The village of Colborne was incorporated on the 1st of January 1859. It is situated on the first and second concessions of the township of Cramahe, comprising the south halves of lots 27,28,29,30,31 and 32 in the 2nd, and the north halves of the same lots in the 1st concession. Population, 1,104
Joseph KEELER, the "first settler," came from Rutland, Vermont, about 1789. He afterwards in 1793 brought in forty settlers with him, amongst them, GREELEY, the surveyor; built a saw mill, flouring mill, carding and woolen mill, oil well and distillery, near the mouth of Keeler's Creek, now Colborne harbour.
Joseph A KEELER, son of the "first settler," was the founder of Colborne. He was merchant, postmaster, Justice of the Peace and at that time the most important personage in the locality. He laid out a public square and gave free sites to different churches, built the first flour and saw mills at Norwood and also at Casteton, Cramahe.The present (1878) Mr. Joseph KEELER, the grandson of the "first settler," represented East Northumberland from 1867 to 1873 in the Dominion Parliament; established the first newspaper and printing office at Colborne; is a Major in the Militia and owns a large amount of property in the locality. The port is an important shipping port. There are two wharves owned respectively by Mr. KEELER and Mr. CAMPBELL.The CAMPBELLs are also early settlers and amongst other names to whom grants of land were made along the lake shore, were those of RICHARDSON, SCRIPTURE, BEATTIE, COOPER, BRISTOL, SHAW, O'BRIEN, BRUNSON, TURNEY, MERRIMAN, MCDONALD, HALL, OGDEN, ALEYEAR, GOODYEAR, ROGERS, SMITH, BARTLEY, DETLOR, BADGELEY, MCBRIDE, JACOBS, IVES, FRINT,BLAWELT, GOULD, BEACH, CRANDELL, PALMER, ALGERGAFFIELD, and EVERTON.
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The present Mr. KEELER, the grandson of the original locatee, has erected many substantial buildings in the village and lately a public hall adjoining the Standard Bank. The latter was established here in 1873--being the first bank in the place. It is under the management of Mr. J.B. CUMMINS, a careful and popular officer of experience, and does a large business. Mr. Addison VARS, the village clerk, now 51 years of age, was born here, his father having settled in 1824. The family of Mr. GROVER, the registrar, was still earlier.
Mr. Adam KING, who married a daughter of Joseph ASH, is another old citizen, as were the FRASERs and STEELEs. Some of the latter are carrying on a large business in Oshawa and Toronto. Mr. KEELER established the first paper in Colborne--the Transcript, and the young STEELEs subsequently, the Watchman--afterwards, the Express, for several years owned and edited by Mr. KEYS.
Mr. JOSEPH A. KEELER established the first post office in 1815, on the opening of a small store. Lumber and grain are the principal exports; there is also quite a trade in white poplar wood, which is shipped to the States for the manufacture of paper. Besides the bank and registry office for the East Riding of Northumberland, Colborne has some good stores and several well built churches. The latter include, Presbyterian [stone], built in 1830; Church of England [frame], built in 1844, and two Wesleyan Methodist and Methodist Episcopal [brick churches], erected respectively in 1862 and 1869. The united grammar and school buildings are substantially built of brick and are creditable to the locality. Colborne is a port of entry, a station on the Grand Trunk Railway, and as daily mail and telegraphic communications. There are two masonic lodges and a chapter in the village. Two grist mills and tanneries are amongst the manufactures in the neighborhood.
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Palmer CRANDELL and his brother, the Reverend Reuben CRANDELL, came to Cramahe Township from Prince Edward County, Upper Canada in 1796. On 17 June 1797 the Crown granted each of them 200 acres in the second concession. Palmer's property consisted of lot 29, and Reuben's land comprised all of lot 28. By 1 May 1799 they had each cleared about 10 acres on their land. (Part of the land later became the Village of Colborne.)
Palmer and his wife, Deborah (PALMER), resided in Cramahe throughout their marriage, living on the land Palmer obtained in 1797. Palmer also owned 200 acres on lot 15 and 100 acres on lot 28 in the 3rd concession of Cramahe Township. He was listed on censuses for that township almost every year from 1803 through 1841.
During the War of 1812, Palmer served against the United States as a private in the First Regiment of the Northumberland Militia. He also took part in the transportation of "Government stores" (supplies) between Kingston, York (Toronto), and Burlington, Upper Canada.
Palmer spent most of his life as a farmer and was classified as a "yeoman" (a freeholder of a class below the gentry). He and his first wife, Deborah, were very active in the Baptist Church of Cramahe. Palmer was sent as a delegate on several occassions to other church associations. In 1847 Palmer joined to Baptist Church of Haldimand (which his brother, Rev. Reuben Crandell, founded in 1798). (Reuben later moved west to Aylmer, Elgin Co, Ontario).
Palmer and his wife, Deborah, had 15 children, many of whom later moved to the United States: Hannah, John Vincent, Stephen P., Jeremiah, James, Elizabeth, Joseph, Sarah M., Charlotte Mary, Salmon P., Hiram, Harriet, Reuben A., Julia Ann, and Emily.
Palmer was born 12 May 1772 in Dutchess Co, New York (his parents are a mystery!). He died 23 January 1856 in Haldimand Township, and is buried in Salem Cemetery, located at Salem Corners, Cramahe Township, Northumberland Co, Ontario. His first wife, Deborah, died 23 June 1828, also in Cramahe Township. Both of their names are on the same marker in Salem Cemetery.
William B. EDWARDS and his family lived in Cramahe Township between 1851 and 1881. They were barrel coopers and farmers.
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