Lumber Baron and Mayor of Ottawa (1897 -), Ontario, Canada
"King of the Cascades" and manager of the Gatineau Boom Company
August 6, 2009: (new photograph added)
Photo Source: Ottawa, The Capital of Canada by Shirley E. Woods, Jr. 1980
August 28, 2008:
Samuel Bingham, Lumber Baron, Mayor of Ottawa
Text Source: Hurling Down the Pine, pages 105-107
A Samuel Bingham and Sarah Fitzpatrick, were in Bytown by 1838
when they baptized their son John (possibly John Samuel):
20 May 1838
Baptism of John, born the 1st of the marriage of Samuel Bingham and Sarah Fitzpatrick
Witnesses: Moses Doyle & wife (Bridget Brady)
Moses Doyle was one of the early settlers at South Gloucester -- one of the Doyles
in that area who came from the border area of County Wexford and County Wicklow, Ireland.
Bridget Brady was from County Cavan, Ireland.
The witnesses to another son's baptism were also pioneers on the Manotick Station Road:
12 Apr 1840
Baptism of Thomas, born 23 March of the marriage of Samuel Bingham and Sarah Fitzpatrick
Patrick Dewan & sister (The Dewans came from County Tipperary)
Source for church records at Notre Dame Church above is the Drouin Collection at ancestry.ca
February 15, 2009:
I have been enjoying this site for about a year, finding it after becoming interested in
my family background. Bytown or Bust has given me interesting information about the Binghams'
that was quickly added to the family tree. I was then surprised and thrilled to find
information about the other side of the family tree, the Herbert, Nash, Daley, Kelly, Kehoe, McEvoy
connection. I am now looking for information on the Reardon family. My great grandmother was
Margaret Reardon Kelly, married to William Kelly, and they raised a family of 8 in Manotick,
I believe. If anyone was has information on her or the Reardon family, I would really
appreciate hearing from you.
... Karen Bingham
August 15, 2010: (Karen has completely re-written the following biography of Samuel Bingham)
I emailed you a few months ago and at that time may have mentioned I was working on a biography
of Mayor Samuel Bingham, my great, great, great uncle. Most of my information comes from
family records and articles that were collected. I would like to have this biography added to
the Bytown or Bust site.
Samuel Michael Bingham was the 5th son born to Irish immigrants, Samuel
Bingham and Sarah Fitzpatrick, on May 13th, 1845 and baptised at Notre
Dame Cathedral on the 8th of June. His godparents were Michael and Mary
Cudick (Cusick ?). .(His birth year has been listed anywhere from 1845 to 1848 and his
age on the marriage certificate has him at 28 making his birth year 1847.)
He was raised with his four brothers and two sisters on Baird Street (which no
longer exists, was located where the Foreign Affairs Building is on Sussex
Drive). After finishing his education at Maloney's School at 113 Clarence
Street in Ottawa, he worked in Ramsey / Ramsay Village as a millhand learning the trade
of saw filler.
On the 11th of January 1875, he married Ellen Brannigan (sometimes referred
to as Helen) daughter of George Brannigan and Mary Sucock. The birth year for
Ellen Brannigan is also up for debate. Her age on the marriage notice is 23,
making her birth year 1852, her age on the 1901 census is 53, stating her birthdate
May 11, 1847, her death lists her as dying at 55 in 1915, making her birth year
1860 and her age at marriage 15. The following year, Samuel almost drowned
after his canoe tipped and he waited over 1/2 an hour to be rescued from the frigid
water of the Ottawa River.
He and Ellen went on to have 6 children, Albert born 28th October 1875 and
dying on the 24th May 1881 of diptheria at 5 years old, Walter Joseph born on 21st
April 1877, dying also of diptheria at 4 years, within days of his brother Albert on the 29th.
Georgina was born on the 9th of October, 1878 and died on the 26th of August,1880
of measles at age 2. Helena Theresa was born on the 22nd October, 1880.
