Welcome to the Community Archives of Belleville and Hastings County

The Community Archives of Belleville and Hastings County preserves the history of our community through the records of local governments, individuals, families, businesses and organizations. Find us in the Belleville Public Library building at 254 Pinnacle Street, Belleville, Ontario. Call us at 613-967-3304.

The archives is open Monday to Thursday, 9.30am to 12pm and 1pm to 4pm and on Friday and Saturday by appointment.

Archives News

Belleville in World War I

Follow the citizens of Belleville and Hastings County as they face the challenges of the home front during the First World War through excerpts from The Daily Intelligencer, August 1914 to November 1918.

Nurses of World War I: Nonie Winnifred Milburn

Nonie Winnifred Milburn was born at Belleville on September 7, 1873 daughter of Edward Milburn and Isabella Benjamin. The father of our subject was a teacher and served as principal of the Belleville High School from 1894 to 1908; he was a life-long friend of Sir William Osler. She lived with her parents at 216 Charles Street and maintained that address for the duration.

House at 216 Charles Street, Belleville

She was educated locally and was probably a graduate of the Nursing School at the Dr. John Lee Private Hospital in Rochester, N.Y. about 1909; following graduation she remained in the employ of the Hospital.

Miss Milburn enlisted in the Canadian Army Medical Corps on February 19, 1917 at Kingston.

Height: 5’ 4”

Weight:  142lb

Age: 43 (stated age: 33)

Nursing Sister Milburn served in military hospitals in England including Westenhanger, Brighton, Buxton and Shorncliffe and at St. Claud, France. Here she was bothered by recurrent sciatica and was hospitalized for treatment and later treated for influenza at Kinmel Park Medical Hospital. She returned to Canada setting sail aboard the S.S. Celtic on July 3, 1919 and was discharged on July 15, 1919. Miss Milburn worked at the Belleville Hospital for some years after her return.

Nonie Winnifred Milburn died at Kingston on February 20, 1963 aged 89 years 5 months 13 days. She is interred at the Belleville Cemetery Section K Row 7 Grave 3.

100 Years Ago: Shell Shock Treated at Cobourg, West Hastings Registration

The Intelligencer July 11, 1918 (page 1)

“Shattered Nerves Restored at Cobourg. In this war as in no former war, heavy artillery and high explosives play a leading part. This feature has brought about a type of casualty which was rarely known in other wars, namely, shell shock, bringing with it mental or nervous disability.

On various occasions prominent medical men have tried to prove that there is really no such thing as shell shock, but in spite of that large numbers of men are returning to Canada, rendered unfit for further military service by nervous or mental collapse, due to the strain of modern warfare and the conditions under which men live and fight on the battlefields overseas. These men are, in many cases, in worse condition than those who have lost their limbs, and only the most skilled and careful treatment will ever fit them for former civilian occupations. …

Fortunately for them, the medical staff of our army is fully alive to their needs and have provided special hospitals for them where every device and treatment known to the medical world is provided with a view to bringing about cures. The centre for such treatment in Ontario is at Cobourg and the institution goes under the name of the Ontario Military Hospital.”

The Intelligencer July 11, 1918 (page 1)

“Registration In West Hastings. Mr. J. A. Kerr, of this city, registrar for West Hastings, has received the complete returns from the various deputy registrars appointed in the riding and they show that the total registration was 24,011, of which, 12,108 were males and 11,903 were females.”

100 Years Ago: Belleville Board of Trade Discusses Coal Situation, Food Purveyors’ Ads Must Include License Number, Fine Potato Crop

The Intelligencer July 10, 1918 (page 1)

“Coal Question Taken Up By Belleville Board of Trade. At the monthly meeting of the Board of Trade held last evening, there was a goodly number of members present, and during the session several matters appertaining to the city’s welfare were discussed. After considerable discussion a committee was appointed to investigate the coal situation in the city having especial reference to the price charged. …

President Marsh said he had obtained prices from several places and the only place where the prices were the same as Belleville was Peterboro. This was a serious question affecting Belleville, said the President, and something should be done to equalize conditions in the city. …

Mr. C. J. Wills—The Fuel Controller cannot regulate the price as he has not the authority to do so. He does not receive a cent for the time he spends as Fuel Controller, but is paid a salary for another civic office he holds. The local controller cannot dispute the figures which are given him by the dealers. …

Mr. W. B. Deacon was of the opinion that some other person than the Fuel Controller could get quotations better than he could. Our Fuel Committee is run by a bunch of amateurs, said Mr. Deacon, who stated that last winter the committee procured some coal at $3 per ton and sold it for $12. This Fuel Committee has got into a muddle in this matter. We cannot blame our coal dealers for the price they secure. The coal dealers should be asked to come to the Board and explain the coal situation. There is a feeling that we are paying too much for coal.

He moved that a committee composed of Col. Marsh, Messrs. C. M. Reid, H. F. Ketcheson, W. B. Deacon and E. P. Frederick be appointed to confer with the coal dealers as to the supply and price of coal. …  The motion of Mr. Deacon was unanimously adopted.”

The Intelligencer July 10, 1918 (page 1)

“Notice to Advertisers. The Daily Intelligencer has been notified by the Canada Food Board that all purveyors of food who publish advertisements in the newspapers must insert the number of their license in each advertisement, as follows: ‘Canada Food Board—License No. ____.’

Those under license asked to observe this notice are: Grocers (wholesale and retail), bakers (manufacturing and retail), manufacturers of breakfast foods and cereals, millers, retail butchers, fish dealers (wholesale and retail), dealers in fresh fruits and vegetables (wholesale and retail), canners and packers.

The Food Board earnestly requests the fullest co-operation of those interested in the observation of this regulation. The Intelligencer trusts that all advertisers will note the request.”

The Intelligencer July 10, 1918 (page 5)

“Fine Crop of Potatoes. Mr. George Ketcheson, residing on Alexander street, in this city, has a patch of potatoes of which he is justly proud. Yesterday from one hill he secured six potatoes whose combined weight was two and three-quarters pounds, which is exceptionally good for this season of the year.”



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