PERHAPS YOU REMEMBER
Record of Some Early Happenings in the Middle West
COL. GEORGE H. HAM
GOOD old Winnipeg, is, after all,
the great reminiscent mine for many people like myself who lived there in the early days. There are lots of things remembered, and altogether too many forgotten. Let me tell you of what happened when during the early ’70’s I boarded at the Union House, kept by a Mr. Taylor, who was a real character. The present Sir Daniel McMillan and the late Colonel Kennedy and Tite Robinson, who afterwards ma'de a fortune at Moose Jaw, were amongst my fellow boarders. Mr. Taylor acted as one of the waiters, and insisted upon serving our table. He had a habit of sticking his thumb in the soup, and when he did, none of us cared for consommé that day.
“Will ye have mate or mutton?” was one of his characteristic questions, and frequently it was followed by: “Yez had better take mutton, there’s no mate.”
The hotel was a fairly good one, however, and the number of boarders gradually increased. One of our evening amusements was to get into conversation with newly-arrived Ontarians, and we immediately delved into politics. If the stranger were a Grit, we all claimed to have been of that political stripe in Ontario, but had become so disgusted -with Mackenzie’s railway construction policy and his Government’s wasteful ways that we had joined the Conservative party. If he were a Tory, so we had been Tories at home, but Mackenzie’s enlightened and progressive railway policy had brought us new light and we had become staunch Reformers. We were accommodatingly in opposition to everybody. Many a hot discussion ensued, for the Ontario people were very staunch party men, but we always had the better of the argument, for we were generally eight or ten to one or two.
The First Telephone
IT WAS in the middle ’70’s that Elk Spirit Wild, a nephew of Sitting Bull, with a number of other Redskins, blew into the Free Press office. He was the only one of the crowd who could speak English, and, while he had never seen a telephone before, he knew what it was as soon as he saw it. He had been educated in the southwest. He explained to his comrades what the box was for, but they didn’t seem to
catch on. At this time the whole of the city’s tele_
phone service consisted of two ’phones—one at the head office and the other at the up-town branch office of the F. P.
Elk Spirit Wild wanted to show the braves the mysterious talking machine, so the party divided, one half going to the branch office. When one Indian began talking to the Indian at the other end of the line, both were mystified, and dropping the receiver looked around the office and out of doors for the man who was talking. The voice was recognized, but they couldn’t locate the man who had the voice. There was something uncanny about it, and they wouldn’t touch the ’phone with a ten-foot pole. Finally, Elk Spirit Wild and I got at the two ends of the line, and he induced those with him to listen to my voice, upon hearing which they all started out to find me, supposing that I must be near at hand. We couldn’t convince them that the ’phone was not an evil spirit, and they looked in vain for the man who talked but wasn’t there. Elk Spirit Wild told me afterwards that they were completely mystified and could not understand how the “trick” was done, but that they looked upon me as a wonderful pale face conjurer, which, between you and me,
1 am not.
The First N. P. Train at Pembina
THE death of Timothy Foley, the millionaire railroad contractor, recently at St. Paul recalls the arrival of the first Northern Pacific train at Pembina, on the boundary line, between Manitoba and Dakota, which had patiently waited for nigh unto a score of years for the advent of the iron horse. I went up with Tim, who was an old friend of mine, from Grand Forks on a construction train, and there were great doings on arrival at the border town. Next morning, Judd Winchester of the Winchester House, came downstairs in an excited frame of mind and a dishevelled state of wardrobe.
“Boys,” he said to the crowd which were still celebrating the great event, “I had a curious dream last night. I dreamt that the first train had arrived, and that we had a bonfire and fireworks and music anda real celebration.” He was thunderstruck when told that his was no idle dream, but that the train had arrived, and the event had been right royally celebrated—Judd looked puzzled and was astonished when the train was pointed out to him.
“But where’s the bonfire?” he asked, and the ashes of a couple of hundred empty dry goods boxes were shown to
“But the music?” and just then the old organ-grinder appeared before the hotel and wheezed out some popular air.
Then Judd was convinced that this was no dream, and started out celebrating again by inviting everybody to have a drink. Railroads always create business.
In December, 1878, the last spike of the Pembina Branch of the C. P. R., connecting St. Boniface and St.
Vincent, Minnesota, where connection was made with the St. Paul & Pacific road to St. Paul, was driven.