Patrick was born 25th August 1882 and died the next day. Mary Mount Carmel born
on the 25th March,1885. They lived at 139 Dalhousie Street until 1877 when they
moved to 89 Metcalfe Street (now Sussex Drive) at St. Andrew Street.
In 1878 he won a contract for rafting and driving logs on the river with his
company. The Gatineau Drive Co., co-owned by Gilmour and Co. (later Gilmore
and Hughson) and the W.C. Edwards Company. He also operated Gatineau Boom Company.
From 1880 to 1893 he served consecutive terms as alderman for Ottawa and in
Lower Town and was nominated for Parliament in 1886, but declined.
In 1893 a new bridge was built and the city decided to name it after Alderman
Bingham and despite protests from the citizens to keep the original, name
"Cummings Bridge". Two iron signs bearing the name "Bingham Bridge" were
attached. It wasn't long before both were ripped from the bridge and
thrown into the river. To this day, the bridge is known as "Cummings Bridge".
He was a wealthy man by the time he ran for Mayor in 1897, defeating
Mr. W.H. Cluff and Mr. Levi Crannell on January 5th. Samuel was at home
sick with laryingitis and the outgoing Mayor Borthwick spoke for him,
thanking his supporters. During his time as mayor, he distributed his salary
to charitable purposes, never appropriating a cent to his own use. He called
a meeting "for the purpose of considering and deciding upon the most appropriate
manner of celebrating the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in Ottawa" at the Ottawa Public
Library in the winter of 1897. Samuel and his wife were known for throwing luncheons
for women's groups and hosting children's concerts. He wrote a letter to Sir Wilfred
Laurier, Prime Minister at the time, regarding the set up of parks in the Ottawa area
as he was also Chairman of the Board of Parks.
A strong believer in bilingualism he told the Daily Citizen "There are two
languages in the country and you cannot get away from that fact. The French
learn English because they have to, but the English should learn French
because their education is not complete if they do not know it". He also
received the Chevalier by Pope Leo XVII.
He loved children and wanted them to have a place they could play, so he
donated the land for Bingham Park bounded by Dalhousie Street, Sussex Drive
and Bolton Street. He fixed up the playground at his own expense and paid
the caretaker out of his own pocket. The sign at the entrance of the
park said "Free to every living man and boy who behaves himself".
Daniel O'Connor had a drinking fountain placed in Metcalfe Square,
with the inscription "Presented by D. O'Connor, QC to his worship
Mayor Bingham, May 1897". In 1963, the fountain was moved to the lawn to the
side of City Hall, Green Island. The cast iron bowl had been damaged at some earlier
time. In 1980 the base was moved to municipal storage at the Bayview Yard Depot.
On the 5th July 2000, City Council passed a motion that the fountain base be moved
to 120 Boteler Street, the home of the Bingham family built by Samuel's brothers'
and nephew in the late 1880.
On June 16th, 1905 Samuel was summoned from home late in the evening by
telegraph, after a hard week looking after the log drives. He started out shortly
after midnight to the Cascades (in the Gatineau) and by 8 a.m., the dam was finally broken after hours
of work without a break, he ate breakfast then headed to Wakefield. He had
had plans to meet with his daughters there and go onto their summer cottage
at Blue Sea Lake where they were planning to spend Sunday. Sam got to
Wakefield and left a message for his daughters telling them he could not join
them at the summer cottage as he was concerned about a jam forming again.
It's believed he fell asleep in the buggy as it headed toward Wakefield
exhausted from over 24 hours without sleep compounded with the very close,
warm weather. He was awaken by a hired hand from one of the
summer resorts along the way, thanked him and promised to stop in on the way
back and was last seen again by a local just after midnight. It's believed the
horse, parched from the long drive headed into the water for a drink after
Sam fell asleep again. A rumor had been circulated that he may have been drowned by
thugs who somehow knew he was carrying $7000.00 to $10,000.00 on him to pay his
workers. He had always been a very strong swimmer.
