The loyal, flourishing village of Omemee is situated in the fertile township of Emily, on the bands of Pigeon River, a stream flowing in two branches from Manvers Township in Durham, and united a few miles southwest of Omemee. The river flows northeasterly to Pigeon lake, and is navigable up to Omemee.
In 1816 a large number of north of Ireland loyal yeomanry with their families settled and established the village of Omemee. Among the foremost of these hardy settlers was Mr. Morris Cottingham. His family then consisted of his wife and two sons. He built the first house in Victoria County, where the Methodist church in Omemee now stands. Beneath the shadow of the lofty spire of that beautiful edifice, marked by a weather-worn and crumbling tombstone the dust of Morris Cottingham has rested for more than half a century.
Other settlers soon came into Emily, among them the Fee, Laidley, Thornton, Mitchell, Jackson, English, Trotter, Dixon, Stephenson, McQuade, Adams, Knowlson, Davidson, Corneil, Rea, McNeely, Hartley, Grandy, Sherwood, Curry, Evans, Robinson, Balfour, Grandy, Lamb, McCrea, Redmond, Hanna, Sanderson, Morrison, Neal, Irons, Ivory, Norris, Matchett, Beatty, Johnson and other families, many of whose worthy scions are among the staunchest loyalists in Canada to-day. Of the original or first colony Mr. James Laidley and Mr. James Fee are the chief representatives. They still look back with pride and pleasure on the distant past, and many a pleasant story is told of the early days.
In 1826 the first church, Anglican, was built, but before that date Rev. Mr. Thompson, the pioneer clergyman of Cavan, conducted divine service for many years. This reverend gentleman, father of Joseph Thompson Esq., reeve of Dalton, of David Thompson Esq., of Valentia, and of another son in Verulam, was one of the most accomplished scholars of the time. He was especially skilled in classics, and his Latin and Greek lexicons and standard works still preserved in the family are the very best. On the completion of the church, Rev. M. Street of Cobourg, became the resident clergyman.
About that time the Cottinghams build fine flour and lumber mills, and conducted an extensive business until a few years ago.
In 1837 a large body of yeomanry under command of the late Christopher Knowlson saw frontier service. Omemee and Emily loyalists have ever retained the patriotic spirit that fired their early ancestors in Ireland. To-day no more loyal race can be found. The late John and Christopher Knowlson founded the first apothecary shop in Victoria County at Omemee.
During the next decade the grammar school was erected and Rev. Mr. Ewing began preaching in the Presbyterian Church, where he still conducts service. The grammar school graduates are scattered over Canada, Australia, United States, Great Britain and China, where "Formosa" McKay has laboured as missionary so many years.
The Cottingham family is scattered but many worthy sons of noble sires remain in the old county.
County Treasurer Thos. Matchet, ex M.P.P, resided for many years in Omemee, where he still retains his property.
Mr. W. Beatty of Toronto is another old settler.
Among the illustrious dead of Omemee may be named, W. Cottingham, Samuel Cottingham, Dr. Irons, Major Knowlson, W. Curry, W. Neal, D. Thornton, Dr. Smithett, Col. Davidson, Dr. Norris, Alex Redmond, Henry English, Andrew English, James English, Edward Hanna, Joseph Sanderson, Charles Corneil, Adam Thornton, Wm. Thornton, W. Rea, John McNeely, Frank Adams, Thomas Evans, and others.
However, the same fires as glowed in the bosoms of the veterans are found in the hearts of their children.
Dr. Curry of Minden, is son of W. Curry deceased.
Mesars. Geo. And W. Hale, the gentlemanly enterprising editors and proprietors of the Orillia Packet were former citizens of Omemee, and learned the business in the Omemee "Warder;" for THE WARDER was first set up in Omemee, Mesars. Cottingham, Irons, Stephenson, McQuade and others, owning it as a stock company.
The Knowlsons of Lindsay are relatives of Omemee's old loyalists.
