Chapter III – Kathleen Douglas

OLDER SISTERS, YOUNGER BROTHER

Kathleen Douglas Young was born in 1881.  She is the first born child of James M. Young and Georgina A. Young and would become elder sister to Elsie Georgina, Alan Vernon, and James Vernon.
Born in 1881, when Queen Victoria ruled, she would see kings and queens rule the British Empire and witness numerous royal visits to Canada.  This country, Canada, would be lead by fifteen Prime Ministers during her life; commencing with Sir John A. Macdonald and concluding with Pierre Elliott Trudeau.

OVERVIEW
The Gaiety of the 1890s

Dispatch from Seattle

Klondike Gold Rush

Klondike Gold Rush

When the first ship arrived in Seattle with news of the Klondike gold fields, the telegraph lines hummed with the discovery.  Did the Young family talk about this in the parlour? Did they read the editions of the Hamilton Herald and Hamilton Spectator?  Did they know personally anyone who caught “the fever.”?

As the gold rush news swept along the streets, it wooed many men to undertake an ardorous journey, which they were woefully unsuited or unprepared for.  Tailors, shopkeepers and factory workers made plans for the Klondike. Mr. A.D. Stewart, a former mayor, was one of those.

Arthur Hemming penned an article published in the Hamilton Spectator which trumpeted the “Overland Route” from Edmonton to the Klondike.

A.D. Stewart never made it to the gold fields. He perished enroute near the Peel River after injuring himself and succumbed to scurvy in March of 1899.

Eric A. Hegg’s photography documented the Klondike. His images of the men on the Chilkoot Pass and the Easter Avalanche of 1898 at The Scales splashed across the papers of the country. Did the family travel to New York in 1901 to view the exhibition of Hegg’s work.?

1900-1910

Each decade would bring challenges and changes, both to the family and the city.  At the turn of the century, the year 1900, Hamilton extended from Gage Avenue in the east to Chedoke Creek in the west and from the Bay in the north to the Mountain Brow in the south.

Military Parades at Gore Park, Hamilton

Military Parades at Gore Park, Hamilton

Her father, James M. Young valued the military. Perhaps the growing family would attend the parades at Gore Park honouring the regiments returning from the Boer conflict in South Africa?

Boer conflict in South Africa

Boer conflict in South Africa

Neighbourhoods developed roots around the established works and mills and the fledging industries which located near the water and railways. As the family businesses, the Hamilton Cotton Company and Imperial Mills prospered, so did the Young family.

Kathleen moved with her parents as they purchased homes 91 MacNab Street South (1885-1902), 194 Park Street (1902-1906), and lastly, to Oak Bank at 301 James Street South. The Young family would maintain ownership of Oak Bank for 42 years from 1906 to 1947

Mr. and Mrs. P.D. Crerar, who were friends of James M. and Georgina A. Young, lived nearby at Dunedin at 325 James Street South.

1910-1920

What type of woman was Kathleen? What were her interests? Was she political?  Did she follow the Suffragette Movement?  Was she socially progressive?

Prime Minister Sir Robert Borden granted the right to vote to British female subjects.

In Hamilton, Stelco and Dominion Foundries (Dofasco) opened their steel mills and the Firestone Rubber and Tire Company established itself.  In the Durand neighbourhood, The Herkimer Apartments opened in July of 1915. It was the first apartment building with elevators which operated from the first to fifth floors. The lands which became Gage Park, which is located in the eastern part of the city, were purchased by the city in 1918.  Green houses were constructed in 1919. John Lyle would design the fountain in the 1920s.

In the spring of 1910, King Edward VII passed away.  His second son, George V ascended to the throne. Challenges and changes would echo throughout this decade for the Empire, for Canada, for Hamilton and for the Young family.

The Society Blue Book of Toronto, Hamilton and London in 1911 listed the prominent families in a registry.

Kathleen and Elsie received guests on Friday afternoons.

This was a decade of marriages for the children of James and Georgina Young. With a span of four years, Alan, Kathleen, Elsie Georgina and James V. would marry and start families.

Miss Kathleen Douglas Young married Mr. Walter Price Lindsey of Hamilton on Wednesday, April 26th, 1911.  Their first residence would be 200 Main Street West.

Walter Price Lindsey worked in the textile industry. Perhaps, he knew the Young family prior to his marriage.  He was employed in the family business, the Hamilton Cotton Company, as a cost accountant.

The Lindsey family resided near the Greening, Sanford, Braden and Southam families.  Across the street from their home at the corner of Hess Street was Arlo House, which was the home of Mr. and Mrs. F.F. Dalley.  By 1912, Arlo House would undergo some changes.  The stables were converted into quarters for the chauffeur.

Kathleen and Walter would have one son, James Douglas, who was born in 1912.