Headline in the paper on June 19th 1905 says "Ex-Mayor Bingham Tragic Death"
"Drowned in Gatineau River Near Village of Wakefield on Saturday Afternoon, His
Body Not Yet Recovered". Another headline says "Drowned In Gatineau, The End Of A
Busy Day" "Ex-Mayor Samuel Bingham Falls Into the Tide With Horse and Buggy"
"Driving to Wakefield to meet Daughters, Two Nights without Sleep and Working
at a Jam of Logs, Falls Asleep and Horse Walks Into River"
In an article in the The Ottawa Citizen Newpaper, on 22 June, we are told of how the grappling
irons, used to search for previous drowning victim, were lost and replaced by
Sam and were now being used in the search for his body. On the 23rd of June his
body was found around 5:20 p.m. by Maurice Charron floating amoung the logs
at the Casacades near Wakefield. His date of his death is said to be on or
about the 17th and believed to have happened between noon and 3 pm.
The wake was held at his home on June 24th, leaving there at 9:30 to St. Brigid's
Church for the funeral, the largest seen in Ottawa in quite some time. It was
attended by members of city council as well as the employees from the Gatineau
River (see copy of funeral notice). He was buried at Notre Dame Cemetery,
lot 1736, section x, a bronze bust designed by Hamilton McCarthy and a copy
of the medal given him by Pope Leo XVII adorn it. In his will dated December 31,
1896, he left an estate of over $270,000, to his wife and daughters. He also left
money to family members including his brothers, sisters and their children and
to both Catholic and Protestant orphanages and hospitals.
In 1910 Ellen Brannigan and her daughters went to Rome and had the privilege
to meet with the Pope. Ellen returned with a crucifix and donated it to
St. Brigit's Church. Upon it's closing in 2006 the crucifix was moved to either
Notre Dame Catherdral or Our Lady Carmel on St. Laurent Blvd.
On Thursday, October 21 1915 Ellen Brannigan died at the Place Viger
Hotel in Montreal of Bright's Disease (kidney disease) at the age of 55.
The wake was held on Saturday, October 25 at her previous residence,
89 Sussex Drive followed by funeral at St. Brigit's at 9:45. She was laid to
rest with husband at Notre Dame Cemetery.
At 24, Helena married 31 year old Andrew Livingston Masson, a presbyterian,
son of Donald Masson and Marion Edie / Edey ? at St. Patrick's Church, Kent Street, Ottawa on
November 21, 1906 (see copy of marriage notice). Andrew, born April 14,
1875, was a clerk at the Department of the Interior. Walter Bingham Masson,
born on the 25th April 1909 at 240 Cooper St. in Ottawa and was baptised
May 2nd at St. Patricks Church, is godmother is listed as Carmel Bingham.
Walter is listed in the 1911 Census with parents and then appears next in the
1920 United States / USA census after he and his parents moved to New York in 1913.
Two younger brothers, Edward born in 1915 and Andrew born in 1919 are listed as
being born in Manhattan New York. Records show Andrew Sr. returned briefly to Ottawa
There is very little information on Carmel except she is mentioned on two
passenger lists. On the "6th of November, 1916 Passenger List,
Carmel Bingham, age 31,sailed on "The Bermudian" to New York, NY",
then on "October 1918 Passenger List, Carmel Bingham, age 32,
address 16 Baird Street, Ottawa, Port of Arrival Vermont, USA."
Samuel Bingham was a self made man and philanthropher, also referred to as a
"man of progress". He was described as "a shrewd, energetic businessman"
accustomed to handling large and important enterprises. He was the consumate
family man enjoying every minute he spent with his wife and daughters. An avid
sportsman he loved skating, snowshoeing, bicycling, canoeing and was an
avid horse back rider touring a part of the city each day.
