The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), 6 Jul 1897

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p.1 Is Not Involved - Ogdensburg elevator is not in financial difficulty; not connected with Vermont railway company.



The schooner S.H. Dunn, Toledo, was expected to arrive at Garden Island today.

The steamer Erie, Fort William, wheat laden, is on her way down the lake bound for this port.

The steamer Bothnia, Elk Rapids, timber, cleared the Welland canal yesterday bound for Garden Island.

The steamer Glengarry and consort Minnedosa, light, passed up through the Welland canal yesterday bound for Chicago.

Lewis Wallace, New York, who owns an island near Alexandria Bay, has purchased the steamyacht Ruth from Swits Conde, Oswego.

The R. & O. navigation company announce that the Columbian will run from Kingston to Montreal on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays to compete with the new American line. She will leave here, going east, at 7:15 a.m. and reach Montreal about five o'clock.


E. Mooers & Co. have written as follows to the city council: "Having seen in the city papers of the 3rd inst., that a meeting of the board of trade has passed a resolution, and named a committee to make an offer to the M.T. Co. sufficient to retain them here and to erect an elevator with a capacity of 500,000 bushels.

"While we have no hesitation in saying more elevator capacity may be required later on, we do think it would be very unwise to take action on these resolutions, at least at the present time, and until the success of the bonus already granted has been proved, and when that time comes, we will be prepared to furnish said extra capacity at a much lower figure than anyone else, as we are now making provision in our present plans for increasing our capacity.

"We would, therefore, respectfully ask that your honorable body defer action, on the said resolution at this time."

A Second Grain Elevator.

Kingston, July 5th - To the Editor:

In looking over your interesting issue of Saturday last I was amazed at finding the information contained in the following paragraph and its contents:

"A meeting of the board of trade was held last night to discuss the advisability of erecting another grain elevator in the city, and of offering a bonus to the Montreal transportation company for the purpose. The following members were present: The president, Messrs. Gaskin, Richardson, McKelvey, Herald, Donnelly, Dalton, Henderson, McMahon, Shaw, Wilkinson, Steacy, Curtis, Hague, Redden, Minnes, Swift, Toye, Allen, Hewton, Livingston, Crawford."

After transacting some more minor matters, the "business of the evening," to wit the offering of a bonus to the Montreal transportation company, was on motion of James Redden, seconded by James Minnes, taken up. Their resolution sets forth, in a long preamble, as your readers are now aware, that efforts are being used to induce that company to leave Kingston and go to other ports; that the company does a large business here in forwarding, shipbuilding and so on, and employ a large number of people who would be thrown out of employment were the company to leave; that were that to happen many interests would be seriously injured, and that to prevent such a contingency the council be requested to offer a bonus to the company for the erecting and operating of another elevator, and the retaining of their other business here on terms which the parties may agree upon; that the council be requested to appoint a committee to confer with the board's committee, which is to consist of Messrs. Redden, J. Swift, J. Minnes, G. Richardson, Steacy, Hewton, Wilkinson, M. Shaw and Herald, and that the mayor have it brought before the council at its first meeting; all which is reported to have been unanimously carried.

For pure, unadulterated assurance this action of the board of trade takes the cake. Look at the plea set up in behalf of this second elevator. It is the old threat of the M.T. Co. which has been used times without number whenever they have been wanting anything, that they may leave Kingston and go elsewhere unless they get what they want, and show what a loss they will be to the city. So it would; but there is no danger of their leaving a place which suits them better than any other. So that excuse may be set aside. Now look at the above list of names and see who are pressing this silly project. Who are they but the men, with their personal aiders and abettors, who opposed the Mooers elevator. Why did they oppose that and now ask for another, if the former was not required? Have they changed their minds and now conclude it was needed, or is their action merely a move to kill the first elevator? Surely the council has more sense than to pass another by-law for submission to the people asking for more money for another elevator before it is ascertained how the other turns out. After that is tested and its capacity found to be insufficient, another can then be encouraged and erected. These people ought to be ashamed to ask for a bonus now when they refused or neglected to accept that formerly offered, and opposed the company who did accept it. I am surprised that there were none present at the board meeting to demur against the action taken at this time. There must have been those there who knew the course pursued was a reckless and unreasonable one. I defer going into this matter at further length at present. I will await the action of the council who surely will not, like some members of the board of trade, allow themselves to be hoodwinked, influenced and made catspaws of to do anything which some of our designing men ask them to do, no matter how extravagant or what the result. It is time a halt were called in the lavish and reckless expenditure of our taxes, merely to satisfy the selfish ends of designing people. So, shut down, gentlemen, on unnecessary and wasteful expenditures in this and other matters likely to come up in the near future, one or more of them tonight perhaps. What will be the result if these leakages are not stopped? Where is all the money coming from these hard times? If it was your own money you were handling you would not be so free in the use of it as you are in that of the citizens. Then the by-law for the $150,000 to the Kingston and Smith's Falls railroad will likely be on to be voted on shortly. So, take warning and be careful or we will oust you next January from your positions at the council board.