Lient. Thornton shows in his military zeal the spirit of his loyalist ancestors.
Arthur McQuade ex-M.P., lives to give tangible expression of his love of British liberty, and he has not neglected the education of his children who follow worthily in his footsteps. His son T. H. McQuade Esq., is reeve of Emily, and a thorough loyalist, as are all the McQuades.
Col. Davidson, recently dead, was father of Mrs. W. S. Russell of Lindsay, and Mrs. Bradburn of Omemee. He is said to have been a splendid specimen of British gentleman and soldier.
Thos. Stephenson Esq., *( my GGrandfather - Michael Stephenson) lives yet, as ardent a lover of liberty as ever. He "faced the music" in defence of civil and religious liberty on more than one occasion when it was threatened both in Victoria and in Peterborough.
Mr. Grandy is said to be the oldest postmaster in Canada.
Isaac McNeely, merchant and contractor, is son of the worthy gentleman of that name, one of the earliest settlers.
The English families still have many descendants in various parts of Victoria.
The Cornell family is also well and worthily represented in various parts of Victoria. Mr. David Cornell of Ops, is still alive and one of the oldest and most respected settlers.
The Rea family also is to the fore in large numbers, Reaboro bearing the name. The present members reflect credit on their ancestors.
The Fees of Emily and Lindsay are offshoots of the old Irish loyalist. Lindsay's, "Thomas" is a son.
Frank Adams died while crossing the ocean from a visit to his native land some years ago. He left behind him a fine family of whom William Adams, of Emily, a councillor, president of agricultural society and past county orange master, is one son. Mr. John Adams of Lindsay is the youngest.
Capt. Evans of Omemee company, senior member of the firm Evans & Redpath, is descendant of another early settler.
As a business centre Omemee is the metropolis for Emily, and parts of Cavan, Manvers and Ops townships. The Pigeon river here forms on one of
THE FINEST WATER PRIVILEGES
in Canada, and it is utilized in flour, carding and lumber mills, the property of Mr. Thos. Stephenson Esq. Mr. Stephenson is one of the oldest settlers and besides owning the mills of the village has several fine farms in the neighbourhood.
The river is spanned by a fine
ERECTED BY THE County of Victoria. This joins the two parts of Omemee. On the east side are
And extensive manufactory. Mr. Geo. Lamb is proprietor, and has for partner his son John, a former active member of the 45th Battalion. There are employed in the tannery from ten to twelve men, and the leather there made bears a good name in the large markets. Large quantities of hides are annually imported, in addition to local purchases.
The pump factory of Mr. John R. Mitchell giving employment to three hands is also on the east side. "Mitchell's pumps" are known and valued in Victoria.
W. Sherwood and Son, boot and shoe dealers conduct a large business, their handiwork giving universal satisfaction. Mr. Sherwood rejoices in a remarkable able family. Harry, his partner, is on of those who loyally marched to the front during the rebellion of 1885, and earned laurels as bugler for the gallant Midlanders. One of Toronto's superior artists is another son. His portraits have earned for Mr. Sherwood a name beyond borders of his native province. Another son had by dint of energetic, persevering study pushed himself on as an educationist, he having taken a high stand in Trinity University and being a successful teacher.
An important individual in all communities always is the village clerk. This person in Omemee is a worthy gentleman George Balfour, son of Mr. Gabriel Balfour, one of the oldest and best respected residents. Mr. George Balfour is also real
estate agent, bailiff, builder and contractor.
Mr. E. Finney is a general agent for various establishments, and is reliable.
Mr. W. Mulligan preserves the time honoured trade of weaver. Women are still living who in Ontario remember the days when no young girl was considered marriageable who had not her linens and woollens all ready of her own spinning and weaving. How would that rule catch the girls of to day?
The masonry and bricklayers are well and worthily represented by James McCaffery, John McNeely, and Andrew McNeely, all good citizens.
Mr. Gabriel Balfour is a skilful woodworker, and reflects credit on the name.
