J. Smyth Carter.

The story of Dundas, being a history of the County of Dundas from 1784 to 1904 online

. (page 11 of 40)
Online LibraryJ. Smyth CarterThe story of Dundas, being a history of the County of Dundas from 1784 to 1904 → online text (page 11 of 40)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

afterwards extended to any* Public school having the required number of
pupils in the 5th form. These classes were arranged in four grades, accord-
ing to the number of pupils in the class, and equipment as to teachers and
appliances. The grants also graded, running from $30 to $200, including both
legislative and municipal appropriations. This was a most excellent ar-
rangement, for the grants were contingent upon maintaining the efficiency of
all the forms of the school, and greatly improved work was being done.

But now a new difficulty arose. The work of the Public school overlapped
that of the High school, and the 5th form of the former and its Public school
leaving examination, and the 1st form of the High school and its examination
were almost identical, and this state of affairs met with disfavor in quarter g
where there was influence sufficient to secure the discontinuance of the ex-


animations, with the year 1902, and the ultimate result for obvious causes will
be the closing of the Continuation classes in all but the larger villages.
A list of the Continuation classes is given below :

Principal No. in Class Grade of School

Winchester P. S B. Maude Hill 35 A

Chesterville P. S Sidney W. Hill 20 A


Winchester P. S E. Maude Hill A

Chesterville P.S Sidney W. Hill A

N. Williamsburg P. S . .Eli Robinson C

Inkerrnan P. S Lome D. Mclntosh C

Grantley P. S Eliza Robinson D

Ormond P. S L. Minnie Kerr D

Winchester Sp'gs P.S. . . Wm. N. Wright D

S. S. 14, Williainsburg..Wm. King D

S. S. 12, Mountain P. A. Mclntosh D

S. S. 22, Mountain Wm. Beggs D


Winchester P. S Hiram B. Fetterly A

Chesterville P. S 8. W. Hill A

Inkerman P. S Phoebe Colborne C

Morewood P. S Horatio Loucks D

Winchester Sp'gs P, S.. . John A. Shaver D


No. Teachers No. in Class

Winchester P. S Hiram B. Fetterly. . 7 A 28

Chesterville P. S Alice E. Timber-lake. 5 ....'. A 26

Morewood P. S Horatio Loucks 4 B 15

Ormond P. 8 Grace E. Low 2 C 8

N. Williamsburg P. S . . David L. Collison. . . . 2 C 7

S. Mountain P. S Howard C. Fader... 2 D 6

Inkerman P. S Eli Robinson 2 D 5

Winchester P. S John A. Shaver 2 D 4


Winchester P. S H. B. Fetterly 7 A 38

Chesterville P. S Alice E. Timberlake. 5 A 38

Morewood P. S Horatio Loucks 4 A 31

N. Williamburg P. S. . .D. L. Collison 2 D 9

S. Mountain P. S Howard C. Fader. ..2 C 11

Inkerman P.S Eli Robinson 2 C 8

Winchester Sp'gsP.S.. John A. Shaver 2 D 4

Cass Bridge P. S Gideon D. Barkley... 2 D 5


The establishment of county Model schools in 1877 was an era in the teach-
ing equipment of the Province. Thereafter no Public school teacher could
enter the profession without four months professional training. (It originally
had been two months, but was soon extended to four.) This training ensured
some acquaintance with mental science, some study of child mind and the


laws of its development, and some knowledge of improved methods of teach-
ing based on scientific principles. This brought about decidedly better teach-
ing, better management, and earlier usefulness of the young teacher.

The Morrisburg Public school was selected by the County Board of Exam-
iners as the County Model school, and the first Principal was Mr. I. 8. Rowat,
at present Principal of Simcoe Model school. He was succeeded in 1878 by
Mr. Wm. Alford, now in the Civil Service at Ottawa. The Principal for 1879
was Mr. W. H. G. Collis, now Public School Inspector of East Kent. He was
followed by Mr. L.Welsh, who, having received an appointment on the Ottawa
Normal school staff, was succeeded in 1881 by Mr. H. F. McDiarmid, who re-
mained during 1882 and 1883. Mr. McDiarmid has been for some time Prin-
cipal of Ingersoll Model school.

