J. Smyth Carter.

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

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Online LibraryJ. Smyth CarterThe story of Dundas, being a history of the County of Dundas from 1784 to 1904 → online text (page 32 of 40)
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Winchester may aptly be termed the "industrial hub" of Dundas county.
The several manufactories employ a large number of hands, and are of a sub-
stantial character.

The M. F. Beach Manuf. Co., capitalized at $100,000, was organized in 1903.
The several departments engage about seventy employees, and include saw,
grist and planing mills, sash and door factory, manufacturing furniture, milk
vats and other cheese factory fittings; of the latter a specialty is a curd
mill which is unexcelled. The furniture and other products find a ready mar-
ket throughout Canada, the greater share of energy, however, being directed
to the trade in Ontario and Quebec. The board of management of the com-
pany includes M. F. Beach, president; Chas. A. Beach, manager; Norman W.
Beach, secretary-treasurer; Alex. Boss, Robert McMaster, directors.

The Beach Foundry Co. is another] growing industry. In addition to
general job work, the manufacture and sale of stoves receives special atten-
tion. The employees number about thirty.


A grist mill and the electric light plant are owned and operated by the
Eager, Sanderson Co. A spur line connects their mills with the C. P. B.

The Winchester woolen mill, established many years ago by Hugh Christie,
is now conducted by Christie Bros., and enjoys a fair trade.

The Winchester Cement Block and Tile Manufacturing Co. was established
in 1904. The President of the company is B. Lane, and sec.-treas., S. S. He-
veler. Blocks, tile and other cement products are here manufactured. The
universal favor with which these materials are accepted for purposes of build-
ing, drainage, etc., promises well for a larger market.

In the professional ranks of Winchester are : Medical practitioners,
Dr. Reddick, Dr. P. McLaughlin, Dr. N. Malloch; lawyers, S. S. Reveler, G.
C. Hart, W. L. Palmer; dentist, S.'W. Frith; civil engineers, Dunn & Fuller-
ton; veterinary surgeon, Dr. A. McKay.

The commercial interests of the village are represented by general mer-
chants A. Sweet & Co., J. D. Laflamme, F.S. Manning & Co., J.M. Hughes &
Co.; gents furnishings, F. & F, Henderson; grocers, A. W. Beach, J. E. Cook,
L. Flora; druggist, G. H. Challies; jeweller, Henry Johnson; J. A. McDougall;
stationer and dealer in fancy and optical goods, William Bow; photographer,
N. M. Trickey; merchant tailors, A. Cameron & Co., S. W. Boyd, J. E. Earl;
milliners, Misses M. & M. Beach, Mrs. John Henderson; dress and mantle-
makers, Mrs. William Shaver, Mrs. McPherson, the Misses Porteous; publish-
ing office, The Press, B. Lane, proprietor; dealers in farm implements, etc.,
W. H. Fetterly, J. W. Nesbitt; financial institutions, Bank of Ottawa, (man-
ager.N. W. Morton), Union Bank (manager, R. F. Blair), Private Bank of D.
F. Sutherland; hotels (up to date and orderly), Bowen House, conducted by A.
McDonald, Commercial Hotel, by Hirman Wallace;, shipper and dealer in live
stock, J. F. Cass; insurance agents, Andrew Christie, A. Sweet, A. Ross, N.
W. Beach, A. W. Beach, W. Rowat ; tinsmiths, Holmes & Armstrong; butch-
ers, J. J. Empey, W. W. Becksted; livery proprietors, Abraham Barrigar,
Asa Hutt, John Belway; feed and produce merchants, B. Bouck, W. J.
Fraser; bakers, A. W. Beach, Kellog & Reoch; harness makers, William Gard-
ner, R. L. Suffel; carriage manufacturer, Mahlon Bailey; blacksmiths, A.
Casselman, George Elliott, A. M. Cook, Charles A. Summers, Gordon Feader;
barbers, Reuben Clothier, F. W. Barclay; shoemakers, G. Utman, A. Gagnon;
undertaker, Merrick Durant; C. P. R. station agent, G. A. Johnstone; C. P. R.
and G. N. W. telegraph, in postofflce premises; telephone office (Central), con-
ducted by W. Gardner; painter, decorator, etc., James Anderson; builders and
contractors, A. Bulmer, J. Greer,

