The Craig fountain, behind the Town Hall
In the background is the Baptist Church for which William Craig donated the land
from the Port Hope Weekly Times, May 7, 1879
Locals: The Craig Fountain Before Mr Craig's retirement from the position of Mayor, which he so creditably occupied for the two years previously, while in conversation about the bringing of water to the Market Square, he voluntarily offered, if the Market Committee would be able to secure a good stream of water, to stand the expense out of his own private purse, of a fountain. Dr Herriman, Chairman of the Committee, accepted the offer, and another spring was tapped, and its waters united with those already brought to the Square, making a considerable stream of excellent and pure fresh water.
The erection of the fountain was entrusted to Mr Jos Hooper, and he has done his share of the work most creditably. It is made out of free-stone, and stands about ten feet high. On each of its four sides is a lion's head, out of the mouth of each of which, a stream of water runs into a trough, the latter being for horses to drink from. Cups are supplied, so that the thirsty can drink without money and without price.
On the top of the square is a heavy cornice, and this is crowned by a huge ball. The whole presents a very fine appearance. An inscription announces that it was erected by Mayor Craig in 1878.
from the Evening Guide, Tuesday, January 10, 1928
Fifty years ago (1878)
Port Hope in the Early Days - A Glimpse into Town's Past
Wm Craig & Son, Tanners
This very important industry was started in 1852 by the late Wm Craig, and in 1865 Wm Craig Jr was admitted into the firm, under Wm Craig & Son, which has continued to be the name, although since his father died William has become the sole proprietor. They manufacture fine leathers, coloured sheep skin linings for shoe work, bookbinders' leather, calfskin, Russia calf, etc.
They give employment to 40 hands the year round. Their extensive premises enable them to execute a much larger proportion of work than is usual, making it one of the most successful businesses of the kind in Canada.
The late Wm Craig was so immediately identified with Port Hope's history that a few words about him in connection with a description of the town, would not be out of place.
He was always ready to lend his assistance to anything which he thought would advance the interests of the town. He occupied the position of Mayor of the Town several times, was President of the Midland Loan & Savings Company, Chairman of the High School Board and a member of the Harbour Board. He was a prominent member of the Baptist Church and it was through his liberality that the present edifice was built. He was largely instrumental in organizing the benevolent society which has done so much good in the town, and occupied the position of Sunday School superintendent for 21 years. He was a personal friend of the late Sir John A. MacDonald and a life-long Conservative.
The late Col William's, MP, was among his personal friends, and the untimely death of this gallant soldier was most deeply regretted by him. His many acts of kindness will ever keep his memory green in the town, and among many of these was the erection of a drinking fountain in the Market Square, and presentation of it to the town.
His mantle has fallen on his son William, who takes an equal interest in the town, but his large business prevents him from taking the active interest in public affairs that his friends would like. He is a member of the High School Board and was instrumental in organizing the YMCA, and although he does not take an active interest in the management, yet he is one of its mainstays. He is superintendent of the Baptist Sunday school, and was induced to be a member of the Town Council for two years.
T Dixon Craig, MP, the present member for the county is a brother, and was at one time, a member of the firm, but sold out his interests and removed to California, where he resided for a number of years.
PHHS, before the concrete stairway to Pine Street was built
PHHS, cadets on parade 1909
from the Port Hope Weekly Times, Thursday morning, June 4, 1891
As years roll round what ravages Time makes! The hand of death smites the young and the aged, the rich and the poor, and the good and the evil. Every day brings additional reminders that this life is fleeting, and that those who have lived amongst us honourable lives, devoted to the relief of their fellow men and other philanthropic purposes, must take their turn with others, when the angel of death descends and calls them to their long home.