There were no palatial sleepers or high-toned parlor cars in those days on the road, and the primitive train consisted of several not very comfortable flat cars and a box c'ar in which were some rude benches, a lot of straw carpeting, and a small burning heater. It was called “Joe Upper’s” private parlor car. There were a great many of the first families of Winnipeg aboard, many of the excursionists being of the gentler sex. The ceremony of driving the first last spike took place at Rosseau River. There was a dispute as to which lady should have the honour of doing the driving, and to settle the controversy, U. S. Consul Taylor diplomatically suggested that they all take a whack at it. And they did —gently tapping the spike with a heavy sledge hammer, but not driving it very far into the tie. After all had had their turn, and the spike was still in painful evidence, the consul called upon Mary Sullivan, the big, strong, buxom daughter of the boss section man, who with one mighty blow drove the spike home amidst the enthusiastic cheers of the assembled multitude.
Jack McGinn, now of Shawinigan Falls, Que., was the first paymaster of the road, which was the first completed link of the C. P. R. system, and its first connection with any other railway, and it gave Manitoba and the Northwest their first rail communication with the outside world. The contractors were Upper & Willis. Immediately after, a primitive passenger service wasinaugurated. On the first train, on which was a first-class car borrowed from the St. P. & P., were about half-a-dozen passengers, and the conductor asked Jack for instructions as to their tickets, as there weren’t any. Jack was equal to the emergency and wrote on an ordinary sheet of foolscap
Ticket No. 1. Trip No. 1. St. Boniface to St. Vincent. Passenger S. Oren Shorey. December 2, 1878. J. St. L. McGinn.
To add to its value, as a souvenir, Jack had it pretty well covered, front and back, with signatures, including; Fred’k Hayward, conductor; J. Vannaman, driver;
R. R. McLennan, road master; R. S. McGinn, master of stores. Big Rory McLennan was afterwards member of parliament for Cornwall in the House of Commons, and the world's champion for tossing the caber and throwing the hammer.
The following summer the Pembina Branch was taken over by the Government and was operated by T. J. Lynskey, superintendent in charge, until it passed into the hands of the present Canadian Pacific Railway Co. Mr. Shorey was very proud of his souvenir ticket, which he kept carefully framed, and it is still one of the precious relics of the family.
The First Wheat Shipment
TT WAS a dour day—October 22nd, 1876—when a ■I small group of Winnipeggers, amongst whom, I remember, were David Young, John Higgins, William Bathgate, Bob Bathgate and a few other interested spectators gathered at the river bank, at No. 4 warehouse on the Assiniboine river steamboat landing, near the junction with the Red River, to witness the first shipment of Manitoba grain, on the old “Selkirk.” The shipment didn’t amount to much —only 8871/6 bushels of No. 1 hard—but it was an important event. The wheat was consigned to Steele Bros., seedsmen, of Toronto, by Higgins & Young. That W’as forty-five years ago, when the western wheat crop was of small proportions. To-day, the west is growing over three hundred and forty millions of bushels of wheat, and in the autumn a steady procession of railway trains for the east are in wonderful contrast with the little shipment of 1876, which, however, had the distinction of being the first grain export from Manitoba.
The First C. P. R. Land Sale
WD. SCOTT, assistant deputy minister of im• migration—that’s Billy—has the distinction of having sold the first section of C. P. R. lands in Western Canada forty-two years ago.—at that time he being employed by the Company. The purchaser was Joseph Whitehead, the fireman on Stevenson’s locomotive, the first the world ever saw. At that time, Mr. Whitehead was a contractor on the construction of the C. P. R. east of Winnipeg. This land was about five miles south of Brandon, and was officially known as section 3, township 19, range 19, west of the first meridian, and the price stipulated was $2.50 an acre, subject to a rebate of $1.75 an acre for the area brought under cultivation within three years. The cultivated part of his farm stood him only seventy-five cents an acre. This was then considered a very fair price. At that time the main line of the railway was only built to Portage la Prairie. Winnipeg had only a population of about 8,000, and the people of Manitoba numbered about 62,000. Brandon itself was only a canvas town of a few hundred people, and Edmonton and Calgary were merely frontier trading posts.
Mr. Scott in the intervening years has done yeoman service in the immigration departments of the Company and the Federal Government, and is to-day one of the most popular officials at Ottawa. He always declared that he was a Grit the same way that he was a Presbyterian—he was born that way, and couldn’t help it, but in his official position he knew no politics, and counted amongst his warmest friends, many leaders, members and Senators of both parties. In the early evening of his life he is still actively engaged in his life work, which has been so largely advantageous to Canada.