The social life of the villagers is not neglected. Among the several
fraternal societies are the following: I. O. O. F., A. O. U. W., A. F. &

A. M., I. O. P., G. O. F,, Knights of Maccabees, L. O. I*, and Orange Young

Winchester can also boast of many conveniences peculiar to larger
towns. One of the finest Public school buildings in eastern Ontario, occupy,
ing a handsome site, is located on St. Lawrence street. The school consists of
seven departments, each efficiently conducted. The churches, five in number,
some of superior design, are also creditably maintained. The village is lighted
by electricity. Many fine residences are in evidence, and annually these in-
crease in number. Quite recently a Town Hall was erected, at a cost of $5,000,
A general air of enterprise and thrift characterizes the place; all public in-
terests are wisely directed, and with its present advantages the future
growth ot the village is assured.



PRETTILY situated on the banks of the Nation river, in the township of
Winchester, is the prosperous village of Chesterville. The picturesqueness of
the site must have appealed to the first settlers, as the turbulent little stream
wound its course between the forest-clad shores for centuries, its rhythmic
murmur unheard by the ear of the white man. To this spot, in 1825,
came two young men, Merkley by name. They foresaw the advantages of
the water power, and at once made preparations to build a mill. Everything
being in readiness preparatory to raising the building, the two brothers made
their way to the St. Lawrence, and crossed to Waddington. There they
secured supplies, including a barrel of whiskey for the entertainment of their
friends at the bee which was to follow. During their return trip across the
river their canoe upset, and both men were drowned. This affair, so
Unfortunate, had for a time a reverse effect on the mill project. The next to
become interested was Thomas Armstrong and son, of Edwards-
burg, who very early in the thirties erected a sawmill here. The son, John,
seems to have been very active in the undertaking, and during one winter's
sawing, possibly the year 1832, a fine cut of elm plank was prepared for
market. The following spring this product was put afloat on the Nation and
with it John repaired to Quebec, the chief timber market, where he was
stricken with cholera and died. His death, although sad, did not retard the
milling prospects. The father, Thomas, assumed full management, and be-
sides the sawmill soon had in operation a grist mill, which proved a great
boon to the settlers of the vicinity. After some years Mr. Armstrong dis-
posed of the mills to John P. Crysler. Subsequent owners were the Messrs.
Halliday and^William Hiller, and while in possession of the latter the mills
were burned. A few years later the present mills were constructed by W. N.
Barrie, who for some time was a prominent resident of Chesterville.

Armstrong's Mills, as the place was for many years designated, owes its
birth to no real estate boon, inflated by some enterprising agent, but is the
outgrowth of the mill already described. Soon minor industries


found a place, and merchants and inn -keepers as well. John Farr was an
early merchant. His shop was an unpretentious building, his stock of goods
small, but of considerable variety. After gaining the custom and good- will
of the citizens for a time he sold out to Isaac N. Bose, whose brother, E. H .
Rose, was at first clerk, later partner, and then owner of the store. Charles
T. Oasselman was another merchant, as was also Walter Bell,
whose place of business was located where now stands the residence of Jas.
Dwyer. One of Mr. Bell's clerks was Nelson Holmes, and the store which
shared a fair trade was familiarly known as "Bell's White Store." On the site
of Thompson and Cline's tinshop Martin Coyne kept store, while in a small
building, near the mill site, Geo. Fitchell was both merchant and tavern,
keeper. Other merchants were John McDonald, Grant Bros., and John P.

