BLACKSTOCK VILLAGE HISTORY- 1898

HISTORY OF CARTWRIGHT’S CAPITAL-ANCIENT AND MODERN

 

The name of the illustrious Toronto barrister, Mr. Geo. Tate Blackstock will go down to future generations as the name of the metropolis of Cartwright Township. When the first Post Office in the township was established at this village it was called Cartwright Mail directed to that address frequently went to Cartwright in Lambton County, to the annoyance of parties concerned. Some one wanted the name changed to Williamsburg and locally it got that name largely for some time. Letters were frequently addressed to Williamsbury for parties living here but as this office was not known by that name to the postal authorities mail so addressed went to Williamsburg in New Brunswick. It was therefore desirable to find a name not known to the postal world.

The locality when first settled was known as Tooley's Corners, after a hotelkeeper living here, but a return to that name was not to be entertained by our ambitious populace. When Mr. George Tate Blackstock was for the second time a candidate for Parliamentary honours as representative of West Durham-about 18 years ago-it occurred to some of his friends here that his name would be a suitable one to appropriate for our village.

The necessary steps were accordingly taken and the change made.

 

THE FIRE FIEND.

The fates have had evil designs upon Blackstock. In the past fourteen years eight destructive fires have mowed down hotels, stores and private residences, the majority of which have not been rebuilt.

The building of the C. P. R. and the establishment of station and store at Burketon, while a blessing to the township, have not tended to Blackstock's advancement. Similarly the building of the Port Perry Bridge has given the farmers a short route to that town which event militates still more against Blackstock's growth and prosperity though doubtless a great convenience to the community at large.

The disastrous fire of last September destroyed the Post Office and residence of Mr. R. H, Prust, P. M., and for the second time the dwelling of Mr. Geo. Suggitt, blacksmith: the village hall narrowly escaping. Mr. Prust purchased the large new brick residence of Dr. McKibbon and erected a post office on an adjoining lot, which is one of the most convenient and commodious country offices in the county and was opened last November. Mr. Geo. Suggitt's new residence is now sufficiently advanced in construction that the family occupies a part of it. Many of the residents strongly urge the purchase of a hand fire engine, claiming that the possession of such an article would have saved hundreds of dollars' worth of property for recent sufferers. The powers that be, however, are slow to act along these lines. After a couple more fires it will scarcely be needed.

EDUCATIONAL AND POSTAL.

The first school house in the district was built at Jobb's corner about a mile north of the present village and there appeared at one time to be some prospect that the village would be located there. When it became necessary to build a new schoolhouse one was erected on land belonging to Mr. Spinks, south of the first site. This building continued in use for educational purposes for over thirty years. Messrs. Jno. Hughes, Scugog St., and W. Lucas, T. C., Church St. were teachers in those days. It may be interesting to know that a number of post offices in the township including Lotus and Cadmus were named by Mr. J. Hughes. There are nine school sections in the township now.

In February 1896, the school house was burned down and the present elegant structure of modern design was built and ready for occupation in September of the same year, costing over $2,000 including grounds. It is sited nearly half a mile out of the village in what is usually called North Blackstock Mr. I. B. Barclay, the present popular teacher, has just entered upon his ninth year in charge. He was an Enniskillen boy and received his education at Bowmanville High School and St. Catharines and holds a first class certificate. Five pupils from this school passed the P. S. Leaving and three the Entrance last summer and some have passed at every examination since Mr Barcley has been here which reflects much credit on both pupils and teacher. The present average attendance is nearly 60, daily.

 

THE METHODIST CHURCH

Blackstock is well supplied with churches and able ministers. The Methodist Church has been established here practically from the earliest settlement of the district. About the year 1871 the Bible Christians built a brick church and had a good cause at the time of the Methodist Union in 1885. This united the congregations under one pastorate and in 1887 the old frame Methodist church was removed and the present fine brick edifice was built in its stead, much of the B. C. church which was taken down going into the construction of the new one. The basement, which is of stone, gives excellent accommodation for the Sabbath school, which averages about 120 scholars. A large furnace heats the entire building and the ventilation is good. The congregation is very large being drawn from all parts of the township and the choir which has been under the leadership of Mr. R. H. Prust for over twenty years is one of the most talented and efficient in the township.

Mr. Wm. Ferguson is superintendent of the Sabbath School and is ably assisted by a staff of ten devoted and energetic teachers. A large and interested Bible Class is conducted by the Pastor, Rev. T. R. McDonald, on Wednesday, evenings.

