Our Clarke Families


The Jacksons, of Leskard, are not represented in the township at the present time by any bearing their name, but they belonged to the old pioneer days, and took their part in the material and moral development of the section. Mark Jackson and Mary Wilson, his wife, came to Canada from Yorkshire in 1846. He brought with him letters of standing in the Wesleyan church, having been for years a member of the class conducted by a well-to-do farmer, William Moon by name, grandfather of Mr. Robert Moon, of Orono. Mark Jackson was born at Eastmoor, and his father was the subject of a poem written by the famous "Bard of the Dales", John Castillo. From this we extract the following: -

"Around his farm, or in his field,

The moor birds hatched and fed;

And when at work the lapwing cried,

And fluttered o'er his head.

While thus his little field he drained,

Or tempered the wild sod,

His household, too, with care were trained

To love and fear their God.

The field, the garden and the tree,

For him their produce bore;

His table, too, the bee supplied

From her delicious store.

The Lord who thus his substance blest,

Did all his wants supply;

And pleasantly to quench his thirst,

A brook ran murmuring by."

The poet then describes his visit to the deathbed of this Christian patriarch, and the conversation that ensued. It would be interesting to reprint the whole, but we must have respect to press limitations. Suffice it to say that Mark Jackson walked in the footsteps of his father, and for many years discharged the functions of a lay preacher in this vicinity.

The Wilson family, of which Mrs. Jackson was a member, belonged to Hillsdale where they resided in a substantial farm-house which was built by the father of the late Mr. Jonathan Tyerman and the late Mr. Rickaby. One of the ancestors of this family, then a young man, happening to see an advertisement in a newspaper to the effect that the Rev. John Wesley, who was on one of his many visits to the north of England, was to preach in Newcastle-on-Tyne, set out on horseback on a journey of sixty miles, with a few friends, to hear him. Under that sermon he was brought in the possession of a new life and he became an active lay preacher; delivering his last sermon in his old age in the year 1806, from the text: "Awake to righteousness and sin not." A singular circumstance is related concerning this early follower of John Wesley. It seems that the household table linen - a heavy item in the economy of an English farmhouse a hundred years ago, when the spinning and weaving were done with the fingers at home - was stolen from the bleaching ground, and there was no clue to the person who held the missing property. The devout farmer sought no witch or magician, but simply fell upon his knees and asked that the thief might be sorely troubled in his mind until he restored the plunder. Shortly afterwards the whole was returned without injury to any single article!

The marriage of Mr. Jackson took place in 1833, thirteen years before they came to Canada. Their first home in this country was near Trickey's Corners, but they subsequently moved to Leskard, where for many years the Jackson homestead was a well known spot. With the removal of William Jackson to the Northwest, however, the place has passed into new hands.

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