This document contains the following

Historic Lanark County Documents from the Perth Courier

Received from: Christine Spencer - [email protected]

This document contains the following:

John Kidd of Beckwith

Calvin Church of Bathurst

Colorful History of the Second Concession

Cowie Thompson Family

Early Education—Benjamin Tett

Education in the Early Days

James Gibson of Lammermore

Thomas Easby Murders of 1829

The Inderwick House

Oddfellows of Snow Road

Early Ministers

Sandy Caldwell, King of the River Boys

Perth Hotels

The Stewart Empire

The Passing of John A. Stewart

Early Baptists of Perth

Mayors of Perth

Wardens of Lanark County

How Franktown Got Its Name

History of St. Francis de Sales Church

Perth Courier, Sept. 12, 1946

Dr. George E. Kidd of Vancouver was a recent visitor to Carleton Place.  He is the author of a series of stories in the Carleton Place Canadian entitled “The Derry” relating to the history of Beckwith Township and in last week’s the 14th chapter, which told of the Kid Farms was printed as follows: 

“At the time of his death in 1851 this lot—Lot 21—was owned by John Kidd who, coming to Canada from Ireland in 1818, had located on its east half.  He was then a young man 20 years of age.  He had married in Ireland but his wife had died, either at sea or immediately after landing on the Canadian side.  She left a baby boy who was placed by his father in the care of a foster mother in Quebec city.  Two years later, John had made a home for himself and went back to claim his son.  They returned by boat to Richmond Landing and from here the father walked through the woods carrying the child.  The boy’s name was Andrew and he later settled in Huron County.”

“John Kidd was accompanied to Canada by his father Andrew Kidd, his mother Jane (whose maiden name was Kilfoyle) together with three brothers and four sisters, all of whom were younger than himself.  The names of these were as follows:  Thomas, Andrew, George, Mary (Mrs. Leeson), Jane (Mrs. Shirley), Betsey (Mrs. Mills) and Sarah (Mrs. Kilfoyle).”

“When John decided to clear a farm for himself in the newly created township of Beckwith, his father chose to take the remainder of the young family to Montague which was by this time well settled.  Some of Andrew’s descendents still reside here but for the most part they are scattered over Canada.”

“Some years after the deceased of his first wife John Kidd remarried.  His second wife was Margaret Garland, daughter of John Garland.  They had been neighbors in Ireland and in Canada we find them living on adjoining farms.  Together, John and Margaret walked over the 20 mile bush trail to Perth for the wedding ceremony.  They had a family of 14 children named as follows:  Thomas, the eldest who married Mary Ann Leach and lived first in North Gower Township and later in Renfrew County; John who married Betsey Gibson and settled for a time in western Ontario but later moved to Saskatchewan; George who was drowned  while crossing a river in a lumbering area; William who married Leonora McGrath of Fergus and became inspector of schools for Kingston; Eli who married Jeanette McKea of Franktown and moved to Huron County; Wesley who was a wanderer and was lost sight of; and Richard who married Ann Edwards. (Transcriber’s note: this does not account for all 14 but was all that was printed.)

Perth Courier, September 19, 1946

(The below history is taken from an article in the Courier on the 50th Anniversary of the church—the article is NOT transcribed in full, just the historical portion.)

The history of Calvin Church, Bathurst is an interesting one dating back to 1873 when service was first conducted in McLellan’s school house near Christie’s Lake.  In the fall of the same year, the Union Church was built on the McLellan property.  It was not, however, until the pastorate of J.B. Boyd in 1894 that the congregation was really organized.  A Session, composed of Andrew Palmer, Andrew Gamble, George Miller and William Scott, was ordained and a communion roll drawn up.  Andrew R. Miller, Andrew W. Miller and W.J. Palmer were the first Board of Managers; John Jordan the first secretary; and Nichol Stewart the first treasurer.  Then with Mr. W. J. McDonald in charge of the field the present church was built in 1896 and dedicated for public worship by the late Rev. Dr. Ross on Sept. 13 of that year.  Since that time both ordained and student ministers have served that pastorate.  Bert King, a student at McGill University has charge of the field and the present church officials are as follows: 

Session:  W.J. Palmer

Clerks:  John Jordan, J.G. Korry, John P. Cameron

Board of Stewards:  Harvey Miller, chairman, Mrs. J.W. Scott, Mrs. James Fyfle, Andrew Kerry, W.E. Stewart, W.A. Scott.

Women’s Association:  Mrs. Calvin Jordan, President

Secretary:  Mrs. George Jordan, Miss Mary Miller

Sunday School Superintendent:  Calvin Jordan

All in all, the contributions that this country church has made in all phases of Christian endeavor during the past 50 years has been a worthwhile one and it is most appropriate that its Golden Anniversary should have been made such a real success.

Perth Courier, March 26, 1964 and April 2, 1964 (published in two parts, not transcribed in full)  Article written by Clyde Bell

Colorful History of the Second Concession

The first settlers began taking up land almost as soon as the military settlement at Perth was begun.  Our records at the Perth Museum indicate that land was settled on the Scotch Line and the 9th Concession Burgess in the spring of 1816 and while I was not able to find any direct date for the first settlers on the Second Line Drummond, I know that some of the land had been taken up by the following year, 1817.  Rev. William Bell, the first Presbyterian minister at Perth, arrived in the village at noon June 24, 1817 and in his diaries now in the care of the Douglas Library, Queen’s University, Kingston, he tells about the visits he made to the settlers on both the Scotch Line and the 2nd Line.  You will find references to these visits in Isobel Skelton’s book “A Man Austere—Rev. William Bell, Parson and Pioneer”.  There is a copy of this book at the Perth Public Library.

There is no doubt but that in time the Perth district would have been settled by emigrants from the British Isles, Europe, and the U.S. but the reason for its settlement at this time was a very genuine fear of the expansionist attitude of the U.S. following the War of 1812-14.

Had it not been for the fact that the army was able to use the Indians’ water route by way of the Ottawa, Rideau and Cataraqui Rivers for the sending of messages as might have given comfort to the enemy had they fallen into his hands the task of maintaining effective communication between Montreal and Kingston might have been difficult if not entirely impossible.  It was fortunate that the Indian canoe men of great skill wee available to serve the army during the summer months.

The leaders of the day decided that work should begin without delay to open the waters of the Rideau and the Ottawa in such a manner as to permit the passage of the ships between the Ottawa and the vital fortifications at Kingston.  Work on the Rideau Canal was begun by engineers under the direction of Col. John By in 1826 and completed in 1832.

Work was also begun on the road running north of the Rideau Canal System and a second military road was begun from Sand Point on the Ottawa to Penetanguishine on Georgian Bay.  This latter project was under the direction of Col Josias Taylor of Perth and for this service he received a grant of 700 acres in Pakenham.

In addition to this system of canals and roads a loyal population of British settlers supplemented by disbanded soldiers was to be located along both the military roads and the Rideau River system.  These settlers were to be fully armed with muskets and field pieces of the latest kinds and always ready to sweep invaders from the Province.  A population in the back townships producing supplies for those on active duty at the American frontier was understandably wise. 

The Indians wee frequently visitors in this area.  If you look at a map of Lanark you will see that the Rideau River system and the Mississippi river systems come together more closely at this point than at any other place on the map.  The Indians had an overland trail following the high ground from Ottay Lake and the Tay River to the Mississippi Lake.  It passed right by the McPhail school house on what I believe is the 4th Concession.

Sir Charles Lennos the Duck of Richmond walked down this road as he made his journey from Perth to Richmond.  He set out from Kingston on August 20, 1819.  He reached Perth on the 21st and remained there until the 24th.  He and his party then set out for Richmond so they would pass by the 2nd Line.  He arrived in Richmond on the 25th and died in a shanty near the Goodwood River later called the Jock River on the 28th.

From the diary of William Bell:

Tuesday, 17th August, 1817—I attended a meeting called to consider the best manner of receiving the Duke of Richmond and Sir Peregrine Maitland (Sir Peregrine in the end did not come to Perth) both expected in the settlement in a few days.  It was resolved to give them a public dinner and to meet them at the end of the village and present them with an address.  I was requested to prepare the address.

Saturday, 21st August, 1817  In the evening I went out with the many others to the end of the village to meet and welcome the Duke of Richmond, our Governor General.  His landlady at the inn stated that on his arrival in Perth he drank seven glasses of brandy and water which clearly proved he was very thirsty.

Sunday, 22nd Aug., 1817  It rained or rather poured through the whole day so that the congregation was not large.  Though he (Duke of Richmond) remained one Sunday in Perth he did not attend public worship which gave me an unfavorable idea of his piety.

Afternoon at 5:00 an address was presented to His Grace.  The dinner followed at which but 30-40 gentlemen were present.  The dinner, I thought, was rather too expensive (28 shillings each person) though a splendid one yet the idea of dining with the Duke so far flattered my vanity as to induce me to join. 

On Tuesday, 24th Aug., 1817, the Duke left Perth for Richmond he and his attendants going on foot while their luggage was carried on men’s shoulders.  The road was little more than a foot path on account of deep swamps and rivers in the way.  The weather at that time was very hot and the mosquitoes swarming which made the journey most fatiguing and unpleasant.

