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Charles Kellock Dumville (1831-1904)

After a struggle of over three weeks with a combination of ailments that included pneumonia and a stroke of paralysis, Ald. Domville at an early hour this morning passed away at his residence, Bay street south. And when his spirit left its mortal home of clay there was lost to the community one of nature's noblemen – a gentleman of the old school and a man in the truest sense of that word.

Charles Kellock Domville was born in Greenwich Hospital, London, Eng., on April 16, 1831. He was the last surviving son of the late Dr. James Domville, of Greenwich hospital, who served in the British navy under Lord Nelson. As a boy the subject of this sketch attended Dr. Ball's school, Brixton, London, and later served his apprenticeship at the Bedlington Iron Works, Leeds, England. In the year 1852 he entered the railway service – a work that was destined to be his life work. In that year and the year following he was superintendent of the rolling stock for contractors on the Shrewsbury and Birmingham and Midland Great Western of Ireland railways. From 1853 to 1856 he was the travelling inspector of the locomotive department of the southern division of the Weisbaden [Wiesbaden] Railway company, Germany: in 1857 and 1858 with the Madrid, Saragossa and Alicante railway, Spain, as inspector of the locomotive department, and from 1858 to 1861 he was superintending the manufacture of rails at Penarth, near Cardiff, Wales. From 1861 to 1876 he was engineer, civil and mechanical, of the Belfast and County Down railway, Ireland, with full charge of permanent way, buildings, bridges, locomotives and cars.

In the year 1876 Mr. Domville came to Hamilton as superintendent in charge of the locomotive and car departments of the Great Western railway, holding this position until 1885, when he took charge of the foundries and bolt works of the Grand Trunk railway system. In 1897 he retired from the railway service.

As a railway man the deceased was peculiarly successful. He not only thoroughly understood the business, but had as well the happy faculty of understanding human nature and it is well within the mark to say that there had never been a railway superintendent in any branch of the service in this city who came more closely or more successfully in touch with his men. A despiser of shams and pretense Mr. Domville taught the men who were under him to be as he was – ruggedly honest and fairminded. The old school of railway employes in Canada owes much of its thoroughness and capability to the example and teaching of this life which this morning passed to its long rest. The news of Mr. Domville's death will be received with genuine sorrow and regret in the homes of railway employes all over the country. He was ever their friend, true counseler and adviser, and their hearts have ever beaten warmly towards him.

After his retirement from active railway service Mr. Domville devoted himself to public affairs and entered the City council in 1901, being a member of the council ever since that date, having the peculiar honor of election at the head of the poll on every occasion. He was chairman of the special committee on the coronation celebration, was a member of the finance committee, and for two years had been chairman of the house of refuge committee. In this latter position he was very much at home, his large heart going out in sympathy to the unfortunate old people resident there, and his thought ever being to make them more comfortable. At the time of his death he was engaged in a work that was worthy to be the climax of just such a life as he had lived. Under his inspiration the refuge committee but a month or two ago obtained from the City council the right to go ahead with the building of a home for incurables so soon as sufficient funds were in hand. Much of the money had come in and at the time the chairman was laid aside by his fatal illness he had just completed arrangements for a special canvass for subscriptions to complete the building fund. This work was much on his mind during his illness, and it was his great regret that he was unable to finish this last great work that he had set his hand to.

The deceased leaves a family of four sons and two daughters, as follows: Charles J., of Quebec; Frederick J., Alfred E., Percy and Mrs. Herbert P. Heming, of this city, and Mrs. William Poland, of London, Eng. He had two brothers, who pre-deceased him – Gen. James Domville, of the Royal artillery, and Dr. William Domville, honorary physician to her late majesty Queen Victoria. Col. James Domville, senator, of St. John, N.B., is a nephew of the deceased. Mr. Domville was a member of Belfast lodge, A.F. and A.M., No. 40, Belfast, Ireland, and of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers.

The funeral will take place from the family residence, on Monday afternoon at 3:30, to St. Mark's church, where service will be conducted by Rev. Canon Sutherland, and from thence to the Hamilton cemetery.

This document was kindly provided by Rob Domville of Penticton, British Columbia.

See also:

James Bell Domville MD (1778-1846), father of Charles Kellock Domville

Photographs of Charles Kellock Domville (1831-1904) and descendants