Jean (Clark) Hamilton

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Graduation Year




Interview Date


J. Gallin

Call Number

RE1 UOG A1340069


Jean (Clark) Hamilton interview


J. Gallin (00:07):
... who graduated from McDonald Institute in 1926. Mrs. Hamilton's late husband, William Hamilton, attended OAC in the 1920s, and was a respected Guelph businessman for many years. He was alderman and mayor of Guelph at one time, and also a member of the legislative assembly, and an Ontario cabinet minister.

J. Gallin (00:30):
Mrs. Hamilton's late father, George H. Clark, graduated from OAC in 1898. In addition, her uncle by marriage, Professor W.R. Graham was a longtime head of the OAC poultry department. This interview is being conducted by Jack Gallin, for the alumni in action committee, with the assistance of Mrs. Hamilton's daughter, Margaret Bates. Herself, a graduate of McDonald Institute. The interview is being done at Guelph, Ontario, on April 23, 1993.

J. Gallin (01:07):
Mrs. Hamilton, if we could just start with uh, a little bit on your early life and times, and family background. You were born and raised in Ottawa, is that-

Jean Hamilton (01:17):
In Ottawa, because my father was working in Ottawa. And uh, I went to uh, the uh, First Avenue School, and then the model school, and then the Lisgar Collegiate. At that time, it was the only collegiate in Ottawa. Um, then because my brother, who was 14 months older than I am, he had went to Toronto University. So uh, with the salary that my father was receiving then, he couldn't afford to send two children to university, so I went to model school, n- normal school. We call it now, teacher's college. And uh-

J. Gallin (02:12):
In Ottawa?

Jean Hamilton (02:13):
In Ottawa, to the normal school, in Ottawa. And then when my s- brother graduated from Toronto University, then I went the next year, to McDonald Institute. And uh, by that time, it was... I was glad to get away, away from home, because being the oldest, I had two younger sisters, seems as if I had a lot of responsibility, and that I had to-

Jean Hamilton (02:48):
... help with the meals and look after. I can remember my youngest sister Betty, who married George Ford, she also graduated from the OAC and he did. Or she graduated from McDonald. I used to say to myself, "Boy, I'll be glad when Betty's 10 years old, then she can look after herself." However, now she's-

Margaret Bates (03:09):

Jean Hamilton (03:09):
... That's long ago.

J. Gallin (03:13):
Do you recall a bit about Ottawa in those days? Uh-

Jean Hamilton (03:14):
Yeah, we had to take the streetcar everywhere. My father didn't have a car, and... But we'd walk to, to school and take the bus, and s- take our lunch. Or if we, if we could walk home, but had to take the streetcar back, but we'd walk home afterwards. But the Lisgar Collegiate was a really good collegiate, but this be-... It's grown since. And where they had a bu- a tennis court, uh, that's all more buildings built there. And we used to, uh, when I was in, uh, about 14, we used to... decided to build a... we lived in the Glebe and they decided to build a Methodist church. S- so they met in the First Avenue School upstairs in the assembly hall. But then they started to build and they got the basement in and the structure for the top when the war s- came, so we-

J. Gallin (04:22):
First World War.

Jean Hamilton (04:23):
... First World War, so for the whole four years... for the whole time of the First World War, we met in the basement instead of out, having to go to the co- the public school. We met in the basement. And ou- our minister was, uh, a chaplain because it, it was fairly near Lansdowne Park and the soldiers were there. So he used to bring the soldiers. A lot of them would come to our church because he was the chaplain and he'd encourage the people to invite them home for, for dinner, Sunday dinner. So, my mother nearly always invited some of them home and it, we got the same fella as long as they were there would come time and again. And we got to know quite a few of the soldiers because of our minister being the chaplain. It was an interesting experience.

J. Gallin (05:18):
Your father, uh, graduated from OAC in 1898.

Jean Hamilton (05:22):

J. Gallin (05:26):
And had a, a rather prominent career in agriculture in Canada. And, uh, uh, Marg Bates you have some, um, uh, excerpts from some writings, uh, on your grandfather George H. Clark. Uh, would you just give us a couple of excepts from that, uh, describing his, uh, life and career?

Margaret Bates (05:53):
Following graduation from the Ontario Agricultural College in 19- 1898, he served on the staff of the field husbandry department of OAC for two years. In 1900, he joined the staff of the Commissioner of Agriculture and Dairying at Ottawa. And two years later he was, became chief of the seeds division. And in 1905 was raised to the status of Seeds Commissioner and continued in that position until he retired in 1936.

Margaret Bates (06:24):
While there, he was chief of the seed division he, and he organized the Canadian Seed Growers' Association. It was first called the McDonald Robertson Seed Growers Association and then later, uh, the Canadian Seed Growers' Association. He also, uh, organized and conducted the first seed testing laboratory which became very important also. Uh-

J. Gallin (06:49):
And then you have, uh, an except from a paper which he wrote.

Margaret Bates (06:54):

J. Gallin (06:55):
Uh, I guess the paper was written in 1951, but it describes a, an incident in his early career.

Margaret Bates (07:03):
And the, this is about, um, uh, prof- Professor Robertson who was his boss. Uh, and in it he tells how Professor Robertson was hired. Uh, Sir John A. McDonald was seated on a platform at the annual convention Kickston in his home constituency of the Eastern Ontario Dairyman's Assassination. Uh, this was in 1890. And, uh, uh, Professor J. W. Robertson, professor of dairy and at the OAC as well was delivering the address of the evening. At that time, about 1890, uh, Canadian agriculture was suffering a depression. Professor Robertson outlined a buoyant hopeful outlook that impressed Sir John who then made tentative arrangements for him to come to Ottawa and informed his Minister of Agriculture, Sir John Caroling of London, Ontario of what he had done. And this man is the man who hired, uh, George Clark.

