Thursday, March 10, 2011

Some other Elite Richmondites

Mr. Bieber.

In a 1911 letter, Mr. Bieber has a car accident and his wife is seriously injured. It's an interesting letter (Look up CAR ACCIDENT on this blog ) in that cars were a new phenomenon, but speeding and wreckless driving was already invented...As I wrote in that post, 14 miles an hour was the speed limit in 1910 in Quebec, in the Country. But the roads were not terrific and the ET was very hilly to boot, so driving a car was both thrilling and dangerous.

I found a Who's Who for E.T. (post war or during the war) which included a blurb on Mr. Bieber, who lived near the Nicholsons in the fancy part of Richmond, Quebec.

Mr. Bieber, (I wonder if he is an ancestor of Justin Bieber, who is also Canadian)was born in England and came to Canada and was educated at Bishop's College, Lennoxville and then worked for the Edison General Electric Company in Sherbrooke (how interesting) then went over the the Molson's Bank (travelled around to Brockville, Victoriaville, etc) and then came to Richmond as the Manager of the Molson's Bank there. He married and Edith Henry and named one of his sons Earnest Tobin, which makes you think he was good friends with E.W. Tobin...

Marcus George Crombie also has a listing. The Nicholson's owed their mortgage to him and I believe he moved into the Skinner's house when they moved out West- and he did a vast renovation.

Crombie was a lumber and mill owner, born in Melbourne. Apparently he took part in the Fenian Raids. He had been Mayor of Melbourne and Brompton Gore and Kingsbury (and I believe he ran for the Conservatives at one point but then went back to Liberals... if a letter I have from 1920 is correct.

He's Richmond Liberal Association VP in war time Who's Who.

John McMorine is also in the book. Listed as a merchant and owner of one of the largest retail firms of the area. He was also Mayor or Richmond for four terms in and around 1900 and a big player in the Masons, where he was a member of "ancient Scottish rite."

And other "player" in Tighsolas listed is George Alexander. In 1912, he sells an insurance policy to Herbert which causes all kinds of financial woes. Herbert takes no responsiblity claiming he was tricked into buying it, but it is likely just an excuse. That was Herbert.

George Alexander lived on College Street (with the fanciest houses) and his was one of only two area homes that had a live in maid in 1911, according to the 1911 Census.

He too is of Scotch heritage and opened his insurance business in 1897, which spread country wide, according to the blurb. Alexander is civic minded and very interested in "the good roads movement" and immigration.

Just to say, the Nicholsons thought themselves part of the elite of Richmond, at least on the Anglo Side.

On one hand, that was good, as it gave them connections but on the other hand it must have been hard, as they had NO MONEY.

When Norman died in 1922, his obit in the Richmond Times Guardian called him "one of the most respected persons of this place."

I wonder who wrote that line.