Blacksmith shops were soon a necessity in the community. Perhaps the
first mechanic of that class was Hugh McLeod, who fora time kept a crude
shop west of the Fitchell hotel, but later secured quarters on the north side of
the river. Our informant often saw him make a new horse shoe out of two
old ones, a practice quite common then. About 1850 a better shop was kept by
James Miller who employed several assistants, and turned out both iron and
woodwork. His first shop was where the English church now stands; then in
a building near Maley's store, and still later in a larger shop west of the pres-
ent residence of Dr. Brown. John Quigley, another blacksmith, who did
good work, had one leg amputated, and was skillful enough to make for
himself one of wood which served very well.

Armstrong Bros, were carriagemakers. They turned out good work,
among which was a fancy but peculiarly fashioned cutter, named the "Lady
Swan, "still remembered by a few old people. One of these brothers also turn-
ed his attention to boat building, and constructed a small boat, the "Lady
Pyke." It was propelled by a walking beam, would accommodate from fifteen
to eighteen people and was for a time used as a ferry. The fate of this peculiar
craft is romantic. One morning about daybreak a young man returning from
visiting his lady love, attempted to cross the Nation on board the "Lady
Pyke." The river was swollen by a recent heavy rain and the swift flowing
current being too strong for the young pilot the boat was quickly carried over
the dam and destroyed, while the only passenger aboard was towed ashore by
means of a rope. The carriage shop of James Fox and the blacksmith
shop of Joseph Johnston stood side by side. Mr. Johnston also kept tavern
near the present Public school building. He later built what is now the
McCloskey House, which has since been enlarged and remodelled. A carriage-
maker who was quite early at Armstrong's Mills was Benjamin Meeker, a
local preacher, commonly called Father Meeker. About 1848 he was ordain-
ed to the ministry, the ceremony being held north of the village in what was


known as the Fetterly school house. The small shop in which he worked
stood until a few years ago. The writer has learned from an authentic source
that the first buggy at Armstrong's Mills was owned by E. H. Rose, but man-
ufactured by Mr. Meeker.

Shoemakers were among the early tradesmen here. John Hanes kept a
shop for many years. John Flynn was located in a shop near the Catholic
church, while as early as the forties William Casselman, a travelling shoemak-
er,did good work. He carried with him bench and tools. In common with other
pioneer settlements, hotels were early found at Armstrong's Mijls. Among
the inn-keepers were Henry Ouderkirk in the early thirties, Henry Willard
a little later, James Ginley, who occupied the old Johnston stand, Patrick Mc-
Caffre in the Williard stand, and several others of like notoriety.

Tbe first medical service given the people of this part of Winchester
township was by travelling doctors who came in on horseback. Among these
were Dr. Brigham, whose home was south of Waddington, and Dr. Wylie, of
Matilda. The latter must have had an extensive practice as his name is com-
monly mentioned in almost every part of Dundas. B, D. Fulton recalls
Dr. Wylie's early visits, and can protray a very good picture of the old
gentleman as he made his extended professional trips on horseback with
saddlebags attached. His charge was generally five dollars per trip, and Mr.
Fulton remembers his father agreeing to give the Doctor five bushels of wheat
to be delivered at the latter's home in Matilda. This the doctor readily accept-
ed in payment for a professional call. Dr. Grant, of Mariatown; Dr. Hoy, of
Kemptville, and Dr. Worthington also made occasional visits to Winchester.
Resident doctors were however quite early, perhaps the first of these being
Dr. Irving, who died of smallpox, not later than the middle forties. A root
doctor by the name of Brunson had some practise; his charges were small,
and he possessed some skill. Dr. Baird, an Irish M. D., practised here a few
years, but perhaps none of these were more widely known than Dr. Orrin C.
Wood, who claimed distinction as a cancer specialist. As to his success we
cannot say, but he received frequent calls from people far and near.

