Beatty Blackstock, 1890-1906

AuthorC. Ian Kyer
M C hapter N
A  B   managingpart nerbyTomBlackstock
had become the principal lawyer WithBeay ot herwise occupied it was
Blackstock who acted as solicitor for the Bank of Toronto, Manufacturers
Life, Gooderham & Worts, and other businesses in which t he Gooderhams
invested their funds. It was also Blackstock to whom Judge Stevenson Burke,
a noted corporate lawyer from Cleveland, turned when he and his assoc iates
This railway had begun in  with a line in Pr ince Edward County
linking Picton with Trenton. The discovery of gold in the hills to the north
at a spot soon named Eldorado spurred a line north. Then the dis covery
of iron ore near Bancroft led to the line bei ng extended to that area. The
Akron, Ohio: Samuel J. Ritchie invested in the iron ore discoveries and al so
helped develop the Copper Company of Canada in Sudbury. After a time,
withtherai lwayinnancial dicultiesother investorsledbyJudgeBurke
lost faith in Ritchie and seized cont rol of the company. Ritchie, Burke, and
various bondholdersspe ntmore th an a decadei n court ghting over the
lawyers, including his brother George and Percy Galt, but he also joined the
board of COR and acted as an agent for the Burke group, buying up bonds
and shares on its behalf. Blackstock’s litigators were generally successful in
their many skirmi shes, but they would ultimately prove pyrrhic victories
because the COR went bankrupt.
was busy overseeing the planni ng and construction of the massive new head
ocebuildingforCon federationLifewhichst illtowersoverthe northeast
corner of Yonge and Richmond. The company had announced its decision
tobuild aheadoce inbecaus eBeay andthe otherboard members
wantedthecompanyhousedinabui ldingthatreecteditsimporta nceand
presidentpresidedovertherstannualmeetingheldinthenewbuildi ng
Ona personal levelhewas engagedin abier familyd isputewith his
sisterinlaw Mary Worts the widow of James Gooderham WortsJr his
fatherinlawsyoungestsonWhenJGWortsJrdiedi natageth irty
oneBeayand Mary Wortshadbecomeh isexecutorsMar ywaslef twith
twoyoungchildrena boyandagirlInBeaywhoconsideredheran
alcoholicandan untpare ntconvincedher torelinqui shherexecutorship
aswellasherhomeandthecustodyandcontrolofherch ildrenInshe
sued him, alleging t hat he had procured her agreement by fraud and mis
representation and that he had used threats a nd duress against her. Herbert
MacRaeher brot herinlawa nda lawyer wit h WatsonThorne Smoke 
Mastenbrought the action onher behalf Beay retained SamuelBlake to
defend what he had done. It was regarded by the Montreal Herald as “the
most sensational case on the docket.” Blake and Watson, the senior partner
inMacRaesrm metexten sivelyinDec emberto selethe action androb
the Herald of “the latest cause célèbre” to which it was so looking forward.
Breected ina newrm namei nForvir
tually all of the rst t wentynine years the rst two names on the r ms
leerheadhadbe enthos eofitsfounder sBeayandChadwickFort henext
twentythreeyearsthermwouldbeknowna sBeayBlackstock
Chadwick, although more senior, had clearly been eclipsed by Black
stock. He was slowly losing his hearing, and his interests i n heraldry,
genealogy, and the building of St. Alban’s Cathedral were consuming more
andmore of his timeHe had celebratedthe Ontario centenar yof by
issuing a book on the genealogy of h is family. The positive public reaction
him to plan a more ambitious genealogical study, entitled Ontarian Families,
ing to be well known and respected outside of it as well, as a noted business
lawyera nd as George Gooderhamsrighthand man Toma ndh is father
inlaw had become close and clearly George trusted Toms judgment and
enjoyed his company. They not only worked together but they played and
travelled together. Both were prominent members of the Royal Canadian
Yacht Club, or RCYC. While George favoured a sailing yacht, calling his c raft
the Oriole, Tom chose a motor yacht, which he dubbed the Cleopat ra. Tom
their respective famil ies on an extended vacation to Egypt, where they had
ridden camels out to the pyramids.
entrusted him with s upervising the buildi ng of Gooderham’s new palatial
house on St. George Street just north of Bloor, as well as homes for his chil
to have a mansion modelled on his and built immediately north of it, at the
corner of St. George and Prince Arthur. Each of these impressive new homes
was designed by David Roberts Jr., the Gooderham family architect. Once
Gooderham had approved the designs, he left for Europe and put Tom in
charge of the construct ion of both houses. Tom took the job very seriously,
personally selecting t he building materials. He even went to Italy to recruit
skilled tradesmen to come to Toronto to mould the ceilings.
Althoughthere can be nodoubt thatHaie hadmuch tos ayaboutt he
furnish ing of their new home Tomsinterests were c learlyreected He
found placesfor h is hunting trophies especial lyh is belovedbua loThe
librarywallsfeaturedmoos eandbualoheadsandamassivebualohead
was a principal feature of the entrance ha ll. The large head in the entrance
ofa sma ll bualo herdto Ca nadasnew national park in Ban Alberta
Given in the hope of saving the species from exti nction, the donation had a
profound impact on the philosophy of Canada’s national parks.
AB  a nd Blackstock had become in the Toronto business

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT