1935 Hamilton, Ontario municipal election

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1935 Hamilton, Ontario municipal election
Flag of Hamilton.svg
← 1934 Monday, December 2, 1935 1936 →
 
Candidate William Morrison Septimus DuMoulin William Wardrope
Party Independent Conservative Independent Conservative Independent
Popular vote 12,910 9,069 7,883
Percentage 34.7% 24.4% 21.2%

 
Candidate Edmund Goodfellow John Hunter
Party Independent Communist
Popular vote 5,106 2,186
Percentage 13.7% 6%

Mayor before election

Herbert Wilton
Independent Conservative

Elected Mayor

William Morrison
Independent Conservative

The 1935 Hamilton municipal election was held on December 2, 1935 to select one Mayor, four Controllers, and sixteen members of the Hamilton, Ontario, City Council, two from each of the city's eight wards. Voters also cast ballots for trustees for the public school board, and in three plebiscites that sought to restructure elections for both city council and the public school board.[1]

Campaign[edit]

The 1935 municipal campaign in Hamilton occurred at the height of the Great Depression, prompting municipal officials to consider cost-cutting measures in local government. In early November, 1935, Hamilton City Council began debating proposals to lengthen municipal campaigns and stagger elections so save on the cost of printing ballots and hiring polling workers.[2] James Berry, the city clerk, advised council members that increasing the length of a city council term could save taxpayers $9,000 a year in election-related costs.[3]

On Tuesday, November 5, council met to debate the matter. There was considerable confusion among members, who opted to submit a plebiscite question to the electorate asking if they were in favour of an increase in the term length for members of the Board of Control, city council, and school board from one year to two years. Almost immediately after passing the motion, the city's solicitor, A.J. Polson, informed Mayor Wilton that the motion was illegal, as it included wording regarding the Hamilton Board of Education. In passing this motion, it would have allowed supporters of Hamilton's Catholic School Board an opportunity to vote on the length of term of trustees for a school board other than the one they supported.[4] At a follow-up meeting, council determined it would be appropriate to split the plebiscite into three questions, asking voters if they wanted a two year term, if they preferred a staggered election, and asking public school supporters if they wanted to bring trustee elections in line with council's two-year plan.

Despite having been elected to Parliament, outgoing Mayor Herbert Wilton inserted himself into the municipal campaign, giving a speech in late November, 1935, railing against council members who found themselves unable to deal with the financial stresses placed upon the city by the economic crisis in the country. "You complain about high taxation," Wilton said, addressing Hamilton's electorate, "and then vote to elect men who have never been able to successfully manage their own financial affairs."[5] Wilton, a strong advocate for low taxes and classical liberal economic policy, implored voters to carefully manage municipal finances, which he referred to as a "$8,000,000 business concern."[5] Wilton also took aim at members of the Communist Party, who were seeking election in the city's working-class north-end. Wilton spoke passionately against the atheism of their members and the economic problems in the Soviet Union at the time. "They preach and teach the doctrine of hate, place their dead in graves without Christian burial, and deny the existence of God," he argued.[5]

The campaign was overtly partisan, with each political party's organization campaigning to elect candidates friendly to their platform. After the election, the Spectator declared that "Hamilton is still Tory Hamilton is the political affiliations of the new City Council may be taken as a criterion,"[6] Detailing the political affiliations of the members of council, the Spectator acknowledged that the mayor and 12 members of council were elected with the help of the local Conservative Party, five Liberals were returned, while Controller Nora Frances Henderson and Ward 7 Alderman Donald Clark were members of the Reconstruction Party of Canada, with Ward 8 Alderman Agnes Sharpe serving as the only Cooperative Commonwealth Federation-affiliated member of council.[6]

In addition to the efforts of the organized federal parties, there was a clandestine 'ghost' slate supported by local teachers who advocated for the election of William Morrison, and Board of Control candidates Don McFarlane, Thomas Lewington, and Andy Frame. This was in response to the affiliated candidates promising to press the Hamilton Board of Education to reverse pay cuts imposed on teachers thanks to the city's worsening economic situation.[7]

Mayor[edit]

