Buckley, Menzie and McMurray Families - Niagara Falls, Ontario ...

Buckley, Menzie and McMurray Families - Niagara Falls, Ontario ...

Buckley, Menzie and McMurray Families - Niagara Falls, Ontario ...


You also want an ePaper? Increase the reach of your titles

YUMPU automatically turns print PDFs into web optimized ePapers that Google loves.


Morton Major <strong>and</strong> Elizabeth Ann <strong>Buckley</strong><br />

By Derek McDermott<br />

On a cold, rainy Sunday afternoon I drive to<br />

Fairview in the growing darkness with a<br />

ladder sticking out of the trunk of my car. It is<br />

Epiphany, the day I take down the four<br />

Christmas wreaths that I put up on<br />

Remembrance Day each year. The day is full<br />

of memories.<br />

Three of the wreaths are on monuments in the old Section A <strong>and</strong> remember the <strong>Buckley</strong>, <strong>Menzie</strong><br />

<strong>and</strong>, <strong>McMurray</strong> ancestors of my wife Jane Waldon <strong>McMurray</strong> McDermott.<br />

They arrived in what is now <strong>Niagara</strong> <strong>Falls</strong> in the mid-nineteenth century within a decade of each<br />

other little knowing that within two generations they would be intermarried. The fourth is in<br />

Section 2 on a Celtic Cross remembering the Mortimers <strong>and</strong> my wife’s parents’ friends Louis<br />

May <strong>and</strong> Helen Mortimer May.<br />

Elizabeth Ann with her daughters<br />

Victoria, Amelia <strong>and</strong> Lizzie<br />

It is quiet in the cemetery this afternoon except for the<br />

occasional passing car on Stanley Avenue <strong>and</strong>, having<br />

removed the other wreaths; I use the ladder to remove the<br />

wreath from the imposing <strong>Buckley</strong> monument topped by an<br />

equally imposing urn, the symbol of immortality. It is made of<br />

granite transported from Quincy Massachusetts by wagon, as is<br />

the vault in front of it. It was erected soon after Morton Major<br />

<strong>Buckley</strong> had purchased the <strong>Buckley</strong> plots <strong>and</strong> is visible just<br />

inside the first cemetery gates in very early photographs. His<br />

will left money for the second gates, still st<strong>and</strong>ing, dedicated to<br />

Morton Major <strong>and</strong> his wife Elizabeth. They are now closed<br />

after at least one vehicle failed to stop at the Bridge Street<br />

intersection with Stanley Avenue. It knocked the <strong>Buckley</strong><br />

monument from its base to the chagrin of the surviving<br />

<strong>Buckley</strong>s who had to take up a collection to have it raised. In<br />

the background, not far off, I can see the <strong>McMurray</strong> <strong>and</strong> <strong>Menzie</strong> monuments as close as the<br />

families were in life. Like the <strong>Buckley</strong> monument the <strong>Menzie</strong> one had a useful family genealogy<br />

inscribed on it when Grace <strong>Menzie</strong> <strong>McMurray</strong> had a new monument installed on the <strong>Menzie</strong><br />

Lot in 1945. The <strong>Buckley</strong> monument is pictured here at the time of Morton Major’s burial on<br />

27November 27, 1907; his name not yet inscribed on it.<br />


Morton Major <strong>Buckley</strong> (1830 – 1907)<br />

sellers into<br />

MM. <strong>Buckley</strong> burial 27 Nov. 1907<br />

The first <strong>Buckley</strong> bookstore<br />

Much has been written about Morton Major<br />

<strong>and</strong> the <strong>Buckley</strong> family as it was large <strong>and</strong><br />

active in business <strong>and</strong> politics in the<br />

community in the second half of the 19 th<br />

century. His interests in business had to do<br />

with real estate <strong>and</strong> he laid out what was the<br />

first subdivision in the city in what became<br />

<strong>Buckley</strong> Avenue. He owned a block on Queen<br />

Street when business gradually moved from<br />

Erie Avenue that is still remembered by some<br />

as the ‘<strong>Buckley</strong> Block’. He encouraged those<br />

sons, not working in the hotel, in a number of<br />

business enterprises, Morton Havelock’s<br />

furniture store, Arthur’s photography studio,<br />

Charles’ pool hall, <strong>and</strong> Wright’s bookstore<br />

carrying on the <strong>Buckley</strong> tradition of book<br />

sellers into the 20 th century. An early photo of the <strong>Buckley</strong> Bookstore, taken about 1900, when it<br />

was still located on Bridge Street, shows Wright’s son Howard, later Dr. <strong>Buckley</strong>, between Will<br />

