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Note: The background tartan for this section is faded Ontario
THE MACGREGORS OF THUNDER BAY
Robert Campbell MacGregor:
Born in Bermuda on 28 Dec 1864.
He came to Nova Scotia with his father, John MacGregor, in 1869 after the death of his mother, Johanna Susan (nee Healey). His father remarried in that year and the family moved to Enfield, Hants County, where John bought a farm. Robert started his railroad career at age 14 in Halifax with the Intercolonial Railway, a precursor to the CNR.
(Explanation) The price of admission to Canada in 1867, demanded by New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, was the building by the Federal Government of the Intercolonial Railway, linking the Maritimes to Ontario and Quebec. Below is the timeframe of the evolution of the Intercolonial Railway into the Canadian National Railways (CNR).
Canadian National Railways
|1871||Government of Canada Built:||Intercolonial Railway|
|1897||Name Changed||Canadian Government Railways (CGR)|
|1916||Government of Canada Acquires:
(CBC retains minority interest)
|510,000 of 600,000 shares in Canadian Northern Railway (CNoR)|
|1918||.All Govt. railways consolidated into:||Canadian National Railways (CNR)|
Note: The Canadian Bank of Commerce (CBC) previously owned the CNoR.
In 1884, he was on his way west on an excursion train for a holiday. The train stopped at Fort William and he got out during the wait. In the station, he watched the local CPR operator at work. Listening to the ticker, he overheard a message going through that the train would be held up here for four hours. He informed the operator of this, much to the surprise of the operator. When it was discovered that he could operate, he was asked to remain here and was given immediate employment as an operator with the CPR.
On 28 September 1887, he married Miss Lorana Carter (b: 1863) of Halloway, near Belleville, Ontario by Rev. Mr. Cade of the Methodist Church, Port Arthur. Robert rose rapidly in the railway service, occupying many positions of trust, including the position of trainmaster. Among his positions with the CPR, he was a general yardmaster and rules instructor.
Although he commenced work as an operator, he later transferred to train service and in 1887 he was promoted to conductor. He was one of the first brakemen to take a passenger train out of Fort William westward. From 1900 to 1916, he was assistant superintendent between Fort William and Kenora. From 1916 he resumed train service and was employed as conductor until his retirement on pension in 1928.
He was the oldest living pastmaster of Fort William lodge No. 415, A. F. and A. M. He was a Mason for 50 years and was master of the Fort William Lodge in 1893. He was also a member of the Shriners. He was a member of the Order of Railroad Conductors and was a charter member of Algoma Lodge, I.O.O.F. He attended Wesley United Church.
He became well known and highly respected . A lover of sports, he was a regular attender at hockey games. His son Percy was well known as a talented hockey player. Robert was a resident of Fort William for almost half a century.
Their children: Robert died aged 74 on 09 Feb
1939 after a short illness. Har
Harold: born 1894.
Percy: born 25 Dec 1896.
Bertha Candace: born 30 Jan 1900 died aged 13 days on 12 Feb 1900.
Bertha May: born about 1903. Married John Hutton Lyons on 19 Jan 1933 at Andrew's Presbyterian Church, Rev. Dr. H. R. Grant officiating. Their honeymoon was spent in Winnipeg. Eventually, they moved to Kamloops. BC.
Robert died aged 74 on 09 Feb 1939 after a short illness.
Harold (Harry) Bonter McGregor: born 1894 in Fort William. He married (1st) Lynda Smith. She died 04 April 1929. He married (2nd) the former Pearl Jarvis. He worked for the CPR for 48 years. He was an adherent of the United Church and an honorary life member of the Brotherhood of Railway Trainmen, Mount McKay Lodge No. 306.
Children by Lynda:
Mary (Mrs. L. Oliver) b: 1917.
Eleanor (Mrs. E. Moulson) b: 1919.
Children by Pearl:
Shirley (Mrs. Robert Anderson) (adopted).
Harry died in Fort
William, aged 67years on 01 May 1961. Surviving him
were 5 children and 12 grandchildren.