Until the middle forties the people in this vicinity were isolated as far as
postal facilities were concerned. Some of the settlers who acted as self con-
stituted postmasters and mail carriers occasionally brought mail from the
front. Very few were subscribers to the newspapers at that early date, but
on the list were William Munro, John Fetterly, and Andrew Summers.
When the papers arrived how eagerly were the contents perused. Often some
person was selected to read to the assembled crowd. An individual incident
in this connection is related by an old settler. The coronation of our late be-
loved Queen, "Victoria the Good," had taken place, and weeks thereafter the
particulars were read aloud by Mathias Cook, an early settler in the vicinity*


Needless to say his audience gave close attention. In 1845 a postoffice was
opened under the name of Winchester. The mail came in via Morrisburg
(West Williamsburg)and was carried on horseback. Some of the mail carriers
then and subsequently being William Casselman, Jacob Bogart, William
Smith, William Cash andWarren Henderson. Among the later mail and stage
drivers was Jacob Marcelis, of Williamsburg, commonly known as "Uncle
Jake,"whose courtesy and civility coupled with his knowledge of the times and
his fund of anecdotes rendered him during his long term of service a favorite
with the public. Up to the time Warren Henderson carried the mail there
was a tri-weekly service, which later became daily. For many years the mail
was carried on a circuit route from Morrisburg to Chesterville, thence to West
Winchester and back to Morrisburg via Winchester Springs. Early in the
seventies Charles T. Casselman (postmaster) was chiefly instrumental in pro-
curing the extension of the telegraph system to the village. The residents
supplied the poles and Mr. Casselman superintended their distribution along
the proposed line. As much confusion arose on account of there being a
W T inchester, a West Winchester and a North Winchester, the Great North-
western Telegraph Co. suggested that the name of the village of Winchester
be changed. Chester Casselman, telegraph operator, circulated a petition that
the place be re-named Chesterville, which change was made in 1875.

For many years the chief settlement was on the south bank of the
river, but as the north bank of the river became occupied, crossing
the river was a more frequent necessity. Primitive boats and rafts
were used;one of these of a better type we have already described. These con-
ditions existed until about 1847-8 when, thanks to the efforts of George
McDonell, the then member for Dundas, the Government gave substantial aid
toward the building of a bridge, the contractor being a Mr. Cord, of Ottawa.
A second wooden bridge was built during the seventies, and in turn
replaced some years ago by the present substantial one.

The general backwardness of the country surrounding the village in early
days can well be imagined from the following clipping from the Chesterville
Record, speaking of that primitive period: "Mr. Merkley, grandfather of
George M, Merkley, in the early years of this country sold 600 acres of land
within sight of what is now Chesterville for $24 in store pay, which he carried
home tied up in a handkerchief. The late George Hummell, sr., of Chester-
ville,sold 400 acres for $4,but he got the cash." This Mr. Hummell was one of
the original settlers in the vicinity and in fact owned the land (lot 18, con. 4)
upon which Chesterville now stands . Other pioneers in the vicinity were the
Smiths, Fetterlys, Merkleys, Munroes, Kennedys and Bogarts.

The conditions and changes to which we have referred as well as many
others were working out the future welfare of the place. The people were so


constituted that they recognized no defeat, and in spite of the many dangers
and troubles incident to backwoods life considerable progress was being
made. According to Smith's Canada, 1850, the place then contained a grist
mill, with three run of stones, a sawmill, two tanneries, a pearl ashery, card-
ing and fulling mill, and two churches, Methodist and Roman Catholic. As
the surrounding country prospered so did the little hamlet of Armstrong's
Mills a sort of thermometer of the times, which, as we have already
stated, assumed the name Winchester in 1845. Under the latter name the
Canada directory of 1857-8 describes it as "a village situated on the Nation
river, in the township of Winchester, and county of Dundas. It has a large
trade with the surrounding country which is well settled and there are excel-
lent mineral springs six miles from the village. Distant from the Williams-
burg station of the G. T. R. 18 miles, and from Ottawa 38 miles. Tri-weekly
mail. Population about 500." Besides the several names referred to,
we find the names of George Ault, fuller and carder; Isaac Barry, carpenter
and joiner; John Cassel, saddler; J.C. Casselraan, carriagemaker ; Solomon
Casselman, blacksmith; Alfred Cauron, cooper ; P. D. Cummins, grocer;
Samuel Dillabough, carpenter and joiner; Charles Duffee, grocer; Francis
Dyer, tailor; Joseph Edgerton, carriagemaker; William Folia, grocer;
William Garvey, general merchant; Josiah Hanes, blacksmith;
John Halliday, general storekeeper; Ira Herrington and Johnston
Hill, carpenters,; Patrick Hughes, grocer; Rev. Brastus Hurlburt, Wesleyan
pastor ; Simon Hummell, shoemaker; John J. Kerr, local superintendent of
common schools; Patrick Kirby, grocer ; John L. and Joseph Merkley, bailiffs;
John McCuaig, merchant and clerk of Division Court; Rev. John Meade.R. C.
pastor; J. Merkley and Henry Moad, blacksmiths; Felix Parent, tinsmith:
Rev. Peter Quinn, Free Church; Matthew Rae, cabinetmaker; William Reid,
blacksmith; R. H. Rose, postmaster; Septimus Rupert, wheelwright; William
Scott, tailor; Francis Shirky and Elisha K. Smith, tanners; James and Wil-
liam Smith, shoemakers; Rev. J. Smith, M, E, pastor; Alex. Stallmyer, car-
penter; John Stewart, shoemaker,