The middle of the decade contained loss for the Young family. It is unknown, how they received the news about the sinking of the Lusitania in May 1915. Certainly, the loss of her parents weighed upon Kathleen, as is did for Elsie, Alan and James.

One year later, in 1916, Walter and Kathleen endured the loss of their son, James Douglas, age 4. The family gathered as young James was laid to rest in the family plot.

James M. Young and Georgina A. Young raised their children to give to varied philanthropic causes which would build and enrich the community and the city. One of these was the Hamilton Sanatorium.

The Annual Report of 1919 lists Mr. F.F. Dalley, Mr. J.N. Dallley, Mr. St. Clair Balfour and Mr. A. V. Young as Sustaining Members.  Mr. Walter Price Lindsey, Mr. Walter Burrill Sr., Mr. N.S. Braden and Mr. J.V. Young are listed among the Active Members.

Henry Frost died unexpectedly, succumbing to the Spanish Flu, during a business trip to New York City in 1919.  He had moved the family from Hess Street South to their new home at 1 Markland a few years earlier.

The Interwar Years

The Roaring 20s & The Hard Decade

Kathleen and Walter Lindsey sold 200 Main Street West.  The City of Hamilton Vernon’s Directory for 1926 gives the address of the Lindsey family.  It is 378 Hess Street South, which was Mr. and Mrs. Henry Frost’s first home in Hamilton.

What happened during the intervening years after one great war concluded and the next commenced?

Kathleen and Walter’s city changed yet again. Thomas B. McQueston, a local M.P.P. served in the Cabinet of Premier Mitchell Hepburn. His decisions would shape some of the change in Hamilton. There were gatherings at Whitehern.  Nearby, on the rise known as Nob Hill, change came too.

Neighbours and friends passed away.  William Southam died quietly in 1932.  Lady Gibson passed away in January of 1934.  In 1939, Mrs. Harriet Sanford joined her husband W.E. Sanford. Mrs. Rosa Herald Greening was laid to rest.  Pinehurst, Fonthill and Wesanford stood silent, yet alive with memories.

Pinehurst residence

Pinehurst residence

Wesanford, the Sanford’s palatial estate, would be emptied; the furnishings would be sold off.  A prominent local builder, W.H. Yates, proclaimed that an apartment block would rise on the grounds. On August 11, 1939, The Hamilton Spectator reported that ‘houses of a medium price class will be erected instead.”

Did Kathleen and Walter take an interest in the Royal Visits of Prince Edward, Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) in 1919 and 1927 when he was joined by Prince George?  When King George VI and Queen Elizabeth embarked on the Royal Tour of Canada in 1939, did they follow the accounts in the local newspapers?

AFTERWORD

Coming Home

In 1945, with her nephews returning home from the theatres of war, her husband Walter passed away at the age of 69. What became of Kathleen in the years after 1945?  Did she keep the home on Hess Street South or did she occupy Oak Bank until it was sold in 1947? Did she reside with Elsie, Alan, or James for a period of time?

The Grand Homes

The family homes mentioned in the two decades from 1910 to 1930 have by and large disappeared; consigned to the pages of history and nostalgic memory. The survivors stand out in plain view, evoking images of streetscapes a century ago.

Arlo House:  The home of Fenner Frederick Dalley sits at the corner of Hess St South and Main Street West.  The Dalley family owned Arlo House, an Italianate mansion, from 1908-1938 until John Fawcett purchased it. Currently, it is home to a dental practice and the owners have proudly maintained many of the original features of the mansion including the Arlo House shields over the doors.

Fonthill, the home of Samuel Owen Greening and Rosa Herald Greening, was brief carriage ride or walk from Arlo House. It still graces what remains of Nob Hill.

Pinehurst, once the home of William Southam is directly across the street from Fonthill. It is currently occupied by CHCH Television.

Wesanford, William and Harriet Sanford’s grand estate, though demolished, is home to the houses of Wesanford Place.  Each home has an architectural feature of the estate.

200 Main Street West, the first home of Kathleen and Walter Lindsey is gone. There were grand plans to make the corner a distinctive address known as the Riviera.  The parcel of land has been owned by the Otis Group which leases the land out as parking spaces. An empty lot sits where the house stood.

378 Hess Street South which is located south of Aberdeen Avenue remains complete with carriage house.  It was the home once of the Frost family and then Walter and Kathleen Douglas Lindsey.

Kathleen and Walter’s Hamilton

Below are a few photographs which convey the city in which they married and lived and how it changed during the course of their lifetimes.

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Kathleen Douglas Young Lindsey lived to the age of 100.  She passed away in 1981. Kathleen is interred with her husband Walter and their son James in the family plot in Hamilton Cemetery.

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“The Young Family” Backstories:

Chapter 1 – Alan Vernon
Chapter 2 – James Vernon
Chapter 3 – Kathleen Douglas
Chapter 4 – Elsie Georgina