J. Smyth Carter.

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

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Anna Caroline, eldest daughter of Rev. Thoe. McAmmond, and a graduate of
Stanstead Wesleyan College.

C . B. Rae, barrister, of Chesterville, is a son of William Rae, the present
reeve of that village. He was educated at the Chesterville Public school and
Morrisburg Collegiate Institute. After teaching some years in various school
sections in the county he matriculated in 1886, and was first articled to Adam
Johnston, Morrisburg, and later was a student-at-law in the office of Maclennan,
Liddell and Cline, Cornwall, and Nicolas Murphy, Toronto. In 1891 he grad-
uated from the Law School at Toronto; was called to the Bar in the same
year and since then has practised his profession in his native town. Mr. Rae
is of Scotsh descent; his grandfather, the late James Rae, emigrated from the
county of Dumfries, Scotland, to the county of Glengarry. Later the family
settled in Dundas.

G. H. Davy was born at Iroquois, Dundas county. He was primarily edu-
cated at the Public and High schools of his native village, and then attended
Toronto University where in 1895 he took his degree of B. A. In 1898 he grad-


uated in law at Toronto and for two years subsequent thereto was a resident
of that city. In the year 1900 he returned to Iroquois. where he has since
successfully practised his profession.

W. L. Palmer,of Winchester, Ont., is a son of A. D. Palmer,and was born at
Hillier, Prince Edward county, Dec. 31, 1858. He was educated at the Public
school, Trenton Grammar school, Albert College, Belleville, and Osgoode Hall,
Toronto, being called to the Bar in 1880. He practised for a time in Picton,
Ont., before coming to Winchester, in 1889.



EVEN amid the struggles of pioneer life the desire for mental food was to
some extent characteristic of the early settlers, and these conditions later
resulted in the establishment of public libraries. In the majority of Sabbath
schools and in many Public schools the library is now a silent factor in mould-
ing the lives of the men and women of to-morrow.

The old Matilda Public Library was among the earliest. In 1853 Dr. Ryer-
son visited Dundas, and at a meeting held in Matilda Grammar schocl the
question of establishing a township library was discussed. This effort was
soon supplemented by a grant of $100 from the township Council. Relative
to the prospect Mr. Harkness in his Iroquois High school history says : "The
result was the establishment of a first-class library, containing about 1,000
volumes. There was a township librarian appointed, and each school sec-
tion appointed a section librarian. The business of the township librarian
was to distribute to the school section librarians, who in turn distributed
among the people . The system was perhaps too elaborate under the circum-
stances and the time, and lacked a permanent inspectoral head to enforce the
regulations. The librarians, even the township librarian, were frequently
changed, and were sometimes inefficient. The books got scattered, and it was
hard, impossible in fact, to get them in again. The movement had neyer been
a popular one with the majority of the ratepayers, and no means were taken
by succeeding Councils to replace lost volumes ; besides the incorporation of
the village in 1857 split the collection, and withdrew some influence from the
township that would have been favorable to its maintenance. The outcome
was that twenty years after its establishment there ceased to be a township
or village library. Nevertheless in many homes in both township and village
some of these books may yet be found. The seed was sown, and though some,
perhaps much, of it fell by the wayside, if we could trace its influence on the
lives, the characters, and the achievements of those among whom it was scat-
tered we would find that enough fell on good ground to amply justify the
effort that had been put forth."


The Morrisburg Public Library, first designated the Mechanics' Institute,
was organized in the autumn of 1858. Some years previous to that a Penny
Reading Society had been founded. The library contains about 2,500 volumes,
while the reading room is equipped with the best city dailies, local weeklies,
magazines and illustrated papers. The librarian is Robert Henderson.

Iroquois Public Library owes its birth to the establishment of a Penny
Reading Society about the middle of the eighties. Among the promoters of
the project were John Carstairs, H. H. Ross, Adam Harkness, Rev. White, A,
O. Casselman, W. M. Doran, W. A. Whitney, W. H, Patton. The society
raised considerable funds, reorganized as a Mechanics' Institute, and purchas-
ed a library. About 1890 a reading room was opened in connection there-
with, and a few years later the library was made free to residents of the vil-
lage, a condition still existing. The institution is located in the Becksted
block. The librarian is Ira Becksted.

Winchester Public Library claims as its founders Rev. Andrew Rowat, W.
J. Laflamme and others. Recently this institiition has suffered a decline, but
its amalgamation with the W. C. T. U. reading rooms is now being discussed
and there is a prospect of this arrangement being carried out.