The mayoral race in 1935 was marked by incumbent mayor Herbert Wilton's election earlier that year to Parliament for the constituency of Hamilton West. Soon after his election, incumbent Controller Septimus DuMoulin and former Hamilton East MLA William Morrison, who had been unseated by Sam Lawrence a year earlier, both expressed an interest in contesting the mayoralty.[8]

The city's Cooperative Commonwealth Federation establishment, organized and energized by Sam Lawrence's election to the Ontario legislature, had originally entertained plans to run a candidate for mayor, though they opted to forego that strategy, instead aiming to put up at least one candidate for election to the Board of Control, city council, and the public school board.[9] The Liberal Party as well originally considered running local real estate agent F. Kent Hamilton for the office to challenge DuMoulin and Morrison, who were both heavily involved in local Conservative politics. They ultimately decided against this strategy.[10]

On nomination day, DuMoulin and Morrison were nominated, along with Communist Party candidate John Hunter, local baker Ed Goodfellow, and lawyer William H.W. Wardrope. In their nomination speeches, each candidate outlined core planks in their platform, with DuMoulin emphasizing his experience and a desire to see water-rates lowered, Goodfellow outlining a plan to reduce the city's debt, Wardrope advocating increasing taxes on the wealthy, Hunter proposing a graduated property tax with exemptions for those making less than $3,000 a year, and Morrison calling for a continuation of Wilton's program of keeping taxes and spending low.[11]

e • d  Summary of the December 2, 1935 Hamilton, Ontario Mayoral Election
Candidate Affiliation Popular vote Yes check.svg Elected?
Votes %
  William Morrison Independent Conservative 12,910 34.7% Yes check.svg
  Septimus DuMoulin Independent Conservative 9,069 24.4%
  William Wardrope Independent 7,883 21.2%
  Edmund Goodfellow Independent 5,106 13.7%
John Hunter Communist 2,186 6%
Total votes 37,154
Registered voters
Note: Candidate campaign colours are used as a visual differentiation between candidates and to indicate affiliation.
Sources: "Morrison is Swept into Mayor's Chair," Hamilton Spectator, December 3, 1935, pp. 5.

Board of Control[edit]

e • d  Summary of the December 2, 1935 Hamilton, Ontario Board of Control Election
Candidate Affiliation Popular vote Yes check.svg Elected?
Votes %
  Freeman Treleaven (incumbent) Independent Liberal 15,406 17.7% Yes check.svg
  Samuel Nelson Independent Conservative 14,939 17.2% Yes check.svg
  Nora-Frances Henderson (incumbent) Independent Reconstructionist 14,088 16.2% Yes check.svg
  Donald McFarlane Independent Conservative 12,747 14.65% Yes check.svg
  Andy Frame Independent 11,628 13.37%
  John Mitchell Cooperative Commonwealth Federation 8,600 9.89%
  Thomas Lewington Independent 11,628 9.4%
  Charles McCabe Independent 7,197 8.78%
  George Jones Independent 2,268 2.6%
Total votes
Registered voters
Note: Candidate campaign colours are used as a visual differentiation between candidates and to indicate affiliation.
Sources: "Controllers' Recapitulation," Hamilton Spectator, December 3, 1935, pp. 15.
"Conservative Majority in New City Council," 'Hamilton Spectator, December 3, 1935, pp. 7.

Plebiscites[edit]

e • d 
Hamilton, Ontario Municipal Election
1935 Plebiscites
Question Yes check.svg Yes No
Votes % Votes %
Are you in favour of electing members of Hamilton City Council to a term of two years? 10,028 32.13% 21,182 67.87%
Are you in favour of the Board of Control and aldermen being elected
so that one-half the number are elected for a term of two years, the mayor
to be elected for a term of two years?
7,973 28.2% 20,289 71.8%
Are you in favour of all the trustees of the Hamilton Board of Education being elected
for a term of two years?
11,543 40.38% 17,043 59.62%
Total votes
Registered voters
Sources: "Plan to Change Voting System Junked," Hamilton Spectator, December 3, 1935, pp. 15.