This day the citizens of this town of Port Hope are sad. Their grief is great, greater still will be the sorrow of those to whom the hand that now lies silent in death has ever been open, ever ready to assist, ever cheerful in doing good works. WILLIAM CRAIG is dead. Knowing the deceased gentleman's ideas as to fulsome flattery, we will not mar our memory of him now by indulging in it. He was a noble character, his works speak his worth, and all our citizens know his genial, Christian character better than printed words can tell. An honourable life, marked by deeds of kindness, a generous spirit, an ambition at all times to do right, has closed, and with it the curtain is drawn on a man whose name will live after his grave has grown green, and whose memory will be cherished long after the tolling of the funeral knell has died upon our ears.
The tolling of St John's Church bell at 8:25 o'clock last night was the first intimation given to the public that the spirit had fled. Mr Craig was at his office on Tuesday last, and was in good spirits. He has not been in good health for the past two weeks, but not until Thursday last was he confined to his bed. For the past nine years, Mr Craig has been troubled with heart affection, and his sudden illness was not, therefore surprising. However, the illness increased and Friday it was pretty generally known that Mr Craig could not recover. Friday night at 8:10 climax was reached, and the good old gentleman passed away, after every available resource had been adopted to save his life.
He was conscious up to within an hour of his death, and recognized the members of his family who stood about him. His death was not unaccompanied by pain. The members of his family who reside at a distance from Port Hope were notified of the death this morning by telegraph and cable. The funeral will take place on Tuesday next at 2:30 pm to the Baptist Church, and thence to the Union Cemetery.
William Craig was born in Yorkshire, England, on February 27th, 1819. He lived in Newcastle-on-Tyne until 1843, during which time he learned his trade as a tanner, and was married to Miss Hannah Dixon, who now survives him. In 1843, Mr Craig emigrated to Canada and located at Port Hope. He moved to Buffalo for 5 years, after which he returned to Port Hope where he has resided ever since. He commenced his tanning business in Port Hope in a small way, 39 years ago, and by steady perseverance built up the large and lucrative business which to-day stands as a monument to his energy and integrity.
Mr Craig was a public spirited man, and during his life was leader in charitable and philanthropic enterprises. He was the originator of the Benevolent Society, the largest contributor and the mainstay of the institution in Port Hope. He was a director of Midland Loan & Savings Company, the Port Hope Gas Company and the Hope Consolidated Road Co. For several years he was a member of the Town Council, and in the years 1866/67/77/78, occupied the most honourable position in the gift of his fellow-citizens, as Mayor of the town. He was a member in the High School Board and Public School Board, Harbour Commisioner, and such confidence was reposed in him that he was for many years Trustee of the sinking fund of the harbour. Mr Craig was also a man of influence in church matters. He was a staunch Baptist, and had occupied many honourable positions in the gift of the church. He was the chief mover in the erection of the church in Port Hope and its mainstay for many years. He occupied the position of President of the Ontario Baptist Convention, President of the Baptist Foreign Missionary Society of Ontario and Quebec, and Treasurer of the Ministerial Superannuation Society. He was also an officer in the local Bible Society.
Deceased was a life-long Conservative, and has officiated as President of the Association in East Durham. The nomination for the Riding was placed at his disposal many times, but was always declined on account of his health. He was a bosom friend of the late Col. Williams, and on the death of the Hero of Batoche, was one of the prime movers in the erection of a suitable memorial to his memory. He was President of the Williams Memorial Association. Deceased was a great admirer and personal friend of Sir John A. Macdonald, and it looks as if the old friends are not to be separated long in the world to come.
Deceased leaves a widow and six children surviving him. The family consists of Mrs D Chisholm, T Dixon Craig, MP, William Craig, Mrs Dr Clemesha, Joseph Craig, who resides in Minneapolis, and Rev John Craig, a missionary in India. All the children will be present at the funeral on Tuesday at 2:30 o'clock, with the exception of Rev John Craig who was cabled the sad intelligence Saturday morning. Daily Times, May 30th.
In the Churches
The noble character and generous disposition of the late Mr Craig found a fitting expression in the many touching references which were made to his memory in the churches Sunday, and from every lip fell words of praise and esteem; and feelings of gloom seemed to be everywhere prevalent in consequence of his unlooked-for death. The following references were made to him in the Baptist Church and St John's Church.