Percy Warren McGregor: born 1896 in Fort William. He married (1st) Miss Beatrice Grasley, who died 18 Feb 1925. He married (2nd) in St. Thomas Anglican Church to the former Gladys Perry, only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ward Perry on 02 June 1941. He began his railroad career as a machinist's apprentice in 1912, transferred to yard service as switchman, then to main line service as a trainman and was promoted to conductor in 1929. He was a conductor on "the Canadian" trans-continental passenger train. He retired from the CPR in December 1961. Well known in the area, he was a member of St. Thomas Anglican Church, fort William Lodge 415 AF & AM, Scottish Rite Bodies and the Lakehead Shrine Club; member of the United Transportation Union. In his earlier days he was very active in local sports and played senior hockey, coached and was a referee in Fort William, as well as Winnipeg and Minneapolis. He saw Allan Cup playoff action with the local squad in 1915. There were no reported children from either marriage.
Percy died in Fort William, aged 85 years on 10 March 1982.
Lynda McGregor: (Harry's first wife) The former Lynda Smith daughter of Mr. and Mrs. W. J. Smith of Fort William. She was a resident of Fort William for 17 years. She was a member of the Ladies Auxiliary Beaver Lodge, Brotherhood of Railway Trainmen and was well known to a host of friends.
Lynda died at the family residence at 410 S. Marks Street, Fort William on 04 April 1929. She was survived by her two daughters Mary and Eleanor.
Beatrice Frances McGregor: (Percy's first wife) Beatrice died 18 Feb 1925,
Pearl McGregor: (Harry's second wife) The former Miss Pearl Jarvis, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Louis Jarvis. She attended St. Stanislaus School and the Fort William Collegiate. She was previously married to Herman Hill, who died in 1930. She married Harry in 1932. An adherent of the Anglican Church, she was a member of the Ladies Auxiliary to the Ortona Legion and the Army, Navy and Air Force Unit.
Pearl died 20 October 1972. She was survived by her two sons Robert and Wayne.
Gladys Effie McGregor: (Percy's second wife) The former Miss Gladys Perry, only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ward Perry of fort William, married Percy MacGregor 02 June 1941. Born about 1910, she was born in Fort William and educated at Francis Street School and Fort William collegiate. She was employed by Mahon Electric and by Ontario Hydro in the Whalen Building, prior to marriage to Percy. A life-long adherent of St. Thomas Anglican Church, she was a member of the A.C.W. and Alter Guild, and a member of the C.P.R. Pensioners Club, the C.N.I.B., and a 50-year member of Connaught Lodge #9, Ladies Shrine Club.
Gladys was survived by a brother, Percy Perry of Dartmouth, NS, sister in-law Eileen Perry, Maple Ridge BC, nieces Mary Oliver, Eleanor Mounson, June Kelso, Hawley Gareau, nephews Donald Perry, and Wayne McGregor, all of Thunder Bay, and other nieces and nephews out of town. Gladys died 04 Sept 2000.
Robert L. (Buck) McGregor: (son of Harry & Pearl MacGregor) born 1933. He worked at the Canadian Pacific Railway as a brakeman for several years. He later worked as an iron worker with the local #759 for 15 years until his retirement in 1986 due to ill health.
Robert died aged 56 years on 06 February 1989.
Shirley Pearl McGregor: (adopted daughter of Harry) married Robert Anderson on 17 Oct 1947. She was employed for many years as a custodian for the Lakehead Board of Education, working at Grey Park, Hyde Park and Ogden Street schools and the Sills St. Board office. Her husband, Robert, predeceased her on 18 Sept 1993.
Shirley died 05 Jan 1998. She was survived
by the three above-mentioned children and grandchildren: Kelly,
Darren, Mark and Randy.
Wayne McGregor; (son of Harry) born 10 May
1939. Married Barbara Senarchuk on 29 Feb 1964 in St. Lukes Anglican
church on Cameron Street. Barb was born 26 Aug 1941. Their children:
Devin McGregor; born 23 Feb 1990.
Jordan McGregor; born 15 March 1995.
i.Stephen McGregor; born 14 Jan 1962. Married Tammy Foshang at St. Lukes Anglican church on 17 Oct 1987. Tammy was born 21 Oct 1965 in Atikokan, Ontario. Stephen is a mason in the Port Arthur lodge #499. Their children:
ii. Harold McGregor;born 11 Jan 1965. Married Valery Zago on 11 Mar 1989 at First Church United on Brock Street. Val was born 16 June 1966 in Fort William. Their children: