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The Gooderham & Worts families emigrated from the Scole / Bungay area of England in the early 1830s, arriving in York, (now Toronto, Canada). First came James Worts, accompanied by his 13 year-old son, James Gooderham Worts. They built the windmill near the mouth of the Don River. They were followed in 1832 by William and Ezekiel Gooderham, their sister, Elizabeth (James Worts' wife) and 54 extended family members. Over the following 75 years, these families created the largest distillery in the world, as well as contributing to milling, banking, railways, shipping, farming and other essential components of the growing industrial country. They were active in the church and in various communities, as well as in health care and even in our political institutions. In 2013, descendants of the Gooderham and Worts families created an online website that includes a family tree with photos, documents and stories.


1879 A Sad Railway Accident

A sad railway accident occurred near Toronto resulting in the death of James Gooderham, son of William Gooderham.

James Gooderham, second son of William Gooderham Sr.

“At 2 o’clock in the afternoon, a party of gentlemen from Toronto, most of whom are connected with the Credit Valley Railway Company, left the Union Depot, Toronto in a special car to inspect the Credit Valley line. The car was drawn by a Grand Truck engine as far as the junction of the Grand Truck with the Credit Valley track, between Parkdale and Carleton, and from whence taken over the new line by an engine belonging to the Credit Valley Company. Returning to the junction about six o’clock the car was left standing on the Credit Valley track awaiting the arrival of the Grand Trunk engine to take it back to the city. While waiting, the excursionists were amusing themselves making speeches, when suddenly the Grand Trunk engine came up the track, running at a speed of about fifteen miles an hour; the switchman, Mayne, opened the Credit Valley switch, and in a few seconds the engine ran into the stationary car almost demolishing it. Some of the occupants of the car saw the coming engine in time to jump, and amongst those was Mr. Gooderham, but unfortunately, he struck against a pile of railroad ties, breaking both legs and receiving such severe injuries that he died on Sunday morning.”


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