The services Sunday morning formed a very appropriate and affectionate tribute of respect to the memory of the deceased, William Craig, Esq. The church was draped in a very tasteful and becoming manner, and a large congregation was present. Every heart was filled with sorrow, and many tears were shed. Hymns 81, 348 and 668 in the Baptist Hymnal were sung. The second was a favourite of the deceased:
"Jesus, the very thought of Thee,
With sweetness fills my breast;
But sweeter far Thy face to see,
And in Thy presence rest."
The full meaning of these words he has now experienced.
The pastor, Rev Mr Reddick, preached, and took his text from II Tim 4; 6-8. His reference to Mr Craig was touchingly made as follows: - We are in deep and sincere mourning to-day as a church and congregation. One has been taken from us who was a friend of the cause, strong and faithful, and true to the end. God was able to fill his place, and He would not let the cause suffer. Yet, years would reveal more and more in sacred memories how large a place, he had filled in our midst. He referred to the breadth of Mr Craig's life, reaching forth to the interests of the town which had bestowed upon him the highest civic honours, - to the Benevolent Society, business and political circles, and the schools, where he had also engraved his memory in characters more enduring than granite. In the work of our denomination he will be missed.
From Manitoba and the North West to Grand Lyne, and from the coral strands of India, will roll back wave after wave of sorrow to mingle tears with ours. And if we knew all, the long list would grow, revealing avenue after avenue of opportunities through which his sympathies and benefactions went forth to benefit and bless far beyond the limits of his own creed and country. Such was the breadth of this life that touched so many lives, and wrought so effectively for the glory of God. To eulogize is not our purpose. This life was made what it was by the grace of God, and to Him be all the glory. But we do well to try and measure the breadth of such a life, in order that we may be led to seek the same grace to broaden our lives and lessen our human infirmities. Every life is a conflict, and in order that ours may be a good conflict, we must be on the side of God and truth. We must have confidence in God - in His Word and in His power, and must possess the self-sacrificing and benevolent spirit of Christ.
The Sunday School held a very impressive memorial service in the Church in the afternoon, at which several short addresses were delivered by the teachers. Very tender and affectionate reference was made to Mr Craig, in his relation to the Sunday School. They sang 'Safe in the Arms of Jesus,' and 'In the Shadow of His Wings;' also a quartette, and two or three duets.
Plaque placed on the wall of the Sanctuary in the Baptist Church by the children of William Craig
St John's Church
Mr Craig, though a consistent and staunch member of the Baptist Church, was not able through failure in health to attend his own place of worship in the evening, and has been attending evening service in St John's. This fact, and the fact that he had become greatly endeared by his broad Christian spirit to the St John's congregation will serve to explain the reference made in the sermon to the loss sustained. Rev Mr Daniel preached last evening from the text, 'Wilt thou be made whole?' (St John v and v) and in introducing his subject made the following kindly reference to his old friend: - I need not remind you, dear brethren, that since we gathered in this church last Sunday evening, we have met with a loss, an irretrievable loss, and that the place so often filled by a much loved brother in Christ is empty to-night, never to be filled again by him it knew so well. I need not remind you of this. You feel it and so do I.
I little thought when I looked into his kindly face last Sunday evening that I should never see him here again. And yet even if we had power to recall him, who would bring him back? 'Thou wilt be better to-morrow,' said a man of God to a dying Christian! 'My brother,' said the dying man 'I shall be well to-morrow, for to-morrow I shall be with Christ.' And so it is sweet to think of our dear departed brother, not as one who is dead, but as one who hath been sick and now is well. But yesterday, it was said of him, as of Lazarus, He whom thou lovest is sick; but yesterday he was battling with a pitiless disease; but yesterday he was racked with the bitter pangs of a painful death; thank God he is well to-night; he is healed to-night. But, brethren, I am sure of this, that not of himself, not of his manly virtues, not of his generous nature, not of his boundless liberality, not of his sterling Christian character, and a manlier, better Chistian I have never met; not of himself, but of his Saviour he would have me, if he knew it, speak to-night; and so as a fitting tribute to his memory, I have chosen Christ, Christ the Healer for my, theme this evening. Oh how he used to urge me every time we chanced to meet to persevere in preaching Christ; preach Christ, preach Christ, he used to say, and by God's help so I will, till travelling days and preaching days are done.