J. Gallin (08:05):
Fine. So that, uh, describes a little bit of your father's, uh, career and uh it's well-known.

Jean Hamilton (08:12):
Would you like me to tell you some of the pranks they did while he was a student?

J. Gallin (08:15):

Jean Hamilton (08:15):
For your, yeah.

J. Gallin (08:16):

Jean Hamilton (08:18):
He said, Dr. Mills was the president and the president lived at the one of the what we called Johnson Hall now, the end nearest to, uh, the city. And, uh, the, the president still lived there when l- Dr. Reynolds was president. But this one night, a bunch of the boys were making too much noise in one of the bedrooms. Uh, and m- uh, Professor Mi- Dr. Mills came up and banged on the door to tell them to be quiet and they said, "Who's there?" He says, "It's me." And they said, "Who's that?" And he said, "It's Dr. Mills." "Oh, no it isn't," they said. "If it were Dr. Mills, he'd say, "It is I."

Margaret Bates (09:02):

Jean Hamilton (09:03):
So he just slipped off.

J. Gallin (09:06):

Jean Hamilton (09:07):
And didn't, uh, 'cause he was a stickler for English and so he didn't, he... He let them go. Didn't even open the door. He didn't want them to know (laughs) that one said.

J. Gallin (09:14):

Jean Hamilton (09:19):
Yeah. And another time, uh, he used to talk about, uh, Mrs. Craig who was the matron. And I met Mrs. Craig when, after she retired. She was visiting friends on our street in Ottawa and mother and I went up and had afternoon tea there. And she was quite an elderly lady then. But this one, they had a chapel. I, I don't know what building that would be in maybe Massey Hall, but somewhere they had a chapel service. And some of the boys got a litter of, n- newly, small pigs and let them out loose in the chapel in the middle of the service.

J. Gallin (09:54):
That would cause some confusion. (laughs)

Jean Hamilton (09:56):
Yeah. That would certainly have got but they-

Margaret Bates (09:58):
And did Mrs. Craig tell you about it or?

Jean Hamilton (10:00):
No, mother, uh, my dad was-

Margaret Bates (10:01):

Jean Hamilton (10:02):
... used to tell us about this. They, they got such a fun of. He roomed with a chap by the name of George Robertson who, uh, had a dairy farm or after he graduated. His son was still running it in the Niagara Peninsula. And he said there was a colored chap who did it like a handyman. It was around all the time. They, they all knew him and they all like him. But the boys could, decided one day they just for a joke that everyone would say to this fellow, "Oh, you're looking pale. You're ge- are you not feeling well?" So every time he met anybody met him they said to him, "Oh, you're looking pale. Are you not feeling well?" And by the end of the day he had to go to bed. He was sick.

J. Gallin (10:48):

Jean Hamilton (10:49):
It was, it had just.

J. Gallin (10:50):
This all happened in the-

Jean Hamilton (10:52):
When he was a student be-

J. Gallin (10:55):
... in 1896 to 1898?

Jean Hamilton (10:56):
Yeah, yeah.

J. Gallin (10:57):

Jean Hamilton (10:58):
And that, there was a policeman. He wasn't like a city police 'cause that wasn't in the city then, but he was sort of the c- a guard or something, but always walking around, walking around. And the boys would get up on the third floor and yell out, "Big-footed hickey. Big-footed hickey."

J. Gallin (11:15):

Margaret Bates (11:15):

Jean Hamilton (11:16):
Makes his mad, so mad, but he did have big feet. That's what they called him. Big-footed hickey. And another thing I know once a- around hou- the house I would... There were a lot of books he won as first prize in veterinarian medicine. But you see the vet college wasn't, wasn't in Guelph then. So they must've had to teach these b- farm boys some veterinarian medicine because, not that... Although his subject, my father's interest was in seeds and field husbandry. He won the prize. He share, first prize for veterinarian medicine. I didn't-

J. Gallin (11:53):
How interesting.

Jean Hamilton (11:54):
Yes, isn't it? So that's a -

J. Gallin (11:58):

Jean Hamilton (11:58):
... back and just remember him telling about.

J. Gallin (12:04):
Twenty-five years later or so you came to the Guelph campus.

Jean Hamilton (12:07):

J. Gallin (12:08):
And enrolled at, at that-

Jean Hamilton (12:09):

J. Gallin (12:09):
... institute in 1924 or?

Jean Hamilton (12:10):
Yeah, September '24.

J. Gallin (12:13):
When you came, do you have any, uh, memories of your two years there then?

Jean Hamilton (12:20):
Oh, I enjoyed it very much. Yes. And, uh, one of the things that the s- juniors had to do for... Every senior that you weren't there a week or so, they had initiation, of course. And then, uh, s- seniors each had a junior. The seniors would pick who they wanted for a junior. And when our... When we were seniors we would pick who we wanted for juniors. And it was, then you sorta took an interest in that. It was a good, uh, system really.

Margaret Bates (12:51):
So who picked you?

Jean Hamilton (12:53):
Um, her name was Fern. I've forgotten. She lived out west, but uh, then my senior was Mary McKilla from [inaudible] Prairie, my junior, yeah.

Margaret Bates (13:03):

Jean Hamilton (13:04):
But anyway, you had to be in, uh, from 7:00 'til 8:00 they'd have a dance in the common room two nights a week anyway. And the, the s- some of the boys had gotten up an orchestra. There wasn't any great shakes, but they could play we- well enough to dance to. And the, the boy, fellas that wanted would come over and the girls would be there. And from 7:00 to 8:00 they, in the common room, they'd have dancing. And it'd be a chance to make a date if you wanted to or so on.