Mitchell's directory 1864-5 gives the following additional names: John
Barrie, flour, feed and produce dealer ; Isaac Barry.chair manufacturer; Giles
W. Bogart, J. P.; Rev. William Brown, M. E, pastor; John Capell, merchant
and harnessmaker; James Casselman merchant; Matthew Flynn, hotel pro-
prietor; William Hiller, grocer; Amos Hummell, builder; Rev. John Kiernon,
Wesleyan pastor; Mary Kitchen, milliner; Edward Love, cooper, William
Marvin, sawmill proprietor; John McDonald, wheelwright; James McMahon,
shoemaker; George Smith, tanner; Alexander Stallmyer, hotel proprietor;
O. Swarger and M. Weaver, cabinetmakers; Martin Wholegan, sawmill pro-
prietor ; Henry Wood, blacksmith; J, D. C. Wood, physician.


For two succeeding decades the growth of Chesterville was slow. The little
hamlet appeared to have reached its zenith similar to that of many other
small isolated villages, but the opening of the 0. P. B. ushered in better
days. The new road was located a short distance north of the village, leav-
ing an unoccupied gap south of the station where many residences have
since been erected. Being a railway village, Chesterville experienced con-
siderable growth, and in 1890 obtained incorporation. The following are
some of the municipal officers since:

Reeves : 1890, Miles Brown; 1891-2, W. N. Barrie; 1893-7, W. B. Lawson;
1898-9, James G. Gillespie; 1900, George Hamilton; 1901-2, W. B. Lawson; 1903-
4, William Bae.

Clerks: 1890-91, Milo Knowland; 1892, James G. Gillespie; 1893-9, Milo
Knowland; 1900, T. T. Shaw; 1901-4, W. J. Nash.

As time sped onward many business men located at Chesterville, especially
in recent years. We cannot attempt to enumerate, but among those
now deceased or moved elsewhere we find the names of Alexander C. Gillissie,
Asa Beach, Edward Kerr, J. B. Gillissie, Franklin Bix>s., Freeman Bros.,
Livington Bros., Judson Cassehnan, A. D. Hunter, D. Carter and others.

The present advantages of the village are many. Perhaps in eastern Ontario
no place of equal size can well compare with it as a live stock market. The
farming section surrounding Chesterville is second to none, and no doubt
in this fact largely lies the secret of the industrial and commercial snap
which characterizes the village. The Nation river, although of no
navigable importance,has a dam lately placed across it and thus high water is
maintained, a condition more healthful and an aid towards summer and win-
ter sports. From the bridge the view up the river is attractive. When Ches-
terville grows into a town, Hummell's grove east of the village would make
an ideal park. It is now owned by the Holiness Movement denomination.
Good mail service is secured by train and stage, one line of the latter making
daily connection with the G. T. B. at Morrisburg. Five churches, a Public
Library, fine Public and Separate schools, telephone and telegraph con-
nection, and up-to-date residences are worthy of mention. The social life
of Chesterville is represented by several orders, but our limited space forbids
a detailed reference to each. These include A. F. & A. M., I. U. O. F.,
C.O.F., C. M. B. A., and A. O. U. W.