Mr. James Johnston believes in vegetable diet. He is a gardener and raises good produce.
Mr. Thomas Rowan, a wealthy farmer lives retired on the east side and spends his days in peace.
The handsome private residence of Mr. Thomas Stephenson is on the east side just on the riverbank.
The English church, of which the late Rev. Dr. Smithett was pastor, stands also on the east side. The cemetery is over the hills two miles or more eastward.
The Salvation Army Barracks are on the main road near the Church of England.
THE FLOUR MILL
is leased from Mr. Thomas Stephenson by Messrs. John Beatty and his son Thomas. They have the reputation of being good millers.
WEST OF THE RIVER,
The woollen mill is leased by
Thos. Ivory & Sons,
who also do a large trade in general dry goods, millinery, boots and shoes, groceries, etc., etc. They do custom carding, spinning and weaving. With Mr. Ivory are his three sons, Charles, Thomas and Fred, all steady pushing young men. A large portion of Ivory and Sons trade comes from Manvers, the firm having formerly resided at Lotus and being well liked there. Their place of business is west of the river.
The lumber mill is managed by Mr. Thos. Stephenson himself, he employing competent men to run it.
Opposite Evans and Redpath's foundry, machine shops and fire-engine works is the office of James Thornton, who is division court clerk, real estate agent, insurance agent for fire and life companies, and a commissioner for taking affidavits etc. Mr. Thornton is lieutenant in Omemee Company 45th battalion and a leader in social and literary life in the village.
Mr. Isaiah Wilson keeps the hotel also opposite Evans and Redpath's foundry. It is the former Blackwell house.
Geo. Clement, carpenter and builder, resides near the river, as does also Mr. J. J. Lang an enterprising farmer who combines village and country life.
Mr. E. C. Williamson,
one of the leading merchants has a fine store where he sells, retail and wholesale, harnesses boots and shoes, leather goods, etc., etc. He also devotes leisure time to the culture of bees, and annually sells quantities of honey. Mr. Williamson is an old and highly esteemed citizen.
Mr. W. Miller successfully conducts a large clothing and merchant tailoring business. He employs four hands; does good work and is accumulation wealth.
The first Sylvester binder sold in Emily was by Mr. W. Spence. He has some farms of his own. These are rented, and Mr. Spence devotes his leisure time to supplying the loyal yeomanry of Emily with the various and valuable farming implements and machinery manufactured by Sylvester Bros., Lindsay. Their Light Steel Binder last year gave every satisfaction so Mr. Spence is welcomed among his customers. For 1889 he will have Cavan Township added to his territory.
Dr. Thompson, late of Bobcaygeon, occupies the stand of the late respected Dr. Morris. He sells drugs and druggists' sundries, as well as practices medicine. Years ago Dr. Thompson and the writer were schoolmates in Toronto, and enjoyed many a tussle on the football field. He drifted to medicine and seeks to preserve physical vigour; we took to quill driving, and seek to develop the mental faculties.
Mr. E. Scarlett keeps a fine drug store where general sundries, stationery, etc., are also in stock. The great Northwestern telegraph office is also in the store. Mr. Scarlett is son of the veteran school inspector of Northumberland County.
Mr. John Tisdale,
is west of Scarlett's drug store. This is a very neat well-kept store and displays a careful, enterprising proprietor.
The Omemee Herald, with articles "short spicy and saucy" comes next, Mr. J. A. Calder, the genial editor and proprietor is a good citizen. Formerly he resided at Fenelon Falls where he married the daughter of Mr. Hand of the Fenelon Falls Gazette, and grand daughter of the old veteran teacher Mr. J. O'Leary of Lindsay, Mr. Calder edits a very neat, newsy paper, and is always fair, ever hitting above the belt.
One of the oldest establishments in Omemee is the general store of
Mr. W. Curry.
