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Loyalist Trails UELAC Newsletter, 2011 Archive

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"Loyalist Trails" 2011-41 October 16, 2011

Articles

The Great and Complicated Business: Relief for the Widows -- by Stephen Davidson

Sir Guy Carleton was in a situation that demanded all of his skill as a general and all of his tact as a gentleman. He had been given the awesome responsibility of organizing the departure of all the British forces from the new United States of America; a task that had to be completed by the end of November, 1783. If it had just been a military operation, it would have been far simpler, but as the British disentangled themselves from seven years of warfare, there were also thousands of loyalists dependent upon the crown for help. Carleton was responsible for organizing the greatest evacuation of refugees in North American history. Could he keep the loyalists safe and sound until their ships took them to Canada, Nova Scotia, the West Indies or England?

Extraordinary times brought forth extraordinary boldness. Loyalist widows and their families would not survive if they did not receive financial help immediately. In desperation, these women turned to Sir Guy Carleton for help, writing him petitions and memorials pleading for his assistance. What was a British gentleman to do?

Having lost her husband when the frigate Vigilant sank, Catherine Grant asked for relief and a "passage home to her parents" in England. Mary Thompson described herself as "a refugee from Philadelphia". Her late husband had served on the Phoenix. Besides herself, she had three children to support and needed more allowance. Interestingly, she did not ask to have her family moved to Nova Scotia. Patriots had executed Mary Spangler's husband for "the services he had rendered to the British Commanders". Men who borrowed money from her seven years earlier refused to repay her, and so she appealed to Carleton for "some relief".

Catherine Hewetson was the only loyalist mother to write the commander-in-chief to find employment for her son. She hoped that Carleton would make her son an ensign, even though she knew that he had resolved "never to give a commission to any one under the age of sixteen". Hewetson was making a very bold request-- her son was just 12! A practical woman, Hewetson pointed out that a "half pay provincial ensigncy would give him education and support." She obviously caught Carleton on a good day. He granted her request.

Ann Slott was a loyalist widow with six children. She was "desirous of removing" from the United States but had "been left out of the list of suffering loyalists" Within two days of her writing letter she received "some charity" from Carleton so that she could sail for Nova Scotia.

Not everyone received aid. Mrs. Christian Amiel is a case in point. When her husband left Philadelphia to look for prospects in the West Indies, she and her adult daughter had to flee to New York City. To prove her loyalty, she mentioned the fact that her six sons took "a spirited part with the army". With "no source of support but the contributions of her family", Mrs. Amiel hoped that Carleton would provide some assistance so that she could go to England with her daughter. However, there were others in greater need of the crown's help than Mrs. Amiel.

An unidentified loyalist widow had watched her husband carried off "to the Jersey Revolters by Sir Henry Clinton and was hanged." She begged Carleton that her case "may be taken into consideration".

Mary McCarthay certainly had some valid grounds for her request for relief. Her first husband, Richard Henshaw, had died while serving in the 7th Regiment. Her second husband was Charles McCarthay of the 9th Regiment. He seems to have died as a prisoner of war after rebels captured him with Burgoyne's troops.

Later in the Revolution, Mary was entrusted with Benedict Arnold's dispatches just days before he left the Continental Army at West Point. Her mission, "at the hazard of her life", was to deliver the papers to General Robertson at the British garrison in New York. This she accomplished in the presence of Col. Beverley Robinson. Mary planned to leave for Nova Scotia, but asked Carleton for financial support until her ship set sail. What happened to this remarkable loyalist is unknown.

One loyalist woman asked a very practical question. Helen Keith wanted to know if the allowance she had been receiving from the British government in New York could "be drawn at Annapolis Royal {in Nova Scotia}, as that place has been pointed out as a place for cheap living."

Not all of Carleton's female correspondents had such a practical nature. The letter of Mrs. Penuel Grant reveals a woman who lived in her own world, far from the day to day concerns of the average loyalist refugee. She was pleased that her five sons, three daughters, and three servants would be accommodated with good berths to Nova Scotia, but she was disappointed to learn that she could not bring any cattle with her on the ship. Hadn't her husband served the crown well in Flanders, Germany, and in Georgia? Hadn't he died during the evacuation of Savannah? Mrs. Grant hoped that Carleton would see to it that she received the pension that was given to widows of officers who died in the field. But her requests did not stop there.