Following is a directory of the village for the present year(1904) :Postmaster
Chester Casselman; general merchants, The Sanders, Soule & Casselman Co.,
L't'd, J. T. Kearns, Chester Casselman; dry goods merchants, Fetterly & Bo-
gart; grocers and hardware merchants, Fulton Bros; druggist, W. G. Bolster,
druggists & grocers, Bolster & Son; grocers, M.Halliday, B.Buist, Thos. McGee,


medical practitioners, Dr. M. Brown, Dr. W. A. Brown, Dr. Geo. Ellis; den-
tist, Dr. J. Shields; barristers,&c., W. B. Lawson, A. M. Fulton, C. B. Bae;
veterinary surgeon,Dr. A. S. Morrison; hotel proprietors, F. McCloskey, Thos.
Flynn, John Foster ( Temperance House); tailors, W. J. Nash, L. A. Zufelt;
photographer, N. M. Trickey; jewellers, J. F. Moody, W M. Saucier; tin and
hardware merchants, Grant & Fyke, Thompson & Cline; pumpmakers, Matthew
& Co.,; butchers, Joseph Fisher, Henry Cowdrey; bakers, Isaac Pellitier, J.
Elliott; milliners, Mrs. 0. W. Casselman, Mrs. A. C. Gillissie, Miss Prende-
gast; dressmakers, the Misses* Scott, Mrs. McRae; blacksmiths, Bogart &
Shaver, E. McDonald, F. W. Merkley, Gordon Robinson, Thomas McMahon;
carriagemakers, R. J. Cunningham, F. Dwyer; carpenters, James Dwyer, S.
W. Barry, F. Hummell, Chester Merkley; sash and door factory, Garrow
and Savor; foundry, M. O' Keefe ;live stock shipper, Vene Robinson, grist and
sawmills, William Rae; shoemakers, John Keys, F.-Laselle; financial institu-
tion, Molsons Bank, manager H. P. D. Evans; C. P. R. station agent, Robert
Harrop; C.P.R. freight agent,Sidney Nevensjundertaker and furniture dealer,
F. Wood; barbers, H. Merkley; I . Pelletier ; liveries, James Me Avoy, J. Fos-
ter; flour and feed merchants, Hughes & Marquette; produce dealer, W.
A. Olmstead; editor of Chesterville Record, T. T, Shaw; fire and life insur-
ance agent, C. W. Casselman .



EARLY homesteads: The Carman property, west half lot 26 and east half lot
27, con. 1, 2nd range, Matilda township, is one instance of an unbroken suc-
cession. The first occupant of these lands was George Carman, and there has
continuously heen a George Carman resident thereon. Can any of our read-
ers furnish a similar instance?

Royal guests: Dundas has been visited by H. R. H. the Duk of Kent (see
page 41); H. R. H. Prince Arthur, September, 1869; the Duke and Duchess of
Corn wall and York, Oct. 16, 1901. The Prince of Wales, now King Edward
VII, during his tour of Canada in 1860 was presented with an inspiring ad-
dress from the people of Dundas.

Deeds of heroism: Among these might be noted several rescues from drown-
ing in the St. Lawrence. Some years ago Dr. A. W. Whitney saved the life
of George Backus; on August 5, 1890, Miss Catharine McDonald, daughter of
Thomas McDonald, of Morrisburg, was rescued by Ward Hanes and Grant
Fitzgibbons ; the life of Ross Weagant was likewise preserved by Geo. Mar-
cellus on August 2, 1898: while on Oct. 4, 1901, Frank Robertson, Charles Strad-
er and Wm Rourke were rescued by Wm. Cleland and Frank Rourke. In
each case appropriate medals were awarded by the Humane Society, and in

Online LibraryJ. Smyth CarterThe story of Dundas, being a history of the County of Dundas from 1784 to 1904 → online text (page 32 of 40)