J. Gallin (13:35):
Did you take advantage of that?

Jean Hamilton (13:37):
Oh, everybody did. (laughs)

J. Gallin (13:37):

Jean Hamilton (13:39):
And then from 8:00 'til 10:00 everything had to be quiet. You couldn't even be called to the phone. And this Mary was, uh, she was always down there to answer the phone, the maid. And she'd call that, at from 10:00 to 11:00, uh, you could be as noisy as you wanted. But at 11:00, everything had to let, quiet. The, they didn't have to have lights out, but every, and the, the front door was locked. You had to be in by 11:00. Nowadays they're given keys. They can come in when they like.

Margaret Bates (14:12):

Jean Hamilton (14:12):
You had to be in by 11:00. And-

J. Gallin (14:15):
What, what, courses were some of the courses that you actually took there? What did you learn?

Jean Hamilton (14:22):
I took, I took you see I, having been to normal, I took the teachers' course. We, we, everybody took cooking. That was, and we had to do experiments in cooking. And once I remember we had to make te- test different kinds of baking powders. Nowadays there aren't so many, but there was at that time.

Margaret Bates (14:41):
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jean Hamilton (14:42):
But different kinds of baking powder and we made and they had little dabs of them around the building, around the room. And we each had to make a cake, but di- different to see which turned out the best. And this one girl, Grace Hart who was a re- a real joker, she got her cake in the oven and re- and then she realized she had forgot to put the baking powder in. And the teacher had left the room. So she went and grabbed it out of the oven, spran- sprinkled the baking powder on and stirred it up and she warned us all not to tell the teacher. (laughs) Put it back in.

Margaret Bates (15:15):

Jean Hamilton (15:16):
I don't know how it turned out, but it was, it was amusing that she-

Margaret Bates (15:19):

J. Gallin (15:19):

Jean Hamilton (15:19):
... that she bu- stuck it in while it was after it had been put in the oven. And wouldn't be properly blended at all. And they'd s- the juniors had to put on a dinner for the seniors. This was toward the end of the term. So the, you're supposed to know something. And, uh, Ms. Bradley, I, because my s- name started with C and it was the first in the alphabet for the n- normals, I sat right beside the te- her desk. And then s- so she asked me who I thought would be good et-... She wanted one girl. She wanted me to be in charge of the, of the dinner. And one girl to be in charge of the cooking what went on in the kitchen and one to be in charge of the waitress. So she asked me for my advice who s- she should support, s- appoint.

Jean Hamilton (16:14):
So she took my advice 'cause I knew the girls and pretty well knew who. But this, uh, Grace Hart was supposed to be in charge of making the desserts. And she s- uh, she decided to have grape Jell-o. She, so Ms. Crookshank who should've known better, but didn't, suggested that she get raw pineapple and cut it up. Cut it and make it in, into this gel. Would make it, uh, m- more pleasant dessert. But it, it would just go to liquid. It wouldn't gel at all. And she was just... and she went down to that corner grocery store on James Street. Got a whole lot more gel. Put it in. It wouldn't go.

Margaret Bates (16:58):

Jean Hamilton (16:59):
So they had to serve it as just, just as juice in, and the things with this raw pineapple.

Margaret Bates (17:03):

J. Gallin (17:03):

Jean Hamilton (17:05):
So when she asked Mr. Fulner our chemistry teacher after, he said there's some enzyme in raw pineapple that dissolves gel. You can't make Jell-o get.

J. Gallin (17:15):

Margaret Bates (17:15):

Jean Hamilton (17:15):
... if you put raw pineapple in. And Ms. Crookshank who was, should've know, graduate and everything, didn't know that. And it was she who suggested the raw pine-... cooked pineapple would've been all right.

Margaret Bates (17:26):

Jean Hamilton (17:26):
But this enzyme, she found that out from Mr. Fulner.

Margaret Bates (17:29):

Jean Hamilton (17:29):
But anyway, the dinner was a success regardless.

Margaret Bates (17:33):

Jean Hamilton (17:35):
And then, ed, I was appointed, uh, made the president of the student council for in my senior year. So that was quite a responsibility.

Margaret Bates (17:45):
You had election, didn't it?

Jean Hamilton (17:45):
We had an election, oh yeah. They had it. It was a big. It was a... I was elected I should say.

Margaret Bates (17:52):

Jean Hamilton (17:53):
They had a big bonfire out in front of et- it's, uh, it's written about it there.

Margaret Bates (17:58):

Jean Hamilton (17:59):
Yeah, you can read it. If you wanna read it, you can. Uh, maybe takes too long. Don't bother with those two lines of poetry at the front.

Margaret Bates (18:06):
Okay. This is what's written under Jean Clark's, uh, picture in, uh, the yearbook. Okay. Jean is the sort of girl who makes you wonder just how you got this far in life without her. The same Jean who upon further acquaintance will only cause you to wonder more. No wonder there was a bonfire built outside the hall in her honor the night she was elected as our future house president. It was a symbol of the guiding light which she was to be to us all through the coming year. The position as house president she has filled with no undue fuss but a quiet capability and fair judgment which have never failed to justify our faith in her.

Margaret Bates (18:46):
Jean is always the same whatever comes and goes, but there is no monotony about it. One is to always find a new signs of depth of character and lovableness of personality which promise for her a life of happiness whether she decides on a career or otherwise.

J. Gallin (19:10):
Well, that's very nice.

Margaret Bates (19:11):
Yeah. Wasn't that nice?

