Pioneers & Entrepreneurs|
The biographies featured in this section, by no means cover all of the men who contributed significantly to the development of the Scugog area. Information about many of the pioneers who first settled in Reach and Scugog is almost non-existent, as there were no newspapers to report on happenings in this area until late in 1857. Even throughout much of the 1860s information is scarce, due to a great number of missing issues of the Ontario Observer, the areas first newspaper.
On the following pages are some the men who cut their way through the bush to get to Lake Scugog. They cleared the land, built crude log homes, opened saw mills and grain elevators, built thriving towns from crude settlements, brought the railway to their doorstep, and laid the groundwork for the communities we live in today.
JAMES MacBRIEN, Sr.
James MacBrien was born in Ireland in the year 1832, of wealthy and influential parents. He left his homeland when he was only a teenager and set sail for Canada, purchasing and settling on a farm near Myrtle, Ontario.
After earning his education diploma, he became a public school teacher, teaching until 1872, when he was appointed Inspector of Public School of the County, a position he held for more than 30 years. Inspector MacBrien was a notable figure in the days when the public school system was in the making and his visits were welcomed by both teacher and scholars.
About the same time he was appointed inspector, he purchased the beautiful home and property of the late Aaron Ross, in Prince Albert, where he resided until his death.
Mr. MacBrien is said to have "lived respected and died regretted" by the entire community. He was an exemplary member of the Methodist Church and an influential member of a number of fraternal orders, including the Ancient Free & Accepted Masons, Canadian Order Home Circles, A.O.U.W., and Independent Order of Foresters.
Mr. MacBrien passed away on Sunday, Sept. 26, 1909, at 77 years of age. He left a wife, Julia Frances, three sons - James H., William and Sidney, and six daughters - Maggie, Julia, Olivia, Bessie, Belle and Kathleen, to mourn his loss.
A large number of townsfolk turned out to pay their last respects at his funeral on Tuesday 28th inst. at Pine Grove Cemetery, Prince Albert. Julia Frances (Madden), wife of James MacBrien, Sr. passed way in May 1938, in her 90th year.
JAMES H. MacBRIEN, Jr.
James H. MacBrien was the son of the late inspector James MacBrien and Julia F. MacBrien. He was born at the farm between Myrtle and Raglan, and later the family moved to Prince Albert. He received his public and high school education in Port Perry, spending his boyhood and young manhood in the town.
Before entering the army, Mr. MacBrien received some practical training in business life for a few years after joining the Western Bank, when Mr. H.G. Hutcheson was manager.
His next move was to Western Canada, where he joined the Northwest Mounted Police. A year later he resigned and came back east to join the 34th Ontario Regiment. After returning from serving in the Boer War in Africa, he was commissioned to the Royal Canadian Dragoons, followed by a move to England to attend the Staff College.
During World War I, he was promoted
to the rank of Major, and further promotions came
quickly during this period as a result of courageous
and intelligent service. In 1920, he was appointed
to the post of Chief of the General Staff of the Canadian
He married Nellie Louise Ross in
1907, who passed away in 1921. He remarried seven
years later to Emily (Emelyn) Hartridge of New York.
In 1927, after an illustrious career, Mr. MacBrien
resigned as Canada's military chief and returned home
to retire on his mother's farm at Port Perry.
In 1931 he accepted a Government appointed to take over as Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. In recognition of his efforts in organizing and modernizing the R.C.M.P., King George V made him a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath, in 1935.
Sir James MacBrien's death came on March 5, 1938 and the funeral service at St. Paul's Church, Toronto, was one of the largest the city had witnessed many years. Mourners came from far and wide, from military, political and private life.
His flag-draped coffin, on which lay the sword of the soldier and the cap of the RCMP was carried on a gun carriage, drawn by three sleek black steeds, from the St. Pauls to the Union Station, accompanied by dignitaries including the Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario, Mayor Ralph Day of Toronto and representatives of the government, military and National Defense.
As his coffin was lifted from the gun carriage to the train, the leading detachment fired three volleys, fixed bayonets and presented arms. The 'Last Post' and 'Reveille' sounded as the casket was lifted onto the train, to be transported to Ottawa for burial with full military honors.
