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City Government

Mayor Samuel Wellington Ray

Portrait of Mayor Samuel Wellington RaySamuel Wellington Ray came to Prince Arthur’s Landing from Peterborough County in 1876. He worked at the Ontario Bank, first as a teller, and eventually as an accountant. In June 1884, Ray resigned from the Ontario Bank to establish his own private bank with Noah K. Street, a prosperous merchant and moneylender. Unfortunately, Street died within the first three months of the bank’s opening.

Ray became very involved in mining finances during the 1890s, and developed several mining companies, including the Foley Mine (1890), the Tip Top Mine (1903), and the Animikie Mines Company (1928).

In August 1892, a woman by the name of Louise Rose Bathurst accused Ray of raping her, and he was brought to trial in June 1894. He was found not guilty; however, the jury was still critical of his behaviour. Crown Attorney A. R. Lewis, an unpopular man, was in charge of Ray’s case and seemed to most people to be too enthusiastic about the whole ordeal. Ray had strong support from friends like James Conmee, and his reputation was not permanently harmed by the matter. 

Ray was first elected Mayor in 1911, and during his time in office, Port Arthur was given property around the Current River reservoir which was turned into a park. As Mayor, Ray also greeted His Royal Highness Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught, on his second visit to the city that had been named after him.

Born: Feb. 16, 1855 in Lakefield, Peterborough County, Ontario
Died: March 7, 1939 in Port Arthur, Ontario at the age of 84
Councillor: 1901-1905, 1910
Reeve: Reeve of Shuniah 1902-1906
Mayor: 1911-1912

 

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