Mr. G. Broderick became Principal in 1885 and held the position for 1886
and 1887, removing at that time to take charge of the Lindsay Model school,
of which he is still Principal. Mr. Alex. Wherry was appointed next, and had
charge for two years, and then removed to Windsor, later becoming Town
Inspector of Peterboro, which position he held till his death a few years after.
Mr. Allen C. Smith was in charge during the term of 1890, resuming his
Mastership afterwards in the Collegiate Institute. Mr. E. Charles Rose, B.
A., was Principal in 1891. He is now Head Master of the Prescott High
school. In 1892 Mr. W. B. Kayler, now Doctor Kayler, assumed the duties of
the position, holding the same till 1895.

In 1898 the present incumbent, Mr. A. E. Meldrum, was appointed, of whom
a more extended notice is given elsewhere by another pen. Of the foregoing,
Mr. Alford, Mr. Smith, Mr. Rose and Mr. Meldrum are Dundas boys, having
been born in the county, and were graduates of Morrisburg Collegiate Insti-
tute. They have all done honor to themselves and to their native county, the
present one with more years of service to his credit than any of his predeces-
sors, is held in esteem by the school authorities, and by a very large number
of teachers who have received their first professional training under him.


These grew out of Competitive School Examinations started in 1878, and
assumed their present form in 1883. Owing to frequent changes of teachers
it had been found impossible to secure proper classification of pupils, promo-
tions being made at any time, and on a reading basis, and even then too often
prematurely by retiring teachers. To overcome this the County Inspector in
1882 introduced a uniform written examination, an experiment that promised
so well that his colleagues, the Inspectors of Stormont and Glengarry, joined
him in 1883 in the formal introduction of these examinations, the Counties'
Council having given the movement their countenance by giving a grant to


cover the expense of printing and distributing the papers. These examina-
tions by the wise and liberal financial assistance given by the Counties' Coun-
cil and by the loyal co-operation of teachers and trustees have become an im-
portant feature in the school work of these counties. The examinations are
held on the same days in the three counties, usually the last Thursday and
Friday in November. The question papers are prepared by the Inspectors,
the aim being to test the pupils' knowledge of the subject, and to discourage
book teaching and "cramming." The teachers exchange schools for those two
days, so as to put the bona fides of the examination beyond question. The
papers are valued by a committee of teachers selected by the Teachers' In-
stitute, each valuator reading one subject through for the county ; this gives
uniformity to the results. The marks are sent to the Inspector, and the pa-
pers, endorsed with the values, are returned to the pupils through the teachers
concerned. Thus both pupils and parents have the means of examining the
style and character of the work done by the pupils, and of discovering if
there is either a weakness in understanding a subject, or in the teaching of it.
Promotions are marked by the Inspector on a fixed basis, and exceptional
cases are dealt with by the Inspector and teacher. Trustees and Inspectors
have thus a chance to guage pretty well the work done by the teacher and

Comparsion can be made from year to year between pupils, between classes,
between schools, as all pupils in attendance in the second, third, and fourth
forms are expected to write. The unique feature of this scheme is the pay-
ment by the Counties' Council of $8 to each of these valuators as a moderate
consideration for the heavy work done by them in reading the answer papers.
Some of the benefits of these examinations became immediately apparent.
The year preceding their introduction, the total number in this county who
passed the Entrance examination was 45, which steadily and rapidly increased
to 163 in 1882, and to 215 in 1902, although the Entrance papers are now of a
much more difficult character than in 1882. Last year 1,894 pupils wrote in
this county on the Proficiency examinations.