J. Gallin (19:11):
Something to look back on.

Jean Hamilton (19:11):

J. Gallin (19:11):
So, you graduated in 1926.

Jean Hamilton (19:11):
In '26, and then I taught sewing and cooking in the school for the blind for two years.

J. Gallin (19:15):

Jean Hamilton (19:16):
At Brantford.

J. Gallin (19:17):
Brant- oh.

Jean Hamilton (19:17):
The School for the Bling at Brantford. You had to teach two years to get a permanent certificate. And, uh, well anyway, we weren't ready to get married so we, it just worked out fine.

J. Gallin (19:29):
In the meantime you had met Bill Hamilton?

Jean Hamilton (19:31):
Yes. I used to go to church.

J. Gallin (19:33):
Tell us about that.

Jean Hamilton (19:33):
I used to go to church every Sunday. I never had a, um, a dinner or a supper at, in res- in the dining hall at the whole time I was there 'cause I was over at the Grahams every time. I'd go over in the morning and time and Mr., some friend drove us to church. And then back for dinner and then ha-, stay the afternoon. Have my supper there, you know. And, uh, Bill and his family s-... Aunt Kay and her family, Uncle Dick, they were on the, the left side of the church. And, and Bill and his family were on the right. And before I went there, my father wa- at Easter time, my mother was away. My, my father said, "Would you like to come down and look by at, I'll see if you can find a, a nice suit." I'd never had a suit.

Jean Hamilton (20:28):
Well, I could of was tired because my mother was away and I was doing most the housework. But it was Easter holiday, so we, I got this nice navy blue suit with pinstripe and then I got a nice hat to go with it. So I used to wear this to church in the fall. And Bill would see me walking down the aisle with my mother and my grandmother. And, and-

Margaret Bates (20:50):
Your aunt.

Jean Hamilton (20:50):
Aunt, yeah, not my mother, my aunt, Aunt Kay. Uh, anyway, apparently took a shine to me. So-

Margaret Bates (20:58):
He told us. He said, "That's the girl for me," before he even met you. (laughs)

Jean Hamilton (21:01):
Yeah. Yeah. Anyway, at the, uh, the, the graduation dance for the year '25, he introduced himself to me and then took me to a, a picnic at the Wiseman's Club were having in Stratford. And, uh, my mother had come up to visit Aunt Kay and come home with me 'cause with were going home.

J. Gallin (21:27):
Aunt, Aunt Kay was Mrs. [crosstalk].

Jean Hamilton (21:30):
Graham, yeah. And she was so worried 'cause with weren't home by 12:00 'cause after the picnic was over Bill's, he once said to go, wanted to take me canoeing in Stratford. So we didn't get home for that. Aunt Kay said, "Oh, he's a fine young man. You don't need to worry. (laughs) You don't need to worry."

J. Gallin (21:47):

Margaret Bates (21:49):

Jean Hamilton (21:49):
Anyway, it all worked out for that, yeah.

Margaret Bates (21:50):

J. Gallin (21:54):
So you taught school for two years.

Jean Hamilton (21:56):
For two years.

J. Gallin (21:56):
... in Brantford.

Jean Hamilton (21:57):

J. Gallin (21:57):
And then were married?

Jean Hamilton (21:58):
To blind children then we were, then I was married. Finished the, on the June the 15th, the term ended and I was married on June the 30th.

J. Gallin (22:07):
That'd be 1920?

Jean Hamilton (22:09):

J. Gallin (22:10):
Eight, yeah.

Jean Hamilton (22:11):
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

J. Gallin (22:11):

Jean Hamilton (22:14):
Then we took a motor trip, well there's no use taking that all in. Went to the maritimes in, in July. And then he had won a trip to Banff with the sunlight and I took, took for himself and his, he took me along. And we were away another month. We really had-

Margaret Bates (22:32):

Jean Hamilton (22:33):
... yeah, we were home in August.

J. Gallin (22:34):
So he started out in business as a-

Jean Hamilton (22:37):
As a Sun Life agent.

J. Gallin (22:38):
Sun Life Insurance.

Jean Hamilton (22:38):
And he was a real sale, a real salesman, yeah. He re-... when we got married, he was making twice as much as my father was. And he was, my father was the Dominion Seed Commissioner. But he, Bill was a salesman and, and the government weren't paying very much.

Margaret Bates (22:56):

Jean Hamilton (22:57):
I had, I think Uncle Dick got $4,000 a year and dad got $5,000 a year when he retired.

Margaret Bates (23:03):

Jean Hamilton (23:04):
Which was, seems small now, doesn't it?

Margaret Bates (23:06):

Jean Hamilton (23:07):
But then w- we s- oh well, that's.

J. Gallin (23:10):
So you have always lived in Guelph then.

Jean Hamilton (23:13):
Since I was married.

J. Gallin (23:13):
And, and-

Jean Hamilton (23:15):
And I lived in the same house from '29 'til '89, 61 years.

J. Gallin (23:19):
That was on Oxford Street.

Jean Hamilton (23:21):

J. Gallin (23:22):
And Bill was in the insurance business for?

Jean Hamilton (23:25):
For a long time and then when he, he was, then he was made manager. Well then, uh, he decided to run for, for parliament. So, uh-

Jean Hamilton (23:43):
... then it, they had, when he was put in the cabinet, he had to resign as pres- manager. He had to resign as manager. So then he decided he w- he wouldn't, uh, stay with, uh, he got tired of... He could see no future just being in the cabinet. And so then he was offered to, to job to bring the Paul Revere Insurance Company into Guelph, into Canada which he did. They've a big building now in new, in Burlington. But he, he brought them in and but then he got, uh, he went... Decided to s-... Ed Williams invited him to s- join him with the real estate and insurance. And then when Ed dropped out and then Bill was running it and then my son, Bill, after he graduated from the OA, from the university, no it was the OAC then. He came into, with him for a while. But he decided. He worked for eight years then he decided he's s- study law. That he wasn't a salesman like his father.