Hamilton’s two daughters Audrey <strong>and</strong> Gladys. Audrey died at 20 in 1913 <strong>and</strong> Gladys was to<br />

marry Eric Stuart who had been badly wounded in action at Vimy Ridge <strong>and</strong> carried on the<br />

Hamilton Travel business on Zimmerman Avenue after Will’s retirement.<br />

-27-<br />


Morton Major had contacts with other businesses through his daughters. Lizzie was married to<br />

Will Hamilton, <strong>and</strong> Amelia married into the Mears family <strong>and</strong> the coal business.<br />

He was chairman of the cemetery committee in 1883, purchased the<br />

l<strong>and</strong> for it <strong>and</strong> involved in its interesting design with the surveyor John<br />

Robinson. Morton was Mayor of the Town of <strong>Niagara</strong> <strong>Falls</strong> in 1888<br />

when this large oil painting portrait of him that now hangs in the home<br />

of his great gr<strong>and</strong>daughter Jane Waldon <strong>McMurray</strong> McDermott was<br />

completed.<br />

He served on the School Board; he was a<br />

frequent writer of editorials in local papers<br />

on issues of the day with a strongly British<br />

slant, <strong>and</strong> saved these in a large scrap book.<br />

Morton erected <strong>and</strong> inscribed the monument<br />

just months before his own death, in<br />

November 1907, to mark the first burial in<br />

Fairview cemetery of one Thomas<br />

Whittaker on July 20, 1883. Morton gave the l<strong>and</strong> for the Morrison<br />

Street Methodist Church <strong>and</strong> gave gladly of his time <strong>and</strong> wealth to the<br />

community that had been so good to him, his wife <strong>and</strong> his family over<br />

the forty years or so that they had lived there.<br />

The <strong>Buckley</strong> family came from the village of Radcliffe now swallowed up in the urban sprawl of<br />

Manchester, Lancashire having moved north from London at some point during the Industrial<br />

Revolution into a setting illustrated by Elizabeth Gaskell in her novel North <strong>and</strong> South.<br />

Flyleaf 1730 MM. <strong>Buckley</strong> book<br />

When Morton Major’s father, Phillip <strong>Buckley</strong>, died prematurely<br />

in 1849 after his mill burned, he sailed to Philadelphia on his own<br />

to live with his Morton gr<strong>and</strong>parents. He met <strong>and</strong> married<br />

Elizabeth Ann Wood there in 1852, the year his mother <strong>and</strong><br />

seven siblings followed on the ‘Wyoming’. There he <strong>and</strong> his<br />

younger brother Mark Arthur began a bookselling business<br />

carrying on a family tradition going back at least four generations<br />

to Samuel <strong>Buckley</strong>’s printing <strong>and</strong> bookselling business at Amen<br />

Corner in London in the early decades of the 18 th century made<br />

famous by the publication of Addison <strong>and</strong> Steele’s Spectator. A<br />

<strong>Buckley</strong> genealogy is recorded in Morton Major’s h<strong>and</strong> in 1891<br />

in the Flyleaf of one of Sam <strong>Buckley</strong>’s publications entitled A<br />

Pastoral Letter of the Bishop of London, Amen Corner, 1730.<br />

-28-<br />

The Whittaker Monument

The Woods were natives of Birmingham, married in London, immigrated to New York in 1827<br />

<strong>and</strong> then moved to Toronto in 1831. Elizabeth Ann was born the next year on Colborne Street<br />

near the present King Edward Hotel.<br />

Philip <strong>and</strong> Sarah Morton <strong>Buckley</strong> c. 1845<br />

Elizabeth’s father Charles was a well known taxidermist <strong>and</strong> written up at length in the<br />

