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Mayor Richard Blain 

Mayor Richard Blain

Male 1821 - 1905

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  • Prefix  Mayor 
    Birth  26 Jan 1821  Bowness-on-Solway, , Cumberland, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
    Gender  Male 
    Immigration  1850  Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Occupation  1851  Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  [5
    Miller 
    Religion  1851  Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  [5
    Episcopalian 
    Occupation  1860  Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  [8
    miller 
    Occupation  1861  Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  [6
    Miller 
    Religion  1861  Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  [6
    Episcopalian 
    Occupation  1871  Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Manufacturer 
    Religion  1871  Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Church of England 
    Elected Office  1876  Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Mayor of Galt 
    Occupation  1881  Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Manufacturer 
    Occupation  1891  Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  [7
    Farmer 
    Religion  1891  Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  [7
    Anglican 
    Occupation  1901  Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Miller 
    Residence  66-68 Grand Ave. N., Cambridge, Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Eby ID Number  Waterloo-104028 
    Died  14 Jul 1905  Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    Buried  Trinity Anglican Cemetery, Cambridge, Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    Person ID  I104028  Generations
    Last Modified  14 Aug 2017 

    Father  Thomas Blain,   b. 20 Apr 1775, Of, Bowness, Cumberland, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 4 Nov 1855, Bowness-on-Solway, , Cumberland, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Mother  Elizabeth Little,   b. 18 Jan 1777, Heskey, Cumberland, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Oct 1857, Bowness-on-Solway, , Cumberland, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID  F52780  Group Sheet

    Family  Margaret Gillesby,   b. 5 May 1823, Thorney Moor, , Cumberland, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 28 Sep 1899, Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married  12 Aug 1847  Clifton House, Welland Co., Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
     1. Thomas Gillesby Blain,   b. 4 May 1849, Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 19 Jul 1887, Dalton, Otter Tail, Minnesota, United States Find all individuals with events at this location
     2. Joseph Blain,   b. 12 Mar 1851, Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1926, Lidcombe, , New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location
     3. Richard Silvester Blain,   b. 7 May 1854, Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 22 Oct 1933, Great Falls, Cascade, Montana, USA Find all individuals with events at this location
     4. James Armstrong Blain,   b. 25 Apr 1857, Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 22 Feb 1901
     5. Margaret Elizabeth "Maggie" Blain,   b. 31 Oct 1859, Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1 Dec 1917, Montreal, Ile de Montreal, Quebec Find all individuals with events at this location
     6. Jane Edith Blain,   b. 9 Oct 1861, Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 8 Jan 1929, Vancouver, , British Columbia, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location
     7. Elizabeth Blain,   b. 1863, , Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     8. Sarah Isabella Blain,   b. 13 Nov 1863, Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 12 Mar 1935, Powell River, , British Columbia, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location
     9. Mary Amelia "Minnie" Blain,   b. 28 Oct 1865, Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 22 Nov 1925, Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location
     10. Sarah Blain,   b. 1868, , Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
    Family ID  F26650  Group Sheet

  • Photos
    Richard Blain
    Richard Blain
    from Cambridge Hall of Fame
    Richard Blain
    Richard Blain
    image from Jublilee Souvenir of Galt 1897
    Blair,Richard-sketch.jpg
    Blair,Richard-sketch.jpg

  • Notes 
    • Richard Blain came to Canada in 1839, was employed by James Ewart of Dundas, Ontario. Four years later along with Adam Ker took over the Dickson Mills in Galt, he being the chief miller. He ran the mill until 1882 purchasing it from his brother James. He served on Galt Council and as Mayor. Also served as president of the Galt Mechanics Institute and secretary of the South Waterloo Agricultural Society. Also a director of the Gore Mutual Fire Insurance Co and president of the Grand River Mutual Insurance Co.1a

      1aCambridge Mosaic, Jim Quantrell, 1998, City of Cambridge [snippet from original text in book]

      ________________


      Blain, Richard, miller. Mr. Blain owns 70 acres of Lots 6 and 7, Con. 12, Township of Dumfries. Has been Mayor of Galt since 1875, and was for 20 years a Town Councillor. Is a native of England. Born, 1821. Has resided here since 1843.2a

      2aIllustrated Atlas of the County of Waterloo, H. Parsel & Co., Toronto - 1881

      ___________________________

      Richard Blain, Esq.

      Has the distinguished honor of being one of Galt's pioneers. A native of the North of England, he emigrated to Canada and located in Galt in 1843, at once becoming identified with the milling business at that early day and period of Galt's history. Mr. Blain has always been held in high esteem by his fellow townsmen, as is shown by the municipal records where we find he has honorably filled the Mayor's chair five consecutive years and has held other important offices in the gift of the people. In his declining years he still enjoys the confidence of the public.1a

      1aJubilee Souvenir of Galt, 1897

      _________________________

      THE PASSING OF A GALT PIONEER

      Richard Blain Goes Over the to the Majority

      A Long Life of Usefulness and Exemplary Conduct Comes to a Close.