For the rest of the story I will quote from the “History of the Ottawa Valley” by J.L. Gourlay, M.A., page 73:

“Next morning he started for Richmond, a walk of 30 miles on a road only blazed and cleared of brush.  He must have had an interest in the place and the people to undertake the hike.  He reached St. Vaughan’s tavern at dark and put up there while his two servant men plunged through the swale and struck Richmond at midnight.  The news stirred the colonists as a stroke would a beehive.  They were in a fermentation.  Every piece of board, plank and flat stick to be found was carried by scores of willing hands to enable the Duke by a temporary bridge to cross the gullies taking them up and hastening forward for his comfort and safety.  Had he let them they would have carried him the three miles through the slough.  They got him down in the forenoon and he lunched and entertained in friendly conversation and ordered a fine dinner in Sgt. Hill’s tavern for the leading people.  He was social among them, which they enjoyed.  (Transcriber’s note—this article ends here concerning the Duke of Richmond and does not give any further particulars concerning the Duke’s death from hydrophobia, which I found odd.)

As the district was opening up more settlers took up land and the 2nd Line became an important link with the world outside.  By the time Rev. George Buchanan arrived at Franktown in August of 1822, a wagon road had been completed but it was only fit for use during the few dry months in late summer.  Rev William Bell writes about the hundreds of teams that hauled sleighs from Ottawa to Kingston by way of Perth.  In good weather, he noted that they made the trip one way in the remarkable time of three days remaining overnight in Perth and again at Bedford Mills.

We have a complete run of the newspaper “The Weekly Dispatch” for 1842 in the files of the Perth Museum.  This paper was published in Perth during 1842 and at that time a proposed new road was under consideration.  The editor said in the issue of May 21, 1842 that “ere long we shall have stages running direct from Bytown to Kingston through Perth.”  On May 28 of the same year the Weekly Dispatch reported that Malcolm Cameron, Esq., M.P., for Lanark, told a meeting at Kingston that the Scotch Line was the best ten miles of road in Lanark and the 2nd Line Drummond was of little less quality and he suggested that steps be taken to link these roads with the road of excellent quality now reaching Bedford Mills.

This much having been done, last year I had the opportunity of examining a very rare publication called The Coach Routes and Inns of Northern U.S. and Canada and this shows Perth as the hub of an extensive stage complex with horses being changed at Enniskillen Dragoon Hotel where passengers were offered hospitality of unsurpassable quality.  Coaches came from Montreal to Bytown then on to Richmond, Franktown, Perth and Kingston.  Another route came from Brockville to North Augusta to Merrickville, Smith’s Falls and Perth.  A short route ran north to Lanark and a little line continued on to Carleton Place and Almonte from Franktown.  Another line ran from Franktown to Smith’s Falls.

Franktown was quite a busy place in 1848.  The Bathurst Courier for Feb. 11 of that year published the first Quarterly Return for Licenses for the Counties of Lanark and Renfrew.  At the head of the list is Ann Burrow, Franktown, as well as J. Hughton, Frankton.  Perth had no less than ten inns and seven shops each paying seven pounds ten shillings for licenses.  R. McLaren, Perth, and P. McArthur, Beckwith each paid ten pounds for licenses to operate stills.

Perth Courier, October 22, 1964

Cowie Thompson Family

(Transcriber’s note—this article was so faded it was almost illegible but because I hope it might help someone, I tried to muddle through it.  However, anyone taking information from this article needs to pay close attention to the (?) as these were really only my “best guess”.)

In a recent letter to Patrick Leonard of Perth a descendent of John Thompson, an early Perth settler, Mrs. Margaret L. Burroughs, now of T - - - s (or maybe Twin?) River, New Jersey, tells some of the history of this pioneer and his descendents and the Cowie family.

John Thompson lived in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, England, and in April of (date illegible) he married Anne Temperly(?) Temperby(?).  A year later they had a son, William John Wilson(?) Thompson and in (date illegible) they came to Canada.  Eventually the Thompson family settled in Perth where John started a shoe business on what is now Gore Street.

They had five children:  William John Wilson(?) who married Margaret(?) Fraser(?) or Frost(?); C - - - who married Harmon(?) Kellery(?); Elizabeth who became Mrs. Munroe(?); while Nathaniel and George remained single.

Of the second generation, William John Wilson(?) had ten children:  Mary Ann who died young; Margaret who married William Curry(?) and lived in Almonte; Samuel who married Henrietta Coure(?) and settled on the Scotch Line; William George who married Margaret Gamble(?) and lived in Almonte; James, Mrs. Burroughs grandfather, who married Agnes Cowie and he eventually settled in Almonte after living several years in (illegible); N - - - - - - -  Nicholas(?), who married Mary - - meson (Jameson?) and took up residence in Orillia(?); (son, name illegible) who married Martha Armour and went to Drummond; Hannah who married(?) Alexander Cameron(?) and took up residence in (illegible word) Bay; Joseph who married Jane Abby(?) and lived in Carleton Place; David who married (illegible first name, maybe Hannah) Close and his (illegible two words) married L - - - L - - .  These couples lived in Brace - - - - - and Ramsay respectively.

Of the third generation, Mrs. Burroughs grandfather, James, lived in Glen Tay where her mother, Henriette Jane, was born.  The next three children, Robert, Margaret and Agnes were born in Almonte.

Of the fourth generation, Henrietta Jane married John Moore and resided on the 7th Line Ramsay.  There were six children as follows:  Agnes, Gertrude Malinda(?), William, Charlotte(?) M - - - - - - (Mathilda??), Margaret L who married A.A. Burroughs and moved to the U.S., and John Osborne of (Orillia??).

Cowie—Robert Cowie of Edinburgh, Scotland came to Split Rock, New York with his sister in the later half of the last century.  Robert married Henrietta Jane Adams of Split Rock who was related to John Adams, second President of the United States.

Henrietta, their first child, was born in Upper Canada.  The next three, John, Agnes and William, were born in the U.S. in Split Rock or Utica and then they returned to Perth where the next five were born:  Francis, Lillie(?) or Leslie(?), Margaret, Robert and Jane.  Of these it is not know who John married while Agnes became Mrs. James Thompson, Mrs. Burroughs grandparents; William married twice and his daughter Garvella (last name illegible, begins with a ‘S’) lives on the Scotch Line.

Janet Cowie, sister of Robert, married Mr. Allen, a lawyer who practiced law and opened the first post office in Perth.  Mrs. Cowie’s brother, John Adams, came to Perth with the Cowies.  John farmed and taught music.  It is not known who John married but they had no(?) children.  They adopted his wife’s niece Louise McKay who later married Ralph Dodds and their grand daughter Mrs. Ferrier lives on the Scotch Line across the road from the old John Adams farm.

Perth Courier, October 22, 1966


The system under which the district school and the semi-private schools were run continued in force for many years.  In 18?? the grammar school took the place of the district school.  The first trustees were Rev. Michael Harris, Rev. Mr. Bain, Rev. Mr. Bell and Joshua Adams.  During the next few years the following names were added to the board:  Anthony Leslie, W.O. Buell, Murdoch McDonnell, John r. Gemmill, John Livingston, John Robertson and Rev. J. Duncan.  Three years later, in 1851, the common and semi private schools united, forming the public schools of the present day.  This latter date is also the year that the first Perth Board of Education was formed.  The trustees who united and formed the board were: 

Grammar School—Rev. Mr. Harris, chairman; Revs. Bell and Bain, J.H. McDonagh and W.O. Buell

Public School:  J. Davis, chairman; J. McKay, Clerk of the County Court; Thomas Brooke, Town Clerk and Clerk of the County Council and Robert Kellock, father of Dr. Kellock.

The first teacher of the grammas school was Mr. McIntyre who was afterwards manager of the Bank of Montreal  and he also had charge of the public school  After three eyars Mr. McIntyre was given an assistant in the person of Findlay McNab.  The assistant teachers of the school were Mr. Somerville, Mr. Thompson, Mrs. Jessop and Miss Thompson.  The present school house was built at this time and the following temporary arrangements wee made.  Mr. Somerville and Mr. Thompson were to occupy the school then occupied by Mr. Somerville on the D’Arcy Street site.  Mrs. Jessop and Miss Thompson were to occupy the school then occupied by Mr. Thompson. This was on the corner of Herriott and Drummond Streets.  This arrangement was followed until 1852 when the present public school building was erected on Forster Street and both the Grammar and Public Schools moved into it. 

The following abstract is taken from the booklet published by the Kingston Historical Society in January, 1962:

Benjamin Tett on his arrival in Canada went directly to Perth where he found that the best immediate situation he could hope for was that of school teacher—assistant to Rev. Michael Harris, Church of England clergyman in that place.  In 1821, however, Mr. Harris gave up the government school and despite local support Mr. Tett was not appointed to succeed him.  This disappointment forced the young teacher on his own resources and he opened a private school  26 pupils came to him at once, indicating that his ability had already begun to command attention.  Ten shillings per pupil per quarter, however, offset against six pounds rent plus the cost of wearing apparel and fuel left little for the teacher.”

“He lived in a two room apartment in Perth kept what he called “Bachelor’s Hall”.  One room was used for the bedroom and pantry and the other for the school and cooking purposes.  In September, 1822, the class increased to between 45 and 50 in number.  The problem, however, was to realize any tangible cash profit.”

“In 1822 Mr. Tett took up a 100 acre immigrant holding about 12 miles from Perth and also purchased a half acre town lot in Perth.  On both of these lots he intended to build houses.  The reason for this building spree was that many of his debtors could not afford to pay him in cash and by providing them houses on which they could labor and towards the construction of which they could donate materials, he made it possible for them to remunerate him in this useful fashion.”

