J. Smyth Carter.

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

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Mr Harkness again became reeve of Matilda; and thus began a public career
of usefulness that was terminated by his defeat at the polls by James Collison
in 1890. In the former year he represented the Dundas division at the meet
ing of the Dominion Grange, Toronto, and introduced a resolution: "That
the secretary of the Dominion Grange be instructed to forward to the secre-
taries of all subordinate granges not later than the 15th of July in each year
a circular asking for a concise report of the probable results of the harvests
in the locality of each grange, such report to be entered not later than the
15th of August, to be tabulated by the secretary and published in the "Grange
Record." This motion, which carried, was the beginning of the present in-
valuable Bureau of Statistics for Ontario. In 1883 he was appointed post-
master of Iroquois, and in that position his affability, kindness and readiness,
to accommodate the public were appreciated. In 1900, on the resignation of Dr
Stephenson, Mr Harkness was forced, in obedience to a numerously signed
requisition from the Iroquois ratepayers, to accept the reeveship, an office
to which he was returned unopposed in 1901, '02, '03, '04. Under his guidance,
the business of the village assumed a more progressive form. For many
years he had been known to be in favor of municipal ownership; and now in
1900 it was his task to municipalize the public services of Iroquois. As a
speaker, Mr Harkness was fluent, ready and effective. Rich in the resources

Dr. D. Johnston. Dr. P. C. Casselman. Dr. E. McLaughliii. Dr. W. A. Brown.
Dr. M. Brown. Dr. Geo. Collison. Dr. John Harkness. Dr. A. B. Parlow.
Dr. R. Reddick. Dr. P. McLaughlin.Dr. Jas. Stephenson. Dr. T. J. Jamieson.
Dr. W. J. Anderson Dr. W. C. Davy. Dr. J. Shields. Dr. Geo. Emmett.


of a well stored mind and an observant experience, he could always in debate
afford to let his forensic antagonist choose his own weapons. It was on the
facts and their logical arrangement, strengthened by apposite illustration,
from the most unexpected sources, that he depended. In 1888 the "veiled
treason" of Commercial Union was sweeping over Ontario. Many farmers'
institutes had approved the project. In an address at the Dundas Institute,
Mr Harkness pointed out that Commercial Union was the thin edge of the
wedge of political union with the United States; and the Dundas farmers
were the first to pass a resolution in opposition to the movement. In religion
and politics our subject was a liberal. Though fortune associated him with
Conservatives, he could never have been a "Tory"; though deeply interested
in all the great movements of his time, and though his chance had, owing to
no dereliction on his part, never come to him, he had no touch of cynicism,
no sympathy with radicalism. He had given much attention to religious
questions, and in his younger days had been inclined to be skeptical; to the
last he held views that were considered "advanced," and belonged really to
the "broad church of upright men," for whom creeds are not intended. How-
ever, in 1863, he was elected an elder of the Presbyterian Church, later he be-
came ruling or representative elder, and was a member of the Synod of the
Church of Scotland till the time of the Canadian union. In his home life,
Mr Harkness's kind, unselfish nature found free scope. On October 14, 1857,
he married (1) Louisa Theresa, daughter of John Graham, a native of Coun-
ty Fermanagh, Ireland, and his wife Olive, daughter of Edmund Doran.
She died Jan. 23,1873, leaving five children : Peter, who lives on the old Matilda
homestead; Cora (Mrs M.Wallace), of Ottawa; John GK, barrister, of Cornwall;
Charles, who died May 28, 1902; and Annie (Mrs James McCullough), of Ot-
tawa. On May 16, 1888, he married (2) Harriet E., daughter of the late Peter
Sipes and his wife Betsey, daughter of Edmund Doran. The issue of this
marriage are two sons Adam and Edmund who survive, and two daugh
ters, who died in infancy. His death, from apoplexy, on June 24, 1904, was
tragic in its suddenness. Iroquois and Matilda mourned him as one who had
lived not unto himself but for the good of others. There are two immortal-
ities the immortality of the soul and the immortality of deeds, perhacs of
those little unremembered acts of kindness and of love. The name of Adam
Harkness lives on in the hearts and labours of many a man, who in youth
came in contact with his manly personality; who sat at his feet and drank in
an inspiration to a higher knowledge and higher activity "to strive, to seek,
to find and not to yield," and who though passing more or Jess out of his life
hands on the torch of sweetness and light.


