Waterloo Region Generations
A record of the people of Waterloo Region, Ontario.

Mayor William Langmead Distin

Male Cal 1789 - 1879  (~ 90 years)


Personal Information    |    Media    |    Notes    |    Sources    |    Event Map    |    All    |    PDF

  • Name William Langmead Distin 
    Prefix Mayor 
    Born CALC 30 Jul 1789  Plympton Saint Mary, , Devonshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2
    Gender Male 
    Business Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Galt Edge Tool Company 
    Interesting business, life story, 
    Name W. L. Distin 
    Religion 1871  Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Church of England 
    Eby ID Number Waterloo-121712 
    Died 30 Sep 1879  Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Buried Trinity Anglican Cemetery, Cambridge, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Person ID I121712  Generations
    Last Modified 29 Sep 2019 

    Family Amelia Granville,   b. 1790, , England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Children 
     1. Catharine Distin,   b. 1824, , England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     2. Mary Louise Distin,   b. 7 Oct 1824, Cincinnati, Hamilton, Ohio, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 3 Mar 1903, Montreal, Ile De Montreal, Quebec Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 78 years)
    Last Modified 30 Sep 2019 
    Family ID F34795  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - CALC 30 Jul 1789 - Plympton Saint Mary, , Devonshire, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBusiness - Galt Edge Tool Company - - Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsReligion - Church of England - 1871 - Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 30 Sep 1879 - Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - - Trinity Anglican Cemetery, Cambridge, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Photos
    William Langmead Disten Sr
    William Langmead Disten Sr

  • Notes 
    • Death of W.L. Distin, Esq. - On Tuesday morning last, in the 91st year of his life, this gentleman breathed his last. In failing health for the past year or more and at his advanced age, it was evident for some time that the end was approaching, and we are glad to say that his last days were spent without suffering and that quietly and gently he yielded up the life which in his hand had been active and useful and most widely known and honoured.

      Mr. W.L. Distin was a native of Devonshire, England, having been born in Plympton, St. Mary's, in the year 1789. He came to America in 1819 and settled in Cincinnati, where he was well known on the Ohio, Mississippi and Alabama rivers, as the owner and commander of vessels n the cotton trade. He came to Canada and settled in Hamilton in 1839, residing in the city until 1853, when he came to Galt to live with his son-in-law, Mr. Dale, residing her ever since.

      There are few men the chronicle of whose life would be more instructive and interesting than that of Mr. Distin, or that would contain a wider record of good deeds, and general love and respect for all with whom he was brought in contact, and few have departed from amongst us whose memory will longer remain green in the minds of his friends.

      Arriving in America in its early days, he saw that country in a comparatively primitive state and with his habits of observation and keen memory, he could tell of many strange adventures and hardships encountered during his residence there. One journey from Albany to Pittsburg in 1819 is particularly illustrative of the state of sixteen gentlemen from England left Albany by stage for Pittsburg, but finding the process a tiresome one they started to walk the journey and lost twelve of their number on the road, the others arriving so far ahead of their baggage, that Mr. Distin, in order to fill up the time, walked from Pittsburg to Niagara Falls and returned, thence making his way from Pittsburg to New Orleans in a flat-boat he had purchased and freighted. After his arrival in New Orleans he went to England and returned with his family in 1820, coming by way of Quebec and making the journey of the St. Lawrence and Lakes Ontario and Erie to Cleveland, then by ox-team into Mercer County where he built a scow on the Bank of Bear Creek and waited for the rise of the water to float him and his little family and belongs to Pittsburg and Cincinnati, starting on his voyage with three broken ribs.


      In Canada, from 1839 to 1853, it may be truly said of him that he was associated in every good, benevolent and patriotic movement. In Educational matters he took a deep interest, and the people of the city in those days were greatly indebted to him for the exertions he made to secure for them the first establishment of their central school. Taking an active interest in all charitable projects, he founded in the city the St. George's Benevolent Society, and was largely the means of securing the establishment of similar societies in different parts of our Province. In those days these societies were not societies in name, but with the large tide of emigration then setting in for Canada, many of poor family arrived in our country, penniless and almost hopeless, and to these the brethren of that order were ever ready to stretch forth a helping, friendly hand, and it is not too much to say that many a prosperous home of today owes its origin to the assistance and counsel of the members of the order of whom the deceased was over the head and front. During the year Mr. Distin was Mayor of Hamilton he inaugurated our national holiday, the birthday of our beloved Queen. The year that saw its first celebration in Canada we know, but we trust the day will never come when Canadians can say they have seen the last. The sad times of the visitations of ship fever and cholera, now only memories, found our deceased friend ready at his post with aid and assistance, and during all those trying years he was ever found the willing friend of those in distress. He won and held the affection of all who knew him of old in Hamilton, and while ever a strong Conservative, and using his time and influence without stint in support of the party headed by Sir John Macdonald, he so conducted his political life as to avert all harshness or bigotry, and while differing from many, he yet succeeded in retaining their respect and friendship, and was honored for his manly virtues of consistence and honesty of purpose.

      During his residence of twenty-six years in Galt, we can only say that he enjoyed to the fullest extent the respect and esteem of our townsmen, and, as we have said before, there are but few amongst us but will surely miss his kindly greeting, his merry joke, his genial and smiling face, sure index of the soft and tender heart within his breast.

      Galt Reporter Oct 3 1879 pg 2

      _____________________________


      William Langmead Distin was a Galt manufacturer and is credited the phrase "The Manchester of Canada" to Galt. Born in Devonshire, England and came to Galt about aged 70. He was owner of the Galt Edge Tool Co. possibly may have been a partner with Henry Date.


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

  • Sources 
    1. [S570] Census - ON, Waterloo, Galt - 1871, Div. 1, Pg. 10.

    2. [S505] Cemetery - ON, Waterloo, Cambridge - Trinity Anglican (Galt) CC#4497 Internet Link .
      In memory of/ William Langmead Distin/ a native of/ Devonshire England/ died in Galt/ on the 30th Sept. 1879/ aged 90 years & 2 mos./ "Bledded are the pure in heart for they shall see God"