Dry goods, millinery, boots and shoes, etc., are the staples kept in stock. The firm name until recently was W. Curry and Son, but the senior member and father recently died leaving Mr. W. Curry proprietor. However, Miss Curry renders invaluable assistance in the business.
Mr. J. McCrea conducts a large furniture, and undertaking business. Considerable furniture is manufactured by Mr. McCrea, who bears a good name not only as a skilled workman, but also as an honourable citizen.
Farther west Mr. M. J. Waugh keeps a very neat grocery store. He also has the office of the Canadian Pacific railway telegraph, and can send messages to all parts of Canada and the United States. Mr. Waugh's business is increasing.
Mr. A. E. Byres, traveler for Spooner & Co of Port Hope, resides near by. He sells copperine, oils &c., &c., and is a popular commercial traveler.
Mrs. English, wife of one of the old residents lives in this part of the village also. With her are her daughter-in-law and son, Mrs. and Mr. Sam. English. The latter is general agent for fruit trees, monuments, and tombstones. &C. He is an efficient member of the Active Militia, having served many years in the 45th battalion.
Mr. George English runs a carriage, wagon and general blacksmith business and is reputed to do good work.
Mr. John English is a well-known house carpenter, his handiwork being visible all over the district.
The residence of Dr. Cornwall, the popular reeve of the village, is situated on the main street. The office is in the same building. Dr. Cornwall is the senior physician of the village, and has a large practice. He makes an efficient municipal officer either for village or country.
The residence of Mr. Robert Gardiner, general agent, is west of Dr. Cornwall's.
Mr. George Edwards, the popular agent of the Grand Trunk railway, resides towards the western part of Main Street, as does also Mr. Thomas Robinson, a wealthy retired farmer.
The Presbyterian Church stands near this part of the village, the lot having been given by the old Midland Railway Company. Rev. Mr. Ewing of Mount Pleasant, a few miles to the east, in Cavan, is the pastor, and has been such for forty years. He is still vigorous and popular.
On the western bank of Pigeon River, south of Main Street, stand the splendid machine shops of Evans & Redpath. They manufacture
THE FINEST HAND FIRE ENGINES
yet invented, many of which are in use in various towns and villages throughout Canada. The firm also makes ploughs, land rollers, harrows, plough points, steam boilers for cheese factories, saw or shingle mills, or machinery of any kind, engines, &c. &c. Repairing is also done. The chief skilled mechanics are James Evans and J. Redpath, proprietors, both being practical men; A. Redmond, foreman; J. Johnson moulder; W. McCrea, engineer; George Clemet, woodworker; C. Holmes, lathe; W. Dornan, blacksmith; T. Evans, repairer. Capt. Evans is commanding officer of No. 4, Omemee Co. 45th battalion, and makes a most efficient officer. It may be mentioned that their hand fire engines are in use in Hagersville, Jarvis, Hastings, Omemee, Bobcaygeon, Wallaceburg, &c. &c.; and everywhere are giving success.
Thomas Alexander MacPherson, * (my GGrandfather - Michael Stephenson) general merchant and baker, presents a cut of his building. The inside looks better than the outside.
Mr. James Ivory, nephew of Mr. Thos. Ivory, keeps a fine assortment of stoves and tin ware. His store is west of Evans & Redpath's foundry, and Mr. Ivory is a good workman.
The oldest resident is said to be the obliging postmaster, Mr. R. Grandy. He has long been postmaster, and township clerk, and in both positions gives general satisfaction. Mr. Grandy is a model citizen.
His son Mr. Richard Grandy is a general fire and life insurance agent, commissioner for taking affidavits, etc. He is a good businessman.
Perhaps the most popular citizen, yet the most unassuming is
Mr. Isaac McNeely.
He keeps a large double store where are sold hardware, crockery, dry goods, groceries, etc., etc. Mr. McNeely is treasurer of the municipality. He is partner in the contraction firm of McNeely and Walters, in which Lindsay's reeve Mr. H. Walters, is associated. Mr. McNeely has thoroughly modern ideas of heating and ventilation, and practically applies one of his ideas in his stores.