"He was honest, a man of means and considerable independence, a warm and
... by Karen Bingham
March 12, 2010:
I thought this picture could be of some interest. This is the Ottawa National Baseball Team from 1896. The gentleman on the
far right is Richard Bingham, I would be his first cousin, three times removed I believe. He played the position of left
field on the team. Unfortunately, I do not have names for any of the other gentlemen.(See posting below, dated January 5, 2010 ... Al)
... Karen Bingham
Ottawa National Baseball Team, 1896
January 5, 2010:
My name is Danielle Ritz. My step-grandfather was Richard Andrew Bingham (junior) - he married my grandmother in 1965.
With his father, the Richard Bingham who is in the photo you posted, the formed the company R. A. Bingham and Son.
I just saw the picture of the National Baseball Club on your web site, and I have one of the originals here, still in
its original frame (I believe). Included is a sheet on the bottom with the names of the players. No first names, just
initials, but I thought you might like them:
Back row, left to right: F. Robert, Pres.; J. Gauvreau, Treas.
2nd row, left to right: E. D. Bance, 1st Base; J. Kane, 2nd Base; O. LaFleur, 3rd Base; T. Taylor, short stop; W. Earle,
centre field; M. O'Neil, Right Field, R. Bingham, Left Field
3rd row, left to right: A. Fauteux, pitcher; J. Sevigny, Hon.-Pres.; D. Allin, Catcher and Captain
Front row, left to right: C. Allin, right field; G. Dixon, centre field
It says the photo is by Sproule and O'Connor
Photo also posted to our Ottawa Sports History Web Page.
November 1, 2010:
Source: The Hub and the Spokes by Anson Gard, page 51
November 5, 2012:
To Karen Bingham,
I simply want to share some of my youth's memories concerning the Bingham Park and my living in Lower Town till I got married.
My name is Mrs Marie Longtin. I was born on Cathcart Street, near Cumberland. At the corner was a store called Dairylane. My parents
moved to Redpath street, when I was 2 or 3 moved at 30 Boteler street where they rented from Mrs Lee. I also had an uncle and of
course school friends who lived on Baird street. We all went to Routhier School on Guigues street now a (Community Center) also
Duhamel School also on Guigues street corner of Cumberland. (none existing)
I learned to skate at an early age and have been searching the web for pictures of the Skating Rink (we called it the big Doughnut with
the hockey rink in the middle and we skated around it) when I was youger and enjoying it so much every days on the School Holidays
then at night when I was 11 till 9:00 pm the lights would go out and that meant all under 16 were not allowed. When I turned 13
Mr Lacombe and his older son Henry were responsible for the Establishment and they lived on the second house on Sussex and Boteler
would allow me with my Parents permission to stay till ten. What a treat it was.
In the Summer it was Mr Lemay that was responsible for the Summer activities, they would remove the winter units where we would
warm up except for the Bathroom unit that was made in cement to place all the kiddies and older kids swings. There were tables
that allowed us to play all kinds of society games, Baseball corner of Cathcart and Dalhousie etc.
Our Summers and winters were fantastic and that was because of a good man Mr Bingham. Reading your article gave me some great
pleasure of who he was and what he had done for us kids growing up in that era that can never be forgotten.
We were not rich people but we were happy kids with great parents that loved us and taught us good values. I felt bad reading
about his passing so when I visit my loved ones at the Notre Dame Cemetery I will pay him my
respect and thanks for all his good deeds.
Would you have pictures of that era of the Bingham Park. If you do would you be able to email me a few I would so appreciate it
and if you need some pictures from Boteler street business(es) I may have a couple but they are family pictures only.
Thank you for sharing the memoirs of Mr. Bingham
These memories I mentioned were those of my father and his brothers who lived at 120 Boteler Street. I have quite a bit of information
on Bingham Park and of the mayor himself. He was my 3rd great uncle and while researching the Bingham tree, I learned much about
him and the rest of the family. I would be pleased to send you pictures I have and will also contribute them to bytown.net shortly.
The mayor passed away in 1905 and his grave is in section X at Notre Dame cemetery.
E-mail Karen Bingham, Danielle Ritz, Marie Longtin and Al Lewis
Back to Bytown or Bust - History and Genealogy in the Ottawa, Canada, area