John Alexander Murray (1852-1934) was a blacksmith who had a forge in St. Eleanors, Prince Edward Island, for many years. His parents Richard Murray (1819-1898) and Elizabeth A. Jeffery (1824-1908) had a farm near Linkletter Road and were founding members in 1858 of the Summerside Church of Christ. In 1877 John married Amelia F. Ling (1852-1934) of New Glasgow, PEI and they had eight children. Two sons moved to the United States, William as an accountant and Verner as a minister in the Church of Christ. The third son John Melvin Murray (1882-1965) went into business with his father in approximately 1907 and around 1914 married Belle Elizabeth Mellish (1883-1981) of Montague. One of Melvin's five sisters was Margaret Ling Murray (1886-1972) who married Frank Austin Linkletter (1883-1979).
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The Town of Summerside, Prince Edward Island, was incorporated in 1875 under a general act of the Legislature which allowed limited self-government to rising towns and villages. This followed an 1858 colonial statute which authorized Summerside property owners to elect 7 persons to act as assessors and fire wardens, and a further move towards municipal status in 1861 which increased the assessors' powers of collection and authorized wardens to formulate bylaws for the better government of the village. In 1873 Summerside had become the County town of Prince County.
The wardens elected under the 1875 act were David Rogers, John M. Gaffney, Robert McC. Stavert, Thomas Crabbe, and John R. Calhoun. They immediately drafted bylaws re. police, streets and roads, borrowing of money and issuing of debentures. Experiencing some difficulty in obtaining the required approval of the Lieutenant-Governor in Council for some of these bylaws, the town turned its attention to obtaining a separate act of incorporation. Received on 18 April 1877, incorporation broadened taxation and borrowing powers but mostly consolidated statutes, local ordinances, and administrative tradition of the previous 20 years.
Under the new act a chairman and six councillors were to be elected annually to conduct all fiscal, prudential, and municipal affairs with the exception of the powers of the Stipendiary Magistrate. Various officials were to be appointed such as a town clerk, auditors, treasurer, marshal, constables, surveyors of roads, etc. The town clerk was to take and keep minutes and to receive all taxes, assessments, fines, penalties, etc. which would then be turned over to the treasurer and to publish the accounts annually.
The Council was empowered to issue all manner of licenses and to levy any necessary taxes upon real estate, personal property, and income. In return town government was responsible for all areas of municipal life including the market, wharves, streets and roads, public parks, fire prevention, street lighting, sanitation and public health. They were to establish a police force and to provide law and order including the control of vice and public nuisance.
The town meetings were held in various halls until 1885 when the new Market House on the corner of First and Central Streets doubled as a civic building. In 1915, a new brick and stone structure on Summer Street became the location of the town departments. When it burned in 1955, the Town council and its administrative offices found a home in the former Post Office constructed in 1886 on Summer Street and still occupies those premises. The town officially became a city in 1995 after the amalgamation with the adjacent communities of St. Eleanors and Wilmot.
Patrick Daley (1868-1941), a butcher, owned a meat market on the corner of Hanover and Eustane streets in Summerside, Prince Edward Island. His father William (1828-1924), a ship carpenter of Irish descent, married Sophie Gamble (1830-1914). Patrick, one of 5 children, married Maude Arsenault and had 8 sons: Hugh, Harry, Roy, Horace, William, Frank, Frederick, and Arthur. The sons all helped in the business but Hugh and Fred eventually took it over. When they went on to other employment, the building was demolished and the youngest son Roy (1914-1984), nicknamed Pony, built an eating establishment there which he called Pony’s Restaurant.
