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Office, Victoria Chambers,
69 James St. South, Hamilton, Canada

W8212 TO REV. CALVIN MCQUESTEN from his brother Thomas McQuesten
Jul 15 1909
To: Calvin McQuesten Glenhurst, Saskatchewan
From: Whitehern Hamilton Ontario

My dear Cal,

Your letter arrived the day before my birthday and I was very glad to get it. I am much obliged to you for your congratulations.

I had a very interesting experience on the whole up north and it will be most useful to me. One gets into the habit of relying upon someone else when in a big Office, but up there you had to rely on yourself as the bar of Elk Lake would not rank very high intellectually or legally or any other way. I had a couple of very amusing criminal cases before the J.P. a perfect nonentity. I made a little more money than I would have made down here but then you spend more and it wasn't enough to compensate for the discomforts. In addition to this one gets into loose professional habits up there, it is the laziest way to work in the work. So that I thought I should not lose my opportunity to come down home, lest presently I should refuse to work again.1

I think this office will be all right. They have an immense number of small clients and quite a good sprinkling of good ones. I am quite sure the firm receipts are a good size. I am getting $1000 a year now and after I have been here for a little while and get some connections up, Chisholm said he would discuss the question of sharing the profits. Mr. Chisholm is in the old country just now until the end of September, so that Mr. Logie and I are holding down the office.2

Was glad to learn you had at last been ordained.3 I trust you can now receive fees for weddings and funerals. I should think an elaborate one might be quite trying. The great question is will you get the fees?

I see by to-day's paper that a rather liberal estimate puts the wheat field at an average of 17 bushels to the acre. Will your farm do as well as that and what share will you get? I have no doubt that your farm will be a very good piece of property in a few years. Are there any taxes that amount to anything? The taxes on Tom Goldie's farm near Prince Albert are about $20.00 a year. Old Tom Goldie was in Elk Lake all winter working for Pat McGregor.

I met a fellow up there, a surveyor, a friend of yours. He wished to be remembered to you. He said he had been associated with you in Y.M.C.A work. I think his name was Routley. He is doing quite well I fancy.

Was sorry to see how Prof. Kennedy had left Knox College. He was quite in your line was he not. Well after you have had a year or two preaching probably we could manage to send you across for a post-graduate course. I see that the Presbytery here nominated Mr. Cunningham to succeed him. He is a decent little man but would hardly be heavy enough as yet, I should think. Must close.

Your aff'te brother

T.B. McQuesten

1 When Tom wrote this letter he had just completed his year of articling at Elk Lake in Northern Ontario. He has now returned to Hamilton, and is living at Whitehern with his family while he works for Chisholm and Logie.

2 In this letter, Tom describes working for Chisholm and Logie, the firm that his father, Isaac McQuesten, worked for before his death in 1888. See W-MCP3-5.083 for the official offer of employment made to Tom at the end of 1908. This offer represents a watershed moment for the McQuesten family, who had been living in a state of genteel poverty following Isaac's sudden death. Once employed with Chisholm and Logie, Tom could finally return the family to a position of financial stability.

3 Calvin was ordained in May 1909, at Glenhurst, Saskatchewan, see W6419, W7441, W7797, W7769.

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Copyright 2002 Whitehern Historic House and Garden
The development of this website was directed by Mary Anderson, Ph.D. and Janelle Baldwin, M.A.
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