Philadelphia Newspapers at the time of his death from work related poisoning. Perhaps<br />

concerned by the growing Political unrest in Upper Canada which led to the ‘Upper Canada<br />

Rebellion’ of 1837 he took his family to Philadelphia in 1835. Oddly enough <strong>and</strong> probably<br />

because of political unrest again, the American Civil War <strong>and</strong> ‘The Trent Affair’, Elizabeth Ann<br />

returned to Canada with her husb<strong>and</strong> in 1861 with their only surviving child George Eli on what<br />

would have been a four week journey. They purchased a farm in Stamford Township across from<br />

St. John’s Church on what is now the North West corner of St. Paul’s Avenue <strong>and</strong> O’Neil Street<br />

<strong>and</strong> Morton Major opened a general store which catered to the Village of Stamford.<br />

Morton’s brother, Mark Arthur <strong>Buckley</strong>, moved to Windsor, Nova Scotia where he published<br />

the first Newspaper. He then moved to Halifax where he ran a stationery <strong>and</strong> bookstore for<br />

several years before he decided to move to Santa Cruz, California for health reasons. Morton<br />

Major kept a wonderful diary of his rail trip to visit him there which I have read but was lent to a<br />

family member <strong>and</strong> on his death was sadly lost. On his return he wrote a number of critiques of<br />

the USA comparing it somewhat unfavorably to ‘British’ Canada in the local papers. Another<br />

brother Samuel Morton moved to Richmond, Indiana.<br />

In 1865 seeing opportunities in the new Town of Clifton, brought about by the arrival of the<br />

Great Western Railway in 1853, he sold his property to the Rose family <strong>and</strong> moved there. The<br />

Rose’s operated greenhouses there for three generations <strong>and</strong> then sold the property to the<br />

Morgan’s. He built the Albion Hotel strategically between the Great Western’s new Clifton<br />

Railway Station <strong>and</strong> the Michigan Central Station at the corner of Queen Street, calling it ‘the<br />

hotel in Clifton most convenient for the traveler’. Soon after he purchased a triangular lot at the<br />

corner of River Road <strong>and</strong> Cataract Avenue <strong>and</strong> built a house on it which he named ‘Park Villa’.<br />

The photo depicts a hitching post <strong>and</strong> a step for a coach captured at the edge of the road. He <strong>and</strong><br />

his wife are seated on either side of the door with their son Wright <strong>and</strong> unidentified daughters in<br />

the wings. The child on the step may well be Charles’ daughter Ethel Rose who was raised by<br />

her <strong>Buckley</strong> gr<strong>and</strong>parents when her mother Rose Louise died at her birth. She was later to marry<br />

Charles V<strong>and</strong>ersluys, follow him to the Great War <strong>and</strong> die in the great influenza outbreak of<br />

1918. Charles then married Eva Dobbie on his return. Charles <strong>Buckley</strong> remarried Will<br />

Hamilton’s sister, Mary, <strong>and</strong> the son from that marriage, Jerome Hamilton <strong>Buckley</strong>, went on<br />

to be one of the great scholars at Harvard <strong>and</strong> Chairman of the English Department.<br />


Front of Elizabeth’s two sided<br />

brooch, with Morton verso<br />

John Mears, of the Mears’ Coal Company behind the old Roseberg’s store was a gr<strong>and</strong>son of<br />

Morton Major’s <strong>and</strong> after renting out part of Park Villa sold it <strong>and</strong> the property. It was torn down<br />

<strong>and</strong> two motels are now located there. He later built the low rise apartment building on Murray<br />

Street <strong>and</strong> named it ‘Park Villa’ in memory of the lost <strong>Buckley</strong> home. Morton Major <strong>and</strong><br />

Elizabeth are remembered among other things by two stained glass windows now in St. Andrews<br />

United Church on Morrison Street, <strong>Niagara</strong> <strong>Falls</strong>, <strong>and</strong> by the old <strong>Buckley</strong> gates dedicated to<br />

them both at Fairview Cemetery.<br />

A front view of the <strong>Buckley</strong> home Park Villa c.1885 with Mr. <strong>and</strong> Mrs. <strong>Buckley</strong> seated on either side of the porch<br />

<strong>and</strong> their son Wright to the left of his mother. Two unidentified women st<strong>and</strong> on the left <strong>and</strong> right. The time period<br />

is defined by the horse hitching post <strong>and</strong> coach step on the edge of what was to become River Road.