Chesterville Public Library was established in 1896 as a Mechanics' Insti-
tute. On Feb. 13, 1897, a by-law was passed appointing a Board of Manage-
ment of the Chesterville Public Library, the board for that year consisting of
O. D. Casselman, Frank McCloskey, W. G. Bolster. The library contains
1,538 volumes. The present (1904) Board of Management consists of Wm Rae
(chairman), W. G. Bolster, Dr. W. A. Brown, W. B. Lawson, F. McCloskey
andH. P. D. Evans.

Dundela Public Library was established in 1896-7,largely through the efforts
of P. A. Mclntosh, B. A. It contains about 450 volumes, including works of
science and philosophy, literature, history, biography, adventure, fiction, etc.

Matilda Public Library, located in con. 2, Matilda (Stampville), was estab-
lished in 1901. It contains several hundred volumes by standard authors, and
each year a considerable addition is made. The librarian, Edward Strader,
and other officers are enthusiastic in promoting the interests of the institution.


The story of journalism in Dundas is not without interest. The first news-
paper in the county, The Iroquois Chief, began publication about June 1st,
1858. Its motto was: "Nothing extenuate, or set down aught in malice."
On King street, east, designated block C, 3, in village survey, Iroquois, there
still stands the stone house which enjoys the distinction of being the cradle of
Dundas journalism. From this plain, story and a half stone structure The
Chief was issued every Friday morning, by William S. Johnston, who at the


age of twenty was editor, publisher and proprietor. Mr. Johnston commenc-
ed his career as a printer in the office of the Brockville Recorder, and through
the columns of that paper the public first became aware of his literary ability,
the articles from his pen appearing under the uom de plume, "Young Can-
ada." Subsequently he became editor of a paper at Fonthill, but being a
Dun das boy, and an ex-student of the Matilda Grammar school, he resigned
that position in order to bring Iroquois, his native village, into the field of
letters. His ability as a writer, coupled with his practical knowledge of the
printing.augured well for the success of The Chief. The new paper also mirrored
the literary talent of others, and Mrs.Tyson, of Toronto (then Mrs. W. 8. John-
ston) speaks thus ; "The eldest daughter of Philip Carman, afterwards Mrs.
Robert Carswall, of Toronto, occasionally contributed a graceful little poem,
as did also Miss Bertha Brouse, now Mrs. Landt, of California, Other verses
that would ill become me to call graceful were also sometimes in evidence,"
Short as the life of the paper was its trenchant political editorials attracted
the attention of the late Hon. George Brown, who invited Mr. Johnston to
join The Toronto Globe editorial staff, which offer was not then accepted.
Although The Chief was well edited, bright and newsy, its circulation was
too small to render it a paying concern. For some time a small paper, The
Evangelizer, edited by Robert Kennedy, was printed in The Chief office,
swelling the receipts of the latter. But when The Evangelizer was taken
elsewhere for publication The Chief was discontinued, after an existence of
about two years. Many of the subscribers had fallen in arrears ; accounts to
the amount of several hundred dollars were placed in the bands of Solomon
Doran, bailiff, but when it was learned that the trouble and cost of collection
was so great the attempt to recover just dues was abandoned. The Cornwall
Economist was the next paper launched by Mr, Johnston, That also proving
unremunerative, he purchased The Port Hope Guide, which he conducted for
a short time, when Mr. Brown renewed his offer to join The Globe staff, and
this time he accepted, and remained with this influential paper for five years,
or until his death, Sept. 20, 1869. His ability had gained wide recognition by
this time, his ambition was equally persevering, which was out short of com-
plete fruition by his early death, or to use the words of Mrs, Tyson, "the
aword wore out the scabbard,"

With the suspension of The Chief no paper was published at Iroquois for
about twenty years, Then The Iroquois Times appeared. This paper was
founded by Mr. Graham, of Quebec, who soon became discouraged and dis-
posed of the plant to J, H, Hendry, After about a year's experience Mr,
Hendry sold out to Arthur and Ormond Brouse. About two years later the
business was leased to R. D, Harkness for a space of twelve months, and in
July, 1882, the plant was removed from Iroquois to the Northwest,


Another short interval ensued during which the village was without a
newspaper, when The St. Lawrence News, Iroquois' third newspaper, was es-
tablished in 1888. Its founder was B. C. Beach, now of Winchester, Ont., and
a son of M. P. Beach. Under the direction of Mr. Beach The News made a
good beginning, and run up a considerable circulation, when he leased the
paper to J. S. Carstairs, B. A., a teacher iu the local High school, and R. A.
MoLelland, manager of the local branch of the Union Bank. B. D. Harkness,
assisted by his brother J. F., were the next publishers, who in turn sold the
plant to W. A. Whitney, M. A . After Mr. Whitney's death the paper passed
into the hands of W. F. Stott, who on July 1, 1903, disposed of the business to
R. S. Pelton, the present publisher.

