My brother asked if there were pictures of Dad’s tow truck in Mom’s photo albums. We only found one, with Bing the service station dog inside.
It was an International pickup, 1941 I think, blue. He rebuilt it to take the wrecker.
It had a 3 speed transmission. He put in a 4th speed. He mounted dual wheels on it. The fenders had to be extended. The strips welded in them never got painted. It wasn’t welded too good either. I can still see the holes, but it worked.
Dual exhaust coming out up behind the cab. The smoke would stream out of there. An orange flashing light on top. He put a switch for that under the dash.
For the wrecker, he started with a gearbox affair – small gear going to a bigger to a bigger, about 4 sets of gears in there. Then he welded all the angle iron to put the cable on, the crank, all that stuff.
The cradle for hooking up cars was his own invention. It changed over time. First, it was a hand crank he welded on the side. You’d stand there and crank and crank and crank. The cars weren’t that heavy, it just took a lot. Eventually you’d get her up.
Then a Briggs & Stratton lawn mower engine took the place of the crank. But that was a pain in the ass too. It had a pull start. Awkward and hard to start, but it was better than cranking.
The last one was a power take-off on the side of the transmission. That drove the gears that lifted the vehicle. It was the best deal. You could shove the lever forward and back and up she went.
He built a snowplow for her. The plow was made out of an old culvert. He hooked it up to a vacuum system. He got that off a transport truck.
There’s a drum with a vacuum system to lift it. The engine creates a vacuum in the cylinder. The cylinder would lift the plow and gravity would lower it. The cold air hitting the hot valves would cause engine problems down the road. But it worked good. She barked though, loud!
I’ve never heard of anybody else ever doing that. I remember Dad and Jack talking about it, and the next thing I knew it was done. I never saw them working on the truck. I don’t know how it got done. I likely saw, it just didn’t register.
She was a thing of beauty. If I had any idea where she was, maybe parked someplace, I’d have her back home and I’d be working on it.
(William Anger and Emma Nie 1958, text below, click image to enlarge)
Their Wedding 70 Years Ago
Two lifelong residents of this district will be celebrating the 70th anniversary of their wedding day this week.
Mr. and Mrs. William Anger, 19 Buchanan Avenue, who were married 70 years ago on December 6, will be observing the occasion on Christmas day quietly at home surrounded by members of their family.
Both 89 years of age, Mr. and Mrs. Anger were born in South Cayuga, Mrs. Anger being the former Emm Nie, and were married in Dunnville at the home of the Rev. F. L. Wilkinson. They came to Hamilton in 1903 and for many years made their home on Ottawa Street South before moving to their present address.
Mr. Anger, who has done farming most of his life, retired 20 years ago. He still takes an active interest in the chores about the house and spends much of his spare time reading and keeping up on world events.
Of their family, still living are two sons, Harvey and Charles, this city, and five daughters: Mrs. Archie Lickers (Grace) and Mrs. Joseph Smith (Emmeline) both of Buffalo, and Mrs. Charles Alexander (Hazel), Mrs. Wilfred Moore (Myrtle) and Mrs. Lorne Forbes (Florence) Hamilton.
There are 27 grandchildren and 65 great-grandchildren.
Photo caption: “Mr. and Mrs. William Anger look at their framed marriage certificate, dated 1888, Dunnville.” (Newspaper date Dec. 1958)
***My thanks to Barry Patterson for sending me this clipping***
Their Family History
William Charles Anger was the son of Edward Anger and Emaline Bowden. He was born in 1869 in Byng, Dunn Township, Haldimand Co. Ontario and died in 1964 in Hamilton, Ontario. His wife Emma was born in 1871 in Rainham, Haldimand Co. Ontario, and died in 1960 in Hamilton. She was the daughter of Martin Nie (or Nye) and Wilhemina Hausp. Martin was born in 1830 in South Cayuga, Haldimand Co. Ontario. Wilhemina was born in 1852 in the US. They married in 1867 in Wyandott City in Kansas. They raised their family in Haldimand County and Hamilton, Ontario.