The <strong>Buckley</strong> Family Pre 1887 when William Pitt died, Charles back row left,<br />

Arthur front row left <strong>and</strong> Wright Howarth front row right. Twins William Pitt<br />

<strong>and</strong> Philip Morton, George Eli, <strong>and</strong> Morton Havelock make up the other sons<br />

surrounding their father. Victoria, Amelia <strong>and</strong> Lizzie the daughters are seated<br />

around their mother Elizabeth Ann.<br />

Will Hamilton home <strong>and</strong> the Morton Havelock <strong>Buckley</strong> Home, side by side on Huron Avenue.<br />

Morton Havelock was the owner of the well known furniture store specializing in fine furniture. His<br />

home is now designated a heritage building in the Queen Ann style.<br />

-31-<br />

Wright <strong>Buckley</strong> <strong>and</strong> Family, Lillian centre left<br />

The Wright <strong>Buckley</strong> Home, Well<strong>and</strong> Avenue<br />

Arthur <strong>Buckley</strong> with his wife Jenny Townsend<br />

<strong>and</strong> son Arthur Jr.<br />

The Arthur <strong>Buckley</strong> Home<br />

Philip <strong>Buckley</strong> <strong>and</strong> family Xmas 1901

Postscript<br />

Major Morton <strong>Buckley</strong>’s interest in Fairview Cemetery was both public <strong>and</strong> personal. As an<br />

active citizen <strong>and</strong> businessman in the rapidly growing Town of Clifton in the 1860’s <strong>and</strong> 70’s,<br />

he saw the need for a town cemetery apart from the cemeteries attached to local churches, such<br />

Anglican churches as All Saints, St. Johns, Holy Trinity, <strong>and</strong> Drummond Hill <strong>and</strong> Stamford<br />

Presbyterian where most citizens traditionally had been buried. Lundy’s Lane was a Methodist<br />

Church cemetery until the Township of Stamford acquired it in 1934. His interest in this project<br />

led to his appointment as Chairman of the Cemetery Committee in 1883 <strong>and</strong> the creation of<br />

Fairview now 125 years ago.<br />

Behind this public interest however were more personal ones. He wanted a burial place for<br />

members of his large family where he could erect a monument appropriate for what he must have<br />

seen as his status in the community. Erie Avenue in the Town of Clifton, after all had, for a time<br />

been humorously labeled ‘<strong>Buckley</strong>ville’ as so many <strong>Buckley</strong> businesses were located there. So,<br />

when the cemetery opened, he purchased a large lot just inside the old front gates. He had a<br />

monument erected with a vault in front of appropriate size <strong>and</strong> had the family genealogy<br />

inscribed on it. It looked directly down Bridge Street over open fields towards the growing Town<br />

of <strong>Niagara</strong> <strong>Falls</strong> <strong>and</strong> ‘Park Villa’ his home on the river.<br />

Ethel Rose <strong>and</strong> Charles V<strong>and</strong>ersluys<br />

There was another reason even more personal known only to<br />

a few, his desire to bring back the children Elizabeth <strong>and</strong> he<br />

had lost <strong>and</strong> buried elsewhere, including Albert Edward<br />

who died in 1859 far away in Philadelphia, <strong>and</strong> have them<br />

buried with them in the family plot. John Herman died at<br />

two in 1867 <strong>and</strong> Eli Philip in infancy in 1872, before<br />

Fairview was opened. Ethel Rose, the gr<strong>and</strong>child they loved<br />

most having raised her from childhood when her mother died, they could not get back. She died<br />

in the great flu epidemic of 1918 in Engl<strong>and</strong> waiting faithfully for her husb<strong>and</strong> to come back<br />

from the battlefields of the Great War. The epitaph on William Pitt’s grave written in 1887<br />

speaks for all of these: “His sun set when it was yet day.”<br />



William John (Will) <strong>and</strong> Grace <strong>McMurray</strong><br />

If the <strong>Buckley</strong>s were active <strong>and</strong> prominent in the community, the <strong>McMurray</strong>s <strong>and</strong> <strong>Menzie</strong>s were<br />

quiet <strong>and</strong> self-effacing. The <strong>McMurray</strong> <strong>and</strong> <strong>Menzie</strong> monuments significantly st<strong>and</strong> close together<br />

