Provincial Archives of New Brunswick

Dictionary of Miramichi Biography

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ANSLOW, WILLIAM C. (1837-1897)

ANSLOW, WILLIAM C., general merchant; printer, newspaper publisher and editor; b. Middlesex (London), England, 25 Mar 1837, s/o William Anslow Sr and Sarah Arter; brother of James John Anslow; m. 1st, 1865, Annie Bell, d/o George Baxter Bell and Mary Smith, and 2nd, 1887, Elizabeth (Witherall) Lewis, d/o Daniel Witherall and h/w Sarah, of Newcastle; d. Parks Brook, Oct 1897.

In 1855 William Anslow Sr, his wife, Sarah Arter, and their sons William C., James J., and Philip H. Anslow left their home in England and came to Chatham. The family opened a bakery known as the Miramichi Confectionery Establishment, at which all members were employed at first. In 1856 the two older sons entered the office of James A. Pierce, publisher of The Gleaner, to apprentice as printers.

After he served his time with Pierce, William C. Anslow joined the staff of the Saint Croix Courier in St Stephen. When he came back to the Miramichi he helped establish two family businesses: W. & W. C. Anslow, a general merchandising partnership, with stores in Newcastle and Chatham, and in 1862, W. & J. Anslow, a job printing business located over the family's Newcastle store. William Anslow Sr was responsible for the Chatham store; William C. Anslow was the proprietor of the business at Newcastle; and James J. Anslow conducted the printing shop.

Soon after Confederation, William C. and James J. Anslow, as senior and junior partner respectively, began a weekly newspaper, the Union Advocate, the first issue of which was dated 14 November 1867. The name selected for the publication signified the proprietors' commitment to Canadian unity. The paper supported the Conservative political agenda of the day, championed the temperance movement, and promoted local development. Since the editors were Methodists they took a personal interest in the affairs of that denomination and of Protestantism in general, but they were not bigoted. The paper was an early success. After only one year its circulation had reached 1,350, and the Anslows confidently ordered a new Wharfdale press in England for shipment to Newcastle.

The Anslow brothers' business partnership endured for more than twenty years, until James J. Anslow sold out to his brother in 1886. William C. Anslow continued as proprietor and editor of the Advocate until his life came to a tragic end some thirteen years later. While on a hunting trip up the Little Southwest branch on 14 October 1897, he disappeared into the woods near the home of James Foran. His point of entry was known, but a lengthy search proved fruitless. When his remains were discovered four years later it was learned that he had wandered through more than eight miles of dense forest before expiring in the vicinity of Parks Brook.

For two years following Anslow's death the Advocate was managed on behalf of his estate by his sons Harry B. and Charles Anslow. It then passed officially to them, and they published it as a personal enterprise until December 1906; that is, until six months after a new weekly, the North Shore Leader, was founded in Newcastle by George F. McWilliam. At that point the paper was taken over by the Advocate Publishing Co., in which the Anslows retained an interest. The newspaper continued to be issued each week, but over the next five years the organization responsible for it followed a rocky course, with managers and editors coming and going in revolving door fashion. It was saved from extinction in 1912 when it was bought by the newly-formed Miramichi Publishing Co., of which Edward A. McCurdy was managing director. Under these and subsequent owners it survived until 1952.

Anslow was active in the Masonic fraternity, being worshipful master of Northumberland Lodge at the time of his death. He and his first wife, Annie Bell, had nine children, seven of whom lived to adulthood. Their son Harry B. Anslow, after severing ties with the Advocate, founded the Campbellton Graphic in 1909 and was its managing editor until his death in 1953. Another son, Parker Anslow, having mastered his trade on smaller newspapers, became a printer with the Boston Post.


[b] Anslow family data [m] Globe 10 Oct 1865; official records [d] Advocate 17 Nov 1897 / Advance 21 Oct 1897, 18 May 1899; Advocate 29 May 1901, 14 Dec 1909, 12 Jun 1912, 5 Jan 1916; Leader 19 Aug 1965; Manny Collection (F182); PPMP (re. Harry B. Anslow)