Ancestral Notes

My Family History blog

Sentimental Sunday – Wm. Edgar (Bill) Hines

My brother and I with my grandparents, Bill and Josie Hines
at their home on Arthur Ave.

My grandfather William Edgar (Bill) Hines, was born on March 27, 1894 and passed away on March 29, 1977. Since today is the 28th of March, I thought I would write something about him.

Bill was born in Aldborough Twp., Elgin County, eleventh of thirteen children of John and Harriet Hines. His family moved to Rochester, Essex County by 1897, when his younger brother, Fleming was born. He was in Rochester in 1903, and I suspect that he was one of the brothers mentioned in this next article:

The family moved to Gosfield North, Essex County and Bill was enrolled in the school system in 1905. In January, while walking home from school, he and his little sister ate some blue flax roots and as a result, his sister died. He would have died also, but he was given an emetic and didn’t get as much of the toxic roots in his system.

Bill was married to Josephine Desbiens (Josie), Oct 6, 1917, and worked for the Michigan Central Railway. They lived in the house his father built on Arthur Avenue in Essex.
On Nov. 18, 1921 there was a fire in the house which resulted in the death of their youngest daughter.

They had three more children, a daughter and two sons, the youngest being my father, born in 1926, all born at the family home.

Bill was an avid gardener and bee-keeper. I used to love eating honey right out of the combs when I was young. He was a hunter as well, always having his shotgun beside the side door. I remember one time he brought home a raccoon and my younger sister helped him clean it on the back porch. As usual, after cleaning the hide, he would nail it to the wall of the garage.

Bill smoked a pipe and had a mission-style recliner/rocker that has a hollow in the arm from decades of tapping his pipe when he filled it. After his death, my dad inherited the chair and after my dad died, my brother inherited it.

My grandfather used to play the fiddle, but I never heard him play, he had arthritis in his fingers and was unable to play, but he would bring it out once in a while and show us his violin.
He brought out a large document once in a while to show us as well, saying that it was his father’s from the Orange Lodge.

Since the Great Depression, my grandfather didn’t trust banks and he didn’t believe in credit. It was nothing for him to have a couple of thousand dollars in his wallet. I remember one time, my grandmother was throwing out some newspapers and he put his wallet on the table on top of them. Without looking, she just grabbed the papers and threw them out. After a couple of hours, he went to get his wallet and it was gone. He had $1500 dollars in it and it was already at the dump. He never left his wallet laying around again.

My grandparents rarely drove out of town, my grandfather would go to the Essex Farmers once or twice a week to chat with his friends, my brother went with him but he said it was no place for a girl, so I couldn’t go. On the way home sometimes he would stop at the liquor store and get a bottle. He never brought it into the house, my grandmother wouldn’t allow it, so, whenever he headed out to the garage, we all knew that he was going out for a drink. He would think he was being sneaky but everybody knew what he was up to.

On my grandparents’ 50th wedding anniversary, we had a family dinner at the Aberdeen Hotel to celebrate the occasion. All of my aunts, uncles and cousins as well as more distant relatives attended.

My grandfather died in the home six months before my grandparents’ 60th wedding anniversary, but he didn’t wait, he gave my grandmother her gift early, he managed to buy her a diamond ring, I don’t know how he did it because he was bed-ridden for the last few months of his life. He must have had the jeweller come to the house when my grandmother was out shopping.

Ancestral Notes by Earline Hines Bradt is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.5 Canada License.

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Filed under: Sentimental Sunday, Wm. E. Hines

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