Rev. Mr. McDonald is in his first year on the circuit and is particularly noted for his eloquence in the pulpit. Besides Blackstock he has Cadmus, Caesarea and Nestleton under his charge. Blackstock and Cadmus have preaching on alternate Sunday mornings and evenings while Caesarea and Nestleton alternate on Sunday afternoons. There is a desire on the part of many at these charges that a Junior pastor should be placed on the circuit so that Blackstock and Cadmus might have two services each Sunday and the other appointments every Sunday afternoon. The territory and membership are admittedly too large for one man to properly administer to. There is no E. L. Society in connection with the church for reasons which will be apparent. The very comfortable and well-furnished parsonage is situated on Scugog St. Last week was observed as special "week of prayer" by the congregation, meetings being held nightly.

Mr. J. Clatworthy Past District Deputy was here recently and installed the new offices of the S. O. E . . .. On Friday night, 14th inst, the members of the S of T. Division had a debate on the subject .Resolved: That there is more of the wonderful in and on the water, than, in and on the land" as the two judges could not agree in their decision the third was called in and decided in the affirmative. Bros H. Dunslow and Bert Bruce captained the debaters. On Saturday night, 22nd, Division met to arrange for a program contest to extend over a period of six weeks. . Canvassing is being pushed with a view to the establishment of a meat ring in this locality. Mrs. Will Wright is quite recovered from her recent illness. Mrs. Jas. Beacock has been quite indisposed but is now convalescent. Mr. Percy Jobb got his leg cut by catching on a nail. Four stitches were put in and he is on a fair way to recoveryA number of the farmers hereabouts are making preparations for building next spring.

 

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EPISCOPALIAN

Rural Dean Rev John Creighton, M. A., B. D, is rector of St John 's (English) church. It is a neat brick structure and was built and opened in 1876 under supervision of the present incumbent. Mr. Creighton came here from Welland. The church at that time as well as the rectory &c, was situated about half a mile east of the village. It was deemed expedient to erect the new church in the village as it now stands. Comfortable seats, ample shed room and every convenience to be desired is provided. The rectory and outbuildings were destroyed by fire in 1885 and rebuilt on the same site near which is the burying ground and former churchyard. The whole church property is free of debt and finances in a satisfactory condition. Service is held regularly here every Sunday morning and alternately with Burketon Sunday evenings.

The cause under Anglican auspices was established in 1850 when Rev Wm. Logan who died recently in Toronto became the first resident clergyman. Previous to that time the adherents of the church were ministered to by clergymen from Bowmanville. Sunday school is conducted in the body of the church having an average of about forty children in attendance. The session is held in the morning before the regular preaching service and the rector superintends. Reward books are distributed among the scholars on the first Sunday; in the new year. A good choir furnishes suitable music, which is always in high order in the Church of England. Judging from the number and quality of books and magazines in the Rectory library we can readily believe that the educational standard of the incumbent is as is usually admitted far above the average.

PRESBYTERIAN

The Presbyterian Church of this village is a brick building not imposing in its exterior but solidly constructed and comfortably seated within for about two hundred and fifty persons. It was built over twenty years ago. Together with the Cadmus and Enniskillen churches it constitutes the Enniskillen and Cartwright congregation. The total membership of this congregation is not far from two hundred. Blackstock church has nearly seventy of these. The work of the entire charge is at present in a most flourishing condition and this applies with special force to the Blackstock church. Here the work is splendidly organized, under the most excellent board of elders and managers. Mr. Jos. Sanderson is Presbytery Elder for the current year and Mr. James Holmes is chairman of the board of managers. A good Sunday school and Y.P.S.C.E. are maintained as well as a W.F.M.S. Mr. S. T. Ferguson a name, which has been honourably associated with the church since its erection, is Superintendent of the Sunday school, which has a membership of about eighty. The pastor Rev. R. M. Phalen. B.A. is President of the C.E.S. It contains between thirty and forty members. Mrs. Phalen is President of the W.F.M.S., which numbers upwards of twenty. The manse, a comfortable brick building is also situated in this village. It was purchased by the congregation sixteen years ago. Mr. McLaren, now of Hamilton was the immediate predecessor of the present pastor. Mr. Phalen is now in his sixth year. Wednesday week the annual congregational meeting of the Enniskillen Presbyterian church was held. Owing to the large attendance and excellent reports given, our senior Elder pronounced it the best annual meeting for thirty years. The finances are in splendid shape. The year closed with all debts paid and a balance of thirty-six dollars in the treasurer’s hands. The present membership is nearly seventy, the net gain for the year being four. Mr. Phalen announced on Sunday that the session of Sonya congregation, Presbytery of Lindsay, had written him, asking him to preach for then with a view to a call.