<strong>and</strong> not far from the <strong>Buckley</strong> Monument in Section A of Fairview, <strong>and</strong> it was the union of these<br />

two families that linked them to the <strong>Buckley</strong>s.<br />

William, the first <strong>McMurray</strong> his descendents know of, arrived in the Town of Elgin earlier than<br />

the <strong>Buckley</strong>s <strong>and</strong> somewhere about the same time as the <strong>Menzie</strong>s <strong>and</strong> the Great Western<br />

Railway. Family lore suggests he came from County Cavan in Irel<strong>and</strong> <strong>and</strong> worked as a<br />

conductor. He met <strong>and</strong> married Eliza in September 1859 in St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church.<br />

Her last name is not recorded on the monument at Fairview as is too often the case with wives,<br />

<strong>and</strong> the early records of St. Andrew’s in its transitional period to a United Church in 1925 fell<br />

into disorder. One family member believes it was King. Other members<br />

of his family settled in Detroit <strong>and</strong> Kenosha in the United States from the<br />

records of old photo albums.<br />

Eliza King<br />

William <strong>and</strong> Eliza lived on<br />

Bridge Street not far from<br />

the new Clifton Railway<br />

Station. They had four<br />

children, three of whom<br />

lived into adulthood.<br />

Andrew <strong>and</strong> Louise <strong>Menzie</strong><br />

The son William John was best known in the town<br />

<strong>and</strong> later city of <strong>Niagara</strong> <strong>Falls</strong>. He graduated from<br />

the Belleville Business College <strong>and</strong> some time<br />

after his return opened a Hardware store with Mr.<br />

Cole. The store was located on Park Street <strong>and</strong> by chance behind <strong>Buckley</strong>’s Albion Hotel. In the<br />

photo Mr. Cole is on the right <strong>and</strong> Mr. <strong>McMurray</strong> behind the stove. Mr. Carter’s delivery wagon<br />

st<strong>and</strong>s ready in the shade.

About this time he met the youngest child of Andrew <strong>and</strong> Louisa <strong>Menzie</strong>, Grace Greenwood<br />

<strong>Menzie</strong> who had just graduated from the Wesleyan Ladies’ College in Hamilton. The occasion in<br />

the studio photo below is uncertain but a young Grace<br />

Greenwood <strong>Menzie</strong> is seated in front on the left <strong>and</strong><br />

William John <strong>McMurray</strong> beside her.<br />

The <strong>Menzie</strong>’s came from Wampsville in the Oneida,<br />

New York area to Stamford Township in 1850<br />

purchasing a large tract of l<strong>and</strong> <strong>and</strong> building a house<br />

fronting on what is now <strong>Menzie</strong> Street<br />

It is not clear why Andrew left New York State. Perhaps the death of his first wife Juliett Warren<br />

in 1844 had something to do with it. He had remarried<br />

Louise Ratnour <strong>and</strong> they arrived with three children, Myron,<br />

the son of his first wife, Eugene <strong>and</strong> Rosco. They had six<br />

other children over the years, the youngest Grace <strong>and</strong><br />

touchingly he named his first daughter Juliett (Etta) after his<br />

first wife. Myron returned to New York State to enlist on<br />

the Federal side at the outbreak of the Civil War in 1860<br />

<strong>and</strong> survived to be buried in Fairview at the young age of<br />

forty four in 1886, perhaps from the toll of the war.<br />

Five of the nine children married but only Grace <strong>and</strong> Etta are recorded as having children. Etta<br />

married Dr.Emmett Pyle but their only child Jennie Louise, died at thirteen in 1890.<br />

Records on the <strong>Menzie</strong>s are scarce. The burial book at Fairview under ‘Occupation’ defines<br />

Andrew as ‘Gentleman’ which suggests he was a man of means <strong>and</strong> may have been a speculator<br />

of real estate in his purchase of l<strong>and</strong> in Stamford. He seems to have earned money by selling off<br />

lots as The Town of Clifton <strong>and</strong> then the Town of <strong>Niagara</strong> <strong>Falls</strong> exp<strong>and</strong>ed to the west along<br />

