Early Days in Enniskillen - Part 1 By an Old Durham Boy

My memory clings more closely, however, to Enniskillen in which I received my early schooling and near which I lived till going out into the world.

The village on a hilltop----to my youthful mind then, a place of great importance. Most of the trades and professions more nearly touching the necessities of the people in village and neighbourhood were well represented---cooper, shoemaker, blacksmith and horseshoer, carpenters and plasterers, carriage and wagon makers, a harness maker or saddler as termed then. A doctor who could pull teeth when required a foundry and machine shop, two stores and three churches. And, as if to vie with churches, there were three taverns or inns, to which the modern term of booze shops could have been aptly applied. A tollgate was on the road running north from village, a Post office, a tailor shop, and a dressmaker and perhaps other useful callings, I do not recall. Oh, yes, there was a photographer and a weaver. Most of those who were then busy and active in the life of the community have long since passed away, as also many of the playmates who never grew to be old.

A thought comes to me, in contrasting those earlier days with the present time of prohibition as to those three taverns or inns, how they existed. There were few travelers to require accommodations, so that the upkeep of the place must have been largely provided for by the sale of liquor. Five cents a glass was the usual price for all kinds of drinks, hard or soft, and the same size glass was used for whiskey as for beer. If a barkeep had placed one of the small modern glasses before a thirsty customer looking for whiskey in those days, would sure have had the glass thrown at him. But whiskey was cheap being often or usually made on the premises. A single gallon of the genuine stuff would serve as a basis; it was said, for at least two barrels suitable for customers.

One of these taverns, at one time, changed owners. The new proprietor was duly initiated into the secret of whiskey making. The old barrel in the cellar which had served its purpose, no doubt, for many years, was replaced by a new one, and the contents which was left in it was emptied in the shed yard. A flock of geese and some hens, which sheltered around there were all killed, poisoned by mistaking the dregs for water. It was a standing joke for some time. But the fate of the fowls had little effect on the thirsty ones, as a warning.

The outline of social conditions so far referred to was as I remember in 1866, and following years. About this date a new schoolhouse had been completed. It was quite a building, too, for the time, large and commodious rooms, desks and everything new from the bell down. The day when school was opened in the new building was given over to speeches by the trustees and other prominent citizens to whom reference may be made later. There was special cause for rejoicing, because there were free schools, recently declared so by law, which relieved parents of children attending school, alone to bear all expenses of teachers’ salary and upkeep of the school.

Previous to the enactment of the law regarding free schools, at each annual school meeting, besides election of trustees, there was voting generally spirited often close and while I do not know if the free school advocates ever lost an election, once or twice I remember the majority was only two votes. There were in the section, then, quite a number of bachelors and others who had no children to send to school, and some of these strenuously objected to help to pay as they said for educating other peoples’ children. Sometimes there was considerable ill feeling shown, at such time of voting on the question of whether the school would be free or not. Happily the law settled this for good and all. It is possible at that time such decisions were voted on as a general thing throughout the country

I think the first teacher in the new school was William Bice. His salary was raised to $400, and caused considerable comment and much criticism, as such a sum was considered large to pay a teacher. In those days there were some people who recognized importance of the common school and worked to promote it. Much credit is due them and many others in later years, whose untiring efforts to improve the public schools throughout the country resulted in the splendid conditions in general of these schools to day.

It was customary then, each year, for schools to hold what was called an examination in early spring, or about the time when a large part of the pupils who only attended in winter, would be leaving school for farm or other work. Parents of pupils were all invited to witness progress made and sometimes teachers from neighbouring schools would attend and assist in the class work. I think, I can recall once at least on such an occasion, the Senior Editor of the Statesman, Mr M. A. James, taking part in such school examination at Enniskillen. He was them a teacher, I believe, in Enfield or at Bradley’s. Mr. Elisha Jessup was our teacher then, a friend and former teacher of Mr. James. Mr Jessup was an excellent teacher and a good citizen. Quite a number of his pupils later took up professional work-some as doctors and others the law-all largely owing to the encouragement and foundation laid by his excellent system of instruction. He taught in Enniskillen a number of years. Leaving there he studied medicine, practicing at Jordan and in St. Catherines, and later represented that riding in Provincial Parliament. I was much shocked at his death. We had corresponded almost continually since the school days.

Just before one of these school examinations a new flag was to be hoisted on the belfry in celebration of the event. A ladder the longest we could find would only reach up to and under the eaves of the 2-½-story school building. The flag was a large one and with staff was somewhat heavy. The writer undertook to mount the flag. Getting up to end of ladder and to push the flag on roof was not so difficult but trouble began as soon as I clambered on the edge of the roof. The shingles were slippery and roof steep. I could not see the ladder while on the roof, hence could not have returned had I wished, so there was nothing else to do but go to the top. I threw off my shoes, and holding on to the flagpole, scrambled up a distance then would slip back. I can well remember thinking that bumping that distance on the hard ground might hurt considerable. Anyway the top was reached at last and the flag put in place.