FREDERICK WILLIAM McINTYRE
Frederick W. McIntyre will be remembered as one of Port Perry's leading dry good merchants. He began is business career in 1907 and three years later partnered with E.R. Dunk to operate as The Dunk, McIntyre Co. About a year later he took over sole ownership of the company and operated it successfully until he sold the business in 1928 after 20 years in business.
In the social life of the community he was musical, kindly and made friends readily. He was Past Master and Life Member of Fidelity Lodge, A.F .& A.M., and he gave valuable service to the Presbyterian Church as choir leader, and as a valued member of the local band. In 1914 he was elected as a councillor for Port Perry, serving in that capacity for a number of years. He was elected as president of the Merchant's Association and an energetic member of the Lawn Bowling Club.
Mr. and Mrs. McIntyre moved from Port Perry in March of 1928, after having been much respected citizens of the town for more than 20 years.
Mr. McIntyre, or "Mac" as he was known among is numerous friends in Port Perry, died while visiting friends near Hamilton. His funeral took place on Sept. 8, 1933 at Freeman, Ontario, with a number of Port Perry friends present for the service. Interment took place in the Hamilton cemetery. He was survived by his wife, and two brothers.
Robert McKnight, a brawny, open faced Scotchman, came to Canada in 1871 and found his way to Port Perry in the spring of 1875. On his arrival, he accepted the position of constable of the village and filled the job creditably for 32 years.
Not only was Mr. McKnight the town's Chief Constable, but he was street commissioner, collector of taxes and market clerk. He was an elder at St. John's Presbyterian Church, and an exemplary member of the Masonic and an Oddfellow fraternities. He also served as treasurer of the Port Perry fire brigade for a time.
The entire community was saddened on learning of the sudden death of Mr. McKnight, on Jan. 6, 1911, while clearing snow in front of the town hall. His public career had been such as to immortalize the name McKnight in the hearts of the people of the district.
He left behind his wife Janet C., three sons, John, James and Andrew, and two daughters Janet and Mrs. J.A. Cowie. He was given a public funeral and places of business in the town closed for his service.
No former citizen of Port Perry has a more honoured place in the town's history than that of Dugald McBride.
Mr. McBride was born in Scotland in 1839 and as a young man travelled to Canada with his parents. In 1859, at only 21 years of age, he was awarded a First Class Grade A certificate as a public school teacher, and he received his B.A. in 1871.
After graduating from school he began his teaching career and in 1872 was appointed Principal of Port Perry High School. He was known as a man of wide learning, fixed principals, and open mind and was one of the most respected men in the town. After 37 years as the headmaster of Port Perry High School, he tendered his resignation for September 1910, which was regretfully accepted by the school board.
In addition to his teaching duties, he was also appointed a County Inspector for Public Schools in 1879, a position he held for a number of years.
He and his wife, Nancy (Horton), had two children Samuel Edwin and Sara Mabel. Mr. McBride was interred at Pine Grove Cemetery in 1927.
H. H. McCAW
H.H. McCaw, a worthy and esteemed townsman, was favorably remembered throughout the County for his good qualities.
In 1860 he began his business career as a tinsmith in Prince Albert. While a resident of that village he took a prominent and active part in every movement. Educational matters had his active support, both Public and Sunday School were indebted to him for his well direct efforts.
In 1866 when Prince Albert postmaster G. Robson resigned, H.H. McCaw was appointed his successor, filling the position until 1873.
He and his wife. Elizabeth, raised a family worthy of their noble parents. Mr. H.H. McCaw passed away at the age of 74 years, on July 24, 1892 at the LaGrange, Illinois, home of his son-in-law N.E. Briggs. His wife, Elizabeth McCaw died on July 8, 1910, at 89 years of age.
WILLIAM H. McCAW
William McCaw was born at Stanstead, Quebec in 1849, the son of Mr. and Mrs. James McCaw. He was three years old when the family moved to Prince Albert, where Mr. McCaw followed the business of shoemaking.
He learned watchmaking from local jewellery store businessman, Mr. Doll, and later went to Boston to complete his training. Upon his return home to Port Perry, he set up business in Bigelow's Royal Arcade in Aug. 1873, and continued as watchmaker and jeweller for more than 40 years. A sideline to his business was the local branch of the Bell Telephone Co., of which he was the first manager. He retired and sold his business in May 1915 to J.D. Robertson of Whitby.
Like so many businessmen at this time, Mr. McCaw lost his entire stock in the devastating fire of 1884, but undeterred rebuilt and continued his business. In public life, he served on the Port Perry Board of Trade and the Board of Education, but never took an interest in politics.