Aldermen[edit]

Ward One[edit]

e • d  Summary of the December 2, 1935 Hamilton, Ontario Ward 1 Alderman Election
Candidate Affiliation Popular vote Yes check.svg Elected?
Votes %
  William McFarland (incumbent) Independent Conservative 4,194 Yes check.svg
  Orville Walsh (incumbent) Independent Conservative 2,951 Yes check.svg
  Charles Turner Cooperative Commonwealth Federation 996
Total votes
Registered voters
Note: Candidate campaign colours are used as a visual differentiation between candidates and to indicate affiliation.
Sources: "Recapitulation for the aldermen", Hamilton Spectator, December 3, 1935, pp. 15.
"Conservative Majority in New Council," 'Hamilton Spectator, December 3, 1935, pp. 7.

Ward Two[edit]

e • d  Summary of the December 2, 1935 Hamilton, Ontario Ward 2 Alderman Election
Candidate Affiliation Popular vote Yes check.svg Elected?
Votes %
  Beamer Hopkins Independent Conservative 2,184 Yes check.svg
  William Ainslie (incumbent) Independent Liberal 1,271 Yes check.svg
  James Phin Independent 1,182
  Hugh Lennox Independent 1,018
  Lawrence Gatenby Independent 741
  Richard Griffith Independent 583
  William Shaw Independent 232
Total votes
Registered voters
Note: Candidate campaign colours are used as a visual differentiation between candidates and to indicate affiliation.
Sources: "Recapitulation for the aldermen", Hamilton Spectator, December 3, 1935, pp. 15.
"Conservative Majority in New Council," 'Hamilton Spectator, December 3, 1935, pp. 7.

Ward Three[edit]

e • d  Summary of the December 2, 1935 Hamilton, Ontario Ward 3 Alderman Election
Candidate Affiliation Popular vote Yes check.svg Elected?
Votes %
  Robert Evans (incumbent) Independent Conservative 2,219 Yes check.svg
  Herbert Smye Independent Conservative 2,110 Yes check.svg
  William Fick (incumbent) Independent Conservative 1,740
  Austin MacAuley Independent 1,633
Total votes
Registered voters
Note: Candidate campaign colours are used as a visual differentiation between candidates and to indicate affiliation.
Sources: "Recapitulation for the aldermen", Hamilton Spectator, December 3, 1935, pp. 15.
"Conservative Majority in New Council," 'Hamilton Spectator, December 3, 1935, pp. 7.

Ward Four[edit]

e • d  Summary of the December 2, 1935 Hamilton, Ontario Ward 4 Alderman Election
Candidate Affiliation Popular vote Yes check.svg Elected?
Votes %
  John Marsh Independent Liberal 1,647 Yes check.svg
  Peter McCulloch Independent Liberal 1,536 Yes check.svg
  George Hancock (incumbent) Independent Conservative 1,298
  John Rowley Independent 821
  Charles Pollicott Independent Labour Party 647
Total votes
Registered voters
Note: Candidate campaign colours are used as a visual differentiation between candidates and to indicate affiliation.
Sources: "Recapitulation for the aldermen", Hamilton Spectator, December 3, 1935, pp. 15.
"Conservative Majority in New Council," 'Hamilton Spectator, December 3, 1935, pp. 7.

Ward Five[edit]

e • d  Summary of the December 2, 1935 Hamilton, Ontario Ward 5 Alderman Election
Candidate Affiliation Popular vote Yes check.svg Elected?
Votes %
  Thomas White (incumbent) Independent Conservative 2,246 Yes check.svg
  Alexander Nelligan Independent Conservative 1,163 Yes check.svg
  Charles Aitchison Independent 1,114
  John Sherring Independent 693
  William Ronald Independent 479
  John Rae Cooperative Commonwealth Federation 430
Michael Hutchison Communist Party 330
  Herbert Savage Independent 124
Total votes
Registered voters
Note: Candidate campaign colours are used as a visual differentiation between candidates and to indicate affiliation.
Sources: "Recapitulation for the aldermen", Hamilton Spectator, December 3, 1935, pp. 15.
"Conservative Majority in New Council," 'Hamilton Spectator, December 3, 1935, pp. 7.

