Edward J. Manley (1861-1928)

Edward Manley was born on the 25th of July, 1861 to Edward Manley and Margaret Dixon in Thorold, Ontario. He grew up in Thorold, appearing in the 1871 and 1881 census listings with his parents and siblings.

On the 10th of January, 1888 Edward married Margaret Anne Boylan at St. Patrick's RC church in Quebec City, Quebec. They were married by Father John Hayden and the witnesses were George Boylan and Lissie Boylan. Margaret was born in Quebec City on Nov 1st, 1862. She was the daughter of Edward Boylan and Margaret O'Brien, residents of Quebec City.

Their first child, Margaret Anne was born on the 24th of Nov, 1888 in Quebec City but did not survive infancy. Her exact death date is unknown. From approximately 1891 to 1901 the family had settled in the village of Coteau du Lac near Montreal where four more children were born. By 1901 they had moved to Edward's home town of Thorold, Ontario where they were to stay for the remainder of their lives. Here, their fifth child was born in 1901. Edward was involved in canal construction in Quebec, Ontario, the United States and Panama and was part owner of several canal vessels. Edward died on the 22nd of January, 1928 in Toronto, Ontario. His wife Margaret Anne passed away in an unfortunate accident just four months later.

Obituary for Edward Manley, St. Catharines Standard, Jan 23, 1928
Well-Known Thorold Contractor Passes Away in Toronto Hospital

President and General Manager of the Manley Dredging Company

Failing to rally after a severe operation performed Saturday morning, Edward Manley, 16 Sullivan Avenue, Thorold, died late Sunday afternoon in St. Michael's hospital, Toronto, where he had been taken three weeks ago for treatment by the foremost specialists of that city. The late Mr. Manley was born in Thorold 66 years ago, son of Edward Manley and Margaret Dixon who came to Canada in 1846 from County Mayo, Ireland.

Mr. Manley's life was an exceptionally interesting one, replete with worth-while accomplishments in the construction of public works in Canada, the United States and Panama. When hardly more than a boy, he went to work in 1879 for Larkin & Connolly on a dredge engaged in digging what is now the harbor at Port Dalhousie. This was the beginning of a long association with public works construction that ended only with his death. 1883 found him still with the same firm building the famous Louise Basin at Quebec City. It was during that year he installed and set in motion the dynamo that supplied the current for the first electric lights ever seen in Quebec.

Leaving Larkin & Connolly in 1884 he became superintendent of construction for M.J. Hogan, and at the age of 33 pushed to successful completion important railway construction contracts in Nova Scotia. The year 1886 found him in Panama, one of six dredging experts who left New York to work under de Lesseps on that ill fated attempt by the Frenchman to build a sea-level canal across the isthmus. He and one other were the only two to return. The four others lie buried in Panama, victims of yellow fever and cholera.

Mr. Manley became superintendent of construction for the W.J. Poupore Company of Montreal in 1893. They were one of the largest contracting companies of that time and during the twelve years of his association with them he earned an international reputation by his completion far ahead of schedules of gigantic contracts on the Soulanges, Morrisburg and Farran's Point Canals and the St. Lawrence River.

In 1905 he formed a partnership with M. McAuliffe of Welland and R. Grass of Toronto, operating under the name of The Manley Company. As head of this firm he continued his record of successes, having to his credit contracts at Sarnia, Amherstburg, Port Stanley, Port Burwell, Byng Inlet and other places on the Great Lakes.

In 1920 The Manley Company became a limited stock company and the name was changed to the Frontenac Dredging Company, Limited. As Vice-President and General Manager, Mr. Manley took and completed contract after contract in the harbors along Lake Ontario from Kingston to Cobourg. Selling his stock in this company in 1925, Mr. Manley became president and general manager of the Manley Dredging Company, Limited, positions which he held at the time of his death.
Obituary for Margaret Anne (Boylan) Manley, St. Catharines Standard, May 29, 1928
Thorold Citizen Victim of Fatal Accident Yesterday Afternoon
Had Just Been Waiting Upon a Sick Daughter Upstairs

A shocking fatality occured yesterday afternoon at Thorold when Mrs. Margaret A. Manley, widow of the late Edward Manley, was instantly killed as a result of a fall from an upstairs balcony to the ground 15 feet below, landing on a concrete sidewalk.

Mrs. Manley was apparently in her usual good health, for she had been attending a sick daughter. After waiting upon her daughter she stepped out on the balcony to give some instructions to a carpenter who had been engaged to make some alterations. Whether she was taken with a sick spell or not has not yet been determined, but she leaned heavily on the railing, which gave way, precipitating her to the walk below.

Drs. Campbell and McMillan were hurriedly summoned but she was beyond medical assistance having died instantly.

The late Mrs. Manley was of a very generous disposition, always ready to help those in need in a quiet unostentatious way and by her kindly manner had endeared herself to a large circle of friends during her residence in Thorold for the past 33 years and her passing will be mourned with sincere regret, the deepest sympathy being extended to the family in their double bereavement.

She was the daughter of the late Edward Boylan, a member of a very prominent family in Quebec and was the widow of the late Edward Manley, a well known dredging contractor, who predeceased her about four months ago. In religion she was a devoted member of Our Church of the Lady of the Holy Rosary.

Children of Edward Manley and Margaret Anne Boylan:

Margaret Anne (1888-?)
Mary Catherine (1891-?)
Cicely Helena (1893-1962)
Patrick Sarsfield (1895-1952)
Francis Joseph (1897-1955)
Edward Hugh (1901-1953)

Parents of Edward Manley:
Edward Manley (1819-1903)
Margaret Dixon (1821-1881)

Parents of Margaret Anne Boylan:
Edward Boylan
Margaret O'Brien

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