      The fame that a man wins himself is best;
      The he may call his own. Honors put on him.
      Make him no a man than his clothes do,
      Which are as soon taken off.

      Richard blain is dead.
      Full of years and the honors that are commanded, if not always formally bestowed, in a life of probity and unselfishness, where the character of the man combines kindliness with goodness, and geniality with greatness, this venerable Galtonian has crossed the bar, wide mourned.

      For the past few months his health had been failing him. Marvelously strong, both physically and intellectually, he was very tenacious of life, and would not admit that the eventide was nigh. No that he feared the end, or that he ardently desired to prolong his days, marked as there were by increasing decrepitude and inability to perform all that he believed to perform all that he believed was allotted by Providence to him to do; but that his native buoyancy and exhaustless spirit of activity overcame his consciousness of the lengthening shadows on the path. He fully realized the inevitable and awaited the summons with Christian complacency and the thoughtful resignation of a lofty, well-balanced mind.

      No citizen of the town of Galt was more generally known, heartily esteemed, more venerated and belived. Throughout this whole district he was regarded as a man of superior caliber, of unblemished integrity, of qualities that bespoke the trustworthy business man, the fast friend the good neighbor, the exemplary citizen. In his death a very landmark is removed - there goes out from amongst us a personality so familiarly and so revered that it is hard to realize we shall see him no more.

      Richard Blain during his many years of residence in this town distinguished himself in notable ways but not never won other than a credit for himself in any act public or private. He enjoyed an absolutely unblemished reputation. The good name that rather is to chosen than great riches was his. The circumstance that his latter days, though spent in comparative ease and comfort, were not enjoyed in affluence, is but tribute to his liberality of soul and charitable instincts that constantly governed the disposal of his means. He was the embodiment of philanthropy and generosity. As a raconteur he was inimitable, and up to the last reminiscences of the history of Galt, its people and its industries, were like a well-written tale. He knew it all - down to the very minutiae of social life and personal characteristics - all it was a pleasure to him to tell it to an attentive and interested listener. A talk with Richard Blain was a delight, so lucid, connected and authoritative were his recollections, and so kindly and with such keen sense of humor, were they recounted.

      A life not unmixed with severe troubles and trials, with spent it in the highest sense of obligation to God and God and to his fellows. He was a model husband and loving, devoted father. No tribute is too high to pay to the conduct of this venerable citizen who, sturdy and cheerful to the last, has just left us to join the silent Majority.

      Biographical Sketch.

      The late Richard Blain was born at Bowness-on-Solway, Cumberland County, Eng., in 1821. He was the youngest of a family of thirteen, all of whom have lived to a ripe old age. He received the benefit of a common school education, which in those days meant little more than writing, spelling and arithmetic. In 1839 he came to Canada, and went to learn the milling business, in the employ of the late James Bell Ewart of Dundas, who then occupied a foremost position in the milling interest of the western country. Four years after entering Mr. Ewart's employ, that gentleman purchased from the Hon. Robert Dickson, of Niagara, a valuable mill site at Galt, upon which the foundation of a building had been commenced. This was soon carried to completion, and the position of head miller was given to Richard Blain, who, in conjunction with Mr. A. Ker, as bookkeeper, assumed control. In the autumn of the same year in which they started, the mill was burned down, but was again rebuilt by Mr. Ewart the following year.

      Mr. Blain continued in the discharge of his duties as practical managed until 1853, when the death of Mr. Ewart placed the property in the hands of the executors of the late Hon. Robert Dickson.

      Mr. Blain then formed a partnership with his older brother James, a leased the mills for a term of four years. This covered from 1854 to 1858, the memorable years of the Crimean War, when the grain and flour business of Canada made the fortunes of and ruined more men than any other branch of the trade.

      At the expiration of the lease, the mill for a short time passed into other parties' hands; but in 1859 Mr. Blain having in the meantime withdrawn from partnership with his brother - again leased the property and uninterruptedly up to the fall of 1882 continued the proprietorship. During the progress of the American War, Mr. Blain shipped nearly all his flour direct to the American market, and with gold ranging from 150 to at one time as 280, it certainly required cool nerve and consummate tact to operate successfully.

      In 1862 Mr. James Blain bought the whole mill property and canal for $40,000, and expended in repairs and improvements about $3,000 additional. In 1874 Richard Blair purchased entire property from his brother, and was therefore the owner of a the great water-power on which is built nearly all the large manufacturing industries of the town of Galt, embracing oatmeal mills, saw mills, grist mills, gloved and collar factories, the edge tool factory of James Warnock and Co., and the large foundry and machine shops. The motive power of all these hives of mechanical industry was rented from Mr. Blain.

