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People and Organizations

Belleville Business College

  • Corporate body
  • 1889-c.1915

The Belleville Business College was established in 1889. It had premises on the east side of Front Street in Belleville, Ontario, and offered training in commercial skills such as typewriting, shorthand, penmanship, and bookkeeping. The college is listed in the 1913 Vernon's Directory of Belleville, but not in the 1918 edition.

Pitman (family)

  • Family

Edward Pitman (ca. 1861-1941) operated a blacksmith shop at the corner of Highway 62 and Moira Road in West Huntingdon, Hastings County, Ontario. He and his wife Margaret Jane (nee Hicks; ca. 1860-1953) lived in a home beside the smithy with their children Jack, Jean and Georgia. The Pitman family continued to run a store after Ed's death in 1941; they subsequently moved to Belleville, Ontario.

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.

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