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View Tree for Alexander Stark Moffat MuirheadAlexander Stark Moffat Muirhead (b. 30 Jul 1899, d. 18 Sep 1982)

Alexander Stark Moffat Muirhead (son of Thomas Allen Muirhead and Annie Russell Moffat) was born 30 Jul 1899 in Bonnybridge, Falkirk Stirling Scotland, and died 18 Sep 1982 in Asotin Asotin Washington. He married Eva Annie Jackson on 07 May 1921 in Register Office Salford Salford, daughter of Gustavus Adolphus Jackson and Georgiana Selina Kneebone.

 Includes NotesNotes for Alexander Stark Moffat Muirhead:
Residence at the time of marriage: 24 Kellett Street, Weaste. Father's name Thomas Allen Muirhead.. His profession Iron Fitter Journeyman . John Leonard Jackson was presence at their marriage Also Sarah Mockridge. Notes from Hannie 1997:
Most of the Muirhead's and Moffat's worked for Smith and Wellstood in Bonnybridge Scotland .Johnny Muirhead worked in the office. Thomas Muirhead worked there too. They had a division in Canada, Hamilton? where a lot of the Moffat's went too.?[CONDO3~1.FTW]

Residence at the time of marriage: 24 Kellett Street, Weaste. Father's name Thomas Allen Muirhead.. His profession Iron Fitter Journeyman . John Leonard Jackson was presence at their marriage Also Sarah Mockridge. Notes from Hannie 1997:
Most of the Muirhead's and Moffat's worked for Smith and Wellstood in Bonnybridge Scotland .Johnny Muirhead worked in the office. Thomas Muirhead worked there too. They had a division in Canada, Hamilton? where a lot of the Moffat's went too.?




SMITH, WELLSTOOD AND URE & CO.

When he was only 16 years old Mr. James Smith left his home in Edinburgh to go to
America. There he learned to work with iron,.and later sold stoves, ranges and hardware in
Jackson, Mississippi. He returned to this country in 1854. He opened a shop in Glasgow to
sell the American type enclosed cookers. The business flourished and in 1858 he was joined
by his friend, Mr. Stephen Wellstood. That was the start of the partnership of Smith &
Wellstood.

At first Mr. Sn-dth designed and assembled his own stoves but did not make the
castings. His castings were made by various firms, but mainly by the Union Foundry at
Lock 16, Camelon. That Foundry had two partners, Mr. George Ure and Mr. Crosthwaite.
Mr. Ure had a thorough knowledge of the iron founding trade. Very early in his life he
started his apprenticeship in Carron Iron Works. Afterwards he was employed in a foundry
in Glasgow as a foreman, and from there he went to Camelon to go into partnership with
Mr. Crosthwaite. There is little doubt that Mr. Smith was very impressed with Mr. Ure's
ironfounding skills. He probably talked with him about establishing a foundry to
manufacture Smith & Wellstood American stoves and ranges. The first move was to find a
suitable site. The very place was where Mr. Robert Bennie had carried on a chemical dye
works before he moved to more extensive works at Underwood. In 1855 the tenants and
occupiers of those old works near the sout en o t -ie Bonnybridge Pen were Ro ert
Miller & Co., scourers and dyers. When the firm of Ure & Co. bought the place at @Sunday,
1860, one writer described it as "a very respectable looking collection of rubbish". In the
short space of six weeks Mr. James Russell, engineer, Glasgow, had built the foundry that

