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FR [ 1825 TO 1902. 














General Remarks on Pioneer Life 1 1 

The Canada Company r & 

Early Events 33 

Political Notes 4 6 

Education Public Schools 75 

Roads 97 

Judiciary Il2 

Militia I2 5 

Origin and Names of Post Offices 13 


Literature and Art J 43 

Agricultural Evolution I 5 I 

Downie *7 6 

Fullarton J 9 6 


Blanshard ........ ...... 2 io 

Hibbert ............ 2 ?n 

South Easthope .......... 2-7 

E1I{ ce . . .............. 27 6 

North Easthope ......... 2 q8 


................ 323 


Morning-ton ....... -5- 


Wallace . ............ 3 8 9 

St. Marys .... ........... 4o6 

Listowel ......... * ^ 2 


Mitchell ............. ... 450 

Stratford ............... 4 6 4 

Sketches ............... 499 







it FULLARTON ... : 97 

ii BLANSHARD . . . 2I & 

ii HlBBERT ..... 2 3& 



ii ELLICE . . 2 77 

,, NORTH EASTHOPE . . 2 99 

,, LOGAN. ... 3 22 

,, ELM A . . 343 

,, MORNINGTON . . 3^4 

i, MlLVERTON . . ._ 375 

,, WALLACE ... 38 

ST. MARYS ... 47 




,, MITCHELL ... 45 1 




CITY HALL ... . 49 8 



It is now seventy years since the story of pioneer life was 
begun in Perth County by Sebastian Fryfogle in South Easthope. 
During that period such marvellous changes have taken place as 
the most sanguine backwoodsman could have had no conception 
of. To follow the foot-prints of progress during that three score 
and ten years, distinguishing those events which have culminated 
in our present conditions, is surely a theme worthy our highest 
aspirations. In my efforts at gathering up and describing scenes 
and circumstances, which lie along our ever-changing prospect, I 
feel impressed with a sense of unworthiness to discharge my 
self-imposed duty. The responsibility of dealing with events and 
characters of men who have laid as on a sure foundation the 
destiny of this county has overwhelmed me with fear that I 
might fail in doing justice to all. 

A mass of material had to be sought out, scrutinized, and such 
evidences (as to historical value) selected and arranged as far as 
possible in chronological order, so as to give effect to the whole, 
which seemed an almost impossible task. I may be permitted to 
say, however, that whatever my shortcomings may be, and they 
are many ; whatever my inability as a w r riter may be, and it is 
great ; no one, I trust, will ever charge me with insincerity or 
unfaithfulness in prosecuting this important work. In that great 
realm of history, where men s motives must be judged largely by 
their actions, it is a solemn responsibility resting on the single 
mind of the historian that no unjust reflections be made on those 
whose lips are forever closed in everlasting silence. 

In preparing and compiling this work every precaution has been 
taken to secure accuracy in its details, as being essential to con- 


fidence in its reliability. Without this quality it could not be 
valuable. Wherever dates are given they have been taken from 
records. Where oral information only has been obtainable regard 
ing events, statements are made in general terms without convey 
ing the idea of positive certainty. 

I desire to express my sincere thanks to those persons who 
have kindly assisted me in obtaining information. To Mr. Steele, 
of the Canada Co., London, England; officers of the Crown Lands 
and Canada Co., Toronto; Mr. Lane, county clerk of Huron; Mr. 
Robson, county clerk of Middlesex; and municipal officers, clergy, 
and others of our own county, I am under deep obligations. I 
may be permitted here specially to thank Mr. John Idington, 
county attorney, of Stratford, for his excellent contribution in his 
chapter on the county judiciary. I desire, also, specially to thank 
Mr. R. R. Lang, city clerk, Stratford, for a chapter on the militia 
and volunteer corps of this county. 

In conclusion, I may say that every exertion has been made to 
establish truth regarding all of whom I have had occasion to 
write. I have given honour where honour is due, and in my 
humble way rescued from oblivion the names of many who did a 
great work in this county. That I will please all I have no hope, 
and if censure should fall on my efforts I shall be still proudly 
conscious that where I fail I will fail as a martyr. 


St. Marys, December 3ist, 1902. 















I propose to write a history of the County of Perth, in order 
that those whom futurity will bring may know the story of 
pioneer life in this portion of Canada. The passing- years glide 
silently onwards, now laden with memories of those old settlers 
who transformed the dreary wilderness of the Huron Tract into 
smiling fields and happy homes. The love of an aged pioneer for 
his old farm was a sacred feeling, and in his bosom ranked next to 
that of his family, or even to life itself. Here he came in his 
youth, with high aspirations and a determination to make a home 
for himself, in spite of adverse circumstances and almost insur 
mountable difficulties. Here his children grew up around him, 
here he fought life s battle, endured the struggle with penury, often 
with the stern spectre of want at his door, and here also was the 
scene of his ultimate triumph. The names of many are now lost, 
but their work remains. The fertile acres they hewed from the 
forest have, we regret to say, in too many instances passed into 
other hands. The old homestead, with all its hallowed associ 
ations, is now held by the stranger. There are still a few remain 
ing, however, of this old band, now worn and grey, bending low 
beneath the weight of years, and from these must be gathered the 
story of the early settlement of this County. 


It should be the work of the historian, therefore, among these 
old veterans to search out from old memories, threads of past cir 
cumstances and events, weaving- them into a web which will show 
the trials, the hardships, and the patient enduring toil of the 
humble backwoods-man. To these brave adventurers this County 
of Perth owes her beautiful farms, her wealth, and her advanced 
place in the great march of civilization. The old pioneers were as 
a class fearless and intrepid men. To a moderate degree of com 
fort in the Old Land, with, in many cases, an immoderate degree 
-of servility, they preferred a voluntary exile in the Huron Tract, 
far away from friends, and remote from neighbors which gave 
them independence. Their huts or dwelling places were of the 
rudest description. Roads there were none nothing to point the 
way except a blaze on the tall trees, leading on and on, further 
away from the outside world, deeper and deeper into what seemed 
to be an illimitable wilderness. In these primitive cabins there 
was little comfort. Yet, in spite of their scanty fare, in spite ot 
cheerless surroundings, there was much happiness. It is a dis 
tinguishing mark of the goodness of God that happiness may be 
found anywhere. 

The heart s aye the part, aye, 

That makes us right or wrong. 

In these log cabins, rude though they were, there was joy. Be 
neath the trough covered roof there were loving hearts, and where- 
ever there is love, there, too, is happiness. When the old minister, 
a gray-haired wanderer of the woods, came at long intervals to 
break the bread of life to his far-scattered flock, there was joy. 
When the day s toil was over, and a great fire roared up the clat 
and clay chimney, a heap of wood lying on the dog irons in front 
of a blazing back log, the winter storms might spend their fury 
on the groaning forest ; there was joy in the rude shanty. When 
the walls of the log barn had been raised, and the kind neighbors 
had retired to the hut, when the dance soon grew fast and furious, 
there was joy. 

To say that the old pioneers were, as a class, people of learning 
or refinement, as we understand these things to-day, would convey 



an erroneous impression. To say that a few of them were, would 
undoubtedly be true. Some had seen better days, and hoped to 
do so again. A large number of them were men of decided char 
acter, of strong natural proclivities, with great energy and deter 
mination. At long intervals, an old settler with some book 
learning might be found. Many could not read ; many more could 
not write. By far the largest number, however, had what was 
practically more useful than book learning. They had the educa 
tion obtained from coming in contact with their fellows. A con 
stant appeal also to their decision and judgment rendered more 
incisive their shrewdness and penetration. In backwoods life new 
difficulties were constantly springing up, which had to be met un 
aided by the pioneer. These necessities arising from his vocation 
kept constantly in action the inventive qualities of his mind. They 
were all poor, and nearly all accepted those hardships and incon 
veniences inseparable from pioneer life, with the fullest confidence 
that a fertile soil and the bright sunshine of Canada would yield an 
ample reward for their toil. It could only be for a few years, at 
most, that the struggle would continue. Hope was ever present 
with them, pointing away to that time when success would bring 
competence as a reward for their self-denial and perseverance. 

By far the greatest number of those who entered the woods 
were young men. Age, with its wise saws and modern instan 
ces," was of little use in the bush. Indeed, pioneer life furnished 
the clearest evidence of Darwin s theory of the "survival of the 
fittest." The great essential to a backwoods-man, above all others, 
was muscle. Without this life would be a failure. Constant labor 
soon undermined those constitutions whose ground work was not 
as strong as steel. Wealth, as a rule, he had none, whereby he 
might have to some extent relieved himself from his daily task. 
His sole implements of fortune were a fertile soil, an axe, and 
industry. The County of Perth supplied him with the first, the 
second he could obtain for a dollar, and the third was the gift of 
heaven. Thus equipped the hero of the woods entered the lists 
with fortune, but with almost every assurance that ultimately he 
would be triumphant. 


Pioneer life in Canada may now be said to be a thing of the past. 
It is true, there are immense tracts of unbroken forest yet to be 
conquered and made fit for the abode of man. Those conditions 
which obtained in the early history of this county retarding- the 
operations of settlement, and causing- much of the hardship pecu 
liar to the lot of the early settler, now no longer exist. 

Canada has during the last fifty years become a great and 
wealthy country. Wherever a new settler plants his foot now 
there trade and commerce, those hand-maids of agriculture, are at 
his heels, listening for the first sound of his axe. Indeed, he is 
often preceded by many of those conveniences peculiar to the suc 
cessful prosecution of his calling. Railways are built, roads are 
constructed by the Government, telegraphs put in operation, mail 
routes opened up ; in short, almost everything is done to keep him 
in touch with a civilization of which he is the advance guard. The 
necessaries of life for the pioneer of to-day are easily obtainable, 
and his enjoyments of its comforts will be limited only by his 
ability to purchase them. There is no isolation now, as was the 
case in the early days of this county, and the present position of a 
new settler is as if the great centres of our population were putting 
forth an arm to make new conquests from the wilderness. Every 
effort of the backwoods-man is now supported, and is the outcome 
of an energy from the throbbing heart of civilization, following 
close on his train, and urging him on. 

During the settlement of this county there were no such condi 
tions. Upper Canada, as Ontario was called at that period, was 
not a wealthy province. Its vast resources were yet undeveloped ; 
indeed, were practically unknown, even in her most favored places. 
There were no centres of population near to the settlements in the 
Huron Tract. That splendid section of Ontario in which this 
county has a conspicuous place had yet to be made. The wilder 
ness had to be transformed by the pioneer. There were no roads, 
no railways, no mail privileges, no means of communication with 
the outside. The settler in the early days of Perth County had 
nothing to aid him but a fertile soil, where it could be made avail 
able. The little produce he was able in course of time to place on 


the market could not be disposed of except at great trouble and 

In the old days long 1 strings of ox-teams from Downie, Fullarton, 
and the East Hopes, yoked to an ox-cart or a sled, toiled on, day 
after day over most horrible roads, through dismal, dreary swamps 
on their way to Gait, and even as far as Hamilton, with a few 
bags of wheat, for the purpose of obtaining as much money as 
would pay their taxes, and procure some of the ordinary neces 
saries of life for their families. A whole week would be consumed 
in their journey, and when the cost of the trip was deducted, there 
was but little left for the poor pioneer. Nearly all the first settlers 
in Perth County were immigrants from the Old Land, and unac 
quainted with pioneer life. This intensified their difficulties to a still 
greater degree. They were all, or nearly all, without money, and 
without experience in a new country. Of the manner of clearing 
land, they knew nothing ; everything \vas strange to them. In 
the woods they were like old Cyclopes, blindly groping around his 
cave. But necessity compelled them to action, and how they did 
then work the splendid aggregation of municipalities that compose 
this county are evidence. 

It is an indication of awakening interest in pioneer life amongst 
our people that Historical Societies are being formed in many 
sections of this Province. Men and women of education and high 
literary merit delight in telling the story of these old days. Some of 
these writers, with a degree of poetic fervor, have thrown an atmos 
phere of romance around backwoods life, which is most honorable 
to their heart. They are giving prominence in Canadian literature 
to the efforts of a class, the former neglect of which is surely to be 
deplored. It is certainly a sacred trust imposed on this generation 
to treasure up their humble record, from which such great results 
have accrued to the people of our county. The importance of this 
literary work which is now being performed may not meet with 
such appreciation as it ought to receive, considering the sacred 
duty it endeavors to discharge. Let those who are engaged in it, 
have no fear, however ; the time will assuredly come when such 
records will be held as worthy of the highest consideration among 
the treasures of the past. 


Although we are not yet far removed from the days of the 
shanty, and the old log school on the corner (around whose 
rude walls tender feelings of many Canadians still linger) distance 
is even now lending enchantment to the view. The memories of 
those pioneers in the pathless woods are fast being invested with 
that nobility of character which alone is attributed to heroes. Men 
who do their duty well under favorable conditions are entitled to 
praise. Men who do their duty well under most unfavorable con 
ditions must certainly be actuated by those motives which inspire 
the hero. If sincerity, as Carlyle avers, is the mainspring of heroic 
action, the old pioneers were sincere. They were sincere in the 
work they had undertaken to accomplish. They were sincere in 
the performance of all the requirements of good citizenship. 
They were sincere in the promotion of a continuous cumulative 
progress, which still grows and expands into these advanced 
conditions which now give beautiful homes, comfortable surround 
ings, and those many conveniences which characterize the County 
of Perth. 

Those difficulties inseparable from the every day life of a back 
woods man, his endless toil, his poverty, and his endurance we 
may compute, but that weariness of heart and soul sickness of the 
pioneer mother never shall nor can be known. Her self-denial, 
her patience, her lonely life in those eternal woods, which shut out 
the light of God s heaven from her eyes, would have destroyed 
everything earthly but the devotion of an affectionate woman. To 
labour with her husband in the logging fallow, to minister to the 
wants of a helpless family, were of themselves sufficient to render 
her lot one of extreme hardship. These were only physical trials, 
however, and bore no comparison to those longings of the mind, 
which wore out many a young life. In that lonely shanty, all alone at 
the dark hour of night, her husband far away, it may be with his 
oxen, endeavoring to procure food for their daily use, she trimmed 
the light on that old cracked saucer, sitting by the window as a 
beacon, glimmering through the dark woods to guide him home. 
It may be for weeks she has heard no human voice but her own. 
With a beating heart she keeps up her lonely vigil, listening for 


the sound of the chains on the sled, for the forest echoes are now 
awakened by a long yelping- howl, which she knows too well is 
ominous of danger. 

It is little wonder then if the affinities of the pioneer and his 
wife became strong, a most beautiful description of which we 
quote from the "Days of the Canada Company," by the Misses 
Lizars. " Our foremothers were the true backbone of the 
country. How often does the searcher after any kind of history 
find himself with such an answer : I could have told that if my 
wife were living, but I lost track of things when she died. Or, 
O, yes, I kept a diary for many years, but when my wife died I 
gave it up. Or, I could tell you that and much more if I had 
my memory rightly, but I ve minded little since my wife died. 
The refrain is always my wife, my wife. Many a man of fifty will 
tell you to-day, that father lost heart, but mother kept us to 
gether. And those gentle mothers of two generations gone, who 
came to the west when the tap of the woodpecker, in the silence 
of the summer bush, was as a hammer on the brain, and the hum 
of insect life a torment not to be borne, do we not hear the 
piteous tales of them in their days of insupportable homesickness? 
Ah, yes, those women who thirsted for air, light and space were 
driven half mad by the gloom of the forest and the difficulties of 
clearing, by the sound of the wind as it soughed or roared 
through the trees." 

Let us therefore all join in the sentiment expressed in the beau 
tiful lines of the Rev. Le Roy Hooker, of Detroit, when he says : 

And when you pray for Canada, 
Implore kind heaven, that like a leaven 
The hero blood which there was given 
May quicken in her veins each day ; 
So shall she win a spotless fame, 
And, like the sun, her honored name 
Shall shine to latest years the same. 



It is necessary, in order that we may comprehend much of our 
early history, that we g-lance at that great organization, The Canada 
Company, who were first owners of the Huron Tract, and under 
whose auspices was settled the greater portion of this county. It 
is important also from this fact : that the conduct of the Company 
towards those whom they had induced to settle on their lands was 
for many years subject to severe condemnation, not only by those 
settlers who located, but also by many who affected an interest 
in their success. Nearly all of this adverse criticism arose out 
of what was called the leasehold system, a plan adopted by the 
Company in disposing- of their property. This agitation was kept 
up to some extent by interested parties who did not understand 
very clearly the questions at issue, and perhaps did not care. As 
mig-ht be expected an affair of such consequence, affecting- a very 
large number of electors, soon attracted the attention of politi 
cians, and was finally broug-ht before parliament. Mr. Robert 
McFarlane, then member for Perth County, applied for and obtained 
a committee to investig-ate certain causes of complaint alleg-ed by 
the settlers. Those old pioneers who were holding- their land by 
lease were rejoiced that they had found so able a champion of their 
cause, and now at least their wrong s would be rig-hted. The hour 
and the man had come when their grievances would be redressed. 
The claims put forward by the settlers may be stated as : First, 
Patents issued by the Company were illegal, the Commissioners in 
Toronto had no authority to sig-n patents for land. Second, The 
Company had not carried out those agreements laid down in their 


Charter, in not having- made certain improvements such as open 
ing- roads, building mills, etc. Third, The leasing system was 
illegal and unjust, since it enabled the Company to resume all 
lands on expiration of a lease and resell at enhanced prices. These 
higher prices were obtained not from improvements made by the 
Company, but were largely resultant from labour expended by 
settlers on adjoining lands. Fourth, An extra charge of 2*4 per 
cent, on ten year leases, and i^ on five year leases, being added 
to the original cash price if not paid till the expiration of the lease, 
was considered as simply an extortion. This extra levy was 
known as the " Sharing Money." These grievances arose out of 
the leasing- system, which was quite within the Company s rig-hts, 
and not inimical to the settler, as will be shown elsewhere. 

The Parliamentary Committee proceeded to business by ordering 
all books and papers in possession of the Company to be laid be 
fore it for investigation. As might be expected the Company paid 
no attention. The Committee did not press its demand, and the 
affair was allowed to drop. As a matter of fact there was really 
no just ground of complaint. The motion passed in the House was 
not considered as serious, but as a political manoeuvre that found a 
ready support from both parties. 

The Canada Company was organized in 1825, although its first 
inception as a financial corporation took place in 1824. John Gait, 
who was its promoter, associated with himself a number of g-entle- 
men in Great Britain. Its object was to settle certain lands in 
Upper Canada, a grant of which from the British Parliament was 
to be obtained for a nominal sum. Mr. Gait was appointed first 
agent and came to Canada for the purpose of carrying- out its 
projects towards a speedy settlement of their territory. With 
him was associated another person whose name is historical in the 
Huron Tract. This man was Dr. Dunlop. It may be proper to 
state here, however, that the settlement of the Huron Tract 
formed no part of that great enterprise eng-aging the Company s 
attention. Neither did it relate in any way to those provisions 
made in the Charter recently granted to it by Great Britain. Since 
that vast country known as British America had been acquired, a 


policy of Union of Church, a state as existing- in old England had 
been persistently maintained in this country. In .pursuance of 
this plan, therefore, and in order to place the Church in a greater 
degree of independence to the fast growing- democratic element, 
which was strongly pervading the masses at that particular period, 
large grants of public land had been made for its support in Upper 
Canada. Those land grants were known as Clergy Reserves, and 
were located in several sections of this Province. The Canada 
Company was organized to dispose of those lands and open them 
up for settlement. In the original map of this territory, adjoining 
what was afterwards known as the Huron Tract, a large portion 
of Waterloo, Grey and Wellington Counties are marked as Clergy 
Reserve lands. 

The first Act passed by the British Parliament, regarding the 
Company, was assented to by the King on June 27, 1825. This 
Act granted the Canada Company certain lands in Upper Canada, 
known as Clergy Reserves. While it gave a charter for the sale 
and disposal of these Reserves, it set forth in Clause No. 3 that 
" His Majesty may resume the domains hereby granted and sub 
stitute other lands therefor." This Act further empowered the 
Company to grant deeds under certain forms which are annexed 
to the Act itself all such conveyances to be valid in la\v. So far 
these arrangements were quite suitable to all parties. When this 
legislation became known in Upper Canada (for the whole arrange 
ments were completed in London), as if no Government existed in 
Canada, a very different order of things obtained. The Church 
took umbrage, and gathered together her forces to oppose the 
alienation of her property. An able and indefatigable defender of 
the rights of Episcopacy came forward in Bishop Strachan. This 
man was a Scotchman by birth, and brought into opposition all 
that fervor and doggedness characteristic of his country. He 
protested against the agreements made with the Canada Company. 
Those lands which had been set apart and granted to the Church 
for her support ought to be controlled and disposed of by the 
Church. Of the granting of these lands to this body there could 
be no doubt ; and such being the case, there could be as little 
doubt that the Church should control them. 


As a matter of course at that period any protestations from the 
Church in Canada could have little or no effect on the British 
Government. But she took stronger grounds. In her extremity 
she appealed to the Mother Institution in England, who came 
promptly to her assistance. Such was her power and influence in 
the Old Land, that His Majesty availed himself of the proviso laid 
down in clause three of the Act of 1825, resumed those lands set 
forth in the original grant, substituting therefor one million acres 
afterwards known as the Huron Tract. 

On July 15, 1828, was passed another Act of the British Parlia 
ment, entitled an Act to amend an Act, enabling His Majesty to 
grant certain lands to the Canada Company. In accordance with 
the provisions of this Act, letters patent was granted on the igth 
day of August, in the seventh year of His Majesty s reign, to the 
undernamed gentlemen who composed the first board of directors 
of the Company, viz; Charles Bosanquet, Esq., William Williams, 
Esq., Robert Biddulph, Esq., Richard Blanchard, Esq., Robert 
Downie, Esq., John Easthope Esq., Edward Ellice, Esq., James 
William Freshfield, Esq., John Fullarton, Esq., John Gait, Esq., 
Charles David Gordon, Esq. , William Hibbert, Esq. , John Hodgson, 
Esq., John Hullet, Esq., Hart Logan, Esq., Simeon McGilvray, 
Esq., James McKillop, Esq., John Masterman, Esq., Martin 
Tucker Smith, Esq., and Henry Usborne, Esq. The letters patent 
granted to those gentlemen one million acres of land in Upper 
Canada, for which they had agreed to pay one shilling and three 
pence per acre. It was further enacted by the King s Most Excellent 
Majesty, by and with the advice of the Lords spiritual and temporal 
and the Commons, that two persons may be appointed by the 
Company to make conveyances, all of which should be valid in 
law. His Majesty appears to have acted like a wise king in the 
matter of legislation, for he still reserves the right to alter or amend. 
During 1827 negotiations were still in progress regarding the 
acceptance by the Company of the Huron Tract. On the 2gth 
day of November, 1827, an ordinance was passed by the directors, 
approving an acceptance of one million acres in the London and 
Western district, recently bought from the Indians. There is also 


a proviso setting- forth that " when lakes, sand hills, rock, or 
swamp were prevelant, a further grant equivalent to all such 
waste or swamp land should be given by the Government out of 
other lands bought from the Indians, in order that the original 
one million acres should remain intact. In lieu of a great swamp, 
known to exist near the eastern portion of this territory, it w r as 
decided to accept a strip of land between Wilmot and the adjoining 
township to the south, also a strip of land north of Wilmot, 
which portions, according- to an old map, were not yet surveyed. 
Another ordinance passed by the Company ordered that a new 
town be laid out on Lake Huron, on the River Meneg-tung-, to be 
called Goderich, in honor of Lord Goderich. All these agreements 
were accepted and ratified by an Act passed in the British Parlia 
ment and assented to by the King on July 15, 1828. Thus the 
Canada Company became owners of that territory known as the 
Huron Tract, or County of Huron, a portion of which was after 
wards organized into Perth County. 

Mr. Gait had, a year or two prior to these later events, founded 
Guelph, from which point he and his associates directed their 
operations towards settling- that great tract of country recently 
acquired. They caused surveys to be made, roads to be opened, 
and such other improvements as would facilitate this work. Be- 
g-inning- in the east, at the western limit of Waterloo, the Huron 
road was opened through what is now Stratford, extending in a 
straight line westward to Lake Huron, where Goderich had been 
surveyed. Along both sides of this road surveys were proceeded 
with, extending from the westerly limits of Wilmot to Lake Huron. 
The manner of making these surveys was certainly indicative of a 
strong want of confidence on the part of the Company in the early 
settlement of its large estate. So much was this the case, that 
along this highway, which passes through in its entire length one 
of the most fertile sections in this Dominion of Canada, the town 
ships were surveyed in blocks of one concession at a time. When 
the boundaries of a municipality had thus been defined, it was 
named after a director of the Company. By a reference, therefore, 
to the names of the first board, given on a former page of this 


work, an explanation will be found of the names given, not only 
to several townships in Perth County, but to others of the Huron 

It may fairly be said that a man s want of success in his business 
affairs will in almost all cases be attributed to every known or 
conceivable cause except the correct one. 

In his endeavor to satisfy his feelings he will never accuse him 
self as being the cause of his own misfortunes. The vagaries of 
luck, combinations of circumstances, perfidious friends, commercial 
exig-encies, duplicity of those with whom he has business relations, 
are the spirits of evil that have crossed his path, but never himself, 
who may be the worst spirit of them all. A man who has been un 
successful will always strike back at whatever he conceives to have 
been the cause of his failure. It is an inherent principle obtaining 
to a greater or lesser extent in us all to destroy, or attempt to 
destroy, by every available means whatever has obstructed us in 
the realization of our desires or projects of our ambitions. 

From a lively exercise of this principle arose much of that dis 
content regarding those methods adopted by the Company for 
settling their lands. The great mass of those old pioneers of 
Perth County were courageous and industrious men. To say that 
all were of that character would be incorrect. With thousands 
that left Great Britain, Ireland, and Germany to make homes for 
themselves in this new land, many, aye, far too many, came who 
were entirely unfitted both by nature and early environment to bear 
the strain of pioneer life. These were, as a rule, unsuccessful. 
Their incapacity may have arisen from a lack of physical endur 
ance, or from a want of that unconquerable spirit which meets 
and surmounts all difficulties, a phase of character most essential 
to pioneer life. 

Whatever may have been the cause of failure there was no 
doubt as to their subsequent conduct, regarding this new country 
and its possibilities. In communication with their friends they 
told most doleful tales. Harrowing scenes of distress and hard 
ship endured by those who had entered the woods, recited in 
piteous language, excited in those unaquainted with the conditions 


of a new country, deep feelings of sympathy and commiseration. 
Above all, those methods to which the Canada Company had re 
course in disposing of their land afforded no opportunity but a 
vain and hopeless struggle for a bare existence. 

To those unsuccessful ones may be attributed, in a great measure, 
that want of harmony which too often existed between the settler 
and the Company. Yet, notwithstanding these adverse criticisms 
there was a constant rush into the new territory. The disappoint 
ed croaking of a few did not deter others. The stream still 
flowed on. Like patriarchs of old, men came and spied the land 
for themselves, and, satisfied regarding its fertility, took up the 
burden of pioneer life. 

In considering any plan to facilitate settlement, that method 
which would be most suitable to the financial condition of those 
by whom it was to be effected, while it afforded a fair measure of 
security for the Company, would certainly be best. To place one 
million acres of land in the hands of thousands of men without a 
dollar being paid on it, was rather a hazardous undertaking. No 
security could be gotten from the ordinary settler ; he had none to 
give. People of substance did not then locate in new places, 
neither do they now. Strong and energetic men are more apt to 
become backwoods-men, from this fact, that pioneer life affords a 
surer and more profitable investment for the poor man s capital, 
which is his labour alone, than any other at his disposal. 

There was one consideration with the Company which out 
weighed all others the principle of quick settlement. The more 
speedily land could be taken up the better for the Company, and 
better for the settler. For furthering this object offices were 
opened in Goderich, and in what is now Stratford, to accom 
modate intending purchasers. While the best land could be 
bought for $1.50 or $2.50 per acre, very little of it was taken in 
that way. Very few of those making a selection had money with 
which to pay even the small price asked. If no other method had 
been adopted to dispose of land, we venture to assert that this 
county would not have been as progressive as its subsequent 
history proves it to have been. 


The system adopted, therefore, as being most suitable and 
affording reasonable security to both contracting parties, was 
known as the leasing system. By many, indeed by far the 
greatest number, this method was considered wholly bad. My 
own opinion as an old lessee settler of the Company is that it was 
wholly good. For a settler to buy and pay for a farm, even at the 
low price at which it was offered, would require an expenditure 
of from one hundred and fifty to two hundred and fifty dollars. 
Not one-fourth of the pioneers in Perth County could pay that 
amount. The greater number of them could pay nothing at all. 
To have sold these lands, and both contracting parties entering 
into bonds for carrying out their agreement, would have been use 
less. A bond implies a penalty for non-fulfillment of its conditions. 
Such penalty would and could have been made operative against 
the Company, but what redress could the Company get against a 
poor occupant of a bush farm ? The goods of one whose whole 
store consisted of a bedstead, a rickety table, with a few rude 
benches, all made with the axe, afforded but little security. A 
pioneer, who with his family had subsisted for weeks on potatoes 
and cow cabbage in his battle for supremacy over the forest, was 
a hopeless mark to satisfy a writ. 

Nearly all the land was, therefore, taken as leasehold. This 
enabled the Company to avail itself of the only capital a settler 
was possessed of his labour. It also enabled a pioneer to invest 
his strength and his energy in a bank which paid high interest and 
was prompt in its returns. Every tree that he cut down, every 
acre that he cleared, increased his account, thus improving his 
condition, and making the Company more secure. These leases 
were usually granted for ten years, and bound the lessee to clear 
four acres each year. This was not a very hard condition, as 
any old pioneer will admit. The lessee paid taxes and performed 
statute labour. At the end of ten years he could make application 
for his patent at the original cost price, with two and one-half per 
cent, added. If a five years lease had been accepted, then one 
and one-fourth per cent, was added. During the term of his lease 
a lessee paid an annual rental computed at a rate of six per cent. 


on the cash price. Thus, one hundred acres of land valued at one 
dollar per acre would pay a yearly rental of six dollars. A farm 
leased at two dollars per acre, cash, would pay a yearly rental of 
$12. If, during such period so demised and leased, a settler was 
able to pay any portion of the purchase price of his land, such 
sum was received by the Company, and interest allowed at the 
same rate they charged the settler. This arrangement was cer 
tainly a most equitable one. If, at the expiration of ten years a 
lessee had been thrifty and industrious, he would have saved a 
sufficient sum to secure his patent. If not, his land would have 
become, because of those improvements he had made, enhanced 
in value, and be ample security for a loan or mortgage, or other 
wise of sufficient amount to discharge all his obligations to the 
Company. Another plan was open to him which was certainly 
more advantageous than the preceding, but which, strange to say, 
was not very frequently adopted. He could re-lease his farm 
again for another ten years at the same price as was charged for 
the land at the expiring of his former agreement. These fair and 
honorable provisions, however, did not serve to mitigate the 
indignation expressed at an increased price of two and one-half 
per cent, being demanded. At every gathering loud and deep were 
the denunciations of the Company, for, as was claimed, their most 
unfair conduct towards the settler in these matters. If the land 
had increased in value, its condition had been brought about by 
his labour. The Company was, therefore, enriching itself at the 
expense of his hardship and toil. This reasoning on the part of 
the settlers, while it was partly correct, was not wholly fair. 

I am not writing a defence of the Canada Company, but 
endeavouring to give a statement of the facts that came under my 
own observation. I do not know whether it carried out its agree 
ment with the British Government as provided in its charter. I 
do know, however, that many an old settler could use, and did 
use, the Company s money, for which they paid six per cent., 
when it could not be obtained from capitalists on good security for 
less than from twelve to fifteen per cent. , and even much higher 
rates in many instances were charged. Many of these first settlers 


lost their farms by borrowing money from capitalists at such rates 
to pay for these patents, who could have saved themselves from 
ruin by re-leasing their land for a second term, 
inconsiderately, indeed, and in a way which ended in disaster to 
themselves. They never considered whether they had discharged 
their obligations honestly and fairly to the Company, or if the 
Company had discharged its obligations fairly towards them. 
The great point was to get clear of the Company, and so end all 
their troubles. With that idea they rushed to the speculator, and 
with a madness equalled only by their stupidity, incurred obliga 
tions which ate out their substance, ate out their hopes, ate out 
their lives, and were never discharged till they were discharged by 
the sheriff under the auctioneer s hammer. 

This county was singularly fortunate in that it was almost 
entirely free from any of the pests that frequently infest new settle 
ments. Speculators or land grabbers were an incubus that rarely 
affected the operations of the Perth pioneer. A land grabber was 
a person who bought up certain sections, making no improvements 
and residing (away) in some more favored spot than the backwoods. 
These lands he held locked up until the labour of those on ad 
joining properties had made them valuable. He did nothing 
towards chopping or clearing roads, nothing in any way to improve 
the settlement. When the surrounding country had been cleared, 
and land became valuable, then he disposed of his property at 
enormous profit. The ease with which a person might possess 
himself of a farm in those old days gave rise to another class, 
known as "squatters," who if they were not so inimical to pro 
gress as the speculator, at least retarded to some extent the ad 
vancement of any section in which they located. A squatter was a 
pioneer who simply took possession of any vacant farm that suited 
him, and began operations without notifying the company, or 
having any right whatever to it. He would bund a shanty, clear a 
few acres, use, or sell any valuable timber that he could dispose 
of. When opportunity offered he sold his improvements to a 
stranger with a little capital, who was desirous of obtaining a 
homestead with some clearing. Having thus increased his fortune 


by a few dollars, he moved into another new section and began 
life again. Others with perhaps a little more honour, but without 
ambition, would lease a lot from the Company, pay one payment, 
hold it for a few years till land had become more valuable, then 
sell on the same principle as the squatter. 

These explanations regarding- the conduct and methods adopted 
by the Company are the results of my own experience, extending 
over a period of 20 years. It will be noted, therefore, that the 
first grievance set up by the settler against the company as to 
granting patents is effectually disposed of by the Act of Parliament 
passed on July 15, 1828. 

As to the second, who is to say whether they were culpable or 
not in discharging their obligations ? As demanded by terms of 
their charter, they did open and build leading roads through the 
territory ; they made liberal grants towards erecting mills and 
houses of public entertainment for the accommodation of settlers ; 
they gave grants of land for churches and cemeteries, and in 
other ways opened up the country for settlement. 

In regard to the third grievapce, namely, that the leasing system 
was introduced to enable them to resume their lands, and sell at 
enhanced prices, pioneer labor having made them valuable, this 
grievance has no foundation in fact. Assuming for the sake of 
argument that such was the case, squatters and a number of lessee 
settlers taught the Company many an object lesson in disposing of 
property. It was no uncommon occurrence for a squatter to 
retain possession of a lot for ten years, then sell his improvements 
to a stranger for a price nearly as great as the Company actually 
wanted for the land. Wherever a speculator held a farm he had 
no compunction in availing himself of the increased values arising 
from other men s labor, by selling his land at a higher rate. To 
the credit of the Company I believe no single case of harshness to 
any squatter or lessee settler can be pointed out. Indeed, so 
remote was their conduct from any measure of this kind, that no 
proposal would be entertained for the purchase of land held by a 
squatter until evidence was produced that he had been satisfied as 
to the value of his improvements. Mistakes may have occurred, 


and doubtless did occur, which were a hardship in certain cases, 
but the heartless conduct attributed to the Company by a certain 
class of writers cannot be shown as having at any period actuated 
this old institution. 

In support of these statements we may be permitted to quote 
from "In the Days of The Canada Company" an assertion by 
one who knew well whereof he spoke, when he says, "As for 
squatters, they are a law unto themselves and any 

one who had tried to root out an Irishman or a German from 
his land, or unroof his house, or quench his hearth, would find it 
a tough job. I never yet heard of a single lessee in the Huron 
Tract being dispossessed. The storekeeper with a pile of over 
due bills was the real terror of the settler." And he goes on 
further to say, "I never heard of any poor man being sold up 
by the Company under a distress warrant for rent, unless it was 
done at his own request, when, also at his request, the Company 
became the purchaser of the goods seized, the man and his goods 
both remaining on the land to cultivate it, and finally paid the 
debt at his own convenience." " On one occasion," this person 
goes on to say, " I was called on to bear a part in a transaction 
of this kind as a witness. When the matter was closed and the 
Company s agent had left, after handing over all the stock, crop, 
etc., into the settler s hand to carry on his farm as usual, he gave 
a shout, Hooray, boys, who s afraid ? Sure I expected that 
dirty villain, the bailiff, here to-morrow morning with an execution 
from that blackguard storekeeper on account of a debt he has 
against me. Faix, he can go back as he came. Then addressing 
his cows and his pigs, And all of you are safe, me darlings ; get 
into yer straw wid ye." 

As to the fourth grievance alleged against them regarding 
" shaving money," they did nothing more than every settler in the 
Huron Tract did every } ear of his life. If a pioneer wanted to buy 
a yoke of oxen, his neighbor would sell at a certain price for cash. 
If a year s credit was desired, then a higher price was asked, with 
so much per cent, interest added for the time specified. What 
was a correct principle, therefore, in one case could certainly not 
be wrong in the other. 


It must be remembered, also, that good land only was taken up 
by a settler, a large portion being left on the Company s hands, 
for which they had paid, that no one at that period would have 
scarcely accepted as a gift. That this waste land has now become 
valuable is owing to a large expenditure of money for drainage 
and other improvements an equitable share being paid by the 
Company which, if it has increased its wealth, has also enriched 
the municipalities to a great degree. 

Those methods of that olden time are now long since passed 
away. The generation which now lives in comfort on those mag 
nificent farms in this county know nothing of squatters, nor those 
difficulties which almost overwhelmed their fathers in hewing out 
the old homestead from the dreary forest. In the southern portion, 
at all events, those alleged short-comings of the Company are for 
gotten. Even its existence, or knowledge of its having been 
founded in London nearly four score years ago, is unknown to the 
young, and seems like a dream to those few remaining pioneers. 


1. C. H. Merryflcld, Warden. 2. John Schacfer. 3. VV. V. Sanderson. 4. James 
Torrance. 5. Joseph Mountain. 6. Robt. Armstrong. 7. It. T. Kemp. 8. Andrew 
Falk. 9. James Dickson. 10. Thos. K. Hay. 11. Thos. Ryan. 12. William White. 



History begins in this county in 1828, when John Gait and his 
band of explorers blazed a path through the trackless woods to 
that spot where Goderich now stands. This event was an insignia 
of a new dominion, and a new force, pregnant with energy, and an 
inherent power to conquer and subdue. From the solitude of this 
illimitable forest came forth, as if by magic, beautiful fields, com 
modious schools, marts of commerce, splendid temples and com 
fortable places of abode. 

In the autumn of 1828 Mr. Gait says : "Of one thing I am 
proud, I do not hesitate to say I was proud and with good reason, 
I caused a road to be opened through the forest of Huron tract 
nearly a hundred miles long ; the first overland communication 
between the great lakes, carried into effect by Mr. Prior, all the 
woodmen that could be assembled from the settlers were employed; 
an explorer of the line to go ahead, then the surveyors with their 
compasses, after them a band of blazers, or men to mark the trees 
in the line. Then the slashers and the waggons with provisions 
and other necessaries, thus they proceeded to the Lake Huron and 
turned back to clear off the fallen timber." Thus began the great 
work of improvement on the Huron Road in this county, which has 
been going on continuously ever since. The reference made by 
Mr. Gait, in his letter, to the employment of woodmen, "as 
sembled from the settlers," and taking with them " the waggons 
with provisions and other necessaries," evidently refers to the 
expedition leaving his headquarters at Guelph, for at that period 
this county did not contain within its borders a solitary white 


In connection with the work of this party we have also field 
notes by John McDonald, Esq., P. L. S., from which we make the 
following- extract : " Survey notes of a rang-e of lots laid out on 
both sides of the Huron road from the township of Wilmot to the 
township of Goderich agreeable to the order of John Gait, Esq., 
Superintendent of the Canada Company, dated at Guelph, i2th 
Dec. 1828, and under instructions from the Hon. Thomas Ridout, 
Surveyor-General, dated at York, 2gth Nov., 1828, by John Mc 
Donald, Deputy Surveyor, between the :6th day of Dec., 1828, and 
the i yth day of January, 1829." Mr. McDonald goes on to say : 

On Dec. 16, engaged in the forepart of the day arranging- some 
matters at Guelph previous to my starting- off to execute a survey 
of a rang-e of lots on both sides of the Huron road from Wilmot to 
the mouth of the Maitland river. By the order of John Gait, Esq., 
and Hon. Thomas Ridout, Surveyor-General, left Guelph about 12 
o clock, noon, with the following persons for a party : Alexander 
Rose, Alexander McDonald, Duncan McPhee, Ewen Kennedy, 
Angus Campbell, John Kennedy, Roderick Reid and Robt, Elder. 
All of these were immigrants, except the last named, and were en 
gaged for the work by Mr. Crion. 

" Dec. 16, 1828, g-ot as far as VanEgrnond s in Waterloo, a dis 
tance of 14 miles, where we passed the night, showers of rain 

Dec. 17, left VanEg-mond s at daybreak and continued on to 
Blain s mills where we halted for breakfast, and to get provisions, 
with other necessaries, to bring along with us. Here I took the 
opportunity of proving the measure of my chain, it having been 
newly repaired. Pushed on to Mr. Springer s in Blenheim to din 
ner, made our arrangements with him to furnish us with provisions, 
which he agreed to send after us the next day. Left his place 
after dinner, taking- provisions enoug-h for the nig-ht and the next 
day. Tarried over nig-ht in a new unoccupied house, built by one 
Stevens about ^ mile east of River Nith in Wilmot. Here I 
administered the oath to Alexander Rose and Alexander McDonald 
to qualify them as chain bearers." 

January 17, 1829, he reached the site of the City of Stratford, 


which he thus describes : " Travelled to the 3^ mile town, 
viewed the 17 miles stream of the second branch of the Thames for 
some distance above and below the road, good mill site from ^2 
to 3/ miles above. Spring- about i chain below on the east side of 
the stream, which is very much frequented by deer." Such was 
the City of Stratford in 1829. Mr. McDonald s work was not 
completed till the autumn of that year, when his plans and field 
notes were filed with the Company. His reference to 3}^ mile 
tavern simply means that he had reached one of those shanties 
built by Mr. Gait s party, who during the previous summer had 
located the Huron road. 

As a stream of water welling from a spring on the mountain 
side increases in volume as it pursues its onward way, so does this 
history of Perth County begin in December of 1829 at that lonely 
shanty of Sebastian Fryfogle in South Easthope. All history is 
associated with human life, and is but a record of its work, the 
operations of human thought and human passion stored up by the 
historian, that future generations may profit by the experience of 
those who have gone retaining what is good, and eliminating 
what is evil. In this German we have the keynote or starting 
point of our history. He it was who bore the banner of our 
civilization aloft into the forest, and was a veritable voice crying 
in the wilderness, " prepare ye the way, the conqueror is close at 
hand." So the conquerors did come, and, like that streamlet 
flowing onward in its course, has increased in volume until that 
mighty work they accomplished is known and acknowledged afar 
off, while a record of some of the events marking their progress 
is recorded in this book. 

During that period, extending from the advent of the first settler 
till 1842 progress made in filling up this new territory was in 
considerable indeed. For twelve years the prospects of the Canada 
Company were not encouraging. This, no doubt, arose to some 
extent from certain conditions of political feeling prevailing in 
Canada and Great Britain at that time. A system of Government 
based on democratic principles was not yet understood, and a 
great struggle was in progress between the people and their rulers. 


That extreme principle of liberality whose outcome was Radicalism 
and Chartism had gained its first victory in repealing the Corn 
Laws, had absorbed men s energies for years, to the exclusion of 
other interests. In Canada this turmoil ended in 1837, by a large 
section of the people rising in rebellion. The arts of peace during 
those years were apparently relegated to obscurity, while those 
great questions which would give a full measure of liberty to 
Canadians and make life better worth living were being settled. 
Those in authority were slow to realize the important truth that a 
ruler should be an instrument by the will of the people, and the 
people should not be a power by the will of the ruler. Power to 
be great and of lasting good must ascend from the people up, 
and not from the magistrate down. It was not till those questions 
had been settled, and Responsible Government secured, with full 
control of our local affairs that development in this county moved 
onward with rapidity. 

From the earliest period of settlement till 1835 the whole 
western district, which comprised all that portion of Ontario west 
of the Grand River and a line drawn westward to Lake Huron, 
was under a local government by magistrates, who assembled 
usually in London. In such an immense territory, much of it yet 
in a state of nature, it was impossible that such attention could be 
given to local matters as their importance demanded. The people 
had no interest in the management of township matters, their 
rulers being appointed by the Crown. This destroyed all ambition 
in those whom nature had designed as public men, dwarfing their 
aspirations for distinction amongst their fellows, which is a high 
and noble incentive to unselfish and honorable conduct in great 


Prior to 1834 the magistrates in session managed all local 
matters as they pleased. Being appointed by the Crown they, of 
course, were not responsible to the people. In that year an Act 
was passed providing "that the inhabitant householders, at an 
annual township meeting, should appoint not less than three, nor 
more than eighteen persons to be fence viewers. This was an 
important concession at that time and was like the point of a 


wedge, which was a few years later driven home, in a complete 
separation from government control of local affairs and appoint 
ment of municipal offices. At these meeting s they were also 
authorized to determine what would be considered a lawful fence. 
This Act also provided for the opening up of ditches and water 
courses, as the fence viewers might decide. 

In 1835 an important change was again made ; several Acts 
previously passed respecting town meetings were repealed, and it 
was provided, " that the township clerk should assemble the in 
habitants of the township, being householders and freeholders at a 
place agreed upon at a previous yearly meeting." This meeting 
was empowered to choose the following officers : A clerk, three 
commissioners, assessor, collector, and any number of persons 
they thought proper to serve as overseers of highways, roads and 
bridges, and as pound keepers. Collectors gave bonds to district 
treasurers, to whom were paid the proceeds of rates levied, and the 
township clerk gave bonds to the commissioners. The most im 
portant change in this Act was appointing commissioners, to whom 
were now transferred many of those powers respecting repairing 
bridges and roads previously held and exercised by the Justices in 
Quarter Sessions. 

This board was required to meet three times at the place in 
which their first meeting was held, and were authorized to hold 
as many other meetings as they thought best at any place they 
chose. They were to receive from the district treasurer five 
shillings per day for their services. The Quarter Sessions, how 
ever, still held the authority they formerly had in reference to the 
administration of justice, location of highways, and other matters 
general to the district. In 1839 those commissioners provided for 
in the Act of 1835 were named town wardens. This system was 
continued up till 1841, when the Legislature of the United 
Provinces endeavored to create a municipal law that would meet 
all the requirements of Upper Canada. It will be noted that 
previous to this the authority of the Governor was nearly supreme, 
he having power to determine the number of councillors and 
appoint the warden. 


The most ordinary observer may trace in these enactments the 
basis of Canada s greatest piece of legislation, the sweeping away 
of those rotten remains of an old feudal system which had been 
transplanted into this country In Canada this old principle of 
autocracy was held before our people like a dried mummy by the 
Family Compact, a set of men who apparently were great in 
nothing but their greed for office and personal aggrandizement. 
It was the desire of Canadians, who disliked paternal government 
and were anxious to shake of the incubus that rested on their 
liberties, to elect their warden and other officers. This feeling 
promoted and furnished the basis of the Act of 1841. 

In pursuance of an Act of the first session of the first Parliament 
of the United Canadas, passed 1841, in the fourth and fifth years of 
our Sovereign Lady Victoria, " to provide for the better govern 
ment of the part formerly known as Upper Canada, by the estab 
lishing of local authorities therein," William Dunlop, Esq., who 
was commissioned by the Governor as first warden of the new 
district, then known as the united counties of Perth, Huron and 
Bruce, called the council elected under the new Act together at 
Goderich on the 8th day of February, 1842. Daniel Lizars read 
the commission appointing Mr. Dunlop warden, also his own 
appointment as acting clerk. There were present at that meeting 
Messrs. Chalk, Daly, Dickson, Gait, Geary, Gordon, Helmer, 
Holmes, R. Hodgins, I. Hodgins, Hawkins, Mclntosh, McConnell, 
L. Sebring. The clerk reported the qualifications of all correct, 
also their declaration of office and oath of allegiance. He also 
communicated to the council a message from the warden of his 
arrival, but being greatly fatigued, requested the council to ad 
journ till next day. The council, like careful gentlemen, decided to 
adjourn, if no extra expense would be incurred. This being satis 
factory, at the meeting next day a resolution was passed fixing 
their indemnity at 7/6 per diem and 6c per mile attending meetings. 
It w r as also carried unanimously that a seat be provided inside the 
bar for magistrates and officers of the district, also the ladies. 
The following rules were adopted : That any person being elected 
a district councillor and refusing to serve be fined 2, IDS. That 


the council meet at 10 o clock. That all petitions be presented 

the first day. That any person interrupting the council be fined 

not less than IDS. nor more than ^5. Mr. Hawkins further 

moved, and Mr. Holmes seconded, that the council do not receive 

a certain letter sent by a Mr. Scott to the magistrates in session, 

or any such letter containing a libel on any person. After due 

consideration it was moved that the letter be thrown under the 

table by the warden. The warden threw the letter under the 

table accordingly. A terrible retribution on Mr. Scott, surely. 

At this meeting an account was presented from one Hillary 

Horton which tells a strange story to the citizens of Perth to-day. 

To going to Hamilton for stores, 8 days journey, 6 o o 

To hire of team, Hamilton to Gait 100 


The salaries of local township clerks were fixed at ^,6 per 
annum, excepting the Goderich clerk, who was to receive 8, IDS. 
William Haldane w r as appointed auditor by the warden and Mr. 
Kidd by the council. Four candidates appeared for clerk, John 
Haldane, George Fraser, David Don, and Daniel Lizars, the 
acting clerk. Mr. Don was elected. 

From this period up till 1848 there is no record of the district 
council proceedings, the whole being lost. I have been able- to 
ascertain the names of members from other sources, however, and 
who were as follows : In 1843, James Cairns, William Chalk, 
W. W. Connor, J. C. W. Daly, M. T. Gallagher, M. Haw, John 
Hawkins, I. Hodgins, R. Hodgins, John Holmes, David McConnell, 
D. M. Mclntosh, Constant Van Egmond, and Alexander Young. 
In 1844, Dr - Chalk, David Clark, W. W. Connor, J. C. W. Daly, A. 
Dickson, John Hicks, Robert Hodgins, John Holmes, John Long- 
worth, William May, D. McConnell, D. M. Mclntosh, Andrew 
Sebach and C. Van Egmond. In 1845 we have the names of 
Messrs. Chalk, Clark, Connor, Dickson, Hawkins, Helmer, Hicks, 
J. Hodgins, R. Hodgins, Holmes, Junck, McCullough, Mclntosh, 
and Van Egmond. In 1846 the members were Messrs. Chalk, 
Clark, Hawkins, Hicks, Holmes, Hodgins, Hyde, Junck, Long- 


worth, Murray, McCullough, Ritchie, McPherson, and Simpson. 
In 1847, Messrs. Barbour, Chalk, Clark, Donkin, Girvin, Hays, 
Hawkins, Helmer, Hicks, Jas. Hodgins, George Hodgins, George 
Hyde, Junck, Lamb, Longworth, McCullough, Piper, Rankin, 
Simpson, Sparling and Van Egmond. 

In 1847 the Municipal Act was further amended by empowering 
councils to choose their own warden, and conferring certain other 
privileges on local authorities, enabling them to elect several of 
their own offibers. Under this Act the council met February ist, 
1848, and elected Wm. Chalk, who was the first warden ever 
elected by the people. There were present on that occasion 
from the municipalities, Messrs. Van Egmond, Hamilton, Rankin, 
McPherson, Lamb, Balkwell, Hays, Sparling, Hicks, Thompson, 
Hodgins, Fryfogle, Carter, Donkin, Piper, Girvin, Ritchie, 
Holmes, Murray, Daly, Gibbons, Hawkins and Mclntyre. Mr. 
Don, who was still clerk, with a desire for brevity in his reports, 
which is sometimes commendable, but carried too far in this 
instance, during his period of office as district clerk never reported 
the given names or the place represented by any member of the 

In 1849 the council was composed of Messrs. Carter, Chalk, 
Christie, Daly, Donkin, Fryfogle, Gibbons, Girvin, Hamilton, 
Hays, Hawkins, Hicks, I. Hodgins, R. Hodgins, Holmes, Lamb, 
Mclntyre, McPherson, Piper, Rankin, Ritchie, Shoebottom and 

In 1850 was introduced the present Municipal Act, and under its 
provisions arrangements were made withdrawing Perth from the 
united counties of Huron, Perth and Bruce. Each township was 
now represented by its Reeve, the members from Perth being T. 
M. Daly, North Easthope ; Robert Donkin, Hibbert; Arundel Hill, 
Blanshard ; Andrew Helmer, South Easthope ; James Hill, Ful- 
larton ; John Hicks, united townships of Logan, Elma and Wal 
lace ; Robert Henry, united townships of Ellice and Mornington, 
and William Smith of Downie. These gentlemen and their 
successors in office composed the provisional council for Perth 
County until its complete organization in 1853. 


By authority of the Municipal Act of 1850, which with a few 
unimportant amendments is still in force, the provisional council of 
Perth met " at the Union Hotel, in the village of Stratford, on 
Tuesday, the i5th day of April, 1851, by virtue of a warrant from 
John McDonald, sheriff of the united counties, and pursuant to 
the Statute 12 Victoria, Chap. 38." The councillors present were : 
Sebastian Fryfogle, S. Easthope ; Alexander Hamilton, N. East- 
hope ; William Smith, reeve of Downie ; who acted as chairman ; 
Andrew Monteith, deputy reeve, Downie ; Alexander Gourlay, 
Ellice and Mornington ; William Rath, Logan, Elma and Wal 
lace ; Robert Donkin, Hibbert ; T. B. Guest, Blanshard ; and 
Jas. Hill, Fullarton. Two names were submitted as candidates 
for warden: William Smith of Downie, and Sebastian Fryfogle 
of S. Easthope. Mr. Fryfogle was elected. Stewart Campbell, 
who was clerk of Ellice, was elected county clerk without opposi 
tion. J. C. W. Daly was appointed treasurer. A committee was 
named to select a site for new county buildings, composed of 
Messrs. Fryfogle, Hamilton, Gourlay, Smith, and Monteith. It 
was decided to offer a premium of 12, ios., for the most suitable 
plans, cost not to exceed ^3,000 ; also to memoralize the govern 
ment regarding the township of Mornington, which by Act 12 
Vic., Chap. 78, is included in Waterloo, and by 12 Vic., Chap. 96, 
is in this county. On the 23rd day of June council again met, 
and decided to accept lots 41, 42, 87, north of the Avon, behind 
the English church, owned by Mr. McCullough, whereon to erect 
a court house and gaol. 

It appears the plans submitted by Mr. Clark were accepted, and 
a further grant of ^5 was made to him on condition that they 
become county property. By a subsequent report, however, it 
seems the prize was awarded to Mr. Ferguson on condition that 
he prepare working plans. Tenders were also opened for new 
buildings and the contract awarded to Mr. William Day of Guelph 
for ^5,150. Mr. Day agreed to accept 2,000 in county deben 
tures, bearing interest at six per cent, per annum, as part payment 
for his work. 

The next meeting of the provisional council was held on the 


day of February, in the Union Hotel (Peter Woods ), village 
of Stratford. At this meeting there were present : -William 
Smith and Andrew Monteith, reeve and deputy of Downie ; Alex 
ander Gourlay, Ellice and Mornington ; Alexander Mitchell, S. 
Easthope ; Alexander Hamilton, N. Easthope ; J. C. Smith, 
Logan, Elma and Wallace ; Thomas McGerry, Hibbert. Fullarton 
and Blanshard were apparently unrepresented. William Smith, 
Downie, was elected warden ; Stewart Campbell, clerk, and J. C. 
W. Daly, treasurer. The business of this council at its various 
sessions was wholly that of detail in connection with new county 
buildings which were erected during that year. The council 
borrowed ^30 to pay current expenses. 

Perth County as then organized contained 539,685 acres of land, 
comprising the townships of North and South Easthope, Downie, 
Blanshard, Fullarton, Hibbert, Logan, Ellice, Mornington, Elma 
and Wallace. The last three of these were originally set apart as 
clergy reserves and school lands and were sold directly to the 
settler by the Crown. The other eight were a portion of the 
Huron tract. The topography of this large area ot land may be 
said to consist of one great plain, and only in a few sections can 
its surface be considered hilly. Rolling land in Perth will always 
be found near those large streams that intersect it in various 
directions in their course from those marshes or swamps where 
they rise. Although this county is level or undulating throughout 
there is sufficient drainage for all surplus moisture. 

In the townships of Logan, Ellice and Elma, which lie on the 
height of land between Lakes Huron and Erie, sections of wet 
lands prevailed. From those swamps, which were at one time 
considered almost impenetrable, those streams forming the north 
branch of the Thames have their source, flowing south-west into 
Lake St. Clair. The Maitland river, rising in Elma, flows west 
into Lake Huron. The Nith, a large tributary of the Grand river, 
flows south-east into Lake Erie. The soil throughout these 
various townships is very fertile, producing in abundance all 
those products raised in every department of the farm. 

The Municipal Act of 1850 was pregnant with change to the 


newly organized County of Perth, and was productive of results 
during the next five years of greater magnitude in material pro 
gress and development than all that had been accomplished since 
the Huron road was opened in 1829. While this was undoubtedly 
true, it does not neccessarily imply a lack of progressiveness in 
those who hitherto had directed affairs in the district. There are 
circumstances in connection with a new country which of them 
selves to a great extent prevent progress, excepting that of clearing 
land. It may seem strange and indicating a want of that energy 
and determination attributed to the pioneer that, beyond establish 
ing a few school sections, nothing had been done. No effort had 
yet been made to introduce any system by which their goods could 
be placed on the market with greater economy, both of time and 
labour. It must be remembered, however, that the Huron tract 
was comparatively sparsely settled, in many sections, even in 1850, 
and the struggle of pioneer life was far from being over. Previous 
to 1841 the mode of municipal government was entirely at vari 
ance with the democratic ideals of the settler, in so far as those 
placed in authority over him were not of his choice, but were 
favored ones of an arbitrary Government. Subsequent to that 
period and up to the introduction of our present municipal system, 
while the people had, and were enjoying a certain portion of, self 
government, it fell far short of that established in 1850. It must 
be borne in mind, also, that representatives from those districts 
comprising the united counties had immense territories under 
their charge, with great areas of a primitive wilderness lying 
between each new settlement, thus preventing that close attention 
to the wants of their constituents neccessary to a more rapid 

But, again, I am constrained to say that while those in authority 
at Goderich may have done something (as was their duty) to facili 
tate settlement and improve the Huron tract, it cannot be shown 
that, with the exception of clearing a road to Goderich to assist 
travel in that direction, much had been accomplished. As an 
evidence, the early records of this district and the testimony of 
those old pioneers yet remaining will be found strongly supporting 


this assertion. There is an old saying that all roads lead to Rome, 
and so in the olden time throughout this district all roads led, or 
should have led, to Goderich. A few people not more than a half 
dozen families, officers of the Canada Company and of the district- 
isolated as they were from the centres of trade and civilization, had 
founded a little world of their own in this new town on Lake 
Huron. The horizon which encircled their commercial ideas ap 
pears to have been very circumscribed. While they were engaged 
in their little so-called squabbles and formulating plans for the 
future greatness of this new centre on the River Menegtung, a 
mighty force was even then asserting itself, which swept away all 
their dreams and their greatness. " Nae mon can teither time or 
tide," says Burns ; neither can man stem the tide of commerce ; 
it will find its proper channel even if it wreck the glorious visions 
of a few officials in a remote corner of our Canadian woods. As 
might be expected, the first railroad through the Huron tract met 
with opposition from several of this little coterie ; not that it might 
not be useful to the county, but that it would injure Goderich. It 
appears from their conduct that long isolation from the outside 
world had in some degree warped their judgment and shrivelled up 
their ideas, which in some directions with several of them were of 
a high order. They were incapable of being impressed with those 
marvellous operations of the pioneer woodman now almost every 
where seen around them. It is, therefore, not to the enterprise of 
those few individuals who held sway in Goderich that we must 
look for the marvellous change which occurred between the years 
1829 and 1859 in this county. To the pioneer woodman, rude and 
uncultured though he was, and to those men whom he raised from 
his own ranks by the authority of municipal legislation, which en 
abled him to place in power those whose trend of thought was in 
accord with the genius of the backwoods and his own aspirations, 
the honor is due. To these men, and their legislative enactments 
at our council boards, we turn as to the true source of our present 
advancement, in those forms which contribute so much to our 
comfort and our enjoyment. As Dr. Dunlop, in his own expres 
sive way, once beautifully said the greatness of the Huron 


tract "we owe to the work and the worth of the people." This is 
the hig-hest tribute that can be paid to the pioneer. With an ex 
tract from the minutes of the last session of the District Council of 
1849 we close these remarks : " Moved by Mr. Christie, seconded 
by Mr. Daly, that this being- the last meeting- of the Huron Dis 
trict Council, the members do return thanks to our Warden (Dr. 
Chalk, who was the first warden elected by the people) for his 
uniform kindness to each individual member, and for the very 
proper and dignified manner in which he has conducted the pro 
ceeding s of this Council. Carried unanimously." 

The board then adjourned, never to meet again under its old 
time constitution. 



The Huron tract was first designated as Huron County, com 
prising all those lands granted to the Canada Company forming- a 
portion of that territory in Upper Canada west of the Grand 
River and a line drawn northward to the Georgian Bay. London 
was founded early in the last century, and the central local 
government was located there for this vast section of country. A 
separation was effected in 1841 by withdrawing a portion of this 
western district and erecting another, with its central govern 
ment in Goderich. In that period, between 1841 and 1850, this 
section was known as " The United Counties of Huron, Perth and 
Bruce." During 1850 another dismemberment took place by 
withdrawing Perth, which was erected into a new county, its local 
government being located in Stratford. In 1841 this county was 
first known as "Perth," receiving that name in honor of Perth 
shire, Scotland. From this Shire a large number of the early 
settlers came to N. Easthope, which soon became the most popu 
lous section in Perth County. They were desirous of naming their 
new home in remembrance of that they had left, and largely 
through the instrumentality of J. J. E. Linton this county 
received its name. 

On January 24, 1853, Perth County assumed the responsibilities 
of municipal government, granted by the Act of 1850. At twelve 
o clock the first assembly of local representatives met in the court 
house, now completed. On that memorable day an organization 
was effected whose power and influence for good has had a marked 
effect on our material development and progress. William Smith, 
reeve of Downie, took the chair, and the following gentlemen 


1. Wm. Davidson, Clerk. 2. Malcolm MacBeth, Auditor. 3. Fred. Branston, 
Caretaker of Court House. 4. Geo. Hamilton, Treasurer. 5. Wm. Irwin, Inspector 
of Public Schools. 6. James Jones, Auditor. 


delivered certificates of election from their several municipalities : 
Sebastian Fryfogle, South Easthope ; Robert Christie, Logan, 
Elma and Wallace ; Andrew Monteith, deputy reeve, Downie ; 
Alexander Gourlay, Elma and Mornington ; Arundel Hill, deputy 
reeve, Blanshard ; Alexander McLaren, Hibbert ; Thomas Ford, 
Fullarton ; Alexander Grant, North Easthope ; Thomas B. Guest, 
reeve, Blanshard ; William Smith, reeve of Downie. On motion 
of Mr. Gourlay, seconded by Mr. Fryfogle, William Smith, reeve 
of Downie, was unanimously elected first warden. There is no 
motion for appointing a clerk, but as Stewart Campbell s name 
first appears in the minutes as holding that office, it may be inferred 
that he was appointed. Three candidates appeared for the office 
of treasurer, Alexander McGregor, A. B. Orr, and A. F. Meikle. 
This contest was a keen one, and ended by Mr. McGregor being 
elected by a majority of three votes ; Mr. James Orr and Samuel 
Lloyd Robarts were appointed auditors. 

The remuneration allowed those several officers for services 
rendered was : Warden, 1$ clerk, ^30 ; treasurer, ^50 ; 
auditors, ^3 each, and the reeves six shillings and three pence per 
day and three pence per mile. Mr. Rowland was allowed one 
pound for inserting by-laws in "Perth County News." Messenger, 
five shillings per day for each day s attendance. As indicating our 
financial ability, we find estimates for the several departments 
amounted to ^1,860, of which 600 was for administration of 
justice. Of this sum Blanshard contributed ^304 ; Hibbert, 
122 ; Logan, ^123 ; Mornington, 69 ; Ellice, ^234 ; Downie, 
^318 ; Fullarton, ^189 ; S. Easthope, ^198 ; N. Easthope, ^300. 
These sums include town line grants for that year, amounting to 
;ioo. It appears also from another item that James Redford was 
appointed superintendent of schools at a salary of ^40 per annum. 
At this meeting also appeared the mania for special grants in all its 
youthful freshness and glory. The attitude of individual county 
councillors towards county funds in the matter of special grants 
appeared like a mild type of lunacy, which seemed to break out the 
moment they entered the council chamber. It was singularly in 
fectious, and an honest, unsophisticated reeve or deputy from the 


swamps of Elma or Ellice would be at once seized with the 
contagion, sometimes of an incurable type, displaying an ingenuity 
in his manipulation of most wondrous schemes before the board, 
which secured very acceptable encomiums from his constituents. 
The reeves carried this infection back to their township councils, 
where it raged with considerable violence until an antidote was found 
in an amendment to the Municipal Act. In our county council yet 
may be heard on some occasions a feeble wail, like the last faint 
tones of that spirit who presided over special grant legislation, as 
if it was taking a sorrowful farewell of that hall where in times 
gone by it held high carnival in magnificence and power. 

While this conflict was kept up with animation and spirit for 
special grants, the council in another direction brought to bear a 
spirit of progress, such as had not so far manifested itself, in local 
legislation. This was a motion to borrow ^"20,000 for improve 
ment of leading roads. When this by-law, framed on a report of 
the gravel road committee, was introduced the amount was further 
increased to 22,000. An apportionment was made to Stratford 
and St. Marys road, ^3,600 ; Huron road, from Wilmot to Carron- 
brook, ^10,000 ; Embro road, from Zorra to the junction with the 
St. Marys road, 1,000; new Mitchell road, extending south 
through Fullarton, ^500; old Mitchell road, ^250; making bridges 
across the Thames in Fullarton, ^250 ; centre road of Hibbert, 
commencing at Carronbrook, ^700; Logan road, commencing at 
Mitchell, 750 ; road through N. Easthope, commencing at Bell s 
Corners (Shakespeare), 750 ; road through Ellice, leading to 
Mornington, ^1,250 ; gravelling side road between lots 20 and 21, 
Downie, and certain other roads in Downie leading to the Mitchell 
road, 600 ; four hundred shares in London and Proof Line gravel 
road, ^2,000 ; seventy shares in Woodstock and Huron gravel 
road, ^350. It may be noticed that in this by-law, which was 
passed on the fifth day of June, 1853, no apportionment was made 
to Blanshard. That township, however, came to a fair share of the 
distribution. In 1852 that municipality had subscribed for four 
hundred shares in the London and Proof Line gravel road, amount 
ing to ^2,000. This sum was assumed by the county, relieving 


5 1 

Blanshard from her liability. It may be noted also that when the 
toll g-ates had been removed in other sections of this county, 
Blanshard bought the whole stock in the London and Proof Line 
Company in 1870 at a rate of sixty cents on the dollar. The stock 
held by the county in this road was assigned back to Blanshard 
without consideration, thus investing- that township with all rights, 
privileges and franchises of a road company, the only one in 
Perth County. 

The county council having made provisions for gravelling those 
leading roads, formulated arrangements for a liquidation of the 
loan in twenty years by erecting toll gates on the Huron and 
St. Marys gravel roads. On those two roads six toll gates were 
erected, four being placed at various points between Wilmot and 
Carronbrook. On the St. Marys road two gates were erected, 
one adjoining St. Marys, and the other near Stratford. The rates 
collected at these several customs houses were certainly ample to 
liquidate the debt contracted in constructing these highways, and, 
indeed, with a fair amount of traffic would have been sufficient to 
supplement taxation in no small degree. Thus, for every vehicle 
drawn by two horses was charged 7>^d., an additional horse 2d., 
vehicle drawn by one animal 4d. , saddle horse 2d., head of cattle 
one penny, score of sheep or swine qd. From a report of the toll 
gate committee, the rental of all these gates for one year realized a 
clearrevenue of ^1,950, and were re-sold the second year for ^2, 194. 
Of this sum the largest amount obtained was from No. 4, on the 
Huron road, near Stratford, amounting to ^,400, the lowest No. i, 
near Wilmot, ^134. On the St. Marys road No. i, near Stratford, 
realized ^308, and No. 2, at St. Marys, 215. Spacious and 
profitable as the scheme was for obtaining revenue by a system of 
toll gates, it was not popular. An old pioneer who had entered the 
pathless woods with his axe and made roads anywhere to suit 
himself felt the gates to be an imposition. It was an impost 
peculiar to that old land he had left, and not suited to progressive 
Canada. He was impelled, therefore, by his hatred of a tax on his 
personal liberty, to free himself as soon as possible. This antago 
nistic feeling towards toll gates gave greater impetus to that 


marvellous improvement in highways between 1860 and 1870. The 
ratepayer taxed himself to gravel parallel lines of roads to his 
market town. He would no longer submit to an impost for travel 
ling his own road, built by his own money. He would not stand 
and deliver at the importunity of an impecunious toll keeper. For 
several years prior to 1868 the county council experienced some 
difficulty with its toll gate keepers. These poor people did not 
realize a change going on around them in improvement of roads. 
In spite, therefore, of a steadily decreasing traffic they still offered 
former rates. As a result they were soon unable to fulfil their 
engagements. The council had recourse to their securities, and 
cases of great hardship were continually cropping up. In 1868, 
therefore, the county council took such steps, upon a report sub 
mitted by D. D. Hay, as swept the whole system out of existence. 
The last gate to be removed was one on the Base Line, Blanshard, 
which remained till 1873, when it also became a thing of the 

Meantime, while these improvements involving vast sums of 
money were being carried out, the northern portion of this county 
had been steadily persevering towards a solid material development. 
In 1853 Ellice and Mornington, formerly united for municipal pur 
poses, were set apart, each sending its own representatives to the 
county board. A motion was passed in 1856 whereby Elma was 
separated from Logan and Wallace, for municipal purposes, and 
William Morrison appointed to call the first meeting. Another 
by-law was passed in 1857 separating Wallace from Logan, and 
D. D. Campbell appointed to call the first meeting at lot 24, con. 4. 
It was not till 1866, however, that the now important town of 
Listowel was set apart and Samuel Davidson appointed as first 
returning officer. Some years later the village of Milverton sprung 
up, adding one more representative to the county council. At a 
meeting in 1856 a bylaw was passed granting a bonus of i each 
for wolf scalps. In 1859 applicants under this bylaw were paid 
12. It is difficult to realize that when we look at the beautiful 
farms and farm buildings everywhere, that only forty years ago 
the sum of 12 had been paid in one year for wolf scalps. In 1855 


a further sum of .3,000 was raised for the completion of gravel 
roads, together with one thousand pounds for purchasing a site 
for a grammar school, in Stratford. Two years later the registry 
office was erected at a cost of 400. 

The next important event in the political history of this county 
was passing two by-laws in 1873 to borrow $120,000 in aid 
of constructing a railway from Stratford to Wiarton, north, and 
from Stratford to Port Dover, south. To the first of these projects 
$80,000 was granted, and to the later $40,000. The denunciations 
of this scheme in the southern townships were loud and deep. 
Violent speeches were made by county council representatives 
when they returned to their constituents for re-election. Rate 
payers in Blanshard, Fullarton, and Hibbert felt ruin staring them 
in the face. Those old farms they had hewed out of the forest were 
to be heavily mortgaged to enrich those greedy northern adventu 
rers, chief of which was Mr. D. D. Hay, reeve of Listowel. Mr. 
Hay was represented as being a cold, calculating man, with no 
other object than that of compelling the southern townships, who 
were now becoming rich, to build roads and improve the Ellice 
swamp, which for all time to come would only be a place for 
wolves. The minute books of these southern municipalities con 
tain most marvellous expressions of unanimous votes of their town 
ship boards condemning this scheme. Some old settlers will yet 
remember how their hearts burned within them as they listened to 
these grand outpourings of declamation against the northern 
people. Township halls rung with plaudits of an approving elec 
torate, as reeves and deputies recounted their heroic efforts in the 
cause of honest government. In some secret, deep, dark chamber, 
in a certain house of public entertainment in Stratford, the buckets 
had been let down into pure wells of political knowledge, from which 
was drawn forth such material as had been formulated into a plan 
that Mr. Hay and his followers would not be able to circumvent. 
In short, the present representatives should be returned again to 
power and glorious results would assuredly follow. Mr. Hay and 
his followers would then be relegated to that obscurity and con 
tempt which, let me say, is, alas ! too often the destiny of noble, 


honest, though unsuccessful effort. Time, which solves all 
problems, solved this one also. The by-law was submitted. Its 
opponents fought it from stage to stage, and, like the Boers in 
South Africa, were no sooner driven from one refuge than they 
entrenched themselves behind another. The final vote, after 
numerous amendments, was taken on the original sum of $120,000, 
which was carried amid great excitement by a majority of one. 
All the southern representatives, with the exception of Mr. Thomas 
Ballantyne, voted against it. Mr. Ballantyne was then reeve of 
Downie, and his vote on this occasion (one of the best he ever 
gave), weakened his support when he appealed to the electorate on 
other occasions. In Blanshard only one vote was recorded in its 
favor. In Hibbert, Fullarton and Downie majorities against it 
were decisive. The northern townships, however, with Stratford, 
gave overwhelming majorities for it. The by-law was carried and 
our county increased its debt $120,000. 

Before dismissing this measure, which greatly agitated our 
people during its progress, those who opposed it honestly will 
acknowledge now that it was a great and useful measure, giving 
a feeling of unity to this county that did not previously exist. The 
determination of Mr. Hay and that vote of Mr. Ballantyne have 
been productive of great results. Portions of Ellice and Elma, 
which were said to be fit only for wolves, and whose ratepayers, 
led by Mr. Hay, were animated by the same voracious spirit as 
their marauders, are now transformed, largely by the agency of 
this railroad, into beautiful sections of agricultural country. It 
must be gratifying now for those veterans of the olden time, who 
had confidence in the splendid material interests awaiting develop 
ment in this northern part, to see that fruition of their honest 
endeavor which has followed their efforts. In some sections great 
level plains extend as far as the eye can reach, supplying dairying 
material, whose product manufactured into cheese has made this 
county famous everywhere for its proficiency in that branch of 
farm industry. Along this line of railway north, which was built 
through a swamp, are now fertile fields, fine farm buildings, 
homes of an industrious and law-abiding people. The much 


vaunted fertility of the southern part of this county will be soon 
eclipsed by a greater richness in many sections of that once de 
spised north, and the day is not far distant when it will contribute 
as much, nay, more to the finances of this county than will amply 
repay all parties for any increased expenditure made in their 

It was several years subsequent to these grants being- made 
before any further increase was made to county liabilities. As 
early, however, as 1866, or exactly thirteen years after the first 
county buildings had been completed, a motion was introduced to 
construct a new jail. A few years later an agitation originated 
for erecting- a new court house as well. It seems marvellous that 
a building costing over $20,000 should have been so ill suited to 
its purpose that in thirteen years a desire should be expressed for 
its removal. Many ratepayers of this county will remember that 
imposing- old Temple of Justice, crowning- the summit of a low 
hill, north of Lake Victoria. Under that grand old portico, 
supported by a row of columns in imitation of the Pantheon, 
pioneer jurymen, smoking black tobacco in old clay pipes, and clad 
in homespun, reclined in oblivious unconcern of all the world, or 
remembered only a little clearing- away in the backwoods which 
they called home. Within this building the blind goddess had sat 
with her wavering- balance for only a few years, when she 
demanded a palace of greater splendor, worthy of her ancient 
privileges, and commensurate with the dignity of those duties she 
was called on to perform. It is true that within its doors those 
several cells or dormitories, dignified by the name of county offices, 
were dark, miserable little dens. These dens were arranged on 
each side of a narrow passage which ran through the centre of the 
building, denominated corridors, and were like rat holes in an old 

During a period of twenty years, from 1865 to 1885, in spite of 
grand juries, in spite of judges, in spite of mandamuses and 
inspectors, with all the machinery modern civilization has formu 
lated to coerce public bodies, the council refused to move for 
better accommodation. On several occasions they passed votes 


of censure on grand juries for their presentments regarding- new 
buildings. These they regarded as echoes of his Lordship s 
charge, who knew little of the people, and, it is presumable, cared 
as little. For ten years previous to erecting the present buildings 
the minutes present a policy of temporizing, procrastination, of 
motions and counter motions, such as would do honor to the 
highest court in this land. The municipal ship during those 
years was not sailing in smooth waters. Our debt was oppres 
sive, councils were pestered by recommendations from grand 
juries. In 1873 they had added $120,000 to our already heavy 
burdens. They felt that caution was necessary, and it was not 
till 1885 that they decided to add another $100,000 to their for 
mer obligations, and contracts were let for the present county 
buildings to Scrimgeour Bros., of Stratford, at a cost of $95,000. 
The last great work undertaken by this county was a house of 
refuge, erected at a cost of $15,990, by Mr. Clark, of Toronto. It 
is said "the poor ye have always with you," and as early as 1856 
a motion was introduced (which was not carried out) making pro 
vision for this unfortunate class. Previous to constructing this 
home, indigents received small sums from local municipalities, 
which were often supplemented by charity from their immediate 
neighbors. All such grants were inadequate to supply even the 
most ordinary necessaries of life, and seemed only sufficient to 
prolong the wretchedness of the recipient, rather than mitigate his 
distress. Poor creatures, in many cases, were domiciled in 
miserable shanties on roadsides, and whether deserving or not, 
they were human and entitled to sympathy and attention. The 
house of refuge is a noble charity and worthy of our people. There 
is no gratification equal to that arising from help extended to 
those who are helpless. Every ratepayer should visit this home, 
see the table he has spread, the comfort he has bestowed, and the 
provision he has made for many who were old, friendless, and for 
saken. To those who are still able to perform a little labor, the 
farm in connection affords an opportunity. Many who, by age or 
infirmity, are unfit to engage in manual labor, receive care and 
attention from attendants. To those visitors who find pleasure in 


the happiness of others, it is pleasing to note, as you pass along 
the corridors, apartments with many appointments of home life. 
Here is a room occupied by an aged pair, and so strong is the 
domestic instinct in woman that even in this place she has dis 
played her ingenuity and handiwork in embellishing the walls until 
it looks like "Home, sweet home." The regulation that obtained, 
I believe, in some houses of refuge in other counties of separating 
aged couples was a barbarous one, and is, I hope, discontinued 
and a more humane system adopted. 

As might be expected, equalizing those assessments upon which 
are based all county rates was from the earliest period a matter 
of contention. Long and unyielding were those struggles between 
champions from the north with those of the more fertile and better 
improved south regarding this important function. There was no 
question affording more scope for an Ingenious representative, 
whether as a manipulator of figures or as a leader of men. The 
fairness, however, with which this matter was disposed of for a 
period of nearly fifty years is in itself a tribute to the watchfulness 
and political sagacity of the council. During the December ses 
sions of 1853 the assessors were asked to report regarding this 
matter of equalization. A committee was also appointed, composed 
of Messrs. Guest, Grant, Ford, Monteith and Christie, who re 
ported on this question as follows : 

The rolls for North Easthope too high discount five per cent. ; 
Logan, correct ; Ellice, correct ; Downie, ditto ; Fullarton, ditto ; 
South Easthope, too low, add 20 per cent.; Blanshard, same 
deliverance ; Hibbert, same ditto ; Mornington, low, add 5 per 
cent. (Signed), ROBERT CHRISTIE, Chairman." 

Upon this equalization was based the first rate levied for county 
purposes, amounting to ^"1,860 ($7,000.00). In 1874 the ques 
tion of equalization was submitted to Judge Lizars, who examined 
several parties on oath as to valuations, and formulated a schedule 
setting forth values in all the municipalities. This did not remain 
long satisfactory, and, indeed, no equalization could long remain 
so. Those conditions affecting the value of property were, and 
are now, changing so rapidly that what may be a fair and equit- 


able arrangement now in a very short period would be found to be 
unjust and oppressive in many sections. During- 1887 an exhaust 
ive and systematic valuation was again made. The late John Mc 
Millan, Esq., M.P. , with Mr. Long, an ex-warden of Waterloo 
county, personally examined every farm in the county. A report 
made by those gentlemen, perhaps the best that could be done, 
has formed the basis of equalization ever since, but may now be 
said to be obsolete and no longer reliable as to values. In that 
portion of our county lying south of the Huron road a valuation 
of any one township would be applicable to all. There is no 
appreciable difference as to local conveniences or marketing facili 
ties. In those municipalities north of the Huron road conditions 
are different. Their marketing facilities may be equally good, 
the soil may be as fertile, and, indeed, a portion of it is considered 
much more so than that of the south. Much of the land is equally 
well improved. Notwithstanding these co-relations in circum 
stances any basis of equalization decided upon without having 
due regard to those large expenditures incurred in reclamation of 
waste lands would be unfair and unjust. These waste lands were 
useless for any purpose until a system of drainage was introduced. 
If they are now valuable the county is not to be thanked for it. A 
time may not be far distant when they will contribute largely to the 
county treasury, but that should not be until the liabilities incurred 
in their reclamation are discharged. To equalize these lands at 
their present value would be to place a double burden upon those 
who reside on them. They would first be taxed for county pur 
poses, and second, they would be taxed to pay those loans which 
made them worth taxing. It is not a good argument to say that 
large quantities of timber realizing goodly sums have been 
obtained in process of clearing. That could be argued in regard 
to all the townships. But these are questions for the council, 
rather than for the historian, to consider. 

While these events were transpiring and a steady progress was 
being made from old pioneer days to those of comfort and con 
venience, Perth county had assumed financial burdens from which 
it has not yet been released. That the liabilities incurred by our 


representatives for aiding- and developing our natural resources 
were appropriated and disbursed with great economy and skill no 
one will deny. That a large portion of the funds so granted has 
been a total loss, so far as their recovery in currency is concerned, 
is equally true. If, on the other hand, we consider those evolu 
tionary methods which gave us gravel roads, railroads, etc., and 
consequently an enhanced value of property, although our loss 
has been great we are largely indemnified for the outlay. 
Since the organization of this county in 1851 there has been 
borrowed for original investment upwards of $570,000 in round 
numbers. Of this amount $200,000 was allotted to us at our 
separation from Huron and Bruce as our share of ^125,000, 
borowed to aid in constructing the Brantford, Buffalo & Lake 
Huron Railway. When this road was merged with the present 
Buffalo & Lake Huron Railway all of this sum was swept 
away and lost. Of $88,000 borrowed for building gravel roads 
over $60,000 was lost. During those years that tolls were 
collected there was received from this source about $2,000 
per annum or a gross sum of $30,000. It is true these roads 
were given to the municipalities subsequent to removal of 
toll-gates, but without any consideration, leaving the county still 
liable for the original debt. The old county buildings which cost 
$20,000, were at the end of 35 years written off as an asset. The 
sum of $120,000, voted in December, 1873, in aid of Stratford and 
Port Dover and Stratford and Huron R. R., never could be consid 
ered as an asset ; it was a gift and is still to be paid. These, 
with $95,000 for new county buildings, $16,000 for the house of 
refuge, $30,000 to complete old gravel road disbursements, $7,000 
for South Perth registry office, $2,000 for registry office for North 
Perth, $4,000 for the old grammar school in Stratford, constitute 
the principal sums borrowed by this county since its organization 
in 1853. 

Subsequent to that period, when our first obligations were incur 
red, certain payments in liquidation were made. With regard to 
those funds borrowed from the Municipal Loan Fund, amounting to 
$288,000, neither principal nor interest was paid for several years 


prior to the distribution by the Government. In 1873, when a 
settlement was made, our actual debt amounted to $437,000. 
This pressed heavily on our people. Rates levied by the county 
were extreme. For more than one year great sums were collected. 
Still our debt was increasing and something had to be done. 

The Hon. John Sandfield Macdonald on his retiring from the 
premiership, left in the treasury of Ontario available funds 
amounting to $3,000,000.00. Sir Oliver Mowat, who eventually 
became first Minister, proposed to divide this large surplus 
amongst those municipalities who had aided railways or in other 
directions had contributed to the development of the province. 
Perth County was indebted to this fund in the sum of $288,000, 
with several years interest accrued. $200,000 of this amount was 
a grant to Brantford and Lake Huron Railway, entitling our 
county to a share in this distribution. The Government had for 
mulated a plan of granting $2,000 per mile where aid had been 
given to railways. This seemed fair and equitable. In those years 
previous to a settlement being effected, Mr. D. D. Hay presented 
reports dealing with county liabilities. In 1873 a delegation com 
posed of Robert Jones, Warden, Thomas Ballantyne, and William 
Davidson (present county clerk), were appointed to interview the 
Government in relation to our share of this fund. With them was 
associated the late Andrew Monteith, county treasurer, and 
member for North Perth in the Local Legislature, who rendered 
valuable service. The whole of this delegation were able men, 
and formulated a most ingenious plan of their own for a settlement. 
While the Government had decided on granting $2,000 per mile, 
the delegation considered such a plan as unfair and that any dis 
tribution should be based on the funds lost, and not on the amount 
originally loaned. To enable the reader to understand this 
ingenious plan, we give an extract from the report : "For 
instance, in the Government calculation we found Brantford set 
down as assisting the railway to the extent of $500,000 and Strat 
ford $100,000, while the former in reality only aided to the amount 
of 8139,000, and the latter about $11,000. Brantford, like our 
selves, took stock in the same company to the amount of $100,000 


and lost the whole. They, however, contracted a second loan of 
$400,000, $40,000 of which was left for the payment of interest 
and sinking- fund ; the balance was advanced to the Buffalo & 
Lake Huron Railway, on the security of its bonds, which they 
afterwards sold and realized in cash nearly $322,000, so that they 
only lost the amount above stated. Stratford realized $89,000 on 
their bonds, and lost only the above amount. We may here state 
that the number of miles from Fort Erie to Goderich is 161, which 
at $2,000 per mile would be $322,000 for the whole road. Deduct 
ing the amount which Brantford and Stratford had realized for 
their bonds made $829,000 the total amount lost, and which 
amount would be the basis of adjusting the allowance, instead of 
$1,278,000 taken by the Government in the calculations referred 
to in the foregoing schedules, and which instead of giving- twenty- 
five cents on the dollar actually lost would be 39^ cents, or 
instead of this county receiving- $50,000 it would be $80,000, 
which $30,000 additional, when interest is calculated and com 
pounded annually for 19 years would be $70,000 of a difference 
between the two calculations, and would further reduce our 
indebtedness that amount." The delegation succeeded in securing 
the adoption of this plan by the Government, thus liquidating in 
this transaction $150,000 of our county debt. We would advise 
any of our readers who may be interested in such matters to peruse 
this most elaborate and exhaustive report, which will be found in 
the council proceedings of 1873, June session, page 19. This is 
by far the most ingenious and logical paper ever given to the 
council, and well merited a vote of thanks, introduced by Mr. 
Trow, for the distinguished services of the delegation. From this 
period our liabilities were gradually reduced, notwithstanding 
those amounts voted to the Stratford & Huron Railway, and the 
cost of county buildings. In 1888, our total debenture debt was 
$250,000. During 1892 further liabilities were incurred for erect 
ing the house of refuge, which is our last loan obtained for special 

At present our liabilities are being largely reduced without any 
additional taxation being laid on the people. According to the 


last auditors report our debenture debt amounts to $203,400 
.Meantime the house of refuge debentures are being- paid annually 
as they mature. A sinking- fund amounting to $8,000 yearly 
(which now amounts to $35,000) is being set apart to meet county 
buildings and railway debentures as they mature. The present 
actual debt, therefore, of this county, after deducting those 
amounts at credit in the sinking fund, will not exceed $170,000, 
or somewhat less than it has ever been since its organization. We 
may feel assured, therefore, that the beginning of the end is near, 
and in a very short time a final cancellation of our whole indebted 
ness will have passed into history. 

In 1896 we reached a period in our political life termed by the 
warden in an address, "almost revolutionary." By an Act of the 
Legislature the constitution of county councils was entirely changed, 
and representation by reeves and deputy reeves was abolished. 
This Act made provision for constituting a court to divide the 
county into districts or small constituencies, for electoral purposes, 
two representatives being sent from each as members of the 
board. No. i was composed of the township of Wallace and the 
town of Listowel ; No. 2, townships of Logan and Elma ; No. 3, 
the townships of Hibbert and Fullarton, and the town of Mitchell ; 
No. 4, the townships of Blanshard and Downie ; No. 5, the town 
ships of North and South Easthope ; No. 6, the townships of 
Ellice and Mornington, with the village of Milverton. At the 
December session in 1896, Mr. Thomas Ryan, warden, delivered 
a farewell address to the last county council of Perth elected 
under the old Act of 1850. We submit a synopsis of this address, 
as a fair embodiment of the feelings of a certain section of our 
people regarding this change. In a paragraph the warden finely 
and truthfully says : "To accomplish all this (referring to the 
progress of the county) required work and perseverance, and the 
success is largely attributable to the sturdy pioneers. The men 
comprising the early councils should not be forgotten. They had 
difficulties to contend with and obstacles to overcome, and it is 
fitting that this, the last meeting of the last council under the 
existing law, should contribute to the memories of those who 


have passed away some eulogy in appreciation of their efforts in 
early years, and to those who are still living- who served from 
thirty to forty years ago, a few of whom we may here mention, 
viz., David Cathcart in 1856, D. D. Hay in 1860, P. R. Jarvis 
and John McDermott in 1861, Abraham Davidson in 1862, Thomas 
Stoney in 1864, George Leversage in 1866, Hon. Thomas Ballan- 
tyne in 1867, and the present clerk, William Davidson, in 1868, the 
latter having- been present at every meeting for twenty-nine years. 
We extend the hope that those who are still remaining- with us, 
though in the sere and yellow, may be spared for many years, 
though many of them have passed the allotted term of life." To 
this band of old municipal veterans the historian will add the name 
of Andrew Monteith, who was in harness continually for a period 
of over forty years. 

The warden says further in another part of his address (indicat 
ing- that he is breathing an atmosphere of sad farewells) in 
opposition to this measure that : "This council has already 
expressed by a unanimous resolution that the chang-e is not a 
desirable one, and asking for its repeal as soon as convenient to 
have it done. I might be induced to favor a reduction in the 
number of representatives, but I cannot but look with disfavor on 
the probable disfranchising of a rural municipality, as may be 
under the new law, and shall hope before long- to see the statute 
so altered that we will be represented here from each municipality 
by the head thereof. The plea put forth in favor of the chang-e is 
not founded on fact, that of preventing- a system of what is known 
as log-rolling ; such of late years has not been known to exist." 

While this may be true, it is equally true that as early as 1865 
the council expressed a desire by resolution of the board for 
reducing- the number of representatives. Such resolutions, re 
peated subsequently, indicate that in their opinion fewer 
representatives would be sufficient to protect the interests of the 
people. There should, therefore, be no fault found in giving effect 
to those feelings so unequivocally expressed. As to the method 
adopted by government, in their wisdom they considered it rig-ht. 
The county council when the period of dissolution came thought it 


was wrong. The government from disinterested motives reduced 
the representation. The council from interested motives desired 
no interference. The impartial student of municipal history will, 
we think, endorse the action of the government. He will do so 
for several reasons, ist. Because the Municipal Act contemplates 
no other form of taxation under its provisions than a direct tax 
on property. 2nd. In that case representation should be based on 
taxable substance in proportion to its value and not on population, 
the plan that formerly existed. To elect representatives on a 
basis of population gave excess of power to the proletariat, giving 
them control for municipal expenditure of the property of those 
holding larger estates. To illustrate this, a town or village paying 
a tax of $2,000 for county purposes may have a population 
sufficient to entitle them to three representatives at a county 
board. Another municipality, from its greater wealth, may be 
asked to contribute $5,000, but because of its smaller population 
would be entitled to only two members. It is clear, therefore, 
that a municipality with a greater number of ratepayers and 
smaller taxable property will control a richer municipality with 
smaller population and greater taxable property. This principle 
we hold to be antagonistic to the spirit of equal rights character 
istic of municipal law, and the present Act removes a long existing 
evil by arranging districts so that the taxable substance will 
control to a greater extent the hand that marks the ballot. 

While this excellent measure may have had, and still has, its 
opponents, it might be well for us to consider, in the event of 
a further change being made, whether it would not be better 
rather than increase the representation, to reduce it still further. 
We are inclined to think the latter would be to our advantage. 
There is danger under the existing law that in case of an equaliza 
tion, two representatives from one district might be found in 
opposition to each other. It is hoped, however, that this question 
will not be left to county commissioners, but in all cases shall be 
decided by a court of practical men residing outside of county 
limits. It is argued also by opponents of this measure that the 
standard of ability in local councils has been lowered by with- 


drawal of our ablest men to county boards. While this may be 
flattering to the commissioners, the statement has no foundation in 
fact. Able men are not peculiar to any age or period ; neither are 
they all made into county commissioners. Progressive young men 
are taking the places of those older Gamaliels at our township 
boards, and in this county, thus far, they have no reason to be 
ashamed of their records. 

In 1835 the first parliamentary election in the district was held, 
Captain Dunlop and Col. VanEgmond being candidates. Dunlop 
was elected. Although a Tory, he was opposed to the Family 
Compact in Toronto. This clique, aided and supported by the 
Governor, devoted their energies and their talents to promoting 
their own material interests as far as possible at the expense of the 
province. This county at that period had half a dozen voters who 
walked to Goderich and recorded their votes, one half in direct 
opposition to the other, and both, of course, in the interest of good 
government. It is said that the hustings for the nomination was 
thrown down and burned the evening previous to that event by a 
set of jolly boys who were not favorable to, or rather did not care 
for, either party. Ah, those were grand old days when a gentleman 
could be a gentleman and exercise his prerogative as a free citizen 
by burning the hustings or helping out the phrenological develop 
ment of a prosy candidate by the application of a stout cudgel ! 

In 1841 Dr. Dunlop was again a candidate, being opposed by 
James McGill Strachan (son of Bishop Strachan), a lawyer in 
Goderich. The doctor, as the result of a protest, was declared 
elected. In 1844 Dunlop, who had in the meantime been appoint 
ed superintendent of canals, was succeeded by William Cayley, 
who defeated Mr. Longworth, an old officer of the Canada 
Company. In 1851 Mr. Cayley was defeated by Mr. Malcolm 
Cameron. This was the last contest in the United Counties. 
Previous to the next election in 1854 Perth had become an 
independent county, and was now entitled to send a member to 
Parliament. On this occasion the candidates were T. M. Daly, 
who was inclined to support the Reform side, and Mr. Alexander 
Mitchell of Shakespeare, who was defeated. At the general 


election of 1857, Mr. Daly, who was now a very pronounced 
Conservative, defeated William McDougall by a large majority. 
In 1862 the Hon. Michael Foley was elected, defeating Mr. Daly. 
Mr. Foley was also elected for Waterloo at this period, and 
chose to sit for that county, when another contest took place for 
the vacant seat in Perth. In 1863 Mr. Robert McFarlane, a 
partner of the late Judge Lizars, compelled Mr. Daly to retire, 
although the majority against him was not large. This was the 
last election previous to Confederation in 1867. In accordance 
with that change, Perth was divided into north and south ridings, 
each returning a member to the House of Commons at Ottawa, 
and a member to the Legislature in Toronto. The north riding 
was composed of the townships of North Easthope, Mornington, 
Wallace, Ellice, Elma, Logan, and the towns of Stratford 
and Listowel. The south riding comprised the townships of 
Blanshard, Downie, South Easthope, Fullarton and Hibbert, with 
the towns of St. Marys and Mitchell. These boundaries have 
been changed, however, as party or political exigences demanded, 
each party transforming the constituencies to suit its own purpose, 
a most iniquitous system and a disgrace to Canadian politics. 

At the election of 1867 for the Commons, in the North Mr. Daly 
was defeated by Mr. James Redford, while Mr. McFarlane carried 
the South against Mr. T. B. Guest of St. Marys. The election 
of 1872 again brought Mr. Daly and Mr. Redford into the field for 
the North, Mr. Daly on this occasion being elected. In the South, 
Mr. Kidd was defeated by Mr. James Trow of Shakespeare. In 
consequence of an event known in Canadian politics as the Pacific 
scandal, the House was dissolved in 1873. In the new election 
Mr. Trow was elected by acclamation for the South, and Mr. 
Andrew Monteith defeated Mr. Redford in the North. This elec 
tion was protested and declared void, when Mr. Monteith tried 
the issue with Mr. James Fisher of Stratford, the former being 
again elected. In 1878, memorable as the first contest at the 
inception of the National Policy, Mr. James Fisher again contested 
the North with Mr. Samuel R. Hesson, the latter being elected. 
In the South, after an exciting contest, Mr. Trow defeated Dr. 


Hornibrook of Mitchell. Mr. Hesson was again elected in 1882 
against Robert Jones of Logan, and again in 1886 over Dr. John 
son of Millbank, but was defeated in 1891 by Mr. James Grieve of 
Mornington. At the election of 1896 Mr. Grieve was defeated by 
Mr. Alexander F. MacLaren of Stratford, who was again elected 
over Mr. George Goetz of Ellice in 1900. In the South, the 
election of 1882 found Mr. Trow opposed by Mr. T. B. Guest of 
St. Marys, the latter being defeated. In 1886 he was opposed by 
Mr. Sharp of St. Marys, the latter being defeated. The election 
of 1891 brought Mr. Trow and Mr. Sharp again into the field, the 
former being elected. On a protest this election was declared 
void. At the by-election Mr. William Pridham of Fullarton, was 
Mr. Trow s successful opponent. In 1896 Mr. Pridham was op 
posed by Mr. D. W. Erb of Downie. At this contest an 
independent candidate was placed in the field, in the person of Mr. 
James Donald of Blanshard, Mr. Erb being elected. In 1900 Mr. 
Erb was again opposed by Mr. Pridham, the latter being defeated 
by a small majority. 

The elections for the Legislature of the Province have been 
characterized by the same variable results to both parties. At the 
first election after Confederation, in 1867, the candidates in the 
North riding were Andrew Monteith and D. D. Hay, Mr. Monteith 
being elected by a large majority. In the South, Mr. Trow de 
feated Mr. Donovan, a Toronto lawyer. In 1871 Mr. Guest de 
feated Mr. Trow in the South by a small majority, Mr. Monteith 
defeating Mr. Thomas Ballantyne in the North. Mr. Monteith 
during this parliament resigned to contest the seat for the 
Commons, when another election was held, Mr. Daly defeating 
Mr. James Corcoran of Stratford. Mr. Hay and Mr. Daly were 
again the candidates in 1875, the former being elected by a good 
majority. In the South, Mr. Ballantyne opposed Mr. George 
Leversage, the latter being defeated. Mr. Ballantyne held the 
seat up till 1894, having in the meantime defeated Mr. Jacob 
Brunner, Mr. W. R. Davis on two occasions, and Mr. George 
Leversage a second time also. In 1894, however, Mr. Ballantyne 
was defeated by Mr. John McNeil, an independent candidate, by a 


small majority. Since this election Mr. Ballantyne has not again 
been a candidate. The election of 1898 brought into the field two 
new candidates, in the persons of William Caven Moscrip, a law 
yer of St. Marys, and Mr. Nelson Monteith, a Downie farmer. 
Mr. Monteith was elected by a majority of 14 votes. A scrutiny 
was demanded by Mr. Moscrip, on the ground of an irregularity 
in printing the ballots, which on a recount before Judge Barren 
were declared for Monteith, but whose decision was reversed by a 
higher court in Toronto. Mr. Moscrip took the seat. Mr. 
Monteith protested the election and the seat was declared vacant. 
In the meantime Mr. Moscrip had accepted a position in Stratford, 
when Mr. Valentine Stock, a merchant of Tavistock, was brought 
out against Mr. Monteith, the former being defeated by a small 
majority. In the North, at the election of 1879, Mr. Hay was 
opposed by Mr. John McDermott of Wallace, Mr. McDermott 
being declared elected. On a recount being demanded by Mr. 
Hay a scrutiny of the ballots reversed the decision and Mr. Hay 
was declared elected. In the next contest Mr. Hay was defeated 
by Mr. George Hess of Listowel, who held the seat till the elec 
tion of 1890, when he was defeated by Dr. Ahrens of Stratford. 
This election was declared void and another contest took place 
between Mr. Thomas Magwood of Mornington and Dr. Ahrens, in 
which the former was successful. In 1894 Mr. G. G. McPherson, 
Q.C., of Stratford, contested the seat with Mr. Magwood and was 
defeated. Mr. Magwood held the seat till 1898, when he was 
defeated by Mr. John Brown of Stratford. At the next contest, in 
May, 1902, Mr. Stock was elected in the South over Mr. Nelson 
Monteith, and Mr. John C. Monteith defeated Mr. Brown in the 

Of the gentlemen who have contested or held seats in this county 
Messrs. Daly, Andrew Monteith, Hesson, McDermott, Magwood, 
MacLaren, Guest, Sharp, Pridham, Davis, Leversage, Dr. Horni- 
brook, Kidd, Nelson Monteith, and John C. Monteith were Con 
servatives, and Messrs. Ballantyne, Hay, Foley, Fisher, Corcoran, 
Moscrip, Trow, Stock, Brown, and McFarlane were Liberals. 
Mr. McNeil, who was formerly a Reformer, and Mr. Robert Jones, 


who was a Conservative, ran as Independents. Mr. James 
Donald was also a Reformer, now Independent. 

The population during- ten years subsequent to 1830 made but 
little increase. At the first census in 1852 it had reached 15,545. 
In 1870 this had again increased to 46,536, the largest increase 
ever made in any one period. In 1889, or twenty years afterwards, 
the population reached its highest point in our history, being- 
49,184. During the next ten years it had receded, as in 1899 the 
total population returned by assessors was 48,544. The census of 
1901 gives a result still lower. This decrease has taken place in 
the rural municipalities, the City of Stratford having largely in 
creased during the last twenty years, with also a slight advance in 
several towns and villages. In the chapter on agricultural evolu 
tion I have pointed out what in my opinion has been the cause of 
the retrograde movement in our rural population. 

While every corner of this county may now be said to be densely 
populated, material prosperity has kept pace with the progress 
made in other directions. According to a report issued by the 
Bureau of Industries for Ontario in 1899 real property was assessed 
at $26,000,000, and personal property and taxable income at 
$600,000 more. These fig-ures are but an approximation, and to 
ascertain the actual value of real property in the rural districts at 
least 15 per cent, may be added. In the matter of personal 
property and taxable income the amounts returned by assessors 
afford no indication of its real value whatever. In assessing this 
class of farm property abuses arising- from imperfect valuations 
and the difficulty of arriving at exact liabilities affecting it led to 
an abolition of this tax several years ago. Those amounts set 
down as being the value of personal property and taxable income 
do not represent stock and appliances used by the agriculturist, 
but rather the personality of those callings and occupations closely 
connected with agricultural communities. While our population 
has receded, taxation per head has slightly increased. In 1899 the 
townships for all purposes were taxed $5.31, towns $7.08, villages 
$3.63, city of Stratford $9.07. The average taxation in 1899 
amounted to $6.39 per head, and in 1889 $5.74. 


Although representatives in this county have been extremely 
conservative in their retention of some of the officers, their con 
duct in connection with others has been characterized by 
inconstance and fickleness. We subjoin the names of those officers 
appointed by the county council and their period of service up to the 
present time. To obviate repetition, the names of those composing 
the council board may be ascertained by reference to local municipal 
history, where reeves and deputies are given. 

For warden in 1851, the provisional council elected Sebastian 
Fryfogle as the first to hold that office in this county. In 1852 
William Smith, Downie, provisional council; 1853, William Smith, 
Downie ; 1854, William Smith, Downie ; 1855, William Smith, 
Downie ; 1856, T. B. Guest, Blanshard ; 1857, Alexander Hamil 
ton, North Easthope ; 1858, A. B. Orr, Stratford ; 1859, Alexander 
Grant, North Easthope ; 1860, Andrew Monteith, Downie ; 1861, 
William Smith, Stratford ; 1862, Andrew Monteith, Downie ; 
1863, Andrew Monteith, Downie ; 1864, Andrew Monteith, 
Downie ; 1865, Thomas Ford, Fullarton ; 1866, Thomas Ford, 
Fullarton ; 1867, Thomas Ford, Fullarton ; 1868, Thomas Stoney, 
Stratford ; 1869, Thomas Stoney, Stratford ; 1870, James Trow, 
North Easthope ; 1871, Robert Jones, Logan ; 1872, Thomas 
King, Hibbert ; 1873, Robert Jones, Logan ; 1874, Robert Jones, 
Logan ; 1875, William Davidson, Fullarton ; 1876, William 
Davidson, Fullarton ; 1877, William Davidson, Fullarton ; 1878, 
William Davidson, Fullarton ; 1879, John McDermott, Wallace ; 
1880, Valentine Kertcher, Mornington ; 1881, Jacob Brunner, 
Downie ; 1882, William Fletcher Sanderson, Blanshard ; 1883, 
Thomas Knox, Elma ; 1884, James Dougherty, Mitchell ; 1885, 
Thomas Knox, Elma ; 1886, George Leversage, Fullarton ; 1887, 
George Leversage, Fullarton ; 1888, Alexander McLaren, Hibbert; 
1889, W. B. Freeborn, Mornington ; 1890, John McMillan, North 
Easthope ; 1891, John Schaefer, South Easthope ; 1892, Andrew 
Kuhry, Ellice ; 1893, George V. Poole, Wallace ; 1894, John A. 
Hacking, Listowel ; 1895, Tom Coveney, Logan ; 1896, Thomas 
Ryan, Hibbert ; 1897, Nelson Monteith, Downie ; 1898, James 
Torrance, Milverton ; 1899, Thomas E. Hay, Listowel ; 1900, 


William Fletcher Sanderson, Blanshard ; 1901, James Dickson, 
Elma ; 1902, Charles Merryfield, Logan. In 1878 Mr. William 
Davidson resigned the office of warden to accept that of county 
clerk, and Mr. Robert Keyes of Logan was elected for the balance 
of the year as warden. 

The county of Perth has had two clerks only during its munici 
pal existence of over fifty years. Stewart Campbell was appointed 
by the provisional council in 1851, and held office continuously, 
excepting one year (when Mr. McDonald was appointed) till 1878. 
Mr. Campbell was a careful and efficient officer, and some of the 
older local clerks, several of whom are still left, well remember 
the jovial, happy-looking man with whom they met in the old 
county buildings. In 1878, from old age, Mr. Campbell was 
compelled to retire and was succeeded by the present clerk, Mr. 
William Davidson, then reeve of Fullarton, who had occupied the 
warden s chair for the fourth consecutive year. Mr. Davidson had 
a long training for this position and a wide knowledge of munici 
pal business perhaps in advance of any other public man in the 

Mr. J. C. W. Daly was appointed provisional treasurer, holding 
office during the period of that body. On completion of the 
county organization he was followed by Mr. Alexander McGregor, 
who held office for eleven years. In 1865 Mr. Andrew Monteith, 
who had been warden for three previous years, was appointed and 
held the position until the time of his death in 1896, a period ex 
tending over thirty years. Mr. Monteith was succeeded by Mr. 
George Leversage, reeve of Fullarton, who discharged the duties 
till his death in 1900. He was succeeded by Mr. George Hamilton 
of Sebringville, school teacher, who had taught in the village for 
a period of twenty-five years. 

The office of school superintendent was first held by the late Dr. 
Hyde of Stratford, who succeeded Charles Fletcher, district super 
intendent. In 1856 Dr. Hyde tendered his resignation, and was 
succeeded by Rev. Thomas McPherson, also of Stratford. Mr. 
McPherson held the position till 1859, when the county was 
divided into six districts, and local superintendents were appointed 


for each. Rev. Mr. Smith of St. Marys was appointed for district 
No. i, being the township of Blanshard ; Rev. Thomas McPherson 
for No. 2, composed of North and South Easthope ; Rev. E. 
Patterson for No. 3, Downie and Ellice ; Rev. Mr. Hamilton for 
No. 4, Logan, Fullarton and Hibbert ; Rev. Alexander Drum- 
mond for No. 5, Mornington and Elma ; Rev. Mr. Drinkwater 
for No. 6, township of Wallace. The remuneration allowed 
inspectors was $5.00 for each school per annum. This system 
continued till 1871, when the School Act was amended and one 
inspector appointed for the whole county. This new plan has been 
attended with good results and productive of much improvement 
in our public schools. The late William Alexander, who was first 
inspector, discharged the whole duties for this county during a 
number of years, when it was divided into two districts of North 
and South. Mr. Alexander retained his position for the North, 
and John M. Moran, a teacher in Stratford schools, was appointed 
in the South. This arrangement continued only for a short time, 
however, when both were re-united under the inspectorate of Mr. 
Alexander, who held the position most acceptably to all parties 
until his death. Subsequent to the death of the old inspector, 
Mr. William Irwin, who was a teacher in Listowel, was appointed 
for the united ridings. For further remarks on schools see chap 
ter on education. 

The office of jail surgeon, a place of more dignity than emolument, 
has during fifty years been held by many medical gentlemen of 
Stratford, and is characterized by a sort of itinerancy, the late Dr. 
Shaver retaining the position for a much longer period than any 
others honored by this appointment. The present jail surgeon is 
Dr. Dunsmore of Stratford. If, however, the position of jail 
surgeon has been like a moveable feast on the calendar, the audit 
ors, who hold a most responsible position, like the dove sent 
out from the ark, can be said hardly to find a resting place for 
their feet, every year nearly making a change. Mr. James Jones 
of Mitchell is the only auditor who may be said to have had any 
permanence in the position, having held the office for a number of 
years. Mr. MacBeth of Milverton, appointed in 1901, is the col 
league of Mr. Jones on the board. 