A. E. MELD RUM, of Ottawa, Ont., was educated at the collegiate institute
of that city, where after an attendance of two years he secured junior leav-
ing standing in J uly, 1884. During the autumn of that year, he was enrolled
a student of the Carleton County Model School. In 1888, he attended Ot-
tawa Normal School, getting professional 2nd. In July, 1894, he secured
senior leaving standing at Morrisburg Collegiate Institute; took specialist in
science course at Toronto University, 18934, with 60 percent standing; ob-
tained professional 1st and high school interim certificate at School of Peda-
gogy in December, 1895; and in January, 1896, assumed the principalship of
the Morrisburg Model School, which he resigned in 1904 to accept a position
at Ottawa.

GEORGE E. MERKLET, M. A. Oxon., Ph. D., LL. D., truly achieved high-
est educational honor in Dundas. When a very small boy he tired of the
common routine of school, and asked his father if he might stay at home on
the farm. His father, always a shrewd humorist and farseeing manager,
readily consented, at the same time handing him a hoe and pointing out a
distant cornfield. Solitarily, though diligently, the boy worked until noon,
when he stealthily laid aside the hoe, and hurried to school. liis puerile
ambition was to become a Lutheran minister; and at the age of nineteen he
had finished an honorary course at Thill College, Greenville, Pa., and the
Theological Seminary of Philadelphia. During his last two years at the col-
lege, he edited the college magazine "The Thillansian." Throat trouble pre-
vented his pursuing this vocation. As reporter on "Philadelphia Times"
and as essayist he won enviable notoriety; but his thirst was for higher men-
tal improvement. At this time he attended Queen's University, Kingston.
As a scholar Professor Merkley was free from all narrow pedantry ; he was
broadly human, an ideal pupil. After this, for several years, he held the
position of Classics and Sociology in Greensburg Seminary. He was an
eminent teacher. At all times he freely gave from the bountiful treasure of
his intellect and of his heart. At Uniontown, Pa., where he taught plane
and solid Geometry, Trigonometry, Greek and Latin, he became the first
editor of a newspaper, "The People's Tribune." In 1893 he married Adah,
daughter of Rev. E. Smith, a graduate of Boston Conservatory of Music, and
sailed directly for England, where Dr. Merkley attended the university at
Oxford and Mrs Merkley became a pupil of Dr James Taylor of the same
university, preparing herself for graduation at the Royal Academy of Music
of London. At Oxford, where our Dundas boy graduated, Addison and
Shelley had studied, here Gladstone was educated, and "the grand old man"
was three times "ploughed" (as the classic vernacular of the college terms a