The only way to get down I could discover, was through the belfry. I managed to remove two or three of the slats from one side and crawled through into the dark interior, and along the sleepers to which the ceiling of the upper class room was attached. A misstep on the laths, and I could have gone through to floor below. I worked my way to upper end to where was a trap hatch, which I removed and could see into the sunshine lighted room below. Some benches and desks the boys piled up enabled me to reach the floor.

That flag remained flung to the breeze for many months, until there was little left of it. I hope whoever mounted the school flag in after years had an easier time at it.

Going back some years, I remember the excitement during the Fenian scare. A company of volunteer militia was raised, with headquarters at Enniskillen. The members of the company were a sturdy lot, many of them six footers and over, most of them from the immediate neighbourhood. The names of some I remember are: Elijah Tole, elder brother of Mr. Levi A. Tole of Bowmanville, Fred and Harry Rogers, W. Dobbin, Robert Irwin, a Mr. Smith a notice of whose death was in The Statesman a few months ago, was a prominent and earnest member-a sergeant.

The drill exercise usually took place in the school ground. Col. Cubitt was in command and came from Bowmanville to drill the men. Sometimes he was assisted by a regular drill sergeant from Kingston.

One of these was a regular martinet and a source of great amusement for the boys and other spectators. He was inclined to stutter when giving orders, particularly when out of temper, which was most of the time.

For instance, he had trouble at first in getting the company to keep in line when marching in column formation. Time and time again he would order them back to original position bawl them out and again instruct them not to move till last word of command was given. In giving command Forward March the sergeant would get the first word all right, but the march would drag out something like M-M-M-R-R-Rch, some would step out before the word was finished. Bill Willis was the funnyman of the Co. and was irrepressible when he felt like talking, while in the ranks. After a number of attempts one time, had failed to get the men off on even step and the usual bawling out administered by the Sergeant, Bill said Sergeant if you would say the last word first we would get along better. This was sure lise majesty to the old drill sergeant, Bill was ordered from the ranks to do some menial service, which pleased him not a little; another time he said Sarge, how the divil can we watch our feet and keep our eyes looking out in front of us?

In those days there was no telegraph not telephone in Enniskillen, and what news we got from day to day from the front, was by the daily mail service from Bowmanville, which reached us about noon with newspaper or the hear say method of communication, often of the most wild and conflicting reports, not of the kind to lessen the keen anxiety of the people. For instance, reports came that the Fenians were crossing by the thousand at Niagara into Canada in addition to those already over; that large numbers of volunteers were killed and wounded, and some towns and cities would likely be taken by the enemy. Then came the report of the fight at Ridgeway and defeat of the Fenians.

In the meantime, the company at Enniskillen having received clothing and supplies was ready for the front and was sent to Bowmanville preparatory for any service required. We youngsters felt sure something would happen to the Fenians if our soldiers once got at them. I do not recall whether they entrained at Bowmanville or remained encamped there. There was trouble reported also in Montreal district of threatened invasion by Fenians and it may have been the authorities were uncertain which direction they should be sent.

The Fenian invasion so called while it did not amount to anything disastrous to Canada yet might have caused serious trouble.

The instigators were a kin to the troublemakers in Ireland now, and their supporters in the U.S. The intense hatred of the Irish Catholics in the U.S. the time seemed opportune to strike England by causing trouble in Canada.

The Civil War was over. The troops near a million had been mustered out. To many soldiers the sudden change from military to civil life was repugnant, and numbers of these men lent ready ears to promises of plunder and excitement offered to join in army of invasion.

Arms and equipment seems to have been easily obtained, and some other army supplies. Buffalo was one of the chief centres of activity, a place of mustering the forces not only because of many sympathizers there, but being near the border permitted of entrance into Canada at different points. Drilling went boldly on, under some U>S. army officers, in several places and no secret made of what all the preparations meant.

Why the U.S. Government permitted all this to go on for months before taking action was a puzzle. It may have been their hands were full in work of pacification of the South after the Civil war, or because it kept a number of discontents busy. Of course, with eyes on Canada they had no time for domestic disturbances, which was no doubt, a great relief to the U.S. Government. But the Fenian trouble was suppressed at last. Large numbers that crossed into Canada surrendered and were made prisoners; many of the ringleaders were rounded up and imprisoned by the U.S. Government.

The Fenian scare was revived some years later, when attempts were made to get into Canada by way of some of the lower provinces.

Early Days in Enniskillen - Part 2 By an Old Durham Boy

The hill on the west of the village-The big hill-we used to call it-with its top almost encroaching on the village square-was the scene of many wild adventures or escapades. It was steeper then than it is now. A team of horses had some work to draw an empty wagon up the hill. The grading done in after years may have remedied this to some extent. But what a hill for coasting in the winter, when snow and ice covered! I well recall the races we had down the hill, the jockeying done for lead in spite of dangerous ditches on either side. There were some accidents, of course-a leg or arm broken now and again but these casualties seemed to add zest to the sport.