Mrs. Grant wanted to take "furniture for two rooms and one kitchen, one horse and chaise", and hoped that she could be settled in Halifax. Brook Watson, Carleton's assistant, wrote Mrs. Grant to say that taking the horse and chaise could only be done with great expense and inconvenience -- and in the end it would only be a burden to her. The loyalist widow's letters must have made Carleton either shake his head in utter disbelief or laugh all the way to the officer's mess.

None of these women, however, faced the challenges of their Black Loyalist sisters. As we shall see in next week's article, if Carleton did not come to their aid, they would be made slaves once more.


To secure permission to reprint this article, email Stephen Davidson.

Charles Raymond (1788 - 1878) © George McNeillie

Had Grandfather been asked as to the relationship existing between himself and the old master, Walter Dibblee, he might truthfully have replied, "We are not related by blood, but he is the brother of my wife's mother, he is the husband of my wife's aunt, he is the son of my wife's grandmother, and the father of my sister's husband". In view of all this the associations between the old master and his pupil Charles were naturally very intimate.

To earn an honest living Walter Dibblee combined the duties of village schoolmaster with those of deputy-sheriff and gaoler. He had, for a while, the charge of the notorious Henry More Smith, and as there seemed to be something uncanny about this remarkable criminal, Grandfather often accompanied the Gaoler in his rounds as a matter of caution. Grandfather used to relate extraordinary tales of Henry More Smith, which space will not permit me to narrate. At this time Smith went for some weeks without speaking to a soul, but entertained his visitors with a variety of mannakins [sic], made of straw, cloth and paper. With these he enacted a sort of "Punch and Judy show." Grandfather once brought him some strawberries which he ate with relish, muttering unintelligible gibberish all the while.

On one occasion Smith was seemingly in the last stages of consumption, harassed by a racking cough and wasted well-night to a skeleton. Mrs. Scovil, the tender-hearted wife of the rector of Kingston, sent a feather-bed to the jail that the prisoner might not die on a pallet of straw. His exhaustion was apparently so complete that his death was momentarily expected, and the cell door was left unfastened. At this juncture a messenger from the gaoler to the sheriff, Walter Bates, announced, "Smith is gone!" The Sheriff answered with sympathy, "Poor fellow! I hope he is in heaven." On being informed that he had run away, he was at first incredulous, but on being convinced that it was even so, he is reported to have said very emphatically, "D____ him! I wish he was in h__l!"

A curious sequel to this early experience was that Grandfather Raymond afterwards himself became a deputy Sheriff on the Upper St. John and had some exciting experiences, of which more anon.

Excerpt from Book of Family History, by The Ven. William Odber Raymond, LL.D, FRSC. © 2009 George McNeillie - all rights reserved [published here with permission; see footnote].

...George McNeillie

Book and Launch: The Loyalist Tiles of St. Alban's

St. Alban the Martyr UEL Memorial Church stands by the side of the road in the quiet hamlet of Adolphustown, close to the landing site of the fourth town contingent of the United Empire Loyalists in Adolphustown Creek on June 16, 1784. Over the years, UELAC members who attend the annual UEL service in June frequently search the unique and decorative tiles for those dedicated to Loyalist families who settled the area.

In order to raise public and scholarly awareness of the memorial tiles of St. Alban, the church has created a book about the tiles, with a photo of each tile and a biography of each person commemorated. The launch of The Loyalist Tiles of St. Alban's, Encaustic Memorial Tiles of the 19th Century by Diane Berlet and Graem Coles has been scheduled for Saturday October 29th. You are invited to the launch. Further details about the book, and the book launch can be found here.

A list of the names commemorated on the tiles is here.

All proceeds from sales of the book will be deposited into the Heritage Tile and Book Association Fund and will be dedicated to the preservation of the tiles as needed and to the promotion of the tiles as a valuable community resource of both artistic and historic merit.

I would like to thank all those who contacted me with information after the first appeal in Loyalist Trails.