failure) in Greek responsions. Dr. Merkley's honor course included perfec-
tion in Gothic, in fact in all Anglo-Saxon languages. He had to great profi-
ciency Greek, Latin, Italian, English, German, Hebrew, Spanish, French,
Sanscrit, and Chinese. The world-renowned James Legg, his Chinese tutor,
displayed unusual admiration for Dr. Merkley's profound aptitude, and was
delighted with the artful way this pupil composed verse in that language.
Dr Legg and Dr. Merkley were afterwards faithful correspondents. Between
college terms he either came to his Canadian home or travelled, thoroughly
enjoying beautiful old England's sculptured walls and palaces. Some of his
favorite haunts were Windsor Castle and forest, Westminster Abbey, Cum-
nor (where Scott's ill fated heroine of Kenilworth was killed), Eton and Stoke
Pages (wherein Grey wrote his famous "Elegy"). In a letter home he said
"I entered 'where the rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep.' The church is
there still with its 'ivy mantled tower.' I have from 'the rugged elms' a twig
and bark for you, whereon is written 'Beneath those rugged elms,' etc. At
the poet's tomb I spent hours," etc. In Germany, he took a semester course
at Bonn University. At the University of Paris, he took a post graduate
course; and while on the continent visited all places of historic interest. Of
these travels he has written "Rhymes of a Rambler," which was to have been
published in 1904. While at Oxford he was a member of the Oxford Volunteer
Regiment. Here his soldierly bearing drew the attention of the Duke of
Norfolk. "From where do you coine?" "Canada, Sir." "Ah! Canadians are
grand and worthy men!" After his return from England he resumed the
teaching profession. At the age of sixteen, he had a volume of poems ready
for publication, many of which appear in "Canadian Melodies and Poems."
During all his life abroad he never failed in staunch patriotism, and the many
years spent in the United States only heightened his love for old Dundas.
His zeal in school work is proved by having written "English and American
Literature," three volumes; "A Primer of English Grammar," "Bilder Buch
ohneBilder," "History of England down to 1189 A.D.," "A French Grammar,"
"A Modern Rhetoric," "A Spanish Grammar," "Grimm's Maerchen," beside
"Stories of Jewish Life," a series of "German Fairy Tales," "Herman and
Dorothea," "At Heine's Grave," "Gibraltar," "The Harper," etc. Dr. Merk-
ley was of U. E. Loyalist stock, and was the youngest son of Eli Merkley and
his wife Almeda Cook. He was born November 28, 1862, and died of typhoid
fever October 3, 1903, at Potsdam, N. Y. His remains lie in a concrete tomb
in the cemetery at North Williamsburg. The family received a touching
message of sympathy from the Duke of Argyle. The following poem is from
the pen of Dr. Merkley.



Fair Canada to thee Land of the loyal brave,

Our hearts their loyalty Let Britain's banner wave,

And love proclaim ; Ever the same;

Thou art our native land, Here 'neath another sun,

Thy sons a filial band Till time his course hath run,

United e'er shall stand Let noble deeds be done

To guard thy fame. In Britain's name.

And Thou Who rulest above,
Bless Thou the land we love,

And give us peace ;
But should war's dark array
Come, foremost in the fray
We'll fight for Canada

Till time shall cease.



[WHILE the writer is indebted to many who have assisted with these
sketches, he feels in a measure not responsible for the facts presented. A
general invitation was issued through the local press of the county; and as a
result many photographs and sketches of early settlers were furnished by
correspondents. A number of sketches have also been clipped from old
newspaper files, or gathered by conversation with friends. We believe, how-
ever, the notices will be found not only accurate but highly interesting.]

ANDREW ALLISON was born in the county of Antrim, Ireland, on October 10, 1803, and came
to Canada during the summer of 1822. During the voyage he was a sufferer from ship-fever,
and by the time he reached Quebec was a mere skeleton. After remaining there a brief
period for recuperation, he came to Montreal, and thence to La Chute, county of Argenteuil,
working there forsome time and flndinga wife in thsperson of Jannet Richey, of East Hawkes-
bury, who had also emigrated from County Antrim, Ireland. Subsequently they came to
Dundas county, and, being directed to a Canada Company lot, Mr Allison left wife and
child with friends in concession 8, Willamsburg, and with his axe and some assistants pro-
ceeded through the woods to his prospective home, e}^> lot 11, concession 1, Winchester. Ar-
riving there, he felled a suitable tree, and cutting the trunk the length of the intended
building, left it where it fell, thus forming the foundation of the primeval shanty. In the
autumn of 1830 he moved his family to their new home, their chief property being a yoke of
oxen, two cows, a dog and an ox-cart. Then commenced the work of clearing the land, caring
for the cattle as they fed on "browse" during the winter; saving the ashes after a "burn," and
converting them into "black salts," which by means of a boxless ox-cart was conveyed to the
St. Lawrence. Wolves were particularly annoying in those days; and in order to protect his
flock of sheep, he built close to the rear of the house a small yard, in which the "innocents"
were placed each night. Despite these efforts he frequently had to drive off the invaders with
the aid of the dogs and a lighted torch. Mr Allison and wife were members of the first class
of Methodists in Winchester, and with joy he accompanied the first travelling preacher, Rev.
Henry Schaler, to his appointments. In politics he was also a staunch Reformer. He lived
m\ny years after pioneer life had vanished; enjoyed the comforts he so long labored to se-
cure, and on June 25, 1892, died at the family homestead, the farm which 60 years before he
found garbed in heavy forest.