The old corner hotel where the once familiar form of John Young was wont to be seen, stands vacant, a sign of the decreasing bibulosity of the district.
Mr. Joseph Beatty keeps a large flour, feed and grain store for Mr. J. G. Massey. Mr. Beatty is ever ready to oblige a customer and does a large trade.
Another familiar landmark is Clark's hotel, kept by the well-known W. Clark. There rest, food and refreshments for man a beast can be had at reasonable rates. Mr. J. English assists in the management, while the redoubtable Mark Robinson superintends the stables.
Mr. D. Minn's harness and saddlery shop is west of Clark's hotel. Mr. Minn's keeps a good stock on hand and does a good trade.
Geo. Morrison and Son are dealers n grain. The son, Mr. John Morrison is an ex-lieutenant of Omemee Company.
Mr. S. Lamb keeps a large butcher shop. He also runs the livery stables of the village. The bus is never late for the train, though the train may be late for the bus. Mr. Lamb does a stirring business.
Mr. T. J. Parsons keeps a large grocery store on the main street. He also sells pains oil, etc., and does painting. He has recently erected a fine new store.
so well and favourably known stands on the corner of the main streets. It is a white brick hotel, with veranda and balcony. This hotel is a model of cleanliness and neatness. Mr. Bradburn, son of the late hostess, ably assisted by his wife, nee Miss Blackwell, manages the business. A better table, cleaner or comfortable rooms or better attendance would be hard to find. A nice lawn lies to the west, which is open to guests.
Bradburn's Opera House, owned by the hotel proprietor is immediately adjoining on the main street. It is well fitted up.
The Methodist church, a handsome edifice, stands next. The pastor is Rev. W. Johnston, one of the largest hearted, clearest headed members of the conference. He is assisted by an able young gentleman Rev. Mr. Spence, brother of Mr. Frank Spence, editor of the Canada Citizen of Toronto. The parsonage adjoins the church.
Dr. Gerow, veterinary surgeon, resides next to the west. He is reputed to be a successful surgeon and has a large practice.
W. Cunningham does a general blacksmith business, and is giving satisfaction to his customers.
On Sturgeon street Mrs. Marr keeps a neat grocery.
Mr. A. Laidley manufactures and sells boots and shoes.
Mr. C. Laidley keeps a large general store, telephone office and express office. He also is engaged in the grain trade.
Mr. J. Sheridan makes and sells boots and shoes of superior quality.
Mr. Thomas Kennedy is well known as a good general blacksmith.
Mr. Hart Williams is a mason and bricklayer.
Mr. Samuel English is the inventor and maker of the celebrated grain cradles, barley forks, etc.
Mr. A. Redmond is a skilled machinist.
In grain Messrs. Robert Touchburn, of the firm Touchburn and Preston, of Bethany, Franklin, Omemee and Lindsay, does a large business.
Mr. S. Grandy also buys grain and has a fine storehouse at the station.
Mr. J. Murphy ably assists Mr. Geo. Edwards at the G.T.R. stations.
Mr. John English is a house builder and wagon maker, well known in the village.
The tonsorial artist of Omemee is Tr. Thos. Johnston.
Mr. Henry Toole is dealer in lumber, lath, shingles, telegraph poles, etc., etc. He fills many contracts always as satisfactorily as possible for man to do.
Misses Fee and Tully, and Mrs. Corneil attend to the dressmaking wants of the village.
Mr. W. Neil, blacksmith, lives near the drill shed.
Mr. J. Hannah, cooper, also resides near the drill shed.
Mr. Geo. Moreton is one of the oldest Orangemen in America. He follows gardening for a living.
The public school on George Street is presided over by Mr. Jos. Sheppard, ably assisted by Miss Daisy Stephenson and Miss Lough.