As has been already stated the details of the early teachers and schools are
few and far between. Those were the days of log houses, wide chimneys,
broad hearths, huge fire places, big back logs, iron cranes, pot hooks.
When the chimney corner was the seat of honor and comfort. When
the resinous pine knots and tallow dips furnished the evening light. It was
the age of homespun-, of the little wheel for the spinning of flax, of the
quiller, the loom, of home-made linen and woolen garments; when the wan-
dering tailor and cobbler "whipped the cat" from house to house. It was
when the hand-flail and the summer breeze sufficed to thresh out and winnow


the grain; when the ox-team and wooden sled and stoneboat were in vogue;
when corn meal porridge and rye and Indian bread were among the staple
foods; when money was scarce, and books dear, and "barter" was king;
when schoolmasters, (schoolmistresses belong to a later date) were few and
peripatetic, and "boarded round," and schools were open only a few months
in winter; when ink made of soft maple bark and coperas were in use,
and when one of the essential qualifications of the teacher was the ability to
make and "mend" a quill pen.

When a schoolmaster came into a neighborhood a meeting of the people
was called and subscriptions taken, the subscriber of two shillings and six
pence being entitled to send one child, his own or a neighbor's ; five shillings
giving such privilege to two, the schoolmaster being allowed to board for
one week at the home of each pupil. (The writer was told as late as 1858 by a
canny trustee, with whom he was negotiating an agreement: "I'd rutber
board ye a month as pay a dollar.") Each patron was expected to furnish a
load of wood for firing, to be cut up by the big boys at noontime.

But though the people were primitive in their habits and lives, they were
as the Emperor Maximilian once said, "like a peasant's frock, coarse indeed,
but right warm," and they were possessed of a spirit of energy, endurance,
independence, intelligence, patriotism, and a respect for learning that have
made our country one to love and to be proud of. So it was that the school-
master was respected, and paid to the very limit of their ability by the scat-
tered settlers.

An incident that occurred about the year 1828, in what is now the town-
ship of South Crosby, may be given as illustrating the customs of the times.
A schoolmaster, by the name of Johnston, visited the neighborhood with a
view to securing a school, and a meeting of the settlers was called to consider
his proposals. One John Pennock, a gentleman of some learning and some-
thing of a wag, proposed that he would make a verse about the teacher, and
if Johnston would cap it with another on Pennock, he should have the school.
The conditions having heen accepted, Pennock recited his verse as follows :
"Up Johnston hops,

And strokes his chops,
And says he feels quite willing

The school to teach,
If you'll give each
A six pence and two shillings."

Whether Johnston was offended at the personal allusion to his habit of
"stroking his chops," or was unable to make his portion of verse is not stated,
but he flew into a passion, gathered up his belongings and left, and the school
failed to materialize.

The earliest information concerning the teachers in the county of Dundas


is found in "Croil's History of Dundas," where it is stated that Mr. Donald
Clark kept a private school in Matilda in 1788. Mr. Croil says: "We learn
from Major Clark, now residing in Edwardsburg, that his father taught the
first regular school in Dundas. * * * Mr. Clark remained two years at the
Bay of Quinte, employed in teaching. In 1788 he came to Matilda at the in-
stance of Capt. Frazer, who, at his own expense, purchased a farm for him at
a cost of one hundred dollars. A few of the neighbors assisted in the erection
of a school house, in which Mr. Clark taught for several years. He was a
native of Perthshire, Scotland, and was universally respected."

From records in the Education Department, and through the kindness of
the oldest inhabitants, the following biographical notices, more or less com-
plete, are presented. It is to be regretted that more ample sketches of these
veterans in the educational ranks cannot be obtained :

Andrew Lorimer was born in Nova Scotia in 1788, and began teaching in
the Midland District, 10 miles west of Kingston, in 1816. He afterwards
taught in what are now S. S. Nos. 10, 14, 12, 5, 3 and 6, township of Winches-
ter, ending with S. S. No. 1, Russel, in 1854, eighteen years in all.