Bridge Street until the original large property shrunk to its present size. His daughter Grace still<br />

held mortgages into the late 1940’s which may well have been on parts of that property.<br />

-34-<br />

The <strong>Menzie</strong> House <strong>Menzie</strong> Street

Dr. Emmett Pyle (1846-1918) <strong>and</strong> Juliett (Etta) <strong>Menzie</strong> Pyle (1853-1918)<br />

The <strong>McMurray</strong> River Road House<br />

William <strong>McMurray</strong> married Grace <strong>Menzie</strong> in<br />

1893 in St. Andrews Church. As a wedding.<br />

present he had the house on River Road built for<br />

her captured here in a promotion photo for the<br />

Electric Railway that made the circle form<br />

<strong>Niagara</strong> <strong>Falls</strong> to Lewiston, Queenston <strong>and</strong> back to<br />

the Table Rock.<br />

It was here that her three sons, Norman Andrew,<br />

William John (Jack), <strong>and</strong> Eugene <strong>Menzie</strong> were<br />

born <strong>and</strong> later her gr<strong>and</strong>daughter Jane Waldon<br />

<strong>McMurray</strong>.<br />

At some point after 1905 William John left the Cole <strong>McMurray</strong> business <strong>and</strong> was appointed<br />

Treasurer of the newly incorporated City of <strong>Niagara</strong> <strong>Falls</strong> <strong>and</strong> served in that position with his<br />

loyal assistant Miss Hopkins until his death in 1925. His interests were simple: the finances of<br />

Boys from the Chinese community after Bible Class at St.<br />

Andrews<br />

A Gift

The three wee laddies l-r<br />

<strong>Menzie</strong> Jack <strong>and</strong> Norman<br />

the growing city <strong>and</strong> St. Andrews Church where he <strong>and</strong> his Grace sang in<br />

the choir <strong>and</strong> afternoon Sunday School classes he initiated for the children<br />

in the Chinese community. He used a Cantonese-English Bible which lay<br />

in the attic of the River Road house for years after his death <strong>and</strong> then<br />

somehow disappeared. The purpose of these classes was to teach the<br />

children the Bible but also English <strong>and</strong> he was very proud of the children<br />

<strong>and</strong> their progress. Their parents were very grateful for his work <strong>and</strong><br />

against his wishes insisted on giving him gifts like the Chinese brass<br />

folding table now owned by his gr<strong>and</strong>daughter Jane.<br />

If Grace was a driving force in the <strong>Menzie</strong> family managing her father’s<br />

property after his death she was also a driving force in her own family<br />

particularly directing the lives of her three sons whom she was very proud<br />

of her three wee Laddies as she called them -shown in this photo taken in<br />

front of the River Road house about 1914. From left to right they are Eugene <strong>Menzie</strong>, William<br />

John (Jack), <strong>and</strong> Norman Andrew. Norman was encouraged to enter the ministry but first he<br />

joined the Canadian Army <strong>and</strong> was stationed in Brighton from 1917 until the war ended <strong>and</strong> did<br />

not see action. He graduated from the Union Theological Seminary in New York City in 1921<br />

<strong>and</strong> was a youth minister at the Dutch Reformed Church there for two years before moving to St.<br />

Andrews Church in Ville St. Laurent, Quebec. He had married Grace Smeaton from <strong>Niagara</strong><br />

<strong>Falls</strong> <strong>and</strong> his mother’s pleasure from all of this was suddenly upset by her husb<strong>and</strong>’s death <strong>and</strong><br />

then when she learned almost at the same time that Norman had voted for Union in 1925 <strong>and</strong> was<br />

returning in 1929 to <strong>Niagara</strong> <strong>Falls</strong> to minister to the Kitchener Street Methodist Church, later<br />

Kitchener Street United Church where he had married Grace Smeaton. His mother left St.<br />

Andrews <strong>and</strong> moved to Drummond Hill which rejected Union, <strong>and</strong> spoke of herself as a<br />