The high school has for headmaster Mr. McGregor, and for assistant Mr. Orr. This school and village in the past have produced many famous men, the renowned missionary to Formosa McKay, being an old Omemee high school boy.
The Board of Education consists of Thomas Stephenson, chairman; I McNeely, J. McCrea, T. W. Dodds, S. English, W. Curry, secretary; Geo. Lamb, T. Laidley, Thos. Robinson, E. Laidley, W. R. Lang.
The village council is: -
Dr. V. E. Cornwall, reeve; Capt. Evans, Geo. Lamb, Thos. Stephenson and John McCrea.
There is a nice orange hall in the village, two orange lodges, one Orange Young Britons' lodge, and a lodge of orange boys, in all four.
There is a good Masonic lodge and hall also.
The village hall is a modest brick building.
The drill shed and armouries of No. 5 Co., Capt. Evans, are near the school buildings. Emily Agricultural Society uses it for show purposes in the fall.
There is a fine fire hall; hook and ladder company, and a "lock-up." Chief Constable and auctioneer, Mr. Thos. Mitchell.
Mr. T. W. Dodds is an extensive dealer in eggs and poultry.
Mr. J. Wrist, butcher, serves fresh meats to the villagers and any others wanting it.
FURTHER REMINISCENCES - Letter re Omemee History 1888
Sir, - As a native of Omemee I was pleased in reading your sketch of Omemee to find so great prominence given to the loyal pioneers of that place. The early history of that and other places in Canada is being lost by the death of the pioneers without leaving any record of their hardships, privations, perseverance and successes. Could not the newspaper, by its powerful activity, bring about the formation of a pioneer association to preserve and rescue from oblivion what yet remains of these valuable reminiscences, as footprints which may encourage others to emulate the virtues of our sturdy, loyal patriotic and industrious sires.
I am under the impression that the bones of Maurice Cottingham were removed to the new cemetery and there rest beside those of his son William, for several years warden of Peterborough and Victoria, and Samuel, a well known character in the early history of "Cottingham's village," Metcalfe or Omemee. It was proposed to call the place Mauriceville out of compliment to this pioneer, but the pretty and appropriate Indian name for pigeon- the name of the river- was adopted instead, at the instance of Mr.-now Judge Benson, of Port Hope. Probably the only remains not removed from the Methodist churchyard at the time when the new church was built were those of Anna Hughes, first wife of the late Charles Hale, and his infant son Charles Eugene, born of his second wife, Anna Sophia Jellet, widow of the late Thos. Valentine Tupper, mother of R. L. Tupper Esq., late chief of Provincial police, Winnipeg, and of Mrs. M. H. Thompson, Aurora.
I was told by the late Hiram Ash, first settler at Cold Springs, a native of Cobourg, who lived to four score and ten, that for his service in the war of 1812 15 he was granted a lot in the township of Emily; but on the way to it he became discouraged, and meeting a immigrant named Fee at Millbrook, he sold the patent to him for $20 and returned to Cobourg, where he purchased the farm he subsequently resided on from "old Zach. Burnham" for $7 per acre, and had to clear it. Was this immigrant James Fee, - whom I am very glad to read is yet living- or one of his brothers?
The Rev. Canon Street now resides in Florida with his son-in-law, Mr. C. R. Switzer, whose mother is a daughter of the late Chas. Hale, Sr.
Is not Mrs. James English, Sr., one of the original "early settlers." The late David Armstrong was her brother. Who among Omemee's early sons does not remember "Honest Davy, who ate the meat and left the gravy;" and who "Many's the hour, and many's the minutes, took hot whisky with sugar in it?"
He kept tavern for many years at the "turn" of the roads toward Peterborough and Mount Pleasant. Another popular character was "blind John McQuade," of whom many reminiscences were current a few years ago.