Early Western Timetables
WHEN the contractors for the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway, from Winnipeg eastwardly, were building the road they ran what were then called “mixed” or “accommodation” trains, which, while not very speedy, were of great use to the public bol h as to passenger and freight. The first timetable that can be found is dated 1881, and shows the running of trains between Winnipeg and Cross Lake. When the contractors handed the road to the Government the first folder, in pamphlet form, was issued on September 15th, 1882, and the accompanying is a photographic copy of the title Page. , , At. that time, there was one mixed tram a daj earn way between Prince Arthur’s Landing (now Prince Arthur) and Rat Portage (now Ken ora', a distance of 300 miles. The time occupied on the run was twenty-four hours. The eating places were Savanne and Ignaie, and breakfasting at the latter place one always knew what the menu was for the previous evening. We generally had beefsteak which bore unmistakable marks of having previously been roast beef and wanned over. In those days the speed averaged 12J/£ miles an hour. To-day the distance between those two places is covered by the fast expresses in seven hours and forty-two minutes—an average speed of over 38 miles an hour. But there is no stopping for meals now, and the distance has been lessened by nearly two miles. By the way. the mileage between Montreal and Vancouver has been reduced from 2,906 to 2,885 miles.
Continued on page 40
Perhaps You Remember
Continued from, page 19
A Great Controversy
ONE dull season in Winnipeg the aftermath of an insurance controversy in the newspapers between the representatives of the Equitable and Confederation Life was a pleasant change from daily drudgery. We got John Peter Grant, of the former company, to challenge Mr. Yeomans, of the other one, to a joint meeting in the City Hall. Mayor Conklin presided, and such men as the Hon. John Norquay, Attorney-General Miller ! and other reputable citizens thronged the j hall to enjoy the fun. The chairman I greatly added to' the gaiety of nations by i his telling introductory remarks, and when the oratorical contestants appeared on the platform they were greeted with loud applause.
John Peter, of course, struck an attitude, with an upturned toe, but continued yells of “put down that foot so’s we can see you” were discreetly followed by John Peter sinking into a seat. Both sides were ably presented, but John Peter (at the loud-voiced and unanimous j request of the delighted audience) sang and danced “Love Amongst the Roses” so j excruciatingly that he would have won, but the chairman sagaciously decided that this was no singing match and declared a
This was near the end of March and on ! the last day of the month Charlie Keeling and “Ham” McMicken and I conspired to stage another meeting for the following night. John Peter was willing to appear, but he smelled a rat, fearing an April fool joke. His opponent didn’t. Lots of others also feared an April fool sell but curiosity lured them, and there was a fairsized audience. “Ham” McMicken was chairman and John Peter was the sole vocal gladiator, and he talked and sang and danced “Love Amongst the Roses” and would have been declared the winner if the other two conspirators—Keeling and myself—who were stationed behind the screen, hadn’t at a given signal rolled up the curtain, and displayed a large sheet of paper on which was printed in large letters: “April Fool.”
There were howls and yells and a mad rush for the curtain. “Ham” McMicken tried to pacify the crowd and explain his innocence, but Keeling and I made for the back exit and in the darkness fell down a long flight of stairs, from the effects of whieh we limped painfully for a week afterwards. But it was worth it.
. A Batch of Bogus Telegrams
ÍN THE spring of 1895. when the excitement and acerbities of the Manitoba School Act were fast subsiding in the west and had largely faded away in Ontario, there was a bye-election in Haldimand County in that province, which attracted a great deal of attention. The Conservatives were in power, and Hon. Dr. Montague was the Government candidate, while the Opposition candidate was Jefferson McCarthy, a namesake of Dalton McCarthy, who was the prime mover in the abolition of Separate Schools and the French language officially in Manitoba. To aid, abet and assist Dalton’s namesake, Hon. Clifford Sifton, at that time, Attorney-General of Manitoba, and the Rev. Mr. Finn, Chaplain of the Orange Grand Lodge of Manitoba, impulsively hastened to the latter’s assistance—more than enthusiastically and overwhelmingly hopeful at first of downing the Tory enemy. The struggle was in vain, and Montague swep the county with a majority of 594. I was then managing editor of the Winnipeg Nor’Wester, which had Tory instincts and could not allow the occasion to pass without permitting the following presumably fictitious telegrams and advertisement to appear in the columns of the paper. Showing the trend of circumstances they created a great deal of merriment throughout the province, and were reproduced in a number of the leading papers in eastern cities, and were richly enjoyed by none more than by Mr. (now Sir Clifford) Sifton, Mr. Greenway and of course by all the Tories:
Hagersviile, April 11, 1895.