‘Continuing Presbyterian’.<br />

Jack was more circumspect. He took his mother’s advice <strong>and</strong> studied<br />

Medicine. He was married to an English girl Margaret (Babs) Redwood<br />

in 1928 by his brother far away in his brother’s United Church in<br />

Montreal <strong>and</strong> then moved to Bronxville, NY to set up a medical<br />

practice.<br />

It was the youngest son Eugene <strong>Menzie</strong> named for one of her favorite<br />

brothers that gave her the biggest problems. He was his mother’s son<br />

she soon discovered. He graduated from <strong>Niagara</strong> <strong>Falls</strong> Collegiate<br />

Institute not eighteen yet <strong>and</strong> agreed reluctantly to go into medicine.<br />

He is one of the 15 shown in graduating class photo in the spring of<br />

1921.<br />

<strong>Menzie</strong> finished Pre-Med at the University of Toronto <strong>and</strong> moved on to<br />

McGill <strong>and</strong> then in his last year gathered the courage to tell his mother<br />

he hated medicine, had never liked it <strong>and</strong> was coming home. He was<br />

the only one now left as Norman had moved on to Danforth Street<br />

Marion, Babs <strong>and</strong> Jack c.1931<br />


United in Toronto <strong>and</strong> then back to Montreal <strong>and</strong> Jack was in Bronxville. <strong>Menzie</strong> wanted to<br />

stay in <strong>Niagara</strong> <strong>Falls</strong> <strong>and</strong> start an insurance business.<br />

He had another reason for wanting to come home. He had met Lillian <strong>Buckley</strong> first in Simcoe<br />

Street School when they were children <strong>and</strong> she was living on Well<strong>and</strong> Avenue, now Chrysler<br />

Avenue. When he moved on to high school before her being very clever he had the maid at the<br />

River Road house who was in her class act as a go-between to carry love letters between them.<br />

They were in high school together briefly <strong>and</strong> then her mother died in 1919 <strong>and</strong> her father<br />

Wright <strong>Buckley</strong> sent her to Branksome Hall girls’ school in Toronto <strong>and</strong> they did not see much<br />

of each other though they wrote. By the time she had graduated <strong>and</strong> come home he had left for<br />

the University of Toronto. They continued to write each other <strong>and</strong> see each other on weekends<br />

from time to time <strong>and</strong> then his father died <strong>and</strong> he came home <strong>and</strong> they could spend time together.<br />

Lillian <strong>Buckley</strong> <strong>and</strong> <strong>Menzie</strong> <strong>McMurray</strong><br />

Her father loved camping, hunting <strong>and</strong> fishing as did almost all of the <strong>Buckley</strong>s. He had lost the<br />

two outside fingers on his right h<strong>and</strong> when a shogun discharged as he climbed a fence <strong>and</strong> she<br />

had never noticed it until after her mother’s death <strong>and</strong> he asked her on a Saturday evening to cut<br />

the two fingers off a new pair of grey church gloves. He was embarrassed when she asked why<br />

NFCI Graduating class 1921, <strong>Menzie</strong> fifth from the right<br />

-37-<br />

<strong>Menzie</strong>, Jane <strong>and</strong> Molly 1940

<strong>and</strong> fell into silence. He was not at all sure that this clever young <strong>McMurray</strong> from a rather staid<br />

Presbyterian family was right for her. When <strong>Menzie</strong> opened E.M <strong>McMurray</strong> Insurance on Main<br />

Street <strong>and</strong> Lillian persisted, her father gave in <strong>and</strong> they were married in 1927 in what was then<br />

the Morrison Street United Church, the church Morton Major had given l<strong>and</strong> for when the<br />

Morrison Street Methodist Church was being planned. Their wedding reception at the old Clifton<br />

Hotel before it burned down was one of the social events of the season.<br />

<strong>Menzie</strong> <strong>and</strong> Lillian bought a house at the corner of Moul<strong>and</strong> Avenue <strong>and</strong> Lundy’s lane <strong>and</strong> their<br />

first child Mary Louise (Molly) was born there in 1929 just before the great Depression<br />

deepened <strong>and</strong> they like so many others had to give it up <strong>and</strong> go to live with parents. They went to<br />

live in the River Road house with Grace. <strong>Buckley</strong>s, <strong>Menzie</strong>s <strong>and</strong> <strong>McMurray</strong>s were living under<br />

one roof.<br />

.<br />

<strong>Menzie</strong>, Lillian, Jane <strong>and</strong> Molly, River Road house garden c. 1955<br />


