part 10- Code Family – I conjured to myself: “You will know me later!” And Peter McLaren did.
The Hon. John Graham Haggart
Member of the Canadian Parliament for Lanark South
Preceded by Alexander Morris
Succeeded by Adelbert Edward Hanna
Born 14 November 1836
Perth, Upper Canada
Died 13 March 1913 (aged 76)
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Political party Conservative
This photo of Perth Manor Boutique Hotel is courtesy of TripAdvisor–
“John Haggart Room”