Port Hope has been blessed with its fair share of colourful characters.
Here are two who were well known in their time and should not be allowed to sink into oblivion.
There is very little information on them. Most of what I present here was gathered by my father, Cal Clayton. It was through him
that I learned of these people. If you can add anything, especially a picture, I would happily include it in this small memorial to a
couple of galloping ghosts from Port Hope's past.
DAVE HALL (Feb 23, 1823-Nov 5, 1901).
William Hall (May 29, 1796-June 9, 1882) married Elizabeth Norris (1805-December 16, 1885).
She was born in Ireland. Both are buried in Port Hope Union Cemetery. They had 7 children, the second of whom was once famous in
Port Hope and surrounding area as 'The Flying Tailor'.
The picture on the left, of an unknown Port Hoper, was once run in the Guide to see if anyone could identify it; no one did. I think it likely
that this is David Hall.
Supplement to the Port Hope Times, December 11,
Dave Hall, Modern Demosthenes, Delights a Port Hope Audience.
All About National Sentiments. Dave Hall is an orator. He is an unapproachable orator. He is a versatile orator. He is a
natural-born orator. And he is an orator of a unique sort.
Dave Hall (we call him Dave because there is only one great and original genius and that is himself, and because great men never have
the prefix Mr before their names, or Esq. after them, and who ever heard of Mr Napoleon Bonaparte, or Mr Wellington, etc?) lectured in
Port Hope town hall Friday night.
Just how this auspicious event came about is one of those things no fellow can tell, but the fact remains, he lectured.
The audience was not so large that spectators had to climb over the shoulders of the densely packed auditorium, nor did any one have to
sit on any one else's auricular appendage in order to catch a glimpse of the justly celebrated inhabitant of the Hopeful town.
But the audience was a select, appreciative and small one, considering the talents of the distinguished tongue-thresher.
The component portions of the audience were on the qui vive, and expectation ran high. And while they are pouring in - one at a
time - and each one a considerable distance between, let us take a glance at the hero and immortalize ourselves by drawing a pen portrait
of him as he indulges in the reveries, which always possess great minds when they are anxiously and nervously awaiting an event they
are sure is going to happen, but never does.
Dave is a man who is now at that mature stage of life which is never surprised at anything and always is prepared for the worst, by looking
on the bright side of the shield every time. It is evident that he has seen more powerful days, and it is quite as evident that he has, as the
years rolled around, been imperceptibly gaining in culture and knowledge, until he stands now the foremost extemporaneous speaker in
Canada, perhaps in the world. The first thing that strikes the careless observer is that delicately formed, yet strong and massive jaw, which
supports a most comprehensive mouth, and which one insensibly compares with that of the Hon Edward Blake. It is full of wonderful expression.
Almost any feeling which sways the orator as he is in one of his organic nights of eloquence is fully portrayed by the flexible organ. Then the
massive brow, whose perceptives distinctly discover to the gazer, that the man is much more than an ordinary character, attracts universal
admiration, and this is well balanced by the large bumps of approbativeness and self-esteem situated, a little to the rear of the coronal structure
of the living embodiment of all eloquence. It is covered with long, straight hair, of a greyish tinge. The ears are of full capacity, and should do an
immense amount of hearing for their possessor. Descending, we find a srtiking resemblance to the Talmagian body, both in shape, size, and
general acrobatic stage action. The pedal extremities of the whole would be models for Puck in sketching the great dramatic, acrobatic, and
sensational preacher of New York. We must not forget the rows of ivory which adorn the hash receptacle of Dave, and which are shown to the
utmost advantage and blackness and brokenness when the winning smile, which so often captures the audience, is visible. A very effective stage
trick possessed by this celebrated character of modern times, is a habit of bending his nether limbs outward and with a forward inclination during
the effective passages in the torrents of thought, which are so vividly conveyed to the hearer. In fact, it would require a Dickens to picture with
due amplitude and subtle expression the many charms possessed by the subject of this sketch.
But he lectured. His subject was 'National Sentiments', and we are extremely sorry that our space forbids more than the merest outline of his
really enchanting and eloquent rhapsodies on the aforesaid subject.
