Stanley Gladstone Chant
- Born: 14 Jan 1874, Thomasburg, Ontario 1
- Marriage: Emma Bell Aylesworth on 20 Dec 1893 in Newburgh, Ontario 1
- Died: 22 Mar 1964, Toronto, Ontario at age 90
- Buried: Toronto, Ontario - Park Lawn Cemetery 2
Stanley was born in January of 1874 at Thomasburg Ontario. His youth would have been spent following his father, Reverend Joseph Horatio Chant, all over Ontario as he preached. It must have been difficult for young Stanley and his brother and sister to get a decent education when they moved almost every year, but both Stanley and his brother Arthur went on to post secondary education. Stanley went to the Toronto school of Pharmacy and Arthur went to university. Unfortunately, Stanley did not pass his final exams to graduate as a pharmacist. So he first got a job with a drug company as a sales person and soon after he went into business running a drug and general store, but he had to have a partner who was accredited. His partner, Dr. Jones was a medical doctor. One month before he turned 20, just before Christmas, Stanley Gladstone Chant married Emma Belle Aylesworth. The wedding took place in Newburg, Emma's home town and the place where Rev. Joseph H. Chant retired a few years later. Stanley and Emma had their first child there one year later, Douglas Bristol (Bristol was Emma's mother's maiden name). Every two years or so came another until there were ten: Douglas Bristol, Beulah Charlotte, Joseph Aylesworth, Lola Doris, Theodore McKim, Stanley Emma, John Christopher, George Gordon, Allen Lloyd, Miriam Matilda. Only one did not live to adulthood. She seems to have been stillborn, but she had a name, Mary. She was born between Doug and Beulah.
The store was in Webbwood, Ontario on the shore of Georgian Bay. Stanley and Emma lived there from 1901 till 1918 when their house burnt down. In the years between 1901 and 1918 Stanley first worked running the drug store with Dr. Jones. Then he formed his own company 'S.G. Chant & Company" and bought a general store, he then got into the lumbering business which was booming in the area at the time. He supplied a local lumber company with a great deal of supplies. So, when the logging company went bankrupt owing S.G. Chant & Co. a lot of money, the company took over the logging equipment and began to supply the local saw mill, in order to recoup their losses. They also soon took over the sawmill in Massey. All went well for a few years until a bad year came along and S.G. Chant & Co. went bankrupt. Fortunately, the company had owned a farm that Stanley was able to keep, so the Chants became farmers.
On the Webbwood farm the Chants raised beef cattle, dairy cattle, pigs and chickens and grew potatoes, turnips, carrots, oats, hay, and wheat. According to his children, he was an awful farmer and did not like it. Much of the work on the farm was, of course, done by the children, some of whom objected heartily, young 'Teddy' among them. There was at least one among them who would have loved it, Stanley, but alas being female, she wasn't taken seriously. During his time in Webbwood, Stanley was a Justice of the Peace for at least one year, and served as mayor for a year. He also served on a three-man tribunal to discuss conscription during WWI.
On New Year's Eve, in 1918, the house burnt to the ground. The following description of the events of that memorable day is in the words of a 12 year old witness, Ted Chant:
I'll never forget that. I'll tell you the whole thing right from the moment it started. One mystery is how it started really. In that house they had two big fireplaces.... at this side [east] was a big brick chimney like an arch. It went up so high and then there were two of them, you see, and they went up here and then they joined together, and right in there in that corner was what we called the den, Dad's private study room,...He'd go in there in the evening and Mother'd go in there and they'd sit down and have a fire in the fireplace and Dad would read the paper and Mother would knit or crochet or something ... We were supposed to stay the heck out of the den in the evening. That was their own place ... But the Sunday that the house burned to the ground, we kids .... we had a fire in that upstairs fireplace. That was the only time I remember there being a f ire up there. It was the first one and the last one.... We were all there, yeah, Mother and Dad, Doris and Chris, Joe wasn't there, Doris and Beulah and Stanley, I don't know, yeah, Chris and George were born..., Sunday afternoon, for lack of something better to do we asked Mother and Dad, Dad I guess, if it was alright if we could have a f ire going in the upstairs hall in the fireplace, and he said "oh yeah, sure". So we carried up our kindling wood, and put a fire on up there. And that was all a properly built chimney, there were no holes. For the life of me I don't know how our fire, on Sunday afternoon, burnt the house down. Either that or the one in the den, Dad had a fire in the den so Sunday afternoon... It was 40 below zero, pretty cold weather ... end of December the 31st, it was my sister's birthday ... You know sometimes we'd light a fire in the stove, and the stove would tick like that, you ever hear in a box stove you light a f ire and the chimney and everything would go tick, tick, tick. So we had this fire going this Sunday afternoon and the chimney was ticking to beat heck. We didn't worry about that, because it always did whenever we had a fire.... Well it was early evening we had the fire going upstairs in the afternoon. It was out by that point, long since, it had burn't out. Dad had a fire down in his den and I think they had a fire in the front hall, I'm not too sure about that, but I know Dad had, he always had, a fire in the den every night. So ah, we were fooling around there about 7 o clock, it was right after supper, we were playing around and I heard a funny sound. I could hear it, the wall ticking tick tick... just like a wood stove when it's expanding when you light a fire you hear tick, tick, tick.... I think it was maybe my sister Doris, somebody was upstairs in that corner room, and could hear this peculiar sound, ticking in the wall. So ah, we had our supper and paid no attention to it, but it was still doing it, and after supper Doris went down and told Dad that it sounded to her like there was something funny going on cause that chimney, she put her hands on the wall and the wall was hot above the fireplace, and