In that struggle which characterized pioneer life at its outset, 
when men in the bush fought the battle manfully against want, 
they had no sooner mastered the difficulties of their situation than 
they began to make provision for educating their children. While 
their own dwellings were of the most wretched kind, their daily fare 
coarse and unpalatable, when comfort (as we understand it) was 
unknown, and pleasure was found largely in a hope of better days, 
the measure of their solicitude regarding the education of their 
offspring was full to overflowing. Nearly all settlers in this 
county were old country people, where facilities for the poor 
obtaining even a small modicum of learning could be said hardly 
to exist. Humble as their lot had been in the old land, humble as 
it was in the woods, they felt that even in their lonely walks of 
life a little knowledge of books would have been useful, not only 
to enable them to pursue their vocation more intelligently, but it 
would also have been a source of pleasure where none other could 
be obtained. It is therefore not surprising that we find old records 
indicating that the first taxes levied on the ratepayers were largely 
for the establishment of schools. For example, in Downie the 
first hundred pounds ever collected, under the Act of 1841, was set 
apart, sixty per cent, for education and forty per cent, for improve 
ment of roads. On referring to the reports of pathmasters in 1842, 
where a graphic description is given of the condition of our high 
ways, we cannot but admire that pluck and determination of those 
old settlers, who, although they were in danger of losing their 
oxen on crossways or in mud holes, so resolutely clung to the idea 


that their children must be educated. It is proper to state also 
that the first dollar of money ever borrowed by any township in 
this county was borrowed for the purpose, not of building- roads, 
nor of constructing 1 bridges, nor of carrying out those improve 
ments which would enhance the value of property, but largely for 
building schools. 

It appears to be a matter not of sufficient importance that we 
should trace formations, alterations or extensions of the school 
sections in this county. Beyond giving an idea of the trend of 
settlement it is of little consequence, as a matter of history, 
whether a certain lot was added to a section or its limits extended 
by any particular council or in any particular year. It is desirable 
to know, however, the number and character of buildings provided 
for educational purposes at the various stages of development in 
Perth County, as indicative of that marvellous progress made 
during- the last fifty years. At what time the first school was 
erected it would be difficult to say. This certainly occurred pre 
vious to 1840, that period being stated by some of our local 
historians. In the eastern portion of Downie and that district 
comprising- parts of North and South Easthope a number of set 
tlers had located previous to 1835. During- that year, if not at an 
earlier period, J. J. E. Linton had opened a private school near 
Stratford, Mrs. Linton teaching- another in North Easthope, which 
were undoubtedly the first schools in this county. 

In an excellent paper published by Judge Woods of Stratford, 
which contains much important information regarding school 
legislation in Upper Canada, of which we are availing ourselves in 
this chapter, he has overlooked one or two historical points 
regarding the formation of school sections in the district surround 
ing Stratford. 

At the first meeting of the district council for the counties of 
Huron, Perth and Bruce, holden at Goderich, the eighth day of 
February, 1842, in pursuance of an Act of the first session of the 
first provincial parliament of Canada, passed in the fourth and 
fifth year of our Sovereign Lady Victoria, and entitled "An Act to 
provide for the better internal government of that part of this 


province which formerly constituted the Province of Upper Canada, 
by the establishment of local or municipal authorities therein," 
William Dunlop, Esq., M.P. P. , warden, we find it was : 

"Moved by Mr. Daly, seconded by Mr. Helmer, that South 
Easthope be divided into two sections as far as lot 36 inclusive 
that the first division extend from the Wilmot line to lot 15 
inclusive, line of division north, Huron Road, and on the south, 
Zorra. The second division is to include lot 16 and lot 36, lines 
of division, Huron Road and Zorra." While these divisions may 
not seem perfectly clear, they are copies of minutes. At the same 
meeting- it was : 

"Moved by Mr. Daly, seconded by Mr. Sebring-, that the 
townships of Fullarton, Downie and Ellice form a school section, 
beginning at lot 6 inclusive of Fullarton ; then east to lot 9 
inclusive of Downie ; then from lot 19 inclusive of Ellice to the 
line between Logan and Ellice, the north line of the division 
to be the unoccupied lands, and the south line to be the township 
of Blanshard." 

"Moved by Mr. Helmer, seconded by Mr. Gait, that the town 
ship of North Easthope be divided into three school sections, as 
follows : viz., i st. Commencing at the Wilmot line, west to lot 
1 1 on the Huron road, north to the boundary line. 2nd. Com 
mencing- from lot 10 to lot 21 on the Huron road, north to the 
boundary line. 3rd. Commencing from lot 20 to lot 37 on the 
Huron road, north to the boundary line." 

"Moved by Mr. Daly, seconded by Mr. Sebring, that lot 7 
inclusive to lot 18 inclusive to the unoccupied lands, and that the 
first concession of Downie, embracing- lots 7 and 18, be a school 

"Moved by Mr. Daly, seconded by Mr. Chalk, that the Gore of 
Downie from lot 6 in the third concession to Zorra line be a school 

It was further moved by Mr. Daly, seconded by Mr. Chalk, that 
from lot No. i to 18 in the second concession of Downie, both 
inclusive south to Blanshard, be a school district. 

The foregoing school sections were certainly the first to be 


formed in what is now the county of Perth. It is unfortunate 
that the records extending- from this meeting- up to 1847 are 
lost, and, that except where reference may have been made to 
them in subsequent proceeding s of the board, we have no informa 
tion reg-arding- their operations. Between 1842 and 1847, however, 
a large number of school sections south of the Huron road were 
org-anized, and that mass of legislation under the Act of 1841 and 
extending- on down under the Act of 1850 in greater or less volume 
to our own time, had begun to accumulate. The trend of new 
settlements and a continuous advance of the pioneer deeper and 
deeper into the forest led to constant changes in boundaries of 
those districts as laid down by Mr. Daly and those associated with 
him. Whenever a backwoodsman of more adventurous spirit 
than others penetrated along a creek or small rivulet, it may have 
been miles beyond his nearest neighbor, his location at once be 
came the nucleus of a new settlement. Thither came others from 
time to time until a number of families were settled near each 
other. This little community at once constructed a log school 
house in a spot most convenient to all. Where progress was so 
rapid as we find it to have been in many parts of this county these 
arrangements could only exist for a short period. The limits of 
every settlement were constantly extending until the first building 
was found to be located in a place entirely unsuitable and incon 
venient to the majority. Then a change would have to be made. 
As wealth accumulated in the townships, boundaries of old 
sections were constantly being circumscribed, and additional school 
districts formed out of portions of those already existing. This, of 
course, brought the schools much nearer to the children, who were 
enabled with less hardship to avail themselves of these provisions 
set apart for their education. These changes led to great excite 
ment amongst those particularly affected, in their efforts for and 
against such movements, and were a source of annoyance and 
embarrassment for many years to municipal councils. During 
later years certain machinery has been provided by the Public 
School Act, constituting a court of enquiry regarding such changes, 
and whose recommendations became a basis of alterations in 


boundaries of union sections. This court is a great improvement 
on the old system, in so far as it acts independently of any 
consequences at next election, which may or may not affect to some 
extent the decision of a township councillor in matters of this 

Having- thus outlined the establishment and formation of school 
sections on general principles, it will be well to glance at the Act 
itself under whose provisions these changes were brought about. 

These school districts were organized under and by authority 
conferred on the district council by an Act, 5 Victoria, chapter 18, 
passed in 1841. All previous Acts relating to education were 
repealed, and this Act may be said to be the foundation of our 
present school system in this province. 

This Act provided for (ist) a permanent fund for common 
schools, (2nd) $200,000 to be granted to a common school fund, 
(3rd) the appointment of a superintendent of education, (4th) 
making the district council a board of education with certain 
defined powers, (5th) enabling townships or parishes to elect five 
common school commissioners, with duties defined in eleven sub 
sections, one of which was to relieve poor persons from pay 
ment of teachers. Another is to see to matters generally, and 
report. It is specially set forth that the teacher must be a subject 
of Her Majesty by birth or naturalization. In accordance with 
authority given by section 5, as above, the first commissioners in 
Perth were elected in 1842, for Stratford and surrounding district. 
This board was composed of the five following gentlemen, who 
were chosen at a meeting held in the school house, Stratford, on 
the third day of January 1842 : William Smith, James Monteith, 
John Gibb, Samuel Robb and Arad Priest. In 1843 the same 
commissioners were re-elected. 

Section No. 1 1 is a distinct recognition of a principle in school 
legislation which has caused much discussion in latter years under 
the constitution of separate schools. In this section there is a 
clear and indisputable affirmation of that principle where it says : 
"Provided always, and be it enacted that whenever any number 
of the inhabitants of any township or parish professing a religious 


faith different from that of the majority of the inhabitants of such 
township or parish shall dissent from the regulations, arrange 
ments or proceedings of the common school commissioners, with 
reference to any common school in such township or parish, it 
shall be lawful for the inhabitants so dissenting collectively to 
signify such dissent in writing to the clerk of district council with 
the name or names of one or more persons selected by them as 
trustee or trustees for the purpose of this Act, and may establish 
and maintain one or more school or schools and receive their pro 
portion of the moneys appropriated by law." 

In 1846 was enacted 9 Victoria, chapter 17, enabling trustees to 
hold school lands as a corporation. By section 6 the council of 
every district was empowered (ist) to appoint superintendents, 
and (2nd) to divide townships into school sections. This latter 
clause, however, was simply an extension of power already granted 
by the Act of 1841, by authority of which Downie, North and 
South Easthope and Fullarton were divided into school sections 
by the council in Goderich. District superintendents were em 
powered to prevent "the use of all unauthorized foreign school 
books in the English branches of education and to recommend the 
use of proper books." A school section being formed, three 
trustees are to be elected at the first school section meeting in 
January in each year (sec. 28), the landholders and householders 
to be electors. Section 32 provides that separate schools may be 
established for Protestants and Roman Catholics in any locality. 
Subsequent to 1850, when our present Municipal Act was intro 
duced, the local boards appointed school superintendents, the first 
of whom was Alexander McGregor, for those districts around 
Stratford. Previous to 1850 superintendents of schools were 
appointed by the district council in Goderich ; and such has been 
the predilection of some of the old municipal clerks for concealing 
names, that I was unable to discover that of district superintend 
ent until I was informed by an old settler. I may state here that 
one local clerk, who held the position for at least four years, 
never during that period gave the name of a single representative 
officer in his municipality. In the county of Perth we find as local 


superintendent the names of Alexander McGregor, Rev. Mr. 
McPherson and Rev. Mr. Patterson, both of Stratford, one a 
Presbyterian and the other an Anglican, and William Rath, Esq., 
P.L.S. of Mitchell. In 1871 the School Act was further amended; 
the office of local superintendent was abolished, and the county 
council was empowered to appoint a county inspector of schools. 
This change was an improvement on the old order of things, in 
that it secured greater uniformity in school work. Moreover, 
since the inspector devoted his whole time to his official duties 
better results could be obtained than were possible under the 
former plan, where the inspector s time and attention were divided 
between two such diverse duties as preaching and school 

A few years after this change the county was divided into 
North and South Perth, and two inspectors were employed. This 
continued only for a short period, however, when the two 
inspectorates were again united, and have remained so ever since. 
Subsequent to Stratford being separated from the county for 
municipal purposes and erected into a city, inspection of the city 
schools was withdrawn from that of the county, and an inspector 
appointed in their own interest by the city council. 

If we examine closely into the principles underlying the public 
school system of this country they will be found in many respects to 
resemble those of the Scottish parish school, introduced by John 
Knox, the Scottish reformer. When he had completed his work 
of reformation in the church, by an infusion of democratic vitality 
and vigor into the parched and dried body of a dead spiritualism, 
he saw that the lifeblood of that system he had inaugurated must 
be kept up by the product of the schools. He, therefore, introduced 
into his own country what may be said to be the first school 
system in the world. He saw, also, that to derive the greatest 
amount of good from his new plan it would have to be broadened 
out to meet and bring within its limits all classes and conditions of 
people. Any system of education which cannot be made available 
to all, must necessarily deprive the state of a large portion of 

intellect, which, if developed and strengthened in a free school, 



might be a great factor in the extension of its power and influence. 
Who can say in what strata of society the diamond may be found ? 
And for fear that any gem may be lost, the state does well to test 
them all ? 

The principle upon which Knox proceeded in his educational 
methods was based on this idea, that the state represented all the 
people, and in its actions should promulgate only such legislation 
as would be of interest to all the people. To a full development 
of this plan it was necessary, therefore, to establish a school in 
every parish. A grant of public money was made for their 
maintenance. This was supplemented by a tax on all property in 
the parish. Altogether a rate of from ten pence to one shilling 
and three pence per month was charged for each pupil. Poor 
people could send their children to be educated without money and 
without price. The trustees were land owners in the parish, or 
their representatives, who superintended the whole, exactly as 
trustees in a Canadian school section. There was this difference, 
however, that the office of trustee descended by heirship along 
with the estate. This trustee board employed the teacher, who 
was removed only for breach of trust or bad conduct. It was in 
advance of our Canadian system, in that a teacher s .residence was 
always provided. Precaution was taken that only properly quali 
fied men should be placed in these schools, as every parish school 
master had to be a graduate of a university. This parish school 
was a combination of what in Canada is the public and grammar 
school. It was graded, and the teacher moved his pupil gradually 
upward from the first through the intermediate forms to the 
classics, where he left off to enter the university. It is true 
academies and grammar schools existed in Scotland, but they 
were not a part of the national plan of education. Many of those 
seats of learning were most valuable, and were established and 
conducted by educated men as private schools. 

If the system of parish schools set up by Knox in Scotland was 
correlated with the genius of that people, it was found also in 
accord with the progressive feeling of Canadians. The proletariat 
of Scotland are not, and never were, republican, though they are 


eminently democratic. The political cast of our electorate in this 
country is exactly similar. Both people believe in a monarchical 
form of government, resting- on a foundation of democracy. In 
the parish school was inculcated a sense of equality, regardless of 
social, political, or religious influence. In Canada it is the same. 
If a boy is too poor to pay a fee for his education, let him come ; 
it will cost him nothing. If he is too poor to obtain suitable 
garments to wear, let him come ; the parish will clothe him. If 
he is too poor to even get food to eat, let him come ; the parish 
will feed him. It is to the eternal honor of Knox s plan that the 
moment such an one as we have described passed through the 
portal of a school room then all social distinction ended, and that 
only of the God-given quality of mind began. A poor, ragged 
boy, with gaunt form and hungry-looking eye, may be the lion of 
his class, and on his shoeless feet stand conscious of his superiority 
as Dux. The son and heir of the Laird may have his place as 
booby, where he stands conscious of an abiding continuity, in 
monumental evidence of the superior flesh-forming qualities 
arising from a plenteous ration of whey porridge and braxy. 

When Dr. Ryerson, the great architect of Canada s school 
system, visited Europe in quest of material for completing his 
educational scheme (the influence of which in Canada no man can 
ever measure), he found the old parish school was the only method 
at all suitable to the views of the Canadian people. It is not 
surprising, therefore, that our schools were modelled largely on 
the Scottish plan, with such modifications and extensions as those 
new conditions obtaining in this country demanded. Those of our 
readers who may be desirous of extending their enquiries into the 
principles of the two systems will find a striking analogy even in 
many of the details. 

Before leaving this part of our subject we may be permitted to 
point out with what zealous care both countries watch over their 
schools. Although the old system of Knox was planted amongst 
a people gross, vicious, stubborn, and the most turbulent in 
Europe, in a turbulent age, it grew as something indigenous to 
the soil. Its roots sank deep, and twined around the affections of 


the nation. When the unfortunate Mary, Queen of Scots, lost 
her head, it had become vigorous. During the regency in her 
exile, it did not suffer. While England lost one church and 
gained another, it was still extending its influence. When Scot 
land s King left Holyrood, never to return, it was putting forth 
new leaves. In the heat of that terrific persecution, when the 
sanctuary of the Auld Kirk was dashed to earth, and the worship 
of God was a stolen privilege amidst heath, heather hills, and 
misty solitudes, it was still gaining new life. When the blood of 
a British King had imbrued British hands, and a stranger was set 
on Britain s throne ; when the last of the Stuarts had died an 
exile, far from his native land, and a foreigner w T as crowned in 
Westminster, the old tree still flourished. It was not, therefore, 
till a seed from this ancient stem had been planted in Canada by 
Dr. Ryerson for a period of two score years, and amid our 
Canadian woods had grown to be a stout sapling, symmetrical 
and robust of form, that the venerable parent stem in Scotland 
was cut down, and a twig containing the old blood wedded to the 
vigour of Canadian youth, was planted in its stead, where, as the 
national school system of Great Britain, it is now spreading in a 
form worthy of such illustrious parentage. 

If the people of Scotland were jealous of their school system, 
the Canadians were equally so of theirs. It will be remembered 
that in Ontario, a few years ago, the then Minister of Education, 
Hon. G. W. Ross (who, by the way, was by far the greatest man 
his party had in its ranks), introduced a new school book. This 
innovation in itself was trifling, and could have led to no disastrous 
consequences. It was met, however, by a perfect storm of 
disapproval from a large section of our people, and so far-reaching 
were its results that it nearly displaced the Government a few 
years subsequently. While those amendments made to the School 
Act may have been various during the last fifty years, they have 
not affected to any great extent its great general principles. 
Changes in school buildings and premises throughout the county, 
indicating steady and solid improvement during that time, have 
been very marked. Although of late years inspectors have been 


authorized, under certain amendments to the Public Schools Act, 
to compel trustees to provide suitable buildings and accommoda 
tions in order to secure a more efficient management of our 
schools, this power has rarely or never been enforced. It is 
creditable to our people that in a majority of cases school buildings 
provided by voluntary taxation were, for a considerable period, in 
advance of the homes of the pupils who attended them. 

The pioneer school house, rude and uninviting as it appeared, was, 
as a rule, more comfortable than the trough-roofed shanty that 
stood amongst blackened stumps on the concession road, dignified 
by the name of a clearing. Those old schools were built of logs. 
An area of 18x26 feet would be considered an average size ; the 
floor of boards, where they could be obtained, and roofed with oak 
clap-boards or soft elm bark. A roof formed of bark was durable 
and effective against rain, but in winter afforded little protec 
tion from snow. Its walls would be erected by the settlers in one 
day and were of that character peculiar to all log buildings, a 
description of which will be found elsewhere. The clat and clay 
work was done in the most approved style, that is, the finger 
marks made in applying soft mud to the openings between the 
logs were all in geometrical lines, indicating that it was designed 
for educational and not for domestic purposes. There are those 
in this county who will remember that when they reached school in 
the winter season, before they could make their way in they may 
have had to effect an entrance otherwise than by the door, and 
clear the snow out. Like the shanty, log-school architecture did 
not change, remaining always the same. It was a low building, 
whose end elevation (towards that direction where a road would 
some day be) invariably contained the door. On each side were 
two windows and at the end farthest from the doorway was erected 
a chimney. In this part of the room was also a low platform, on 
which stood the teacher s desk and chair. From this throne he 
could overlook those mischievous boys sent out to school, and 
exercise an authority as potent as if he were Emperor of all the 
Russias. Arrangements in the interior for the convenience of the 
children were simple, and such as might be expected in a seminary 


whose external appearance was not prepossessing-. In its side 
walls holes were bored and wooden pins inserted. Across these 
pins boards were laid, forming- desks, which were occupied by those 
pupils who were more advanced. In front of these desks were 
benches made of slabs, supported on pins inserted in aug-er holes 
made at each end. Across the building- were other benches placed 
parallel. The pins supporting the front rows were short, form 
ing low seats for small scholars. Each row was supplied with 
longer pins than that in front, thus elevating- the seats one 
above another as they extended backward. Along- its walls were 
hung a few cards with larg-e alphabetical letters and a lonely map 
or two that seemed to have lost their way in the woods and 
crawled into this old school for shelter. In a certain section of 
Blanshard, after a long- discussion at an annual meeting-, there was 
obtained from the department in Toronto a globe about the size of 
a croquet ball, which, opening in the centre, displayed the eastern 
and western hemispheres. This addition to their school apparatus 
was considered a marvellous acquisition, placing that school in 
the front rank of our educational system in that township. There 
was no well except a hole dug in the woods ; there were no 
closets ; there was no school yard, or rather the_ whole section may 
have been said to be a school yard, since it all formed a portion 
of that illimitable forest. 

During summer the boys made sad havoc with those g-eometri- 
cal lines in the clay which filled the spaces between the logs, in 
order to improve ventilation with the least amount of scientific 
application. This mode of securing- fresh breezes (in the warm 
period), laden with the aroma of the cedar swamp, had its 
disadvantages in winter. What if trustees did visit the premises 
in late autumn with a supply of g-lass and putty ; with spade and 
shovel to bank up the bottom logs ! What if they did laboriously 
close up those apertures "which the boys had with all due diligence 
opened in summer and would with all due diligence open again 
when next summer came round ! It was usually late in the fall, 
and the work was imperfectly done. In winter, when a cold, 
biting frost had made strange fretwork on stream and window 


pane, with a temperature far below zero, the children had a 
practical illustration of this fact, that what may be a great good 
under certain conditions may be a great evil under others. That 
ventilation which had been so desirable a few months previous was 
now insufferable. Shivering- children would then gather around a 
great box stove, which stood near one end of the room, plied with 
wood until it was red hot in every part. With hands and feet 
outstretched towards its glowing sides they vainly endeavored to 
find warmth and comfort, which a chill wind whistling in between 
logs and at the sagged windows rendered impossible. 

When such were the conditions under which children of our 
old pioneers received their mental training-, these circumstances in 
connection with their teacher were uncomfortable indeed. He had 
one advantage, however, in his profession ; he had variety in his 
home life. If variety is the spice of life, then the lives of those 
old teachers must indeed have been spicy. In other words he 
boarded round amongst the settlers, his period of location with 
any one family being in proportion to the number of its pupils 
attending school. 

The aspirations of these old schoolmasters were of a different 
character to those who occupy such responsible positions in our 
schools of to-day. While young men and women in this profes 
sion now make it a stepping-stone to other positions (not to higher), 
the old teacher remained in it until those whom he had trained 
came forward with more energy and pushed him aside. Although 
the standard of qualification was not so high in those days as it is 
now, many of the pioneer schoolmasters were men of culture 
and well grounded attainments. Not infrequently well educated 
and of good family in the old land, they came to this country, as 
many like them did, without any of those qualities which alone 
could give them success in a new settlement. Prospects of being 
able to obtain a living when everything seemed against them 
prompted them to seize with avidity an opportunity of humble 
independence in the teaching profession. It was better to be the 
recipient of a small stipend and board around, even when the 
cuisine was composed of beechnut pork and potatoes, than not to 


board at all. Old teachers in this country, fifty or sixty years 
ag-o, were largely of this class, and took up the ferule with profit 
to themselves and certainly with advantage to the people. Subse 
quent to 1850 their condition was improved, in that they had 
regular boarding places and were paid a stated annual salary. 

The standard of their certificates, however, remained about the 
same until 1865. A new regulation was introduced at that period 
recalling all the old certificates. Since the introduction of Dr. 
Ryerson s system, education had made considerable progress both 
in Canada and the United States. During that period, therefore, 
several of those more advanced ideas from across the border had 
naturally crept into Canada, and were fast being incorporated into 
our own system. It was necessary for a maintenance of 
efficiency in our schools that all new masters should be able to 
teach on more progressive principles. Examinations were, there 
fore held, demanding a different standard of attainment from those 
formerly required. This had the effect of removing from the pro 
fession a large number of the* old men, and enhancing the 
remuneration of those w r ho were able to remain. 

For a number of years after this weeding out process, a scarcity 
of teachers rapidly enhanced the remuneration paid for their ser 
vices. In Blanshard as high as $600 per annum was paid to com 
petent men. This order of things continued until 1885, when the 
highest point may be said to have been reached. Since that time 
salaries have been steadily decreasing until a year or two ago, 
when a change took place. At present the compensation paid to 
an average teacher is $376 for males and $280 for females. 

Since 1865 a higher standard of certificate has been imposed 
from time to time not, perhaps, for the purpose of securing 
better teachers, since a high class certificate does not neces 
sarily imply greater adaptability for teaching, but with a hope 
of relieving to some extent the crowded condition of that 
profession. This policy of the department appears so far to be 
ineffective. Its only perceptible result has been a closer applica 
tion by the student, in order that he might overcome the greater 
obstacle in his way. So the wheel moves on year after year, 


turning- out in undiminished numbers young- aspirants for this 
honorable calling. 

It is asserted, and with some degree of truth, I believe, that an 
increasing number of females graduating from our high schools, 
all proposing to earn a livelihood as teachers, is largely respon 
sible for a depreciation of salaries. These young aspirants, 
anxious to take up the work, have adopted the execrable principle 
that to succeed they must begin by offering their services at lower 
rates than those they intend to supplant. This plan of securing 
positions is not a desirable one, for the laborer is always worthy 
of his hire, and for his time should receive fair and reasonable com 
pensation. It establishes a bad precedent as well. According to 
this system an aspirant, who has been successful in obtaining- a 
situation, will be likely to lose it in the same way at next term by 
a young-er applicant. Be this as it may, it is a question now for 
our people to consider whether sufficient remuneration is paid to 
induce efficient service from those already eng-ag-ed. Will it induce 
capable young men and women to enter the profession, or will it 
retain those already entered ? If not, then let those who have the 
education of the rising g-eneration in charg-e see to it that a great 
and irreparable injury is not done to those whom nature has made 
dependent upon us, and who cannot in any way help themselves. 

Whatever may be our ideas regarding compensation paid or 
work done by the teachers of this county, or, indeed, of Canada, 
there can be only one opinion of that high moral tone which per 
vades the whole profession, from its humblest member to those 
who sit in its high places. Among thousands of teachers in this 
country, the greater number of whom are passing through a period 
of their lives that is considered the most reckless, a case of gross- 
ness or improper conduct is rarely known. That these young- 
people, drawn from all classes of the community, should preserve 
so high a standard of morality is most honorable to themselves, 
and their influence for good must have a decided effect in the 
schools over which they have been called upon to preside. 

Notwithstanding- every effort made by old settlers to provide 
school buildings and apparatus for a proper education of the 


children, a report of the superintendent of schools for 184915 some 
what pathetic and doleful in its description of the condition of 
things prevailing at that period in Huron, Perth and Bruce. In 
this report Mr. Fletcher says : "To attempt to teach geography 
without proper maps requires only to be named to men of intelli 
gence to be pronounced an impossibility, and yet I do not know 
that there is a complete set of large school maps in any common 
school in the United Counties, and this is but a specimen of the 
destitution of which I speak. In many cases there is not even 
tolerable furniture for writing ; and when these evils are joined 
with the low standard of qualification of the great majority of the 
teachers employed, it must be obvious that the instruction given 
to our youth is of a very inferior kind. I have no hope that 
proper apparatus will be speedily procured, unless a small rate 
be laid on school sections for that purpose, and we cannot obtain 
a better class of teachers until better remuneration draws men 
of education into the field, and the dread of being paid in district 
debentures be removed." 

"My chief difficulty has been with the school fund. The balance 
of ^58, 138., 2d. of the assessment of 1848 is still due by the 
treasurer, and consequently wtih the exception of ^13, iis., 2*^d., 
which I have advanced out of my own private means, that balance 
is still due the teachers for that year." 

"At the last meeting of the district council it was also decided 
that should the Canada Company pay their portion of school 
money in debentures, the treasurer be instructed to pay it to the 
superintendent in cash, as the teachers had suffered so much 
already from their payments having been made in debentures. In 
conformity with this decision I called on the treasurer for the 
money, who stated the amount of the wild land tax, but said he 
had not the cash wherewith to comply with the decision of the 
council. In this case I also applied to the warden, and I am con 
strained to solicit your best exertions to procure the cash." 

"The Government grant for the year 1848 amounted to ^422, 
us., 5d. , but it was paid in debentures, the Bank of Upper 
Canada charging ^ per cent, discount. The whole of this part 


of the fund has been paid except the sum of ^5, ios., yd., appor 
tioned to school section No. 2, South Easthope ; the teacher of 
that section being- an alien could not receive Government money." 

"Respectfully but earnestly requesting- the council to use their 
best exertions to put me in possession without delay of the above 
mentioned sums, that the teachers may be paid their salaries so 
long- due and in the only form that can supply their wants. I have 
the honor to be, etc." 

In an auditors report for the United Counties for 1844, 1845 
and 1846, a balance was left in the hands of the superintendent 
amounting to 19, i6s., gd. 

According to the detailed statement of 1847, the teachers in 
what is now the County of Perth had received the following pay 
ments : --James Sheldan, Ellice, ^"3, 55.; James Izard, South 
Easthope, 12, ios. ; P. McLellan, North Easthope, 6, i2s. ; 
James Trow, 6, 128. ; A. Amoss, 6, 125. ; A. Amoss, $, 
ios.; Gordon Meig-han, Blanshard, $, us., 3^d. ; James 
Sheldan, Blanshard, 2, i6s. ; W. F. McCullough, Stratford, 
17, 35., 3d. ; H. Hamilton, Downie, 12, 75., 7d. ; R. Henley, 
Downie, 6, gs., gd. This account is certified to by Georg-e 
Eraser and T. B. Woodliff, auditors, and dated Feb y 5, 1848. 
The total sum received by the superintendent for 1847 was 
1,119, 148., 3^d., of which amount ^307, 98., 4^d., was 
provincial grant, and 777, 5s. , 6d. , grant from the district, the 
balance coming from other sources. I believe this is the earliest 
statement to be found regarding- our schools, the records covering 
a period extending from February, 1842, to February, 1848, being 
lost, as stated elsewhere. At the latter meeting of the council a 
large number of new sections were formed in the southern part of 
the United Counties. I have been unable to discover any data 
which would indicate the remuneration paid teachers for their 
services. The salary of the superintendent, I find, was fixed by 
by-law, passed on the nth day of February, 1848, at 100 
currency per annum. 

In no department is the progress of this county more distinctly 
marked than in educational improvement. If the condition of our 


teachers is not all that could be desired, they are certainly far 
removed from those circumstances set forth in the quotation we 
have made from Mr. Fletcher s report. From that period when 
Mr. Daly and his associates in Goderich formed the first sections 
in North and South Easthope in -1842, up to 1871 a great change 
has taken place. In the latter year, according to the first report 
of Mr. William Alexander, school inspector for this county, the 
number of sections in Perth was 101, while the total amount 
expended for schools was $42,823. Of this amount the teachers 
received $30,619, the balance being for buildings and appliances. 
The average annual stipend paid to male teachers was $331, 
and for female teachers $243. The total number of children 
attending school was 11,479. This result would certainly be 
gratifying if it were not that in this county at that time 1,012 
children of school age did not attend school at all. The highest 
average salary paid to a male teacher was in Fullarton, where 
it amounted to $374 per annum, while the highest paid to 
females was in Ellice, $272 per annum. The number of brick 
school buildings was 21, of which 7 were in Blanshard. Build 
ings of stone were 7, of which 3 were in Downie. Frame buildings 
numbered 46, of which Mornington had 7 ; log buildings 27, 
Elma and Wallace having 6 each. We note also that in 1871 this 
county had 85 Sabbath schools, with 4,181 scholars and 486 
teachers. The report issued by Mr. William Irwin in 1901 shows 
marvellous changes to have taken place, particularly in our school 
population. From his statement of that year it appears that our 
total number of schools has increased to 1 1 1 and expenditure to 
$69,157, of which sum the teachers received $38,622, the balance 
being expended on buildings and appliances, excepting such small 
amounts on hand as were retained by trustees. Male teachers are 
now in a minority, numbering 57, with 62 females. The highest 
salary is paid in Fullarton, amounting to $500 per annum. The 
average salary paid to males is $376, and for females $280 per 
annum, without board. Since the old days there is a marked im 
provement in school buildings. The log school house is now seen 
no more. In our several municipalities there are reported 77 brick 


buildings, 10 of which are in Blanshard and an equal number in 
Logan. Of stone there are 5, 3 of which are in Blanshard. 
Frame and concrete 29, Mornington and North Easthope having 5 
each. The greatest change, however, occurs in school population. 
While it is pleasing to note that the number not attending any 
school has fallen from 1,012 in 1871 to 18 in 1901, it is a marvel 
lous circumstance that children of school ag-e in this county, 
notwithstanding- an increase in population during- that period, has 
decreased from 11,497 to 6,618. Whatever may be the cause of 
this state of affairs, the most ordinary observer will deplore this 
fact, that while our advanced education and hig-her civilization 
have been productive of great good in raising- our people to a 
higher plane, surely it has not been an unmixed g-ood. It appears 
to have set human nature at defiance in a decreased birth-rate. 
This condition of affairs will destroy home life, in which lies the 
safety of the state. It will destroy the fine affections and sym 
pathies of our nature in bringing- about an absence of those 
objects which are constantly appealing- to them. This is a grave 
social matter, which neither religion nor moral philosophy will 
ever be able to solve, I fear. 

We believe that in a progressive county, such as Perth, these 
changes will be constantly operating- until our system of school 
sections becomes superseded by one graded school in each muni 
cipality. The advantages arising from this plan would be very 
great. Economically it would place on an equitable basis all 
taxation, and make those privileges which oug-ht to, but do not, 
exist, nor cannot exist, under our present method, equal to all. 
Our existing- school law, excellent as it is in several of its details, 
has outlived many conditions its promoters designed it should 
serve. There is no other law on the statute book of Ontario, 
held to be an epitome of equal rights, in which there is less 
equality than in the School Act. That principle exists in theory 
only, not in practice. 

When one pupil has to walk two miles to receive exactly the 
same mental training that another pupil receives by walking a few 
yards, there is certainly no equality. A pupil near a school may 


attend every day ; the pupil at a distance pays for a privilege that 
climatic conditions prevent him from making available. There 
are, perhaps, no two sections in this county contributing 1 the same 
amount in support of this privilege, which should be equal to all. 
No ratepayer has a right to pay a higher tax than another rate 
payer, where both properties are equally rated in assessment. At 
present scarcely any two pay alike, even if rated the same. The 
Legislature has recognized this anomalous condition, and enacted 
an amendment to the School Act, enabling an equitable rate to be 
levied in rural municipalities for school purposes, which to a 
limited extent rectifies the evil. In a section where a small village 
may have sprung up, the charges on farm lands in support of a 
school are often oppressive. 

Our present system must be held responsible, to a great extent, 
for that continuous exodus of farm boys from agricultural life. 
While we have no sympathy with the doleful whine constantly 
emanating from many well-intentioned and decent people on this 
question of boys leaving the farm, yet a system of education 
calculated to retain young, energetic boys and girls on our conces 
sion lines would be an advantage. As it is at present, they pass on 
from the country schools into the high schools in town. Now, the 
family circle is broken. Home influence may linger in their hearts 
for a time, but new scenes, new companions, new friendships 
grow up like weeds around them, choking out recollections of 
home on the old farm. "Old Bob," on whom they rode after the 
cows in the morning, is forgotten, or remembered only shame 
facedly as a passing thought. The old dog, too, is careless of his 
record at the wood-chuck s hole, and lies in a dwame of sleep on 
the verandah. The boys are away to the high school, and he is 
dowie without his companions. Their environment, their asso 
ciates, their aspirations are suddenly changed. Their financial 
support is still drawn from the old farm, and they have the advan 
tages peculiar to centres of population. The light of their young 
life beams on them ; they are too young to know of its shadows. 
Town seems to their innocent minds to be the ideal place in this 
world, and that quiet spot in the country suffers by comparison. 


In all too many instances, when a boy has worn shining shoes on 
a granolithic sidewalk, his neck ornamented with a high collar 
and a low tie, his hands in kid gloves, and his hair banged a la 
mode, whatever may be his success at a high school, the chances 
are he will return to the old farm no more. 

A graded school in each township would largely, if not entirely, 
overcome these difficulties. Boys and girls attending a graded 
school, which, of course, would take the place of a high school in 
teaching the higher branches, would remain in their own homes 
under home influence. While they could meet with a large num 
ber of other boys and girls from every corner of the municipality, 
the tendency in all communications would be, not to decry farm 
life, but rather to foster a desire for it. Where a pupil developed 
an inclination or an adaptability for other pursuits than agricul 
ture, he could leave his township school for the university. The 
tendency would be, however, for him to engage in farm life, as 
being the most independent, if not the most exciting, vocation. 
The best staff of teachers obtainable would be brought into 
requisition. Their remuneration would be such as to retain 
them in the profession. One building would suffice in place 
of many. Taxation for education would be equal for all. 
The privileges of all would be equal. The pupil who was 
distant from a school, being taken there in a comfortable 
conveyance, could not suffer. Impudence or gross conduct, 
profanity or other small vices, of which boys are sometimes 
guilty in going to and from school, could not occur. A 
small farm could be managed in connection with such an 
institution, with an observation plot and an experimental station, 
in each municipality, which would be of enormous benefit, not 
only to the pupils, but to the farmers themselves. A great saving 
would be made to many of the farming community who send their 
children to high school, preparatory to their entering the univer 
sity. These are only a few advantages underlying this new 
system. The whole subject is one well worthy our most searching 
investigation and the earnest consideration of educationists in this 
country. The time appears close at hand when these changes 


will be a factor in the social lives of our people. We feel, too, 
that a system of radial electric railways, of which we have already 
spoken in another part of this work, will largely affect the educa 
tional system in rural districts, and by affording- easy and cheap 
transportation, will solve this great problem at an early day. 
Whatever may be the result, it behooves Canada to be on the 
alert ; her educationists must keep fully abreast of the times if 
this country is ever to be what we hope it will be, and what we 
believe nature has designed it should be, a living force in the 
march of progress among the nations. 



Under ordinary conditions the highways of a municipality afford 
distinctive evidence as to the progressive or unprogressive methods 
of its people. As a man s garments indicate his character to some 
extent, as the appearance of a farm is the reflex of the thrift and 
intelligence of its owner, so are roads in every section of country 
an infallible indication of that skill and industry put forward by 
those concerned in their construction. In a settlement where 
people are idle and unambitious, its highways afford abundant 
evidence of that fact. On the other hand, where settlers are 
determined to succeed, facilities for transportation occupy their 
attention as a means of enhancing their profits, the outcome of 
which is soon discoverable in the improvement of roads. 

In the history of every municipality there has been a period 
when good roads were practically impossible under the conditions 
obtaining in all new countries. Such was the case in Perth 
County sixty years ago, and for many years subsequent improve 
ment was a difficult task, and could only be overcome by constant 
perseverance and severe toil. The first attempt at road making 
during old pioneer days was in opening the Huron road, extending 
from Wilmot to Lake Huron. This highway, surveyed in 1829, 
was considered a great achievement. 

It was not till 1832, notwithstanding Mr. Gait s efforts, that 
this road could be considered passable even under favorable con 
ditions, as far west as Stratford. In the winter of 1831 contracts 
had been given to several parties for constructing bridges and lay 
ing crossways in the great swamps through which it passed. 



These cross ways east of Little Lakes were made by two brothers, 
named Cody. West of Little Lakes as far as the Avon in Strat 
ford, the work was done by a person named Bronson. Cody 
brothers were paid $1.50 per rod for their work, and accepted 
land in payment at $1.50 per acre. Thus every road of corduroy 
in that section cost the Canada Company one acre of land. What 
ever may be said as to the value of land, $1.50 obtained for 
constructing a rod of crossway was small remuneration indeed. 
West of the River Avon, as far as Seebach s hill, this road was 
cleared by a person named Hull. From Seebach s westward to 
Mitchell a German named Overholt was contractor. A good story 
is told of this gentleman and Col. VanEgmond, who had the 
contracts for the whole work. It appears a difference of opinion 
existed between them as to their agreement, Mr. Overholt demand 
ing a larger amount for his labor than VanEgmond was willing 
to pay. After vigorous expostulations on both sides, Overholt 
threatened an appeal to the law. "Law," replied his opponent, 
"there is no law here.". "Dot vas shust righdt," responded the 
other, "if dere vas no law, dere vas no condemnashuns," and he 
proceeded to demonstrate in a practical way the feasibility of this 
new doctrine. Whatever may have been the rank or standing of 
this old soldier of the empire, he soon found it better to call a truce 
than expose himself to summary jurisdiction by an irate Dutchman 
in the forests of Canada. 

Subsequent to the survey of this road and a range of lots front 
ing it on both sides, a further survey was made of the Gore of 
Downie in 1832. Passing through this section is the Embro road, 
at that period second in importance in Perth County. For a 
description of this leading thoroughfare we refer our readers to a 
report of Mr. Monteith, an overseer of highways in 1842. Upon 
completion of the survey of Downie in 1835 and 1839, this road 
was extended through Blanshard to a point where a few years 
later sprung up the village of Little Falls, now St. Marys. Rapid 
progress was subsequently made by this new trade centre, creating 
a heavy traffic over this highway, and it soon became one of the 
most important in the county. The Mitchell road, extending 


through Blanshard to Mitchell, was not opened till 1844, an< ^ tne 
Thames road a year later. The northern gravel road, extending 
from Stratford through Gadshill to Topping in Mornington, the 
Logan road, the centre road in Hibbert, the Mitchell road to 
Russeldale, the road extending from Shakespeare to Hampstead, 
were opened through priority of settlement rather than from any 
plan adopted by the Canada Company or municipal authorities. 

The system adopted in pioneer days for opening and making 
highways was undoubtedly the best that could have been put in 
practice under the circumstances. To have built such roads even 
as then existed, by taxes levied, would have been impossible, or at 
least would have made progress extremely slow. There was no 
money in circulation to pay taxes, and the only medium current in 
interchanging commodities was energy and muscle. These quali 
ties were at once laid under tribute and made available for tax- 
paying purposes, thus discharging a levy which could not have 
been met in any other way. This is the underlying principle of 
statute labor. It afforded a settler the opportunity of discharging 
an important obligation by work, which would have been impos 
sible for him to do from his purse. To that part of pioneer 
belongings, the old adage was most appropriate : "Ex nihil, nihil 
fit." "Out of nothing, nothing comes. " 

The plan of forming road divisions or beats adopted by district 
councils subsequent to 1841 and modified, changed or extended by 
municipalities under authority of the Act of 1850, was at its incep 
tion a great success, serving a useful purpose in its adaptability 
to conditions. The power vested in an overseer of highways, 
passing from one ratepayer to another in turn, added dignity as a 
natural sequence of authority, which was always appreciated, if 
sometimes abused. There was but little room for a divergence 
in opinions regarding such work as could be done in a new coun 
try. A track was blazed by the surveyor where the roadbed had to 
be, and, unless insurmountable difficulties barred its way, on 
this line the highway was constructed. Roadmaking was begun 
by chopping and clearing the allowance marked for road purposes, 
making crossways through swamps, and building log bridges over 


streams. This work required little skill and no scientific know 
ledge. An overseer, or pathmaster, called out his men once in each 
year to pay their tax in labor, which consisted in simply chopping 
and logging a roadbed. Making crossways was a laborious part 
of the system, and even when construction was performed in the 
best possible manner it scarcely rendered passable mudholes nearly 
impassable before. There was this difference, however, that while 
a backwoodsman was in danger of losing himself and oxen in an 
unknown depth of mud, he incurred a risk of less degree on the 
crossway in destroying only his sled and breaking his limbs and 
the limbs of his oxen. Corduroy roads were peculiar to backwoods 
life, and, by a merciful intervention of fate, to nothing else. In their 
construction, logs from ten to fourteen inches in diameter were 
cut into lengths of eighteen feet, hauled into the roadbed by oxen, 
and laid close together parallel to each other across the roadway. 
A work of this kind was necessary in swamps only, which in early 
days were much more frequent, and of greater magnitude than 
could be realized by an observer of to-day. When the greatest 
care had been observed in placing these timbers as close together 
as possible, the interstices between them would be of such a 
character as to render dangerous any means of locomotion except 
to travellers on foot. After a year or two had passed away earth 
from the sides was thrown up as a covering, but soil from a 
swamp consisting of vegetable matter did but little to improve this 
wretched crossway. 

During eight or ten years subsequent to clearing a road allow 
ance, no progress could be made and construction may be said to 
have been at a standstill. Great stumps yet remained, obstructing 
all efforts at improvement. These old relics of the forest seemed 
to defy time and tide, still holding the spot where they had 
stood mayhap for hundreds of years. A single narrow path 
way for sled or ox-cart threaded its course here and there amongst 
logs, stumps, over great roots and knolls down into mudholes, 
over which a pair of oxen crept at a snail s pace, with a few bags 
of wheat to mill, or a trough full of black salts to trade at some 
grocery for such necessaries as would keep the wolf from the 


shanty door. During autumn and in spring- roads were impas 
sable. Through this eternal mud, along an intricate passageway, 
amidst obstructions which defied almost every attempt at progress, 
the patient, overtaxed oxen slowly crawled on their weary way. 
At their heads trudged another ox, bending beneath his burden of 
unremitting toil. There was only this distinction between the 
biped and the quadruped he drove, he who stood erect had hope, 
the oxen none. So men are pleased to say. Such were the roads 
in pioneer days. 

It was not, therefore, till after the stumps had decayed, and they 
could be removed, that implements for grading were brought into 
requisition. This introduction of grading appliances also intro 
duced differences of opinion amongst overseers regarding proper 
methods of road construction, which has been a source of conten 
tion ever since. A want of regular system in roadmaking has 
been productive of great waste of labor, retarding operations 
by more effective methods, which might have been introduced 
by those whose knowledge was in advance of the ordinary 
settler. In looking back over his work during sixty years it 
is scarcely fair to the old pathmaster to say, if this is all you 
have accomplished your labor must have been largely wasted. 
It would be equally fair to say you have been purchasing imple 
ments for your farm for a half century, still you have accumulated 
no more than is actually necessary, therefore your money has been 
wasted. There was a great good in the old system that cleared 
roadbeds, made crossways, built bridges, graded and gravelled 
roads without any scientific knowledge or particular skill. In this 
work of the old pathmaster, inexperienced as he was, we are not 
surprised that he did not do more, but rather that he has done so 
well. There, doubtless, has been a waste of labor for want of a 
uniform system, but not to the extent some would wish us to 

During a period extending onward from our first settlement 
for eight or ten years there was no waste of labor. Time was lost 
to some extent, perhaps, from this fact that beyond clearing a 
roadway no improving could be done. About 1865 a system of 


gravelling- by statute labor was introduced, since which there has not 
been a great waste, under these old plans, although far from being 
satisfactory. In the interregnum between the removal of stumps 
and completion of grading, the greatest waste of labor occurs. 
Opinions of pathmasters regarding construction operations were 
frequently far apart, much of the work done being of a temporary 
character. Culverts and bridges constructed with timber require 
frequent attention, and a new method was introduced with each 
new roadmaster. One overseer considers a roadway should extend 
from fence to fence, a distance of over sixty feet ; every man in 
his division is set to work with ploughs and scrapers and a piece 
of road is graded wide enough for an esplanade. His successor 
next season has entirely different views, and very properly, as he 
thinks, sets to work and destroys all that his predecessor had done, 
constructing a road well crowned in the centre, of perhaps eighteen 
feet in width. A third overseer comes into office who considers 
the former pathmaster made the road too high and too narrow, 
and he accordingly substitutes his own plan, destroying very 
effectively all that had been accomplished during two years pre 
vious. Thus time moved on without much apparent improvement. 
Proper methods of drainage were not considered of sufficient 
importance to demand much attention. Culverts were all made 
of logs, and were a constant source of annoyance to the councils. 
A small bridge constructed in summer, of timber, frequently did 
not survive a winter s frost or a spring flood. When the freshet 
had passed away this piece of amateur work would very likely be 
lying in a heap, preventing public traffic, and effectively choking 
the stream it was intended to convey. Wherever stone could be 
obtained results were about the same. In constructing stone 
culverts and bridges of moderate width, recourse was had. to a 
dry stone wall. This was economical, but not less a failure, the 
whole structure, a short time subsequent to its construction, fre 
quently falling a complete wreck. 

In 1854 a system of gravel roads was introduced by the county 
council, on which large sums of money were from time to time 
expended. On these roads toll-gates were erected, where certain 

ROADS 103 

rates were exacted for keeping them in repair and reimbursing the 
council for its original outlay. The advantage arising from these 
roads soon became apparent to the settlers, who, as soon as 
circumstances would permit, adopted the plan of gravelling all 
township roads by statute labor. The result of this movement 
eventuated in all roads being in equally as good condition as toll 
roads, which soon suffered a serious diminution of traffic. 

While these progressive measures were being carried out the 
inadaptability of statute labor became apparent in another direc 
tion, leading to inconvenience as well as waste of time and money. 
Nature in her operations had not made deposits of road material 
exactly where they should have been made in order to facilitate 
road construction on economical lines. Indeed, she had been some 
what capricious in this department, storing her gifts in ridges and 
pockets frequently far apart. In those divisions, therefore, which 
were fortunate in having abundance of gravel easy of access, 
improvement in roads was rapid. In other sections, where they 
were far from these conveniences, improvement was languid and 
slow. Close proximity to a gravel pit led to heaping on of that 
material year after year, irrespective of traffic demands, until the 
roadbed was raised so high and narrow, that teams could only 
pass with difficulty and not without some danger. On the other 
hand, those divisions which were not contiguous to a gravel pit 
were in bad condition, otherwise their statute labor had to be 
largely supplemented by special grants from township funds in 
order to ensure their maintenance in reasonable repair. In the 
first case money and the roadway were both wasted, and in the 
second case funds granted to supplement statute labor were 
virtually thrown away, whereas by a proper distribution of the 
whole work it would have been found ample for all. 

But apart from these incongruities arising out of this statute 
labor system, the principle by which it was applied, and those 
methods adopted by municipal councils generally in arranging a 
scale of assessment applicable to every ratepayer, were (without 
prejudice to the honesty and integrity of township officials) unjust, 
unfair and contrary to those principles which underly municipal 


law. The very essence of that law in matters of taxation and 
representation is equality. It is an embodiment of democratic 
ideals reduced to practice and in a form which enters into our 
every day life. Wherever municipal legislation touches matters of 
taxation, it contemplates a uniform tax on property direct. There 
is no provision made for municipalities obtaining revenue by excise 
or inland revenue duties to any appreciable extent. Where 
authority is given to raise funds otherwise than by a direct levy 
on property, it will be found that such power is given to protect 
real estate already contributing to the municipal treasury. 

Such a scale of statute labor tax as that adopted by nearly all 
municipalities, set these important principles at defiance, and was 
certainly in contravention of all essential ideals of equality. 
It certainly discriminated between large and small property owners 
in a manner detrimental to those having small holdings, who were 
likely least able to protect themselves. Every day s work was held 
to be equal to one dollar. Any scale of statute labor, therefore, 
which imposed three days, or their equivalent ($3.00), on a rate 
payer assessed at $1,200, and nine days, or $9.00, on another rate 
payer whose assessment amounted to $10,000 was clearly unjust. 
While these figures may not be exactly those adopted as a scale 
for statute labor, they are quite near enough those existing in 
many municipalities to illustrate the principle on which this tax 
was imposed. A great wrong certainly exists here, a wrong 
altogether indefensible, except on the score of expediency (a 
dangerous principle in legislation), but it is not the only bad 
feature of the system. A line of demarcation in ascending from 
one day s work to another had to be drawn at some fixed amount 
of taxation, which in itself was a great hardship. Those property 
holders assessed to say $1,200 had three days labor. A neighbor 
on an adjoining lot, assessed at $1,205, was liable to four days, 
the line fixing the number of days being drawn at the former 
amount, and an increment of five dollars above entailing an 
additional day, and so on throughout. It will be noted, therefore, 
from these figures that an arrangement of this kind made the 
assessor arbiter of a considerable portion of municipal taxation. 

ROADS 105 

By raising- a ratepayer s assessment in so small a sum as five 
dollars, near the line of differentia fixed by by-law, he could add 
to or diminish his taxation one dollar per annum. By this means, 
it is apparent, he could affect the taxation of a municipality to a 
great degree, a power neither the Assessment nor Municipal Act 
ever intended he should control. 

These inconsistencies and unfair conditions in working- the 
statute labor system of taxation were quite apparent to municipal 
councils for a number of years before any one was bold enough to 
suggest a more equitable plan. Discussions at township nomina 
tions had been kept up with animation and spirit in many 
municipalities without any solution of the difficulty, and while 
numbers objected, none appeared able to point out or formulate a 
better plan. Those aspirants to a seat at the board, who had 
advocated certain measures to supersede that already in operation 
while not in power, if they were elected, became at once reticent 
and temporizing in their conduct. Their plans, like Bob Acres 
courage, oozed out at their finger ends, when the mantle of 
responsibility was laid on their shoulders. 

It was not, therefore, till the Government appointed what is 
now known as a "Good Roads Commissioner of Highways," in 
the person of Mr. A. W. Campbell, that those arguments affect 
ing statute labor began to take form and effect. Repeated 
admonitions from this officer seemed to be like the vertebras in an 
anatomical figure that hold integuments in position until the force 
of cohesion evolves a new body. Blanshard, in Perth county, was 
first to move. Although discussions had been held from year to 
year regarding a change, it came more rapid at last than its most 
sanguine promoters expected. The council of 1899 were nearly 
all young men, which to some extent may account for so rapid a 
realization of this new system. It was a bold stroke, therefore, 
when at their first meeting they, by a single motion, declared that 
the abolition of statute labor was a fact, and that in Blanshard the 
old plan of roadmaking, which had been in force for sixty years, 
had outlived its usefulness, and was now only a relic of a past age. 
This motion was no embodiment of a half measure. It declared 


and established abolition as a correct principle. Commutation 
would not have removed the difficulty of unfair taxation, as set 
down in the scale of statute labor, to which reference has been 
made. Abolition transferred all expenditure on highways levied 
as a labor tax into ordinary disbursements, the demands for which 
would be discharged by a fair and equitable assessment, or rate of 
taxation levied on all rateable property in the municipality. 

This innovation in Blanshard was followed by Downie, which, 
however, during one year, did not abolish but only commute, 
thus retaining the old injustice in a new form. Abolition 
has now been adopted in Downie. Fullarton has also abolished 
statute labor. Other municipalities in Perth are still on the 
old plan. 

So radical a change, in an old established system, could not be 
carried out without giving offence to a portion of the electorate, 
who were affected by its operations. To remove from a tree an 
old branch which, though displaying evidences of failing vigor, 
still retains much vitality, cannot be accomplished without 
disturbing the parent stem, from which it draws its life sap and 
sustenance of its being. This fact remains, however, that where 
abolition has been introduced, although it has met with opposition, 
the great mass of our people are satisfied and would not revert 
to their old methods. 

For constructing roads and bridges in a municipality, councils 
may adopt one of these methods : First, by statute labor ; second, 
by commutation ; and third, by abolition, all roads being maintained 
by the general fund. Regarding the first, as all are sufficiently 
acquainted with its operation, no explanation is necessary, further 
than to point out its unfairness. In the Municipal Act a scale is 
laid down for performance of statute labor, imposing a certain 
number of days on each ratepayer in proportion to his rateable 
property. Authority is given by this Act to municipal councils, 
enabling them to vary this scale, insuring a more perfect adapt 
ability to local conditions. Nearly all councils have availed 
themselves of this privilege, each authorizing a scale for its own 
convenience. In Blanshard, as fairly representing this system of 


a statute labor tax in a modified form, the subjoined scale will 
illustrate the injustice of this principle : 

A ratepayer owning 300 acres of land, performed 13 days 

" " 200 " " " 10 " 

" " ioo " " " 6 " 

n ( I __ i . 1 I A 

A house and lot worth $250 " 2 " 

Land value in every case to be $50 per acre. 

By this scale, it is apparent, the burden of taxation falls 
enormously heavier on a poor man than on his rich neighbor. By 
commutation at a fixed sum per diem, conditions remain exactly 
as before. During 1901, in Blanshard, disbursements for 
maintenance and improvements of roads under abolition amounted 
to 55 cents for each days labor applied under the old system. 
Under commutation, therefore, we obtain the following results : 
300 acres 13 days at 55 cents per diem $7.15 
200 " 10 " 55 " 5.50 

ioo " 6 " 55 " 3.30 

50 " 4 " ; 5 2.20 

House and lot at $250 1. 10 

According to this statement, which is the actual experience of 
commutation, we find a great discrepancy in taxation in favor of 
the large ratepayer, increasing in proportion as we descend in 
material wealth until we reach the house and lot, on whose owner 
rests the greatest burden. 

An equitable adjustment of this whole system is found in 
abolition, and it can exist in no other. By applying this principle, 
therefore, where all disbursements for roads are taken from a 
general fund set apart for improvements, an equal rate being 
levied and collected on all on basis of assessment, we find : 
Amount levied on 300 acres $10.50 
" 200 acres 7.00 

ioo " 3.50 

50 " 1.75 

House and lot .40 

These figures require no comment, as illustrating the practical 


working of abolition methods in contradistinction to statute labor, 
and cannot fail to impress the reader with its equitable results to 
all sections of the people. 

During the last ten years great improvements have been made 
in road construction machinery. The place of the old road scraper 
has been usurped by a more perfect implement, graders being now 
in use everywhere. This machine, which was moved formerly by 
horses, is now w r orked by a traction engine, a very great improve 
ment on teams. It has been found to be more economical, easily 
manipulated, and will perform much more work in a given time 
than can be done by horses. In 1901, a grader worked by horses 
in Blanshard improved fifteen miles of roadway at a cost of $19.00 
per mile. In 1901 the same machine worked by a traction engine 
improved thirty-five -miles of roadway at a cost of $420,00 or 
$12.00 per mile, thus making a saving of $7.00 per mile, and with 
better results. 

In Blanshard an innovation has been made in the character of 
material applied for maintenance of the leading highways. 
Repeated application of gravel has been found quite inadequate 
in forming a good roadbed, under a constant wearing by heavy 
traffic. Operating the road grader along the edges of the 
roadway, thus removing all accumulations of worn out material, 
is a decided improvement, producing an easy curve to the crown 
of the roadbed, affording an ample grade for superfluous moisture 
draining off to the water tables. By applying crushed stone to a 
road thus prepared, from twelve to fourteen feet wide, and four 
teen inches deep in the centre, if somewhat expensive, a durable 
and economical bed for heavy traffic is formed. 

When stone can be obtained this system, although it may fall 
short of those methods adopted by Macadam, will be found a great 
improvement on any former system of roadmaking pursued in 
this county. The cost of a road constructed in this manner has 
not exceeded in Blanshard $1,200.00 per mile, including rent of a 
stone crusher, and has been so satisfactory that its continuance 
will be carried on by the council until all roads over which pass 
heavy traffic have been reconstructed on this system. As to 

ROADS 109 

making and keeping in repair highways in rural sections, this 
method of applying broken stone would be unnecessary. Traffic 
on these roads is comparatively light, and a moderate quantity of 
gravel applied annually, with an occasional application of the 
grader in maintaining a proper descent to the water tables, will 
be found quite ample in retaining them in a good state of repair. 
It may be asserted, however, that progress towards good roads, 
under any system, will be slow so long as traffic is moved on 
narrow waggon tires, now almost universally used. Even in 
sections constructed with broken stone, where drainage is fairly 
good, a number of heavy waggons passing and re-passing every 
day, soon cut the best material into parallel lines, thus forming 
recepticles for retention of water, so injurious to a roadbed. 
People seem to be very conservative in character regarding trans 
portation facilities, and while marvellous improvements have taken 
place in agricultural implements and farm methods, the old narrow 
waggon tire remains the same. To compel all to use wide tires, 
by by-law, would be difficult. Any principle of coercive legislation, 
when it touches home life, is always looked on with suspicion, as 
an interference by a corporate body in what may be considered 
private matters, and has rather an irritating effect. Blanshard 
council, to overcome this difficulty, have, with a philosophy worthy 
of emulation by all municipalities, introduced a plan which will 
doubtless solve the problem of wide tires easily, cheaply and 
effectively. In order to change our present system of transport 
ation on narrow tires, they are passing no coercive legislation, but 
have adopted a more plausible and philanthropic method in 
bonusing. Every ratepayer who procures a new vehicle to be 
used in heavy traffic receives from the municipality a premium 
of, say, $5.00, and for any alterations made in waggons already in 
use, a smaller amount. A claim made under this by-law, to be 
valid, must be based on evidence that the tires on which applicant 
is entitled to receive a bonus are not less than four inches in 
width. The concensus of opinion amongst our ratepayers 
regarding this important movement is strongly in favor of such 
a change, and its adoption can only be a matter of a few years. 


While the introduction of broad tires and the application of 
broken stone would largely improve our roads, it may be that 
climatic conditions obtaining in this country would prevent, in 
some degree, that efficiency ever being attained which is so 
apparent in Europe. Climatic influences may seem more favour 
able in Canada because of less rainfall. Still, in the British 
Islands, where the humidity is much greater than here, it is 
largely neutralized by a proper system of drainage in the road bed. 
In this country, where the temperature falls so low in winter, it 
will be difficult to overcome the deleterious effects of severe frost 
by any system of road construction. During spring, therefore, on 
all main roads, over which pass heavy traffic, the roadbed becomes 
spongy and soft, and under a constant stream of loaded waggons 
is seriously impaired. 

We believe, however, that the improvement of highways will be 
a matter of less importance in a few years than at present. There 
is no doubt that Perth County is on the eve of a system of electric 
roads radiating from business centres over leading highways, 
which will displace a large amount of traffic being moved under 
existing conditions. By adopting the electric car in transporting 
farm produce it will be moved at less cost than at present 
over our best roads. This in itself would produce a large 
saving in making and repairing highways, which could be 
devoted to construction of telephones at convenient distances 
in rural sections, as well as furnishing electric light to those 
villages through which such radial roads may pass. By thus 
supplying a comfortable and commodious means of travel in 
rural districts at cheap rates, it would promote a desire amongst 
our people to avail themselves of such conveniences, thus 
destroying to a great extent the isolation of farm life. This 
would again improve the farmer s social condition by bringing him 
into closer contact with those with whom it might be to his 
advantage to associate, thus broadening his views, extending his 
means of pleasure, by a promotion of those thoughts and amenities 
which make for the advancement and amelioration of the race. 

In this county are men and women still living and still vigorous 


who followed the blaze into the trackless forest, and who may in 
the near future roll along that same forest path in a luxuriously 
appointed electric car, surrounded by all that can make life enjoy 

Ah ! Glorious ending- to pioneer days ! Ah ! Marvellous 
progress ; inconceivable in so short a period of time. 



Mr. Read Burritt, -who practiced law in Prescott, and for two 
Parliaments had been a member thereof, was appointed the first 
County Court Judge of the County of Perth. He took the oath of 
office as Judg-e of the County Court on the 24th day of January, 
1853, before the late John J. E. Linton, then Clerk of the Peace. 

Mr. Charles Robinson had been about the same time appointed 
County Judge of the then new County of Lambton. These gentle 
men exchanged places, and Mr. Robinson was on the lyth day of 
October, 1853, sworn in as Judge of the County Court of the 
County of Perth, and Mr. Burritt became Judge of the County 
of Lambton. 

Mr. Robinson tired of Stratford, and induced his brother judge 
to re-exchange and be as they were. Mr. Robinson continued as 
Judge of the County of Lambton until his retirement at a very 
advanced age about five years ago, and is now dead. In after 
years, when asked the reason for his returning to Sarnia Judge 
Robinson was wont (although a very temperate man), to tell at 
his own expense, that when he would be taking his toddy at night, 
or a night cap, when living in Stratford, he was disturbed by the 
frogs in the pond and in the surrounding neighborhood ; that he 
concluded he could not stand what seemed to him to be the whole 
brute creation singing : "The Jooge is tronk!" "The Jooge is 
tronk!" "The Jooge is tronk!" (" The Judge is drunk ! " 
" The Judge is drunk !" " The Judge is drunk !") 

Mr. Burritt, on the i6th April, 1855, took the oath of office 
again as Judge of the County Court of the County of Perth, and 


several Division Courts and Surrogate Court of the County, and 
held these offices until his death in the midsummer of 1864. He 
was succeeded by the late Mr. Daniel Home Lizars, who long 
practiced in the County, and was then County Crown Attorney. 
Mr. Lizars took the oath of office as Judge of the County 
Court and several Division Courts and Surrogate Court of the 
County of Perth, on the 3oth August, 1864, and continued such 
until his resignation, shortly before the appointment of Mr. 
James Peter Woods, Q. C., who was sworn in as Judge on the 
2nd November, 1886. He in turn resigned, and was succeeded 
on the 3rd January, 1898, by Mr. John Augustus Barren, Q.C., 
present County Judge, who took the oath of office on the iith 
January, 1898. 

It has become necessary in the history of the County only on 
three occasions to have a Deputy Judge appointed. The first of 
such appointments was that of the late Mr. Egerton Fiske Ryer- 
son, on the 2ist April, 1864; then the late Robert Smith, Q.C., on 
the iith June, 1884, and that of Mr. George Gordon McPherson, 
Q.C., on the 2oth day of February, 1900. 

It never fell to the lot of any one of these gentlemen to discharge 
for any length of time the duties of the office. The appointments 
were merely temporary during the illness or absence of the 
respective Judges for the County at the time. 

The General Sessions of the Peace were first opened on the 5th 
of April, 1853, at Stratford, before Read Burritt, Esquire, Judge of 
the County Court of the said County of Perth, Robert Henry, 
Alexander Grant, James Rankin, Alexander Mitchell and Sebastian 
Fryfogle, Justices of the Peace. 

The first Commission of the Peace for the County of Perth bears 
date the 3ist day of December, 1852, and, following the ancient 
practice, named the High Court Judges, members of the Executive 
Council and the Legislative Council, along with other prominent 
residents in the County, as Justices of the Peace. These others 
were : Read Burritt, Esquire, Judge of our County Court of our 
County of Perth, John C. W. Daly, Andrew Helmer, Peter 
Kastner, William F. McCulloch, Daniel McPherson, John 



Sparling-, John Sebring, George Wood, John Stewart, Thomas 
Brown, Alexander Grant, James Rankin, Alexander Hamilton, 
Peter Crerar, John Mclntyre, Adam Seegmiller, John Sharman, 
Thomas Daly, Alexander F. Mickle, John Thompson, Thomas 
Christie, Alexander Mitchell, John Zinkan, Alexander Fisher, 
John Curtis, Sebastian Fryfogle, William Cossey, Peter Woods, 
Matthew Nelson, Alexander Harrington Orr, Andrew Monteith, 
Jacob Weaver, Alexander Gourlay, Robert Henry, Robert Ballan- 
tyne, James Hill, James Brown, Robert Porteous, Andrew Morgan, 
Peter McCann, Robert Donkin, Donald Cameron, James K. 
Clendinning, Edward Long, William Moscrip, William Barren 
and John Fitzgerald, Esquires. 

This first Court was opened by reading this commission, and 
also the proclamation setting apart the County of Perth by 
disuniting it from the United Counties of Huron, Perth and Bruce, 
and constituting it an independent County. The proclamation was 
also dated the 3ist December, 1852. It was made in pursuance of 
12 Victoria, chap. 78, and another Act passed the same year, 
chap. 96, which recited that the population of the County of Perth 
exceeded 12,000, and from its geographical position it was 
expedient that provision be made for its separation from said 
union without waiting till its population should be such as required 
by the loth section of such mentioned Act. 

At this sitting of the Court the late John J. E. Linton, first 
Clerk of the Peace, acted as Clerk. The late John A. McCarthy, 
long Chief Constable of Stratford, was appointed Crier of the 
Court, an office he held until his death. 

Robert Kay, afterwards Gaoler, was also appointed to be High 
Constable. There were fifty-one constables appointed. 

Municipal institutions and government inspection at this early 
date had not so far developed as to deprive the Quarter Sessions 
of the Peace of some of their ancient powers and functions that 
now have ceased to exist. Hence we find entries like the follow 
ing in the records of that Court. 

The Gaoler s salary was fixed at 80 per annum, to be paid 
quarterly, and it was resolved "that it be his duty also for this 


salary to do the washing- for the prisoners (not debtors), and the 
scrubbing- of the gaol. " 

The late Dr. Hyde was appointed Gaol Surgeon, at 12, IDS. 
per annum, including- for attendance and medicine. 

On the 6th January, 1854, it was ordered by the Magistrates : 
"The Magistrates consider that owing to the rise in provisions 
the cost of allowance to the prisoners for board be increased, and 
they ordered that the sum of o, ys. , 6d. per week be allowed as 
board for each prisoner till next session." 

Special Sessions were held from time to time for the examination 
of lunatics, and on one occasion after the prisoner had been in 
g-aol for four months, the Special Session terminated by this : 
"The Mag-istrates looked at some of the Acts relating to lunatics, 
and they separated without giving any orders." A postscript 
states that J. C. W. Daly afterwards came and went with other 
Magistrates to the g-aol, and that the Sheriff afterwards said he 
had been directed to discharge the prisoner. 

A Special Session of the Magistrates was held at the Clerk of 
the Peace office on the i5th September, 1854, to consider the 
escape of Lorenzo Talbot from g^aol, and Gaoler John McColl was 
censured for his conduct in the premises. 

The escaped prisoner referred to above seems to have been 
recaptured, and an order for 20 was given to Leonard Blackburn 
of Chatham, as a reward therefor. 

Division Courts : At the sittings on the 6th April, 1853, His 
Worship, the Chairman, and Alexander Hamilton, William Cossey, 
Andrew Monteith, Robert Henry, J. C. W. Daly, William 
Smith, Peter Woods, Alexander Grant, John Sharman, Alexander 
Mitchell and James Rankin are recorded as present, when the 
Court took into consideration the division of the County for 
Division Court purposes, and it was ordered that there should 
be five divisions. 

The first division to consist of all that part of the township of 
North Easthope west of the line between lots 25 and 26 and south 
of the road between the 8th and gth concessions, and all that part 
of the township of South Easthope west of the said line between 


lots 25 and 26; all that part of the township of Downie and Gore 
north and east of the concession line between the loth and nth 
concessions of the Oxford road, and all the township of Ellice 
from the ist to the i3th concession inclusive. 

The second division to consist of all that part of the township 
of Fullarton, not included in division number three, and the town 
ships of Hibbert and Logan. 

The third division to consist of that portion of the township of 
Downie west of the Oxford road and south of the concession line 
between the loth and iith concessions; the township of Blan- 
shard, and all that part of the township of Fullarton comprising 
the 1 3th and i4th concessions, and south of a road leading- from 
the Mitchell road, between lots 24 and 25 east to lot 3 in the loth 
concession, thence east along the line between the loth and nth 
concessions to the town line. 

The fourth division to consist of that part of the township of 
North Easthope east of the line between lots 25 and 26, and north 
of the 8th concession ; all that part of the township of South 
Easthope not included in division number one. The said division 
number four to take effect on the r6th day of June next, and in 
the meantime to belong to division number one. 

The fifth division to consist of the townships of Mornington, 
Elma and Wallace, and concessions 14, 15 and 16 of the township 
of Ellice. The said division number five to take effect on the i6th 
day of June next, and in the meantime to belong to division 
number one. 

At the Court of General Sessions of the Peace, held in July, 
1855, it was ordered : "That the eleventh, twelfth, thirteenth and 
fourteenth concessions of North Easthope (now forming part of 
Division Court number 4), be attached to and form part of Division 
Court number five." 

At the sittings of the same Court on Wednesday, the i4th day 
of March, 1860, it was ordered that there be another Division Court 
in this County, to be styled the sixth division, and that such 
division be composed of the township of Wallace and all that part 
of the township of Elma from the first concession to the eighteenth 


concession, both concessions inclusive, and comprising- lots number 
one to number forty-two, both inclusive of the first concession, and 
lots number one to number twenty-six inclusive, from the second 
to the eighteenth concession, both concessions inclusive. 

The limits of the several Division Courts of the County, thus 
modified, have remained so to the present time. 

The following- order was made by the General Sessions, held 
March, 1867. 

"That a recommendation be sent to the Government, through 
the Provincial Secretary, that owing- to a great decrease in the 
business of the courts, that only four courts be held yearly in each 
of the said six divisions, into which the Division Courts have been 
divided, leaving it discretionary with the Judge to fix the exact 
periods of these four times, and instruct the Clerk of the Peace to 
communicate this recommendation to the Provincial Secretary. 

An Order-in-Council, assenting to this, was passed on the 28th 
January, 1868. 

SJieriffs: On the 3 ist December, 1852, the late Mr. RobertModer- 
well was appointed first Sheriff of the County, his commission being 
signed by Elgin and Kincardine (who, after serving in many high 
positions, died whilst Governor-General in India), and attested by 
William B. Richards, as Attorney-General, who afterwards served 
as a Judge and Chief Justice of the Queen s Bench, and later 
became the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada. 
Mr. Moderwell died on the 23rd day of October, A.D. 1886. 

On the resignation of Mr. Moderwell, on the 28th of August, 
1872, Mr. John Hossie, the present Sheriff, was appointed as his 
successor, his commission being signed by William P. Howland, 
Lieutenant-Governor, and attested by Adam Crooks, Attorney- 
General of Ontario. 

Clerks of the Peace : The late Mr. J. J. E. Linton was amongst 
the first officers appointed for the County, and held the office until 
his death, on the 23rd day of January, 1869, and was succeeded 
by the late Michael Hayes, who had previously been appointed 
County Crown Attorney, and by virtue of that office became Clerk 
of the Peace on the death of Mr. Linton. 


Cotinty Crown Attorneys : When the County was first con 
stituted, the office of County Crown Attorney did not exist. 

The Court of General Sessions, on the i5th November, 1853, 
agreed that Daniel Home Lizars, barrister, take the criminal cases 
to come before the General Sessions. The Clerk of the Peace 
intimated this to Mr. Lizars by letter. 

The office of County Crown Attorney, as public prosecutor, was 
first created in 1857, by 20 Victoria, chap. 59, which came into 
force ist January, 1858. 

Mr. Daniel Home Lizars was appointed the first County Crown 
Attorney, under this statute, and continued to hold office until 
appointed Judge of the County Court of the County, of Perth, to 
which office he was sworn in on the 3oth August, 1864. He was 
succeeded by the late Egerton Fiske Ryerson, on the 2yth August, 
1864, who died in the following- year, and was succeeded by 
Michael Hayes, who was sworn in on the 2nd January, 1866, and 
continued till his death in 1879, when he was succeeded by John 
Idington, the present County Crown Attorney, appointed on the 
4th July, 1879. 

Deputy Clerks of the -Crown and Clerks of the County Court, etc. : 
-The first Deputy Clerk of the Crown and Clerk of the County 
Court was Mr. Alex. McGregor (first public school teacher in 
Stratford), sworn in as such on the 24th January, 1853, before 
John J. E. Linton. The late Mr. James Macfadden, who had 
practiced till then as an attorney in St. Marys, succeeded him, and 
took the oath of office on the 6th of August, 1866, before Judge 
Lizars. Mr. Macfadden died on the 4th Aug-ust, 1899. 

William Caven Moscrip came next, and was appointed Local 
Reg-istrar of the High Court of Justice, at Stratford, Registrar of 
the Surrogate Court and Clerk of the County Court of the County 
of Perth, on the ist day of Aug-ust, A.D. 1899. 

Police Magistrates : James O Loane, Stratford, sworn in i2th 
August, 1873 ; James E. Terhune, Listowel, sworn in 27th 
February, 1890 ; Joseph Harvey Flagg, Mitchell, sworn in i5th 
March, 1884; Thomas Henry Race, Mitchell,* sworn in 
August, 1900. 


Associate Coroners for the County : The following Coroners have 
been appointed from time to time at places on dates as here- 
under: James Coleman, M.D., St. Marys, 3ist December, 1852 ; 
John Hyde, M.D., Stratford, 3ist December, 1852 ; William Bull, 
Mitchell, 3ist December, 1852 ; John Mahoney, Mitchell, 3ist 
December, 1852 ; David Waugh, Stratford, 4th December, 1854 ; 
Daniel Wilson, M.D., St. Marys, 2ist December, 1855 ; James 
Bowie, M.D., Mitchell, 3oth April, 1857; P. R. Shaver, M.D., 
Stratford, 3oth April, 1857 ; William Eggert, Shakespeare, 4th 
March, 1858 (error, not in County) ; Walter Boyd, Mitchell, 28th 
July, 1858; Daniel D. Campbell, Listowel, 28th July, 1858 ; Peter 
Johnson Muter, Nithburg, I2th June, 1860 ; David Coon, M.D., 
Mitchell, i gth June, 1860; Chas. Rolls, M.D., St. Marys, 5th 
January, 1861 ; Edward A. Paget, M.D., Stratford, 26th Novem 
ber, 1861 ; George Wilson, M.D., St. Marys, ist April, 1865 ; 
David Howard Harrison, M.D., St. Marys, ist April, 1865 ; 
Edward Hornibrook, M.D., Mitchell ; 4th April, 1865 ; Stephen F. 
Smith, Stratford, i2th May, 1865 (not sworn in) ; John Nichol, 
M.D., Listowel, 3rd March, 1866; John Philp, M.D., Listowel, 
i2th March, 1866 ; John Philip Jackson, M.D., Stratford, ist 
August, 1868; Daniel Joseph King, Carronbrook, 24th November, 
1869 ; Robert McDonald, Fullarton Corners, 2gth October, 1873 ; 
James P. Rankin, M.D., Stratford, 25th October, 1882 ; John 
Sinclair, St. Marys, iyth April, 1886 ; James Alphonsus Devlin, 
M.D., Stratford ; George Robinson Watson, Listowel ; Donald 
Alfred Kidd, M.D., Atwood. 

All these have since died or removed from the County, except 
Mr. Campbell of Listowel, whose commission as a Justice of the 
Peace superseded that of Coroner ; Dr. Philp of Listowel, Drs. 
Rankin and Devlin of Stratford, and Dr. Kidd of Atwood. 

Division Court Clerks and Bailiffs : The following is a list of 
the Division Court Clerks and Bailiffs of the County, who have 
served, the names appearing in the order of succession of their 
appointments, the last named being that of the present incumbent 
of the office : 

Division No. i. Clerks : Raby Williams, April, 1853 ; David 


B. Burritt, June, 1864. Bailiffs : Wm. J. Green, April, 1853 ; J. A. 
McCarthy, April, 1853 ; Robert Kay, July, 1853 ; Thos. McCarthy, 
July, 1857 ; J. A. McCarthy, September, 1860 ; Thos. McCarthy, 
September, 1860 ; Thos. Tobin, April, 1862 ; Thos. S. Tobin, 
February, 1881. 

Division No. 2. Clerks : Thos. Matheson, April, 1853 ; G. K. 
Matheson, May, 1883. Bailiffs : Jas. K. Black, 1853 ; John 
Black, November, 1858 ; James Black, April, 1859 ; John Black, 
March, 1862 ; James Black, October, 1863 ; John Burns, 
September, 1864 ; J. S. Coppin, November, 1869. 

Division No. 3. Clerks : Raby Williams, January, 1853 ; 
James Coleman, April, 1853 ; E. Long-, July, 1880. Bailiffs : 
Wm. Green, January, 1853 ; J. A. McCarthy, February, 1853 ; 
Geo. Tracey, April, 1853 ; Joseph McCulley, August, 1853 ; 
Cornelius Avery, October, 1854 ; Richard Box, March, 1855 ; 
William Box, September, 1861. 

Division No. 4. Clerks : William Cossey, June, 1853 ; George 
Brown, March, 1867. Bailiffs : John Helmer, June, 1853 ; John 
Cossey, January, 1859 ; John Helmer, July, 1859 ; Robert Moore, 
October, 1861 ; Jacob Amacher, October, 1864 ; Joseph Evans, 
June, 1870 ; C. Dietrich, July, 1871 ; Chas. Lehmann, March, 
l8 73 ; J- W. Donaldson, November, 1882 ; J. A. Donaldson, 
March, 1894. 

Division No. 5. Clerks : Samuel Whaley, June, 1853 ; James 
David Whaley, September, 1876 ; Thos. Trow, September, 1879. 
Bailiffs : John Coulter, July, 1853 ; John Jones, November, 1857; 
Wm. Moss, November, 1859 ; J. M. Scott, June, 1881 ; J. J. 
Whaley, November, 1886 ; Alex. Munro, April, 1888 ; W. D. 
Weir, April, 1891. 

Division No. 6. Clerks : James Coleman, February, 1853 ; 
Spencer Tunstall, June, 1860 ; David D. Hay, August, 1861 ; 
William G. Hay, December, 1873 ; David D. Hay, March, 1875 ; 
William John Hay, April, 1884 ; Francis W. Hay, August, 1893 ; 
William Bright, August, 1900. Bailiffs : Geo. Tracey, February, 
I ^53 ; Joseph McCulley, February, 1853 ; Thos. E. Hay, July, 
1860 ; Wm. F. Hacking, October, 1864 ; Jacob Loree, December, 


1873 ; Robert Russell Hay, March, 1878 ; Robert Hay, October, 
1878 ; W. H. Hay, March, 1893 ; Thomas Male, June, 1902. 

The following is a list of Justices for the County of Perth 
appointed at the last issue of Commission of the Peace, and acting 
m 1902 : John Aikens, Dublin ; Robert Armstrong, Wartburg ; 
James Bennoch, Stratford ; Lewis Bolton, Listowel ; George 
Brown, Shakespeare ; Charles Brook, Mitchell ; John Brown, 
Stratford ; Richard Horace Bain, Fullarton ; David Brethour, 
Woodham ; Robert Beatty, Kirkton ; George Bald, Sebringville ; 
Charles Bellamy, St. Marys ; James Crerar, Stratford ; Tom 
Coveney, Mitchell ; John Campbell, Metropolitan ; Daniel D. 
Campbell, Listowel ; Joseph Walker Cull, Mitchell ; John M. 
Cameron, Anderson ; Hugh Campbell, Mitchell ; James Callin, 
Stratford ; James Clyne, St. Pauls ; Robert Cleland, Listowel ; 
Robert Clarke, Carlingford ; Charles Cosens, Trowbridge ; Peter 
Campbell, Bornholm ; James Dickson, Donegal ; David Douglass, 
Mitchell- Jas. Dunsmore, Granton ; Jno. Dwyer, Bornholm ; Geo. 
Edwards, MilvertonjThos. Epplett, St. Marys ; Oilman Kenny Erb, 
Sebringvite ; John Freeborn, Freeborn ; Robert Henry Freeborn, 
Freeborn ; Daniel Flannigan, Stratford ; Andrew Falk, Lisbon ; 
Henry Foley, Kinkora ; Andrew Goetz, Sebringville ; George 
Goetz, Sebrngville ; James Nichol Grieve, Millbank ; F. R. 
Hamilton, Cromarty ; W. V. Hutton, St. Marys ; S. R. Hesson, 
Stratford ; J. B. Hamilton, Atwood ; J. A. Hacking, Listowel ; 
James Hamrmnd, Atwood ; D. D. Hay, Stratford ; Moses 
Harvey, Newr) ; Henry Hemsworth, Gowanstown ; Francis 
Jacob, Brodhagei ; William Johnston, Woodham ; P. R. Jarvis, 
Stratford ; John Kenny, jr., Dublin ; John Kelly, Kinkora ; 
William Keith, Listowel ; William George Kruspe, Sebringville ; 
William Laing, Vildwood ; William Lochead, Atwood ; John 
Low, Stratford ; Jom Mohr, New Hamburg ; N. Monteith, Strat 
ford ; William Ma^han, Mitchell ; Joseph Miller, Wartburg ; 
William Mowat, Stntford ; Aurelius Moses, St. Marys ; Joseph 
Mountain, St. Marys ;C. H. Merryfield, Monkton ; James Menzies, 
Molesworth ; G. H. IVcIntyre, St. Marys ; Peter McVannell, St. 
Marys ; J. J. McKema, Dublin ; James McCallum, Amulree ; 


Daniel McLean, Sebringville ; William McCaffrey, Stratford ; 
Patrick J. O Brien, Stratford ; John W. Poole, St. Marys ; William 
Porteous, Fullarton ; James Pierce, jr., Dublin ; Thomas Pascoe, 
Mitchell ; Cornelius Quinlan, Stratford ; Robert Radcliffe, Prospect 
Hill ; James L. Russell, Russeldale ; John Rutherford, Monkton ; 
Thomas Ryan, Dublin ; John Robinson, Kirkton ; J. D. Stewarc, 
Russeldale ; Fred H. Sharpe, St. Marys ; W. F. Sanderson, St. 
Marys ; F. Switzer, Woodham ; John W. Scott, Listowel ; D. 
Swanson, St. Marys ; George Shearer, Poole ; Robert Simpson, 
Sebringville ; Peter Stewart, Stratford ; Alexander Stewart, Monk- 
ton ; Henry Stephan, Brodhagen ; Jno. Stewart, Listowel ; Duncan 
Stewart, Hampstead ; John Schaefer, Tavistock ; James Smith, 
Shakespeare ; David Trachsell, Shakespeare ; Luther F. W. 
Turner, Fullarton ; Christopher Tabberner, Listowel ; IV. D. 
Weir, Milverton ; John Watson, Burns ; Jacob Walter, Listowel ; 
Patrick Whelihan, St. Marys ; George B. Webster, Science Hill ; 
John Walsh, St. Marys. 



The 28th Regiment (Perth Infantry), was organized September 
1 4th, 1866, with headquarters at Stratford. 

The first regimental officers were Lieut. -Col., R. S. Service, 
Majors, T. B. Guest and Charles James ; Paymaster, Leon M. 
Clench ; Adjutant, David Scott ; Quartermaster, Peter J. Smith- 
wick ; Surgeon, David Wilson, and Assistant-Surgeon, J. P. 

Lieut. -Col. Service, having been appointed Brigade-Major, 
Capt. William Smith was promoted to the command of the 
regiment in 1872 ; upon his retirement in 1881, Major David Scott 
succeeded to the command, from which he retired in 1885, and 
was succeeded by Major R. S. McKnight, who retained command 
till 1898, when Lieut. -Col. H. A. L. White succeeded him as 
commanding officer. 

The regimental officers are Lieut.-Col. , H. A. L. White; Majors, 
W. C. Moscrip and G. T. Cooke ; Paymaster, Major William Law 
rence ; Quartermaster, Capt. O. E. Stalker ; Medical Officer, 
Surgeon-Captain J. P. Rankin ; Hon. Chaplain, Rev. David 
Williams, M.A. 

The regiment is composed of six companies, located as follows : 
No. i Company, Stratford ; No. 2 Company, Stratford ; No. 3 
Company, St. Marys ; No. 4 Company, Mitchell ; No. 5 Company, 
Stratford ; No. 6 Company, Stratford. 

The Regiment has an efficient band of thirty performers, Mr. 
Foster Close being bandmaster. 

No. i Company was organized in 1856 as "The Stratford 


Volunteer Rifle Company." It consisted of upwards of eighty 
men, under command of Captain Henry Imlach, Lieut. L. T. 
O Loane, and Ensign James Orr. 

With the exception of the historic "Brown Bess" and white 
cross belts, the Company was maintained free of expense to the 
Government till 1858, after which an annual allowance of four or 
five dollars per man was made ; the old arms, etc. , were replaced 
by Enfield rifles and black leather belts. 

The original uniform of the Company consisted of green shell 
jacket, trousers and forage cap. In 1860 green tunic, trousers 
and shakos were procured. 

The original officers having retired, they were succeeded by 
Capt. R. S. Service, Lieut. Robert Macfarlane and Ensign W. 
M. Clark. 

The Company had the honor of taking part in the reception of 
His Majesty King Edward VII. (then Prince of Wales) on the 
occasion of his visit to Stratford in 1860. 

Up till the end of 1861, the Company paid all expenses con 
nected with drill, etc. ; afterwards the Imperial Government 
furnished instructors, and in 1863 the first Government clothing 
was issued. 

On the 25th April, 1865, the Company was placed on active 
service for three months, at Windsor and Sandwich. It consisted 
of three officers and sixty-five non-commissioned officers and men. 
They were proud of the fact that during this service no charge of 
any kind was made against a member of the Company. 

On March 8th, 1866, the Company was again placed on active 
service at Stratford, Chatham, Sandwich and Windsor. It was 
kept out for about four months. The duty was heavy, and the 
record of the Company was very good. In the following August 
it formed part of the field force at Thorold under Colonel (now 
Field Marshall Lord) Wolseley. 

On the formation of the 28th Regiment, the officers of No. i 
Company were Capt. Robert Macfarlane, M.P., Lieut. W. M. 
Clark and Ensign R. R. Lang. The uniform of the Company was 
changed from green to scarlet in 1871. In 1872 Captain Mac- 


farlane was promoted to majority, and Ensign Lang- became 
Captain. Upon his retirement in 1883 Lieut. F. K. Burnham 
became Captain. Upon his retirement m 1885, Lieut. J. L. Hotson 
became Captain, who retired in 1892, and was succeeded by Lieut. 
S. M. Johnson, upon whose retirement in 1896 Lieut. Grayson 
Alexander became Captain and held command till 1898, when 
Lieut. Royal Burritt, the present Captain, was appointed. The other 
officer of the Company is Lieut. M. D. Hamilton. 

No. 2 Company was organized in 1861 as "The Stratford Infantry 
Company," but was not recognized, armed and equipped till 1862. 
The first officers were Capt. W. J. Imlach, Lieut. Charles James, 
and Ensign Henry Sewell (the latter gentleman died in 1866) ; 
Capt. Imlach retired, and Lieut. James became Captain, the other 
officers being Lieut. Robert Smith and Ensign David Scott. 

On March 8th, 1866, the Company was called out for active 
service and did duty at Stratford, Chatham, Windsor and closed 
as part of field force at Thorold in August. 

On the formation of the 28th Regiment, the officers of No. 2 
were Capt. William Smith, Lieut. R. A. MacGregor and Ensign 
Hugh Nichol. In 1872 Capt. Smith was promoted to rank of 
Lieut. -Colonel of the Regiment, and was succeeded by Captain A. 
W. Dodd, who retained the Company till he was appointed Adju 
tant in 1876, and was succeeded by Capt. J. R. Hamilton, who 
held the position till he was promoted to majority in 1885, when 
he was succeeded by Capt. Geo. T. Cooke, who retained command 
until promoted to majority in 1898, and was followed by David 
Gibson as Captain ; upon the retirement of Capt. Gibson in 1900, 
the present Capt. A. H. Monteith was appointed. The other 
officers of the Company are Lieuts. S. W. N. Monteith and 
Clarence Trow. 

No. 3 Company was organized in 1866 as "The St. Marys 
Infantry Company, " with the following officers: Capt. T. B. Guest, 
Lieut. John McDonald and Ensign David McConnell. The Com 
pany formed part of the field force at Thorold in August, 1866. 
On the formation of the Regiment, Capt. Guest was appointed 
Major and Lieut. McDonald became Captain of the Company. He 


retired in 1869, and was succeeded by Lieut. R. S. McKnig-ht, as 
Captain, who being promoted to the position of Major in 1878, 
was succeeded by Captain W. A. Bailey, who died in 1882, was 
succeeded by W. C. Moscrip, as Captain, who retained Company 
till 1895, when, being appointed Major, he was succeeded by the 
present Captain D. W. Jamieson, the other officers being Lieuts. 
G. S. Kirkpatrick and L. Spearin. 

No. 4 Company was organized at Listowel in 1866, the first 
officers being D. D. Campbell, Captain ; John Zimmerman, 
Lieut., and W. F. Hacking, Ensign. Upon the retirement of 
Captain Campbell, Lieut. T. G. Fennell became Captain, who 
retired in 1876. The Company was then removed to St. Marys, 
and Captain H. A. L. White, of No. 5 Company, transferred to it. 
Capt. White being appointed Major in 1882, was succeeded by J. 
E. Harding, as Captain, who retired in 1884, when Lieut. J. G. 
Beam, formerly of the 44th Regiment, was appointed Captain. 
Upon Lieut. Beam s appointment as Adjutant in 1885, James 
Hamilton became Captain, and continued in command till 1899, 
when, being appointed Quartermaster, Lieut. G. L. Money was 
appointed Captain, and the headquarters changed to Mitchell, 
the other officer being Lieut. W. Thompson. 

The original No. 5 Company was formed in Mitchell in 1866, 
but, having become inefficient, was removed from the list of active 
militia, and the original No. 6 Company, organized in 1866 in the 
Township of Blanshard, became No. 5. The officers of this com 
pany were Captain David Brethour, Lieut. H. A. L. White, and 
Ensign John Anderson. Captain Brethour retired in 1871, and 
Lieut. H. A. L. White became Captain, who, being in 1876 trans 
ferred to No. 4 Company, was succeeded by Lieut. W. H. Paisey, 
formerly of the Royal Artillery, who held the position of Captain 
till 1884. Upon the resignation of Captain Paisey the Company 
was transferred to Listowel, and Lieut. H. B. Morphy became 
Captain. Upon his retirement in 1895 the Company was removed 
to Stratford, and Lieut. H. W. Copus appointed Captain. The 
other officers are Lieuts. H. W. Baker and L. Costello. 

No. 6 Company was originally No. 7 of the Regiment, but upon 


the abolition of the original No. 5 Company it became No. 6. It 
was organized at Fullarton in 1868, the first officers being Captain 
Richard Francis, Lieut. James Gourlay, and Ensign John Baird. 
Captain Francis resigned in 1870, and Lieut. Gourlay became 
Captain. In 1882 the Company was transferred to Stratford. 
Captain Gourlay resigned in 1884, and Lieut. Arthur Robb took 
command. Upon his resignation in 1889 Lieut. Williamson Guy 
was appointed Captain, the other company officer being Lieut. E. 
G. Holliday. 



The names given to new towns, villages and places in any 
country are frequently a reflex of the feelings of those by whom 
they are founded. This may arise from environment or tempera 
ment of the people. Many ancient Irish names indicate fine poetic 
ideals, and did not require the genius of Moore, nor a record of 
her ancient people, with all their hallowed traditions, to give thei 
force and efficacy, in appealing to the loftiest conceptions of 
human heart. Such beautiful runic names as Innisfallen, 
thral, Enniscorthy, Killarney, Sweet Vale of Avoca, Enniskil 
and Strathbane are marvellous revelations of poetic character in a 
highly imaginative people. 

In Scotland ancient names are based to a greater degre 
environment than on any ebullition of poetic feeling in a people 
also of high poetic temperament. Such names as Strathclyde, 
Strathavon, Strathspey, and many others also indicate the beauti 
ful strath or valley through which flow these several streams of 
the Clyde, the Spey and the Avon. The names of her glens, her 
vales, her lofty bens, all beautiful in themselves, point clearly 
material surroundings rather than poetic fancy. In England 
romantic names are not often found, and the glamour thrown 
around some of her finest places is the outcome of historic incident, 
without any inherent charm in the name itself. 

In a great portion of Canada, and in this county in particular, 
the aspect of the country is everywhere nearly the same, 
appears, so far, to be no appreciable influence from environment i 
giving names to new towns and villages truly Canadian, except 


such as are of a most prosaic character. In all too many instances 
the names given are meaningless and harsh, affording much room 
for improvement. The average Canadian is apparently reckless 
as to propriety in names. When he has founded a new village or 
" corners," which, even during his life, may become a place of 
great importance, he quietly adds to his own name in many 
instances the word ton, ville, or town, and the christening is 

Many of the Indian names retained in Canada are very pretty, 
and we forgive the overwhelming array of syllables in many of 
them in the soft melody of their pronunciation. In this county a 
few appropriate names have been given, such as Morningdale, 
Millbank, Avonton, Avonbank, Fairview, and Prospect Hill. All 
of these names are characteristic of their environment. 

In a paper by Mr. John Idington, K. C., of Stratford, on the 
" Origin of names of post offices in the County of Perth," and to 
which I am much indebted for information regarding the subject 
matter of this chapter, there is a quotation from the Encyclopedia 
Britannica which truthfully says: "The study of these names and 
" of their survival in civilization enables us in some cases to ascer 
tain what peoples inhabited districts now tenanted by persons 
" of far different speech. Thus the names of mountains and rivers 
" in many parts of England are Celtic ; for example, to take 
" familiar instances Usk, Esk and Avon." Mr. Idington then 
goes on to say very finely, " Our own Avon, we know, does not 
"betoken this, but rather the remembrance of home, as it burned 
" in the hearts of those who first pitched their tents on the spot 
" where we now stand. 

" It is the tracing of these home yearnings that furnishes much 
" of the pleasure in asking and answering how our post offices got 
" their names. The people got together to tattle and gossip at 
" all those places where there are now post offices before the 
" offices came. They talked of home, of each other, of their sur- 
" roundings and feelings, whims, and old fancies, and thus names 
" were given. 

" Where the Avon flowed it was determined by the Englishmen 



<( in charge of this part of the country as officers of the Canada 
" Company that a Stratford should grow." 

This is assuredly true, and, with the exception of a few names 
which have been given by the Department, those of the various 
offices in this county in many cases denote the nationality of the 
settlers surrounding them. 

The dates I have set forth as the period when the several offices 
were opened has, as far as possible, been copied from the Depart 
mental records in Ottawa, which extend backwards, however, to 
1854 only. Previous to that period there are none. A number of 
offices were established in this county long prior to 1854, and, 
therefore, the best information obtainable of the dates of opening 
will, I think, be found about correct. 

Amulree In the township of North Easthope, was named after 
a small place of that name in Perthshire, Scotland. A number of 
the early settlers from that shire in the old land, and, amongst 
others, one named Sandy Dallas, who kept the first hotel in 
Amulree, decided on the name of their native place in Scotland. 
This office was opened in 1878 with Mr. A. M. Fisher as first 

Anderson Received its name from Frank Anderson, deceased, 
who was for a number of years prominent in municipal politics in 
Blanshard. This office was opened in 1867 by the late H. White, 
first postmaster. 

Atwood. This office is in Elma, and was first opened as 
Newry Station postoffice in 1876, with Donald Gordon post 
master. Prior to this period an office named Newry had been 
opened by Mr. Coulter. Upon the completion of the southern 
extension of the W. G. & B. R. R., a station was erected about 
three-quarters of a mile north of Newry, which was known as 
Newry Station. Subsequently a large trade sprung up at this 
point, and Atwood was built. To prevent confusion arising 
between the offices of Newry and Newry Station, the people of 
Atwood at a public meeting decided to change the name of their 
office. After a long discussion and a number of names submitted 
to the meeting Atwood was selected. This change occurred in 


1883, Donald Gordon, first postmaster at Newry Station, retain 
ing- his position. Further information regarding this point will be 
found in the history of Elma Township, a part of this work. 

Avonbank Received its name from Mr. Muir, as being- most 
appropriate, on account of the high bank on which it was situate 
beside the River Avon. Opened 1856 by James Muir as first post 
master. This office is in Downie. 

Avonton Also in Downie, was named by Archie Shields, who 
was for several years township clerk. Its proximity to the River 
Avon, in a very pretty valley, suggested the name. This office was 
opened in 1865, with Archie Shields as first postmaster. 

Bornholm In Logan, is the name of an island in the Baltic Sea, 
and was named by the Department, the people themselves being 
unable to agree upon a name. The office was opened in 1865, 
with L. Hagarty as first postmaster. 

Britton In the township of Elma, is supposed to have been 
named by the railway authorities as a station on the Stratford & 
Huron Railway. The office was opened in 1883, with Joseph 
Freeman as first postmaster. 

Brocksden. This was a spot occupied, it is said, by a person 
who was nicknamed Brock the Badger, from which this neigh 
bourhood takes its name, and adopted it as that of the postoffice. 
This office was opened in 1900, with Robert G. Patterson as first 

BrodJiagen In the township of Logan, was named after Charles 
Brodhagen, who kept the first store and hotel, and was founder of 
the village. The office was opened in 1865 with Mr. Brodhagen 
as first postmaster. 

Brotherston Was named in honor of Montezuma Brothers, who 
had taken an active interest in providing mail accommodation for 
his neighbourhood. Mr. Brothers was honored for his efforts on 
behalf of the people in this section with the privilege of naming 
and giving his own name to the new office, which was opened in 
1885, Montezuma Brothers first postmaster. 

Brunner In the township of Ellice, was named after a family 
of pioneers of that name. Jacob Brunner, in the early days, erected 


a saw mill a short distance west of where the station now is, 
establishing- a postoffice for the convenience of the district sur 
rounding-. At the opening- of the Stratford & Huron R. R. the 
business was removed to Brunner Station. Jacob Brunner was 
for many years a prominent man in municipal politics, was warden 
of the county, and a candidate in South Perth for parliamentary 
honors, but was defeated by Hon. Thomas Ballantyne. This 
office was opened in 1867, with Jacob Brunner as first postmaster. 

Burns In the township of Mornington, was named after 
Robert Burns, the Ayrshire poet, by a number of his countrymen, 
who were settled in that section of the county. Opened in 1865 
by John Gibson as first postmaster. 

Carlingford. The village of Carlingford was founded by two 
sons of the Emerald Isle, Mr. Abraham Davidson and Mr. Cook, 
each of whom desired to link his name with the future town. 
The inspector, to gratify neither, and still please them both, gave 
the name Carlingford, one of the prettiest spots in Ireland, to the 
new office, which was opened in 1856, Abraham Davidson first 
postmaster. This office is in the township of Fullarton. 

Carmunnock. This office was named by William Mahan, who 
had considerable interest at this point in the early days. Mr. 
Mahan was born in Carmunnock, Renfrewshire, Scotland, and so 
named the new hamlet in Logan. This office was opened in 1875, 
William Mahan first postmaster. 

Carthage. The naming of this office seems to have been a 
matter of chance. Mr. Thomas Hamilton, the first settler, and 
Mr. Gamble, another early settler, are credited with giving it this 
name. Mr. Hamilton would have named the place after himself, 
but the city of Hamilton was already in the Ontario list of offices. 
It was decided, therefore, to name the place Carthage. The office 
was opened in 1856, with Alexander McDonald as first postmaster. 

Chiselhurst In the township of Hibbert, received its name 
from Chiselhurst, in England, where Napoleon III. died. This 
office was opened in 1875, w ^ tn William Moore as first postmaster. 

Conroy In the township of Downie, known as Conroy s 
Corners, was named in honor of a pioneer family, who were the 


first settlers. The office was opened in 1866, with John Rutledge 
as first postmaster. 

Cromarty In the township of Hibbert, was named by John 
Ferguson, of Craigdarroch, Scotland, as being- the birthplace of 
Hugh Miller, author of "Testimony of the Rocks" and "Old Red 
Sandstone," and whose writings had a wonderful influence in 
bringing about the disruption in the Kirk of Scotland in 1842-3. 
This office was opened in 1856, with John McLaren, who founded 
the village, as first postmaster. 

Donegal In the township of Elma, was named by John R. 
Foster, it being the name of his native place in Ireland. This 
office was opened in 1856, John R. Foster first postmaster. 

Dublin. This office was first named Carronbrook, from the 
stream that flows through the village. This is one of the oldest 
settlements in Perth county, and the first postoffice was opened by 
U. C. Lee, about 1854. When Carronbrook attained the dignity of 
a police village in 1878, Joseph Kidd and Tom King were lead 
ing men of the place. Mr. Kidd, having been born in Dublin, 
Ireland, under the shadow of the "Hill o Houth," the new police 
village was named after Ireland s capital, G. J. Kidd being post 

Fairview In Downie, was named from the beautiful view 
obtained from its elevated site, affording a pleasant prospect over 
a goodly portion of Perth and Oxford counties. This office was 
opened in 1863, with L. Robinson, as first postmaster. 

Fernbank In Mornington, was named by the late Mrs. Grieve, 
wife of James Grieve, M.P. , who represented North Perth in 
parliament. Mr. Grieve s farm was known as Fernbank, and this 
name was given to the postoffice, which was opened in 1896, with 
William Reid as first postmaster. 

Freedom In Mornington, was named in honor of John Free- 
born, an old resident of Mornington, who founded Millbank, and 
who was amongst the first to carry the banner of civilization into 
the wilderness in this section of Perth County. This office was 
opened in 1886, with John Freeborn as first postmaster. 

Fullarton In Fullarton, was named after that municipality, 


which again was named in honor of Mr. Fullarton, one of the first 
directors of the Canada Company. This village was founded by 
Mr. James Woodley, and the office opened in 1852, with John 
Buchan, as postmaster, a Scotchman, who opened the first store. 

Gadshill In Ellice and North Easthope, is a low elevation in 
what was at one period a dense swamp, and to add some dignity 
to the little spot of dry land, it was named after the famous hill 
sacred to the memory of Falstaff, and later Charles Dickens. 
This office was opened in 1865, with W. B. Crinkley as first 

Gowanstown In Wallace, was named in honor of Thomas H. 
Gowan, who founded the place, and kept the first store and 
tavern. This office was opened in 1871, with William Blackstone 
as first postmaster. 

Goivrie In Fullarton, was named in honor of the Carse of 
Gowrie in Scotland, and was opened in 1881, with Richard Moore 
as first postmaster. 

Hampstead In North Easthope, was named by the Depart 
ment at Ottawa, and opened in 1865, with Richard Lillico as 
first postmaster. 

Hesson In Mornington, was formerly known as Mack s 
Corners. Mr. S. R. Hesson, who was M.P. for the north riding 
of Perth, did much to improve postal facilities in this section, and 
the people in acknowledgment of his efforts in their behalf named 
the new office in his honor. This office was opened in 1883, with 
William F. Mack as first postmaster. 

Kennicott In Ellice, was formerly known as Sillsburg, being 
founded by Sills brothers, who were first settlers. Subsequent to 
their departure, the name was changed to Kennicott, in honor of 
Mr. Kenny, who was postmaster. This office was opened in 1890, 
with James Ernest, postmaster. 

Kinkora In Ellice, is the centre of a large Irish population, 
and is named in remembrance of their old home. This office was 
opened in 1857, with William Hearsnip as first postmaster. 

Kirkton On the boundary line between Blanshard and Us- 
borne townships, was named after the Kirk family, several brothers 


of whom were early settlers in the neighborhood. This office was 
opened in 1856, with James Eaton, of the firm of James and 
Timothy Eaton, who opened the first store in Kirkton, as first 

Kuhryuille In Ellice, was named in honor of Andrew Kuhry, 
an old settler and prominent man in the municipality. This office 
was opened in 1899, with Alexander Smith as first postmaster. 

Kurtzville In Wallace, was named after John Kurtz, on whose 
farm the office was established in 1885, with Jacob F. Doersam 
as first postmaster. 

Lisbon-- In North Easthope, on the boundary line between 
Waterloo and Perth County, was named in honor of the capital of 
Portugal. This office was opened in 1856, with John Zinkann as 
first postmaster. 

Listowel Now the town of Listowel, was formerly known as 
Mapleton and Windham. The Department subsequently set aside 
both names in favor of Listowel. This office was opened in 1856, 
with William H. Hacking as first postmaster. 

Metropolitan In Blanshard, was named by John H. Donald 
son, a school teacher in the neighborhood. A temperance hall 
was erected on the opposite corner from the school building. Mr. 
Donaldson, considering these progressive movements as evidence 
of a great metropolis, named it Metropolitan. This office was 
opened in 1875, with William Spence as postmaster. 

Millbank In Mornington, w r as founded by Mr. Freeborn, who 
was first settler, and derives its name from a mill being erected on 
the bank that bordered the stream. This office was opened in 
1850 by William Rutherford, who was first postmaster. 

Milverton A}so in Mornington, was first known as West s 
Corners, after the name of an early settler. Subsequently a more 
euphonious name was desired by the people, and at a public 
meeting called for the purpose, it was called Milverton, at the 
suggestion of Rev. P. Musgrave, in honor of his birthplace in the 
old land. This office was opened in 1854, with D. Matthews as 
first postmaster. 

Molesworth In Wallace, bears the name of Sir William 


Molesworth, who was Colonial Secretary in 1855. This office was 
opened in 1870, with Samuel Lougheed as first postmaster. 

Mitchell Now the town of Mitchell, received its name from a 
person called Mitchell, who built a small shanty on the river bank, 
where travellers found shelter and lodging-. Between Seebach s 
and Rattenbury s, at Clinton, "Mitchell s" was the only place of 
entertainment. This office was opened about 1842, with John 
Hicks as first postmaster. [I have been able to obtain no further 
data regarding- the name of this place, which, taken in connection 
with other circumstances coming under my observation, I believe 
is correct.] 

Monkton. For history of the village, and the period when 
founded, the reader is referred to the history of Elma in this work. 
The postoffict was opened in 1858 by Edward Greensides as post 

Motherwell - - In Fullarton, received its name from James 
Brown, who was for many years one of the most prominent men 
of the municipality. Mr. Brown with his family were among the 
first settlers in this section, and came originally from Lanark, in 
the eastern part of this Province. The name Motherwell was 
given to this office as being the name of the old home of Mr. 
Brown s family, in Lanarkshire, Scotland. This office was opened 
in 1865, James Brown, sr. , first postmaster. 

Munro Also in Fullarton, was named in honor of William 
Munro, who made every effort to accommodate the neighborhood 
by distributing mail matter in the district. This office was opened 
in 1889, with Mr. Munro as first postmaster. 

Neivry In Elma, was named after the birthplace of the late Mr. 
Coulter, one of the first settlers, and a most energetic man. This 
office was opened in 1862, with Mr. C. Coulter as first postmaster. 

Newton In Mornington, was named by the people of that 
section in honor of Sir Isaac Newton. This office was opened in 
1881, with Mr. John Zoeger as first postmaster. 

Nithburg In North Easthope, at one time known as Brown s 
Mills, was founded at an early day. In 1849 a village plot was 
laid out where the present office now is, and named Nithburg, as 


being the burg on the River Nith. The first postoffice was opened 
in the new burg in 1848, by James Brown, first and only post 
master, who has held the position for a longer period than any 
other officer in the county. 

Palmerston On the boundary of Wallace, was first known as 
Dryden postoffice, and opened in 1866, with Robert Johnston as 
postmaster. Through the construction of the Wellington, Grey& 
Bruce and the Stratford & Huron Railways, Palmerston has become 
a railroad centre. In 1873, therefore, the name Dryden was 
changed to Palmerston, in honor of Lord Palmerston, who was 
for some time Prime Minister of Great Britain, Mr. Robert John 
ston still continuing in the position of postmaster. 

Poole. This place is in Mornington, and was surveyed by 
Government as a town plot, and named by those in authority at 
the time. The town was not successful, and is now a quiet 
country village. The postoffice was opened in 1865, with Mr. D. 
Mathews as first postmaster. 

