Richard McMahon (1826-1894) was the first keeper of the Poorhouse. He was living in North Waterloo in the 1851 census. He was married to Diane McMahon (Nee Dekay) ( 1836-1899) in 1857 and they are listed as living together in North Waterloo in the 1861 census.
Diane and Richard had a daughter, Ida McMahon, Born November 2, 1863. Ida worked as the second librarian at the Kitchener library for many years. She was married to Richard Cram in 1902, however the marriage did not last long as Richard went on to remarry. Ida McMahon died on May 6, 1936.
Richard was offered the position of Poorhouse Keeper in 1869 at a salary of 400 dollars a year. The letter from Israel Bowman reads:
Mr. Richard McMahon
I have the honor to inform you that you were this day appointed, to the Office of Keeper to the House of Industry and Refuge, by the Corporation of the County of Waterloo – at an annual salary of three hundred dollars with board and lodging at the expense of the said Corporation –
I enclose herewith the form of declaration you are required to make before myself or any magistrate – the same to be filed in my Office.
I am D sir, Your obdt serv
Israel D. Bowman
His wife, Diane, was offered the position of Matron of the House at a salary of one hundred dollars a year:
Mrs. R. McMahon
My dear Madam,
I have the honor to inform you that you have this day been appointed Matron of the House of Industry and Refuge by the Corporation of the County of Waterloo, at an annual salary of one hundred dollars with board and lodging at the expense of said Corporation
I enclose herewith the form of Declaration you are required to make before myself or any other magistrate – the same to be filed in my office.
I am, dear Madam, Your obdt. serv.
Israel D. Bowman
In 1880, Richard McMahon was given $20.00 for the wear and tear of his carpentry tools used while living in the House:
Moved by Mr Jaffray and seconded by Mr Walter That the sum of Twenty dollars ($20.00) be granted to Mr McMahon Keeper, for the wear and tear of his Carpenters Tools during the term of his Office – viz. form the 1st April 1869 to the 1st April 1880.
Richard and Diana retired from their roles as Keeper and Matron in April of 1880.
Moved by Mr. Chapman and seconded by Mr Walter That in view of the retirement of Mr and Mrs. McMahon from their positions in the House of Industry and Refuge, the Standing Committee feel it incumbent upon them before separating to pass a hearty note of thanks to them for their invariable courtesy & kindness to the Committee while in the discharge of their duties at the House, and, at the same time to express their deep sense of the excellent manner in which the retiring Keeper & Matron have discharged the obligations of their most onerous positions for the past eleven years –
When retiring, Richard and Diana McMahon took with them two children from the House, Ina Laurant, who was 15 at the time, and Bertha Houston, who was 4. (Read more about the Houston family Here) Bertha was renamed as Alberta Irene Mahon. The 1881 census showed Richard and Diane McMahon appear in living with their daughter Ida, Berta McMahon, and Ina Laurant.
Berta McMahon died at age 16 from heart disease in 1890.
Richard McMahon Died March 31 1894, and Diana McMahon Died in 1899. They are buried together in Mount Hope Cemetery.