Mr. McCaw married Emma Bigelow and to them eight girls were born, Elizabeth, Mrs. Arthur Carnegie, Mrs. Frank Coone, Emma, Mrs. Harry Nasmith, Mrs. David Carnegie, Mrs. Harold Emmerson and Mrs. Morley Honey.
Mr. McCaw was a member of the Board of Education for a number of years; a member of the Pine Grove Cemetery Board and was a Freemason of many years standing. In earlier years he was a loyal supporter of the local Baptist Church.
He was described as a genial citizen, thoroughly devoted to his family and his business in which he had a long and honourable record. He died at the age of 82 on Thursday, June 26, 1930 and was mourned by his wife and family.
Donald McKay was born in the year 1837 in the County of Glengarry and received his education at Upper Canada College, Toronto. He taught school in Markham Township for some years, before moving to Reach Township, where he entered into business. While in the mercantile business he served as a member of the North Ontario Agriculture Society, and in 1876 was elected vice-president of the same organization.
In 1890 he entered into public life, being elected Reeve of Reach Township, but was forced to resign a few months later, after being appointed County Treasurer, a position he conscientiously filled the position for almost 25 years.
His death on May 13, 1914 came not as a surprise, as he had been afflicted with an incurable disease for some time. In death, he left his wife and family to mourn his loss. His funeral took place from the family residence in Whitby at St. Andrew's Church. The gathering was an indication of the numberless chords of sympathy and friendship which radiated for this esteemed townsman.
There was a very large attendance of county officials and pall bearers included Judge McGillivary, Judge McIntyre, Dr. Bascom, Sheriff Thomas Paxton, J.D. Howden and James Rutledge.
JOHN WESLEY MEHARRY
John W. Meharry was born near Peterborough and moved to Port Perry about 1875, going into a business partnership with Mr. J.B. Laing. For many years they carried on an extensive and successful hardware business. J.W. Meharry accumulated considerable wealth, and invested largely in real estate, but was unsuccessful in this venture.
In later years he owned a brokerage business in real estate, in which during his long career he negotiated an immense number of sales and was acknowledged to be the best salesman in the district. Mr. Meharry was public spirited and always took a leading part in supporting improvements to the town. He was a member of the Board of Education for many years and was identified with agricultural interests, being a member of the Board of Directors.
He is said to have been a royal entertainer of rare social qualities and he delighted in company.
Mr. Meharry was 70 years old when he passed away at his daughter's home in Ottawa on Oct. 2, 1915, leaving two daughters to mourn his loss. His remains were laid to rest at the family plot in Pine Grove Cemetery. Mr. Meharry's beloved wife, Jennie (Dawes) predeceased him on Nov. 27, 1911.
DR. SAMUEL JAMES MELLOW
Samuel J. Mellow was born Sept. 19, 1859 near the town of Napanee. Following his public and high school education he taught school for three years. Furthering his education he enrolled at Queen's University graduating in 1886 with a degree in medicine.
Dr. Mellow first practiced medicine at Bath, Ont., where he practiced for three years. While residing at Bath, Dr. Mellow met and married Bertha Louise Armstrong. Shortly after they moved to Bay City, Michigan, where he remained for five years. In 1894 the Mellows moved to Port Perry, where they resided for the rest of their lives.
From the time he arrived in Port Perry, he took an active part in the affairs of the town., serving on the council for a number of years and elected as the town's Reeve for 1901 and 1902.
His greatest interest was education and he served as a member of the Board of Education for 20 years, and held the office of chairman. He was also a member of the Library Board, served as President of the Public Library, and took a leading roll in promoting the building of the new War Memorial Library.
His recreation interests included lawn bowling, tennis, and curling. He maintained his own tennis lawn at his residence.
Dr. Mellow's had a large practice which was missed by the town when he passed away on Thurs., March 2, 1925 at 65 years of age. He was buried at Pine Grove Cemetery. Surviving the popular doctor was his his wife Bertha L. (Armstrong) and three daughters, Mrs. Merlin Letcher and Misses Helen and Frances. Mrs. Mellow passed away in 1944.
REV. ROBERT MONTEITH
Rev. Robt. Monteith was for many years pastor of the Presbyterian Church at Prince Albert and was greatly esteemed by all religious denominations, and in fact the entire community. He was the first minister of the church when it opened for services in 1856.