Influential Deputation Waited On Council Last Night.

The board of trade deputation re a second elevator bonus was introduced, and A. Chadwick, president of the board of trade, said there is a keenly felt need for a second elevator here. The board, recognizing this, had sent a deputation to ask council to assist in securing such, and he would call on E.J.B. Pense to speak first on the subject.

Mr. Pense complied with the wishes of the board of trade to join in this delegation on the principle that everything affecting the public interest was worthy of the deepest concern of citizens. It was undoubted that the system of grain transportation had undergone a revolution, and that the predictions of two years ago regarding the necessity of a standing elevator were being fulfilled to the injury of the city, since one-half of its former trade was passing down the river. This could not have been the case had Kingston been forehanded in its equipment. He did not appear as an advocate of the Montreal transportation company; no approach had been made by that company in the direction of a bonus or privileges. This movement was purely one of citizens, and he joined it in the feeling that it was to the manifest benefit of Kingston not only to retain every industry within its borders but to extend trade in every way open to reasonable endeavor and expenditure. The board of trade asked simply that the matter be discussed by a joint committee of the council and the board, where all interests will be duly considered. It was not for another elevator alone that he and others made this proposal, but that the transportation company's business should be anchored in Kingston more firmly, that all indecision and friction should be put a stop to by mutual agreement. The company has nearly all its interests in another city, and it must be a matter of indifference to the shareholders whether they operate in Kingston, Prescott, or in Ogdensburg. It was, therefore, advisable that a full understanding should be reached as to the future of this company. It had some stake in the city in property, and to strengthen that hold should be our deep concern. He could speak for many members of the delegation that they were not hostile in the slightest degree to the elevator now under contract, but were actuated by the feeling that the Montreal transportation company had connections which they absolutely control, and, moreover, had a large grain traffic on their own account. It mattered little to the Mooers company whether the elevating was done at Kingston or Prescott; the Montreal transportation company would still be their rival. The hope was to make the very best of the situation, to do injustice to none, but not to leave open any ground of complaint that Kingston had failed in its duty to further a leading industry.

Ex-mayor Herald said he would like to make one thing clear and that was that the deputation did not oppose the scheme that the citizens of Kingston have shown by their votes that they are heartily in sympathy with. The members of the board of trade wish that scheme all possible success. But they also believe that there is not only room but great necessity for a second elevator here. The company applying for a bonus tonight spends annually here $338,000; it has given to one of our large companies a contract to build two barges that will necessitate the expenditure of $75,000. The board of trade hopes that this will be the first only of a series of such contracts, and that, if the locomotive works can build these barges we will save to Kingston $75,000 a year that formerly was spent in England and Scotland. The deputation believed that every industry that can be induced to come here should be so induced, and that all our industries should be retained. They asked council to take into consideration whether or not it is worth while to retain here a company that has spent here every year the sum named, and has employed every year between 250 and 300 families, and which is not wedded to this city, but has been offered substantial advantages to leave Kingston.

B.M. Britton, M.P., said he did not wish it to be understood that the scheme of building a second elevator here was intended to operate prejudicially to Mr. Mooers' company. If the carrying out of this scheme would so operate, or would cause the breaking of faith with the Mooer company he would not favor it.

He did not understand that the M.T. Co. was applying for a bonus. It had come to his knowledge that the building of the Prescott elevator has been such a great success, that there should be no great difficulty in inducing the M.T. Co., or any other company, to make Prescott their headquarters. The bonds of the Prescott elevator company could not be sold at par here some time ago; now they can be bought only at a very substantial premium. From the knowledge he has received he had thought that the M.T. Co. might be induced to leave Kingston, and he knew the citizens would later be sorry if that event were to take place, just as they regret that they did not act promptly and build an elevator here when it was known that it was intended to build the Prescott elevator. Were he in Mr. Mooers' place he would sooner have a second elevator built and the M.T. Co. kept here, than to have no competiton, and to lose the M.T. Co. He had examined the books of that company; he is a small stockholder in the company and is local solicitor for it, and he sincerely believed that it would be a very great disaster if we were to lose that company which has spent in this city for labor: $80,000 a year, $15,000 a year for tugs, etc., $30,000 for lake barges, $7,500 a year at their wharf, $10,000 a year to the crews of barges, and other expenses, making an aggregate of about $338,000 a year. Now, $1,000 a day is a large sum to be expended here - and that is the sum this company spends here. It behooves us then to retain that company here, if we can, and he hoped the council would give the request of the board of trade the ernest considerations it deserves.

Ald. Allen moved, seconded by Ald. Walkem, that the request of the board of trade be referred to the following committee: Alds. Elliott, McKelvey, Richardson, Ryan, Walkem, Livingston and Allen.

Ald. W. Robinson said that if the request of the board of trade were granted, he would like to see in the agreement with the M.T. Co. a clause that would prevent the city's being threatened by the company that that company will leave the city, as has been threatened for the past twenty-five years. He did not think the company intended to leave the city.