“He bought another quarter acre in Perth in 1824, presumably for the same collection method since he continued in ‘Bachelor’s Hall’.  Thus while in Perth he experienced and partially met the great pioneer problem—how to advance economically in a land where cash was scarce.”

Perth Courier October 15, 1864

Education in the Early Days

In 1826 John Wilson opened a school in Mr. Tett’s building and later in the same year moved to the red building on Craig Street known as the Fraser property.  Still later he moved to a log building on the west side of Drummond Street.

About 1832 Mr. Wilson gave up his school and went in with John Stewart, as assistant of the district school  this is the Wilson who was the hero of the Lyon-Wilson duel.  On leaving Perth he practiced law in London and was subsequently justice of the high court.  During 1830 or before, Dawson Kerr opened a school in a log building just east of the Methodist Church.  This school was still in existence when the public school started.

 A Mr. Hudson (his grandson was later to be the foreman for the Code Mill) and a Mr. Tully both taught at this time the former from 1830-32 or 33 in a frame building on the north side of Brock Street, between Beckwith Streets and the river and the latter from 1831 to 1833 in a log building which stood on the south side of the stream.

Robert Lees a brother of the ex-M.P.P. for S. Lanark conducted a school in a stone building on D’Arcy Street, starting some time in 1839. In 1847 Mr. Lees went to Ottawa, then Bytown, to practice law.  He later became a prominent Queen’s Council of that place.  Another of these schools was one directed by a Mr. Crookshanks in a building near the Methodist parsonage in 1845-50.  In 1840 a Mr. Somerville taught in the building on the site of the present public school  A Mr. McLaren had taught there before his coming.

Besides these schools mentioned, which are the most prominent, there were several conducted by ladies from the earliest days.  The first of these seems to have been one managed by Mrs. Thompson, mother of Mrs. Arthur Meighen in her dwelling situated on the corner of Drummond and Brockville Streets.  This was as early as 1830.

Probably the best known and best remembered teachers in the district were the Miss Jessops who conducted their school in their dwelling (frame) on the north side of Brockville Street between Drummond and Beckwith Streets, starting some time before 1830 and continuing for many years.  There were three sisters, Margaret being the head of the school.  These sisters finally left town and their brother who had married the daughter of a wealthy Indian planter and dissipated her fortune, brought his wife to the old home, where she took up the school formerly taught by her sisters-in-law and managed it for some years.  Mr. Jessop was a gentleman of leisure and seems to have spent his time gardening and living on the proceeds of the school taught by his wife.  She was noted for being very cross and as would be expressed in the present day as “cranky” and seems to have vented all her anger against her dissipated husband upon the unfortunate children who were put under her care.

A Miss Matheson remembered attending this school when very small and told that they had “confession” every Friday when all the children had to go to Mrs. Jessop and confess the sins of the week.  The Hon. John Haggart also attended Mrs. Jessop’s school and seems to have been one of the banes of this worth school mistresses’ life.  He was seemingly so very stupid and dull that one day as punishment he was made to stand on the stove which did not support his weight the result being a bad mixture of broken stove and small boy.

In the early days, those ministering to the spiritual needs of the people in Perth did not receive very substantial addition to their income. The number of scholars kept increasing until the rooms of the manse were too small to accommodate them.

A Mr. Rutherford then put up a frame building farther back on the lot facing Brock Street and in this building Mrs. Wilson conducted her school until 1844 when she and Mr. Wilson returned to Scotland.  When Mrs. Wilson began to take scholars Mrs. Jessop’s school began to go down and nearly all pupils were ultimately taken from her and sent to Mrs.Wilson.  She finally was compelled to close and then accept a position on the Common School staff.

The sisters Miss Frasers taught in the same building occupied by Mrs. Wilson after the latter left town but on their giving up there was no private school of any kind for girls.  Amongst a great many others who attended Miss Jessop’s, Mrs. Wilson’s and Miss Fraser’s schools were the Miss Mathesons.  On the occasion of Miss Frasers giving up teaching the Hon. Roderick Matheson wishing his daughters to have every advantage arranged with a lady by the name of Leuard to come to Perth.  He furnished throughout a frame dwelling just east of a Mrs. Weatherhead’s home at the back of his own garden and gave it to her free, paying her a certain amount every year.  He also gave her the privilege of taking other scholars to supplement her income.  Mrs. Leuard was only able to stay in Perth for a short time much to the regret of her scholars and their guardian.

Mr. Matheson then brought the Miss Sinclairs to fill the position.

Another school was kept by a Mrs. Auckland and her assistant was a Miss Hughes the heroine of the Wilson-Lyon duel.  Miss Hughes afterwards married Judge Wilson the survivor.  On the site of Mrs. Aukland’s school there was a school later kept by two Miss Hawlins.  In the 50’s the brick house opposite to St. James Church was used as a school house. Mrs. McKenzie was the head of this school.  One of her assistants was a Miss Dunham who later married Mr. McNalran, the grandparents of Mrs.Cyril Inderwick.

Miss Helen Buchanan, the eldest daughter of Rev. George Buchanan, a Presbyterian clergyman who settled in Beckwith township in August, 1822, opened a school in Perth soon after the family arrived in Upper Canada.  She was assisted by one of her sisters and the school was a great success for a year or two.  Miss Helen Buchanan then married John Ferguson, a wealthy merchant and lumberman.  She died on Feb. 19, 1830.  The sister Catherine Buchanan traveled to Montreal where she taught school for some year.  There she died in November of 1836.

Perth Courier, June 18, 1964

James Gibson of Lammermore

A descendent of Lammermore’s first settler sees his village coming to an end.

In 12 or 15 years there will not be a Lammermore.  This is the pessimistic opinion of James Carmen Gibson, life long resident and proud descendent of the first pioneer settler in the 143 year old settlement.  The once flourishing community was established by James Gibson a native of Lanark, Scotland who led a small band of his countrymen into the virgin forest of eastern Ontario in 1821.  It was these hardy settlers who named their new home Lammermore after the Lammermore Hills of their native land.  James Carmen Gibson, great great grandson of Lammermore’s founding father, may also be the last of the Gibson’s in that community.

Mr. Gibson puts it this way:  “I can remember about 45 years ago there were 11 families and 78 people living here.  Now there are only three families and 16 people.  The trouble is that there are no children around here.  The three families have just 9 children going to a public school and on top of that we have four bachelors here.”

The Gibsons have one son to carry on the family name and he is destined for a career in the Ontario Provincial Police.  They also have four daughters.  Mr. Gibson summed up the future of Lammermore in a nutshell when he remarked “None of the young men are going to stay and farm.  That is plain to see.”

The Gibsons used to raise dairy and beef cattle on their 300 acre farm which has been in the family since 1831 with the depression and the consequent change in the price of farm products Mr. Gibson found it more profitable to start hauling milk for other farmers to the Middleville cheese factory.  He was drawing milk for some 17 farmers in the area and continued this business until 1956 when he was forced to make another change.  “Most of the farmers around here turned to beef production.  There was not enough milk to pay me to draw it to the cheese factory so we began shipping cream to Brockville.”  Mr. Gibson turned from shipping cream to (illegible word) lumber in the E. B. Eddy Company in Hull.  He supplies the company with roughly 500 cords a year and will often travel to  six days a week with a band of poplar or spruce.

Perth Courier

The Thomas Easby Murders in 1829 Foulest Ever in Lanark County

In Perth, 1829 has a heinous ring to its history for it was the year that one of the county’s foulest murders was committed.  The late W.B. Hart of Perth is responsible for the tale of Thomas Easby being told.  Mr. Hart in (date illegible) gave the Perth Municipal Museum a copy of the Bathurst Independent Examiner—Perth’s pioneer paper.  Between the pages of the 1829 Examiner the story of the murders unfolds.

 Thomas Easby was a pioneer who, with his wife and five children, lived in a log cabin on the 9th Concession of Drummond—on the main highway between Perth and Lanark Village.  There, on an early December night in 1829 the tale begins.

What exactly transpired within the walls of that house on that night is not known.  But it was discovered the next day that Easby’s wife and four children were dead and the log cabin was burned to the ground. 

Although many neighbors suspected Easby of  murdering the five and then burning down the house, nothing could be proved.  The only surviving Easby child, however, added fuel to the already growing flames.

The survivor—a four year old boy—was adopted by a neighboring family, a Mr. and Mrs. Richardson.  On one occasion when  Mrs. Richardson was building a fire under a soap cooler (kettle), the child remarked “That is what daddy did to mommy”.

Eventually local authorities had the bodies disinterred and Dr. James Wilson examined the remains—apparently something seemed a little fishy.  He had a warrant issued for Easby’s arrest and on Feb. 2 the soon to be convicted murderer was lodged in the Perth jail to await trial.

The trial began on August 21.  Easby, however, was only charged with one murder….that of his wife.  This deed was all the more deplorable because Ann was pregnant at the time of her death.

The chief crown witness (of the eight called) was John Tullis, a neighboring farmer.  Tullis testified that he had awakened about midnight on the night in question by a loud shriek.  His mother saw the Easby cabin on fire and another son, Sinclair, went over to investigate.  On approaching the hut, Sinclair Tullis was told by Easby that the fire was extinguished and that everything was alright.  As a result, the Tullis boy went home.

However, at day break, as the Examiner article recalled, “he (Sinclair Tullis) returned to the miserable hovel—when Easby informed him that all the family except himself and little Joseph were burned up in the cellar”.