Prospect Hill In Blanshard, was first known as Fish Creek, 
and located a mile further north than the present office. Prospect 
Hill, at one time an important village, received its name on 
account of its elevation, being built on the highest point of land 
for many miles in any direction. This office was opened at Fish 
Creek by John Bell, in 1852, and subsequently removed to Prospect 

Rannoch--\n Blanshard, was named by the authorities at 
Ottawa, in honor, it is supposed, of a loch or glen in the High 
lands of Scotland. This office was opened in 1895, with John H. 
Jameson as first postmaster. 

Rostock In Ellice, was named by the old settlers, who came 
from Mecklenburg, in Germany, and still mindful of the Vaterland, 
gave this postoffice the name of their old home. This office was 
opened in 1880, by Justus Kreuter, as first postmaster. 

Russeldale In Fullarton, was named in honor of James Russell, 
an old pioneer, and founder of the village. This office was opened 
in 1874, by John Wilson, who was first postmaster. 

St. Cohimban Received its name from the Church of St. 


Columban, established by Father Schneider, whose memory is still 
dear to the old pioneers in this county, particularly those on the 
Huron Road. This office was opened in 1898, with Philip Carlin 
as first postmaster. 

St. Marys In Blanshard, was named in honor of Mrs. Thomas 
Mercer Jones, wife of an agent of the Canada Co. For explana 
tions in connection with the establishment of this office the reader 
is referred to the local history of St. Marys in another part of 
this work. The office was opened in 1845, with Thomas Christie 
as first postmaster. 

St. Paul In Downie, was named after the village of St. Paul, 
capital of the township and a station on the Grand Trunk. This 
office was opened in 1875, w ith Charles Wilson as first postmaster. 

Science Hill. The children going to school spoke of the build 
ing which crowns the height of land a half mile east of the Mitchell 
Road in Blanshard as Science Hill, and hence, what was formerly 
a joke amongst the children, became the name of a post office. 
This office was opened in 1889, with William Dawson as first 

Sebringville On the boundary line between Downie and Ellice, 
was named in honor of John Sebring, the first settler there, and 
for a number of years a prominent man in politics and a member 
of the old district council in Goderich. This office was opened in 
1840, with T. A. Sebring as first postmaster. 

Shakespeare On the boundary line between North and South 
Easthope, first known as Bell s Corners, was named in honor of 
the great dramatist, William Shakespeare, by Alexander Mitchell. 
This office was opened in 1848 with Alexander Mitchell as first 
postmaster. This office was kept in the hotel for some time, and 
was removed on the appointment of William Cossey as successor 
to Mr. Mitchell. 

Shipley In Wallace, was, it is believed, named in honor of 
the birthplace of its first postmaster, Mr. E. Bristow. This office 
was opened in 1858. 

Staffa In Hibbert, was originally named Spring Hill, a num 
ber of beautiful springs rising in the declivity on which the village 


is built. Another office in Ontario of this name led to confusion 
in the mails designed for either point, when a change was made by 
the Department to Staffa. This office was opened in 1865 by 
Thomas Dunn, first postmaster. 

Stratford Now the City of Stratford, was no doubt the first 
postoffice to be opened in this county. The stream flowing 
through the swamp, known as Victoria Lake, was named the Avon 
by the Canada Company, and the new town, first known as Little 
Thames, was called Stratford in honor of Stratford-on-Avon, the 
birthplace of William Shakespeare. This office was opened 
about 1835, with Mr. J. C. W. Daly as first postmaster. 

Tavistock On the boundary line between South Easthope in 
Perth County and Zorra in the County of Oxford, was named in 
honor of a place of that name in England. This office was opened 
by John Voelcker in 1856. 

Topping On the boundary line between North Easthope and 
Mornington, is supposed to be named in honor of a place on the 
borders of Devon and Somersetshires, in England, and the birth 
place of Mr. Coulton, an old settler in that section. This office 
was opened in 1865, with S. Crozier as first postmaster. 

Troivbridge In Elma, was opened in 1854 as Elma postoffice, 
but was subsequently changed in 1858 to Trowbridge. The first 
postmaster in 1854 was George Code. 

Trecastle In Wallace, was named in honor of a town in 
Ireland, by a number of Irish settlers in its vicinity. This office 
was opened in 1856 by Mr. Freeborn Kee as first postmaster. 

Wallace In the township of Wallace, was named in honor of 
the municipality, and that, we are informed, was named after 
Baron Wallace, Vice-President of the Board of Trade under Lord 
Goderich. This office was opened in 1854, with Charles Burrows 
as first postmaster. 

Wartburg In Ellice, was named after a town in Germany. 
The settlers in this vicinity were Lutherans, and the Rev. Mr. 
Schaffarnock, their minister, named the new place after Wartburg 
in Germany, where Martin Luther lay in prison for ten months, 
and employed his time in translating the Bible. This office was 


first opened in 1865 as Totness, G. T. Dennstett, first postmaster. 
Subseqently the name was changed to Wartburg in 1869, with E. 
Frommhagen as first postmaster. 

Whalen On the boundary line between Biddulph and Blan- 
shard, was named after Michael Whalen, a pioneer settler, who 
kept a log tavern at this point in the early days. This office was 
opened in 1871, with J. H. Milson as first postmaster. 

Wildiaood In the township of Downie, was named by Mr. 
William Laing, first poatmaster, after a place in Florida, where 
friends were residing. This office was opened in 1896. 

Woodham In Blanshard, was named by Mr. Jonathan Shier, a 
resident, and Mr. Walker Unwin, who was first postmaster, on a 
chance suggestion by one of the parties. This office was opened 
in 1865. 



Meantime, whilst great progress had been made in every 
department of our material development, literary effort was 
unknown, or confined to the privacy of those who were actuated 
by taste, or who had strong proclivities in that direction. There 
was nothing" in pioneer life, with all its intense struggle, to induce 
those whose ability would have been equal to such an undertaking 
as that of writing books. Physical and mental labor are quite 
incompatible. It was not, therefore, till the former had been 
overcome, and its stern demands had been satisfied in pioneer 
days ; when at last a resting place had been found for the toiler s 
feet, that literary work attracted attention. 

It is true, maudlin poetic effusions appeared from time to time 
in the county newspaper press, from some young aspirant after 
fame. These productions usually displayed every evidence of a 
three-fold agony, piling- up such epithets as silent tomb, " celestial 
choir," "golden crown," "pearly streets" and empty chair." 
These terrific ebullitions of silly juvenility, with an occasional prose 
article, containing awful denunciations of some defeated candidate 
at a municipal election, constituted our literary achievements for 
many years subsequent to first settlement. That we had a num 
ber of citizens in this county, from an early day, of rare ability, 
their publications during the last two decades has fully 
demonstrated. A historical work of this county would be incom 
plete without at least showing where we stand in this department 
of social life. 

In poetry, as displaying the highest form of divine literary art, 


this county, if not in advance, is certainly equal to any other in 
Canada. In that spirituality which is the soul of poetry, in all 
those attributes which centre and focus in the human heart, and 
are evolved by human agency into tangible things, a lady in Strat 
ford holds first rank. Mary Maitland is a sweet singer, and in 
smoothness of rythm, dignified, chaste and refined expression, in 
sympathy and intensity of feeling, is not excelled. Over nearly 
all her work a veil of strong religious sentiment has been cast, 
which, while it indicates a genuine goodness of heart, gives a 
sameness to her poems, which, in our opinion, detracts somewhat 
from their interest. She is not discoursive, neither is she gifted 
by any great imaginative power, her works being altogether a pure 
inspiration of the affections. 

Everywhere are found expressions of tenderness and deep feel 
ing (which, after all, are, or should be, the foundation of all poetry), 
shining like pearls of a pure, womanly heart. The mission of all 
song is to elevate, soften and refine human character, and promote 
human excellence. Evidences of these noble aspirations are 
abundant throughout the work of this excellent lady. It is to be 
regretted that no edition of Mrs. Maitland s poems has ever been 
published. On the minds of all readers they could not fail of a 
refining effect, and in promoting a lasting influence for good in 
their character. The spirit of aggrandizement never for a moment 
actuated this lady in her work. She sang because her heart was 
full. We feel constrained to acknowledge the honesty of thought 
expressed, when she says : 

But, if perchance some tender thought 
My homely muse in song has wrought, 
May e er have cheered or soothed or blessed 
Some kindred heart, by awe oppressed. 

It is enough enough for me ; 
I seek no higher minstrelsy ; 
Though fame be deaf to their refrain, 
My songs have not been sung in vain. 

In her beautiful poem, "The Unattained," Mrs. Maitland must 
have thought of her illustrious countryman, Robert Burns, with 


his ceaseless long-ing for a place in men s hearts, and of his 
disappointments far more bitter to him than death itself, when she 
says : 

Wait till the fire is quenched on lip and lyre, 
Till the last strain has died upon his tongue, 
Then we will tell, in "tones so like a knell," 
How sweetly and how well his song was sung. 

Wait till the thrill of the poor heart is still ! 
Still its vain longings and its bootless strife. 


Wait till he s dead ! and we will wreathe his head 
With chaplet fair, of amaranthine bloom ; 
And we will raise a pillar to his praise, 
Chiselled from crown to base, above his tomb. 

In a poem entitled "Jubilee Song-," great vigor and felicity of 
expression is evinced, with a marked smoothness in rythm. 

Come, wind your horns, my trusty men, 

And lusty be their blast, 
That all the rapture of the strain 
From heart to heart be passed ; 

For glad are we, 

This day to be 
Neath Britain s glorious banner, 

Linked hand in hand 

With motherland, 
Our Queen beloved to honor. 

Wave high the flag, where, blest we dwell, 

Mid scenes and joys serene ; 
Our sturdy arms will guard it well, 
Beneath the Maples green. 

Oh ! Proud are we 

This Jubilee 
Of the fair land that boie us ! 

And proud to raise 

Our song of praise 
To her, who reigneth o er us ! 

The highest production of Mrs. Maitland s genius will be found 
in her poem, " Cradle Song," which we give entire, as being 
in our opinion the best nursery poem in the English language. 


We refer our readers to the sentiments contained in the last verse, 
every line of which contains a poem in itself. 


Hey-a-day ! Ho-a-day ! What shall I sing? 

Baby -is weary of everything ; 

Weary of "Black Sheep" and "Little Boy Blue," 

Weary of "Little Jack Homer," too, 

Weary of "Ding-Dong" and "Caper and Crow," 

Weary of " Pretty Maids all in a Row;" 

Though I have sung to her ditties a score, 

Little blue eyes are as wide as before ! 

Hey-a-day ! Ho-a-day ! What shall I sing, 
Sleep to the eyes of my baby to bring? 
Sing her a song of her own little self, 
Mystical, whimsical, comical elf! 
Sing of the hands that undo with their might 
More in a day than my own can set right ; 
Sing of the feet ever ready to go 
Into the places no baby should know. 

Hey-a-day ! Ho-a-day ! Thus will I sing, 

While in her cradle my baby I swing ; 

Sing of her tresses that toss to-and-fro, 

Shading pink cheeks on a pillow of snow ; 

Sing of the cherry lips guarding for me 

Treasures as rare as the pearls of the sea ; 

Sing of the wonder and marvellous light 

Hid in the blue eyes now blinking "GOOD-NIGHT!" 

Hey-a-day ! Ho-a-day ! Joy makes me sing, 
Who would have thought that A BABY could bring 
Into my bosom a love so divine, 
Into my heart all this music of mine, 
Into my home such a halo of light, 
Unto my hands such a magical might, 
Unto my feet all the fleetness of wings, 
Into my being such wonderful things ! 

We are pleased to add our testimony to the work of this woman, 
who is, I dare say, almost unknown in her own city, and certainly 
so over a large section of this country. How true are Gray s lines : 

Full many a flower is born to blush unseen, 
And waste its sweetness on the desert air. 


As one also worthy of a hig-h place in the literature of this 
county is Thomas Sparks, M. D., St. Marys. Dr. Sparks has 
strong- sympathies, which, in his poems of the affections, are every 
where manifested in tenderness, and a lofty appreciation of those 
amenities which are constantly welling- up in the heart of the 
noble, the good and the true. While his ideals of pure and exalted 
humanity are of a refined and elevating- character, he has what 
Burns called, " A Stalk of Carle Hemp " in his nature. This gives 
a strang-e contradiction to much of his work, which is frequently 

In a mind so constituted, the poetry of Dr. Sparks will be found 
either extremely tender, or, on the other hand, extremely satirical. 
In both he excels. In both he has written much which oug-ht to 
be more widely known. In smoothness of rythm he is not equal 
to Mrs. Maitland, neither is he her equal in ease and beauty of ex 
pression. Dr. Sparks is often rug-ged in his versification, but 
singularly strong-, especially in his satires, in trenching into the 
folly and humbug of our social life. In some of his finest pieces 
his mind indicates a strong- Byronic bias, so much, indeed, that we 
are led to believe that he had selected Byron as a model and a 
master of the highest poetic art. 

Those of our readers who are acquainted with Lord Byron s 
works will, we believe, find evidence of our assertions in the fol 
lowing excellent lines in his poem entitled 

"ADIEU !" 

Adieu ! Though that word be the death knell of hope, 

But still I will bid thee, forever adieu ! 

I have lingered already too long for my peace, 

I have lingered to see thee prove false and untrue. 

I have lingered to see life s cherished dream crushed, 
Till the sweet voice of hope in my bosom was hushed 
To the calm of despair ; I have lingered to see 
The cold, heartless thing that a woman can be. 

Yet, alas ! Is that dream of our love now all gone 
That spell which so fondly I hoped would prove true ; 
And must I then wander o er life s path alone, 
That path which I hoped I should travel with you ? 



His poem of " The Broken Vow " is also much in the style of 
Byron, where he says- 
Take back again thy plighted troth, 
Take back again the broken vow, 
Tis better, better far for both, 

That I should cease to love thee now. 

Steeled be my heart against each spell, 

Or, if that should, alas, be vain, 
This much at last for both were well, 

Never on earth to meet again. 

In a poem entitled " Home " his ideas are fully expressed. 

And dost thou ask me what is home ? 

Fond whisp rer from yon distant planet, 
With questioning lips to mortals come 

To tell the tale that angels cannot. 

Tis not alone where roof and room 

Without one heart tie to endear it ; 
But home is where the heart can come, 

And loving lips are there to cheer it. 


For home is where the star of life 

For ever sparkles bright above us, 
Where we have still some one to love, 
And there are still some one to love us. 

These quotations from Mrs. Maitland and Dr. Sparks indicate 
high poetic merit and a pure spontaniety of thought from full 
hearts, unalloyed with mercenary thoughts or actuated by selfish 

In the newspaper press of the county have appeared from time 
to time poems of a high standard of excellence. In the old days 
Mrs. McGregor, near St. Marys, and of a recent date Mrs. Mos- 
crip, of St. Marys, and Mr. A. Carman, of Stratlord, have spent 
some time in dallying with the famous nine. 

If several of our poets have displayed great merit in their work, 
the prose writers of this county have given our people an 


honorable position in Canadian history. It is only a few years 
since the first contribution was made to our literature in the pub 
lication by Kathleen and Robina Lizars of "The Days of the 
Canada Company." This book contains much fine writing, and, 
although we are not prepared to give it a high place as a historical 
record, as a faithful picture of a certain class in society 60 years 
ago, it is invaluable. As writers of good English, the Misses 
Lizars take high rank. In their description of certain events in 
the olden time they are lucid and picturesque, and many scenes 
and incidents which transpired in the Huron tract, are rendered 
attractive by a profusion of beautiful language. A few years sub 
sequent to the publication of "The Days of the Canada Com 
pany " these ladies issued another work, " The Humors of 1837," 
which was followed a year or two later by a novel, supposed to be 
based on incidents which occurred in the City of Stratford. The 
popularity of this work has not been equal to that of the other 
two. While it is well written, and one or two of the characters 
are well drawn, it lacks invention, with its twin sister action, 
without which no story can ever be attractive. 

William Buckingham, now Manager of the British Mortgage 
Loan Company of Stratford, for many years editor and proprietor 
of The Stratford Beacon, is one of our best known literary men. 
He early distinguished himself as a writer on the county press, 
taking up the role of authorship subsequent to the death of Hon. 
Alexander Mackenzie. His biography of Mr. Mackenzie indicates 
fine perceptive qualities, and a command of sustained, dignified 
narrative, scarcely to be expected from one whose early years were 
occupied in writing articles for the public newspaper press, where 
short and decisive work is most effective. 

In 1894, another work was issued from the press, by William 
N. Robertson, M.D., of Stratford. This is an extraordinary book, 
and indicates what can be said regarding the most ordinary 
matters of every day life, by a person having a most intimate 
knowledge of his subject. Dr. Robertson s work is on cycling, 
and as we read the really tasteful language, and marvellous treat 
ment of this strange subject, we feel our misfortune in being born 
in an age when cycling was not so popular as now. 



With the exception of a work issued in 1899, entitled 
"Pioneers of Blanshard," these publications constitute the 
principal literary efforts of the prose writers of this county since 
those days when paeans were sung- to Indian maidens on Victoria s 
lonely shore, to the end of 1902. If the efforts of these writers 
are not such as to excite our wonder, they command our admira 
tion, and are surely creditable to our county, and to those who 
have written them, and as years roll by will be treasures to those 
who will take our places in other days. 

While these writers have contributed something- to Canadian 
literature, in other departments of intellectual work this county is 
distinguished. Agnes Knox, as an elocutionist, has done some 
thing to extend the name of Canada into other lands, and added 
lustre to this county ; Nora Clinch, in the highest musical circles 
of Europe, has had for many years no second place, and St. Marys 
is proud of their success. In painting and the fine arts, in education, 
and in many other of the ramifications through which human 
thought extends for increasing our comfort, and augmenting our 
pleasure, pace has been kept with other departments of our material 
development. The literary, educational, and artistic achievements 
of this county need no eulogistic annunciations from any writer 
in order to attract the public attention. Perth County has given 
to our own and other lands evidences of an unfolding of intellectual 
capabilities such as to make her name "respected at home and 
revered abroad." 



It was not till a pioneer had passed the most intense period of 
his struggle with nature that he reached even the incipient stage 
of agricultural evolution. Although he had settled on what would 
one day be a farm, it did not become one until he made it. For 
ten or fifteen years subsequent to entering on backwoods life he 
was not farming, but bushwhacking. His land was there, 
certainly, but was not available for agricultural purposes. It 
could not be ploughed or cultivated in any manner whatever. It 
is true that from the bush he had evolved acres of blackened 
stumps. These clearings, with some regularity, were fenced into 
fields with snake fences. His operations for eight or ten years 
subsequent to clearing the woods were at a standstill until the 
stumps were decayed sufficiently to admit of their removal. There 
was one circumstance on which he fortunately could rely. It 
rarely happened that his first crop was a failure. In those early 
days land was full of moisture, and, amongst those blackened 
stumps, for once produced abundantly. Then, not as it is now, 
it made little difference when seed was sown a full return on that 
virgin soil was sure. His first crop having been gathered, if he 
seeded with timothy, a scanty sward of grass could be obtained. 
Cultivation, however, for several years was impossible. The 
cleared land was one solid mass of stumps and roots, so thick and 
interlaced that no ploughing could be done. To obtain supplies 
for his family, desperate efforts were made to render some portion 
at least available. Pioneer implements were like pioneer settlers, 
apparently indestructible, but although constructed of enduring 


material, often succumbed to an elm root and a pair of oxen. 
Fastening his cattle with a stout chain to the muzzle of his plough, 
he took his place between the handles, a long- gad in his hand, 
and which, I am pleased to say, was rarely used, and never with 
undue severity. An axe formed part of his equipment ; also for 
emergencies. His plough frequently became fast under a root, 
defying every effort of himself and oxen to extricate it. Recourse 
was then had to his axe, cutting away the unyielding obstruction, 
before relief was obtained. If his oxen, under extra exertion, 
were able to break a root which had been drawn to its utmost 
tension, then one end would rebound to its former position, striking 
the unfortunate ploughman .across his limbs with terrific force. 
This usually provoked an outpouring of spirit by the suffering 
operator, in language not un-Scriptural, but arranged in a manner 
altogether different from that heard in an experience class at a 
camp meeting, forming a strange travesty on the doxology, which 
polite people of to-day might mistake for profanity. But O, it 
was a deplorable condition for a poor man, who, day after day, 
kept up an unceasing call to his oxen, struggling at the end of a 
chain. In that lonely forest, without neighbors, penniless, friend 
less, his home a wretched hovel, his raiment and his fare scanty, 
his toil endless, no condition out of actual slavery could be more 
wretched. But, thank God ! there was hope, and to that we may 
attribute his success. 

The scanty products of his operations were gathered together in 
a laborious manner. His hay he cut with a scythe. His grain 
was reaped with a sickle, and later on was cut with a cradle, 
raked with a hand rake, usually made by himself. His fork, a 
rather uncouth implement, was simply the forked end of a sapling. 
This was* a fairly good article, and for all practical purposes quite 
useful. It had also this advantage, that in case of mishap it could 
be easily replaced from the adjoining woods. With his oxen and 
sled he drew his harvest to a place near the shanty, where he 
threshed it with a flail. His grain was winnowed by the breeze 
of heaven as he lifted it up ; and letting it fall slowly, the wind 
removed all light material, leaving his little store in fair condition 


for use. This, without exception, was the system adopted by all 
old settlers for a number of years until the stumps could be 
removed. Destroying these old obstructions was a joyous period 
for the pioneer. On a dark October night, every thing dry as 
tinder, the spectacle of ten or fifteen acres of burning stumps was a 
most enjoyable one. As dark clouds rolled across the murky sky, 
freshening winds soon fanned each little flame into intenser life, 
imparting a flood of light to the landscape. Here, perhaps, a 
fire mounted and glowed around the decayed remains of an old 
forest tree that stood alone like an apparition of former greatness. 
Higher and higher it mounted, fiercer and fiercer it seemed to 
burn, hotter and hotter it glowed, until the flames had devoured 
its very vitals, when, falling at last to earth, there ascended a 
shower of sparks that seemed to reach up to heaven. 

At this point, therefore, begins agricultural evolution, whose 
constant change in methods has raised this county to a high 
rank in advanced husbandry. Previous to this period, while 
environment was constantly changing, farm methods remained 
nearly the same. A transitional period was now at hand. Hitherto 
a pioneer s success depended largely on his physical strength and 
power of endurance. A man who could work hard day and night, 
subsist on scanty and rude fare, was likely to be most progressive. 
Activity of mind was a commodity which, although present, could 
not be made available as it can be now. In clearing land the battle 
was always to the strong. To-day a successful farmer may or may 
not be a man having a muscular arm or a strong limb. Husbandry 
is no longer a trial of strength; it is now a work for our reasoning 
faculties. Any farmer who is now an acknowledged leader in his 
calling will be invariably a man of ability and correct judgment, 
no matter what his physical organism may he. He is one who 
knows well that the master s eye is of greater consqueence to suc 
cess than the servant s hand. He does not now discuss questions 
of strength or endurance with his neighbours as in the old days. 
Objects of observation, scientific research, with the data and con 
clusions published by successful experimentalists, now occupy his 
attention. Those discussions on rotation of crops, fertilizing pro- 



perties contained in soils, proportions of nitrates, hydrates, albu 
minoids in foods, the butter fat contained in a given quantity of 
milk from this or that breed of cattle, all indicate that progress in 
agriculture has been very great. The very fact of men interesting 
themselves in matters involving at least a limited understanding of 
these agencies, affords evidence of a higher range of thought, and 
a desire to obtain a knowledge of those principles which so largely 
affect their calling. His very first step, when the stumps were 
removed, involved an effort of the mind and a test of his judgment 
as to what system he should adopt in order to realize the greatest 
profit without exhausting the fertility of the soil. At all hazards 
this must be maintained, or those broad acres he had hewed from 
the forest by years of toil would in a short time become valueless. 
During 1853 and 1854 an extraordinary impetus was given to 
agriculture by an event over which the pioneer had no control, 
but which, with caution and thrift, for many laid the foundation of 
future independence. A war with Russia was then in progress, 
and wheat values rose almost to famine prices. From 30 cents 
per bushel, which was all that could be obtained at that period, it 
advanced in a few months to $2. Those settlers who had a large 
acreage cleared, sowed it in wheat, and, of course, realized large 
profits. While these values continued many a deserving and 
struggling backwoodsman attained to independence. Thus he 
found a nearer road to the goal he desired to attain than he had 
ever hoped. It must be remembered that results to all were not 
of that character. Many who had recently entered the woods, 
from such small clearing as they had been able to make derived 
no advantage from this inflation. To them it was in some degree 
detrimental by increasing the price of food necessary to support 
their families. To another, and happily a small class of settlers, 
these enhanced values were not only detrimental but ruinous. 
Many became excited over the facility with which money could be 
made, and rushed madly into speculation, expecting that existing 
prices would continue. Land, which had been leased from the 
Canada Company at $2 per acre, was now being sold by lessees at 
$20. Such profits were enormous, and speculation became wild. 


The war closed, and wheat fell to 50 cents per bushel. This 
resulted in such a period of depression as Canada had never seen. 
Men, who were wealthy a few months previous, soon became 
poor, and, the greater quantity of land they possessed, so much 
more wretched was their condition. While the inflation lasted it 
was of great advantage to a large number, but it involved others 
in difficulties from which they were never able to recover. 

In 1852, an organization became general in this county which 
has been of marked benefit to farm husbandry in every depart 
ment, and without which agricultural evolution would not have 
been so rapid nor diversified in its results. 

At this period, the strain of pioneer life was becoming relaxed, 
and a transition had taken place in farm management, which 
demanded an opportunity of comparison with those methods that 
had led to success, where they had been adopted. By bringing 
all products of the agriculturist once in each year into one place, 
a great educational system would be inaugurated. As these 
qualities of good and inferior are relative qualities, so an animal 
which appears to its owner as possessed of superior excellence, 
may appear quite deficient when compared with another of the 
same age and breed. In a friendly contest of this description in 
a show ring, agriculture has largely to gain. There is no doubt 
but that farmers in Perth County, and in Canada, have been aided 
in a marvellous degree by exhibitions, on their onward march to 
that high point of perfection they have now attained. A success 
ful competitor, proud of his well-merited honor, pressed forward 
to still greater achievements. Those who did not succeed were 
now aware of their deficiencies, and determined before another 
trial of skill came on, that they would not only have repaired 
former defects, but reach a higher point than had ever yet been 

Competition amongst our great agriculturists is not actuated by 
such consideration as prize money received for successful achieve 
ments in a show ring. Agricultural evolutions sprung from higher 
principles. Those men who have led the van in our present 
advanced husbandry have been public benefactors, and any 


advantage they may have obtained, financially or otherwise, has 
been nobly gained. Our successful farmers have protected their 
discoveries by no patent rights, their methods are free to the poor 
est of their brother farmers, as the sun of heaven to their fields. 

Those breeds of cattle and horses, which now add so much to 
farm profits, were not introduced in this county for several years 
subsequent to 1852. As late as 1867, eggs, now an important 
farm product, had no commercial value, and could not be sold for 
money. Cheese was imported from the United States or Great 
Britain, and was not obtainable, except on rare occasions. Butter 
could not be sold, and was exchanged with tradesmen and 
merchants for goods at prices about one-third of what is now paid 
every day on the Stratford market. Merchants, as a rule, 
accepted this commodity from customers, at a price payable in 
goods, not that they desired it, but because they were desirous of 
obliging their patrons. They regulated the price largely by the 
goods accepted in payment. In many instances this product, 
which some good farmer s wife had brought a long distance 
through the woods, with the oxen and sled, was execrable. She 
received a similar price to that paid for a better article, and the 
merchant had to regulate his charges on goods in order to 
indemnify himself from loss on the transaction. 

The first agricultural society was organized in this county on 
December 15, 1841. Mr. William Jackson was elected President, 
John Gowanlock, Treasurer, and J. J. E. Linton, Secretary. 
Fairs were held in Stratford at the junction of those streets in 
front of the Court House and Central School. It does not appear 
that these exhibitions were kept up with regularity until 1847. 
Subsequent to this period, and particularly after 1852, fairs or 
exhibitions were organized in several municipalities. No grants 
in aid of these societies were made by the townships till 1852, 
although from that date they have been continuous, if not as 
liberal as institutions of that importance would demand. In a 
very short time the influence of agricultural societies began to be 
felt. About 1860 farmers were making enquiries where improved 
stock of all kinds could be obtained. Hitherto, the old back- 


woods cow, and her offspring, browsed in the bush throughout 
the county. She usually made her appearance with the first 
pioneer, and nobly did she fill her mission. Of what breed she 
was, no man knoweth. Doubtless, at the close of that prolonged 
wet spell, which was so disastrous to agriculture in remote Asia, 
she had stepped from the Ark when it rested on Mount Arrarat. 
Released from a mode of life so inconsistent to her nature, she 
availed herself of freedom once more, by seeking the forest. 
Where she spent her probationary period before entering on her 
high calling, in the woods, no one can say. Long before men 
had ever dreamed of Durhams, Devons, Holsteins, Polls or Jerseys, 
she was doing a noble work. She was essentially pioneer in her 
temperament, in her instincts, and in her power of physical 
endurance. The most dismal forest had no terrors for her. All 
day long, under a leafy canopy of forest trees, she roamed at will. 
All night long, under the sparkling stars, she persevered in her 
vocation, the bell on her neck sounding a continuous tinkle, 
tinkle, tinkle. She appeared to be possessed of an intuitive feel 
ing, that unless she accomplished the work she had to do, the ill- 
fed children of some poor settler would not relish their scanty fare 
without her contribution. For those wild beasts that roamed the 
forest, she cared not a bodle. For her a brush fence had no 
terrors. If she became entangled in a windfall, far away in the 
woods, she faced the difficulty, as did Napoleon on his march to 
Italy, when he said : "There shall be no Alps." She simply 
considered there was no obstruction, and with one bound, Lo ! 
she was free. In winter, she subsisted on browse, her favorite 
repast the tops of the sugar maple. At eventide, she retired to 
her accustomed place near the shanty door, where half smothered 
with drift, she stood meekly chewing her cud, until a new day 
brought new enterprises. Our reminiscences of the backwoods 
cow may not be always tender, still we cherish a warm feeling for 
her, as we do of much that now has gone by in days of yore ; like 
much that existed in pioneer days, she also has passed away. 

Previous to introducing pure bred stock into this county, our 
export trade was simply nothing in comparison to what it is now. 


All farm products of this description were sent to Buffalo. An 
ordinary cow was sold for about $15. An animal of three years 
old, for shipping-, brought from $17 to $25. A horse was worth 
from $50 to $80. Lambs were worth $2. Hogs, dressed, were 
sold for from $2.50 to (on rare occasions) $5. Trade in live hogs 
was not introduced for many years subsequent to 1860, that 
being the date to which these prices apply. During 1859, Mr. 
William Laing, of Downie, an enterprising and excellent man ; 
Mr. Hugh Thompson, of an adjoining municipality, and later Mr. 
Black and Mathew Forsyth, of Blanshard, introduced pure bred 
Durhams into Perth County. Mr. Laing was the pioneer breeder, 
not only of Durhams, but Leicester sheep, which he bought in 
1853. In that section of the country east of Toronto, and particu 
larly in South Ontario, the Millers, of Pickering, Jas. I. David 
son, of Balsam, and Mr. Dryden, of Brooklyn, had laid the founda 
tion of stock breeding, and which, through the exertions of these 
great men, soon reached a high standard. From this centre 
radiated our pure bred Durham stock, not only in this county, but 
everywhere in the west. We do not hesitate to say that the 
evolution arising from the efforts of these pioneers has resulted in 
enormous pecuniary profit to our farmers, and but for this move 
ment, out of hundreds of thousands of dollars obtained by agricul 
turists in Perth for export cattle every year, nothing comparatively 
would have been received. 

Improvement in horses came later. It was not till 1867 that 
the first imported Clyde horse was brought into this county. Mr. 
Thomas Evans, who had removed to Blanshard from Ontario 
County, introduced pure bred horses by importing- from Scotland 
" Canobie," arriving in September. Those efforts of Mr. Evans 
to attain such results as had been reached in the County of Ontario 
were in a few years so apparent, that raising Clydesdale horses 
soon became a prominent industry on every farm. A singular 
combination of circumstances occurring at this period, gave a 
greater impetus to this department of industry than it otherwise 
could have attained. The abrogation of the Ashburton Treaty, at 
the termination of the American civil war, was followed closely by 


protective legislation being; enacted in that country. These events 
created a marvellous development in many industries in the United 
States. Amongst others, that of iron and steel in Pennsylvania, 
necessitating a large number of heavy horses being employed. 
These could not be obtained in their own country, and Canada 
being so contiguous, was swarmed with buyers from the south. 
Heavy horses advanced in price to a point never reached before in 
Canadian history. This movement was still further intensified by 
introducing the street car system in cities and towns. Street cars, 
at their inception and for years subsequently, were operated 
entirely by horses of lighter calibre. A demand was thus created 
for smaller animals, which our farmers were not for a time able to 
supply. While our market for horses was now most remunera 
tive, other branches of farm husbandry were crowding in. Those 
importations made by Mr. James I. Davidson, John, George and 
William Miller, and introduced by Mr. Laing into Perth, had 
vastly improved our stock. In 1876 Mr. Thomas O. Robson, 
Samuel Sparling, William and John Weir exported the first load 
of cattle from this county to Liverpool, thus introducing a branch 
of trade which has added greatly to the wealth of our farmers. 
Prices of stock now advanced rapidly until (such has been the 
evolution of agriculture) many an old pioneer who had been rejoiced 
to obtain 2^ cents per Ib for his beef and his pork received as 
much as 7 cents per ft> live weight for his cattle, and to-day is in 
receipt of the same figure for his hogs. 

Meanwhile development in other lines, opening up new industries 
for the fanner, were at his door. Hon. Thomas Ballantyne had 
made some investigations about 1864 into co-operative dairying, 
and subsequently erected the first cheese factory in this county. 
Milk stands were now seen on the concession lines, an object of 
curiosity to strangers, who were quite at a loss to explain or give 
a reason for such structures. A solution was soon evident. 

This accumulation of concurrent events gave a great impetus to 
agriculture in this county, and, indeed, throughout Canada. Those 
old log structures, which constituted over 90 per cent, of farm 
buildings in Perth as late as 1860, were soon replaced by great 


barns for shelter and accommodation of products. During the 
next 25 years a marvellous development was apparent in every 
department, and agricultural evolution made greater progress 
during that period than it has done either before or since. Roads 
were improved, substantial bridges were erected, brick residences 
built, and carriages of luxurious construction obtained for the 
farmer and his family, all indicating opulence and comfort. 

Out-buildings, which had formerly been set on blocks, were now 
raised, and basements of stone, brick, or cement placed under 
them, as stables for stock. Root cellars, hitherto consisting of a 
hole excavated in a contiguous clay bank, and covered with clay, 
supplemented in winter by stable manure, were now allowed to 
fall into ruin and decay. Ample storage for roots was obtained 
under the barns, and so convenient that the labour of feeding was 
reduced to a minimum. In that period, between 1860 and 1865, 
the old turkey wing cradle was laid aside, and the reaping machine 
and mower was heard on many farms during harvesting season. 
These evolutionary inventions rendered agricultural life a vocation 
requiring comparatively little physical labor. It was fast be 
coming what it is to-day a noble opportunity for displaying skill 
and intellectual power. Muscle is now no longer the dominant 
factor in successful farming. Success in agriculture is now an 
effort of the mind. Muscle being a subordinate quality, is a co 
ordinate action only in materializing thought. So rapid and 
sweeping were these changes, that old pioneers could scarcely 
realize that harvest could be gathered without the old scythe and 
hand rake. It was a pleasant revelation to his family when it 
was no longer necessary they should, through the long weary day, 
toil on in order to secure the offerings of nature. 

Evolution of the self-binder was slow. The use of wire for 
tying was a serious objection to its becoming general as an 
implement of economic usefulness on an ordinary farm. Persistent 
speculation and experimental calculations of mechanical experts 
ultimately triumphed, and the problem of binding with twine was 
solved. As it is manufactured to-day, this machine is an 
extraordinary production of scientific and constructive skill, 


unapproached in practical utility by any implement on the farm. 
It seems a "far cry" from the ox-sled, the shanty and the flail, to 
the binder, the comfortable buildings, horse forks, sling s, and 
steam threshing machines. A few are still remaining in the 
county, who will remember the little open threshing mill, with 
three or four yoke of oxen hitched to the open arms of a power 
set amongst stumps. This implement, which was a great improve 
ment on the flail, consisted of a small cylinder and concave only. 
Through a small opening in front of this cylinder, the wheat was 
driven with terrific force, and a barricade was always erected to 
prevent it flying away to the four winds of heaven. A man was 
stationed facing the machine, his face protected with a cloth from 
the grain that would have cut into his flesh as it was driven 
outward, and drew away the straw as it accumulated. This, also, 
has happily passed away. That evolution which has given us 
the modern steam thresher, as it screams and roars, tearing the 
sheaves in pieces with a mouth of steel, as unsatisfiable in its 
devouring passion as an ocean whirlpool, or the scorching breath 
of a furnace, is a most welcome one. 

No implement was hailed with greater delight by the farmer 
than the binder. It removed at once that pressure and strain for 
assistance which he experienced on approach of harvest, and a 
greater degree of independence was felt than before. It appeared 
as if evolution had resulted largely in his favor. 

While all this was true, and this machine had rendered farm 
life more desirable, it proved disastrous to his vocation in a 
way he did not foresee, and could have made no provision against 
even if he had. That ease with which cereals of all kinds could 
be harvested rendered available for their growth millions of acres 
of prairie lands unexcelled in fertility. It undoubtedly made grain 
production on these prairies, not only feasible, but extremely 
profitable. This brought a formidable competitor into the market, 
which, under that old system of the cradle scythe, could not, nor 
would not, have been in existence. Without these machines, the 
vast plains of Dakota, Minnesota, and our own North West, 
would have little or no influence on the world s supplies. By its 


agency, therefore, fortunes were soon made on these fertile lands 
for several years after its inception, until production far exceeded 
those demands made even by an increasing- population. This 
resulted in a depression of prices such as had not been known for 
over a quarter of a century. Farmers in Perth County, and, 
indeed, throughout Canada, soon found that, though they had 
been relieved of much severe toil, the remedy was more disastrous 
to their financial condition than those ills they had formerly to 
contend with. 

Every year brought lower values than that preceding it, until 
wheat, which had been sold for many years at a remunerative 
price, was fed to cattle and pigs on nearly every farm. About 
1885, farming in this county had reached its highest point in 
success, and during the next ten years suffered a period of 
depression, such as many had not previously experienced. It must 
be noted here, that previous to 1860, scarcely any winter wheat 
was produced in this county. Spring wheat, which had been the 
great staple, was in 1863 or 4, attacked by an insect midge, and 
with such injurious results, that its cultivation had to be almost 
wholly abandoned. Winter wheat was subsequently introduced, 
and being impervious to the midge, was cultivated with great 
success. The profits arising from winter wheat culture, combined 
with prices obtained for stock, soon affected land. Prices advanced 
rapidly, and previous to 1885, when the collapse came, it was sold 
for from $70 to $100 per acre. After this period, in less than five 
years, it had depreciated not less than from fifteen to twenty per 
cent. To those farmers who had mortgaged their property, raising 
funds to increase their acreage, in many cases for their sons, this 
depreciation simply meant ruin. Under those favourable 
conditions which had prevailed, a margin of twenty per cent, 
would be considered a sufficient payment on an adjoining property. 
During that depressing period, however, this amount was soon 
lost. Thus, with commendable intentions and thrifty endeavours, 
many a farmer in this county lost his all, in his efforts to make 
provision for his family. 

It is said that misfortunes never come singly, and this was 


exemplified to a great degree by our agriculturists at this par 
ticular crisis. That sleepless and ever restless spirit of progress 
which gave him the binder, destroying his market for cereals, was 
like a nemesis still on his track. In its gropings in that dark sea 
of possibilities it seized and brought to light the electric street car. 
This beautiful and economic achievement of science fell on him 
again with crushing effect from another direction. For several 
years previous his energies were taxed to their utmost limits sup 
plying horses at remunerative prices to street car companies. 
These, being now supplanted by electricity, were turned like a 
torrent back on himself. In this case, as with his grain, he was 
perfectly helpless. When electricity became general as a motive 
power on street cars, thousands of horses were thrown on the 
market, and sold at whatever price a purchaser chose to offer. 
United States farmers also had imported from Canada immense 
numbers of young Clydes for the purpose of improving their own. 
As soon, therefore, as Americans felt that they were able to supply 
their own market, an embargo was placed on Canadian horses, 
which has for years virtually killed the trade. All these circum 
stances had a depressing effect on agriculture, and my brother 
farmers will be my judges when I say that those five years, from 
1890 to 1895, constitute the most depressing period that has over 
taken them since the early settlement and development of this 
county. Every day farms were advertised for sale under mortgage 
and otherwise, for which no buyers could be found, and told all 
too well that the position of a husbandman at this period was not 
an enviable one. 

If the self-binder effected a shrinkage in the price of bread- 
stuffs, which for a time was disastrous to agriculturists, it has in 
other directions been of great advantage. High prices obtained 
for cereals, previous to its introduction, led the farmer to adopt a 
system in their production which was rapidly depleting the soil 
of its fertility. His whole energy was expended in producing 
wheat, almost exclusive of other branches of husbandry. This 
exhausted his land, leading to frequent failure of crops, which he 
attributed to every cause but the correct one. Weeds became so 

1 1 


prevalent that they could scarcely be controlled, and were fast 
completing- what he had begun, a total extinction of plant food on 
his farm. New methods had to be adopted. To compete with 
the western prairie in wheat growing was impossible, and his vain 
efforts in that direction hitherto had resulted in financial embar 
rassment and disaster. At this point in our history, therefore, 
may be said to begin our present operations in high class farming. 

Co-operative dairying, introduced by Hon. Thomas Ballantyne 
in 1867, had now, in many sections, become general and remunera 
tive. In 1 88 1 the first creamery on the Fairlamb, or cream gather 
ing system, was erected in Blanshard. In 1876 T. O. Robson and 
others first exported cattle to Liverpool from Perth County. Ex 
periments at Guelph College taught the farmer that feeding swine 
under a covering of snow in a fence corner was not the most 
profitable method. It taught him also what was of equal import 
ance that to realize the greatest profit from his operations his 
animals must not exceed a certain weight. He is now charged 
with disposing of this product at weights so light as to endanger 
his market. Be this as it may, he is not farming purely from 
philanthropic motives. So long as buyers do not discriminate in 
prices he will likely produce that which is most profitable to him 
self. In consequence of these changes in his method fertility is 
being restored to the soil. By growing clover, and by pasture, 
weeds are being eradicated. A better and more profitable system 
is being carried on, greatly to his profit. 

It is asserted that a discontinuance of wheat growing by intro 
ducing the binder is largely responsible for a decreased population 
in rural municipalities. This is no doubt true, but it is not an 
evil. If the waggon maker, shoe maker, tailor, and other rural 
tradesmen, who were located at the "corners," are no longer to 
be found, their absence is not detrimental either to themselves 
or those surrounding. He is not lost to our country. He has 
simply removed to the workshop or factory, where his labour is 
still in demand at a fair compensation, and his earnings promptly 
paid at the period agreed upon. Improved machinery is now 
available, and he can construct a better implement or vehicle, 


which is sold at one-third less cost to a consumer than he possibly 
could do in his little shop on the concession line. This argument 
will also apply largely to farm hands. Many of these have left 
the farm, it is true, but, like the mechanics, they are not gone 
from Canada. What has taken place is a change of residence 
and vocation. If they are not swinging a cradle in the harvest 
field, they are constructing machines that will do better work than 
could be done with a scythe, and at much less cost. Evolution of 
farm life during the last 20 years has been great, and, even if the 
rural population has decreased in number, there is no cause for 
alarm. Farmers have not been losers, and let us hope that those 
who were farm laborers have been benefited by the change. In 
Perth County over 80 per cent, of the land is now cleared, of which 
in 1900 about 57 per cent, was under crop. The valuation of 
field products in that year was $4,347,468 ; orchard and garden, 
$250,000, Live stock sold, $1,653,595. Twenty-five cheese 
factories produced goods valued at $500,000. Creamery butter 
brought $100,000, making our produce for one year in these 
departments $7,000,000. 

The value of real estate, returned by assessors, exclusive of 
Stratford and St. Marys, was $20,000,000, to which may be added 
at least 12 per cent, to find its actual market value ; buildings, 
$7,752,736 ; implements, $2,016,159 ; live stock, $4,663,431, or a 
grand total of about $38,000,000, as being the working capital of 
farmers in this county. 

Meantime, as agriculture was passing through this period of 
depression, evolution in other departments of husbandry was 
opening up new avenues of profit. Commercial and transportation 
facilities had made great progress, completely revolutionizing old 
methods. Poultry, previous to 1860, was not profitable. For 
this class of goods no market had been established. The system 
of storing eggs for export, introduced by J. D. Moore, of St. 
Marys, in 1867, created this now important source of agricultural 
income. On every farm this forms a large portion of its cash 
revenue. A system of cold storage was long in existence in Mr. 
Moore s warehouse before it came into general use in other 


sections. In marketing farm products of various kinds, cold 
storage has been of marked advantage. By establishing dairy- 
mens associations, through the instrumentality of Hon. Thomas 
Ballantyne and others, and introducing co-operation in the factory 
system, much has been done for this county. 

Another important factor in evolution of later years is the 
Agricultural College at Guelph. Experiments carried on in that 
institution, and disseminated to every corner of Ontario, have been 
characterized by their scope and reliability. This innovation was 
looked upon by many farmers, in whose interest it was founded, 
for years with suspicion. They regarded it as not being introduced 
for their benefit, but as a quiet retreat for superannuated 
politicians. Here they could regale themselves in innocent 
retirement, on dairy skimmings, and that more nutritious product 
made from the first milk of renewed cows. Here could thev rest 


after their patriotic labors in nation building, innocent of personal 
advantages, guileless as the prattle of new born babes. For 
tunately for Ontario, it was saved by the good sense and 
honest conduct of Principal Mills, under whose management 
it has become an institution of which this country may boast. 
In proof of this assertion, I refer my readers to those thousands 
of farmers who visit it every summer, with increasing pleasure 
and certainly with increased profit. Farmers institutes, introduced 
twelve years ago, have also been prominent factors in agricultural 
education. Those discussions, which take place at their meetings, 
have aroused a spirit of enquiry, and provided a means for an 
interchange of methods and ideas amongst farmers, productive of 
lasting good. 

Evolution in this department of education has done more than 
1 have hinted at so far in this chapter. It has developed a faculty 
in the agricultural class, which was supposed not to exist even by 
themselves. That a farmer, nay, that a large number of farmers, 
are not only able to speak in public, but are able to speak well, 
would be a matter of surprise to those orators who launched 
their political thunderbolts in the log school house forty years ago 
to an assemblage of what they considered gaping clowns, redolent 


of perspiration and bad tobacco. Still, away in an obscure corner 
of those old buildings, eyes were even then peering- through the 
light emitted by the solitary tallow candle, that in later years 
shone with greater brilliancy than ever did those of the champion 
elucidator, who stamped, raved and roared, thumping the teacher s 
desk, in order to give point and force to an argument, which in 
reality was destitute of both. 

In every department of agriculture now, educational facilities 
are afforded those desiring them, without money and without 
price. Horse breeding, cattle breeding, sheep, hogs and poultry 
associations, are all engaged in disseminating knowledge to the 
Canadian farmer. As we have stated elsewhere, a survival of the 
fittest no longer applies to muscular effort, in agricultural success. 
Progress arises now from that higher intellectual development, 
which enables us to change material things, rendering them sub 
servient not only to our happiness, but largely extending our 
sphere of usefulness. Thus, we are smoothening the path for other 
wayfarers journeying on the same road, who may not be possessed 
of such exalted attributes as ourselves. 

It is hardly possible at this present time that any farmer can 
plead ignorance of the theory or practice of agriculture as a cause 
of his non-success. The transactions of all those various societies 
and associations are scattered broadcast throughout our country 
every year. In those records are found the experience of our 
best men ; aye, there will be found the accumulated experience of 
many great men who are no longer with us, but whose work 
remains to show as a clear path where they had trod when all 
around was darkness. This work of these old husbandmen is 
now a nebulous constellation, whose light will shine in remote 
years into the home of every farmer in Canada. 

On every hand, therefore, we are pleased to note in this county 
the path of progress is beaten smooth by an onward marching of 
many restless feet. Old methods are set aside. They have served 
their time as instruments of development, and, like cast-off gar 
ments, are laid away never to be restored. If the self-binder has 
rendered wheat cultivation less profitable, those various associa- 


tions with the Guelph College, through its experimental work, 
have so plied the farmer at his own fireside with such an array of 
facts as compelled him, in spite of his conservative character, to 
adopt new methods. By introducing these suggestions and inno 
vations, his success is a matter of surprise even to himself. If he 
had been left alone, if no effort had been made to open up new 
systems, where he could apply his energy with some hope of fair 
remuneration, his condition would have been hopeless indeed. It 
would have been vain for him to attempt these experiments himself. 
He had neither time nor appliances at his disposal for their successful 
prosecution if he had the training. Farmers in this county, and, 
indeed, agriculturists everywhere, were fortunate in having David 
sons, Laings, Millers and Ballantynes to urge upon our public 
men the necessities of action to restore in some way that prosperity 
which, for a while, appeared to have passed away. As a result of- 
these efforts we have now attained a supremacy in the British 
markets for nearly all our products. But, while this may be so, 
we must not forget that we did not attain that position without a 
severe struggle. Let us not forget that on the pinnacle of fame 
there is no room to spare, and an ever present danger of falling. 
Let us not forget that the price of supremacy is eternal watch 
fulness. Let us not forget, that to retain our prestige, it must be 
guarded with a miser s care. Let us not forget, that if once lost 
it may be like virtue that never can be restored. 

The outcome, therefore, of all this chipping and hewing, this 
pulling down and building up, this clearing away old systems and 
setting up new methods, has been to give the skilled and educated 
farmer a preponderating influence amongst those of his calling. 
Notwithstanding high prices paid for labour to a man who under 
stands his business, profits in agriculture are greater now than 
ever before. As might be expected, land is increasing in value, 
buyers are now quite numerous, and sales are easily effected. 
Interest on money is falling. Bank deposits by the farmers in 
Perth County are increasing to such a degree as never previously 
attained, all indicating that this period of depression has, happily, 
passed away. 


Meantime, while these great and salutary chang-es were being- 
wrought out in agricultural methods, that agency which had been 
largely instrumental in bringing- them into existence was ap 
parently falling into senility or decay. If the rural exhibition or 
show fair had not outlived its usefulness it was fast passing that 
of its popularity. It had been a marvellous educator, and an 
effective promoter of our advanced agriculture. It was the 
nimbus from which radiated that great improvement in stock, as 
well as many of those methods which have added greatly to our 
profit. That agency which brought men together, to compare 
products of skill, was an agency that promoted rivalry in the show 
ring-. Rivalry in the show ring- broug-ht into existence a deter 
mination to achieve greater success. This, again, created a spirit 
of enquiry amongst exhibitors themselves how such results could 
be further extended and made more beneficial still. This desire 
led to associations being formed in every department of farm 
industry, to discuss methods and relate experiences. These were 
the class meetings in agriculture, where each in turn told others 
all the good that had befallen him by adopting certain methods. 
With a noble generosity, savoring more of philanthropy than that 
selfish feeling which, to a greater or less degree, animates all men, 
every new discovery was free to all. In .our agricultural system 
there are no patent rights. What is known to our greatest and 
most successful farmer is the property of every living soul if he 
choose to look at it. It is this splendid aspect of rural life which 
distinguishes it from all others. 

Though these various agencies in agricultural evolution may 
have accomplished much in Perth County, by a united effort they 
might accomplish much more. It must be borne in mind, that 
good as these associations are, and good as the local exhibitions 
may be, there is a vast amount of knowledge in connection with 
successful agriculture that cannot be communicated in a show 
ground or association class meeting. This information must be 
set forth and exemplified on the farm itself. In recognition of 
this important principle, therefore, the Agricultural College has 
been established at Guelph. At this institution, instruction is 


imparted in practical husbandry. A young student at this school 
may now be possessed of more practical knowledge of agriculture, 
in a year or two, than his forefathers were, after a long- life of- 
patient investigation. 

A tree that has produced such fruit as our country fair, should 
not be allowed to pass out of existence without a proper enquiry 
into those causes which have led to its apparent decay. There 
may yet be some sap in the old trunk, which can be utilized before 
it is allowed to topple over and be laid with the ox-yoke, the sled, 
and the old muley cradle. As a matter of fact, the country fair 
has been assailed from without, and whatever inanition may exist 
in it at present does not arise because its usefulness is gone. 
Those principles underlying the country fair never can be gone. 
Everything that is lasting and useful must rest on a sound found 
ation. This foundation ought to be a concrete mass of elementary 
knowledge, which, in progressive minds, evolves into great prin 
ciples. A youth learns his alphabet. On these letters, therefore, 
as a foundation, will rest all his equations, definitions, disquisitions, 
"isms," and " ologies. " To send him to a university, at the outset 
of his career, would be like inverting the order of creation. To 
climb the hill " difficulty," all must start from the plain. It is 
important when we begin our journey, which may or may not lead 
to success, that our path should be smooth, and every step in our 
ascent be as easy as possible. By and by, the wayfarer will gain 
confidence in himself, as he proceeds, and obstacles that would 
appear insurmountable at the outset of his career, will further on 
only add zest to his determination. 

If these elements lead to success in academic lines, they have 
also a similar influence on agriculture, through the rural show. 
Few men, entering on the business of stock-breeding, make their 
first appearance at some great exhibition in Toronto or elsewhere. 
Here they would have to enter the lists against old veterans, who 
have made Canada s name great as an agricultural country. In 
fact, it requires considerable courage and assurance for an 
exhibitor to enter a show ring for his first time, even at a township 
fair. It is quite possible he may have seen his neighbor s stock, 


likely to come into competition, and is satisfied of the superiority 
of his own, before he makes an attempt. His conduct in this case 
may be called cowardly it is not cowardice, it is caution, and 
caution well applied. 

I may be asked, however, as only one can be first, what effect 
would failure have on other competitors. Failure implies a want 
of excellence in the goods on exhibition, and the act of comparing, 
in itself, affords an object lesson for all parties to be found nowhere 
else. If an exhibitor, who has to accept second or third class 
honours, is possessed of those qualities essential to success, his 
failure will stimulate him to greater exertions in overcoming those 
defects, which led to his defeat. On the other hand, if defeat 
drives him from the ring, agriculture has lost nothing. Any man, 
who leaves the field at his first repulse, will never accomplish 
much for himself nor any one else. 

Before closing this chapter on our agricultural progress, I may 
be permitted briefly to notice those arguments put forward by 
those who desire to destroy the old pioneer institution of the rural 
fair, which, in this county, since its general inception in 1852, has 
done a great work. 

i st. It has, they say, served its purpose, as did those old 
pioneers who brought it into existence. They are now of the 
past ; bury it with them. 

2nd. These fairs have degenerated into a harvest field for fakirs, 
who ply their nefarious vocations in a manner detrimental to our 
youths from the rural districts. 

3rd. Horse racing engrosses the attention of visitors, and there 
is no time to glance at fancy quilts, needlework, big pumpkins, 
fat steers, or overfed pigs. A young lady performing on a wire, 
whose garments are suggestively scanty, in her frantic efforts to 
arrange her hair with one of her feet, is an attraction for many, 
especially vulgar male visitors. Times are now changed since 
those good old days, when an exhibitor, with his wife and family, 
sat near the sheep pen, or chicken coup, masticating a substantial 
repast the good, careful woman had brought from her home. In 
fact, it is asserted our country fairs are anything but an agricultural 


show. There is an apparent truthfulness on the surface of these 
assertions, which ought to be noticed. 

i st. Simply to assert that an institution has outlived its useful 
ness is in no wise significant of the fact. That it was broug-ht 
into existence by our old pioneers is true. It is also true that they 
broug-ht into existence those farms, fields, and roads, and laid the 
foundations of our present prosperity in Perth County. When 
they organized the township fair, it exemplified those elementary 
principles that nothing so far has superseded. If it is greater 
to create than to destroy, then let those who are desirous of 
pulling- down the old institution put forward something- to replace 
it. We cannot afford to destroy public schools because universi 
ties and colleg-es are being- multiplied. Neither can we afford to 
destroy local fairs because larg-er institutions exist elsewhere. 
Both are requisite ; let both remain. 

2nd. To say that show grounds are infested with fakirs to a 
greater extent now than they were fifty years ag-o is not correct. 
If the presence of these people is not an unmixed good, neither 
is it an unmixed evil. It is a peculiarity of many, particularly 
of young- people (not by any means to their discredit), that at a 
certain ag-e more knowledge than they now possess would be 
superfluous. Whatever a fakir may know of his own business, 
some untutored swain is satisfied he can teach something- more. 
We also have ignorant, greedy old heads who want something for 
nothing, and they think now is their opportunity. These two 
classes comprise the patrons of all wheels of fortune and soap 
fakirs. To be duped out of a few dollars by one of these men is 
a positive gain to a young person, teaching a never to be for 
gotten lesson, that, notwithstanding all our knowledge, there is 
still something to be known. 

3rd. It in no way detracts from the usefulness of a rural exhi 
bition that all visitors do not stand in ecstasies admiring a fat pig 
grunting in his pen, or an overgrown steer leisurely reclining- in 
his stall. The great mass of people who attend agricultural shows 
have certain proclivities, and the desire or taste of each will guide 
him unerringly to that exhibit which is most agreeable to his 


interest or his liking. Thus, horsemen will be found with the 
horses, stock breeders will be found at the stalls or pens of cattle, 
sheep, or swine. Others will eschew all of these, and feast their 
eyes on a painting, fine needle work, or domestic manufactures. 
This will occupy a portion of the day only, when all, having 
enjoyed those triumphs of skill each in his own department, will 
seek pleasure in other directions. Thus, every skillful manager of 
an exhibition will provide means of rational entertainment for 
its patrons along with that instruction to be received from 
exhibits. In every department of farm husbandry there are only 
a few who lead, and to these is relegated by common consent the 
responsibility of maintaining and raising still higher the standard 
of excellency, that all may profit thereby. By removing this means 
of comparison, and taking away the honorable and public recog 
nition of superior skill, a great incentive to all progress is 

Again, to make life worth living, there must be some relaxation. 
Amusements at all public gatherings are indispensable, and form 
an important part in every condition of our lives. When all 
departments have been visited and commented upon, a place on the 
grand stand is enjoyed by all. If the colt of one neigbour beat 
another s in the farmers trot, failure is not disappointment. Let 
it go ; we have had a good time, and the old show fair is getting 
better every year. It would be as reasonable to take away our 
churches, because some agriculturist attends punctually every 
Sabbath day for no apparent purpose beyond enjoying a quiet 
nap, his head rolling around on his massive shoulders, during 
service, as listless as one of his own turnips. Churches are 
indispensable in maintaining an exalted standard of good, as our 
rural exhibitions are indispensable in maintaining a high standard 
of agricultural progress. Rural shows are inductive, as public 
schools are inductive, and both are essential to our development. 

We have pointed out in this chapter the evolution of agriculture 
in Perth County, although our deductions are in a manner appli 
cable to all Ontario. I may be permitted to emphasize that 
inductive transition, from the rural show to the various associa- 


tions, thence onward to the central exhibition, thence onward to 
the agricultural college, thence onward to the fat stock show at 
Guelph, which seems to be the greatest triumph of all. It is a 
marvellous skill that detects in a herd of cattle, all good, some 
individual whose adaptability excels all others in beefing qualities, 
by certain indications unknown to an ordinary observer, but clear 
as noon-day sun to a skilled agriculturist. It is quite as marvel 
lous, that having made a selection, he should be able to gauge its 
powers of assimilation so correctly, that a ration supplied will 
produce the highest possible results without endangering its 
vitality. This show is more than educational or inductive ; it is 
impressive, and a revelation to thousands of clever, intelligent 
men who visit it that they will never forget. 

Notwithstanding all that has been accomplished during the last 
fifty years, there is yet no time to rest. No one of those old 
veteran agriculturists, who have done so much to exalt their 
calling, will say, here we must end. We have only begun to 
ascend the hill, and may be said to rest on a ledge, where we can 
trace our steps on the plain below. In agricultural evolution 
there is no rest. We must continue to advance, but on other 
lines from those of old pioneer days. Culture, skill, scientific 
knowledge, and the accumulating conclusions of investigators, 
will more and more become factors in agricultural success. Let 
the husbandman, therefore, place his scaling ladder on the moun 
tain side and prepare for a greater ascent, and a more extended 
view into new fields yet unexplored. 

I, therefore, beseech my brother farmer to acquire a true 
appreciation of the dignity of his calling. His position is not that 
of a peasant, but a country gentleman. His mission is not to till 
the ground only, that the world may have food to eat and clothes 
to wear. The Almighty Maker of heaven and earth has so or 
dered, in His wise beneficence, that the life blood of the nation must 
forever come from the pure source of farm life. The great centres 
of trade must continuously draw their best elements from the con 
cession lines. The country gentleman of the middle class, in 
every age, has been the bulwark of freedom, and in Great 


Britain, on more than one occasion, saved the State. This is the 
natural position of a Canadian farmer. Let him stand forward, 
therefore, and assume those responsibilities that Heaven designed 
he should bear. Let him lay aside his crouching- servility to party 
politics, whose manipulators, under party leaders, are in too many 
instances, base, unprincipled rascals. Let him assert himself as 
the champion of a broad nationality, and if exigencies should arise 
as of old, where his arm is required in defence of equal rights to 
all, may he, like his forefathers, stand as a wall of fire in the best 
interest of his country. 



The Township of Downie was named in honor of Robert 
Downie, Esq., a director of The Canada Company, It contains, 
in round numbers, 49,000 acres of fine land, and is valued on the 
roll of 1901 at $2,064,750. In 1829, that portion fronting- on the 
Huron road was surveyed by Mr. McDonald ; concessions Nos. 
2 and 3, in 1832 ; a further portion, in 1835 ; the whole being 
completed in 1839, by Mr. Carrol. This latter part was a portion 
of the Gore, adjoining- Blanshard. In its easterly section Downie 
was swampy, extending- from the Avon at Stratford to Zorra. In 
the Monteith settlement, about four miles from Stratford, a detour 
of eight miles had to be made with ox teams in order to reach the 
village. It is also worthy of remark, as indicating our marvellous 
progress, that people still living can remember on one occasion 
when an old settler kept watch during a long dreary night, listen 
ing to a pack of howling wolves, in their frantic efforts, trying to 
gnaw holes through a log building that they might regale them 
selves on a young domestic animal that it contained. 

The system of agriculture pursued in Downie is that of mixed 
farming, and, having such excellent soil, has been attended with 
abundant success. In every department a high point of farm 
husbandry has been reached, as will be noted further on. Topo 
graphically it is level in the eastern portion, rising to hilly in its 
western parts. Excellent drainage is everywhere obtainable, 
it being intersected by streams of considerable magnitude flowing 
through well defined valleys. 

Along these streams, therefore, will be found the earliest trace 

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DOWNIE 1 79 

of settlement. This is a peculiarity of all new countries, from the 
beginning of all time to the present. In Perth County civilization 
is first found on the Avon, at Stratford, next on Black Creek, at 
Sebringville, then on Trout Creek, where first were located 
Monteith, Rankin, and Dempsey, and ag-ain at Avonton, far away 
in the wilderness, where John Murray came in 1842. It is also 
worthv of note in a new settlement how various nationalities 


group themselves together, doubtless for mutual sympathy and 
friendly communication. Thus, in the south-east corner w r e find 
a group from the North of Ireland, Monteith, Rankin, Dempsey, 
Wilson, Nelson, Thistle, Dunsmore, Robb and Hesson. South 
west, from the South of Ireland are Clyne, McNamara, Hourigan, 
Killoran, Payton, Walsh, O Connor and McCann. North, along 
the Goderich road, are Germans, and we have such names as 
Seebach, Kastner, Sebring, Pfrimmer, Arbogast, Shelleberger, 
Klein, Goettler, Goetz and Schweitzer. North-west is a Scotch 
settlement, and here, particularly along the Avon, we find the 
Ballantynes, Murrays, Dunlops, Strathdees, Thompsons, Grahams, 
Mclntyres, Stephensons, Armstrongs, Muirs, Aitchesons, and 
many others whose names indicate Scotland as their birth place. 
Settlement in this township, which began in 1832, was not 
completed till 1850. 

Those commercial centres, developed and fostered by the 
G. T. R., in building up St. Marys and Stratford, have absorbed 
the entire trade of this municipality. Its facilities for shipping at 
these two points, and at Sebringville and St. Pauls, are not 
excelled by any township in this county. In addition, Downie has 
splendid roads, rendering transportation of agricultural products 
a matter of no difficulty. With such favourable conditions for 
trade, it should not be a surprise if in so wealthy a township 
within its limits no villages of importance are to be found. 

Sebringville, partly in Ellice and partly in Downie, four miles 
west of Stratford, is the greatest. This village is a station on 
the B. & L. H. R. , and has several excellent business places. 
Here are located one large general store, a drug store, tin, stove 
and hardware store, three hotels, flour mill, chopping and planing 


mills, two cider mills, one flax and two sawmills, furniture and 
undertaking- establishment, two blacksmith and one waggon shop, 
jewelry store, harness shop, and two shoe stores. 

Sebringville was named in honor of John Sebring, an American, 
who located here in 1834, and by erecting a sawmill thus became 
its founder. His son David was first storekeeper and postmaster, 
his place of business being erected on lot 18, con. i , Ellice. The first 
hotel still stands, now known as the "Arlington," and was built 
by a Mr. Kinnaird. Another old settler, and prominent man in 
Sebringville, was Mr. Henry Scarth, now deceased. 

Actual settlement first began in this neighborhood on lot 19, 
con. i, now, and for many years, the property of Andrew Goetz, 
J.P. Other pioneer settlers were Michael Stoskopf, Anthony 
Goettler, Joseph Ackersviller and John Schweitzer. Of those old 
business men, only two are now remaining, Andrew Goetz and 
Ernest Schmidt. 

In 1843, a school was erected on lot 12, con. i, Downie. This, 
as will be found elsewhere, was organized by J. C. W. Daly, in 
1842, and was for several years the most westerly in Perth 
County. Its history is somewhat unique, having had two teachers, 
whose united period of service was 47 years. First of these was 
Hugh Hamilton, from 1843 till 1865, and Mr. George Hamilton, 
now county treasurer, who was incumbent from 1875 to 1900. 
Mr. Hugh Hamilton, now deceased, was a worthy man, and 
greatly respected during his long tenure of office. 

Kastnerville, a short distance east of Sebringville, was founded 
by a family of Germans, named Kastner, also pioneer settlers in 
this district. This is a pleasant country village, although its com 
mercial progress has not been so great as that in the west. 
Stratford, a few miles away, has absorbed all that trade which 
naturally would have centred in Kastnerville, thus retarding its 

St. Paul s, or "St. Palls," as it was formerly known, is a station 
on the G.T.R. , and contains a store and postoffice. In 1877, this 
point was chosen as the capital of Downie, and a township hall 
erected, where the municipal council meets for business. Con 
siderable quantities of farm produce are shipped at this point. 

DOWNIE 1 8 1 

Avonton is a pretty village on the Avon, about seven miles 
from Stratford, and an equal distance from St. Marys. This 
place was founded by Mr. Archibald Shiels, in 1852. Mr. Shiels 
was for several years clerk of Downie, and erected a store at 
this point, afterwards obtaining a post office. There is also a saw 
mill, blacksmith shop and a neat Presbyterian church. This 
village, especially in summer, is very picturesque, nestling low 
down in the valley along the stream. Avonbank, a short distance 
further west, has a Presbyterian church, a large cheese factory, 
public hall and post office. In other sections of Downie are 
Conroy, Harmony, Fairview, and Wildwood, all post offices. 
. Downie, with a population of nearly 3,000 souls, has fewer 
churches than any other municipality in this county, there being 
only three. Of these two are Presbyterian and one Methodist. 
This does not imply, however, a disregard for religious observance. 
On the contrary, no citizens could be more punctual in discharging 
their sacred obligations. 

Stratford and St. Marys, adjoining this municipality, are centres 
where a large number attend divine worship every Sabbath day. 

To an excellent pamphlet published by Avonbank Presby 
terian Church we are indebted for many facts in connection with 
the congregation itself, as well as throwing much light on the 
early settlement of Downie in this section. Up to 1842 this whole 
district was a wilderness, when John Murray located at that point 
where is now Avonton. Scarcely a tree had been cut where St. 
Marys is now built. Subsequent to Mr. Murray came Adam 
Oliver, who penetrated about five miles deeper into the woods, 
still following the Avon. These two being at that time alone in 
this vast wilderness were considered near neighbours. In 1843 
and 1844 came John and Neil Stephenson, William Rodgers, 
James Gillies, David Muir, the Elliotts, and Thomas Brooks. As 
their names indicate, these pioneers were Scotch, and Presbyterian 
services were at once held, in 1843 and 1844, at Mr. Kennedy s 
house, on the River Thames. Meantime Mr. James Gillies 
organized a Sabbath school, which he conducted in his own 
shanty, until those attending had out-grown his means of accom- 



modation, when it was removed to that of Mr. Brooks. In 1845 
a congregation was organized, upon a petition signed by 104 
persons residing in Blanshard, Downie, and Fullarton. Hitherto 
ministerial work had been done by Rev. Mr. Skinner, who was 
first Presbyterian minister in this district. The prayer of this 
petition being granted by London Presbytery, Rev. Mr. McKenzie 
preached in Blanshard on February 24th, 1845, a few miles east 
of St. Marys, at morning services, and in that village during 
afternoon. On the day following elders were elected, viz., William 
McGregor, James Muir, Duncan McVannel, and James Swan. 
This was the first kirk session ever elected in Blanshard, Fullarton, 
St. Marys, or Downie. In 1847 their first communion was dis 
pensed in Mr. Adam Oliver s log barn, Rev. Mr. Skinner officiating. 
Later on in that year a log church was erected on the site where 
the present edifice now stands, the land being a gift from the 
Canada Company. For nearly a year this structure stood roofless 
and bare, there being no funds to complete it. When at last it 
was made habitable a great storm passed over this section in 
1852, " tirling the kirks," leaving four roofless walls to denote 
where this one had been. This old roof was again gathered 
together, and laid on the logs in a horizontal position, which, on wet 
days, was not conducive to the comfort of the humble worshippers 
beneath it. These disasters did not deter them from regular 
attendance. On Sabbath mornings they came long distances 
through the woods, the ladies barefooted, and the gentlemen in 
their shirt sleeves. At their first communion, a lady, with her 
husband and several other lady friends, walked from near St. 
Marys, all barefooted, five miles to the place of meeting. Wine for 
this occasion was procured in London, where William McGregor 
and John Weir walked to obtain it, a distance of 30 miles. 
During 1852 Rev. Dr. Proudfoot, who had been inducted a few 
years previous, resigned his charge, and was succeeded by Dr. 
Caven, now principal of Knox College, Toronto. Meantime St. 
Marys was rapidly growing in population, and in 1856 was found 
to have ample field for a minister without other stations. In 
August of that year St. Marys was set apart from Avonbank, and 


became a separate charge under Rev. Mr. Caven. Subsequently 
a union was formed between Avonbank and Motherwell, when a 
call was extended to Rev. Robert Hamilton. This call promised 
a stipend of $500 per annum. Dr. Hamilton, then a young- man, 
accepted, and on June 3Oth, 1858, was inducted into that charge, 
where he successfully laboured for a period of over 40 years. In 
1860 this old pioneer church was replaced by a brick building, 
which, in turn was, in 1890, replaced by the present brick edifice, 
erected at a cost of between $4,000 and $5,000. Members attend 
ing this church are now no. In 1857 Avonton congregation, 
which, till this period, formed a part of that of Avonbank, was set 
apart as a separate organization, and a small frame church erected. 
Under the ministrations of Rev. Mr. Doak, who was its first 
pastor, this church continued to prosper, and an addition to the 
original frame structure was made. Services were conducted in 


this building for several years, until an increased number on its 
roll of members rendered a more commodious building necessary 
to meet the wants of the congregation. In 1894 the present brick 
edifice was built at a cost of $8,000. This congregation is still in 
a flourishing condition under the pastorate of Rev. J. H. Graham, 
having a total of 214 members. There is also a good Sabbath 
school in connection, where an average of 95 pupils meet for 
religious instruction, under the superintendence of Mr. Frank Bell. 
A bible class with about 20 young people is conducted by the 

The Methodist Church at Harmony, situate on lot i, con. 7, 
Dovvnie, was founded at an early date by J. H. Dunsmore, John 
Libbins, Charles Lupton, sr. , Robert Timmins and James 
Dunsmore. A Methodist missionary named Cleghorn, while on a 
journey from Shakespeare to West Zorra, lost his way in the 
woods, and, in the course of his wanderings, reached a settler s 
house, where he remained for a time. Services were held, and 
the surrounding backwoodsmen, manifesting an interest in these 
religious exercises, decided to form a congregation to be known 
as " Harmony." The little society continued to hold worship 
weekly in private houses, and afterwards in a school building, until 


1864, when a frame building- was erected. Its first stationed 
minister was John S. Fisher. This church is still progressive, 
and, under the present pastorate of Rev. W. M. Pomeroy, interest 
in the work is still being maintained. 

The municipal history of Downie begins in 1842. Prior to this 
period all appointments were made by the Crown or Court of 
Magistrates, who were appointees of Government. In terms of 
the Act of 1841, a meeting of the inhabitants of Downie, 
Blanshard, and Fullarton was held in the school house, Stratford, 
to elect certain officers and pass such legislation for their local 
government as they considered necessary. At this meeting George 
Dixon was chosen chairman, J. C. W. Daly elected district 
councillor ; Matthew Robb, township clerk ; William Cashen, 
assessor, and George Gibb, collector. For school commissioners 
were chosen, William Smith, James Monteith, John Gibb, 
Samuel Robb and Arad Priest. This meeting also appointed 
overseers of highways and poundkeepers. In 1842, Downie had 
fourteen road divisions, which were in charge of James Carpenter 
for No. i ; No. 2, Henry Reinstaller ; No. 3, William Dunn ; 
No. 4, Edward Donkin ; No. 5, Samuel Monteith ; No. 6, Arad 
Priest and Mathew Wilson ; No. 7, John Switzer ; No. 8, 
Charles Rankin ; No. 9, Patrick Heron ; No. 10, George Dixon ; 
No. n, Samuel Colter ; No. 12, Thomas Canville ; No. 13, James 
Boyd ; No. 14, John Ballantyne. Fence viewers: Jacob Cramer, 
Michael Bait, for Fullarton ; Richard Cawston and Thomas 
Wilson, for Downie. Poundkeepers were John A. McCarthy and 
Joseph Jeosswiller. These officers were the first elected by the 
people in this county. In looking over these road lists an 
approximation may be arrived at, as to population in Downie at 
that period. There can be very little doubt that the name of 
every able-bodied person was placed on the lists, every person 
being required to perform statute labour. In 1842, one hundred 
and twenty-three ratepayers were recorded, this, of course, includ 
ing that portion of Stratford situate in Downie. These performed 
three hundred and ninety-five days labour. Assuming each of 
those ratepayers represented a family of three, this would give 


Downie a population, including" a portion of Stratford, amounting 
to less than four hundred souls. 

Their electoral duties being thus completed, that of legislation 
was next taken up, and by-laws were passed : "ist. That every 
rail fence should be four and one-half feet high, above which was 
to be posts and a sing-le rider, the lower four rails not more than 
four inches apart. 2nd. Breachy cattle, not allowed to run at 
larg-e, unless yoked with a T, having- two sharp nails opposite the 
nose, and also to carry a bell. Stag s not allowed to run. No 
pigs allowed to run under two months old ; all above that to be 
free commoners. Any hog, whatever, committing damage 
within a legfal fence, to be impounded, and all breachy hogs to be 
sufficiently yoked. All poultry shall go at large, except from the 
time the grain begins to ripen until it is in the shock. If a tree 
falls across a road, it must be removed by the nearest settler 
within twenty-four hours. " These by-laws were again amended 
in 1845, 47, 48 and 49. Mr. Robb appears to have been a 
careful officer, dilig-ently performing- those duties appertaining- to 
his office. On January 3, he says he attended the election of a 
district councillor. He put up notices for township officers to 
attend at Stratford, and sig-n their declarations. He sent a copy 
of his proceedings to the Clerk of the Peace in Goderich, and 
posted another on the school house door in the village. 

In connection with this meeting- a cash account was submitted, 
of funds expended on roads by the magistrates. In Downie 
these disbursements amounted in 1842 to ^33, iys., 9/^d- 3 
was paid to William Monteith for money expended in 1839. Mr. 
Thomas Patrick was paid 2 for repairing- Stratford bridge. Mr. 
Robb received a further sum of ^4, as a fine levied on Elizabeth 
Nichols; also i, 8s., gd., wild land taxes. He also received 
i2s. , 6d. from J. J. E. Linton, statute labour commutation, and 
which he paid to J. C. W. Daly. Of this sum, 6s., 6d., was 
afterwards refunded to Mr. Linton, which closed the first state 
ment of account submitted in Downie. 

On November 8th, a meeting of overseers of highways was held 
in Stratford to report on their several divisions. These reports 


tell a strange story of those old days, and present such conditions, 
on even our main travelled roads, as to the people of Downie 
are now unknown. Mr. William Dunn, who was overseer in 
division No. 3, must have been a son of the Emerald Isle, his 
report displaying a quiet humor, when he says : "That I consider 
that the road is passable enough, considering circumstances, except 
a bridge that is required to be built across the Avon, and although 
we have petitioned to have the same done by the district, yet we 
are willing to withdraw the same, and do the work ourselves 
without any public expense." Mr. Edward Donkin, No. 4 
division, says : "I have to report that the road in my division is 
impassable ; although we have expended our statute labor to the 
best advantage, we are now compelled to abandon the road and 
take by-roads through the bush." 

Mr. Matthew Nelson, division No. 6, reports " That the road 
in my division is totally impassable; although we had a number 
of men working extra statute labour yesterday, yet the road is 
not fit to be travelled by teams of any description. My division 
comprises the south part of the line of road from Stratford to 
Embro, in the township of Zorra. Although intended for a public 
road, it is avoided by all travellers except those on foot. Although 
we have a grist mill in Stratford, within seven miles of the most 
remote settler, yet we are compelled to go to Embro, a distance 
of eleven miles, or run the risk of having our oxen killed on cross- 
ways, besides having to unload our teams, and carry our grists 
over logs across the river on our backs to where we can load 
again, on account of the flood carrying off all the bridges." 

Mr. Arad Priest reports " That the road in his division, which 
is a part of the leading road from Stratford to Embro, thence to 
Woodstock, is not fit to be travelled on by teams. Although we 
have had fourteen men yesterday working extra statute labour, 
yet I have seen this day a yoke of oxen break through in several 
places that were going to mill. There is one crossway in my 
division which is nearly a mile long, besides several others, all of 
which are totally out of repair. On the whole line of road from 
Stratford to the Zorra line, a distance of about seven miles, five 


of which I consider to be crossways, most of which have been 
swept away." 

Mr. Samuel Monteith reports "That the road in my division, 
which commences at Stratford, running south as far as the turn in 
the Zorra road, on which there are thirteen crossways within a 
distance of one mile, which have been carried away by the river, 
leaving the road impassable for teams, although our statute labour 
has been laid out to the best advantage." 

These reports present a phase of life unknown in Downie to 
day. When we consider that in a distance of seven miles there 
were five miles of corduroy, or, as in Mr. Monteith s division, 
where there were thirteen sections of corduroy in a distance of one 
mile, the condition of a settler who resided far away in the woods 
must have been not only lonely, but deplorable indeed. 

During the ten years that local government was managed by 
district councils, very little was expended in improvement of high 
ways in Perth County. In May, 1847, Mr. James Simpson, 
district councillor, obtained a grant of ^41, 155., od., proceeds of 
wild land tax. This was supplemented by a further grant of 
2, i os. , od., or a total of ^44, 53. This amount, excepting 
178., S^d., as remuneration to the township clerk, constituted the 
whole expenditure on roads for that year. There was also ex 
pended ^4, 6s., 8d. , on the boundary line between Downie and 
South Easthope, the first appropriation for any town line. This 
account was audited by Arad Priest, James Clyne, and William 
Smith, wardens, and found correct. Another statement of account 
is dated in January, 1849, amounting to ^5, is., 3d. This appro 
priation was all expended on roads excepting 2s. for clerk s salary. 
On January 7th, 1850, a final audit under the Act of 1841 took 
place, when it was found Downie had 6s., qd. to her credit. With 
her finances in this flourishing condition, she now entered on her 
career of prosperity under those liberal and very practical con 
ditions of the new Municipal Act. 

On January 2ist, 1850, therefore, in Mr. Andrew Monteith s 
house was held the first council meeting in Downie under the new 
Act. On that august occasion, Andrew Monteith, William Smith, 


William Byers, William Hyslop and William Clyne signed their 
oaths of office. Mr. William Smith, on motion of Messrs. Byers 
and Monteith, was chosen reeve, and Mr. J. J. E. Linton, township 
clerk. Having discharged these important functions, they ad 
journed for an hour. During recess they were not idle. On 
resuming, a by-law was introduced and passed, fixing officers 
salaries for 1850. The township clerk was to receive 4, IDS. ; 
assessors, 2^ per cent. ; collector, 3)^ per cent. ; superintendent 
of schools, 2 ; treasurer, 2, los. ; auditors, each, los. No 
mention is made of remuneration for themselves. Very likely 
such distinguished honours as had been conferred on them by their 
elevated position, they would consider as ample recompense for 
any sacrifice made in discharging their gubernatorial duties. In 
February an important meeting was held, extending over two 
days, beginning at 8 a.m. each day. At this meeting, "the clerk 
was instructed to procure a seal of the following form, M. C., 
Downie, and about the size of a Sterling shilling." Other busi 
ness being disposed of, "an adjournment was made for half an 
hour, Eo die ; 3 o clock, business again resumed, disposing of 
the balance of their funds, amounting to 6/9 ; council adjourned 
for half an hour, Eo die ; seven o clock p. m., council again 
resumed, passing several by-laws, adjourning till 8 o clock 
to-morrow morning." In March, another meeting was held, 
lasting two days, when a by-law was passed, imposing a penalty 
of not less than ten shillings nor more than two pounds for refusal 
to accept office, by any ratepayer, to which he had been appointed. 
They also fixed their own remuneration at 5/3 per day. An 
excellent motion was introduced by Mr. Hyslop, seconded by Mr. 
Byers : "The owner or harbourer of any dog, or dogs, within the 
township shall pay a tax of one shilling and three pence currency 
for the first dog he may keep, and for every additional dog a tax 
of five shillings." A rate was also levied for schools and local 
improvements of 120. A counter motion by Messrs. Hyslop 
and Byers was carried, of 100, of which 60 per cent, was for 
education, and 40 per cent, for ordinary expenditure. 

At this meeting was also passed a dangerous measure, 


constituting- a concentration of power, antagonistic to the spirit of 
municipal law. Mr. William Davidson, a resident of Downie, 
was appointed inspector of licenses, and empowered to make 
"diligent search and enquiry in any house he suspected of keeping 
liquors in contravention of the License Act." 

Mr. Davidson was allowed "a salary of i per annum in 
addition to any fines which may belong to him as complainant." 
To complete this autocratic measure, the reeve was empowered 
"to grant licenses to any person applying to him as he may see 
fit." At this present day such legislation would very likely be 
transformed into a scheme to compel an important influence in 
support of those political powers that be. In the early days, 
however, it does not appear to have been followed by any 
disastrous consequences, either to any political party, or to those 
who conducted their business under its provisions. In 1852, was 
made the first grant for gravelling, when it was moved by Mr. 
Martin, seconded by Mr. Brown, "that William Cashen expend all 
his labour on the main road, from the village boundary westward, 
taking out the old logs and laying in gravel, nine feet wide and 
twelve inches deep, the side of the gravelling to be well made up 
with earth." At a meeting in August two important motions were 
passed. By that of Mr. Monteith and Mr. Clyne, "Stratford 
school trustees were empowered to borrow ^300 to erect a new 
school house." A letter was read from J. C. W. Daly respecting 
the Toronto & Guelph Railway, when it was proposed by Mr. 
Monteith, seconded by Mr. Clyne, "that the reeve put himself in 
communication with the commissioners of the Canada Company, 
and, if possible, ascertain what prospect there is of the Toronto, 
Guelph, Stratford & Goderich Railway going on the ensuing 
season, and if he is satisfied it will go on, to subscribe ten pounds 
from the township funds." In January, 1855, was established a 
public library, at a cost to the municipality of ^30. It does not 
appear that those efforts of our first councils, in providing reading 
matter, had been appreciated, its management very soon forming 
no part of their work. As in Blanshard, the books were distri 
buted amongst the several wards, where librarians were 


appointed, receiving as remuneration for their services i per 
annum. Another grant was a distinguishing mark of progress 
by the people of Downie, amounting to fifteen dollars, made in 
1863, to the County of Perth Agricultural Society, and in the 
following year a further grant in support was made to Blanshard 
Agricultural Society, of ten dollars. These two grants are import 
ant as pointing out this fact, that a section of our people, at least, 
had passed over the early stages of pioneer life, and the greatest 
interest in this county was now stretching out its hands for aid 
from public funds. A motion was also passed at this meeting, 
instructing the reeve to petition His Excellency-in-Council, to have 
the governing lines of the township re-surveyed, and stone monu 
ments planted thereat, and that Joseph G. Kirk, P. L. S., be 
named to make the survey. In the following year Mr. Kirk was 
ordered to complete the work applied for in the petition. During 
the Fenian raid, in 1866, Downie council gave ample testimony of 
that patriotic feeling which animated all classes at that period, by 
instructing the reeve and deputy reeve, to "support any measure 
that may be brought up at the county council, for making an 
additional allowance towards the support of the volunteers from 
the county, now serving on the frontier, as, in their opinion, the 
amount granted by the Government is quite inadequate to the 
support of these persons, so serving, who have families." When 
the council met on June 6th, 1870, it is recorded that they 
entered into a discussion with James Sutherland, and other intelli 
gent farmers, regarding the state of the crops. It was resolved 
that the clerk "should publish what they unanimously considered 
the crops in the township would average. Fall wheat, 8 bush. 
per acre ; spring, 6 bush, per acre, and in the xvest and south not 
more than 4 ; oats, 25 ; peas, 10 ; barley, 15 ; hay, i^ tons per 
acre ; potatoes, large crop, but much diseased." This is a most 
doleful aspect, and the council, with those intelligent farmers, 
must have been in a pessimistic mood, to indulge in such dismal 
forebodings. We suspect that few farmers would be able to say, 
at so early a period as the 6th of June, what crops were likely to 
be. During that period from 1850, when the Municipal Act was 


introduced, up to 1870, the position of a township councillor was 
a laborious one. The whole machinery of government had to be 
set in motion. At a number of meetings no business appears to 
have been transacted, beyond that of denning the limits of road 
divisions. Other meetings would be occupied discussing the 
boundaries of school sections. The conditions of settlement 
changed so rapidly, that every year alterations had to be made. 
The war of the school sections appears to have been as prolonged, 
as intricate, and surrounded with difficulties in Downie of equal 
magnitude to those in other municipalities. 

At this period a large section of our people in this county were 
in a transitional condition. Old pioneer systems were fast giving 
way, and being supplanted by methods more suitable to our 
advanced agricultural ideas. This led to constant change in those 
plans adopted to meet our improved environment, compelling 
certain modifications to be made from time to time. To meet 
these requirements $3,000 was borrowed in 1871 from Logan, at 
a rate of 6 per cent, per annum. This sum was intended to 
improve roads and bridges. Prior to this a great number of road 
divisions had been, or were quickly being, gravelled by statute 
labour, supplemented with municipal grants. A better class of 
bridges was now necessary to ensure public safety. At present 
many of these structures erected by this loan have again been 
replaced by costly erections of steel, and in a more advanced style 
of bridge architecture. Since steam threshers have been intro 
duced, and traction engines are now moved from place to place, 
bridges have to be built of the best material, and made capable of 
supporting heavy traffic. 

Downie seems to have been well supplied with houses of public 
entertainment, for whose government, from time to time, were 
passed very stringent laws. On February gth, 1850, it was 
enacted that all persons keeping houses for the sale of beer, ale, or 
other manufactured beverages, not spirituous, by the glass or 
quart, if drunk on the premises, and for the sale of victuals, fruits, 
clams, oysters, as an eating house or ordinary, shall pay a license 
fee of 2, IDS. per annum. If any gambling or disorderly conduct 


was allowed on the premises, then the proprietor was subject to a 
fine of not less than 2, ios., nor more than ^5, upon conviction 

By-laws regarding hotel licenses were more stringent still, and 
regulated on a sliding scale as to locality, where such business 
was carried on. It was enacted that every applicant must be a 
person of good moral character; in fact, he must satisfy the 
inspector of such facts in order that a certificate may be issued. 
His house must contain at least three rooms and three beds over 
and above those used by his own family. He was also required 
to have a driving house with stabling for at least three horses, 
and a yard enclosed to hold cattle. Having these equipments for 
accommodating the public, and the inspector being satisfied as 
to his moral character, and steady, sober habits, a license 
would be issued to keep a house of public entertainment, 
and to sell beer, ale, wines, and all spirituous liquors. For 
this privilege granted, if an applicant resided in the village of 
Stratford, he paid therefor ^7, ios. ; if on the Huron road, 5 ; 
if on the Zorra and St. Marys road, 4 ; and in any other part of 
the township ^3, ios.; with, in all cases, a fee of 55. to the clerk. 
For any infringement of this law, heavy penalties were inflicted of 
not less than ^5, nor more than 20, with the pernicious rider, 
that one half should go to the informer. Downie does not appear 
to have had within her limits, at any time, more than eight hotels, 
the number at present (1902) being four. Subsequent to passing 
the Crooks Act, in 1876, no legislation has been enacted affecting 
the traffic or requirements of houses of public entertainment. 

On the 3ist day of May, 1880, the first code of by-laws relating 
to rules of order, and the duties and responsibilities of officers, 
was submitted, and finally passed. This code remained in force 
for a period of fifteen years. In 1895, under the reeveship of 
Nelson Monteith, Esq., it was re-considered, when, with several 
alterations and amendments, rendered necessary by changed con 
ditions in the municipality, it was again adopted, and now forms 
the latest revised statutes of Downie. 

In 1844, Downie contained 1,370 inhabitants, including that 


portion of Stratford within its limits. In 1845, 2 >777 acres were 
under cultivation. In 1850, the population had increased to 
2,375, and 7,621 acres were under cultivation. The product of 
the crop of 1849 was 2 7>ooo bush, of wheat, 24,000 bush, of oats, 
5,000 bush, of peas, 19,000 bush, of potatoes, 13,000 bush, of 
turnips, 20 tons of maple sugar, 4,900 Ibs. of wool, and 6,000 
Ibs. of butter. 

Downie has now ten school sections, one of which is a Separate 
school, and five unions. 

The various officers of Downie township from 1850 to 1902, 
inclusive, are as follows : 

Reeves. 1850-4, William Smith ; 1855-6, Robt. Ballantyne ; 

1857, Wm. E. Byers ; 1858, James Boyd ; 1859, Robt. Ballan 
tyne ; 1860-4, Andrew Monteith ; * 865-6, Wm. Elliott. Elected 
by the people: 1867-8, Thos. Ballantyne ; 1869, Chas. Wilson ; 
1870-3, Thos. Ballantyne; 1874-81, Jacob Brunner ; 1882-4, 

.Cornelius McNamara ; 1885-90, Geo. Frame; 1891-3, Oliver 
Smith ; 1894-6, Nelson Monteith ; 1897-8, Geo. Wood ; 1899- 
1900, John Arbog-ast ; 1901-2, Geo. Kastner. 

Deputy- Reeves. 1851-3, Andrew Monteith ; 1854-7, Wm. Clyne; 

1858, Richard Browne ; 1859-64, Wm. Clyne ; 1865-6, Martin 
Brennan. Elected by the people: 1867, Wm. Elliott ; 1868-73, 
Jos. Salkeld ; 1874-9, Jhn Fairless ; 1880, Thos. Steele ; 1881, C. 
D. Swanson ; 1882, Geo. Frame ; 1883-4, Oliver Smith ; 1885-6, 
Wm. Dunsmore ; 1887-8, Wm. Welsh ; 1889, Robt. Thistle ; 
1890-1, Aurelius Moses ; 1892-3, Nelson Monteith ; 1894-5, D. K. 

Councillors. 1850, Andrew Mortteith, Wm. Byers, Wm. 
Hyslop, Wm. Clyne ; 1851, Wm. Clyne, Jas. Simpson, Wm. 
Byers ; 1852, Wm. Clyne, Thos. Brown, Jas. Martin ; 1853, Wm. 
Clyne, Wm. Byers, David Muir ; 1854, Andrew Monteith, Wm. 
Byers, Wm. Youle ; 1855, Jh n Barton, Adam Oliver, Andrew 
Monteith; 1856, John Barton, A. Oliver, Jas. Boyd ; 1857, Wm. 
Elliott, Richard Brown, James Boyd ; 1858, Wm. Elliott, Wm 
Clyne, Michael Kastner ; 1859, Wm. Elliott, M. Kastner, J. Boyd; 
1860-3, M. Kastner, W. Elliott, Thos. White ; 1864, Geo. Russell, 



Michael Kastner, Wm. Elliott ; 1865, Geo. Rupel, M. Kastner, A. 
Monteith ; 1866-7, A. Monteith, John Ballantyne, M. Kastner ; 
1868, Cornelius McNamara, Joseph Iredale, M. Kastner ; 1869, C. 
McNamara, Wm. Laing-, Mr. Pfrimmer ; 1870, Mr. Pfrimmer, C. 
McNamara, Mr. McLauchlin; 1871-3, John Fairless, C. McNamara, 
Mr. Pfrimmer; 1874-5, G - Wood, G. Frame, C. McNamara ; 1876, 
G. Frame, Geo. Wood, Wm. Thistle ; 1877, Michael Quirk, Wm. 
Thistle, G. Frame ; 1878-9, Jas. Quirk, G. Wood, Thos. Steele ; 
1880, A. Moses, C. D. Swanson, J. Quirk; 1881, Jas. Dunn, John 
Arbogast, Oliver Smith; 1882, J. Arbogast, J. Dunn, D. Mclntosh; 

1883, D. Mclntosh, Arthur Robb, B. Payton ; 1884, Wm. Duns- 
more, A. Moses, Wm. Welsh ; 1885, John Dempsey, Wm. Welsh, 
B. Payton ; 1886, A. Moses, B. Payton, Wm. Welsh ; 1887, Wm. 
Porter, B. Payton, A. Moses ; 1888, Robert Thistle, J. Russel, A. 
Moses ; 1889, G. Wood, J. Russel, Robt. Clyne ; 1890, J. H. 
McCully, Geo. Hoffman, R. Clyne : 1892-3, D. K. Erb, Charles 
Jickling, Geo. Wood ; 1894-5, J. Arbogast, Dennis Clifford, C. 
Jickling ; 1896, G. Wood, C. Jickling, J. Arbogast, D. Clifford ; 

1897-8, J. Arbogast, Hugh Hanan, C. Jickling, Samuel McKay ; 

1899, Geo. Kastner, S. McKay, C. Jickling, D. Clifford ; 1900, D. 

Clifford, C. Jickling, G. Kastner, S. McKay ; 1901, Thos. Steele, 

Mr. Ballantyne, H. Hanan, John Murray; 1902, J. Murray, Wm. 

Ballantyne, Jas. Bradshaw, S. McKay. 

Clerks. 1850, J. J. E. Linton; 1851-5, James Redford ; 1856-7 

Thos. Ballantyne ; 1858, Hugh Hamilton ; 1859, Archie Shiels ; 

1860-4, Wm. A. Higgs ; 1865-6, Thomas Ballantyne ; 1867-73, 

Archie Shiels ; 1874, W. A. Higgs ; 1875-83, H. A. Scarth ; 

1884-1902, Peter Smith. 

Assessors. 1850, Wm. Watson, Thos. Mullawney, Jas. Redford; 

1851, Wm. Watson, Adam Heron ; 1852-3, Wm. Watson, W. 

Teahan ; 1854, John Thomson ; 1855-6, Wm. Watson ; 1857, 

David Swanson ; 1858, Wm. Watson ; 1859-64, Chas. Wilson ; 

1865, D. Swanson ; 1866, Geo. Russell ; 1867-68, W. S. Bolger, 

1869, Henry H. Cole ; 1870, John Watson ; 1871, Chas. Wilson ; 

1872-4, Thos. Tucker ; 1875, Henry H. Cole ; 1876, Geo. Russell; 

1877, Wm. Dunsmore ; 1878, John Gibson ; 1879, Wm. Duns- 


more ; 1880, Geo. Frame ; 1881, Wm. Dunsmore ; 1882, John 
Gibson ; 1883, Wm. Dunsmore ; 1884, Jacob Brunner ; 1885, 
James Dunn ; 1886-91, Wm. McKay ; 1892-93, Wm. Dunsmore ; 
1894-1902, Wm. McKay. 

Treasurers. 1850-59, Alex. McGregor ; 1860-7, Wm. Doug-las; 
1868-74, Geo. Hildebrand ; 1875-99, James Clyne ; 1900-2, Patrick 
Pay ton. 

Collectors. 1850-55, Chas. Wilson ; 1856, Wm. Byers ; 1857, 
Wm. Watson ; 1858-61, Wm. Teahan ; 1862-64, Cornelius 
McNamara ; 1865-7, Michael Quirk ; 1868, Chas. Wilson ; 1869, 
James Bettridge ; 1870, John Eller ; 1871, Thomas Tucker; 
1872-3, James Clyne ; 1874, J. Gibson ; 1875-79, Chas. Wilson ; 
1880-5, John McKellar ; 1886-1900, Wm. McG. Murray ; 1901-2, 
John McKellar. 

Aiiditors. 1850, Wm. Watson, Jas. Redford ; 1851-3, Thomas 
Mullawney, Archie Shiels ; 1854, Archie Shiels, Hugh Hamilton; 
1855, Hugh Hamilton, Thos. Ballantyne ; 1856, H. Hamilton, 
T. Mullawney ; 1857, T. Mullawney, A. Shiels ; 1858, D. 
Swanson ; 1859, Thos. Ballantyne, Wm. Byers ; 1860-63, Thos. 
Ballantyne, Geo. Russell ; 1864, Thos. Ballantyne, Thos. Tucker; 
1865, Chas. Wilson, Henry Cole ; 1866, Jas. Bennoch, Joseph 
Salkeld ; 1867, John Thompson, Wm. Smith ; 1868, H. H. Cole, 
D. Swanson ; 1869, J. A. King, John Kane ; 1870, Wm. A. 
Higgs, D. Swanson ; 1871-3, Wm. Higgs, Geo. Russell ; 1874, 
Chas. Wilson, H. Cole ; 1875, P. Smith, Geo. Russell ; 1876-7, 
P. Smith, John Dempsey ; 1878-9, P. Smith, C. D. Swanson ; 
1880-2, P. Smith, Thos. Blackmail ; 1883-6, Wm. Porter, Geo. 
Russell ; 1887-94, J onn Dempsey ; 1895-99, J. Dempsey, Wm. 
Porter ; 1900, Wm. Porter, John McKellar ; 1901-2, John 
Worden, Thos. Armstrong. 



This municipality was named in honor of Mr. Fullarton, a director 
of the Canada Co. In area it is smaller than most of the others in 
Perth County ; in fertility of soil, second to none. Generally, 
more rolling than Blanshard or Downie, its long sweeping valleys 
and gentle undulations make perfect drainage easily available to 
every section within its limits. This township is well watered, 
being intersected by several streams of considerable magnitude. 
The river Thames flows through a most beautiful valley, almost in 
a direct line from north to south. Along its banks are many fine 
farms, and, although the ancient forest is now nearly gone, there 
are a few places that tell of a former glory. Who can wander 
along these old streams, and mark those quiet, sequestered spots, 
still found here and there, and not think of the period previous to 
pioneer days, ere yet ruthless hands had destroyed forever their 
impressiveness and beauty ? 

Fullarton contains over 42,000 acres, exclusive of the river 
Thames, which, in the field notes, is held to be 2^ chains wide, 
with an additional 50 links on each side as a tow path. This 
river in Fullarton is still held by the Crown. In that section 
north of this township it becomes private property, there being no 
allowance in the field notes either for tow path, or bed of the 

In 1829, a range of lots was surveyed on the Huron road, and 
thrown open for settlement. A further survey was made in 1832, 
the whole township being completed in 1835 by John McDonald, 
P.L.S. Subsequent to 1832, when the first settler entered Fullar- 


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ton, progress up till 1843 was extremly slow. During- this year 
(1832) Hugh Kennedy Junck located on lot 20, first concession. 
He was the first settler in this township, and was like a thorn in the 
flesh to the council for many years. He erected a saw mill on 
Whorl Creek, near Mitchell, which was doubtless a great con 
venience to the new settlement. His mill pond was a source of 
great annoyance, however, always overflowing-, flooding- his neigh 
bours property, and seriously injuring- those hig-hways in its 
vicinity. Complaints were constantly being- made to those in 
authority. Cold official letters, couched in languag-e of terrific 
dignity, were sent to Mr. Junck, pointing- out that unless an 
abatement of the nuisance complained of was at once effected, 
recourse would be had to extreme measures. He appears, how 
ever, to have kept on the even tenor of his way, quite reg-ardless 
of threatened official vengeance. For a quarter of a century this 
warfare was kept up without any serious mishap to Mr. Junck, 
and it was not till time and circumstances brought a change that 
the source of complaint was removed. 

Meantime, between 1840 and 1845, a great influx of settlers had 
taken place, and previous to 1850 Fullarton may be said to have 
beeri fully settled. It was, like nearly all other municipalities in 
Perth County, located by a mixed population. The north-east 
corner from the fifth concession was settled by Germans. From 
lot 15 to the Mitchell road was a mixed population. West of the 
Thames, from the Huron road to concession 9, were English, from 
Devonshire and Cornwall. On the Mitchell road, from Fullarton 
village to the south boundary, including concessions 17 and 18, 
were Scotch, from Dalhousie. Near Russeldale was a mixed 
population, Scotch predominating. In that section, of which 
Carlingford is centre, was a mixed population, English predomin 

Several miles east of -Mr. Junck s, a number of Alsatian families 
settled near Seebach s hotel, spreading south and west. Amongst 
these we find such names as Rohfreitsch, Kramer, Schelleberger, 
Pauline, and Bartle, and further south Hoffmeier, Kruspe, and 
Stosko pf. On the river Thames were Andersons, Watsons > 


Browns, Rogers, Mclntoshs, and Youngs. On the Mitchell 
road were Pridhams, Heals, Moores, Harris, and Beers. In 
1843, came the Woodleys and Bakers, locating where Fullarton 
Corners now is, then a great unbroken wilderness. In 1844, the 
Canada Company opened the Mitchell road, extending through 
Blanshard. This important highway formed a connecting- link 
between those older settlements at London, and soon brought a 
great increase to the population of Fullarton. 

Fullarton, like the adjoining township of Downie, contains few 
villages, and those not of great importance. The whole trade of 
this municipality is diverted to Mitchell, Stratford, and St. Marys. 
Roads everywhere throughout are of the best description, afford 
ing easy facilities for moving farm produce. Summervale, 
better known as Fullarton Corners, is the capital, and beautifully 
situated in the valley of the Thames. This village was founded in 
1853 by James Woodley. In 1854, he applied for and obtained a 
post office, with John Buchan as first postmaster. As the place 
grew in importance a hotel was added in 1855. When it had been 
decided that this point should be selected as the seat of govern 
ment, a survey was made by Mr. William Rath, of Mitchell, in 
1864, at the instigation of Mr. Woodley, when a village plot was 
laid out and named Summervale. The hotel has long since been 
closed, and the building is now occupied as a general store and a 
post office. Here also is the township hall, a school with two 
teachers, two churches, harness shop, doctor s office, cheese 
factory, with several other lines of business usually carried on in a 
country village. A sawmill represents the manufacturing indus 
tries, in connection with which is carried on a cheese factory, 
chopping mill, cider mill, the whole employing from eight to ten 
hands, and in certain seasons a much larger number. About two 
miles west, along the Thames road, is Russeldale. In the early 
days this was a point of some importance, situated, as it was, in 
the direct road from London to the north. This village was 
founded and named in honour of James Russell, an old pioneer 
Scotchman, who owned the adjoining lands. There is a good 
general store here, with a post office, blacksmith s shop, etc. Here 


also is located the only hotel in Fullarton, last remaining one of 
four which were licensed to sell within the municipality. Mother- 
well, in the valley of the Thames, was founded by James Brown, 
who was also first postmaster. Mr. Brown was for many years 
an official of Fullarton, and taught its first school, erected in 1847 
on lot 25, East Mitchell road. Motherwell was named by Mr. 
Brown after a Scotch town in Lanarkshire, the original home of 
his family, and is now composed of a blacksmith s shop and 
general store. For many years the most important village in 
Fullarton was Carlingford, situate on lots 5 and 6, in the 6th and 
7th concessions. On lot 5, concession 7, was erected in 1849 a 
log school house, known as No. 4. The lot on which this build 
ing stood had to be previously cleared, the whole county being 
still nearly covered with wood. In 1850, the school was opened 
by a Mr. Reilly, an odd character, who was described as not 
very prepossessing in appearance, but a fairly good teacher, 
and blessed with a goodly portion of common sense. The build 
ing was used for all purposes. Those who were religiously 
inclined were often found there, and, after addresses had been 
given by some visiting ministers, as Revs. Thomas Dawes, 
Thomas McPherson, Stratford ; Tapp, Eastman, or Findlay, of 
Mitchell, much earnestness was manifested. If those voices who 
joined in Old Hundred, Martyrdom, or Rock of Ages, were neither 
classical nor melodious, they were at least sincere. About 1854, a 
log building was erected by Hartman Cook for a residence and 
shoemaker shop. Subsequently another building was erected by 
Mr. Abraham Davidson as a general store and post office. This 
house is still standing. These two settlers in Carlingford differed 
as to naming the new town, each being desirous of an immortality 
in perpetuating their own name in Davidsonville, or Cooksville. 
The postmaster-general settled the dispute by calling it Carling 
ford in honour of the birth place of Thomas D Arcy McGee, who 
was then prominent in politics, and appointing Mr. Davidson first 
postmaster. Mr. Cook sold out to Mr. W. M. Janes, who subse 
quently erected a hotel. Mr. Davidson s successor as postmaster 
was James Hamilton, father of our present county treasurer, who 


was succeeded by William Davidson, present county clerk, and it is 
now in possession of Mr. Cowie. During this period a black 
smith s shop had been added by Mr. John Fink, who subsequently 
sold to Mr. Babb. This gentleman further extended his business 
by entering into carriage building, in which he is still engaged. 
Meantime, Mathew Brydon had erected a sawmill on Black Creek, 
and conducted the enterprise with success until 1862, when he 
lost his life by drowning. Mr. William Knott afterwards came into 
possession of this property, converting it into a grist mill. This 
was a great convenience, and is now operated by his son Samuel. 
In the words of a valued correspondent, " Carlingford at this 
time was a lively place, having two stores, Mr. William Davidson 
having meantime built a second one in 1860. Carlingford, in its 
palmy days, could boast of a good band, under the leadership of 
Mr. F. Yeo, now of Mount Forest. It also possessed a great 
genius called Peter the Hermit. : At present it is composed of 
a general store and post office, boot and shoe business, black 
smith s shop, and carriage shop. There is also a public school 
with two teachers, two splendid churches, and the residences of 
two of Fullarton s old pioneers, Robert Clark and William Lever- 
sage, who are creeping onwards in the evening of life and full of 
reminiscences of long ago. In Fullarton Christianity is fully 
represented, there being no less than nine churches within its 
limits. At Carlingford the Methodist church was organized in 
1848. Those pioneers in church work who founded this mission 
were George Leversage, sr. , William Dickey, Thomas Reid, and 
William Cole. Services were held in the shanty of Mr. Leversage 
for several years. Rev. Mr. Dunnett was first minister, and on 
one occasion when making his way from St. Marys, became lost 
in the wood, wandering until discovered by Mr. Leversage, who 
was attracted by his cries for aid. When a log school was erected, 
services were held there until a union church was built on lot 8, 
con. 6. Subsequent to Methodist union a brick edifice was con 
structed at a cost of $5,000, and which now affords comfortable 
accommodation to those attending service. The first stationed 
minister was Rev. Mr. Davis ; present pastor is Rev. Mr. Fergu- 


son, in whose charge are about 83 members. There is also a 
Sabbath school, having- an attendance of 48 pupils, with Mr. John 
Smith as superintendent. Branches of the Ladies Aid and 
Epworth League are also actively engaged in church work. 

Knox church, Carlingford, was founded by William Davidson, 
who followed teaching as a profession, and who was a brother of 
Abraham Davidson, long prominent in municipal politics. He 
was a Presbyterian of the old school, a man of strong sympathies 
and kindly feelings, devoted to church work. For many years he 
was precentor, elder, manager, trustee, Sabbath school superin 
tendent, and caretaker, giving his time and attention from his 
devotion to the cause. Amongst those old pioneer families in 
this congregation were McEwens, Bains, Davidsons, Crawfords, 
Hamiltons, Thompsons, Campbells, Mitchells, Browns, Stewarts, 
Millers and Colquhouns. In 1851, Rev. Mr. Findlay, then of 
Mitchell, held service in the school house, until a church was 
erected, Rev. Mr. Doak being first stationed minister. Subse 
quent to its organization, Carlingford was united with Avonton, 
which connection is still maintained under Rev. Mr. Graham, 
as pastor. In 1866 the present church was erected, which still 
suffices for all congregational wants. There is a membership 
at present of 52 ; a Sabbath school, with Mr. Andrew Stewart as 
superintendent, is also conducted in connection, having a good 
attendance of pupils. 

Roy s church, also Presbyterian, and connected with Hibbert, 
will be found in the history of that township. 