Mr. Pelton, born at Innerkip, Oxford Co., Ontario, is agon of the late Gib-
son Pelton, and of his wife, Caroline (Baker) Pelton. Although born on a
farm and his father a farmer, he may be said to have inherited his love of
journalism from his mother's people, who furnished an editor of The Chicago
Tribune, the founder and editor of The Owen Sound Times, and the founder
and publisher of Sault Ste. Marie's first newspaper, The Algoma Pioneer. It
followed that our subject when a lad of fifteen was articled to fathom the
mysteries of "the art preservative" in the office of The Woodstock Sentinel-
Review. Subsequently he joined the staff of The Brussels Post, where under
the genial inspiration of Editor Kerr he learned the ethics of journalism,
which he was to apply later. After brief connections with The Blyth Stand-
ard and Deseronto Tribune, he established The Bee, at At wood, Perth Co.,
Jan. 17, 1890, which he published for thirteen years with a degree of success
that enabled him to erect in 1901 one of the finest and best equipped news-
paper offices in the west ; which may also be said of The St. Lawrence News'
present home in the east, which Mr. Pelton erected in 1904. In July, I902,he
disposed of The Bee to his brother-in-law, D. G. Anderson, and purchased
The Paris Review, which he conducted until the following March, when he
was induced to relinquish newspaper work to engage in fruit farming in the
Grirnsby district. But his love of journalism soon reasserted itself, and after
disposing of his fine farm on the outskirts of Grirnsby he came to Iroquois in
the summer of 1903 and purchased The News, which he has since conducted
with success. In politics Mr. Pelton is Independent, and in religion a Meth-

In March, 1904, D. E. Whitney, late of The Cardinal Tribune, launched The
Era, a five-column quarto weekly, which he published for about three months
when, finding the field in Iroquois too circumscribed for two newspapers, he
disposed of the plant to M. F . Beach, who removed it to South Mountain
and merged it with The Herald of that village. With four to its credit, Iro-
quois appears to have offered an inviting field for newspaper ventures. While

F. F. Plantz. R. S. Pelton. B. Lane.

Herb H. Bradfleld. T. T. Shaw. F. B. Carter.


three of the four have found both a cradle and grave in the old town, The
News gives every assurance of wethering the storm with the present editor
at the helm, who with characteristic energy and business instinct has put
the paper on a sound basis, and largely increased its circulation and ; n-
fluence in the counties of Dundas and Grenville, in which The News is a
welcome weekly visitor.

The Morrisburg Banner, instituted in 1859, existed but a short time. Its
founder and promoter was James Holden, who figured prominently in the
early life of Morrisburg. The printing of The Banner was done at Prescott.

The Dundas Courier, the first paper published at Morrisburg, appeared Feb.
27,l833,and ceased publication Nov.34,1899. It began an Independent journal, but
with the approach of the general elections of 1874 became an exponent of the
principles of the Liberal-Conservative party, which position it afterwards
maintained. Hugh Campbell Kennedy, the founder and publisher of the
Goorier,was of English and Scotch parentage, and was born at Belleville, Out.,
July 8, 1839. After obtaining an education he applied himself to the printing
business in the office of The Belleville Intelligencer, then published by (Sir)
Mackenzie Bowell. Subsequently he was employed on The New York Daily
Times, first as compositor and then as a member of the reportorial staff. Re-
turning to Canada he spent some time in Toronto, but soon, with a partner,
established a paper at Almonte, Ont. His first visit to Morrisburg was by in-
vitation to a social gathering when he was favorably impressed with the place
as a newspaper field. From The Intelligencer office he procured the old
Washington hand press.placed it in the upper flat of the Bradfield building and
there began the publication of The Courier. On Aug. 13, 1867, Mr. Kennedy
married Kate, second daughter of James Holden, postmaster at Morrisburg.
From the time of its institution until the death of Mr. Kennedy, March 20,
1889, with the exception of about two years (1882-4) The Courier was under the
able direction of its founder, and during all those years it ranked well among
the best journals of eastern Ontario. After Mr. Kennedy's death its career
was somewhat chequered, and finally was purchased by Herbert H. Bradfield,
who founded The Leader.