To Green way:
Just arrived. Perfect ovation. People wild over me. Will carry county by thousand majority. Montague and Ottawa meddlers gone up sure. Finn is doing splendid service.
Hon. Clifford Sifton. Caledonia, April 12.
Grand meeting to-night. Had splendid reception. Certain of beating Montague by 500 at least. Finn is helping me a good deal.
Clifford Sifton. Jarvis, Ap. 13.
To Thos. Greenway:
Fine meetings to-night. Was very well received. McCarthy’s majority will not be less than 250, thanks to myself and
North Cayuga, Sunday, Ap. 14. To Hon. Thomas Green way:
This is off day but we are doing splendid missionary work, especially in churches. Believe McCarthy will have at least 200 majority. Finn and I doing what we
N Walpole, Ap. 15.
To Hon. Thomas Greenway, M. P. P.: Spoke at very large meeting to-night and obtained fair hearing. McCarthy is hopeful that he will have at leas 100 majority. Finn is still helping me.
Cayuga, Ap. 16.
To Hon. Mr. Greenway, M. P. I’.: There was pretty fair meeting to-night at which I spoke. McCarthy seems to think he will be elected. Finn thinks so
too, and he is helping me all he can. But to-morrow will decide.
Cayuga, Ap. 17. To Hon. Mr. Green way, M. P. P., Premier:
We have still hopes of carrying the county, though Finn has his doubts. McCarthy thinks he will save his deposit if worst anticipations are not realised.
Cayuga, Ap. 17. To Hon. Mr. Thos. Greenway, M. P. P.,
Kindly send transportation for Finn and me—Haldimand to Brandon by tonight’s train sure.
Cayuga, Ap. 17, 7 p.m. Hon. Mr. Thos. Greenway, M. P. P.
Premier of Manitoba.
If you can only get transportation for one, never mind Finn. He is a good pedestrian, although the roads are bad.
Winnipeg, Ap. 17, 7.15 p.m. Ex-Attorney General Sifton,
Salt Creek, Haldimand County.
Impossible to get transportation. Can’t you wait till the walking improves? You needn’t hurry home.
Too Late to classify
Lost, strayed or stolen, one Attorney General, last seen in or about Haldimand County, Ontario, just previous to the recent landslide. Finder is requested to prove property, pay expenses and keep it.
Missing—From Manitoba, one Orange chaplain, with a message, disappeared on the night of the 17th. Can be distinguished by his strong opinions on the school law and a clerical look. Was last seen in company with a suspicious-looking western politician. If located, finder please retain in custody as long as possible and communicate with M. W. G. M., L. O. A., Manitoba, at very latest date.
Personal—If one Clifford Sifton, erstwhilè of Brandon, will communicate his present whereabouts, he will hear of something of great advantage to him and his colleague—-Robt. Watson, Minister of Public Works.
Notice—If Father Finn is through with his message, will he kindly return it immediately to the Tribune office, Winnipeg, postage prepaid.
Situation Wanted—Salary no object, as long as a comfortable home and steady employment are secured. Apply C. S., care of Jeff McCarthy, Barrie or Cayuga.
Wanted—An Attorney-General—One who know? enough to come in when it rains and can speak the Roman Catholic language fluently preferred. Apply to T— G—, Cabinet Maker, Winnipeg.
Personal—C. S.—Did you run up against a Stony Island Avenue too? James A. Smart, Brandon.
Clifford S.—Come home at once and all will be forgiven. Chas. Adams, Brandon.
Of course I laughed too—every fool does at his own folly—but so did the wives and families of the disappointed politicians.
“Sec” Doesn’t Always Mean “Dry”
DID you know “Sec”? If you didn’t, you missed a whole lot of fun in the early days in the west. He was an engineer on the C. P. R.—not one of the boys who ran a locomotive—but one of those who located the line of railway throughout that vast unknown land. He was a man of infinite jest, and when he got, on his hind legs at a banquet the fellow guests sat back and laughed at his witty quips and sayings. So one night at the Manitoba Chit) at Winnipeg, he was asked to “throw himself” as there were to be some distinguished guests present. He did. First of all he insisted on responding to the toast of the “Oneen,”—an unheard of thingas the orehestraand thehational anthem customarily fol'ow the loyal toast. However, Sec fohowed the behests of his friends, and made a brilliant speech full of wit. humor, and epigrams and all that sort i f thing. But he was dumbfounded. He couldn’t raise a laugh—not even a smile. His listeners sat patiently but yawningly through his splendid oratorical effort, and he sat down amidst ihe most deadly silence imaginable. It was not till afterwards that he discovered that it was a “plant” put up on him, and that his hearers really enjoyed his speech, but they didn’t show their appreciation by any loud demonstration.