The sermon was based on the healing of the paralyte at the pool of Bethesda, and ended with these words, Oh believe on Christ to-night, accept Him to-night. 'If but one soul from Anworth,' said Rutterford, 'should meet me in Paradise my heaven would be two heavens in Emmanuel's Land.' Oh that I might lay this night upon the altar of our brother's memory, the fadeless immortelle of one precious soul, redeemed forever from sin and death. Oh that through that Paradise to which God hath taken him, there might ring this very hour that shout of joy which cangels raise when one lost sinner comes home to God.'
Service closed with hymn - 'How sweet the hour of closing day.' Daily Times, June 1st.
The funeral of the late William Craig took place yesterday, under the most solemn auspices. The cortege was an immense one, and fittingly represented the esteem in which the deceased gentleman was held. At 2:30 o'clock the family residence was besieged with people. The pupils of the High School were in attendance in a body, and while the assemblage outside awaited the moving of the funeral, the family took a long and sad farewell of their much-beloved husband and father.
Rev Mr Dempsey conducted a short service just prior to the departure for the church. It consisted of a few impromptu words, followed by a reading from the Scriptures, and prayer, Then the remains of the deceased were tenderly carried by six of his faithful workmen to the hearse, and the cortege moved off in the following order:
High School Scholars
Employees of Wm Craig & Son
Town Council, Town Clerk and Treasurer
High and Public School Boards
Directors of the Midland Loan & Savings Company
Citizens on foot and in carriages
The bearers were six of the oldest employees of deceased, Messrs, M Hansman, W Yeo, W Richardson, H Trawin, A McMaster and E Rowland.
The pall-bearers were Messrs, Judge Benson, James Craick, John Mulligan, G M Furby, Dr Purslow and Thos Earl.
The chief mourners were Messrs, T D Craig, MP, W Craig, Jos Craig, D Chisholm, QC, Dr Clemesha, D H Chisholm, Dr John Clemesha and W C Chisholm.
Along Brown street the throng which had gathered to do the last honour to him so beloved, moved, then down Walton street to Queen, down Queen and across the Square to the Baptist Church. In the meantime the rear part of the church was filled to overflowing with members of the Baptist congregation and friends of other denominations. The front pews in the church had been reserved for those who attended the funeral at the residence, and every seat was occupied in a very few minutes after the arrival of the funeral. The church was appropriately decked for the occasion, and the choir were present, all the members thoughtfully costumed in black.
The casket was carried in and placed in front of the pulpit. Rev John Dempsey opened by announcing the 499th hymn - 'Jesus, Lover of My Soul,' which was a great favourite with the late Mr Craig. Mr Dempsey read from Romans, 8th chap, and 1st Thessalonians, 13th chap, after which Rev Mr Reddick led in prayer.
Rev Mr Dempsey
Rev J Dempsey, of Ingersoll, then delivered an interesting address. He said they were gathered there as a last token of respect to one whom they all loved and admired. This was an occasion which stood out with peculiar significance, inasmuch as a much respected brother had been called away. Sometimes men were called away whose devotion to Christian duty made their departure striking indeed. They leave a place behind them not easily filled. They pass away, and the enquiry now heard by those who remain is, 'Who will accept the standard that has fallen from the relaxed hands?' It is just such a case as that before us to-day. A man has been taken away whose standing as a man is to be admired, whose virtues as a man may well be honoured, whose influence as a man in any community has been for good, and for good only.