Mrs. Richardson, Joseph’s adopted mother, also took the stand.  She testified that while “at first she did not suspect Easby, the child’s prattle worried her and she finally consulted their neighbor John Balderson regarding her fears.”

Dr. Wilson—another Crown witness, stated that he found four distinct head wounds “on the wife’s head—one or two of which could have caused immediate death.”  Then the nail was really driven into the coffin.  John Balderson swore that the suspect had admitted while in jail to the murder.  The jailer, James Young, also testified “that Easby had frequently confessed to him and stated that he was about to murder the remaining child also and had taken him in his arms for that purpose but the youngster smiled and laughter in his face and that he had not the heart to execute him”. 

With such a preponderance of evidence the jury had little difficulty in reaching a verdict.  They returned from the jury room in a matter of minutes and the foreman intoned the guilty verdict on Easby. Easby was sent to death and hanged less than one week later.

But the post script tot eh case is worth noting.  As revealed in the Examiner “the body of this felon had been buried in the English Church Cemetery but owing to the excitement and strong feeling evinced by the crowd which witnessed the execution and the fear of reprisals the remains were exhumed that night and handed over to Dr. Wilson and two medical students for dissection”.  The gruesome account continues:  “they first skinned the body and the hide was tanned in a local tannery and cut up into small squares which were sold to the public bringing as much as $2. 

That was the end of Thomas Easby—one of Canada’s first convicted multiple murderers.

Perth Courier, June 20, 1963

Inderwick House

One of the finest old homes in Perth is the Colonial Georgian edifice presently occupied by Mrs. Cecil Inderwick of Craig Street at the corner of Wilson Street east and Craig. 

The unusual presence in Perth of Georgian architecture is easily explained.  When Perth and district were settled, the settlers remembered and used the techniques learned in the old country.  Thus, while the skilled workers in Europe were developing the Victorian styles the architects in the new country were using Colonial Georgian techniques.

The Inderwick home is a colonial cottage held together by hand made nails and boasting fire places in every room.  Furniture is authentic for the early 18th century period.  A brass lock on the front door has a sliding key for a knob.  The blue china dishware originated in Perth.  Over the living room fire place set two “piano candlesticks”, single stems with a bowl on a swan like neck.  The sprawling gardens and lawns are overhung with Acadia trees (locusts).

The home was built in 1823 by Rev. Michael Harris, padre of the Perth Military Establishment and was purchased by Thomas Radenhurst, an uncle of Robert Lyon, the loser of the famous “last duel”.  Lyons lived in the house with his uncle.  Senator McLaren later bought the Radenhurst house.  In 1894 the Inderwicks gained possession and “it has been in the family ever since” says Mrs. Inderwick.

The Victorian period left its stamp on the cottage through a period peak added to the building in later years.  The original Senator Matheson four poster bed rests on the second floor.  The original pine strip floors are as good as new although the steps on the stairs are worn at the lips with usage over the ages.

Perth Courier, Feb. 6, 1964

History of Cornucopia Lodge #29, I.O.O.F. Snow  Road, by Mrs. A.M. Woods

In our village of fewer than 100 residents we have an Oddfellows Lodge and hall of which we are very proud.  Fro some little time prior to 1893 when Snow Road was a booming lumber town an organization known as the Manchester Order of Oddfellows was instituted and held meetings in one of the lumber company’s buildings.  On October 12, 1893, this was changed to the Independent Order of Oddfellows and the charter now hanging in our lodge room bears the names of William Millar, Fred Clarke, Walter Geddes, Christopher Forbes and Hugh Colquhoun.  Other members of that date were Thoms Miller, George Weir, A.V. LeFleur, G.A. Marion, Louis Trombley, George Hawkins, James Richards, Elisha Buffam, George Warner, Sam Bolton, James Hawkins, Frank Halliday, James R. Duncan, August Morreau, William Waite, Delbert Wood, Robert Wood, Ed Bishop, Fred Chappel, Andrew McPhee and Duncan Ferguson (with apologies to others whose names are not available).

The hall was built in 1893 with much of the lumber and labor donated and in June of 1894 a picnic was held in what is now known as the old picnic grounds near the burnt school one quarter of a mile north of the present village.  A special train on the K & P Line from Kingston brought other lodges and a host of visitors to the Snow Road Station.  Here they were met by a brass band from Lanark and escorted to the picnic areas.  The day’s activities included ball games, races, contests of all kinds and the inevitable tug of war between the farmers and the lumbermen.  A balloon ascension was followed by interested spectators until it landed in Alec Duncan’s field a mile or so away.  Meals were served at tables or around the caboose as preferred.  Frank Hunter, a noted  river driver cook, was in charge of the caboose dinner.  Water was brought by hose from a near by spring into barrels for the day’s operation.  Home made lemonade and buttermilk took the place of bottled pop and ice cream cones and there were wonderful fire works in the evening. The special train made a late return trip to Kingston.  This was the largest picnic ever held in this district and the proceeds largely financed the cash expenditures for the new hall and furnishings.  One item is recalled—the carpet for the long room cost approximately $140 and is still in attractive condition.

A side light of the big picnic might be mentioned as it reflects credit on the Odd Fellows as guardians of public morals.  A few visitors who were interested in making a less than honest dollar were ordered from the grounds with their gambling devices.  They continued business by the road side near the K & P station but with fewer patrons.

The original members of the K & P Lodge #299 have gone to their reward but their descendents are still in command and proud of their lodge.  In lean years a mere handful carried on but were always ready to act the good Samaritans.  The lodge owns and lends free of charge a hospital bed, a wheel chair and crutches to any one who has need for them.  The hall is also free for the use of the church and school, etc.

Perth Courier, August 1, 1863

Early Preachers

Museum Records indicate that it was not until 1845, two years after the Disruption in Scotland that Knox Church began its existence.  On the 13th of February of that year a meeting was held at which the Hon. Mr. Boyd of Prescott preached.  Mr. George Miller was elected chairman; James Thompson secretary and James Templeton treasurer.  Three elders were also elected.  The lot on which the church now stands was bought around 1845 and a frame church built.  Before the building was completed the congregation worshipped in a building on Gore Street near the west corner of Gore and Herriott.

The first minister seems to have been Rev. Andrew Melvede followed by Rev. James B. Duncan, a large number of the members of the congregation being former members of the auld kirk but a few members came from Mr. Bell’s congregation.

Jessie Buchanan Campbell says in her book “The Pioneer Pastor” that Mr. Duncan was unquestionably the greatest preacher to locate in Perth up to that time and he stayed 18 years and built up one of the most influential congregations in the province.  He celebrated his jubilee in 1900 and lived out his live in Galt, Ontario.

Mr. Duncan was a bit of a wit.  An elder was driving him to an appointment in North Elmsley on a bright Sunday afternoon when he exclaimed “This is beautiful weather for the country”.  The elder turned to him and sharply replied “Dinna ye ken, mon, that this is the Sabbath when ye manna crack aboot the weather an so worldly things”.  Mr. Duncan enjoyed the rebuke and did nothing but quote scripture for the rest of the journey.

He once asked Rev. Salomon Mylne, the sedate minister of the Old Kirk in Smith’s Falls when he expected to see Deacon Blank again.  “Never” was the solemn reply.  “The deacon is in heaven”.  The full humor of the remark, wholly unconscious on the part of the staid preacher, did not strike Mr. Deacon until he returned home and told the incident to his wife.

In 1819(?) Rev. Michael Harris was ordained in Quebec by Bishop Mountain(?) and appointed to Perth.  The first service of eh English Church, that time the established church of Canada, was held in the same house The Red Inn in which Mr. Bell had held his meetings when he arrived in Perth.  When the Adamson’s serving girl saw Mr. Harris going up the stairs to conduct his first service she was reported to have cried “Ooh the mon’s gay’n to preach in his nich-shirt”.  Evidently, she had little knowledge of eh Church of England.

In 18??, it was resolved to build a church on the lot which had been appointed by the government for that purpose on the original plan of the town.  Up to this time the lot had been used by Hon. William Morris.  The church was constructed and opened for service November 14, 18??. The original church was a wooden building fifty feet long by forty feet wide.  Some years later as the congregation increased a gallery was provided at the west end.

In the vestry book among the subscribers to the building fund are found the names of His Excellency Earl of Dalhousie, The Bishop of Quebec, Sir Peregrine Maitland, and the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts.  After these are the names of the well known citizens of Perth, the first being that of the Hon. R. Matheson.  The contractor was J. Jackson and the vestry back then shows all the amounts paid him together with all the other expenditures in erecting the church.

Rev. Mr. Harris read his sermons a shocking thing to Rev. Mr. Bell who greatly enjoyed the fact that his brother clergyman frequently forgot to take his sermons with him.  One Sunday Mr. Harris went out to preach at the home of Capt. Balderson at Balderson’s Corners but forgot his sermon.  He had to send his driver back to Perth to get the copy.  The sleighing being good the man made the trip in one hour and twenty minutes.  During this time Mr. Harris read prayers without interruption.  The people wondered at the devotional spirit of their pastor wrote Mr. Bell.

In 1853 Mr. Harris retired after serving the church for nearly 33 years. He was succeeded by Rev. Alexander Pyne, B.A.  The congregation had increased too both in wealth and numbers during his incumbency so the vestry took steps for the erection of a stone church.  Plans were procured from Mr. W. Thompson, architect of Toronto but when the foundation was laid the work came to a stand still for the want of funds and on account of the great cost.  In 1857 Mr. Pyne retired and returned to England where he accepted the curacy of Rochdale, Lancashire.