Margaret Bates (24:57):

Jean Hamilton (24:57):
So he decided to study law. Well then the Homewood asked Bill to go on the board. And the next year, the man who was president died and he was made, and in the meantime, he lost the election of '55. So he was free and then he, uh, was asked to be president of the Homewood and he was president of the Homewood from '20, '56 'til he died in '80, '83. He was president of the Homewood-

Margaret Bates (25:27):

Jean Hamilton (25:27):
... Sanitarium. They call it the Homewood Health Center now.

Margaret Bates (25:31):

J. Gallin (25:31):
And somewhere in there he became mayor of Guelph.

Jean Hamilton (25:35):
Oh yes. That was after he what- after he, uh, wa- was defeated in the, '55 election. Then it, about a year or two after, he decided to run for alderman. Or, he, he was alderman for a couple of years. Then he ran as mayor. The, but when Bill and Bill was working in the office. Then when Bill decided to go and study law, he, he felt he had to, he couldn't give the time to be mayor. He had to stay at, give more time at the office. This was so then Bill, but then he sold the, he sold the business to some of the men that were in it. And then he went onto Homewood. He was from went from mayor to the Homewood.

Jean Hamilton (26:26):
And so it really worked. Was a good thing he didn't win the '55 election because he was... Homewood was his whole life from then on and he... It was his doings that, his planning that ma- enlarged all the buildings, made, brought them all up to date, put in elevators, everything. Made it wonderful. Then they named a building after him, the ha- the Hamilton Building. So.

Margaret Bates (26:54):
Somewhere in there he's on the board of directors, uh, board for governors.

J. Gallin (26:55):
Board of governors.

Jean Hamilton (26:59):
Oh yeah. He, he, from '64 for he was on for 10 years that he was-

J. Gallin (27:01):
That's a-

Jean Hamilton (27:04):
... Chairman of the Property and Planning Committee.

J. Gallin (27:06):
Older governors of the university, yeah.

Jean Hamilton (27:08):
Of the uni- University of Guelph for 10 years.

J. Gallin (27:11):
So, so he was on the first board of governors at the university.

Jean Hamilton (27:14):
The first board of governors when they had all the planning, original hotel administration building was be, to be built. And the architects gonna just make it a straight rectangular building. And which meant cutting down that lovely tree. And Bill said, "No way was that tree to be cut down." And it, so they built it kind of a pretty, it's artistic, the shape it is now. It curves around that tree and there's a walkway, but his was... Bill and, and it, the, the man who was first pres- chair, dean, he was speaking to the Mad club and he said, I'd heard Bill talk about it at home. And he said, "Thanks to Bill, it was a really artistic building." And, and it wasn't.

Margaret Bates (27:58):

Jean Hamilton (27:59):
The tree, they saved the tree.

Margaret Bates (28:01):
For hotel and food building.

Jean Hamilton (28:02):

Margaret Bates (28:02):

J. Gallin (28:03):
You were saying, Mrs. Hamilton, you thought of another anecdote when you were a student, uh.

Jean Hamilton (28:11):
Well it, it wasn't in an anecdote exactly, but Dr. Reynolds wanted to have a, the students whose parents had been students in their day. He wanted them all for a sup- for a meal at the, at the president's house. And so, I was naturally one of the ones who went. And there was a girl in our class or whose father had gone. And who was father was on the cabinet, Ontar- provincial legislature, the cabinet and Dr. Reynolds had known that gi- had, had missed her name somehow. He was cu- hired. He was so upset, I think, that he had to forget someone, omit someone that it had to be someone in the provincial cabinet. And they were all civil servants in those days. All the sta- staff, he was really upset.

J. Gallin (29:05):

Jean Hamilton (29:05):
And, and she probably didn't even know anything about it-

J. Gallin (29:09):

Jean Hamilton (29:09):
... or that it was the, the people he invited were s- students whose fathers or-

Margaret Bates (29:16):

Jean Hamilton (29:16):
... mothers, fathers had been students.

J. Gallin (29:18):

Jean Hamilton (29:19):
But uh, anyway, it was a nice party. But it was nice of them to do it. And that was still in the, in that big buil- Johnson Hall, the president still lived there. And the Days were great friends of Aunt Kay and Uncle Dick, uh, and George Day was head of the field husbandry. And they lived in the house that is now the president's house, but at that time, it was where Creelman Hall is. And while they were living in the house, they moved the house across college admi- to where it is now. And they still kept living in it, but there's some man in Guelph who was a real expert of moving buildings. And the, and K- they was interesting to hear Aunt, Aunt Kay telling about what they went through uh, with this house moving.

Jean Hamilton (30:11):
And then at, after Mr. Day retired, then Wade Tool moved into that house. And it was later than that, that it was used as the president's house. After Dr. Reynold's, you see the president always lived until Dr. Reynold's was through in, uh, the main building. But I guess they needed the room for classrooms and it was more sensible to have that president's house. But now you want to talk about, about Guelph. In, when I was living there early.

J. Gallin (30:47):
From the time you started to live there [crosstalk] what are the changes? And what do you remember from Guelph in those days?