...Diane Berlet and Graem Coles, co-authors, and Ted Davie and Joan Coles, Wardens

Book: Canada's Constitutional Monarchy

Awareness of the goals of the organization is vital to both growth and strength. In 2002 when UELAC established its Mission Statement, the addition of a sixth goal brought a new purpose as an association. Defending and promoting the values and institutions fundamental to Canada's United Empire Loyalist heritage and, in particular, the Constitutional Monarchy, the Commonwealth, Parliamentary Government, the Rule of Law, Human Rights and Unity. While these values and institutions are generally recognized, there is little evidence that the UELAC membership is adequately prepared to promote them in presentations or displays. Now, just in time for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in 2012, there is help at hand.

Nathan Tidridge, a teacher with the Hamilton Wentworth Board of Education, has written a text to explain Canada's Constitutional Monarchy. As expressed by his publisher Dundurn Press, "Nathan Tidridge presents the Canadian Crown as a colourful and unique institution at the very heart of Canadian Confederation and responsible government, exploring its roots and development from fifteenth-century English explorations and sixteenth-century New France. Moving into the twenty-first century, relationships with First Nations, Heraldry, the Military, Governor General, Heir to the Throne, and many other aspects of the day-to-day life of the country are explored." Canada's Constitutional Monarchy, with its cover by Toronto artist Charles Pachter will serve as a good resource for all branches of UELAC planning to incorporate Mission Statement 6 into future activities.

While the book will not be released until November, special arrangements are in place to have advance copies at the October 29th meeting of the Dominion Council for the final price of $25.00. Orders placed with education@uelac.org by Thursday October 20 will be filled at the meeting. Please place "Canada's Constitutional Monarchy" in the subject heading of the email. In the body indicate the number of copies desired and who will be picking them up.

...FHH

Minister MacKay: Lieutenant Governor of Ontario and The Queen's York Rangers

The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defense, announced that the position of Lieutenant Governor of Ontario is being invested in perpetuity as Colonel of the Regiment of The Queen's York Rangers, a unit of the Canadian Army in Toronto. During the American War of Independence, The Queen's Rangers (as they were then known) fought for the British under Major John Graves Simcoe and were brought to the northern shore of Lake Ontario in 1796 by the province's first Lieutenant Governor, the same, the Honourable John Graves Simcoe.

"This appointment highlights the deep historical roots of many of our regiments, particularly in the Canadian Army, but also the military's deep and continuing relationship with the Crown," said Minister MacKay. "I'm delighted that the officeholder of the position of Lieutenant Governor of Ontario will accept this appointment in perpetuity."

The Queen's York Rangers are based at Fort York Armoury in downtown Toronto only a few metres from the old fort built by their forebears before the War of 1812. The Rangers of that day also cut the city's original roads (including Yonge Street) out of the wilderness while their commanding officer, as Lieutenant Governor, was laying the foundations of democratic rule in the province.

"We have never lost sight of our roots," said Lieutenant-Colonel Andrew Zdunich, commanding officer of the Rangers today.

The Regiment enjoys another connection to the Crown in His Royal Highness Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, who is the unit's Colonel-in-Chief. As well as cementing the military's links to the Crown, the holders of these appointments foster esprit de corps and participate in memorials, relations with affiliated regiments and other matters of military tradition.

A reconnaissance unit in the Reserve that is active in both training and operations, The Queen's York Rangers has deployed 70 soldiers since 2001 to operations in Africa, the Balkans and Afghanistan.

The investiture of the Honourable David C. Onley took place at Fort York National Historic Site on Saturday Sept 10 following the annual Stand-To-Parade in commemoration of The Battle of Brandywine (1777).

As noted in a letter of appreciation to Minister MacKay, Past-President Fred Hayward noted how fitting it was "that the first recipient of this honour is the Honourable David C. Onley UE whose Loyalist ancestor John Comfort settled on Lot 13, Conc. 1 in Niagara in 1795. His Honour has been most supportive of the work of the United Empire Loyalists' Association of Canada."

Twitter: @UELAC Top Tweets: Connecting With a New Community

Each week we are seeing more activity and interest in the United Empire Loyalists' Association of Canada Twitter feed @uelac. Thank you to our members and interested followers for jumping into the conversation. We hope to see more of you as the weeks progress. Following are this week's three Top Tweets that generated further research and/or communication across the country.

1. 'Loyalists: Call the Cops'.