we'd had a fire there in the afternoon, but there was no fire then. Dad came up and I remember plainly him going over the plaster wall with his hands. There was a hot place in the wall, it was real hot. And Dad said, "Now I wonder what the heck is wrong with that, there shouldn't be hot spots in that wall". So he goes downstairs and gets an axe from the wood shed behind the house and brought it in and I remember him now... Dad hit that plaster with the back of the axe and put a big hole in it, and as soon as he put the hole in it you could see the fire in there in the wall burning away like everything.... So ah, Dad says, "Run down to the fire hall, town fire hall, and tell them our house is on fire" ... that was about a half a mile... it seemed like quite a long run ... anyway, I ran, ran all the way...The only fire fighting equipment that the town had was in conjunction with the CPR railroad... They had a fire hose, and a two-wheel cart with hose on it and of course they had water at the CPR roundhouse f or the engines. They're all steam engines in those days, you see, they'd come in off the run they'd fill up the water tank and f ill up the coal bin and clean out the ashes getting ready for the next run.... So they had water there... They could pump water and they had a two-wheel cart with hose on it, hose, heavy hose was flat like canvas and it was wound on that reel and two men could take the front of that and run with it right up the street... It would unwind right up the street and ah, so they got that out and started up to our place, but the hose ran out before they got there. The one next house, they could reach it, but they couldn't reach our house, which was a very bad thing because if they had been able to I guess they could have saved the house,.... They turned the water on and then they got a bucket brigade, everybody that had a pail joined in and they had the water running at this other neighbours'. They'd fill it up there and run to our place with it and go back and get another couple of pails. Everybody was running back and forth with a pail of water trying to put this fire out. They couldn't. It wouldn't go out. Couldn't get to it... I can recall it quite well, as if it happened yesterday, the guys would come up the front stairs of the house with a pail of water in each hand and the bedroom right up at the top of the stairs, that corner bedroom where the fire started, was full of smoke, you couldn't go in. And uh, so they'd come up with two pails of water and they'd just set one pail, both pails down, open the door, grab a pail of water and throw it in, two pails of water, shut the door again, and go downstairs. Another guy would be behind him with two more pails of water, and ah, every darn pail that any of them had around that end of the town they were all in use that night. But that was, they were the full width of the room from where the fire was, but still it helped to dampen it, it didn't you know, it held it, it delayed the action of the fire. It was in the wall on the east wall and they were going the full width of the bedroom from it to get to the bedroom door and they opened the door and heave the water right in pail after pail, shut the door, go back downstairs again for a couple more, meet somebody coming up when they were going down, and they'd have two pails of water. They sure put a lot of water in that bedroom, but they couldn't hope to get the fire out because the f ire was in the wall and they were throwing the water in on the bedroom floor. You see it was below the fire... It lasted quite a while, the darn fire was slow to get going, you'd be surprised. I think they fought that for a good hour… I stayed at Alec McMillan's that night, a chum of mine, everybody was, we were all posted somewhere around town. Everybody had some of the family. People would come and offer to take some of us, you know, with no place to sleep. Golly, That was quite a night, I'll never forget… It burned right to the ground ... We didn't loose the barn,… There were two cows in the barn, and they were all right, they were still there, the barn was still there. Well, later on we rented a house, there was an empty house downtown. It belonged to McMillans. Dad knew old J.C., he didn't like him very well, but we knew the McMillan family.... I stayed with Alec McMillan that night ... That night we slept two in a bed. I don't know where the rest of them went...
It was then that Stanley and Emma decided to move. With the insurance money from the fire, Stanley bought a farm in Hampton, a small town near Bowmanville. The farm was called "Maple Lane". For the next 10 or so years, Stanley ran the farm, sending milk to Oshawa. In 1928 he moved to Toronto and began to work for the Ontario Milk Producers Association in advertising. He soon became the Advertising manager, then Assistant Editor and finally, the editor of the "The Milk Producer", a publication of the Association. In 1953 he retired and lived ten more years before his death at the age of 90. In 1958 Stanley and Emma celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary at the Seaway Hotel. Emma died in 1960. He had had two, possibly three strokes within a year and had just been moved to an old age home when he passed away, of another stroke. Stanley Gladstone Chant is buried beside Emma, in Parklawn cemetery in Mississauga. Stanley was a religious man. He regularly went to the Methodist and later United church conferences, and was a revered elder at the Zion church in Hampton.
The above from: 'The Chant Family History' by Janice C. Carter
Obituary in The Toronto Star March 23, 1964 read:
Chant, Stanley G. - On Sunday March 22, 1964 in his 91st year, of 77 Riverview Gardens, beloved husband of the late Emma Aylesworth; dear father of Mrs. C. Vivian (Beulah), Mrs R. Cameron (Doris), both of Bowmanville; Mrs. A. Venner (Stanley), Little Britain; Miriam, Douglas B. and Allen L., of Toronto; Theodore M. (Ted) of Hampton; Christopher J. of Milliken; George G. of London; and the late Joseph A. Chant. Resting at the Yorke Chapel of Turner and Porter, 2357 Bloor St. W. Funeral service at 3 o'clock Tuesday afternoon. Interment Park Lawn Cemetery.
Stanley married Emma Bell Aylesworth, daughter of John Bell Aylesworth and Catherine E. Bristol, on 20 Dec 1893 in Newburgh, Ontario.1 (Emma Bell Aylesworth was born on 17 Dec 1873, died on 24 Jul 1960 in Toronto, Ontario and was buried in Toronto, Ontario - Park Lawn Cemetery 2.)