Michael O'Kane was born in Ireland in 1802. He taught two years, 1819 and
1820, in Ireland, and, coming to this country, he began teaching in S. S. No. 3,
Osnabruck. His first certificate was obtained from Wm. Millar, superintend-
ent of Common schools, and dated 1833. He taught 21 years, only the last
four of which were in Dundas, his last school having been that in S. S. No. 14,
Winchester (Connaught) in 1855.

Alexander McFarling was born at Schenectady, N. Y., in 1793. He came
to Canada, took the oath of allegiance, and began teaching in what is now S.
8 . No. 1, Matilda (Flagg's) in 1819. His first certificate was granted by Judge
Anderson, of Cornwall, district superintendent, and his last certificate by the
Board of Public Instruction for the County of Dundas, in 1850. He taught 9
years in S. S. No. 1, Matilda ; 4 years in No. 1, Williamsburg (Mariatown) ;
4 years in No, 15, Matilda ; 2 years in No. 8, Matilda, and 1 year (1850) in No.
11, Matilda (Dixon's Corners). At the latter place the writer was one of his
pupils. He is thus spoken of by one who knew him in the earliest years of
his teaching. He was highly esteemed, and accounted a good teacher, and a
strict disciplinarian.

Benjamin Meeds was born in 1809, and began teaching in Dumfries, Ontario,
in 1832. His earlier certificates were obtained in the Gore and Eastern Dis.
tricts. He taught 23 years, all but the first three of which were in the town-
ship of Williamsburg. The sections are not mentioned. His last teaching
was in No. 11, Williamsburg, in 1871.

Daniel Rose was born in Scotland in 1811, and began teaching in


S. S. No. 13, Williamsburg, in 1832. His first certificate was given by Mr.
McLean, of Cornwall, and the next was issued by the first Board of Public
Instruction of the County of Dundas . He obtained a first-class permanent
certificate in 1863. He taught in S. S. No. 13, Williamsburg, in 1832-3 ; in No.
1, Williamsburg, in 1842, 1849, 1850, 1852, 1853 and 1855 ; in No. 11, Matilda, in
1856 ; in the village of Iroquois from 1857 to 1863, inclusive ; in Morrisburg
in 1864, and again in No. 11, Matilda, in 1867. He was one year County Super-
intendent of Schools.

William Park Huston was born in Ireland in 1785, and began teaching in
South Gower in 1832. He taught afterwards in S. S. Nos. 8, 4, 6 (now Inker-
man) and 13, township of Mountain, retiring from the latter school in 1854.

John J. McLaughlin was born in Derry, Ireland, in 1813. He began teach-
ing in Glengarry in 1833. His earlier certificates were given by Rev. Mr.
Abbott, Donald McDonell, Mr. Greenfield, Samuel Hart, James Pringle and A.
McLean. The last certificate was granted by Samuel Hart, and was dated
1848. Among other places, he taught two years at North Williamsburg, and
three years in Morrisburg, the dates unascertained. His last school was No.
7, Williamsburg, in 1853. He taught in all 20 years, and served ten years as
school superintendent of Williamsburg, as shown in table elsewhere.

Thomas Flanagan was born in Ireland in 1798, and began teaching in S. S.
No. 13, Matilda, in 1837. His first certificate was obtained from the Cornwall
Board. He taught 20 years in Matilda and Finch. Among other places, he
taught in S. S. No. 8, Matilda (Irena) in 1841 and 1842. His last school was
No. 16, Matilda (Strader's Hill), where he taught about four years. His
mantle fell upon his son James, who has for many years been a successful
teacher in his native township, Matilda.

William J. Ridley began teaching in the township of Elizabethtown, county
of Leeds, in 1835. His earlier certificates were given by the Board of Educa-
tion of the Johnstown and Eastern Districts . He taught in Elizabethtown,
Bisley, Gloucester, Nepean, Ramsay, South Gower, Matilda, Mountain, Will-
iamsburg. His last school was in S. S. No. 2, Mountain, in 1874. Reference
is made elsewhere to Mr. Ridley.