Six creditably conducted journals are now published in Dundas county.

The Morrisburg Herald, the oldest of these, was founded in 1874 by Arthur
Brown, the present Inspector of Public schools for Dundas county. Mr. Brown
was soon replaced by his brother, Dr. M. Brown, now of Chesterville, Ont.
George P Graham, now Provincial Secretary of Ontario, was proprietor for
several years, but upon his removal from the county Plantz & Warren pur-
chased the plant. F. F. Plantz, the present owner and publisher of The Herald,
is a son of W. A. Plantz, now of Toronto, Ont., but formerly a prosperous mer-
chant of Morrisburg. He was educated at the schools of his native town;


was engaged 'with his father in mercantile calling before entering journalis-
tic work. The Herald has always been a strong adyocate of Liberal principles.
The Winchester Press began publication May 1, 1888. Byron Lane, its found-
er and pr3sent editor and proprietor, was born at Leamington, Ont., where at
the age of 14 he entered the local office as an apprentice, and six years later
had a half interest in the plant and business. Later he was located at Winni-
peg, Man., and at Providence, B. I., but upon his return to Canada came to
Winchester and organized The Press, which has since become a popular local

The Chesterville Record was first published in December, 1894, by R. L. Har-
rop, who about one year later was succeeded by T. T. Shaw, the present editor
and proprietor. Mr. Shaw, born at Port Perry, Ontario county, began his
newspaper education in The Standard office there, remaining five years. He
also served with The Oshawa Reformer, The Smith's Falls News and Toronto
World, remaining with the latter seven years, at the conclusion of which time
he came to Chesterville. Under Mr. Shaw's management the Record has at-
tained success.

The Leader, Morrisburg, successor to The Courier, began Dec, 29, 1899, as a
semi-weekly journal, which later changed to a weekly. Its founder and pub-
lisher is Herbert H. Bradfield, a successful hardware merchant of Morrisburg,
and a son of R. H. Bradfield. At the time of the institution of this paper the
plant was thoroughly overhauled, new material and type added and everything
rendered up-to-date. The first editor of The Leader was Charles A. Styles,
whose ability augured well for the reputation of the new journal. The present
editor is D. E. Whitney, son of the late W. A. Whitney, M. A.

The Mountain Herald was founded at South Mountain in 1899, by J. B. Dixon,
of Kemptville, Ont. Subsequently the proprietors were : B. S. Gregory and F.
Beach Carter. The paper is now owned by M. F. Beach, and edited by his son,
Howard Beach. The Herald njoys a fair patronage.



THE geographical situation of historic Dundas is exceedingly favorable. To
the east, north and west the adjacent counties are of a high order, while to the
south is that majestic waterway,


Admired by tourists the world over, the St. Lawrence holds the palm for
beauty and grandeur. Starting at the head of the great river, the Thousand
Islands appear like a glorious sunburst of emeralds and sapphires studding
the diadem of Nature. Transcendently beautiful they appeal to the eye as
one sails threugh them in the early morning with the first glint of sunlight
reflecting their wealth of forest green, rocky cliffs and irregular shores ; or
in the evening, when the silver moonlight breaks over them like a halo of
glory, relieved by the myriad of electric lights that sparkle from the windows
of the many cosy cottages and palatial summer homes which adorn these is-
lands and the mainland east to Brockville. Leaving these famous islands
a journey of six hours eastward brings the tourist to that portion of the river
fronting Dundas county, with the beautiful camping grounds of Point Iro-
quois and other islands near by.

Toussant's Island, west of Point Iroquois, is prettily situated. It was so
named in honor of Captain Toussant, who received an extended lease of it in
recognition of his military services.

Ogden's Island, Well adapted to agriculture, is located close to Wadding-
ton. It comprises an area of several hundred acres.

Canada Island (Doran's) opposite Stata's Bay, appears to advantage. This
ideal camping ground has recently been purchased by James Corrigan, a gen-
tleman now of Cleveland, and formerly of this county. Since leaving old
Dundas Mr. Corrigan has achieved signal success, the reward of intelligent,
persevering effort and rare business ability.

