Waterloo Region Generations
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Rev. Robert E. Knowles 

Rev. Robert E. Knowles

Male 1868 - 1946

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  • Prefix  Rev. 
    Birth  30 Mar 1868  Maxwell, Grey Co., Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2, 3
    Gender  Male 
    Occupation  1901  Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Minister 
    Occupation  1911  Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Pastor, Knox Presbyterian Church 
    Religion  1911  Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Presbyterian 
    Died  15 Nov 1946  [3
    Hall of Fame - Waterloo Region  Bef 2012  , Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    minister 
    Name  R. E. Knowles 
    Eby ID Number  Waterloo-65788 
    Buried  Mount View Cemetery, Cambridge, Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Person ID  I65788  Generations
    Last Modified  24 Oct 2017 

    Family 1  Emma Katie Jones,   b. 14 Oct 1875, , , USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Children 
     1. Elizabeth Knowles,   b. 6 Jul 1899, , Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
    Family ID  F17189  Group Sheet

    Family 2  Elsie,   b. Nov 1872, , Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Children 
     1. Robert Knowles,   b. Jul 1899, , Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     2. Elizabeth Knowles,   b. Nov 1907, , Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
    Family ID  F189277  Group Sheet

  • Photos
    Rev. Robert E. Knowles
    Rev. Robert E. Knowles
    from Waterloo Region Hall of Fame

  • Notes 
    • REV. R.E. KNOWLES 1868-1946

      Member of the Cambridge Hall of Fame (1997)

      Married: 1.?
      2. Georgia Hogg

      Rev. Robert E. Knowles was born in Maxwell, Grey County on March 30, 1868, the son of Rev. Robert Knowles of Ballymena Ireland and his wife Frances Tyne. He was a student at the Galt Collegiate Institute and later attended the University of Manitoba and Queen's University in Kingston while preparing for the ministry. He was ordained in the Presbyterian Church in 1891 and immediately took a position at Stewarton near Ottawa. He held that position until 1898 when he accepted a call to be pastor at Knox's Presbyterian Church in Galt. He came at a time when there was some dissension in the church. By his energetic personality and his passionate eloquence on the pulpit, Rev. Knowles was able to bring a measure of harmony to the congregation that had seldom been seen up to that time. Rev. Knowles was known as an eloquent speaker whose sermons have been described as "spellbinding". One of his admirers has suggested that he was a better and more convincing speaker than many of the great orators of his day. It is little wonder, then, that Knox's Church was full to capacity for many of Rev. Knowles' sermons. Rev. Knowles was a strong supporter of the temperance forces in Galt and his sermon on temperance, delivered on the eve of the vote on Galt's Local Option by-law in January 1910, was credited by many for the victory of the anti-alcohol forces. The by-law prohibited the sale "by retail of spirituous, fermented or other manufactured liquors in the Town of Galt." The by-law remained in force until 1927. His influence in the community was such that it was proposed that he run for mayor of Galt in 1904. He declined, however, to let his name stand. It is reported that as a direct result of the shock that occurred from his involvement in a train wreck in 1911, Rev. Knowles required a number of rest cures. They had little effect and, in 1915, unable to carry out his duties, he resigned both from Knox's Church and the ministry. He continued with a literary career that began in 1905 with the publication of his first novel, "St. Cuthbert's", a book generally conceded to be based on Knox's Church and its congregation. In all Rev. Knowles produced six novels in addition to "St. Cuthbert's". They were "The Attic Guest", "The Handicap", "The Undertow", "The Dawn Shanty", "The Web of Time" and "The Singer of the Kootenay". He was, for many years, a contributor to the Toronto Daily Star and was noted for his interviews with widely-known personalities including scientists, authors, sportsmen, stage stars, politicians, labour leaders, and members of royalty and the peerage. One of his noted assignments was to cover the Scopes "Monkey Trial" in Tennessee where Mr. Scopes, defended by the famous Clarence Darrow, was on trial for teaching the theory of evolution. Mr. Knowles was a member of the Authors' Club of London, England and served as the chaplin of the Ontario Curling Association. He was also a member of First United Church from the time of the union of Methodist and Presbyterian Churches in 1925 until the time of his death on November 15, 1946 at the age of 79. He is buried in Mount View Cemetery.

      Sources:
      1. "Hall of Fame Citation", City of Cambridge Archives, Inducted February 1997.
      2. "Rev. Robert E. Knowles, B.A." Waterloo Historical Society Journal Vol. 34, 1946,
      3. Obituary Galt Daily Reporter Friday November 15, 1946.
      4. Emie Ronnenberg "R.E. Knowles - Minister, Author" Kitchener-Waterloo Record Biography Files City of Cambridge Archives, Date Unknown.
      1a

      1aCambridge Mosaic, Jim Quantrell, 1998, City of Cambridge [used with kind permission of Jim Quantrell]

  • Sources 
    1. [S259] Census - ON, Waterloo, Galt - 1901, Galt (Town/Ville) C-10 Page 1.

    2. [S572] Census - ON, Waterloo, Galt - 1911, Div. 18 Page 3.

    3. [S122] Cemetery - ON, Waterloo, Cambridge - Mount View CC#4495 Internet Link , Robert Edward KNOWLES/ 1868-1946.

    4. [S220] Waterloo Region Hall of Fame Waterloo Region Hall of Fame.

  • Event Map
    Event
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - Minister - 1901 - Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - Pastor, Knox Presbyterian Church - 1911 - Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsReligion - Presbyterian - 1911 - Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsHall of Fame - Waterloo Region - minister - Bef 2012 - , Waterloo Region, Ontario Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - - Mount View Cemetery, Cambridge, Waterloo Region, Ontario Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Maps 
     = Link to Google Earth