Postscript<br />

Grace <strong>Menzie</strong> <strong>McMurray</strong> now in her seventies, Eugene <strong>Menzie</strong> her youngest <strong>McMurray</strong> son, her<br />

<strong>Buckley</strong> daughter-in-law Lillian <strong>and</strong> their two children, Mary Louise (Molly) <strong>and</strong> Jane Waldon<br />

managed to compromise though Grace was as independent as always. She refused day help when<br />

she broke her hip <strong>and</strong> the girls got along without a dog. She had been presented with a life<br />

membership to the Woman’s Missionary Society by the Hamilton Presbytery. She enjoyed visits<br />

for her cousin Maud Parkhurst, ‘aunt Maud, to the family, a <strong>Menzie</strong> still living in Wampsville in<br />

the Onieda area, <strong>and</strong> continued to invite church friends such as the Reverend Barber’s widow to<br />

Sunday dinner until her death in October 1952, a<br />

month after her oldest gr<strong>and</strong>daughter Mary<br />

Louise’s wedding. It was a mild fall that year <strong>and</strong><br />

in her last days holding a late summer rose in her<br />

h<strong>and</strong> she sat in the front sun room of the old house<br />

which her husb<strong>and</strong> had built for her all those years<br />

ago when she was hardly older than a girl. She<br />

spoke of those Sundays when she <strong>and</strong> Will<br />

walked from their house over cow paths out to the<br />

<strong>Menzie</strong> house still in the country then to visit her<br />

mother after whom her newly married<br />

gr<strong>and</strong>daughter was named. That she had had Will<br />

buried with the <strong>Menzie</strong>s revealed much about her<br />

<strong>and</strong> she was buried with him there beside the<br />

<strong>Menzie</strong> monument she had proudly designed.<br />

Norman, <strong>Menzie</strong>, Etta <strong>and</strong> Will <strong>McMurray</strong><br />

Norman, <strong>Menzie</strong>, Etta <strong>and</strong> Will<br />

When her oldest son Norman died years later in<br />

Etobicoke where he was serving as Associate<br />

Pastor of Humber Valley United Church an<br />

elderly Chinese gentleman appeared at the service. He was a doctor from Montreal <strong>and</strong> had seen<br />

the Obituary of the Reverend <strong>McMurray</strong> in the Globe <strong>and</strong> Mail <strong>and</strong> felt obligated to attend <strong>and</strong><br />

pay his respects as Norman’s father William John had taught his father English at St. Andrews<br />

Church Sunday School in <strong>Niagara</strong> <strong>Falls</strong>. Norman’s youngest son Ian earlier had met Ed Chung<br />

another son of one of the Sunday School students <strong>and</strong> they had become close friends over the<br />

years. Norman, his wife Grace Smeaton, <strong>and</strong> oldest son Norman Jr. are buried in Fairview,<br />

Section 2. Ian lives with his family in California.<br />

In Memory of my father-in-law <strong>Menzie</strong> <strong>McMurray</strong> With thanks to Gerry Sweezey, staff Fairview Cemetery Office,<br />

my sister-in-law Gail Woodruff, Audrea Frizell, gr<strong>and</strong>daughter of George Eli <strong>Buckley</strong>, Eric Stuart who bequeathed<br />

the Hamilton photo albums to me, <strong>and</strong> most of all to my mother-in-law Lillian <strong>Buckley</strong> <strong>McMurray</strong> who saved the<br />

<strong>McMurray</strong> <strong>and</strong> <strong>Buckley</strong> photo albums <strong>and</strong> bequeathed them to Jane <strong>and</strong> I with other <strong>Buckley</strong> artifacts.<br />

Derek McDermott, husb<strong>and</strong> of Jane Waldon <strong>McMurray</strong>. September 23, 2008<br />



Hooray! Your file is uploaded and ready to be published.

Saved successfully!

Ooh no, something went wrong!