He was appreciated for his many excellent qualities as a faithful and devoted pastor, an exemplary husband, loving father and a faithful friend. While living in Prince Albert he wrote one of the earliest and most extensive histories of the Township of Reach.
After leaving the community, he served for many years as clerk of the Presbytery of Toronto.
Rev. Monteith had been in failing health for a number of years, before his death on Monday, Jan. 23, 1893, at 232 Brunswick Avenue, Toronto. He was 78 years of age at the time of his passing and left behind his widow, Margaret (Bell), and two active sons and three intelligent daughters. Mrs. Monteith was 96 years of age when she passed away.
EDWARD J. MUNDY
Edward Mundy was born in Hull, England on February 20, 1838. He came to Canada when he was 11 years old and served his apprenticeship in the printing business in Toronto, before striking out on his own to publish the Advocate in Uxbridge.
Following the closure of the Advocate, Mundy moved to Port Perry and commenced publication of Port Perry's first newspaper, The Port Perry Standard, on August 16, 1866. During this time he lived in a home on Cochrane Street.
On July 1, 1878 Edward Mundy bought the Oshawa Ontario Reformer, and carried on with both newspapers for about three years before disposing of the Port Perry Standard in about 1889.
Mr. Mundy was described as a quiet mannered gentleman, with good qualities of both heart and mind. He served as Chairman of the School Board for several terms, was a prominent Baptist and Mason, and a strong supporter of the Liberal party. But he also had another side, and was known to be a unscrupulous and controversial publisher, often slurring the name of area residents on the pages of his newspapers.
In 1860 Edward married Martha Nott of Toronto after a six week courtship. Martha was born in 1841 in Exeter, England and as a young girl, came to Canada with her father Richard Nott.
Mr. Mundy and his wife Martha were parents to six children; Edward J. Mundy, Jr. (1861); Jessie J. (1863); Alice C. (1865); Mary L. (1870); Violet M. (1872) and Charles M. (1874).
On Monday, January 24, 1921 Edward Mundy passed away about midnight after an illness of three weeks at his home in Oshawa. He was in his 84th year at the time of this death.
JAMES (JOHN) A. MURRAY
John Murray was born in Ingersoll, Ontario in 1843 and came to Port Perry to start his practice in dentistry in 1863. After practicing for a number of years, he took over the practice of Paterson and Fenton, as a surgeon dentist in March 1877. Dr. Murray served the residents of the community for 63 years before retiring.
During his years in business in the community, he had to twice relocate his office, due to the fires of 1883 and 1884. Following the fires he set up his practice over the post office in the Leonard Block on Perry St.
Dr. Murray was fond of sports and athletics, encouraging lacrosse, football and horse racing. He served for one term as a member of Port Perry council.
Dr. Murray lived in his home on Cochrane St. with his wife Laura Abigail (Foote) and the couple had five children. He passed away on Jan. 16, 1929 at 86 years of age, with interment at Pine Grove Cemetery. His wife predeceased him on Nov. 6, 1918, at 66 years of age.
WILLIAM J. NESBITT
William Nesbitt was born on Seven Mile Island, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Nesbitt. His early life was spent at the homestead, but on reaching manhood he moved to Toronto, where he worked for the Street Railway Co. for 13 years, and the Russell Motor Car Co. for 9 years, before moving back to Port Perry.
While in Toronto he married Sarah Verral, of Toronto, and the couple raised two sons, Winnett and William O. The Nesbitts moved to Port Perry in 1917, and it wasn't long before he was appointed to the position of Town Constable.
For 20 years, William Nesbitt was known as "The Chief" on the streets of Port Perry. He was a faithful servant as Constable and Street Commissioner, with duties which included directing traffic, ringing the town hall bell, helping neighbours and hunting down law breakers.
In memory of "The Chief," a minute's silence was observed at the municipal nomination meeting, the town flag was flown at half mast and words of appreciation were expressed by the town's Reeve and councillors.
He was a valued member of the Loyal Orange Lodge, the Independent Order of Oddfellows, and the Port Perry United Church.
William Nesbitt passed away in Toronto on Saturday, Dec. 25, 1937, in his 69th year. His funeral was held at the Port Perry United Church, which was filled to capacity. Following the service the town bell tolled and a long cortege slowly made its way up the hill to Pine Grove Cemetery, where he was laid to rest. His wife, Sadie, predeceased him on June 11, 1926.