But as a Christian, as one called of God in early life out of the world's darkness, into the light and tho life and the liberty of grace, whose whole life has been built on the principles fof the Bible - brought into that life - lived up to it - an estimable man - the loss of such a man is, indeed, a loss! But is it the man? A man is what God makes him, and 'their works do follow them.' Down to the end of time the influences set on foot by our departed brother, will go on growing and sweeping into eternity before us thousands who are being saved by Christ, an influence felt not only in the town of which he was a citizen, in the Dominion, to which he belonged, but in the far away East, where his youngest son is now one of the most efficient and laborious missionaries of the church, and where so much of his means have gone, that the heathen may be gathered to Christ. Mr Dempsey then called upon the pastor, Rev D Reddick, to speak a few words of tribute to the memory of his departed brother.
Rev Mr Reddick—It is my privilege on this sad occasion to say a few words as to the loss we have sustained as a church and congregation. It would be a difficult task for me in the few remarks I have to speak, to at all adequately set before you the length, breadth, and depth of our loss. Indeed I shall not endeavor to do so. I assure you it will be impossible to speak in this place in future without thinking upon the subject which has brought us here, and the thoughts that arise therefrom. We will always think that our loss has been our brother's gain. To realize how great our loss is, we need to remember how much he did and what he was to the cause here. I could not tell you all about him as the founder, and I may say builder of this church. I could not tell you all the exertions and devotion by which he supported and maintained the cause here, not alone materially, but more especially in a spiritual sense, by his prayers, his advice, his example and his life in our midst here.
It has been my privilege to he associated with our departed brother as pastor, although it was during the declining years of his life. Yet I saw enough to estimate to some extent the real worth of the man. No one but a pastor knows the value of a genuine Christian, and what it is to have a man on whom you can always depend, a man whom you know will always be steadfast and firm at every hour. No one but a pastor can estimate such a loss when it occurs. We never thought of our departed brother but that he would be in his place - that he would do all in his power in every way to further the cause of Christ in our midst. We never thought that he would be lacking to the cause of Christ in its best interests. No one will differ from me in the conviction that he was a noble man. During the time I have been here, I have felt the immeasurable help he was in the prayer meeting, and those who know what an agency in church work this department is, will realize how much we feel his removal. During the winter months, when he was unable to be with us, we always missed him, and when the warmer weather in spring came, we were glad to have him back.
We will never forget his prayers, overflowing with words of divine inspiration, pleading with God and bringing us near the Throne with him. We will ever miss his voice. I cannot estimate the loss we have sustained. We shall go on feeling it week after week, month after month, year after year while God spares us to worship in this house; but God will no doubt raise up others who will not let the cause languish. We have still faith in Him who gave us Mr Craig, to give us another to take his place, but we will miss our departed friend more than words can tell. While I am speaking, do not think I am eulogizing the man; he was by the grace of God what he was; he was not of himself, but it was God who made him great; it was the grace of God that opened his hand and his heart, and now let us give Him all the glory. We have a lesson in our departed brother in this respect; while we all miss him, there are none who feel it more deeply than I do. I ask you to receive these few words, so inadequately expressed, as indicative of my feeling towards our late brother, William Craig.
Rev James Grant
Rev Mr Dempsey - Mr Craig's influence was largely concentrated in so far as the work in this church that owes so much to him is concerned. I can remember when it was far from being as strong as it was to-day. I know something of what it owes to him. But while he laboured for it and for its prosperity, his labours were not confined to Port Hope. The denomination to which he belongs is under deep obligation to him, the educational and missionary department of work have been assisted by him. For extending the Kingdom of God, he was ever a good man in counsel, in giving, in praying and in every feature of church work. We have with us to-day Rev Mr Grant, Secretary of the Missionary Board, who will say a few words.