Dry Island, about twenty -five acres in area, has always been held in esteem


by Morrisburgers as an ideal summer resort. A few years ago Mr. Corrigan,
of Cleveland, O., obtained possession of this island and has since spared no
effort to render it a place of sylvan loveliness and comfort. The channel to
the south, formerly a low, rocky depression, fordable at dry periods of the
year, has been transformed into a wide open waterway. His summer resi-
dence, recently built, bears every evidence of convenience and comtort, as well
as possessing a rustic airiness wbich puts one in touch with the soothing
presence of nature.

Allison's Island, formerly known as Monck's, Wallbridge's, Dunn's or
Murphy's Island, contains nearly 150 acres. Its situation and marked eleva-
tion render it one of the most conspicuous island parks in the eastern group.
Partly fringed with trees and rising with a gentle slope towards its western
front there is something of the exquisite in its make-up, while to St. Law-
rence voyagers it has long been regarded as a prominent land mark. For
many years the owner of this land was Captain W. Murphy, who in 1899 dis-
posed of it to J. Wesley Allison, a prominent New Yorker, formerly of this
county. Since then Mr. Allison has endeavored to perfect it as a summer
resort, and to that end has expended, over $60,000. The spacious residence is
charming in all its appointments ; the other buildings also display architect-
ural beauty ; the plans for the whole having originated with Mr. Allison.
Within the walls of this island home may be seen one of the finest collection
of oil paintings to be found in a country house. From the river as well as
from quaint old Morrisburg the place is viewed to advantage. On the island
Mr. Allison has some fine herds . Most of the cattle are thorough-
bred registered Jersey, the sheep are imported Dorsets, while the horses are
among the finest bred in the country.

Gooseneck Island, so called because it resembles in shape the neck and body
of a goose, was at one time a coveted camping ground. The river here is
pretty, and this coupled with the fact of its proximity to the historic battle-
field of Crysler's Farm should render Gooseneck a favorite resort.

More than a hundred years ago the improvement of the St. Lawrence as a
navigable highway began. At the Cascades andCoteau du Lac small canals were
constructed between 1779 and 1783 and improved in 1801-5. In his description
of. these canals, Judge Pringle says: "The locks were built of stone and
were designed for the passage of boats capable of carrying from 30 to 40
barrels of flour." The construction of the Lachine canal began in 1821 and
the Welland canal in 1824. On the Cornwall canal the work began in 1834,
was suspended at the close of 1838,resumed in 1841, and completed in November,
1842. The Farran's Point. Rapid du Plat (Morrisburg) and Galops canals
were constructed later and known as the Williamsburg canals, with succeed-

1 J. Wesley Allison. 2 Dry Island, viewed from Allison's Island. 3 Morris-
burg, viewed from Allison's Island. 4 Doran's Island. 5 Barn on Allison's Is-
land. 6 Mr. Allison's Island Residence. 7 Allison's Island, viewed from Dry Island.


ing superintendents I. N. Rose, Alex. Macdonell (Greenfield), Dr. C. E. Hickey
and W. A. Stewart. The Rapid du Plat canal was begun in the spring of
1844 and ready for use in 1847. It was enlarged in 1891-2. The first lock-
master at Morrisburg was a French-Canadian, his successors having been
Carlos De Castle and W . I. Casselman. The present official is Charles T
Whitteker, with assistants Emile Coutlee, Zeman J. Prunner, and Calvin
Loucks. At the head of the canal the lock-masters have been Conrad Dailey,
Christopher Reddick, Robert Toye, Alexander Robertson and R. M. Bouck.
Mr. Bouck is now in charge with assistants Thomas Mullin and William
Cleland. At the Iroquois canal the cut being very difficult owing to the pres-
ence of rock the original contractors suspended operations and the work was
later finished by Messrs. Andrew and William Elliott. With the construc-
tion of the junction canal the Galops and Iroquois canals were made one. In
1896-8 this canal was enlarged. At Iroquois the following have served as
lock-masters : Messrs. O'Grady, Robert Watt, Robert Caldwell and Mackenz'e
Stamp. W. J. Sharra is the present incumbent; his assistants are : John
Black, John Mclnnis, Gordon Strader and William Munro.


This county, the central one of three forming our united counties, was named
in honor of David Murray, seventh Viscount Stormont and second Earl of

Online LibraryJ. Smyth CarterThe story of Dundas, being a history of the County of Dundas from 1784 to 1904 → online text (page 26 of 40)