Rev. R.L. Stephenson, M.A. was appointed to Perth by Rev. John Strachan, Bishop of Toronto on August 25, and entered upon his duties October 8, 1857.  In 1858 the building committee employed an architect from Ottawa and modified the original plans making the cost two thirds of the contract.  The contractor was Samuel Bothwell.  The church was completed with the exception of the spire and tower and opened for Divine Worship November 14, 1861.  The church was free of debt and consecrated October 10, 1873.

Rev. Mr. Harris on arriving in Perth lived first in a small log house on Gore Street and while there he built the stone house now occupied by Mrs. Cyril Inderwick.  He later exchanged this property with a Captain McMillen.  Of these three rectors Rev. Mr. Harris and Rev. Mr. Stephenson died while in Perth and the two stones erected to their memory stand side by side in the old burying ground to mark where they were laid.  The third, Mr. Pyne, died in England.

Perth Courier, Jan. 7, 1965

Sandy Caldwell King of the River Boys

He was short, stocky and powerful.  He was quick to decide and act, a devil for persistence (said his enemies) and fiercely loyal to his own in the manner of good leaders everywhere.  For forty years he owned and supervised a great lumbering industry in Lanark County; ate what his men ate; shared their accommodations, however humble; and asked no one to do what he would not.  And when he died it was chronicled “When death came to him at the untimely age of 54(?) it was as if a great pine had crashed on a hillside leaving a wide gap in the sky line”.

His name was Alexander “Sandy” Caldwell and it may be that when the first snows of winter fall his ghost comes back to wander the Clyde, Mississippi and Black Rivers and across country to the Trent, areas he and family members put to the axe.  Sandy was the son of John Caldwell, a weaver from Lochwinnoch of Renfrewshire, Scotland who like many of his profession, was adversely affected by the depression which followed the Napoleonic wars and made the seven week voyage by sail boat to Canada to start over.  Sandy and his brother Boyd and sisters Margaret and Mary, like most healthy children, remember the voyage as a grand adventure and never recall the crowded conditions under which they and 600 fellow passengers traveled, the rolling seas, poor food, confusion, retching and drunkenness.

History recalls that Sandy and his brother Boyd too their first raft of square timbers to Quebec in 1837 when they were scarcely out of their teens.  In this fashion they yearly delivered the county’s choicest white and yellow pines to Quebec until 1850 when they dissolved their partnership.  Sandy continued on the Clyde while Boyd concentrated on the Mississippi.

Soon Sandy acquired vast tracts of timber on the Trent, where he encountered the hostility of rivals.  He withstood all manner of “accidents”—cut booms, timber getting mixed up and so on—and pushing steadily ahead, defending his holdings and rights by the grace of devil may care, hard work, and hard fighting crews who never doubted his leadership and whom he had in turn never deserted.

Caldwell bought this animosity to an end when, alone and armed with a sword, he stalked into the enemy headquarters (a bar at a lumber depot on the Trent), stuck the sword into the low ceiling and issued a challenge to the best and bravest among them.  None accepted and in that manner did he win his rights on the Trent without fighting.

A second rival gang forcibly jailed him in (again) a tavern and while trying to reach a decision about his fate his men were brought word of the danger.  At great peril to their lives they crossed a boom at night, swam the final distance to shore, broke into the tavern, laid low his captors and freed their leader.

An impatient man in many respects, he assumed that when one of his men got into trouble, he was innocent until proven guilty.  Suiting actions to this belief, he once whipped a Bytown (Ottawa) policeman whom he interrupted clubbing one of his employees in town on a spree.  Dispatching the police officer, he dumped the dazed worker (and the cop’s club) into his sled and took off.  The club became a Caldwell heirloom. 

Another exploit that increased his fame was a timber cruising project in mid winter on snow shoes from Peterborough to the Mississippi watershed.  It was said he could survive the bitterest weather on a hand full of dry rations and shrouding himself in a robe, burrow into the snow for the night.

Clyde hall was always open to men who had grown grey in his service. He kept many on his pay roll as retainers and no one knows how much he quietly gave away to others including men who in their younger days fought for his rivals against him.

Perhaps his ghost lingers over the Mississippi, remembering a decade of blood shed and bitterness over river rights between his brother Boyd and Peter McLaren.  Those were turbulent years when whole families and entire settlements were divided by the Caldwell/McLaren feud which precipitated stormy debates in legislative assemblies and engaged the attention of Canadian courts.  Finally, in 1889, a Privy Council decision restored peace and prevented further hostilities and the two families became friends.

Perth Courier, March 19, 1964

Early Hotels of Perth

The year 1896 was a good period for the hotel industry in Perth.  Five recorded hotels flourished within the town boasting a grand total of 165 rooms, five bars, and two more establishments than presently service the needs of the traveling public in 1964.

According to 19th century observers, Perth had a high caliber of service and had an excellent reputation as a fine hotel town.  One such observer was the old Perth Expositor which noted how strangers “always judge a town by its hotels” and then carried the impression of hospitality and service to the far reaches of the land.

The hotel business of 1898 was a vast improvement over the rude taverns and inns of early days.  Several of the hotels survived the turn of the century and can be readily seen in today’s busy commercial trade.  The only hotel still bearing the same name and remaining in the same location is the Revere House at Wilson and Foster.

The hotels of Perth began just prior to the Boer War, and were five:  Barrie’s Hotel, Hicks House, Allen House, Revere House and Queen’s Hotel. They were all located in the business section of down town Perth and catered to a through trade from road, stage and traveling salesmen.  Since 1900 the road trade has shifted west to Highway 7 where an assortment of motels enjoy a lucrative business from an almost entirely auto trade.

In 1896 the oldest hotel was Barrie’s operated by Thomas Barrie.  It had thirty rooms and a well stocked bar.  A resort of the surrounding farming community, the hotel enjoyed a heavy seasonal business.  Mr. Barrie was hailed as a “jolly good natured fellow” with a “pleasant greeting” for all.

The Hicks House, now the Perth Hotel, was hailed as the “leading commercial hotel” in eastern Ontario, sporting a bar, billiard room, free bus rides and a variety of fare on the table.  The proprietor was John Wilson, noted for his catering and disciplining of the “hotel attaches”.

The Queen’s occupied thirty rooms, a bar, a billiard room and stables across from what is now Girdwoods Store on Foster Street.  Owned by Frank A. Lambert, father of Edward Lambert, present day proprietor of the Imperial Hotel on Wilson, the Queen’s closed its quarters in 1918 after purchasing Barrie’s from James P. Hogan who succeeded Mr. Barrie as operator.  Queen’s and Barrie’s are thus the modern day Imperial Hotel operated by Ed Lambert who took over from his father in 1934.

In 1896 Revere House was a 25 room establishment run by W.J. Flett who is described as one of the best hotel men in the valley.  He enjoyed a popular local trace.

Largest hotel in Perth, now closed to business, was a fifty room spread called the Allan House, situated to the west of the town hall in a block now occupied by Chaplin and Code and the Coin Wash.  Andrew Robinson the proprietor, was famous for his “uniform courtesy and kindness” and the free bus rides to the train and stages.  Mr. Robinson purchased the Allan House from I.C. Grant after ten years as an employee of the Hicks House.  

Needless to say, the hotels of Perth had close connections with Crystal Sprine Brewery and McLellan’s Distillery, two enterprises which made Perth famous from Nova Scotia to British Columbia.

Perth Courier, May 14, 1964

The Stewart Empire

In 1900 a bottle of McLaren’s “old Perth malt whiskey” sold for 90 cents; 80 cents if you brought your own bottle. Today, an empty McLaren bottle with label intact sells for as high as $5 in antique shops across Ontario.  One collector of old bottles predicted in twenty years the price for these fast disappearing artifacts of old Perth would go as high as $15 each.  Full bottles of which there are still a few left just are not for sale at any price.

Despite the disparagement in prices now and in the old days, John A. McLaren, Perth’s whiskey king, managed to eke out a fairly comfortable living.  In fact, he became one of the town’s wealthiest businessmen and his product was known to hundreds or thousands of Canadians from the Pacific to the Atlantic.

John A. was one of the first liquor manufacturers to put out what is known as “mickies” (12 oz bottles) on the Canadian market.  The product came in amber with clear bottles the latter having a bluish tinge.

The McLaren distillery was founded in 1831 by John A. McLaren, father of Robert, who followed the traditions of the great Scotch whiskey manufacturers of his day, many of which are still going strong.  “Old Perth Malt” had a unique flavor due to wood being used in the malt making, rather than peat as used in Scotland and Ireland.  Its Canadian contemporaries were made in four days while McLaren was processed a full 30 days.

One of the wealthiest if not the wealthiest manufacturing establishments in Perth was the McLaren Distillery, located on what is now Stewart Park directly behind the home of Mayor E.S. Burchell on Market Square.  Opposite the mayor’s house stood the McLaren stables, which boasted more than 100 bulls happily thriving on the mash left over from malt making.

Stewart Park might well stand today as a monument to John A. McLaren as well as to John A. Stewart for it was from the enterprising “booze king” that the Stewart fortune and holdings were acquired.  Stewart, a relative of McLaren’s, was the principal heir in the malt maker’s will and himself became a national figure in business and politics.  He served as M.P. for Lanark and entered the Bennett cabinet as Minister of Railways and Canals.

