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Brockville Lacrosse Team – 1886

July 28, 1886

Here are the members of the winning Brockville Lacrosse Club for 1886 who defeated the Ottawa Capitals for the Intermediate Championship of the National Amateur Lacrosse Association, as described by O.K Fraser in the article below.

Back row: Donald Brouse, Jack Bennett, O.K. Fraser (president), Myles Bourke (captain), Jack O’Keefe, Alex. J. Murray.

Second row: George E Smart, Alex. Patterson, Dave Lowe, Mike McBrearty, Frank Bisonette, Charlie Ellard.

Front row: William Anderson (goalie), Jim Lacey.

Oliver K. Fraser of Brockville, the Clerk of the High Court, gave the following interview to a reporter from the Montreal Star in 1907:

That group photo you see hanging on the wall recalls what was to me the most interesting and exciting sporting event I can remember. It is a picture of the Brockville Lacrosse Club of that year, taken on the 28th of July 1886, the Monday following their famous match at Brockville with the all-star Capital team of that day.
The battle was for the intermediate championship which had been won by Brockville from the Young Shamrocks the preceding year, and the winning of it by the Capitals would be followed by their almost immediate admission to senior championship ranks. This meant much to them. That they had reason to expect to take the banner home with them is manifest from a perusal of the names of the men comprising their team, which, starting from goal, were: Aylward, Billy McKay, Burns, Droohan, Kemp, Myles, Ditchburn, O’Brien, Burke, Pete Green, Dailey and Joe Kent, and F.L. Daniels, captain.
Long before the match, the Brockvilles realized the work cut out for them, but determined not to lie down. No team ever did more faithful training, with the result that when the ball was faced that day, in the opinion of those who knew them, there was not in existence a more evenly balanced or better trained team playing the great game.
For three days of the week preceding the match the Cornwall Island Indian team was brought to play matches with the Brockvilles in order that their condition might be perfect.
Commencing again at goal, they were Bill Anderson, Alex. Patterson, Don Brouse, “Fogey” Smart, Jack Bennett, Jim Leacy, Frank Bisonette, Charlie Ellard, Aleck Murray, Jack O’Keefe, Dave Low and Mike McBrearty, with Myles Bourke, captain.
It was a perfect day, and the people gathered from all round — Ottawa sending in carloads of it’s best sports. And they had their money with them — barrels of it — more than our sports could or cared to handle. The odds were two to one on Capitals. They were confident, while we were content with being hopeful.
Best three out of five games was the rule in those days. The favorite referee of that time — John Lewis of Montreal — was in charge. The excitement before and during the game was intense, but the job was not long in the doing of it, for in fourteen minutes actual play, Brockville scored three games and the match.
The pandemonium broke loose. Every Brockville sympathizer, from the toothless old man to the babe in arms, proceeded to yell himself hoarse, and the ladies were not far behind them in the demonstration. Bands played, horns blew, and every ear rending instrument known to the small boy was introduced to swell the tumult, and only the arrival of Sunday morning put an end to the jubilation.
The game was the cleanest I ever witnessed, and there could be no doubt that this cleanliness of play and the success of the Brockville team was due to their faithful training and perfect condition upon entering the field. Those were great days for sport in Brockville.”

Sources: The memories recalled by O.K. Fraser, ex-president of the N.A.L.A., about his team, was found reprinted in The Evening Recorder of January 16, 1907. The next issue showed this team photograph which had originally been printed in the 1906 souvenir magazine, Brockville, Canada, The City of the Thousand Islands printed by the Brockville Recorder for the Old Boys’ Reunion held in Brockville from July 28 to Aug. 3, 1906.

Hon. Christopher F. Fraser, Brockville Provincial Cabinet Minister [b.1839 – d.1894]

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Notable Brockvillians

C.F. Fraser 1873

This was the official government photograph of the Hon. C.F. Fraser, taken in 1873. He was the Commissioner of Public Works for Ontario from 1874-1894.

Sources: This portrait of C.F. Fraser is in the photographic collection of the Library Archives Canada, #PA 28663

The Story of His Life and Career in Politics

Christopher Finlay Fraser was a young Brockville lawyer who rose to the post of Commissioner of Public Works in the Ontario government.

He was born on October 24, 1839 at Brockville to John S. Fraser, a shoemaker, and his wife, Sarah Burke. He was born and raised a Roman Catholic, and promoted the interests of his religion all his life.

Because his parents did not have enough money to send him to school, young Christopher made up his mind to work his way, making whatever money was needed to provide his own schooling. One of his jobs as a youth was as a “printer’s devil” at the Brockville Recorder. He could work at a variety of jobs and go to school between stints of work.

He was apparently quite bright, and was able to express himself with brilliance, force and wit when a mere boy. He finished his high school education at the Seminaire de Quebec about the year 1859, and became a student-at-law in the office of Albert N. Richards, a Brockville lawyer who later became Lt.-Gov. of British Columbia.

In 1864 Fraser passed his legal examinations, and went to work with Alonzo Lafayette, a young lawyer in Brockville. In this office he began to handle cases on his own, having been admitted as an attorney in Easter Term, 1864. He was called to the bar early in 1865, and became a partner with Alonzo Lafayette in April 1865.

On January 10th, 1866, he married his partner’s sister, Mary Ann Lafayette, the daughter of John Lafayette. He also turned his attention to politics as a young lawyer, supporting the Liberal side. At the first Dominion Election in 1867, he offered himself as a candidate but was narrowly defeated. Four years latter he tried again in South Grenville for the Provincial seat, and was similarly defeated this time by McNeil Clark.

He was also during this time strongly working for Catholic rights, helping to form the Ontario Roman Catholic League about 1869. When Mr. Clark died in 1871, his South Grenville seat became vacant. Fraser received the nomination of his party, and was elected in March of 1872 to the Ontario Parliament.

A year later, his abilities being recognized, C.F. Fraser was appointed Provincial Secretary and Registrar in the Mowat administration. He held this post until April 4, 1874, when he became Commissioner of Public Works. He was re-elected again for South Grenville in 1875, and carried on in his cabinet position. He was made a Queen’s Counsel in 1876.

Christopher F. Fraser

In 1879 he was defeated by F.J. French of Prescott by 137 votes. Soon after, in the riding of Brockville, he was successful by defeating David Mansell, the Conservative candidate. Mr. Fraser was successfully elected as the MPP for Brockville in 1879, 1883, 1886, and 1890. He remained as Minister in charge of the Department of Public Works until 1894. He succeeded in having the Brockville Asylum for the Insane built just east of Brockville in his last term.

In 1868 he and his wife had purchased the stylish brick home in the centre of town at 8 James St. W. (still standing). This house remained in family hands until 1963. Christopher and Mary Ann Fraser had a daughter, Hattie born in 1868. She resided there with her mother, who died in 1929, and then until her own death in 1955.

Fraser was a lifelong member of St. Francis Xavier Church, a founder of the Roman Catholic League of Ontario, and president of the Roman Catholic Literary Association of Brockville.

He maintained a law office in Brockville in partnership with A.E. Richards for a while, and later with Edmund J. Reynolds in the Comstock Block.

In 1894, the Hon. C.F. Fraser resigned from the Government and was appointed Inspector of Registry Offices. Shortly afterwards he died at Toronto on August 24, 1894.

copyright March 2008 - Doug Grant, ON

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