JOHN ALLEN, a native of Somersetshire, England, married Mary Merkley, of U. E. Loyalist
descent. He was a soldier, and served under Lord Nelson at Trafalgar. When he came to


Dundas county, he remained for a time in Matilda, but finally came to Mountain, and settled
on lot 6, concession 11. His children were John, William, Daniel, Thomas, Amelia, and Maria.

JOSHUA ANNABLE, a native of England, came to Winchester about 1841.

ROBERT L. ARMSTRONG, an early settler in western Matilda, was one of the pioneer ad-
vocates of temperance, and in the vicinity of his home was the first to fearlessly condemn the
use of whiskey at "bees."

CAPTAIN MICHAEL AULT, a U. E. L., settled in Matilda, on the bank of the St. Lawrence.
He attained some military distinction, as did also his son, Major George Ault. Captain Ault
died February 13, 1829.

THOMAS BARRINGTON, of Irish descent, settled in Mountain in 1847, but about 1860 located on
lot 16, concession 10, Winchester.

HKNRY BARRY, a native of Ireland, settled on lot 13, concession 1, Mountain.

ABRAM and GORDEN BARRIGAR, of Dutch U. E. Loyalist descent, settled on lot 1, concession 3,
Winchester. Their father was wounded at the Battle oi' the Windmill, and afterwards receiv-
ed a pension.

JACOB BARRIGAR, who settled on lot 4, concession 1, Winchester, erected a log shanty about
20 feet square, part of the floor being ground and part covered with slabs. He was a hunter
of note.

HENRY BARKLEY, a U. E. Loyalist, came from the Mohawk Valley, and settled in concession
2, township of Williamsburg. His wife was Betsey Baker.

FRANCIS EVERET BARCLAY, an early settler of Matilda, married a daughter of the late John
Mclntosb. Mrs Barclay, now in her 92nd year, is active, and retains unimpaired all her
faculties. Four children of her family yet survive, as well as fifteen grandchildren and fif-
teen great grandchildren.

JOHN BELL was a native of Ireland. He had four sons: David, James, John ai;d Joseph.
David (Squire Bell) and James settled in Matilda, while John located in Winchester.

Lours S. BECKER, son of Ludwig Becker, was born January 22, 1814, in the state of New
York. When quite young, he came to Dundas and settled at Elma, to wnsh ip of Williamsburg.
In 1836 he married Nancy Fetterly. Their descendants include ten children, fifty grandchild-
ren, fifty-one great grandchildren; and three great great grandchildren.

ROBERT BEGGS emigrated from County Antrim, Ireland, about 1830. His sons were Thomas,
John, Hugh, and Robert. On the homestead west of Mountain village, his son Hugh remained;
and there is yet to be found the old log house, typical in structure but long ago abandoned as
a residence.

JOSEPH BEL WAY settled on lot 20, concession 8, Mountain, when the land was yet forest
covered. His family consisted of three boys and three girls.

