The Death of Jedediah Hubbell Dorwin (1792-1883) 2000 Glenn F. Cartwright

DORWIN – On the 12th inst., after a very short illness, Jedediah Hubbel[sic] Dorwin, in the 92nd year of his age.  Funeral from his late residence, 1723 St. Catherine street, on Thursday, the 15th inst., at 2.30 o'clock, to the English Cathedral, and from thence to Mount Royal Cemetery.
- Montreal Daily Star, November 14, 1883.



His Sudden Death on Sunday

By the death of Mr. Jedediah Hubbel [sic] Dorwin, at his residence, No. 1723 St. Catherine street, on Sunday, Montreal loses one of her oldest citizens. Mr. Dorwin took his customary walk on Saturday and appeared in good health, but took ill on Sunday morning and died about noon.

Deceased was born in New Haven, Vermont, in 1792. His grandfather was one of ten brothers who emigrated to the States from Kent, England;  his mother was of Welsh descent. He was the last survivor of five children, his brother, Mr. Canfield Dorwin, a private banker of this city, having died in 1872. He first came to Montreal in 1815, and settled here in the following year, taking a situation as clerk. In 1817, he married Miss Williamson, of Albany, N.Y., who died fifteen years ago; he leaves one son besides his adopted daughter. In 1819 he contracted for and accomplished the removal of Citadel Hill from the present Dalhousie Square. Some of the earth went to fill up a neighboring pond, and some was taken to the Champ de Mars. It was during that operation that Mr. Dorwin made the acquaintance of Mr. John (now Colonel) Dyde. About 1840 he entered the lumber trade with Mr. Peter McGill; he retired from business about twenty-four years ago, after the burning of his mills at Rawdon.  Mr. Dorwin is believed to have been the oldest Freemason but one in Canada.  He was initiated in 1818 into Union Lodge No. 8 under the registry of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Lower Canada. Union Lodge was then operating under a charter granted by the Duke of Kent. Mr. Dorwin continued an active Mason to the time of his death.

Mr. Dorwin had the good old habit of keeping a diary in which he noted the more important events of his time as well as the details of the weather and other matters of minor importance. He had great pride in this diary, which grew to several volumes, and from which he extracted the information which formed the basis of the interesting accounts of Old Montreal which appeared in THE STAR in the Winter and Spring of 1881. Mr. Dorwin was unusually bright and cheerful for a man of his years, and in his frequent visits to THE STAR office often referred with pardonable pride to the excellent state of his physical and mental health.

The funeral will take place from Mr. Dorwin’s late residence to Christ Church Cathedral to-morrow at 2.30 p.m.

- Montreal Daily Star, November 14, 1883.


The Last Rites.
The funeral of the late Mr. Dorwin took place yesterday afternoon, and was very largely attended.  Amongst those present were many leading citizens. Service was held at Christ Church Cathedral, conducted by the Very Rev. Dean Baldwin. The chief mourners were Col. Dyde, C.M.G., A.D.C. to Her Majesty;  Mr. J. Ogilvy Brown and Mr. Geo. W. Warner.  Illness prevented the son of the deceased gentleman from attending the funeral.
- Montreal Daily Star, November 16, 1883.


Author's Note
The above articles were taken from various issues of the Montreal Daily Star on the dates indicated.  Sharp-eyed readers will note an interesting discrepancy:  Although Mr. Dorwin is described as taking ill on Sunday morning November 12th, 1883, and dying about noon, in fact November 12th was a Monday.  So did he die on Sunday or Monday?  Is a printer's error at fault or a careless editor?

It is doubtful that the description of him walking on Saturday and falling ill on Sunday could be in error given the specificity of the days mentioned.  Still, the funeral notice clearly gives the date of death as the 12th (which was a Monday).  It is also unlikely that whoever placed that notice (Dorwin's son or daughter?) could have mistaken the date of his death.  I surmise that Mr. Dorwin fell ill on Sunday morning, November 11th, that his "very short illness" lasted overnight, and that though he did indeed depart this life about noon, it was noon of the following day, Monday, November 12, 1883.  In all likelihood, an editor reading that he had taken ill Sunday morning and died about noon, may have erroneously assumed it to be noon Sunday instead of noon the following day, Monday the 12th.  R.I.P.

Glenn F. Cartwright
February 14, 2000
*Researching J.H. Dorwin................  Glenn F. Cartwright (no relation but has done in depth research on him)

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