Boys who did not have sleds used boards or any old thing that would slide and that they could hold on to. But, oh boy, but to be caught at the foot of that hill when the bell rang for school! Visions of dire punishment as we scrambled for the top, for being late, lent wings to some feet, and lead to others. While the teacher sometimes, overlooked being late when coming from home, no excuses were taken if from the hill. One noon hour we were at the top of the hill with intention of getting to school on time, when someone spied an ancient sleigh in front of the blacksmith shop. The sleigh was of goodly size-ordinarily eight or ten people could ride in it. The body of the sleigh was intact but the tongue had been removed, probably for repairs.

It took only about ten seconds to turn that sleigh around facing the hill, and for the boys to pile in. One of the larger boys named Robert Little perched himself on the high back of the rear seat as he said he could have a better command of the ship by having a clear view ahead. The writer and some others got seats, or rather a place to cling, to, on outside the sleigh on what is now called mudguard on an automobile.

The hill was very slippery and the sleigh soon gathered speed. How it managed, without any guidance whatever to keep in the middle of the road to foot of hill, I never could tell. But it did. As it gained in speed those on the outside began dropping off. We got scared. About half way down I decided to cut loose, and did, oh boy, how I somersaulted after that sleigh! I lit on my head, and lit on my feet, then slid a while on my back, then rolled over and over for a change. As soon as I could, I looked to see what had become of the sleigh. It had just reached the foot of the hill, and made a sudden turn to right, jumped the ditch, and brought up with a good sized bang against the fence. There were about a dozen of the voyageurs left when the cruise terminated. A few were on the bottom and under the seats to wait for what was sure to happen. When the sleigh crashed into the fence the body collapsed, and these fell through and rolled into the ditch. Those on the seats kept going, if the sleigh didn’t. They cleared the fence, landing in deep snow on other side. Bob Little who had maintained his elevated seat, at the rear of the sleigh all the way, was catapulted higher and further than the others. The figure he cut sprawling through the air, arms and legs spread out, vainly clutching for something to hold to, till he disappeared in the snow bank was a sight to remember. I had to roar in spite of my own bruises. Bob said it was his place to go higher and further than the others being in command of the expedition. None were injured to speak of but those of us who quit the rig earlier were somewhat scratched and bruised. We never heard to whom the sleigh belonged-anyway, it remained wedged in the fence. We were a half-hour late for school-whether it was because of the number of late; anyway, we got off light. We had to remain a half-hour after school, which, as the teacher had to remain also, we did not so much mind.

Morgan Wood was the blacksmith who owned the shop near the top of the hill. The shop itself had formerly been the old school house, abandoned when the new school was completed, and moved to its present position. It is still used as a blacksmith shop, I believe.

The first store I remember ever being in, was that of D.W. McLeod. A big sign on the front then, informed any who cared to know, that it was The Farmers General Store. He also owned the foundry and wagon shop, across the street and down a short distance. D.W. was brother of John McLeod of Bowmanville, who was M. P. P., for two or three terms, representing West Durham.

The brand of politics in those days was of the old fashioned kind, and party feeling often ran high during election time. The Reformers or Grits as they were called by their opponents usually carried the day, by a substantial majority throughout the riding, and particularly in Enniskillen voting district.

The other party, the Conservatives called Tories, for short, no matter how badly defeated in an election would always bob up again ready to contest the next.

The churches, as such, took no part in politics, but it was noticeable that the political affiliations of the different denominations differed widely. The Presbyterians were almost solidly Reformers; the Church of England were as solidly Conservative, but the Methodists were more evenly divided with the majority for Reformers. I am only speaking of Enniskillen Churches as I remember them at that time. How it figured out in other parts of the country, I don’t know. There was no voting by ballot in those days, but open voting. A voter, entering a polling place, if entitled to vote, being verified by the printed voters’ list, the Returning Officer would then ask him for whom he wished to vote, mentioning names of the candidates. The voter would give the name of his choice, which would be duly noted by clerks or scrutineers representing each party.

Buying votes, which perhaps was as common as at other times had the advantage of knowing then, whether or not goods delivered to purchasers. The polling place was usually a schoolhouse, where, on a blackboard, from time to time, the state of the poll was recorded, and such information as could be obtained from other polling places. False reports were common, too. Some voters then as in later times, wished to be on winning side would delay voting till they were sure from reports, who was the probable winner. Hence, reports often deceiving were intended to catch these delinquents.

Most of the businessmen of the village were on the Reform side and when their candidate was reported elected, would contribute towards a celebration of the event. Not in money, but barrels, boxes, kerosene anything that would burn, would be piled up in the village square, such an illumination could be seen a very long distance.

We boys, of course, never cared how the election went so long as we could have that illumination. In addition, we had what we called fire balls. They were balls of cotton candlewick sewed so as not to unwind, soaked in kerosene, which when lighted, would be thrown blazing through the air. They were generally not thrown far for you couldn’t hold them long enough. It seems amazing; no fires were ever caused by such risky proceedings as these. Sometimes they fell on verandas; in back yards even through windows. When a half dozen of these blazing balls were in the air at one time, it was some sight and caused some jumping around to keep from being hit. It always delighted the boys to thump somebody with a blazing ball, and maybe be lucky enough to singe his whiskers. Men wore long whiskers in these days.