A short distance north of Carlingford is Fullarton congregation 
of the Evangelical Association, which originated from Sebringville 
church. Rev. John Anthes was first minister, who held services 
in Peter Bitner s house, where a great revival took place among the 
people. A class was formed, among its first families being those 
of Peter Bitner, John Riehl, Michael Goetz and Conrad Shiels. 
After a short period this class had increased to sixty members. 
In 1871, Mr. Bitner donated a piece of land, on which a large 
frame church was built, whose tall, tapering spire can be seen a 
long- distance away. Its membership, at present, is 75, under the 


pastorate of Rev. H. J. Holtzman. A Sabbath school is also in 
connection, under C. K. Shiels, with an attendance of 81 pupils. 

Fullarton Presbyterian church, situate on the Mitchell road, 
formed a part of Avonton congregation till 1857, when thirty-five 
members in that township petitioned to be erected into a separate 
charge. A call was extended to Rev. J. M. King, who declined. 
In January, 1858, a call from Downie and Fullarton was extended 
to Rev. Robert Hamilton, who accepted, and was inducted on June 
3oth of that year. The congregation at this period erected their 
first church on the Mitchell road, a frame structure, considered a 
grand one at that time. This building was again enlarged in 
1863, and continued to be the place of worship till 1882. During 
those years its membership had greatly increased, not only in 
number, but in wealth also, and the present brick edifice was 
erected at a cost of $6,000. Mr. Hamilton has been a long and 
faithful servant, and his name will stand alone among our pioneer 
preachers, as retaining his position for forty years with acceptance 
to his people. 

A Sabbath school, in connection with this congregation, was 
organized at an early day by John Caven, and conducted in the 
log school house, near Motherwell. In 1880, Mr. Charles Baird 
was chosen superintendent, who has continued ever since faith 
fully to discharge the duties of that office. The roll shows a 
large attendance of pupils. A bible class also meets in connection 
with this school, conducted by Mr. William Stirritt. Motherwell 
Sabbath school supports a pupil at Pointe-aux-Trembles school. 
Avonbank, also, contributes to the same purpose. Present 
membership at Motherwell is 130. 

Methodism was first established in Fullarton by Rev. Philip 
James, who established a mission of Bible Christians, in 1844, at 
Fullarton Corners. Service was held in those shanties erected by 
the settlers, and in a log building which was subsequently built 
for a school. In 1848, a Sabbath school was organized by James 
Moore, who came a long distance through the woods to discharge 
his duties in this self-imposed task. Dr. Aylsworth, a medical 
practitioner from Mitchell, was first stationed minister. A frame 


church was erected (now used for a Sabbath school building-), in 
which service was held until the union in 1883, as Wesleyans, 
Episcopals, and Bible Christians then became one body. A new 
church was then constructed at a cost of $1,200, in which service 
is now held. This circuit is at present in charge of Rev. T. A. 
Ferguson. An excellent Sabbath school is also conducted by Mr. 
Harry Rogers as superintendent. 

At Fullarton village is a Baptist congregation, which was 
organized by Elder Milne at an early period. Service was held in 
the school till a church was erected. This congregation, when 
founded, had a small membership, which has not increased to any 
extent, owing to removals from this section of many who wor 
shipped in its sanctuary. Its present minister is Rev. Mr. 
Marshall, with John McNeil as Sabbath school superintendent. 

Bethel church, Mitchell Road, was organized by Rev. Philip 
James in 1854, being one of the oldest in Fullarton. Its first 
stationed minister was Rev. Mr. Tapp, who, like all other pioneer 
preachers, held services in the shanties and school houses. A 
church was erected in 1859, at a cost of $1,200, which is now to be 
replaced by an elegant and costly structure of brick on which will 
be expended about $7,000. This congregation at its inception 
had seven members, Jasper and Mrs. Pridham, James and 
Mrs. Moore, John Harris and Elizabeth Harris. Mr. Jasper 
Pridham was a strenuous worker in this church, to whom it owes 
much of its success. This little nucleus of seven members has 
increased to 120 at the time of our writing. A Sabbath school is 
also conducted, with Henry Neal as superintendent, having an 
attendance of 80 pupils. 

Mount Pleasant Methodist church, Fullarton, was not organized 
till 1855, when Dr. Aylsworth, of Mitchell, held service amongst 
the people. Its first members were Nicholas Roach and wife, 
Hugh Mitchell and Mrs. Mitchell, Thos. and Mrs. Allan and Mr. 
John Cole. In 1865, a church was erected, which was superseded 
in 1901 by a handsome brick structure costing upwards of $5,500. 
There is now a membership of about 70 under the pastorate of 
Rev. Mr. Ferguson. A Sabbath school is also conducted in con- 


nection with this congregation by Mr. H. C. Facey, having an 
attendance of 80 pupils. 

The political history of Fullarton begins in 1842. Subsequent 
to 1841, and prior to 1844, when it was separated from Downie 
and Blanshard, its history is merged with that of those municipal 
ities. In 1844, it contained 419 inhabitants, and had 393 acres 
under cultivation. In 1850, the population was 1,400, with 4,128 
acres under cultivation. Its products for this period were : for 
1849, 17,000 bush, of wheat, 10,000 bush, of oats, 20,000 bush, 
of peas, 13,000 bush, of potatoes, 18,000 bush, of turnips, 32,000 
Ibs. of maple syrup, 2,000 Ibs. of wool, and 2,000 Ibs. of butter. 
In 1842, Fullarton had two road divisions, Mr. Joseph Cramer 
being pathmaster for No. i, and Mr. Michael Bait for No. 2. On 
these road lists there appear as ratepayers : No. i, Jacob Cramer, 
Jacob Seebach, Theobald Brunner, John Coran, George Switzer, 
Hugh Kennedy Junck ; No. 2, Michael Bait, Christian Geddinger 
and Peter Bitner. 

At the first council meeting, in 1842, accounts were sub 
mitted showing that ^24, 55., gd. had been expended for public 
improvements in Fullarton, and ^38 in Downie. In 1843, five 
pathmasters were appointed: No. i, Hugh Kennedy Junck; 2, 
John Arbogast ; 3, Peter Bitner ; 4, James Smith ; 5, Daniel Ney. 

In 1844, Fullarton was set apart from Downie, as a separate 
municipality. There are no records up to 1847, but, from inform 
ation I have been able to obtain, Hugh Kennedy Junck was 
elected district councillor in 1845 ; Thomas Boyle, clerk ; Duncan 
Campbell, assessor. A meeting was held in January, 1846, at 
Mitchell, when it appears James Brown was chosen collector, who, 
with great difficulty, and long trudging through forest and swamp, 
succeeded in gathering together ^50, which he carried to 
Goderich, travelling on foot. Subsequent to separation, the first 
meeting of which we have a complete record was in 1847. This 
was held on January 3, and called by ^ virtue of a warrant under 
the hands of William Chalk and Ludwig Meyers, Esquires, two of 
Her Majesty s Justices of the Peace for the District of Huron, 
and held in Fishleigh s tavern, Mitchell. 


At this meeting Thomas Boyle was elected chairman. Other 
officers elected were : John Mclntyre, district councillor ; Thomas 
Boyd, township clerk ; William Irvine, assessor of taxes ; Duncan 
Campbell, collector of taxes ; Daniel Kerr, William Davis, John 
Arbogast, town wardens ; John Arbogast, William Smith, Thomas 
Scott, commissioners of highways. Subordinate officers were 
also appointed, forming the first complete list on record. As 
poundkeepers, were Andrew Timming, Francis Fishleigh, John 
Babb, John Parker, Abraham Davidson, and Nicholas Harwick. 
Fenceviewers were William Small, Nicholas Tomlinson, Michael 
Shellebery and Richard Gill. Pathmasters lists contain thirty- 
five names, a marvellous increase since 1842, indicating that, in a 
short period of five years, settlement had made great progress. 
These were George Roy, Andrew Kennedy, William Levey, Wil 
liam Jardine, Frank Livingston, Robert Nichols, Joseph Russel, 
John Shellebery, Gilbert Mclntyre, George Brett, Jacob Seebach, 
John Arbogast, Michael Goetz, Thomas Scott, Robert Clark, 
Daniel Egmire, John McCurdy, Charles Stuffs, Thomas Worth, 
Henry Yeo, William Haines, Jasper Pridham, William Elger, 
William Greenside, William Hewer, Hugh Kennedy Junck, James 
McLarty, Thomas Moss, Christopher Baker, Nicholas Tomlinson, 
Charles Beer, William Porteous, William Davis, Robert Mclntosh, 
and Thomas Babb. This meeting also passed by-laws regulating 
cattle running at large, and defining the construction of a lawful 
fence. We have inserted copies of by-laws elsewhere, whose 
provisions will apply to Fullarton, and, indeed, to all municipalities 
in this county, each code being nearly alike. 

Those officers elected in 1847 appear to have retained their 
several positions till January, 1849, when a meeting was held at 
the school house on lot No. 25, East Mitchell Road, and a new 
list was chosen: James Brown, clerk ; Henry E. Anson, assessor; 
Duncan Campbell, collector. For superintendents of highways 
were elected, John Lambert, Robert Roger, and Joshua Cole. 
For town wardens, William Davis, William Martin, and Thomas 
Reid. A financial statement for the preceding year was read at 
this meeting. This account was not a large one, receipts consist- 


ing of two items: a balance on hand of 12, igs., g^d., and 
cash received from Mr. John Mclntyre, being- wild land tax money, 
amounting to 12, os., ud., making a total of ^25, os., 8}^d. 
Total expenditure, ^"23, i8s. , $*/>&., was composed of orders for 
improvement of roads, clerk s salary of ten shillings, and four- 
pence halfpenny for postage. 

The first township board, elected in 1850, met on January 2ist, 
and was composed of James Hill, Robert Porteous, Robert Roger, 
George Leversage, sr. , and John Arbogast. James Hill was 
chosen first reeve of Fullarton ; John Mclntyre, clerk. This 
concluded their business, when an adjournment was made to Feb y 
9th, at No. 3 school house. At this meeting other officers were 
appointed, and their salaries fixed. Clerk was to receive 5 per 
annum. Treasurer, whatever may have been his duties, watching 
over his own remuneration was not one ; he was to receive 2 
per annum. For this allowance he was "to take care of all 
township moneys, pay orders, keep books, and find security in 
^250, to the satisfaction of the council." Auditors were more 
liberally compensated, with an allowance of 15 shillings each. 
Superintendent of education received 2 ; surveyor, 7/6 per day, 
while actively engaged ; constable, 3/4 per day. Members of 
council were very economical in fixing their own remuneration at 
3/9 per day, or five pence per day more than their messenger. 
Assessor was allowed 2)4 per cent, on all taxes levied, and the 
collector 3^ per cent, on all taxes collected. 

At a meeting held in March the clerk and school superintendent 
each gave bonds for ^250. There was also levied a rate for con 
tingencies and local improvements amounting to ^150. ^30 was 
also levied in S. S. No. 4, to build a new school house. A resolu 
tion was also passed in May, clearly demonstrating the condition 
of roads in this township, setting forth "that logs for crossways 
should not be less than one rod in length, nor less than eight inches 
in diameter, and no basswood to be allowed." In September 155. 
was granted in payment of a seal for the municipality. On April 
26th, 1857, the auditors presented their first statement, showing 
a total collected of m, which had not all been expended, 
16, 2s. , id. still being on hand. 


In August, a great flood swept away many bridges in Fullarton, 
and a special levy was made for replacing these and repairs on 
others. This amounted to ^50, of which ;io was expended at 
Brown s school house, 12 on a bridge ninth concession line, 
10 for Black Creek bridge; also ^5 for bridge in 6th concession. 
Further sums were to be expended by Mr Fishleigh and Mr. Hill, 
amounting to ;7, in repairing roads. During this year a grant 
was made to found a public library of ^30, on the following 
conditions, viz. : " If within ten days petitions liberally signed be 
presented to the reeve in favour of it, and if petitions be presented 
both for and against said grant, then if the great preponderance 
of such petitioners be in favour of said grant, in such case the 
town reeve shall have authority to order the same to be placed 
o.n the collector s roll, but not otherwise." 

It is to be regretted that the good intentions of Fullarton 
council in this case were frustrated by those plans adopted for its 
management. The system was theoretically good, but subse 
quently proved to be practically bad. There can be no doubt that 
a circulating library in any community must be productive of good 
results in promulgating wholesome literature, and in promoting a 
taste for high ideals, the creating of which is, or ought to be, the end 
and aim of all writers who feel the responsibilities of their mission. 
Each councillor was appointed librarian in his own district, and 
received a share of books equal with other members. For these 
he was responsible during his tenure of office. If all councillors 
were men of literary taste, such arrangements would be quite 
applicable. I may be permitted here to remark, if to be educated 
on academic lines were a crime, very many, indeed, of our old 
public men would be held perfectly guiltless. If, on the other 
hand, an education gained by observation, or the stronger and 
imperative demands of stern necessity could be considered enlight 
enment, nearly all old backwoodsmen were eligible to a degree. 
It was only a few years, therefore, after the introduction of the 
library when it was so decimated that its total extinction became 

Previous to 1854 a license inspector had been appointed in each 


division, whose duty it was to inspect all houses of entertainment 
and grant certificates as to all legal requirements being- fully ob 
served. An officer was now appointed whose jurisdiction should 
extend over the entire municipality. He was known as "Revenue 
Inspector," and was empowered to grant hotel licenses, as well as 
those to auctioneers. He gave security in 20, and one surety 
for 10. Mr. Thomas Dunn, township clerk, was appointed to 
this responsible position with a compensation of 2 per annum. 
This was certainly a very modest allowance for so important an 
officer. Mr. Dunn s operations were limited by by-law, and 
which, considering society at that period, speaks well for Fullarton, 
when it was declared that only two hotel licenses should be issued. 

Considered in connection with other municipalities at that period, 
temperance principles must have made great progress in this 
township. It was decided also in 1855 that applicants for hotel 
licenses should pay in Mitchell ^,8, in the township proper ^3. 
All keepers of houses of public entertainment were entitled to 
transfers, provided a due observance of the law was maintained. 

In 1856, Fullarton divested herself of all responsibility in con 
nection with library affairs by apportioning it amongst the schools. 
This plan was adopted upon petition of a large majority of rate 
payers for its dispersion that way. A codification of municipal 
by-laws was now decided upon, in order that all officers and rate 
payers generally might be made fully acquainted with local 
municipal legislation. 

Mr. McPhail moved, and Mr. Abraham Davidson seconded, 
"That with a view to the more efficient discharge of the duties 
devolving upon this council, a by-law should be drafted embracing 
and setting forth rules of order to be observed by the council at 
their meetings, and defining the liberties and privileges of those 
who may attend such meetings, in connection with business or 
otherwise, and imposing suitable penalties for the contravention 
of such rules." Mr. McPhail, Mr. Clark, the reeve and clerk were 
appointed to make a digest of all laws and submit it at next meeting. 
Having been assented to by a full board, it was then to be printed 
for circulation in pamphlet form. During this year a grant was 


made in aid of agricultural societies of ^5, the first given to these 
hig-hly useful organizations. 

In 1857, a motion was made regarding- the construction of a 
gravel road to St. Marys. A motion was also introduced in 
January ordering" the clerk to correspond with Blanshard regard 
ing this road. Fullarton was desirous of improving- this highway 
within her limits, and, by a concerted action with Blanshard, a 
leading road could be constructed of great advantage to both. 
The Mitchell road, therefore, which had been cleared in 1844, 
became then, and is still, one of the leading highways in both 
townships. At a subsequent meeting a plan was submitted by 
what was known as "The Southern Gravel Road Co.," offering to 
gravel that section of highway extending from Mitchell to the 
Thames road, and also a section from lot 10 to the W. M. R. 

These motions indicate a lively interest in good roads, and were 
several years in advance of municipal action either in Blanshard or 
Downie. A meeting was held in ward No. 3, which would be 
greatly benefited by these contemplated improvements, and $3,000 
voted to carry them into effect. While these innovations were 
being made in its more advanced sections, in other portions of 
Fullarton matters were not in such a favourable condition. The 
1 2th concession was not yet opened throughout, nor was it till 
1858 that a grant of 20 was made in order to make it passable 
for travel. 

At its first meeting, in 1861, the board took their seats under 
happy auspices, and, amidst hand-shakings and congratulatory 
compliments to each other, recorded that " after a vote of the 
whole township being taken on them, they were all returned, 
which plainly indicates their services for the past two years have 
been highly appreciated by the intelligent ratepayers of 

In 1864, Fullarton was first entitled to send a deputy reeve to 
the county council. Mr. Abraham Davidson, an old member of 
the board, was raised to that dignity. An important amendment 
to the Municipal Act came into force in 1867, by which all reeves 
and deputies were elected directly by the people. Formerly, they 


were chosen by the council, which was elected by general vote of 
the ratepayers. Under this provision, in 1868, Mr. William 
Davidson was elected reeve, and his father, Abraham Davidson, 
as deputy. Abraham Davidson had been a representative since 
1855 ; his son William had never sat at a council table, except as 
clerk. These conditions indicate a high appreciation of those 
services rendered by both father and son. Perth County affords 
no other illustration of a man occupying his first seat at a council 
table as chief magistrate, and by that honor taking precedence 
over his father, who sat as his deputy. 

Prior to 1873, a g" rea -t question was being agitated in this county 
as to granting aid for constructing a railway from Stratford to 
Wiarton, north, and Stratford to Port Dover, south. This road 
was of immense consequence to Stratford and the northern part 
of the county. A bonus of $120,000 was, therefore, warmly 
supported by the people of those sections. In Fullarton, Hibbert, 
Blanshard, and a portion of Downie, a very different order of 
things obtained. These municipalities were almost unanimously 
opposed to the scheme. The representatives from the south were 
led by Mr. Wm. Davidson, reeve of Fullarton ; those of the 
north, by Mr. D. D. Hay, of Listowel, an able man. It was a 
bitter struggle, and fought out on both sides with unflinching 
determination. On Mr. Davidson and his deputy returning at 
that period to their constituents, they were hailed as the champions 
of right and liberty. A great meeting being held, a motion was 
passed by standing vote, amid tremendous enthusiasm, expressing 
entire concurrence and confidence in their representatives in 
trying to defeat this nefarious project. We insert this motion, as 
indicating that determined opposition to an improvement which 
has resulted in enormous benefit to this county. 

It was moved and seconded, "That this council highly approves 
of the action of the reeve and deputy reeve in opposing the 
by-law submitted at the last session of the county council granting 
$120,000 of a bonus to the Port Dover & Lake Huron and the 
Stratford & Lake Huron R. R., and would urgently request every 
qualified ratepayer to turn out to the several polling places in the 


township, on Monday, the first of December next, and vote do\vn 
unanimously the absurd proposition of saddling- the municipality 
with $12,000, being the amount we will have to pay in case the 
by-law is carried, without receiving any corresponding- benefit, but 
merely to satisfy the people of Stratford and Listoivel, led on by 
self-interested persons in those places. " Carried unanimously. 

At this meeting was passed another motion, indicating- that, 
while the sentiments set forth w r ere no doubt perfectly honest, 
tHey discover in a marked degree that the council of Fullarton was 
not at all deficient in political tactics. It may be considered a 
cardinal principle in successful politics that what cannot be easily 
disposed of in a straightforward manner must be passed on the 
other side, with such an appearance of fairness and honesty of 
purpose as to draw the people s attention from the main question 
and centre it on a side issue. We submit the following- motion 
on a very important matter, as a splendid illustration of this theory, 
and exhibiting a marvellous insig-ht into political science. Moved 
and seconded, " In reference to the circular asking- the council to 
petition the Legislature of the Dominion of Canada for the pro 
hibition and sale of intoxicating liquor, That, while we are of 
opinion that the said liquors are injurious to mankind morally, 
mentally, and financially, when used to excess, and have cause to 
deplore their use in many cases ; yet we are of opinion that pro 
hibition would not remedy the evil, for experience has proven that 
legal restrictions have not justified the promoters of such doctrines 
in their results, and in our opinion, instead of petitioning- the said 
Legislature, we would sug-g-est to those who have the moral and 
religious training of the community to impress iipon those over whom 
they come in contact of being temperate in all matters, and par 
ticularly in intoxicating drink, and try and raise the standard of 
morality in all its bearings. 1 

Before dismissing this part of our subject, it is worthy of notice 
the great confidence the people of this township appear to have 
placed in those whom they had elected to power. In other munici 
palities there seems to have been almost a continuous struggle 
for representative position, which, while it may have indicated a 


healthy public spirit, was not, on some occasions, conducive to 
their material interests. In Fullarton, however, when a man was 
elected as reeve he seemed as one elevated to a dignified sphere. 
From his position on the township woolsack he could survey with 
delightful magnanimity those scenes transpiring around him as 
one who was monarch of all he surveyed. No reeve of this town 
ship appears ever to have been removed by an adverse vote of his 
constituents. The late George Leversage resigned to accept the 
county treasurership, after having been reeve for eighteen years". 
Mr. William Davidson resigned after eleven years to accept the 
position of county clerk. Mr. Thomas Ford, after a period of 
six years, retired. Mr. James Watson also retired after eight 
years, and Mr. Hill, the first reeve, served three years, when he 
also retired. The reeves of Fullarton for many years exerted a 
decided influence in the councils of this county, and have given 
more wardens to preside over its deliberations than any other 
municipality. Although this township has been undoubtedly 
represented by able men, we are yet of the opinion that a portion, 
at least, of their influence arose from their long and intimate 
knowledge of county affairs, which their constant re-election by 
the people enabled them to acquire. 

It is not surprising, therefore, that strong feelings of personal 
friendship sprang up between the reeve and those who had been 
so long with him around the council table. It is not surprising, 
too, that on the evening of their last meeting, when the adjourn 
ment is recorded sine die, that melancholy retrospects should be 
indulged in. Although they may have been conscious of having 
done their duty honestly, fearlessly, and well, an appeal to the 
electorate, a court often notoriously fickle, and inconsistent in its 
judgment, always produced misgivings of results. It is not sur 
prising neither, after the "weeping hour" is passed, that with 
sobs in their hearts, and tears in their eyes, we find them join 
hands and sing as they did at one meeting in Fullarton, - 

Then long live the Queen, 
And happy may she be, 
And may her subjects have 
Peace and prosperity. 


The various officers of Fullarton township from 1850 to 1902, 
inclusive, are as follows : 

Reeves. 1850-2, James Hill ; 1853, Thos. Ford ; 1854-61, 
James Watson ; 1862-7, Thos. Ford ; 1868-78, Wm. Davidson ; 
1879-96, Geo. Leversage ; 1897-1902, James Russell. 

Deputy- Reeves. 1864-5, Abraham Davidson; 1866, Geo. Lever- 
sage ; 1867-9, A. Davidson ; 1870-3, Richard Francis ; 1874-6, 
R. H. Bain ; 1877-81, R. Francis ; 1882-7, Thos. Currelley ; 
1888-9, Nicholas Roach ; 1890-96, Joseph Jackson ; 1897-8, Peter 

Councillors. 1850, Robt. Roger, Robert Porteous, Geo. Lever- 
sage, John Arbogast ; 1851, R. Rogers, R. Porteous, John Fish- 
leigh, Valentine Rohfreitsch; 1852, J. Fishleigh, Wm. Martyn, Jas. 
W T atson, V. Rohfreitsch; 1853, John Fishleigh, Wm. Martyn, Jas. 
Watson, Wm. Dickie ; 1854, T. Ford, W. Martyn, Wm. Dickie, 
Payton Botterill ; 1855, Robt. Clark, Abraham Davidson, Daniel 
McPhail, Wm. Martyn ; 1856, R. Clark, A. Davidson, D. 
McPhail, John Cole ; 1857, D. McPhail, J. Cole, Edwin Dodds, 
A. Davidson ; 1858, T. Ford, E. Dodds, J. Cole, A. Davidson ; 
1859-61, T. Ford, A. Davidson, E. Dodds, Alex. McConachie ; 

1862, Geo. Leversage, A. Davidson, E. Dodds, H. E. Hanson ; 

1863, Geo. Leversage, H. Hanson, F. Ullrick, A. Davidson ; 
1864-65, Geo. Leversage, H. E. Hanson, F. Ullrick ; 1866, F. 
Ullrick, A. Davidson, Wm. Dickie ; 1867, Geo. West, F. Ullrick, 
Wm. Dickie ; 1868, Richard Francis, Samuel Gourlay, Jos Bald ; 
1869, Jas. Brown, R. Francis, Edwin Ross ; 1870, Jas. Brown, 
Geo. Roy, Jas. Moore ; 1871-2, Geo. Roy, Michael Arbogast, 
James Moore; 1873, M. Arbogast, Francis Standeven, N. Roach ; 
1874, N. Roach, M. Arbogast, Jas. Moore ; 1875, N. Roach, 
Horace Fawcett, M. Arbogast ; 1876, N. Roach, M. Arbogast, 
Richard Watson ; 1877, N. Roach, R. Watson, Henry Heal ; 
1878, N. Roach, R. Watson, Geo. Johnson ; 1879-80, N. Roach, 
Geo. Johnson, Thos. Currelley ; 1881, N. Roach, T. Currelley, 
Jacob Ney ; 1882-87, N. Roach, Nesbitt Potter, J. Ney ; 1888, N. 
Potter, Joseph Jackson, Thos. Edwards ; 1889, Jos. Jackson, T. 
Edwards, Jos. Mclntyre ; 1890-1, P. Arbogast, Jos. Mclntyre, 



Thos. Edwards ; 1892-3, T. Edwards, P. Arbog-ast, John Butler ; 
1894, T. Edwards, John McNeil, P. Arbog-ast ; 1895, P. Arbog-ast, 
J. McNeil, Jas. Russell ; 1896, J. Russell, P. Arbogast, Oliver 
Harris; 1897-8, O. Harris, L. Turner, C. Ratz; 1899, P. Arbogast, 
L. Turner, C. Ratz ; 1900-1, P. Arbog-ast, O. Harris, L. Turner, 
C. Ratz ; 1902, L. Turner, O. Harris, P. Seebach, C. Ratz. 

Clerks. 1850-2,. John Mclntyre; 1853-7, Thos. Dunn; 1858, 
Daniel McPhail ; 1859-67, Wm. Davidson ; 1868-72, Richard 
Moore ; 1873-8, Geo. Leverag-e ; 1879-1902, John Wilson. 

Assessors. 1850, John Lambert ; 1851-2, Wm. Rath ; 1853, 
Thos. Smith ; 1854, Jas. Anderson ; 1855-8, Robt. Porteous ; 
1859, Wm. Aldred ; 1860, Robt. Porteous ; 1861, Thos. Shilling- 
ton ; 1862-3, R. Porteous ; 1864-7, Edward Turner ; 1868, Henry 
Hanson ; 1869-70, Richard Watson ; 1871, Jas. Brown ; 1872, 
Thos. Skinner ; 1873-4, Jas. Brown ; 1875, Richard Watson ; 
1876, E. Turner ; 1877-83, Jas. Brown ; 1884-5, Wm. Courtice ; 
1886-94, Richard Francis ; 1895-1902, Jos. Mclntyre. 

Treasurers. 1850-9, James Brown ; 1860, Wm. Davidson ; 
1861-1902, John Cole. 

Collectors. 1850-55, Duncan Campbell; 1856-61, Angus Camp 
bell ; 1862, Edwin Turner ; 1863-4, Wm. Davidson, sr. ; 1865, 
Jacob Bald ; 1866-7, William Davidson, sr. ; 1868-70, Thos. 
Skinner ; 1871, Samuel Gourlay ; 1872-7, Ferdinand Ullrick ; 
1878-9, Thos. Skinner; 1880, F. Ullrick; 1881-3, Wm. Courtice ; 
1884-94, Alex. Bothwell; 1895-7, Jno. Butler; 1898-1902, Jno. Roger. 

Auditors. 1850, John Buchan, Wm. Rath; 1851 , John Buchan, 
Chas. Thorn ; 1852-4, Chas. Thorn, Thos. Sloane ; 1855, Thos. 
Matheson, Chas. Thorn ; 1856, Thos. Matheson, John McGill ; 
1857, Chas. Thorn, John McGill; 1858-60, Wm. Davidson, Hugh 
Chisholm; 1861, John Mitchell, Andrew McPherson ; 1862-3, Wm. 
Riley, H. Chisholm ; 1864, Geo. West, H. Chisholm ; 1865, Geo. 
West, J. Buchan; 1866, Jos. Hunt, J. Buchan; 1867, H. Chisholm, 
Jas. Woodley ; 1868, Jas. Brown, H. Chisholm ; 1869-73, Wm. 
Davidson, sr., Jas. Brown; 1874-5, J onn Buchan, Jas. Brown; 
1876-90, Jas. Brown, Wm. Davidson; 1891-2, Wm. Sterritt, J. H. 
Keeler ; 1893, Wm. Sterritt, Jas. H. Harper; 1894-1901, Wm. 
Sterritt, Jas. Ward ; 1902, Wm. Sterritt, Richard Pomeroy. 


1. John Fothcringham, Reeve. 2. William Johnston, Auditor. 3. Egglcson 
McDonald, Councillor. 4. John H. Jameson, Clerk. 5. Charles Robinson, Coun 
cillor. 6. Joseph Pearn, Councillor. 7. David Bonis, Councillor. 8. Augustus 
Brethour, Collector. 9. MacCausland Irvine, Auditor. 10. Robert Bcatty, Treas 
urer. 11. TCdward Kennedy. Assessor. 



Blanshard township is situated in the centre of a great triangle, 
formed by the Huron road, Governor s road, and the London and 
Goderich road, extending- from London to Clinton. It received 
its name in honor of Mr. Blanshard, a director of the Canada 
Company, and was not surveyed till 1839. This municipality was, 
therefore, the last to be opened up in the Huron Tract. That it 
should thus have remained so long did not arise from undesirable 
conditions in the soil. On the contrary, it contained no swamp, 
rocky, or waste lands to interfere in any way with pioneer opera 
tions. Indeed, it contains, perhaps, a larger block of unbroken 
surface than can be found elsewhere in this county. Like Hibbert, 
its backward position arose from circumstances connected with 
the surveys of surrounding municipalities. 

When opened for settlement no township in this county was 
more rapidly taken up. Its soil was uniformly so good, that in 
a period extending from 1841 to 1848, every acre was claimed by 
owners, lessees, or "squatters." A contiguity of pioneers to each 
other in a new country has a marked effect in its progress. Where 
swamps exist, or land is broken by rock, sand, or other obstacles 
to retard operations of the woodman, settlers become isolated 
from each other. This condition renders road making and building 
of schools and houses too heavy a task to those few so sparsely 
located on suitable intervening lands. No such obstructions 
affected this township. Blanshard had no difficulties extraneous 
to those inseparable from life in the woods under favourable con 
ditions. Progress was, therefore, rapid, extending in a very short 


time to every section. It is also noticeable in a new country that 
advancement is largely dependent on the character of those by 
whom it is settled. Indeed, this is of greater consequence to 
development than extreme fertility of soil. This county was most 
fortunate in being located by people of British origin and Germans. 
A better class of bushmen could not be obtained from any other 
nationalities, and results afford ample evidence of this fact. 

Blanshard was settled almost entirely by people from the north 
of Ireland, particularly that portion west of the river Thames. 
East of the river, surrounding St. Marys, Scotch predominated. 
West of the river, north of Ireland people were immensely in the 
ascendency. Settlement began almost simultaneously north and 
south of the Little Falls. The McGregor family, Legg, Mackin 
tosh, Forrester, Weir, Delmage, Sinclair, and Jickling were 
pioneers. Southward were Bradly, Pickard, McVannel, Weston, 
Tasker, and Hutchings. Extending north and south on the 
Mitchell road were Christie, Henderson, Doupe, Switzer, Spar 
ling, Armstrong, McKinnett, Cameron, Carrol, Rea, Warren, 
Sansburn, Bell, Draper, Willis, and Hayes. On concession one 
were Bell, Meighen, Irvine, Robertson, and Gowan. On two 
and three were Cameron, Dickinson, McCullough, McCallum, 
Anderson, Switzer, Beatty, and Sparling. On four and five were 
Spearin, Shier, Kennedy, Irvine, Berry, Robinson, Hazlewood, 
and Burns. On six and seven, Benner, Marriott, Cathcart, 
Creighton, Paynter, Chappell, Riordan, Morrill, Murphy, and 
Miller. On eight and nine were Rea, Willis, Mclntyre, Stafford, 
Moutray, Sawyer, McDougall, Parker, Dwyer, and Quinn. On 
ten and eleven were Somerville, Slack, Crawford, Dinsmore, 
Shipley, McDonald, Styles, Gilpin, and Hopkins. On twelve 
were Hayes, Byfield, Radcliff, Crawford, Foster, Gunning, and 
Morley. By far the greatest number of these were north of 
Ireland people, and apparently drawn from the better class. Many 
were characterized by intelligence, high sense of honour, and an 
air of refinement much in advance of those coming from a land 
where education could scarcely be obtained. They were intensely 
loyal to their country, and proud of its achievements by land and 


sea. In those feelings were hid the elements of success. A 
people who have no pride in former historical records of their 
country are in the first stage of national decay. An individual 
who has no pride in his family or ancestoral honour has lost the 
highest incentive to honour in himself, and is on the verge of 
moral decrepitude. Between 1841 and 1848 the whole township 
may be said to have been " taken up." During that period, how 
ever, comparatively little of it had been patented or "deeded." 
In fact, as late as 1850 very few titles had been granted in Blan- 
shard. According to the system adopted by the Canada Com 
pany in disposing of their lands first by leasehold tenure, it was 
not till these agreements had expired that a settler applied for his 
patent. As these indentures covered a period of ten years, all 
those issued between 1841 and 1848 expired between 1851 and 
1858. In this interval, therefore, a large portion of land was 
patented. In cases where a settler was unable to secure his deed 
another lease was granted at a slightly increased price, if desired, 
by adding 2^ per cent, to the original cost. A number adopted 
this plan of holding their land rather than borrow money to pay 
for it. At the same time we regret to say that names appear in 
many of our first title deeds of men who never endured the hard 
ships of pioneer life. Recourse was had to mortgaging for securing 
their patents by quite a number, at rates of interest from 15 to 25 
per cent, per annum. At such prices for money it is not surprising 
that very few were ever able to redeem themselves. While this 
occurred in too many instances, it is gratifying to know that a 
large number were able to discharge all their obligations from 
their own earnings, and obtain that much coveted, long hoped for, 
and hard earned piece of parchment, on which were written the 
magic words " the said lands to have and to hold to him and his 
heirs for ever." 

The Canada Company s records in Toronto show that the first 
patents for land were granted in Blanshard, as follows : On 
concession No. i to Gordon Meighen, November 27, 1844, and 
three days later another on the same concession was granted to 
William Beatty. On concession No. 2, Donald Cameron, on 


Sept. 25th, 1843. On concession No. 3, to Archie McCallum, on 
October the 7th, 1844. On concession No. 4, to Adam Shier, on 
June 18, 1844. On concession No. 5, to Gerard Irvine, on Sept. 
13, 1846. On concession No. 6, to Alexander Jamieson, on Oct. 
3, 1846. On concession No. 7, to David Smith, on August 6, 
1846. On concession No. 8 to Neil McLennan, on June 20, 1851. 
On concession No. 10, to Thomas Dinsmore, on February 26. 
J ^53- On concession No. 11, to Samuel Radcliffe, on February 

26, 1847. On concession No. 12, to Peter Watson, on December 

27, 1849. On concession No. 13, to Thomas Christie, on March 5, 

1844. On concession No. 14, to Thomas Skinner, on August 6, 
1853. On concession No. 15, to William Fleetford, on November 
i, 1842. This patent granted to William Fleetford appears to be 
the first issued in the township of Blanshard, and was for lot 15, on 
concession 15. On concession No. 17, to Adam St. John, on July 
18, 1848. On concession No. 18, to Walter Stinson, on May 12, 
1848. On concession No. 19, to Robert Patterson, on May 20, 

1845. On concession No. 20, to Caleb Richardson, on September, 
1848. On the north boundery concession, to Edward Delmage, 
1848. On the south boundary concession, to George Jackson, on 
December 22, 1848. On the east Mitchell road concession, to 
John Sparling, on June 8, 1844. On the west Mitchell road 
concession, to Donald Cameron, on August 6, 1845. On the 
west boundary concession, to Jasper Ward, on August 27, 1852. 
On the Thames concession to ThomasTngersoll, on February 19, 
1844. To James Ingersoll, on August 13, 1849, was granted a 
patent for an island below the falls, in the river Thames, contain 
ing one acre and seven perches, and for which he is to pay therefor 
the sum of five shillings. On the 6th day of August, 1845, a 
patent was granted to the Rev. Ephraim Evans, of London, for 
part of lot No. 22, concession No. 8, for a place of interment. 
This grant was made to Mr. Evans, who applied on behalf of the 
settlers in the district for a plot to bury their dead, and was made 
by the Canada Company without any consideration. 

From the time the first settler erected his solitary shanty by the 
River Thames, in 1841, every day brought some new adventure to 
the municipality. 


In 1844 Blanshard contained 972 inhabitants and had 619 acres 
under cultivation. In 1850 her population had increased to 2,562 
souls, with 6,140 acres under cultivation. In 1861 the population 
was 3,774, exclusive of St. Marys. Her total product raised in 
1849 was 24,000 bush, wheat, 13,000 bush, oats, 4,000 bush, peas, 
17,000 bush, potatoes, 41,000 bush, turnips, 41,000 Ibs. maple 
sugar, 4,000 Ibs. wool, and 4,900 Ibs. butter. It was necessary, 
therefore, that some local authority should be set up for the govern 
ment of the people and regulating affairs in this now important 
settlement. Previous to that period (1844) Blanshard, Fullar- 
ton and Downie had been formed into one district for municipal 
purposes, and a meeting was held in the school house in Stratford 
on January 3, 1842, to elect certain officers and pass by-laws. 
In these meetings of our old pioneers a practical illustration of 
those socialistic principles of initiative and referendum was a 
prominent feature in their legislative deliberations. Conditions 
in some directions have not greatly changed since the first meet 
ings of these local parliaments. Much of the legislation enacted 
regarding fence viewers, pound keepers, and animals running at 
large, still form the primary principle of the municipal enactments 
at the present day, with scarcely any modifications. It appears from 
the minutes of this meeting that Blanshard was unrepresented. 
It is doubtful if any organized system of government obtained in 
this township till 1844. In that year a meeting of ratepayers was 
held in the village (St. Marys), to form a local government under 
authority of the legislative enactment of 1841, Mr. Thomas 
Williams being chosen clerk. Of the business transacted at this 
meeting we have no record. On the third of January, 1848, the 
people of Blanshard again met, at Joseph Casey s tavern, to pass 
by-laws and appoint certain officers for the current year. At this 
meeting Mr. George Birtch was elected chairman, Milner Har 
rison, township clerk; Thomas Shoebottom, councillor (for the 
district, I presume); Rody Hanley, assessor; Edward Styles, col 
lector; poundkeepers for the village, Samuel Fraleigh, Thomas 
Skinner; in the township, John Switzer and Daniel Powell. The 
wardens were Rody Hanley, Christopher Sparling, and James 


At the close of their electoral duties the assembled ratepayers 
next assumed the functions of a Legislative Assembly. On this 
occasion the result of their deliberations was embodied in certain 
enactments : That every pathmaster should be a fenceviewer in 
his own division; no fence should be less than 4^ feet high, staked 
and sidered or locked; no seed animals to run at large; no breachy 
cattle to run; no hogs under thirty pounds to run, all above forty 
pounds to be free commoners. Their legislative functions being 
thus completed, the House was prorogued with three cheers for 
the Queen. With that supreme wisdom which characterizes 
many of our legislators of to-day, they no doubt sought the 
means of recuperation to their exhausted faculties in that exhil 
arating cordial dribbling from Mr. Casey s barrels. It appears, 
however, that some irregularity in connection with this election 
had occurred, which led to a warrant being issued by William 
Chalk, Warden of Huron, to James Clendinning, of St. Marys, 
for a new election. This nomination was held at Ashel Morris 
German s tavern, village of St. Marys, when Thomas Christie and 
Thomas Shoebottom were candidates. At the close of this 
contest Mr. Christie was declared elected by a majority of sixteen 
votes. It will be noticed from reports of these meetings that 
Mr. Hanley held the dual office of assessor and township warden 
for that year. On January ist, 1849, another meeting of rate 
payers was held at Ashel Morris German s tavern to elect officers. 
At this meeting Mr. William Patterson Smith was elected chair 
man, Milner Harrison clerk, Rodey Hanley assessor, Edward 
Styles collector, Samuel Fraleigh poundkeeper for the village of 
St. Marys, and C. G. Sparling, Rody Hanley, Henry Willis, town 
ship wardens. 

Previous to 1850 I find no statement as to salaries paid town 
ship officers. The first statement of accounts is dated July 2ist, 
1847, where the total receipts are set forth as amounting to 
90, 8s., 3d., with an expenditure corresponding to this amount 
exactly. In an item dated September i5th, Mr. Harrison is 
allowed for clerk s fees >i, 8s., 3d. This account is certified as 
being correct by Mr. Hanley, Mr. C. G. Sparling, and James 
Pangburn, wardens. 


In the records of March, 1847, is found a statement which will 
be somewhat amusing to the people of Blanshard at the present 
day. The first entry is in March 8th, 1847 : " Milner Harrison s 
mark is a split in the right ear ; James Smith s mark is a piece cut 
out of the end of the right ear ; William Carroll s mark is a small 
round hole in each ear ; Thomas Ingersol s mark is a piece of the 
left ear split in and cut out under to make a square notch ; 
Jeremiah Crysler s mark is a split in the left ear ; Peter Smith s 
mark is a three cornered burn of the hip ; George Tracey s mark 
is a split in both ears, forming a swallow s tail ; Joshua Brink s 
mark is a piece cut out of each ear, on the upper side, in the 
shape of a half moon ; Christopher G. Sparling s mark is a round 
hole in the right ear, the size of a musket ball ; Parden Fuller s 
mark is a round hole in the right ear, and a half round in the left 
ear ; Robert Birtch s mark is a round hole and a split in the left 
ear ; Caleb Richardson s mark is a piece cut square out of the left 
ear ; Noah D. Carrol s mark is a piece cut off from the right ear." 
This completes the list of gentlemen who appear to have placed 
themselves on record. There is no explanation why such a mark 
is necessary, whether it was to distinguish the parties themselves, 
or any animal of which they were possessed. Neither is it peculiar 
to the officers, although a number of them appear to have received 
it. This town meeting of 1849 was the last under the old system. 
In 1850 a new order of municipal government was introduced. A 
great piece of legislation it was, and productive of great good to 
the people of this country. The old system was swept away. 
Those old town meetings, where all the ratepayers meet together 
for legislative purposes, and in a most hilarious mood, often inter 
spersed with a snatch of an old Irish song or humorous story 
between their several enactments, passed more effective legislation 
in a couple of hours than both our Houses of Parliament could 
after a long period of incubation. A district councillor was no 
longer elected. The office of township warden was abolished. A 
position of real dignity and honour was conferred on our public 
men. The manner of their election was conducted with formality 
and a certain amount of decorum, unknown at the town meeting. 


This gave those who were chosen a prestige never before enjoyed 
by our representatives. 

In compliance, therefore, with this new Municipal Act, the first 
council of Blanshard met to transact business, January 20, 1851, 
at William Guest s tavern, at ten o clock a. m. At this meeting- 
were Thomas Boy Guest, reeve ; Arundel Hill, Henry Willis, Geo. 
Adair and William Chambers, as councillors. Officers elected 
were Thomas Ingersol, clerk ; J. K. Glendining, assessor ; Thos. 
Christie, treasurer ; William Sparrow, collector ; William Patter 
son Smith and John Ingersol, auditors. A list of officers is 
subjoined from 1852 to 1902 : 

Reeves. 1852, John Robinson ; 1853, T. B. Guest ; 1854-5, 
Arundel Hill ; 1856-9, David Cathcart ; 1860-1, John Dunnell ; 
1862-5, Benjamin Stanley ; 1866, John Gould, 1867, E. R. 
Gooding ; 1868, James Dinsmore ; 1869-71, David Cathcart ; 
1872, Andrew Driver ; 1873-4, David Brethour ; 1875-6, Robt. 
Beatty ; 1877-8, James Dinsmore ; 1879-80, Andrew Driver ; 
1881-2, William F. Sanderson ; 1883, William Johnston ; 1884, 
W. F. Sanderson ; 1885-6, James Dinsmore ; 1887-8, Thomas 
Lawton ; 1899-90, Robert Beatty ; 1891-2, William Hutchings ; 
1893, David Johnson ; 1894-5, Daniel Sinclair ; 1896-8, Robert 
Berry ; 1899-1900, George Elliott ; 1901-2, John Fotheringham. 

Deputy Reeves. 1852, George Adare; 1853, Arundell Hill; 1854, 
Gilbert Mclntosh ; 1855, David Cathcart ; 1856-7, Amos Doupe ; 
1858-9, John Dunnell ; 1860, David Cathcart ; 1862-5, E. R. 
Gooding ; 1863, Frank Anderson ; 1866, Hugh Thompson ; 
1867, James Dinsmore ; 1868, George Huston ; 1869, A. M. 
Driver, 1870-1, George Huston ; 1872, David Brethour ; 
1873-4, Robert Beatty; 1875-6, John Dinsmore; 1877-8, William 
McCullough ; 1879-80, W. F. Sanderson ; 1881-2, Jas. Spearin ; 
1883, Thos. Lawton ; 1884, Wm. Hutchings ; 1885-6, Thos. 
Lawton ; 1887-8, Geo. Hudson ; 1889-90, Wm. Hutchings ; 
1891-2, David Johnson ; 1893-5, Robt. Berry ; 1894, Robert St. 
John ; 1896-7, Geo. Ulliott ; office abolished. 

Councillors. 1851, Arundel Hill, Henry Willis, Geo. Adare, 
Wm. Chambers ; 1852, H. Willis, Moses Sinclair, T. B. Guest ; 


1853, H. Willis, David Cathcart, Wm. Beatty ; 1854, David 
Cathcart, Samuel McDonald, Richard Tims ; 1855, Amos 
Doupe, James Dinsmore, A. McDonald; 1856, James Dinsmore, 
J. Dunnell, J. R. Burrit ; 1858, James Dinsmore, C. Switzer, 
Thos. Williams ; 1859, Jas. Dinsmore, Thos. Williams, Reuben 
Switzer ; 1860, Thos. D. Hamilton, James Dinsmore, Frank 
Anderson ; 1861, Adam Shier. Rody Hanley, Benjamin Stanley ; 
1862, Adam Shier, J. Dunnell, F. Anderson ; 1863, J. Whimster, 
Wm. Sparrow, E. R. Gooding; 1864, W. Sparrow, Thomas 
Lennox, T. Anderson ; 1865, John Gould, Hugh Thompson, 
T. Anderson ; 1866, F. Anderson, E. R. Gooding, Benjamin 
Stanley ; 1867, Duncan McDougall, Adam Shier, Geo. Huston ; 
1868, Adam St. John, A. M. Driver, D. McDougall ; 1869, 
A. St. John, Alex. Jamieson, D. McDougall ; 1870-1, Alex. 
Jamieson, W. Johnston, G. D. Lowrie ; 1872, John Dinsmore, 
Robt. Beatty, Wm. Sterritt ; 1873-4, J. Dinsmore, William 
McCullough, Peter McVannell ; 1875, W. McCullough, P. 
McVannell, Aaron Sawyer ; 1876-7, A. Sawyer, A. St. John, Jas. 
Spearin ; 1878, A. Sawyer, Jas. Spearin, W. F. Sanderson; 1879, 
A. Sawyer, Jas. Spearin, W. Roger ; 1880, Jas. Spearin, Thos 
Lawton, Wm. Hutchings ; 1881-2, W. Roger, W. Hutchings ; 
Thos. Lawton ; 1883, Wm. Hutchings, W. Roger, W. H. 
Graham ; 1884, W. H. Graham, Thos. Pearn, Geo. Hudson ; 
1885-6, W. H. Graham, G. Hudson, George Spearin ; 1887-8, 
David Johnson, Peter McVannell, Jno. Dickenson ; 1889, Robert 
Berry, Daniel Sinclair, D. Johnson ; 1891-2, R. Berry, Robert 
St. John, D. Sinclair ; 1893, R. St. John, Wm. Robinson, George 
Ulliott ; 1894, W. Robinson, Jno. Fotheringham, W. Dinsmore ; 
1896-7, J. Fotheringham, Amos Marriott, Geo. Ulliott ; 1897-8, 
J. Fotheringham, W. Dinsmore, A. Marriott, G. Ulliott ; 1899- 
1900, A. Marriott, David Bonis, Egleson McDonald, Charles 
Robinson ; 1901, David Bonis, Jas. Donald, Chas. Robinson, 
Egleson McDonald ; 1902, David Bonis, Chas. Robinson, E. 
McDonald, Jos. Pearn. 

Clerks. 1851-3, Thomas Ingersol; 1854, Thomas Christie; 
1855-72, William Wilson; 1873-81, William Johnston; 1882, A. 


M. Driver; 1883-6, Samuel Clark; 1887-8, William Johnston; 
1889, John H. Jameson, present clerk. 

Assessors. 1851-2, J. K. Glendining ; 1853*5, George Adare ; 
1856-7, William N. Ford; 1858-9, Amos Doupe ; 1860, William 
Raymond; 1861, Amos Doupe; 1862, Jas. Livingston; 1863, 
John Campbell ; 1864-7, Edward Delmage ; 1868, Jas. Livingston; 
1869, Edward Delmage; 1870-1, Jas. Livingston; 1872, William 
McCullough ; 1873, George White; 1874, John Morris; 1875-6, 
Edward Delmage ; 1877, A. M. Driver; 1878-85, Robert Beatty; 
1886-1902, Edward Kennedy. 

Treasurers. 1851-4, Thos. Christie; 1855, Johnston Armstrong ; 
1856-71, William Miller; 1872, George Huston; 1873-6, Joseph 
Stephens; 1877-80, David Cathcart ; 1881-3, George D. Lowrie ; 
1884-6, A. M. Driver; 1887-93, George D. Lowrie; 1894-1902, 
Robert Beatty. 

Collectors. 1851-5, William Sparrow; 1856-60, Rody Hanley; 
1860, George Adare; 1861, C. D. Sparling; 1662-67, David Cath- 
cart, 1868-71, David Brethour; 1872-82, William H. Graham; 
1883-9, Jhn Anderson; 1890-3, P. S. Armstrong; 1893, Aug. 
Brethour; 1894, P. S.Armstrong; 1895-7, William Cade ; 1898- 
1902, Augustus Brethour. 

Auditors. 1851-2, John Ingersol, William P. Smith; 1853, J. 
K. Glendining, Rody Hanley ; 1854, Wm Barren, J. R. Burrit ; 
1855, W. Miller, W. Woods; 1856, Thos. Williams, W. Woods; 
1857, John Dalzell, W T . Woods; 1858, Arundel Hill, William 
Woods; 1859, Arundel Hill, Thos. Wilson ; 1860, Hugh Pater- 
son, Thos. Wilson; 1861, John Campbell, W. Woods; 1862, 
David Dinsmore, W. Woods; 1863, Mathew Rooney, D. Dins- 
more; 1864-6, W. Woods, Robert Somerville ; 1867, M. Rooney, 
R. Somerville; 1868, John Campbell, J. Stephens; 1869-71, John 
Campbell, William Robinson; 1872-3^. Campbell, T. O. Rob- 
son; 1874, J. Campbell, Edward Delmage; 1875-8, J. Campbell, 
Philip Kerr; 1879-80, J. Campbell, G. D. Lowrie; 1881-2, J. 
Campbell, Thos. Pearn ; 1883, J. Campbell, William Ford; 1884, 
J. Campbell, Robert Somerville; 1885, J. Campbell, W. Ford; 
1886, W. Johnston, W. Ford; 1887, W. Ford, W. Roger; 1888-9, 


Thos. Armstrong-, W. Roger; 1890-2, John Campbell, W. Roger; 
1893, John Burns, J. Campbell; 1894-5, J- Campbell, W. F. San 
derson; 1896, J. Burns, W. F. Sanderson; 1897-8, W. Johnston, 
J. Burns; 1899-1901, Jas. Morrison, MacCausland Irvine; 1902, 
W. Johston, Mac. Irvine. 

The council of 1851 had most important duties to perform. 
There were no precedents for their guidance in the various 
functions given to them by the new Act. The whole machinery of 
municipal action had to be set in operation, and of necessity there 
would be some friction. A set of officers had to be appointed to 
assist in administration, who, whatever their qualifications may 
have been, certainly knew nothing of those duties they were 
required to perform. It is not surprising, therefore, if we find 
that municipal business was frequently conducted in a manner 
which would not be acceptable to-day. To us it appears marvel 
lous how township councils did so well. If errors were made, 
they were in most cases on the side of economy. Any remunera 
tion granted to officers for their important services indicates a 
jealous watchfulness over the public purse. The clerk, on whom 
rests a great responsibility, received 12, IDS. ; collector, 12 ; 
assessor, i6s. , IDS. per annum ; councillors, each per day, 
6s., 3d. ; auditors, i each for each audit ; and returning officers, 
I2S., 6d. for each election ; treasurer, 2^4 per cent, for all monies 
passing through his hands. In July of this year a rate of six- 
eighths of a penny in the was levied to build a new bridge over 
the Thames, at St. Marys. This was an old frame structure on 
Queen street, that occupied the site of the present stone bridge, 
which replaced it nearly 40 years ago. Previous to erecting this 
wooden bridge in 1851, there had been one constructed of logs, 
an old pioneer, swept away by a freshet. The contract on the 
frame was let by tender to William Noble for ^150, approaches 
not included. In 1851 was also organized the London and Proof 
Line Gravel Road Company, which constituted the first gravel 
road west of St. Marys. This road extended from the River 
Thames westward to the Mitchell road, and south to Prospect 
Hill, where it entered Biddulph. The council, recognizing the 


utility of this work, borrowed ^2,000 to assist in its construction, 
the first and last loan ever obtained by this municipality. 

In February of 1853 the board met at Mr. James McKay s hotel, 
St. Marys, and fixed a rate for tavern licences at ^5, IDS. for St. 
Marys, and ^3, IDS. for Blanshard. They also appointed five 
inspectors of hotels to compel an observance of the law by those 
holding licences. Both village and township in those days appear 
to have been well supplied with hotel accommodation, Blanshard 
having thirteen and St. Marys about as many more. In this year 
of 1902 Blanshard has not, nor has it had for three years, a 
hotel within its limits, and St. Marys, with a population of 3,500, 
has only six. Those inspectors appointed for the onerous work of 
viewing hotel premises and sampling liquors kept in stock were 
J. K. Clendining, Ruben Switzer, Rody Hanley, William Mc- 
Cauley, and Thomas Anderson. 

In 1856, remuneration to municipal officers was again con 
sidered by the board, and increased allowances were made in 
several instances. Clerk, 20 ; assessor, ^13; collector, ^15; 
auditors, each i, IDS. ; councillors, each per day, IDS. ; inspectors 
of licenses, ^i, IDS. each ; returning officers, 155. In this year 
the capital of Blanshard was located at Skinner s Corners, which 
has been the seat of government ever since. The council con 
sidered the change necessary. St. Marys being incorporated in 
1855, assumed all management of its own municipal affairs. An 
allowance of 2^ per cent, was still made to the treasurer, and 
continued to be so till 1870, when it was withdrawn, and an 
annual salary given instead. 

At this period roads were still in bad condition, although they 
were all chopped out and cleared, excepting a portion on the 
south-west corner, which, from its swampy nature, was several 
years later in its improvements than those more favoured localities. 
In many sections the corduroy was still uncovered, and served as 
a monument to the ingenuity of our old pioneer in his primitive 
construction of roads under most adverse circumstances, and with 
an utter disregard of comfortable travel, or those consequences 
arising to life and limb in traversing their rough wooden ridges. In 


1859 was constructed the St. Marys and Exeter gravel road, extend 
ing- along what is known as the Base Line from the Mitchell road 
to the western boundary. This road was a great boon to those 
people residing in the western part of Blanshard, enabling them 
to reach a good market in St. Marys with comparative comfort. 
These gravel roads were kept up by tolls, levied on all vehicles 
passing through toll gates erected every five miles. About 1865, 
our pathmasters had recourse to a system of gravelling on those 
divisions under their authority, and so rapidly did this work pro 
ceed that in the course of a few years nearly all the roads in this 
municipality were gravelled. This rendered those highways which 
had been built by joint stock companies unproductive and unprofit 
able to stock holders. In 1870, therefore, the council bought the 
London and Proof Line Company s stock, removing the toll gates; 
and three years later they became owners of the St. Marys and 
Exeter gravel road, from which the gates were also removed. 
Since that period, excepting two years, no toll gate nuisance has 
existed within this municipality. From its first settlement till 
1900, all roads had been under the authority of pathmasters, and 
were kept in repair by statute labour. During that year, how 
ever, the council had recourse to a new system of road making, 
and, by a sweeping measure, abolished statute labour altogether. 
This was the greatest innovation made by any council since the 
abolition of the toll gates. Our experience of this new system, 
although short, is satisfactory, and affords a proof of the wisdom 
and progressive character of that council who were sufficiently 
bold to strike down an old established usage, which, in its life 
time, had been productive of much good. We will have occasion, 
however, to refer to this matter in another part of this work. 

Building schools early engaged the attention of our people in 
Blanshard, but at what period of time our first school section was 
formed it would be impossible for me to say. There are no 
records regarding those transactions of our local government 
earlier than 1847, and even those till 1851 are of a meagre de 
scription. It is also unfortunate that in the archives at Goderich 
there are no records from 1842, during nearly all that period that 


a district government existed. Our first Council, in 1851, how 
ever, passed a motion adopting certain by-laws then in force, 
"and the said by-laws remain in full force and virtue until re 
pealed." By Law No. 8 of this code relates to a division of the 
municipality into school sections. This township, therefore, must 
have been divided for school purposes prior to municipal organiza 
tion in 1850. Subsequent to this period, that conflict over exist 
ing boundaries, and those changes constantly being made in 
forming new sections, soon began, and which continued to rage 
with more or less fury for a period of thirty years. It is but fair 
to say, however, that this war did not arise from selfishness in 
those affected, nor from a contravention of existing rights. In 
deed, it arose from an opposite principle, and was the natural 
outcome of a spirit of equality and an assertion in its widest sense 
of that primary principle underlying the School Act. In forming 
original sections, regard was had only to a settlement, as it then 
existed, and not to any future extension or other circumstance 
that might affect it. When a new section was formed, a school 
building was erected in as central a portion as possible, that all 
could derive an equal advantage as to distance. Time brought 
new settlers, whose location naturally implied connection with a 
school. By accepting these new comers, existing boundaries were 
extended in a manner that may have placed the school building 
already erected altogether to one side, rendering those arrange 
ments of a few years before no longer equitable. It was not for a 
long period of years that an abatement of school-section legisla 
tion took place, and a termination reached suitable to nearly all 

In 1853, schools having been established, the council turned its 
attention to a further extension of our educational facilities through 
a township library. On November 2^th of that year, Mr. Miller 
and Mr. Cathcart introduced a motion granting ^50 to establish 
a public library. This was carried by a unanimous approval of 
the board. On December 2ist the council, feeling themselves 
unable to grapple with such a momentous question as supplying 
mental pabulum to the people of Blanshard, appointed themselves 


a committee of the whole to deal with it. They also associated 
with this committee several gentlemen of literary merit, as an 
advisory board, comprising-: Mr. William Woods, Johnston Arm 
strong, Rev. Mr. Lampman, Dr. Wilson, J. K. Glendining (C.E.), 
J. R. Bennett, Dr. Wood, Dr. Coleman, and clergymen of all 
denominations. A township librarian was appointed in Mr. 
Thomas Mclntosh, with a salary of ^4 per annum, and who had 
to furnish security in ^40. Ward librarians were to receive 2 
per annum, and furnish security in 20 each for a due perform 
ance of their duties. In Ward No. i Mr. Mclntosh was also 
ward librarian, and received 65 volumes. In No. i was also ap 
pointed Duncan McVannell, who received 57 volumes. This 
division of Ward No. i into two districts was rendered necessary 
in order to better accommodate that portion of the municipality 
lying north and south of St. Marys. In Ward No. 2, John R. 
Bennett received 133 volumes. In Ward No. 3, William Sans- 
burn received 136 volumes. In Ward No. 4, Mrs. Cathcart 
received 137 volumes. In Ward No. 5, David Mericall received 
137 volumes, making a total of 665 volumes. These apportion 
ments were exchanged at stated intervals, in order that each rate 
payer in turn would share the whole. This institution does not 
appear to have been successful, although, from many of the books 
we have seen, selections appeared to have been made with excellent 

Prior to 1859, Blanshard had but few churches, and those of a 
not very substantial order. In the western portion there were no 
churches at all. Still no lack of religious observances prevailed 
because of no churches. The old log school house served a 
double purpose of seminary and sanctuary. The shanty of a settler 
was always open as a place of worship, and within its rude portal was 
always a place of rest for the minister. All the denominations 
that exist in this township to-day, existed then. Previous to 
1845, Mr. Johnston Armstrong and others organized what is now 
known as Zion Congregation, on the Mitchell road. At Prospect 
Hill, the Anglican Church established a mission at a very early 
date. This body had also erected a log church in the 6th con. , 


near Woodham. In 1860, however, this old log" building- was no 
longer used for public worship, and a new church was erected at 
Kirkton, on the boundary between Usborne and Blanshard. In 
1900 this building- was removed, and a brick edifice erected, 
which, over and above its utility, is very ornamental. Previous 
to 1859, a Presbyterian mission had been established at what is 
now Anderson P.O., by Mr. Alexander Wood, but this did not 
long survive Mr. Wood s removal from Blanshard, when it was 
discontinued, a portion of its members joining- Motherwell church, 
and another portion annexing- themselves with Usborne, erected a 
stone building in 1861, which still stands, and is known as Kirk- 
ton Presbyterian church. About the same time was erected by 
the Methodists in Kirkton a small brick building, which was 
removed some years ago, giving place to the largest house of 
worship in Blanshard. At this period there seemed to be a mania 
with reg-ard to building- churches, and the people of Blanshard 
must have contributed to nearly a score of such structures. 
Subsequent to the union of those branches of which the Metho 
dist Church was then composed, many of these old buildings 
were found to be unnecessary. Larger congregations were made 
up of those former disjointed elements, when more commodious 
structures were erected. The first move was made at Kirkton, 
followed by Mclntyre s, on the 8th concession; Woodham, Zion, 
Anderson, Cooper s, on the base line; Salem, on the 4th concession, 
and the Methodist church at Prospect Hill. All these churches, 
with the exception of Cooper s and Prospect, are substantial brick 
buildings. The Presbyterians have no churches in Blanshard, 
Church of England only one. The Methodists, it may be said, 
possess all church property in this township. 

In a municipality possessing so many natural advantages, one 
would suppose that many villages would be found within its bor 
ders. Such is not the case. St. Marys seems to have absorbed the 
trade of nearly the entire country. All leading roads converging 
near or in the town, together with the railway, give St. Marys a 
predominance which has effectually barred all other trading 
centres for several miles in every direction. Of those few villages, 


or "corners," which have sprung up, Kirkton is the most import 
ant. This pretty hamlet is located ten miles west of St. Marys, 
and is partly in Blanshard and partly in Usborne. Its first build 
ing was of logs, and was a general store kept by Timothy Eaton, 
now of Toronto. On the corner of lot 8, W. B. concession of 
Blanshard, a small brick cottage was erected in 1857, afterwards 
occupied as a general store. South and southwest still waved old 
primitive forest trees. Kirkton, for several years, made slow 
progress, being retarded, strange to say, by a certain proprietor 
refusing to sell lands for building. A survey was made by 
Alexander Kirk of lot No. 8, and lot No. 9 having changed hands in 
the meantime, a survey was also made. On these two lots is built 
the principal part of Kirkton, being regularly laid out into streets. 
Since those necessary improvements toward settlement, progress 
has been made until its present population is now about 200. 
Kirkton was named in honor of the Kirk family, who were pioneers 
in this section of Blanshard. Three brothers, Alexander, Lewis 
and James, located on the lands where Kirkton is now built. 
Streets in the village are now provided with sidewalks and 
adorned with shade trees, from whose foliage peep several 
residences that would do honor to more pretentious places. 

Woodham, next in importance, is situated one mile and a 
quarter south of Kirkton, on the same concession line. This 
place was founded in 1859 by an English gentleman named 
Walker Unwin, who built a general % store in the spring of that 
year. During next summer a hotel and grist mill were erected. 
This new centre was known as the " Corners" for several years, 
until a post office was opened by Mr. Unwin, when it was named 
Woodham. There is now located here a grist mill, saw mill, 
pump factory, two general stores, with several small industries. 
Its population is about 150. 

Blanshard has only another village, known as Prospect Hill, 
and situated on the boundary line of Biddulph. This hamlet is 
wholly in Blanshard, but has not made much progress for many 
years, although surrounded by a splendid agricultural country. 
Its situation is most desirable, occupying as it does what is, per- 



haps, the highest elevation in Blanshard. From this point an 
excellent and very extended view may be obtained over a large 
section of country of surpassing richness and beauty. The first 
post office west of St. Marys was established near this place by Mr. 
John Bell. Long before Kirkton or Woodham were in existence 
this was a place of importance, and contained two hotels. Rail 
way construction through Granton diverted its trade into other 
channels. It now contains a general store, blacksmith s shop, 
and one house of public entertainment (unlicensed) to accom 
modate the travelling public. 

Blanshard, although rapidly settled and improved, contained no 
post office outside of St. Marys till 1853, when Fish Creek was 
opened. That large and magnificent extent of fertile country 
lying between St. Marys and Exeter, a distance of twenty miles, 
had no mail accommodation till 1856, when Mr. Timothy Eaton 
opened an office at Kirkton. In cases of sickness or accident, 
medical assistance could not be procured nearer than St. Marys or 
Exeter. When we consider, also, that there were no horses for 
years subsequent to settlement, a journey to either place having to 
be made on foot, the condition of any one requiring medical aid 
was deplorable indeed. In 1868 Dr. Stubbs, a young graduate, 
located in Kirkton, and at once found a large practice. Kirkton s 
first doctor was a most amiable man, and at his death, a few years 
subsequent to his locating, was succeeded by Dr. T. V. Hutchin- 
son, now medical health officer in London, and he again by Dr. 
William Irving, a most kind hearted and good man. Dr. Fergu 
son, at present in Kirkton, has an extensive practice, and is also 
medical health officer of the township. In this village, a few years 
ago, located Dr. W. R. Carr, veterinary surgeon, who enjoys an 
extensive and lucrative practice. 










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The township of Hibbert was named in honor of William Hib- 
bert, Esq., a director of the Canada Company. Its soil is of good 
quality, road-building- material is plentiful in every section. There 
is excellent drainage, and facilities for transportation are con 
venient to all. The first concession was surveyed in 1829, con 
cessions 2 and 3 in 1832, and in 1835 a survey of the whole was 
completed by John McDonald. Excepting- South Easthope and 
Fullarton, Hibbert ranks smallest in Perth County, containing 
about 42,300 acres. This is all, or nearly all, available for agricul 
ture. Its topographical aspect is undulating, and in some sections 
hills rise to a considerable height. In its northwest corner is a 
section of level country, a portion of which at one time was con 
sidered swampy. Northeast it is undulating, while passing- 
through between Staffa and Cromarty a range of hills rise to quite 
an altitude. Cultivation is carried on with skill, and has been 
remunerative, a system of mixed farming having been adopted. 
The Scotch element predominate in several sections, who carry 
out their predilections for stock raising in a marked degree. 
Their success in this department has encouraged others to adopt 
their system, which is now carried on throughout. About 1867, 
when co-operative dairying was introduced into Ontario, a cheese 
factory was established by Mr. George Hamilton, of Cromarty. 
This was not a success, and not encouraging for further develop 
ment. Since creameries were introduced, a factory was estab 
lished at Staffa, which, unfortunately, was destroyed by fire, and, 
so far, has not been rebuilt. Dairying, therefore, in this town- 


ship has had very little influence in making wealth, and those 
agencies which have produced such marked results must be 
looked for in other departments of farm husbandry. Wherever 
a soil obtains of the description found in Hibbert we believe 
that a system of mixed husbandry will be found the most 
productive of material prosperity. Specialism in agriculture is 
never desirable where soil is of such a character as to admit of 
mixed farming. Transportation is always an important question 
with farmers, and lies next to production; in fact, it may be 
considered a part of it. Whatever can be saved in cost of 
transporting goods from one point to another lowers that of 
production, and profits arising from farm operations are enhanced 
in a corresponding degree. The B. & L. H. Ry. has created 
markets at Dublin, Seaforth and Mitchell, all convenient for 
delivering farm products. Within easy distance on its west side 
is the L., H. & B. Ry. , affording excellent market facilities to the 
southwest portions. These railroads, all easy of access, have 
contributed largely in developing this township. The centre 
gravel road, leading through Cromarty, Staffa, and north to 
Dublin, is a most important highway, and was opened at an early 
day. In 1854 this road received a small grant from the county 
road improvement fund, and was supplemented by further grants 
later on. The improvement followed the pioneer in Hibbert more 
rapidly than in some municipalities having priority of settlement. 
A wealth of road material, distributed over so wide an area, was 
a great boon in road construction, rendering development in 
highways easy and rapid. 

Settlement in this township did not take place to any extent for a 
number of years after a survey was made. This did not arise from 
natural disadvantages in soil, but to one of those circumstances 
which accelerate or retard settlement in new countries. Pioneers, 
on their onward march, are not unlike grasshoppers in movement, 
each one, as he comes onward, passes those already located, who 
have immediately preceded him. In this manner settlements were 
planted along the Huron road (at long intervals in some places) to 
Goderich. At this point it was more rapid than further east, 


nearer civilization, simply because Lake Huron formed a barrier 
beyond, which they could not pass. A road had also been opened 
from London to Goderich, throug-h Exeter, Brucefield and Clinton. 
Settlers thus came from the south into Tuckersmith, from the east 
along the Huron road into Downie, Fullarton and Blanshard. 
Hibbert, therefore, being east of Tuckersmith, and far west on 
the Huron road, was comparatively isolated, and not settled till 
these municipalities were all taken up. 

Mr. Robert Donkin was probably the first settler in Hibbert. He 
erected a log tavern on lot 16, first concession. Between 
Mitchell and this point was level land, having no streams. Car- 
ronbrook was the first watercourse from Mitchell westward, and 
on that account would be at once selected as a place for settle 
ment. A short distance west is Irishtown, or St. Columban, 
founded by Father Schneider, which formed the first real settlement 
in Hibbert. Ten years subsequent to this period, in 1842, the 
total assessment was only ^314, or $1,256. This sum was 
assessed, as ratepayers, to : Thomas Fox, ^54 ; Michael 
Guppin, ^33 ; Daniel Kennan and Peter McCann, who had, so 
far, no improvements ; Miles McCann, ^67 ; Hugh McLaughlin, 
^30; John Borillion, 20; James Mollineaux, 20; Edward 
Downie, 26, and Arthur McCann, ^64. These were all settled 
near St. Columban. In 1844 it contained 321 inhabitants, and in 
1845, 789 acres were under cultivation. In 1850 its population 
had increased to 695, and 1,808 acres were under cultivation, pro 
ducing, in 1849, 7,000 bush, wheat, 5,900 bush, oats, 2,000 bush, 
peas, 5,500 bush, potatoes, 9,600 Ibs. maple sugar, 1,500 Ibs. 
wool, and 2,300 Ibs. butter. 

In 1841 Hibbert and McKillop were set apart as one municipal 
district. A meeting was called under a warrant signed by Daniel 
Lizars and Henry Hindman, Justices of the Peace, and held on 
January 4th, at John Cameron s house. Adolphus Meyers was 
elected chairman ; John Govenlock, clerk ; James Young, assessor; 
Dennis Downie, collector; William Lee and James Cluff, pound 
keepers. Three overseers of highways were appointed Alexander 
Cameron, Robert Watt, and Adolphus Meyers. Rules and by 
laws were also passed. 


Progress hitherto had been slow, and fifteen years subsequent 
to the survey of 1829, apart from a few settlers near Irishtown, 
there were few people in Hibbert. Robert Donkin, who after 
wards became prominent in municipal affairs, located prior to 
1840; Thomas Fox, Thomas McGoey, David Oug-hton, and 
William Maughan were early settlers. In 1848 a few people had 
located near Spring- Hill, as Staffa was formerly called. Thomas 
Shillinglaw, Charles Tuffin, John Drake, William Worden, Richard 
Hotham, and Daniel Weese were old pioneers. In other sections 
were Martin Feeney, James Norris, Arthur Colquhoun, John 
Miller, Daniel Wood and Charles Fox. Subsequent to 1851 set 
tlement became rapid, and Concessions 10, n, 12, and 13 were 
located, and so great an influx had now taken place that in 1857 
this township may be said to have been all settled. 

Pioneers in this municipality were nearly all of British origin. 
In the northwest, Irish ; southwest, Scotch and Eng-lish ; south 
east, nearly all Scotch ; northeast, a mixed population of British 
and German. Like all new sections, early settlers in Hibbert 
experienced all the hardships and difficulties inseparable from 
poverty in a new country. In early days, obtaining- flour for 
family use was a problem too difficult to solve. Many an old 
settler has plodded for miles, through a trackless forest, with a 
quantity of flour on his back to relieve the pressing- necessities of 
his famishing children. No doubt, in looking back over these 
trials, everyone thinks his own individual difficulties were 
unequalled by all others. Wherever there is poverty there 
must be hardship. Where hopeless poverty exists, distress is 
greater still. It was a glorious feature in pioneer life that there 
was always hope. A repast of cow cabbag-e and turnips was more 
nourishing- when eaten with hope. Almost superhuman efforts 
were made by pioneers to obtain food for those under his roof, for 
as Burns has well said : 

Thae moving things ca d wife and weans 
Wad move the very heart o stanes. 

Manufacturing potash and black salts afforded some relief, and 
was the only commodity for which money could be obtained, 


and usually sold for about $25 per barrel. Those settlers who 
located around Cromarty, comprising the families of Hogarth, 
Moon, Taylor, Ferguson, McLarens (Duncan and Alexander), 
Butler, Chapel, White, and George Hamilton, had great hard 
ships to contend with. Although the Gardners were further back 
still, their location was preferable, being in closer proximity to the 
Thames road, which had been opened in 1844. At Francistown 
mills had been erected at an early day, affording conveniences to 
this section unattainable elsewhere. 

Since 1857, when settlement was completed, Hibbert has become 
a wealthy municipality. A fertile soil skilfully cultivated, combined 
with thrift and industry, and excellent transportation facilities, has 
given an impetus to prosperity not excelled in Perth County. 
Dublin, a station on the B. & L. H. Ry. , is an important commer 
cial shipping point. This village, formerly known as Carronbrook, 
was founded about 1849, when U. C. Lee opened a store on the 
farm now occupied by Mr. John Carpenter. A small stream enters 
the village at its northern limit, passing southward, and was 
named "Carronbrook," by which the place was known till 1878. 
At this period it seems to have reached the summit of its glory. 
A number of years prior to this time, Mr. Joseph Kidd, a most 
enterprising man, had located, and through a successful prosecu 
tion of his commercial schemes, added greatly to its growth. 
Salt was discovered at Seaforth, five miles west, which, through 
Mr. Kidd s agency, soon became a factor in developing 
Carronbrook. This product was brought in conduit pipes from 
Seaforth. Salt blocks were erected, giving employment to a 
large number of workmen. He also built a sawmill, and on main 
street a block of brick stores, which would have been a credit to 
larger places. Application was now made, in 1878, to be created 
a police village. The day set apart to change its municipal life 
and its name was a great day. A pageant was arranged such as 
had never been seen in this section of Perth County. At dawn was 
a firing of guns and a great flourish of trumpets, proclaiming the 
event. A queen of youth and beauty was chosen in Miss 
McConnell, who, seated on a triumphal car, drawn by beautiful 


caparisoned horses, proceeded along- main street. In advance was 
a g-arter king-at-arms, with a drawn sword, followed by trumpeters, 
pursuivants and heralds, in gorgeous apparel. At a certain point 
the trumpets sounded, the men-at-arms drawing- their swords, as 
the heralds proclaimed the advent of a new Dublin, that in 
material features would some day rank above its namesake lying- 
under the shadow of the Hill-o -Houth. 

The trumpets ag-ain sounded, and the great men, the elders 
among the people, came forth in their robes, and presented with 
all due respect to the queen of love and beauty the keys of the 
city, which she as graciously returned. This ceremony being 
concluded, the trumpets ag-ain sounded, and the pageant moved 
forward. On this day Dublin reached the zenith of her glory, and 
her future greatness as far as human foresight can go seems as 
if it were laid in the grave with the mortal remains of that young- 
innocent girl who played so conspicuous a part in this pageant. 
Failure of Mr. Kidd s schemes proved disastrous to its commercial 
progress, from which it cannot scarcely be said to have recovered. 
Dublin contains on its main street a few reminders of its former 
greatness in those brick blocks which were erected to facilitate its 
trade. At present there are several excellent stores, two hotels, 
one of which is in Hibbert, spacious public halls, comfortable 
private residences, telegraph and express offices, with all those 
smaller industries usually found in a country village. It is sur 
rounded by a fine agricultural country, and will always be a large 
shipping point for surplus farm produce. Its present population 
is under 300, with one resident medical doctor (Dr. Michel). A 
mag-nificent church, erected in 1900, will be noticed further on. 
On July ist, 1878, therefore, Carronbrook became a police village, 
named Dublin, and elected as her first trustees Joseph Kidd, 
Thomas King, and Alexander Ross, the first named, Joseph Kidd, 
being chosen as inspecting trustee. 

Springhill, or Staffa, the name by which it is now known, is 
situate on the centre road five miles south of Dublin, and was 
founded in 1854. In 1855 a grist mill was erected, which, for 
some reason, was not operated for several years. During 1856 a 


store was opened by Mr. Hill, of Mitchell, as a branch of his main 
establishment. This was placed in charge of Mr. Dunn, who was 
clerk and manager. A few years later a saw mill was also put in 
operation. In 1859 was opened a hotel, although refreshments 
for man and beast were obtainable almost since the advent of the 
first adventurer in a log shanty which had been erected in pioneer 
days on Main street. In 1856, Mr. John Butler built a black 
smith s shop, which was soon followed by that of several small 
industries, whose products were in demand by the settlers. When 
Hibbert was set apart as a separate municipality, Staffa was 
chosen as its capital, and a hall erected at a cost of $700, for the 
accommodation of the municipal government. Staffa at present 
contains a good hotel, two stores, churches, grist mill, saw mill, 
a number of neat private residences, and has a daily mail from 

Cromarty, one mile and a quarter south of Staffa, was founded 
in 1853, by John McLaren, who built a log building, used for a 
dwelling and general store. A year or two subsequently to this 
place being opened, Mr. Joseph Reading erected another store, 
and a hotel was built in 1855. These commercial ventures were 
followed by a blacksmith s shop, carriage factory, and a planing 
mill. This hotel was closed some years ago, although an excel 
lent house of public entertainment is still maintained for the 
travelling public, no liquors being sold. At present this little 
hamlet comprises two good stores, blacksmith s shop, several neat 
private residences, having a daily mail from Dublin. This village 
was named by John Ferguson, in honour of Cromarty, in Scotland, 
birth place of Hugh Miller. 

With an influx of settlers, religious services became a necessity. 
It is characteristic of pioneer life, equally with those hardships 
and inconveniences inseparable from it, that wherever a few people 
located, some old backwoods preacher soon found his way there. 
A pioneer minister was like a pioneer bushman to some extent in 
his life and character. He was energetic and brave. He disre 
garded toil and hardship in performing his duty. He travelled 
through trackless forests to fill engagements and break the bread 


of life to a few hardy ones who wandered far in search of a home. 
His visits were made on foot. There were no roads. Streams 
were crossed on fallen trees. His resting place at night was a 
pioneer s shanty. Through its walls and trough-covered roof an 
opportunity was afforded for making astronomical observations of 
heaven s numberless stars. His fare was such as could be pro 
cured in a new settlement. His appetite was like that of a back 
woods man, however, robust and healthy, apparently ready for 
action at all times, night or day. If the cuisine did not embrace 
a wide range, still there was a healthful bill of fare. A clever 
appetite is not usually sensitive in its gratification, and in a range 
of dishes from cow cabbage to beachnut pork, nothing was 
unacceptable to the pioneer preacher after a journey of ten or 
fifteen miles through the woods. 

The first denomination to hold service in that section near 
Cromarty was the Presbyterian. From Mr. Donald Park, who is 
in possession of the Congregational records at Roy s and Cromarty, 
we are able to mark the progress made during a period of fifty 
years. In 1849 a brother of Mr. Park had settled on concessions 
10 and 11, himself arriving in 1850. At this period a number of 
Scotch Presbyterians had settled in Fullarton, and were followed 
by many of their countrymen, extending their locations away up 
into Hibbert. The Huron Tract at this period was under the 
ecclesiastical jurisdiction of London Presbytery. This body sent 
the Rev. Mr. Eraser to visit this new section. Early in 1851 a 
meeting was called at Mr. William Roy s house to consider the 
advisability of erecting a church. Only five settlers had then 
located on the eleventh concession, Mr. Andrew Morgan being on 
lot No. i. At this meeting it was decided to accept half an acre 
from Mr. Roy, whereon to erect a church, and as a place of inter 
ment. This is a very beautiful site, and is called Roy s church to 
this day. I may be pardoned here for introducing a melancholy 
episode which occurred on the day of this meeting, as indicating 
those trials and dangers inseparable from backwoods life. Mr. 
Park says : "On the day of the meeting, Mr. Alexander Clark and 
his son were chopping in the woods, when a tree fell, killing the 


young- man. As Mr. Gilbert Mclntyre was returning from the 
meeting, he assisted in removing the body to the little rude shanty 
in the forest. After two days he was buried, being first to be laid 
in that quiet resting- place at Roy s churchyard. 

Meantime an organization meeting was held at Alexander Park s 
house, and Communion dispensed. On this occasion a membership 
of sixteen were present: Alex. Park, Mrs. Roy, John Hamilton, 
Agnes Donald, Duncan Stewart, Alexander Clark, John Barr, 
Jane McVey, Mary Park, James Russell, Robert Christie, George 
Hamilton, Andrew Morgan, James Christie, Elizabeth Hamilton, 
and Ag-nes Christie. In 1851 a log church was constructed, 
where services were held until the present stone building was 
erected in 1872, at a cost of $3,000. During- those three years 
between 1849 and 1852 a larg-e number of settlers located near 
Cromarty, when it was resolved to erect another church in that 
villag-e. A meeting- was therefore called, and it was decided to 
proceed on lot eleven, eleventh concession, one-half acre being 
presented to the congregation by Mr. Francis Hamilton for a site 
and burying ground, which was accepted and a church built. 
On March 3d, 1853, Rev. Mr. Proudfoot, of London Presbytery, 
met the people in Mr. Park s house, organizing them into a con 
gregation. In November, 1853, Rev. Dr. Caven, now of Knox 
College, Toronto, was appointed to moderate in a call in favor 
of Rev. Mr. Barr. This charge at that period was composed of 
Kirkton, Flatcreek, Roy s, and Cromarty, and the stipend pro 
mised was ,6$ per annum. This call was declined by Mr. Barr ; 
no wonder. In 1854, London Presbytery met in Goderich, when 
a call was presented to Rev. Mr. Carruthers. The records do 
not say whether the stipend had been brought under the law of 
augmentations in the meantime, but it appears this call was not 
very successful. The first stationed minister in these four con 
gregations was Rev. John Fotheringham, who remained in charge 
until their separation, when Roy s and Cromarty were set apart 
under Rev. Mr. Scott, who was pastor for over thirty years. In 
1863, Cromarty congregation erected a new stone church at a cost 
of $3,000. On Mr. Scott s retirement, in 1900, he was succeeded 


by Rev. Robert A. Cranston, present incumbent. The member 
ship of these congregations, at present, is 230, with Sabbath 
schools under the minister s charge of 100 pupils. 

At what time the Methodist Church was organized in this town 
ship it would be impossible to say. In the neighborhood of Staffa, 
services were held by Rev. Mr. Stephens, in the house of George 
Weese, at an early day. In this work was associated with him 
Rev. Mr. Tapp. In 1856 the first Methodist church probably in 
Hibbert was erected in Staffa under Rev. A. A. Smith. This was 
a sort of frame building, the contractor being William Hill, of 
Mitchell. In new settlements, the rule was to hold services in a 
schoolhouse, but in this case school was kept in a church. This 
old building has long since been superseded in its ecclesiastical 
uses by a comfortable brick church, and educational work is now 
carried on in a commodious brick schoolhouse. In Staffa, the 
liberality of this connection has made provision for its minister by 
erecting a parsonage at a cost of over $2,000. Rev. John Hen 
derson, present pastor, reports a membership at Staffa of 115 
souls. In connection with the Staffa congregation is a Sabbath 
school, with an average attendance of nearly 60 pupils. This de 
partment of the work is under the superintendence of Mr. Hugh 

Grace Church, Staffa, was organized by Rev. Mr. Bridgman, 
and at a somewhat later period than several other denominations 
in Hibbert. Its principal promoters were Mr. Robert Livingston, 
Anthony Allan, James Allan, John Richardson, and William 
Worden. Services were held for some time in the Township 
Hall, when a new church was erected in 1887, at a cost of about 
$1,000. Membership in this congregation has not greatly increasd 
since its organization, many having removed. A good Sabbath 
school is maintained, with an attendance of about 80 pupils, Mr. 
Henry Templeton, superintendent. Present incumbent is Rev. 
W. J. Docherty, of Hensal. 

Bethel Methodist Church, lot 6, con. 4, was first organized by 
Rev. Mr. Hurlbert, a church being erected in 1863. Its pro 
moters were Alexander and John Linton, Jas. Watson, William 


Fawcett, and John White, in whose barn and in the people s 
houses services were first held. Twenty members composed the 
first roll, which is now increased to forty, with Rev. M. J. Hender 
son as present minister. A Sabbath school is also conducted by 
Mr. William White, having- an attendance of 40 pupils. 

Salem Methodist Church, on lot 10, con. 6, was organized by 
Dr. Aylsworth, of Mitchell. Previous to erecting- a church, in 
1863, services were held in the schoolhouse. This congregation 
was promoted by Thomas Paff, John Dunkin, David and William 
Hutchinson, Henry Finder, and John Young. A total member 
ship of 20 at its inception has now increased to 40. There is a 
Sabbath school also, conducted by Mr. George Small, having an 
attendance of 35 pupils. 

The English Church at Dublin was organized in 1866 by Rev. 
Mr. Caulfield. During the autumn of that year, and in the spring 
of 1867, a church was erected at a cost of $1,100. The first pro 
moters in this congregation were James Green and Robert Donkin. 
A few members only attended this congregation at its inception, 
now increased to 50. A Sabbath school has been conducted here 
since the church was opened in July, 1867, first under Thomas 
Green, and now has an attendance of 30 pupils. 

In this township, at Dublin, has been erected in 1900 the finest 
church edifice in Hibbert, and compares favourably with any 
ecclesiastical building in Perth County. This congregation was 
formerly a part of that at St. Columban, a number of whose 
members resided near Dublin. In 1899 steps were taken by the 
Catholics in this section to erect a new building more convenient 
for themselves. This movement resulted in a splendid brick 
edifice, costing $20,000. The length is 145 feet, by 50 feet in 
width, with a tower rising to 115 feet. Rev. Father Fogarty is 
pastor, under whose charge are 140 families. 

Zion Methodist Church, on the Huron road, was first established 
in 1869, when a building was constructed. This was again 
replaced by another church in 1889. The principal promoters of 
this congregation were J. Jefferson, E. Annis, J. Hoskin, G. 
Mordil, J. Aiken, J. Britton, and Wm. Bushfield. This is still a 


good rural congregation, and is at present under the pastorate of 
Rev. Mr. Henderson. 

In this township municipal records are of a meagre description 
up to 1857. This was unfortunate, as history was made rapidly 
in early days. Those questions of schools, public libraries, roads, 
liquor by-laws, with other manifestations of progress, are all 
characteristic of early history. When it is found, therefore, that 
records of a period so pregant with change are wanting, it 
detracts from historical interest. As to who first occupied seats 
at a council board in Hibbert I am unable to say. Mr. Robert 
Donkin was first district councillor, subsequent to separation from 
McKillop, occupying that position till our present system was 
introduced in 1850. He then became first reeve, and John A. Sul 
livan, first clerk. In 1851, Thomas McGoey was elected reeve, 
being returned again in 1852. In 1853, Mr. Alexander McLaren 
was reeve, and for many years at a subsequent period was a 
prominent and respected public servant in Hibbert. In 1854 we 
have a record of municipal officers, but for this year only, when 
we find James Black, James Farr, Robert Donkin, Thomas 
McGoey, and Alexander McLaren were elected. Mr. Donkin was 
chosen reeve; John A. Sullivan, clerk; David Oughton, assessor; 
James Murphy, collector; John Hogarth and George Miller, audit 
ors. A committee appointed on salaries reported allowances to 
each: Clerk, 10; assessor, ii] collector, g , councillors, 
each, per diem, 5/3; auctioneer s license, 16/8, with a fee of 2/6 to 
the clerk. A license for a hotel was granted upon payment of 
2, us., 8d. , with a further sum of 2/6 to the officer by whom it 
was issued ; an additional io/ was also paid for inspection. What 
ever conditions may have been observed in our old taverns, there 
was certainly no lack of inspectors, one being appointed for each 
electoral division. This position apparently was a sinecure rather 
than a place of emolument, compensation being only i t IDS. per 
annum. Such responsibilities as those imposed on inspectors 
were not unpleasant. For instance, sampling the contents of a 
tempting array of decanters behind the bar was not an unpleasant 
duty. Where a variety of stimulating fluids were kept in stock, 


a completion of inspection was often reached with the officer in a 
hilarious condition. Mr. Edward Downie was appointed issuer 
of licenses, with Mr. Robert Bell, William Harburn, Edward 
Pursell, and Arthur McCann, inspectors. 

In 1862, Mr. Carroll s election as reeve was protested by his 
opponent, the only case of an election protest I have been able to 
discover in a rural municipality. The cause of protest is not set 
forward by complainant. In a second appeal to the people, Mr. 
Carroll was again returned. It seems rather strange that the 
costs of this proceeding, amounting to $90, were paid by the town 
ship. Hibbert has signalized herself to a great degree by a liberal 
and philanthropic spirit in her grants made from time to time in 
aid of those in distress. In 1862 a mass meeting was held for 
granting aid to the Lancashire operatives in England, which was 
well supported. During this year a subscription was opened to 
assist in raising a monument to the Prince Consort, which was 
not supported at all. A liberal grant to the relief fund in Ireland 
was given in 1863. In 1868 a goodly sum was also voted as 
relief to the Red River Settlement, now the wealthy and populous 
Province of Manitoba. There is a discrimination in making these 
grants highly creditable to the people, in their fine appreciation of 
a dividing line between charity and humbug. 

As late as 1876 five hotels were licensed, one in Cromarty, one 
in Staffa and three in Dublin. These are now reduced to two, 
one in Staffa and one in Dublin. Modern hotels are now very 
different from those of fifty years ago. Whatever we may think 
of accommodations afforded now, which are really good, the old 
log tavern of half a century ago was, in many instances, the most 
wretched spot on earth. 

The minutes of a meeting held on October 12, 1891, were the 
last to be signed by Alexander McLaren, who may be called the 
"Grand Old Man" of Hibbert. There is nothing in that signature 
to indicate approaching dissolution. His hand appears to have 
had all its old-time steadiness. The strings of a highly nervous 
temperament, which were always keyed to their utmost tension, 
seemed to part at once, and in a few weeks he laid down his cross 



and passed beyond the bourne. A motion of condolence by Mr. 
Thomas Ryan, who had been in the meantime elected reeve, closed 
the scene on Mr. Alexander McLaren. 

Population in this township has not increased during the last 
twenty-five years, the number in 1902 being 2,000, and its 
total assessment for that year being $1,606,850. The amount 
collected by taxation for schools and other disbursements was 
about $7,000. Buildings which have been erected in Hibbert 
for educational purposes are equal to those in other rural 
municipalities, and the teachers employed in them are doing good 
work. Of the seven school districts, into which the township is 
divided, there are three union public schools. There is also one 
separate and three union separate schools. With the exception 
of two localities, where drain tile is made, there are no manufac 
turing industries in this municipality. 

Before leaving this part of our municipal history, I may be per 
mitted to subjoin a fac simile copy of an award of the fence 
viewers, as an excellent representation of a public document 
disposing of important interests in the olden time. Those of our 
public municipal men who are accustomed to receive impressive 
and elaborate awards made by engineers under the Drainage 
and Watercourses Act of the present, will be struck by the 

simplicity and finely condensed judgment of the pioneer fence 
viewers court: 

"hibbert, Oct. 6 
"Award of fence viewers 

"on dispute of thomas fell and William salary lot 25 in the 8th 
and gth concessions of hibbert in regards of deepening ditch on 
the said lot, they award that the extent south 8 rods commence 
south and dig on a level to the fence on the concession at his own 


This award is signed by three excellent and responsible citizens 
of the township, one of whom is still a prominent man in a certain 
department of farm industry. 

Officers from 1858, previous records being incomplete, all 


information I have been able to obtain under this part of the work 
has already been stated : 

Reeves. 1858, Finlay McCormick ; 1859-60, William Bell ; 

1861, Robert Donkin ; 1862-4, J onn Carroll ; 1865-7, F. Mc 
Cormick ; 1868-73, Thomas King ; 1874-80, Robert Gardner ; 
1881-92, Alexander McLaren ; 1892-96, Thomas Ryan ; 1897-8, 
Peter Campbell ; 1899-1900, Robert Hoggarth ; 1901-2, W. W. 

Deputy-Reeves. First deputy, 1862-4, John Gardner ; 1865, 
Thos. King ; 1866, Jas. Atkinson ; 1867, Wm. Givins ; 1868-73, 
Robt. Gardner ; 1874-5, J onn McConnell ; 1876, Jas. Hopwood ; 
1877-8, Jas. Harburn ; 1879-83, John Burns ; 1884-92, T. Ryan ; 
1893-6, P. Campbell ; 1897-8, Wm. Feeney. 

Councillors. 1858, Jas. McKenzie, Jas. Friel, George Kidd, 
Maurice Carroll ; 1859-60, Robert Donkin, J. Friel, Jas. Atkinson, 
John Gardner; 1861, Wm. Bell, J. Friel, J. Atkinson, J. Gardner; 

1862, W. Bell, J. Friel, J. Atkinson ; 1863-4, W. Bell, J. Atkin 
son, Mathew Deans ; 1865, Geo. Miller, J. Atkinson, J. Gardner; 
.1866, G. Miller, J. Friel, R. Gardner ; 1867, Michael McAlier, R. 
Gardner, Hugh Currie ; 1868, Wm. Givins, Wm. Worden, Chas. 
Brooks; 1869, W. Givins, W. Worden, Francis Oliver; 1870-1, 
W. Givins, F. Oliver, Jas. Harburn ; 1872, F. Oliver, John Mc 
Connell, Jas. Harburn; 1873, Jas. Harburn, Thos. Pullman, John 
McConnell ; 1874-5, Edward Molyneaux, F. Oliver, Jas. Hop- 
wood ; 1876, Jas. Harburn, Peter Campbell, Edward Molyneaux; 
1877-8, Peter Campbell, F. Oliver, John Burns ; 1879, F. Oliver, 
Peter Campbell, John Jefferson; 1880, F. Oliver, Peter Campbell, 
Andrew Caldwell ; 1881, Andrew Caldwell, J. Jefferson, Robert 
Norris; 1882, J. Jefferson, R. Norris, William Oliver; 1883, J. 
Jefferson, Donald McLaughlin, Jas. Barbour; 1884, J. Jefferson, 
D. McLaughlin, John A. Norris; 1885-6, J. Jefferson, J. A. 
Norris, Jas. Barbour ; 1887, J. A. Norris, Jas. Barbour, Robert 
Hoggarth; 1888-9, J- A. Norris, Robert Hoggarth, Jas. Barbour; 
1890, J. A. Norris, Jas. Barbour, W. T. Cassidy ; 1891, W. T. 
Cassidy, Jas. Barbour, Samuel Harris; 1892, Jas. Barbour, 
Samuel Harris, William Feeney; 1893-5, John A. McLaren, W. 


Feeney, Mathew Miller ; 1896, W. Feeney, Mathew Miller, Robert 
Hoggarth; 1897, M. Miller, R. Hoggarth, W. W. Sadler; 1898, 
R. Hog-garth, W. W. Sadler, Hugh Norris ; 1899-1900, Hugh 
Norris, Mathew Miller, Wm. Dalrymple, Thos. Melady; 1901-2, 
Wm. Dalrymple, T. Melady, Thos. Mahaffey, John A. McLaren. 

Clerks. 1858-71, Thos. Dunn ; 1872-75, Jos. Reading ; 1876- 
98, Timothy Carroll, 1899-1902, James Jordan. 

Treasurers. 1858-64, Edward Dovvnie; 1865-7, Thos. Dunn; 
1868-93, Alexander Ferguson; 1894-1902, James Hamilton. 

Assessors. 1858, James Hoskins ; 1859, Hugh Currie ; 1860-1, 
Jas. Hoskin; 1862-70, George Hamilton; 1871-8, John Gardner ; 
1879-81, Jas. Hopwood ; 1882, Thos. King; 1883-5, James Gil- 
lespie; 1886, James Atkinson; 1887-92, T. G. Hurlburt ; 1895, 
William Cassidy ; 1896-9, F. R. Hamilton; 1900, Michael Raleigh; 

1901, T. G. Carlin ; 1903, Patrick Feeney. 

Collectors. 1858-74, Robert Rooney; 1875-81, Jas. Atkinson; 
1882-7, John Carmichael; 1888-9, William Roberts ; 1890-1, John 
Jefferson; 1892-3, Roderick Kennedy; 1894-8, John A. Norris; 
1899-1900, R. G. Hoggarth; 1901-2, John Stacey. 

Auditors. 1858, John Hoggarth, George Miller; 1859, Timothy 
Carroll, Richard Sarvis ; 1860-3, T. Carroll, John Hoggarth; 
1864-7, T- Carroll, Jas. Shillinglaw; 1868, T. Carroll, Jas. Atkin 
son; 1869-72, T. Carroll, R. S. Sarvis; 1873, T. Carroll, John 
Turner; 1874, T. Carroll, George Caldwell ; 1875, T. Carroll, 
Jas. Harburn; 1876, Jas. Gillespie, Luke King; 1877-9, J ohn 
Carmichael, Luke King; 1880, Jas. Harburn, Luke King; 1881, 
A.C.Jones, Luke King; 1882-8, Dr. McTavish, A. C.Jones; 
1889, Jas. Gillespie, A. S. Case (resigned), A. K. Ferguson (ap 
pointed) ; 1890, Jas. Gillespie, A. K. Ferguson; 1891, Jas. Gil 
lespie, John A. McNaughton; 1892, Jas. Gillespie, T. M. Hamil 
ton; 1893-7, Jas. Gillespie, F. L. Hamilton; 1898, F. L. Hamilton, 
James Jordan; 1899-1901, F. L. Hamilton, Donald McKeller; 

1902, Jno. A. Norris, W. R. Bell. 

Jt 1 

TJD - W^^^^^f *(KH^y 


1. Philip Herold, Reeve. 2. Lorenz Arnold, Councillor. 3. John Plctsch, As 
sessor. 4. John W. Hartleib, Councillor. 5. Samuel Zurbrigg, Treasurer. 6. Allan 
Steckle, Auditor. 7. Henry Vogt, Councillor. 8. Fred. Oehm, Auditor. 9. August 
Schaefer, Collector, 10. Peter McTavish, Councillor. 



South Easthope terminates the eastern limit of that great 
wedge-shaped country known as the "Huron Tract." In Decem 
ber, 1829, concession i was surveyed by Mr. McDonald. A 
further portion was opened in 1832, Mr. Carroll completing the 
whole in 1835. The soil in this municipality is of excellent quality, 
such as that found in Downie and Blanshard. Like these two 
townships, its surface is undulating rather than rolling or hilly. 
In that portion extending from Shakespeare east and south it is 
more diversified than west or southwest. In area it is the 
smallest in Perth County. 

Since its first settlement a system of mixed farming has been 
carried on, most admirably adapted to its soil and its people. 
Dairying, which has been introduced with such marked results in 
other townships, has made little progress in South Easthope. A 
cheese and butter factory was opened by Mr. Ballantyne, of Strat 
ford, several years ago, and, although well patronized, has not 
extended to other sections. Radical changes in farm management 
have taken place here, as in other districts, greatly to the benefit 
of those engaged in agriculture. At one period wheat and 
potash were the only products having any commercial value. 
These gave a quick return to those engaged in clearing land, 
which was a first consideration of all new settlers. Their few 
stumpy acres yielded nothing else which could be transformed into 
money to purchase necessaries or contribute in any way to their 

Seventy years have come and gone, however, since Mr. Fry- 


fogle entered South Easthope, and have brought many changes in 
farm life. Exigencies of commerce, and scientific discoveries in 
its profound exemplification of transportation, have changed old 
plans and methods in successful agriculture to a marked degree. 
Wheat cultivation is no longer a basis on which a farmer can 
build his hopes of future success. Those townships in North 
Perth where natural conditions were not so favorable for wheat 
culture, found in dairying a source of wealth even greater than 
that arising from any system of mixed farming. Evidences of 
progress in South Easthope are everywhere apparent. A high 
state of cultivation is noticeable throughout, fertility in the soil is 
maintained, and, indeed, augmented, affording a good illustration 
of that thrift characteristic of those people through whose agency 
it was largely settled. 

In South Easthope material for constructing good roads is in 
many sections not easily obtained. While several leading roads 
are equal to any in Perth County, on ordinary side roads an 
absence of gravel is apparent. Everthing has been done to over 
come this difficulty by those having road management in charge. 
Highways are well graded, proper drainage to water tables has 
been secured, to overcome, as far as possible, those defects arising 
from a scarcity of gravel. In this township transportation in farm 
products is easily accomplished. Railway facilities are in advance 
of any other township in this county. The G. T. , the B. & L. H., 
and S. & P. D. railroads all afford conveniences for shipping farm 
produce. Where such excellent facilities exist, therefore, for 
marketing goods, an absence of gravel is not so severely felt as 
when an agriculturist has to transport his overplus for long dis 
tances in farm waggons. 

The settlers in this township, excepting a few, are Germans. 
On the Huron Road, between Shakespeare and Stratford, are 
several English speaking families, mostly Scotch, such as Capling, 
Crerar, Robertson, Bell, Riddell, and McCallum. On the 
boundary line of Downie are Matheson, Hislop, Lupton, Duns- 
more, O Donnell, Flanigan, and Jackson. Elsewhere nearly all 
are German. 


Settlement in South Easthope proceeded from east to west, a 
characteristic of the march of backwoodsmen everywhere in South 
Perth. Very little progress was made for a number of years. 
The causes which led to a stagnant condition in so splendid a 
country as Ontario at that period could be easily shown, but fall 
within the province of national history rather than a work of this 
kind. On Christmas Day, 1829, Sebastian Fryfogle, as first 
settler in this county, located on lot 14, concession i. The day 
was appropriate, and the man was appropriate. On this day came 
into the world, over 1,800 years ago, one who proclaimed peace 
and goodwill to all men. On this day one came into Perth County 
who broke a great silence that from all eternity was unbroken by 
a note of civilizing voices. This Sebastian was a herald who 
bore on his own person many of those attributes from which great 
men and great nations are made. He stood alone in that vast 
wilderness, and planted the standard of an advancing civilization. 
None saw it unfurled but himself. He could not hear in this 
distant spot that trampling of feet marching onward to his resting 
place. Did he dream, I wonder, of those mighty forces he was 
destined to see, pressing on through this illimitable solitude ? 
Did he think that, from the beginning of all time, it was given to 
him alone to put forth his hand, saying, all things here shall be 
transformed ? He was a pilgrim pressing on with his banner, on 
which was inscribed in letters of gold " Excelsior." He was the 
forerunner of a new agency, before which that old spirit of the 
forest would shrink back and flee away, yielding its sway of thou 
sands of years to a new transformation. We are proud to know 
this Sebastian was a man of strong character, and in this regard 
typical of many an old pioneer. 

To facilitate settlement, the Canada Company had erected 
several huts along this new road to Goderich, where travellers 
might obtain rest and entertainment. To induce an occupation of 
these places a bonus of 40 was offered to any person who would 
open and keep a house of entertainment for six months in South 
Easthope, as being more adjacent to an old settlement. Further 
west a premium of ^50 was offered, and further west still a 
premium of 60 was given. 


Mr. Fryfogle was born in the Swiss Canton of Berne in the 
latter part of the eighteenth century, and emigrated to America 
in 1806. Settling in Pennsylvania, he remained there for several 
years. He came to Canada in 1827, and resided in Waterloo, 
where he met VanEgmond, who induced him to remove into 
South Easthope. He, therefore, accepted the 40 offered by the 
Canada Co y, and became first settler in Perth County. We 
quote from a former writer on the subject, who says : "It is not 
necessary to follow his course in detail, as the subsequent history 
of this district was so marked by his participation in the principal 
occurrences which go to compose it, that his name appears in 
almost every connection with it. Suffice it to say, he was a very 
able and enterprising man, highly respected and implicitly trusted 
through life, deeply lamented at his death, which occurred at his 
old home in 1873." Those who followed him into the woods 
honored him with the highest offices in their gift. He was a 
district councillor, reeve of his township, warden of Perth County, 
captain in the militia, and one of our oldest magistrates. The 
whole conduct of this excellent man was honourable to himself 
and useful to the people who had on so many occasions placed 
him in positions of trust. 

The second settler in South Easthope was Andrew Riddell, a 
Scotchman from Berwickshire. He located on lot 17, a short 
distance further west than Mr. Fryfogle, and also became a prom 
inent man. Mr. Riddell was followed by Andrew Helmer, and a 
year or two later a number of Scotch from Perthshire settled 
along the Huron road in both the Easthopes. John A. McCarthy 
settled in South Easthope in 1832. This gentleman will be 
remembered by many as being for a great number of years chief 
constable in Stratford. The trend of settlement extended slowly 
toward Woodstock, more rapidly west to Stratford, and south 
ward along the boundary line of Downie towards Zorra. In 1842 
the first school section was formed, South Easthope being divided 
into two school districts by the council in Goderich. The bound 
aries of these sections will be found in a chapter on public schools. 
In 1842 the families of McTavish, McEwen, McFarlane, with a 


great many Germans, had located; and previous to 1850 the 
township may have been said to be settled. In 1832 a number of 
German families had located near Mr. Fryfogle, and toward what 
is now Sebastopol, the first congregation of any denomination of 
professing Christians in this county being organized by the 
Lutherans at this point during that year. 

While this township has excellent trading facilities, there are no 
places of importance within its limits. On the boundary lines are 
several points where large populations are centred. On its north 
west corner is a portion of Stratford. Seven miles south-east is 
Tavistock. Three miles north of the latter point is Shakespeare. 
Sebastopol lies wholly in South Easthope, about one-half mile 
north of Tavistock. This village was founded at an early day by 
Mr. Henry Heyrock, who was its first settler, and built its first 
house. In 1845 Mr. Henry Eckstein came to Sebastopol, also 
remaining in the village. This hamlet was named by its citizens 
during the Russian War of 1852-5, to commemorate that long and 
never-to-be-forgotten siege by the allied armies of a town of that 
name in the Crimea. It is now a pleasant country village, though 
its greatness has been to some extent overshadowed by Tavistock, 
to which it now forms a suburb. There is a very fine church and 
parsonage here, with several business places, supplying goods to 
a fine agricultural country surrounding it. 

Tavistock is an important village containing a population of 
about 1,000, and has a number of fine stores and large manufac 
turing establishments. This place was founded by Mr. Henry 
Eckstein in 1848. Having removed from Sebastopol, where he 
had settled in 1845, he erected a house on what is now the triangle 
formed by Hope and Woodstock streets and the G. T. Railroad, 
using it for a store. Mr. Eckstein named his new village Frieburg, 
in honour of his birthplace in Germany. During the Crimean War 
the citizens of Freiburg were so interested in that struggle on the 
terrible field of Inkerman, that it was renamed in honour of that 
place. Under this historical appellation, it continued to flourish 
until the B. & L. H. R. was built and a post office opened in 
1857. At this period its name was again changed, to Tavistock, 
in honor of a town of that name in England. 


In 1850, Mr. Eckstein erected a brick hotel on a site opposite 
his former building, which has since been rebuilt, and is one of 
several excellent hotels in this village. Where this building now 
stands was a great bog, and it was not till large quantities of solid 
material was swallowed up in quick sand that a foundation of 
timbers could be laid in order to support the present fine structure. 
Henry Schaefer, in 1848, built another dwelling on Hope street. 
A third settler was Antoni Gluecklick. Other small tradesmen, 
who seem to have belonged as much to an agricultural community 
as either the plough or harrow, became settlers. John M. Holmer 
opened a blacksmith s shop. Mr. August Bechberger and Duncan 
Stewart were also early settlers. Mr. Bellinger was first harness- 
maker. Progress was slow until railway construction was com 
pleted and a station erected in Tavistock. This at once crippled 
Sebastopol by centralizing trade at the point of shipment. It was 
only a few years, therefore, subsequent to these events when a 
number of large brick blocks were erected. Good streets and 
sidewalks now extend in all directions, radiating to its residential 
parts. There are three general stores here, some of which would 
do credit to larger places, one hardware store, two tin shops, 
three confectioneries, two jeweleries, a drug store, bakeries, 
groceries, boot and shoe store, three hotels. Two medical 
doctors are located here, Dr. Michael Steele and Dr. O. G. 
Niemeier. Dr. Preiss, of Hamburg, Germany, was first physician, 
deceased many years ago. On September 26th, 1895, was issued 
the Gazette, printed by Mr. J. W. Green, editor and proprietor. 
In May, 1900, this sheet became the property of Mr. F. H. Leslie, 
who conducts it as an independent paper. Its present editor 
endeavours to maintain its character as a good local organ rather 
than making it a conduit of party politics. This ambitious village 
has a good electric light system, well supported by its citizens. 
In a place such as Tavistick this certainly indicates a progressive 
spirit animating all classes. There is also a telegraph and express 
office, an excellent public hall, where meetings are held. To 
accommodate the business men a branch of the Western Bank has 
been opened, and doing a large business. As in all Canadian 


towns, benevolent societies are well represented, and are no doubt 
doing a good work to those who patronize them. 