Then when the Louisiana lottery was in full blast, he was for a time a bloated ! millionaire. The winning numbers were always wired to Winnipeg, and the boys, j knowing that, he and Col. Sam Bedson held a full ticket between them, ascertained t he number of it, and sent one of I them a bogus telegram that their number had drawn the first prize$100,000. The walk home from the club at midnight is I described by a friendly enemy who accompanied them as a marvel'ous parade. Every little while they would stop, light a I match and read the telegram and compare it with their tickets, and go on their way rejoicing, until reaching their domicile they entertained their friend and some others with the wonderful things they were going to do with their easily earned wealth. The very first was to be a brief jaunt around the world. Sec is my authority for saying it never was made.
Sec did good work during the Riel rebellion, under General Middleton, and is now living in a peaceful and undisturbed retirement in Ottawa where he insists on still enjoying life and where he thinks a cyclone is a blessing in disguise, as it is an easy way of “raising the wind.” When he got a notice from the solicitor of the Finance Department demanding $9.44 income tax, his diplomatic reply was “why in blazes doesn’t your blooming old department give me an income to pay it with?” One day he got a letter from the American Adjustment and Credit Company of New York informing him that their clients, Charles Scribners’ Sons, wanted $7.00 out of him for not carrying out a signed agreement, and they proposed to use drastic measures to collect the debt, to which he characteristically replied as follows:—
I am in receipt of a letter from you dated Jan. 5th, in which you threaten to use drastic methods if I do not at once pay $7 to Charles Scribners’ Sons and you say I have “refused ” to carry out my signed agreement, etc., etc. I notice your letter is addressed to Mr. A. H. Secretan. I must refuse to send you the money for several reasons.
(1)—I am not Mr. A. H. Secretan and do not know who he is. (2) I am not even acquainted with Charles Scribner’s Sons and never knew he had any. (3)—I never signed a written agreement with them in my life and never will. (4)—I don’t owe them Seven Dollars and never intend to. You are of course quite at liberty to use drastic or any other methods that happen to amuse you to collect this debt, but personally I am not buying any “Yankee Gold bricks” just now.
“Sec” is now lost to the West, and the West’s loss is the East’s gain. Had he lived elsewhere—in Britain or the United States, he would have ranked high amongst the national humorists, which proves the truth of the old adage: “A prophet is not without honor save in his own country.”
An Old Arctic Explorer
MANY old Winnipegers will kindly remember Capt. William Kennedy, mention of whom takes us back to the days of the Arctic explorer, Sir John Franklin, whose expedition about a century ago brought that hero into great prominence throughout the entire civilized world. It was in 1819 that on his first overland journey to the unknown, he wintered at Cumberland House, and there he taught the sturdy youngster, William Kennedy, psalms and hymns and instilled him with bright inspiration that afterwards became fruitful. During the decade—1847-1857—no fewer than fortynine search parties, several of them financed by public subscriptions, scoured the seas in search of relics of Franklin’s ill-fated expedition, for all hope of the safety of the party was gone. Lady Franklin exhausted all her large fortune in the search, and the expedition of 1851, in the.schooner Prince Albert, commanded by Captain Kennedy, was Lady Franklin’s private venture. It was the Prince i Albert that brought the first traces of j the missing ships, consisting of scattered I articles on Beechey Island. After a j venturesome sea-faring life Captain Kenj nedy, who was born at Fort Cumberland,
1 returned to the Northwest and spent the I last forty years of his life at St. Andrew’s
on the Red River. It was then when visiting the city he would drop into the newspaper office, and spend a couple of hours modestly but most interestingly recounting his many perilous adventures and terrible hardships to few who sat open mouthed and intent listeners. He was a great sailor, a kind and always welcome friend, and his death at a ripe old age caused genuine sorrow.
A few years ago, the women’s Canadian Club placed a tablet to his memory in the old stone church at St. Andrew’s, built in 1848. The tablet was unveiled appropriately by Sir Ernest Shackleton, who sailed the Antarctic waters as my good old friend had sailed the Northern seas.
