The Township of Murray is bounded on the north by Seymour; west by Brighton, and east by the township of Sidney, county of Hastings. The post-office villages in Murray (1878) are, Wooler, Stockdale, Rosa and Carrying Place. The land is principally rolling; timber, hard wood and pine mixed. The population is principally native Canadians. The township was one of the earliest settled by U. E. Loyalists.
On the 1st concession grants were made to many of the foregoing, and also to R. I. D. CRAIG, Beaford CROWFORD, Hazelton SPENCER, Samuel SUNDERBECK and others.
We also find many of the same names as grantees of lands in the 2nd concession; also Robert James SMITH, William FAIRCHILD, Alex HARROW, Capt. DeSORONTYON, Samuel WINTERBOTTOM, Thos. GAINFORT, Chris. GERMAN, Isaac HILL, John THOMSON, Matthew GOSLER, Wm. FRASER, Alex CLERK, Moses MCPHERSON.
On the 3rd concession and northwards, the early grantees are the ALLANs, CARTWRIGHTs, ROBINSONs, HILLs, FRASERs, GILBERTs, MAYBEEs, THOMSONS, and other favored mortals of the day; also Ichabod SQUIRE, Rueben HUGHES, Francis KEIF, John SEGAR, Wm. FOX, George ENGLE, Ben CLAPP, Peter VALEAN, Nich. WESSELS, Lot HAZARD, Samson STRIKER, Mary and Samuel BROCK, Hy ZIMMERMAN, Jas. NORTH, Wm. WRIGHT, Daniel WRIGHT, Jos. HAIGHT, R. BEDELL, Gilbert Philip DORLAND, Michael SLOAT, Enoch KSMANS, Martin VAN BLARCOUM, Isaac DERVILL, John ARTHUR, C. HARRISON, Daniel STEEL, Cyrus RICHMOND, John ALLAN, A. ROSS, Frederick MINIDER, James YOUNG, Isaac SECOR, Donald MCCAMMON, Wm. CUNNINGHAM, Peter SCHULZ, James JOHNSON, A. STORM, Jesse POTTER, Jonas SMITH, Mary LUDWIG, E. MCCRIMMON, Nicholas KRAIGLE, Wm. HARRISON, Isaac PRESTON, Peter FREEL, Robert MIDDLETON, Stephen TORRINGTON, Arthur YEOMANS, E. BIRD, Michael MCCARTY, Elizabeth ZUFELT, John RYCKMAN, Elizabeth JEROLAMY, Bernard COLE, Jacob RUTTAN, James BLAKELEY, John HOUSEGNER, Jas. MCNUTT, J. MCALPINE, Samuel ROSEBUSH, Andrew LOT, Chas. MCNULTY, James WARD, Capt. John GRIFFITH, Wm. MITCHELL, Elizabeth HANNAH, Mary WALLBRIDGE, Jno. FRIER, Lieut. COLDWELL, D'Arcy BOULTON.
On the western side of Carrying Place grants were made to Asa WELLER, Matthew GOSLER, Stephen YOUNG, John ALYRA, Henry RIDNER, Chas. WILKINS, Peter CHRISTIE, Isaac JOHNSON, Robert WILKINS, Jonathan WALTON and Abraham LAWSON. Asa WELLER kept a tavern at Carrying Place and also a sled and oxen, with which he conveyed passengers up the Lake Shore. Many setlers from the Bay of Quinte, after a short stay at the latter, took up holdings along the Lake Shore in Northumberland. Hugh MCQUOID is a prominent farmer and settled many years ago. He has been reeve of the township, and is a J.P. Col. BULLOCK was another old settler who drew considerable land in Murray. Major BULLOCK of Brighton and Charles BULLOCK, residing in the township, are both sons of the original grantee. They are of Irish descent. Asa WELLER is dead long since and is represented by a son, Robert living at the Trent. Descendants of Peter MAYBEE still reside in the north of Murray, as do families of the WESSELS, early settlers. Thomas SMITH, an old settler, who used to keep a tavern, died several years ago. Cyrus RICHMOND is still living at Halton, upwards of 55 years of age; his sons own sawmills and plaster mills back of Brighton. The FLINDALLs were an English family who were amongst the first settlers. George and Stephen have farms and also run the brewery at Trenton. There is what is called the English settlement in the 2nd concession, where some of the PILKEYs, LOVATTs and POWERS reside. Several of the SANDFORDs and ALLARDs, descendants of the original grantees at Hemlock Bridge. Peter VALEAU, one of the original grantees, a French Canadian, now upwards of 90, still survives. There are several of the GOULDs, of the BROCKs, and descendants of David IRELAND still in Murray. Descendants of the HARVEYs own and farm lands of their ancestors on the 2nd concession. There are numerous members of the POTTS family also engaged in farming; John and Robert are the best known. There are several of the METCLFES and MCQUAIGs both in Murray and Brighton on the lands down by the original grantees of that name. One of the SHERWOODs keeps the lighthouse. Wooler village on the 5th concession, where the Town Hall is built, has many of the old settlers in the neighborhood, amongst them the GANSTORTs, one of whom, James, keeps the Post-office. There are a large number of the Germans, of the family of old settlers. Old Peter MAYBEE, now upwards of 80, still survives, and there are several of his descendants engaged in farming. The CLARKs are still farmers at what is now called Codrington. The SQUIRES are numerous about the village of Brighton, as are the SEGARs on the Lake Shore. J. WRIGHT, one of the old family of that name, born in the township, lives at Brighton; others of the family live at Newcomb's Mills.