Rev Mr Grant - William Craig is a gentleman I have loved for years, as a child loves its father. Many years ago it was given to me to see into the noble character of this noble man who has passed away, and my esteem blossomed into an affection that was fillial. When news came to me that he was sick, followed so soon by news that he was dead, I felt that something had been wrenched out of my own life, that some sunshine had been taken out of my own existence that would never never come back to me again. I can remember well some experiences I have had with him, when times of terrible darkness came upon my own soul, how his hand was the first laid in mine to steady me, and his loving voice was the first voice that cheered me. My heart went up to William Craig more than to anyone else. I cannot tell you who live here what kind of a man he was, he has lived amongst you well nigh all his life. You have known his public and private life, you know all about his benefactions, but I desire to say a few words as they come into my own experience regarding this man. It has been said that he was a noble man, and he was indeed a noble man, and he held the fact of his nobility direct from God himself.
There was no duplicity about him - a genuine, straight-forward man in every sense of the word. A gentleman here to-day who has had extended commercial relations with him for years, told me he was a genuine man through and through, and those of you who have known him for years know how true that is, that he was a noble man indeed. He was a wise councillor. I had the good fortune to be with him upon an important church board and in that way we stood on the very closest relations with each other, he as chairman and myself as secretary. I had to pass through days of darkness at times, and the wisdom of his counsel was to me invaluable. I can testify to the wealth of wisdom that was in the heart and brain of our brother who has been taken away. As long as I live I shall remember the two hours I spent with him at the Queen's Hotel, Toronto, about three weeks ago. I thank God from the bottom of my heart that I knew William Craig; he made me a better man.
Death was no surprise to him. He had been looking for this grim messenger for years, but his secret of a well anchored life was in the Gospel of Christ. I am sure with all of us who have known this noble man, something has been taken away from our lives that will never come back. Our brother is with God, who will send some other man to take his place, but there was a special individuality about William Craig that endeared him to everyone of us and made his counsel so invaluable.
Rev Mr Daniel, Rector of St John's church, was then called upon to speak.
Rev Mr Daniel - I feel that speaking in the presence of many who are much better qualified to speak in regard to the character of our dear departed brother, it would be out of place for me to multiply words. The pastor of this church has said in his address that when winter came and Mr Craig not able to attend prayer meeting, they missed him in this church. I can say that when winter came that we were glad at St John's church to have him with us. I can feel with our brother in the loss he has sustained. I can sympathize with him as a pastor. I know what it is to lose such a faithful worker, such a wise councillor and such a faithful friend. I can sympathize with the congregation for the loss they have sustained. I can only say that the acquaintance I have had with him has been to me what it has been to him who has just addressed us - a means of grace. I never visited him that I did not learn something from him, and although my acquaintance was a limited one, I thank God that we had the opportunity of holding sweet counsel together.
I feel that the acquaintance I have had with him has been to me an inspiration and a stimulus to everything that is Christian, and liberal and holy. I only hope that the same may be the case with us all. It is far easier to admire than it is to imitate. It is far easier to respect than to follow, and so I would say to myself and you, by the memory of one who hated shams if ever anyone did hate a sham; by the love of one whose life was the embodiment of love and liberality; by the faithfulness of one who, if one was ever faithful, he was faithful; by the simple Christian faith of a believer in Christ, if ever there was a believer in Christ; by the sincerity of one to whom flattery when he was alive would have been an insult, and whom to flatter now would be little better than a sacrilege - by that memory, by that love, by that faithfulness and sincerity, let us all walk as he walked, let us live as he lived, let us die as he died. Then, dear brethren, we shall die the death of the righteous, and our last end shall be like his.
'So shall our walk be close with God,
Calm and serene our frame,
So purer light shall mark the road,
That leads us to the Lamb.'
The congregation then sang Hymn No. 362, 'Abide with me, fast falls the even tide', after which the lid of the casket was removed and the children of the Sunday School filed past the casket, and took a last look at their old friend. They were followed by the pupils of the schools, and in turn by the citizens.
The funeral then formed and moved to the cemetery, a vast concourse of people attending on foot and in carriages. At the grave the usual solemn burial service was performed.