John Nott was born at Cornwall, England on July 1, 1825 and came to Canada in 1842. After his arrival, he settled in Prince Albert, Ont., but later went to school and learned the trade of cabinet making in Oshawa.
In 1847, he started business in the village of Borelia, where he carried on his cabinet making and undertaking business, along with John W. Davis, but with the arrival of the railway in Port Perry he moved into town and opened his business at the corner of Queen and Perry St. Twice he was burned out of his premises, once in 1884 and again in 1897, afterwards setting up his shop beside the St. Charles Hotel. He continued to ply his trade in the furniture and undertaking business for more than 63 years. He retired from business in Aug. 1910.
Mr. Nott held many important positions in the County. For years he was a tax collector for Reach Township, then was appointed to take the first census for Port Perry. He served on the local School Board and on Port Perry council for many years.
In 1875, John Nott was appointed a Justice of the Peace, a position he held for 31 years. His faith was that of a Methodist and he was a staunch Liberal in politics.
John Nott passed away on March 10, 1917 at 92 years of age. He was a dedicated Mason and buried with the honours of that Order. Mr. Nott was survived by his two sons, William and Albert. His wife, Jane Lawrence predeceased him on June 28, 1908.
WILLIAM JAMES NOTT
William Nott, was born and educated at Port Perry, the son of John and Jane Nott of this town. For over 30 years he served the community as funeral director, being one of the best known and respected men in this part of the province. A partnership with his father, John Nott, was dissolved in 1878, with William continuing the business as Cabinet Maker, Upholsterer and Undertaker.
William Nott operated his business under the name of the Jessop Furniture Co., for a time, and was a noted as a skilled craftsman. He and his staff were responsible for installing the new interior of the Methodist Church and auditorium in 1905.
Mr. Nott served in the Fenian Raids and in 1900 was one of six local men presented a medal for his valour.
While a resident of the town he was a member of the I.O.O.F, and Sons of England Benefit Society. He was also a leader in the former Methodist Church in Ontario.
A pioneer funeral director of Port Perry, William James Nott died at the home of his son, W.E. Nott, in Winnipeg, on Friday, July 14, 1933, following a brief illness, in his 82nd year.
He was survived by a daughter, Zell Nott of Winnipeg and four sons, H.A., W.E., Jessop and Ivan.
DANIEL DAVID PALMER
Although Daniel David Palmer did not live out his life in Port Perry, he became one of the town's most noted residents, as the founder of the profession of Chiropractics.
D.D. Palmer was born in Port Perry on March 7, 1845, and received his early education from the tutelage of a brutish taskmaster, John Black. By the time he was 11 years old he had received the equivalent of an eighth-grade education.
Unfortunately his education was cut short when the family grocery business in Port Perry failed and his parents moved to the United States in 1856. Daniel Palmer and his brother Thomas, were left to work in a local match factory, but in April 1865, the brothers moved out of Port Perry and traveled to the United States to rejoin their family.
On January 20, 1871, Daniel David married Abba Lord, and the couple lived in the New Boston area for a short time. It is believed his first wife died during childbirth. This was the first of four marriages for Mr. Palmer. His second wife was Louvenia Landers, whom he married in 1874 and about six years later they moved to Iowa where they opened a grocery store. In 1884, Louvenia died leaving her husband and three children motherless. In 1885, six months after his wife's death, he married once again, this time to Martha A. Henning, to take care of his young children.
By 1887 Palmer and his family had moved to Davenport, Iowa where he was listed as a "Vital Healer", claiming cures for fever, rheumatism and indigestion. In 1888 he married for the last time, to Villa Amanda Thomas, who he would later laud for all the assistance she gave him in his practice.
The great discovery of chiropractic came on Sept. 18, 1895 when, using his hands, readjusted the spine of a deaf patient, and the man regained his hearing. Reluctant to share his theories, he kept silent for a few years, but after a near fatal accident, he decided to teach the technique as fast has he could. In 1903 he founded the Palmer School of Chiropractic, but after many difficulties with authorities over his methods, he was jailed for practicing without a certificate.
After being freed from prison, and the failure of his original school, he moved to Los Angeles, where he spent his last years as a prolific writer and lecturer. Ironically, it was after being invited to speak at his son's school, he was struck down by a car driven by his son B.J. Palmer, and he died of his injuries, on October 20, 1913.
