W4535 TO [REV.] CALVIN MCQUESTEN from his mother, Mary Baker McQuesten
Feb 5 1902
To: Calvin McQuesten The Montreal Herald
My dear dear Calvin,
It is to be hoped you will not be caught like Naylor Briggs whom I told you about. I think he married the widow, with whom he lodged, so beware, beware. I do not know yet all your plans, but thought you intended to board with some French family. As you speak of giving $6.00 a month for room suppose you go elsewhere for meals, I am sorry to know you do this in the winter. Last Sabbath for instances, you could have taken a day's rest. Ruby in her letter was wishing for the good old days, when no snow ploughs cleaned the street, you could not be expected to go out. My foot is improving as fast as could be expected, but cannot walk on it yet. I am just as well in bed for it is so bitterly cold. Hope it will soon be milder, for cold is awful misery, but am not complaining for I have everything to make me comfortable.
[I] am sending you the Will to look it over. There is just one flaw in it, the unmarried girls should have more than $400. when one or some are married, or if present income revenue permits, for I do not think $400. is very much & if two of them, say, got married, the other two ought to be able to see a little of the world by travelling, if they chose, after living so many years of economy. But with your young brains, if you will just think over if it is fair to you all. Of course, if anything happened to me just now, I scarcely know how the girls could live as we do & give Tom $350.1 Mr. Chisholm's hundred dollars & Ruby have kept him this year;2 of course the new roofs on homestead & Bold St. have been a heavy. Wish I could be sure of you all having a good income, but I leave you all in our Heavenly Father's Hands who will never fail you.
Mrs. Fletcher told us that the story Dr. Fletcher heard of Dr. Warden's son was somewhat different. It was at the time of the MacEagle[sp?] Winnie[sp?] failure, young Warden in some way lost $27,000. His father was much incensed with the Gooderhams for some reason & sent his son away. The wife said to be in sanitarium with nervous prostration.3
Ruby tells me that Prof Gordon of Kingston has two sons in Asylum and another one at Upper Canada, the fit of insanity came on & he ran away, & they do not know where he is.4 Mrs. Bennett tells that Dr. Barclay's sons are very wild & drink terribly.5 It is a sad world.
Ken [Trigge] sent newspaper with account of storm in Quebec etc. Was it not terrible. It snowed a good deal here, but nothing remarkable, only it is so cold. Jean Vincent wrote Hilda to-day from Penn-Yan [sic] her future home. She is delighted with everything and everybody, her fiance seems to have lots of money, her diamond ring from Tiffany's is a beautiful one.6 You must take great care of Will & send it back soon as you have had time to think it over; for it has been a long time on the way.
Anna Laidlaw took the girls to a concert last night.7 We are very dull this winter. Mr. Haddow is to lecture on "Jack Cannuck [sic] & his friends."8 Some of the young people were convulsed when Dr. Fletcher announced it as John Canada, evidently thinking the title undignified for the pulpit. Mr. Graham, of course, upset our girls nearly entirely.9 By the way, Mrs. Sutherland & the girls are much pleased with Arthur's wife "a sweet dear little thing." Was not that a terrible thing of young Aleck McKeand committing suicide or taking overdose of morphine at hotel in Buffalo. He had no home poor fellow.10
Do hope you will not take cold. Is you room warm?
Your loving Mother
1 For more on Mary's Will, see W4544, W4568.
2 Ruby was teaching at the Presbyterian Ladies' College in Ottawa. At some time while working at the college she unknowingly contracted tuberculosis and in 1906 her health began to fail. She continued to work until the summer of 1907 and afterwards she was treated at various sanitariums for her illness but succumbed to the disease on April 9, 1911 while the family was caring for her at a cottage on the Hamilton mountain (see W6135).
Mr. Chisholm had been Isaac McQuesten's law partner (see W2520).
3 The gossip about the Warden family began in W4531. Names may be incorrect, script is very faint.
4 Rev. Dr. Daniel Miner Gordon (1845-1925) born in Nova Scotia and educated at Glasgow University, Berlin University and ordained 1866. He was professor of systematic theology and apologetics from 1894-1902 at Halifax Presbyterian College. He became principal and vice-chancellor of Queen's University (1902-17) after Dr. George Munro Grant resigned (Moir Enduring 189-90). Gordon was author of Mountain and Prairie (1880) (MDCB 303-4). Ruby reported that she had heard "two splendid sermons" from Prof Gordon at Queen's (W4539). The Hamilton Evening Times, November 21, 1902, reported his appointment and noted that he had a son in the Presbyterian ministry. For his church politics as a "gradualist" on "Union," see W5283, W6446. I have found no evidence that he was related to Charles Gordon, see W5359.
5 Mrs. Bennett's report about Dr. Barclay suggests that she was possibly related to Jane (Bennett) Sutherland (d. 1916) wife of Canon Sutherland (1854-1921), Anglican Clergyman at St. Mark's Church and Christ's Church Cathedral in Hamilton. She was very active in women's organizations in the city.
Rev. Dr. A. Norman Barclay, prominent Anglican minister in Hamilton, wrote of Canon Sutherland in a church history in 1929 (DHB2.168-9).
6 For Jean Vincent, see W4521.
7 Anna Laidlaw, a musician who "played splendidly" (W6395), was likely related to Rev. Dr. Robert James Laidlaw (1839-1895) minister of St. Paul's Presbyterian church (1878-93). Music was very important at St. Paul's where Rev. Laidlaw was an "initiator and reformer" and installed a new pipe organ in 1880 (Wee Kirks 47) (another source states that the organ arrived in 1879 and it was a Steer and Turner Organ). The Laidlaws were associated with St. Paul's organist and choirmaster, Dr. C.L.M. Harris who opened Hamilton's first conservatory of music in his home at Hunter and MacNab St. in 1897. He was director and examiner and made an outstanding contribution to music in Hamilton and Ontario (Campbell 228-9; W6395, W-MCP3-5.011).
8 Rev. Robert Haddow (1860-1949) Princeton, University of Toronto, Knox College, ordained missionary and editor of The Westminster and The Presbyterian 1900 to 1925 and editor of the United Church Record 1926-31 (BDKC 93).
9 This page of the letter is very faint and over-written. Mr. Graham may be Charles Walter Graham or David Graham, both members of MacNab St. Church and their wives were members of the WFMS (Latoszek 25). They were likely related to the Sutherlands of 120 Duke St. since Mrs. Sutherland was a Graham (Tyrell 156).
For Sutherland, see W4425.
10 The McKeand family, here at W4535, were likely relatives of Mrs. Elizabeth (Fuller) McQuesten's, Dr. Calvin McQuesten's third wife. She had tried to pressure her husband to "buy a lot and build a house for them [McKeands] in Hamilton so that she could get them back near her" but he refused (W2368, W2348, W2372, W4321, W2413). Nellie McKeand came to stay with Mrs. Elizabeth (Fuller) McQuesten when she and Isaac were in conflict over Dr. McQuesten's estate. (W4321). Mrs. McKeand and Archie and Clarence were living at Wellington Square in Hamilton in April 1873 (W2354, W4323, W2383, W4535). It is likely that they returned to the United States when Elizabeth (Fuller) McQuesten retired there with a dower, after Dr. McQuesten's death in 1885. For more on Dr. Calvin and Elizabeth Fuller McQuesten, see W-MCP5-6.351. See also Dr. McQuesten's Deed of Trust, which declared a dower to Elizabeth, W0234 to W0252. See also Dr. Calvin McQuesten's biography by clicking on his picture at "Family."