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People and Organizations

Branscombe, Nan

  • Person
  • 1880-1971

Annie Elizabeth Paterson was born in Brantford, Ontario on 13th May 1880 to William Paterson, a confectioner and Lucy (née Davies). She married Morley Elwood Branscombe on 10th September 1907. She died in Belleville on 25th March 1971.

Riggs, Leo Bates

  • Person
  • 1879-1956

Leo Bates Riggs was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1879 to William Bates Riggs and Mary Riggs (nee Nelson). He studied piano and organ in Toronto under a variety of prominent masters. He was then appointed organist and director of St. Andrews Presbyterian Church in Belleville, Ontario. In 1901, he accepted a position as organist and director of the First Baptist Church in Indianapolis, Indiana. In addition, he taught piano and organ at the Central College of Music in Indianapolis, Indiana. That same year, on August 28th, he married Mabel Kathleen Deguerre, a graduate of the Toronto Conservatory of Music. She was director of the Vocal Department of Albert College in Belleville, Ontario, and after their marriage she joined her husband on the staff of the Central College of Music, in Indianapolis, Indiana, teaching voice. In 1903, their only child, Leona Riggs, was born.
In 1909, the family moved to New York City where Leo Bates Riggs became chief organist and director of music at the Astor Hotel. He performed in concerts throughout New York, and was among the first organ artists to be broadcast over the radio station WBC, New York.
In 1924, he and his wife returned to Belleville, Ontario so that he could assist his ailing father, William Bates Riggs, in his automobile business. For many years, Leo Bates Riggs successfully maintained the Riggs Garage until his retirement in 1954.
Continuing his musical career in Belleville, Leo Bates Riggs became the organist at John the Baptist Church until it burned down in 1936. Leo Bates Riggs also preformed for many Belleville clubs and organizations, as well as belonging to the Rotary Club, and the Kiwanis Club. He was also the president of the Chamber of Commerce, in Belleville, Ontario, for a brief period of time.
Leo Bates Riggs died at his summer residence in St. Petersburg, Florida on January 23rd, 1956, and was buried in the city of Belleville, Ontario.

Barrett, Donald John

  • Person
  • c. 1928-1978

Born in Belleville, Ontario, Donald John Barrett was a former insurance agent and Harbour master. He was President of Belleville Sales and Ad Club and a member of St. Joseph's Church.

Scott, James Russell

  • Person
  • 1916-2009

James Russell Scott was mayor of Belleville from 1968 to 1972.

Hall (family)

  • Family

James Montgomery Hall was born in St. Peter Port in the Channel Island of Guernsey in 1851, the son of Stewart Hall and Margaret (née Johnson). Stewart was a tailor and James and his brother John followed his career. In 1881 James and John were residing at a hotel in Trenton, Hastings County, Ontario. In June of that year, James married Emma Johnson (1857-1937) of Trenton in Brighton, Ontario. By 1891 the couple were living in Deseronto, Ontario, with their two daughters, Evelyn 'Tottie' (b. 1882) and Flossie (b. 1887). James was continuing to work as a tailor. The Halls had a third child, Gordon, in 1894. They lived at 426 Thomas Street.

James died on August 4, 1919. His daughter Flossie became a school teacher and married Thomas Chalmers in Deseronto in 1926. The couple had one daughter, Frances.

Deseronto Archives

  • Corporate body
  • 1997-2016

Deseronto Archives was established in 1997 with a mandate to collect materials relating to the history of the Town of Deseronto and its people. In September 2016 the collections of the Deseronto Archives were transferred to the Community Archives of Belleville and Hastings County.

Pierce, John Gourlay, O.L.S.

  • Person
  • b. 1918 - d. 2003

John was born at Pembroke, Ontario in 1918.
Later on, he attended Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario and graduated in 1941 with a B.Sc. (Eng.).
The following year he served with the Royal Canadian Engineers Italian and European campaigns (1942-1945). In this role, he received the Military Cross.
During his surveying career John sat on many Ontario Land Survey boards and completed numerous surveys of Ontario areas.
He died in 2003 surrounded by his family, including his wife, Eileen.

Haslett, John James, P.L.S. & D.P.S.

  • Person
  • b. 17 Jun 1811 - d. 21 Jan 1878

John was born on June 17, 1811 at Sanfield House, Tyrone County, Ireland to Matthew Haslett and Sarah McCrae.
He received his education to be a surveyor in Ireland, and later when on to survey England and the south coast of Ireland.
Around 1842, he came to Canada. After six months of training with P.L.S. John Emerson, he became a Provincial Land Surveyor. He then moved to Belleville, Ontario and began surveying Upper Canada.
Throughout his career from 1840-1860 he provided great advancement to the charting of Canada West and Hastings County.
In February 1851, he married Frances Colhoun Woods.
He died in Belleville on January 21, 1878 leaving his wife, four sons and three daughters.

Town of Deseronto

  • Corporate body

Deseronto, Ontario was incorporated as a town in 1889. The settlement had become a village in 1871, known as Mill Point. It was given the name Deseronto in 1881, after Captain John Deserontyon, the leader of the 20 families who settled in the area as the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte in 1784.

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