If progress in commerce has been marked, in manufacturing 
departments it is equally apparent. In 1869, a planing mill and 
furniture factory was established, employing three hands, of which 
the proprietors, Messrs. Kalbfleisch and Schaefer, were two. This 
branch of industry, under careful management, has been quite 
successful, employing about thirty hands, and occupying a large 
three-story brick and ironclad building. A saleroom is opened 
from which goods are sent to every part of Canada. A saw mill 
is run in connection with this establishment, and great quantities 
of butter and cheese boxes are supplied to creameries and cheese 
factories in the surrounding country. In connection with the 
furniture department, undertaking is also carried on. To meet 
the demands of an increasing trade, extensions are being made, 
which will enable the firm to employ a still larger number of hands. 
In 1885, the original partnership was dissolved, and operations 
are now carried on by Mr. John Kalbfleish, as sole proprietor. 
Mr. Schaefer subsequently opened another planing mill, which he 
operated for many years. This mill is still running, although 
it has passed into other hands. 

In 1877, a woollen mill was established by Mr. J. G. Field, 
employing four hands. Mr. Field has succeeded in building up a 
large trade in manufacturing woollen goods of all kinds which 
are shipped to every corner of our country. In this factory a 
number of people are now employed, a substantial brick, and 
other buildings have been erected to accommodate the trade. The 
machinery here is operated by a ii5-horse power engine, which 
is also used as motive power on the dynamos supplying electric 
light to the village. 

In 1868, a barrel and stove factory was established by Mr. John 
Zimmerman, employing seven hands. This business was success 
ful for many years, and is still carried on. Timber has now 
become so scarce in the surrounding country as to cripple 
industries of this description. It can be only a few years when a 
removal will have to take place, not from a want of business, but 


from exhaustion of the raw material which can no longer be 
obtained in the vicinity. 

Its other manufacturing" industries are a broom factory, a cider 
mill, two carriage factories, and a flax mill. 

In 1886 was organized the Tavistock Milling Company, 
when a mill was erected with a capacity of 125 barrels. During 
1893 the property was destroyed by fire. The company at once 
set to work to rebuild, and constructed, perhaps, the largest 
building for milling purposes in this county, being five stories in 
height, with a capacity of 200 barrels. This is a fine structure of 
brick and iron, and receives a large patronage. The business is 
conducted by Mr. A. E. Ratz, and the machinery contained in 
this great building is a sight for visitors to Tavistock. 

While these evidences of material development in agriculture 
and manufacture are apparent, education and religion has by no 
means been neglected in South Easthope. As will be noticed 
elsewhere, this municipality has had its difficulties in defining and 
arranging local legislation to suit its educational requirements. 
At present there are ten sections, five of which are unions. In 
support of these schools, in 1901, a rate of $2,296 was levied and 
collected. Excellent buildings have been provided for comfort 
and convenience to those in attendance. In Tavistock is a school 
building costing $5,000. In this seminary are four departments, 
under Principal Charles Cameron and three female assistants, with 
an attendance of 200 pupils. Continuation classes are kept up, 
and it is a central point for junior and senior leaving examinations. 

South Easthope has several churches. In priority of organization 
for establishing religious services she has precedence over all other 
municipalities in Perth County. Three years previous to the organ 
ization of old St. Andrew s, in Stratford, a place of worship was 
opened and a congregation organized by the Evangelical Lutheran 
body in what is now Sebastopol. In 1832, or seventy years ago, 
Rev. Mr. Horn conducted services amongst the Germans who fol 
lowed Mr. Fryfogle into this new section. What its membership may 
have been the church records do not say. A church was erected 
in 1856, under Rev. Mr. Kaessmann. This was a frame building, 


in which service was held till 1884. During this year the present 
fine brick edifice was constructed at a cost of $16,000. This is a 
beautiful church, whose tall, tapering- spire can be seen a long 
distance. In the great tower are three bells, approaching a 
chime, whose mellow tones are heard far away in the adjoining 
country. This tower also contains a clock, the only one in Perth 
county on a sacred edifice. While this congregation has priority 
in point of antiquity, it has not that distinction of membership, 
which must be given to Knox Presbyterian Church, Stratford. 
Rev. Frederick Veit, as pastor, has been successful during a long 
period of thirty years in his ministrations, the present member 
ship being about 800 souls. A Sabbath school is conducted by 
the minister, with an attendance of 230 pupils. In 1897 this con 
gregation constructed a parsonage at a cost of $2,400. This is a 
spacious building of brick, and finished in a style of neatness 
which characterizes much of the work of this thrifty people. 

The Presbyterian Church in Tavistock, compared with the 
Evangelical Lutheran, is a modern organization, and did not exist 
prior to 1878. The prosperity attained subsequent to building 
the railway had attracted others as well as Germans, and several 
Presbyterians became residents. In 1878, therefore, Rev. Mr. 
Fleming, a missionary, was sent to preach in Tavistock, and, if 
possible, to organize a congregation. The number of adherents at 
this period did not exceed twelve. In 1879 Rev. Mr. Stewart, of 
North Easthope, became a stationed minister, and proper organi 
zation took place. The congregation, who had hitherto held their 
services in a hall over a hotel shed, rented the Baptist Church, 
which they occupied for several years. Meantime a large increase 
in members and adherents took place, and a new brick building 
was constructed at a cost of $3,500. This little body has been 
quite successful, its communion roll numbering at present 112, 
and are still progressing under the ministrations of Rev. Mr. 
McCullough. A Sabbath School is conducted in connection with 
this congregation, Mr. Field being superintendent, having an 
attendance of 75 pupils. The present elders who have done much 
towards its success are Michael Steele, M. D., A. T. Bell, and 
J. G. Field. 


An old congregation in South Easthope is the Baptist in Tavi- 
stock. This church was organized in 1851 by Rev. Mr. Snider. 
Like all other church organizations in the olden time, services 
were held in a log building, where its fifteen members and those 
associating themselves with them, worshipped for a number of 
years. In 1867, the growing demands of this body rendered a 
new church necessary, when their present building was con 
structed. Subsequent to this period a steady progress has been 
made, if not a rapid one; its present members being 63, under 
Rev. Mr. Roadhouse. Provision has also been made for religious 
training of their children, and a Sabbath school is conducted by 
Mr. J. D. Adam as superintendent, at which on Sabbath days 
there is an attendance of about 65 pupils. 

Fifty years ago a Presbyterian church was organized in Shake 
speare, its principal promoters being Messrs. Alexander Mitchell, 
M. Gibson, James Donaldson, and David Campbell, its first 
stationed minister being Rev. Mr. Stephenson. Subsequent to 
its establishment as a separate congregation a church was 
erected in 1853, which is still used as a place of worship. 
Previous to constructing this building, considered at one time ex 
tremely handsome, services were held in the schoolhouse. A 
union was subsequently formed with old St. Andrew s, north of 
Shakespeare, both of which are under the pastoral charge of Rev. 
Hugh Cowan. Steps are now being taken to erect a splendid 
edifice in the village, to accommodate both charges. 

No records of municipal government in South Easthope are in 
existence prior to 1843. For this year they are incomplete, com 
prising several declarations of office as pathmasters, with the usual 
by-laws adopted by all municipalities regarding stock running at 
large. At a meeting of ratepayers in 1843, a motion was passed 
which to-day is meaningless, but in that olden time of sixty years 
ago was of great importance. This motion we may be permitted 
to insert here, as affording some insight into pioneer life at that 
period, not only in this township, but everywhere in the Huron 
Tract: "It was moved and seconded, that no restrictions be passed 
as to cattle running at large and browsing; every chopper is to 


look after whatever cattle come into his chopping, and drive 
them away without any hurt." Young- agriculturists of to-day 
will realize the importance of this motion, when we say, that those 
few cattle, then possessed by any backwoodsman, existed almost 
during the entire winter on tree tops, thrown down in chopping a 
fallow. When maple was plentiful, cattle wintered on their tops 
or brush in good condition, until leeks and adder tongues brought 
relief in spring. If this manner of keeping stock was primitive, 
it was of a piece with many other operations in pioneer life, the 
best that could be done. Legislation passed at this meeting was 
signed by John T. Flynn, as township clerk. 

In 1844, Mr. Flynn was re-elected clerk. Wm. Cossey, chair 
man, was chosen assessor, and James Izzard, collector. Town 
wardens of 1843 were re-elected, composed of Andrew Riddell, 
Daniel Cook and Lorenz Arnoldt, with Andrew Helmer as district 
councillor. Poundkeepers were Sebastian Fryfogle, William 
McDonald and Daniel Cook. In the records of this meeting we 
have names of the first pathmasters, 17 in number, as follows : 
William Reid, Alexander Stewart, James Brown, Donald Stewart, 
and Henry Dunn, from concession i ; John Wilcker, Klaus 
Roet, John Wolff and James Balerow, from concessions 2 and 3; 
Nicholas Sleigel, Adam Kalbfleisch, John Heinbuck and James 
Berger from concessions 4 and 5, with Douglass McTavish, from 
concession No. 6. 

In 1845, Mr. Helmer was again elected district councillor, with 
Sebastian Fryfogle, Andrew Riddell and Gad Curtis, as wardens. 
William Cossey was chosen clerk, holding this office till 1850. 
At this meeting James Izzard was chosen collector, and John 
Zacky, assessor. It will be observed that no treasurer or auditors 
were appointed, these offices being still held by officers of the 
district council in Goderich. 

In 1846, Alexander McTavish was appointed collector, and John 
Zacky, assessor. A change was made in town wardens, Donald 
McGregor, W T illiam Bayly, and William McDonald being elected. 

In 1847, Sebastian Fryfogle was chosen assessor; Alex. Mc 
Tavish, collector; Henry B. Nebb, Henry Izzard, and George 
Kalbfleisch, town wardens. 


In 1848, Sebastian Fryfogle was elected district councillor; 
Henry B. Nebb, assessor; Lenord Wilcker, collector; George 
McMillan, Valentine River, and Anthony Kostzer, wardens. 

For 1849: Andrew Helmer, chairman; John Fitzcharles, as 
sessor ; Andrew Helmer, collector ; William L. Bayly, Henry 
Simmons, and James Williamson, wardens. 

The first statement of accounts in South Easthope occurs dur 
ing- 1843, and is as follows : Money received by clerk, ^3, 2s., 6d. ; 
expended by J. C. W. Daly in 1843, 18, 8s., gd. At this period 
local clerks acted as township treasurers, under a district treasurer 
in Goderich. On the i2th day of July, 1848, the first audit 
appears to have been made in proper form by the district auditors, 
who found remaining in the hands of William Cossey, township 
clerk, a sum of ^3, 35., 5^d. The total receipts for 1848 
amounted to ^25, 45. ,8d. ; disbursements, ^25, 2s., 4d. , leaving 
a balance in hand of 2/4. At the close of 1849 this sum was 
increased to four shillings and four pence halfpenny. All trans 
actions were now closed under the old law, and South Easthope, 
on the first day of January, 1850, without any debt, began house 
keeping on her own account with 45., 4/^>d. in her pocket. 

On January 2ist, met the first council ever elected in South 
Easthope, when Messrs. Philander Alvin Sebring, William Cossey, 
Andrew Helmer and Peter Woods produced their oaths of office. 
Mr. Sebastian Fryfogle also appeared, and declined to act as 
councillor, for which he had been elected. Mr. Andrew Helmer 
was elected reeve; Alexander Mitchell, clerk; Robert Johnston, 
John Stinson, and William McLaggan, assessors; Geo. Kalbfleisch, 
collector; Andrew Riddell, treasurer; Henry Roper, and James 
Woods, of Stratford, auditors. 

The first order of business was characteristic of the old pioneer, 
and illustrates those feelings universally expressed in every muni 
cipality regarding education. This was a petition praying for the 
formation of a school section on the first concession, to extend to 
and include lots 26 to 36 along that line of road. Mr. John Durant 
applied to be appointed as superintendent of schools. In February, 
Mr. James Woods took his seat as councillor, in place of Mr. 


Fryfogle, who had declined the proposed honor. At the election 
in January, Mr. James Woods having been elected as councillor, 
Mr. W. Hines was appointed to succeed him as auditor, and John 
Lynch was chosen as his colleague, Mr. Roper having resigned to 
become superintendent of schools. The clerk was instructed to 
procure a seal about the size of a quarter of a dollar, with a plough 
in the centre as a coat of arms. Meantime, a piece of brown wax 
was to be used as the impress of authority on all official papers 
until a new seal be procured. The remuneration granted to town 
ship officers for their services was very modest, indeed. The clerk 
was to be paid ^5 ; collector, 6 per cent, on all moneys collected ; 
assessor, 5 per cent, on all money collected by the collector ; su 
perintendent of education, ^3, IDS. per annum; treasurer, 2; 
auditors, i each. Collector s bond was fixed at ^300, treas 
urer s at ^200, and superintendent of schools at 200. A by-law 
was passed dividing the municipality into three divisions for 
assessment purposes. Another by-law was also passed regulating 
or disallowing cattle and other farm animals from roaming at 

In March, the council again met at Bell s Corners (Shakespeare), 
when remuneration to members was fixed at five shillings per 
diem for attendance at meetings of council or committees. An 
excellent piece of legislation was also passed at this meeting, 
levying a tax of five shillings per annum on all dogs not used on 
a farm. This act is one that all councils at present could well 
afford to place on their statute book, and rigorously enforce. The 
clerk was instructed to procure a seal from Mr. Lee, of Gait, at a 
cost of ^i, i2s., 6d. Arranging school sections constituted the 
subsequent business of this meeting. It is worthy of remark that 
the whole attention of the council till November was occupied in 
manipulation, creation and alteration of school districts, excluding 
all other matters properly within their line of duties. 

Nomination day in 1852 brought forth no less than eighteen 
aspirants for municipal honors. This contest was evidently a 
keen one, a large vote being polled. On the second day, at 
four o clock p. m. , no votes having been recorded for some time, 


Major Brown, who was returning- officer, closed the poll, announc 
ing- the five successful candidates. In this terrible struggle for an 
honest expression of public opinion on the merits of the several 
gentlemen who placed themselves in the hands of their friends a 
reluctant sacrifice, of course, one unfortunate aspirant for public 
honor received only three votes. That must have been a woeful 
night in South Easthope, when thirteen defeated expounders of 
those great principles essential to municipal progress wended their 
weary way through the woods to their lonely shanties, there to 
find that comfort and repose they vainly expected to find in a 
struggle for place and power. 

In 1852 the council, realizing the necessity of improvement in 
highways, passed a by-law investing ^350 in stock of " Wood 
stock Gravel Road." This was the first work of any magnitude 
they had undertaken, and, until the B. & L. H. Railway was 
opened, aided much in developing South Easthope. During this 
year "Bell s Corners" was changed to "Shakespeare." Mr. 
Mitchell, who was chief magistrate during this period, was a gen 
tleman of education and some refinement ; one of a class of people 
in many instances but ill fitted to undergo the toils and privations 
inseparable from pioneer life. He was a person of literary at 
tainments, and conceived the idea of giving "Bell s Corners" a 
more appropriate name, by substituting that of his favorite author, 
the Bard of Avon. 

In 1854, seven hotels were licensed in this municipality, and 
known as: The "Bar Room," by T. Flynn ; "Halfway House," 
C. Birkmoir; "Compass and Square," J. Matterson ; "Shake 
speare Hotel," Mr. Gibson; " Union House," Sebastian Fryfogle ; 
" Wilker s Tavern," G. Brown," and " Frieburg," by Henry Eck 
stein. The indemnity for a license to sell was fixed on a sliding 
scale, ranging from 2, IDS. to ^4, zos. in Stratford. In 1858 a 
great increase in hotels is recorded, the council granting licenses 
to twelve houses of public entertainment, at fixed charges ranging 
from $14 to $30 per annum. Since this period, like other muni 
cipalities, the liquor traffic has gradually decreased, until, at 
present, six hotels are licensed to sell three in Tavistock, one in 


Sebastopol, and two in Shakespeare. South Easthope possessed 
a public library at a very early day, but its management appears 
to-have been in other hands than that of the council, only one 
notice in connection therewith being a motion in 1859, instructing 
their clerk to procure, and accepting a tender from George Brown 
to supply a "press to keep the township library and other papers." 
At present, Tavistock has a fine public library of over 1,500 

In 1864, Mr. A. A. Drummond, superintendent of education in 
South Easthope, presented his first report, from which we quote 
as follows: "Any report on the state of education in this township 
must be unsatisfactory that does not refer to the great difficulties 
in the way of the teachers. In four out of the six sections Ger 
man must be taught, and where two languages are read, neither 
of them can be as well done as if only one was taught. The 
schools are not as far advanced as they might have been but for 
this drawback. There are six schools in the township, all of 
which are free, and supported at an expense of $2,314 per annum. 
The number of children of school age is 655 ; of these, 591 have 
been at school for a longer or shorter period." The average 
attendance indicated "a bad state of things, being only 209, and 
with the Shakespeare school off, it would leave for the rest of the 
township an average of 124. I do not wonder that teachers com 
plain of irregularity in attendance." Progress made in education 
since this report was written has been very marked, and is grati 
fying to those who have in charge the training of the young 
minds under their care. It is noticeable, also, that school pro 
perty in one section is of greater value to-day than the whole was 
worth at the period when this report was presented. 

In 1864, about the first estimate on record was submitted to 
the council, amounting to $3,084. Of this sum $1,470 was for 
county rate; schools, $278; balance for local purposes. Assets 
for this year are set forth as being $906, leaving a balance of 
$2,178 to be levied and collected from the ratepayers. During the 
period from 1864 to 1901 an increase occurred, but which is 
only co-relative with material development in South Easthope. 


During 1901 a total sum of $8,944 was collected, of which $3,296 
was for schools, other rates absorbing- the balance. 

Drainage facilities in this township are such as to preclude any 
large expenditure for removing surplus moisture. Schemes for 
public drainage have not been burdensome, about $4,000 having 
been expended on what is known as the Central Drain. On the 
concession line a traveller sees everywhere indications of thrift 
and comfort in fine farms, good barns, and substantial residences 
of modern construction, with all the requirements demanded by 
a people of affluence and refinement. 

On December 26th, 1871, were issued by the South Easthope 
Mutual Fire Insurance Company policies covering agricultural 
buildings. This is a farmers organization on a purely mutual 
plan, securing protection for their own people at low rates. This 
institution has, through economical management, been successful 
and convenient to those who patronize it. 

South Easthope has now a total assessment of $1,149,300, and 
a population of 1884. 

In 1844, this township contained 820 inhabitants, including a 
portion of Stratford, and had 3,069 acres under cultivation. In 

1851, its population had increased to 1,450, and 5,136 acres were 
under cultivation. In 1849, the produce was 23,000 bush, wheat, 
i, 900 bush, oats, 4,000 bush, peas, 13,000 bush, potatoes, 7,000 
bush, turnips, 2,000 bush, barley, u,ooolbs. maple sugar, 3,000 
Ibs. wool, 3,000 Ibs. butter. . In 1862 the population reached 
2,322, Stratford, meantime, having withdrawn. 

Officers elected and appointed from 1850 to 1902, and their 
periods of service. This township never had a deputy reeve : 
Reeves. 1850, Andrew Helmer; 1851, Sebastian Fryfogle ; 

1852, Alexander Mitchell; 1853, Sebastian Fryfogle; 1854, A. 
Helmer; 1855-8, S. Fryfogle; 1859-60, John Stinson ; 1861-3, 
John Fitzgerald; 1864-75, Leonard Wilker ; 1876-96, John 
Schaefer ; 1897-1902, Philip Herold. 

Clerks. 1850-1, Alexander Mitchell; 1852-3, Major Brown; 
1854-5, William Cossey; 1856-60, John C. Wilker; 1861-4, 
Lewis Fredricks; 1865-6, John Stinson; 1867-78, Edmond Sitzer; 


1879-83, D. A. McTavish; 1884-9, Robert Reid; 1890-2, Valentine 

Treasurers. 1850-84, Andrew Riddell ; 1885-90, Samuel Zu- 

brigg ; 1891-4, Edward Wettlaufer; 1895-1902, Samuel Zubrigg. 

Assessors. 1850, Robert Johnston, John Stinson, William Mc- 

Laggan ; 1851, Sebastian Fryfogle, sr. , William Watson ; 1852-3, 

Sebastian Fryfogle, sr. ; 1854, Henry B. Neil; 1855-7, J onn 

Helmer; 1858, John Wilker; 1859-62, Charles Baeckler ; 1863, 

Jacob Reinhardt ; 1864, George Brown; 1865, Jacob Reinhardt ; 

1866-73, Christian Dietrich; 1874-5, Edmond Corbett; 1876, 

John Hartlieb; 1877-84, Samuel Zubrigg; 1885, C. P. Schaefer; 

1886-9, Philip Herold ; 1890-1902, John Pletsch. 

Collectors. 1850, George Kalbfleisch; 1851-4, John Stinson; 
1855, John Helmer ; 1856, Sebastian Fryfogle ; 1857-62, George 
Brown; 1863-4, Jacob Reinhardt ; 1865, Christian Dietrich ; 1866, 
Edmond Sitzer; 1867-84, Archibald McEwen ; 1885-88, Christian 
Dietrich; 1889-94, Frederick Trachsell; 1895-6, J. J. Wettlaufer; 
1897-1902, August Schaefer. 

Councillors. 1850, Philander Sebring, Jas. Woods, Peter 
Woods, William Cossey ; 1851, Nicholas Schligal, Lorentz Arnold, 
Andrew Wilker, John Wilker; 1852, Andrew Helmer, Thomas 
Towers, U. C. Lee, Leonard Wilker; 1853, Nicholas Schligal, 
Leonard Wilker, John Heinbuch, Andrew Helmer ; 1854, Leonard 
Wilker, John Stinson, Thomas Towers, Sebastian Fryfogle, sr. ; 
1855, S. Fryfogle, sr. , Thomas Towers, John Heinbuch, Alex. 
McTavish; 1856, Daniel Wallace, Thomas Towers, Duncan Scott, 
A. McTavish ; 1857, Nicholas Roth, John Stinson, Henry Ratz, 
D. C. Wallace; 1858, John Fitzgerald, John Stinson, Leonard 
Wilker, J. Schaefer; 1859, John Fitzgerald, L. Wilker, Nicholas 
Roth, J. Schaefer; 1860, Justus Schaefer, Benedict Roth, John 
Fitzgerald, Leonard Wilker; 1861-2, John Stinson, B. Roth, L. 
Wilker, J. S. Schaefer; 1863, Leonard Wilker, J. S. Schaefer, 
John Blair, John Stinson; 1864, John Schaefer, John Blair, John 
Stinson, Valentine Weiss; 1865, Valentine Weiss, John Smith, 
John Blair, John Trachsell; 1866, V. Weiss, John Blair, John 
Trachsell, Douglas McTavish; 1867-8, E. Corbett, V. Weiss, 


Douglas McTavish, John Trachsell ; 1869-71, John Trachsell, E. 
Corbett, William Morelock, V. Weiss; 1872, John Trachsell, E. 
Corbett, John Schaefer, John Klein ; 1873, John Trachsell, John 
Schaefer, E. Corbett, John Klemand ; 1874-5, J onn Trachsell, 
John Schaefer, Daniel Smith, John Klein; 1876, Daniel Smith, 
John Miller, John Trachsell, Alexander Capling; 1877, John 
Trachsell, A. Capling, John Miller, V. Weiss; 1878, J. Trachsell, 
A. Capling, V. Weiss, Henry Kalbfleisch ; 1879, Henry Schaefer, 
Conrad Eichenauer, V. Weiss, John Trachsell; 1880-2, J. Miller, 
Alex. Capling, V. Weiss, Conrad Eichenauer; 1883, H. Schaefer, 
John Miller, John Trachsell, C. Eichenauer ; 1884, H. Schaefer, 
John Trachsell, Daniel Smith, Henry Peter; 1885-6, Daniel 
Smith, John Trachsell, Henry Peter, Daniel Yousie ; 1887, Daniel 
Smith, John Trachsell, Daniel Yousie, Henry Schaefer; 1888, J. 
Miller, Daniel Yousie, Henry Schaefer, John Trachsell; 1889, 
Henry Schaefer, Daniel Yousie, Henry Peter, H. Raush ; 1890, 
H. Schaefer, Henry Peter, Fred Oehm, Lorentz Arnold; 1891-3, 
Henry Peter, Henry Schaefer, Lorentz Arnold, Daniel Yousie ; 

1894, Daniel Yousie, Henry Schaefer, Henry Peter, Fred Hausser; 

1895, Henry Schaefer, Henry Peter, Daniel Yousie, John Doig; 

1896, Henry Peter, John Doig, Daniel Yousie, Lorentz Arnold ; 

1897, Henry Peter, J. Doig, Lorentz Arnold, William Anderson; 

1898, Jacob Wilker, W T illiam Anderson, Lorentz Arnold, John 
Doig; 1899-1900, Henry Peter, Jacob Wilker, Lorentz Arnold, 
William Anderson; 1901, Henry Vogt, Lorentz Arnold, John 
Hassleib, Jacob Wilker; 1902, Lorentz Arnold, Henry Vogt, P. 
McTavish, John W. Hartleib. 

Auditors. 1850, William Hines, John Lynch; 1851, Donald 
Hay, Peter Woods ; 1852, George Worsley, John Lynch; 1853, 
Henry Highbrook, Donald Hay; 1854-5, John Stinson, Mathew 
Gibson; 1856, Donald Hay, J. Stinson; 1857-8, Mathew Gibson, 
William Watson ; 1859, Mathew Gibson, Jacob Wagner ; 1860-1, 
Jacob Wagner, George Worsley; 1862, John Smith, George 
Worsley; 1863, William Watson, George Worsley; 1864, Ed 
mund Sitzer ; 1865, James Donaldson, Henry Ratz ; 1866, James 
Donaldson, J. D. Smith; 1867, Charles Pollner, J. W. Donald- 


son; 1868, Alex. Anderson, Mathew Hyde; 1869-70, John Miller, 
Alex. Scott; 1871, John Miller, Thomas Massey; 1872-3, John 
Miller, Alex. Capling; 1874, John Miller, J. W. Donaldson; 1875, 
J. W. Donaldson, John Hartleib ; 1876, James Donaldson, Samuel 
Zubrig-g-; 1877-80, James Donaldson, Thomas Odbert ; 1881-3, 
Daniel Smith, Jas. Donaldson; 1884-5, Jas. Donaldson, H. H. 
Schaefer; 1886, Jas. Donaldson, D. A. McTavish ; 1887-8, Jas. 
Donaldson, Adam Schaefer; 1889, Valentine Stock, A. Schaefer; 
1890-2, Adam Schaefer, Chas. Zoellner; 1893, Adam Schaefer, 
James Donaldson; 1894, Philip Herold, Adam Schaefer; 1895, 
James Smith; 1896, Fred. Oehm ; 1897-8, Alex. Fraser, Edward 
Bauer; 1899-1900, John W. Hartleib, Edward Bauer; 1901, E. 
Bauer, Alex. Fraser; 1902, Allan Steckle, Frederick Oehm. 



Ellice township was named in honor of Edward Ellice, a 
director of the Canada Co. The original plan of survey was that 
adopted in all those municipalities fronting on the Huron road, by 
opening up only one concession at one time for several years. In 
1829, the first concession was surveyed and opened for settlement. 
During 1832 a further portion was mapped out, and again in 1835 
a few more concessions were added, till 1839, when it was com 
pleted by John McDonald, P. L.S. Blanshard being also surveyed 
in 1839, opened the whole Huron Tract. 

Ellice had within her limits a few of the earliest settlers in this 
county, although for a number of years her progress was 
extremely slow. Mr. Andrew Seebach, a Bavarian, settled 
on lot 31, concession i, in 1830. This date will be found at 
variance with that made in another work published in Perth 
County several years ago. It is there asserted that Mr. Seebach 
arrived in Ellice during 1828. This work also says that 
he came in subsequent to Mr. Fryfogle, in South Easthope. This 
same authority asserts that Mr. Fryfogle came in 1829. If the 
latter gentleman came in 1829, Mr. Seebach certainly could not 
have stayed at his house on his way to Ellice in 1828. The 
Huron road was not even blazed in 1828, nor till late summer in 
1829, and neither Mr. Seebach nor any other person could have 
settled on any particular lot, as none were yet surveyed. As Mr. 
Fryfogle was first settler in this county, so Mr. Seebach was first 
settler in Ellice. A premium of ^50 was granted him by the 
Canada Co., in order that he might open a place of entertainment 










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to accommodate those travellers passing- into the Huron Tract in 
quest of a home. He, therefore, erected what was afterwards 
known as Seebach s hotel, on what is considered the highest ele 
vation in Perth County, called Seebach s Hill. It is also said this 
old pioneer was nine days in making a journey from Waterloo to 
his adopted place in the woods, a statement which any one 
acquainted with travel in a primeval Canadian forest will have no 
reason to doubt. 

Amongst those early settlers who followed Mr. Seebach were 
Mr. George Kastner, Mr. Stoskopf, Mr. John Rohfreitsch and Mr. 
Alexander Gourlay, all of whom located along the Huron road. 
Mr. George Brunner was first to penetrate further north, settling 
on lot 24, con. 3, in 1832. Excepting a limited section between 
what is now Sebringville and Stratford, very few pioneers entered 
this township until a period subsequent to 1840. In the municipal 
records of 1843 a copy of the assessment roll contains the names 
of all ratepayers liable to perform statute labor, which means 
all male inhabitants over twenty-one then resident in Ellice. This 
assessment also includes that portion of Stratford still a part of 
the township. It was divided into nine road divisions, with a total 
of 225 days. On those road lists were the names J. C. W. Daly, 
J. A. McCarthy, John Sharman, Wm. Finder, Richard O Donnell, 
Wm. C. Bryan, Alex. Scott, Daniel McPherson, Jno. Kastner, P. 
Kastner, Geo. Switzer, Geo. Carragan, Alex. Gourlay, Jas. 
Framcom, John Clyne, Anthony Goettler, Thos. Pearson, Wm. 
Corragan, J. Jacob, M. Stoskopf, J. Webber, J. Brunner, Wm. 
Studor, Mr. Seebach, Mr. Bartle, Mr. Rohfreitsch, A. Seebach, M. 
Jacobs, F. Ash, J. Riel, Geo. Gortineer, John Hicks, John 
Doersman, D. Brunner, C. Pfrimmer, G. Brunner, V. Pfrimmer, 
Patrick Cashen, D. Phalen, Mr. Rowlands, Wm. Scott, Jas. 
Cossey, John Quinlan, R. Mills, Chas. O Brien, Wm. Whitman, 
and Thos. Reddie. Mr. J. C. W. Daly and M. Stoskopf had 
the largest amount of statute labor, being ten days each. 

In this township the trend of settlement was from the Huron 
road northward, and excepting a portion around Kinkora, and a 
section near Stratford composed of North of Ireland people, all are 


German. It contains a large tract of splendid land, nearly all 
under a high state of cultivation, excepting a portion on its east 
ern boundary, known as the Ellice swamp. Its surface throughout 
is level, slightly undulating, but in no section hilly, as in North 
Easthope. Along its central part is the height of land between 
Lakes Huron, Erie and St. Clair. From this township streams 
flow south, west, and northeast, all having their source in that 
great marsh which at one period existed on the eastern side. Vast 
improvements have of late years been carried out by municipal 
authority, in drainage, reclaiming large areas of fine land now 
most productive. Although it is the source of many streams, it 
cannot be said to have much running water, but this necessity can 
be found in abundance a short distance beneath the surface. 

Where a flat surface obtains road building material is usually 
not plentiful. In this township deposits of gravel are not found 
with such frequency as in those adjoining. This deficiency of 
material has been overcome to a great extent, and roads in Ellice 
are quite up to the standard of those in more favored sections. 
Constructing bridges is not one of the demands on her municipal 
exchequer, which in some municipalities forms a great portion of 
the annual expenditure. This circumstance has enabled her public 
men to make greater disbursements in road building, without 
demanding heavier contributions from the people. Transportation, 
since railway inception, has been convenient and easy of access. 
Excellent facilities for shipping farm produce are afforded at 
Stratford, Sebringville, Brunner, and Mitchell, on the B. & L. H. 
and Stratford and Wiarton railroads. These important advan 
tages have aided very much in developing the material resources 
of this township. 

A system of mixed farming has been adopted with success. On 
small farms of 100 acres specialism is not a desirable method; 
being so closely allied to speculative ideas, it ought always to be 
avoided. No farmer should be a speculator either in his own 
business or outside of it. The agriculturist here, as elsewhere, 
has been quite successful by ordinary methods. These he has 
modified from time to time in a manner commensurate with ever 


changing conditions, which have been forced on him by extraneous 
circumstances. That it has been productive of good results is 
evident to any one. In Ellice are found excellent farm buildings, 
fences, with other improvements, all indications of prosperity. 
Characteristic of the German in Ellice is thrift, simplicity of every 
day life, and uniform kindness to a stranger who comes within 
their gates. 

That they are of strong religious convictions is apparent from 
the number of costly church edifices, whose appropriate style of 
architecture, elaborate in design in many instances, are found 
throughout settlements of this nationality. In sections entirely 
composed of Germans, farm buildings are often found more pre 
tentious than such accommodations amongst English speaking 
people. A number of palatial dwellings, erected on farms in these 
northern municipalities by Germans, indicate a lavish expenditure 
of money, which one would think inconsistent with profit to an 
average farmer or with that caution and economical rule of con 
duct attributed to their German owners. Be that as it may, a man s 
work is always a reflex of his mind, and his continuous operations 
simply display his inner springs of thought developed into action, 
and crystallized in a construction of material things. From a 
financial standpoint great houses on the farm may not be profit 
able, but there can be no doubt as to the elevating influence of 
such fine structures on the farmer, his family, and those associated 
with him in his calling. We are largely creatures of environment, 
and if a farmer erects a beautiful dwelling place, indicating refine 
ment in its construction, there is a strong tendency that the souls 
of its inmates will partly become of the same character. 

Ellice contains few villages, and none having any considerable 
population. Sebringville, on the Huron Road, partly in Downie 
and partly in Ellice, has priority of settlement as well as numbers. 
A sketch of this place will be found in the local history of Downie, 
to which the reader is referred. 

Rostock, the capital, is a place of some importance, with a 
population of 150, and contains a number of private residences, 
with all the small industries peculiar to a country village. This 


little commercial point was once known as Ellice Centre, and is 
located on the loth and nth concession road at its intersection by 
the centre road. Its first building- was a blacksmith s shop, kept 
by Mr. Henry Maurer, erected in 1862; and during- that year a log 
schoolhouse was constructed. At this period, also, a sawmill was 
built by Mr. Elden Sebring-, which constituted Rostock till 1875. 
During- this year Mr. Justus Kreuter erected the first store, and in 
1877 a hotel was opened. Those old pioneers in this neighbour 
hood who were first to enter the wilderness were Christian 
Schenck in 1854, Frederick Buck, Elden Sebring-, Charles Freier, 
Ernest Denstedt, Frederick Fisher, and Frederick Gall. At 
present there are two g-eneral stores, one hotel, two blacksmiths 
shops, a wag-g-on shop, two telephone offices, and several private 
residences. There is also a very fine public school building-, 
most creditable to so small a place. 

Wartburg-, situate two and a-half miles South of Rostock, was 
founded in 1857 by Mr. Richard Coulton, who built the first build 
ing. Mr. Coulton was a school teacher, and an early settler. About 
two years subsequent Mr. Henry Miller opened the first store, a 
blacksmith s shop being opened previously. This hamlet, which 
was originally named "Totness," and the seat of government for 
several years, has not made great progress. At present there is 
one general store, a hotel, a neat Evangelical Lutheran Church, 
and a number of private residences. This place, like Rostock, 
is surrounded by a wealthy agricultural community. 

Gadshill, situated on the boundary line between North Easthope 
and Ellice, is largely in the latter municipality. This hamlet was 
founded by Henry Ratz, who built a sawmill subsequent to the 
opening of the gravel road into Mornington. This highway was 
constructed through a dense swamp its entire length, a dis 
tance of ten miles. To a traveller passing over the road to-day 
this statement will seem incredible. Improvement during twenty- 
five years has so transformed this district that one can with difficulty 
realize that such progress could have been possible in so short a 
period of time. Being situated on a leading highway, within 
easy distance of Stratford, this is a lively village. At present it 


contains a saw mill, grist mill, hotel, blacksmith s shop, general 
store, and still retains a fair measure of commercial importance. 

Kinkora, two and a half miles west from Wartburg, has a store, 
post office, and a very fine Catholic church. This place is 
surrounded by an excellent agricultural country, affording 
evidences of wealth amongst the farming- community. 

Topping, and Brunner, a station on the Stratford & Huron 
Railway, are points of not great importance so far. Both are 
centres of a section of good land, and will doubtless in the near 
future contain many of those industries peculiar to rural districts. 

Ellice has several churches of elegant design, and consequently 
of substantial material. Amongst these must be accorded pre 
cedence to the Roman Catholic at Kinkora. This congregation is 
an old one, being organized by that great apostle of Catholicism 
in Perth County, Rev. Father Schneider. Prior to this mission 
being opened, no clergyman resided nearer than Stratford or St. 
Columban. Rev. Father Kenney, from the former place, subse 
quent to Father Schneider s removal, held occasional services in 
the shanty of some pioneer. Father Crinnon, who afterwards 
became Bishop of Hamilton, followed Father Kenney as first 
pastor. During his administration a frame church was erected, 
in which services were held until 1882. Thirty years ago the now 
venerable Father O Neill was inducted into this congregation, 
and during his long and successful ministrations much good has 
been accomplished. At this period many Catholic people in this 
section had become wealthy, and they decided that a new edifice 
should be erected, more in keeping with their advanced social 
condition. In 1882, therefore, was erected the finest rural church 
edifice in Perth County, at a cost of $30,000. Its front elevation 
contains a fine oriel window of transparent glass. On the north 
side rises the tower, surmounted by a spire, harmonizing its 
exterior. The interior is elaborate in detail, and beautiful in 
design. There is a large vestibule, whose roof or ceiling is 
supported by a group of lancet-shaped arches resting on fluted 
columns, among which faintly falls a subdued light from translu 
cent windows. Passing into the auditorium, a row of columns 


extends on the north and south sides through the building. From 
these columns arches spring right and left, supporting a deeply- 
groined roof. A pipe organ forms a beautiful background to the 
choir over the vestibule, at the main entrance. There are con 
nected with this congregation 105 families. Amongst the old 
pioneers who were largely instrumental in promoting this work 
were John, Peter, and Joseph Stock; Patrick Collins, Lawrence 
Crowley, Peter Connelly, Patrick Flynn, John, Patrick, and 
Robert Kelly; Robert and Jos. Brown; Wm. Gaunt and Cornelius 
Kennedy. Father O Neil is still in charge of the congregation. 

East of Kinkora two and a half miles, in Wartburg, is the 
second Evangelical Lutheran Church of St. John (Missouri 
Synod), which was set apart in 1856 from that established at 
Seebach s Hill. Rev. Mr. Hengrer, its first minister, on appli 
cation to the Canada Co y, was presented with a site for a church. 
The founder of this mission, as well as several others in Ellice, was 
Dr. Anthony Schaffraneck, who was really the apostle of Evan 
gelical Lutheran Christianity in this district. The present church 
building was erected in 1883, at a cost of $2,000. Its member 
ship has increased rapidly, from a few families in 1858, until, under 
Rev. Mr. Oldenburg s ministrations, they now number 250 souls. 
A Sabbath school, superintended by Mr. Bruckman, has an aver 
age attendance of 40 pupils. Mr. Oldenburg also conducts a 
young people s class every Saturday. 

In Rostock, two and a half miles north of Wartburg, is the 
Evangelical Association of Zion s Church. This congregation was 
organized in 1865 by Rev. Mr. Spies, and a church erected. The 
promoters of this movement were Messrs. Heller, Ballantyne, 
Knechtel, Sebring and Passmore. In 1902, before this work can 
be published, a new brick structure will be completed at a cost of 
$3,000. This congregation now numbers about 125 souls, and is 
under the pastorate of Rev. Mr. Grenzebach. A Sabbath school, 
with an average attendance of 85 pupils, is conducted by Mr. 
William Schenck, superintendent. 

Northwest of Rostock two and a half miles, on Lot 15, Con. 12, 
is St. Paul s Evangelical Lutheran Church, Canada Synod. This 


congregation was organized in 1862 by Dr. Schaffraneck, and em 
braced about 15 families. Service was held in a school house 
and in settlers shanties until 1868, when a church was erected. 
Progress in this congregation was rapid both in wealth and num 
bers. In 1894, the pioneer building was found inadequate to ac- 
comodate an ever increasing number of \vorshipers, and a new 
brick edifice was constructed. This is an imposing building, 
costing over $8,000. In the tower, which is surmounted by a 
graceful spire, are two bells. One of these is great and deep-toned, 
the other smaller. I may be permitted to state here that these 
bells are utilized to perpetuate a very beautiful old custom brought 
from Germany, and thus transplanted in Canadian woods. Here 
now it remains to remind old pioneers of events that transpired 
mayhap in years long gone by. It may be that on a quiet Sabbath 
morning, when rural life is hushed, that the deep solemn tones of 
the great bell are heard, like a knell over woodland, vale and 
stream, falling on the most remote home of those who wor 
ship at St. Paul s. In plaintive notes, tolled at intervals, it pro 
claims that death has entered the home of some aged one, who on 
Sabbath days had knelt at the same alter in years gone by, and 
removed hence a loved one who will return no more. When the 
second or smaller one is tolled, it indicates that some youthful one 
has been returned, and a soul so lately given has been again restor 
ed. At the hour of service on Sabbath, or on occasions of 
rejoicing over happy events, both bells ring out merrily. This 
beautiful custom is worthy all honor in its observance, and might 
well be imitated by all congregations of professing Christians. 
Under Rev. Mr. Plunck, present minister, great progress is being 
made, having an attendance of about 500 souls. A Sabbath 
school, with an average attendance of 100 pupils, and a young 
peoples class of 75 scholars, is also conducted by the minister. 

An old congregation in this county is that of the Evangelical 
Association at Sebringville. This mission was established in 1840 
by Rev. Mr. Harlacher, who held meetings amongst a few Ger 
man families who located in this neighborhood. Those few mem 
bers who founded this congregation were Jacob and George 


Schweitzer, C. Zimmerman, George Kaercher, John and Andrew 
Goetz and David Sebring. Subsequent to its establishment, a 
Sabbath school was opened, which has the honour of being- the 
first Sabbath school in Perth County. With an influx of settlers 
its members increased in number, when a log building was erect 
ed in 1845. Previous to constructing this church, services were 
held in the shanty of some pioneer. In 1855, a new frame build 
ing was erected, the former structure being insufficient to accom 
modate the people. Its first stationed minister was Rev. Mr. 
Bastian, under whose charge great progress was made. Subse 
quently a fine brick edifice was built, at a cost of $5,500, where 
services are now held by Rev. C. S. Finkbeiner, its membership 
being 176. This old Sabbath .school has made equal progress 
with the congregation, having an attendance of 225 pupils, under 
Mr. Jacob Litt as superintendent. 

Nearly 70 years ago the Mother German Church of this section 
was organized at Seebach s Hill. A number of families from 
Alsace had settled along the Huron road, and in 1835 the first 
Evangelical Lutheran St. John s Church was founded in Ellice 
with a membership of about fifteen families. This was one of the 
first four congregations in this county, the church at Sebastopol, 
St. Andrew s, Stratford, and St. Joseph s Catholic Church, Strat 
ford, being the other three. Services were held every Sunday. 
In 1836, F. A. Horn was placed in charge, remaining four years. 
During this pastorate a church was built of logs 22 ft. by 18 ft., 
on a piece of land donated by Mr. Andrew Seebach. Mr. Horn 
preached also at Kastnerville. In January, 1840, this gentleman 
was succeeded by Rev. August Kelterborn. During this pastorate, 
which continued until 1852, a new church was built somewhat 
larger than the old log one, being 40 by 30 feet. In 1853 Rev. 
T. W. Tuerk was placed in charge, who worked acceptably for 
several years, when he began to teach Swedenborgianism, and 
was compelled to resign. Rev. Mr. Hengrer, a faithful and good 
man, was next called in 1857, remaining till 1872, when he was 
succeeded by Rev. Mr. H. Succop, " Missouri Synod." During 
1857 a new constitution or " Kirchen-Ordnung " was accepted. 


This document is signed by Rev. Wm. Hengerer and 133 others, 
nearly all having- families. A great number of those whose names 
are appended to this paper became members of those missions at 
Wartburg, Rostock, Mitchell, Logan, and Stratford, where there 
are now elegant churches. During 1861 the "Canada Synod" 
was organized, when this congregation, with Rev. Mr. Hengerer, 
joined that body. In 1862 the present edifice was erected at a 
cost of $2,500. Its situation is beautiful, crowning as it does the 
highest point of land in this county. The building itself is 60 by 
40 feet, with a spire of nearly 100 feet, which can be seen for a 
long distance away. This congregation, now under the ministra 
tions of Rev. W. Weinback since 1887, is prosperous, having an 
attendance of 550 souls. In the Sabbath school are 98 children 
under Nicholas Seebach as superintendent, who has several 
assistants in his work. There is also a bible class conducted by 
the minister. 

Trinity Church, at Sebringville, was organized by Rev. E. Pat 
terson, Anglican minister at Stratford, in 1875. Its principal pro 
moters were Messrs. Pearson, Coulton, Hamilton, Moore, and 
Ruston, who opened a mission in 1872. At its organization as a 
congregation there was a membership of 30, which, in 1902 had 
increased to 70. In 1887 a comfortable building was erected at a 
cost of $1,400, where Rev. D. Deacon, now pastor, holds service. 
There is a good Sabbath school in connection with the church, 
under Mrs. Mason as superintendent, having an average attendance 
of between 30 and 40 pupils. 

The local municipal history of Ellice begins in 1842. There is 
no record of any meeting being held this year, but one, no doubt, 
had been held, as an extract from a letter sent by the district 
clerk indicates. This circular, dated May 18, 1842, at Goderich, 
says, "I have the honour to communicate to you the following 
resolution, and request your immediate attention to the same. 
That the councillors for their respective divisions direct where 
and how the statute labor of said division shall be performed to 
the best advantage. 

"That no pathmaster shall be allowed to take commutation 



money for statute labor coming into his hands, and lay the same 
out at his discretion, but all moneys received by them shall be paid 
to the township clerk, and expended by the councillor on estimates 

From this letter, therefore, it is evident that local government 
had been introduced. At a meeting- of ratepayers held in John 
Sharman s hotel, Stratford, on January 2, 1843, "the acting- 
clerk laid before them a statement of accounts for 1842, show 
ing that he had received no money during the year, and, of 
course, had not spent any." This very satisfactory announcement 
having been made of their financial condition, they proceeded to 
elect officers. Mr. Daniel McPherson was chosen clerk; Peter 
Kastner, assessor; Henry Studer, collector; John McCarthy and 
Andrew Seebach, poundkeepers. Alex Gourlay, Peter Kastner, 
John Sharman, A. McCarthy and Thos. Reddie, were elected 
school commissioners; Alexander Scott, Wm. Finder, and Anthony 
Goettler, town wardens. Mr. Sebring, whose name appears as a 
district councillor in 1842, held that position again in 1843. Nine 
pathmasters were also elected. By-laws regarding fences and 
cattle running at large were adopted, when the meeting 

In 1844 the annual meeting was held at Andrew Seebach s 
house, by virtue of a warrant from the magistrates, when the 
following officers were elected: Andrew Seebach, district council 
lor; Daniel McPherson, clerk; Henry Studer, assessor; John 
Kastner, collector; Geo. Brunner, Wm. Pinder, and Jacob 
Weber, town wardens. Alex Gourlay, chairman. 

In 1845 a meeting of ratepayers was held at the tavern of John 
Sharman, when Daniel McPherson was elected councillor and 
town clerk ; Thomas Reddy, assessor ; Stewart Campbell, col 
lector ; Jacob Weber, John Sharman, Patrick Cashin, town 

"The existing by-laws were allowed to stand as formerly, except 
pigs, which are not allowed as free commoners from the ist of 
July to the ist of October." 

In 1846 the town meeting was held in the tavern of John Hicks, 


Stratford. The town clerk presented his accounts, which were 
examined and found correct. The following- officers were elected : 
Stewart Campbell, clerk ; Patrick Cashin, assessor ; Alexander 
Gourlay, collector ; Michael Crowley, Jacob Weber, John Shar- 
man, Thomas Reddy, and George Martin, wardens. 

In 1847 the town meeting- was also held in Stratford, when 
Stewart Campbell was ag-ain elected clerk ; Patrick Crowley, 
assessor ; Alexander Gourlay, collector ; Philip McClosky, John 
Sharman, William Pinder, George Barthel, Michael Crowley, and 
Robert Henry, wardens. At this meeting- two important resolu 
tions were carried as illustrating- the effect of a few years of partial 
self government by the people, in their demanding from the 
supreme authority " an acquiescence in such legislation as they, 
the people, considered to be in their interest." Mr. McPherson, 
as district councillor, was instructed to lay before the council the 
desire of the people, that the town meeting should always be held 
at Seebach s, and not as the whim of the magistrates may direct. 
The council at Goderich was also asked to publish a financial 
statement of their affairs, "and that forthwith." These resolu 
tions were transmitted to the Clerk of the Peace with other 
minutes of this meeting. 

In 1848, at the town meeting, Mr. Stewart Campbell was 
again elected clerk; Patrick Crowley, assessor; Michael Crowley, 
collector; John Dempsey, William Moore, John Hays, wardens. 

In 1849 Stewart Campbell was elected clerk; Patrick Crowley, 
assessor; Michael Crowley, collector; John Sharman, John Parker, 
and James Hamilton, wardens. This meeting- was held at the 
tavern of Thos. Douglas, Stratford. During- the summer of this 
year, Mr. McPherson, who had been district councillor since he 
resigned his position as clerk, died, and John Sharman, at a 
meeting held on the 25th day of September, was chosen as 
councillor for the balance of the term. 

The first meeting of ratepayers in Ellice, under our present 
municipal system, was held at Mrs. Douglas tavern (Farmers 
hotel), Stratford, in January, 1850, Stewart Campbell, clerk, in 
the chair. At this meeting Andrew Seebach, Georg-e Brunner, 


John Sebring, Robert Henry, and Alexander Gourlay were 
declared elected as the first council of Ellice. Mr. John Sebring 
refusing to accept, Mr. Peter Reid, of Stratford, was chosen. 

A statement of accounts, submitted in 1843, shewed Mr. 
McPherson, clerk, to have received ^9, ys., 6d., from Mr. Hall, 
of St. Catharines, civil engineer, as a grant "to this township for 
the repair of roads and bridges, under the Act 7, of William IV." 
This was disbursed by John Sebring and Thos. Reddy. In 1845 
the clerk received from London district 12, is., od. These sums 
were expended on public improvements. On March gth, 1850, 
council again met and passed by-laws fixing rates to be paid for 
hotel licenses. Mrs. Douglas, "Farmers Inn," Stratford, ^7, 
IDS. ; Jas. McCauly, "Stratford Inn," ^7, ros. ; Exchange hotel, 
Ellice, 6; and a beer shop, Stratford, ^5. In February a by-law 
was passed regulating officers salaries, the clerk receiving 1 ^6; 
treasurer, ^4; superintendent of schools, 1, 55.; auditors, ten 
shilling s each ; assessors, 4 per cent, on all monies collected ; 
collector, 5 per cent, on all moneys collected. Mr. John Coulton 
was appointed assessor for Morning-ton, then annexed to Ellice 
for municipal purposes. By-laws were also passed reg-ulating 
pounds and poundkeepers, with fees and charges made in the 
discharge of their duties. 

Mr. Stewart Campbell, then clerk, has entered in his record 
two important documents which enable us to comprehend the 
material wealth of Ellice in 1851. From copies of assessment for 
that year, real property is rated at $142,000 ; personal, $19,000 ; 
number of horses, 102, value $5,700 ; number of cattle, 798, 
value $13,200. It is not too much to say, that at present a 
dozen of ordinary farmers are possessed of a greater amount of 
wealth in cattle and horses than the whole township could boast 
of in 1851. Rates levied were, for county, ^ of a penny per ; 
township rate, ^ per , ; lunatic asylum, 6d. per 100 ; debt ^ 
P er > gravel roads, ^ per ; County of Perth, ^ per . 
The total amount on this roll was ^225, or $890. Mr. 
Peter Kastner was highest rated, contributing ^5, 35., yd., or a 
little over $21, while Mr. Augustus Kellerman enriched the 


municipal treasury by a contribution of four pence halfpenny, or 9 


The total number of taxpayers was 244. During this year 
steps were also taken towards opening- a road to the township of 
Mornington. As will be noticed in the local history of that 
municipality, settlement was rapidly taking place about this time, 
and, although only ten miles from Stratford, it was as effectually 
shut off by the Ellice swamp as if it were fifty miles away. This 
agitation eventually resulted in the construction of the northern 
gravel road from Stratford to Mornington, a work of great 
advantage to both, and did much towards a unification of feeling 
in the northern municipalities with those of the south. 

Ellice was no exception to other townships in the early days, in 
those difficulties attending the arrangement and definition of 
school section boundaries. The new council of 1850 had no 
sooner taken their places than a flood of petitions were placed 
before them, praying for sweeping alterations in the boundaries of 
school districts. At this meeting the whole artillery of the rate 
payer was directed point blank at unoffending representatives, 
who, alternately swayed by their sense of honesty and personal 
interest, were in a sad quandary, which generally ended in 
political decapitation. It was not for many years that belligerents 
in the various sections became like some volcanoes, inactive, and 
accepted present conditions. In this township there are now 
eleven school sections, six of which are unions. There is also 
a separate school. In each of those school districts excellent 
buildings have been founded for the comfort and accommodation 
of pupils, and highly creditable to the taste and liberality of 

the people. 

At a meeting in February, 1852, the council considered a by-law 
regarding tavern licenses, limiting their number to four, indem 
nity for the right to sell remaining as before. The Municipal Act 
of 1850 had a marked influence on the people of this township. 
No sooner had they assumed the responsibility of local self 
government than such an expansion in regard to public 
improvements took place as never would have arisen under that 


sucking- bottle system of Governor Head s favourite method. At 
this meeting- a motion was carried ordering- Mr. Wm. Rath, 
P. L.S., to make a survey of the boundary line between Ellice and 
North Easthope, preparatory to constructing- a gravel road to 
Morning-ton. The reeve was also instructed, after proper 
investigation, to subscribe 10 or 1$ towards making- a survey 
for a railroad from Guelph, through Stratford, westward. A 
statement of assessment in Morning-ton was submitted to the 
board, showing- the total as being- $77,000, or less than ten one 
hundred acre farms and their stock would be worth at this pres 
ent day. In 1855 the council instructed their clerk to procure a 
township seal, "Device a Plough." On August 3 rd, 1855, a 
meeting of ratepayers was called to approve or disapprove by 
their votes of a county by-law granting ^,"30,000 to the Buffalo, 
Brantford and Goderich Railway. For some cause or other little 
interest was manifested in this important measure, only 12 voting 
for and 9 against it. It may appear surprising that such apathy 
should be shown towards a step which was to affect them to 
so great an extent as a railroad -entering Stratford. As a matter 
of fact, they were so overwhelmingly in favor of such a scheme 
that none supposed there could be opposition to a movement 
which must largely increase the price of every acre of land in 

In March, 1859, a by-law was passed to borrow $1,200 from a 
fund set apart by the county to procure seed for poor settlers, 
who had lost their crop the year previous. In this respect they 
were like other municipalities, nearly all requiring aid from this 
fund. Applicants in this township numbered 84, and received 
seed valued at $1,092. During 1864 a further sum was granted 
to poor settlers, amounting to $143. These loans indicate some 
unfortunate results which may arise from pursuit of specialism 
in agriculture. Failure may occur at any time, and when a 
farmer devotes his time to a specialty, failure in that department 
must be followed by disaster. At that period in our agricultural 
history settlers were compelled to grow wheat. Many of our 
mportant products of to-day had then no commercial value. 


Stern necessity has no law, and if early settlers were all specialists 
in wheat growing, a struggling pioneer had to adopt that method 
which brought the quickest return. His circumstances, rather 
than his inclination, were his masters for the time being, and, like 
a soulless taskmaster, scourged him without mercy. 

In March, 1876, Mr. James Corcoran, of Stratford, was present, 
and presented a draft of a petition to the Hon. Commissioner of 
Public Works of Ontario, asking that steps be taken towards 
draining that great swamp in Ellice. This movement resulted in 
opening up what is known as the "Corcoran drain," and led to an 
issue of debentures, a short time subsequently, amounting to 
$8,000, for drainage purposes. Thus was inaugurated a system 
of public works in Ellice which has brought a marvellous im 
provement to a large section. 

Ellice, till this present time, has contributed over $60,000 to 
drainage works, and on the roll of 1901 $5,000 was collected for 
this part of public expenditure alone. While many difficulties 
have arisen in prosecuting these improvements, her public men 
have persevered steadily onward. No one can say but that great 
advantages have been gained, and of vastly greater import than 
any expenditure incurred in their prosecution. In Logan, Elma 
and Ellice, immense sums have been expended in drainage 
improvements. If, therefore, these townships are now in many ways 
equal to those in the south, it has been accomplished in spite of 
great natural disadvantages, and "paid for with a price." When 
we compare the financial condition of Ellice, Logan, Elma, and to 
some extent, Mornington, with those southern municipalities, 
their self-imposed burdens are certainly very great. While the 
railway debt of Ellice is not heavy, beyond that portion of her 
obligation in common with others in the county indebtedness, her 
expenditure in drainage has been large. Her liabilities for these 
debentures are now about $25,000. 

We believe a time is now close at hand when what was known 
as the great marsh in Ellice will be productive of much wealth to 
this county. By manufacturing its deposits of peat into fuel, as 
now being introduced, employment will be furnished to a large 


number of men, thereby creating- a circulation of capital. There 
are several thousand acres of peat beds, a railroad passing- through 
their entire length. These are equal for fuel to any such deposits 
in Canada. An attempt was made a few years ago to manipulate 
this peat as an article of commerce. Inadaptability in machinery 
employed rendered this unsuccessful. It proved, however, that 
a quality of goods could be produced equal to coal for heating 
purposes, and at much lower rates. If manufacturing- can 
be accomplished, by an adaptation of more powerful machinery, 
the importance of these deposits cannot be over estimated. 
At present arrangements are being carried out with improved 
appliances which, it is hoped, will in a short time develop this 

Population in Ellice has, as in other municipalities, decreased, 
being- now 2,789. Taxes on the roll of 1901 were $21,195. Of 
this sum 85,300 was for schools, and nearly a similar amount for 
drainage. The total assessment on real property in the year was 

Nearly every acre of land excepting the peat deposits is avail 
able for agriculture. This has been larg-ely brougfht about by a 
judicious expenditure of public funds in drainage and other 
improvements in what was once considered waste lands. 

A spirit of emulation is noticeable in this township in those 
matters of farm buildings, churches, schools and roads throughout 
every section. This is an excellent characteristic, and no people 
can be great without it. Associated with discretion, it is produc 
tive of much g-ood, and lies at the very root of human progress. 

In 1844 Ellice contained 528 inhabitants, including a portion of 
Stratford, and had 1,511 acres under cultivation. In 1850 the 
population had increased to 1,319, having 4,036 acres under 
cultivation. In 1849 it produced 15,000 bush, wheat, 16,000 
bush oats, 12,000 bush potatoes, 12,000 bush turnips, 23,000 
Ibs. maple sugar, and 26,000 Ibs. butter. Population in 1862, 
2,616, Stratford being- withdrawn. 

Township officers of Ellice : 

Reeves. 1850, Robt. Henry; 1851-3, Alex. Gourlay; 1854-5, R. 


Henry; 1856, Patrick Crowley; 1857-9, John Kastner; 1860, John 
Pearson; 1861-4, John Kastner; 1865-6, John Pearson; 1867-9, 
John Kastner; 1870-2, Jacob Brunner; 1873, William Baumbach; 
1874-6, Patrick McDonald; 1877-83, James Bennoch; 1884-9, 
Andrew Kuhry; 1890-1, Philip Siebert; 1892-3, A. Kuhry; 1894- 
1900, George Goetz; 1901-2, Albert Schenck. 

Deputy Reeves. 1864 (first deputy), Mortimer Hishon; 1865, 
J. Kastner; 1866, David Smith; 1867-9, Jacob Brunner; 1870-1, 
Joseph Miller; 1872, Wm. Baumbach; 1873, Patrick McDonald; 
1874, J. Miller; 1875-7, Wm. Suhring; 1878, Timothy Murray; 
1879-82, Henry Vogt; 1883, A. Kuhry; 1884-8, P. Siebert; 1889, 
J. Brunner; 1890-1, J. P. O Brien; 1892-3, Geo. Goetz; 1894-5, 
Robt. Armstrong; 1896-8, Albert Schenck. 

Clerks. 1850-68, Stewart Campbell; 1869-98, John Pearson; 
1899-1902, Justus Kreuter. 

Treasurers. 1850-68, Stewart Campbell; 1869-71, Robt. Henry; 
1872, Andrew Goetz; 1873-9, Edward Brown; 1880-1, Theobald 
Litt; 1882-95, Wm. Suhring; 1996-9, Robert Brown; 1900-2, 
James J. Brown. 

Assessors. - - 1850, Patrick Crowley, Richard Coulton, John 
Coulton; 1851, P. Crowley, R. Coulton; 1852-4, P. Crowley; 1855, 
John Pearson; 1856, John Malloy; 1857, Ezekiel Henry; 1858, R. 
Coulton; 1859, Daniel McLean; 1860, R. Coulton; 1861, John 
Stock; 1862, D. McLean; 1863, Andrew Goetz; 1864, William 
Hickey; 1865, Jacob Brunner; 1866, Patrick McDonald; 1867-8, 
Wm. Hickey; 1869, Patrick Hogan; 1870, Wm. Suhring; 1871, 
Patrick Kelly; 1872, Wm. Suhring; 1873, Daniel Mahoney; 1874, 
P. Kelly; 1875, F. L. Mennig; 1876, Andrew Goetz; 1877, Chas. 
Stock; 1878-9, Geo. Barthel; 1880, G. Goetz; 1881, Henry Foley; 
1882, Peter Kastner, jr.; 1883, Thos. Riley; 1884, Bryan Mc 
Donald; 1885-7, G. Goetz; 1888-90, Paschal Pigeon; 1891. John 
Kelly; 1892, B. McDonald; 1893, George Barthel; 1894, Jacob 
Brunner; 1895, P. Pigeon; 1896-7, J. Brunner; 1898-9, Jacob 
Litt; 1900, Patrick McDonnell; 1901-2, James McDonnell. 

Collectors. 1850, Jas. Hamilton; 1851, John Kastner; 1852-3, 
John Pearson; 1854, Jas. Hill; 1855, Patrick Writt; 1856, Wm. 


Hickey; 1857, J. Hill; 1858, David Smith; 1859, Henry Kennedy; 
1860, D. Smith; 1861, Tobias Murphy; 1862, Patrick Hishon; 

1863, James Fitzgibbon; 1864, Florence Malloy; 1865, William 
Sebring; 1866, J. Brunner; 1867-8, W. Sebring; 1869, William 
Suhring; 1870-2, Jeremiah Crowley; 1873, A. Goetz; 1874, F. 
Malloy; 1875, J. Crowley; 1876, John Malloy; 1877, Geo. Brick- 
man; 1878, John Robb; 1879-80, John Kelly; 1881, Geo. Neigh; 
1882, Geo. Kaercher; 1883, John Yungblut; 1884, Geo. Goetz; 
1885-:, Jos. Stock; 1888-92, John Yungblut; 1893-4, John Kelly; 
1895, G. Brickman; 1896-98, Patrick McDonnell; 1899, Wm. J. 
Henry; 1900-2, Louis Brunner. 

Auditors. 1850, Richard Coulton, Duncan McGregor; 1851, 
John Pearson, R. Coulton; 1852, James Woods, Alwyn Sebring; 
l8 53> J- Woods, T. A. Sebring; 1854, W. Hickey, D. Mahoney; 
1857, Samuel Rollin Hesson, Daniel McLean; 1858, D. McLean, 
S. R. Hesson; 1859, S. R. Hesson, Michael Walsh; 1860-2, F. L. 
Mennig, Patrick Doeherty; 1863, P. J. Horgan, F. L. Mennig; 

1864, F. L. Mennig, Peter Kelly; 1865, D. McLean, F. L. Mennig; 
1866-7, D. McLean, P. J. Horgan; 1868, D. McLean, Patrick 
Murphy; 1869, Thos. Brown, F. L. Mennig; 1870, A. Goetz, T. 
Brown; 1871-2, T. Hishon, P. J. Horgan; 1873, D. McLean, Wm. 
Bollert; 1874, Wm. Bollert, P. Hishon; 1875, D. McLean, Wm. 
Bollert; 1876-7, D. Haragan, D. McLean; 1878, John Haragan, 
D. McLean; 1879-80, F. L. Mennig, D. McLean; 1881, Charles 
Dahms, D. McLean; 1882, F. L. Mennig, D. McLean; 1883, T. 
Brown, F. L. Mennig; 1884, Justus Kreuter, T. Brown; 1885-7, 
T. Brown, P. Pigeon; 1888, Jacob Herr, T. Brown; 1889, D. 
Haragan, D. McLean; 1890, J. Herr, T. Brown; 1891-2, Jacob 
Litt, T. Brown; 1893, Jas. Crawford, J. Litt; 1894-5, J- Litt, T. 
Brown; 1896, J. Litt, Wm. Ruston; 1897-8, W. Ruston, W. H. 
Coulton; 1899, W. Ruston, F. Siebert; 1900-1, W. Ruston, W. 
H. Coulton; 1902, W. H. Coulton, Joseph Quinlan. 

Councillors. 1850, Andrew Seebach, G. Brunner, Alex. Gour- 
lay, Robt. Reid; 1851, Jacob Weber, D. Haragan, Peter Reid, 
Robt. Henry; 1852, P. Reid, John Sebring, Peter Kastner, J. 
Weber; 1853, P. Kastner, James Whaley, J. Sebring, P. Reid; 


1854, John Hays, Jos. Miller, J. Weber, Samuel Henry; 1855, 
John Stock, Henry Kennedy, J. Hays, Michael O Brien; 1856, 
J. Stock, Wm. Whalen, Wm. Hearsnip, John Cavanagh; 1857, 
J. Pearson, J. Miller, P. Kastner, J. Cavanagh; 1858, P. Kastner, 
J. Pearson, J. Miller, Peter Foley; 1859, J. Pearson, P. Kastner, 
P. Foley, Andrew Seebach; 1860, P. Brown, J. Kastner, Morti 
mer Hishon, Jacob Brunner; 1861-2, J. Pearson, J. Cavanagh, M. 
Hishon, J. Brunner; 1863, J. Pearson, Jos. Dennis, David Smith, 
J. Cavanagh; 1864, J. Pearson, D. Smith, John Malloy, sr. ; 1865, 
J. Dennis, D. Smith, John Quinlan; 1866, P. Stock, J. Miller, J. 
Quinlan; 1867, P. Stock, J. Cavanagh, Henry Studer; 1868, H. 
Studer, P. Stock, J. Miller; 1869, David Sebring, P. Stock, Pat 
rick McDonald; 1870, D. Sebring, P. McDonald, Wm. Baumbach; 
1871, P. McDonald, W. Baumbach, Ed. McCaffrey; 1872, P. Mc 
Donald, Timothy Murray, Thos. Brown; 1873, Jas. McPherson, 
John Carty, T. Brown; 1874, Thos. Brown, T. Murray, Patrick 
Lennon; 1875, T. Brown, August Baumbach, T. Murray; 1876, 
W. McCaffrey, T. Murray, H. Vogt; 1877-8, Jeremiah Crowley, 
Wm. McCaffrey, H. Vogt; 1879-81, Christian Werner, Andrew 
Kuhry, Francis Ruston; 1882, C. Werner, Philip Siebert, Ezekiel 
Miller; 1883, P. Siebert, R. Armstrong, Thos. Keefe ; 1884, 
D. L. Kastner, T. Keefe, R. Armstrong; 1885-7, w - H . Coulton, 
D. L. Kastner, J. P. O Brien; 1888, W. H. Coulton, J. P. OBrien, 
W. Soeder; 1889, W. H. Coulton, Geo. Goetz, W. Soeder; 1890, 
George Goetz, Henry Foley, W. H. Coulton 1891, W. H. 
Coulton, G. Goetz, Justus Kreuter ; 1882-3, W. H. Coulton, H. 
Foley, J. Kreuter ; 1894, J. Kreuter, H. Foley, Wm. Simpson ; 
1895, H. Foley, John Yungblut, W. Simpson; 1896, John. Kelly, W. 
Simpson, C. Werner; 1897, J- Kreuter, John Kelly, W. Simp 
son ; 1898, J. Kelly, H. Foley, D. Smith ; 1899-1900, J. Kelly, 
H. Foley, Albert Shenck, D. Smith ; 1901, H. Foley, \Vm. J. 
Henry, J. Kelly, D. Smith ; 1902, Michael Crowley, J. Kelly, 
W. J. Henry, George Brickman. 



North Easthope is situated on the extreme eastern limit of Perth 
County. Although first settlement did not take place in this 
municipality, it has priority over all others in having at an early 
day a population whose influence and numbers were such as to 
give the name "Perth" to this new section of country. A very 
large proportion of those pioneers who came into North Easthope 
were from Perthshire, Scotland. With that distinctive love of 
country peculiar to their nation, they determined to perpetuate 
as far as possible memories still dear to them. Fond recollections 
still went back to Scotland with its hills and glens, and from those 
feelings " Perth " received its name. 

In 1829 the first concession of North Easthope was surveyed by 
John McDonald ; a further portion in 1832 ; the whole being com 
pleted in 1835. Its total acreage as stated in the field notes is 
44,642, and was named in honour of John Easthope, of the Canada 
Company. Situated near to those older settlements lying east 
ward, and its soil being desirable for agricultural purposes, it had 
for several years a preponderance in population. In 1841, when 
a parliamentary election took place, this township had five voters, 
who walked to Goderich to vote for Mr. Dunlop, the anti-Family 
Compact candidate. These electors, who were also first free 
holders, were Rev. Daniel Allan, John Stewart, Alex, and John 
Crerar, and John Whitney. It must not be forgotten that the 
number of votes in a municipality at that period was no indication 
of its population. In those dark days of an oligarchy that drove 
Mr. McKenzie to rebellion in his struggle for Canadian rights and 
liberty, those only could vote who had a deed of their property. 


1. Julius Cook, Reeve. 2. W. F. Paterson, Collector. 3. John A. Fraser, 
Councillor. 4. James Hastings, Councillor. 5. John C. Cook, Councillor. 6. 
James McGillawee. Treasurer. 7. George Merrylees, Assessor. 8. J. D. Fisher. 
Clerk. 9. Alexander McDonald, Councillor. 


These privileges arising from land tenure had been transplanted 
into Canada from Britain, and it required the blood ot several of 
her patriot men, with long- years of bitter political warfare, to pluck 
them up, root and branch. The Act of 1841 was like the bud on 
a young- sapling, to which Governor Head was pleased to refer, as 
he placed his signature to that important piece of legislation, that 
he was creating " suckling republics." Nine years later came the 
full grown tree in the Act of 1850. These "suckling republics " 
have produced stalwart men in municipal government, and have 
done more for Canada than Head and those around him tramping 
like gin horses in the narrow circle of an effete feudalism could ever 
have accomplished. 

The surface of this township is varied in aspect. Its soil is 
everywhere good. On its eastern side the land is undulating rather 
than level ; in its central parts it is hilly. These, in some places, 
rise to a considerable height, giving a picturesque appearance to 
that district. Westward, the surface again becomes undulating, 
gradually subsiding to level near the boundary line of Ellice. 

The predominating nationality in a large section of North East- 
hope is Scotch, who naturally introduced that method of agricul 
ture prevailing in the old land. Circumstances in connection with 
pioneer life determined them to adopt the cultivation of wheat, 
as giving a quick return for their labour. In its adaptability for 
the growth of this cereal, North Easthope could not be excelled. 
This was a great advantage in those years, to which may be 
attributed its rapid progress, rather than to particular qualities in 
the people themselves. They also had an advantage in priority of 
settlement, their goods finding a ready market for several years 
from those settlers moving north and west. This was particularly 
so in the case of oxen and cattle. For farm products of this 
description there was no export demand at this time, nor for 
several years subsequently. Cereals had to be hauled to Gait or 
Lake Ontario in many instances, with oxen, occupying over a week 
each trip. Farmers in this municipality were not slow in adapt 
ing themselves to those innovations that have from time to time 
broken in on what was old established principles. That agricul- 


ture has reached a high state of perfection in North Easthope is 
apparent from the fact that Mr. George Hyde on two occasions 
carried off the medal awarded by the Government for the best 
kept farm in this western district, embracing- several counties. 
This distinguished recognition of advanced agriculture in Perth 
County is an honor appreciated by all. 

The Germans, who are largely settled in the eastern portion of 
North Easthope, are quite equal to their Scotch neighbours in 
advanced agriculture, and are by no means backward in intro 
ducing those new methods which have been found advantageous in 
their calling. 

In nearly every section water is plentiful, and, as in hilly 
countries, springs are more numerous than in other townships in 
Perth County. 

In material for constructing good roads it has an inexhaustible 
supply. Through every section, except a small portion on the 
west side, roads are excellent. In certain places construction has 
been effected with some difficulty. Hills have been cut away and 
valleys levelled up, making easy gradients, over which surplus 
farm products can be removed without hardship. The road 
extending from Shakespeare to Nithburg is an old highway. 
Previous to constructing the Northern Gravel road through a 
dense swamp, which at that time defied every effort of the hardy 
pioneer, it was a leading road. Ingress and egress to and from 
what was known as "The Queen s Bush" and our northern town 
ships was over this highway. The necessities for rest and refresh 
ments by pioneer travellers led to numerous houses of public 
entertainment being erected for their comfort and convenience. 
Although those old bushmen were not by any means travelling 
through a dry, parched land, wherein no waters be, still they 
required a stronger stimulant than water. Potations required to 
be prompt and effective in action, to sustain them on their weary 
journey in quest of fortune and a home. To enable them, there 
fore, to obtain their libations with frequency and regularity, a 
hotel was established on every cross-road from Shakespeare to 
Nithburg. In those places were obtained copious draughts of a 


vitalizing- fluid that had not a single headache in a barrel of it. 
This infused new life and energy into the recipient, enabling- him 
to proceed on his way rejoicing. At next corner a further 
augmentation of spirituous energy produced a corresponding 
elevation of soul. This again resulted in an inspiration which 
found vent in songs, w r hich were rendered with such tremendous 
force and energy as sacrificed all indication of melody, if any 
such existed. So he plodded on with his oxen, a fine illustration 
of Burns lines : 

Kings might he blest, but Tarn was glorious; 
O er all the ills o life victorious. 

Notwithstanding the fact that scarcely a mile of railway has 
been constructed in this municipality, a great portion of it is 
convenient to railway facilities. The G. T. R., with stations at 
Shakespeare and Stratford, affords excellent advantages for ship 
ment of goods. The Stratford & Huron railway has a station at 
Brunner, where farm produce from Topping and surrounding 
country can be shipped. To these points, therefore, it is no great 
hardship to move surplus produce over such roads as those in 
North Easthope. 

The first settler in this township was David Bell, who located 
in 1832 on lot 20, concession i. During that year another party 
of Scotchmen arrived from Perthshire. Amongst these were two 
brothers, John and Alex. Stewart; Mrs. McTavish (whose husband 
had died on the voyage, of cholera), and her three sons; Peter and 
Alex. Crerar; George Scott and Donald Robertson. Several of 
these settled south of the Huron road, afterwards removing to 
North Easthope. No one can ever know the awful experiences 
of these poor people in that long tedious journey from their native 
glens in Perthshire till they arrived in the wilderness of North 
Easthope. Mr. Peter Stewart, still living, was one of the party, 
who, at twelve years of age, came with his parents to Canada, 
and describes the scenes of this terrible voyage with all its horrors. 
Several hundred emigrants were huddled together on a small sail 
ing ship, and for twelve weeks were tossed on the broad, stormy 
Atlantic Ocean. Asiatic cholera had become epidemic in Scot- 


land, men and women dying in thousands. On arrival at Quebec 
their ship was quarantined, and the horror of their situation began. 
The scourge had preceded them. The whole ship s passengers 
were penned up like cattle without shelter, there to remain. The 
plague soon found out the poor emigrants, whose condition made 
them an easy prey to the unsatisfiable conqueror. So the death 
bell began to toll as one after another was laid away, victims 
of this dreadful fatality. A person named Paton advised that they 
be placed in an old vessel, taken into the river, there to be sunk, 
and so end all further trouble. In journeying from Quebec to 
Montreal their boat was frequently rowed ashore, where a few 
gaunt and terror-stricken men opened a grave in the sand, and, 
uncoffined and unknelled, laid in everlasting sleep some one from 
the far distant hills of Auld Scotland. When Toronto was reached 
the weary heart-broken people still plodded on, leaving behind 
them several new-made graves as silent memorials of that dread 
plague and its miseries experienced by the first pioneers of North 


In 1833 came another party from Perthshire, including John and 
James Crerar, Robert Eraser, John Kippan, Donald McNaughton, 
Donald, Duncan, and John Stewart; James and Duncan Fisher; 
John Hay, and John McTavish. Another man arrived about this 
period who afterwards became prominent, and was instrumental 
in giving the name "Perth" to this section of the Huron 
This was J. J. E. Linton. In June, 1833, Alexander Hamilton, 
from Roxburghshire, settled on lot 17, con. 3; John Kelly, on lot 
1 6, con. 2; Robert Patterson also locating in this section at 
period. In 1832 Mr. George Hyde, who came from Scotland with 
Mr Bell, located on the 2nd concession, afterwards removing to 
Gait. A year subsequent to this he finally settled on the tarm 
which was his home till his death. 

From 1833 till 1841 settlement was slow, as it was throughout 
the west, the agitation which culminated in rebellion during 
1837, by administrative incapacity, being no doubt largely respon 
sible This event proclaimed that democratic aggressiveness could 
not longer be restrained. The Act of 1841, therefore, indicated 


that Government was now about to withdraw the nursing- bottle 
from the municipalities. Under certain conditions they were now 
to shift for themselves. No sooner was this policy effected than 
progress became apparent, continuing ever since in a marvellous 
degree. Subsequent to 1840 a large influx of German settlers 
located in North Easthope, who, by their natural thrift and 
industry, have contributed much to develop its material resources. 
Excepting- a small section adjoining Ellice, settlement was really 
completed about 1850. 

Prior to 1842 there were no schools in Perth County, excepting 
one or two private houses where children w r ere taught. Mr. 
J. J. E. Linton has precedence in this profession, having- opened a 
private school about 1834, near Stratford. Another school was 
opened in North Easthope by a lady whose name I have been 
unable to obtain. In 1842 this township was divided into three 
school sections. The boundaries of these districts will, along 
with other information regarding schools, be found in a chapter 
on education. It must^be noted that while the Act of 1841 gave 
a great impetus to municipal progress, the School Act of that 
year gave as great an impetus to education. For both the people 
were ready, and through both, not only this county, but Canada, 
has derived incalculable advantages. 

In this township are no towns or villages of great importance. . 
As the tendency of the greater is to absorb the less, Stratford, on 
its south-west corner, has concentrated in her superior advantages 
almost the entire trade of this wealthy municipality. Before the 
transportation problem was solved by constructing railways, a 
grist mill, and next the inevitable tavern, determined the location 
of a business centre. In these later days opening a railway 
institutes another order of circumstances, which sets at defiance 
the old mill site and tavern as a nucleus for a village or " corners." 
Shakespeare, now a place of some importance, lying partly in 
South Easthope, has attained its ascendancy from its being a rail 
way station. This village was founded in 1832 by David Bell, 
who settled on lot 20, and was known for many years as " Bell s 
Corners." The name Shakespeare was first given to this place 



by Alexander Mitchell, in 1852. During- this year Mr. Mitchell 
was reeve of South Easthope, and, at a council meeting- held in 
March, it was decided, on recommendation of the reeve, that 
* Bell s Corners" should be known from henceforth as Shakespeare. 
Although the early days of this place is involved in some obscurity, 
it is certain that its first building was a log house erected by Mr. 
Hugh Thompson, who was a shoemaker. In connection with his 
operation on the lapstone as a disciple of St. Crispin, he also raised 
a shrine to Bacchus, where weary or thirsty travellers could obtain 
rest and refreshment. A general store was opened in 1849 by 
George Worsley (who opened the first store in Stratford), which 
was followed by a blacksmith s shop, built by Alexander Jardine. 
This, again, was soon followed by a waggon shop. Meantime 
Mr. Alexander Mitchell had erected a hotel, in 1848, and was 
really first hotel keeper in Shakespeare. In 1851 another general 
store was erected by Mr. Mclntosh, and the village continued to 
expand rapidly, particularly for a few years subsequent to con 
structing the G. T. Railway. Factories began to spring up, a 
grist mill was built by Messrs. Mclntosh and Helmer, destroyed 
by fire in 1863. Although there are excellent mills at present in 
Shakespeare, the disaster to Messrs. Mclntosh and Helmer gave 
a serious check to this prosperous community. At present there 
are two general stores, flax mill, grist mill, planing mill, saw mill, 
pump factory, telegraph and express offices, two hotels, and one 
medical doctor, Dr. Whiteman. There are also a number of good 
private residences, indicating thrift and good taste. 

Its location on the Huron Road, and principal highway leading 
north, was most advantageous to its early progress. During the 
settlement of Mornington and a portion of Elma, " Bell s Corners " 
was the objective point where the pioneer was supposed to bid 
adieu for a time to civilization, and enter on his arduous task of 
hewing for himself a path into the wilderness. In 1848 a post 
office was opened, from which mails to Nithburg and Grant s 
Corners was despatched once in each week. This office was in 
charge of Alexander Mitchell, first postmaster, and was kept in 
his hotel. Prior to its opening, the settlers in the northern and 


eastern sections obtained their mail from Haysville P. O., in 

A good story is told that on one occasion an old pioneer in 
North Easthope, whom we will call "Sandy," was informed that 
a letter from the old country was awaiting- him in Haysville. The 
cost of posting- a letter at that period from Great Britain amounted 
to several shilling s, and was frequently unpaid, as it so happened 
in this particular case. With an intense desire to hear from his 
old home among- the hills in Perthshire, Sandy, at early dawn of 
the following- day, began a journey of fifteen miles on foot to 
Haysville after the coveted epistle. Money he had none to dis 
charge any demands that might be made as postage. He could 
split rails, however, or log a day or two to the postmaster 
in payment. On his arrival, and announcing his business, 
the lady in charg-e g-ave him his letter. It only required a few 
minutes for Sandy to read its contents, while the attendant was 
patiently awaiting- payment of the charges, when he quietly 
returned the letter, adding, "he had nae siller, but when he selt 
his potash, of whilk he had twa barrels, he would debit the 
amount." Having- imparted this information, he departed with 
all speed for the woods in North Easthope. About three months 
subsequent to this event, another letter from the old land was said 
to have arrived for Sandy. Remembering his former experience, 
after great efforts he succeeded in obtaining a few shillings for 
postage, as he felt sure that he could not establish a second right 
of possession without discharging all oblig-ations. On presenting 
himself at the post office a couple of shilling s was demanded by 
the postmaster, which Sandy promptly paid, and was placed in 
possession of his letter. The surprise of the canny Scot may be 
imagined, however, when he found it was the same epistle he had 
read three months previous, and this plan had been adopted by 
the postmaster to recover his postage. Sandy now became an 
unwilling possessor of his epistle, and the postmaster a willing- 
possessor of his postage. As a sequel to the joke he was invited 
"to a bite" after his long walk, and having satisfied the inner 
man, and partaken of a dram, the pipe of peace was smoked 


between the two, when Sandy wended his way back to the shanty 
on the banks of the Nith. 

The prospect which presents itself to a traveller from the south 
in approaching Nithburg is beautiful and picturesque. The dense 
growth of young trees, which seem to cling rather than grow on 
the steep bank of the river as it winds along the bottom of the 
valley; the old mill by the stream, the few remaining cottages 
nestling amongst the green foliage of the spreading maple, form a 
delightful picture of rural beauty and repose. 

At one period in the history of North Easthope Nithburg was a 
populous and progressive hamlet. It was settled by pioneers 
from the east, originally from Scotland. In January, 1840, came 
John Brown and family of five sons, having purchased a large 
section of land from the Canada Company. Subsequent to Mr. 
Brown, and within a very short period, also located Peter Stewart, 
Alexander Grant, William Amos, Robert Amos, William Kelso, 
John and Richard Manley, James Smith, and George Moffatt, 
with many others, all locating near the river. During 1843, John 
Brown, sr. , erected a saw and flour mill on lots 18 and 19, con. 
u, and which was known for many years as Brown s Mills. 
James Brown, present postmaster in Nithburg, who was manager, 
also conducted a general store at the mills, and the first in that 
section. In 1849 he established a weekly mail, although no post 
office was opened, and a lad named John Brownlee was engaged 
to act as postman, his remuneration being paid by private sub 
scription among the settlers. Mr. James Brown discharged the 
duties of postmaster gratis. In 1850, a post office was opened, 
with James Brown as postmaster, which position he still retains. 
To Mr. Brown, therefore, belongs the distinguished honour of 
being the oldest officer in this county, having been postmaster for 
52 years, in which honourable position we trust he may long be 
spared to remain. 

In 1848 a survey of Nithburg was made by Frank Irvine, a 
P.L.S., who named the new town "Nithburg," the burg on the 
river Nith. At this point was an excellent water power, and this, 
with several other apparent advantages, drew a large population in 


a short time, and lots sold rapidly. In less than two years it 
contained a tannery, distillery, hotel, brickyard, lime kiln, two 
shoemakers, three carpenters, two tailors, masons, and bricklayers. 
A general store was kept by Mr. Marcus White. In 1853 a saw 
mill was erected by James Brown, Baird & Co. During- 1854 Mr. 
Brown removed to Nithburg from Brown s Mills, taking the post 
office with him, and opening a general store in connection, which 
he has conducted ever since. In 1857 he also erected a flour mill, 
and a carding and woollen mill, and the burg at that period 
attained the zenith of its glory. This mill is still operated, but, as 
the aged postmaster, whose life is so closely connected with the 
place, says, "Nithburg is now only a small village of less than 
100 inhabitants, containing mills, a general store (kept by himself), 
with those other small industries found in a country village." 

This story of decay in Nithburg is an old one of many villages 
in Canada that were once as prosperous as this hamlet in North 
Easthope. The gradual dismemberment of these places has not 
arisen from a want of energy or enterprise in the people, nor from 
a lack of fertility in the surrounding country, but from other 
causes, which they were powerless to control. Building railroads 
has, in many sections, changed the whole current of trade, and in 
none more so than this little village of Nithburg. To the G.T. R. 
she owes her present depression, now fallen so heavy that she is 
scarcely left the memory of her former greatness. 

Amulree, three and three-quarters miles north of Shakespeare, 
is the centre of a very old settlement about the first in this 
County but, from its contiguity to the latter village, has not 
made great progress. At present there is a general store and 
post office, kept by Mr. A. M. Fisher, late township clerk; a hotel 
and blacksmith shop, with other small industries. 

Still further north two and a-half miles is Hampstead, known 
in pioneer days as Grant s Corners. At this point there is a 
general store and post office, and on the rising ground eastward 
a very fine school building, which seems to add dignity and 
importance, not only to this village, but to the surrounding 


As we stated elsewhere, the early settlers of North Easthope 
were largely of Scottish origin, and a prominent characteristic of 
that nationality soon manifested itself in a desire for religious 
ordinances in the old Presbyterian forms. A very few years only 
had passed when Rev. Mr. Rintoul, the first Presbyterian minister 
who ever visited North Easthope, made a missionary tour through 
a portion of the Huron Tract, preaching in several places, and 
dispensing ordinances amongst the people. 

In connection with Presbyterianism in North Easthope, an 
excellent paper was prepared by Mr. A. M. Fisher, late township 
clerk, a copy of which was deposited in the corner stone of the 
new North Easthope church, laid on July 2ist, 1892, to which I 
am greatly indebted. The history of Presbyterianism, therefore, in 
this township may be said to begin in 1835, when, during that 
year, and also in 1836, Rev. Donald McKenzie, of Zorra, paid 
several visits to the settlement, preaching and administering 
religious ordinances. 

In the autumn of 1837, Rev. Daniel Allen, having been sent to 
Canada as a missionary from the Colonial Society of Glasgow, 
under the auspices of the Kirk of Scotland, visited Stratford. 
Shortly after his arrival a call was extended to him from the con 
gregations of Woodstock and Stratford, which he accepted, and 
was ordained on the 2ist day of November, 1838. These two 
charges being twenty-five miles apart, and the roads almost im 
passable, his labors were divided between them, two weeks at a 
time being devoted alternately to each. At this period, the 
settlers in North Easthope constituted a great portion of Strat 
ford s congregation. In 1840, the constant strain in administering 
to two stations so far apart impaired his health, compelling him 
to relinquish one or other of his churches. On the i5th day of 
August of this year he was released from his connection with 
Woodstock, and became minister of Stratford and vicinity alone. 
As being convenient to those people in the eastern portion of 
North Easthope, service was held at schoolhouse No. 2, a log 
building on the corner where the present school building and St. 
Andrew s Church now stands. In 1843, steps were taken by the 


people to erect a new church, and a site selected. Meantime the 
agitation which had been going on in Scotland for several years 
at last bore fruit in disruption, and the Auld Kirk, with all its 
hallowed associations, was rent in twain. An occurrence of such 
vast importance to the ecclesiastical discipline of a religious body, 
so democratic in character as the Presbyterian, was soon felt even 
in the wilds of North Easthope. Mr. Allen, therefore, bade fare 
well to the old sanctuary at St. Andrew s, and added one more to 
those protesting ministers who relinquished so much for con 
science sake. This retarded church work for a period of two 
years, when the seceding members, whose numbers had been con 
siderably augmented, made a second attempt to build a church, 
now North Easthope Presbyterian Church, and on this occasion 
were successful. Mr. Fisher says, "many difficulties were, however, 
experienced. The material had all to be deposited on the ground 
by the people ; the brick hauled from New Hamburg in waggons 
and sleds by oxen. At this time it is doubtful if there was one 
span of horses in the whole congregation." These difficulties were 
finally overcome, and 1846 saw erected the first Presbyterian 
Church, at that spot where the present building stands, on lot 26, 
con. 5. During these years this congregation became a separate 
charge, with Mr. Allan as minister, and has been ever since 
known as North Easthope congregation. In the autumn of 1875 
this excellent man, feeling the premonitions of advancing years 
drawing on him, resigned that charge, of which he had been 
founder, returning to his Master the stewardship he had held for a 
long period of 38 years. 

In 1876, a call was extended to Rev. A. Stewart, of Mosa, who 
accepted it, and on January loth, 1877, was inducted. In 1881 a 
union was formed with Tavistock, a sketch of which will be found 
in our remarks on South Easthope. In a few years another 
arrangement was made, and Mr. Stewart transferred from Tavi 
stock to Hampstead. In 1892 a new building was erected by 
North Easthope congregation, at a cost of $3,000, where services 
are now held. Rev. Robert F. Cameron is minister ; on the com 
munion roll are Si members. There is also a Sabbath school, 


with an averag-e attendance of 25 pupils, superintended by Mr. 
A. B. Smith. 

Hampstead Presbyterian church is an old congregation, although 
by no means as early as that of North Easthope. A log- school- 
house was erected at "Grant s Corners," on lot 20, con. n, 
which was utilized by several denominations as a place where 
service was held. About 1850, Rev. John Gundy preached to the 
Methodists ; Rev. Walter Miller to the Baptists ; and, several 
years prior to either, Rev. Mr. Allan to the Presbyterians. This 
latter body eventually erected a church. In 1855 a new church 
was constructed in Wellesley, under the pastorate of Rev. Robert 
D. McKay, who, for a number of years, was minister in Hamp 
stead and Wellesley. This congregation has now 46 members. 

On lot 15, con. 9, is St. Jacob s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 
" Canada Synod." This mission was organized in 1868, by Rev. 
Mr. Muenzing-er. At this period about forty German families 
composed the congreg-ation. On July i5th, 1869, the corner stone 
of the present church was laid, consecration in October following-. 
This is an imposing building- of brick, whose tall, graceful spire 
harmonizes with the exterior decorations. Its interior arrange 
ments discover great taste, with comfortable accommodation for 
the congregation. The cost of this edifice was $15,000. At 
present 50 families are in connection, numbering about 200 souls. 
Its present pastor is Rev. C. C. A. E. Holm, who also conducts a 
Sabbath school, which is largely attended by young people of his 

Our sketch of North Easthope congregation till the period of 
disruption in 1843 is the history of old St. Andrew s Presbyterian 
church, a short distance north of Shakespeare. This is the 
pioneer Presbyterian congregation in Perth County east of Strat 
ford. Its first elders and promoters were Robert Eraser, John 
Stewart, and George Hyde. Subsequent to 1843, when Rev. Mr. 
Allan withdrew from the "Auld Kirk," and established North 
Easthope congregation, Rev. David Bell was called to old St. 
Andrew s, service being still held in the schoolhouse. About 1850 
a building was erected at a cost of $1,500, which is still used as 


a place of worship. As stated elsewhere, steps are now in pro 
gress to erect a new building in Shakespeare, which will accom 
modate both congregations in North and South Easthope, long 
since united, and now under the pastorate of Rev. Hugh Cowan. 
Present membership in both is 180. A Sabbath school is also in 
connection, having in Shakespeare 80 pupils, Joseph Freeman 
superintendent ; and at St. Andrew s 60 pupils, George McCallum 

The Evangelical Association church, on lot 5, con. 6, is named 
" Oetzel s Church," in honor of Andrew Oetzel, who was its 
greatest promoter and an active worker in advancing its interests 
in early days. With him were associated Mr. Andrew Falk, sr. , 
Geo. Neibergall, and Mr. John Hamel. Service was first held by 
Rev. Mr. Weber in the settlers houses, until a school house was 
built. About 1850 a log church was erected, where worship was 
conducted till 1888. During that year the present edifice was 
constructed, at a cost of $3,200. This congregation, from a 
small beginning of a few members, has now over 50, under the 
pastorate of Rev. Elias Eby. There is also a Sabbath school, 
with nearly 70 pupils, conducted by Mr. J. L. Eidt, superintendent. 

The church of Lisbon Evangelical Association, on lot n, con. 
9, was organized about 1850, when services were held in the barns 
and houses of its members. The principal promoters of this 
Association were Louis Paff, George Hipell, Henry Doerr, John 
Riehl, Baltzar Schmidt, and Henry Falk. Rev. Mr. Halacher 
was first minister. A log church was built in 1860, where worship 
was held till 1895, when a neat brick building was constructed, at 
a cost of $3,000. At its inception there were about 30 members, 
now increased to 70, with Rev. Elias Eby as pastor. There is 
also a Sabbath school, with about 50 pupils, under John Riehl as 

The Evangelical Association church on lot n, con. i, is an old 
congregation, extending back to 1844. The first church was of 
stone, and erected in 1852. Worship was held in this building till 
1883, when, on its removal, a brick church was erected, at a cost of 
$3,200. The principal promoters of this Association were William 


Linglebach, Nicholas Sweitzer, George Kleinknecht, and Charles 
Strossel. Rev. Frederick Sharpley was first minister. A few 
members only at its inception have increased to over 70 at present. 
Rev. Mr. Burn is present minister. The Sabbath school in 
connection with this congregation is one of the oldest in the 
county, having been organized by Mr. Chas. Strossel in 1848. 
The present number of pupils is 80, with Mr. Samuel Reider as 

Early municipal records in North Easthope are very incomplete. 
For 1842, the initial point of all municipal history, there are no 
records. During that period of a district council in Goderich it is 
evident that North and South Easthope formed one district, and 
had no connection with Downie, Fullarton, and Blanshard, as 
stated by local historians elsewhere. Downie, whose records are 
most complete of any in this county, makes no mention of the 
Easthopes at a meeting held in January, 1842. Those three 
townships formed one district, and as such elected officers, and 
transacted such business as was usual at town meetings. It 
will be found in the records of Downie that while this trio of 
municipalities elected one representative, North and South East- 
hope elected Mr. Helmer as another. 

In 1843 two town meetings were held on January 2nd and 6th 
respectively. Why two consecutive meetings should have taken 
place to elect officers and pass by-laws, the records do not say. 
This meeting, therefore, of "the inhabitants being householders 
and freeholders of North Easthope, held at the school house, lot 
21, con. 2, chose a fit and proper person to serve as district 
councillor, according to the Act 4 and 5 Vic., chap. 10." The 
township clerk presided, having previously taken the oath before 
J. C. W. Daly, Esq. They proceeded to elect a councillor, when 
Mr. James Cairns was unanimously chosen. 

Several resolutions were also submitted and passed ist, 
"That this meeting, considering the contentions and dissatis 
factions which occur on account of the continued shifting of our 
annual town meeting from place to place (as the magistrates think 
proper to direct), do hereby appoint the schoolhouse on lot 12, 


con. 2, to be our town hall for holding- our town meetings con 
nected with, or by law required to be holden for regulating- affairs 
of North Easthope." 2nd "That the town clerk notify J. C. W. 
Daly and George Gowinlock, magistrates, that the said school- 
house is appointed townhall for this township." 

Other officers elected at this meeting were Duncan Stewart, 
assessor ; David Bell, collector ; John McDermid, Jas. Rankin, 
and Christian Summers, wardens ; minor officers were Emil 
Ballard, Thos. Langley, Punsho Windle, Wm. Miller, Archie 
Murray, Christian Nafziger, H. Hart, P. Anderson, Donald 
Robertson, D. Carroll, Wm. Amos, A. Crerar, Wm. Brown, D. 
Kippen, J. Fisher, Wm. Bradley, H. McDermid, Thos. Sergant, 
Michael Phaelan, William Jackson, Hugh Bates, Timothy Wallace, 
John Whitman, and Peter Mclntosh, pathmasters. 

In 1844 no district councillor was elected, the writ not having 
been received from Mr. Dunlop, warden of the United Counties, in 
proper time. Town wardens were Peter Mclntosh, John Mc 
Dermid, and Henry Cook. In 1845 Mr. George Hyde was elected 
district councillor, being again re-elected in 1846, with Mr. 
James Rankin as colleague, the population having reached the 
number required by law to return a second representative. For 
town wardens, Mr. Joseph Whaley, Christian Summers, and 
James Cainrs were elected. In 1848 Mr. Hyde and Mr. Rankin 
remained in office. In 1849 Mr. Hyde was succeeded by Alex 
ander Hamilton, Mr. Rankin being re-elected. Town wardens 
for 1847, Joseph Whaley, Peter Mclntosh, and Alexander Fisher. 
In 1848, John Cairns, David Bell, and Peter Crerar. For 1849, 
no record. 

In 1850 were elected as first municipal council for North East- 
hope, T. M. Daly, reeve; Alex. Hamilton, James Rankin, Peter 
Mclntosh, and James Patterson, councillors. Mr. James Wilson 
was appointed clerk, succeeding James Patterson, who had suc 
ceeded Alexander Grant a short time previous. John McDermid, 
Robert E. Patterson, and Duncan Stewart were appointed asses 
sors. James Stewart was appointed collector; C. R. Dickson 
and Charles McTavish, auditors. 


I regret to say that a portion of the records of this township 
previous to 1859 I have been unable to discover. During- the first 
twenty years of settlement in a new municipality history is rapidly 
made, that being- a period when the foundations of its future pro 
gress are laid. Those names, therefore, I have been able to g"ive 
of the officers who managed affairs in this municipality have been 
procured from old auditors reports and the archives of the county 
clerk in Stratford. It may be said, however, that expenditure on 
public works (although all has been accomplished that was neces 
sary) is far short of the disbursements made in other townships 
lying north of the Huron Road. Those great deposits of road 
material have been utilized cheaply and effectively, and splendid 
roads are found in every section of this township. Its fine rolling 
land has rendered a large expenditure on drainage, except a 
portion in the west, unnecessary. The whole surface is available 
for agriculture, and a disbursement of $4,000 under By-law No. 
220, in 1886, for the central drain, with other small drains, near 
the boundary of Ellice, constitute the whole special funds ex 
pended for drainage purposes. 

The town hall is a small brick building-, two and a-half miles 
north of Shakespeare, and not at all creditable either to the taste 
or liberality of this wealthy municipality. Neither is it by any 
means flattering to its architectural design or interior arrange 
ments when we say it is about equal to any in Perth County. It 
indicates a strange phase of human nature when we find that a 
rich and populous township, which has expended money lavishly 
on public improvements, building- schoolhouses, erecting- hand 
some churches and costly farm building s, with all those amenities 
co-relative to our advanced civilization, should still retain wretched 
looking- hen-coops for government buildings. Any little embellish 
ment some of these places have received in painting, or otherwise, 
when they were constructed, has long since disappeared. They 
now stand, worn and forsaken looking, as a tenement erected in 
pioneer days for a party of shanty men, who have now deserted it 
as no longer habitable. 

There is one distinctive characteristic of North Easthope electors 


found nowhere else to so great an extent in Perth County. This 
is confidence in their public men, as indicated by their long- reten 
tion in office. Mr. James Trow and Mr. John McMillan held the 
reeve and deputy-reeveship between them for nearly forty years. 
A collector, now over 80 years old, is still on his rounds ; he has 
travelled for forty years. Mr. A. M. Fisher, late clerk, held that 
office for thirty years, now succeeded by his son. Mr. Alexander 
Fisher was treasurer for many long years, while several coun 
cillors and subordinate officers have long official records. That 
all this should have happened in a township where political feel 
ings are of a pronounced democratic type may seem strange. If 
we consider the idiosyncracies of the Scotch, whose cast of 
thought predominates in North Easthope, this display of conserva 
tism will be found to be more natural than at first it would appear 
to be. The democracy of a Scotchman may be summed up in 
three important principals. First, he wants to be let alone. 
Second, he wants to spend his money as he pleases. Third, which 
involves the other two, he wants the governing power to tax him 
exactly as he can afford to pay, he being sole and only judge of 
his financial condition and ability to contribute. Here his de 
mocracy ends and his conservatism begins. First, what he has 
he wants to keep. He clings to the old faith of his fathers, to the 
old psalms to Martyrdom and Old Hundred as being the acme of 
sacred melody. His heart and sympathy are aroused when the 
minister on Sabbath day has passed in his prayer that old land 
mark of supplicating that the Jews be restored to their ancient 
heritage. He feels refreshed when he has reached fourthly in his 
elucidation of original sin. He is in ecstacies when the practical 
application is closed with terrific denunciations on modern innova 
tions; particularly new hymns and an organ. He is honest in his 
convictions, loyal to his King and country; he never forgets the 
old heather hills far away; he is dogmatic in his faith, persevering 
in his conduct, true to his trust, a good citizen, fond of place 
and power, and sincere in his regard for sacred things. It is this 
solidity of character which has displayed itself in retention of 
public men. 


This retaining of certain men in public office for a long term of 
years has a tendency to create an influence for them to which they 
may have no other claim for distinction. Thus, Logan, Fullarton, 
Downie, North Easthope, and one or two others acquired and 
retained an influence at the county council much more effective 
than such townships as Blanshard, which were constantly chang 
ing. By retaining an officer for a period of years he acquires an 
interest and understanding regarding the routine of his business, 
which is advantageous to the public service. I may be permitted 
to say here that the only case in this county I have found of a 
ratepayer appealing against his own assessment as being too low 
occurred in this township. This was an appeal of John McMillan 
against assessment on his income, which, at his request, was 
raised at the court of revision. 

Although the population had diminished, the total assessment 
in 1902 had rather increased, being $1,940,220. On this sum 
about $13,000 is levied and collected annually, over one-third 
being set apart for schools. There are ten school sections, five of 
which are unions. There has been a great diminution of the 
liquor traffic, only two hotels being licensed. 

In 1844, North Easthope contained 1,151 inhabitants (including 
a portion of Stratford), having 4,172 acres under cultivation. In 
1850, the population had increased to 2,080, and 10,000 acres 
under cultivation. In 1859 was produced 53,000 bush, of wheat, 
39,000 bush, oats, 10,000 bush, peas, 19,000 bush, potatoes, 
12,000 bush, turnips, 19,000 Ibs. maple sugar, 8,000 Ibs. wool, 
and 8,000 Ibs. butter. The population in 1862 was 3,129, Strat 
ford meantime having withdrawn. 

Previous to 1859, I have been unable to obtain any records of 
this municipality. The names of those reeves who sat prior to 
that period have been taken from records in the county clerk s 

Reeves. 1851-2, Alexander Hamilton; 1853-4, A. Grant; 1855, 
Alex. Hamilton; 1856, A. Grant ; 1857, Alex. Hamilton ; 1858-60, 
A. Grant; 1861-81, Jas. Trow ; 1882-91, John McMillan; 1892-6, 
John Hay ; 1897-9, Andrew Falk ; 1900-2, Julius Cook. 


Deputy-Reeves. 1867-74, James Stewart, first deputy-reeve ; 
1875-81,]. McMillan; 1882-7, George Hyde; 1888-91, John A. 
Eraser ; 1892-6, A. Falk ; 1897-8, J. A. Fraser. Office was now 

Councillors. 1859-60, William Patterson, Alex. Hamilton, John 
Curtis, John Fisher; 1861, Henry Carroll, J. Fisher, Duncan 
McCallum, Wm. Rennie ; 1862, W. Rennie, J. Curtis, J. Fisher, 
A. Grant ; 1863, J. Cairns, J. Stewart, Peter Crerar, H. Carroll ; 
1864-5, W - Rennie, P. Crerar, Peter Stewart, J. Stewart ; 1866, 
W. Rennie, J. Stewart, P. Stewart, Peter McLennan ; 1867, A. 
Fisher, P. McLennan, P. Stewart; 1868-71, A. Fisher, P. Stewart, 
W. Rennie ; 1872, J. McMillan, J. McGuigan, P. Stewart ; 1873, 
J. McMillan, John Cook, W. Rennie; 1874, J. McMillan, Cornelius 
Quinlan, J. Cook ; 1875, P. Stewart, C. Quinlan, A. Falk ; 
1876-81, A. Falk, Valentine Knechtel, P. Stewart; 1882-8, J. 
Cook, A. Falk, P. Stewart; 1889, J. Cook, A. Falk, J. Hay; 
1890-1, A. Falk, J. Hay, W. Rennie; 1892, W. Rennie, Julius 
Cook, Peter McDonald ; 1893-6, P. McDonald, W. Crerar, Julius 
Cook ; 1897-8, Julius Cook, P. McDonald, Duncan Stewart ; 
1899, Julius Cook, Alex. McDonald, Jas. Hastings, J. A. Fraser; 
1900-2, John C. Cook, Alex. McDonald, Jas. Hastings, J. A. 

Clerks. 1859-60, James Trow ; 1861-2, James Kee ; 1863-70, 
Joseph Whaley (resigned) and Alex. Fisher (appointed); 1871-1900, 
Alex. M. Fisher (resigned) and J. D. Fisher, son of A. M. Fisher 
(appointed) ; 1901-2, J. D. Fisher. 

Treasurers. 1859-78, Alex. Fisher; 1879-91, John W. Zinkann; 
1892-1903, Jas. McGillawee. 

Assessors. 1859-60, John Dow ; 1861-5, John Fraser; 1866-76, 
James Patterson ; 1877-9, Henry Baechler ; 1880, J. Patterson ; 
1881-83, George Wettlaufer; 1884-5, Joseph McMillan ; 1886-9, 
Duncan Forbes ; 1890-3, Stephen Capling ; 1894-8, J. McDonald; 
1899-1902, George Merrylees. 

Collectors. 1856-62, Charles McTavish ; 1863-1902, William 
Patterson. Mr. Patterson s period of service has only be exceeded 
by one municipal officer in this county Mr. Jas. Reid, treasurer 
of Mornington. 


Auditors. 1859, Jas. Patterson, Samuel Rutherford; 1860, Jas. 
Patterson, John McDermid ; 1861-2, George Brown, Jas. Hamil 
ton ; 1863-4, J as - Hamilton, Jas. Patterson ; 1865-70, J. Hamil 
ton, Chas. McTavish; 1871-5, J. Hamilton, Jacob Kollman ; 1876, 
Duncan Stewart, Thos. Mung-ovan ; 1877-80, D. Stewart, Jas. 
Brown ; 1881-6, Duncan Forbes, J. Brown ; 1887-9, Alex. Home, 
Jacob Schamber ; 1890-2, J. Schamber, Jacob Kollman ; 1893-7, 
John Ruppert, Joseph McMillan ; 1898-1902, J. McMillan, Henry 





o ^ 



Logan was named in honour of Hart Logan, a director of the 
Canada Company, and first opened for settlement in 1830. In 
January of this year a survey of one concession was made; a 
further portion in 1832; the whole being completed in 1835. It 
contains 53,551 acres, all available for agriculture. Adjoining the 
Huron road its surface is undulating, becoming level as it extends 
northwards. In some sections, lying north-east and north-west, 
great sv amps existed, whose density and dismal aspect seemed to 
defy ey iry effort at improvement. In these swamps the river 
Thame,* has its source, and they were long thought to be irre- 
claima 1 le. They have of late years, however, been cleared, 
drainefl,, and largely brought under cultivation, affording a means 
of subsistence to progressive agriculturists, where a few years 
ago Existence seemed impossible. 

This township may be considered highly favoured in comparison 
with those further north in the county. It had an advantage in the 
Huron road being opened at an early date ; the first railway also 
extended along the whole front of the municipality. Fifty years 
ago such means of transit were of more consequence than now. 
To-day good roads exist everywhere, rendering transportation of 
farm products not a great difficulty. In these early days swamps, 
crossways, streams without bridges, long dreary stretches of 
forest without human habitation, slow progress with the oxen and 
sled, rendered a short journey a great undertaking. If the pro 
duct of his few stumpy acres was small, it involved a task in its 
removal perhaps as difficult as any the pioneer had to overcome. 