Ward Six[edit]

e • d  Summary of the December 2, 1935 Hamilton, Ontario Ward 6 Alderman Election
Candidate Affiliation Popular vote Yes check.svg Elected?
Votes %
  William Weir (incumbent) Independent Conservative 2,774 Yes check.svg
  John Hodgson (incumbent) Independent Conservative 2,369 Yes check.svg
  Archie Pollock Independent 2,058
  Frank Thomson Cooperative Commonwealth Federation 915
Bruce Smith Communist Party 383
Total votes
Registered voters
Note: Candidate campaign colours are used as a visual differentiation between candidates and to indicate affiliation.
Sources: "Recapitulation for the aldermen", Hamilton Spectator, December 3, 1935, pp. 15.
"Conservative Majority in New Council," 'Hamilton Spectator, December 3, 1935, pp. 7.

Ward Seven[edit]

e • d  Summary of the December 2, 1935 Hamilton, Ontario Ward 7 Alderman Election
Candidate Affiliation Popular vote Yes check.svg Elected?
Votes %
  Donald Clark Independent Reconstructionist 1,776
  Archie Burton (incumbent) Independent Conservative 1,305 Yes check.svg
  Sam Clarke Independent 1,256
  James Morris Independent 1,170
  John Watson Independent 628
  John Doyle Cooperative Commonwealth Federation 462
  James Newell Cooperative Commonwealth Federation 358
Total votes
Registered voters
Note: Candidate campaign colours are used as a visual differentiation between candidates and to indicate affiliation.
Sources: "Recapitulation for the aldermen", Hamilton Spectator, December 3, 1935, pp. 15.
"Conservative Majority in New Council," 'Hamilton Spectator, December 3, 1935, pp. 7.

Ward Eight[edit]

e • d  Summary of the December 2, 1935 Hamilton, Ontario Ward 8 Alderman Election
Candidate Affiliation Popular vote Yes check.svg Elected?
Votes %
  Agnes Sharpe (incumbent) Cooperative Commonwealth Federation 2,191 Yes check.svg
  Robert Elliott Independent Conservative 1,871 Yes check.svg
  George Snyder Independent 1,630
  Roy Aindow Cooperative Commonwealth Federation 1,166
  Thomas Ellis Independent 708
Total votes
Registered voters
Note: Candidate campaign colours are used as a visual differentiation between candidates and to indicate affiliation.
Sources: "Recapitulation for the aldermen", Hamilton Spectator, December 3, 1935, pp. 15.
"Conservative Majority in New Council," 'Hamilton Spectator, December 3, 1935, pp. 7.

Board of Education[edit]

Ward One[edit]

e • d  Summary of the December 2, 1935 Hamilton Board of Education Ward 1 Trustee Election
Candidate Affiliation Popular vote Yes check.svg Elected?
Votes %
  Russell William Treleaven (incumbent) Independent Acclaimed Yes check.svg
Total votes
Registered voters
Note: Candidate campaign colours are used as a visual differentiation between candidates and to indicate affiliation.
Sources: "Five School Trustees Are Not Opposed", Hamilton Spectator, November 22, 1935, pp. 7,17.

Ward Two[edit]

e • d  Summary of the December 2, 1935 Hamilton Board of Education Ward 2 Trustee Election
Candidate Affiliation Popular vote Yes check.svg Elected?
Votes %
  George Tweedle Inch (incumbent) Independent Acclaimed Yes check.svg
Total votes
Registered voters
Note: Candidate campaign colours are used as a visual differentiation between candidates and to indicate affiliation.
Sources: "Five School Trustees Are Not Opposed", Hamilton Spectator, November 22, 1935, pp. 7,17.

Ward Three[edit]

e • d  Summary of the December 2, 1935 Hamilton Board of Education Ward 3 Trustee Election
Candidate Affiliation Popular vote Yes check.svg Elected?
Votes %
  S.B. Russell (incumbent) Independent Acclaimed Yes check.svg
Total votes
Registered voters
Note: Candidate campaign colours are used as a visual differentiation between candidates and to indicate affiliation.
Sources: "Five School Trustees Are Not Opposed", Hamilton Spectator, November 22, 1935, pp. 7,17.

Ward Four[edit]

e • d  Summary of the December 5, 1927 Hamilton Board of Education Ward 4 Trustee Election
Candidate Affiliation Popular vote Yes check.svg Elected?
Votes %
  George R. Allan (incumbent) Independent Conservative Acclaimed Yes check.svg
Total votes
Registered voters
Note: Candidate campaign colours are used as a visual differentiation between candidates and to indicate affiliation.
Sources: "Five School Trustees Are Not Opposed", Hamilton Spectator, November 22, 1935, pp. 7,17.

