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.

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.

100 Years Ago: Victory Loan Campaign Launched, John Jones Dangerously Ill, Ad for Gillette Banking System

The Intelligencer November 12, 1917 (page 2)

“Campaign Launched With Wild Acclaim. After nine o’clock this morning any citizen of Belleville remaining in ignorance of the fact that Hastings County, and the Dominion of Canada had started into the three weeks drive for the Victory Loan, was either deaf and blind, or a candidate for the Bay Shore rest station. Every noise producing instrument in the city was requisitioned for use. Church bells, fire bells, dinner bells, factory whistles, automobile horns and human voices joined in with the rest of Canada in the financial battle the same as her sons who have fought and died in the battle for the world’s freedom.

The men over there have done their duty. Now those who are unable to go over are about to do theirs. Every man, woman and child who is earning a wage, or receiving an income, must buy a Victory Bond within the next three weeks. There can be no alternative. …

At 7.30 tonight the street lights will go out for three minutes to remind the citizens that it is their duty to go to the City Hall and hear the addresses on the Victory Loan by men who are familiar with the subject, and to listen to a programme of music by Belleville’s leading artists. …

Ald. W. B. Deacon, the county chairman, marshalled his forces on Saturday night at the headquarters on Campbell street for final instructions before the big drive. He let them know that Hastings County must supply One Million Dollars to the Canada Victory Loan, and ‘A Million or Bust’ will be the slogan for the workers of Hastings.

This morning saw the workers out and doing. Every man was in his place to sell the Victory Bonds, and the publicity committee was out in full force to plaster the town with the advertising matter, so that no matter where the people turn they will be confronted with a reminder of a duty done, or yet to be done.

Everyone who buys a bond will be given a button to wear. It must be worn prominently, not in a boastful way, but for the moral effect on the man who has failed to do his duty, so that before the three weeks will be up a man will be ashamed to appear in public without a button. The absence of the button will be far more conspicuous than the presence of it. …

Many merchants have kindly given their newspaper space to be used by the Publicity Committee, and it would be well to read these advertisements. …  An announcement will be made from the stage at the City Hall tonight of the result of the first day’s canvass, also at Griffin’s theatres.”

The Intelligencer November 12, 1917 (page 2)

“Private John Jones Dangerously Ill. The following telegram was received yesterday by Mr. Thomas Jones of this city. Ottawa, Nov. 11, 1917. Thomas B. Jones, 75 South John Street, Belleville. Sincerely regret to inform you that (636742) Pte. John Jones, infantry, is officially reported dangerously ill at Sixth British Red Cross Hospital, Etaples, November 6th, 1917; gunshot wounds in right leg. Director of Records.

Pte. Jones is well known in this city, where he has resided all his life. He enlisted and went overseas with the 155th Battalion. Previous to enlistment he was employed at Marsh & Henthorne’s establishment. His many friends will hope for his recovery.”

The Intelligencer November 12, 1917 (page 4)

Ad for Gillette Banking System“Buy a Victory Bond by following the Gillette Banking System. Do you pay a man to shave you every day? Then you’re lucky if it doesn’t cost you more than the price of a $50.00 Victory Bond a year!

This shaving outlay might be $50.00 well spent if it saved some of your own valuable time. But on the contrary it takes three or four times as long to get shaved away from home, as to shave yourself with a Gillette Safety Razor.

If you have been using a Gillette you have been saving $1.00 per week at least. Buy an extra $50.00 Victory Bond for each year that the Gillette has saved that much for you!

If you haven’t been ‘banking’ money this way, buy both a Gillette and a Bond now, and let one pay for the other!”

100 Years Ago: Sinclair’s Ad for Victory Bonds, Poster for Victory Loan Rally, Publicity Committee Meets for Victory Loan Campaign

The Intelligencer November 10, 1917 (page 2)

Sinclair's ad for Victory Bonds“Sinclair’s Will Help You Buy Victory Bonds. Best Investment in The World! Best Returns On Your Money. Best Cause in Civilization’s History.

If You Will Buy Your Ladies; and Children’s Garments, also Staple & Fancy Dry Goods at Sinclair’s you will Save Money. And this real saving will help you to Buy Victory Bonds. And By So Doing Help Win the War! Sinclair’s.”

The Intelligencer November 10, 1917 (page 3)

Poster for Victory Loan Rally“Victory Loan Rally! City Hall, Nov. 12, 8 P. M.

Speakers: Rev. J. R. Patterson, Toronto; His Honor, Justice Maston, Toronto; Sir Mackenzie Bowell, Belleville; J. W. Johnson, M.P.P.

Singers: The Quinte Male Quartette: E. A. Mouck, E. Mooreman, S. R. Burrows, Ted Austin; Tenor Soloist: Prof. Staples & others.

I.O.O.F. Band under direction of Chas Hanna.

When the lights go out get under cover at the City Hall and hear all about Victory Bonds.”

The Intelligencer November 10, 1917 (page 4)

“One Million Dollars from Hastings County. Last night in the Victory Loan Headquarters the members of the Hastings County Victory Loan Publicity Committee met to organize for the purpose of keeping the people of this county alive to the necessity of subscribing for Victory Loans, and of seeing that the other fellow does likewise, and then buy more, and more yet. No let up will occur until Hastings county has passed its objective, $800,000.00, and goes to the million mark. …

Hastings County is the largest county, in area, in the Province of Ontario, and every inch of this county will be covered by the activities of the Publicity Committee. Public meetings will be held, posters displayed, banners flown, literature distributed so that no home in the county will be in ignorance of its country’s call for financial assistance.

Every child in the schools, and every student will know the details of the Loan so that they can go home and explain it all to their parents. …

On Monday evening at 7.30, all the street lights in the city will be turned off for five minutes, this will give the citizens time to think of where to go to have light shed on the advantages of the Victory Loan, and eight o’clock should see the City Hall packed to the door, to hear the speakers who will be there for the purpose of explaining the Victory Loan, and others who will entertain.

At 9 o’clock on Monday morning all whistles will be blown; the church bells rung and every form of noise imaginable will proclaim to the people of Belleville that the campaign for One Million Dollars will commence in Hastings County.”

100 Years Ago: King Requests Special Day of Prayer, Exemption Board at Work

The Intelligencer November 9, 1917 (page 1)

“Special Day of Prayer. London. The King has addressed a letter ‘To My People’ appointing Sunday, January 6th, as ‘A special day of prayer and thanksgiving in all the churches throughout my dominions.’ The King says: ‘The world-wide struggle for the triumph of right and liberty is entering upon its last and most difficult phase. The enemy is striving by desperate assault and submarine intrigue to perpetuate the wrong already committed, and to stem the tide of a free civilization. We have yet to complete the great task to which more than three years ago we dedicated ourselves.

At such a time I would call upon you to devote a special day to prayer, that we may have the clear-sightedness and strength necessary to the victory of our cause.’ ”

The Intelligencer November 9, 1917 (page 2)

“Exemption Board Is At Work. At the court house the local exemption tribunal composed of Judge Wills, Col. S. S. Lazier and Major P. K. Ketcheson, were in session yesterday and to-day, and the members were busy considering oral application for exemption. This class of work will be continued to-day. These first three days session of the Board are taken up in instructing applicants for exemption to apply for registration first, and after the close of the registration board the examining of claims for exemption will be taken up in earnest. …

It is expected that the work of the board will increase as the days go by, getting heavier towards the close of the period allotted for hearing of the applications.”

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