A link found its way to Twitter through a series of social network avenues. One of our UELAC members received notice on his Facebook page of a blog post titled 'Loyalists: Call the Cops'. He posted the item to Twitter where it was picked up and re-tweeted @uelac. For those who didn't catch it on Twitter, you can read the original article by Brenda Dougall Merriman dated 10 October 2011 here.

2. Loyalist Families of New Brunswick

While browsing history related Twitter accounts this past week I came across a website of interest to our readers: Loyalist Families - Genealogy of United Empire Loyalists in New Brunswick, Canada. As the web page indicates, "This is a project to make available online the contents of Miss Louise Hill's books on the United Empire Loyalist families and other founding families of Fredericton who are buried in or associated with the Old Burying Ground in the city centre." Using Twitter we are now in communication with the editor of this web project who is willing to answer further questions our readers may have concerning Loyalist ancestors in NB.

3. 'not so private history'

With all of the media this past week surrounding War of 1812 events, this graduate public history student at UWO had his view to share. This tweet came in from a follower of @uelac who creates the blog 'not so private history'. As a result of our connection on Twitter we have added a number of graduate history students as followers of @uelac from as far away as Scotland.

For those interested in seeing more of what is current and happening, join us on Twitter. You can read our Twitter feed from the Dominion website www.uelac.org. On the top right beside the Google search box is a blue letter 't' . When you click on that it brings you to the Twitter home page of the United Empire Loyalists' Assoc. Clicking on the blue letter 't' below the left hand menu bar on the UELAC Dominion web page where it says Connect with us on Twitter does the same. There you can read the tweets that are going out from our Association.

If you would like to become a follower and actively participate (which we encourage) go to twitter.com to open an account. I look forward to seeing you there!

...B. Schepers, VP, UELAC

Loyalist Families of the Fredericton New Brunswick Area

A recent posting to the UELAC Twitter account led us to a website called Loyalist Families. A quick review suggests that the site contains a lot of valuable information about Loyalist families in the Fredericton, NB area. Particular emphasis is placed on the Old Burying Ground in Fredericton, final resting place for many Loyalists.

The site provides both a surname index and a search facility. At this stage it's difficult to say whether the surname index is complete; however, the search facility does a good job of digging up every reference to the surname you enter.

It's hard not to like what's going on here and a link to this site will certainly be added to the NB Branch website.

The person who is compiling the information for the Loyalist Familes NB website is Rebecca Leaman. She is a freelance writer and editor. She writes: "My role is web-publishing the works of the late Louise Hill, so all my information is in her books. Happy to help your members if possible. Some of Miss Hill's books are long out of print; I may be able to help with look-ups, for example."

Rebecca's website is rjleaman.com and one can contact her through it.

...Dave Laskey UE, President, New Brunswick Branch

Addendum to Hamilton Br. Loyalist Cemetery Plaquing: Christ's Church Cathedral

In last week's Loyalist Trails, it was reported that as part of the service, David Beasley spoke for 10 minutes about his great, great, great grandfather, Loyalist Richard Beasley UE. His remarks can be read on his website www.davuspublishing.com under Essays, directly at Richard Beasley.pdf and pictures of the gravestones and the new Loyalist Cemetery Plaque at RB, photos for the essay.pdf.

...David Beasley UE

"Paths of Rebellion: New York in the American Revolution"

These past two weeks, a lot of attention was given to the broadcast of "The War of 1812" on PBS stations in both Canada and the United States. This is not the first time our national history has been televised. David Hill Morrison, Councillor for the Central West Region and web manager for the Grand River Branch has posted three units of "Paths to Rebellion: New York in the American Revolution" as part of the history folder for the branch website.

His introduction is reprinted here:

In 1976, the Bicentennial of the United States generated an abundance of patriotic enthusiasm, including the usual bric-a-brac of tsotchkes and odes to the American experience in speeches, print and film.

The following video, 'Paths to Rebellion: New York in the American Revolution', was produced in 1976 by New York City PBS affiliate WNET/13 and is presented here, in part, because of the focus on the United Empire Loyalists as well as interviews by prominent Loyalist personalities and historians such as UELAC Dominion Past President Lionel Merrill UE; Murray Killman UE; Ross Butler UE and Brigadier Willis Moogk, PhD., O.B.E.

Although containing several glaring gaffes, given the Bicentennial fervour and patriotism of the time, these clips present a surprisingly frank assessment of the Loyalist historical position.