WILLIAM BINIONS was born in Wexford county, Ireland, in 1814. When quite young, his
father died; and, in accordance with the real-estate law of that country, the eldest brother
having inherited all the property, our subject emigrated to Canada, a poor boy. He was em-
ployed three years at Lyman's drug store, Montreal, and when about twenty years of age
came to Matilda, where by thrift and perseverance he in time became the owner of a fine
block of land fronting the St. Lawrence.

BENJAMIN BIGFORD, RICHARD ENNIS and JOHN BRYAN, natives of Ireland, settled in con-
cession 1, Mountain.

The BOTFIELD family settled in concession 5, Matilda. James Botfleld was an early advo-
cate of Methodism in that township.

THOMAS BOWMAN emigrated from England. His family consisted of six children.

JAMES BROWN, a Winchester township pioneer, was born in Dvimfriephire, Scotland, in 1825.
In 1831 the family came to Canada, and settled near Martintown, Glengarry county, and
about ten years later came to Winchester, and settled in concession 6.

JOHN BROWN, a native of Scotland, who settled on lot 2, concession 6, Winchester township,
married Mary Gray, of Martintown, Glengarry county, their family consisting of thirteen


ANDREW BURNSIDE emigrated from Ireland, and settled in Matilda on lot 34, concession 1,
2nd range. For several winters he worked in lumber camps. Rafting the timber was also
his delight, and in that capacity he made twenty-two trips down the Nation River.

ALEXANDER CAMPBELL, one of the few survivors of the early settlers of the Ormond vicinity,
was born in Lanark county on July 4, 1822. In 1853, he came to Winchester township, and
settled on lot 2, concession 10.

MICHAEL CARMAN, Eehl, Germany, the ancestor of the numerous families of that name, had
the following children: John George (born Nov. 23, 1766), Magdalina (born Oct. 24. 1767),
Michael (born Feb. 15, 1769), Anna Katherina (born Nov. 19, 1771), Jacob (born June 9, 1774),
Rebecca (born Jan 19. 1776). The foregoing record is extant in an old German family Bible,
from which the copy shown the writer had been procured. This historic Bible, also a Prayer
Book and Book of Sermons, each in German, were for many years the only such books in the
vicinity; and on the Sabbath the first settlers gathered at the home of Martin Walter, Point
Iroquois, to listen to the reading of sermons or the Scriptures. These books, handed down to
the Carman family, were much prized, and upon promise of being returned, were placed on
exhibition at th*t great exhibition held in Philadelphia, U. S. A., in 1877. The books were,
however, never sent back to the owners, but we believe were taken to Washington and placed
in a museum or library of that city.

WALTER and GEORGE CARLYLE emigrated from Scotland in the early forties.

JOSEPH CASS was born of English parentage in Connecticut, U. S. A. Later the family mov-
ed to L'Original. Prescott county. During the thirties he came to Winchester township, and
settled along the Nation River in the vicinity now known as Cass Bridge.

JOHN CHRISTIE, of Scotch descent, settled in concession 6, Winchester, about the middle

DAVID CHRISTIE came from Ireland, and settled in the rear of Matilda township. He mar-
ried Jine Hess; their family consisting of ten children. Mr Christie died in March, 1892.

CKPHRENUS CASSELMAN, a U. K. Loyalist, held a captain's commission during the early
part of the Revolutionary War. On account of his loyalty to the British he was put in jail
and after his release came to Canada, and settled in Williamsburg township.

DUNCAN W. CHRISTIE emigrated from Aberdeen, Scotland, and settled at Christie's Corners,
Oxford township. About 1835 he came to Mountain, and settled on lot 3, concession 4. His
wife was Eliza Pearson.

JOSEPH and HEZEKIAH CLARK settled early in the 12th concession of the township of Moun-

JAMES CLELAND, with his w'fe and one son, emigrated from Belfast, Ireland, in 1790, and
located on lot 2 concession 9, Mountain, where he resided until his death, 24 years ago. His
wife predeceased him eight years. He was the first school inspector, also the first treasurer
for the towi'Ship of Mountain. Before the dawn of railroads, he kept tavern, a stopping place
for travellers going by stage from Ottawa to Prescott. He was postmaster at North Mountain
from the date of the institution of the office until his death. His only son, who died March,
1902, spent the greater part of his life in California, where he was land agent for the Union
Pacific Railroad Company.

