Month That Was – May 1896

Did you know that Oshawa’s historical newspapers are available for searching online? Visit Canadian Community Digital Archives to discover Oshawa’s history for yourself!  This month’s edition of Month That Was has been researched and written based on newspapers available on the online database.  Enjoy!


Ontario Reformer
May 1, 1896

To Let
Brick House near the piano works.  Also a furnished hall over Pellow’s Store, suitable for Lodge or Concern room, seating capacity 200. G. W. Borsberry

Oshawa, March [  ], 1896
Local Statistics
The following are the statistics of the Town of Oshawa for 1896, as collected by Assessor Morris: – Population 4,008, non-residents 130;… value of real property $1,025-265;…dogs 218; cattle 216; hogs 116; horses 324; number of births 64; death 28…

May 1, 1896, p. 1
May 1, 1896, p. 1

Local News
Mr. J. O. Guy’s old horse Jim passes peacefully away on Wednesday afternoon.  This animal was raised by Mr. Andrew Annis twenty-eight years ago and Mr. Guy has driven him for the past twenty-five. In his younger days he was one of the finest and fastest horses in Oshawa, and has certainly done his share of this world’s work.  For the numbers of years past and up to the day he died he worked on Mr. Guy’s delivery wagon. Careful and kind attention on the part of his owner certainly lengthened his days.

He-I’d have you know I’m a self-made man.
She-I saw your make a donkey of yourself yesterday.
-Pick Me Up.


Ontario Reformer
May 8, 1896

Oshawa Town Council
The Fire Brigade Exonerated From Blame at Demill Fire: All Stores to Close at seven P.M.

A rather lengthy session of the Oshawa Town Council was held on Monday evening last, at which all the members were present. …

A letter was read from the Secretary of the Underwriters’ Association, enquiring if any investigation had been held regarding the working of the Fire Brigade at the Demill College Fire. The communication was laid on the table. Mr. Coulthard favored an inve4stivation in justice to the firemen. …

Mr. Henderson brought up the report of the Fire and Water Committee, in brief as follows:

  1. That Mr. W. H. Thomas be paid $3 for drawing the fire engine and hose to Demill Fire
  2. the committee had investigated the complaints regarding the working of the Fire Brigade at the College Fire, and considering the difficulties the Brigade had to contend with, the Committee exonerated them from all blame.
Luke Bros. Ad; May 8, 1896, p. 1
Luke Bros. Ad; May 8, 1896, p. 1

Queen’s Birthday Celebration
There promises to be a very large crowd of people in Oshawa on the occasion of the Oddfellow’s Queen’s Birthday celebration, and no effort is being spared in providing an excellent programme of amusements.  The large posters are already out and programmes will be ready in a few days. Among the say’s sports, will be a baseball match between Oshawa “Oriole’s” club and Whitby; a lacrosse match between Bowmanville and Oshawa clubs; and a baseball match between Oshawa and Toronto Oddfellows. .. Don’t fail to take in the Oshawa celebration on Monday, May 25.

Topics of a Week
The Important Events in a Few Words for Busy Readers
Robert Hodgson, of Toronto, was run over and killed by a train at Oshawa Saturday Evening

Mr. W.C.B. Rathbun, the Toronto representative of the Deseronto firm of that name, wounded himself dangerously, if not fatally, while cleaning a rusty revolver

The Sir Charles Tupper Cabinet took the oath of office Friday¹, The five now Ministers are Messrs. Angers, Tallion and Ross, from Quebec; Lieut-Col Tisdale, from Ontario; and Mr. Hugh John Macdonald, from Manitoba.


Ontario Reformer
May 15, 1896

Topics of a Week
The Important Events in a Few Words for Busy Readers
Back taxed in Peterborough amount to $8,600.

At Sarnia another Masonic Lodge has just been instituted.

An Ameliasburg man made more than 1,600 pounds of maple syrup this season.

A flash of lightening knocked a pair of spectacles from a woman’s face in Stratford.

Dr. Rae, who, a few weeks ago, was appointed Registrar of Ontario County, died of heart failure in Oshawa, Ont., Friday.

Dr Rae, May 15, 1896, p. 1
Dr Rae, May 15, 1896, p. 1

United States
Edison predicts that in ten years horseless carriages will be the rule.

The little town of Verona, Ma., has a population of about 500, and is quiet an old settlement; yet it has never had a doctor, a clergyman, or lawyer, residing within its limits.


Ontario Reformer
May 22, 1896

Mr. A. O. Geiger, Organist and Choirmaster of Simcoe Street Methodist Church, Teacher of Organ, Piano, Cornet, Violin, and Vocal.  Terms on application. Residence – Simcoe Str. North, first door South of Patte’s Store
-Oshawa, March 4th, 1896

May 22, 1896, p. 1
May 22, 1896, p. 1

Local News
Mr. D. M. Tod is about to relize (sic) the benefits which a new oven can confer upon business. It is larger than the old one, and , because of constructed upon the latest scientific principles, will greatly assist him in pandering to the increasing demands of his customers. If an up-to-date oven is a necessity or a virtue to a baker, Mr. Tod has it.



¹ Tupper was the 6th Prime Minister of Canada, in office from May 1 to July 6, 1896, making him the Prime Minister with the shortest term at 69 days.

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