133
was to be called the Columbian Stove Works. In the 'Falkirk Herald' for 21st June, 1860 a
report said, 'The first casting took place last Friday in the presence of gentlemen from Falkirk
and surrounding district. At first the sole business carried on at the Columbian Stove
Works at Bonnybridge was the manufacture of American stoves and ranges for Smith &
Wellstood. On that opening day flags waved from the foundry buildings and from prominent
places in the village. About 3pm the Camelon Brass Band played several tunes. The Band
was there to show their great regard for Mr. Ure. In the evening the workmen, with a few of
their friends, sat down in the Pattern Shop to a meal provided by their employers. The
Valuation Roll for 1865-1866 shows that the partners of the firm of Ure & Co.'s Columbian
Stove Works at Bonnybridge were Messrs. George Ure, James Smith and Stephen Wenstood.
Smith & Wellstood had a warehouse at the Works. Ure & Co. made the stoves and they were
sold by Smith & WeRstood at their premises in Union Street, Glasgow. That first foundry of
Ure & Co. proved to be the lifeblood of Bonnybridge which grew to be a very busy industrial
centre. The company gained a wide reputation for the excellent quality of its castings with
the result that orders came in from many companies. The amount of work caused extensions
to be made to the foundry.

By 1870 the general foundry business was such that it was agreed to separate the
stove-making work from the sewing machine and other castings, so Mr. Ure built the
Bonnybridge Foundry across the road from the Columbian Stove Works. By mutual
agreement the firm of Sn-dth & WeRstood took over the Columbian Stove Works for the
manufacture of their own goods while Mr. Ure and his family became the sole partners of
the Bonnybridge Foundry, the concerns being afterwards wrought independently Smith &
Wellstood bought the Columbian Stove Works from Ure & Co. in 1873. In that year the
name of Ure & Co. became George Ure & Co. The partners in the firm were Mr. George Ure
himself, Mr. George Reid Ure, his son, Mr. Alan Gillespie, his son-in-law, Mr. James Mochrie
and Mr. Wiffiam Mitchell, who, as Foreman, had a small interest in the business. Mr. George
Ure, the founder of the firm, retired in 1885. He died at his residence, 'Wheatlands',
Bonnybridge, on Monday, 3rd January, 1910 at the age of 89. At the time of his death Mr. Ure
was one of the oldest Justices of the Peace in Stirlingshire. For many years he was a Deputy-
Lieutenant for Stirhngshire. When the Local Government (Scotland) Act of 1889 set up a
county council for each county, Mr. Ure became a member of the Eastern District Committee
of Stirling County Council, and he was its Chairman until he retired from it in 1901. He
rendered many other invaluable services to the community during his lifetime.

In 1882 Singer's Sewing Machine Co. and Messrs. Davidson of Belfast decided to
build foundries to make their own castings. There was no room in Bonnybridge for the
Singer's Company to expand so they bought a piece of ground near Kilbowie on the Clyde.
Those changes greatly reduced the business of George Ure & Co. For a few years they did
manage to keep up a good turnover by manufacturing piano frames which they supplied to
many British and overseas piano makers, but by 1889 their business had dwindled. The
outcome of this was the amalgamation in 1890 of George Ure & Co. and Smith & Wellstood
Ltd. Smith & Wellstood had become a Lin-dted Company, in April, 1886. The other partner
in the firm, Mr. Stephen Wellstood, died in January of that same year. For some of the
foregoing information I am greatly indebted to Mr. John A. Ure, 47 Labert Road,
Bonnybridge, who has written a book about the working lives of two of his great grandfathers,
George Ure, whose firm, Ure & Co., started the first foundry in Bonnybridge, the Columbian
Stove Works, and James Smith, who founded the firm of Smith & Wellstood.

The following year, 1891, the firm started a new undertaking. A gas works was
started to supply gas for themselves, but in October of that year they began to supply gas to
the Caledonian Railway Co. at their Canal Station, Bonnybridge. They afterwards supplied
gas to houses in Bonnybridge. By 1900 there were some gas lamps in the streets of

134

Bonnybridge. Messrs. Smith & Wellstood Co. Ltd. continued to produce gas until 1924
when their gas works were sold to the Burgh of Denny and Dunipace. The full details of the
transaction can be seen in Denny Town Council's Minutes which can be found in Central
Region's Archives. Soon after Denny Council bought the gas works they were dismantled,
leaving only the gas holders. The gas holders were dismantled in 1946 about the time when
the gas industry was nationahsed.