Jean Hamilton (30:54):
Well, I was a student. And the first year I was on the third floor. And they didn't have good wa- hot water system and at night by the time the, the girls on the first and second floor would have a bath, you couldn't get hot water upstairs at all on the third floor. So we, uh, the girls on the third floor if they wanted a bath they had to take it in the morning because there was so much not water used. But by the time I went back as a senior, they, that had, had all been changed and, uh, they had a new water system in there. So you could get hot water right up to the whole building, no problem at all. No shortage.

J. Gallin (31:37):
By then you'd be living downstairs.

Jean Hamilton (31:37):
I was on the second floor then.

J. Gallin (31:38):
Yeah. (laughs)

Margaret Bates (31:38):

Jean Hamilton (31:38):
So it didn't matter, but it was good for the girls that were there.

J. Gallin (31:41):

Jean Hamilton (31:42):
And then, um, uh, and aunt, Uncle Dick's house the, the, it was across from the poultry building just quite a large house.

J. Gallin (31:56):
On Gordon Street.

Jean Hamilton (31:59):
On Gordon Street. Then Padre Young lived there one time after he moved and I, I think it's a fraternity now. I don't know what it is now. But uh, the, there was no heat in the bedrooms. They, they had leave the, the... was heat downstairs. It was a hot air furnace. It was heat downstairs. And then in the upstairs hall it was, uh, register, but you had to had to keep the bed in the winter. They had to keep the bedroom doors open to let a lit- get a little bit of heat into the ki- the kitchen that never had a gas stove or electric stove. It just had a great, big old-fashioned range, and summer and winter. But it, the room above that had, it would be lovely and warm because of the, that's range would be going all s- the heat kitchen and cook the meals.

J. Gallin (32:48):
The stovepipe would go up through it too.

Jean Hamilton (32:50):
Yes. And so, it would when, when my grandmother was 95 she broke her hip. And she, but she, she sat, would sit in that room and she'd be warm all winter 'cause they used that as her living room. She lived to be a, in her hundredth year.

J. Gallin (33:11):
She lived with the Grahams.

Jean Hamilton (33:13):
Yes. She spent half her time with us, with mother and half her time but toward the end of her life she s- lived with the Grahams. Because she was... Well once my father retired, then they went to Florida every winter. And they moved to Burlington. They didn't have as much room, but while we lived in Ottawa then they, she'd spend half her time with us.

J. Gallin (33:38):
Any recollections of anything that stands out in your memory from downtown Guelph in those days?

Jean Hamilton (33:44):
Well, they had... the square was quite different from what it, the center of the city was. The, the bus was, it the streetcars all met in the center. And everything was streetcars. There wasn't, there were no such things as buses. And, uh, the one went, there was one went up to the college and one went up to the hospital, you know, different ones. But uh, and there were a lot of, of department stores. McDonald's had the whole block of, from, uh, Cardin to McDonald. Uh, uh, on and then, uh, Wyndham Street and, uh, co- back as quite far, and was along ma- and when we, we'd go there to buy material for sewing classes. You'd go there to buy your yard goods and stuff. Although Armstrong's had yard goods too. There was Armstrong. There was Cole Brothers and Scott. All at the same time, McDonald's Cole Brothers and Scott, Armstrong's and Ryan's. Ryan's was a big store.

Jean Hamilton (34:54):
And, I had, and Guelph was about 15,000 or s- and it got up to 30,000. And how they could s- how they could, uh, support four big department stores I don't know because, uh, the Eaton's catalog was very favored, you know. It, a lot of people took, got the Eaton's catalog. But these stores all seemed to do well. And, and that Ed McDonald is the son of one of the McDonald's. It was the brothers that had that store. Ed McDonald, the artist, he's dead now but he's well known in Guelph.

J. Gallin (35:32):
So your main organizations were church and the IODE.

Jean Hamilton (35:36):
IODE, yes.

J. Gallin (35:39):
Which church were you?

Jean Hamilton (35:40):

J. Gallin (35:40):
Norfolk United.

Jean Hamilton (35:44):
Yeah. It had been a Methodist Church and it was... Dr. Mills went there when he was a, and my dad said that when they were students, Edward Johnson used to sing sometimes in Norfolk Church and different churches would ask him. But the students would go down just to listen to him. That was before he'd gone away to New York and became famous, but he was such a good singer. They all just loved hearing him sing.

Margaret Bates (36:08):
Oh, now, isn't that interesting?

Jean Hamilton (36:10):

Margaret Bates (36:10):

Jean Hamilton (36:12):
And another thing I forgot to tell you about when my dad was at, uh, s- he was... They had a officer's training corps. Because the World War was on.

J. Gallin (36:21):
When your father was a student.

Jean Hamilton (36:22):
When he was a student. And he said John McCray, a lo- anything I read at the museum, he's been at, was at McGill on the staff there. But at one time he would come and, uh, to this officer's training corps to try to give them some training. But, uh, I don't know how that fit it in. Like I've been to the McCray Museum and it never says anything about that. And he mightn't have come that often, but when it, his home was in Guelph. And he may fe- thought he'd do what he could. And anyway, they tried to get [inaudible] to, to and offered to, uh, go to the Boer War. And my dad said, if they'd let him go as an officer, he'd go, but he wasn't gonna go as a private. 'Cause they were taking all this tr- officer's training.

Margaret Bates (37:10):

Jean Hamilton (37:10):
But it would be nothing to wa- to, uh, military college would.

Margaret Bates (37:14):

Jean Hamilton (37:15):
But anyway, he, he was associated with that and John McCray did come and was there part of the time but not very often.

Margaret Bates (37:27):

Jean Hamilton (37:28):
He knew about him. He knew him.