Once there was a bye-election (I think it was called) in South Ontario. To win this election seemed to mean a great deal to both parties. Sir John A. Macdonald, the Conservative leader, was the Premier of Canada, and needed this extra support. George Brown of Toronto, strong politically, was the Reform candidate. I am uncertain as to name of Conservative opponent, but think it was Fairchild. West Durham was much interested in out come of this election, particularly in Enniskillen when the Reformers were figuratively standing on their toes in eager expectation. On the day of election word was passed to leading boys, that as Brown was sure to be elected, we would have a great bonfire to celebrate the event.

There were liberal contributions of oil barrels, boxes, packing cases, cans of kerosene, balls of candlewick galore all sewed, and duly soaked in kerosene. Before dark a great pile had risen in the village square all ready for firing later. About 8 o’clock that night while the boys were impatiently waiting to start proceedings, a delegation of the citizens who had so liberally contributed, came over, and solemnly informed us, there would be no celebration as Brown, their candidate had been defeated.

There was an immediate uproar. The boys didn’t car a fig whether Brown was elected or not, and said so. They were going to have that bonfire, anyway. The disappointed citizens got busy, and began deluging the bonfire material with water. We found, too, the kerosene and fireballs were locked up, in outhouse back of the Hutchinson’s store. We found a way to get them out all right, and what surplus of kerosene there was left we poured on the pile, and got it on fire. We charged on the water carriers, who had redoubled their efforts and managed to spill most of the water before reaching the bonfire. When the fireballs got going, our opponents got completely discouraged with the pelting we gave them. It was a record bonfire. Mr. W. R. Climie of the Statesman, a clear Grit, in an issue later, was most indignant at holding a jubilee in a Reform constituency over the defeat of the great George Brown. It was honey for the few Tories around there, though, who seldom lost an opportunity of referring to the celebration that went wrong.

Our old boy hood friend Tom Swain used to take part in these celebrations. I saw a letter from him in The Statesman some months ago. It was characteristic of Tom, too. He was what the boys call a good scout, and that means a lot. It was never hard to tell when Tom was around. When he attended the High School in Bowmanville with several others from Enniskillen School, he wanted to practise lacrosse. The only time the drill-shed grounds were open and free from other games was early before breakfast. Tom was not an early riser. After missing a few mornings from practise, he tied a rope around an arm, before going to bed, and let one end hang out of the window, within reach, and arranged for some chum to pull the rope and awaken him. One morning even after the rope was pulled Tom failed to appear for practise. The next morning when the boy pulled the rope, they pulled Tom out of bed, and kept pulling till he put his head out of the window and said Good morning. Then the boys knew Tom was awake. Years after when he was in business in Blackstock (or was it Williamsburg, then) and married, I called on him one morning to congratulate him on an increase in his family the night before an event of which Tom was mighty proud. Do you see that gun? Said he Well I sat up all night to see none got away-Hey, Tom old boy, how is it anyway? May you live long, be happy and never die till you have to

You are one of the Durham Old Boys-you get The Statesman (or should) why not write the Editor and tell him how’s things. Then the rest of us old boys can listen in. He is one of the boys too and likes to hear from other old boys of things that happened ages and ages ago.

Early Days in Enniskillen - Part 3 By an Old Durham Boy

In my boyhood day at Enniskillen the 12th of July, was to me, the most important day of the year. Not so much, perhaps, because of what the day represented, or commemorated, but it was a day looked forward to, as one of complete freedom of action, to do as we pleased, and hence unalloyed enjoyment in prospect. On that the 12th day the members of the Orange Lodges some near and more distant would meet to celebrate the day in some central locality, as the guests of the Lodge of that place.

Enniskillen had two Orange Lodges at that time; (my father was Master of one of them). If the neighbouring brethren were to be their guests for that meeting the local members assembled early on morning of 12th in their rooms. We boys waiting outside patiently, to see them come forth in their attractive regalia; usually consisting of broad orange sashes fringed at ends and worn over one shoulder to opposite side of body and fastened below the arm. Sometimes these sashes were ornamented with various collared rosettes and narrow orange ribbon.

When the members sallied forth in their regalia and formed in line, preparatory to marching to meet, and welcome the visitors, we boys felt well repaid for waiting, and looked forward to the time when we would be old enough to become members of a lodge too.

The 12th of July meant a great deal to many people in this section of the country. They, or their fathers, had come here from Ireland, where, it took courage to call yourself a protestant. They had come from a place of turmoil and persecution, to a place of freedom to worship and live without fear.

They knew the meaning of the Battle of the Boyne, and the 12th of July held in commemoration of it, and speared nothing in its proper observance. These people all made good. Their descendants made good, and whether the present community is descended from those who came from Ireland, or Scotland, or England, there is no finer class of people anywhere.