When John A. McLaren died at the turn of the century, Stewart continued the operation of the distillery along with other enterprises including the Henry K. Wampole Company and later the Perth Expositor.  He was described as a shrewd businessman and opportunist as well as a master of litigation.

Perhaps Stewart’s finest display of legal finesse came with the handling of the McLaren will.  Although he proved to be the legal heir, it took a bit of explaining to the powers that be before the fortunes of his kinsman could be added to Stewart’s coffers.

“Old Perth Malt Whiskey has gained such a high reputation among the judges of fine liquor it is regarded as non-injurious and has become a household staple where other whiskies would not be tolerated” said the proponents of the day.

Unfortunately, despite the eloquent pleas put forth by the hidden persuaders of yesteryear, the Ontario Temperance Act disagreed and in 1917 “Perth Old Malt Whiskey” along with its imitators was banished from the Ontario market.  Prohibition had descended on the land and the whiskey sellers, the licensed ones at least, were left with empty shelves.

Perth Courier, October 13, 1922

The Passing of the Hon. John Alexander Stewart, K.C., M.P.

Gone to His Reward

Photo accompanies article

Hon. John Alexander Stewart, K.C., L.L.D., M.P. for Lanark County and life long resident of Perth, has gone to his reward and an aching void is left behind.  At 4:00 Saturday, October 7, he passed away in the Rose Memorial Pavillion of the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal after a lingering illness with anemia.  He was taken ill June 16 and entered the hospital July 19.  Mrs. Stewart was at the bedside when the end came.  Although not unexpected, when the news of his death became wide spread, the people of Perth experienced the sensation of keen sorrow that such a sterling character should be snatched so soon from a picturesque career.  His niche in the business life of Perth will be difficult to fill, his place in the hearts of all men will never be occupied by another, his smile, his friendship and his loyalty to his town and county will be ever missed. 

The late lamented Hon. J.A. Stewart was born in Renfrew 55 years ago last March, the son of the late Robert Stewart of Dunkeld, Scotland who died January, 1922 and Barbara Cameron of Renfrew who died in Perth in January, 1906.  The surviving family members are Mrs. George W. Rogers of Perth and Dr. Cameron R. Stewart of London, England.

The family came to Perth when the subject of this sketch was but a youth.  As a boy he was energetic and industrious, diligent at school and honored as a scholar when he attended the Perth Public School and the P.C.I.  On leaving the latter institution, he studied law at Osgoode Hall in Toronto and afterwards read law with the late Judge Edward Elliott and then with late J.M. Rogers, K.C..  At the time of his death he was at the head of a law firm Stewart, Hope and O’Donnell.  In July, 1921 he was created King’s Counsel by the Drury government.

In municipal affairs, he served the town of Perth well and faithfully and the town prospered greatly during his terms as mayor and in other capacities.  He served on the Perth Town Council as councilor for several years prior to becoming mayor in the years 1900, 1901, 1903, and 1904.  He was a member of the Perth Board of Education up until the time of his death and a chairman of the board of education some years ago.

Mr. Stewart was largely interested in industrial enterprise and held the following offices:  President of the Henry K. Wampole Co, Ltd.; President of the Andrew Jergens Company, Ltd.; President of the Perth Shoe Company, Ltd.; President of the Perth Improvement Ltd.; Director of Frost and Wood, Ltd., Smith’s Falls.

When the death of the late Dr. A.E. Hanna, M.P. caused a vacancy in the representation of Lanark County in the Dominion government, Mr. Stewart was looked upon as the one most naturally suited for the position and when nomination day came he was honored by receiving the nomination by acclamation.  He represented the county in the House of Commons from May, 1913(?)1918(?).  When the re-organization of the Meighen cabinet was made in the fall of 1921 the Hon. Arthur Meighen, the premier, appointed Mr. Stewart Minister of the Railways.  On his return to his home town after the appointment, he and Mrs. Stewart were given a magnificent reception by the entire population as well as by hundreds from the surrounding country.  At the town hall, he was presented with an address read by Mayor Conway on behalf of the town.  It was the most notable tribute ever paid to any man in the history of Perth.  At Ottawa he played a big part in political circles though his foresight, initiative, and tact and in the Commons was looked upon as a fluent and logical orator and debater.

Mr. Stewart was in his younger days a pronounced devotee of every form of athletics and on his return to Perth to study law he became associated with the management of the athletic organizations of Perth.  He was one of the leading spirits in the organization of the Perth semi-pro baseball club in the early ‘90’s.  Even in those early days his excellent ability was shown to a marked degree while he also possessed the conviction that an athlete could not give the best that was in him without careful, consistent and regular practice any more than the student could pass his exams without application to his studies.  He insisted that the team should practice and train regularly and on many occasions inferior players were given places because of their regularity at all practices.  Later lacrosse and hockey became Perth’s popular games and he was always found working for the advancement of both.  No only did he give his time and ability for the advancement of the sports but financial assistance could always be called upon.  His career as a promoter, organizer and supporter of all forms of athletics in Perth from boyhood until death is all well known as that of his connection with public matters.  His interest was whole hearted at all times.  Although never an active participant in athletics, Mr. Stewart for many years had the reputation in this section of being a competent and impartial baseball umpire and his knowledge of the rules resulted in many questions being referred to him for discussion.

All business was suspended in Perth on Tuesday afternoon when the funeral was held from the residence “Thoresson Hall”, of the deceased, and although a heavy rain fell steadily, thousands from Perth and elsewhere in the Ottawa Valley attended to pay their final respects.  The Governor General was represented by Brigadier General McLaren and the government by the Hon. T.A. Low and the Hon. Arthur Meighen and several other colleagues.  A private funeral service was held at the residence with Dr. Scott officiating……the spacious edifice of St. James Church was filled to overflowing.  The impressive and beautiful services were conducted by the rector Dr. Bedford-Jones assisted by Rev. D’Arcy T. Clayton of South Elmsley, Rev. Mr. Low of Balderson and Rev. H.A.E. Clarke of Maberly.

Perth Courier, August 22, 1863

Early Baptists of Perth

The Baptist congregation is not at all an old one in Perth being first organized in October of 1842 with Rev. R.A. Fyfe, D.D. as minister.  Previous to this there had been a Baptist Church at the town line in Beckwith.  The Perth church was opened with 25 members, 21 of these having been members of the Beckwith congregation.

Dr. Fyfe was the founder and greatly respected principal of Woodstock College.  When he first came to Perth his yearly stipend was sixty pounds, one half of which might be paid in kind.  He was here for only one year.  His successor was Rev. James Cooper, D.D. who came from Scotland this being his first charge on his arrival in this new country.  In 1847 Rev. Peter McDonald took charge of the congregation.

The first church was a frame one on the side of the present brick edifice.  The first five names on the original rolls of members were Hugh McDiarmid of the 6th Line Bathurst and his wife and daughters. 

There was also an attempt made to start a congregation of Cameronians.  Several of Mr. Bell’s congregation who had belonged to this sect in Scotland and who had become annoyed with the way in which Mr. Bell conducted the affairs of his church left and banded together.  They bought an old frame building formerly used by the congregation of Knox Church and moved to the land just south of the Little river bridge on Drummond Street.  Here they held occasional meetings when they could get a minister out to visit them.  Mr. McLaughlin was one of the most frequent preachers.  Prominent among the members of this denomination was John Halliday, the first school teacher on the Scotch Line and an automatic opponent of Rev. Bell.

Jessie Buchanan Campbell, a daughter of the late Rev. George Buchanan of Beckwith, remembers the early Sunday school conducted jointly by the Presbyterians, Episcopalians, and Methodists in the old court house in Perth.  She goes on to say the ministers were on friendly terms although the people were divided into cliques and factions which had little social intercourse with each other.  Once the aristocrats who believed themselves to be head and shoulders above the ordinary run of humanity had to do their statute labor on the streets owing to the scarcity of workmen, much to the edification of the community.  John Adams, who attained four score and ten, taught singing school most efficiently.  Congregational singing was the style in the church and Perth ranked high in this feature of worship.