Another son Harry (1909-1994) served as a Company Quarter-master Sergeant in the PEI Highlanders for the duration of World War II. He married Beryl Milligan (1916-1954) of Sherbrooke, PEI and worked in the accounting department at Holman’s Ltd. for 19 years and then with several other businesses. Their two sons Gerald Arthur (b.1940) and Paul Alexander (b.1948) grew up at 164 Central Street. Gerald began working for The Journal-Pioneer newspaper in 1959. After 7 years he became a journeyman printer and in 2002 is employed by the newspapers’ printing division Williams and Crue (1982) Ltd. In 1963 he married Norma Effie McCaull and they raised five children at their home in Reid’s Corner, now part of Summerside. Over the years he has been an active member of St Mary’s Anglican Church and has voiced his opinion on many issues in the form of letters to the editor.
Laurie Bell of Huntley, Prince Edward Island, operated Hillbilly Books bookstore at his home near Alberton in 2000.
John Watson MacNaught (1904-1984) grew up in Coleman, Prince Edward Island, one of four sons born to Robert Charles MacNaught (1870-1951) and Emily Morehead (1874-1950). He obtained a B.A. in 1928 and LL.B. in 1930 from Dalhousie University where he met his future wife Eva Palmer (d. 2000), daughter of W.E. Palmer of Halifax. They married 11 May 1932, moved to Summerside from Kensington in 1935 and had two sons, John William Palmer (d. 1996) and David Alexander. After serving as law clerk (1935-41) and then clerk (1941-45) at the Legislative Assembly of Prince Edward Island, he was elected to the House of Commons in 1945. He was re-elected in 1949 and 1953, but lost his Liberal seat in 1957. Upon his re-election to Parliament in 1963, he was appointed Solicitor General by Prime Minister Pearson and he held that post until 6 July 1965 when he became Minister of Mines and Technical Surveys. He was defeated in the election in November 1965, but accepted a government appointment on 6 March 1966 as Chairman of the Dominion Coal Board. He retired from government services in September 1972. In June 1973, he and his son John purchased the legal firm of Morley M. Bell in Summerside. After the death of J. W. MacNaught, John continued to practice law until his demise in November 1996. The MacNaught family occupied the property at 75 Spring Street, Summerside, from 1957 until 1997.
Barbara MacLeod (1868-1963), daughter of Kenneth and Margaret MacPherson MacLeod of Irishtown, Prince Edward Island, married John McGougan. One of eight children, her siblings were Annie, Eliza, Alma, George, Andrew, Edgar, and her twin sister Margaret. Barbara and John had one daughter, Margaret Lillian, who died at five years of age in 1909.
Lucus Allen was a resident of Summerside, Prince Edward Island.
The Summerside and Area Historical Society was formed at a meeting held on 28 April 1983 at the Eptek Centre in Summerside. A proposed constitution and set of bylaws was accepted and Alex B. Campbell became the first president. The Society was formed as a non-profit organization with a purpose "of promoting and encouraging an interest in the history of the Summerside Area". By January 1984, there were 40 individuals and 5 corporate bodies on the membership list. In June of that year, an official logo was adopted for use on letterhead and promotional literature. That same summer, the Society organized a public Historic Homes tour, and repeated the venture in 1985 and 1986. Also in 1984, the group became involved in a Canada Works Project at the Holman Homestead on Fitzroy Street. An outcome of this was the establishment of the International Fox Museum at the Homestead in recognition of the role the Silver Black Fox industry played in the local economy.
The members designed and published 5000 brochures of "A Walking Tour of Summerside" in 1985. A new tour called "Of Merchant, Fox and Sails" was produced in conjunction with an exhibit at the Eptek Centre in 1992 and was reprinted in 1997. An architectural inventory project carried out in 1994 under the auspices of the group then led by President Julie Simmons, was compiled into a proposal for a heritage preservation bylaw and submitted to City Council in October 1995. Members were re-energized again in the year 2000 when the MacNaught History Centre and Archives was opened. Through meetings, lectures, and displays the Society continues to work toward its goals with many community interests such as Eptek Art and Culture Centre, the Royal Canadian Legion, and the Wyatt Heritage Properties.