Margaret Bates (37:28):

J. Gallin (37:29):
What are your recollections of the early days of the IODE? Like it...

Jean Hamilton (37:34):
Well I didn't... Uh, it started... The IODE started in 1903, I think or 1900. But in Guelph, uh, I'm not sure when the first chapter, but the et- the chapter I belonged to is, uh, called the Captain Frederick Bond chapter. And he was a, a ca- he was one of the Bonds as his grandfather that owned the farm that, uh, that um, was bought for the OAC in the first place. You know.

J. Gallin (38:09):
Yeah, it was mostly Stone-

Jean Hamilton (38:10):
It was Stone.

J. Gallin (38:10):
Farm, but part.

Jean Hamilton (38:13):
Yeah, but then his mother was a Stone. They were related some way. His mother might have been a Stone. But the, he... I know they were... 'Cause I knew his sister quite well. But, uh, anyway, they named this IODE. And we used to have, uh, uh, we'd have a dance or we'd have a, a dog... every year we'd have a dog show to raise money. They had a ways and means committee. But once the war started, then, uh, they fu- uh, divided up into knitting groups, ca- to where sort of in groups s- where you lived and then you... They bought the wool and everybody in each knitting group would knit for the soldiers. And the knitting group I belonged to, we enjoyed ourselves so much that we kept going 'til just a few years, just about three or four years ago. But the, they're, uh, we, we didn't knit then for the soldiers. We'd send it, uh, to, uh, sorta headquarters and they'd send to children, Indians up north or wherever it was. We'd take...

Jean Hamilton (39:25):
But, but then in '42, we started this opportunity shop and it's been going ever since. And, and a lot of people have found it a wonderful. And la- especially when the new Canadians came. After the war, the place was deluged with new Canadians. And they'd come 'cause they weren't able to bring much clothes with them or anything. They were just thrilled to come and buy stuff from us.

Margaret Bates (39:54):
And Dr. Scoffield, remember he used to.

Jean Hamilton (39:56):
Dr. Scoffield, Dr. Frank Scoffield was a, the vet pathologist or something at the vet college. He'd been in Korea. He had a Bible class for, uh, any of the Mack girls that wanted to go. And I belonged to that. When he s- found like found him very interesting. He was a, a just a de- delightful man. But odd too, but we, we used to have him for dinner quite often.

Margaret Bates (40:22):

Jean Hamilton (40:22):
And then that, the church... Oh, when my mother was there, it was a Methodist church. My mother and father were married by the minister of that church, the Norfolk Church because Aunt Kay went to it, you see. And she was living with her. And she-

Margaret Bates (40:37):

Jean Hamilton (40:38):
... I, I always have belonged. And the first time I got like in September of s- '28, that's the year we were married. Humphrey Graham was the minister. He came to see if I'd take charge of the primary department. Some woman by the name of Henderson had run it for 20... Cunningham, for about 40 years. She'd had it. And she was far too old to be teaching little children. Anyway, I said I'd take it. So, uh, so some old lady sa- said to me one day after I'd been at, about it a few months. She says, "Someone said to me I can't understand how they can get along at the Sunday School without Mrs. Cunningham." She says, "They miss her about as much as if you'd put your finger in a pail of water and took it out."

Margaret Bates (41:30):

J. Gallin (41:30):

Jean Hamilton (41:30):
(laughs) So that was her, her thanks for 40 years of service.

Margaret Bates (41:38):
Years of service.

Jean Hamilton (41:39):
But she just stayed at it too long.

Margaret Bates (41:41):
Too long.

J. Gallin (41:42):
Professor Graham was your, uh, uncle by marriage.

Jean Hamilton (41:51):

J. Gallin (41:51):
Do you have any particular?

Jean Hamilton (41:51):
He used to tease. Well Bill, as soon as Bill started to come courting me, and be over there, he bought a record. Can she bake a cherry pie, Billy Boy? I mean as s- soon as Bill'd come in the door, he'd start singing this.

Margaret Bates (42:04):

Jean Hamilton (42:04):
Can she bake a cherry pie? But she's a young thing, but she cannot leave her mother, something like that. Anyway, he'd get the biggest kick outta teasing him about that.

J. Gallin (42:13):
You, you don't know a lot about his career-

Jean Hamilton (42:19):
His fam-

J. Gallin (42:20):
... as a professor, uh.

Jean Hamilton (42:22):
He was well-regarded, very well-regarded and when Ed Hall was, was president of Western University, they gave him an honorary degree one year and came, he came back and made, made a speech, uh, in Memorial Hall. You know he was a speaker for the convocation. And he, the tribute he paid to, to Professor Graham, he said he wouldn't be where he was today if it wasn't for Professor Graham. He'd had such a vu- stimulating influence on him. Well, the things he said about him, I, I just wished I could've-

J. Gallin (42:57):

Jean Hamilton (42:58):
... ha- had a record of him. And it was just a, it was the speech of someone that's getting an honorary degree makes. But he just was make... He, he gave Uncle Dick all the credit for his success in life.

Margaret Bates (43:12):

Jean Hamilton (43:12):
It, yeah, and a lot people, a lot of, I think he just had a, a way of stimulating students that were interests. And that he was interested in. I don't know.

Margaret Bates (43:22):

Jean Hamilton (43:23):
But, he was, uh, really well-regarded.

Margaret Bates (43:29):
Twinkle in his eye, didn't he?

Jean Hamilton (43:31):

Margaret Bates (43:31):
Twinkle in his eye.