But to go back to 12th of July and its doings. Each lodge besides its standards or flags was supposed to have a fifer, large and small drums, drummers were more plentiful that fifers, hence, while on march if a lodge had two or three fifers, and corresponding number of drums, they were pretty proud of it.

Occasionally a brass band would be in evidence. The Hampton band under leadership of Geo. M. Bice on several occasions took part in the march and ceremonies at the meeting place. The band was a good one for those days and their music was much appreciated wherever they went.

On at least two occasions, the place for assembling was in a grove on the farm of Mr. John Virtue about a mile North East of the village. One of these meetings was in 1868 or 1869. The grove was an ideal place for such meetings or picnics, shady and cool and plenty of room. Platforms were erected in advance for the speakers and refreshments provided. Even if no brass band was in attendance there was plenty of entertainment, for the drums and fifes were ever rattle out a welcome, and when a half dozen or more big drums little drums and fifes were going at once, en masse, each drummer doing his level best to drown the sound of the others there would be some 12th July to remember.

The speakers and orators, who were to address the assemblage, always came prepared. The orations and speeches, so far as I could tell, did not vary a great deal from year to year. We youngsters did not bother much about the speaking, if there happened to be an open field near, in which we could play ball. But I heard many speeches nevertheless-often there was no place convenient for ball game. One old veteran orator, from Cavan I believe, an Anglican Rector, in long gown, and all the insignia, that went with being among the higher ups in the Order, I remember hearing in Virtue’s grove, at time mentioned. He told about the fights he was in, and the persecutions he and his underwent for cause of Protestantism in Ireland, and his bitter denunciations of the Papists he called them, was most forceful, particularly so, when he exhibited a lump the size of a hen’ egg on top of his head, where, he said, a Papists brick had hit him, forty years before.

It was never supposed to rain on the glorious 12th but was pretty sure to be notoriously hot. Several lodges would have to travel quite a distance to place of celebration, not matter where held, and meant a drive of five or six hours, in hot sun and dust over rough roads, and generally in spring less farm wagons!

But these trials of the day never seemed to dampen their enthusiasm. They went last year, and this year, and would be ready for next year wherever it was. Ready and willing to do what was to do that was right-no matter the hardship. They where born with the grit to carry on so necessary to successful pioneers. So were their sons, and their son’s sons as proved in the late war, where so many of Canada’s sons came forward in answer to the call. That readiness to respond to the call of duty whatever it was, is the strength and safeguard of the future.

The Orange Lodges of Enniskillen would in turn visit their brother lodges in Tyrone or Bowmanville, or Leskard or Cartwright. Celebrations were no doubt held in other and more distant places, but I can remember being at places mentioned, because being a boy, I was permitted to walk the entire distance both ways. Cartwright, dear old Cartwright people of those days. What has been said of the people of Enniskillen district goes for Cartwright people too, and more so in some respects. Nearly all the male population were Orangemen. Being a protestant was all right, so far as it went, but if you wished to enjoy the full and free hospitality of the people just show yourself a member of some Orange Lodge.

Catholics in early days were taboo in Cartwright. It was clearly understood they were not welcome.

There was perhaps ample cause for the bitterness felt and voiced then, in denouncing, what the Catholic’s represented. Many here, too, had lived in terror of persecution in Ireland and knew by bitter experience, about the outrages perpetrated there, by the Romanists whenever they could act in safely to themselves.

Only one catholic, up to that time, was known to live in Cartwright, at Tooley’s Corners, as Blackstock was known them. He was evidently liberal minded, for he carried the Orange flag every 12th of July, at head of the procession. I think I remember one time Mr. James L. Hughes making a speech for the day in Cartwright. He was much younger them than now, but that speech had the forcefulness and promise behind it that was made good in later years. His brother Sam, Sir Sam now, years later came from Lindsay where he was living then, and made a 12th of July oration, that was long remembered.

The Hughes family was at this time living in Cartwright with exception of James, Sam and John, and was always in evidence and busy in a 12th of July celebration.

John Hughes, the father, whom we all called Dad, was a game sport as they say now, of one who will play fair. We have played ball in same team, and in opposing nines, but no matter he was always the same jolly sport-loving boy. His sons follow in his footsteps in this, and the worst wish I have for them, is that up to the end, they will continue in the same openhearted fearless and jolly way of letting people know they are alive.

In speaking of the Hughes family particularly of James L., Sir Sam, and General John, these later years is history, anyway, I am supposed to talk chiefly of early days.

Just here I would like to speak of a game of Lacrosse I saw in the city of Toronto. I don’t remember the year, to me, then this contest was a classic among games. James L., and Sam were living then in Toronto engaged in educational work, Lacrosse was becoming the national game then, its chief exponents being a team of Indians in or near Montreal.

Lacrosse being originally an Indian game the Redmen were very zealous in maintaining their superiority over the Whites. Toronto, Ottawa, Cornwall, if I remember right, had first-class teams but had met defeat at hands of the Indian team. Toronto had reorganized its team, adding some new players, and had begun practice, with their whole hearts in it, to win the return match.