Perth Courier

Mayors of Perth

Dr. James Nichol, 1854-55

John Deacon, 1856

Robert Douglas, 1857

Dr. J. S. Nichol, 1858

John Deacon, 1859-60

John Haggart, 1861-64

Richard Shaw, 1865-69

Henry D. Shaw, 1870

John Haggart, 1871-72

J.M. Miller, 1873-74

W.M. Radenhurst, 1874-78

Edward Elliott, 1879-80

F.A. Hall, 1881-82

A.J. Matheson, 1883-84

William Meighen, 1885-86

W.J. Pink, 1887-88

T.A. Code, 1889-90

William Butler, 1891-92

Duncan Kippen, 1893-94

J.M. Rogers, 1895-96

J.A. Allan, 1897-98

A.C. Shaw, 1899

J.A. Stewart, 1900-01

J.M. Balderson, 1902

J.A. Stewart, 1903-04

C.J. Foy, 1905-06

H.M. Shaw, 1907-08

F.W. Hall, 1909-12

Allan Grant, 1913-15

J.J. Hands, 1916-18

J.T. Conway, 1919-22

Wellington Douglas, 1923-24

J.R. deHertel, 1925-26

T.A. Rogers, 1927-29

J.H. Devlin, 1930-31 and part of 1932

J.J. Hands, part of 1932 and 1933-36

C.F. Stone, 1937

G.C. Townshead, 1938-40

W.C. McLaren, 1941-44

F.W. Burchell, 1945-46

R.K. Gemmell, 1947

John Pennett


John Pennett

E.S. Burchell

Perth Courier, December 14, 1923

Wardens of Lanark County

Daniel Galbraith, 1865-67

John Doran, 1868

William Robertson, 1869-70

J.H. Gould, 1871-73

William Lees, 1874-76

Joseph Jamieson, 1877

Edward Byrne, 1878

Peter Clark, 1879

F.T. Frost, 1880-81

Scott Young  no date given

James Patterson, 1882

S.S. Dickson, 1883

James Donald, 1884

A.M. Craig, 1885

R.F. Preston, M.D., 1886

James Noonan, 1887

Archibald Dewar, 1888

Robert Smith, 1889

W.J. Rintoul, 1890

Thomas Hands, 1891

William Pattie, 1892

Gavin Hamilton, 1893

Samuel Wilson, 1894

John McLean, 1895

George W. Willoughby, 1896

Allan Carswell, 1897

William Campbell, 1898

Joseph Cram, 1899

Robert Lewis, 1900

William A. Devlin, 1901

W.J. Andrews, M.D., 1902

W.G. Cameron, 1903

J.M. Rogers, 1904

J.S. Livingston, 1905

Dennis Noonan, 1906

John McLean, 1907

John C. Ebbs, 1908

C.J. Foy, 1909

John Stewart, 1910

William McKibbin, 1911

William Dunlop, 1912

George Kerr, 1913

Alexander McAllister, 1914

No one listed for 1915-16

J.M. Browning, 1917

John V. Cobourn, 1918

Perth Courier, July 21, 1922

How Franktown Got Its Name

In 1914 the Lanark County Council appointed William Pattie and Christopher Forbes members, to prepare a history of the district from its dawn to the then present date, says the Carleton Place Central Canadian.  Fired with ambition to surpass all previous diggers into ancient records they gathered together several store houses of material for working into saleable goods but the war de-vitalized their energies and the project fell like the German fiscal system into a state of bankruptcy.  In the mass of material they piled up was a pamphlet written by Rev. Mr. Buchanan the first Presbyterian minister in Beckwith.  Mr. Pattie therein discovered the manner in which Franktown got its name.  Sir Francis Bondhead and the Duke of Richmond with their retinues were passing from Perth to Ottawa over the unorganized highway.  They halted about midway at a glade which seemed to possess all the elements of beauty but as a spot as yet un-named, un-honored and unknown.  The distinguished travelers thought it a pity to pass it by and leave no sign in the way of an official cognomen to mark their call.  Several bright appellations were struck from the mint of the cognitions.  Finally the Duke said to the governor “We will name it for you, Sir Francis, but in place of Francis town we will say Franktown.”  Franktown was nailed to the glade and though it never reached the glory painted by the noble imperialists it has never forgotten that Van Amberg’s Circus bivouacked there one day because both Perth and Carleton Place were too small affairs to entertain so massive an establishment.  It was probably also on the same trek when the Duke of Richmond was bitten by his pet fox and rabies developed and he slipped away and was drowned in the river as he sought to quench is burning thirst.  

Perth Courier, October 17, 1924

History of St. Francis de Sales Church

The Smith’s Falls Record News published an interesting history of St. Francis de Sales church there as follows, where some of the early priests in the charge were from Perth.

Previous to the erection of a Catholic Church in Smith’s Falls, the first mass in this mission was celebrated in the summer of 1829 in the home of Patrick Tierney which is  now the site on which stands St. Francis General Hospital, by Rev. John McDonald on the mission at Perth.  There were some thirty Catholics in the vicinity.

The first church was erected in 1832 through the exertions of Rev. John McDonald of the Perth mission.  This was a frame structure 40x30 feet on the site presently occupied by the double brick houses owned by William Sheppard on Church Street.  In this, mass was celebrated three times a year.  The next pastor to officiate was Rev. J.A. McDonagh, who had also charge of Perth and resided there.  He was assisted for a short time by Rev. Father Vaughan.

The next pastor was Rev. Philip O’Reilly who came in 1846. The mission of Kitley was also attached to Smith’s Falls.  The second resident pastor was Rev. Peter O’Connell in 1848.  The holy mass was then celebrated each alternate Sunday.  The third resident pastor was Rev. Terrence Smith, coming in 1851.  During his pastorate the land for cemetery was procured and in 1853 the presbytery was erected.  The lots for the same were purchased from John McGill Chambers.  The fourth resident pastor was Rev. Father Clune.  It was during his pastorate in Smith’s Falls that the Catholic Church was erected.  It was 90 by 52 feet built of blue limestone, tower and vestry of 20 by 14.  The corner stone for it was laid in May of 1861 by Most Rev. Dr. Horan in the presence of  a large number of people.  The sermon was preached by Rev. John O’Brien of Kingston.  Other clergy present were Rev. Father McDonagh of Perth, and Rev. Father Burns of Brockville. The site of this church was given by the late John McGill Chambers.

The first bell was blessed in 1864.  In 1874 Kitley was detached from Smith’s Falls and made a separate mission and in 1875 Merrickville was detached from Kemptville and annexed to Smith’s Falls.  In 1877 Rev. Father Clune died in the month of August and the remains were buried in the parochial church.  Rev. E.J. Walsh had temporary charge until a successor could be appointed.

The fifth resident pastor was Rev. E.P. Roche who came in 1877.  The beautiful new marble altar was consecrated by Most Rev. Dr. Cleary on June 7, 1882.  Other clergy who witnessed the ceremony were Rev. E.P. Roche, Rev. Thomas A. Kelly, secretary to His Grace Rev. Michael McDonald of Kemptville.

The sixth pastor was Rev. M.J. Stanton who came in 1886.  In 1896 the Merrickville section was detached and made a separate mission.  In 1877 the Catholic population numbered 700.

The seventh and present pastor, is Rev. Thomas A. Kelly who was appointed by Most Rev. C.H. Gautier and who came to Smith’s Falls on Jan. 4, 1899.  The assistants to Rev. Father Kelly at different times during his pastorate were 

1906-first curate appointed was Rev. Louis Stanley; 1909 second curate was Rev. Father O’Hanlon; 1912 third curate was Rev. Father Rheaume; 1914 fourth curate was Rev. Father W.M. Finn; 1918, fifth curate was Rev. J.A. McHugh; 1920 sixth curate was Rev. E. O’Sullivan; 1922, seventh curate was Rev. J.R. Creamer; 1922 eighth curate was Rev. Father E.P. Quinn; 1922 ninth curate was Rev. E. Byrne. 

On December 19, 1922 Rev. Father E.P. Quinn returned as acting pastor owing to the illness of Rev. Father Kelly and is still in charge here.

Posted: 15 November, 2005.

"Below is a clarification of the Cowie-Thompson genealogy, which is shown in the above transcription.  This was received from William Thompson [email protected] of Washington State."

I tried to replace the transcription with primary genealogy information where possible, an older version of my Thompson genealogy is on the web at [1]

- Bill Thompson;  [email protected]

Note that Margaret Burroughs outlines the Thompson tree, then backs up the Cowie tree.

Perth Courier, October 22, 1964

Cowie Thompson Family

(Transcriber’s note—this article was so faded it was almost illegible but because I hope it might help someone, I tried to muddle through it.  However, anyone taking information from this article needs to pay close attention to the (?) as these were really only my “best guess”.)

In a recent letter to Patrick Leonard of Perth a descendent of John Thompson, an early Perth settler, Mrs. Margaret L. Burroughs, now of T - - - s (or maybe Twin?) River, New Jersey, tells some of the history of this pioneer and his descendents and the Cowie family.

I found Margaret L. Burroughs on the 1930 U.S. census and can dig in my notes where she was living in New Jersey in 1930.  She had a daughter, not located yet.

John Thompson lived in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, England, and in April of (date illegible) he married Anne Temperly(?) Temperby(?).  A year later they had a son, William John Wilson(?) Thompson and in (date illegible) they came to Canada.  Eventually the Thompson family settled in Perth where John started a shoe business on what is now Gore Street.

April 28 1800 per [1]

He married Ann TEMPERLEY on April 28, 1800, by publishing Banns at St. Nicholas Parish Church [90] [3], Newcastle, Nbl, England.  Ann was born  June 1777 [137] at Falstone Presbyterian Church (then) Simonburn parish, Nbl, the daughter of William and poss. Isabel Temperley.  Ann died in October 1852, in Perth, Ontario.  She was 75 years old.

They had five children:  William John Wilson(?) who married Margaret(?) Fraser(?) or Frost(?); C - - - who married Harmon(?) Kellery(?); Elizabeth who became Mrs. Munroe(?); while Nathaniel and George remained single.   

… Nicholas …

[2nd child Nicholas Temperley Thompson married Hannah Tulley and had two children]

William John Walton married Margaret Frost. 


Elizabeth m. Robert Mutton or Moulton.

George was baptized in Montreal

per [1], births of all but Elizabeth is primary genealogical data.

I do have Elizabeth's will, and death information as well as census.  I descend directly from William, and share his first name the Thompsons had migrated to Monteal  just before the war of 1812 from Newcastle Upon Tyne, NBL, England.

Children of John THOMPSON and Ann TEMPERLEY are:

2.                i.    William John Walton [2]THOMPSON,  born 1801, baptized Apr 23, 1801 at Castle Garth Independant Chapel, Newcastle, Northumberland, England.  Died Sep 1, 1884, Perth, Lanark County, Ontario, Canada.

                         Christened at Castle Garth Chapel in Newcastle, county of Northumberland, country of England, United Kingdom.