Jean Hamilton (43:33):
Yeah. Yeah, he had a lot of fun. He was... But a, a funny thing about if, if you were there and were talking about s- anybody ke- we went there, uh, when they had their 60th wedding re- wedding anniversary. They were in Burlington then. We went, uh, a day or two. We couldn't be there for the, for the actual day, but we went down, uh, Bill and I went to call on. We had lunch with and we were sitting afterwards and having a nice visit. And he was telling about he had a... He was so busy with the poultry he hardly ever went to church in Guelph. Uh, he said send, but just for something to do he took a great interest in the church in Burlington. And he was talking about that and s- different, different things about went on Guelph.

Jean Hamilton (44:25):
And somebody came to, to call on him who h- was involved with the poultry. So he, he just drop talking to us as if we weren't even there. All he could talk about was poultry with this chap. I don't know who he was. So finally, Bill says, "Well, I think it's time we were going home," 'cause he had no time for us at all as long as he could talk poultry.

Margaret Bates (44:47):

Jean Hamilton (44:48):
That was his whole life. And once my father, my father and they lived in Brant- they moved to Brantford from Burlington after he got, uh, s- he couldn't do anything in his garden anymore and his legs were bothering him. He said, um, they went, uh, Betty drove mother and dad to go to visit Uncle Dick. But they stopped at the Estaminet, that's a restaurant, for their lunch. And, uh, Betty says, uh, "Dad, didn't take his hearing aid." Once before, uh, I said to him, "Why don't you have a hearing aid? You need one." In those days you had to have the thing in your pocket. He says, "I'm too proud." But he finally had to get one. So this day at the Estaminet, Betty says to him and she had to speak loud because he was, didn't have. "So, why didn't you bring your hearing aid?" My dad says, "Oh, Dick never has anything worth, says anything worth listening to anyway." (laughs)

J. Gallin (45:48):

Jean Hamilton (45:48):
And Betty said everybody around him could- couldn't help laughing.

J. Gallin (45:54):

Jean Hamilton (45:54):
But yeah, he, he just knew Uncle Dick would just talk poultry. And, my dad wasn't interested in poultry.

Margaret Bates (45:59):

Jean Hamilton (45:59):
But the way he said it. "Oh, Dick never has anything worth talking... says anything worth, uh, listening to anyway." So.

J. Gallin (46:07):
You lived in Guelph a long time. And you've seen a lot of changes.

Jean Hamilton (46:10):

J. Gallin (46:10):
Uh, do you have any particular feelings? Do you think things have changed for the better or the worse or?

Jean Hamilton (46:17):
Well, it's certainly grown. It's certainly grown. And, but I, I can... It, it's a lot of things not, uh, where it used to be a lot of people went to church now since they got TV and so on, makes a difference. They're, I don't know if that's what or whether they're times have changed. But, but last Sunday, they had a lot. There were a lot. Some, of course over Easter, there always is. But it's people have changed. It, I say it's all over. It isn't just Guelph. But, uh, now they, when I read, uh, people and I streets, I don't even know what, where they are. There's so many new streets. You don't know where they are.

Margaret Bates (47:06):

Jean Hamilton (47:06):
I don't even know where Guelph Place is. It says, it'll be at Guelph Place. Then it gave the name of the street. And I don't know the street or what, where, what they. I don't know. It sounds as if it's a big building.

J. Gallin (47:19):
We're just about to the end. We, uh, really appreciate you doing this interview. And you have a, a little story about a trip you took to Austria that you wanted to finish this interview off with.

Jean Hamilton (47:31):
Yeah. Well Bill and I, for 14 years after, Bill, Michael moved to London, England. So we'd go over in the fall. And we'd stay with him for a few days and then we'd, the first three, the first three, uh, years we'd drive around, uh, British Isles or Ir- Ireland and so on. Then we started going to Europe. And we really liked Austria. I, I don't know how many times we went back to Austria. But this one day, Bill went north of Salzburg there's a golf club. And he went to play golf in the morning. And there was a little fella there, young ma-, uh. I don't know whether he's young. He was a Jewish chap. And Bill said, uh, he was alone. Bill was alone. Bill said, "Will you join me?" Oh, he'd be glad to.

Jean Hamilton (48:20):
So they s- just was ready to start and another fella came along. And Bill says, "Uh, oh here's somebody. We'll ask this fella." "Oh, no," this little fella said. "Oh no, we couldn't ask him. That wouldn't do at all." Well Bill says, "Nobody wants to play alone." So he went up and said to him, "Would you like to join us?" And he said, "I'd be pleased to." And so Bill says, "I'm Bill Hamilton from Guelph, Ontario, Canada." He says, "The home of the world famous OAC?" Bill says, "Yes, I was a student there. I'm on the board of governors. Where'd you hear of the OAC?" He says, "My daughter married a, a graduate of the vet college and they live out in BC." (laughs) So it's surprising how well it was, the OAC is known.

Margaret Bates (49:10):
And uh until he was-

Jean Hamilton (49:12):
And he, oh so the young, while they were playing, this fella says to bill. "That isn't Mr. Somes, that's Prince Somes." So that's why he, this little Jewish fella didn't presume to offer to play with him, you see.

J. Gallin (49:24):

Jean Hamilton (49:26):
But the, Bill being (laughing) him-

Margaret Bates (49:28):

Jean Hamilton (49:28):
... he said, "It's more important to have someone to play with no matter who you are.

Margaret Bates (49:34):

Jean Hamilton (49:34):
Than we go a round alone.

J. Gallin (49:36):
This has been most interesting, and I wanna thank you very much for taking the time to do this.

Jean Hamilton (49:42):
You're welcome.

J. Gallin (49:43):
This has been an interview with, uh, Mrs. Jean Hamilton who graduated from McDonald Institute in 1926, conducted by Jack Gallin with, uh, great assistance from Margaret Bates who is Mrs. Hamilton's daughter. Interview done at Guelph on April 23rd, 1993.

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