Ald. Tait said there was a general impression that from its very inception the Prescott elevator company has been fostered by the M.T. Co.

Ald. Wright thought the old elevator committee was quite competent to handle this matter, as it had handled the last. Yet he was satisfied with the personnel of the proposed committee. He felt that the report, whichever committee might make it, will be in favor of retaining the M.T. Co. here.

Ald. Elliott said it was quite evident that Mr. Britton was not acquainted with all the actions of the board of trade in relation to the Mooers elevator company. Was it not, he asked, within the memory of the aldermen that the board went out of its way to send to the minister of public works a petition against the granting of a certain site to the Mooers company? The gentleman who is putting his money into the Mooers scheme says that it will ruin his company if a bonus be granted to the M.T. Co. And it is the duty of all the aldermen not to put any stumbling blocks in the way of the Mooers Co.

Ald. Carson moved, seconded by Ald. W. Robinson, that the communication of the board of trade be referred to the old elevator committee.

Ald. Ryan took issue with Ald. W. Robinson in regard to the assertion that the M.T. company has for years threatened to leave Kingston. He said that even though a second elevator would enter into strict competition with the Mooers company, that was not the concern of the citizens. It was the duty of the citizens and the aldermen to secure all the industries possible, and let the two companies compete to their hearts' content.

Ald. Donnelly said the resolution was very carefully worded to shut himself and Alds. Stewart and Carson off the new committee. The argument by Mr. Britton, that if the M.T. company left the city, it would thereby enter into competition with the Mooers company, was sufficient to cause him to give his most earnest consideration to the request. He believed if the M.T. company were to leave Kingston it would mean a backward step for the city that could not be recovered for many a day.

Ald. Allen said he had left Ald. Donnelly's name off the list of members of the proposed committee because the mayor had ruled that the old company (sic - committee ?), of which Ald. Donnelly is chairman, is still in existence.

Capt. Gaskin said the old committee had carried the Mooers bonus and he felt that that committee could carry this one. In 1892, when the Prescott elevator company was being formed, the mayor of Prescott wrote to him. He brought the matter before the board of trade, which appointed a committee to go to the M.T. company's headquarters. The committee was well received. The president said the time had come when an elevator was needed in Kingston and offered to take $100,000 stock in the scheme if the city would secure a site. Cold water was thrown on the scheme in Kingston and it died. No threat was made by the M.T. company to leave Kingston. The Kingston wiseheads said they could not build an elevator in Prescott. But it was stated in the Whig recently that more trade is being done in Prescott than Kingston. The company never asked a cent from this city. Today fifty per cent of our trade has gone to Prescott, and Ald. Stewart knows that Ogdensburg is trying to get the K. & M. company to leave Kingston, and that Prescott is trying to get the M.T. company to leave. He (the speaker) was proud to read in the Whig the other day that that paper took the stand that matters of personal likes or dislikes should not be considered in this matter, but that they should be considered on their merits. Ald. Tait has said that the M.T. company does business with the Prescott elevator company. That is true. The company cannot help it. It would be so if the Mooers elevator were built - if a dozen elevators were built here by companies that do not control the connections. But it would not be so if the company owning the elevator controlled the connections.

Ald. W. Robinson asked Capt. Gaskin if he had not opposed the Mooers elevator scheme. He (Capt. Gaskin) first asked $50,000 and a free site to build an elevator, and he predicted that no elevator would be built for $25,000. Then he offered to accept $25,000. He has said that if the Mooers elevator was built his company would still do business in Prescott.

Capt. Gaskin said his company never offered to accept $25,000 to build an elevator here. It was the Messrs. Richarson who made that offer. As far as the M.T. company is concerned, affairs would remain as they are if the Mooers elevator was built. Ald. Allen substituted the name of Ald. Donnelly for that of Ald. Walkem, but the amendment was carried.

p.4 General Paragraphs - The tug Easton, of Ottawa, is at Rathbun's wharf transferring a cargo of lumber to the schooner Annie Minnes, for Oswego.

The steamer Corsican called at Swift's wharf today on her way from Toronto to Montreal, and the Spartan called while going in the opposite direction.

The tug Reginald left Garden Island last night with the Calvin Co.'s twelfth raft, containing 170,000 feet of timber. H.A. Calvin accompanied the raft.

Ald. James Stewart, local manager of the K. & M. forwarding company, has been called to Ogdensburg to load four barges with grain for his company.

The R. & O. steamer Columbian is coaling up at Swift's wharf, preparatory to starting on her trip to Montreal at three o'clock tomorrow morning. Henceforth she will make the trip between Kingston and Montreal every alternate day.

The Captain's Money - Capt. Easton, of the tug Easton, now lying at Rathbun Co.'s wharf, lost $230 on trip down from Ottawa.....

p.6 The Elevator Under Contract - contract let to Barnett & Record company, of Minneapolis; site chosen is Robertson lot adjoining the drydock

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6 Jul 1897
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  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 44.22976 Longitude: -76.48098
Rick Neilson
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Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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British Whig (Kingston, ON), 6 Jul 1897