William Johnston was born in Ireland in 1821, and began teaching in S. S.
No. 2, Williamsburg, in 1838. His first certificate was from the National Nor-
mal School, Ireland. He taught in various places in Williamsburg, Matilda
and Mountain for 18 years, his last school being in Mountain, in 1856. Mr.
Johnston was a valued local superintendent of schools for Matilda for many

John Irvin Ker was born in Killough, County Down, Ireland, July 31, 1792.
He taught in Courtmacsherry, County Cork, Ireland, in 1834, and began


teaching in S. S. No. 3, Matilda, now Iroquois, in 1839. He held certificates
from the late Rev. Beek Lindsay ; Samuel Hart and William Millar, superin-
tendents of Common schools, Eastern District ; J. W. Rose, chairman of the
Board of Public Instruction of the County of Dundas. His last certificate was
from the latter Board, under date of 1852, and was of the first class. He taught
5 years in S. S. No. 3, Matilda (Iroquois) ; 7 years in S. 8. No. 9 and 15, Ma-
tilda (Gaughnawaga) ; 1 years in No. 8, Winchester (Chesterville), and half a
year in No. 3, Finch, 1853.

William Millar was born in the County of Antrim, Ireland, in 1798. He be*
gan teaching in Osnabruck in 1846. His first license to teach was granted by
William Millar, then Superintendent of the Eastern District. He taught in
various places, among others Morrisburg, 1854 to 1859 inclusive. His
last school was No. 9, Osnabruck, in 1863.

Geo. Rose was born in the county of Dundas in 1826. He was a son of the late
Samuel Rose, of Yancamp. He was lame, which interfered with his going to
and from school, and it was characteristic of the boy's pluck and determination
that rather than lose the chance of an education he boarded in the school
house. The late Simon Johnston, a man noted for his efforts in favor of
education, and whose home was always welcomingly open to teachers and
inspectors, related that many a night when passing the school house he would
stop, and by the light of a pine knot visit, encourage and help George in his
lessons. He began teaching in S. S. No. 10, Mountain (McTavish's), in 1845.
His first certificate was given by the clergyman of the district. He took a
first-class certificate at the Toronto Normal school in 1854. He taught in No.
6, Winchester, (Maple Ridge) in 1845; No. 5, Mountain, in 1846 and 1848; in
Edwardsburg, in 1847; in No. 9, Williamsburg (Dun bar) 1849 to 1853. After
his Normal school course, he was in request as a teacher in York county, and
his last years of teaching were spent at Newmarket, concluding with 1884,
after 37& years teaching. The qualities exhibited as a boy were those that
distinguished him as a man and a teacher. He was highly esteemed and re-
spected, and the last years of his life were spent on his farm in the manage-
ment of which, notwithstanding his infirmity of body, he showed as much
energy and activity as most young men with all their limbs at command.

Mrs. Julia A. Fetterly, nee Reddick, born in Dundas county hi 1830, began
to teach in S. S. No. 20, Williamsburg, in 1847, and taught in various sections
in that township until 1866, her last school having been No. 13, Williamsburg
(Elma). She is still living and enjoys a well earned pension, for the hardships
endured by female teachers of the early forties were such aa those of the
present day know little about.

Patrick Jordan was born in Ireland in 1820. He taught two years in the
Irish national schools before coming to Canada. He taught 23 years in the


county of Dundas, and one year in Edwardsburg. In the early fifties he was
one of the leading teachers in the county, mathematics beins; his specialty.
He retired in 1880 to his farm at Connaught, in 8. S. No. 14, Winchester, and
was a J. P. and postmaster until his death, a few years ago.

James C. Clark was born in Dundee, Lower Canada, in 1821. He began
teaching in 8. 8. No. 1, Mountain (South Mountain), in 1847. He taught in
that township 26 years, his schools having been in Nos. 1, 5, 6, 7, 9 and 17. His
last school was No. 5, from which he retired in 1873 to his farm in the Mc-
Tavish neighborhood.

