The Globe, Oct. 16. 1897
Mr. W. A. Esson, Manager of the Toronto Ferry Co., is a gentleman whose energy has ever made his services in active request and whose courtesy has gained for him many friends. He was born in 1868 in Aboyne, fourteen miles from Balmoral, the Queen's Scottish home. Aboyne is on the Deeside, 30 miles west of Aberdeen. Mr. Esson's father is Rev. Alexander Esson, head master of the parish schools at Birse, in Scotland, and next year he will celebrate his jubilee, having been at Birse for fifty years.
Manager Esson was thoroughly educated in the schools of his birthplace; went through the Grammar school in the City of Aberdeen, and then Aberdeen University, his terms in the latter institutions being from 1884 to 1888, both years inclusive. He took all of the courses leading to the degree of B.A. excepting one part, passing with high honors in classics, philosophy and mathematics. During his collegiate career Mr. Esson also took a prominent part in athletics and played for Aberdeenshire Rugby Football Team, at that time champions of the north of Scotland. Private Stewart of the 48th Highlanders, bayonet champion of the world at the royal military tournament of June last, is a schoolmate of Manager Esson, and in their school days they often vied with each other in feats of strength.
Having finished his education, Mr. Esson came to Canada in the summer of 1888, and went into the engineering department of the Canadian Pacific Railway under Civil Engineer W. T. Jennings, one of the cleverest men in the profession. First Mr. Esson was out on the Don branch of the C.P.R., then he was on the engineering staff for the construction of the Detroit extension between London and Windsor. Afterward he had charge of the Esplanade work in Toronto for the C.P.R. under Engineers W. T. Jennings and H. W. D. Armstrong. This work was completed at the beginning of May, 1890, when Mr. Esson received a favorable offer to become Manager of the Toronto Ferry Company. Accordingly, he resigned from the C.P.R. and has been manager of the Toronto Ferry Co. ever since.
Mr. Esson was a nephew of the late John Esson, a well-known contractor of Toronto. One of Mr. John Esson's works was the building of the old Union Station at Toronto. Manager W. A. Esson is also a nephew on his mother's side of Professor William Barrick, L.L.D., late of Kelvinsdale Academy of Glasgow, Scotland. Prof. Barrick used to be rector of the celebrated school at Dollor, and received his L.L.D. for his valuable work in writing Greek history and lexicons, his books having become standards in the schools in several parts of the world.
That Manager W. A. Esson has done good work for the Toronto Ferry Co. there can be no doubt, for ever since his inception the business has been run in a methodical way. The public learned that they could depend on a regular service to Toronto Island, no matter what sort of weather prevailed, and the result is that the popularity of Hanlan's Point as a summer resort has greatly increased. Since Mr. Esson's advent, the point has undergone remarkable changes for the better, one of the greatest improvements being the construction of the magnificent bicycle race track and baseball and lacrosse oval. That quarter-mile race track is noted all over the continent, and has been the scene of some of the fastest racing ever done. Another special improvement is the enlarging and refitting in modern style of the Hotel Hanlan, as well as the beautifying of the gardens and grounds around it.
Personally. Mr. W. A. Esson is well-liked by both the public and his employers, and callers at his neat little office at Hanlan's Point are numerous. During the season Mr. Esson lives at Hotel Hanlan, so that he can be right at the centre of activity, where the steamers Primrose,Mayflower,Thistle,Shamrock,Kathleen,Island Queen,Mascotte,J. L. McEdwards,Luella, and John Hanlan land the crowds of pleasure-seekers. Mr. Esson is still a single man.
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