Emma Nie and William Anger had nine children, with seven named in the article. Two sons predeceased them. William was the eldest, born Jan 1893 in Dunville, Haldimand County. He married Amy Mildred Chappel Nov. 21st 1917 in Englefield, Saskatchewan. She was born in 1896 in Morden, Manitoba. Their five children were born in Saskatchewan, but the family returned to Ontario. Amy died in 1944 and William in 1953, both in Hamilton. William and Emma’s fourth child, Halton, was born August 1898 in Dunnville.
Today marks a bizarre incident in Canadian history. Irish-Americans invaded Canada, planning to hold it hostage as leverage to end British rule in Ireland. My family’s farmhouse was smack-dab in the middle of what became known as the Battle of Ridgeway. Reading about it, the threads I picked up led far into North American and Anglo-British political and cultural history.
June 2, 1866, soldiers of the US-based Fenian Brotherhood met Canadian militia at a limestone ridge near Ridgeway west of Fort Erie, Ontario. It was a kind of “who’s on first?” fight. The Canadians had no horses to pull ammunition wagons so only had what they could carry. The Fenians had dumped much of their ammunition because it had got too heavy after a day of carrying it all. Information and communication on both sides were misinterpreted, resulting in costly mistakes.
The Fenians were American Civil War veterans, straight from battle. The Canadians were volunteer part-time militia who had never seen action. Due to budget constraints, many had never fired a live round.
At the end of the day, both sides had dead and wounded. The Fenians, who wanted to move west, were pushed back east to Fort Erie. But then the Canadians retreated. The Fenians celebrated their victory and planned their next move. And then they saw US gunboats in the Niagara River pointed at them. American and Canadian authorities picked them up and imprisoned them briefly.
“We are the Fenian Brotherhood, skilled in the arts of war. And we’re going to fight for Ireland, the land we adore. Many battles we have won, along with the boys in blue. And we’ll go and capture Canada, for we’ve nothing else to do.”
Their marching song pretty much explains the Fenians. They had finished fighting in the Union Army just a year before. While the country tried to pick up the pieces after the devastation of the Civil War and President Lincoln’s assassination, the Irish-Americans were looking at the troubles in the homeland they had been forced to leave. The US government knew the Fenian plan but ignored it until the last minute. Their action might provide leverage for US negotiations with Britain as well. Indeed, on June 6, Britain paid the US $15 million for war damages caused by its commerce with the Confederacy and the US enacted laws to stop acts of aggression from within its borders.
In Britain, they downplayed it because technically it was a British military loss to the Irish, the first in over 100 years. In Ireland, they celebrated it for the same reason. Fifty years later in Ireland, the name of the Fenian Brotherhood’s invading force was resurrected: the Irish Republican Army.
In Canada, the government downplayed the battle because it was a military loss with significant casualties. At the same time, they were debating confederation of the four provinces. That spring’s Fenian campaign of raids (in New Brunswick, Quebec and Ontario) convinced enough people that, individually, each was more vulnerable than if they united. In 1867 the vote was for Confederation. That same year, Alexander Muir, a veteran of Ridgeway wrote The Maple Leaf Forever, long an unofficial anthem.
The date of the battle was chosen in 1890 as Decoration Day, commemorating Canada’s war dead. That stood until 1931 when November 11th replaced it as Remembrance Day. The date and story of the Battle of Ridgeway faded into obscurity.
The Anger house, at the corner of Ridge and Bertie roads, holds its memories of that day. The shed that served as a field hospital still stands and the brickwork of the house is scarred by bullet holes.
For more, see Peter Vronsky’sRidgeway (left), or an introduction by him at fenians.org. Other good accounts are:
In colonial times [Georg] Frederick Anger, a native of Germany, lived on the Susquehannah River in Northumberland County, Pennsylvania. During the American Revolution he joined Butler’s Rangers at Fort Niagara. Following the war, Frederick Anger settled in Bertie Township, Welland County. The following is his Claim for Revolutionary War Losses heard by the Commissioners of Claims at Niagara on 23 Aug 1787. (AO 12 Vol. 40 P. 335-338)*
To the Commissioners appointed by Act of Parliament for enquiring into the Losses and Services of the American Loyalists:
The Memorial of Frederick Anger late of Susquehannah River in the County of Northumberland and Province of Pennsylvania but now of Niagara in the Province of Quebec.