And here it is: - "I cannot say Mr Chairman, because there ain't none; but I can say gentlemen. (Here Dave unrolled a paper containing
voluminous notes.) I may not refer (took a drink) to my paper, but it is a handy thing to have around a lecture table. (At this point he took out
his boar's tusk mounted specs, and while adjusting them Mr Gamble placed a candle in a tin
candelabra on the lecture table.) As I was saying
(another drink) the United States is a great protection sentiment welded together into one person. Their unborn millions (a huge laugh from the
audience, and a winning smile from the speaker), ah, you may laugh but there's money in it. To resume, I believe a protective sentiment - a
national sentiment if you will - is Wright, who delivered a most gorgeous speech on Canadian protection here once last year, and he is a great
friend of mine, as is Sir John A Macdonald (great rolling of the orator's eyes and lolling of his taster). The Czar and the Rag Baby are dead,
and the Jews are uncivilized. I believe the triumvirate of Port Hope is a despotism, which are trying to reassemble the ghosts of all ancient
superstition and who wants us to fall (still another drink) wants us to fall down and worship heathen gods. (A quid of fine-cut here passed
very close proximity to the orator's potato grinders.) We must look at surroundings (spread and effective stage business here intervened)
and I am confident a man never saw this phase of lunacy (violent bob of his head) worked up more than in the market by-law to prevent
selling on Sunday. Yes (stretching himself to his full stature and an inch more) this is fan dubs, and echo answers, where?"
We are sorry we are compelled to abridge the report of this interesting lecture, and can only say in extenuation that no short-hand man
in the world could do full justice to the very able, comprehensive exposition of National Sentiments by Dave Hall.
Let us live in hope we may hear him again.
from The Port Hope Times, Thursday, February 12, 1891.
Honourable David Hall, DB's lecture on the subject of Unrestricted Reciprocity in the town hall Wednesday was productive of a great deal of sport
among the boys, and some of the older hands as well, who attended. There was plenty of sport going, also bushels of peas, beans and other
missiles, but the speaker cared not a whit for such factious opposition, and continued his lecture without a falter. Things got so hot at one
time that one of the local 'amusin' cusses' arose and protested vehemently against 'so many bouquets.' Our only orator dilated for half
an hour on 'Unrestricted Reciprocity,' and was just finishing a pathetic peroration, when somebody yelled, "What about Mrs
O'Shea?" This brought on a discussion of Mr Parnell and the Irish trouble, and before the lecture
closed he had been tempted to give
expression to his opinion on the subjects religion, the pending election, and other general matters. At the conclusion, one of the gentlemen
present arose and nominated Mr Hall as a candidate for the House of Commons. The nomination was enthusiastically received, but the
lecturer declined it, saying "he was too humble to aspire to such an eminence.
from The Port Hope Times. Thursday. April 19, 1891.
The Honourable David Hall, DF, delivered a masterly address Monday night at the Royal Hotel on the subject of the Trade relations between
Canada and the United States. A communication was sent to Mr Hall about a week ago, inviting him to deliver an address before a
select company, which was followed by a reply accepting the same. Last night the parlours of the Royal were crowded to hear what
proved to be a master-piece of eloquence, and David was cheered to the echo many and many a time. Mr Hall went into the mysteries
of the McKinley Bill, the New Orleans Riots, the European war cloud, and finished up on the religious question of 'After
David's eloquence was marvelous, and so inspired were the audience that after the conclusion of his address, which lasted three
quarters of an hour, the degree of 'Honourable' was conferred on him by a standing vote. A collection of $2 was then made up, and the
purse handed to Port Hope's only orator, with profuse thanks for the hour's entertainment. A lemonade with a ginger-ale stick in it, and
a cigar, were added to the contribution by the genial host, and David started for Englishtown a proud and happy man.
Evening Guide, April 17, 1908.
'THE FLYING TAILOR'.
A great runner in his time - Beat out stage coach -
Defeated a race horse and accomplished many other feats.
Late David Hall's record discussed in Peterboro.
Owing to the big walking match which is to be held in Peterboro next week the principal subject for discussion in the Electric City at the
present time, is walking.
During an interesting conversation on this subject the other evening an old resident, probably a former Port Hoper, asked his group if
they had ever heard about the Flying Tailor of Port Hope. Some of the older members had, but the following victory was listened to
with much interest.
"His right name was Dave Hall", he said, but on account of his ability to cover ground on foot he was called the 'Flying Tailoo', for he
was able to manipulate a needle and thread with some degree of dexterity. About forty years ago everybody in the district knew, or
had heard about the Port Hope runner. He was a little short fellow, hardly as short as David Hartley, but he could hit up a pace that
had stages, race horses and everything else looking cheap. The 'Flying Tailor' wasn't a walker; he was a runner. When forty or fifty
years of age he thought nothing of running from Port Hope to Peterborough in the morning and back again at night. He wore a long
black coat with split tails and a black silk hat pushed far back on his head, and was a familiar figure through the whole district. One
of his delights was to meet the passengers when they landed on the wharf at Port Hope from one of the lake steamers, and then to
run to Cobourg and be on the wharf there when the boat arrived. In those days the boats called at Port Hope and then went direct to
Cobourg. The story is also told of how the 'Flying Tailor' was pitted against a race-horse at Port Hope for a mile race and beat out
the equine. The course was from a certain point in the town to the wharf and return, and the tailor was able to get enough lead in
starting and in making the turn, to win the race with a good margin to spare. The horse had to be slowed down to make the turn,
whereas the runner on foot swung around a post, and didn't lose a second in getting started on the home stretch.
When the 'Flying Tailor' was in his prime, there was no railway between Peterborough and Port Hope and the journey was made
by stage. The Port Hope runner considered stages too slow however, and made it on foot. He would start from Port Hope a half
hour after the stage had left there and beat it out to Peterborough by a half hour or more. Some years later when the railway had
been built, the 'Flying Tailor' was attending an Orange celebration at Lindsay and on the return trip the engine of the train on which
the Port Hope contingent was travelling home, broke down, at Millbrook.
The 'Flying Tailor' annoyed at the delay, got off the train and finished the journey on foot, beating out the train to Port Hope.
The 'Flying Tailor' was an enthusiastic Tory, and on one occasion when he was acting as poll clerk at Bewdley, at the head of the lake,
he beat out a team of horses in reaching Port Hope, with the result of the voting at the poll with which he was connected.
DIED: HALL - At Port Hope, on Tuesday Nov 5, 1901, in the 79th year of his
age, David Hall.
Land Mark Removed - One of the most noted land marks in Port Hope was removed at an early hour Tuesday Morning. David Hall,
the subject of this notice, was born in Consecon, Prince Edward County on Feb 23, 1823. He came to Port Hope when but a child, and
has lived here ever since. He was well-known far and wide as 'The Flying Tailor', and has several times left Port Hope when the Line
boat started for Cobourg and been on the wharf when the steamer arrived. He was a member of the Methodist church, and his voice
was often heard at the prayer meeting. The cause of death was blood-poisoning, which he
contracted he said, while sewing carpets.
He passed peacefully away at two o'clock am, in full hope of eternal life. Mr John Wallace was with him during the night and attended
to his wants. The funeral took place on Wednesday at 4 o'clock to the Union Cemetery.
FUNERAL - The funeral of the late David Hall took place on Wednesday. The Reverend
E B Lanceley, pastor of the Methodist church
conducted the service at the residence and at the cemetery. The following gentlemen acted as pall bearers: - Messrs William Quay,
F W Galbraith, Thomas Wickett, E A Powers, H Fulford and George Wilson. J L Thompson drove the minister to the cemetery.
James Reynolds was the son of Stephen Reynolds (1815-1880) and Susannah Bunt
(1829-May 5, 1879). Born in Cobourg, Ontario,
he was a Port Hope barber whose celebrity made his endorsement of a patent medicine worthwhile to a 'Dr Slocum'.
He died in the Port Hope hospital of pulmonary tuberculosis and was buried in St Peter's Anglican Church
along side his wife, Anne W Gordon (May 6, 1832-December 24, 1864).
The 1881 census has him in Port Hope with a wife, Mary Jane, 23 and a son Harold, 3. The 1901 census shows him still in
Port Hope, alone, as does the census of 1911.
His son, Harold J D Reynolds eventually moved to Rochester NY. Any further information would be welcome.
from the Evening Guide, June 5, 1906,
June 3rd, 1906.
Jimmy Reynolds leaves tomorrow on his walk to Toronto for a wager of $135 that he can make it in twenty-four hours. The bet
was made on May 12th between a local sport and Reynolds and each deposited $10 on the wager. Another man offered to wager $35
that the trip could not be made and this was also quickly taken up by Reynolds. On Saturday night the balance of the principle money
was deposited with the stake holder, Mr William Evans and all doubt as to the race coming off was removed. Jimmy leaves tomorrow
morning from the Queen's Hotel at seven o'clock.
Jimmy Reynolds, who is known by every citizen in town, left this morning at 7 o'clock on his walk to Toronto in twenty-four hours, to
win a wager of $135. Jimmy is 55 years old and two hundred people were down town this morning to see him off. According to reports
received at the Telegraph office, Reynolds is making excellent progress up to the time of going to press this afternoon.