The first military funeral I recollect was that of Ensign Hancock, who carried the King's colours at Lundy's Lane. When last in Omemee I observed the headstone at his grave broken. It should be restored. The firing party was composed of young Orangemen under command of "Tom" Bell, who had served seven years in the regular army, and took his discharge at Montreal. He then went to New York, but Yankee institution and opinion did not suit him. May I hint that if he be still a reader of THE WARDER, Talmage's sermons will not be the portion of its contents which will best suit his views. The publisher of The Dundas Standard, Mr. C. J. Bell, is second son.
I fear the first mill built by the Cottingham's must be regarded as "fine" only by comparison with that in Lindsay, which the settlers stated contained only one wheel. Who the Lindsay miller was I don't know, but I do recollect the late Charles Hale Sr., telling an amused audience of true Irishmen of his first visit to the mill. He enquired who would use such "flour" as it produced, and was rather testily informed that it was "good enough for the Irish."
Was not William Cottingham senior officer to Christopher Knowlson in 1837?
One of the pioneer Methodist missionaries, or "saddlebags," was the Rev. "Daddy" Sanderson, or "Little Peculiarities" as he was called, from his habit of checking those who found fruit with others by remarking, "we all have our little peculiarities." This good man has gone to his reward, but his widow, a sister of John and Christopher Knowlson, was residing in Peterborough not long since, and Miss M. Sanderson of the Barnardo home in that town, is his daughter.
The village school did not aspire to the name "Grammar" till about 1860. But it had some good teachers nevertheless. One of my preceptors there was Mr. Samuel Corneil of Lindsay. Mr. John Hanna is a surviving early pioneer, and I am not sure whether his sister, Miss Mary Ann Hanna is yet alive. If so, both could relate much worth recording. By the way, the latter was a witness for the crown at an assize court once and the lawyer mercilessly insisted that the then crier- Capt. Henry Hughes, late quartermaster of the 45th- should not pronounce "Mary Hann Anna."
Mrs. Russell of Lindsay is a Dixon, not a Davidson. Her sister was wife of Mr. Rich. Davidson, a son of the gallant Colonel. The later told me that he was for a time in the mess with the officer who exclaimed "up, guards, and at them!" when the Iron Duke gave the historic command, "let the whole line advance." I do not remember hearing the officer's name.
I cannot at the present recall the name of the first settler in the township- always designated "the King of Emily."
Wm. Sherwood Sr. took my "measure" once, and I told him I wanted him to give me a good pair of boots. "By the hokey, I'll do so," was the reply; and I am of opinion I never got so good a pair since.
The Salvation Army barracks is the old town hall, used for some time as a schoolhouse after the log building was either uninhabitable or too "strait" for the requirements of the rising generation. I suppose no vestige of the old distillery remains? It was in operation when the school houses was struck by lightning, but there was no connection between the circumstances, I believe, when the heavy plate on the back wall of the barracks was being lifted into position the scaffolding broke. Mr. Wm. Matchett observed it first, jumped, and escaped unhurt. The others were all more or less injured. Dr. Irons was carried into Mr. Cottingham's house; one man with his upper lip split in two was washed at Blackwell's pump. Mr. Neal Sr., was there, also severely shaken. Messengers were sent to Cavan, and I think Lindsay, for medical aid. Nobody was killed, though how they escaped being crushed by the heavy stick is a marvel. We were on our way to school when the break occurred, and there were many "lates" that afternoon. The original "Blackwell House," or "Metenma hotel," was across the lane from the barracks.
Commodore Blackwell, John Goodliffe, Gen. Beatty- and educated carpenter who died very suddenly one New Year's eve, and whose son is now miller- Widow Blackwell, Glass, Jen. and Thom Ivory, Marr, Grundy, and a score of other names call up reminiscences enough to employ my pen all night. But your compositors will doubtless cry, "hold! Enough." Joe Tuell and Bill Winters were early typographic artists. "Old Own," the faithful retainer of Dr. Irons offended at something Tuell said or wrote, apostrophized. Him thus:
"There came to this town'
From the precincts of hell,
A journeyman printer
By name Joseph Tuell"
There; I'm done! Good night and good
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