* That your Memorialist, at the beginning of the late unhappy Disturbances in America, was settled on the North Branch of the Susquehannah River in Northumberland County Province of Pennsylvania where he was in possession of a good Farm with Buildings thereon erected, live Stock, Farming utensils, Household Furniture etc., the whole valued at £372.18, New York Currency;
* That understanding Parliament had taken into Consideration the distressed State of the Loyal American Subjects and purpose granting them such relief as may appear Just and Reasonable in proportion to their Losses;
Your Memorialist in behalf of himself and Family humbly prays that you will be pleased to grant him such Relief as may appear Reasonable and your Memorialist shall ever pray.
State of the Effects lost by Frederick Anger late of Northumberland County in the Province of Pennsa. at the time he made his Escape to the British Army in the year 1778, from which period till the Close of the War he served the King in Colonel Butler’s Rangers – 300 Acres of Land, Cattle, Grain, Hogs,Household Furniture, Farming utensils etc.,£372.18 New York Currency.
August 27th 1787
Evidence on the Claim of Frederick Anger late of Pennsylvania
Says he is a native of Germany, went to America 30 years ago. Lived on the Susquhannah when the Rebellion broke out, joined Colonel Butler, served Seven years with him as a Private. He had two Sons in the same Regiment.
He had half a Proprietor’s Right on the disputed Lands on the Susquhannah, gave 72 Dollars for it, his half Right was 2000 acres. Says he went to Susquhannah in 1772. Cleared 20 Acres. Built a good House and Stable.
Lost 4 Cows, 3 Horses, 3 three year old Heifers, 2 two year old, 3 Calves, 7 Sheep, 14 Hogs large one, Furniture, utensils, 60 Bushels Grain, 80 Bushels various kinds of Corn – all lost by the Indians and Rangers.
Michael Showers Sworn,
Knew Claimant, he served in Butlers Rangers from the time that the Susquhannah was cut off by Colonel Butler. He [Anger] had Lands on the Susquehannah. He had half a Proprietors Right, it was then disputed Land. He had a clever House and Barn, about 20 Acres clear, he settled there about 1772. He had a pretty large Stock, taken by the Indians and Rangers.
Decision of the Commissioners
(AO 12 Vol. 66 P. 56)
Frederick Anger late of Susquehanah
Amount of Property £723.7.6
Determination 7th December 1787
Loyalty. Bore Arms – The Claimant is a Loyalist & Bore Arms in Support of the British Government
Real Estate: Improvements on a Farm on the Susquehanah – £35
Personal Estate: Various Articles of Personal Property 42 – £77
Resides at Niagara
Summary of Claim for Losses and Disbursement
(AO 12 Vol. 109 P. 74 Certificate No. 915)
Name of claimant: Anger, Frederick; Province Penns; Claim for Loss of Property £723.7; Sum Originally Allowed £77; Total Sum payable under Act of Parliament £77; Balance After Such Receipt £77; Final Balance £77
The Second Report of The Bureau of Archives for the Province of Ontario, 1904 transcribed from Library of Congress MSS 18,662 Vol. XX MSS. 41 in Second Report P. 973 Proceedings of Loyalist Commissioners, Montreal 1787.
Before Commissioner Pemberton P. 973 MSS. 41. New Claim Aug. 23. Claim of Frederick Anger, late of Pensylva. Repeats the evidences in AO 12.
* I thank Phillip Schettler for this (Apr. 24/14 comment Anger family tree). For more information on UEL claims and compensations, see Alexander Fraser‘s United Empire Loyalists, 2nd Report of the Bureau of Archives of the Province of Ontario 1904.
The map of Bertie Township shows names of land owners in 1784. I have marked those lots belonging to Angers in yellow, Nears (early in-laws) in orange. The lots of my other family lines, the Mabees are marked in green and Adam Burwell’s in blue.