THE SECRET SOCIETIES.

In the matter of Societies Blackstock is up to date. Probably the oldest and strongest order represented here is

THE ORANGE SOCIETY.

The first lodge was established in 1838 in a private house belonging to a Mr. J. Hyland. Meetings were afterwards held in the houses of two members by the name of Vance after which an upstairs room in the home of Mr. John Jobb was rented and Mr. Jobb was for many years treasurer of the lodge. Jobb’s corner then rivalled Tooley’s corner in size and importance. Eventually a hall was built on the corner in which the admirers and followers of King William met for many years. But times change, some members died, and others removed to other parts. Meanwhile a new lodge had sprung up in the village then popularly called Williamsburg and it was at last found to be desirable for all to unite there, so the old hall was deserted and subsequently was turned into a dwelling. Among the members of those days still to be found in Cartwright lodges we may mention Charles Quinn, David Deacon and Francis Hamilton. For many years the Orangemen have owned the hall in which they now meet. Several other societies also use it. Two years ago the building was enlarged and otherwise repaired and the local lodge became incorporated. It will compare favourably with any in Ontario. There are at present some fifty-two members in the local lodge, there are two proposals for initiation at the next meeting and it is expected the average number of sixty members will be reached during the winter. The regular meeting is held on the first Monday night in each month.

The glorious twelfth was observed by a demonstration of some kind either at home or abroad with the desire of the lodge to celebrate at home every alternate year if possible. An entertainment was held last year on the evening of Nov. 5th.

The officers for the current year are; Worshipful Master-Jas. E. Beacock; Deputy Master-Geo. L. Mclaughlin; Chaplain-W.J. Beacock; Rec. Sec’y-W. A. VanCamp; Treasurer-Samuel Jeffery; Financial Sec’y-Geo. Suggitt; Lecturer-Jno. Parks; Director of Ceremonies-A. Kinsman; committeemen-Anson Tayler, Stanford Swain, Robert Hooey and J. Holmes; District Master-J. H. Devitt.

The Black Chapter branch of the order has also been organized here with the following officers in their order: J. H. Freeborn, P. Holt, J. Byers, James E. Beacock, Wm. Barton, H. H. Devitt, W. Myers, A. Taylor and Geo. Wilson, and Andrew Hanna; Committeemen-Geo. McCartney, W. S. McClung, Sam. Gillis, F. Hamilton.

The financial state of both sections is very satisfactory. The moral standing and ability of the members never was better and is in striking contrast with the state of affairs in by-gone days especially along temperance lines. Many of the choicest young men in the township are now connected with the Order which augurs well for its future standing and success.

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SONS OF TEMPERANCE.

The Sons of Temperance Division is also flourishing and the results are very encouraging. The Society was organized here March 10, 1892, and has now over eighty members on the roll, while the treasurer’s pocket book laughs and grows fat. New members are being initiated at almost every meeting. Debates and contests of very entertaining and instructive character are frequent occurrences and interest is continually kept to a high pitch. The display of talent is very creditable and the improvement made in various ways by active workers is most gratifying from an intellectual standpoint. Meetings are held in the basement of the Methodist church.

The officers for the current quarter are P. W. P-W. Swain; W. P. -N. Marlow; W. A. -Lila Taylor: R. S. -Albert Beacock; A. R. S. -Virgie Hooey; F. S. -Jas. Bruce; Treas.-Fred. Hyland; Chap.- H. Kelly; Con.-Stella Holmes; Assist Con.-Bert Wood; I. S. -Minnie Beacock; O. S. -William Taylor; Organist-Lottie McDonald.

Company A Loyal Crusaders was organized in connection with the Division about four years ago. The present Worthy commander is Miss E.E.Parks; Vice Commander, Lottie McDonald; Chap. Maud Parks; Sec.-Treasurer, Virgie Hooey. Nearly fifty names are on the roll; meetings are held Friday afternoons in the basement of the Methodist church. With such a band being trained in teetotal principles by competent and earnest leaders there are very hopeful prospects for the temperance cause in these parts.

SONS OF ENGLAND

The Sons of England may be rated as one of the strongest and most beneficial orders here. The Society was formed in February 1890, with Mr. P. Holt as president. He was re-elected for 1891. Geo. Suggitt took the chair in 1892; Jas. Marlow in 1893; I. Whitfield in 1894; S. Jeffery in 1895. Jno. Marlow 1896 and 1897 and Henry Mountjoy occupies the position for 1898. As an evidence of prosperity the members point with pride to a bank account of $600, a roll of about fifty names with late initiations and proposals constantly on hand.