By constructing the Logan road in 1857-8, great relief was 
afforded those settlers who had penetrated deep into the woods. 
From east, west, and north they directed their steps to this 
great road, until a stream of traffic passed over it every day as 
great in volume as that over any highway in this county. Good 
roads exist now in almost every section of Logan. Material for 
road construction is not plentiful throughout, although in many 
sections a good supply is available. 

Agriculture has attained a high standard, all those methods 
being adopted which have led to enhanced profits and a diminu 
tion of labour in farm life. A system of mixed farming has been 
carried on in preference to specialism. In some sections dairying 
has been successfully carried on for many years ; in other portions, 
;and I believe those the greatest, different methods have been fol 
lowed. Notwithstanding that dairying has been profitable in other 
municipalities, it is not amongst a number of our farmers a popular 
branch of farming industry. The exacting routine and close atten 
tion necessary to its successful prosecution is not pleasing to the 
average agriculturist. Skill is not wanting. The dairy cow is a 
complex animal, and any carelessness or neglect, even of a tem 
porary character, or to a slight degree, is distinctly and unerringly 
marked by a diminution in her product. In soils, therefore, well 
adapted to mixed farming, a slight departure from any duty 
demanded by the work on hand is not followed so closely by a 
corresponding retribution as it assuredly is with the dairy cow. 
Where agriculture is skilfully carried on, profits from any system 
will be found about equal in a given period of time. This being 
so, those methods adopted in farm management will always be 
such as to realize a maximum of profit from a minimum of labour. 

Logan has a mixed population of English, Irish, Scotch, and 
German. In certain sections, either one or other of these nation 
alities predominate. In the district surrounding Brodhagen all 
are German. At this point were located such families as Schultz, 
Pushelbury, Hildebricht, Kraukopf, Brodhagen, Rock, Jacob, 
and Eckmire. North and west of the Logan road are Scotch. 
Here we find Moffatt, Smith, Lawson, Campbell, Harvey, Me- 

LOGAN 335 

Pherson, and Stewart. In the west centre are those of Irish 
extraction Regan, DeCoursey, Hickey, Cleary, Connelly, Keyes, 
Hagarty, Lynch, Murphy, and Trainor. South, and nearer 
Mitchell, is a mixed population, without a great preponderance of 
any one nationality. 

At what time the first settler came to Logan it would be difficult 
to say. Previous to 1841 little improvement had been made, and 
that in the neighbourhood of Mitchell. When a municipal council 
was established in McKillop in 1841, Logan was so inconsiderable 
that it was not represented. In 1842 it had become so important 
as to be attached to McKillop for municipal purposes. 

A few settlers were scattered along the Huron road between 
1830 and 1840, but were so isolated from each other that no 
government had been instituted till 1842. In 1844 Logan had 
134 inhabitants, nearly all in Mitchell, and only 49 acres under 
cultivation. In 1850 its population had increased to 603, including 
Mitchell, with 900 acres under cultivation. In 1849 she produced 
3,000 bush, wheat, 2,700 bush, oats, 4,900 bush, potatoes, 2,900 
bush, turnips, 7,000 Ibs. maple sugar, 2,000 Ibs. butter. In 1861 
her population was 2,257, exclusive of Mitchell. 

In 1842 Tom Coveney had penetrated as far into the woods as 
the second concession, where, for some years, he was "Monarch 
of all he surveyed ; his right there was none to dispute." 
Subsequent to 1845 settlement extended rapidly northward, the 
families of Tubb, Shean, Casey, Murphy, Prindeville, Honey, 
Leggatt, and McLagan carrying the banner of conquest into 
these unexplored sections. Natural surface conditions, which were 
interspersed with swamps, retarded pioneer operations. It was 
not till every section of dry land had been settled that the council 
entered into those schemes of drainage which have been productive 
of such beneficial results in transforming the unproductive portions 
into available farm land. 

Postal facilities in Logan are quite equal to those of any other 
part of this county, although within its limits there are no 
commercial centres of importance. Brodhagen has a saw and 
planing mill, with general store and post office. This hamlet was 


founded about 1861, by Charles Brodhagen, who erected a hotel, 
and opened Brodhagen post office in 1865, he being- first post 
master. Mr. Brodhagen was a versatile character, specimens of 
which found their way into the backwoods in pioneer days. In 
his own proper person he combined the various callings of farmer, 
hotelkeeper, postmaster, merchant, tailor, bandmaster, music 
teacher, and gentleman. Notwithstanding his multifarious duties, 
he was equal to them all, discharging, the demands of each in a 
manner creditable to himself. 

On the Logan road, three and three-quarters miles east of 
Brodhagen, is Bornholm, the capital of Logan. This village has 
a good brick hotel, and was founded by Mr. Timothy Hagarty, 
now of Stratford. Here also is a chopping mill, saw mill, store, 
post office, and other branches of business usually found in a 
country village. Here is also the town hall, where council and 
other meetings are held. A stage passes and re-passes on its 
route between Atwood, in Elma, and Mitchell, affording its 
citizens and those adjacent a daily mail. 

The village of Monkton, situate on the boundary line between 
Elma and Logan, five miles north of Bornholm, has been noticed 
in the historical sketch of Elma, where a description of its present 
trade and condition will be found. These, with Mitchell on the 
south boundary, of which a separate sketch will be found in this 
work, comprise the trade centres of Logan. 

While the commercial demands of her people have not been 
productive in the establishing and building up of villages, every 
accommodation has been provided for their religious instruction. 
Churches have been erected in several places of costly material- 
elegant and tasteful in design. A short distance north of Mitchell 
is Willow Grove Methodist church, the present building having 
been erected in 1890, at a cost of $7,000. This structure, which 
is of brick, is somewhat unique in design, and perhaps one of 
the best finished in its interior arrangements of any rural Metho 
dist church edifice in this county. Prior to Methodist union in 
1883, three churches were located in this vicinity, the pioneer sect 
being Bible Christians. In 1862 a mission of the Methodist 

LOGAN 327 

church was established by Rev. Mr. Howard, and services held in 
the school house. Subsequent to this union all were merged into 
the existing congregation, under the pastorate of Rev. David 
Moir. At present there are about 32 families in this communion, 
with Rev. J. H. Thompson as pastor. A Sabbath school is also 
conducted by Mr. William Squires, as superintendent. With him 
are associated eight assistants, who have in charge about 80 
pupils. Congregational affairs are under a board of management, 
with Mr. Wm. McLagan as secretary. Old settlers in this 
section are Thomas Lake, Arthur Stewart, James Wood, Alex. 
Thompson, D. Barr, Wm. McLagan, and Thos. Leggatt. 

Two miles and a-half west is the first Evangelical Lutheran 
congregation of Logan, "Missouri Synod." This mission was 
organized in November, 1858, by Rev. J. A. Hengerer, who came 
through the woods to this point from Ellice. Rev. H. Hoehn, 
who was in charge during 1859, was succeeded in 1860 by Rev. 
C. R. Gerndt. Services were held in the schoolhouse till 1865, 
when the present building was erected at a cost of $1,200. In 
August, 1888, Rev. H. C. Landsky was inducted, and is now in 
charge. A great increase in members has taken place. At its 
inception only 66 formed the congregation now numbering over 
300 souls. Young people s classes are also conducted by the 
pastor, at which there is an attendance of about 60 pupils. The 
promoters of this church were Fred. Pinnaka, Henry Eisler, Fred. 
Hildebricht, and George Timlon. 

At Brodhagen is St. Peter s Evangelical Lutheran church, 
"Council of Canadian Synod." This congregation is a branch of 
the first Evangelical Lutheran church of Logan. To accommo 
date the residents of this section a building was erected in 1868, 
at. a cost of about $1,200. Under the pastorate of Rev. H. 
Weigand this congregation has made great progress, having a 
membership now of 600 souls. A Sabbath school is also con 
ducted by the minister, with an attendance of 155 pupils. In 
conformity to a rule apparently applicable to German congrega 
tions, there is a neat, tidy appearance in the surroundings of their 
church buildings. Characteristic of German homes, comfortable 


parsonages have been erected for their ministers, and spacious 
sheds for sheltering horses during service, all indicating care and 
attention of the lay managers of these congregations. 

St. Bridgid s Roman Catholic church, the largest and most 
imposing church edifice in Logan, is situate on the gravel road, 
about six miles from Mitchell. This congregation was organized 
by Rev. Father O Neil. About 1860 a Catholic mission was 
established at St. Bridgid s, or rather it was known only as St. 
Bridget s, where mass was celebrated under such conditions as 
the log shanty and rude accommodation of the settlers could 
afford. In 1865 a frame church was erected, where the people 
continued to worship until their wealth and numbers warranted 
them in constructing a more modern building, in keeping with 
their advanced conditions. In 1899, therefore, was erected this 
fine edifice, at a cost of $10,000. The building is of red brick, 
and most creditable to the Catholics of Logan. A parsonage of 
the same material has also been built for the resident clergyman. 
This congregation, which numbers about 80 families, have cer 
tainly been liberal in contributing of their wealth to construct 
these costly buildings. The parish priest at present in charge is 
Rev. Father Ronan. 

It is worthy of remark how little progress was made in Logan 
for many years subsequent to its being opened for settlement. In 
this it was on a par with every municipality in the Huron Tract. 
Opening the Huron road in 1830 appeared to serve no purpose 
other than creating a highway to Goderich. It is true a few 
people had settled in Stratford, Downie, and the Easthopes pre 
vious to 1835, but little improvement had been made. Not a 
single school had been established in this county previous to 1842, 
excepting a private one by Mr. J. J. E. Linton. Even during this 
year, when six districts were now defined, they embraced five 
townships in their limits. If immigrants came to Canada at that 
period in any great volume, they certainly did not reach the 
County of Perth. In no part of Ontario was a larger section 
of fertile land open for settlement, but which was allowed to 
remain untouched by pioneer hands. Perhaps a solution of this 

LOGAN 329 

problem is to be found in the system of government prevailing 
in Canada at that time. Any occupation is more suitable for a 
ruling power than acting as a dry nurse. This system had 
apparently obtained in Great Britain from time immemorial until 
that great awakening in Corn Law repeal. Paternal government 
lost the United States to Britain. It nearly lost Canada in 1837. 
It is intolerable to the genius of America, and, wherever attempted, 
has been followed by signal failure. Prior to 1841, Canadians 
suffered by the sucking bottle system, and it was not till those 
principles advocated by Mr. McKenzie were put in operation that 
political action was directed to more liberal and democratic 
measures. Whether this may have caused our present pro- 
gressiveness or not, it is certain that subsequent to introducing 
municipal legislation, in 1841, our development has been such as 
never was previously experienced in this country. Another fact 
remains to be stated, that to reach a man s highest manhood 
you must place him in a position of responsibility. Without the 
franchise he is a machine; with it he is a living factor in human 
progress. The Municipal Act placed on men the responsibility of 
self-government, making an appeal to their manhood which has 
culminated in such an advance in fifty years that we view it with 
wonder and amazement. 

On the 3rd day of January, 1842, the first town meeting was 
held, at the house of W T illiam Lee, in which Logan took part, 
having been joined to Hibbert and McKillop for municipal pur 
poses during the previous year. At this meeting a contest for 
councillor, between Messrs. John Hicks and Archibald Dickson, 
took place. A poll having been demanded, and taken forthwith, 
the chairman declared Mr. Dickson to have a majority of votes. 

No alteration was made in their arrangements, and these 
townships remained as one electoral district until 1844. During 
that year a separation took place, and the first meeting was held 
for Logan in 1845. At this meeting Mr. John Hicks was elected 
district councillor, and Mr. Peter Shean township clerk. In 1846 
a meeting was held at Mitchell, in the house of Mr. John Hicks, 
and " by virtue of a warrant under the hands of Thomas Mercer 


Jones and J. C. W. Daly, two of Her Majesty s justices of the 
peace, for the purpose of electing officers for the current year," 
Mr. John Hicks took the chair. Mr. Peter Shean was again 
elected clerk. Mr. Thomas Freeman was chosen assessor, and 
Mr. Edward Prindeville collector. The town wardens : Samuel 
Grimes, Thomas Hill, and William Boles. Eight pathmasters 
were elected : Thomas Hill, William Atkins, John Hicks, John 
Robb, James Shean, William Shean, Edward Lynch, and Patrick 
Collins. The first poundkeepers were John Pierce, William Gill- 
trap, and John McWhinney. Fenceviewers : Arthur Murphy, 
Thomas Hill, Henry Camden, and Francis Siver. On the fifth 
day of January, 1847, the town meeting was held at the house of 
John Hicks, when Peter Shean was chosen clerk ; John Hicks, 
Esq., councillor; Thomas Freeman, assessor; Arthur Murphy, 
collector, and Samuel Grimes, William Atkins, and John Hugo, 
wardens. In the elections for pathmaster at this meeting appears 
for the first time the name of one of Perth s grand old pioneers, 
Mr. Tom Coveney, who began a municipal career extending over 
50 years. During this period Mr. Coveney filled every office in 
municipal government, from that position to which he was now 
appointed, to the highest as warden of the county. At this 
meeting was submitted the first statement of accounts for Logan, 
as follows: 

s. d. 

Balance on hand from 1846 13 15 3/^2 
To cash from treasurer, 1847 10 3 o 

23 18 3^ 

Per contra. s. 

Paid William Shean, by order of John Hicks, 13 2 
ii George Byers, by order of John Hicks, 7 13 20 15 o 

Balance on hand 3 33/^ 

Audited and found correct, by T. B. Woodruff, auditor. 

On the 3rd day of January, 1848, the freeholders and house 
holders met at the house of John Hicks, Mitchell, Mr. Peter 

LOGAN 331 

Shean in the chair. Mr. Shean was again elected clerk ; Mr. 
Thomas Freeman, assessor, and Mr. Arthur Murphy, collector. 

At Mitchell, on the first day of January, 1849, was ne ^ d * n tne 
school house the annual meeting- of freeholders and householders 
of Logan, Mr. John Hicks in the chair. Peter Shean was again 
chosen clerk; Thos. Freeman, assessor, and A. Murphy, collector. 
Town wardens were John Humbertson, Thomas Hill, and Henry 
Camden. This meeting closed the system of municipal govern 
ment introduced by the Act of 1841, and 1850 brought in a new 
and more comprehensive method, productive of much good to the 
people of Canada, and which, with a few unimportant amendments, 
still remains. 

The first meeting of the municipal council of the united town 
ships of Logan, Wallace, and Elma, which, at that period and 
until 1857 were under one municipal government, was held at the 
school house in Mitchell. On this occasion there were present Mr. 
John Hicks, who was chosen reeve, and Messrs. Robert Christie, 
Patrick Collins, Edward Prindeville, and William Bull, councillors. 
With a due regard to those responsibilities they had assumed, the 
council, fearful no doubt of committing themselves to a course of 
action not clearly legal, passed a motion, "That if any of our 
transactions at this meeting be out of order, that we may revise 
them at our next meeting of the council." Carried unanimously. 
At a meeting in February, Peter Shean was appointed clerk; 
Robert Byers, assessor; Thomas Freeman, collector; auditors, 
Tom Coveney and Thomas Matheson. At a later period Mr. 
Edward Greensides was appointed treasurer. It was decided also 
that a seal should be procured, "about the size of a British 
shilling, bearing the arms of Logan, emblazoned with a yew tree 
and a rose." A resolution was also passed inflicting a penalty of 
not less than ten shillings on any councillor who may absent him 
self from the board without good and sufficient reason. In March 
Mr. Shean was succeeded in the office of clerk by Mr. Robert 
Cana ; and Mr. Byers, the assessor, by Mr. Henry Camden. 
The council, having appointed officers, proceeded to fix their 
salaries : Clerk, ^,"6, IDS. (with a saving clause that his services 


should be reconsidered at the close of the year) ; assessor, ^4 on 
every 100 of assessed value ; treasurer, 2, IDS. per annum ; 
auditors, 53. each per day ; surveyor, IDS. per day ; collector, 4%; 
superintendent of education, i for each school ; councillors, 
each, 58. per day. Rev. Charles Fletcher, superintendent for the 
United Counties, was retained in that position. On June 25th, 
1851, was passed a by-law levying 32, IDS. on all taxable pro 
perty in Mitchell school section, to pay teacher s salary and liquid 
ate a debt on their school house. 

In 1854 Logan made provision for a public library, ^20 being- 
granted for that purpose, with the clerk as librarian. He was to 
attend every alternate Saturday from 10 o clock a.m. till 7 in the 
evening, in the discharge of his official duties. This institution 
was not successful. To render its benefits convenient to all it 
was ultimately placed in four divisions. Mrs. Biles was appointed 
librarian in the first division, Mrs. Coveney in No. 2, Mrs. Horni- 
brook in No. 3, and Mrs. Cana in No. 4. Compensation- granted 
to these officials for performance of their duties was i., 55. per 

It has been a custom in too many instances for ignorant and ill- 
bred people to sneer at the educational acquirements of our old 
pioneers. If, in Logan, seven out of fifteen officers signed their 
names with the orthodox "his + mark", they were neither better 
nor worse than many old settlers in this country. Want of educa 
tion was their misfortune. That it did not impose insuperable 
difficulties in the work they had to do is evident from what they 
accomplished. That they felt its want is evinced by their conduct 
in providing libraries for those who could read. If their neigh 
bours became more intelligent by these means they would gain 
by their acquirements. Their desire for education was further 
exemplified in building schools for training their children, and in 
that noble pride with which they marked the success of some one 
who had laid the foundation of his education in the old log school 
at his nearest corner. 

From 1844 to 1856 no important acts were passed. Council 
confined their duties to appointing officers, making culverts, 

LOGAN 333 

reg-ulating- statute labour, and making- such improvements on 
highways as were necessary under the conditions obtaining- in 
a new country. Meantime Mitchell had become a town of im 
portance, and the shipping point, not only for Logan, but also of 
Elma and Wallace. It was not for many years subsequent to 
1856 that railway conveniences were extended to those back town 
ships by constructing the southern extension of the W., G. & 
B. Railway to Atwood. Products from that back country, there 
fore, passed down the centre road of Logan, creating an immense 
traffic. Small grants of county funds were made from time to 
time, and appropriated to the repair and maintenance of this road, 
but these were so inconsiderable in proportion to the work 
required to be done that very little perceptible improvement was 
made. In May, 1856, the council took into consideration the 
question of passing a by-law to borrow ^11,000 for improvement 
and construction of a gravel road extending from Mitchell north 
ward through Logan and Elma, and for improvements of high 
ways in those townships generally. According to the preamble 
of this by-law, Logan, Elma, and Wallace had a total assessment 
in 1855 of ^105,267, or $421,068, about one -fifth the assessed 
value of each at the present day. Although Wallace is included 
in this by-law, it does not appear that any appropriation was made 
in her interest. Hitherto this township had contributed very little 
to the finances of the united municipalities, and the assessors in 
1854 were instructed not to assess unsurveyed lands in that town 
ship. If this by-law was not retroactive, it was strongly prospec 
tive, and must have been based on unbounded confidence in the 
future prosperty of those sections affected by its provisions. That 
a loan was raised on a total value of .105,267, which, at the end 
of twenty years (the time specified in the by-law) w ould require 
24,200 (or $100,000) to discharge the obligations it entailed on 
the people, indicated a confidence and a determination that they 
would succeed, which is truly surprising. It was passed, however, 
and on August 3oth, 1856, Logan became responsible for her first 
debt. To give effect to this act the council proceeded in its first 
great work, constructing the Logan Gravel Road, which was 


nearly completed in 1857. Building this road was a great boon, 
not only to Logan, but to Elma also, in supplying a highway, 
over which people were enabled to move produce to market at all 
seasons of the year. The lowest tender for this contract was that 
of Mr. A. A. Clothier (who became associated with T. M. Daly), 
amounting to ^8,930, to whom it was awarded. When the road 
was finally completed a further claim for extras was submitted by 
the contractors, amounting to about ^500, which was allowed by 
the board. 

In December, also of this year, a petition was presented by 
Mitchell people praying that a census be taken with a view to 
incorporation. Subsequent to this incorporation, which was made 
in 1857, various complications arose between the two munici 
palities regarding existing liabilities and the gravel roads to be 
assumed by each. Logan submitted a demand for ^2,500 as an 
equitable adjustment. To this claim Messrs. Matheson and Hicks, 
who acted for Mitchell, demurred. They asked that, preparatory 
to settlement, a full statement of claims be laid before them. 
Logan in turn objected, and asked for arbitration. Mitchell s 
representatives pointed out that in their opinion ,97, i6s., gd. 
would be a fair and equitable adjustment, which they were pre 
pared to pay. Negotiations were now broken off, Logan refusing 
further discussion on a question where both parties were decidedly 
apart in their views. An amicable settlement \vas ultimately 
reached by Logan assuming the liability for completing the 
Logan road. This amounted to ^1,625. It was further decided 
that this agreement should be ratified by both parties, Mitchell 
paying the township ^125 as her share of debt on that portion 
within the town limits. 

In November another by-law was passed authorizing a further 
issue of debentures for ^1,250 to complete the road; last loan 
for gravel road improvement. In January, 1858, two toll gates 
were erected, No. i near Mitchell, and No. 2 a short distance 
north of Hagarty s hotel, at Bornholm. Tolls were collected for 
several years at those gates, until action was taken by the county 
council for their removal. In 1868 Mr. D. D. Hay presented a 

LOGAN 335 

report recommending- the county to assume all gravel roads, and 
remove the gates. These recommendations were accepted by the 
county, and the gates removed. The county council afterwards 
divested itself of these roads by placing- them under the control of 
the municipalities, where they have remained ever since. 

We may be permitted to say, before taking leave of this subject, 
that placing toll gates on public roads was unpopular from their 
inception. A direct impost of this kind was not in harmony with 
the feelings of democratic Canadians. The experience of this 
township with toll gates was of a piece with all other sections of 
this county. A tax demanded every five miles, for travelling a road 
made by their own money, was contributed grudgingly by the 
people. This tax never exceeded $2,000 per annum, which might 
have been taken from the general fund. The gates were sold by 
auction each year to the highest bidder. Competition induced from 
strangers higher prices than could be afforded with any margin of 
profit for their labour as collectors. The lessee frequently could 
not discharge his obligations, and the council had recourse to his 
sureties, always an unpleasant measure, often leading to hardship. 

To obviate these difficulties and release themselves from further 
responsibility in this matter, another and more doubtful course 
was adopted. This was leasing the road or farming its franchises. 
This highway was, therefore, leased to Mr. S. Hornibrook for 
$1,001 per annum, who was to keep it in repair, and collect those 
rates imposed or authorized by the council. This plan opened 
every avenue for discontent and litigation. However satisfactory 
the roadway may have been while it remained under municipal 
control, it became in wretched condition in a surprisingly short 
period after it passed into the hands of Mr. Hornibrook, so it was 
alleged. At the termination of one year complaints were loud and 
deep, and extreme measures were threatened unless it was placed 
in good repair. The lessee pointed out that there was no cause 
for complaint, the highway being in much better condition than 
when it came under his management. A law suit would un 
doubtedly have resulted had not the county council solved the 
problem. This body proposed to buy the road, offering therefor 


$10,000. The council could not see their way clear to disposing 
of a piece of property that would actually cost no less than 
$100,000 before the debt was liquidated, and of which sum at 
least $50,000 was still due. Wise counsels, however, prevailed, 
and it was sold. This agreement made with the county 
afforded an excellent opportunity for Mr. Hornibrook to retaliate 
on the council. His lease had not expired, and he was, therefore, 
entitled to some consideration for cancellation of his contract. 
He asked $450. The council considered this such an exorbitant 
demand that they would not even consent to negotiate. A settle 
ment had to be made, and the matter was referred to arbitration 
(Mr. D. D. Hay being one of the court), and subsequently disposed 
of in a manner satisfactory to all parties. This did not end the 
gravel road question in Logan. When the county council assumed 
the toll roads, it was no doubt intended to restore them to the 
municipalities in which they were located. This method placed 
them under the immediate jurisdiction of local councils, who could 
apply statute labour in keeping them in repair. A deed of this 
Logan road was, therefore, sent to the council. Such had been 
their experience with gravel roads that if a bombshell had been 
laid on the table it could not have created greater consternation 
than this innocent looking document. With trepidation and fear 
the council passed a motion that their legal right, as expressed in 
this document, should be returned from whence it came. Having 
disposed of this important affair, they gradually resumed a 
demeanor of grand and dignified repose. This action of the 
county council removed gravel road questions from municipalities, 
and the wisdom which brought about these results is appreciated 
by every ratepayer in this county to-day. 

1859 was a dark and gloomy one for Logan, as it was for all 
sections of this county. A failure of crops in the season previous 
brought great hardships to many a struggling and deserving 
family. A circumstance of this kind now does not seriously injure 
a progressive farmer. Forty years ago it was very different. 
When the balance constantly wavered between success and irre 
trievable disaster, the beam was easily turned in that direction 

LOGAN 337 

which rendered vain all effort to restore it to its wonted level. In 
this township 170 applications (or one in every three of its settlers) 
was sent in for relief from the fund opened by the county council. 
Who can tell the misery and patient suffering in those lonely 
shanties, even at that late day, amongst our old pioneers? Ah ! 
Yes; who can tell? God only knows. 

Conditions in Logan at this period were such as might have 
caused uneasiness in her public men. She had incurred heavy 
liabilities in constructing gravel roads, which would require years 
to liquidate. A failure of crops in 1858 had placed one-third of 
her farmers as recipients of relief. Those great swamps where 
rivers have their source, comprising one-fifth of her area, were 
still unproductive, except in malarial diseases. Notwithstanding 
these difficulties she still retained confidence in ultimate success. 
To this feeling we must attribute that aggressiveness which has 
brought about such great results as are now found in this 
township. It required some years to place her pioneers in such 
conditions as warranted any further outlay, and excepting a new 
town hall, erected in 1869, none were incurred. 

In 1880 it was determined to inaugurate a system of drainage, 
which has been productive of great and lasting good. By adopt 
ing this policy thousands of acres have been rendered productive 
which were once considered as beyond reclamation. If large 
sums have been spent for this purpose, no better investment could 
have been made. A largely increased assessment roll is proof of 
this result. A loan of Si 2, 482 was, therefore, obtained as a test 
of this new scheme. A first effort was singularly effective. 
Further sums were obtained, until a total of $30,000 has been 
invested, effecting a marvellous improvement. It is not a matter 
of historical value where and how this amount has been expended. 
It is enough to know that every acre in Logan is now, or soon 
will be, available for agricultural purposes. 

By referring to the auditors report of 1901, liabilities for drain 
age amount to $3,120, with an expenditure during that year of 
$2,660. The total receipts set forth by this audit amount to 
$28,810, a very large sum, indeed; of which $17,284 was raised 


by taxation. There is still a portion of unimproved land, which 
is assessed at $16,650. As in all rural municipalities, population 
in this township has decreased, being" at present 2,807. 

School building s being 1 of recent construction, are equal to any 
in Perth County. As in other townships, Logan council has had 
a constant source of annoyance in forming, altering and extending 
school sections. Present arrangements are a division into ten 
districts, with several unions and one separate school. 

While the people have not been characterized by strong temper 
ance proclivities, this township never had more than four hotels, 
at present only two. In every section now are evidences of 
wealth and comfort, and her people seem refined, contented, and 
happy, with a high standard of morality, and a laudable reverence 
for the sacred principles of Christianity so distinctive everywhere 
in Perth County. 

We submit a list of public men and their periods of service from 
1850 to the present: 

Reeves. 1850, John Hicks ; 1851, Wm. Rath; 1852, John C. 
Smith ; 1853-5, Robert Christie ; 1856-7, Thos. Matheson ; 1858, 
Robert Jones; 1859-61, Alexander Campbell ; 1862-79, R. Jones; 
1880, Tom Coveney ; 1881-91, R. Jones; 1892-5, T. Coveney ; 
1896, John Benneweis ; 1897-1901, Wm. McKenzie ; 1902, John 

Deputy- Reeves. 1863, Henry Metcalf (first deputy) ; 1864-5, 
Jas. Murray ; 1866-9, Robert Keyes ; 1870-4, Wm. Etty ; 1875-6, 
Wm. Thompson ; 1877-8, R. Keyes ; 1879, Philip Siebert ; 1880, 
George Rock ; 1881-2, Alex. Stewart ; 1883, John Linton ; 1884, 
Francis Jacobs ; 1885, Jas. Woods ; 1886, George Adams ; 1887, 
Stephen F. Hickey ; 1888-9, Tom Coveney; 1890, R. Keyes; 
1891-2, Gustave Eisler ; 1893, John Francis ; 1894, John Ritz ; 
1895-6, Thos. Reidy ; 1897-8, J. Francis. 

Councillors. 1850, Edward Prindeville, Wm. Bull ; Robert 
Christie, Patrick Collins; 1851, Jas. Carpenter, Thos. Alcock, 
Richard Hill, P. Collins ; 1852, Oliver McArthur, R. Hill, E. 
Prindeville, Jas. Carpenter; 1853-4, T. Collins, Thos. Matheson, 
J. Hicks, W. Smith; 1855, J. Hicks, Thos. Matheson, P. Collins, 

LOGAN 339 

Jas. Campbell ; 1856, J. Hicks, R. Christie, John Henry, P. 
Collins ; 1857, P. Collins, Peter Shean, R. Christie, J. Henry ; 
1858, Alex. Campbell, P. Collins, J. Henry, Zachariah Ellig-- 
son ; 1859, P. Collins, John Wade, Alex. Purser, Wm. Robb ; 
1860-1, Robert Jones, P. Collins, A. Purser, Wm. Robb; 1862, 
Alex. Purser, H. Metcalf, Samuel Hornibrook, David Oughton ; 
1863, A. Purser, S. Hornibrook, Wm. Robb; 1864, S. Horni 
brook, Henry Kenoke, Christian Saakell ; 1865, C. Saakell, R. 
Keyes, H. Metcalf; 1866, Wm. Robb, J. Wade, G. Rock ; 1867, 
G. Rock, Jas. Edwards, P. Shean ; 1868-9, G. Rock, Alex. 
Stewart, Wm. Etty ; 1870, A. Stewart, Wm. Thompson, G. 
Rock; 1871, G. Rock, A. Stewart, P. Shean; 1872, G. Rock, 
Wm. Thompson, Wm. Robb; 1873, Wm. Robb, Wm. Thompson, 
Alex. Stewart; 1874, Alex. Stewart, G. Rock, Arthur Stewart; 
1875, Wm - McLagan, G. Rock, John Hag-arty ; 1876, G. Rock, 
J. Hag-arty, Philip Siebert ; 1877, Alex. Stewart, Wm. McLagan, 
Philip Siebert; 1878, Wm. McLag-an, G. Rock, J. Francis ; 
1879, Wm. McLagan, G. Rock, Alex. Stewart ; 1880, P. 
Siebert, Adam Cook, R. Keyes; 1881, R. Keyes, J. Linton, 
Wm. Smith ; 1882, R. Keyes, J. Linton, Wm. Bryne ; 1883, R. 
Keyes, Wm. Bryne, J. Francis ; 1884, Jas. Wood, Georg-e Adam, 
Stephen Nicholson ; 1885, Francis Jacob, S. Nicholson, G. Adam; 

1886, Jas. Woods, Stephen F. Hickey, Chas. Querrengesser ; 

1887, Chas. Querrengesser, G. Adam, Henry Tubb ; 1888, G. 
Adam, R. Keyes, Wm. Bauer ; 1889, R. Keyes, Wm. Bauer, 
Gustave Eisler ; 1890, Jas. Wood, G. Eisler, Wm. Bauer ; 1891, 
Wm. Smith, Wm. Bauer, Thos. Reidy ; 1892, Wm. S. Smith, 
Thos. Reidy, J. Francis ; 1893, Thos. Reidy, John Ritz, Louis 
Becker ; 1894, Thos. Reidy, L. Becker, Wm. Harvey ; 1895, 
Wm. McKenzie, J. Ritz, Wm. S. Smith ; 1896, Wm. McKenzie, 
J. Ritz, J. Francis ; 1897, R. A. McLagan, Wm. S. Smith, John 
Rudolph ; 1898, Wm. S. Smith, J. Rudolph, Patrick Bohan ; 
1899, J. Francis, J. Rudolph, P. Bohan, Wm. S. Smith ; 1900-1, 
J. Rudolph, Wm. Thompson, Jas. Moffatt, P. Bohan ; 1902, Jas. 
Moffatt, P. Bohan, J. Ritz, T. A. Wood. 

Clerks. 1850, Robert Cana, 1851-2, William Bell; 1853-8, R. 



R. Cana; 1859-66, Wm. Smith; 1867-76, Tom Coveney ; 1877-89, 
Wm. Featherstone ; 1890-1902, Francis Jacob. 

Treasurers. 1850-6, E. Greensides (resigned), E. J. Woods ; 

1857, Thos. Matheson ; 1858, Robert Christie; 1859, Thos. Hill, 
sr. ; 1860, Wm. Smith; 1861-2, Thos. M. Murray; 1863-76, 
Thos. Leggatt ; 1877-96, Thos. Pascoe ; 1897-9, William Squire; 
1900-2, T. M. Linton. 

Assessors. 1850, Henry Camden, Wm. Carter; 1851, Thos. 
Kiterson; 1852, Patrick Collins ; 1853, Joseph Kiterson ; 1854, 
Jas. Campbell ; 1855, Wm. Smith ; 1856, Jas. Campbell ; 1857-8, 
John Hornibrook ; 1859, John Aikins ; 1860-2, Thos. Leggatt ; 
1863-4, John Purser ; 1865, Thos. Elliott ; 1866, Tom Coveney ; 
1867, Wm. Thompson ; 1868-9, John Dwyre, Henry Mordie ; 
1870-2, Jeremiah Regan; 1873, John Dwyre ; 1874, J. Regan ; 
1875, Thos. Elliott ; 1876, Alex. Stewart ; 1877, J. Regan ; 1878, 
Wm. Pendergrast; 1879, Wm. Thompson; 1880, Wm. C. Smith; 
1 88 1 -3, J. Regan ; 1884, Wm. Me Lagan ; 1885, J. Regan ; 1886, 
J. Dwyre, 1887-8, J. Regan; 1889-90, J. Dwyre; 1891, R. J. 
Barr; 1892-6, J. Dwyre; 1897, R. J. Barr; 1898-1902, S. J. Swin 

Collectors. 1850, Thos. Freeman ; 1851-5, Peter Shean ; 1856, 
Jas. Kiterson; 1857, Edward Prindeville; 1858, John Henry, sr. ; 
1859-61, John Kenney; 1862-3, John Hornibrook; 1864-71, Arthur 
Stewart; 1872, Michael Collins; 1873, Jeremiah Regan; 1874, 
Thos. Elliott; 1875-6, John Wade; 1877, Stephen Hickey; 1878, 
Francis Jacob ; 1879,8. Hickey; 1880, F. Jacob; 1881-5, Arthur 
Stewart; 1886-96, Wm. Bushfield ; 1897-1902, Thos. Reidy. 

Auditors. 1850-1, Tom Coveney, Thos. Matheson; 1852, Thos. 
Matheson, Wm. Matheson; 1853, Alex. Christie, Adam Mulhol- 
land ; 1854, Tom Coveney, John Cumberland ; 1855-6, Tom 
Coveney, John C. Smith; 1857, Alex. Campbell, J. C. Smith; 

1858, Wm. Robb, J. C. Smith; 1859, Tom Coveney, Jas. Prinde 
ville; 1860, R. Christie, John Quinsey ; 1861, R. Christie, R. J. 
Smith; 1862, Tom Coveney, J. Quinsey; 1863, Jas. Wilson, Wm. 
Stewart; 1864, Jas. Wilson, Wm. Prindeville; 1865, Tom Coveney, 
Wm. Robb; 1866, Jas. Wilson, J. Quinsey; 1867, Jas. Wilson, J. 

LOGAN 341 

Aikens; 1868, J. Quinsey, J. Kenney; 1869, J. Smith, J. Quinsey; 
1870-1,]. C. Smith, Jas. Prindeville; 1872, Jas. Wilson,]. Wade; 
1873, J. Wade, J. Waugh; 1874, Francis Jacob, Richard Sarvis ; 
1875, F. Jacob, Jas. Prindeville; 1876, J. Waugh, Richard Sarvis; 
1877, F. Jacob, Thos. Pascoe; 1878, J. Aikens, Peter Shean; 1879, 
Louis Pushelbury. W. S. Smith; 1880, L. Pushelbury, J. Prinde 
ville; 1881-3, L - Pushelbury, Peter Campbell; 1884, J. Waugh, L. 
Pushelbury; 1885-7, L. Pushelbury, T. Campbell; 1888-9, T - Camp 
bell, W. S. Smith; 1890-2, L. Pushelbury, T. Campbell; 1893-4, 
John Rudolph, J. Aikens; 1895-6, J. Rudolph, Chas. C. Rock; 
1897, J. Aikens, Wm. Rock; 1898, Marvin Leake, T. W. Pushel 
bury; 1899, M. Leake, C. C. Rock; 1900, T. W. Pushelbury, M. 
Leake; 1901, T. W. Pushelbury, M. Leake; 1902, C. C. Rock, 
Marvin Leake. 



Elma, the largest township in Perth County, was named in 
honour of Lady Elma, a daughter of Lord Elgin, who was at 
one period Lieutenant-Governor of Upper and Lower Canada. It 
was surveyed in 1848 by Mr. James W. Bridgland, but not 
approved by the Government till 1853, when, on a report made by 
Mr. John Grant, P. L.S., it was entered for sale in 1854. All 
that portion comprising from the first to the tenth concessions was 
set apart as school lands. This section amounted to about 40,000 
acres. The balance of the township was held simply as Crown 

Elma is now considered one of the best townships in this 
county, although for many years its aspect to an ordinary settler 
was not encouraging. Nearly everywhere it is an unbroken level. 
A large portion is not even undulating. In no portion does its 
surface rise to such a heighth as, by the most reckless application 
of terms could be denominated a hill. Somewhat less than fifty 
years ago it was considered an irreclaimable swamp. Here, as in 
other sections of our county, pioneer hands have triumphed over 
nature, removing all obstacles to success. Splendid farm build 
ings, fences, good roads, and good schools, are trophies of their 
untiring perseverance and skill. A system of drainage has been 
inaugurated which has transformed Elma, rendering every acre 
available for agriculture. It is an established fact, well known to 
Canadian farmers, that swamp land, when such vegetable matter 
as has accumulated on its surface has been removed by fire or 
otherwise and properly drained, affords a soil inexhaustible in 


1. James Donaldson, Reeve. 2. Wm. Coatcs, Councillor. 3. Wm. Wherry, 
Councillor. 4. James Duncan, Collector, o. Samuel Corry, Councillor. <>. S. 
Boyle, Councillor. 7. John Hamilton, Assessor. 8. Thomas Fullarton, Clerk. 
9. A. Sweeten, Treasurer. 



fertility. Of this character is a large portion of Elma. Lands in 
the townships south of the Huron road produce in proportion 
to their manurial support, while lands in this municipality will 
retain their fertility for an indefinite period without those stimu 
lants necessary on heavy clays. 

Evidences are yet noticeable of early settlement on many high 
ways, in the remains of old crossways. These corduroy roads 
had been constructed by the laborious efforts of old settlers as a 
means of traversing the swamps which abounded everywhere. 
As sometimes happens in level lands, road material is fairly plenti 
ful. This has led to rapid improvement in roadways, which are 
not inferior to the average highway in Perth County. The 
system of agriculture pursued by the people of Elma was one 
admirably adapted to their condition and the nature of their land. 
In 1868 Mr. D. D. Hay established a private cheese factory, with 
thirty cows. At this period, also, Hon. Thomas Ballantyne had 
introduced co-operative dairying into this county, at Black Creek, 
near Stratford. In 1868 Mr. A. J. Collins, now of Listowel, who 
was owner of lot 15, concession 6, called a meeting preparatory to 
establishing a factory. In the ensuing year Mr. Robert Cleland 
and Mr. Robert Turnbull opened other factories. The success 
attending their efforts inspired others. Co-operative factories 
were soon opened at Monkton, Elma, Elma Bank, and Newry. 
In a short time this township was contributing to ten or eleven 

Immense quantities of cheese were being now turned out, and 
over 600 tons per annum were annually exported, realizing very 
large sums for the patrons who supported them. 

In 1901 the product of nine factories in this township amounted 
to about 900 tons. The market value of these goods at an average 
price of 9 cents per Ib. would realize .to the people of Elma over 
$160,000 for this department of farm products alone. This is 
certainly a very large sum. During the last thirty years, since 
the inception of this system, Elma has made marvellous progress. 
The vast amounts received for cheese have enabled the people to 
carry out improvements in drainage and road making which 


would have been impossible under other conditions. As a natural 
result property has advanced in value. In her fine farm houses 
comfort and, indeed, luxury will be found. If her soil is now pro 
ductive in any branch of farm industry it must not be forgotten 
that it has cost a large expenditure of money to make it so. I 
am impressed with the feeling- that no settlers had greater difficul 
ties to contend with than those in Elma, and none have been more 
successful. This must be attributed to their abiding faith in and 
constant watchfulness over the dairy cow. Whatever may be the 
future of this industry, Elma is now in a position to adopt any 
system of agriculture. Dairying has laid the foundation of suc 
cess, and prosperity will now depend on the ability of her people to 
raise a superstructure of progress by adapting themselves to those 
peculiar exigencies arising in their calling. There is no township 
in this county, or I may say in Ontario, where such splendid 
results have been obtained in dairying as are to be found in Elma. 
There is a debt of gratitude owing to those pioneers who intro 
duced and watched over an interest of such incalculable import 
ance to our agriculture as that of dairying. We are proud in our 
humble way to add our testimony, and record those names who 
have contributed so much to furthering this great industry for the 
advancement of our farmers. In Newry factory a class of goods 
has been produced that at the World s Exhibition has borne away 
the trophy from all competitors for superior excellence. This 
establishment is manipulated by the Morrison family, old pioneer 
stock. As to the number of awards made to this factory and their 
value in money I am unable to say. At the Indian and Colonial 
Exhibition, London, England, several medals were obtained, in 
cluding silver, bronze, and gold medals. At the Industrial, 
Toronto ; Western, London ; World s Fair, Chicago (where 
Canada had the proud distinction of carrying away to her conces 
sion lines two-thirds of the whole awards for dairy products), and 
at the Pan-American, in Buffalo, Elma carried away the highest 
honours, gold medals being awarded to Newry factory. The 
invention of the Babcock tester, which has to some extent revo 
lutionized our dairy system in this country, by introducing a plan 

ELMA 347 

of payment by results, or for the amount of fat contained in the 
original product, Elma factory was first to introduce. Every new 
method brought forward to improve the quality of goods turned 
out has been promptly investigated by the managers of those 
factories, and, where real improvements could be gained, was as 
promptly adopted. Eternal watchfulness and eager adaptation 
are always a means of success. This faculty, combined with 
those extraneous conditions existing in this township for pro 
ducing high class goods, has made dairying a success. While it 
would be impossible for a historian to point out in this industry 
all those who have contributed to its advancement, such names as 
Hon. Thomas Ballantyne, D. D. Hay, A. J. Collins (who estab 
lished the first factory), Robert Cleland, Robert Turnbull, and the 
Morrisons are indelibly written on the historic page of Elma s 
dairy history. In a township whose natural condition was such 
as that of Elma, those agricultural industries pursued in other 
sections of this county could not have been so successful. The 
great swamps in many parts of this municipality, after the timber 
was removed, were untillable. Amongst the stumps, however, 
the cow found such grasses as gave a generous performance at 
the pail. This, with those doctrines preached everywhere and on 
all occasions by Mr. Ballantyne, soon taken up by her dairy 
men, produced the best results. 

Settlement in Elma began in 1848 by the arrival of Mr. George 
Code, although even he was, it is said, piloted through the woods 
by a "squatter," named Tennant. Be that as it may, Mr. Code 
applied for and received a grant of 500 acres of land from Govern 
ment, building a saw mill at what was supposed at that time 
would be a commercial centre. A town plot was laid out and 
named Trowbridge, but, like many other speculations of this kind, 
it maintained its future existence only on paper. As making a 
way for commercial greatness, Mr. Code opened a road through 
the woods on the west side of the stream, passing Jackson s and 
Twamley s, through what is now Listowel, and north to Wallace- 
ville. All this was likely to occur, but it must have been several 
years subsequent to Mr. Code s arrival. Mr. Twamley did not 


reach Elma till 1850, and Wallace ville did not exist on paper 
even till some years later. Apart from those who entered this 
township through Morning-ton, which was a small number com 
paratively, the largest portion of Elma pioneers came from the 
south. What is known as the Logan road was opened previous 
to a survey being made in Elma, and was a pathway by which 
this new country could be reached more easily than by any other 
route. Amongst the old settlers were Bingham Brothers, Robert 
and William; the Gibson family, settling in north-west. John and 
Samuel Ritchie were also early settlers. In the east we have 
Hamilton, Boyd, Coghlin, Graham, and Lowry. In the centre, 
east near Donegal, the Buchanans settled at a very early day. 
Elma township has a mixed population, Scotch in some sections 

From some inexplicable reason this municipality appears to have 
been indifferently treated by the Government in regard to a share 
of their improvement fund. On all Government lands sold 37^2 
cents per acre, and on all school lands 50 cents per acre were to be 
returned to the municipality as an improvement fund. These 
arrangements were made and fairly well carried out in Wallace, 
but in 1861 the Government, for some reason, appeared to repu 
diate this obligation to Elma altogether. The public men of that 
period, particularly D. D. Hay, after years of almost hopeless 
exertion, succeeded through a committee of Parliament in obtain 
ing its restoration. This continued only for a short period, when 
payments were again allowed to lapse. Mr. Robert Cleland, 
reeve of Elma, was faithful to the trust placed in him at that time, 
and was instrumental in obtaining a settlement, which has been 
carried out by the Government. 

Pioneer operations were rapidly followed by those rural indus 
tries which enabled the settler more conveniently to prosecute his 
calling. Villages soon sprang up as if by magic. The most 
important business centre in this township was last to be founded, 
and did not come into existence until subsequent to constructing 
the southern extension of the W. , G. & B. Railway, in 1875. 
This place is now known as At wood. About 1850 Charles Coulter 

ELMA 349 

located in Elma, where he afterwards opened a post office, named 
Newry, in which he was postmaster till 1864. During that year 
Daniel Falconer built a general store in Newry, and was followed 
by Thomas Fullarton. A hotel was erected in 1856, and a 
blacksmith shop by John Morrison. Newry for several years was 
a prosperous village, being centrally located equidistant from 
Listowel and Monkton. In 1875 the W. , G. & B. Railway was 
built, and the first locomotive whistle on this road seemed to 
sound like a death-knell to future prosperity in Newry. About 
half a mile north of the village a station was erected, which was 
known as Newry Station. Another post office was also opened, 
known also by that name. This led to confusion in mail matter, 
and it was determined to adopt a new name. In 1851 a log 
tavern had been erected by one William Blair. This house of 
public entertainment and its environs were known as Elma Centre. 
Newry station soon outstripped its sister villages in commercial 
importance, and to remove those postal inconveniences in connec 
tion with names a change had to be made. A public meeting was 
called, and several names suggested ; amongst others were Lady- 
bank, Dunedin, and Renwick, all quite euphonious. Mr. Renwick 
was the apostle of Presbyterianism in" this section, and his co 
religionists were desirous of honouring him through the name of 
this new town. The other names brought forward are quite 
suggestive of the nationality of the pioneer settlers in this 
neighbourhood. Over such a momentous question as naming a 
new town, discussion was animated and prolonged. Diversity 
of opinion and persistent disputation seemed to threaten a 
possible solution. In this dilemma a young lady suggested the 
name "Atwood," which was hailed by opposing orators with 
delight, and brought to a happy and peaceful termination this 
terrible struggle. Since that period Atwood has become a place 
of importance, with a population of over 700 souls. Several brick 
blocks have been erected, and excellent sidewalks laid for public 
convenience. Here are also express, telegraph, and newspaper 
offices, good hotels, and stores of every description, where goods 
can be obtained to satisfy the most fastidious tastes. Meantime a 


grist mill, saw mill, flax mill, and a planing- mill have been erected, 
giving employment to a large number of men. There is also a 
factory where washing machines, tanks, and screen doors are 
manufactured, with other small woodenware. 

No history of this progressive village would be complete with 
out special mention of its spacious private residences. These are 
of a high class, and often equal, if not superior, to those found in 
older places, both as to architectural design and appointments. 
In keeping with other improvements, education has not been neg 
lected. An excellent school building has been erected, where an 
average of 115 pupils attend daily for instruction. Two teachers 
are employed Mr. Anderson, who is principal, with one female 

Atwood has an excellent public library of over 1,500 volumes, 
and, like all other business centres, among its citizens are repre 
sentative of nearly all the benevolent societies, in numerous 
instances doing a great work for the amelioration of the people. 

On January lyth, 1890, was issued the first copy of the Atwood 
Bee, by R. S. Pelton. This paper, through the energy and ability 
of its proprietor, has been a great success. It is most creditable 
to Mr. Pelton that in its columns from time to time can be found 
a really valuable historical record of a large section of this county. 
From a small beginning the Bee, in 1901, was removed into a new 
brick building, fully equipped as a first-class printing-office. 
During 1902 the present editor and proprietor, Mr. Anderson, 
came into possession of the Bee, Mr. Pelton having sold and 
acquired a large business in another section. 

Monkton, situated partly in Logan but largely in Elma, owes 
its origin to the construction of the Logan gravel road. In 1857 
Mr. T. M. Daly, who was contractor on the highway, erected a 
blacksmith shop, the first building in Monkton. With Mr. Daly 
as clerk was a young man named Dunsmore, now Dr. Dunsmore, 
of Stratford, who erected a store. Almost simultaneously sprang 
up two hotels one in Logan the other in Elma. During 1857 a 
sawmill was built by Mr. Winstanley, who had obtained a grant 
of 1,000 acres in 1855 in aid of this project. At this time also 

ELMA 35 I 

arrived James McKenzie, who opened a post office. A number of 
settlers were now gathered around this new village, amongst 
whom were the families of Dobbs, Stewart, Holman, Golightly, 
McKenzie, Merryfield, and Reice. Meantime educational facilities 
were demanded. The Church, through an old pioneer preacher, 
was putting forth her efforts in this new field. In support of these 
conditions, the store which had been erected by Mr. Dunsmore 
was transformed from an emporium for distributing material 
things to a place for disseminating educational and religious re 
quirements. In 1870 another school was erected, which in 1888 
was replaced by the present structure. On completion of the gravel 
road a stage route was opened from Mitchell to Newry, which is 
still continued daily as a means of transmitting mail matter 
between these points. In 1883 a third hotel was built. Monkton 
at one period had a match factory, two saw mills, planing mill, 
shingle mill, tannery, with several business houses. It is still a 
pretty country village, containing an excellent hotel, some beauti 
ful residences, and good business places. The surrounding 
country is unexcelled for agricultural purposes. 

The village of Henfryn, situated partly in Elma and partly in 
Grey, is a station of the W., G. & B. Railway, and has a few 
business places. 

Donegal, in a splendid section of agricultural country, has a 
store and post office. The first settlers near this place were 
Buchanans (seven brothers), Little, Mason, Hemphill, Wilson, 
Harvey and Irwin. 

Trowbridge, situated on the Maitland river, about six miles 
south-west of Listowel, was surveyed for a town plot, and is the 
oldest village in Elma. Like Poole, in Mornington, its streets 
are still silent and unbuilt. It is true that man proposes, but the 
exigencies of trades disposes. Trowbridge is an attractive little 
village, with the usual business places, and a population of about 
200 inhabitants. 

The pioneer Methodist minister in Elma was Rev. John Arm 
strong, who preached in the shanties of old settlers from the 
earliest period of settlement. Following Mr. Armstrong came 


Rev. Mr. Dyer, who was the first minister appointed by Confer 
ence to Elma as a separate mission. The young- tree was first 
planted near Trowbridge, which in Elma has been a prolific one, 
indeed. From Trowbridge, during- Mr. Dyer s pastorate, services 
were held at Mr. Code s house, at Mr. Bingham s (now Atwood), 
Mr. Patterson s (now Carthage), Mr. Hacking s (now Listowel), 
Mr. McKee s (now Molesworth), and at Mr. Tindal s (now Ethel.) 
From these points radiated the principles of Methodism through 
out Elma. So far there was not a single church in the township. 
In 1858, during Mr. Hunt s pastorate, a small frame building, 
32 x 44, was erected at Trowbridge. A great revival had been held 
by Rev. Mr. Dyer, and kept up for several weeks in the woods, 
the first practical result of which was the building of this edifice. 
Another frame church was erected a few years later on the 4th 
concession, and removed to Trowbridge in 1872. Subsequent to 
Methodist Union in 1883 this building was sold to the Anglican 
church, who conducted services there until 1890, when they were 
discontinued. In 1868 Listowel and Wallace were detached from 
Trowbridge, and established as a separate mission, with Rev. 
Nelson Brown as first minister. Trowbridge was, therefore, a 
self-supporting mission, under Rev. John Hough, until 1874, when 
Henfryn became an appointment. In 1883 a further change was 
made, under Rev. Mr. Bray. Henfryn was attached to Ethel, and 
Trowbridge to Atwood. The present church in Trowbridge, 
erected in 1884, at a cost of $3,500, is a handsome building. This 
congregation is composed of over 100 members, under the pastorate 
of Rev. Mr. Bristol. These arrangements were temporary, how 
ever, and Atwood became a separate station, comprising Donegal 
and the Jubilee church. This mission, under the energetic mini 
strations of Rev. E. A. Fear, is quite progressive, with a member 
ship of 200 at Atwood and 60 at Donegal. The Sabbath school 
at the former has an attendance of 150 pupils, under Mr. James 
Turnbull ; and the latter has 75 pupils, under Mr. Emerson 
Vipond as superintendent. 

The pioneer Sabbath school in Elma was opened by Mr. Samuel 
Boyd, in 1859, near Atwood. He Avas superintendent, and pro- 

ELMA 353 

cured that same year the first Sunday school library. Church 
work was begun in Donegal during 1864, services being held in 
the school house until a church was erected. The principal pro 
moters of this congregation were the families of Vipond, Harvey, 
Squires, and Scott. In the Jubilee settlement services were con 
ducted in a log school house until a church was erected in 1879. 
Since the union this mission has been discontinued. Provision 
has been made for the comfort and convenience of their pastor in 
this circuit by erecting a brick parsonage in Atwood, at a cost 
of $2,000. 

In 1886 an Episcopal church was organized in Atwood by Rev. 
Mr. Griffin. Services were held in the school house for about two 
years, when a frame edifice was constructed at a cost of about 
$1,200. This congregation, which was not large at its outset, 
has not increased, many members having removed to other 
sections. At present there is no regular minister. A Sabbath 
school, with about 30 pupils, is conducted by the Society of 
Ladies Aid. 

Earliest reminiscences regarding Presbyterianism indicate that 
Rev. Thomas McPherson, of Stratford, was the first who en 
deavoured to establish a congregation in Elma. In 1858 he 
came to Trowbridge and preached in the Methodist church, which 
had then been completed. At this point he failed of success. He 
next directed his attention to Elma Centre, and succeeded in 
establishing what is now Atwood Presbyterian church. The first 
sacrament was dispensed by Rev. Mr. McMullan, now of Wood 
stock, in a school house on lot 21, con. 7, now removed. Rev. 
Mr. Anderson was also a pioneer minister. Rev. Robert Ren- 
wick was first stationed minister, continuing for twenty years. In 
1862 a frame church was erected, and was known as the Church 
of Elma Centre. This was long before the wildest dreamer ever 
thought of Atwood. Mr. Renwick was succeeded by Rev. Andrew 
Henderson, who was minister of Atwood and Monkton for four 
teen years. Since establishment these congregations have made 
great progress, having in Atwood 361 members, and in Monkton 
IOQ. Rev. T. A. McLeod, M. A.,B. D. v who was inducted in 
1897, is now pastor in both congregations. 


No history of Presbyterianism in Elma would be complete with 
out the name of William Lochhead, who was secretary of Atwood 
church for thirty years. This man was a fine specimen of an old 
pioneer --a kind, true-hearted Scotchman. His long period of 
public service, a note of which will be found elsewhere in this 
work, is a high tribute to his sterling character. He was a son of 
which his native county of Ayr may feel proud. The present 
session at Atwood is composed of James Dickson, John Dickson, 
Andrew Laidlaw, and Robert Anderson. 

Monkton Presbyterian congregation was organized about 1858, 
and services were held in the school house until 1866, when a 
building was erected, which is still used by the congregation. The 
session in this church are George Inglis, A. Atkins, and Robert 
Smith. In both Atwood and Monkton congregations are good 
Sabbath schools, with a large attendance of pupils. 

In Monkton is also the German Evangelical church, organized 
in April, 1889, by Rev. H. C. Landsky, with a membership of 
seven. During 1890 a church was erected of brick, at a cost of 
$1,200. This congregation has been progressive, and has at 
present a membership of about 220 souls, under the pastorate of 
Rev. B. Oldenburg. There is a Sabbath school, also, in connec 
tion, having an average attendance of 50 pupils. 

With 1857 begins the municipal history of Elma. Prior to this 
period Logan, Elma, and Wallace formed one district for munici 
pal purposes. A great influx of settlers, subsequent to opening 
the Logan road, rendered a change of government necessary, to 
meet the requirements demanded by a rapidly increasing popula 
tion. Elma s first council was composed of William Morrison, 
Joseph Lennon, Donald Gordon, Alexander Mitchell, and Robert 
Bingham, who met at Mr. Morrison s house on January igth, 
1857. Mr. Morrison was chosen reeve. He had also been 
appointed to call the first council meeting, preparatory to organ 
ization. On this occasion, therefore, he was reeve, returning 
officer, clerk, and "mine host" of the assembled wisdom of Elma. 
This meeting was a short one. Having chosen their reeve, a 
speedy adjournment was made. On January 22nd another meet- 

ELMA 355 

ing- was held, and Mr. Arthur Gordon appointed clerk. Another 
adjournment took place, whether from a paucity of business or in 
imitation of other legislative bodies history saith nothing. On 
February 4th another meeting was held, its first order of business 
being exactly in line with that of all rural council boards in this 
county. A petition was laid on the table praying that a new 
school section be formed on the gth and toth concessions. Thus 
began those difficulties in school districts which have continued 
almost ever since. 

Having disposed of this document, by laying it over for further 
consideration, officers were appointed. Mr. Gordon was confirmed 
in his position as clerk, Cornelius Cozens was appointed assessor, 
William Fennel collector, Arthur Gordon treasurer, and John 
Philips and Christopher Wilson auditors. Compensation allowed 
these officers was more liberal than in some other municipalities. 
The clerk was to receive $60 ; assessor, $55 ; collector, $65 ; 
treasurer, $15 ; auditors, each $3; and councillors, $2 per day 
while engaged in municipal business. By-laws were also passed 
regulating houses of public entertainment. The amount required 
to obtain a license to sell spirits, ale, &c. , could not be considered 
prohibitory when $8 for a first-class, and $3 for a second-class 
license gave a right to sell for one year. A first or second-class 
house was not determined, as might be supposed, by the character 
of the building or accommodation required by law for the travelling 
public. Strange to say, location was a primary factor in fixing 
rates, and not the conveniences to be provided. This by-law states 
that all the taverns on the "town plot along the town line of 
Wallace shall be first-class, and those situated in the backward 
parts of the township are to be second-class." At present such 
an arrangement would be preposterous, but in those old days in 
the backwoods, men did not fret themselves about terms, and 
not much about abstract principles. They had a greater work to 
do, and they set themselves manfully to do it. 

At this meeting was presented a petition from Howick asking 
the support of Elma towards forming a new county. The council 
on this occasion unanimously voted nay. A very different opinion 


animated this board a few years later on a similar question. The 
formation of new counties in western Ontario thirty or forty years 
ago was a sort of probationary stage in municipal life through 
which all passed. The rapid opening up of this country at that 
period was instrumental in bringing into existence a number of 
aspiring villages and towns, nearly all of which were ambitious of 
being county seats. In every one of such places were a number 
of men who were continually formulating plans for erecting new 
counties, with their own little hamlet as a centre. Arguments were 
not wanting showing clearly the advantages which would arise to 
the old bush-whacker if such a consummation could be brought 
about. The advocates of all such schemes (if we accept their 
word for it) were philanthropic and self-denying gentlemen, who 
lived and breathed only to serve the horny-handed farmer. To 
even hint that they might for a moment have any sinister end in 
view would arouse their righteous indignation. The casual 
acceptance of a remunerative position as a county officer would 
be an act of self-denial which they would make reluctantly, and 
could only be considered in the light of a patriotic duty which 
all men owe to their fellow citizens. Eloquent as were the 
appeals of those doughty apostles of municipal reform, they were 
quite ineffective on the champion of the logging fallow. If a 
backwoodsman could not make speeches, or repeat the arguments 
advanced by those patriots, he could control his vote, which, after 
all, is the true force of manhood. If convictions were made on 
the agricultural community at all (who would really have to bear 
all expense), it w,as against their will, and, of course, as Gold 
smith says, "A man convinced against his will, is of the same 
opinion still." In all fairness it must be acknowledged that the 
action of several of the public men in these northern townships, 
in their efforts to separate from Perth at an early period of our 
history, was not unsupported by good and sufficient reason. To 
say, however, that a separation would lead to a diminution of 
taxation, or a release from their share of the county debt already 
predicated for improvements, was to assume a position untenable. 
This view of the situation prevailed, and the original limits of 

ELM A 357 

Perth County were retained. . Responsibility for this disaffection 
will be found largely in the conduct of representatives from the 
south. Municipalities which never had the difficulties to contend 
with experienced in Elma, could not understand that an equaliza 
tion of certain townships should be placed at $50 per acre, and 
others, apparently as favourably situated, at about two-thirds of 
that amount. That no intentional wrong- was intended by the 
county council we truly believe. It was this continued and per 
sistent effort of the county board to raise assessments in the 
north which led to disaffection, and, on one occasion, to the 
verge of disruption. Burdens for local improvement were more 
oppressive in Elma than any other municipality, as will be noted 
further on. 

In 1857 the total assessment amounted to ^5 1,614, or $206,456. 
This amount cannot be accepted as a fair valuation of all rateable 
property. Government land was not liable to assessment, and, of 
course, contributed nothing. In 1865 this proviso became intoler 
able. By a decision of the law courts it was held to be illegal to 
collect taxes on unpatented lands, a right to re-enter being still 
vested in the government. Meantime about $20,000 had been 
disbursed for local improvements, Crown lands being equally 
benefitted. On this amount the municipality sustained a loss of 
about $14,000 on unpatented lands. In other words, those who 
had deeded their farms were responsible, not only for their own 
share of this debt, but for that on government land also. The 
incentive to a settler for prompt payment of his farm was thus 
taken away. The longer he left his patent with the government, 
so much longer would he be relieved of his portion of taxation. 
In this extremity a petition was sent to the government praying 
that these lands be re-sold, or such action taken as would make 
them available for their just contribution to local improvements. 
This concession was finally obtained, and all lands were rendered 
available to taxation. 

Another loan, in 1859, was for ^500, to aid settlers in purchas 
ing seed, crops having in 1858 been a failure. This loan was 

part of that fund set apart by the county council which has been 



noticed in other parts of this work. In 1861 great dissatisfaction 
with the expense incurred on the gravel road was expressed, 
which, under government regulations regarding the sale of their 
lands, was most oppressive. An effort was made to dispose of it 
to the county. There is a saying that "it takes two to make a 
bargain," and this fact in the present instance frustrated all their 
negotiations. Elma offered the road for ^3,000, or $12,000. 
The county were ready to purchase at $2,400. This discrepancy 
in the price asked and amount offered terminated all negotiations 
abruptly, and Elma kept her road. During this year, also, the 
people petitioned the council to pass a prohibitory liquor law, 
which was not carried. 

While these obligations were being assumed by Elma, we have 
in 1865 a statement of estimates for that year, as follows: Toll 
gate rent, $700 ; licenses, $150; gravel road, rate on debentures, 
$240 ; county and township rate, $3,977. These amounts were 
disposed of in a county rate of $3,317; non-resident tax, $300 ; 
officers salaries, $450; gravel road repairs, $1,000; total, $5,067. 
If we analyze this statement it will be found that the amounts 
required for county purposes is enormously large in comparison 
with other sums set apart for local improvements. It will also be 
observed that no mention is made of any receipts from govern 
ment improvement fund. In Wallace a very large income was 
derived from this source. Mornington also was the recipient of 
considerable sums; but there is no indication that Elma was 
favoured to so great an extent. When we consider, therefore, 
the inability of council to tax unpatented lands, thus laying the 
whole expense for improvements on those who had been so (shall 
we say) unfortunate as to have secured their deeds ; when we 
consider the non-payment of this improvement fund ; when we 
consider a heavy county rate levied for county purposes, it is not 
a matter of surprise that discontent sprung up amongst the 
settlers, and a desire have been evinced for separation from 
their existing municipal connections. 

Prior to 1871 Elma had no railroad facilities except the G. T. at 
Mitchell the nearest point being ten miles away. An agitation 

ELMA 359 

had sprung- up in Wallace and Mornington for an extension of 
the W. , G. & B. southward into Elma. In prosecution of this 
desirable project a bonus granting- $30,000 to the enterprise was 
voted upon, carried, and finally passed by the council on Septem 
ber 25th. Elma s existing- debt at the period of submitting this 
by-law amounted to $24,700 for gravel road and other improve 
ments. During- this year the gravel road debt was discharged, 
leaving- a net liability under by-law No. 104 of $30,000. A few 
years later a project for aiding the Stratford & Huron railway 
was submitted under by-law No. 152. This was carried, adding- 
$10,000 to her liabilities. Elma s debenture debt for railways 
alone, therefore, amounted to $40,000. 

While these roads have been a great advantage to her people, 
by affording a convenient outlet for produce, much yet remained to 
be accomplished. A few years later was introduced a system- of 
drainage, which has been most beneficial to all concerned. By 
this innovation large tracts of swamp land have been transformed 
into beautiful and fertile farms. In June, 1879, was passed the 
first drainage by-law. Under its provisions a drain was opened 
from concessions 15 to 18, improving 3,748 acres of land. 
Hitherto this great section was unproductive, and unfit for agri 
cultural purposes. This drain cost $9,583, which was assessed 
against those lands directly benefitted. Costs and charg-es in 
prosecuting- this scheme varied from $25 to $350 per hundred 
acres. If these sums seem larg-e it must be remembered that 
previous to this expenditure these lands were valueless and unpro 
ductive, but are now valuable and contributing a fair share to 
public improvement. 

This scheme, being- successful, led to promoting others, and in a 
short time another and greater enterprise was introduced. A 
waterway extending from concession 12 to 18 was now to be 
opened at a cost of $25,000. This was a great expenditure, and 
has been amply productive of good results. From 1879 to the 
present time these questions of drainage have occupied the atten 
tion of Elma council to a greater extent than all other duties 
devolving upon them. It is worthy of remark, also, as being- 


highly honourable to the public men of this township, that in all 
those multifarious conditions arising out of a prosecution of these 
improvements not a single case of peculation or dereliction of 
duty has been attributed to any of them. These schemes have 
been productive of great good, and although a large expenditure 
has been incurred in developing these resources, wealth has been 
increased in a marked degree. 

It is well also to consider the public spirit evinced in prosecuting 
these internal improvements. It affords an excellent illustration 
of that administrative ability which has been drawn out and 
fostered by the Municipal Act. In those schemes so successfully 
manipulated, and in the management of those financial responsi 
bilities incurred in their prosecution, foresight, and honourable 
conduct is apparant to all. At present there is yet undischarged 
a debt of $8,585 on railroad debentures. On drainage indebted 
ness the large sum of $75,000 has still to be liquidated, creating 
a heavy liability still resting on this municipality. While this may 
be so, these investments have been extremely profitable to all 

The total assessed value of Elma for 1901 was $1,650,450. On 
this amount was levied for all purposes taxes amounting to 
$22,707, a very large sum. In any question of equalization those 
expenditures ought to be considered by those having so important 
a matter in charge. Population at present is 3,683; in 1861 it 
was 2,392. In 1861 Elma had 7,445 acres under cultivation. 
Fall wheat, 2 acres; spring wheat, 3,000 acres, producing 48,000 
bush. ; barley, 709 bush. ; peas, 8,000 bush. ; oats, 18,000 bush. ; 
Indian corn, 3 acres; potatoes, 15,000 bush.; turnips, 64,000 
bush.; mangolds, 50 bush.; carrots, 29 bush.; butter, 33,000 Ibs. ; 
cheese, 5,600 Ibs.; pleasure carriages, 10; carriages for hire, 2. 

Annexed is a list of officers extending from 1857 to 1902, and 
the period of service for each. 

Reeves. 1857, William Morrison; 1858, John Grant; 1859, 
Joseph Lennon ; 1860-6, D. D. Hay ; 1867-9, Robert Cleland ; 
1870-3, Daniel Falconer ; 1874-5, R- L. Alexander ; 1876-7, R. 
Cleland ; 1878-9, R. L. Alexander ; 1880-7, Thos. J. Knox ; 

ELMA 361 

1888-91, R. Cleland ; 1892-4, Thos. J. Knox ; 1895-7, James 
Dickson ; 1898-9, Thos. J. Knox ; 1900-2, Jas. Donaldson. 

Deputy- Reeves. 1862, John Grant (first deputy) ; 1863-79, 
Samuel Roe; 1880-7, William Lochhead ; 1888-90, W. Lochhead 
(first deputy), Young Coulter (second deputy) ; 1891, William 
Lochhead (first deputy), Thos. E. Hammond (second deputy) ; 
1892-4, W. J. Tughen (first deputy), Thos. E. Hammond (second 
deputy) ; 1895-6, Middis Jackson (first deputy), Thos. E. Ham 
mond (second deputy); 1897, M.Jackson (first deputy), Samuel 
S. Rothwell (second deputy); 1898, S. S. Rothwell (first deputy), 
William Shearer (second deputy). Office abolished. 

Councillors. 1857, Donald Gordon, Alex. Mitchell, Robt. Bing- 
ham, Joseph Lennon ; 1858, R. Bingham, D. D. Hay, John 
Stevenson, Joseph Buchanan ; 1859, Samuel Roe, George Jack 
son, J. Stevenson, Joseph Carruthers ; 1860-1, C. Cosens, John 
Grant, H. Palmer, S. Roe ; 1862, C. Cosens, H. Palmer, S. Roe; 
1863, J- Stevenson, Wm. Mitchell, C. Cosens ; 1864-5, J. Steven 
son, Wm. Dunn, Wm. Mitchell ; 1 866-8, Wm. Dunn, J. Steven 
son, Jas. Bristow ; 1869, Wm. Dunn, Daniel Falconer, John 
Nixon; 1870, W. E. Sharman, J. Nixon, Jas. Hammond; 1871, 
Robert Moore, Aaron Laing, Joseph Johnson ; 1872, Alfred 
Brewer, Wm. Lochhead, J. G. Alexander ; 1873-4, J. G. Alex 
ander, Wm. Dunn, Joseph Johnson ; 1875, J. G. Alexander, Wm. 
Dunn, T. J. Knox ; 1876-7, J. G. Alexander, Wm. Lochhead, 
Jas. Smith ; 1878-9, J. G. Alexander, Wm. Lochhead, Charles 
McKenzie ; 1880, S. S. Rothwell, Wm. Keith, J. Smith; 1881, 
Wm. Keith, John Mann, Robert Dunn ; 1882-3, J. Mann, George 
Richmond, Wm. Dunn ; 1884-6, J. G. Alexander, G. Richmond, 
L. Pelton ; 1887, G. Richmond, L. Pelton, S. S. Rothwell ; 1888, 
S. S. Rothwell, Jacob Bray ; 1889-90, J. Bray, G. Richmond ; 
1891, J. Bray, W. J. Tughen; 1892, J. Bray, S. S. Rothwell; 
1893, S. S. Rothwell, Jas. Dickson ; 1894, James Hanna, J. H. 
Merryfield ; 1895-6, J. H. Merryfield, S. S. Rothwell; 1897, Wm. 
Shearer, Allan McMane ; 1898, Allan McMane, Thos. Smith ; 
1899, S. S. Rothwell, Thos. Smith, Allan McMane, Jas. Donald 
son ; 1900-1, S. S. Rothwell, Thos. Smith, Wm. Wherry, Wm. 


Coates; 1902, Wm. Wherry, Wm. Coates, Samuel Curry, Samuel 

Clerks, 1857-63, Arthur Gordon ; 1864-72, Wm. D. Mitchell ; 
1873-1902, Thomas Fullarton. 

Treastirers. 1857-71, Arthur Gordon; 1872, Robert Cleland ; 
1873-1900, Moses Harvey ; 1901-2, A. M. Sweeton. 

Assessors. 1857, Chas. Cosens ; 1858, Georg-e Jackson ; 1859, 
Chas. Coulter; 1860, R. Cleland; 1861, J. R. Foster; 1862, D. 
Gordon ; 1863, J. R. Foster ; 1864-73, Thos. J. Knox ; 1874, A. 
Briley ; 1875-9, Thos - J- Knox; 1880, J. Nixon; 1881, A. J. 
Keellor ; 1882-4, J. Smith ; 1885, E. M. Alexander ; 1 886-8, R. 
Morrison; 1889-91, W"m. Shearer; 1892, John R. Hammond; 
1893, Widdis Jackson ; 1894-6, J. W. Rowland ; 1897, Alex. 
Simpson ; 1898-9, Henry Smith ; 1900, W. H. Gilmer ; 1901-2, 
John Hamilton. 

Collectors. 1857-8, Wm. Fennell ; 1859-65, James Shearer; 
1866-8, Wm. Fennell; 1869-71, Moses Harvey; 1872, George 
Richmond ; 1873-4, S. S. Rothwell ; 1875-6, John Stevenson ; 
1877-9, Wm. Stewart ; 1880-6, Young Coulter ; 1887-9, W. J. 
Tughan; 1890, R. Morrison; 1891-1902, James Duncan. 

Auditors. 1862, J. R. Foster, Robert Cleland; 1863, Alex. 
Mitchell, R. Cleland; 1864-5, R - Cleland, Henry Thompson; 
1866-7, A. Mitchell, Wm. Loghhead; 1868, Wm. Sharman, J. R. 
Code; 1869, Wm. Sharman, Wm. Lochhead; 1870, R. Alexander, 
Wm. Lochhead; 1871, W. Lochhead, Thos. Fullarton; 1872, 
George McGill, Thos. Fullarton; 1873, R. L. Alexander, Alex. 
McGregor; 1874-5, w - Lochhead, J. V. Poole; 1876-8, J. V. 
Poole, Arthur Gordon; 1879, A. Gordon, James Irvine; 1880, J. 
Irvine, Robert Code ; 1881, J. R. Code, J. A. Turnbull ; 1882-7, 
J. Irvine, Wm. Hammond; 1888, Thos. Smith, Wm. Shearer; 
1889-91, Thos. Smith, J. W. McBain; 1892-7, Thos. Smith, A. M. 
Sweeton; 1898, Wm. Lpchhead, A. M. Sweeton; 1899-1901, 
A. M. Sweeton, up to June (resigned), Thos. G. Ratcliffe ; 1902, 
Thos. G. Ratcliffe, Thos. E. Hammond. 


1. David Grieve, Reeve. 2. John Watson, Clerk. 3. James Reid, Treasurer. 
4. David Swartxentruber, Councillor. 5. John Davidson, Councillor. C. J. Mc- 
Cloy, Councillor. 7. R. Allingham. Councillor. 



This township was named in honour of Lord Mornington, a 
member of the British Government in the early part of last 
century. It was surveyed by Mr. James W. Bridgland in 1848, 
and contained 50,725 acres of very fertile land. Topographically 
it may be described as a continuous block of level surface, undu 
lating- in certain sections; in others rising to a moderate altitude, 
as at Milverton. On its south side it becomes more depressed as 
it nears those great swamps which at one period extended over a 
portion of Ellice. From the uniform excellence of soil progress in 
Morning-ton has been rapid. Farms are well cleared, fenced, and 
cultivated; buildings are substantial and modern in their structure 
and appointments, indicating intelligence and thrift in their owners. 

While indications of wealth and comfort, with that enterprise 
characteristic of Canadians, are abundantly evident, transportation 
facilities have been developed with some difficulty. Deposits of 
gravel so necessary in road building are not so frequent as in 
several other municipalities. Evolution in constructing highways 
has been equal to any other township in this county up to a 
certain point. An absence of gravel has, however, prevented that 
universal improvement in roads so noticeable elsewhere. This is 
a natural disadvantage difficult to overcome, and at certain seasons 
presents obstacles in transportation quite inconvenient to agricul 
turists. It must not be inferred, however, that Mornington has 
no good roads. On the contrary, many leading highways in this 
municipality are equal to the best in any section of Perth County. 

A system of agriculture has been pursued by farmers in this 


township admirably adapted to its soil and natural conditions. 
This method has been one of mixed farming-. While it is well 
adapted for growing- cereals, raising- stock, or dairying", no 
specialties have been introduced to any great extent in any of 
these departments. In some sections cheese factories have been 
introduced, creating a source of wealth to those patronizing them. 
Dairying has never attained to that prominence in Mornington 
which has signalized it in the adjoining township of Elma. There 
is evidence of abundant success in this township arising from 
present methods. Specialism in farm business is not a safe prin 
ciple, and should never be followed except where conditions are 
unfavourable for mixed farming-. By steadily adhering to this 
latter system success has been the result. 

Settlement in this township was larg-ely from its eastern side. 
Following that great road through Wilmot and into the East- 
hopes as far as " Bell s Corners," now Shakespeare, the pioneer 
turned northward to Mornington. True to the plan invariably 
followed by old settlers, the first trace of the courageous white 
man is found on that stream passing what is now Morningdale 
and Millbank. Years before a surveyor s blaze had marked the 
spot where some day the hum of a machine or loud laughter of 
school children would be heard, came the hardy backwoodsman, 
who began to unravel the tangled skein of pioneer life. 

In 1843 came John Chalmers and his two sons, John and Adam, 
settling- near the stream on concession two. About this period 
also came the families of Forrest, Struthers and Connells, and 
"squatted " near that section which was afterwards set apart as 
a town plot, and known as Poole. Near the stream northward 
came, in 1847, James Reid, Robert Miller, Robert, John and 
William McKee; John Nicklin, John Gillespie, John Armstrong, 
with the families of Crawford, Henderson, Teskey, McMullen and 
Strachan. In 1848 came William Rutherford and John Freeborn, 
both of whom became prominent men. Nearly all of these were 
North of Ireland Scotch immigrants, and unacquainted with 
pioneer life. This intensified their difficulties in a marked degree. 
No survey having been made, they necessarily became squatters, 


and for any improvements were entirely at the mercy of the 
government. When a survey was effected great hardship arose. 
Where a patch of clearing- had been done and a shanty erected it 
not infrequently happened that a concession line would pass 
through the little plot of stumps and even compel the removal of 
the shanty to another location. This frequently led to mutual 
recriminations between settlers without any means of obtaining 
redress. Of course the government were really not to blame for 
this state of affairs. Every squatter by his act of occupation 
certainly assumed all responsibility for his actions. Remonstrances 
were made to government in cases of great hardship. Morn 
ing-ton at that period had no votes to give, and with that true 
instinct of an average politician or party where no votes are 
involved, whatever those grievances may have been, the ruling 
power knew little and cared less. It was even several years 
before a removal of the land office was made to a convenient 
place, it being located at first forty miles away. 

In 1850 a general store was opened by Mr. William Rutherford 
in what is now Millbank. In this enterprise was associated with 
him Mr. James Reid, now and for nearly fifty years treasurer of 
Mornington. in 1851 he opened a post office, with himself as 
postmaster. Previous to this period he had formed a partnership 
with John Freeborn, and erected a saw mill. During 1849 a grist 
mill was also built by the same firm. Those enterprises were of 
great importance in a new county, and gave Millbank a com 
mercial supremacy which continued to grow for several years. 
Apart from the mills erected by Messrs. Rutherford and Free- 
born, a factory was built by Mr. Jacob Kcllman, where large 
quantities of agricultural implements were manufactured. This 
industry at one period employed forty men. The building, which 
is of brick, is now deserted and still stands by the stream, a 
monumental ruin, significant of the mutability of all human enter 
prise. In Millbank, also, were a carriage and waggon factory, 
flax mills, several stores, hotels, and a school in which were three 
teachers. This pretty village was the home of several hundred 
souls, and for a while very prosperous. The Stratford & Huron 


railway, passing two and a-half miles away, ruined it. Its day 
of greatness and the dreams of its citizens of future importance 
alike have departed and gone. Several buildings yet remaining, 
once the centre and scene of commercial life, are now deserted 
and tottering to decay. Present population is about 175. 

Morningdale, about two miles distant from Millbank, on the 
same stream, is pretty and picturesque. At one time this was 
also a place of some importance, disputing the claim as to priority 
with Millbank. In 1849, John Nicklin, who had arrived two years 
earlier, erected a mill in Morningdale, and subsequently a post 
office was opened. Like its sister village of Millbank, of late years 
not much progress has been made. It is now a pleasant place 
with a pretty name and beautiful location. 

Poole, or, properly speaking, the town of Poole, was mapped 
out by government surveyors as the metropolis of this township. 
A town plot of 1,000 acres was regularly laid out into streets, 
avenues, and promenades. It is now, like Washington, D.C., a 
place of magnificent distances. This village is an example of that 
old adage "man proposes and a greater than he disposes." Com 
merce refused to bring her horn of plenty in this direction, and with 
inexorable persistency passed by on the other side. It never 
reached incorporation, although there were at one time a hotel, 
stores, and shops for mechanics. While some of these remain, 
what was designated as main street is only a portion of the quiet 
concession line. 

Carthage, located in the north part of Mornington, on conces 
sion 12, is a pleasant country village, containing stores, cabinet 
maker s shop, shoe shop, Orange hall, Foresters hall, cheese 
factory, and temperance hotel. It has a population of about 75. 

Hesson is located some distance east of Carthage, and formerly 
was known as "Mack s Corners." There are in this hamlet 
several of those business places found in rural villages. It can 
boast of a very fine church, whose tapering spire can be seen a 
long distance away. A description of this building will be found 

Newton is the youngest village in Mornington, and, excepting 


Milverton, most important. It is located two and a-half miles 
from Millbank, and is a station on the Stratford & Huron railroad, 
to which it owes its commercial importance. While this road 
ruined Millbank it created Newton. The first building erected 
was Henderson s hotel, on the south-east corner of the centre 
road and concession line. A store was next opened by Thomas 
O Donnell. Other industries soon sprang- up. There are now 
two hotels, saw mill, blacksmith shop, hardware and general 
stores, woollen factory, and express, telephone, and telegraph 
offices. This village is very progressive, and large sums of 
money are paid here for farm produce of all kinds, it being the 
shipping point for a fine section of country. Burns, Tralee, 
Mussleburg, Topping, and Brunner are all post offices in this 
township of many villages. 

Milverton, with a population of about 800 souls, is an incor 
porated village and place of considerable trade. It is surrounded 
by a fine section of agricultural land, and its appearance on the 
summit of an elevation of some height is very commanding, indeed. 
It is unfortunate that its railway station is so far distant from the 
business section. The fable of a certain old man and his quadruped 
would seem applicable to the promoters of this road through 
Mornington. Of course they could not please all, but endeavour 
ing to do so have pleased none, and lost a goodly portion of trade 
that would have centred at some points into the bargain. It missed 
Millbank, and has not been of such advantage to Milverton as it 
might have been. In its route from Stratford to Listowel much 
of it a splendid agricultural country Newton and Milverton are 
places of greatest importance. 

It was several years subsequent to settlement near Millbank 
before the pioneer reached that point where Milverton now stands. 
In 1852 Mr. Andrew West erected a hotel, which was the first 
building in the village. This hostelry was built north from the 
present business portion, and was for many years know as 
"West s Corners." At this period a general store was erected 
by Valentine Kertcher, on the north-west corner of Main street and 
the Mill road. This building was a pretentious one, indeed, for 


that time, and is still used for a general store. Prominent amongst 
the old pioneers in this section were Michael Attridge, John 
Torrance, Richard Bennett, Henry Trim, William Orr, John 
Edwards, James McCloy, and the families of Hamilton, Coulter, 
Niblock, Tennant, Fox, Kertcher, Pierson, and John Weir, who 
was first magistrate who presided at the seat of the blind goddess. 

As usual, when a new village was founded, a school was the 
first public building to demand attention. Milverton was no 
exception to this rule. A log school house was constructed on 
what was afterwards found to be the principal square in the 
village. In architectural design it was considered imposing. It 
was a square structure with a cottage roof, from whose apex 
extended a clat and clay chimney, built in true orthodox back 
woods style. From a distance this looked like the cupola of a 
coastguard lighthouse. A lighthouse it certainly was. . Within 
its rude walls a knight of the birch from the old land bore full 
sway. Clad in home-spun, and on state occasions in a blue-black 
claw-hammer coat, punctuated at intervals with brass buttons, he 
shed the light of his knowledge on those mischievous boys in 
and around West s Corners. 

Here sat on its rough benches, wrestling with the rule of three, 
or those more abstruse doctrinal points of the shorter catechism, 
some who are now prominent men in Milverton and the township 
of Mornington. Here several of those now dignified, erudite 
village fathers sat watching the pedagogic eye, and pinching with 
their hands all the other boys within reach. In the old days 
retributive justice followed close in the wake of offence, and 
eternal vigilance seemed to be an important attribute of the 
old teachers. No Nabob ever wielded his power with more 
sublime dignity than an old backwoods dominie. His orders were 
emphatic, and a prompt response was necessary to prevent 
a supplemental admonition by the rod in support of his just 
and unquestionable authority. Amongst these old teachers 
were John Philips, Archie Keller, John Finnerty, and William 
Alexander, who afterwards became first school inspector of this 
county, in 1871. This log building of pioneer days has long since 


disappeared, and a fine structure of white brick has been erected, 
at a cost of $5,000. In this seminary three teachers are employed, 
it having an average attendance of about 120 pupils. 

In Milverton -are several brick blocks, two first-class hotels, and 
a number of general stores, where goods of the latest styles of 
manufacture can be found on their shelves. Many of the benevo 
lent societies are represented, also, helping on that great work 
which will inevitably bring that period when, "Man to man the 
world o er shall brithers be an a that." The village has also a 
mechanics institute library, containing over 2,000 volumes. 

No adequate conception of the wealth and refinement of the 
citizens of Milverton can be formed without having first seen its 
private residences. These are on a scale of greater opulance than 
might be expected in so small a centre of population. We 
consider it a noble characteristic of any people who make pro 
vision for the comfort and happiness of those dependent on them, 
and who create an environment refined and elevating that will 
impress young minds with a home influence, permeated with the 
good, the beautiful, and the true. This principle appears to have 
been carried out in Milverton to its fullest extent, indicating a 
commendable liberality in her people. 

Of manufacturing establishments there is a tannery, a grist 
mill, two planing mills, a sawmill, cheese factory, blacksmith 
shop, with several of the smaller industries. There is also a 
private bank, kept by Mr. Ranney, treasurer of the village. The 
legal profession is unrepresented, while Dr. William Egbert and 
Dr. A. D. Nasmith represent the medical. 

Milverton has one weekly newspaper, the Sun, founded by Mr. 
Whalley its first issue appearing on December lyth, 1891, as 
an advocate of local interests. In 1893 it became the property 
of Mr. Malcolm MacBeth, its present editor and proprietor. The 
aim of its present management is to fully report local news, and 
advance the interest of the village and county generally, not by 
instilling its own political views on public questions, but by a 
persistent advocacy of the rights of all the people, irrespective 
of party. 


In Milverton are located five churches Presbyterian, Methodist, 
Evangelical, Lutheran, and Anglican. The Presbyterian, in point 
of membership, is, perhaps, the largest of any of these denomina 
tions. This church was first organized in 1855, Joseph Brydone, 
James Whaley, Thomas Connell, John Weir, James Drummond, 
and John Torrance being its principal promoters. Services were 
held in the schoolhouse for several years. The first building 
erected for worship was a frame, and stood where the cemetery 
now is. This congregation was connected with that of Millbank, 
the pioneer Presbyterian congregation in Mornington. In 1887 
the present edifice was built, known as Burns church, in honour 
of the late Dr. Burns, who was the great apostle of Presby- 
terianism in Canada. This building was erected at a cost of 
of $6,500. Its first minister was Rev. Alexander Drummond. At 
present there is no incumbent. In this communion are 180 mem 
bers, and about 80 families. A Sabbath school is also conducted 
in connection with this church, of which William Kines is superin 

The Methodist may be considered also the pioneer church in 
Milverton, their first building, a frame, being erected in 1855. 
Rev. Mr. Robinson was first minister, and, with a small member 
ship, laid the foundation of what is now a prosperous congrega 
tion. Some years later a fine brick building was erected at a cost 
of $6,000. Present number of members is 120, with Rev. Mr. 
Snowden as pastor. There is also a Sabbath school in connection 
with this congregation, under the superintendence of Mr. Richard 
Coulter, having an average attendance of 60 pupils. 

The Evangelical church was founded in 1872 by Rev. Mr. 
Staebler, and a frame building was erected on the north part of the 
village. Its members at the inception of church ordinances num 
bered 15. In 1893 a new building was constructed at a cost of 
$6,000. Rev. Mr. J. H. Grenzebach is its present pastor. It has 
now a membership of 100. There is also a Sabbath school with 
100 pupils. Present superintendent, Louis Pfeffer. 

The Lutheran church was organized in 1873 by "Rev. Mr. Shum- 
bach, and comprised 12 families. Services were held in the 


Presbyterian church for six years. In 1879 they erected a new 
place of worship for themselves at a cost of $2,000. The progress 
of this denomination has been steady if not great. Present pastor 
is Rev. Mr. Plunck. In connection with this church is a good 
Sunday school of 60 pupils. The superintendent, Mr. Conrad 
Schaefer, has associated with him nine assistants in the work. 

The latest church organization in Milverton is the Anglican, 
which was formed in 1893, under the pastorate of Rev. Mr. 
Bridgman, with an attendance of 18 families. This congregation 
is in charge of Rev. Mr. Howard at present. A number ot mem 
bers in connection with this mission have removed from the 
village, preventing as great progress being made as would have 
been the case under more favourable circumstances. There is no 
Sabbath school. 

During 1880 a census of Milverton was taken preparatory to its 
being set apart as an incorporated village. Its population was 
found equal to that required by statute, and a by-law was passed 
by county council in December of that year giving effect to the 
people s desire. On January 17, 1881, therefore, met Milverton s 
first council, composed of J. D. Pierson, reeve; Jacob Karn, 
Henry Hasenpflug, Walter J. Passmore and J. G. Grosch. A 
committee was appointed to meet Mornington council and arrange 
a settlement as to what portion of railway indebtedness should be 
assumed by each. This committee arrived at a satisfactory 
adjustment, Milverton accepting $1,950 as her portion of these 
liabilities. A further sum of $5,000 was borrowed in 1896 to 
erect a public school. A certain portion of these obligations are 
being discharged each year by retiring maturing debentures or 
adding to a sinking fund. At present the village may be 
considered practically clear of debt. While taxation is not 
oppressive, about $2,000 annually is expended for educational 
and improvement purposes. Meantime sidewalks have been 
constructed and streets improved, which has largely enhanced the 
value of property and added much to the comfort and con 
venience of the citizens. Milverton is a progressive village, 
surrounded by splendid agricultural country, and her possibilities 
are much greater than what she so far has attained. 


Subjoined is a list of officers in Milverton since its incorporation. 

Reeves. --1881, J. D. Pierson ; 1882, Valentine Kertcher ; 
1883-4, J. D. Pierson; 1885-6, James Bundscho; 1887, W. J. 
Parke ; 1888, W. H. Dorland ; 1889-95, J. G. Grosch ; 1896, 
James Torrance; 1897-9, G. E. Goodhand ; 1900-1, W. M. Appel; 
1902, William Zimmerman. 

Councillors. 1881, Jacob Karn, Henry Hasenpflug, Walter J. 
Passmore, J. G. Grosch; 1882, H. Hasenpflug, J. G. Grosch, 
James Bundscho, Wm. Livingston; 1883, James Wood, James 
Strong, John Attridge, Alex. Curtice; 1884, J. D. Hoffman, 
George Deppisch, J. H. Schmidt, Alex. Curtice; 1885, Louis 
Pfeffer, Donald McGillivray, James Strachan; 1886, Jas. Strachan, 
D. McGillivray, Peter Ducklow, J. S. Rea; 1887, D. McGillivray, 
Peter Ducklow, J. S. Rea, J. G. Grosch; 1888, J. G. Grosch, 
Peter Ducklow, Alex. Curtice, C. F. Witte; 1889, J. S. Rea, C. 
F. Witte, Alex. Curtice, Chas. Spencer; 1890, Peter Ducklow, C. 
F. Witte, C. Spencer, A. Curtice; 1891, H. Gleiser, C. F. Witte, 
J. Rothermal, D. Merklinger; 1892-3, H. Gleiser, C. 
Honderick, J. Rothermal, C. Spencer; 1894, C. R. Honderick, C. 
Spencer, Jas. S. Rea, Louis Pfeffer; 1895, H. Schneuker, C. 
Spencer, W. M. Appel, Jas. Torrance; 1896, H % Schneuker, C. 
Spencer, Geo. E. Goodhand, Fred. Wiederhold; 1897, 
Spencer, F. Wiederhold, Louis Pfeffer, James Coutts; 1898, C. 
Spencer, W. M. Appel, John Engel, J. S. Rea; 1899, C. Spencer, 
W. M. Appel, J. S. Rea, F. Wiederhold; 1900, J. S. Rae, George 
Kerr, Wm. Zimmerman, F. Wiederhold; 1901, David Smith, F. 
Weiderhold, Jacob Bundscho, Wm. Zimmerman; 1902, David 
Smith, J. Bundscho, C. S. Kertcher, Rudolph Miller. 

Clerks. 1881, Herman Taber; 1882, A. W. West; 1883-1092, 

W. D. Weir. 

Treasurers. 1881, Herman Taber: 1882, A. W. West; 1883-5, 
Wm. Livingston; 1886, John Hoffman; 1887, W. J. Passmore; 
1888-98, H. Hasenpflug; 1899-1902, Robert G. Ranney. 

Assessors. 1881, James Wood; 1882, Samuel S. Hanks; 1883, 
Fred. Stieflmeyer; 1884-7, John P. Becker; 1888-9, E. Gartung; 
1890, Henry Spencer; 1891, J. P. Becker; 1892-4, W. M. Appel; 


From Left: R. Miller, Councillor; C. S. Kertcher, Councillor; David Smith, 
Councillor; William Zimmerman, Reeve; W. D. Weir, Clerk; 
J. Bundscho, Councillor. 


1895-6, J. P. Becker; 1897, Wm. Milne; 1898, H. M. Schaefer; 
1899-1902, W. J. Spencer. 

Collectors, 1881-4, Conrad Hasenpflug; 1885-8, S. G. Dorland; 
1889-94, H. M. Schaefer; 1895-8, Robert McCloy; 1899, G. P. 
Hoffman; 1900-2, H. M. Schaefer. 

Auditors. 1881, John A. Kerr, Valentine Kertcher; 1882, J. A. 
Kerr, C. S. Grosch ; 1883, Geo. Dippisch, C. S. Grosch ; 1884, 
J. P. Becker, W. T. Park; 1885, W. T. Park, V. Kertcher; 1886, 
W. T. Park, C. Hasenpflug; 1887, E. Gartung, C. Hasenpflug; 
1888, C. Hasenpflug, Jas. Torrance; 1889-90, Jas. Torrance, John 
Rothermal; 1891-4, Jas. Torrance, C. S. Grosch; 1895, C. S. 
Grosch, Wm. Milne; 1896-1902, Malcolm Macbeth, C. S. Grosch. 

The municipal history of Mornington opens on the i6th day of 
January, 1854, when its first council took their seats at the board. 
The representatives on this occasion were Adam Chalmers, James 
Whaley, John Hamilton, John Nicklin, and William Rutherford. 
Prior to this election Mornington had no separate existence as a 
municipal organization, and formed a part of Ellice for municipal 
purposes. From its first settlement in 1843, which was again 
supplemented by a large influx of population in 1847-8, when 
surveying was completed, local government must have been 
imperfect and inadequate to meet the requirements of a rapidly 
growing settlement. Those gentlemen elect, therefore, having 
taken their seats and submitted their declarations of qualification, 
Mr. Samuel Whaley was appointed clerk; Mr. John Freeborn, 
assessor ; Uriah McFadden, collector ; and Charles Burrows, 
treasurer. The municipal machinery was, therefore, for the first 
time ready to be put in motion. Like other townships in this 
county, the first order of business was a motion in connection 
with school sections, thus opening up a department of local 
legislation which has been a source of greater friction amongst 
our people and greater annoyance to township councils than all 
other branches of municipal work. The council formulated a 
plan for dividing the township into sections, which they fondly 
hoped would be satisfactory, and terminate all agitation regarding 
schools. An elaborate map was drawn by some backwoods 

2 3 


scientist, creating nine sections, which on paper appear as models 
of compactness. Annexed to this plan is an explanatory state 
ment setting forth the principle involved and probable cost to the 
people. In this document it is stated that, " according to this 
plan, in the event of the union being made, there will be an 
average of acres in each section of 4,955^. In No. i, 4,400 
acres, and a like number in Nos. 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9. No. 2 will 
contain 5,600 acres; No. 3 will contain 5,600; No. 4 will contain 
7,000 acres. In this section there is a separate school, which 
reduces it in fact to the smallest section in the township. It also 
embraces a large quantity of poor land. Keeping a school for 12 
months in sections Nos. i, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 teacher s salary, say, 
$300 per annum will require an average taxation of upwards of 
$7.20 on each hundred acres. In sections Nos. 2 and 3 teachers 
salaries, say, $300 per annum would require an assessment of 
$6 on each hundred acres." "I am of opinion," the compiler 
goes on to say, "that sections 2 and 3 are not too large, but I 
am certain that sections i, 5, 6, 7, 8, and q are too small for the 
present comfort of the ratepayers." 

Regarding the latter statement made by this officer there could 
be no doubt. Small as these sums may seem to an afiflulent rate- 
paper at present, fifty years ago with many they were great 
amounts. How many acres of ashes, how many troughs-full of 
black salts (after hauling for miles over crossways and through 
mud holes of unsearchable depth) it would require to obtain $6.00 
old pioneers well know. This apparently equitable division was 
of short duration. Every subsequent council had its special 
deputation of appellants from all pre-existing arrangements. 
These delegations were often fierce and emphatic in their elucida 
tions of new plans, setting at defiance the dignity of those in 
authority. In 1864 this intersectional war reached a climax. 
Every man s hand seemed to be against his brother, and a 
complete disruption of all former arrangements occurred. At one 
council meeting a solution of this important question would be 
reached satisfactory to all. Next session the whole would be 
over-turned, and a new order of things established. It was not 


till expensive school building s had been erected, and larg-e sums 
invested in them, that this maelstrom of excitement died away. 
Yet, like an Icelandic geyser, while an occasional burst of hot 
spray may be now and again thrown up, it soon falls back in 
harmless impotency to its former condition. 

Another question disposed of at this meeting- was an application 
from Mr. William Hueston for a licence to keep a hotel, the first 
issued in Mornington under the statute of 1850. This was 
disposed of by recommending the applicant to sell until he "got 
notice to stop." 

At a meeting held in February this question was settled by 
granting- licenses to Wm. Hueston, John West, Robt. Armstrong, 
John McLevey, and John Henderson. Charges for these were 
fixed at ^ for a hotel, and i, i2s. , 6d. for a shop license. 
These important duties for supplying spirituous potations to the 
pioneers being completed, the council directed its attention to their 
spiritual conduct. Mornington s first by-law, therefore, enacts 
that "Any person found travelling on the Sabbath day or driving 
with horses or oxen or carrying burdens, except in case of neces 
sity, shall be fined not more than 2os., nor less than 58. for each 
offence, upon conviction thereof before any one of Her Majesty s 
J.Ps." A by-law was also passed allowing each councillor five 
shillings per day for his services; clerk, 12, IDS. ; assessor, 10; 
treasurer, ^3, 155. It was ordered also that wild land was to be 
assessed at $2 per acre, and cleared land at $8. During 1864 the 
hotels in Mornington were increased to eight. A few years later 
the number was further increased to eleven, the greatest number 
ever existing in this township. Excluding Milverton and Newton, 
few hotels now exist. 

On October 2ist, 1856, a financial statement sets forth that 
^503, ios., 3d. had been received from the clergy reserve fund, 
all of which had been expended in improvements on roads and 
bridges. On September 25th, 1857, we find another statement 
presented amounting to ^646, gs. , 3d., of which ^434, 7s., 6d. 
was for county purposes. The minutes of this meeting indicate 
that the council was moving too rapidly. When Mr. Wm. Grieve 


and Mr. Rutherford moved the above sum to be collected, an 
amendment by Mr. Whaley and Mr. Shearer was offered, setting 
forth, "that the council make provision for 1856 before laying on 
anything for 1857," a very proper thing to do. A compromise was 
effected, and ^739, ios. was levied and collected for all purposes. 

Assessors in 1858 were instructed to rate wild lands at $3 per 
acre, being an increase of $i, while cleared lands were placed 
at $6.00, or $2.00 per acre less than formerly. Why this should 
have been so there is nothing in the records to indicate. This 
council also adopted a most pernicious practice in advertising for 
tenders for all offices in the municipality. By an abandonment of 
its prerogative in this important function the records clearly indi 
cate that public business had suffered. Wherever a plan of giving 
offices by tender has been introduced, accepting the lowest, public 
business has suffered. All councils in this county have now 
recourse to the legitimate and more honourable system of select 
ing and appointing persons qualified to discharge such duties as 
devolve on them in their several offices, granting fair and reason 
able compensation for services rendered. 

In 1858 a failure of crops occurred in Mornington, as every 
where else in Perth County. Recourse was had by the council to 
the fund set apart by the county council to aid poor and indigent 
settlers in procuring seed and bread for their families in many 
cases. A certain portion was granted to Mornington, but the 
records are silent as to the amount, or the manner of its disposal. 

Mornington is a highly favoured township in having a fertile 
soil and good drainage for surplus water. While those sections 
adjoining her have subjected themselves to heavy taxation in order 
to drain their swamp lands, this municipality has been compara 
tively free from imposts of this kind. It is true she has contri 
buted a large sum to the Stratford & Huron railway, but not 
to any greater extent than other municipalities. Marketing 
facilities for a large section of Mornington are equal to any 
other in our county, and superior to some. A special grant of 
$40,000 to the Stratford & Huron railway will in a short time be 
paid off, when her total liabilities will then be discharged. Even 


with her payments to this debt, improvement has been rapid in 
every department, and she is to-day well to the front in this 
prosperous county. 

It is a fact worthy of notice that no sooner did the pioneer 
enter this township than, as in other sections, he first built schools 
and next churches. Millbank Presbyterian church is the pioneer 
church of Morning-ton. First organized by Rev. Thomas 
McPherson, of Stratford, Rev. (now Dr.) McMullen, of Wood 
stock, was inducted into the charge on Nov. 5th, 1856. Service 
was held in the school house for some time, until a frame church 
was erected in 1857. In this building it was continued till 1891, 
when the present brick edifice was erected, at a cost of about 
$5,000. As might be expected from the nationality of those 
pioneers near Millbank, a membership of about 140 was soon 
obtained. Although this has increased to 164, the commercial 
decadence which overtook Millbank subsequent to constructing 
the railway, has prevented great progress being made. A 
Sabbath school, with an attendance of about 65 pupils, meets 
every Sabbath day, under the superintendence of Mr. M. H. Reid. 
The present minister is Rev. W. Haig, who is assisted in his work 
by Samuel Boyd, Andrew Bennett, J. W. Chalmers, William 
Campbell, and M. H. Reid as elders. 

What is now known as North Mornington Presbyterian church 
was organized in 1862 by Rev. Mr. Lowry, formerly stationed in 
Whitby. The old settlers in that section were largely Scotch and 
North of Ireland, amongst whom were the families of James 
Ridlev, Alexander Patterson, Alexander Glenn, Samuel and John 
Watson, and James, Thomas, and William McGorman. These 
formed the nucleus of this new congregation as members, and 
now increased to 200. A Sabbath school is also conducted, with 
an average attendance of about 164 pupils under the care of Mr. 
David Welsh. In 1862 the first church was erected, at a cost of 
$1,000. Arrangements are now being made for a new structure 
which will be in keeping with the wealth and importance of the 
congregation. This church is now in charge of Rev. John W. 
Cameron, and is quite progressive. 


The Anglican church in Millbank is an old established congre 
gation in Mornington, and was organized in 1856. For several 
years subsequent to that period services were held in the Pres 
byterian church, Rev. Mr. Newman, who was the apostle of 
Episcopalianism in the north, frequently officiating-. In 1862 a 
brick building was erected, at a cost of $1,500. This was under 
the pastorate of Rev. H. Caulfield. Its membership at that period 
was not great, and it now has about fifty-six families, with Rev. 
Mr. Armstrong as incumbent. A Sabbath school is conducted 
in connection with this congregation, having an attendance of 
about 45 pupils. 

Wesleyan Methodism appears in Millbank at an early period of 
its history, a frame building being erected in 1858 at a cost of 
about $800. This branch of the Christian church has also suffered 
from a decadence of commerce in the village, and like other 
denominations maintains its position without making great 

Nearly sixty years ago Andrew Biessinger and George Stemm- 
ler, Germans from Rotenburg, settled in that portion of 
Mornington having Mack s Corners as a centre. No survey had 
so far been made, neither was there any settlement in the township 
excepting a few families in the southern part who had entered the 
woods in 1843. These two Germans were the founders of St. 
Mary s Catholic church at Hesson. Previous to 1855 those 
settlers who came subsequent to Biessinger and Stemmler 
travelled to St. Clements, where a mission was established, at a 
distance of 15 miles, to obtain church ordinances. Rev. Father 
Missner first visited St. Mary s in 1855. At this period it was 
known as " Huben Nix," signifying abject poverty. This was 
afterwards changed to Bethlehem, Mack s Corners, or Mackton, 
until it received its present appellation in honor of S. R. Hesson, 
Stratford, who was member of Parliament for several years. 

Early in 1867 Father .Glowskey was placed in charge of St. 
Clements and Hesson. He was succeeded in 1871 by Rev. 
Father Breeskoff, who continued pastor of both stations for ten 
years. During this period good progress had been made. A 


separate school had been erected of logs, to which was annexed a 
small sanctuary, where mass was celebrated and church ordinances 
regularly dispensed to about twenty families then constituting this 
mission. The first pastor stationed at St. Mary s was Rev. Father 
Heitmann, but such was the condition of those comprising his 
congregation even at this late period that he was compelled to 
ask charity from those who were in duty bound from the sacred- 
ness of his office to have at least contributed a moderate sum to 
his support. The position of this poor priest must have been one 
of great hardship, indeed, when we consider that offerings on 
Sabbath days fluctuated between i2c. and $2.00. His Easter 
offering was $2, and at Christmas he was made unspeakably rich 
by receiving the sum of $10. This priest was a good and kind- 
hearted man, a person of culture and literary attainments, and 
rests in an almost nameless grave in Stratford, buried by charity ; 
the last rites of sepulchre being performed by Father Brennan, of 
St. Marys. 

Meantime a change was rapidly approaching. In 1886 a 
residence was erected for the clergyman at a cost of $1,000. 
During 1891 Bishop O Connor, of London, visited Hesson for the 
first time in its history, and in 1892 was constructed at a cost of 
$5,000 the present beautiful church, the whole being free from 
debt. In 1894 Rev. Father John Joseph Gnam was placed in 
charge of this mission, under whose administration it has been 
most successful, having now over seventy families who worship at 
St. Mary s, Hesson. On December i6th, 1902, a chime of bells 
was placed in the tower at a cost of $1,000, whose mellowed 
cadence on the holy Sabbath morn can be heard far away in the 
home of many a remote worshipper. Evolution in this mission has 
been great, and it is now one of the most prosperous in this 

Officers in Mornington from 1854 to 1902, inclusive, are as 
follows : 

Reeves. 1854-6, James Whaley; 1857, Uriah McFadden; 1858, 
Walter Pfeffers ; 1859-60, John Smith; 1861, William Grieve; 1862, 
Richard Bennett; 1863-7, J nn Watson; 1868-72, Samuel Whaley; 


1873-5, Valentine Kertcher; 1876-7, E. T. Rutherford; 1878-80, 
V. Kertcher; 1881, Dr. Jas. Johnson; 1882, Jas. Gibson; 1883-93, 
W. B. Freeborn ; 1894-6, Hugh Jack; 1897-8, Charles Trim; 
1899-1901, Hugh B. Kerr; 1902, David B. Grieve. 

Deputy-Reeves. 1859-61, first deputy-reeve, Jas. Whaley; 1862, 
J. Watson; 1863-8, Robert McKee; 1869, Chas. Glenn; 1870, R. 
McKee; 1871, J. S. Bowman; 1872, Jas. Rutherford; 1873, Moses 
Laing; 1874-5, E - F - Rutherford; 1876-8, George McKee; 1879, 
Jas. Kines; 1880-2, W. B. Freeborn; 1883-7, Thomas Magwood; 
1888-91, J. Grieve; 1892-3, Peter Zoeger first deputy, D. G. 
Nicklin second deputy; 1894, John Langford ; 1895-6, C. Trim; 
1897-8, John Campbell; office abolished. 