James L and Sam Hughes their brother-in-law William Scott of Model or Normal School, Toronto, and Ross McKenzie were, I believe, among the player-they were a team in themselves. The game was to take place in Toronto, and when the day come, I think I would have been forced to walk the whole distance.

In practice before the game the Indians seemed marvels. The ease, and untiring way of running, of handling their sticks holding or catching the ball, dodging and twisting, it seemed to me it would require years of practice for the Whites even to equal the play of these Redmen.

Ross McKenzie seemed, as game opened almost a giant in size, of powerful build and fleet tooted as a deer. Sam Hughes next to McKenzie was the most important man on the team. Run, he seemed to me able to outrun anything with two legs. James was wiry and fast too. The Indians sure had a surprise waiting for them.

The game began in a way to show the Redmen, had every confidence in their ability to win; while the Toronto’s played defensive long enough to size up the strength and weak spots if any, of their opponents.

Suddenly Ross McKenzie emerged from a tangle at Toronto end, with the ball. He ran straight towards his own goal and when sufficiently free from interference turned, and with a powerful swing sent the ball high, and almost the distance of the goal, and straight for it. Sam was down there almost as soon as the ball to assist the forwards, a quick play of two and the ball went through, and the spectators went wild.

As the game progressed, the Indians seemed to grow ugly, and would make vicious swipes with their lacrosse sticks, not caring much if the blow landed on opponents’ head, arms or shoulders.

Once McKenzie caught a long throw near Toronto goal, in place of returning the throw, he started down the field with the ball. Before he had hone far, he was surrounded by half a dozen redmen swinging their sticks in front, over him, and at him, Sam was busy too, warding off blows, and making what interference he could to keep the way open. McKenzie would when he could, toss the ball a distance up and ahead, the away from the scramble and catch it again. If a bow was to land on his stick which would knock the ball off he would turn his stick over and the force of the blow would drive the ball hard to the ground, and the ball would bound high enough for him to recover it again.

There was plenty of action in that run, I do not believe it was ever equalled in any game before or since; McKenzie never lost possession of the ball till he passed it through the goal. The Indians were dumbfounded and lost heart. Plays had been boldly and successfully pulled off they never thought possible. How the game ended in number of goals made I do not recall now, but it was a bad defeat for the Redmen.

So much for the 12th July, and the Orange Walk of early days. How they are conducted in later years I do not know, for I have not had the privilege of attending one in thirty years. As all of those to whom the day meant much have long since passed away and their places filled by newer generations, it is just possible, that much of the old enthusiasm has died out. This may be, as it should be, for after all, this keeping alive religious differences through events which took place a century ago or more, should find no place at this time when the doctrine of brotherly love is paramount.

The constitution upon which the Orange Order is founded emphatically affirms the duty of the Brotherhood in regarding a catholic as a brother, and to treat him as such.

Early Days in Enniskillen - Part 4 By an Old Durham Boy

Apart from the school chums, some of the older people-the grownups; stand out prominently in my memory. Perhaps from some peculiar characteristic, wholly their own, that interested me, anyway, it was always a delight to see, or to hear them talk in their peculiar way.

Some of your correspondents, Mr. Editor, referred to Kit Mitchell of Darling ton, a man I remember well. His work was that of carpenter and framer and he worked sometimes in the vicinity of Enniskillen. Being a genial and hearty soul Kit had many friends and acquaintances all over the district. There were some folk, however, who did not regard Kit at all favourably. No doubt he thought just as little of them, and forsooth seldom failed to let them know it! They looked upon him as blasphemer and atheist, or in that class. A man they preferred to keep shy of. This reputation he rather enjoyed, so long as such opinions were not held by his friends. Being in his company was rather frowned upon by many of the parents, believing his peculiar opinions as not the best for youthful minds. His remarks in general never struck me as serious, but more in the rollicking spirit in which he so much delighted to appear before his fellows.

There were some in those days, let us hope very few now, of the hidebound variety on religion and political questions. Their narrow minds could not expand, and what knowledge and beliefs, were cooped up there, was all there was to it. Kit in arguing with such, knew he could not change their views, but he could hand out arguments that would jolt them a bit. He knew these people and it was his delight-when they gave him an excuse, to say something of the hair-raising variety. He seemed well posted on the Bible, but he was so apt to quote from an almanac, give chapter and verse, too, in response to these bigots, as he called them. At times, when making off such statements he would wink at the boys that was meant to say Never mind what I say is only for him. In fact, he said, as much to us and that what he said was a special dose. What Kit said to these people never lost much when repeated by them, hence his reputation as a cynic and atheist grew. Some preachers, whom he met he regarded highly and respected. They never heard him say anything that would offend. It seemed to me at such times Kit was his natural self.

After all, is it not what is in the heart, and when the intentions get levelled up and the good predominates who, of us, and pronounce judgement.

