Frederick A. VanDyke, native of Grimsby, had many interests in various parts of United States at one time.
After a lingering illness of long duration, Frederick Arthur VanDyke, a native son of Grimsby and a prominent businessman of Buffalo, N.Y. passed away at his home on Saturday morning last.
Fred VanDyke, as he was most popularly known, was born in the old Lincoln House, now the Grimsby House, in 1885, the eldest son of the late John Wesley "Jack" and Mrs. VanDyke. He grew up on Main Street and was educated in Grimsby schools. Early in life he showed an aptitude for business, and, along with his father and his younger brother, operated a string of roller rinks in Ontario and Michigan. He then operated a hotel in West End Toronto, then the Strand Hotel just west of the corner of King and James streets in Hamilton. From there he went to Syracuse. N.Y. to become manager of the Yates Hotel, at that time the largest hotel in Western New York.
In 1916 he joined his brother Melville in Buffalo, who had in the months previous established a taxicab company to operate in the New York State under the meter system, outside of New York City. Under the wise and sensible financing of Fred VanDyke, that company grew into the biggest institution of its kind in New York State. Then the company branched out and took in all baggage and collection delivery in the city, holding contracts with all hotels, railway depots and steamship lines.
When the big land boom started in Florida in the early 1920's, it was the VanDyke boys who stepped in and transferred all their Buffalo-Niagara Falls sight-seeing buses to that territory for the winter season. They left those buses there for 5 years and put new buses on the scenic Canadian Boulevard sight-seeing tour. They operated the first sight-seeing buses over the Canadian Boulevard. Fred VanDyke always claimed that for every 5 cents worth of scenery a sight-seer could get on the American River Road he could get 50 dollars worth on the Canadian Boulevard. His contention was proved to be correct by the enormous business that his company built up.
During that span of years the company also operated a bus line between Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, Md., successfully. They opened and operated the tri-city service over the Peace Bridge, a line they operated up until 10 days ago when it was sold.
At the time of his demise, Mr. VanDyke was vitally interested in the operation of several roller rinks in the vicinity of Buffalo. He also had many other interests.
In his youth Fred VanDyke was a pretty fair athlete. He starred at hockey. He was what you would call an old original Peach King.
In private life Fred VanDyke was a perfect host. As for his philanthropic deeds, no one will ever know too much about them. But it is a known fact that he never turned anybody down, particularly here from his old home town. He never forgot Grimsby, as can be attested to by the generous donations to West Lincoln Memorial Hospital and the Peach King Gardens, as well as many other requests.
Surviving are his widow, Gertrude Farrell, whom he married while a resident of Syracuse, and one brother, Melville L., of Buffalo, N.Y.
The remains were brought to Grimsby on Monday night and rested at the Stonehouse funeral Home where services were conducted on Tuesday afternoon by Rev. Arnold E. Brooks of St. Andrew's Anglican Church. Interment was in the family plot in Queen's Lawn Cemetery.
Casket bearers were Archie H. Dixon, Roy Farrell, Robert Hughes, Edwin Norton, J. Ritchie McVicar and Adam MacGregor.