Councillors. 1854, Adam Chalmers, John Hamilton, William 
Rutherford, John Nicklin; 1855, Chas. Burrows, Wm. Rutherford, 
J. Nicklin, Walter Pfeffers; 1856, W. Pfeffers, Alex. Patterson, R. 
McKee, Wm. Reid; 1857, Wm. Grieve, Wm. Rutherford, Jas. 
Whaley, Geo. Shearer; 1858, Wm. Rutherford, Uriah McFadden, 
Jas, Whaley, Wm. Grieve; 1859-60, John Chalmers, Jas. Riddell, 
Wm. Grieve; 1861, J. Chalmers, R. McKee, John Watson; 1862, 
George Magwood, P. McKee, Wm. Grieve; 1863, Richard Ben 
nett, G. Magwood, J. Nicklin; 1864-6, G. Magwood, J. Nicklin, 
Alex. Roe; 1867, G. Magwood, J. Nicklin, Jas. Whaley; 1868, G. 
Magwood, J. Nicklin, Chas. Edwards; 1869, J. Nicklin, Chas. 
Edwards, Moses Laing; 1870, J. Nicklin, G. Magwood, M. Laing; 
1871, G. Magwood, Chas. Brown, V. Kertcher; 1872, G. Mag- 
wood, Chas. Brown, David McCloy; 1873, G. Magwood, Thos. 
Hall, Allan Goodall; 1874, G. Magwood, A. Goodall, D. McCloy; 
1875, G. Magwood, Wm. McConnell, Samuel Whaley ; 1876, G. 
Magwood, Chas. Glenn, Jas. Baird; 1877, Jas. Baird, G. Mag- 
wood; Jas. Kines; 1878, Jas. Baird, Jas. Kines, Wm. McCormick; 
1879, Wm. McCormick, H. W. Kerr, George Langford; 1880, 
Wm. McCormick, H. W. Kerr, Jas. Gibson; 1881, Wm. John 
ston, Jas. Kines, Thos. Magwood; 1882, Jas. Gibson, Wm. 
Johnston, Thos. Magwood ; 1883, James Baird, Jas. Gibson, 
Wm. Johnston; 1884, Jas. Gibson, Jas. Baird, Adam Fleming; 
1885-6, Jas. Baird, W. F. Rutherford, H. B. Kerr; 1887, Wm. 


Campbell, Hugh Jack, Hugh Kerr; 1888, Wm. Campbell, H. Jack, 
Chas. Trim; 1889-91, H. Jack, C. Trim, D. McCloy; 1892-3, D. 
McCloy, C. Trim; 1894, Wm. Johnston, D. J. Nicklin, C. Trim; 
1895, Wm. Johnston, D. McCloy, John McCloy; 1896, John 
Campbell, D. McCloy, D. M. Nicklin; 1897, J. P. Griffin, D. 
McCloy, G. Shearer; 1898, J. P. Griffin, G. Shearer, D. McCloy; 
1899-1900, David B. Grieve, J. P. Griffin, J. McCloy, G. Shearer; 

1901, Robert Ailing-ham, John Davidson, D. B. Grieve, J. McCloy; 

1902, R. Allingham, J. Davidson, J. McCloy, David Swartzen- 

Clerks. 1854-7, S. Whaley; 1858, William Willcott; 1859-60, 
John W. Beaton; 1861, John Smith; 1862, John Jones (resigned), 
Chas. Fleming; 1863, M. McFadden; 1864-72, John Beaton; 1873, 
J. B. Rutherford; 1874-1902, John Watson. 

Treasurers. 1854, Charles Burrows ; 1855, continuously to 
1902, Jas. Reid. 

Assessors. 1854, John Freeborn; 1855, S. Whaley; 1856, Jas. 
Terriff, Robert Struthers; 1857, Jas. Terriff, Wm. Drake; 1858, 
Wm. Drake; 1859, Wm. Drake, Thos. Shearer; 1860-1, Jas. 
Baird; 1862, Wm. Drake; 1863, Moses McFadden; 1864-5, Wm. 
Drake; 1 866-8, Thos. Hall; 1869, William Grieve, John Riddell; 
1870, T. Hall; 1871, John Turnbull; 1872, Chas. Glenn; 1873, T. 
Hall; 1874, J. Kines; 1875, J onn Pfeffers; 1876, J. Kines; 1877-8, 
W. B. Freeborn; 1879, Wm. Loney, J. Turnbull; 1880-1, Jas. 
Magwood; 1882, C. Glenn; 1883-4, T. Hall; 1885-6, J. Grieve; 
1887-8, S. Loney; 1889-90, Alex. Stewart; 1891, Jas. Hunter; 
1892-4, Michael McCormick; 1895-1901, Joseph Gibson; 1902, 
Wm. J. Dowd. 

Collectors. 1854, Uriah McFadden; 1855, John Gillespie; 1856, 
Samuel Watson, John Coulter; 1857, James Roe, John Legget; 
1858, J. Roe, Wm. Hamilton; 1859, J. Roe; 1860, R. Struthers, 
J. Legget; 1861, J. Legget; 1862-3, G. Dorland, Alex. Patter 
son; 1864-6, S. J. Dorland; 1867-8, S. J. Dorland, S. Watson; 
1869-70, S. Watson, R. Struthers; 1871, S. Watson, Wm. Moss; 
1872, J. Kines; 1873, J- Watson, J. Kines; 1874-5, James Drum- 
mond; 1876, Joseph Williams; 1877-8, J. Drummond, Simeon 


Loney; 1879, S. Loney; 1880, J. Drummond, John Swain; 1881, 
J. Drummond, S. Loney; 1882-7, J- Drummond, John Gamble; 
1888, J. Drummond, S. Loney; 1889, J. Drummond; 1890, Albert 
Hall, J. Drummond; 1891-2, John Whaley, J. Baird; 1893-5, J- 
Whaley, Jas. Dowd; 1896-7, S. Watson, J. Whaley; 1898-1900, 
S. Watson, Wm. McConnell; 1901, J. B. Weir, S. Watson; 1902, 
Wm. D. Langford, Alfred Tanner. 

Auditors. 1855, Chas. Jones, Joseph Hamilton; 1856, M. 
McFadden, C. Jones; 1857, J. W. Keeler, Samuel Watson; 
1858-9, C. Jones, James Baird; 1860, J. W. Keeler, Robert Grant; 
1861, George Regan, Thos. Caulfield; 1862-3, S. Watson, Charles 
Riley; 1864, James Boner, S. Watson; 1865-6, James Johnston, 
Georg-e Gamble; 1867, Charles Glenn, James Johnston; 1868, 
Dr. Martin, Richard Edwards; 1869, John Turnbull, John Riley; 
1870-2, Andrew Mundall, John Riley; 1873, Samuel Patterson, 
James Crawford; 1874-5, Alex. Stewart, Joseph Pierson; 1876, 
A. Stewart, Thos. Caulfield; 1877, J. Pierson, T. Caulfield; 1878, 
John Gibson, John Turnbull; 1879, J. Pierson, J. Gibson; 1880-1, 
J. Gibson, William Barr; 1882, J. Gibson, T. W. Johnston; 
1883-4, J. Gibson, Jas. B. Davidson; 1885-6, William Waddell, 
William Herron; 1887, William McCormick, W. Herron; 1888-90, 
Wm. Waddell, Wm. McCormick; 1891-8, Wm. Waddell, George 
Thompson; 1899-1901, G. Thompson, Samuel Boyd; 1902, G. 
Thompson, W. B. Freeborn. 





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Wallace lies at the extreme northern limit of Perth County, and 
looks on the map as if it had been added as a matter of expediency 
rather than from contiguity. It is peculiarly shaped, being- nearly 
triangular, with its south-west corner cut off by a boundary line 
extending about i ^ miles. On its southern side it is partly 
bounded by Elma, yet nearly separated from Perth by Grey, in the 
County of Huron. This triangular shape of Wallace resulted from 
the manner in which surveys were made in this section of Ontario. 
In the early days of this western province several roads were 
opened up, forming governing lines, from which townships 
extended backward on either side. That great road extending 
from Wilmot to Goderich is a good example of this principle, 
municipalities on its north and south sides being laid out with 
regularity. The Canada Company and crown lands surveys from 
the south, from Wellington and Waterloo on the east, and from 
Lake Huron on the west, all converge on the boundary lines of 
this triangular township. 

This municipality was last to be opened up in Perth County. 
Over thirty years had passed away since that eventful period 
when John Gait and his friends passed on westward to Goderich, 
before the woodman s axe broke the solemn stillness of this 
great solitude. In 1852 a survey was ordered by Hon. John 
Rolph, commissioner of crown lands. This comprised concessions 
i, 2, 3, and 4. These were set apart as common school lands. In 
1854 the whole was completed by Mr. Wilkinson and P. Callaghan, 
P. L. S. Field notes in the crown lands office indicate an area of 


51,398 acres, exclusive of roads which contain a further portion, 
amounting to 1,025 acres, making- a total of 52,423 acres. Of 
this area 29,521 were common school lands. 

The topography of Wallace differs somewhat from that obtain 
ing in other sections of this county. While it is rolling, there 
are few of those long sweeping undulations found further south. 
Its surface is deversified by low elevations, irregular in outline and 
interspersed with depressions which at one period were swampy. 
Land of this character would be difficult to clear. Whatever 
advantage a logger might have on a declivity would be more than 
counterbalanced by a mass of rubbish in low places, forming a 
barrier almost impassable to the laborious pioneer. Much of this 
has now been cleared and are now fertile sections, producing 
abundant returns for labor expended in their reclamation. 

This township was named in honour of a certain Baron Wallace, 
\vho was chairman of the agricultural board in Great Britain 
during the early part of last century. Although not opened really 
for settlement till 1855, a number of pioneers had located pre 
viously. In 1861 it had a population of 2,400. This was a very 
large number of inhabitatants for so short a period. At this time 
no winter wheat was planted in Wallace, but it produced in 1861 
58,403 bush, of spring wheat from 3, 1 12 acres; of barley, 89 acres 
produced 1,742 bush. ; peas, 664 acres produced 1 1,499 bush. ; oats, 
88 1 acres produced 24,946 bush. ; potatoes, 242 acres produced 
20,660 bush.; turnips, 398 acres produced 69,747 bush.; of butter 
there were 38,000 Ibs. ; cheese, 667 Ibs. ; maple sugar, 20,852 Ibs. ; 
home-made flannel, 3,389 yards; wool, 2,782 Ibs. Of carriages 
or buggies kept for pleasure there were ten, valued at $550. Total 
value of live stock, $67,418. Population in 1901, 2,693. Value 
of property, $1,939,961. 

The soil, while it may differ from those heavy clays found in 
other sections, is good. Amongst farmers it would be known as 
a sharp, warm soil, with porous substrata, forming an ideal com 
bination for successful agriculture. That it has been cultivated 
with skill, and produced abundantly, is evident. Buildings, fences, 
roads, and other indications all point to good farming. A system 


of husbandry has been pursued quite equal to those advanced 
methods introduced in older sections. Mixed farming- has been 
practically adopted throughout. Co-operative dairying has not 
been accepted as a source of wealth as it has in Elma, although 
something has been done in this important branch of industry. 

While much has been accomplished in a short period of forty- 
five years, the people have from time to time laid on themselves 
heavy burdens for improving their transportation facilities. There 
is no municipality in this county that has contributed larger sums 
in aid of railroads than Wallace. Beyond her liability for a share 
of our county debt which has already been discharged, and that 
portion still to be liquidated (nearly $300,000 of which was pred 
icated before this township had even been surveyed, and not one 
dollar of which was expended in her interest), larg-e sums have 
been granted. She aided the W. , G. & B. railway, the southern 
extension, and the Stratford & Huron railway to the extent of 
nearly $60,000. 

It may be that the debts contracted by the United Counties 
for the B. & L. H. railway a portion of which she was compelled 
to assume may have promoted the manifestations of disaffec 
tion once existing. Efforts were made for years by her public 
men to obtain a separation from Perth, a plan of redress now 
happily no longer considered. In a court of equalization, there 
fore, many circumstances present themselves in connection with 
this township not applicable elsewhere. In determining what 
ought and what ought not to be an equitable equalization in 
Wallace reference should be had to those circumstances which 
have compelled her to contribute so largely of her substance in 
promoting local improvements which to her were really of no 
direct advantage. 

It is well to consider, also, that without these large expenditures 
of township funds, calculated to enhance real estate values, this 
and other northern municipalities would not have been available 
to so great an extent as contributors to the present requirements 
of Perth County. 

Surveys in Wallace being completed in 1854, it was thrown 


open for settlement in 1855, at a fixed price of $2 per acre. A 
portion of this amount was returned by government as a contri 
bution for local improvements. This rebate was afterwards known 
as the local improvement fund, and payable annually. Several 
settlers had located in Wallace previous to a survey being made. 
Mr. John Binning, no doubt, was first pioneer, locating where 
Listowel now stands in 1851. Later on in that year came James 
Stinson and his family, locating on what afterwards were lots 17 
and 18, concession 6. In 1853 came the families of McWhinnie, 
Wilson, Brady, Richard and James Strong, who settled on con 
cession 5. John McDermott, for many years a prominent man, 
was an early settler, and built the first saw mill. South-west 
were north of Ireland people and Scotch. Here we find McKee, 
Everal, Coughlin, Smith, and Thompson as first settlers. South 
east are English and Scotch, as McAllister, Hunt, Bartley, Gordon, 
Binning, Dodds, Hay, and Climie. In the north are North of 
Ireland people, and settlers from Simcoe. Amongst these are 
Burns, Long, Moffatt, McDermott, Home, Johnston, Kearns, 
Ranton, Hayes, Elliott, Warren, Henderson, Ruler, Brothers, 
and Ferguson. Edward Leggatt and Thomas Milligan were also 
early settlers. The pioneers who came from Simcoe had some 
experience in backwoods life. This was a valuable acquisition in 
a new country. Their knowledge of the work peculiar to clear 
ing land was of great advantage to the unskilled immigrants 
from across the sea. Its proximity to Waterloo County and the 
older sections eastward created a large influx of experienced bush- 
men. In fifteen years from its first settlement Wallace had a 
population of 3,580, indicating rapid progress. 

In this township are few villages, and those of little commercial 
importance. This condition does not arise from an unprogressive 
feeling amongst the people. Indeed, the contrary is true. The 
policy adopted at an early period of aiding railways had led to 
centralizing trade at two points, Listowel and Palmerston. These 
two important towns lying partly within her original borders, 
afford excellent facilities for disposing of goods at remunerative 
rates. At these two points, therefore, a large trade is carried on. 


Gowanstown, about four miles north of Listowel, is now the 
seat of municipal government. At this village is a station on the 
G. T. R. , also telegraph, express and post office, general store 
and hotel, now the only one, I believe, in this municipality. 
These business places, with several private residences, comprise 
this ruial hamlet. 

Kurtzville, situate about four miles from Gowanstown, on the 
same concession, is next in importance. This village was founded 
by John Kurtz about 1875, and contains a store, blacksmith shop, 
post office, saw and chopping mill, cooper shop, and brick and tile 

Wallaceville, now called Wallace, situated nearly four miles 
east of Gowanstown, was for several years subsequent to its first 
settlement a progressive point. A station having been built at 
Gowanstown had a deteriorating effect on its trade, seriously 
crippling its progress. At present there is a post office, general 
store, chopping mill, and a blacksmith shop. All these villages 
are situated on one concession and a few miles from each other. 
The country surrounding cannot be excelled for agricultural 

A number of church buildings exist and religion appears to be 
more than an empty form. While several of these are regularly 
attended on the Sabbath day, Methodist union and other 
circumstances have caused several to be largely if not wholly 
abandoned for religious service. In Listowel and Palmerston 
nearly all denominations are represented, and are within easy 
distance of a large sectjon of the township. People in the rural 
districts, therefore, avail themselves of attending service in these 
places to a much greater extent than in pioneer days, when 
facilities for travelling were not good. 

The Evangelical Lutheran Trinity Congregation, Missouri 
Synod," was organized in 1874. Originally there was only one 
church of this denomination in Wallace, when a separation took 
place, and another congregation organized. Its first minister was 
Rev. H. Brewer. When this new body was set apart they erected 
a frame church on lot 30, concession 5, since substituted by brick, 


in which service is still held. Its first congregation was composed 
of 15 members, now increased to about 200 souls, with Rev. 
Henry Battenburg as pastor. In lieu of a Sabbath school, classes 
are held by the minister, having- an attendance of about 44 pupils. 

The Evangelical church, on lot 26, concession 7, was organized 
in 1895 by Rev. L. Rothermal, and a log building erected. 
Services were held in this structure till 1882, when the present 
brick church was constructed. This congregation has been 
prosperous, having now about 200 members. Mr. L. Good as 
superintendent conducts a Sabbath school with about 165 pupils. 
Rev. L. Wittick is the pastor now in charge. 

The Evangelical Association, on concession 2, was organized in 
1868, and a church erected in 1870, on lot 37, costing about $1,000. 
Services are still held in this building. Its first minister was Rev. 
J. C. Staebler, whose pastorate comprised 33 members, now in 
creased to 44. There is also a Sabbath school conducted by 
William Good, having an attendance of 50 pupils. Rev. L. K. Eidt, 
of Listowel, is pastor. The Evangelical church at Kurtzville was 
organized in 1889, and a stone building, erected by the Mennonites, 
was bought from that body, where services are still held. At its 
inception this congregation numbered 17 members, now increased 
to 47. About 50 pupils attend the Sabbath school in charge of 
Mr. Henry Fisher. Rev. Mr. Eidt is also pastor of this church. 

In 1863 an Episcopal church was established near Shipley by 
Rev. Mr. Newman, who was an excellent and kind-hearted man. 
A brick building was erected, but this congregation did not 
prosper as others. Service is now held here in summer only, by 
Rev. Mr. Farr, of Atwood. A Methodist church, known as 
Stewart s, was erected on lot 15, concession 3, which is now used 
for Sabbath school purposes only. 

At Mayne a Methodist congregation was organized at an early 
date. Subsequently a frame church was erected. There is a good 
attendance at this station, now in charge of Rev. David Rogers. 

The Evangelical Association, at Wallaceville, is a large congre 
gation, with a church building on lot 7, concession 5. Rev. 
Henry Dierlamm is pastor. 


On lot 4, concession 5, is a Methodist church, under the 
pastorate of Rev. Mr. Bartlett. This congregation is quite pro 
gressive, having- over 75 members. A Sabbath school is also con 
ducted in connection, having an average attendance of 50 pupils, 
with Mr. James Dezell as superintendent. 

At a very early period of settlement in Wallace a Mennonite 
congregation was organized, and a church erected on lot 43, con 
cession 7. Montezuma Brothers was principal promoter of this 

On lot 3, concession 7, is Zion Methodist church. This con 
gregation has erected a brick building, and has a membership of 
about 50. Under Rev. Mr. Bartlett this station is progressive. 
There is also a Sabbath school, having about 50 pupils, under Mr. 
E. C. Robinson as superintendent. 

The Evangelical Lutheran church on lot 3, concession 9, was 
established at a more recent date than many others in Wallace. 
Since opening this mission a few years ago steady, if not rapid, 
progress is being made. Rev. Mr. Draschael is pastor. 

Perhaps the oldest church in Wallace is that at Molesworth. 
This congregation was organized by Rev. Mr. Renwick at an 
early day. In the historical sketches of Elma and Listowel will 
be found further remarks on this mission. 

Previous to "1858 Wallace had no separate municipal history. 
From its first settlement it formed a part of that district composed 
of Logan, Elma and Wallace. This large section of country was 
governed by one council, whose place of meeting was Mitchell, 
over twenty miles away. Rapid influx of population led to dis 
memberment a change rendered necessary for making those 
improvements requisite to development. Mr. D. D. Campbell 
was appointed by the county council to conduct the first election. 
On January 18, 1858, Mr. Campbell, as acting clerk, presided 
over Wallace s first council. This body was composed of Free- 
born Kee, who was chosen reeve, Jas. Bolton, John McDermott, 
John Wilson and Joseph Farncomb. After completing those 
formalities usual in organizing a new council, their first motion 

was one regarding a union school section between Elma and 



Wallace, comprising" lots 17 to 32, inclusive, concession one. 
Thus, in common with all other municipalities, a school section 
war began, which continued for many years before an adjustment 
was reached. At this meeting another motion was introduced, 
somewhat pernicious in its results, and one I regret to say longer 
acted upon in this township than any other in this county. This 
was a subordination of their own dignity by asking tenders for 
those offices which it was a part of their prerogative to bestow. 
Adopting this principle subrogated their intelligence to a mercen 
ary consideration of dollars and cents. When a council or 
councillors shrink from exercising those powers conferred upon 
them by statute, they are no longer equal to their duties, and 
their conduct detracts from the dignity of that position they are 
called upon to fill. The prerogative of appointing fit and proper 
officers as servants of the people is one which no representative 
man can ignore. To select an officer from several applicants on 
the score of clamorous importunity or pecuniary need as expressed 
in his tender, in preference to natural fitness or acquired experi 
ence, is not conducive to carrying out those ideals essential to a 
progressive democracy. 

At a meeting in February tenders for offices were opened and 
read. These were, indeed, extremely modest ; Mr. Christopher 
Massey Hemsworth s -- being $45 per annum for clerk --was 
accepted. Whatever may have been Mr. Hemsworth s other 
qualifications for this position, as a caligraphist he had no equal 
amongst municipal officers in this county. For treasurer, Wil 
liam Craig received $40 ; assessor, William Henderson, $50; 
collector, James Stinson, $40. These amounts were quite in 
adequate as compensation for duties to be performed by these 
officers, and could only have been accepted through lack of 
knowledge regarding the requirements they would be called on 
to perform. Except Mr. Hemsworth, who retained his position 
for many years, a change was quickly effected in all other offices. 
The mantle of this old officer seems to have fallen on the present 
incumbent, whose long period of service as clerk of Wallace has 
been characterized by a faithful discharge of his duties. 


A second meeting" was held in February, 1858, and an attempt 
made to dispose of school section difficulties by one sweeping- 
measure of organization for the whole township. A by-law was 
passed creating ten districts, four of which were unions. This 
enactment was considered an equitable one, and it was fondly 
hoped that the excitement which had been so prevalent would 
soon subside. But, "the best laid schemes of mice and men 
gang oft agley. " The trend and varying progress ever present in 
a new country, with other exigencies constantly arising , rendered 
abortive any attempt at a prompt solution of school boundaries. 
Re-adjustment after re-adjustrnent took place, and it was not till 
expensive and more permanent building s were erected that school 
legislation was eliminated from local politics. 

At this meeting other important measures were passed, such as 
defining those securities to be given by township officers. The 
clerk was required to give bonds for ^300; treasurer, who was 
also clerk after this year, ^3,000; collector, ^1,250. Councillors 
were each to receive $2 per day for each day at the board. By 
laws were passed regulating houses of entertainment, of which 
this township appears never to have had more than five (at present 
there is only one). License fees were fixed at $14 per annum for 
hotels, with 70 cents to the clerk for issuing-. On March 23, with 
a promptness worthy of imitation by all g-overning bodies, a settle 
ment with the newly separated municipalities was made, and duly 
ratified by all parties. This report allows liabilities against Logan 
amounting" to ^286, 8s., 8^d., with a counter claim against 
Wallace of 112, IDS. , or a balance in favour of the latter 
amounting to 173, i8s., 8d. Copies of this report are signed 
by Mr. Robert Jones, reeve of Logan, and Alex. Campbell and 
Patrick Collins on behalf of Wallace. At the next session a 
seheme was inaugurated for a public library, and $100 granted to 
purchase books. Regulations highly commendable were formu 
lated for extending its usefulness. Like those attempts made by 
other municipalities, education through the medium of a circu 
lating library did not succeed. Machinery in every case was set 
in motion, but the impetus was soon exhausted, and, as far as 


councils were concerned, received no further attention. Another 
suggestive motion frequently occurring in old minute books sets 
forth that "crossways may be made of any kind of timber except 
basswood, string pieces not to be more than ten inches in diameter, 
cross logs not less than six inches at the top end and not less than 
fifteen feet in length." In August an intimation from the county 
clerk was read that $1,605 was to be levied for county purposes. 
Several schools also applied No. 6 for $252; No. 3, $280; No. 7, 
$65. A total rate was ordered by the council to be collected 
amounting to $2,109. In February, 1859, the securities given 
by township officers were again re-considered, the collector being 
required to give as surety 800 acres of land subject to approval of 
the board. 

From a statement made in March, 1859, we are afforded an 
insight into pioneer life in a dark period of its history. A failure 
of crops in 1858 was followed by great hardship and distress in 
many backwoods homes throughout Perth County. In a towri- 
ship so recently settled as Wallace, where the contest with poverty 
was at its crucial point between success and failure, losing a 
year s labour fell on a struggling pioneer with crushing effect. 
Application was made for a share in the relief fund set apart by 
the county council, which was demanded in all municipalities to 
a greater or less amount. In Ward No. i, Wallace, was dis 
tributed 82 barrels flour and 328 bush, wheat; No. 2, 101 barrels 
flour and 105 bush, wheat; No. 3, 56 barrels flour and 87 bush, 
wheat; No. 4, 36 barrels flour and no bush, wheat; No. 5, 85 
barrels flour and 116 bush, wheat, making a total of 240 barrels 
flour and 746 bush, of wheat. For some reason unexplained 
applicants received three-quarters the quantity of flour asked for 
and five-ninths the quantity of wheat. 

At a meeting held on August i5th, 1860, a petition was 
presented, praying that by-law No. 34, prohibiting the sale of 
spirituous liquor, be repealed. Another petition of an extraordin 
ary character, was also presented, "praying that a meeting of 
ratepayers be called to discuss the propriety of preventing the 
county council from constructing a gravel road through the 


township." Also, "to consider the propriety of petitioning 
parliament to grant a separation of Wallace from Perth, and 
annex it to Wellington or a new county to be formed." As a 
matter of fact, Wallace, by the authority of parliament, was 
placed in both Perth and Wellington Counties. It was not, there 
fore, till complete organization was effected in Perth that the 
mistake was rectified. These proceedings indicate a certain 
amount of discontent, which no doubt existed for many years 
subsequent to these events. Characterized by bitterness it cer 
tainly was, when efforts were made to prevent the county council 
from carrying out much-needed improvements. As to separation, 
there could be no vaid reason for such a movement. Nothing 
could be gained by annexation to Wellington. Distance from 
Stratford may have been an argument in favour of dismember 
ment, but would be quite as applicable in the other case. In 1879 
the matter culminated in a meeting held at Harriston, where a 
plan was submitted. The new county was to be called "Blake, 
and to be composed of the townships of Minto and Maryborough, 
from Wellington ; Mornington, Elma, Wallace, and Listowel, 
from Perth ; and Grey, Howick, and Turnbury, from Huron. 
Arrangements were made to bring the whole matter before 
parliament. Delay ruined the scheme. 

An important product of this new fertile country was a crop of 
energetic country towns, who like all youths were progressive and 
consequential. Listowel, Harriston, and Palmerston previous to 
1879, when the last meeting was held, were all aspiring to the 
dignity and importance of being a county seat. Their anxiety in 
this instance appears to have outgrown their discretion. Each 
one of them was determined that if it could not receive the decided 
advantage for itself, it would as far as possible prevent other 
aspirants from succeeding. Thus the whole plan, which never 
was good, became at once abortive through petty jealousy of each 
other. While this scheme of a new county was unsuccessful, a 
complete change of policy soon took place amongst the people 
regarding gravel road improvement. In 1863 the central gravel 
road leading northward from Listowel was in course of construe- 


tion. This was a great boon to Wallace in enabling her people to 
transport their surplus products with some degree of comfort. 

About 1860 certain events transpired in this township which 
literally leaves an impression on all official papers emanating- from 
its council. Memories of these are embodied in the coat-of-arms 
engraved in its corporate seal. Prior to 1865 Wallace had no 
corporate seal. It is true her public documents had a distinctive 
character, arising from a plentiful application of red sealing wax 
stuck near official signatures. Meantime, two events in Canadian 
history had taken place which gave rise to an idea afterwards 
formulated into a coat-of-arms, the most unique, and, I dare say, 
appropriate of any corporate signet in this county. 

In September, 1860, the Prince of Wales, now King Edward, 
visited Canada. At Kingston all classes, orders and societies had 
erected arches in his honour. Amongst others that of the Orange 
order. The Duke of Newcastle, who was guardian of the Prince, 
refused to enter the city unless this obnoxious arch was removed. 
Of course it was not removed; His Grace, therefore, did not at 
that time visit Kingston. This was accepted as a direct insult to 
the order and their principles. During the period of this excite 
ment an election was held in this county. T. M. Daly was 
candidate of the Conservative party. Hon. Michael H. Foley, a 
Catholic, was the candidate of his opponents. Wallace gave a 
large majority for Mr. Daly, which aroused the indignation of the 
Toronto Globe. This paper had been endeavoring, since the 
incident at Kingston, to unite the whole Protestant party, but 
utterly failed with the Orangemen. In a spirit of retaliation it 
accused the Tories, and Orangemen in particular, of having 
recourse to intimidation in Wallace, preventing their opponents 
from recording their votes. Be this as it may, the Globe, having 
exhausted its repertoire of vituperative political epithets, at last 
stumbled on that of calling the Wallace Tories, " Daly s Lambs," 
or "Wallace Lambs." Meantime, Hon. John Hillyard Cameron, 
who was Grand Master of the Orange order, had been sent to 
England with the address of the Canadian Orangemen. He was 
graciously received by Her Majesty, who accepted the address, 


thus gaining a triumph over Newcastle. A double victory had 
been gained, one over Newcastle and another over Mr. Foley. It 
was determined these should be commemorated in a corporate 
seal. On this nsignia of authority two wreathes of maple leaves 
spring from the lower side extending upwards, branching right 
and left, forming an alcove in the centre supporting a crown as a 
symbol of loyalty in both parties. In the centre of this alcove 
stands the lamb, a perpetual memorial of meekness and good-will 
to all men, and safe under the protecting aegis of British power. 

The term "Wallace Lamb" really originated at an election in 
the adjoining County of Wellington, between Mr. Chas. Clark, 
the Reform candidate, and Mr. Gowan, Conservative. Mr. T. R. 
Ferguson, M.P. for Simcoe, was a relative of Mr. Gowan, and 
assisted at the contest. On the evening of the first day s polling 
it was rumoured that the Reformers had recourse to intimidation, 
preventing Mr. Gowan s friends from voting. A large number of 
Wallace people were from Simcoe, and to them Mr. Ferguson 
applied for support, and the clans were aroused. From a letter 
written by Mr. Jas. Robinson, of Crandell, Manitoba, who was an 
actor in the scene, we subjoin an extract as indicating what was 
not uncommon in old times at election contests: " Early on the 
morning of the scond day the men of Wallace were there in great 
numbers, marshalled by T. R. Ferguson, when whiskey ran 
galore and riot ran high. Every man was armed with a good 
stout stick, and no surrender was the word. The opposing forces 
soon came together, and hostilities began, continuing with vary 
ing success for both parties. In the melee Mr. Ferguson could be 
heard far above the din calling to his friends, Be quiet, my dear 
lambs; be quiet, my sweet lambs. It was on this occasion, and 
at the riots in Hustonville where they were dubbed lambs. Had 
they been called lions the name would have been more appro 
priate." At the close of an election it often happened that the 
evolution of phrenological development had been rapid, varied, 
and abundant. Many an old settler who had gone to exercise his 
franchise, with a head as smooth as a turnip, returned with his 
cranial organism so corrugated in outline as would* have been a 
very symposium for investigation to Combe or Fowler. 


Prior to 1867 this township had no railways nearer than Strat 
ford or Mitchell, entailing great inconvenience in moving" surplus 
farm products to market. An offer by the W. , G. & B. railway 
board of directors to run their line through its northern section 
was hailed with delight. A by-law granting $25,000, payable in 
twenty years, was submitted in September, and carried by a good 
majority. On September 23rd, 1871, a further bonus of $10,000 
was granted to the southern extension onward to Listowel. In 
1873 a county by-law was passed, granting $80,000 to the Stratford 
& Huron, and $40,000 to the Stratford & Port Dover railroads, 
also passing through Wallace. Independent, therefore, of a share 
of the county bonus, which she would be required to pay, in 1874 
another $10,000 was granted to this road. Thus, during three 
years, directly and indirectly, financial responsibilities had been 
incurred in this township amounting to nearly $60,000. Having 
made these liberal grants, it was several years before Wallace had 
a station within her limits. Long and persistent efforts had been 
made, culminating in a threat of legal proceedings, before the rail 
road carried out their agreement, opening a station at Gowans- 
town, being the basis of their contract in obtaining a bonus. 
While this township had granted substantial aid to these great 
improvements, she had a source of income from school lands 
which relieved her to some extent from pressure under these 
obligations. Prior to 1886 revenue derived from school land sold 
amounted to $24,545. This had been paid by the government as 
her share of the improvement fund. 

In Wallace at present transportation facilities are good. Two 
energetic and progressive towns have been carved partly from her 
limits. Of these, Palmerston, as a railroad centre, rivals Stratford 
in importance. Trains are despatched from this point in all direc 
tions by which every corner of this county can be reached. A 
station at Gowanstown affords a convenient shipping point for 
surplus products in that section. Schools are equal to any in 
Perth County. Farm buildings attest a high degree of thrift and 
intelligence amongst her settlers. Roads, while all are not equal 
to those in some other municipalities, are rapidly improving 


These advanced conditions all indicate a fertile soil and skilful 
development in agricultural methods. 

Following- is a list of municipal officers from the period of 
organization to 1902 : 

Reeves. -1858-60, Freeborn Kee ; 1861-3, John McDermott; 
1864, James Bolton ; 1865-73, John McDermott ; 1874, J os - H. 
Craig; 1875-80, John McDermott; 1881-4, George Follis; 1885-9, 
James Robinson; 1890-6, G. V. Poole; 1897-8, John Willoughby; 
1899-1900, John Brisbin; 1901-2, Joseph Walker. 

Deputy- Reeves. 1862, George Mills, first deputy-reeve; 1863, 
Wm. Follis; 1864, Freeborn Kee; 1865, Wm. Follis; 1866, Daniel 
D. Campbell; 1867-8, Wm. Follis; 1869, Edward Luck; 1870-3, 
Andrew Little; 1874-5, George Follis; 1876-8, Alex. Kennedy; 
1879, John Willoughby; 1880, Alex. Kennedy; 1881, John 
Willoughby; 1882-4, Alex. Kennedy; 1885-9, John Willoughby; 
1890-4, Alex. Kennedy; 1895-6, John Willoughby; 1897, Henry 
Coghlin; 1898, Joseph Walker. 

Councillors. 1858, James Bolton, J. McDermott, John Wilson, 
Jos. Farncomb ; 1859, J. Bolton, J. McDermott, J. Wilson, Wm. 
Climie; 1860, J. McDermott, J. Wilson, Wm. Hemsworth, Joseph 
Farncomb; 1861, Richard Strong, Wm. Follis, D. D. Campbell, 
James Bolton; 1862, Wm. Follis, D. D. Campbell, R. Strong; 
1863, R. Strong, D. D. Campbell, James Mulvey; 1864, D. D. 
Campbell, J. McDermott, J. Mulvey; 1865, D. D. Campbell, 
Lewis Bolton, Mathew Donelly; 1866, Wm. Ferguson, John 
Mills, James McGee; 1867, R. Strong, James Griffith, Joseph Kee; 
1868, R. Strong, M. Donelly, Thomas Greer; 1869, M. Donelly, 
Andrew Little, John Warren; 1870, M. Donelly, John Mills, G. 
Follis; 1871, G. Follis, J. Mills, M. Donelly; 1872-3, G. Follis, J. 
Mills, William Thompson; 1874, J. Mills, Alex. Kennedy, William 
C. Lewis; 1875, J. Mills, A. Kennedy, Philip Orth; 1876, J. Mills, 
P. Orth, James Robinson; 1877, J. Mills, J. Robinson, William 
Ferguson; 1878-9, J. Mills, W. Ferguson, Thomas Speers; 1880-3, 
W. Ferguson, W. Robinson, William King; 1884, W. Ferguson, 
Michael Farncomb, James Moffat; 1885, W. Ferguson, Robert 
Craig, Jacob Walter; 1886, R. Craig, J. Walter, John Brisbin; 


1887, J. Brisbin, John Little, R. Craig; 1888-9, J. Brisbin, Geo. 
Little, Valentine Berlet; 1890, G. Little, William A. King, Henry 
Coghlin; 1891-4, W. A. King, H. Coghlin, William Morley; 1895, 
H. Coghlin, W. Morley, Gustave Nickel; 1896, H. Coghlin, John 
Brisbin, Joseph Walker; 1897, W. Morley, J. Walker, Gustave 
Nickel; 1898, W. Morley G. Nickel, J. Burns; 1899-1900, J. 
Walker, W. Morley, J. Burns, Samuel E. Smith; 1901, W. 
Morley, J. Burns, S. E. Smith, John Koch; 1902, J. Burns, S. E. 
Smith, J. Koch, Andrew Demman. 

Clerks. 1858-71, Christopher Massey Hemsworth; 1872, 
William Hemsworth; 1873-5, Marmaduke Hemsworth, resigned, 
R. G. Roberts, appointed; 1876-1902, R. G. Roberts. 

Treasurers. 1858, William Craig; 1859-71, Christopher M. 
Hemsworth; 1872, Wm. Hemsworth; 1873-75, Marmaduke 
Hemsworth; 1876-1902, John Stewart. 

Assessors. 1858, Wm. Henderson; 1859, Chas. Adams; 1860, 
Wm. Henderson; 1861, Jas. Stinson, Edward Leech; 1862, Wm. 
Henderson; 1863, Samuel Davidson; 1864, Robert Newton; 1865, 
Freeborn Kee; 1866, George S. Climie; 1867, F. Kee; 1868-9, 
Joseph H. Craig; 1870, John Stewart; 1871-2, Joseph H. Craig; 
1873, Alex. McKay; 1874, Wm. J. Stewart; 1875, Robert Wilson; 
1876, Jos. H. Craig; 1877, Wm. J. Stewart; 1878, Jos. H. Craig; 
1879, Wm. Stewart; 1880-2, Jos. H. Craig; 1883-4, Adam Hunt; 
1885, John Strong; 1886, Lloyd Bourns; 1887-90, John Strong; 
1891-2, Thos. C. Greer; 1893-6, S. E. Hunt; 1897-1902, Adam 

Collectors. 1858, Jas. Stinson; 1859, Chas. Adams; 1860-1, 
Wm. Henderson; 1862, George S. Climie; 1863, Thos. McDowell; 
1864, Jas. Mcllroy; 1865, Jos. Kee, John Warren; 1866, John 
Warren; 1867-8, Jas. Robinson; 1869, George McKee; 1870-3, 
Jas. Mulvey; 1874-5, Wm. Follis; 1876-8, J. Warren; 1879-80, 
Jas. Simpson; 1881-4, Valentine Berlet; 1885-97, Jas. Simpson; 
1898-1902, John Nelson. 

Auditors. 1859, Wm. Hemsworth, Robert Martin; 1860-1, 
Thos. McDowell, E. Leech; 1862, John Michie, Thos. McDowell; 
1863, Thos. H. Gowan, J. Michie; 1864, Robert Newton, R. W. 


Hermon; 1865, Alex. Morrow, Joseph H. Donelly; 1866, Samuel 
Davidson, Freeborn Kee; 1867-8, Andrew Little, Robert Mc 
Dowell ; 1869-70, G. McKee, F. Kee; 1871, G. McKee, Thos. 
McDowell; 1872, Wm. Follis, John Stewart; 1873, George B. 
Gordon, F. Kee; 1874, Geo. S. Climie, Mathew Donelly; 1875, 
J. Stewart, Jas. Robinson; 1876, Jos. H. Craig-, Robert Wilson; 
1877-9, John Mason, Wm. Follis; 1880, J. Mason, Wm. Turn- 
bull; 1881-2, George V. Poole, Wm. Turnbull; 1883, J. Mason, 
G. V. Poole; 1884-9, Henry Coghlin, G. V. Poole; 1890, Adam 
Hunt, Wm. Somerville; 1891-5, Wm. Somerville, George Howie; 
1896-7, Wm. J. Somerville, Wm. J. Turnbull; 1898-1902, Harvey 
Ellis, Wm. J. Turnbull. 



Not a more beautiful spot in the valley of the Thames could 
have been chosen for a town than that at Little Falls. A triple 
descent over three ledges of rock, each from two to three feet in 
perpendicular height by the river whose volume in pioneer days 
was very great, formed a scene which, indeed, must have been 
most impressive. Its picturesque environment in these beautiful 
valleys, withdrawing north, south and east, must have formed a 
scene in dreamy October days so vast, so varied in its variegated 
colors, as to impress the first adventurers by its singular mag 
nificence and splendour. 

To this spot came Mr. Thomas Ingersoll in 1841, and was first 
pioneer at Little Falls. Subsequent to Blanshard being surveyed, 
in 1839, Mr. Ingersoll had made certain arrangements with the 
Canada Company to erect a saw and grist mill as an inducement 
for settlers to locate in this new township. To attain an object so 
desirable Mr. Ingersoll sent a staff of workmen to proceed with 
these improvements in the autumn of 1841. With these pioneers 
came James McKay, still living in St. Marys, and last remaining 
of those hardy backwoodsmen who came to Little Falls previous 
to 1845. A saw m iH was erected on what is now Water street, 
on its west side, and close to Trout creek. At this point was cut 
down the first tree in St. Marys. A log house was erected, into 
which William Carroll came with his wife and child, also in 1841. 
This building was used as a boarding house for Mr. Ingersoll s 
workmen and such travellers as ventured into this remote settle 
ment. Another log house was erected on the northwest corner of 


1. Frank Butcher, Mayor. 2. Leonard Harstone, Clerk. 3. II. A. L. White, 
Auditor. 4. Robert Graham, Councillor. 5. R. C. Hunter, Councillor. 6. David 
Curry, Councillor. 7. Wru. A. Fisher, Councillor. 8. Gillean McLean, Auditor. 

ST. MARYS 409 

Water and Queen streets, and another near the corner of Church 
and Park streets by Mr. Tracey. These buildings were completed 
in 1842, and constituted at that period the hamlet of Little Falls. 

Prior to 1844, as will be noticed by a reference to " Historical 
Sketch of Blanshard," a number of settlers had located in this 
new section. On the occasion of a visit during that year by Mr. 
Jones, Canada Company Commissioner at Goderich, who was 
accompanied by his wife, it was decided by the citizens that a 
more euphonious name than Little Falls should be given to this 
now important village. The honour of giving a new name was 
accorded to Mrs. Jones, who had subscribed ten pounds towards 
erecting a school. This building stands on the corner of James 
and Queen streets, and is still used for school purposes. Mrs. 
Jones, therefore, named Little Falls in honour of herself, calling it 
St. Marys, her name being Mary. The next buildings erected in 
St. Marys were two stores, one by Mr. Cruttenden, from Beach- 
ville, and another by James McKay. These stood together about 
the centre of the block between Water and Wellington streets, on 
Queen street, north side. This was in 1843. On the south side of 
Queen street was another log building, erected also by Mr. 
Cruttenden for a hotel, the first in St. Marys. Between this 
hostlery and Water street was fenced in with a rail fence, forming 
an enclosure where the oxen were fed while their owners were 
guests of the hotel or transacting business elsewhere. This space 
was afterwards occupied for a period of nearly fifty years by the 
National hotel, and now by the Whelihan block. South of this 
cattle yard, east side of Water street, was a coal pit, where coke 
was made, to supply the only blacksmith shop in Blanshard. This 
shop was opened by a person named Smith, near where is now the 
post office, corner of Jones and Water streets. The next impor 
tant branch of trade established in St. Marys was that of shoe- 
making, by Mr. Dunn. Meantime Mr. Ingersoll had completed 
his grist mill, and St. Marys began to assume the airs of a smart 
business centre. 

During these years, between 1841 and 1844, Blanshard was 
rapidly filling up, and a number had penetrated into the woods far 


west of the river. Amongst others an enterprising- and courageous 
young pioneer, weary of his lonely condition and the cold, cheer 
less aspect of his log cabin, sought out a fair one on whom he 
could centre his affections and make her the cherished ornament 
of his home life. Amid those leafy shades of Blanshard s lovely 
valleys he woo d and won a fair backwoods maiden. They had 
arranged to abridge the period of their courtship, and complete 
their happiness in a most proper and orthodox way by entering 
into the closer relationship of matrimonial life. With these very 
natural and highly honourable intentions they repaired to Little 
Falls, as a likely place where a clergyman could be found, who, by 
performing the ceremony, would consummate their bliss. Fortune 
so far had favoured them, a minister, by chance, happening to be 
visiting at Little Falls, who would, doubtless, be pleased to com 
plete their happiness. A license had been procured from London 
some days previous, and everything seemed pointing to a happy 
termination. But, alas for all human expectations. The river was 
rolling in terrific fury from bank to bank, and they had no means 
of crossing. On its east side stood the minister, with that wild, 
rolling stream dashing between him and the young people on its 
western shore. Hope seemed for a moment to die in their hearts. 
But it was only for a moment. It is said love laughs at lock 
smiths, as it does at foaming rivers. If the license could be sent 
across proceedings might go forward. Even this obstacle could 
be overcome, and was overcome by the ingenious bride. No 
solution of their difficulties was presented by the bridegroom. 
"Tie the license around a stone," whispered the blushing 
maiden, "and throw it over." This plan was adopted, and the 
marriage solemnized, let us hope to the supreme contentment 
of her whose timely suggestion had been productive of such 
happy results. 

On Jones street, near the river, yet stands unprotected in its 
lonesome decay an old landmark in St. Marys an aged maple 
tree. This old tree has a history. It was under its spreading 
branches the minister stood when the young couple waited on the 
other side. Here he pronounced those obligations and respon- 

ST. MARYS 411 

sibilities they were to assume ere they entered that delectable 
land, amid whose hills and vales they were destined to wander till 
death should sever them. Under this old tree he stood and 
listened for the irrevocable pronouncement of that youthful pair, 
who, with hands clasped, called above the noisy waters, "I will." 
Never was such a marriage consummated in St. Marys. There 
were no pages on that occasion, no orange blossoms, no flower 
girls, no canopy of ambrosial aromatic sweets. Aye; but it was 
none the less loyal, nor less happy, that it was celebrated under 
the wider and more glorious canopy of heaven God s heaven. 
What if there were no organ s soft swell in measured tones of the 
wedding march, was there not a more beautiful cadence in that 
rolling river, intermingled with birds sweet songs in that old tree, 
which seemed to lift its leafy head more proudly at such a time to 
a sunlit, cloudless sky. 

From 1841 to 1844 Little Falls had no postal facilities beyond 
that supplied by Mr. Cruttenden and Mr. McKay. These gentle 
men were self-constituted postmasters and mail carriers. Mr. 
Cruttenden, when he brought his supplies from Beachville, brought 
mail also. This was distributed by himself and Mr. McKay to 
their several customers as they chanced to call. As Blanshard 
was speedily settled, Little Falls grew rapidly. Queen street 
was cleared of its ancient covering of timber. A great bank of 
gravel, about twenty feet in perpendicular height, which crossed 
it at right angles where the town hall and Windsor hotel now 
stand, was levelled and made suitable for traffic. Business men 
had gathered in and erected buildings. Messrs. Edward Long, 
Milner Harrison, George Mclntyre, Moscrip, Barron, Flaws, Mc- 
Cuaig, McDonald, Hutton, Guest, and many others had largely 
extended its commercial interests, supplying new settlers with 
goods necessary to backwoods life. Streets were now laid out, 
and a few private residences began to appear here and there 
amongst those black stumps which still disfigured its principal 
thoroughfares. Queen street presented a busy scene of traffic 
with oxen and sleds. Stores were being erected, much distin 
guished by a simplicity in architectural design. These were built 


ususally with gables to the street, and were low structures, in 
whose interior were displayed a class of goods suitable to pioneer 
life potash kettles, logging chains, cow bells, axes, cow-hide 
boots, moccasins, home-made flannel, maple sugar, and fat pork 
having prominence. In a place of such importance, therefore, 
postal facilities could not longer be delayed. During 1845 a 
regular mail service was established from London, and Little 
Falls, or St. Marys, became a trading centre for a great extent of 
fertile country. 

It was not till a period subsequent to 1860 that St. Marys began 
to assume its present appearance. Prior to that time few good 
buildings existed, and these were on Queen street. All fine struc 
tures were of stone. The Oddfellows hall, the largest and most 
massive building in St. Marys, is also of stone, and would be 
creditable to a much larger town. As late as 1870 brick was not 
used to any extent for building purposes, all permanent structures 
being of stone, from which arose that familiar appellation, "Stone 
Town." Although inexhaustible deposits of rock are found in 
close proximity, nearly all new structures are now built of brick. 
This seems an improvement, relieving that monotonous regularity 
on the principal streets. As late as 1860 St. Marys could boast 
of comparatively few residences, and these were modest, indeed. 
Excepting a large dwelling, now owned by Messrs. Weir, which 
crowned the hill-top on Church street south, all others were 
destitute of ordinary architectural embellishment. This residence 
was erected by Mr. Tracey, an old pioneer, who was owner of a 
portion of that land on which the town is built. This eminence is 
now most beautiful, and every way worthy of those luxurious 
dwellings that nestle here and there amongst a mass of foliage 
crowning this height. Forty years ago this spot was naked and 
bare, presenting a cold and cheerless aspect. 

The only public building worthy of mention, even for several 
years subsequent to 1860, was the central school. This structure 
still remains, and although it does not challenge our admiration in 
its commonplace outlines, it has the merit of being substantial. 
During the autumn of 1859 was completed another rookery, 


dignified by the appellation cf town hall. This crowning- effort of 
embellishment was quite multifarious in the various objects it was- 
designed to accommodate. It was built of frame, painted a dirty 
yellow. A small erection on its roof like a pigeon-house was. 
denominated the cupola or bell tower. Its exterior aspect, 
uncouth though it was, scarcely indicated the conditions of its 
interior arrangements as far as color or odor was concerned. It 
was a useful structure, and within its filthy walls were located a 
mayor s office, town clerk s office, police .office, jail, several 
butcher stalls, and various repositories for hides, whose redolent 
effluvia would have indicated a splendid subject for investigation 
by our present board of health. This old place was destroyed by 
fire several years ago, and in 1891 a magnificent new building 
raised in its stead, worthy of the citizens and highly ornamental 
to the town. 

In 1858 the Grand Trunk railway reached St. Marys, giving an 
impetus to all classes of trade, which was of great advantage to 
all. For years subsequent to this event St. Marys grain market 
was far in advance of any surrounding business centres. On the 
streets could be seen every day a dozen of grain buyers, all busy, 
with long strings of loaded waggons pouring into town from all 
directions. During autumn the market square was for several 
hours each day blocked with teams, and extending down Queen 
street as far as Wellington was a mass of men and horses, with 
wheat and other products awaiting an opportunity to move 
onward. George Carter, the pioneer grain merchant of St. 
Marys, was for twenty-five years a conspicuous figure amid this 
bustle and apparent confusion. Mr. Carter was in many respects 
a daring speculator, and in his most energetic days did much to 
maintain the precedence this town had gained as a grain market. 
A vast quantity of produce flowed into St. Marys at that period,, 
the Grand Trunk being the primary cause, which in a few 
years was disseminated amongst several other points. In 1860 
the main line was opened to Sarnia, and markets were established 
in Lucan, and, later still, in Granton. This seriously affected the 
western trade, and the subsequent building of the London, Huron 

2 5 


& Bruce railroad destroyed it to a still greater extent. The 
opening of these roads, though most advantageous to the sections 
of country through which they passed, almost for a time paralyzed 
St. Marys. During the last ten years many evidences of return 
ing prosperity are observable, arising from causes which we trust 
will be lasting and conducive to solid progress. To facilitate the 
volume of business arising out of this movement in grain and 
other farm products, a branch of the Bank of Montreal was 
established in 1862, and later on the Traders Bank also opened a 
branch, which two financial institutions have aided greatly in 
developing trade in this locality. 

With the influx of population subsequent to 1845 we note also 
the presence of professional men. The medical staff was 
represented at an early day by Dr. Thayer. He was a thin, wiry 
man, and nature seems to have designed him for pioneer work. 
Dr. Nelles, Dr. Coleman, and Dr. Wilson were all old pioneers. 
At present eight medical men reside in St. Marys: Dr. Matheson, 
Dr. Brown, Dr. Sparks, Dr. Smith, Dr. Fraleigh, Dr. Stanley, 
Dr. Knox and Dr. Hotham, all graduates of our schools and 
colleges. In law Mr. Dartnell, who was elevated to the bench, 
Mr. Macfadden, late county court clerk, and Leon M. Clench were 
pioneers. This profession is now represented by Messrs. E. W. 
Harding, J. W. Graham, Leonard Harstone and Armour Ford. 
Dental surgery was not introduced in St. Marys for many years 
subsequent to first settlement, Dr. Rupert being a pioneer. This 
branch of surgery is now represented by Dr. James Roberts, Dr. 
McGorman, Dr. Follick and Dr. Harden. Veterinary science has 
three representatives. Dr. William Gibb was for several years an 
examiner at the Toronto Veterinary School and president of the 
Veterinary Association. Dr. George Gibb and Dr. William 
Stevens are graduates of Toronto. In field sports St. Marys has 
always maintained an advanced position. In those amusements 
so conducive to manly development which attract Canadian youth 
she has no mean share of honour. Her curlers have vanquished 
many a foe on hard fought fields. On several occasion they have 
stood face to face with the finals. Amongst those old veterans of 















ST. MARYS 417 

the broom and gliding- stone time has made sad havoc. Many of 
our old enthusiastic champions who stood around the tee giving 
a shout of triumph at a lucky shot are now, alas ! lagging on 
death s "hog score." 

In 1853 was issued the first newspaper in St. Marys, by Mr. 
George R. Mclntosh, a son of an old pioneer settler. This paper 
was called the Journal, and Reform in politics. It was sold to 
Mr. Abbott, who transformed it into a Conservative organ. Mean 
time Mr. Riggs established another paper in Reform interests, 
which he named the Argus. About 1857 Mr. A. J. Belch became 
proprietor of this paper, conducting it for a number of years with 
some success. Newspaper circulation at that period was very 
limited. To ensure even moderate success a man venturing on 
the sea of journalism had usually to be editor, proprietor, pub 
lisher, compositor, pressman, and devil, all combined. The Argus 
is now a lively eight-page paper, printed by a steam press. Mr. 
Dillon, present editor and publisher, is an expert and clever writer. 
While the Argus was making way into many homes, Mr. Abbott 
issued a Conservative paper as a second venture, the Journal 
meantime having become defunct. This paper passed through 
many viscissitudes, changing names and proprietors frequently, 
until it came into possession of John W. Eedy, a most enterprising 
publisher, who, under its original name, has given it an influence 
never previously attained in its history. The Journal, like the 
Argus, is an eight-page sheet, both having a large advertising 
patronage. St. Marys has now a third printing office, well 
equipped, used for job work only, and owned by Mr. M. J. Dewey. 

For two years subsequent to first settlement there were no 
schools. In 1843 Mr. Nicholas Rogers came to Little Falls, 
and opened a private school. There was no building, but he 
transformed a part of his shanty into a seminary, where he trained 
the young boys and girls of this new section. Since that period 
educational matters have made great progress, ample provision 
having been made for comfort and convenience both to teachers 
and children. St. Marys has now four public and one separate 
school, in which are employed a staff of nine teachers. The public 


schools are under principal William D. Spence, his assistants 
being all females. St. Marys public school buildings are severely 
plain in architectural style, and certainly indicate a desire for utility 
rather than show. One of these is an ancient structure, erected 
in pioneer days as a place of incarceration for evil doers. This 
has been transformed from a cold cell for expiation of guilt to a 
comfortable room for training innocent youth. The separate 
school has a substantial and well equipped building, and is also 
doing good work, employing one teacher only. 

In 1875 a high school was erected, which, a few years later, as 
a recognition of its effective work, was elevated to the dignity of 
a Collegiate Institute. This is an imposing and well equipped 
school, from whose classes have gone out many clever students, 
whose names are now written on the scroll of fame, adding lustre, 
not to St. Marys alone, but to Canada. This institution has been 
for many years presided over by Mr. Stephen Martin, a worthy 
and efficient educator, who has done his duty well. With him 
are associated four assistants, one being a female. The average 
attendance at this school is about 175. For a more complete 
description of our public school system and methods employed, 
the reader is referred to "Remarks on Education" in another part 
of this work. 

In the municipal building will be found the mechanics institute 
library, consisting of four thousand volumes. This institution is 
free to all citizens, and open every lawful day. Reading rooms 
are also open in connection, on whose tables can be found the 
leading periodicals of interest to Canadian readers. This institu 
tion is supported partly by government aid, and largely by special 
grants from the town. It is well conducted by a board of prom 
inent citizens, appointed as governors by the people. A great 
number of societies benovelent and otherwise are represented 
in St. Marys. Oddfellows, Hibernians, Foresters, Maccabees, 
Chosen Friends, Workmen, Orange Society, Sons of Scotland, 
and most ancient of all, Free Masons, are doing good work. 
In their places of meeting will be found not only rational amuse 
ment, but practical educational work is done, useful to members 
in business affairs of everyday life. 

ST. MARYS 419 

Although St. Marys has several important manufacturing es 
tablishments one of which is equal to any in the county in 
number or variety she is not equal to Stratford or Listowel. The 
first of these was a saw mill, erected in 1841. In 1843 a grist 
mill was also built by Mr. Ingersoll, near Queen street bridge, 
still operated by the G. Carter Co. In 1849 Mr. Gilbert Mclntosh 
erected a carding and fulling mill on Thames avenue. This old 
establishment has long since passed away ; perhaps few in St. 
Marys could now point out the place where it stood. The first 
foundry was erected at the west end of Queen street bridge, about 
1847. This place is now occupied by O Brien Bros. In 1849 
another foundry was opened by John R. Moore, where agricultural 
implements were manufactured. For a period extending over 30 
years, until his retirement by age, this establishment and its 
proprietor enjoyed a full measure of confidence by his patrons. 
This business was, on Mr. Moore s retirement, taken over by 
Chas. Richardson & Co., who entered into the manufacturing of 
dairy machinery. This has been a great success, nearly 40 men 
being now employed on this class of goods, which are sent to 
every corner of the Dominion. Industry was still further pro 
moted by Mr. Weir and Mr. Forester erecting flax mills, giving 
employment to a large number of our people. A woolen mill has 
been operated by Mr. Myers for a quarter of a century, employ 
ing over 30 hands. 

In 1888 David Maxwell & Sons removed their implement 
factory to St. Marys. This is the largest establishment in the 
town, employing at certain seasons about 200 men. Several acres 
are covered by the plant of this firm, whose goods are now sent 
to every corner of the world. By removing these important 
works to this point a great impetus has been given to all branches 
of trade. Of late years, too, the great deposits of stone in this 
section are being worked and utilized. Improved crushing 
machines have been introduced, and broken stone for macadam 
ized roads is now being sent to many parts of our country. 
Procuring building stone and lime, for which there seems an 
increasing demand, is affording remunerative employment to a 
large number of men. 


Besides these important industries there are two planing- mills, 
two marble cutting- establishments, and the largest creamery 
plant in Canada. This enterprise was introduced in 1896, to 
manufacture butter for the British market. In connection with 
this industry are a dozen skimming stations, surrounding- the 
central, at a distance of from five to ten miles, to which points 
milk is hauled, run throug-h centrifugal machines, the cream 
extracted, sent to the central, manufactured into butter, and 
shipped everywhere. During 1901 over $100,000 was obtained 
for butter, and put in circulation amongst the farmers who were 
patrons of this institution. 

For thirty years subsequent to first settlement, perhaps, no 
place of equal importance possessed so many undignified churches 
as St. Marys. They were all on a line of equality, and no con 
gregation could arrogate to themselves any sense of superiority 
over another where all were so plain. In 1883 matters took a 
change for the better, since which time great improvements have 
been made. There are now few towns in Canada of equal popu 
lation containing so many fine churches, and there are also few 
having so many beautiful situations for such buildings. St. 
Mary s Roman Catholic church, on Widder street, is an imposing 
edifice. This mission was established in 1852, or shortly prior to 
that period, by Rev. Father Kirwin. Service was first held in 
Patrick Whelihan s house, where half-a-dozen worshippers met 
together, few Catholics being yet in this section. A small build 
ing was next erected of boards, near where the present church 
now stands. It was only at long intervals, however, that prayers 
were attended, there being no resident clergyman. Rev. Father 
Crinnon, who afterwards became Bishop of Hamilton, succeeded 
Rev. Father Kirwin. Under his ministration a stone church was 
built in 1 86 1. For a period of more than thirty years service was 
held in this old building, until the congregation had outgrown 
such accommodation as it afforded. In September, 1892, under 
the present pastor, Rev. Father Brennan, the foundation stone of 
a new and splendid edifice was laid, consecration by Rev. Dr. 
O Conner following in 1893. This new building is cruciform in 

ST. MARYS 421 

plan, and measures 54 x 120 feet. In style it is thirteenth century 
Gothic, modified to some extent, which we think mars the im- 
pressiveness of its front elevation. It is of St. Marys stone, giving; 
an air of solidity and strength to the whole structure. Label 
moulding-s, string- sills, and arch stones are executed in Ohio sand 
stone, while the roof is covered with slate. Central in the front 
elevation rises a massive tower to a height of 69 feet, crowned 
with a spire of 61 feet, making- in all 130 feet from the base to the 
top of the g-ilded cross. The main entrance is beautifully executed 
in Ohio stone. On each side are two polished granite columns 
resting on moulded stone bases, and supporting richly-carved 
capitals, from which spring a pointed arch, also in Ohio stone. 
Side elevations are broken by transepts and massive buttresses, 
on each side of which is a lancet-shaped window. A long sanc 
tuary of semi-octagonal shape occupies the north end, and is 
separated from the nave by a massive arch. The windows of the 
nave, transepts, and sanctuary are of translucent glass, each 
opening containing an artistically painted figure of a saint. The 
whole building is finely finished, and lighted with electricity. 
During 25 years Father Brennan has done a good work for the 
Catholics in St. Marys and vicinity. The congregation now con 
sists of about 130 families. 

Early records in connection with St. James Anglican church are 
meagre and unsatisfactory, affording little data for a historian. 
Rev. Mr. Brough, w r ho afterwards became archdeacon of Huron 
diocese, was the first Episcopal minister to visit St. Marys. 
History leaves him the reputation of being a worthy man, full of 
zeal, and with a heart glowing with true missionary spirit. He 
was a faithful old pioneer. In 1843 he first visited Little Falls, 
preaching to the few people settled there at that time. No 
regular incumbent of this denomination was stationed in St. 
Marys till 1856, when Rev. Mr. Lampman accepted the responsi 
bility of organizing a congregation. During Mr. Lampman s 
pastorate a church was erected. It was not completed, however, 
for several years, from causes which interfered sadly in those 
days with all enterprises, as well as building churches. A 


rectory was purchased west of the river, where the minister 
resided until 1890, when it was sold, and the present house 
constructed. The present Anglican church building is of stone, 
and, since its renovation in 1886, is a striking illustration of 
old English ecclesiastical architecture. A prominent feature of 
this style is a low elevation, flanked at one corner with a heavy 
massive tower extending somewhat hig-her than the building 
itself. The cornice on this tower is coped with a heavy plinth in 
castellated form, giving to the whole an aspect of solidity rather 
than gracefulness in outline. Heavy buttresses support the walls. 
Between each of these are lancet-shaped windows filled with trans 
lucent glass, harmonizing with its interior arrangement. Upon 
completion of this edifice in 1886 it had on it a debt of about 
$5,000. It has had several benefactors in its history. Mrs. Hill, 
widow of Arundel Hill, an old pioneer of Blanshard, was donor of 
an elegant communion set, and till her death was a kind patron. 
A beautiful font of Carrara marble, the gift of Mrs. C. S. Rumsey, 
is one of the interior ornaments, adding much to its appearance. 
The greatest benefactor this church perhaps ever had is its present 
rector, Rev. W. J. Taylor. Through his exertions in. England a 
sufficient sum was obtained to release it from all indebtedness. 
A lectern and prayer desk were also gifts by Mr. Taylor, which, 
with a pipe organ, gives an air of impressiveness to its whole 

Methodism in St. Marys did not exist as an organization 
previous to 1848. Service was held by local preachers, of which 
there were several in Nissouri, as well as by regular ministers 
who chanced to visit the new settlement. Subsequent to the old 
stone school house on Queen street being erected, meetings were 
held in that building. A regular mission was first organized in 
1848 by Rev. William T. Williams, who was succeeded in 1849 
by Rev. Thomas Williams. During 1849 a report on membership 
was presented, showing 119 names in good standing. Although 
Mr. Williams has the honour of establishing Methodism in St. 
Marys, he was by no means the apostle of this body in Blanshard. 
To Rev. Ephraim Evans undoubtedly belongs this distinction 

ST. MARYS 425 


His was the voice crying in the wilderness, "prepare ye the way." 
In 1842 this preacher had established a mission on the M. R. in 
the shanty of Mr. Johnston Armstrong, which organization is now 
Zion church, Blanshard. 

Methodist progress in St. Marys was rapid, and in 1856 a 
church was built. This was of stone, nearly square, and rudely 
constructed. Twelve years later an addition was built 25 x 75 ft., 
making rather a commonplace looking sanctuary. Service was 
held in this building till 1879, when under the pastorate of Rev. 
Dr. Rice a fine edifice was erected at a cost of $13,000. This did 
not long suffice for the wants of this rapidly increasing congrega 
tion. In 1893 another large building was added for a Sabbath 
school and lecture room, and costing nearly $7,000. In 1896 
still further accommodation was necessary, and the interior was 
re-modelled at considerable cost. The auditorium of this church 
is 55 x 90 ft., while its gallery is 50 x 12 ft. This is a larger area 
than any other ecclesiastical building in St. Marys contains. Its 
interior is handsome. Beautiful translucent windows, Gothic 
pannelling, crimson-covered doors and ornamental ceiling give an 
effect worthy of the cause it is designed to serve. Not one of the 
old trustee board who laid the first church foundation is now left. 
Messrs. Edward Long, Robert Dickie, Joshua Brink, and William 
Carroll (the greatest benefactor the old church ever had) have all 
passed away. Over 600 members are now on the roll of this 
flourishing congregation, under the ministration of Rev. Mr. 
Manning. A Sabbath school is also conducted by Mr. Frank 
Butcher as superintendent, having 500 names on the roll and an 
average attendance of 400 every Sabbath day. 

Of the religious denominations organized in St. Marys, that 
of the Baptist is most recent. Since its inception progress has 
been marked by a steady increase in numbers and influence. 
Amongst the earliest and most enthusiastic supporters of this body 
is Mr. S. H. Mitchell, to whose zeal and untiring exertions it 
owes much of its success. Services were first held in connection 
with this congregation by Elder Jones, who continued for two 
years. Subsequent to Mr. Jones, Elder Freeman was inducted, 


under whose ministrations much progress appears to have been 
made. In 1864 a church was erected, and in this modest thoug-h 
substantial building service is still held. A largely increased 
membership has led to steps being- taken to construct a new build 
ing-, more in keeping with the wealth and importance of the con 
gregation. Before this work, therefore, will be issued, a large 
and handsome new building of brick will be erected in a central 
place at a cost of not less than $7,000. Financial affairs in this 
church have been managed with skill and economy, there being no 
liabilities, and it has a sufficient fund at its disposal to complete 
the new structure. Its members have rapidly increased. In 1864 
there were 18 ; at present there are over 100. A Sabbath school 
is conducted, with an attendance of 70 pupils, under Mr. Mitchell, 
who has been superintendent since its inception until a short time 
since, when, on his retirement, he was elected honorary superin 
tendent as a mark of approval for his long service. The congre 
gation is now in charge of Rev. Mr. Chapman. 

The First Presbyterian is the pioneer church in St. Marys, as it 
certainly claims priority in establishment, and, at one r period of its 
existence, superiority in numbers over all other denominations. 
It appears a strange phase of early settlement that while Blan- 
shard, west of the river, was largely located by North of Ireland 
people, St. Marys, lying wholly within its limits, was largely 
Scotch. This somewhat anamolous condition gave the Presby 
terians an ascendency in St. Marys, which, although by no means 
to the same extent, they still retain. Early records are somewhat 
meagre, or of such a character as are not historically useful. 
Avonton has priority of establishment over any congregation in 
South Perth, St. Marys at one period forming a part. Rev. Mr. 
Skinner first established a mission at Little Falls, preaching in a 
cooper shop owned by one James Barren, corner of Queen and 
Wellington streets. Mr. Skinner also preached near Prospect 
Hill prior to 1847, dispensing baptismal rites in several families in 
that section. Rev. Dr. Proudfoot was first stationed minister, 
residing in a log shanty on the hill top near Mr. Joseph Pearin s 
farm residence. On one occasion Mr. John Legg, sr. , took over 

ST. MARYS 427 

his oxen to root up a small patch amongst the stumps, where the 
minister could plant a few potatoes. Having completed this work, 
Mr. Proudfoot asked what he had to pay, "I ll tak ma pay in 
preaching-," responded the backwoods man. "Aweel, ma maun, if 
my preaching doesna pay you better than it does me we ll a 
starve thegeither, for my pouch has been as empty o siller for 
the last six months as the collection plate on Sunday," which, in 
those days, was likely to be true. 

In 1851 a grant was made by Thomas Ingersoll, for a nominal 
sum of five shillings, of lots 10 and n on Church and Widder 
streets to erect a church. A bond was given for the deed until 
1870, when a transfer was completed. This site was still in 
bush, and a "bee" was made, sufficient space being cleared for 
present purposes. In 1852 Rev. Dr. Caven, now and for many 
years principal of Knox college, Toronto, had been ordained and 
succeeded Dr. Proudfoot. A frame church was erected during this 
year, but was not completed for some time subsequently, the con 
gregation sitting on planks laid on blocks of wood. As years 
passed on addition after addition was made to this old structure, 
until it seemed like a great mole-hill crowning a beautiful site and 
trying to crawl down into the valley. In 1873 a committee was 
appointed to canvass for funds to erect a new building which 
would seat not less than i ,000 people, and cost not more than 
$15,000, no contract to be let till $12,000 was subscribed and 
$8,000 paid up. Abundant success was the result of this move 
ment. $10,000 was at once subscribed, and the committee advised 
that a new building be erected. I subjoin a list of this committee, 
who were all staunch men of that olden time : William Currie, 
William Brown, Robert Harstone, Thomas Mclntyre, John Sander 
son, T. O. Robson, John Adair, Jas. R. Moore, Robert Barbour, 
David Junior, Wm. Mclntosh, Malcolm Laughton, Alex. Woods, 
Alex. Robertson, David A. Robertson, John McLean, Thomas 
Crozier, Wm. McGregor, and Wm. Somerville. It was not till 
1882, however, that the present edifice was erected at a cost of 
over $16,000. This is a massive and imposing building, crown 
ing a beautiful height. On its southern elevation is a tower sur- 


mounted by a tall, tapering- spire, which is conspicuous for many 
miles away. Its interior is comfortable and elegant in design. 
The ceilings are trussed, pannelled, and frescoed, producing a 
pleasing effect. A large pipe organ adorns its northern wall in 
rear of the choir gallery. This congregation, under the ministra 
tions of Rev. Mr. Cosgrove, who was inducted in 1891, is in a 
flourishing condition, and has a membership roll of 350. There is 
also a Sabbath school, having an average attendance of over 100 

Knox church is a branch of the First Presbyterian, and was 
org-anized in 1879, the corner stone of a new building being laid by 
Mr. Milner Harrison on August 5th. This building is of brick, 
and is the least imposing of all St. Marys churches. The original 
structure, which was destroyed by fire on March 16, 1891, was 
much more elaborate in its exterior decorations than the present 
one. This misfortune was a serious blow to the congregation, but 
in December following it rose again from its ashes, being opened 
for public worship by Principal Grant. It is proper to say here that 
the marvellous progress displayed in re-building was largely due 
to efforts of the Harrison family. Mr. and Mrs. Milner Harrison 
had contributed over $5,000 to the first building. On its recon 
struction further liberal donations were again made. Mrs. J. D. 
Moore was also a large contributor, and with many other mem 
bers of the church, who gave according to their ability, the 
building was again completed free from debt. Beginning at its 
organization with 62 members, it had in 1885 increased to 125. 
During November of that year Rev. Alexander Grant was 
inducted into this charge, under whose ministration the roll of 
members has been increased to 360. There is also a Sabbath 
school, having on its roll the names of 170 pupils, and an average 
attendance ot 110. 

St. Marys churches are now most creditable to the liberality and 
religious spirit of her people, and in no town of its population in 
Canada can they be excelled either for solidity or imposing design. 
The location of all is exceedingly fine, crowning those beautiful 
elevations which add so much to the picturesque environment of 
this delightful little town. 

ST. MARYS 429 

Prior to 1855 St. Marys formed a portion of Blanshard. 
During- this year separation took place, each having- a local 
g-overnment of its own. At this period its assessed value 
amounted to ,112,000, or $448,000. In 1856 she predicated her 
first loan of $20,000. This was obtained for very laudable pur 
poses. First, to build a school; second, to procure a fire engine; 
third, to improve the streets. In 1858, therefore, was completed 
the central school building-, and which was designated section 
No. i. School taxes were collected by a person appointed 
specially for that purpose. A warrant was issued to John Sparling- 
to collect and pay over " all the said monies opposite their several 
names." This warrant was signed by Joseph Brink, chairman, 
Milner Harrison, Samuel Fraleigh, William Moscrip. A. 
M. Gorman and Lauriston Cruttenden, trustees. Three hundred 
pounds was set apart to purchase a fire engine. It is to be 
regretted that this old piece of machinery, which was honoured by 
the name "Triumph," should have been recently sold for a paltry 
sum of $200. It was now historical, and on many occasions had 
done g-ood service in saving property in St. Marys. The balance 
of this loan was expended in improving streets. In 1858 a 
further investment of $1,000 was made in Exeter and St. Marys 
gravel road stock. This afterwards became a total loss, the road 
being sold at sheriff s sale, realizing only that amount to cover a 
capital of $50,000. The assessed value of this corporation has 
largely increased since 1855, and in 1901 reached $1,194,175. If 
values have advanced, taxation has more than kept pace, amount 
ing- in that year to nearly $30,000. It appears to be an inherent 
principle in taxation to increase, and seems beyond all power in 
heaven and earth to control. When we consider the tremendous 
efforts put forth by municipal men to save money for their 
constituents, we are often surprised at results. Since this loan of 
$20,000 was obtained large amounts have been added from time 
to time to her indebtedness. These sums have been expended on 
commendable objects in water works costing $40,000, electric 
light plant, erecting- municipal building, in constructing perman 
ent granolithic sidewalks, and improvement of roads. This 


expenditure has been rendered necessary in order to keep pace 
with a constantly increasing wealth and an extending intelligence 
and refinement of her people. 

Subjoined is a list of officers since St. Marys was first incor 
porated, in 1855. 

Reeves. 1855-6, Thomas B. Guest; 1857, Gilbert Mclntosh; 
1858-9, David A. Robinson; 1860, Milner Harrison; 1861-2, 
Joseph McDougall; 1863, Gilbert Mclntosh. 

In 1864 St. Marys became an incorporated town, and withdrew 
from county municipal organization, no subsequent reeves being 

Mayors. 1864, T. B. Guest; 1865, William V. Hutton; 1866-7, 
George Mclntyre; 1868-9, Thomas Iredale; 1870-1, John E. Hard 
ing; 1872, Duncan Miller; 1873-4, C. S. Jones; 1875-6, Richard 
Box; 1877, A. E. Ford; 1878-9, David A. Robinson; 1880-1, E. W. 
Harding; 1882-3, J. J. Crabbe ; 1884-5, H. Fred. Sharp; 1886-7, 
Samuel S. Myers; 1888-9, Thos. D. Stanley; 1890-1, J. W. Poole; 
1892-3, Gilbert H. Mclntyre; 1894-5, W. C. Moscrip; 1896-7, 
William Dunseith; 1898-9, Charles Richardson; 1900-1, George D. 
Lowrie; 1902, Frank Butcher. 

Clerks. 1855-8, John Sparling; 1859-61, Leon M. Clench; 
1862-79, Lauriston Cruttenden; 1880-9, William WiHiams; 1890- 
1902, Leonard Harstone. 

Treasurers. -1855-69, Edward Long; 1870-1, Robert Harstone; 
1872-1901, Edward Long;. 1902, Miss Long. 

Assessors. 1855-7, Wm. T. Smith; 1858-61, John Sparling; 
1862-79, Wm. N. Ford; 1880-1, James Robinson; 1882-8, J. W. 
Poole; 1889, R. S. Barbour, N. E. Birtch, Jas. Thompson; 1890-2, 
Robert White; 1893-4, Jas. Harrison; 1895-1902, Jas. Kennedy. 

Collectors. 1855-8, William Sparrow; 1859-64, George Jack 
son; 1865, Thomas Mclntyre; 1 866-8, Wm. N. Ford; 1869, Wm. 
Box; 1870, John Thompson; 1871-81, Wm. Box; 1882-93, N - E - 
Birtch; 1894-5, Wm. J. W 7 hite; 1896-1902, Richard Shepherd. 

Auditors. 1855-7, G. F. Hutton, J. R. Glendinen; 1858, G. F. 
Hutton, Jas. Coleman; 1859, G. F. Hutton, J. D. McDonald; 
1860-1, Wm. Sparrow, John Harrison; 1862-3, L. A. Mclntyre, 

ST. MARYS 431 

Wm. Sparrow; 1864, Patrick Whelihan, L. A. Mclntyre; 1865, 
Jas. Eaton, Patrick Whelihan; 1866, Jas. Eaton, Wm. Brown; 
1867, Jas. Eaton, Joseph McDoug-all; 1868, Wm. Brown, L. A. 
Mclntyre; 1869, Wm. Brown, Thos. Moore; 1870, Jas. Eaton, 
Wm. Brown; 1871-2, Wm. Somerville, Wm. Brown; 1873, Wm. 
Somerville, G. B. Smith; 1874, G. B. Smith, Wm. Hutton ; 
1875-7, w m- Hutton, Wm. Somerville; 1878-80, Wm. V. Hutton, 
Robt. Harstone; 1881-91, W T m. Somerville, Wm. V. Hutton; 
1892, James Schlater, Wm. Robinson; 1893-5, N. C. Monte- 
zambert, Charles Whelihan; 1896-1902, Gilean McLean, H. A. L. 

Chiefs of Police. 1855-62, David H. Cuff; 1863-6, Thomas 
Woolway; 1867-8, Michael Eg-an; 1869-72, James Dulmage; 
1873-9, William Herring-ton; 1880-97, Adam Mitchell; 1898-1902, 
Frank Young-. 



Listowel is a modern town. Its early history is merged in that 
of Elma and Wallace townships, a portion of each being- incorpor 
ated in 1866 as Listowel. In this neighborhood, and, indeed, 
where the business parts are now built, settlers first located. 
True to pioneer usuages, they followed the stream, and on its 
forest-covered banks entered on their task of cutting out homes 
for themselves in this unbroken wilderness. Mr. John Binning 
"was first to locate permanently at this point, on what after surveys 
were completed was found to be lot 26, concession i, Wallace. 
This was in January, 1852. It appears that a shanty had been 
erected here even prior to this by a person named Henry, who 
had squatted near the river. This adventurer was for some time 
"monarch of all he surveyed, for his right there was none to 
dispute." Mr. Binning bought the rights of this squatter, not 
only to his shanty, but to all his possessions, for a rifle. An 
agreement transferring this part of Canada s fertile soil was made 
on a piece of paper one of the parties thereto was possessed of, a 
burnt stick being used as a pencil. On this land a large portion 
of Listowel is now built. Mr. Binning extended his right of con 
quest eastward, which he might have done for many miles with 
out encroaching on his neighbours. On a part of his eastern 
possessions he afterwards gave up all claim to Mr. G. W. Dodd 
for a barrel of flour. In those days a squatter s rights were easily 
obtained ; which, indeed, were no rights at all beyond priority 
of settlement. In case of dispute by adjoining occupants regard 
ing boundary lines it would have been impossible to establish a 


1. John A. Watson, Mayor. 2. Jacob Seburger, Councillor. 3. A. Kay, Con 
stable. 4. William Bright. Clerk. 5. C. Anderson, Councillor. 6. H. Maloney, 
Councillor. 7. C. Prcuter, Councillor. 8. William Pelton, Councillor. 9. Robert 
Woods, Councillor. 


claim to any particular lot where a survey had not been made. 
There was no incentive to enter suit for any piece of land when 
it could be obtained in unlimited quantities simply by entering in 
and taking- possession. Previous to Mr. Binning a settler named 
Peter Twamley had preceded him, penetrating still further into 
that unknown solitude, and keeping close to the stream. These 
two neighbours, although only a mile or two apart, were quite 
oblivious of each other s proximity. No sound had they heard in 
those silent forest halls, except such as were peculiar to Canadian 
forest life. Each one, no doubt, considered his own quiet 
hermitage as far removed from those haunts where men pursue 
phantoms with fond but deluding hopes of finding what never did 
nor never shall exist pure and unalloyed happiness. 

Mr. Binning, with his wife and child, had been alone in the 
wilderness for several weeks when, on a beautiful calm morning, 
he distinctly heard echoing through the woods the sound of a 
woodman s axe. He communicated his discovery to his wife, who 
also heard that steady, monotonous stroke which often guided 
wanderers to a place of rescue in those olden times. Their excite 
ment became intense at the idea that even here, after all, they 
were not alone. Though man s inhumanity to man may be pro 
ductive of much evil in this world, yet man s humanity to man 
is also productive of much good. With all our shortcomings and 
seeming neglect of each other, the idea that we are alone and 
isolated from those of our own species, or that a time may come 
when we will be separated from home, from kindred, from those 
we love, and who may love us, seems to dry up the sap from our 
loftiest thoughts and noblest aspirations. Mr. Binning was 
anxious, therefore, to look on a man s face once more. Follow 
ing that direction from which the sound seemed to proceed, a 
walk of a mile or two brought him and Mr. Twamley face to face. 
Both men looked at each other in amazement, as if an apparition 
had arisen from the earth. 

During next summer came William Wisner, John Williams, 
and Robert Tremaine, who also settled in Elma. John Tremaine 
located where the post office now stands, the others further east. 



Another early settler was James Barber, who purchased 400 acres 
in Elma, where a considerable portion of Listowel is now built. 
Samuel Davidson, Thomas McDonnell, and John Climie were early 
settlers, locating about 1854. In 1855 came Mr. D. D. Hay from 
Innisfil, in Simcoe, to spy out this new land. Prior to his return 
he purchased three acres from Mr. Barber, on which he subse 
quently erected a mill, always an important industry in a new 
settlement. Returning to his home, he reported on the great 
possibilities of this new county. In 1856 the family, comprising 
D. D., Thomas Erskine, Robert, John, and William G., along 
with their father, became permanent residents. All of this family 
were men of singular energy, and exerted a vast influence in this 
section of Perth County, always to their credit, be it spoken, on 
the side of progress and the people s best interests. Mr. D. D. 
Hay was a valuable acquisition, not only to Listowel, but to this 
county generally. His public spirit, his restless and untiring zeal 
in promoting schemes for developing this new land was in a large 
degree honourable to his character as a citizen. Our readers are 
referred to a biographical sketch of the life and work of this man 

In 1855 Main street was almost yet in a state of nature. Great 
black stumps, logs, and brush heaps would seem a hopeless con 
dition ever to be transformed into macadam roads and concrete 
sidewalks. Across the river a tree had fallen, forming the only 
means of passing from each side for pedestrians, while the oxen 
and sled found a passage for themselves amongst logs and mud- 
holes of unsearchable depths. During this year Mr. W. H. 
Hacking arrived, and purchased one acre of land from Mr. 
Tremaine, paying therefore $100, on which he erected a general 
store. It would appear as if land had rapidly increased in value 
since Mr. Binning sold 100 acres for a barrel of flour. No doubt 
land had increased in value. Mr. Hay was preparing to erect his 
mill, Mr. Hacking was cutting logs for his store, and, above all, 
settlers were pouring into the fertile surrounding country. All 
these indicated that an important town would spring up at this 
point at no distant day. Logs for the new commercial emporium 


being secured, bushmen came long" distances to assist in raising- 
it. At gatherings of this kind events were discussed and questions 
settled which would have puzzled courts or senates. On this 
occasion, after long and no doubt festive deliberation, it was 
decided that this new metropolis, whose first building they were 
erecting, should be called Mapleton. 

Meantime foundations for a rival commercial centre were being 
laid west of the river. Mr. William Gibson erected a log building 
in Elma, where he sold groceries and liquors. This place after 
wards became a hotel, the first in this little hamlet. Mr. Gibson 
named this place Windham. Subsequent to a post offiee being 
opened by Mr. Hacking, both these names (Windham and Maple- 
ton) were discontinued, and Listowel substituted instead. 

In 1856 arrived Mr. D. D. Campbell, who erected a frame 
structure on Main street in Wallace, the first frame building in 
Listowel, opening a general store. This gave a still greater 
impetus to trade, which together with a post office and Mr. Hay s 
mills, soon transformed what four or five years previous was a 
wilderness into a lively little hamlet. As these business men 
arrived, the professions were soon represented. Many of those 
conveniences were now introduced which always follow in the 
wake of civilization, and whose presence indicate a refined and 
progressive character in the people. In 1866 the village had a 
population of 800 souls. 

Listowel at present may be appropriately called a "town of 
stately homes." The architectural beauty and variety of design 
displayed in private residences everywhere are such as to challenge 
the admiration of strangers. As a rule, homes of our Canadian 
people, particularly in rural districts, and to some extent in towns 
and villages, denote a sameness in construction, somewhat 
monotonous. This is not so in Listowel. There is no sameness. 
There is an absence, too, of that severity in finish and design so 
conspicuous in Canadian architecture. The handsome dwellings 
erected on residential streets are varied in appearance, and each 
proprietor seems to have vied \vith his neighbour to eclipse him both 
in size and in elaborate and ornate embellishment. Streets have 


been graded, sidewalks made, shade trees planted, whose foliage in 
summer affords comfort and protection to the passer by. A man s 
home is the palace of his gods, and in proportion as he worships 
so shall that palace be, as far as his ability will permit. When we 
look back at that time well remembered by many still living, when 
a solitary shanty indicated human life, and the river w r as crossed 
by a fallen tree, comparing it with to-day, progress has been very 
great, indeed. 

As population continued to increase school accommodation 
became necessary. This led to a building of logs being erected 
for school purposes. Like similar structures in pioneer days, 
services were held within its walls by all religious denominations. 
It frequently happened at these old schools, that as one congrega 
tion of worshippers retired another at once took their places, and 
so the voice of praise was heard from morning until late at night 
rising up to heaven from these humble places. In all towns and 
villages in Perth County the school house only for years was 
available for public meetings of any kind. In these old log build 
ings embryonic statesmen roared in patriotic fervor, pouring out 
terrific elucidation of the wrongs of their long suffering and mis 
governed country. Here a chairman at social gatherings told his 
drollest anecdotes, and eulogized the ladies of the locality for their 
splendid repast, to which all had done ample justice. This, doubt 
less, would be true. Of all the inconveniences inseparable from 
pioneer life and they were many want of an appetite was not 
one of them. When our backwoods orators had ascended the 
platform, and in a good-natured, homely manner drawn on their 
stores of broad humour, the old log walls fairly rang with mirth. 
Travelling mountebanks, also, for a small contribution to the cause 
of education, were permitted by trustees to display their tricks of 
legerdemain to admiring maidens and youths clad in homespun, 
from back concession lines, arousing their cupidity by an exhibi 
tion of something marvellous and incomprehensible. Around 
these old schools happy memories still linger, and many grey- 
haired men and women now slowly wandering on in life s sunset 
shadows, will experience yet a thrill of joy at some happy remem 
brance of those school days that come back never more. 


It was not till 1877 that Listowel did itself justice in providing- 
school accommodation. When action was taken, it was in no 
nig-gardly manner. During- that year was constructed a hand 
some central school, quite in keeping- with that liberality displayed 
in private residences and other improvements. This building- is 
of brick, two stories in height, surmounted by a tower, which 
gives it an imposing- effect. Nine teachers are employed in its 
several departments at present, with Mr. G. W. Slaughter as 
principal, his assistants being- all females. Mr. Benjamin Roth- 
well, who was first principal in this school, had at one period 
under his charge 550 pupils, but by some inexplicable reason an 
increase in inhabitants has been followed by a decrease in school 
population, the averag-e being now 450. The original contracts 
for this school building amounted to $10,000, which, before its 
final completion, was supplemented by various sums, until it cost 
nearly $15,000. A good site was chosen, comprising two acres 
of land, which has been planted with trees, giving the whole a 
trim appearance. 

In 1879 steps were taken to erect a hig-h school. $6,000 was 
set apart for this purpose, but as usual in such enterprises, it had 
to be supplemented by various sums prior to completion, until 
over $8,000 had been expended. The site of this school is equal 
to that of the central, and was a gift to Listowel by a public- 
spirited citizen named Peter Lillico. This building- is tasteful and 
modern in construction, although not so large as the central, nor 
even quite so imposing. In this school are three teachers, in 
cluding Mr. W. A. Phillip, the head master. The average attend 
ance is no. 

During that period between 1866 (when local government was 
assumed with a population of 800) and 1874, a very short period 
in the life of a municipality, material progress was greater in 
Listowel than at any other time in its history. A by-law was 
passed in 1874 providing for a census being- taken preparatory to 
its elevation to the dignity of a town. On completion of this 
enumeration by Mr. Thos. E. Hay, it was found that the popula 
tion amounted to 2,054, or a sufficient number to entitle Listowel 


to incorporation. The Governor-General, on application being- 
made, issued his proclamation carrying- out the wishes of the 
people. By comparing- her population in 1866 with that found by 
Mr. Hay in 1874, so larg-e an increase in a period of eight years 
certainly indicates that an impetus must have been received from 
some extraneous circumstance beyond that natural increase likely 
to occur in a country town. An explanation will be found, we 
think, in the action of her public men. To effect railway connec 
tion with the main trunk lines in Canada was a prudent policy. It 
was, therefore, by a wise disposition of municipal finances she 
secured means of communication which gfave at once a marvellous 
impetus to her development. 

Prior to 1871 there was no railroad connection. Without this 
Listowel must have remained a pleasant country village. It is 
true that through Mr. D. D. Hay s efforts gravel roads had been 
constructed. These extended in several directions. They were 
of little use, however, in centralizing surplus produce at this point 
without means of removing it to market. Gravel roads extended 
through Logan to Mitchell, and through Mornington to Stratford, 
in either case a distance of thirty miles. These were doubtless far 
in advance of the old crossway, but were still short of those 
requirements in a progressive country. In 1871, therefore, a 
by-law was submitted granting $15,000 to aid in extending the 
W., G. & B. railroad to Listowel. This was an excellent stroke 
of policy, creating and g-iving- an impetus to that rapid progress 
so apparant for ten years subsequent to its passing. Without 
this connection their interests would have suffered very seriously, 
and a great portion of trade from Mornington, Elma, and Wallace 
must have been diverted to Palmerston, then fast growing- into 
importance. The idea of a Stratford & Huron railroad was so far 
inchoate, and the movement effectually offset all possibility of 
trade being concentrated in this northern railway centre. Not 
only did Listowel retain her former importance, but trade was 
further augmented by establishing new industries. In 1873 con 
struction of the Stratford & Huron railway had become a fact, 
and a further sum of $15,000 was granted to this enterprise. 


Accommodation was thus afforded by having- connection with 
Stratford and the north. Although these roads were afterwards 
absorbed in the G. T. system, destroying competition in rates, 
better facilities and means of communication was now afforded 
Listowel than has fallen to the lot of many important sections in 
this country. When these lines were completed the town became 
a great shipping point. Thus has arisen her commercial 
supremacy. By the activity of her people these she still retains 
in a constantly increasing- volume. 

It is noticeable that from these enlarged facilities and constant 
increase in population, the projects of her council became more 
ambitious. Notwithstanding that a debt of $30,000 had been 
incurred, a further liability of $26,000 was assumed for local 
improvements. Of this sum $10,000 was set apart for construct 
ing a central school, $8,000 for mills, $3,500 for gravel roads, 
$2,000 for fire protection, $1,500 Elma debt and interest, and 
$1,000 to purchase a new cemetery. A further sum of $3,600 
was also raised to purchase a new fire engine. In 1879 $7,000 
was set apart for local improvements, consisting of a fire hall 
and lock-up, $2,000 supplementary grant to the central school 
building, and $1,000 for opening streets and improving fire pro 
tection. During this year, also, $6,000 was provided for erecting 
a high school. It appears to me worthy of note that while im 
provements were being carried out, and the people were putting 
forth their energies in every direction, nothing is said regarding a 
municipal building, unless we accept the fire hall and lock-up as 
being specially designed to accommodate the town officers. I may 
also be permitted to say that for a town with its stately homes; 
its public buildings, second to none in the province where a similar 
population is gathered together; its manufacturing establishments, 
extensive and built of costly material, giving the town an impos 
ing appearance, it is not creditable that a dilapidated structure on 
a principal street should be still used as a town hall. 

In 1883 the last important addition was made to the town s 
indebtedness by a loan of $10,000 for re-constructing bridges 
carried away by a flood, two of which were on main streets. In 


1880 seven hotel and two shop licenses were issued at a charge of 
$110 for hotels and $200 for shops. Old Father Time, who has 
wrought many changes since that period, has also placed his 
finger here, there being now only three. These are first-class, 
however, spacious, and well conducted. From the days when the 
pioneer placed a tallow candle in a socket made from a potato, and 
whose dim light scarcely penetrated the dark recesses of his 
shanty, except the coal oil lamp, previous to 1880 there was no 
system of lighting. During that year a gas company was organ 
ized, with W. J. Hay and Thomas E. Hay as principal promoters. 
This institution supplied light till 1897, when the same company 
introduced electricity, thus supplying the people with the latest 
and most approved mode of lighting. Here, also, will be found 
representatives of nearly the whole of the benevolent societies, all 
elevating and doing good, each in its own sphere. The sixty 
volumes received from Wallace at separation, as Listowel s share 
of the public library, have grown and expanded to thousands of 
volumes, and is known as the mechanics institute library. 

While manufacturing, educational and commercial interests 
were being fostered and promoted with judgment and forethought 
by the citizens, the church had not been idle nor neglectful of her 
duty. Of all denominations represented in Listowel the Congre- 
gationalists were pioneers. They were first to erect a building 
where service could be held, and with a true spirit of Christianity 
opened their doors to all other denominations. A number of their 
leading members were Scotch originally, who resided not far 
distant from the haunts and homes of old Covenanters. They 
apparently had a large portion of that latitudinarian spirit, which 
is a graceful attribute in all minds, according unto others those 
privileges they think proper for themselves. 

Organization in this congregation was almost simultaneous 
with early settlement. In 1856 Rev. Mr. Snider from Stratford 
initiated religious observances. Rev. Mr. McGregor afterwards 
became first regular minister. Progress has not been great, how 
ever, owing to removal of a large number of their people. At its 
organization there were about forty members, now increased to 


sixty. A neat and substantial brick church was erected a number 
of years ago at a cost of $4,500. A good Sabbath school is 
conducted by A. Climie in connection with this congregation. 

In 1886 a Baptist church was organized by Rev. Mr. Dack. 
This congregation, although progressive, never had a large num 
ber of members. On its first being established thirteen members 
only comprised the roll, which has since been increased to fifty. If 
this congregation was not numerically strong, they certainly 
evinced great liberality in constructing a substantial building at a 
cost of $4,500, where services are now held by Rev. A. J. Sanders, 
present incumbent. There is also a good Sabbath school, having 
an attendance of about 50 pupils, with Mr. Joseph Bennett as 

Presbyterianism, since its introduction into Listowel, has been 
perhaps most progressive. In early days Rev. Mr. Renwick, who 
was the apostle of Presbyterianism in this northern section, first 
established a mission here in connection with Molesworth. This 
arrangement continued till 1868, when a separation took place. 
Rev. John Bell was inducted at Listowel as first minister in what 
was rapidly becoming an important station. At this period 
the new congregation had about roo members. The influence of 
a resident minister was soon felt, and continuous if not rapid pro 
gress was made, until at present there are 430 members. A 
small frame church was first erected, in which service was held 
for a number of years. A rapid accumulation of wealth in this 
congregation, and steady increase in numbers, rendered the con 
struction of a new building indispensable to a further successful 
prosecution of their work. A new brick church was, therefore, 
erected at a cost of $20,000. This is a noble building, and we 
are constrained to say is not inferior to any ecclesiastical edifice of 
this denomination in Perth County. A "kist o whustles" has 
also been added at a cost of $2,000. In connection with this 
church is a Sabbath school, under Mr. T. L. Hamilton, with an 
average attendance of about 200 pupils. In this department Mr. 
Hamilton has associated with him twenty other teachers. There 
is also a full staff of auxiliaries in church work. These comprise 


a ladies aid, young people s guild, W. F. M. S., and an energetic 
session. During 1901 $4,797 was contributed by this congrega 
tion for church work, with an expenditure of about an equal 
amount. Rev. Mr. Hardie is pastor in this congregation, under 
whose ministrations good progress is still being made. 

The congregation of the Evangelical Association of Listowel 
was organized in 1876 by Rev. Philip Winkler. A frame building 
was purchased from the Lutheran congregation in 1876, where 
services were held for a number of years. In 1886 their present 
brick edifice was erected at a cost of $3,000. This organization 
was instituted with 12 members, now increased to 75. There is 
also a Sabbath school, having an attendance of over 70 pupils. 
This department is under Mr. George Dippel as superintendent, 
with whom are associated 12 assistants. Rev. Mr. Eidt is pastor. 

Methodism, although not established in Listowel for several 
years subsequent to churches of that denomination in Elma, has 
made good progress. Services were first held in 1864, by Rev. 
Mr. Armstrong, an old pioneer preacher in this county. Here, as 
in other sections, it had a small beginning, the principal promoters 
in this village being William McKinney, A. B. Riggs, James Lee, 
and J. W. Scott. Rev. Mr. Sanderson was the first stationed 
minister, completing organization in 1865. A frame building was 
also erected, at a cost of Si,ooo. At that period 12 members and 
a few adherents constituted this now important congregation. In 
1866 a Sabbath school was organized by Mr. William McKinney, 
he being first superintendent. During 1886, or subsequent to 
Methodist union, when church organization was effected on a 
broader basis, the present substantial brick building was erected, 
at a cost of $15,000. There is now a membership in connection 
of over 350, with a large number of adherents. 180 pupils attend 
the Sabbath school, conducted by Mr. G. W. Slaughter, principal 
of the public schools, who, with a staff of assistants, is doing a 
good work in what may be called the nursery of Christianity. 

The congregation of United Brethren was organized in 1887, 
Rev. Mr. Love being first minister. This church had at its incep 
tion about 50 members, which number still remains. A neat frame 


building- has been erected, at a cost of about $2,000, where 
services are now held by Rev. Mr. Munday. A Sabbath school 
is also conducted by Mr. J. Kilgour, having on the roll about 
100 pupils. 

The Anglican congregation in Listowel was founded in 1862 by 
Rev. Canon Newman, and a small frame church was erected in 
1863 on the south side of Main street. Messrs. George Draper, 
William Gibson, W. T. Waugh, J. A. Halstead, and William 
Keever, with a few others, were its promoters. The first vestry 
meeting of which there is any record was held in April, 1867, 
when their old church was removed to where the present building- 
now stands, and which was subsequently destroyed by fire. From 
its ashes arose the present beautiful structure, erected at a cost of 
$10,000. In a town containing- so many fine buildings, this 
church is also creditable to the liberality and public spirit of the 
Anglican body. The edifice is of stone, and in Old English style 
of architecture, with nave, transepts, chancel, vestry, and tower. 
Heavy buttresses in the walls, finished with massive copings, give 
the exterior an imposing appearance. Its interior arrangements, 
with their elaborate and ornate decorations, are beautiful and 
impressive. A handsome oak pulpit, with several other adorn 
ments, were the gift of Rev. H. W. Jeanes, a former minister. 
This minister was not alone in his desire to render as attractive as 
possible the altar at which he worshipped, his example being- 
followed by Mrs. H. B. Morphy and other citizens, whose taste and 
liberality are displayed in g-ifts of costly and beautiful materials for 
adornment appropriate to the house of God. The roll of this 
congregation now contains the names of 200 communicants, and 
as many adherents. There is also a Sabbath school, with an 
average attendance of about 200 pupils, under the superintendence 
of Mr. A. St. George Hawkins. 

Before leaving this part of our history of Listowel, it is proper 
to state as an indication of the social condition of the people that 
the professions are fully represented. In the medical department 
are Dr. S. T. Rutherford, Dr. John Philip, Dr. Albert Nichol, Dr. 
J. Thompson, and Dr. Dingman. The law firms are Morphy 


& Carthew, Blewitt & Bray, Mr. T. C. Hamilton, and Mr. J. E. 
Terhune. Listowel has practising dentists Dr. William Bruce, 
Dr. A. McDowall, and Dr. J. J. Foster. Financial institutions 
are represented by the Bank of Hamilton, Imperial Bank, and the 
private bank of J. W. Scott. 

Listowel has two weekly papers, whose efforts have done much 
to advance the material interests of those amongst whom they 
circulate. The Banner was founded in 1866 by Thomas E. Hay 
and J. H. Hacking, and was first issued as a four-page sheet, 
1 8 x 24. This paper has been a consistent advocate of Reform 
principles since its inception, giving its support on all occasions 
to those measures it considered calculated to serve the best 
interests of the country. Mr. William Climie is now proprietor 
and publisher, issuing an eight-page sheet, 17 x 22. 

In 1871 was issued the Standard, as a four-page paper, by Mr. 
A. St. George Hawkins and W. L. Kells as publishers and pro 
prietors. At the end of two years Mr. Kells retired, Mr. Hawkins 
assuming full control. The Standard is issued as a Conservative 
party organ. Its publisher, while he is not tinctured with fossil 
Toryism, believes that political innovation should not be experi 
mental, but rather supplemental to the people s wants. At the 
end of 31 years the Standard has grown to an eight-page paper, 
and is still in the hands of Mr. Hawkins, one of its first proprietors. 

No history of a community can be complete without some indi 
cation of those industries which give employment to its citizens. 
It is from manufacturing establishments that wealth is brought to 
any commercial centre, and they are, therefore, of great import 
ance to material development. Next to Stratford, Listowel is the 
largest manufacturing town in this county. Most prominent of 
these establishments is that of the Morris, Field, Rogers Company, 
Limited. This company was organized in 1891 to manufacture 
Morris pianos, and is most creditable to the enterprise of Listowel. 
A great four-storey building of white brick has been erected, 
equipped with modern machinery, and of impressive exterior 
appearance. From 80 to 100 men are employed in this factory, 
many of whom supply skilled labour in order to produce a high 


artistic effect on their goods. These instruments are sent to South 
Africa, Britain, France, Germany, Spain, and to every section of 
our own country. Under the management of President J. W. 
Scott and Vice-President Lieut. -Col. D. D. Campbell, with J. C. 
McDowell as executive officer, this enterprise has been a success. 

The Listowel Furniture Company was organized in 1900. A fine 
brick building, which is being largely extended, has been erected 
to accommodate this institution. The principal promoters of this 
factory were Messrs. Kay, Wahl, McDuff, Fleming, and Andrew 
Forsch, who is president. From 50 to 75 hands are employed 
in this industry, and goods sent to every corner of the world, 
almost. Bedroom suites, sideboards, bookcases, chiffoniers, all of 
high-class manufacture, are special lines. A considerable amount 
of skilled labour is also employed in producing these goods, which 
commands liberal compensation. 

Perhaps the oldest establishment in Listowel next to Mr. Hay s 
mills is a tannery, originated by Messrs. Towner and John Camp 
bell in 1867. This industry in 1891 became the property of the 
Breithaupt Leather Company, and is now managed by Mr. Charles 
Anderson. In this establishment are employed from 20 to 30 hands, 
where the weekly output of goods is large and still increasing. 

An infant establishment in this progressive town is the Bent 
Chair Factory, which began operations in 1902. A splendid 
building has alsd been erected to accommodate this business, now 
managed by a board of directors John Watson, president. It is 
gratifying to know that a constantly increasing demand for goods 
of this class in our new territories has made this factory a success, 
and given employment to from 40 to 50 hands. 

In 1882 Bamford Bros, opened an establishment as contractors 
and builders. Planing mills were erected, equipped with modern 
machinery. This business has expanded as other manufactories 
increased, and employs now from 12 to 15 men. 

In the manufacture of agricultural implements Gilles & Martin 
employ over 50 men. This is comparatively an old-established 
business, re-organized about 1894 under its present management, 
having now a large trade. 


Besides these large manufacturing- establishments, where many 
hands find remunerative employment, there is also a woollen mill 
perhaps the earliest manufacturing business in Listowel now, 
and for over a quarter of a century, operated and owned by B. F. 
Brook. An old establishment is that owned by Home & Calder 
as a planing mill for manufacturing building material, employing 
a number of men. These, with Meyers & Co. s large flouring 
mills, managed by Josephus Meyers; the marble works of Robert 
T. Kemp, and the brewery of John Watson, constitute the prin 
cipal industries in Listowel. 

In 1896 Mr. Edward Sergeant opened a forwarding business for 
exporting dairy products and eggs. This is of great importance 
to the agricultural community, as affording an outlet for their 
surplus goods of this kind at remunerative prices. The business 
is now of large volume, and increasing, an indication of its 
appreciation by those it was designed to serve. 

In 1902 Listowel s assessment roll gave a population of 2,661, 
and a total assessed value of $830,850, or an increase in value 
over the preceding year of $37,450. 

Executive officers in Listowel since it was set apart as an 
incorporated village, in 1867: 

Reeves. 1867-72, D. D. Hay; 1873-4, D - D - Campbell; 1875- 
80, Thos. E. Hay; 1881-2, John A. Hacking; 1883, Alex. Davitt; 
1884-5, D - D - Campbell; 1886-7, Thos. E. Hay; 1888, D. D. 
Campbell; 1889-90, Thos. E. Hay; 1891, Samuel Bricker; 1892-4, 
J. A. Hacking; 1895, Wm. Welch; 1896, J. A. Hacking; 1897, 
A. W T . Featherstone; 1898, James Tremaine; 1899 county com 
missioners elected. 

Deputy-Reeves. 1877-8, D. D. Hay (first deputy reeve); 1879- 
80, J. A. Hacking; 1881-2, Geo. Hess; 1883, John Riggs; 1884, 
A. S. Davitt; 1885, Robt. Woods; 1886, Robt. Martin; 1887, 
Wm. Martin; 1888-9, Peter Lillico; 1890, Wm. Welch; 1891-2, 
W. T. Park; 1893-4, R - T - Kemp; 1895, J. S. Bowman; 1896, 
Jacob Heppler; 1897, Jas. Tremaine; 1898, A. W. Featherstone. 
1899 county commissioners elected. 

Mayors. 1875-7, D. D. Campbell (first mayor); 1878-80, J. W. 


Scott; 1881-2, Thos. E. Hay; 1883, George Hess; 1884-5, J. A. 
Hacking; 1886-7, William Hess; 1888-9, Samuel Bricker; 1890, 
Peter Lillico; 1891-2, W. M. Bruce; 1893, Sam l Bricker; 1894-5, 
A. W. Featherstone; 1896-7, J. W. Scott; 1898-9, J. A. Hacking; 
1900-2, John A. Watson. 

Clerks. 1867-77, Benjamin Rothwell; 1878-9, Jas. W. Devlin; 
1880-5, Wm. Bright; 1886, Hugh B. Morphy; 1887-9, John A. 
Burgess; 1900-2, William Bright. 

Treasurers. 1867-77, B. Rothwell; 1878-9, George Sutherland; 
1 880-6, Lewis Bolton; 1887-90, John B. Devlin; 1891-1900, Robt. 
Martin; 1901-2, Wm. E. Binning. 

Assessors. 1867-8, Stewart Mcllraith ; 1869, G. S. Climie ; 
1870-1, Isaac Tilt; 1872, James E. Hay; 1873, Wm. Little; 1874, 
T. E. Hay; 1875, B. B. Sarvis; 1876-7, Alex. Morrow; 1878-80, 
Nathaniel Tilt; 1881, B. B. Sarvis; 1882-4, N. Tilt; 1885-6, B. B. 
Sarvis; 1887-8, Wm. Mitchell; 1889-91, Alex. Morrow; 1892-3, 
T. E. Hay; 1894, Alex. Morrow; 1895, Wm. E. Binning; 1896, 
N. Tilt; 1897-8, John Torrance; 1899-1900, J. E. Allan; 1901, 
Wm. C. Hayden; 1902, A. W. Featherstone. 

Collectors. 1867-8, Peter Steel; 1869, L. Bolton; 1870-3, John 
Binning; 1874, B. Rothwell; 1875-6, Wm. T. Hacking; 1877-9, 
Robt. Woods; 1880, Robt. Bogues ; 1881-6, L. Bolton; 1887-8, 
J. Purcell; 1889-90, J. B. Dinkle; 1891-2, W. R. Clayton; 1893, 
T. J. Ballantyne; 1894, Wm. E. Binning; 1895, S. M. Smith; 
1896-1902, C. Tabberner. 

Auditors. 1881, Robt. Martin, McBieth Green; 1882, Reuben 
Armstrong, McB. Green ; 1883, McB. Green, T. G. Fennell ; 
1884-5, B - Rothwell, McB. Green; 1886, Dr. Burgess, Dr. Mich- 
ener; 1887, Wm. E. Binning, John Livingston; 1888, F. Mc 
Dowell, J. Livingston; 1889, B. Rothwell, J. Livingston; 1890-91, 
Wm. R. Clayton, B. Rothwell; 1892, C. Tabberner, Wm. Irwin; 
1893-4, C. Tabberner, Wm. Welch; 1895, w - R - Clayton, J. M. 
Carthew; 1896, L. Bolton, J. M. Carthew ; 1897, Wm. Irwin, 
J. M. Carthew; 1898, L. Bolton, J. M. Carthew; 1899-1901, L. 
Bolton, J. McCallum; 1902, Robt. McMillan, C. G. McGregor. 