Early Days in Enniskillen - Part 5 By an Old Durham Boy

Kit’s elder brother Sam, Big Sam he was usually called was a source of great interest to the younger boys. He was of very large size and great strength. The stories told of him were numerous, which perhaps were not all fact; yet enough truth was known to make him appear to us as a regular hero.

Sam was the opposite of Kit in almost every way. There was very little in common between them. Sam was rather morose, was not inclined to talk much; would say what he had to say in as few words as possible.

It is said, Kit being elder, that at home he rather abused Sam, bossing him about and made life so miserable for Sam that he ran away. Where he went on one seemed to know, and in the four yard he was away the family, never heard from him. In this time Sam had grown to be 6 feet 4 at least, and big in proportion.

One day at noon hour, the family were seated at dinner, Kit in his usual place at table. Sam came in, walked over to Kit and without a word, seized him by collar and seat of his pants, carried him out to the rear of the house and threw him over a fence into some prickly bushes on the other side. Kit was no infant, but he knew it was useless to struggle. There Kit, he said, You abused me, you can’t do it any more. He had carried out what was on his mind for four years.

Sam was not as frequent a visitor to Enniskillen, as Kit was. Once, I remember he was in McLeod’s store for something. Some boys had followed him in there. In fact they had some of them out of curiosity and admiration followed him around for an hour or more. They would get in his way, often he had to step over them but whatever he did, he never paid the slightest attention to them.

In the store we had a good chance to look him over while at anchor, as some one said. His head seemed to almost touch the ceiling, and would possibly only he was somewhat stooped shouldered. He was collarless, shirt open at the neck, a cap that seemed the size of a half bushel measure with a peak fore and aft, rested on the back of his head. His coat reached straight down from his shoulders almost to his knees, with pockets in which he kept his hands while walking.

His wants attended to; he turned to go out. A boy Dicky Avery, asked the Postmaster for the mail. Dicky was of the age when his voice was changing. It was husky and squeaky in tone. Sam stopped and looking at him a minute-Say, he said, You put me in mind of a young rooster trying to crow, it has neither the voice of a chick nor the old hen, and went out. We turned to make fun of Dicky, but he silenced us by saying, anyway he was the only one in the crowd that was noticed or spoken to.

Sam had no trade or special occupation. He was too strong for hard work, hence the easier the employment was the better suited. He worked for Clint Gifford, proprietor of Hotel in Bowmanville that was afterwards the Bennett House.

It was during the years he was employed here, that he, in spite of himself, made a large part of his reputation. Sam was strong in his likes and dislikes. He had intelligence, too, when he chose to exercise it, and it did not cause much of an effort. It was the same, if asked, to make a strength test. Some there were who couldn’t hire him to make such a trial of strength. He simply ignored them. There were others he would risk his neck to please Clint Gifford was one of these. He looked after Clint like a faithful watchdog. Gib Jardine, of pleasant memory, was another, of which more anon.

Sam had charge of the yard and stables of Hotel and most people who drove in had something to say to him. He might answer or might not, just as he felt.

I drove in the shed one morning. A man a head of me had just got out of his buggy. He looked up at Sam, who was standing near and snapped out, Hello, you-what kind of weather have you got up there? Sam reached out quickly before the man could dodge, seized his ears between his thumb and finger, and lifted him arms length high up. The man kicked, clawed and yelled as he was being lifted, but Sam held him up there long enough to say, There see for yourself. The man weighed 180 lbs. or more and being lifted by the ears hurt some, I guess. Anyway, when Sam let him go, he jumped around for five minutes or more, calling Sam all the hard names he could think of, to which Sam paid no attention, them went to complain to Boss Gifford.

I followed in soon after. The man had finished his story of the great insult to his dignity he experienced at the hands of a stable man, and demanded that he be discharged, Clint roared and laughed till tears came. The man got disgusted and went out threatening to invoke the law. I told Sam a little later, the result of the man’s complaint. His sphinx like face lit up into a broad grin, as he took a chew of tobacco.

When Clint to station for a barrel of liquor or anything heavy he took Sam, because he said when Sam was along, he did not need a derrick. He would lift a barrel of liquor of goodly size in those days, without apparent effort into a wagon over box and all.

About this time the gauge and rails on the G. T. R. were being changed, the new rails of steel were very heavy. When the navvies went to move a rail it took eight of them four at each end to do it.

Clint was at the Station one day watching the navvies work. He had little idea, I think, of the actual weight of a rail, and said it surprised him that it took so may husky navvies to lift one rail that didn’t look so very heavy anyway. The boss, a burly French Canadian got very indignant and told Clint, that no men in that section of country, could man for man do what his men were doing. Sam was busy over in the freight shed. Sam said Clint, just come over here and show these fellows how to handle these rails.

I don’t think Sam knew how heavy they were either and didn’t seem to care, he walked over between two rails at end of platform, stooped in centre of the two rails, and taking hold of each by the flange lifted them from the platform, walked towards the others and said what shall I do with them.