      During the long and active business life of the subject of memoir, he found the time to sattend to public duties. In 1856 Galt was incorporated as a town. That year Richard Blain was elected one of its councilors; for nineteen successive years he was returned to the same position, and for five years, 1873-1878, was Mayor of the town. In addition to his municipal labors, he has filled the honorable trusts of Director and President of the Galt Mechanics' Institute, also of the County Agricultural Society. He has been a director of the Gore Mutual Insurance Company, and President of the Grand River Mutual Insurance Company.

      In 1882 Mr. Blain retired from business, and in his well-appointed home with its ideal surroundings spent the remained of his days, his residence in Galt covering a period of 62 years.

      But he did not lead an inactive life in retirement. He was a familiar figure on the streets daily, always posted on the current events through much reading, and ready at any time to discuss public affairs with those he met, and to enquire as to the health of his numerous personal friends. The oldest member but one of Trinity Church, which he attended when service was held in the store house of the mill, he kept up his interest in parish affairs and more especially was active in the conduct of the cemetery. He was in his pew, a devout worshipper, with exemplary regularity and nothing afforded him greater pleasure than to be enabled to assist in any department of church work.

      On August 12, 1897, Mr. and Mrs. Blain celebrated their golden wedding under felicitous auspices. They were married in 1847 at the Clifton House, Niagara Falls, by the late Rev. Mr. Leeming. Mrs. Blain, whose maiden name was Margaret Gillesby, came to Canada in 1832. The daughters were all in attendance, at the golden wedding observance, as were also Dr. Henderson Mr. Gibbard and Mr. Warnock, sons-in-law. The couple were undoubtedly the only ones who had spent half a century of life as continued residents of Galt. Mrs. Blain died 1899. An amiable and estimable Christian lady, she ws universally held in high regard and her demise was the subject of deep regret throughout the entire community.

      Mr. Blain is survived by the following children: Joseph in Australia; Richard in Montana; Mrs. Thomas Gibbard of Montreal; Mrs. D. Henderson, St. Paul, Minn.; Miss Sara Blain at home; Mrs. James E. Warnock. Thomas and James children deceased.

      The summons came to the old … at 8.30 last night. It was sudden. He had been up and was able to go about the garden in the afternoon. Then a weak spell took him. He lay down and with devoted daughter watching at the bedside, he fell into his eternal sleep.

      The funeral is announced for Monday at 2 o'clock from the family residence to Mt. View Cemetery.

      Galt Reporter 20 Jul 1905

  • Sources 
    1. [S259] Census - ON, Waterloo, Galt - 1901, Galt (Town/Ville) C-9 Page 9.

    2. [S336] Census - ON, Waterloo, Galt - 1881, Galt Division 2 Page 94.

    3. [S570] Census - ON, Waterloo, Galt - 1871, Div. 3, Pg. 20.

    4. [S505] Cemetery - ON, Waterloo, Cambridge - Trinity Anglican (Galt) CC#4497 Internet Link .
      In memory of/ Richard Blain/ a native of/ Bowness on Solway/ Cumberland England/ born January 26th 1821/ died at Galt/ July 14th 1905/ resting/ Blain

    5. [S313] Census - ON, Waterloo, Galt - 1851, Pg.26.

    6. [S1838] Census - ON, Waterloo, Galt - 1861, Galt 1861 Div. 4 Page 47.

    7. [S1800] Census - ON, Waterloo, Galt - 1891, Sec. 1 Page 158.

    8. [S1141] Church Records - ON, Waterloo, Galt - Card index of Church Records.
      Margaret Elizabeth Blain, b. 30 Oct 1859, chr 1 Jan 1860 Trinity Anglican, d/o Richard (Miller) & Margaret

  • Event Map
    Event
    Link to Google MapsBirth - 26 Jan 1821 - Bowness-on-Solway, , Cumberland, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 12 Aug 1847 - Clifton House, Welland Co., Ontario Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsImmigration - 1850 - Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - Miller - 1851 - Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsReligion - Episcopalian - 1851 - Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - miller - 1860 - Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - Miller - 1861 - Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsReligion - Episcopalian - 1861 - Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - Manufacturer - 1871 - Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsReligion - Church of England - 1871 - Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsElected Office - Mayor of Galt - 1876 - Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - Manufacturer - 1881 - Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - Farmer - 1891 - Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsReligion - Anglican - 1891 - Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - Miller - 1901 - Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - - 66-68 Grand Ave. N., Cambridge, Waterloo Region, Ontario Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 14 Jul 1905 - Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - - Trinity Anglican Cemetery, Cambridge, Waterloo Region, Ontario Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Maps 
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