Look back: The Carp Review, Jan. 18, 1906

WEST CARLETON – The start of the New Year has been the time for West Carleton’s agricultural societies’ annual meetings for more than 100 years.

Two weeks (Jan. 21) ago the Carp Agricultural Society held their annual general meeting. More than 114 years ago, on Jan. 10, 1906 the Huntley Agricultural Society held their annual meeting.

President William Reid convened, and important issues were discussed according to the Jan. 18, 1906 edition of The Carp Review.

“It was decided to substitute the word pail for half-bushel in the grain class of the prize list,” the weekly newspaper reported. “A few other minor changes were made in the list.”

The society also appointed G.N. Kidd, W.J. Johnston, J.J. Wilson, Chas Argue, T.J. Black and Dr. Lynch “to revive horses, cattle, sheep and swine classes.”

Following elections, Reid stayed on as president. Also elected was A. Andrew (first vice president), J.S. McElroy (second vice president), John Argue (secretary-treasurer) and William Barton and T.E. Argue as auditor.

Visitors From the West.

Mr. Robert Klock Smith of Oak Lake, MB, was visiting relations in the township Huntley and elsewhere.

“Mr. Smith has resided 23 years in Manitoba and has done well being the owner of 480 acres of choice prairie land,” the Review reports. “His son Cecil accompanied him on the visit. On Monday he went to Elm to visit his mother and spend a while with her and his brother Tom, after visiting his sister, Mrs. James McElroy of Ottawa.”

Silver Wedding.

“Among the festive events that will go down in history from 1906 will be found the silver wedding of Mr. and Mrs. George Rivington of the third line,” the Review reports. “The young couple were married on Jan. 11, 1881, in the Parish church.”

The Rev. Codd officiation, the groomsman being William Barton and the bridesmaid Miss M. II. Baird of Fitzroy.

“The anniversary was only honoured by a select company of friends at Mr. Rivington’s house last Thursday (Jan. 11, 1906),” the Review reports. “Amongst the invited guests were some of the most distinguished people of this vicinity, whilst from Ottawa came Mrs. Noble Bennett and others.”

The event was full of pomp and circumstance.

“A substantial six o’clock dejuner a la fourchette formed a fitting introduction to the evening,” the Review reported. “Rev. R.B. Waterman taking the chair, after which music, mirth and song filled up the happy hours. Some choice and useful articles of silverware were included amongst the many gifts that came from all sides.”

And of course, lineage is very important.

“Mr. and Mrs. Rivington are of Huntley bred and born, and their worth is too well known to require any eulogy from us,” the Review reported. “The Review however, extends its hearty and good wished to them and hopes they may be found sitting around their table 25 years hence, and their children’s children with them.”

District News – Gathered by our Own Correspondents

South March: Some of the farmers are cutting and hauling their ice for the river. “We are pleased to note Alex Bailey, who is ill with bronchitis, is slowly recovering, and under the care of Dr. G.H. Groves of Carp. We hope to soon see him around again.”

Elm: Wood cutting is the order of the day in this vicinity. J.J. Lowry is in Ottawa on jury duty. Quite a number attended the anniversary service on Sunday and the entertainment on Monday night in the Presbyterian Church, Kinburn. Herbert Hawley, while working in a stable of E.S. Wilson, met with a serous accident by a kick from a colt in the face.

Holmes Corner: Robert Patrick, cattle dealer, passed through here on Saturday with a drove of cattle which he shipped to Montreal.

Local News (although it doesn’t seem that local)

Even 100 years ago, newspapers had trouble keeping readers.

The Hawkesbury Standard has discontinued publication through lack of support,” the Review reports.

The historic Windsor Hotel, Montreal’s leading hostelry, was badly destroyed by fire on Friday night.

Fifty-two head of thoroughbred Shorthorn cattle belonging to Senator Edwards were sold by auction at Rockland last week. The herd brought $11,000, the highest price paid being $1,225 for a bull. The bulls averaged $179 and the heifers $252.

A Kingston editor has been robbed of $16 cash. The Brockville Times asks “where in thunder did an editor get all that money?”

Augustus Sabra, a French fisherman and trapper living in a little hut on the Rideau near Smith’s Falls, was burned to death in his home on Saturday (Jan. 13, 1906) night last.

“Neighbours who were attracted by the blaze saw the unfortunate man burning but could not get near to save him,” the Review reports. “He was addicted to liquor and his health no doubt is due to the fact as a large empty whiskey bottle was found near the charred remains.”

Suicide’s Letter – Writing Ceases as Poison Overcomes Him

In international news, the Review published a story on the suicide of Dr W.R. Steger.

Steger was a graduate of Vanderbilt and Columbia Universities, “and of a family prominent in Nashville, TN.

Steger “attempted to commit suicide in the Audobon Hotel it Broadway and 39th Street (in New York), some time Sunday (Jan. 14, 1906) night, by taking a mixture of chloroform and morphine,” the Review reports.

He was removed to Bellevue Hospital on Ja. 15 “where physicians say he cannot recover.”

Steger took the poison after penning a suicide note addressed to Whom it May Concern:

“My name is Robert W. Steger, and I am 48 years of age: occupation, physician; place of birth, Alabama; cause of death, suicide by means of morphine and chloroform. I give my body to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of this city for dissection.

“I am a graduate of that school, class of 1893. I have not been mentally sound for several years, having suffered from frequent attacks of suicidal mania. These would sometimes take the form of homicidal mania, and again a combination of both.

“The attacks usually lasted two or three days, during which time it was impossible for me to sleep. The present attack has lasted three weeks. A continuance would be worse than death, so I feel justified in taking my life. This condition has caused me to do things for which I have been severely censured.

“I trust my friends may now know that my mistakes have been of the head and not of the heart.”

Steger attempted to write a second letter believed to be started after he had ingested the poison.

“As I am sitting here in R 17, as sane as I have been for three weeks and expecting to die in an hour, I want to say that the book of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is not too strong. I also think…”

The writing was firm at the beginning of the message, but gradually became almost undecipherable, the Review reports.

The Carp Review was published by James A. Evoy of Carp.