31.             ii.    Eliza THOMPSON, b. Abt 1809 [4] [182]; d. Feb 7, 1887 [5] ; m. Stephen  MUTTON. 

3.              iii.    Nicholas Temperley THOMPSON, b. May 16, 1804 p. Castle Garth Chapel, Newcastle, Northumberland, England; d. Abt 1834  p.Vicinity of Perth, Canada.

 4.             iv.    Carr John [2] THOMPSON, born. 21 May, 1812 [6], baptized 26 July, 1812, St. Gabriel's Presbyterian Church*, Montreal Quebec; d. Sep 17, 1876 in. Perth, Ontario, Can. 

    v.    George THOMPSON, b. Aug 12, 1814 [6], baptized Sept 11, 1814 St Gabriel's Presbyterian Church, Montreal, Quebec.  Died before 1841, probably after 1837.    Not married.

31.  Eliza [2] THOMPSON (John Walton1) , b. abt 1809 [4]; d. Feb 7, 1887 [5]  m  Stephen MUTTON p. ONT Canada.   Stephen and Eliza resided Elmsley twp in 1845 upon the birth of their daughter Eliza and probably until 1871.  Eliza was residing alone, in Almonte twsp in 1881.  No primary information for the birth of Elizabeth yet.

Margaret Burroughs is still writing about her Thompson line here - WNT….

Of the second generation, William John Wilson(?) had ten children:  Mary Ann who died young; Margaret who married William Curry(?) and lived in Almonte; Samuel who married Henrietta Coure(?) and settled on the Scotch Line; William George who married Margaret Gamble(?) and lived in Almonte; James, Mrs. Burroughs grandfather, who married Agnes Cowie and he eventually settled in Almonte after living several years in (illegible); N - - -[poss Nepean, poss Carleton Place and transposed - WNT] - - - -  Nicholas(?), who married Mary - - meson (Jameson?) and took up residence in Orillia(?); (son, name illegible) who married Martha Armour and went to Drummond; Hannah who married(?) Alexander Cameron(?) and took up residence in (illegible word) Bay; Joseph who married Jane Abby(?) and lived in Carleton Place; David who married (illegible first name, maybe Hannah) Close and his (illegible two words) married L - - - L - - .  These couples lived in Brace - - - - - and Ramsay respectively.

[It appears that Margaret Burroughs omitted W. John W. Thompson's and Margaret Frost's son John W. Thompson - my guess is that she unintentionally forgot in her letter, since there are photographs and a lot of genealogical proof today; that instead of 10, Margaret had 12 children, 10 alive when she died.  Please note that my cousin Doris Anderson descends from John W. Thompson, and that Doris' query is on the LGS web site -- any information greatly appreciated.]

Per [1]  William John Walton [Thompson] ten children…Margaret married William Curry, Samuel who married Henrietta Cowie *…William George who Married Margaret Gamble …. James...married Agnes Cowie…Nicholas married Mary Jameson, son Carr married Martha Armour…Hannah Thompson married Alexander Cameron and took up residence in North Bay.   Joseph married Jane Abbey, David married Hannah Close, and his twin Andrew married Lena Lett. 

The first child was probably Mary Ann, who died young.  Seeking more genealogical information.

6.                i.    Samuel [3]THOMPSON, b. Nov 5, 1828 p. Perth, Ontario, Canada; d. Oct 21, 1915.

7.               ii.    William George THOMPSON, b. 1831, ONT CAN; d. Aft 1915.

18.            iii.    James THOMPSON [92] b. ? d.  Aft 1902, Bef 1915  Residing Ottawa in 1902.

  iv.  John W. Thompson - continues see Doris Anderson's genealogy

19.             v.    Margaret THOMPSON [92] b. Dec 17 1826 m. Dec 9 1857  d. 2-Feb-1914 p. Ramsey near Almonte Auld Kirk Cemetery  m. William CURRY / CURRIE b. ? m. Dec 9 1857 p.  St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, Perth, Ontario.   Lived Almonte in 1902.

8.              vi.    Nicholas T THOMPSON, b. Aug 21, 1838, Burgess Twp., ON, Lanark Co. ON; d. Aft 1915.

9.              vii.    Carr THOMPSON b. 20 Jul 1840 [189] Canada, d. Aft 1915. [92]  Residing Carleton Place in 1902

20.           viii.   Joseph THOMPSON [92] b Abt 1844 d. Bef 1915 m. (?Sarah) Jane ABBY.  Res. Carleton Place 1902

5.                ix.   Hannah [3]THOMPSON b. (abt 1842)  [139] p. North Burgess, Lanark, Canada, d. Aft. 1915 [10] m. March 13, 1863 married      Alexander Cameron [138]b. Abt 1831 Son of Alexander and Margaret C5L12 Bathurst.

21.             x.    David THOMPSON(twin) b. Abt 1848 North Burgess Twp [92] d. Dec 1, 1909  [80]

22.              xi.  Andrew THOMPSON(twin) b. Abt 1848 [92] d. Oct 17, 1888  [80]

The notation made by Hannah Thompson Cameron were made on the funeral announcement of Henrietta Cowie.  I cross checked the entries on the announcement with primary data, and some of them follow - WNT…

       Children of Nicholas THOMPSON and Mary JAMIESON are:

                   i.    Agnes  [4]THOMPSON, b. Jul 29, 1864, Burgess Twp., ON, Lanark Co. ON  [51].

                  ii.    Willie THOMPSON, b ? d. Mar 30, 1883  [52].

Of the third generation, Mrs. Burroughs grandfather, James, lived in Glen Tay where her mother, Henriette Jane, was born.  The next three children, Robert, Margaret and Agnes were born in Almonte.

18.  James [3] THOMPSON (William John WALTON2, John WALTON1)  [100] married [92] Agnes COWIE,  b. Sep 5, 1838

Residing Almonte, Lanark (North), Ontario, Canada in 1881

Residing Ottawa, Nepean Township, Carleton County ONT, CAN 1902

        Children of James THOMPSON  and Agnes COWIE are:

                   i.    Isabella THOMPSON b. 09-11-1858 baptized in 1861 (Oct 28th) p. N & S. ELMSLEY, Lanark,Ontario, Canada [95]

                  ii.    Flora Reed THOMPSON   b. 10-18-1860  baptized in 1861 (Oct 28th) p. N & S. ELMSLEY Lanark,Ontario, Canada [96]

                 iii.    Robt. THOMPSON b. Abt 1865       *

                 iv.    Margaret THOMPSON b. Abt  1869   *

                  v.    Agnes THOMPSON b. Abt 1874    *

  * 1881 Census, drafted here for additional information needed.

  Of the fourth generation, Henrietta Jane married John Moore and resided on the 7th Line Ramsay.  There were six children as follows:  Agnes, Gertrude Malinda(?), William, Charlotte(?) M - - - - - - (Mathilda??), Margaret L who married A.A. Burroughs and moved to the U.S., and John Osborne of (Orillia??).

Cowie—Robert Cowie of Edinburgh, Scotland came to Split Rock, New York with his sister in the later half of the last century.  Robert married Henrietta Jane Adams of Split Rock who was related to John Adams, second President of the United States.

Henrietta [*], their first child, was born in Upper Canada.  The next three, John, Agnes and William, were born in the U.S. in Split Rock or Utica and then they returned to Perth where the next five were born:  Francis, Lillie(?) or Leslie(?), Margaret, Robert and Jane.  Of these it is not know who John married while Agnes became Mrs. James Thompson, Mrs. Burroughs grandparents; William married twice and his daughter Garvella (last name illegible, begins with a ‘S’) lives on the Scotch Line.

*Samuel Thompson and Henrietta Cowie were my second great grandparents, I have a picture of them that is falling apart (literally) and would like to match it up with any available from other Cowie or Thompson descendants.  Henrietta died in 1962 but my great grandfather continue the Thompson line here in Washington state - the marriage registration of my great grandparents is appended to this document -- WNT

…Margaret Burroughs is now referring to the Cowie tree;  the descendants of Robert Cowie and Henrietta Jane Adams would probably be a better source than I.  My second great grandmother, Henrietta Cowie, died when my great grandfather Robert Thompson was seven - WNT.

Janet Cowie, sister of Robert, married Mr. Allen, a lawyer who practiced law and opened the first post office in Perth.  Mrs. Cowie’s brother, John Adams, came to Perth with the Cowies.  John farmed and taught music.  It is not known who John married but they had no(?) children.  They adopted his wife’s niece Louise McKay who later married Ralph Dodds and their grand daughter Mrs. Ferrier lives on the Scotch Lilne across the road from the old John Adams farm.

Margaret Burroughs may not have been aware of another Thompson link -- Margaret Frost was said to be half sister to a McKay;  interesting to note that Margaret Frost lived  to 1901 -- her obit was probably the source of most of the Thompson information above written by Margaret Burroughs.

  This is the registration of my great grandparents, and I would be greatful for any information as my great-grandparents left Perth before 1881, statistically few chances to firm up genealogies with my great grandfather's half-siblings, as well as Cowie ties.

  5659-82 Robert THOMPSON, 25, farmer, North Burgess, same, s/o Samuel THOMPSON & Henrietta COWIE, married Ellen SIMPSON, 24, Bathurst twp., North Burgess, d/o Peter SIMPSON & Jessie McDONALD, witn: John DEVLIN of Perth & Sarah SIMPSON of N. Burgess, 1 March 1882 at Manse, North Elmsley

Posted: 21 November, 2005.