His correct time is as follows:-
Left Port Hope: - 7:00am.
Arrived at Welcome: - 7:45am.
Arrived at Newtonville: - 10:05am.
Arrived at Newcastle - 11:15am.
Arrived at Bowmanville - 12:45pm.
Had lunch and left - 1:00 pm.
Arrived at Oshawa: - 3:45pm.
June 5th, 1906.
Jimmy Reynolds stepped off the 67 miles to Toronto yesterday in 21 hours and 34 minutes, being ahead of his time 2 hours and 26
minutes. He left Port Hope at 7 o'clock yesterday morning and arrived at the King Edward Hotel at 4:34 o'clock this morning. He made
the last 24 miles in 8 hours. Reynolds also made two stops, at Bowmanville and Oshawa and he wins the wager of $135 that he could
walk from Port Hope to Toronto in 24 hours. Reynolds was 55 years of age, 5 feet, 5 inches in height and weighed 155 pounds. What he
lacked in stature he made up in pluck.
James Reynolds walked 158 miles in 36 hours and19 minutes.
Interest along the line - Farming operations were suspended along the line of travel, the farmers taking great interest in the undertaking.
They were quite liberal with refreshments and Jimmy tells us of an old man who was waiting for them at four o'clock yesterday morning.
He had a large supply of sandwiches and milk and was determined that the walker should take a hearty meal. All along the line he was
well treated and is very grateful to his many friends.
At Toronto he was given a monster reception. Crowds formed all along Queen and King streets from the Woodbine. So large was the
crowd that the street cars were blocked and it took two policeman to keep a passage large enough to allow the walker to get through.
As he neared the King Edward he was lustily cheered and he acknowledged the same by waving his old grey felt. Port Hopers were
everywhere in evidence and Trainer Henderson tells us that he met Port Hope boys whom he has not seen since the reunion .
At Whitby on the return, although rather early, he drew out many citizens who awaited his coming along Dundas street, as the
Kingston road is known in its passage through Whitby, with words of encouragement, flag waving and cheers. His time as taken
along the road is as follows:-
Left Port Hope: - 6:02am.
Newtonville: - 8:22am.
Newcastle: - 9:25am.
Bowmanville: - 10:40am.
Oshawa: - 1:03pm.
Waited 40 minutes Whitby: - 2:40pm.
Pickering: - 4:10pm.
Dunbarton: - 5:00pm.
King Edward: - 10:10pm..
Wait of 55 minutes. Left Toronto at: - 11:03pm.
Halfway House: - 1:13am.
West Hill: - 2:52am.
Wait of 40 minutes Dunbarton: - 5:00am.
Pickering: - 6:21am.
Wait of 5 minutes Whitby: - 8:00am.
Wait of 5 minutes Oshawa: - 9:19am.
Wait of 20 minutes Bowmanville: - 12:10pm.
Wait of 10 minutes Newcastle: - 1:35pm.
Wait of 10 minutes Newtonville: - 3:10pm.
Wait of 5 minutes Port Hope: - 6:21pm.
Jimmy Reynolds' barbershop was in the Queen's Hotel building.
The World's Record Breaker.
Jimmy Reynolds of Port Hope has broken the world's record in walking from Port Hope to Toronto and return in the shortest time that
distance was ever walked. He has also broken the world's record in shaving and haircutting.
Psychine saved this remarkable man's life.
For years I was troubled with catarrh of the head which got so bad that my nose was stuffed up constantly, interfering with my breathing.
My stomach too was in bad order from the effects of the catarrh. The constant dripping in my throat was a great annoyance, causing nausea,
loss of appetite and indigestion. Every morning I had to hawk and spit for a half hour or more before I could breathe with any degree of comfort,
or eat my breakfast. It seemed that I had to cough up about so much filth before I could start the day. It got so bad that I began to fear consumption.
I tried all kinds of medicines and during the past ten or twelve years was treated by several physicians, but none gave more than temporary relief.
A friend suggested that I try Psychine, and as Mr Deyell, the druggist, also said it was the best medicine for my trouble, I bought a bottle of it.
This was last September. Since then I have continued the treatment, and now am practically well. I never found anything that ever did me any
permanent good until I tried Psychine, and I am always going to keep it on hand, for I believe Psychine is the greatest tonic the world has known.
Psychine has fixed me up in great shape, and I feel no further need of medicine, but I am continuing to take Psychine, as I am training for a skating
race next Monday night and I want to win.
(Signed) JAMES REYNOLDS,
Port Hope, Feb 7th, 1906.
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