Ward Five[edit]

e • d  Summary of the December 2, 1935 Hamilton Board of Education Ward 5 Trustee Election
Candidate Affiliation Popular vote Yes check.svg Elected?
Votes %
  Humphrey Mitchell Independent Liberal-Labour Acclaimed Yes check.svg
Total votes
Registered voters
Note: Candidate campaign colours are used as a visual differentiation between candidates and to indicate affiliation.
Sources: "Five School Trustees Are Not Opposed", Hamilton Spectator, November 22, 1935, pp. 7,17.

Ward Six[edit]

e • d  Summary of the December 2, 1935 Hamilton Board of Education Ward 6 Trustee Election
Candidate Affiliation Popular vote Yes check.svg Elected?
Votes %
  George Henry Wild (incumbent) Independent Conservative 2,920 Yes check.svg
  John McGregor Cooperative Commonwealth Federation 1,739
Total votes
Registered voters
Note: Candidate campaign colours are used as a visual differentiation between candidates and to indicate affiliation.
Sources: "Five School Trustees Are Not Opposed", Hamilton Spectator, November 22, 1935, pp. 7,17.
"Recapitulation for School Trustees", Hamilton Spectator, December 3, 1935, pp. 15.

Ward Seven[edit]

e • d  Summary of the December 2, 1935 Hamilton Board of Education Ward 7 Trustee Election
Candidate Affiliation Popular vote Yes check.svg Elected?
Votes %
  Henry Bickel (incumbent) Independent 1,981 Yes check.svg
  Issac Armes Cooperative Commonwealth Federation 1,531
Total votes
Registered voters
Note: Candidate campaign colours are used as a visual differentiation between candidates and to indicate affiliation.
Sources: "Five School Trustees Are Not Opposed", Hamilton Spectator, November 22, 1935, pp. 7,17.
"Recapitulation for School Trustees", Hamilton Spectator, December 3, 1935, pp. 15.

Ward Eight[edit]

e • d  Summary of the December 2, 1935 Hamilton Board of Education Ward 8 Trustee Election
Candidate Affiliation Popular vote Yes check.svg Elected?
Votes %
  Goldwin Henry (incumbent) Independent 2,050 Yes check.svg
  Sara Doyle Cooperative Commonwealth Federation 1,552
Total votes
Registered voters
Note: Candidate campaign colours are used as a visual differentiation between candidates and to indicate affiliation.
Sources: "Five School Trustees Are Not Opposed", Hamilton Spectator, November 22, 1935, pp. 7,17.
"Recapitulation for School Trustees", Hamilton Spectator, December 3, 1935, pp. 15.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Hamilton Voters Choose New Council on Monday", Hamilton Spectator, Saturday, November 30, 1935, pp. 7, 10.
  2. ^ "Will Submit Question at Municipal Election," Hamilton Spectator, November 2, 1935, pp. 7.
  3. ^ "Council Will Approve of Plebiscite," Hamilton Spectator, November 5, 1935, pp. 7.
  4. ^ "Council Toiled in Vain; New Meeting Must Be Held," Hamilton Spectator, November 6, 1935, pp. 7.
  5. ^ a b c "'Don't Sink Municipal Ship with Load of Politics'", Return Sound Men to Council, Mayor Wilton Urges Hamilton's Electors," Hamilton Spectator, November 23, 1935, pp. 7.
  6. ^ a b "Conservative Majority in New City Council," Hamilton Spectator, December 3, 1935, pp. 7.
  7. ^ "'Ghost' Slate Will Be Allowed To Fade Out," Hamilton Spectator, December 3, 1935, pp. 7.
  8. ^ "Another Addition is Made To Contestants For Board," Hamilton Spectator, November 2, 1935, pp. 7.
  9. ^ "DuMoulin May Yet Be Given Mayor's Chair," Hamilton Spectator, November 5, 1935, pp. 7.
  10. ^ "F. Kent Hamilton May Be Candidate," Hamilton Spectator, November 13, 1935, pp. 7.
  11. ^ "Candidates Submit Their Platforms to Electors To-day", Hamilton Spectator, November 22, 1935, pp. 7,22.