In 1892 the Company started a brickworks of their own which continued to function
until recent years. At the beginning of August, 1892 the Company added to their works a
new fire engine of the latest type. In addition to the required fittings, 50 ft. of piping was
provided and also two sizes of direction pipes with varying pressures. A new room was
specially fitted up for the engine. It was reconstructed in Februazy, 1910. One man who was
with Messrs. Smith & WeRstood Ltd.'s Fire Brigade in 1892 remained in service with them
until his r-etiral in May, 1936. He was Mr. Wflham Dow, foreman blacksmith, who for 23
years of those 44 years of service was Captain of the Fire Brigade.

In 1864 a bell was installed at the foundry and it continued in use until 1890 when
it was replaced by a steam whistle, or 'bozer' as it was familiarly known, but in August,
1910 the bell was in use again while repairs were being done at the foundry. It was said at
the time that the old men of the district remembered the call.

In August, 1933 the firm extended its boundaries at a point next to Singer's Place.
One of the old moulding shops was converted into an enamelling department. By June,
1934 the Company had demolished one whole section of the building on the canal side, thus
cutting off a dangerous comer. In 1951 a mechanical foundry was opened on the site of the
old Columbian Stove Works. In September, 1954 a new warehouse was built. Other changes
took place early in 1963. A new plant was installed. By that time Messrs. Smith & Weflstood
Co. Ltd. were not only supplying cooking appliances, including Esse and Courtier stoves,
but also modem types of food service equipment, acoustic ceiling filing and metal fabricated
sheets in conjunction with its member company, Gardiner & Guilland Ltd., Hither Green,
London, the well known specialists in food service equipment. At the Annual General
Meeting on 18th October, 1964 major changes and reorganisation in the Smith & WeUstood
Group of Companies was announced. The parent company was to move to headquarters at
Esse House, 405 Kensington Road, London, where a sales division was to become responsible
for group sales in the United Kingdom. The new pren-dses were officially opened by Lord
Robens, Chairman of the National Coal Board, on Wednesday, 8th February, 1964. The
Company responsible for production was to be Sn-dth & WeBstood (Mfg.) Ltd. which was to
operate the factories and foundries in Scotland. Gardiner & Guilland Ltd. were to operate
the London factory at Hither Green.

In 1977 Messrs. Smith & Wellstood Ltd. was acquired by the Newman Industries
Ltd. Group. There had been a decline in trade in the immediately preceding years due to
the fact that domestic heating with coal was being replaced with electric and gas central
heating, but the new Company, under Mr. David Gillon as Managing Director, soon gave
new life to Smith & Wellstood Ltd. In 1979 the Company was exporting its products in large
numbers to Europe and America. It was said that 30% of the products made in Bonnybridge
went abroad. In November, 1979 the Company opened a museum and showroom at their
Bonnybzidge Works in which are displayed a large selection of the stoves, cookers and cooking
apparatus of the past and present. That part of the Works has been named 'The New
Columbian Hall'. Having seen the museum, I find it most impressive. Amongst the
interesting items in display in the museum is the basket which helped to save Mr. James
Smith when he was shipwrecked in 1854. He had sailed in the United States Mail Steamer,
'Arctic'. On 27th September, 1854 the'Arctic'collided with the French steamer'Vesta'in fog

135
off the Newfoundland Banks. The ship remained afloat for two hours and then sank. Mr.
Smith found himself swinuning for his life, but shortly afterwards he found a raft. It was
small, however, and he could not have lasted long in it. Fortunately, he found a basket
about 3 ft. long and 2 ft. wide which was lined with tin. He hoisted it aboard the raft and
that was enough to keep him alive until he was rescued by the 'Cambria' outward bound
from Greenock. There was a suggestion in November, 1979 of forming a society to be called
'The New Columbian Society'whose aim would be'to preserve the past, consider the present,
and protect the future'.