A step back to the past... with a view of landmarks, events and locations every Loyalist will recognise.

Also included is a scene of an unknown UEL Branch meeting of some 35 years ago; Part 2, from 5:02 to 6:17. Can anybody identify the Branch??

Murray Killman UE Continues to Support Work of UELAC

Thirty-six years after appearing in the 1976 PBS Video, Paths to Rebellion, Murray Killman continues to support the work of UELAC. Late in 2010, he presented many of his literary and artistic works to the Promotions Committee for their use. Copies of Curse of the Fleur de lis: The Biography of Jacob Killman UE (Caledonia, 1990) were sold at the Central West Regional Meeting in London and the UELAC Conference in Brockville. Prints of the "Cuddly Cougar", "Siberian Tiger" and "Loveable Lynx" and the plate of the "Adorable Lynx" drew a lot of interest at the silent auction, but the competition for the "War Hatchet" brought in the highest bids from the conference delegates. The proceeds from the silent auction were directed to the 2014 Celebrations fund.

Killman also donated his 1988 print entitled "Scouting the Rebel Lair" (68/475), showing a Butler's Rangers and his Indian guide scouting a stone house in the winter. In recognition of his long time support of UELAC, the print was professional framed for display at the Dominion Office.

In addition, his book Polly (PDF), published in 2000, has been uploaded to the Loyalist Books & Book Reviews folder of the Dominion website.

More information on his personal achievements and interests can be found here.

The continued support of Murray Killman is greatly appreciated.

...FHH

The War of 1812, A PBS Presentation: Beyond the Broadcast

If you could not make the viewing of The War of 1812, never fear -- there are a host of other ways to still enjoy the multi-media project The War of 1812.

Watch The War of 1812 in 2012.  There will be a national rebroadcast of the film during 2012 to celebrate the Bicentennial.

The Tech Side: Write Once, Store Forever by Wayne Scott, UE

“Write Once, Store Forever” . . . or that's the hype. George Potts, a frequent reader of Tech Side has suggested this resource and it deserves a look.

I know that I have been on a bandwagon to back up your valuable data. I have talked about various ways and many seem to centre on using an optical drive and cd's or dvd's as storage mediums. These methods all have limitations according to the experts. Whereas the cd or dvd discs claim to have a long life, in fact the experts claim that we are lucky to get 10 years of shelf life before data is lost. There must be a better way.

A company called Millenniata has come up with a disc that may in fact last a thousand years (direct link). In a nutshell, a dvd is like a slice of lasagne in that many layers are sandwiched together. An internal layer is used for the dvd writer's laser to write on. The M-Disc places a mineral layer inside protective layers which the dvd laser writer etches the information into. The etched information cannot be altered. These discs are a write once format which can be read by any dvd drive on a computer.

The biggest problems with maintaining the integrity of conventional dvd's are extreme heat, cold and light. In tests by the US Department of Defence, the M-Disc outlasted all of the other competitors in every test of extreme conditions and did not lose any information. However, like regular dvd's, the M-Disc is subject to chipping and separating when edge damage is caused by dropping discs on their edge. Taking reasonable care of the discs would solve this problem.

One would expect these discs to be expensive. Well, they are, compared to regular dvd's. However, the $3.00 cost of one, (less when you buy in bulk), is not all that great particularly when you know that they will last a long time. At present, M-Discs are only available in the 4.7GB size of a regular dvd. The manufacturer claims that a dual layer version and a Blue Ray version are in the works. One drawback to all this is the fact that you will need a new dvd writer to write information to these discs.

At the present time, LG and Hitachi have signed on to this project and are producing dvd writers with the power to etch your data onto the mineral substrate. It appears that these writers will not cost all that much more than a regular burner. An internal model and a usb external model will be available.

There is another thing to consider if you are thinking of going the M-Disc direction. At present, the M-Disc will only write at 4x rate which is very slow. That being said, most reviewers are backing this new M-Disc technology. In a short time, there will be other developers who will offer a similar storage medium with lower prices. Competition is a good catalyst in the development of new products and technologies.

I just have one reservation. Yes, ten years from now there will be dvd drives that are backward compatible enough to read these data discs. However, should the discs last for a mere 50 years, will there be technology out there that will read your discs? If you have gone through hours of transferring your research onto this type of storage format, you sure would wish that people in the future will be able to make use of the data on the M-Discs.