Twenty-five years after his death, in July 1938, chiropractors from across Canada and the U.S.A. assembled at the lakeside park in Port Perry to dedicate Palmer Memorial Park in the memory of the founder of chiropractic. In August 1946 the National Chiropractic Association unveiled a monument featuring a bronze bust of Daniel David Palmer. The monument was refurbished in 1995 to its original glory.
Henry Parsons was born in Lincoln, England in 1838 and came to Canada when he was 12 years old with his parents, who took up residence in Stouffville.
In February 1853 he apprenticed as a printer to the Whitby Reporter, and after finishing his apprenticeship, he moved to New York State. A year later he returned to Canada and in 1858 settled in Prince Albert, joining William Holden on the staff of the Ontario Observer, which had been established a year earlier.
Mr. Parsons became identified with the Observer newspaper for over 50 years. He purchased the paper and published it in partnership with James Baird until 1884, when the partnership was dissolved .
In 1873 when Prince Albert began to wane and Port Perry to grow, the newspaper was moved and renamed the North Ontario Observer. After taking over sole ownership of the paper in 1884, he carried it on until 1920 when he stopped publishing, but continued in the printing business under the name of the Observer Printing Office, assisted by his grandson, Victor Stouffer.
Henry Parsons took a keen interest in municipal affairs, at one time serving for a couple of terms on the local council.
In 1864 he was married to Francis Ruby (Palmer), of Prince Albert, who predeceased him by some 20 years. He was survived by one daughter, Mrs. Andrew Stouffer and one grandson Victor P. Stouffer. Henry Parsons passed away in his 94th year at his home in Port Perry on Thurs., Sept. 29th, 1932. Interment at Pine Grove Cemetery.
W.L. Parrish was born in Napanee and came to Port Perry with his family in 1869, when his father, William T. Parrish, began a hardware business. He acquired knowledge of the business under his father's watchful eye, and when he turned 20 years of age, in 1884, he succeeded his father's business.
Mr. Parrish operated one of the largest and best equipped hardware stores in Ontario County from the Parrish Block on Queen St. The block was built by William T. Parrish following the fire of 1884, and the buildings consisted of two store fronts with large display windows and two entrances.
He carried a large stock of hardware, stoves and tinware and everything that a hardware store should have. The tinware manufacturing department occupied the upstairs floor.
In public life, Mr. Parrish was involved to a considerable extent, having been a member of the School Board for 13 years and on the Public Library for six. He was the youngest man on the School Board at the time of his incumbency and the youngest man to ever hold the position of chairman of the board. He served on town council for a number of years and occupied the chair of Reeve from 1906 to 1908.
Mr. Parrish owned a handsome home on Cochrane Street.
W.L. Parrish was born in 1868 and died in 1957. His wife, Nell (Henry) Parrish passed away in 1941.
NORMAN F. PATERSON
Norman F. Paterson was born at Springfield, Ont. in 1843 and educated at the Royal Military School, and the Law School, Toronto. At 12 years of age he began work in a law office and by sixteen had passed the examination of the Law Society. Only five years later, when he was 21 years old, he was called to the bar.
Mr. Paterson was appointed Queen's Council in 1883, becoming one of the first of the legal fraternity to receive the title after it was established by Queen Victoria.
He practiced law in Beaverton for almost 12 years, before moving to Port Perry in 1878, setting up his practice as a Barrister and Attorney at Law in offices over the store of Brown and Currie. Over the next decade he acquired a high reputation and became well respected for his work throughout Ontario County. While living in Port Perry he also served in the County Council, was Clerk for the Village of Port Perry for 12 years, was an energetic and longtime member of the School Board, serving as Chairman a number of times.
Mr. Paterson was married in Port Perry to Sarah (Currie), daughter of George Currie, one of the town's most industrious pioneers. The couple had two children, both girls.
Mr. Paterson passed away while visiting at the home of his daughter, Mrs. (Dr.) A.H. Cook of Port Dover on Thurs., July 30, 1925, at 83 years of age. He had been living with his other daughter Mrs. Arthur Houston in Toronto since the death of his wife 16 years earlier. Mr. Paterson was buried at St. James Cemetery, Toronto.
