Waterloo Region Generations
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Alonzo Bliss
Male 1803 - 1834


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  • Birth  29 Nov 1803  of, Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender  Male 
    Occupation  1827  Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    chair maker 
    Epidemic  1834  Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Cholera 
    Eby ID Number  Waterloo-111661 
    Died  1834  Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Cause: Cholera 
    Person ID  I111661  Generations
    Last Modified  19 Sep 2018 

    Father  Thomas Bliss,   b. CA 1767, of, Boston, Suffolk Co., Massachusetts, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Mother  Priscilla Howe,   b. CA 1770, of, Boston, Suffolk Co., Massachusetts, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Family ID  F24055  Group Sheet

    Family  Lydia,   b. CA 1807,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Married  1827 
    Children 
     1. Wiliam Thomas Bliss,   b. CA 1828,   d. Yes, date unknown
    Family ID  F39496  Group Sheet

  • Photos
    Bliss,Alonzo-BlissFamilyGenealogyPg286.jpg
    Bliss,Alonzo-BlissFamilyGenealogyPg286.jpg

  • Notes 
    • Alonzo Bliss, to whom reference has already been made. On returning home, Bliss said to his wife, " If cholera is catching, I will take it." This prediction, alas, proved too true. The next morning he was dead.

      Reminiscenses of the Early History Galt

      ________________________

      The principal (early Presbyterian church meetings) places used were: the old Red store, in which Mr. Stewart held the first communion of his congregation; the store house of the Dumfries mills; the old rough-cast house at the head of Main Street; and the chair factory carried on by one Alonzo Bliss. The latter building stood on the site of Scott's planing mill, and it may be mentioned in passing, to the credit of the handicraft of Bliss and, as possibly not altogether without relevancy to practical religion that some of the chairs made by him are still in possession of Mr. Thomas Rich, and are as strong as ever, after fifty years wear and tear.

      Ebenezer: A History of the Central Presbyterian Church, Galt, Ontario, with brief sketches of some of its members who have passed on the the other side, The Rev. James A. R. Dickson

      ________________

      THE want of suitable churches and schools was much felt, for many years. At the present time, the minister and teacher follow closely upon the heels of settlement. Sixty years ago the case was different. It was fifteen years after Galt was founded before the services of a regularly-placed clergyman were obtained. The name of the first minister of Galt was the Rev. William Stewart, and he was sent out by the Church of Scotland as a mis-sionary. He was lame, and delicate in health, but, to use the language of a contemporary, he possessed "a fine mind and deep piety." It was in the fall of 1831 or spring of 1832 when he arrived.

      An incident which occurred shortly after Mr. Stewart's arrival in Galt well illustrates his pious character, as well as the loose notions regarding the observance of the Sabbath which had crept in among a few in the absence of religious services. Finding workmen busily engaged in loading the Arks at the wharf one Sunday morning, Mr. Stewart sent down a short note, courteously expressing the hope that they would desist from labour on the Lord's day. The reply sent back was: "Tell Mr. Stewart if he'll mind his business, we'll mind ours!" And the loading of the Arks went on.

      Churches were then unknown luxuries, and Mr. Stewart, as well as the missionaries who had previously visited the locality, found difficulty in securing suitable places in which to gather the people together for divine service. The principal places used were the old Red store, in which Mr. Stewart held the first communion of his congregation; the storehouse of the Dumfries' Mills; the old rough-cast school-house at the head of Main Street; and the chair factory carried on by one Alonzo Bliss. The latter building stood on the present site of Scott's Planing mill, and it may be mentioned, enpassant, to the credit of the handicraft of Bliss - and as possibly not altogether without relevancy to practical religion-that some of the chairs made by him are still in possession of Mr. Thomas Rich, and are as strong as ever after fifty years' wear and tear ! Mr. Stewart soon succeeded in building up a strong congrega-tion, saw St. Andrew's Church begun and finished, but at the expiry of several years' faithful service, performed often whilst suffering under much physical weakness, he accepted a call to Demarara, in the West Indies. He was attracted to these Islands by their genial climate, but his constitution was too much shattered for recovery, and he shortly afterwards died.

      Although Mr. Stewart was the first regular minister in the village, it must not be supposed that the people were entirely destitute of ministerial instruction previously. Thanks to the United Presbyterian Church of North America, missionaries were sent to the settlement as early as 1822, and divine service was conducted by these de-voted men for at least a portion of almost every year.

      Reminiscences of the Early History of Galt and the Settlement of Dumfries in the Province of Ontario, by James Young, 1880 Toronto: Hunter, Rose

      ______________________

      The spring of 1834 found Galt an active village of about two hundred and fifty inhabitants, with a gradually developing country around it, and improving prospects. Besides Messrs. Dickson and Shade, the following are remembered among the citizens of that day: -

      Messrs. William Stewart, minister; James Strang, minister; Thomas Rich, builder; Thos. G. Chapman, builder; Andrew Malcom, cabinet-maker; Joseph Purvis, blacksmith; John Legge, shoemaker; Alonzo Bliss, chairmaker: Paul G. Huffman, chair maker; James Welch, farmer; Samuel Hogg, clerk; John Hall (afterwards of Ayr); Thomas Turley, (with Shade; William Shepherd, carpenter; Henry McCrum, clerk; William Kay, waggon maker; John Cheeseman, carpenter; H. G. Barlow, innkeeper; Jarvis Barraclough, miller; Robert Cranston, farmer; James K. Andrews, merchant ; James Fargus, merchant; James Smith, saddler; Archibald Hunter, blacksmith; John Veitch, plasterer ; James Harris, brewer; Augustus Harris, brewer; David Shiel, farmer; John Warnock, miller; James C. Longan, tailor; Andrew Goodell, teamster; John Garrison, fiddler; Robert Turnbull, tailor; Joseph Simmonds, wool carder; Matthew Palmer, workman; William Wyllie Wilkinson, pail maker; John Davison, butcher* and Andrew Scott, machinist.

      Besides these gentlemen there had been recently added to the population three others, who afterwards became closely associated with its history : these were, Dr. Robert Miller, Walter H. Benn, and Alex. Burnett.

      Reminiscences of the Early History of Galt and the Settlement of Dumfries in the Province of Ontario, by James Young, 1880 Toronto: Hunter, Rose

      ____________________

      Mr. Alonzo Bliss, whom I mentioned in my former letter as the first chair-maker in this section, my informant wishes me to state that he was a man who was held in high esteem among the people on account of his piety ; that he and the late and respected John Merriam organized the first Sabbath School in Sheffield ; that he afterwards moved to Galt, and thinks that he was the first chair-maker who started in Galt. In 1834, the year of the great cholera epidemic, word came into town that four men had taken that dread disease up on the stone road, just east of the town, and were lying there, dead. That the greatest excitement existed in the town need not be told, and that Bliss, along with the late Mr. S oures, went up and buried them, and when these men returned from their loathsome mission, that they went down the street, singing a hymn. Bliss took the cholera that night and died.

      "The pioneers of Beverly: a series of sketches" by John A. Cornell" 1889

  • Sources 
    1. [S799] Book - Reminiscenses of the Early History of Galt and the Settlement of Dumfries in the Province of Ontario, 104..

  • Event Map
    Event
    Link to Google MapsBirth - 29 Nov 1803 - of, Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - chair maker - 1827 - Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsEpidemic - Cholera - 1834 - Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - Cause: Cholera - 1834 - Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
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