Their annual supper held last Dec. was one of the most successful in their history and the annual June excursion is becoming more popular every year. Regular meetings are held on the first and third Thursday nights each month in the Orange hall. Amongst a long list of officers may be mentioned the Worthy President, H. Mountjoy; Vice-President, E. Riches; Secretary, R. H. Prust; Treasurer, Geo. Suggitt; chap., H. Norris. The usual committeemen, guards, auditors and trustees have been duly appointed. Mr. P. Holt is delegate to the Grand Lodge and Dr. W. A. Fish is Surgeon to the Society.

THE HOME CIRCLE.

The Home Circle has a good foot hold here though not as strong as could be desired. There are about thirty good members and all paid up so that the circle is in good financial standing. The regular meeting is held in the Orange hall on the last Monday in each month but as many members are farmers and some ladies, the attendance is frequently not large. None of the members are taking advantage of the sick benefits of the Order but all are insured.

The Circle will have been established ten years next March. The officers for this year are Past Leader, Geo. McLaughlin; Leader, Jas. Holmes; Vice Leader, J. H. Devitt; Rec. Secretary, A. Kinsman: Sec.-Treasurer and Medical examiner, L. G. McKibbon, M. D.; Chaplain, Rev. Jno. Creighton, B. D.; Marshall, S. McLaughlin; Warden, I. B. Barclay, besides others too numerous to mention but not less important. The members speak well of the Order and its advantages. So far as we can learn no deaths have taken place among the members here, at any rate for a long time. Benefits of insurance in the Order are consequently not so patent to the ordinary citizen and business is correspondingly quiet.

THE FORESTERS

The Order of Foresters was established here in 1892 when court Triumph No. 7867 was organized. On account of removals and sundry other causes the present membership is small but the court is in good standing with between $100 and $200 in the treasury. The executive officers are Chief Ranger, Jno. Watson, Jr.; Past C.R., Geo. McLaughlin Sub. C.R., David Milne; Secretary, R. Field; Treas. And Surgeon, W. A. Fish, M.D. Meetings are held in the Orange hall on the 2nd and 4th Fridays in each month.

THE CHEESE FACTORY

In the line of business and manufacture Blackstock meets the demands of the times. One of the most successful cheese factories in the province is situated here the annual report of which appeared in THE STATESMAN recently. The directors held a meeting on the 17th inst., to arrange matters regarding the making of cheese for next season. The company agreed to make cheese for the patrons on a sliding scale as below. 80,000 to 100,000 lbs @ 1? ¢per lb. 100,000 to 120,000 lbs @ 2¢ per lb. If over that amount @ 1? ¢ per lb. The same maker and terms as last year will continue as well as the same machinery with necessary repairs. The patrons met and appointed salesmen, sold surplus whey, &c., &c.

THE AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY

Cartwright Township Agricultural Society held their annual meeting in the village Jan. 12th. Accounts to the amount of $474.75 were examined approved and passed. According to custom the late President Jno. Wright retired and the late Vice, Anson Taylor, was elected to the chair. N. Marlow is Vice-President. The following constitute a strong board of directors: John Wright, Robt. Philp, A. Devitt, J. Coates, J. Devitt, G. McLaughlin, Jos. Campbell; T. Whitfield and W. Mountjoy. R. Philp and W. Mountjoy were re-elected Auditors with Jas. Parr Secretary, and P. Holt Treasurer, for the Society. This is said to be one of the best-managed Agricultural Societies in the Province.

LEADING BUSINESSMEN.

The more prominent businessmen of the place are: Furniture Dealer and Undertaking Agency, R. J. McNally; Carriage maker, J. Holmes; Blacksmiths, A. Kinsman and G. Suggitt; Storekeepers, Jno. Quinn and Moore Bros.; Tailor, Jno. Parks; Shoemaker, S. Jeffery; Physicians, W. A. Fish and L. G. McKibbon; Hotel Keeper, F. Hawkin; besides dressmakers and contractors. Mr. James Parr combines in himself several institutions. He is a financial agent for loan companies, insurance agent, secretary of the agricultural society, director of that and other societies and keeps an office in the village. He is also a large farmer. Mr. H. Dunslow has branched out as a successful businessman. Since taking the agency for the famous Queen Heaters he has sold some 25 in this township. He is a hustler and having a first-class article he is bound to succeed.

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