There is scarcely anything that is more painful than to be called upon to chronicle the early decease of a fellow townsman, a neighbour, an intimate acquaintance, a faithful, kind, obliging friend - and such is emphatically our position, when the painful duty devolves upon us to record the decease of Mr. George Paxton (of the late firm of Geo. and Thomas Paxton) who departed this life on Monday, Oct. 8, 1866, aged 44 years and 6 months.
The deceased came to Port Perry when only a youth of about 20 years, and set to work in getting a mill erected, and he has remained at the helm of affairs in that village ever since, steering and guiding it safely through difficulties and troubles, from when it was scarcely a hamlet until it had increased to a very prosperous village.
He was always a kind, obliging, faithful friend, ready at all times to lend his means and advice for the furtherance of every object intended to promote the good of this fellow man.
The township, but especially the village to which he belonged, sustained a heavy loss when the unrelenting conqueror laid him cold and dead.
The funeral took place on October 10, 1866, with the procession leaving his late residence to the Baptist Church on the 7th Concession of Whitby. He was laid to rest in the cemetery in connection with the church.
Thomas Paxton was born on the Tweedie homestead within two miles of Whitby in 1821, and lived his entire life in Ontario County.
During the 1840s, several of the Paxton family moved from Whitby to Port Perry and commenced various branches of business there, laying the cornerstone of the handsome little town which overlooks Scugog Lake. In 1846 he and his brother George built a sawmill near the lake, and he later partnered with Joseph Bigelow in a flouring mill, and operated the Paxton, Tate Foundry on Perry St.
Either in partnership with his brothers or other men, Thomas Paxton was always actively engaged in business - too actively it was often said, for he seemed to have too many irons in the fire and had to trust too much to others. It's said his one mistake was giving his private business secondary consideration to public affairs, otherwise he might have died one of the wealthiest men in the county.
His public career commenced early and he held every position in the municipal council of Reach during his years in that township. He was the second man to serve as Reeve of Reach Township after it was formed in 1853. Mr Paxton was elected with a large majority to the seat for North Ontario in the Ontario Assembly, being re-elected many times. In January 1881 he resigned to accept the position of Sheriff of Ontario County.
Thomas Paxton, Sheriff of Ontario County, died Sunday, July 3, 1887 at 66 years of age, following a long period of sickness. Many places of business were closed for the funeral, and he was laid to rest at Dryden's burial ground with many of his kin.
EDWARD HARDY PURDY
Port Perry lost one of its best citizen in the passing of Edward H. Purdy in July, 1935. He had filled almost all of the offices the town had of offer: Reeve for five years, on council eight years, as Clerk-Treasurer of the town for seven years, on the Board of Education four years, as Magistrate 17 years, and prior to that he was Justice of the Peace.
In the social life of the community he was also a leader, being a Past Master of the Masonic Lodge, President of the Lawn Bowling Club, Chairman of the Committee of Stewards of the United Church, and a Past Nobel Grand of Warriner Lodge, I.O.O.F. He also served as a member of the Board of Education, Director for the Agricultural Society and a police magistrate.
He was a man of good common sense and those who knew "E.H." intimately say that he was a kindly friend to many who found the pathway of life rough.
Mr Purdy was born at Collins Bay, near Kingston, the son of Mr. and Mrs. David Purdy. His early years were spent on the Wells farm north of Port Perry, which was given to his grandfather by the Crown as he was United Empire Loyalist. When a young man he moved to Port Perry.
His first business venture began in 1887 in the flour, feed and seed business, which he purchased from Henderson and Curts. The store was situated in the Observer Block. In 1897 he purchased the Laing and Meharry Block, and moved to the south side of the street. Here he added groceries and baking to the business. After this block was destroyed in the fire of 1901, he erected a new building, 66x110 feet which became the home of not only his store, but S.T. Cawker Butcher and D.J. Adams, private banker. Mr. Purdy sold his business to Jonathan Lane, but re-purchased it later and re-sold to John F. McClintock.
Mr. Purdy married Mary Ann MacAllister in 1885 and four children were born to them, Clarence D., Cecil V., Hazel Dhel (Bentley), and Edward Hardy. Mrs. Purdy and all the children survived Mr. Purdy. The Purdy's fine home was located on Lilla Street, south of the Town Hall.
Edward H. Purdy passed away on July 17, 1935. The funeral service was conducted by the Masonic lodge with interment made at Pine Grove Cemetery.