There was another change in the management of Messrs. Sn-dth & Wellstood Co.
Ltd. at the end of May, 1980. General Accident Life Association of Scotland, Melville Street
Investments - part of the Bank of Scotland and Royal Bank Development - joined together to
buy back Messrs. Smith & Wellstood Co. Ltd. At that time a spokesman for the Company
said, 'We're far happier to be based in Scotland, and owned by a Scottish Company,
particularly when the general trend seems to be the other way There's been a history recently
of English firms taking over Scottish concerns only to shut them down.". Esse solid fuel
appliances were selling well in 1980 probably because of the energy crisis and a new demand
for such goods. 40% of the Company's production was being exported, mostly to western
Europe, but it was hoped to expand the market in Australia and America. By the middle of
June, 1980 Messrs. Sn-dth & WeUstood were promoting an active sales policy and were pressing
ahead with modemisation and expansion of plant. Seven months later that sales policy was
proving a great success for the Company was enjoying the fruits of their foresight.

From the very beginning of the history of Snu'th & Wellstood the firm have taken a
great interest in its workers. That is shown even today, for the firm have a profit-sharing
scheme for its employees. The 230 workforce back the firm, and good relations exist between
the firm and the Unions. In 1861 the first Annual Social was held in the Pattern Shop. It was
also held there the following year. Speaking at that second Annual Social Mr. Sn-dth promised
the workers that the Company would build a small hall for their use. That promise was
kept for the third Annual Social in 1863 was held in the new hall which had recently been
built. One of the Directors always spoke at those Socials and they usually had something
interesting to say about Bonnybridge and its history. What Mr. George Ure said about the
Bonnybridge Pend at the Social in 1871 is recorded in the chapter on Villages and the
Surrounding Countryside.

When the hall was built in 1862 it was not only to serve as a place for social functions
but also as a reading room and lecture room. That purpose was seen in the fact that as early
as 1862 there was the Columbian Operatives Literary Association with a membership of
about 50. At that time they had about 200 books in their reading room and by 1880 there
were over 400. Series of lectures were held during the winter months on many subjects. In
1922 the Smith & WeRstood Club came into being. The Club opened huts and tennis courts
in 1932 at the place where the Community Centre now stands in Bridge Street. In February,
1962 an agreement was reached between the District Council and Messrs. Smith & Wenstood
Co. Ltd. for ownership of the tennis courts in Bridge Street. After their premises were taken
over at Bridge Street the Smith & WeUstood Club continued to function and still does so
today.

In the first months of 1981 the outer walls of the foundry of Messrs. Smith &
WeRstood Ltd. on the left hand side of the road leading to High Bonnybridge were smoothed.
On the wall facing the road a full size mural of foundry workers and moulding work was
painted by three mural artists, Messrs. Paul Grime, James Mooney and David Wimnson.
The wall facing the canal was painted by Mr. Ken White. The work is so lifelike that one can
almost feel as if the men were coming out to meet you.

136


At 10:57 02/01/01 -0800, Shirley Brewer wrote:
> >Hi List I have this 3rd battalion Alex Muirhead # 517-069....
> >they went to france 1917 and my grandfather came home 11 Oct 1918. I
> >think that this was from Essex? I would like to know more about
> >this.Thank you


During the First World War, there were some 70 infantry regiments in the
> British Army, each made up of a number of battalions. Almost invariably,
> their 3rd Battalion was a Reserve Battalion, based at home, and providing
> reinforcements for the battalions in the front line.
>


More About Alexander Stark Moffat Muirhead:
Burial 1: Unknown, Manufacturers/Labourer.
Burial 2: Worked for FORD Motor Company.

More About Alexander Stark Moffat Muirhead and Eva Annie Jackson:
Marriage: 07 May 1921, Register Office Salford Salford.

Children of Alexander Stark Moffat Muirhead and Eva Annie Jackson are:
  1. +Evelyn Audrey Moffat Muirhead.
Created with Family Tree Maker


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