Andrew Quinton was born in Queen's county, Ireland, in 1827. He began
teaching in the township of Augusta in 1847, and taught in various places in
the united counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry for 26 years. His
certificates were granted by Robert Naugh, , superintendent of schools for
Leeds and Grenville, dated 1847 ; Rev. Mr. Geigie, superintendent of Edwards-
burg, 1850 ; Robert Dick, superintendent of Matilda, 1850 ; and later by the
Dundas Board of Public Instruction.

Edwin W. Pillar was born in Williamsburg in 1826. He began teaching in
1850 ; taught in various parts of eastern Ontario, including Winchester and
Williamsburg, 30 years in all. He died about 1901, in Osnabruck.

Margaret Dodge was born in the township of Mountain in 1832, and com-
menced teaching in Ewardsburg in 1849. She taught 22 years, chiefly in
Matilda, Winchester and Mountain.

Catharine Carter, nee Plantz, was born in the township of Williamsburg,
Sept. 2, 1837. She began to teach in 1851 in 8. S. No. 20, Williamsburg, and
taught in No. 6, Matilda ; No. 14 and No, 3, Williamsburg ; No. 9, Matilda ;
Nos. 15,6, 10 and 11, Williamsburg, ending with No. 7, Matilda (Rowena), in
1872, 20 years in all. What was said as to the hardships encountered by Mrs.
Fetterly applies as well in the cases of Miss Dodge and Mrs. Carter.

William Styles was born in Ireland in 1832. He began teaching iu S. S. No.
11, Williamsburg, in 1851. He taught in the county of Stormont in 1852, 1853
and 1855, and in the county of Dundas during the years 1851, 1854, and from
1856 to 1896, inclusive, the last 28 years in Morrisburg as principal, until the
establishment of the Model school, and thereafter as first assistant. This un-
precedented long period of service in one school speaks volumes for his faith-
ful, single minded devotion to the profession of his choice. He continues to
reside in Morrisburg, carrying his years lightly, and takes a lively interest in
the welfare of the children now at school, many of them the children of his
former pupils, and enjoys the veneration and respect of the community.

Andrew Allison was born in the county of Dundas in 1834, and began teach-
ing in S. S. No. 16, Williamsburg, in 1853. He later attended the Toronto


Normal school, graduating in 1863. He then taught for a time in the vicinity
of Toronto, but" eventually returned to his native county and taught in 8. 8.
Nos. 9, 13, 16, 17 and 24, Williamsburg ; No. 3, Winchester (Winchester village)
and No. 8, Winchester (Chesterville.) He retired in 1878, after 19 years of
teaching ; his last position being that of principal of the Ohesterville Public
school. He is at present living on his farm near Dunbar, and although his
hair is whitened with the frosts of many winters he still evinces a keen and
intelligent interest in agricultural, educational and political affairs.

All the foregoing teachers were on the pension lists, and the brief sketches
concerning them have been gleaned from the records kindly loaned by the
Education Department. The sketches of those that follow have been gathered
from the recollections of the older residents in the county. The dates are
sometimes approximations, but substantially correct. Among those whose
memories have been drawn upon for these notices may be mentioned Adam
Harkness, Iroquois ; Hiram Carman, A. E. Casselman, Geo. M. Merkley, Mor-
risburg ; John Strader, Strader's Hill ; Wm. Bow, Winchester, and George
Annable, Leonard.

In 1834 George Tracy, afterwards a land surveyor, taught in a little frame
school house that stood on the bank of the river, opposite the whirlpool, at
Morrisburg. A school house was afterwards built farther east, near the
present residence of Mrs. I. N. Rose, in which a Mr. Millar taught.

Online LibraryJ. Smyth CarterThe story of Dundas, being a history of the County of Dundas from 1784 to 1904 → online text (page 11 of 40)