Bill Williams’ Stick
TF YOU knew William Williams, who J kept hotel at Deloraine, Manitoba, you knew a jolly good fellow. I met him one day in Winnipeg, sporting a valuable gold-handled cane. When I congratulated him upon the happy possession of such a precious adjunct to his personal effects, he rather hazily remarked that it was a fine one, but he’d be hanged if he knew where he got it. But I said, “Don’t you remember?” William shook his head negatively. With a happy inspiration that comes to a fellow once in a while, I reproachfully asked him: “Why, Bill,old boy, don’t you remember last night at Harry Sloan’s restaurant?”
William feebly acknowledged a very faint remembrance of the imaginary gathering.
“You should remember it, Bill, for when the boys gave you the cane, you made the speech of your life.”
William went wonderingly away, and I r^n down to the Times office, and wrote a paragraph recounting the alleged presentation, which convinced William when he read it that it had actually taken place. For a couple of years he remained in blissful ignorance of the actual facts, and then some busybody had the temerity to disillusionize him. Then William came hot-foot after me, but I persuaded him that his informant was not only a miserable outcast and a horse thief, who was really a murderer in his heart, but also was a weak-minded teller of fibs. Whereat William was happy again.
Not Keeping A Barber Shop
ED. MARSTON was a court official, but otherwise quite respectable. He sang at a concert one night, that lovely ballad: “Beautiful Isle of the Sea"—and he sang it like a male cow. But we enthusiastically encored him, and while the Free Press gave him a most flattering notice next day—wrote it myself—Ed wasn’t exactly satisfied, and so when he met me next day he remarked that while it wras very kind of me, he was a little suspicious of the huge success the F. P. had made it out to be. Then I told him the truth—I always do—and we condoled with each other. A few weeks later, he hailed me on the street, and mentioned his great delight in learning that I had gone into the tonsorial art. Tonsorial art is the Winnipeg for a barber shop. I couldn’t understand him and made him aware of my ignorance. “Why,” said Ed, “I saw a barber’s pole in front of your house this morning,” a statement which I at once contradicted. “But I saw it there.” “Where?” “Why your house on Main Street.” “Don’t live there, Ed. Moved away a month ago.” and with a deep sigh he melancholily soliloquized: “And I nearly broke my back carrying Firestine’s big barber pole all the way down there at one o’clock this morning.”
Almost A Scandal
THERE came nigh being a nice little scandal in the good little city of Brandon, which almost involved a well known citizen, who is a church warden and otherwise a prominent worker in the vineyard. One day his wife was horrified when asked in a whispering voice'by one of her young daughters.
“Mother, who is May Barley?”
“Don’t know—never heard of her.” “Well, father knows her. Heard him phoning about her three or four times yesterday and several times to-day.”
The good wife’s suspicions-were naturally aroused, and she phoned several of her friends as to the identity of the merry May, but could get no information. So she determined to tackle her erring husband herself, and that evening when he returned from his office she sternly asked
“Cuthbert, who is May Barley?"
"You mean how is May barley?”
"No, I don’t. I don’t care how she is. but I want to know who she is.”
A loud cackling laugh followed this question while she and her sympathetic children were in tears at the callousness of the head of the house.
Then he explained; “May barley isn’t a she. It’s a grain, you goose, and I am deeply interested in her price.”
Of course it then occurred to the excited listeners that he was in the grain
AGREAT rivalry existed recently between Winnipeg and Vancouver in the race for supremacy in rapid growth. “They” say—of course everybody knows the identity of “they”—that Mayor Gale while en route east a couple of years ago, stopped off at Winnipeg, and naturally called upon his fellow worship. It was
also natural that when Mayor Gray enquired of Mayor Gale how Vancouver was progressing, his far western worship enthusiastically waxed eloquent:
"Booming, everything booming. Buildings going up in all directions, streets crowded, stores doing a rushing business and the hotels daily turning away guests, most of whom are prospective investors. Why, Mr. Mayor, when I was motoring to my office the morning I left, I saw men digging the foundation of an apartment house, and when I passed the place in the evening, I’ll be hangedif the tenants weren’t moving in.”
“Is that so?” calmly asked Mayor Gray. “Say, what detained the work? This morning, I saw men driving piles for the foundation of a big new flat and when I drove past there at noon do you know they were evicting the tenants for nonpayment of rent?”
Vancouverites may not believe Mayor Gray’s modest assertion, but if they repeat the story, they can substitute one mayor for the other, and make it appear it’s Vancouver that’s really the go-ahead place.