SAMUEL and JAMES COOPER emigrated from Ireland to Canada previous to 1830, and settled
in Matilda.

WILLIAM COUGLER was an early Williamsburg resident. His wife was Rachel Barkley:
their children being Christopher, Henry, Simon, George, Jacob James, Herman, Maria, Han-
nah, Julia Ann, Margaret.

JOHN COOK (Van Keugh) and his two sons, Michael and George, settled on lots 6 and 7. con-
cession 1, Williamsburg. George Cook had two sons, George and John, the latter at one
time a parliamentarian.

THOMAS E. COULTHART, a Winchester settler, was of Scotch descent. His brothers were
James and Waiter.


ALEXANDER COLQUHOUN came from Scotland to Quebec in 1804. At the breaking out of the
war of 1812 he received a commission as lieutenant in the active miiltia of Canada. After
peace was proclaimed he returned to Quebec, but soon made his way to Upper Canada, and
settled at Hoasic, Williamsbung township.

ROBERT CORRIGAN, a native of Ireland, came to Canada and served in the volunteer militia
at the Windmill in 1838, after which he started to seek a home. Leaving Point Iroquois he
started north through the woods via Dixon's Corners, thence to Heckston (Archibald's Cor-
ners), crossing theNation at Grant's Mills. Henextcameto Mountain township, and purchased
from Colonel Fraser, of Port Elgin (Cardinal), a bush farm about one mile north of Smith's
Mills (Inkerman), and there erected the proverbial log shanty and began the making of a
home. A. J. Corrigan, of Inkerman, born May 5, 1840, and a son of our subject, vividly pictures
the primitive age. On all sides the country was wooded ; the nearest post office was twelve
miles distant. Black salts was taken to Archibald's Corners and sold at prices ranging from 9
shillings and 6 pence to 12 shillings and 6 pence per cwt.; hunting was much indulged in, one
device being to erect a scaffold in some trees beside a field of grain, where the wily hunter
awaited the approach of deer; neighbor visited neighbor, and during the evening hours
stories of adventure were oft related and enjoyed by all present; the first school was a night
school conducted by that good man, Simon Johnston; while the nearest church was the Ang-
lican at Boyd's Bridge.

Louis CRUMP, bornin Quebec, came to Winch ester during the early forties.

CONRAD COONS (Kountz), a U. E. Loyalist, settled in concession 1, Matilda. His ancestors
had emigrated from Germany, and settled in the Valley of the Hudson. His sons were Jasper,
George, Jacob, John and Henry.

JACOB Cooxs married Magdalina Carman, and their family consisted of three sons and
eight daughters, David, one of the sons, held a commission in the Dundas militia, first as
ensign, next as lieutenant, and finally as captain. His wife was a daughter of Rev. D. A.
Breakenridge, and granddaughter of Mrs Philip Embury , whose remains are interred at the
famous Blue Church cemetery. David Coons died February 28, 1865; and his wife on December
12, 1876. Of their family of eleven children, six survive, one of whom is Mrs Henry Seeley, of

JAMES and ROBERT DAWSON settled in Williamsburg township, the former in the year 1846.

JOHN DEKKS was a soldier doing service under Wellington in the Peninsular War. In 1812
he came to Canada "a British Red-coat," and assisted in maintaining the supremacy of the
Union Jack here. At the close of the war, he returned to the "old land," but a few years later
again came to Canada and settled on lot 32, concession 2 Williamsburg. He married Catherine

Online LibraryJ. Smyth CarterThe story of Dundas, being a history of the County of Dundas from 1784 to 1904 → online text (page 35 of 40)