James STRIKER, on Presque Isle Point, is the son of the original grantee. There are lots of WESSELS at Wooler, and HAZARDs still farther back. The DORLANDs removed to Percy, engaged in milling. The ARTHURs are numerous through both Murray and Brighton Townships.
YOUNGS are still plentiful in Murray; one Stephen, was Reeve of the township not long since. There are Lots of POTTERs, and a number of COLEs about Codrington, all farmers of respectability. John WILKINS, a son of the old commissary of that name, still resides at Brighton village. Captain Robert WILKINS obtained large grants, and deservedly. He had raised a company in the beginning of the war of 1812. When appointed chief commissary, he asked for written instructions and authority that he might not be hindered in his work -- that militia colonels and sub-officers should yield to his demand for men to act as batteaux men, or do any other required duty to impress conveyances. He was asked if he was ready to set out in a day or two -- the reply was " I will start in half an hour." " The devil you will, " said the commandant. " So much the better. " And Captain WILKINS quickly wrote his resignation as Captain of the company, settled his hotel bill, and was on his way up the Bay the same day. He established an agency first, and his headquarters afterwards at the carrying place. Commissary WILKINS had many difficulties to contend with as might well be supposed. There was a disposition amongst many to hold over the provisions required until enhanced prices were obtained. For pork worth $14 a barrel, $20 was asked. The result was " a half martial law " by which provisions, wherever found, could be taken at a fair valuation.
Col. WILKINS, however, performed the arduous service undertaken by him with much consideration, and by this conciliatory manner succeeded in getting most of the supplies he wanted at a fair price.
John M. LAWSON, [commonly called John 'Muscrat"] is one of the few survivors of Commissary WILKINS' band. He resides on what is known as the Lawson Settlement, two miles east of Brighton,
And his descendants are well-to-do farmers. John M. is one of the 1812 men who draws his pension. When at Cobourg last summer he stumped any man present to run him a foot race for the amount of the pension. Matthew, the father, deceased, took up 200 acres in Murray, to John M. and his brothers succeeded. The present man was drafted several times. On the last occasion he was drafted both for batteaux and military service, and to escape imperilment on the latter, swam from Presque Isle Point, a distance of three miles and joined the batteaux men.
Joseph GIBSON, a still older man, is also an 1812 veteran, and goes to Cobourg for the annual $20. Both tell wonderful stories of their early exploits, and the wonderful changes that have taken place around them since the time of their boyhood, when they had daily and nightly encounters with bears and wolves, which then infested the township of Murray in large numbers. LAWSON says it was quite a common occurrence in company on the march , leisurely eating beech-nuts as they went along. He also says he spent only 25 cts for medical assistance in the course of his life, and that was to draw a tooth; that he never sued a man, and was only sued once in his lifetime. Both also well remember Col. ROGERS, who was the first judge of the District Court, and Capt. SULLICK. These latter, with Mr. THOMPSON, Mr. WARD and others, sold out when they found that Presque Isle Point was not likely to become the flourishing capital of Canada, which they at one time designed.
There are three other 1812 men in Murray -- Samuel DOCKSTATER, John COLBY, and Joseph TALMAGE. The two former get the tardy $20 annual, while TALMAGE, who is a United States pensioner, receives $8 a month. The old men think it hard that they should receive worse treatment as British soldiers, than the United States Government accords its citizen soldiers. Of the veterans who drew pensions a year ago or so, there have since died off no fewer than eleven from this district--they are, John MCCARY, Ebenezer PERRY, Angus CHISHOLM, Van VALTENBURGH, Gilbert WELLER, Joseph JOHNSTON, Henry JOHNSTON, Peter DEMPSEY, Isaac DEMPSEY, Joseph MORDEN, Cornelius HOIK.
Edward GOODYEAR, one of the canoe men who conveyed Prince Edward, Duke of Kent [the Qeen's father], up the lake, was long a resident of Murray. It is remembered that Prince and suite put in at Presque Isle Point. They stopped at Herriman's on the Lake Shore, and had dinner. Pancakes were brought to table, but there were no plates to replace those used in the first course. The Prince is represented to have deftly turned his plate upside down, and so eaten his pancakes off the back of his plate.
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