In many respects the history of Mitchell prior to 1857 is 
merged in that of Fullarton, Logan, and Hibbert. Any recital 
of it in detail would be simply a repitition of much already set 
down in the history of those municipalities. In 1836 a sale of 
lots took place, and in 1837 John Hicks erected a frame building 
for a hotel, at the corner of St. George street and the Huron road. 
Prior to this event, however, a log building was erected near the 
river, in Log-an, no doubt the first in Mitchell. Mr. Hicks 
erected in 1857 a large brick hotel, destroyed by fire many years 
ago, and replaced bv the present Hicks house. The building of 
1857 was a unique structure, built in the form of an old baronial 
hall, with flanking- towers on the right and left corners of its front 
elevation, and finished in castellated form. Another old pioneer 
was Daniel Kerr. A store was opened in September, 1844, by 
W. F. McCulloch, of Stratford, on the south-west corner of St. 
George street and the Huron road. Mr. McCulloch was succeeded 
by Messrs. Daly & Mickle, in 1857. Another store was opened 
by Mr. Wm. Matheson, who was succeeded by Mr. Edward 
Greensides, who later removed to Monkton. Meantime other 
settlers were locating-. About 1842 along with Mr. Kerr came 
James McClacharty, Duncan and John Campbell, and, soon after, 
Robert Christie and R. W. Cana, a grist mill having been erected 
by the Canada Co. In 1844 came Thomas Matheson, who after 
wards became prominent in municipal affairs. Up to this period, 
and for several years subsequent, progress was slow. In the 
Canada Company s office, London, England, is an old map of 


1. Hu^h Campbell, Mayor. 2. William Hyan, Councillor. 3. S. R. Stuart, 
Councillor. 4. John Itankin, Treasurer. 5. T. S. Ford, Councillor. 6. William 
Thornc, Collector. 7. A. .1. Blowes, Councillor. 8. James Harriett, Clerk. 9. 
Frederick Dufton, Councillor. 


of Mitchell in 1844, which shows fourteen buildings at that elate. 
These were nearly all erected on the Huron road, north side, 
between St. George and St. Andrew streets. Some adventurous 
pioneer had ventured so far into the woods and erected a shanty 
on the corner of what is now St. David and Waterloo streets. 
Another house was erected near the present Advocate office, and 
one near where the grist mill is now located. A mail carrier made 
occasional trips between Stratford and Goderich, Mr. Thomas 
Matheson being self-constituted postmaster until Mr. Hicks ob 
tained a post office. 

It was not till a period subsequent to opening the B. & L. H. 
railroad, and construction of the Logan road, that development 
took place. These two events gave a marvellous impetus to trade 
in Mitchell, and from being a mere hamlet in 1850 she, in 1857, 
became an incorporated village. Manufactories now began to 
spring up, and in 1873 the population had so increased that she 
was raised to the dignity of a town. The document of incorpora 
tion was as follows : 

"Now know ye, that having taken the premises into our Royal 
consideration, we do by this our Royal proclamation, and in the 
exercise of the powers in us vested in this behalf, we, as well as 
by the said vested act as by our Royal prerogative or otherwise 
howsoever, proclaim and appoint that the said village of Mitchell, 
in the County of Perth, be on after Monday, the 5th day of Jan 
uary next ensuing, erected into a town by the name of the town of 

"Given at our Government House, in our city of Toronto, in 
our said Province, in the year of our Lord 1873, an d in 37 of our 
reign. William P. Howland, Governor." 

At one period of her history Mitchell had a greater number of 
manufactories than any other town in Perth County. From some 
circumstance quite inexplicable these have not been retained. The 
Thomson & Williams manufacturing establishment thirty years 
ago was larger than any other in Perth County. It being 
removed to Stratford was most detrimental to this aspiring town. 

In 1877 the A. M. Gibson Company was organized, but did not 



succeed. Another large establishment operated by Tucker & Beer 
failed of success. The north country in Logan and Elma was fast 
being denuded of timber, which led to closing several saw mills 
located in the town, thus destroying her trade in lumber, which at 
one period was very important. These events had a depressing 
effect, soon felt by her business men. 

A very old established factory is that of the woolen mills, still 
carried on by Messrs. Dufton & Waterhouse, employing about 
twenty-five hands. The hosiery manufacturing establishment 
of Burritt & Son, now the largest in Mitchell, is employing 
about eighty hands. Goods made by this firm are sent to every 
corner of our Dominion, and of such quality as to ensure a still 
increasing trade. There is a large planing mill, employing about 
fifteen hands. Mr. William Forrester s flax mill employs at cer 
tain seasons a large number of people. These, with the grist 
mills, now constitute the principal manufacturing establishments 
in Mitchell. 

In the town are published two newspapers one, the Mitchell 
Advocate, a Conservative journal, was first issued by J. E. and 
W. R. Davis on April I3th, 1860. This is the only paper in the 
county which has continued since its inception (43 years ago) in 
the hands of its founders. On November i5th, 1861, was issued 
the Perth Reformer, by Mr. Alexander McLean, which a few years 
subsequently ceased publication. In 1877 Mr. T. H. Race, a clever 
writer and energetic man, launched the Mitchell Recorder, which 
he has conducted with success. These two journals have done 
much to aid in developing this section, and are in receipt of a large 
-advertising patronage. 

The legal fraternity in Mitchell are represented by Messrs. Abra 
ham Dent, F. H. Thompson, and E. A. Dunbar, while in the 
medical profession are Dr. Smith, Dr. Armstrong, andDr.Hurlburt. 

The Mitchell schools are well conducted, and the citizens have 
made provision for educating their children in providing comfort 
able buildings certainly equal to any place of similar population in 
this western section. Excellent public school structures have 
been erected, and the high school, of brick, is quite hand- 


some in architectural design. A very fine public library is also 
maintained, with reading room in connection, which, as indicative 
of her people s intelligence, is well patronized. 

About 1872 or 1873 a system of waterworks was introduced, 
known as the "Holly system," at a cost of nearly $20,000, which 
has been of great advantage to the town. Granolithic sidewalks 
have been laid, streets macadamized, a fine electric plant installed; 
in short, all those conveniences will be found in Mitchell which 
distinguish energetic Canadian towns. Like St. Marys and Strat 
ford, this place has had her period of depression, and now, like 
these two aspiring trade centres, Mitchell has indications of a 
returning prosperity greater than she in her palmy days ever 

In 1855 was issued to Mitchell a warrant to establish a fair I 
belive the only one ever issued to any town in this county. I 
insert this document that my readers may peruse what seems to 
me a rather unique piece of composition : 

"Edmund Head. 

"Province of Canada. 

"Victoria, by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great 
Britain and Ireland, Queen, Defender of the Faith, &c., &c., &c. 

"To our trusty and well-beloved Robert Moderwell, our Sheriff 
of our County of Perth, in our Province of Canada, Esquire, and 
to all to whom these Presents shall come : 

"WHEREAS, it hath been represented to us that the establishment 
of a FAIR or MART at the Village of Mitchell in the County afore 
said, would tend greatly to the welfare and convenience of the 
Inhabitants of the said County Now KNOW YE, that being desirous 
of promoting by every means the prosperity of our subjects, We, 
of our Special Grace, certain knowledge and mere motion, have 
given and granted and by these Presents do give and grant unto 
Robert Moderwell aforesaid, being Our Sheriff of Our said County 
and to his successors respectively, being Sheriffs of Our said 
County for the time being, all and singular the PUBLIC FAIR AND 


MART, and the right, privilege, advantage, and franchise of keeping 
and holding a PUBLIC FAIR AND MART, as Stewards of the same 
respectively, at and within the Village of Mitchell aforesaid, to 
gether with all the Privileges, Customs, Usages, Courts of Pie- 
poudre incident to Fairs and laws of Fairs in general as now- 
established, used and exercised within that part of Great Britain 
and Ireland. To have and to hold the said Fair, Mart, Franchise, 
Right, Hereditaments, and Premises to him the said Robert 
Moderwell, Sheriff of Our said County, and to his successors for 
ever, being Sheriffs of Our said County, to and for the use, 
benefit, resort and intercourse of All our Liege Subjects of Our 
said Province, to be used and exercised at the several times in 
each and every year as follows, to wit: to begin and be holden on 
the first Wednesday in the respective months of April and October 
in each and every year, and to commence at nine of the clock in 
the morning, and to continue at each time respectively until 

"Subject nevertheless to the powers, provisoes, restrictions, pay 
ment of piccage and stallage, conditions and limitations herein 
after mentioned, that is to say: Provided Always and it is the true 
intent and meaning of these Presents, that all and every person 
bringing and exposing to sale any goods, wares and merchandize 
within the said Mart and Fair, shall pay unto the said Sheriff and 
to his successors respectively, being Sheriffs of Our said County, 
such sum or sums of money by way of Toll, for the license of 
keeping and erecting a stall or booth, or otherwise using or 
occupying any space or plot of ground within the said Fair and 
Mart, during the continuance of the same, for the selling, vending 
or disposing of by barter or otherwise any goods, wares or mer 
chandize, cattle, horses, sheep, hogs, or any other live stock 
within the said Fair and Mart as our Justices of the Peace in and 
for the said County and in Quarter Sessions assembled, or the 
major part of them, shall from time to time in their discretion 
adjudge and determine to be paid. And we do hereby give and 
grant unto the said Justices or the major part of them in Quarter 
Sessions assembled as aforesaid full power and authority to fix, 



adjudg-e and determine the Tolls of the said Fair and Mart accord 
ingly, and from time to time vary and alter the same, and sub 
stitute greater or lesser Tolls according- to emergency as the said 
Justices or the major part of them assembled as aforesaid shall 
think proper; hereby also giving- and granting unto Our said 
Sheriff and his successors, Sheriffs of the time being of Our said 
County as Stewards of the said Fair and Mart, full powers to levy 
and enforce the payment of such Tolls as fully and effectually to 
all intents and purposes as if the same had been specifically 
named and given or granted to Our said Sheriff and his succes 
sors as aforesaid. Provided always, that all sums of money thus 
collected shall be solely appropriated towards the clearing away 
the plot of ground whereon the said Fair and Mart shall be kept, 
and towards other the incidental expenses necessary to be in 
curred, in making the said Fair-stead convenient and commo 
dious, and most useful to the Public at large. Provided also, that 
nothing herein contained shall extend to the prejudice or common 
nuisance of Our Liege subjects of Our said Province of Canada. 

"In Testimony whereof, we have caused these Our Letters to 
be made Patent, and the Great Seal of Our said Province to be 
hereunto affixed. 

"Witness Our Trusty and Well-beloved Sir Edmund Walker 
Head, Baronet, Governor-General of British North America, and 
Captain-General and Governor-in-Chief in and over Our Province 
of Canada, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and the Island of Prince 
Edward, and Vice-Admiral of the same, &c., &c., &c. 

"At Our Government House, in Our City of Toronto in Our 
said Province the thirteenth day of December in the year of Our 
Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty-five and in the nine 
teenth year of Our Reign. 

"By Command, 

"Geo. Et. Cartier, 

" Secretary." 

The history of Presbyterianism opens in Mitchell during 1846, 
when Rev. Dr. Burns, on his way to Egmondville, preached from 


a stump which stood near the old Hicks house. Subsequently for 
two years service was held irregularly by Reverends D. Allen, 
Graham, and Mackenzie, in a blacksmith shop near the river. 
This structure soon became inadequate to congregational de 
mands, and an adjournment was made to the Hicks house, until a 
school building was erected. No organization was effected till 
1849, when Rev. Thos. McPherson, of Stratford, established a 
new congregation. Amongst those present on that occasion were 
Thomas Wylie, Duncan Campbell, William Irvine, James Mc- 
Clacharty, Henry Morgan, and James McKay Messrs. Wylie 
and McKay being chosen managers. The newly-established 
congregation was called Knox. Sacrament was also dispensed, 
Hugh Kennedy Junck and Duncan Campbell distributing the 
elements. Not till 1855 was a minister stationed in Mitchell. A 
good story is told regarding Rev. Mr. Graham, of Egmondville, 
who for several years rendered valuable service in building up this 
mission. He was erecting a small house for himself, and Mitchell 
people being desirous of assisting him, in acknowledgement of his 
work in their behalf, decided to present him with sufficient shingles 
to roof his new habitation. On his next appearance, a short time 
after this presentation had been made by the congregation, an 
old Scotch lady was heard to remark, "We gied him the shingles; 
A wunner if he s after the nails noo. " 

Rev. James Findlay was inducted in 1856 as first stationed 
minister, his stipend being ^130 per annum. A small church 
was erected, and considerable progress made. In 1861 Mr. 
Findlay removed, which led to an interregnum of six years. A 
difference of opinion prevented a minister being chosen, when, on 
a suggestion made by Mr. Thomas Matheson, the choice was 
relegated to two ladies, Mrs. James McClacharty and Mrs. John 
Aikens, who succeeded in making a selection suitable to all 
parties. During 1894 was dedicated a splendid brick edifice, 
where worship is now held. This is a costly structure, and one 
of the most imposing ecclesiastical buildings in the county. 
Under Rev. Mr. McAulay, who was inducted in 1900, the number 
of members has increased to 255. A Sabbath school was organ- 


ized in 1848 by James Boyd, through whose instrumentality much 
good has been accomplished. 

The English church in Mitchell -was not organized till 1861, 
although services were occasionally held during that period ex 
tending from 1854 to 1860. During 1862 Old Trinity church was 
erected a frame building, where the congregation worshipped for 
nearly forty years. In 1899 the present elegant structure was 
completed at a cost of $5,000. Since Rev. Mr. Ralley, who was 
first stationed minister, was inducted, if advancement has not been 
rapid it has been steady, and from a very small beginning has 
now attained to 125 families, with a large number of adherents. 
A Sabbath school is conducted, with Mr. J. A. Blowes as superin 
tendent, having an attendance of 130 pupils. Ministerial work is 
conducted by Rev. Mr. Howard. 

A mission of the Catholic church was established in Mitchell at 
an early day. They also for some time had to avail themselves of 
such facilities for celebrating mass as a new settlement could 
afford. In 1858 they erected a church, the parish at that period 
embracing a wide section of country. A portion of this has now 
been set apart as St. Bridgid s, and a part to Kinkora and Dublin. 
In 1882 a substantial brick church was erected at a cost of $8,000, 
where service is now held, and has one especial blessing of lying 
under no liabilities. This parish is mother of those in Logan and 
Ellice. In building up these congregations she has given up her 
own people to worship at more magnificent shrines and at altars 
of greater splendour than she can boast of. Her limits have been 
greatly circumscribed, and comprise now only about 30 families, 
in charge of Rev. Father J. Ronan. 

The Methodist church has perhaps a larger membership than 
any other in Mitchell. It was not till 1852 that a congregation of 
Methodists was established, Lucie Adams, Robert Keller, James 
Hill, Thomas Shillington, Paxton Botterall, and Richard and 
Thomas Babb being promoters. Excepting Messrs. Keller and 
Adams all of these pioneers are now sleeping in their 
graves. No regular service was held, however, and when a 
minister was obtained he preached in the school building. During 


1855 a church was erected, complete organization having now 
taken place with eight members. Subsequent to Methodist Union, 
a fine building, which had been erected by the Bible Christian 
section of Methodism at a cost of $18,000, became a place of 
worship for the united body. At present 300 members and about 
500 adherents meet here every Sabbath day. A Sabbath school is 
conducted by Mr. F. B. Holtby, with an average attendance of 
450 pupils. This congregation has perhaps the best "home 
department " for an aggregate population such as Mitchell that 
can be found in the west, having over 300 members. Rev. Mr. 
Whiting is pastor. 

The Evangelical Lutheran Grace congregation was established 
in 1858 by Rev. J. A. Hengerer with a membership of 16. 
Service was held in the people s homes till 1862, when a frame 
church was erected, costing about $1,000. This congregation 
has now a connection of about 250 souls. There is also a 
Sabbath school, with an attendance of about 70 pupils, in charge 
of Rev. G. Thun, pastor of this congregation. 

The following is a list of officers, the first mayor being elected 
subsequent to incorporation in 1873. 

Mayors. 1874-5, Thomas Matheson ; 1876-9, W. R. Davis; 
1880, Joseph Cull; 1881, J. H. Flagg; 1882-4, J- H - Cull; 1885-7, 
Jas. Dougherty; 1888-9, Thomas McClay; 1890-1, T. S. Ford; 
1892, J. W. Cull; 1893-4, W. R. Davis; 1895-7, Isaac Hord; 
1898, William Ryan; 1899, Alden Burritt ; 1900-1, Fred. Davis; 
1902, Hugh Campbell. 

Reeves. 1857, Thomas Ford; 1858, John Fishleigh ; 1859-60, 
Thomas Babb ; 1861-4, J. Fishleigh; 1865-6, T. Babb ; 1867-73, 
Thos. Matheson; 1874, Hugh Campbell; 1875, W. R. Davis; 
1876-80, James Sills; 1881-3, Thomas McDonald; 1884, James 
Dougherty; 1885, John Skinner; 1886, Thos. McClay; 1887, H. J. 
Hurlburt; 1888, J. Skinner; 1889-91, S. R. Stewart; 1892, Isaac 
Hord; 1893-6, Jas. Dougherty; 1897-8, John White. Office 

Deputy-Reeves. 1874-5, T - Babb; 1876, Robert Currie; 1877-8, 
J. W. Cull; 1879-80, Thomas McDonald; 1881, A. Burritt; 1882-3, 


J. Dougherty; 1884, J. Skinner; 1885, T. McClay; 1886, J. W. 
Cull; 1887-9, T- S. Ford; 1890-1, I. Hord ; 1892-4, A. Dent; 
1895-7, William Ryan; 1898, J. T. Dufton. Office abolished. 

Clerks. 1857-72, James Porter (resigned); 1872-90, Robert 
Christie ; 1891-7, James Christie; 1898-02, James Barnett. 

Treasurers. 1857, E. J. Woods; 1858-72, James Porter (re 
signed); 1872-9, William Abbott; 1880, R. H. Sarvis ; 1881, H. 
Campbell; 1882, A. Burritt ; 1883-6, G. S. Goodeve ; 1887-94, 
A. Burritt; 1895-1901, William Thorne; 1902, John Rankin. 

Assessors. 1857-9, R. B. Stephens; 1860-1, John Routledge ; 
1862-3, Jas. Hill; 1864, Geo. Hibbert; 1865, Wm. Smith; 1866, 
Wm. Sedgwick; 1867, R. B. Stephens; 1868, J. Sills; 1869-70, W. 
Sedgwick; 1871, R. B. Stephens; 1872, W. Sedgwick; 1873-4, J. 
Thorne; 1875, J. Sedgwick; 1876-7, Nelson Vrooman; 1878-81, 
Thos. Leadstone; 1882, Richard Moffatt; 1883-93, Jh n Broderick; 
1894, J- H. Flagg; 1895-1901, J. Broderick; 1902, Thos. Skinner. 

Collectors. 1857, Charles Thorne; 1858, J. Routledge; 1859-60, 
J. Dent; 1861-4, R - B - Stephens; 1865-80, J. Abbott; 1881, H. 
Campbell; 1882, J. S. Coppin; 1883, Nelson Brisbin; 1884-5, J as - 
Jones; 1886, Chas. Thorne; 1887, J. S. Coppin; 1888-9, J- Barnett; 
1890-1, Jas. Boyd; 1892-6, J. S. Coppin; 1897-1901, J. Barnett; 
1902, Wm. Thorne. 

Aiiditors. 1858, R. W. Cana, Alex. Matheson; 1859-62, James 
Barge, G. R. Jarvis; 1863-72, J. Barge, Robert Christie; 1873, 
Wm. Clegg, J. Barge; 1874, J- Barge, N. Brisbin; 1875, J- 
Thorne, Fred. Butcher; 1876-8, F. Butcher, J. McDonald; 1879, 
F. Butcher, J. Broderick; 1880, F. Butcher, J. Thorne; 1881, F. 
Butcher, J. Broderick; 1882, J. Brodrick, C. Thorne; 1883-5, W. 
Potts, J. Meikle; 1886-7, W. Potts, W. H. Dent; 1888, J. Barnett, 
D. W. Cantlon; 1889-90, W. Potts, W. Babb; 1891, C. Thorne, 
W. Babb; 1892, J. Sills, W. Babb; 1893-8, W. Babb, G. S. 
Goodeve; 1899-1902, Cephas Woodger, W. Babb. 



When surveys were made in the Huron Tract, in that portion 
of it which afterwards was organized as Perth County two town 
sites were reserved. These were Stratford and Mitchell. Con 
trary to the opinions expressed by several intelligent writers on 
Perth County history, we believe this selection of a site for Little 
Thames, as Stratford was first named, was not made from its 
geographical position, but as a matter of convenience. Its con 
tiguity to the river was no doubt a primary factor in its being chosen. 
As far as any argument based on a convergence of leading roads 
is concerned, it appears of no importance whatever. In the wild 
forest who can say what development will induce ? Priority 
of settlement may for a time give prestige, but it does not follow 
that when half a century has gone that precedence may still be 
maintained. Commercial demands are inexorable, and will set at 
defiance the best laid schemes of surveyors, speculators, or boards 
of directors. Whatever Stratford is to-day she owes not to her 
natural geographical position. Her ascendency has been attained 
not from environment, but from an impressment of extraneous 
conditions which she has compelled to become ministers to her 
success. Great towns, like great men, make way for themselves, 
and obstacles, which appear insurmountable to some, by an over 
powering determination are transformed and compelled to be 
factors in their advancement. It is worthy of note in connection 
with this city that of all towns or villages in this county its 
location was least desirable as an agricultural centre. Fine 
sections of farm land surrounded St. Marys, Mitchell, and Lis- 






3 iS 

O rt 

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W K 




s ~ 

C. "z 






3 - 


towel. Stratford was located in a great swamp. It is not sur 
prising, therefore, that for a period of twenty years her progress 
was inconsiderable. 

Stratford was really founded in 1832, or nearly ten years before 
a survey of Blanshard had even been made. It had priority of 
several years over Mitchell, and yet in 1850 St. Marys had a 
larger population than Stratford, and w r as a more progressive 
town. This is easily accounted for. In all new commercial 
centres material progress at the outset is accelerated or retarded 
by their environment having a natural adaptability for agricul 
tural purposes. There was no town in Perth County, nor, indeed, 
in the Huron Tract, located in a spot so destitute in its surround 
ings of those elements which give life to a backwoods hamlet. St. 
Marys, in this respect, had an advantage over all other places in 
this county, in so far that within many miles there was no land 
not available for agriculture when a clearance was effected. It, 
therefore, advanced more rapidy than Stratford, until it reached a 
certain point. This limit is the line of demarcation that lies where 
a town has created a commercial interest large enough to supply 
the agricultural community by which it is surrounded. If it does 
not aspire to that greater interest of manufacturing, thereby draw 
ing wealth for its goods from distant customers, then its progress 
must end. This appears to be a solution of the question re 
garding Stratford s marvellous progress during the last twenty 
years. Beyond supplying the wants of an agricultural section, 
St. Marys, until lately, never aspired. On the other hand, Strat 
ford has imposed on herself heavy burdens in order to secure 
manufacturing industries, and thereby bring an increase of popu 
lation and an increase of trade. This policy of her public men has 
been most successful, and placed her far in advance of her former 
competitors for commercial supremacy. 

A writer in 1852 says, "The village of Stratford, now the county 
town of Perth, is pleasantly and well situated, but has made no 
progress considering its natural advantages. It has increased 
considerably in size since we last visited it seven years ago. The 
buildings generally are of an inferior character, and appear to 


indicate a want of spirit or of means among- the inhabitants, 
which is not, however, surprising, as an inland place, surrounded 
by bad roads for a larg-e portion of the year, is scarcely likely to 
partake very largely of a cheerful character." If this writer had 
been acquainted with pioneer life, he would have understood why 
the village of Stratford "did not partake of a cheerful character." 
A little backwoods hamlet in the centre of a swamp, where, about 
seven years prior to the period at which this extract was written, 
a settler had wandered from his home, and was devoured by 
wolves within what is now the city limits, was not likely to be 
very cheerful. As to the character of the roads, we refer our 
readers to reports of Mr. Monteith and others, pathmasters of 

Towns are like individuals ; there is a "tide in their affairs, 
which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune." Whatever this 
place may be now is not owing to her natural position but to her 
citizens, who compelled circumstances to shape themselves in her 
favour. Success comes to no one by listlessly waiting. It is a 
result of continuous labour and watchfulness, and if Stratford so 
far has won, it was not by waiting on fortune, but by her conduct 
compelling fortune to wait on her. 

An old gentleman, still living, informs me that he assisted, 
when a boy, in cross-laying a portion of road between what is now 
Stratford and the Little Lakes in 1831. At this period no one was 
residing in or around this section. A couple of shanties were 
utilized by the workmen and the oxen, of which he was teamster, 
as stopping places. These shanties, roofed with bark, were 
erected near the river by surveying parties (as stated elsewhere) 
to accommodate such venturesome travellers as might extend 
their explorations so far westward of civilization. In 1832 came 
William Sergeant, who was first settler in Stratford. At this 
period it was known as Little Thames, its present name being 
given by Dr. Dunlop in honour of the bard of Avon. Mr. Ser 
geant was an Irish gentleman of good family, but broken fortune, 
who sought a home in the wilds of the Huron Tract for himself 
and friends. The family consisted of John Sergeant and his two 


sons, William and Thomas, and came from Clonmell, County 
Tipperary, Ireland. They were liberal, high-minded people. 
Thomas was married to a Catholic lady, who appears to have had 
all the graces this Church so conspicuously develops in female 
character. She had assisted several of her Catholic friends to 
accompany them to Canada, where they settled near Little 
Thames. Mrs. William Sergeant appears also to have been an 
estimable lady, whose name is associated with many acts of kind 
ness to all. Such were the first permanent residents of Stratford. 
Mr. Sergeant erected a hotel near where the post office now 
stands, which he named the Shakespeare hotel. In this building 
he also opened a general store. About this time also a store was 
erected by one George Worsley, west of the river, which was sup 
posed would be the point at which business would centre. Mean 
time other settlers arrived, and erected buildings on the Huron 
road, east of the river, now Ontario street. Mr. Sergeant s hotel 
was used for a church as well as a tavern, representing the only 
spirituous and spiritual structure in Stratford. John Sharman and 
his family were also early settlers. Mrs. Sharman died shortly 
after their arrival, which was probably the first death in this 
hamlet. Interment took place in what is now the centre of a 
street opposite St. James church. J. A. McCarthy was what 
was afterwards known as a 32 man. In 1833 came J. C. W. 
Daly, as Canada Company agent, and erected another frame 
building as a general store. During 1833 arrived J. J. E. Linton, 
who was afterwards first school teacher in this county. Another 
settler of aristocratic distinction had located near the river as a 
suitable position for hunting, who was named Berwick. This 
gentleman had a retinue of servants, with a full outfit of dogs, 
guns, &c. , but not finding backwoods life to his taste, soon 
returned to whence he came as being more congenial. The 
first location ticket I have seen is in possession of Judge Woods, 
and dated January ryth, 1833, before leases were issued. This 
ticket is No. 62-61, covering lot r on concession i and 2, Downie. 
Mr. Thomas Ward was the purchaser, and agreed to pay there 
fore ys., 6d. per acre. He paid 12, IDS. in cash and gave notes 


for ^62, IDS. This property was afterwards bought by the 
Woods family, a portion of it being still held by Judge Woods, 
on which a part of Stratford is built, known as Woodville, Pro 
gress was extremely slow, however. In 1 840 there were three 
stores kept by J. C. W. Daly, John Monteith, and a person 
named Meany ; Mr. Sharman s blacksmith s shop, the first in this 
county; a shoe shop, a couple of cobblers, Way s cabinet shop, 
a saw mill, erected by John Sebring in 1833; a grist mill, built 
about the same time; and the "Auld Kirk," built in 1835. Subse 
quent to this period settlement became more rapid, although 
Stratford s increase in population was still slow. In 1850 the 
inhabitants numbered 900. There were now two grist mills, an 
oatmeal mill, a distillery, saw mill, foundry, carding and fulling 
mill, two tanneries, brewery, two asheries, one on a large scale, 
located where the Commercial hotel and Theatre Albert now 
stand; a post office, and six churches. Financial institutions were 
represented by the Upper Canada, the Canada, the National Loan 
Friendly Life Assurance Company, Provincial Mutual & Equitable 
Fire Insurance Company, and a Canada Company office. 

Separation from the United Counties of Perth, Huron, and 
Bruce in 1850, and Stratford being selected as county seat, gave 
the first impetus to this still unimportant village. Hitherto it had 
been a part of those municipalities which converge within its 
limits. The new dignity of being elevated to a county town 
created higher aspirations in the citizens than being a small 
country village. During 1852 new county buildings were erected, 
and January, 1853, saw met together for the first time that 
legislative body which was to control local affairs in Perth County. 
Stratford now aspired to become a town. In accordance with the 
Act, 12 Vic., chap. 81, a petition was sent to His Excellency 
praying that Stratford be set apart as an incorporated village. 
This petition was approved by William Rowen, then acting as 
Governor, who issued a proclamation raising Stratford to this 
new dignity. Robert Moderwell was appointed returning officer, 
the election to be held on the first Monday in January, 1854. Mr. 
Moderwell having taken the oath before Mr. Andrew Monteith, 


proceeded to hold nominations at the court house. On this 
occasion came before the people as candidates, Alex. B. Orr, 
Robert Johnson, James Orr, Peter Reid, P. R. Jarvis, R. H. Lee, 
W. F. McCulloch, Peter Woods, James Woods, Henry Walters, 
John R.Vivian, John A. Scott, R. H. Keays, John Sharman, John 
Lynch, and John Hyde. Of this number Messrs. A. B. Orr, Reid, 
Vivian, Lee, and McCulloch were elected. At their first meeting- 
Mr. McCulloch was chosen reeve, and Stewart Campbell clerk, 
who afterwards resigned, when Mr. S. L. Robarts was appointed. 
Jas. Woods and Peter Ferguson were appointed assessors; Robt. 
Johnson, collector, and Adam Seegmiller, treasurer. Compensa 
tion was allowed to these officers : Clerk, .30; assessors, 10 
each; collector, 12; treasurer, 10; auditors, Peter Reid and 
Samuel Lloyd Robarts, salary not stated. Hotel licenses were 
fixed at ^7, ios., Thomas Stoney, John Alexander, and Samuel 
Hesson, inspectors; school trustees, Robert Monteith, John A. 
Scott, John Hyde, T. M. Daly, Robert Keays, and Andrew Mon 
teith. Dr. Hyde and Dr. Shaver were appointed medical health 
officers; George Larkworthy, chief of police, at a salary of 20 
per annum. Mr. Hammond s services in this department were 
accepted, but without remuneration. 

These important functions having been performed they pro 
ceeded to other matters. A new fire engine was ordered from 
Montreal, and it is interesting to note that a special provision 
was inserted in the contract that delivery should not be made 
until navigation opened the following spring. Several by-laws of 
importance were also passed. Railroads were now occupying 
people s minds, as being of incalculable advantage to inland towns 
such as Stratford. ^"25,000 was, therefore, borrowed to purchase 
stock in the Brantford, Buffalo & Goderich railway. Explanations 
regarding this stock will be found in a paragraph dealing with 
county indebtedness elsewhere. A further sum of ^1,800 was 
borrowed to erect a school building, with ^1,700 for sidewalks and 
purchasing a site for a market house. The land selected for this 
building was an old saw mill yard, which Mr. McDonald, then 
proprietor, agreed to sell for ^200. This is still the city market 


place, althoug-h in 1855 old saw logs, slabs, saw dust, and other 
refuse, lying scattered on all sides, was a source of great annoy 
ance to the council and citizens generally. It was not till those 
in authority had recourse to stringent measures that an abate 
ment of this nuisance was made, and sidewalks and streets were 
cleared of those unsightly obstructions. Stratford so far having 
no corporate seal, it was decided to adopt that of their chief 
magistrate for sealing official papers, which was a crest, an aim, 
an arrow, with the motto m; it, anims. 

During 1855 an attempt was made to introduce monthly cattle 
fairs, but which, as in other sections of this county, were never 
successful. Further legislation was enacted against saw logs 
interfering with travel on the principal streets. During this year 
we obtain a first glimpse at the finances of this now progressive 
village. Estimates for all purposes amounted to ,1,176, 75., 4d. , 
or somewhat less that $5,000. In 1856 tenders were asked for 
constructing a market building, but not to exceed 5,000. A 
prize of $o was offered for the best design. A by-law was also 
passed authorizing the purchase of stock in the Northern Gravel 
road. This was a most important movement on Stratford s part, 
opening up that dense swamp, a distance of ten miles, by a good 
highway to those fertile lands in Mornington. This road brought 
an immense trade to the town, and accelerated development in 
that splendid country lying to the north. 

The year 1857 saw a market building erected, whose cupola 
with its extending flag staff was for years the pride of the citizens, 
exciting wonder and admiration in backwoods youths who came 
from the northern townships with their oxen to trade in this 
great metropolis. Like much in this world, however, it was not 
what it seemed. Erected by Messrs. Oliver & Sewell, contractors, 
at a cost of 5,490, from some imperfections in construction it 
was constantly being repaired. This old structure was destroyed 
by fire in 1897. In 1899 the present fine building was erected at 
a cost of $45,000. During 1857 a fire company was organized, 
and great improvements made on several leading streets. Nile 
and Waterloo streets were now graded, at a cost of 45., 


per rod. Downie street was also graded, at a cost of 6s. per rod. 
A census was taken this year, the results of which indicated great 
progress since 1850. The village was now divided into five 
wards Shakespeare, Hamlet, Romeo, Avon, and Falstaff. Enu 
merators were appointed for each of these, Mr. J. J. E. Linton 
being paid i for his services; W. D. Harrison, B. Grant, and 
Jas. Taylor, other enumerators, 155. each. The total population 
being 3,198, action was again taken regarding hotel licenses, 
which were raised to 20. 

1858 saw Stratford elevated to the dignity of a town, with Mr. 
J. C. W. Daly as first mayor. Another new fire engine was 
ordered, and a new bell was placed in the cupola of the market 
building, which since its erection had been silent as the spheres. 
Three new town pumps were ordered from Georgetown for town 
wells. Tanks were placed on principal streets for cases of 

On March 21, 1859, Mr. Linton, notwithstanding these indica 
tions of material development, presents a somewhat doleful report 
regarding poor people in the town. Relief had been given to 33 
families, who were reported as destitute. Mr. Linton is reported 
as carrying 1 a bottle of wine to a dying man named Pat Conners, 
and paying- $2 for his funeral expenses. A soup kitchen was 
established where the poor were fed; the first, and we pray heaven 
it may be the last, ever established in Perth County. In this 
trying period Mr. Linton s conduct presents a noble aspect of 
human character and a tender sympathy for human suffering. 

Mr. Daly having resigned his position as mayor, Mr. William 
Smith was chosen to succeed him. A further sum of ^1,250 was 
granted to the Northern Gravel road. Bowling alleys and billiard 
rooms were now first introduced, and by-laws were passed impos 
ing regulations regarding the manner of conducting them. 

On September i2th, 1860, a great event transpired in Stratford. 
This was a visit from the Prince of Wales, now His Most Gracious 
Majesty King Edward the Seventh. A committee consisting of 
W. F. McCulloch, mayor; William Smith, reeve; Thomas Stoney, 

deputy reeve; Andrew Monteith, warden of the county, and 



Messrs. E. F. Ryerson, P. R. Jarvis, J. C. W. Daly, Sheriff 
Moderwell, S. L. Robarts, and William Mowat were appointed to 
draft an address for presentation to His Royal Highness. The 
little old building which was then used as a station was decorated 
with bunting. Carpets were laid so that royalty would not soil 
his feet as he alighted to receive the professions of loyalty of 
the truly patriotic people of Stratford and vicinity. Great crowds 
were present ; citizens from behind the counter, and pioneers 
from the swamps of Ellice and Elma clad in home-spun and 
who had come many a weary mile over crossways and through 
stumps to see the future ruler of Britain s Empire. They desired 
to give one mighty, heartfelt cheer of God-speed to that modest- 
looking youth, whose appearance recalled to them once more the 
home of their fathers far away across the sea. On arrival of the 
train, as the Prince stepped out on the platform to receive the 
committee, he was greeted by such a cheerastrue British hearts 
only can give. This committee of prominent men, as they shook 
hands with their royal visitor, were covered with glory, and for 
once felt like saying, as did Simeon of old, "Now let me die, for 
mine eyes have seen thy salvation." As another generation has 
sprung up in Stratford since that memorable day, we insert the 
address as read by Mayor McCulloch : 

"70 His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales: 

"May it please Your Royal Highness, We, the inhabitants of 
the Town of Stratford, beg to approach Your Royal Highness 
with assurances of our devotion and loyalty to the Crown and 
authority of Her Most Gracious Majesty the Queen. 

"We, in common with the rest of Her Majesty s loyal subjects 
in this Province, would have felt highly gratified had the ex 
igencies of state permitted Her Majesty in herself to visit the first 
Colony of the Empire and to have received in person the congrat 
ulations of her subjects on the success which has attended the 
mild and equitable rule under which our country is rising so 
rapidly to greatness. 

"We desire to thank Her Majesty for the consideration she has 
shown in permitting Your Royal Highness to visit us, and we 


welcome it as an assurance of our Soverign s earnest desire to 
cement still closer the bonds of interest and affection which con 
nects us with the mother country, and which enables us to share 
in that which is our proudest boast the liberties and glories of 
the British Empire. 

"We regard it as a high privilege to be enabled to welcome Your 
Royal Highness, and we beg respectfully to offer our congratula 
tions on the opportunities which this journey affords Your Royal 
Highness of seeing the country and inhabitants of which you are 
destined we trust at some very distant day to become the 

"Little more than a quarter of a century ago the very country 
through which Your Royal Highness has passed, west of Toronto, 
was one almost unbroken wilderness, and Your Royal Highness 
may realize the rapidity of our material progress by comparing the 
present with the past. This peaceful progress has been fostered 
and protected by British law and British institutions, which we 
cherish as warmly as our fellow-countrymen at home. 

"The visit of Your Royal Highness will tend still further to 
increase the attachment which binds us to the mother country 
an attachment founded on kindred languages, laws, and institu 
tions, and a common sentiment of loyalty to the Soverign head of 
the vast empire of which we form a portion, and in whose 
glorious achievements in the vanguard of civilization we have a 
common share and a common interest. 

"We pray Your Royal Highness to convey to Her Majesty the 
sentiments of high regard in which we hold her rule, and our 
earnest hope that nothing may ever occur to sever a connection 
which is mutually so advantageous, and which we regard as the 
crown of our country s glory. 

"On behalf of the citizens of Stratford. 

"W. F. McCuLLOCH, Mayor." 

To this very flattering testimony of loyalty and affection towards 
Her Majesty s person and government His Royal Highness was 
graciously pleased to make the following reply : 

"Gentlemen, I thank you sincerely for the address which you 


have presented to me. In the Queen s name I acknowledge the 
expression of your loyalty to her Crown and person, and for myself 
I am grateful to you for this welcome to your neighbourhood." 

This terminated the proceedings, and with a few hand-shakings 
and a rousing cheer the visit of His Royal Highness became a 
paragraph in the page of history. 

Meantime, in 1864, population had attained to 3,600 souls, 
to supply whose spirituous wants fourteen hotels were licensed. 
Another innovation was now introduced of great convenience, in 
supplying light for the streets. No effort had previously been 
made in this department of civic government; but quiet, inoffensive 
burghers, returning from business at late hours, were now aided in 
maintaining a decorous and polite deportment in crossing streets 
whose mud in rainy seasons was of unsearchable depths. Mr. 
P. R. Jarvis during this year applied to the Home government 
for a trophy of British power, which young Canadians might look 
upon, and thereby stimulate their military ardour. In reply Strat 
ford received a cannon, captured by Britain in the Crimean war, 
and which now sits peacefully on the north side of Downie street. 
In every section evidences of improvement were perceptible. 
Several elegant churches had been erected, and good substantial 
business blocks were now found on Ontario and Market streets. 
Expenditure on public works had also largely increased since 
1854, being now, in 1867, $18,000. 

Since completing the G. T. R. and the B. & L. H. railway in 
1857, Stratford s commercial supremacy in Perth County was 
assured. This, again, was rendered more secure by the construc 
tion of the Port Dover and Stratford & Huron railways in 1875. 
Wealth was now accumulating, and in 1874 a gas company was 
organized to supersede the oil lamps of an earlier day. These 
luminaries had done pioneer service, although the feeble glimmering 
light emitted seemed to do nothing further than render more per 
ceptible surrounding darkness. Gas was again superseded in 
turn by electric light, which now sparkles on every street and in 
the luxuriant homes of numerous citizens. The assets of the 
Electric Company now reach over $100,000. 


In 1883 a Water Supply Company was organized, with Mr. John 
Corrie as president, having- a capital of $115,000. In 1901 this 
company supplied, through 70,000 ft. of mains, nearly 325,000,000 
imperial gallons of water. This indicates a very great improve 
ment since the first council ordered three pumps from Georgetown 
for the village wells. 

A modern system of fire protection is now in operation, and 
a system of sewage has been introduced. Sewage beds have been 
constructed on the latest scientific principles, where absolute 
purification is attained before being discharged into the river. 

These improvements have demanded a large expenditure in 
their successful prosecution, and the people in 1901 contributed 
for civic taxation $120,000. Of this amount nearly $24,000 was 
set apart for education, $16,540 for local improvements, and 
$13,585 for fire protection, water, and light. 

Before closing this part of our work we desire to add that all 
those fraternal societies, which are doubtless doing great good in 
the world, are fully represented in a population of 10,500 people, 
who are now citizens of Stratford. The benevolent societies are: 
St. George s, St. Andrew s, St. Vincent de Paul, Freemasons, 
Oddfellows, Foresters, Workmen, Orange and Temperance lodges, 
Father Mathew Temperance Society, G. T. R. Benevolent Society, 
Friendly Society, Amalgamated Society of Engineers, Sons of 
Scotland, Sons of England, Knights of Pythias, and others. A 
library and reading room has been established by the railway 
company for their employees. A public library is also maintained, 
containing at present over 4,000 volumes. 

Meantime Stratford had long passed the line of differentia 
between a country village and an important manufacturing town. 
Bad roads or a small representation of farmers wives or daughters 
no longer means a conspicuous depreciation of business. Pros 
perity for her does not rest on wealth produced in the townships 
surrounding, but in that great amalgamation of skill and labour 
found within her own limits. This work of deft hands is now 
sent to almost every corner of the world in manufactured goods. 

In 1870 the Grand Trunk workshops were opened under the 


management of Mr. Thomas Patterson, whose son, Robert 
Patterson, is now master mechanic of this immense establishment. 
Locating these workshops in Stratford resulted from that policy 
persistently carried forward by her public men for many years. A 
concentration of railroads at this point led to construction of the 
mechanical appliances necessary to their economical operation. 
During 1888 these great buildings as they now exist were com 
pleted, and became a centre of industry within whose noisy walls 
800 workmen earn a comfortable subsistence for themselves and 

Next in importance to these great mechanical works is a large 
furniture factory erected by the George McLagan Furniture Co. 
Mr. McLagan, who appears to be a person of great administrative 
ability, had operated a similar establishment for many years, which 
was destroyed by fire in 1900. The present building is an impos 
ing one of white brick, within whose walls are employed about 
200 hands. Manufactured goods from this establishment are 
shipped to every corner of the world. 

The Macdonald Manufacturing Co. was established in 1876 
for constructing threshing machinery. This business has been a 
successful one, and is still carried on by one of the original founders 
and his two sons, P. A. and J. R. Macdonald. Large brick buildings 
were erected in 1901 to accommodate an increasing trade. About 
50 men are employed. 

The Stratford Mill Building Co. is another large and important 
industry, employing over 100 men. This establishment is operated 
by Mr. William Preston, present proprietor, who manufactures 
mill machinery of every description. 

The Startford Bridge and Iron Works were founded in 1892 by 
Mr. W. W. Cowan, and are now operated by Mr. Thos. Halliday, 
with Mr. Cowan as superintendent. This industry constructs 
steel bridges, wind-mills, grinders, force and lift pumps. Im 
proved roads has created a great demand for steel bridges, which 
in old days did not exist. This factory employs about 50 men. 

The Whyte Packing Co., organized by John Whyte in 1899, 
while a source of wealth to Stratford, is of great importance 


to the agricultural districts surrounding-. This establishment is 
well equipped, and affords employment to a large staff of work 

One of the oldest industries in Stratford was that of Thomas Orr 
& Sons, originally a planing mill. In 1884 this factory was 
enlarged, and the manufacture of sideboards introduced. It 
was subsequently acquired by the Canada Furniture Co., by 
whom it is now operated, under Mr. V. Knechtel as manager, 
employing about 50 hands. 

David Easson s planing mills and furniture factory is another 
thriving industry. Interior house furnishings, office and bar 
fittings are principally turned out. This business was founded by 
Scrimgeour Bros, over 30 years ago, and now employs about 45 

The Anchor Wire Fence Co. was assumed by its present owners 
in 1900, and is engaged in manufacturing farm and ornamental 
fences and gates. This business is controlled by Messrs. James 
Esplen and Robert Frame, and goods are largely sent to Manitoba, 
where an excellent market has been obtained. 

The firm of which Mr. E. T. Dufton is head has been in exist 
ence for over 30 years, and engaged in manufacturing woollen 
goods. Over 40 workers are employed, and their fabrics are sold 
throughout all Canada. 

The Perth Flax and Cordage Co. was organized in 1895 by Mr. 
John Hogarth, and incorporated in its present form in 1897. This 
firm manufactures twine, cordage, binder twine, rope, and flax. 
About 75 men are now employed under Mr. A. H. Raymond, as 

Another useful industry in Stratford, under Mr. E. T. Dufton 
as president, is the Stratford Clothing Co. This establishment 
manufactures the finest grade of clothing of all kinds, and employs 
a staff of 50 hands. 

Messrs. Thornton & Douglas are also engaged in manufac 
turing men s clothing, and have branch stores in Guelph and 

The Emperor Cycle Works were established in 1893 by Kalb- 


fleisch Bros. , for making and repairing bicycles. Woodworking 
machinery is also made by this firm, which employs a number of 

Ruston Bros. planing mills have a large trade in builders sup 
plies, employing at present about 35 hands. Doors, sash, blinds, 
and house furnishing goods of all kinds are manufactured and 
sold. These, with a great number of smaller industries, give 
employment to thousands of people at remunerative wages, and 
are really the conduits through which pass the life blood of Strat 
ford s commercial greatness. 

At present other manufacturing establishments are being erected. 
The Globe-Wernicke Manufacturing Co. have in course of con 
struction a large brick building, where high-class office and other 
fittings will be made, which will employ from 100 to 150 hands. 

Excavations are also being made for a large building, where 
manure spreaders will be made (the pioneer factory of this kind in 
the Dominion), to be operated by the Kemp Manure Spreader Co. 

A Company is also being organized to be known as the Mooney 
Biscuit Co., for manufacturing biscuits, which will employ hun 
dreds of workers. 

A great amount of capital has been and is being invested in 
promoting and carrying out these enterprises, which are of vast 
consequence, not only to Stratford, but the surrounding country. 

Amongst those financial institutions which have taken deep 
root in Stratford is the Perth Mutual Fire Insurance Co. This 
Company was organized in 1863, with Dr. John Hyde as president, 
and William J. Imlach as secretary. It appears to have been 
intended to transact business on farm property only. Progress 
for several years was necessarily slow. Subsequent to Mr. 
Packert being appointed secretary, a change of policy was effected, 
it entering the field as a competitor for commercial risks. This 
has been followed by marked success. Under its first year s 
operations in 1863 262 policies were issued, amounting to 
$156,234. As security for this large sum premium notes for 
$2,656 were held. These were days of small things, however, 
previous to a period of expansion and decided success. For the 

1 ,k 1, ,J. Ul 











year 1902 there were in force 16,840 policies, covering- property 
valued at $18,382,724. As security for these risks were mort 
gages, debentures, and other assets, amounting- to $241,509 over 
all liabilities. Mr. Imlach was succeeded as secretary by Mr. 
William Mowat, and he, in 1877, by Mr. Packert. Dr. Hyde, as 
president, was followed by Mr. James Trow, and he by Mr. 
William Davidson, county clerk, now president. 

The British Mortgage Loan Co. is another monetary institution 
creditable to the city. This Company was organized in London 
during 1877, re-organized and removed to Stratford in 1878. 
This Company transacts a banking business, in so far that it 
receives money on deposit, lending on mortgage for a term 
of years. Since re-orginization and removal to Stratford, under 
the management of Mr. William Buckingham, it has met with 
marked success. It is most creditable to those who guide its 
interests that no case of hardship has ever occurred with their 
patrons, as frequently happens to institutions loaning on mort 
gage. It must be remembered, however, that along with Mr. 
Buckingham has always been associated in its management 
one or other of Perth s great men, who, as president, has 
afforded valuable advice and assistance in disposing of its affairs. 
Mr. James Corcoran was first president, and was succeeded by 
Mr. Andrew Monteith, and he again by Mr. James Trow. This 
position is at present held by Hon. Thomas Ballantyne. 

The Stratford Building and Savings Society, which commenced 
business in 1887, has been a source of profit to its patrons 
by inculcating a spirit of thrift, in order to secure homes for 
themselves and families. This institution loans to working men 
such sums as enable them to erect homes, payments being so 
arranged that their liabilities can be^discharged by a smalPcontri- 
bution from their monthly earnings. The business of this Society 
is confined to Stratford and conducted on liberal terms. This 
liberality has been so far appreciated by its patrons that during its 
existence no loss has been experienced. In the city are also 
branches of the Bank of Montreal, Bank of Commerce and 
Merchants Bank.. All of which have contributed to developing 


trade, by supplying capital to business men, enabling" them to 
carry on those enterprises so essential to progress. 

While these indications of advancement in national wealth are 
gratifying" to all, facilties for imparting" instruction to the young" 
are still of a more marked character. To those who are yet resi 
dents it will appear but a short time since they sat in the log school 
building-, and at recess gathered beech-nuts in what is now the 
collegiate grounds, or played at "hide-and-seek" amongst brush 
and saw-logs, occupying that space where now stands the city hall. 
A short time, indeed, but pregnant with events, continuous progress 
and marvellous innovation. In 1834 Mr. J. J. E. Linton opened 
a private school, the first in Perth County. In 1841 was erected 
a log school, so often referred to by historians, in Stratford. In 
1843, we have the first report of school work, when about 30 
children of all ages met in that old log building, which stood on 
the site of the present central school. There could be no report 
of this or any other school prior to 1843. The first school Act 
was passed in 1841, and under its provisions were opened in 1842 
all public schools then in the province. To-day 2,000 children, in 
eight spacious school buildings, answer the roll call. Thirty 
teachers are now employed. The whole of these schools are 
under the inspectorate of Mr. J. Russell Stuart, who is principal 
of the city public schools. There is also a Roman Catholic 
separate school, with a full staff of teachers, under separate 
school inspectors of Ontario. 

In 1853 were assembled the first grammar school classes, under 
principal Rev. Thomas Russell. In 1854 C. J. McGregor, M.A., 
a graduate of Toronto University, became principal, conducting 
the school with success until he resigned in 1883. In 1878-9 a 
fine high school building was erected. This structure was at that 
time and is, perhaps, now, one of the most beautiful school build 
ings in Canada. During the period when Mr. William McBride 
was principal, who had succeeded Mr. McGregor, this institution 
was raised to the status of a collegiate institute. Under the 
present principal Mr. C. A. Mayberry, B.A., LL. B. this school 
maintains a position in the first rank of our educational system. 


A modern innovation in our educational system was introduced 
into this city during 1891 by establishing" kindergarten schools. 
Since the first one was opened in that year two others have been 
added. These schools are presided over by three female teachers, 
with Mrs. L. Irvine as principal, who maintains a general super 
vision over the whole, and are kept open from 9 to 12 o clock 
only. Pupils are admitted between the ages of four and seven 
years, and to those who delight in associating with children these 
little people, of whom there are about 140 in attendance, form a 
very interesting study. They are not taught to read modelling, 
drawing, weaving, sewing, songs, games, and other exercises 
occupying their attention. In our tender years the faculty of im 
itation is singularly active, and that distinctive trend of thought, 
found to a greater or lesser degree in all by its early manifesta 
tions in any of these departments, would likely be roused to 
activity, thus rendering those studies an important factor in 
development. These schools are maintained by a general rate 
levied on the city. This really interesting work, first promoted 
by Messrs. J. Russell Stuart, principal of the public schools, 
W. J. Ferguson, and Jo"hn Welsh, has been productive of good 
results, and is quite in accord with public sentiment. 

Further remarks on our school system will be found in a chapter 
relating to public schools. 

On September 11, 1849, was issued the first newspaper printed 
in Perth County. This was known as the Perth County News, and 
published by Mr. Thomas Rowland. It may be proper to state 
here that Mr. Robert McLagan, who assisted on that great occa 
sion, is still a resident of Stratford, and the oldest printer, per 
haps, in Western Ontario. For this notice of the press in Strat 
ford I am greatly indebted to a pamphlet published by Mr. Mc 
Lagan a short time ago in relation to this important subject. Mr. 
Rowland s paper seems to have survived only for a short time, 
and was supplanted by the Examiner, which also appears to 
have been somewhat ephemeral. The Beacon, now the oldest 
paper in Perth County, was first published on December 29th, 
1854, by Mr. Peter Eby, a citizen of Berlin. Mr. William Mowat 


was editor and manager. It was a four-page sheet, with six 
columns to each page, a total of 480 inches of space, and sold at 
$2 per annum in advance, and $2.50 if not so paid. "Farm 
produce taken at market prices, cordwood, and turnips, as may be 
agreed upon." In the autumn of 1863 Mr. Mowat sold the paper 
to Mr. W. Buckingham, who had hitherto published the Norfolk 
Reformer, and who was at that time private secretary to the 
Postmaster-General at the then seat of government in Quebec. 
On his appointment as private secretary to Hon. Alexander 
Mackenzie, Prime Minister of Canada, in 1873, Mr. Buckingham 
disposed of the business to his partner, Mr. Alexander Matheson. 
To-day this paper contains sixteen six-column pages, with 1,920 
inches of space, and is sold at $i per annum. In 1887 a daily 
edition was issued by Mr. Matheson, which was subsequently 
abandoned. Mr. W. M. O Beirne, for several years associated 
with the Globe and other Ontario journals, the Beacon s proprietor 
since 1891, again issued a daily edition, which has been successful, 
having a large circulation. This "History of Perth" is published 
in the Beacon office, under the mechanical superintendence of 
Mr. J. T. Perry. The Beacon, since its inception, has been an 
unflinching advocate of Reform principles, doing good service for 
its party. 

In 1852 the Stratford Examiner was published by Messrs. T. M. 
Daly and Edwin Dent, and in 1855 passed over to Mr. S. L. 
Robarts, who published it until the late 6o s. The Perth County 
News was first published in 1863 by Vivian & Maddocks, and was 
shortly afterwards issued as the Herald, in June of that year. 
John M. Robb bought it out in 1867, and published it until 1872, 
when Alex. Williamson and H. T. Butler published it until 1874, 
at which time it was purchased by Mr. James Robb. In June, 
1874, Mr. H. T. Butler first published the Stratford Times, and 
continued it to 1890. In about two years after this it was 
merged into the Herald. The Times was a paper of considerable 
influence for a number of years. Mr. Butler then established 
the Sun, but it gave away in the face of the two dailies before 
a year rolled over. 


In 1886 the Herald was purchased by Dingman Bros., who 
moved it in 1900 to its present elegant quarters on Market square. 
This paper has also been successful, being now a sixteen-page 
sheet, and sold to subscribers at $i per annum. In 1887 a daily 
was issued, which has now a large circulation. Both of the Strat 
ford daily papers have a great advertising patronage, and certainly 
have done much in promoting the business interests of the city. 

In 1863 was established a weekly German paper, named the 
Colonist. This sheet was founded by Jacob Teuscher. In 1872 
it became the property of Messrs. Schmidt & Scherer, and five 
years later Mr. Schmidt became sole proprietor. The Colonist has 
a large patronage amongst the Germans, a number of whom are 
settled near Stratford. Since the period when the News was 
launched, many ventures have been made, but not with great 
success. An Orange Gazette was published for some time, but 
abandoned. These, with a paper called the Advertiser, constitute 
the journalistic ventures in Stratford. 

During 1888 steps were being taken to erect a suitable building 
for a hospital. If "Man s inhumanity to man makes countless 
thousands mourn," man s humanity to man makes many a stricken 
heart rejoice. Stratford hospital is a noble charity, and, as a 
purely philanthropic work, excels all others in this county. Its 
promoters were the Co. Warden, and Mayor H. T. Butler, Messrs. 
John Hossie, William Davidson, Hon. Thos. Ballantyne, James 
O Loane, John Idington, William Buckingham, J. P. Woods 
(judge), James Corcoran, E. T. Dufton, John Mclntyre, and W. R. 
Tiffin. This committee soon obtained subscriptions amounting to 
$17,000. Of this sum Mr. Wm. Byers, an old pioneer, bequeathed 
$2,000, and by making the Trust residuary legatee to his will this 
great work received $2,000 more. Stratford municipal council 
granted $2,000 and five acres of land. The county council also 
granted $2,000, the balance being subscribed in sums ranging 
from fifty cents to several hundred dollars. Every effort was 
made by the ladies of Stratford to procure necessary appliances 
and a full equipment, in which they succeeded. When completed it 
was unencumbered. Patients are charged $2.80 per week for 


care and medical treatment. When private wards and special 
attendance are required, higher rates are paid. The poor and 
helpless are generously treated free. Arrangements are made 
whereby the charitable and benevolent may subscribe $100 per 
annum, which will entitle them to a bed for one patient each year. 
Any person making" a grant of $2,500, or real estate producing 
$150 per annum, can send one patient in perpetuity. A patient so 
entering under this proviso must be an indigent. The citizens of 
Stratford may point to this building with greater pride than to any 
other of which their city can boast. 

Religious service was a function never neglected in pioneer 
days. Whatever the pioneer s circumstances or environment, this, 
at least, was always vouchsafed to him : that he could meet in 
a shanty with those of his own denomination and worship God. 
In 1838 a grant of land was made by the Canada Co. to the 
Presbyterian Church. Old St. Andrew s, in Stratford, was the 
first Presbyterian congregation in this county. A new building 
was erected of logs in 1840, the corner stone being laid on 
July i6th, by Mr. Alexander McDonald. On November 2ist, 
1839, the Rev. Daniel Allan became Perth s first Presbyterian 
minister. With him were, as elders, John Stewart, Robert Eraser, 
George Hyde, John Gibb, and Mathew Nelson. Mr. Allan also 
preached in Woodstock, this place and Stratford being united at 
this time under one minister, who rode through the bush on horse 
back between these points, there being no roads. In 1842 came 
the disruption in Scotland, which was soon followed by Canada. 
Meantime, Mr. Allan had established St. Andrew s church in 
North Easthope. During 1844 he withdrew from both, and 
organized a new congregation on those principles so effectively 
taught by the Edinburgh divine and the stone mason of Cromarty. 
The old time-honored institution, which had done so much for 
Scotland, was deprived of a portion of her glory. That "Old 
Kirk," whose hoary and time-worn edifices had rendered sacred 
many a quiet nook in lonely glens and valleys far remote, now 
bereft of her former glory, was still undismayed in her native land. 
In Canada she was ruined. In 1848 Mr. Bell was inducted in 


Stratford and North Easthope St. Andrew s churches. In 1857 a 
separation took place. Mr. Miller succeeded Mr. Bell. In 1863 
Rev. Dr. George came, remaining till 1870. Rev. Mr. Wilkins 
succeeded Dr. George, and he by Rev. E. W. Waits. During 
1883 Rev. E. W. Panton was inducted, under whose ministra 
tions great progress has been made. Total membership at that 
period was 155, now increased to 350. In 1868 the present build 
ing was erected, although latterly great improvements have been 
effected, adding much to the comfort and convenience of the con 

Knox Church, Stratford, was founded by the Rev. Thomas 
McPherson, in 1849. This minister was of splendid physique, 
douse, and energetic. He was selected by the Free Church Society 
in Scotland to plant those reforms in Evangelical discipline so 
recently introduced in that country. Service was first held in the 
school house, until a church was erected in 1850, Knox congrega 
tion increased rapidly, and in 1869 greater accommodation had to be 
obtained. In 1870, therefore, the foundation of the present build 
ing was laid by Mr. Henry Gibson. This is the most imposing 
church edifice in Stratford, and presents an outline of singular 
grace and beauty. Its seating capacity is about 1,500. In 1878 
Mr. McPherson retired, being succeeded by Mr. McLeod, now of 
London, England. During 1881 Mr. Wright was inducted, who 
was followed by Rev. Lauchlin M. Leitch, in June, 1891. Over 
1,100 members are now under Mr. Leitch s ministration, 900 of 
whom have become communicants since his inception. A session 
composed of George Hunter, John Mclntyre, James Callin, Wm. 
Jeffrey, George Malcolm, Henry Duncan, James Barton, Samuel 
Rankin, J. A. Bothwell, J. J. Forbes, William Donaldson, F. 
Buckingham, W. H. Fletcher, and William Ireland assist in 
church work. Another officer who appears to be part of the 
institution itself is Mr. Ralph Donaldson (son of an old precentor), 
who is caretaker, treasurer, and secretary of the Sabbath school. 

St. Joseph s Roman Catholic is one of four congregations 
organized prior to all others in this county. This parish contains 
over 400 families, 320 of which reside in Stratford; 32 in Downie; 


34 in Ellice; 10 in South Easthope, and 7 in North Easthope. 
The first Catholic settlers arrived in 1832, and were John Phelan 
and his five sons, Mrs. Thomas Sergeant, John Stinson, Richard 
O Donnell, Patrick Cashin, Misses Julia Coffey, Margaret Ang-lin, 
and Alice Daly. Mass was first celebrated in this county about 
November, 1832, by Rev. Father Dempsey, who came here from 
St. Thomas. On June 4th, 1833, Father Dempsey again visited 
Stratford, celebrating the first two sacraments in Perth County by 
uniting in marriage Richard O Donnell and Julia Coffey, also 
baptising Edward Stinson, son of John Stinson. During 1835 
another priest visited this new settlement, supposed to be Father 
Downie, of London. In May of that year Richard O Donnell and 
his wife took their child to Guelph for baptism, accompanied by 
Patrick Cashin and Miss Daly. Miss Daly returned Mrs, Cashin. 

On the loth of November, 1835, Rev. Father J. B. Werreat, of 
Waterloo, visited Stratford, remaining three days, offering up 
mass and giving instructions. This good German priest walked 
all the way from Waterloo, carrying his vestments on his back. 
It was late on a stormy November night when he reached Widow 
Cashin s log hut. The news of his arrival spread like wildfire 
among the settlers, who came the following morning to give him 
caed mille failthea. 

From Stratford he set out on the i4th for Dennis Downie s 
Irishtown accompanied by young William Cashin, who volun 
teered to carry the sacred vestments, continuing his journey to 
Goderich, where he remained two days. On his return to 
Downie s a great gathering of Catholics was there to greet him, 
and he remained two days. When he arrived at Stratford 
he was worn out with fatigue; being poorly clad he suffered 
intensely from cold. From Stratford, still accompanied by Cashin, 
he went to Woodstock. It was then December, and snow had 
fallen heavily before the poor priest started on his return journey. 
He was almost frozen when he reached Stratford. During this 
whole missionary trip he slept in his own clothes. He continued 
to visit the mission regularly until replaced by Father Gibney in 


49 1 

From 1837 to 1842 Father Gibney had charge of Guelph and 
Stratford. During his administration the first church was erected, 
a frame structure, 40 x 40, which remained for many years un- 
plastered and unfinished. In 1843 confirmation was administered 
for the first time in Stratford by Right Rev. Dr. Power. 

In 1842 Rev. Peter Schneider replaced Father Gibney, and 
continued to visit the mission until 1852, when he was removed to 
Brantford, remaining for two years, and returning again in 1856. 
During his absence Rev. John Ryan and Rev. Robert Kelcher 
looked after the spiritual wants of this fast increasing flock. The 
first resident priest was Rev. P. J. Canney, in 1856, under whose 
administration the church was much enlarged. Father Canney 
continued in charge until replaced by Rev. Peter Francis Crinnon, 
on June 6th, 1858. Father Crinnon remained until he was created 
Bishop of Hamilton, in April, 1874. 

During the administration of this priest the church had been 
again enlarged, and a pastoral residence built at a cost of $1,600. 
The increasing demands of the congregation rendered a larger 
building necessary, and on the 27th day of September, 1867, the 
foundation stone of St. Joseph s Church was laid by Very Rev. 
J. A. Bruyere, administrator of the Diocese of London. This fine 
building is 156x60 feet, with a width of 70 feet at transept, and 
has a seating capacity for nine hundred, the whole costing over 
$30,000. Before the new church was fully completed, Very Rev. 
Dean Crinnon was chosen Bishop of Hamilton, and was conse 
crated in his new office on the igth day of April, 1874, Archbishop 
Lynch officiating. 

Since 1874 the church has been under the administration of Rev. 
E. B. Kilroy, D. D., who has done much to further its interests. 
The most enduring monument to the energy and devotion of this 
prelate is the Loretto Convent, founded in 1878 through his 
instrumentality, at a cost of $10,500, over half of which was 
contributed by the kind-hearted Doctor himself. He has been 
active in promoting education among his people, and on all 
occasions is charitable and liberal in his contributions to their 
wants. He is a person of amiable disposition, widely and deeply 
read, a fluent speaker, and a distinguished man. 



St. James Anglican church was founded in 1844 by Rev. 
Thomas Hickey. This missionary was sent by Bishop Strachan, 
of Toronto, to gather tog-ether the settlers belonging to that 
denomination and form a congregation. Huron was not set apart 
from Toronto as a separate diocese for several years subsequent 
to this Tract being opened up. As Mr. Hickey was first minister, 
he was certainly the greatest ever officiating in St. James or any 
other ecclesiastical building in Stratford, his weight being 320 
pounds. Services were held in the Shakespeare hotel and the log 
school house. A few years subsequent to his arrival Mr. Hickey 
was able to erect a small building, which was never completed. 
This church occupied the site of the present St. James , on the 
corner of St. Michael and St. George streets. Rev. Canon 
Ephraim Patterson was inducted in 1851, and a new brick building 
erected. This church, through imperfect construction, was soon 
replaced by the present one. The ecclesiastical buildings erected 
by this congregation are now extensive, and cost nearly $40,000, 
exclusive of $8,000 which was paid for the organ now used. 
Since organization only three ministers have been in charge Rev. 
Mr. Hickey, Rev. Canon Patterson, and Rev. David Williams, 
M. A., present incumbent. The first choir in Perth County of 
which we have any notice assisted in this congregation. It was 
composed of the Lee family, Miss Mary Woods, Messrs. Robert 
McFarlane, A. Haines, and S. R. Hesson. A Mr. Wilson played 
the flute, accompanied by Mr. Hesson on a big horn and another 
performer with a clarionet. It is said that when this trio had 
risen, "cresendo style," in their finest symphonies to the most 
sublime point of excellence, so terrible was their molody that the 
wild fowl on Victoria Lake took flight in dismay, never resting 
their weary wings till a secluded spot was reached far away in the 
Ellice swamp. 

The Home Memorial church, also Episcopalian, was founded in 
1877 by Rev. J. P. Curran. A building erected first as a Sabbath 
school was extended and otherwise improved, rendering it suitable 
for a place of worship. Rev. David Deacon, present incumbent, 
was inducted in 1882. About 80 families are in connection. A 


Sabbath school is also conducted by Mr. Charles Davis, having- an 
attendance of 90 pupils. Church buildings of this congregation 
are not pretentious, but comfortable, and cost about $2,000. 

The Congregational church was founded in 1862 by Rev. Mr. 
Durant. From a small beginning this congregation has been 
quite successful, having now a membership of 70, with about 150 
adherents. A neat church building has been erected at a cost of 
.$12,000, a large portion of which was donated by one of its mem 
bers. A Sabbath school is also conducted, having- an attendance 
of 70 pupils, with Mr. Louis Moir as superintendent. This con 
gregation is now in charge of Rev. G. A. Mackenzie. 

Zion Evangelical Lutheran church, " Missouri Synod," was 
organized in 1859 by Rev. Mr. Hengerer, and was composed of 
1 8 families. A small frame church was erected in 1863. Progress 
in this church has been steady since its inception, and a new brick 
building- has been constructed at a cost of $3,000. There are 
now in connection with this church about 66 members, together 
with adherents numbering 350 souls. Rev. J. C. Spilman is 
pastor, and conducts a Sabbath school, having an attendance 
of 70 pupils. 

The Central Methodist church is an old ecclesiastical organiza 
tion in Stratford, Rev. M. Dignam being its first minister; and 
its principal promoters William Rooney, James Rust, and J. W. 
Mills. Fifty years ago Rev. John Wakefield, D.D., now of Paris, 
preached his first sermon to a few worshippers in this old church, 
and in June, 1902, was privileged to give his jubilee discourse to 
what is now a large and wealthy congregation. A short period 
subsequent to organization in 1845 a frame building was erected 
where the present edifice now stands. Service was held in this 
structure until 1870, when a portion of the present building was 
constructed, and which was again enlarged in 1874. This is now 
a large brick edifice, costing over $15,000, and, although modest 
in architectural design, is quite modern in its appointments, afford 
ing comfortable accommodation to the hundreds of worshippers 
who assemble on Sabbath days within its walls. From a mem 
bership at its inception of 12 a marvellous increase has taken 


place, there being- now over 500. A Sabbath school is also con 
ducted, Mr. Henry Walton, as superintendent, having over 400 
pupils on the roll, and an average of nearly 300 in weekly attend 
ance. Rev. E. N. Baker, M.A., B.D., is pastor. 

The Centennial church of the Evangelical Association is a 
modern organization, service being first held in a brick cottage in 
1888. Its principal promoters were Henry Ender, Robert Heide- 
man, and Peter Dierlamm. Only eight members composed the 
first congreg-ation. In this church there has been marked pro 
gress, it having- now a membership of 220. In 1900 a very fine 
brick edifice was erected at a cost of nearly $11,000. During 
1888 a Sabbath school was also organized, with an attendance of 
12 pupils, now increased to about 300, with Mr. A. Knechtel as 
superintendent. Present minister is Rev. W. A. Hehn. 

The Baptist church was organized in 1859, and meetings held in 
a log house on Cobourg street and the police office. Its principal 
promoters were T. J. Birtch, D. Davis, and Thomas Campbell. 
Rev. R. McLelland was first minister. At this period it had a 
membership of 14, now increased to over 300. During- 1860 a 
frame church was erected, where service was held till 1889, when 
the present brick edifice was built at a cost of about $12,000. A 
Sabbath school was organized about 1865, with a few pupils, now 
increased to about 140", under the superintendence of Mr. George 
McLagan. Rev. W. J. McKay, B.A., B.D., is pastor, under whose 
ministrations steady progress is being made. 

Waterloo street Methodist congregation is comparatively an 
old one, being organized in 1854. Beyond that of Wm. Osborne, 
I have been unable to obtain information regarding names of its 
promoters. About 1857 a frame church was built, where service 
was held till 1880. when the present brick building was con 
structed at a cost of about $6,000. When this congregation was 
organized it was composed of 50 members, now increased to 280. 
A Sabbath school was also opened in 1857, which has steadily 
increased in numbers, till it has now an average attendance of 
150 pupils, with Mr. C. Carter as superintendent. Pastor in 1902 
was Rev. Mr. Going. 


Medical practitioners in Stratford now are Drs. J. A. Corcoran, 
J. M. Dunsmore, J. A. Devlin, George Deacon, D. B. Fraser, 
D. M. Fraser, (Miss) Daisy Macklin, J. D. Monteith, J. A. 
Robertson, W. N. Robertson, J. P. Rankin, and W. G. Walker. 
Dentists. Drs. A. E. Ahrens, J. A. Bothwell, E. H. Eidt, W. R. 
Hamilton, and A. A. Mackenzie. Veterinary surgeons J. W. Orr 
and Wm. Steele. 

The legal profession embraces the firms of Idington & Robert 
son, Mabee & Makins, McPherson & Davidson, Smith & Steele, 
Woods & Coughlin, G. W. Lawrence & Son, R. T. Harding, 
A. M. Panton, and A. H. Monteith. 

The executive officers of Stratford from incorporation as a town 
in 1854 are as follows: 

Reeves. 1854-5, W. J. McCulloch; 1856-8, A. B. Orr. 

Mayors, During 1859 Stratford was created a town, electing a 
mayor as chief magistrate, T. M. Daly first occupying that position. 
1860-2, W. F. McCulloch; 1863-7, p - R - Jarvis; 1868, J. A. 
Carrall; 1869-70, T. M. Daly; 1871-2, John A. McCulloch; 1873-4, 
Thomas Stoney; 1875, Samuel R. Hesson; 1876-8, T. M. Daly; 
1879, Alex. Grant; 1880-1, A. W. Robb; 1882, David Scrimgeour; 
1883, Wm. Roberts; 1884-5, William Gordon; 1886-7 C. J. Mac- 
gregor; 1888-9, H. T. Butler; 1890-1, John Brown; 1892, Elijah 
Hodgins; 1893-4, John C. Monteith; 1895-6, William Davidson; 
1897-8, John O Donohue; 1899-1900, James Hodd; 1901-2, James 

Clerks. 1854, Stewart Campbell; 1855-6, S. L. Robarts; 1857-9, 
Alexander Leitch; 1860-2, John Hamilton; 1863-5, Henry Sewell, 
sr. ; 1866-82, Henry Sewell, jr.; 1883-1902, Robert R. Lang. 

Treasurers. 1854, Adam Seegmiller; 1855-65, Alexander Mc 
Gregor ; 1866-95, George W. Lawrence ; 1896-1902, William 

Assessors. 1854, James Woods, Charles Vivian, Peter Fergu 
son; 1855-6, Robert Keays, Alexander Scrimgeour; 1857, John A. 
Scott, Alex. Scrimgeour; 1858, P. Ferguson, Robert Monteith; 
1859, R. Monteith; 1860-1, William Hynes ; 1862-5, William 
Easson; 1866-9, D. T. Bailey; 1870, Joseph Johns; 1871, James 


Bennoch; 1872-86, D. T. Bailey; 1887, P. R. Jarvis, D. McPher- 
son; 1888, James Sharman; 1889, W. S. Bolger; 1890-1902, Jas. 

Collectors. 1854, Robert Johnson; 1855-6, R. Keays; 1857-61, 
William Downie; 1862-4, Robert Service; 1865-78, Joseph Johns; 
1879-80, Thomas Stoney; 1881-95, J. Johns; 1896-1902, David 

Auditors. 1854, Peter Reid, S. L. Robarts; 1855-6, Robert 
Williams, Mr. Mickle; 1857, R. M. Hay, John M. Robb; 1858, 
Jas. Orr, Jas. Redford; 1859, Peter Watson, P. R. Jarvis; 1860, 
William Powell, Wm. D. Harrison; 1861, R. S. Service, Henry 
Sewell; 1862, R. S. Service, W. D. Harrison; 1863, John Watson, 
Wm. Whitley; 1864, C. A. Crawford, Thomas Clark; 1865, Thos. 
Clark, R. H. Nielson; 1866, Thcs. Clark, Edwin Dent; 1867, John 
D. Hanson, Henry Imlach; 1868, Thos. Clark, John A. Scott; 
1869, Thos. Clark, E. Dent; 1870, Thos. Maddocks, C. J. Mac- 
greg-or; 1871, Thos. Clark, Jas. O Loane; 1872, Alexander Caven, 
Thos. Clark; 1873, Thos. Clark, John A. Scott; 1874-5, Thos - 
Clark, F. A. Marshall; 1876-8, Thos. Clark, J. A. Scott; 1879-80, 
J. A. Scott, Alfred Burnham; 1881, David Scott, A. Burnham; 
1882-3, D. Scott, W. H. Burnham; 1884-95, W. H. Burnham, 
G. G. Ewart; 1896, P. R. Jarvis, G. G. Ewart; 1897-1902, H. W. 
Copus, G. G. Ewart. 








We rejoice in these sketches of our pioneers to place before the 
reader of to-day and those of a far distant future a portrayal of 
those characters who have left so great an impress on this 
county. To the present they may be entertaining, to posterity 
instructive. Imbued they were with a bold and robust indi 
viduality, typical of a large class of our early settlers. The work 
accomplished by these old veterans requires no special pleading to 
render their lives a subject of such import as to demand the 
exercise of literary merit far beyond the humble effort of at least 
one who has essayed the task of placing them on record. The 
lowly circumstances in which they were placed, to struggle with 
penury alone, far from home and friends, in a constant endeavour 
to attain success through honest and steady perseverance, never 
losing sight of true manhood, never without an aim and a deter 
mination to attain it, surely adds lustre to pioneer life. On these 
qualities true greatness must ever rest, and are worthy of emula 
tion by every youth entering on his career to play a part in the 
great drama of life. 

During 1828 the Canada Co. were completing arrangements in 
London for opening up that great wilderness in Upper Canada 
where men in future years would found a new home for them 
selves. In January of that year was born in Droughty Ferry, a 
suburb of Dundee, Scotland, one who was destined to play an 
important part in that yet unknown land. 

DAVID DAVIDSON HAY was the eldest son of Robert Hay, and 


descended from an Inverness-shire family, his mother being a 
native of Forfarshire. He was educated at the parochial schools, 
chiefly in the English branches, a dash of mathematics being- 
thrown in, and well ballasted with the shorter catechism. In 1845 
he came to Montreal, remaining for some time, engaged in mer 
cantile pursuits. Removing to Upper Canada, he became an 
employee of Senator Simpson, at Bowmanville, where he remained 
for a short time. During 1851 he went to Simcoe County, and 
entered into business at Cherry Creek and Lefroy, being quite 
successful in his operations. 

It was not till 1855, however, that he reached the crucial period 
of his life. While on a visit to relatives in Wallace he purchased 
three acres of land as a saw mill site where Listowel now stands. 
During 1856, therefore, along with his father and other members 
of the family, he removed to this county, and erected a saw and 
grist mill. Although surrounded by a fertile country, it was yet 
but sparsely settled, and a paucity of business rendered this 
venture for a time not very successful. Pioneer commercial life 
was attended with as great difficulties as those inseparable to 
clearing a farm, although, perhaps, not quite so laborious. Lis 
towel, at this period, had only one leading road, extending along 
the townline of Wallace and Elma towards Berlin, a distance of 
35 miles. To make a round trip over this highway required one 
week. In 1856 when Mr. Hay moved his family from Glenallen, 
a distance of 15 miles, to Listowel, two days were spent struggling 
over crossways and through mud holes. Postal facilities were 
semi-weekly, and an old horse possessed by the mail carrier was 
impressed into moving the "flittin ." As the procession toiled 
on through holes and over crossways, it came to a sudden halt in 
the centre of a mud trap so great and of such vast depth as to defy 
human calculations. The old equine was unable to proceed, and 
from his soft resting place, still anchored to the "flittin ," looked 
to the shore beseechingly for aid. The doughty proprietor, seeing 
the dangerous situation of his goods, was forced to strip off his 
lower garments, in defiance of his innate modesty, plunge into the 
mud bath, extricate the old horse s foot from an elm root, where 


it had become fast, and so allow the "flittin" to move on. 
Episodes of this kind were of frequent occurrence, and Mr. Hay 
says "The machinery for our mill was hauled in trom Berlin, the 
boiler being- one week in making- 35 miles, with a squad of men 
and teams, costing- $100, and, although we had several upsets no 
one was badly hurt. " 1 Mr. Hay subsequently assumed manage 
ment of the grist mill, and under his energetic manipulation 
the g-loomy prospects at its inception soon eventuated in success. 
This enabled him not only to extend his business in other lines, 
but to increase the capacity of his mill by adding- new and im 
proved machinery, it becoming an important factor in promoting 
prosperity in this new hamlet. 

In 1858 came an important period in this man s life. So far he 
had not found a resting place for his feet in any of those vocations 
in which he was eng-ag-ed. From a sense of duty he stood in his 
store selling needles and pins, or in his mill weighing- out grists to 
backwoodsmen. He now aspired to that God-given function of 
being a leader of men. This he attained, and how well he has 
done his duty there is no lack of testimony in the old records of 
this county. In 1858 he was elected to the council in Elma, but 
resigned. During 1859 he was employed to purchase and distri 
bute seed amongst the settlers. He was again chosen reeve in 
1860, holding that position until a separation between Listowel 
and Elma for municipal purposes was effected. Subsequent to 
this event he was chosen reeve of Listowel, holding that position 
for a number of years. 

During 1858 he succeeded in carrying out his first great work. 
It was made a provision in the Act of Settlement that of all lands 
sold in Elma and Wallace a certain proportion of the funds received 
should be returned by government to be expended in improvement 
of highways. This grant was further made subject to Orders-in- 
Council ; but so far had not been carried out. Several petitions 
had been presented to government, but were unsuccessful. Mr. 
Hay, therefore, organized a committee to interview the authorities 
and press their claims for adjustment. This interview resulted in 
some nice expressions from the Minister of Crown Lands, and the 


kindly advice that they should return home, where they would be 
communicated with. The deputation returned crest-fallen, but 
not so Mr. Hay. He remained, and so persistently applied his 
arguments in favour of immediate adjustment, that he returned 
with a full settlement of his demands. From this period until 
1867 this fund was promptly paid, and by its judicious distribution 
soon became apparent an improvement in roads. Subsequent to 
that year, however, payments were again allowed to lapse, but 
under Mr. Blake s government in Ontario, chiefly through Mr. 
Robert Cleland s efforts (who was then reeve of Elma), were 
again restored. 

From the time when he first became a member of the county 
council a very brief period elapsed before he stood in the front 
rank of its most prominent and influential members. He was for 
years chairman of its most important committees, at a time when 
subjects of vital interest were under consideration preparatory to 
equitable adjustment. Some of his reports on record during those 
years are characterized by great breadth of view and intelligent 
grasp of detail. He was chairman for years of the committee on 
county indebtedness, then an important and grave question; chair 
man of the house of refuge committee, and reported on toll gate 
abolition. This latter is an exhaustive paper, and was adopted, 
without altering a single word, sounding the death-knell of a 
contemptible impost on a free people. 

In promoting gravel road extension he was without doubt 
the moving power, and the northern townships in this county are 
under great obligations to him for his persistent efforts in their 
behalf. His contention was that this county had expended large 
sums in aid of railroads, gravel roads, and other improvements in 
the south, while not one dollar had been laid out for any purpose in 
the north, but to which the latter were now compelled to contribute 
large sums in their liquidation, those obligations still amounting 
to over $280,000. This was undoubtedly true, and as unjust as 
it was true. There is no part of this man s career where his 
character and his work stands more clearly revealed than in that 
long, and for a time hopeless, struggle he maintained for the rights 



of his constituents. From reports we have seen in our public 
records he had relinquished all hope of redress, and on more than 
one occasion had formulated schemes of relief in other directions. 
Although he was baffled often, he was never subdued, returning 
again and again to the battle with a bold front and renewed 
energy, till the justice of his claims was recognised and partially, 
at least, satisfied, thereby leading to a unification in this county 
which at no former period ever existed. 

Previous to constructing the Northern Gravel road, access to 
markets on our main lines of railway from the northern town 
ships could hardly be said to exist. It is difficult to understand, 
even at this later day, how the county council should have shown 
such utter disregard of those claims well established by northern 
public men as to abandon, in an incomplete condition, some of 
their roads after large obligations had been incurred. During 
1863 a by-law was passed by the county council, on a close 
majority of one, granting $19,000 for gravel road construction. 
This by-law, on appeal, was quashed, and the main road leading 
from Mitchell to Listowel, on which Logan spent altogether 
nearly $100,000, completed only to Newry, was abandoned. Mr. 
Hay, fully realizing the importance of this great work to Listowel 
and the back municipalities, advanced $4,500 of his own private 
funds, completing construction to Listowel. Wallace also con 
tributed a large sum, and this road was extended to Palmerston. 
It is gratifying to know that the county council adopted a more 
liberal policy subsequently, and Mr. Hay was recouped for his 

In 1870 and 1871 he was the moving spirit in securing the 
southern extension of the W. , G. & B. railroad by way of Listowel. 
At an interview with the directors and officials of the G. W- 
railroad the claims of Wroxeter and Harriston were urged by 
their delegations. Mr. Hay was able to keep Listowel to the 
front, and received private assurance before his return that Lis 
towel would get the road. He subsequently rendered effective 
service in carrying bonuses for constructing the new work. He 
was also appointed to interview Sir Thomas Dakin, president of 


the G. W. R. , and, with Col. McGivern, consulted Sandfield Mac- 
donald for government aid. In 1867 he contested North Perth, 
but was defeated by the late Andrew Monteith. During- 1873 ne 
was employed by government as special immigration agent to Great 
Britain, and was engaged for a time in revising and circulating 
immigration literature. He also lectured in Scotland on the 
advantages of Ontario, and its resources as a desirable place for 
the emigrant. He also had charge of immigrant parties to Quebec, 
and thence to their destination in this province. This work was 
not congenial to his taste, however; the routine of official life was 
but ill suited to a restless mind, which found pleasure only in 
activity. He, therefore, resigned his position, much against the 
wishes of the Government, and in 1874 was returned for the North 
Riding, defeating the late Mr. T. M. Daly. At the next contest 
he was again elected, defeating Mr. John McDermott, of Wallace, 
but was defeated in 1882. In a short time he was again employed 
by the Government, lecturing in Scotland, and endeavouring to 
secure immigrants of the tenant farmer class. 

During 1873 a by-law was passed by the county council of 
Perth granting $80,000 to aid in the construction of a railway 
from Stratford to Lake Huron. 

At the request of the Stratford Board of Trade Mr. Hay took 
charge of the railway delegation and the canvass for this by-law 
in the county, and, as the result in a large measure of his clever 
advocacy of the railway question and its advantages, the by-law 
was carried by a good majority. 

During 1876 the road was being extended to Wiarton. Local 
by-laws in aid of this extension were submitted in Perth and 
northward along the line to Wiarton, amounting in all to over 
half a million dollars ($550,000), and successfully carried. 

In conjunction with Colonel Tisdale, president, and Mr. S. S. 
Fuller, vice-president of the road, Mr. Hay spent months in the 
promotion and passing of those by-laws, and it goes without 
saying that he rendered vitally important assistance in the dis 
cussion and advocacy of the scheme. Col. Tisdale is in evidence 
anent the value of his services in his own County of Perth, which 


will apply with about equal force to those services along the line 
to W T iarton. 

In Parliament Mr. Hay rendered invaluable aid in securing 
Government assistance for the road. He was chairman of a 
delegation numbering some 450 members, representing munici 
palities on the line and others interested in its construction. Such 
a delegation had never before or since waited on any government. 
Their application for aid was granted without delay, the road 
shortly thereafter being built and in operation to Wiarton. Mr. 
Peter Watson, of Stratford, secretary of the company, did excellent 
service in the successful submission by the local councils of the 
bonus by-laws, which was accomplished without a single hitch 
along the whole line. 

Before dismissing this important part of the subject I may be 
permitted to insert an extract from a letter in my possession from 
Col. Tisdale, late president of the company, as a mark of appre 
ciation of Mr. Hay s services: "I hardly know how to put in 
short space an account of the services you rendered to the County 
of Perth in connection with the construction of the railways. I 
can only say that, in my opinion, without your assistance I am 
quite sure the municipal bonuses in the County of Perth could 
never have been carried. Your intimate knowledge, able and 
persuasive way of putting the benefits which the railway would 
confer upon the locality were most effective in satisfying the 
people, and contributed more than any other factor I know of in 
convincing them it was to their interest to contribute the large 
sums they voted to the scheme. Your unselfishness, not only in 
reference to your personal position, but even when, as it did at 
times, endanger your political position, I have not seen equalled. 
Without personal interest, without any desire of personal profit, 
without compensation, and with a regard only to local and public 
benefit by the completion of the project, you devoted weeks and 
months of your time, and submitted to personal exertion, display 
ing an amount of knowledge and ability in connection with the 
subject to which any words of mine can hardly give to others the 
full appreciation your actions deserve, and of the great assistance 


you rendered. I think it, therefore, but small justice to your 
unselfish efforts to say that no single man did more than yourself 
to achieve success, and without your assistance I doubt if the 
work could have been accomplished." 

During- his second term in the Legislature he had the honour of 
moving the address in reply to the speech from the Throne, and 
being an effective and convincing platform speaker, his services 
were always in demand by the party with which he was associated. 

Mr. Hay was brought up as a Presbyterian, but as the outcome 
of "careful study of divine truth, he embraced the doctrine of a 
conditional immortality and an abiding faith in the pre-millennial 
advent of Christ," which doctrine he still retains. In 1851 he 
married Jane Rogerson, of Innisfil, in the County of Simcoe. The 
issue of this union was five sons and four daughters, all of whom 
survive except two. Mrs. Hay died some years ago, and Mr. Hay 
is now in feeble health, wandering among the foot hills of life alone. 

Mr. Hay is a man of high poetic temperament, strong convic 
tions, firm moral principles, conscientious, and truthful. If he 
accomplished much for the people whom he represented, it was 
done by no other method than constant honest toil. Nature 
designed him for literary rather than commercial pursuits. His 
numerous reports in the public records all indicate a literary mind. 
On more than one occasion in these reports he has sacrificed 
strength and vigour of expression to a pleasing and well-rounded 
sentence. He was a man of broad public spirit, and would make, 
and did make, great sacrifices in the interest of the people with 
out hope of pecuniary reward. To the sordid and mean his con 
duct was often inexplicable, but to those who understood him his 
actions on all occasions arose from a desire to advance the 
material interest of those whom he was chosen to serve. He was 
a good public speaker, not eloquent, but clear and convincing. 
The history of this man s life is inseparable from the early history 
of a large portion of the County of Perth. 

SAMUEL ROLLIN HESSON, an old pioneer of the County of Perth, 
was born in the parish of Kilray, Co. Antrim, Ireland, Sept. 25th, 


1829. The family, with the idea of bettering their circumstances, 
came to America in 1831. After a long, tedious voyage, they 
reached Ogdensburg, remaining there about a year. The system 
of government obtaining in the U. S. was not in accord with the 
pre-conceived ideas of the elder Mr. Hesson, and a return was 
made to the British flag, in the territory north of the St. Law 
rence. Arriving in Canada in 1832, they rented a farm between 
Hamilton and Dundas with the idea of making agriculture their 
vocation. A great misfortune overtook this immigrant family in 
the death of the father. In a strange country, without friends, 
with no great store of this world s goods, this was a sad calamity, 
indeed. Renting a farm was now an impossibility, and the 
widowed mother retired to Dundas with her seven children, of 
whom the subject of this sketch was the youngest. Mr. Hesson s 
earliest recollections of school days (a period in young life when 
many happy recollections are stored up) was walking two and 
a-half miles to a log school on the Hamilton road. His first 
recollection of trying to read was the motto on an old square sign 
swinging in front of a quaint, old-fashioned country inn. Im 
pressions made in youth are lasting, and the motto on this old 
sign-board has been ever since remembered. It was a strange 
mixture of doggerel, poor rhythm, and, perhaps, truth, embodying 
the conditions for the entertainment of such guests as chose to 
honour mine host with their patronage, as follows, "The travel 
ler s friend, the extortioner s foe; try me to-day, to-morrow you ll 
know. Peter Bamberger." Whether the bill of fare set up by 
the philosophic Peter was in accord with his announcement on the 
sign-board, or whether he conducted his advertising business on 
the principle that it is best to be impressive, even if it requires a 
little exaggeration, history sayeth not. 

At the Dundas grammar school, under Dr. McMahon, Mr. 
Hesson received the little education he ever obtained. This was 
long before the period of free schools in Canada, and poor as the 
family was, they had to contribute $2.50 per quarter towards the 
salar of they teacher, or remain without education. During the 
short period he attended this seminary, he formed an acquaintance 


with another lad whose representations of the Huron Tract pro 
duced an impression on young" Hesson which determined his 
future course of life. This lad was T. M. Daly, who came from 
Stratford to attend school that year. This acquaintance formed 
on that occasion was afterwards the friendship of a lifetime. 

In 1843, therefore, the family came to Stratford on the 4th day 
of June. Mr. Hesson says: "We left Dundas for the same 
reason we left old Ireland, because we were poor, like most of the 
early settlers." Ah! yes; like most of the early settlers. What a 
glorious thing- for Canada that in old Ireland and other far off 
lands people were poor. And what of those early settlers who 
left their old homes because they were poor? It was a glorious 
thing for them that there was a Canada, where they could bring 
their poverity. Aye, and their British spirit, and their energy, and 
their thrift, and their determination that the day would come 
when Canada would bring her best gifts to those deserving poor, 
and lay them like golden crowns at their feet. In the eternal 
fitness of things so it has been, and Canada, with the County of 
Perth, rejoices to-day that many left their old homes and came to 
her fertile shades in the olden time because they were poor. But 
this young fellow, if he was poor, was full of muscle and 
ambition, anxious to work, and he says, "I got plenty of it." 
What more does a poor man need; if he has muscle, ambition, 
and plenty of work, he is equipped like a giant, and the odds are 
all in his favour that at the end of the contest he comes under the 
wire far ahead of those who entered the race of life with what is 
considered superior advantages. 

Having reached the Huron Tract, the family settled in the Gore 
of Downie, near No. 4 school house, where ample opportunity 
was soon afforded him to exercise all the muscle and ambition 
of which he says he was possessed. There was chopping 
and logging to be done; there was cordwood to cut, thereby 
enabling him to earn a little money to carry home to his mother. 
Near where the city hall now stands he chopped cordwood, walk 
ing four miles each way to his home, carrying a cold dinner, 
which he ate from the top of a maple stump, which, by the way, 


is an excellent substitute for a table. When the cordwood sold 
at Mr. Daly s ashery, which occupied the site of the present 
Albert Theatre, or J. P.Vivian s brewery, for 87^ cents per cord, 
the profit to this axe man was not great. Wood in the old 
virgin bush was easy to chop, and he was able to cut three cords 
per day, for which he was paid 31 cents, a small recompense 
surely for so much severe labour, but that was the period of 
small things in every department, except that of work. Even 
then his feelings were well expressed by the line from Burns 
"Who was contented wi little, and thankfu for mair. " 

In 1847 he assisted at the erection of the log school house in 
No. 4, or McEwan s school, and in which he became teacher for 
a term of three years. Teaching in those "brave old days" was 
not a remunerative employment, his salary being $10 per month; 
he had also to collect a rate bill of 20 cents from each pupil per 
month. Of course he had the privilege of boarding round " 
amongst the pupils, an opportunity of which he did not avail him 
self, his spare hours being valuable and his home near the school. 
The School Act of 1841 made provision for the examination of 
teachers, and he made the journey on foot to Goderich, passing- 
through the ordeal before the superintendent of schools for the 
United Counties. He succeeded in obtaining a certificate, how 
ever, and came home rejoicing, with the coveted document snugly 
tucked away in his inside pocket. This was in 1847, and it took 
four days on the trip. 

Finding teaching and bush-whacking too slow, he bade adieu 
to the shanty and came to Stratford in search of employment. 
This he found with U. C. Lee, then a prominent merchant, thus 
taking up the business which proved to be that of his life. Mr. 
R. H. Lee also came to Stratford, entering into mercantile pur 
suits, Mr. Hesson being engaged in the management of the con 
cern till 1856. Mr. Sebring, the founder of the village a short 
distance west, feeling his health failing, Mr. Hesson entered into 
negotiations for his stock-in-trade, which were finally concluded 
by his becoming proprietor of that portion of the Sebring estate. 
The year 1856 was one of importance to him; he had launched his 



barque into the stream of life for the first time with himself as 
pilot, and time alone would determine whether he had sufficient 
skill as a navigator to keep away from the rocks and shoals on 
which so many trim sails are dashed to pieces and lost. During 
this year he was appointed postmaster in Sebringville, and was 
also made a justice of the peace for the county. He continued to 
conduct this business for ten years with success. In 1854 he 
married Miss Margaret Jane Policy, and soon had a family grow 
ing up around him, and being desirous of securing for them a 
good education, he sold out his property in Sebringville, removing 
to Stratford. Here he again entered into business, which he 
continued to manage with success for over a quarter of a century, 
when he retired on a competency from active life to enjoy a well- 
earned repose. 

During all the years he was actively engaged in his calling he 
did not disregard his obligations of citizenship, in discharging 
those public functions which all good men owe to their fellows. 
When asked to come forward and contribute of his knowledge 
and experience for the public good he was found at his post. He 
served the city as councillor for some years, and as mayor in 1876. 
On this occasion he was elected by acclamation. He was school 
trustee for some years, and chairman of the building committee in 
1878, resigning that position to contest the north riding of Perth 
for the House of Commons. At this election he defeated Mr. 
James Fisher. In 1882 he was again elected, defeating Mr. 
Robert Jones, of Logan, and was again elected in 1886 over Dr. 
Johnston, of Millbank. In the next contest he was defeated by 
Mr. James Grieve, of Mornington. The withdrawal of confidence 
by the electorate on this occasion arose entirely from his devotion 
to Sir John A. Macdonald in supporting a certain measure which 
was considered inimical to the principles of a number of his 

Mr. Hesson was chosen chairman of the Trust Board under 
whose control were the funds for constructing the Georgian Bay 
& Lake Erie Railway. He has been a director of the Gas & 
Electric Light Co. since 1875, and president for the past three 


years ; was appointed first license inspector when Stratford was 
incorporated, and gave the first license to the Old Albion hotel on 
Ontario street, then considered to be the acme in hotel construc 
tion and in the magnificence of its appointments. 

Away back in the forties he was scrutineer for the Hon. Mr. 
Cayley in the Cayley-Cameron election for the United Counties, 
before Perth had a separate existence. In those brave old days 
the polls were kept open for two days, and the qualification of a 
voter was a free deed. There was one polling- place in Ellice, and 
only one vote for poor Cayley, who was a Conservative. This 
was polled by an English Tory named Finder, who was, like the 
"Last rose of Summer," apparently "blooming alone," and 
"wasting his sweetness on the desert air." Mr. Cameron was 

Mr. Hesson was president for a period of five years of the first 
brass band (organized in Stratford in 1851), and doubtless marched 
off with the boys behind the drum major, who with his baton led 
the way in all the excruciating dignity of a half-pay officer or a 
town beadle, girt with the parish sword. 

During the agitation in the matter of good roads, over 50 years 
ago, he took an active part, and travelled over eight miles to the 
school-house north of Shakespeare to record his first vote in 
favour of so excellent a movement. 

This old pioneer, who cut cordwood on the principal square of 
the city of Stratford, is still a youthful-looking and robust man. 
He saw the city when it was yet a hamlet, and the surrounding 
country a wilderness. He saw it pass through the several stages 
to its present importance, and contributed his personal efforts to 
its commercial success. He sat in the high places, amongst her 
great men. Alone and without other aid this cordwood-chopper 
became a counsellor in the great council of the nation. What 
were the weapons with which this battle was fought that 
gained power and honour and prestige ? Nothing but honesty of 
purpose, a high ideal of personal worth and integrity, and an 
ever-present feeling that he who fights on honourable and just 
principles will eventually win. So it always has been ; so it will 


always be. Mr. Hesson s life, like others of the grand men of 
this county, ought to be an object-lesson to our youths who are 
preparing themselves to climb the hill "Difficulty" to honour and 
fame. To those without wealth, family connections, or influence, 
I say think of this wood-chopper and others of the old pioneers, 
and remember that though you are not equipped for the race with 
money or a great education, those are not the pearls without price 
they are only the settings, and not the gems. Let the goal you 
intend to reach be a high one, and if you never reach it (because 
few men ever attain their highest aspirations), you will at least 
by constant work ascend part of the way, your own manhood will 
be strengthened, and the world be the better of your efforts. 

In conclusion, permit me to say that the life of this man is well 
worthy of emulation. It is a life of action, and of honest effort, 
directed and sustained by a consciousness of moral rectitude, 
which has brought its own reward in a self-approving conscience 
and a competency for a quiet rest in the gloaming hours which 
make up the term of our increasing years. 

WILLIAM DAVIDSON. The life of this pioneer, in the number 
and variety of the offices he has been called upon to fill, presents 
a somewhat multifarious aspect when we consider the qualifica 
tions necessary to a proper discharge of the varied obligations of 
those pursuits in which he has been engaged. Like many others 
of our great men who have accomplished much, he did not take up 
his first occupation either from a desire for it or natural adapta 
bility to discharge its functions. He became a bushman, because 
he believed in the principle of doing whatever was nearest him to 
do. It was characteristic of him that whatever he undertook to 
do he did well. To this excellent feature he owes largely his 
success. With him there was no slipshod work, no dallying with 
important trusts, no leaving to others or to chance what it was 
his duty to perform. This thoroughness and honesty of purpose 
where it exists to that degree as in Mr. Davidson is fortune 
enough for any man. He who waits for chances and opportuni 
ties to show his powers will never be likely to find them. The 


men, therefore, who brave all circumstances and press manfully 
forward will find opportuities near their pathways in every direc 
tion. In this company he had a prominent place. A want of high 
education made him careful in his calculations, and so he became 
exact. An honest desire to overcome and advance his worldly 
circumstances gave strength to his character, and men will always 
lean on an oak rather than a willow. These qualities are eminently 
distinguished in this man, and to them, and not to external 
influences, he owes his position. 

Mr. William Davidson, present county clerk, was born in 
Monaghan, Ireland, in September, 1833. His education was 
such as could then be obtained in that country, which, he says, 
comprised the three Rs., and doubtless a fourth branch might be 
added a close acquaintance with the "tawse." In this depart 
ment of our old country system at that period a close companion 
ship with this pedagogic appliance was considered a very effective 
means of communicating information. Of course a young aspirant 
after knowledge was not consulted regarding this part of his 
tuition, and frequent admonitions, even by the subject of this 
sketch, were not likely undeserved. In this seminary Master 
Keenan was all powerful, for good or evil. The seats were pieces 
of rock, and writing desks were simply a piece of board laid 
across the pupil s arm. Of these educational advantages he 
availed himself only for one year. 

In 1845 hi s father, the late Abraham Davidson, emigrated to 
Canada, accompanied by his wife and six children, of whom 
William was second oldest. After a long voyage of nearly seven 
weeks they arrived in Toronto on June gth. His father at once 
came on to Fullarton, settling on lot 14, concession 7, then a 
wilderness. Young Davidson remained in Toronto township with 
his uncle, who was engaged in teaching. They kept bachelors 
hall, William the younger being cook. Here, for about twelve 
months, he resumed his acquaintance with his books, not much 
progress being made, his culinary duties no doubt being of so 
varied and interesting a character as to prevent a great acquisition 
of book learning. During 1846, in his thirteenth year, he rejoined 


his father s family in Fullarton, walking from Toronto township 
on foot and driving- two cattle, his journey occupying five days. 
On his arrival, along with his brother, he entered on the laborious 
task of clearing land. The woods were soon removed from the 
homestead, when contracts were effected to clear land for others. 

In 1857 he married Elizabeth Cole, of Fullarton, and was now 
on the very threshold of that career in which he has so much dis 
tinguished himself. In 1859, at the age of 26, he was appointed 
township clerk. His subsequent municipal life in every depart 
ment goes to prove that the choice made on that occasion was 
most advantageous, not only to Fullarton, but to Perth County. 
His thoroughness and adaptability for this work led to his appoint 
ment as treasurer in 1860. He continued in office as clerk for 
nine years, when he resigned and was elected reeve. This position 
he held for eleven years, or until 1878. Meantime he became 
recognised as an authority on municipal law, which reputation he 
still retains in an increased degree. In the legislation affecting 
municipalities from the Act of 1850 onward, through every depart 
ment, it is doubtful if any other officer in this county has a more 
extended or correct knowledge of the principles underlying that 

For a number of years previous to 1878, when he resigned the 
office of reeve to become county clerk, his worth as a public man 
was recognised in the South Riding. At a convention of the Con 
servative party, to whose platform he adhered, he was in 1870 
nominated as their standard-bearer for the Legislative Assembly. 
This honour for private reasons he declined, considering the proper 
discharge of his legislative functions, if elected, would interfere 
with those important trusts the people in Fullarton had confided 
to his judgment and ability. In 1860 he built a store in Carling- 
ford, and, in conjunction with his farm, carried on a mercantile 
business such as suited the requirements of a country village. He 
was also postmaster in this little hamlet, continuing to hold that 
position until his removal to Mitchell in 1877. From the multi 
farious duties arising from his own private business on the farm, 
in the store, and the post office, with his other public employ- 


ments, Mr. Davidson at this time was a busy man. In 1869 he 
sold his store, but did not by any means seek to relieve himself 
from any of the activities in which he was engaged, as he at once 
accepted a general agency for the Perth Mutual Fire Insurance 
Co., in which capacity he rendered valuable service to the insti 

Meantime, during 1867, he resigned the office of township clerk, 
and in 1868 was elected reeve, with his father as deputy. This 
change opened a new sphere for the display of that faculty of 
careful manipulation in those affairs committed to his trust which 
has proved the mainspring of his success. At the council board, 
in the county council chamber, amongst the large number of 
representative men from every section of this county, it was but a 
short time till he was considered one of their most careful and best 
informed men. As a natural consequence, he was soon honoured 
with the highest position in their gift by being elected as warden. 
His record here is also unique in county history in being elected 
consecutively for 1875, 1876, 1877, and till October, 1878, when 
he resigned to accept the clerkship tendered him by the county 
council. In our municipal history no other case has ever happened 
where a reeve of any township has been elected warden four years 
consecutively. During his term of office county indebtedness to 
the municipal loan fund was settled. Another able man had a 
seat on the county board at this period, as reeve of Downie, in 
Hon. Thomas Ballantyne. To these two representatives, with 
whom were associated the warden, were assigned all negotiations 
in relation to this very important question. Reports regarding 
this affair are signed by William Davidson as chairman, and are 
by far the most comprehensive of any reports I have seen in 
connection with public business in this county. Suffice it to say 
that this committee finally disposed of our indebtedness to this 
fund in a manner satisfactory to all. For a more exhaustive 
explanation of this question, my readers are referred to "Munici 
pal Notes" in another part of this work. 

During that period in which he was warden another important 
matter affecting this county was dealt with. It will be remem- 


bered that in 1873 a bonus of $80,000 had been granted to a 
railway from Stratford to Wiarton. This project met with 
strenuous opposition from Blanshard, Fullarton, Hibbert, and 
Downie. Towards its construction Mr. D. D. Hay had exhausted 
every effort in its favour, being- strongly supported by Stratford 
and those municipalities lying north. The attitude of the 
.southern townships at that time did not arise from opposition to 
the scheme itself, but to their being made contributors to it, which, 
as far as human foresight could extend at that period, would be 
of no benefit to them. Fulminations loud and deep were launched 
against the by-law, and that iniquitous measure passed by Mr. 
Blake s Government known as the grouping system. This measure 
enabled a few municipalities in favour of a scheme to group other 
municipalities with them who would have a minority of votes, and 
thereby force legislation on the weaker party antagonistic to their 
interests. In this case it was fully carried out, forcing a large 
debt on the southern townships. A quarter of a century has now 
passed away since this event, and looking back over the whole 
question and its results, I am constrained to say that in the 
interest of all our people it was well that Mr. Hay s measure 
became law. 

Mr. Davidson, as warden, now opposed issuing debentures to 
the company until a sufficient guarantee was given that it would 
complete its contract in building the road. The company, mean 
time, had made a demand for these securities without such 
guarantees, which Mr. Davidson considered, very properly, was a 
breach of contract. They were determined to compel compliance 
with their demands, and entered a suit ag-ainst the county. His 
management of this affair on behalf of his constituents indicated 
great zeal and judgment, as well as an extended knowledge of 
municipal law. When this struggle terminated, after three years 
litigation, in which he defeated his opponents on every occasion, 
they at last made arrangements to carry out their original agree 
ment. If they had accepted this position at the outset much time 
and useless expense would have been avoided. Three years had 
now elapsed since this by-law was passed, and before passing over 


the debentures Mr. Davidson detached the coupons falling due 
during- that period, which the company were not now entitled to 
receive by their conduct, thus saving- to this county $14,000. 
When we consider this large item, and that much larger one 
saved in our municipal loan fund indebtedness by Mr Ballantyne 
and himself, this county has been relieved of a liability amounting 
to nearly $100,000, 

Before leaving this subject, I may be permitted to say that he 
did not object to carrying out the provisions of the by-law, although 
opposed to the principle by which it was carried. As a proof of 
this those debentures granted to the Stratford and Port Dover 
road were promptly handed to that company, they having at once 
complied with their agreement. Throughout this whole affair Mr. 
Davidson evinced great common sense and discretion, discharging 
his duties in a manner honourable to himself, and eliciting warm 
approval from every section of our county: During 1879 he 
removed to Stratford, and at the election of 1881 he was chosen a 
member of the board of education, being appointed secretary- 
treasurer at its first meeting. This position he has held ever 

That our readers may form an idea of the work accomplished 
by this pioneer, and those matters he has dealt with during a busy 
life, we submit a statement of the various positions he has been 
called upon from time to time to fill. He was township clerk of 
Fullarton for nine years, and reeve for eleven years; warden of 
Perth County for four years; county clerk for twenty-four years, 
still retaining that position. He was postmaster in Carlingford 
eight years; secretary trustees S. S. No. 4, Fullarton, for seven 
teen years; trustee and secretary-treasurer Mitchell high school 
board for eight years; trustee Stratford school board for four 
years, and secretary-treasurer for twenty-two years, and alderman 
of the City of Stratford for eighteen years, for nearly all of which 
period he was chairman of the finance committee. He was mayor 
of Stratford two years; auditor British Mortgage Loan Co. for 
twenty-one years; trustee of the hospital since it was first insti 
tuted ; inspector of house of refuge since it was erected ; director 


of the Perth Mutual Fire Insurance Co. for fifteen years, and its 
president for ten years. 

To discharge the multifarious duties in connection with these 
positions was the work of no ordinary man. The whole secret of 
his success was honesty of purpose and a thoroughness in every 
thing he undertook to accomplish. This inspired confidence in 
those whom he served, which in his career has never been shaken, 
and which he still retains. 

He was a man of strong and robust physique, and his youth 
spent in chopping and logging had so inured his constitution to 
hard labour that he was able to accomplish all his undertakings 
with ease. He is possessed of a large amount of good, common 
sense, is affable and kind in his manner, knows men well, and has 
the faculty of penetrating their motives. These characteristics, 
with a capacity for hard work, were the instruments by which he 
raised himself to the front rank of Perth s great men. 

ROBERT JONES, for many years a prominent man in this county, 
was born at Wicklow, Ireland, in 1828. He was a farmer s son, 
and obtained only such education as the country afforded at that 
period, which was very imperfect. He was endowed with natural 
qualities, however, which education could never supply. During 
a busy life these were brought conspicuously forward, and faith 
fully applied in promoting the