You can email Wayne Scott to get in touch with questions or comments.

Additions to the Loyalist Directory

As time permits, we add information to the Loyalist Directory. The latest additions and updates are as follows:
- Emery, William Sr. - from Robert Emery
- Fairchild, Benjamin Sr. - from Howard Ray Lawrence
- Whitesell, Andrew - from David Clark

Queries

Uniform of the King's Carolina Rangers

Gerald Stokes, author of A Lesser Form of Patriotism, a book about the King's Carolina Rangers, (see The Loyalist Gazette, Volume XLVII, No. 2, Fall 2009, pp. 49 - 50, for a review by Grietje R. McBride UE) is currently working on a re-edited edition of his book and would like to change the cover to the correct period flag and uniform of the King's Carolina Rangers. The problem is that there is only one description of their uniform and it does not include headgear. Mr. Stokes has seen an artist's rendering that shows them with a light infantry cap such as Butler's Rangers, but this is only an opinion. Is there anyone in the UELAC who has done extensive research on the King's Carolina Rangers? Mr. Stokes could find no historical society listed in Country Harbour, Nova Scotia, where many of them settled after the war. Hopefully, someone mentioned it at some point.

Mr. Stokes can be reached at: stokesjr@windstream.net; his website is www.georgiawriter.com

...Bob McBride UE, UELAC President

Last Post

Jim Sweet (1938-2011)

At Brantford General Hospital on Monday, October 10, 2011; Donald James Sweet of Ayr, in his 73rd year; dear brother of Pauline (the late William) Burt of North Bay and Glenn (Lynn) Sweet of Ayr; dearly missed by many. Jim was Ayr Citizen of the Year in 1976, a former radar technician in RCAF, a passionate railway buff with an outstanding layout in his home, and a former employee of the CPR, Allen-Bradley (Galt) and a 25-year employee of IBM.

The funeral service was held at the Wm. Kipp Funeral Home, Ayr on Friday October 14; Interment Ayr Cemetery.

Donations in Jim's memory may be made to the Canadian Cancer Society. Online condolences or donations may be arranged through www.wmkippfuneralhome.com.

Jim succeeded his aunt Marion Sutherland UE as Grand River Branch Archivist/Librarian and served faithfully many years, until he was too ill to do so. As Librarian, Jim transported our travelling Loyalist research library to monthly meetings across our broad territory from Brantford to Woodstock, Kitchener to Lake Erie. For the benefit of researchers, he also oversaw our permanent collection on the specially designated shelves in the Loyalist Library in the Norfolk Historical Society's Eva Brook Donly Museum in Simcoe.

He also assisted at our display at heritage and genealogical fairs, and created the first Grand River Branch website. He was a longtime and loyal member and will be missed.

...Doris Lemon UE

Terrence (Terry) Dilts, CD, UE

Terry was a longtime dedicated member and former director of Colonel John Butler (Niagara) Branch. He was very proud of his Loyalist ancestor Christian Sencebaugh.

Terry passed away suddenly on Saturday, October 8th. He was the much loved husband of Norma (Young), loving father of James (Rachel) a Past President of Col. John Butler (Niagara) Branch UELAC, Dawn (John) Jones, Sam Dilts and Heather (Shawn) Baiano. Inspirational poppa of Elizabeth, Rebekah, Matthew and Timothy Jones, Zelda and Lucius Baiano and Lliam Dilts. Beloved brother of Donna (Rick) Duliban, Sandy (Tim) Skene and Wayne Dilts. Predeceased by parents Leo and Rea Dilts, brother Spencer and sister Valerie. Brother-in-law of Nancy (Gordon) McGlashan, Dan (Irene) Young, Vicky (Dave) Bennison and Sandy (Tony) Lyons.

Terry was the founding Captain of 2966 Army Cadet Corps, active in his faith, involved with the Red Cross, Politics, U.E.L., The Fort Erie Revolver and Gun Club and scuba diving. He taught First Aid, CPR and was a Certified Orderly. A Celebration of his life was held at Garrison Road United Brethren Church, 1351 Garrison Road, Fort Erie. On-line condolences at www.hammonddavidsonfuneralhome.com.

...Bev Craig, UE, Col. John Butler Branch

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