Clint turned to the boss navvy and said I bet you $5.00, here is the money that he will lift those rails he is holding there with another rail across each end. The man refused to take the bet. I asked Clint later if he believed Sam could have lifted four rails? He said his $5.00 said so. But Clint, I said, these four rails weigh nearly three tons. He said, Sam was never stuck on moving anything unless it was chained down.

When Barnum & Bailey’ circus toured Canada for the first time I believe, they exhibited in Oshawa. Gib. Jardine who lived one concession south of Tyrone now know as Jardine Corners and whom no doubt many of your ‘old boy’ readers will remember, invited me to go with him to the show. He had a fine span of carriage horse and rig and usually cut quite a figure on the road. After starting he suddenly decided he would drive to town and take Sam along. Sam was always ready to oblige Gib. Clint the boss readily gave his consent, though, I think Sam was not particularly anxious to go. It was a memorable ride for me, Gib guyed him all the way, and Sam’s roars of laughter were a delight to hear. After leaving the team in the stable we entered the grounds. Near the entrance were numerous sideshows. One man had a lifting or strength testing machine, a contraption with springs, a handle to pull on, a dial on one side to indicate the amount lifted or pulled. As we were passing the man called to Sam Here you big lummox try a lift only ten cents a try. As Sam paid no attention the man began to use rather abusive language, ending by saying, You big fellows are no good at lifting anyway and I’ll bet $10 you can’t lift as much as this man not half your size, He lifted 800 lbs. Gib said to Sam We’ll just take that bet. I’ll put up the money. Sam demurred, didn’t want to bother, he said. After some argument the money was deposited in hands of a third party, after terms were agreed to, Sam was to have three trials. After growling some more, Sam mounted the platform, took hold of the handles and pulled, till he was red in the face. Gib had anticipated an easy victory for Sam. The whole turn of the hand on the dial indicated 2000 lbs., the limit of the machine. Sam tugged and pulled some more, but all the dial indicated just them was about 600 lbs. Sam apparently out of breath, wanted to rest a while before the second trial. This time Sam seemed to work harder and longer for the dial showed 750 lbs. When he let go. The man all the time was making loud remarks to Sam, and Gib, who was never backward when it came to chin music roared back at him, hoping to encourage Sam if possible, and even offered to punch the fellow in the jaw. Gib was sorely puzzled and looked it. I noticed Sam all the time had a peculiar twinkle in his eye, and a half grin, but to Gib he only showed a solemn face. A large crowd had gathered by this time attracted by the loud talk, and looked curiously on. At the third trial Sam stooped, grasped the handles of the machine, and without apparent effort straightened himself. The hand on the dial flew round to the 2000 lbs mark, then the springs gave way, the rods and bots parted and he stood erect with the handles and shaft attached in his hands which he threw on the ground at the feet of the owner. There, he said, is your blooming machine.

It was a wreck beyond any hope of repair. The man had been so abusive, I thought it served him right. Sam could have pulled the thing to pieces the first opportunity to tease Gib a little, and sure did. Efforts were made later, to compute the force necessary to wreck that lifting machine. Examination of the broken springs, twisted rods, bolts bent and broken must have fully required 4, 000 lbs. pull!

At the show, the first of the kind he had ever seen, nothing seemed to surprise him. The trapeze, the tumbling, the horizontal bar performances, he looked on indifferently. That’s what they are paid for, why shouldn’t they do it? was his comment.

A battalion of militia was having annual drill at Oshawa, and on our way back after the show, on a street with a wide walk, we met a squad of this militia off duty. They were walking a dozen or more, abreast, and taking up the whole width of the walk, driving all they met off the walk into the street. I started to get out of the way. Sam was a little in front of Gib and me, but called to us to stay where we were. When within reach Sam grabbed the one on the inside, by the shoulder, and gave a heave. The next moment they were piled up on the street. /some were more or less bruised, too, but they all hurried away without any further noise.

The navvies working then on the G. T. R. in vicinity of Bowmanville station were a rough crowd. One Saturday night, eight of them entered the hotel, and demanded whiskey. Clint was closing up the place, as it was seven o’clock and refused to serve them. They immediately proceeded to help themselves. Two seized hold of Clint behind the bar, and the others began reaching for bottles and decanters; Clint had called lustily for help. Sam heard the call, and as he came nearer, he could hear the racket made. He hurried through a side door, into the bar and sized up the trouble instantly. With a savage roar he reached over the bar, and grabbed the two men who had attacked Clint, pulled them over the bar, and held one by each hand at arm’s length, and began battering the others with these he held. Clint said by the time he could get from behind the bar the whole eight were piled up in one corner of the room. Two of them drew knives but Sam paid no attention to that. When any attempted to rise, they were thrown back with a smash against the wall.

Clint said Sam had got real angry. Anyway, the casualties were rather heavy for number engaged. The two pulled over the bar, had broken ribs and dislocated shoulders. Two others of the gang had broken arms. In fact, all had to go into hospital camp for longer or shorter treatment.

Sam lived a short distance back of the hotel. His wife was a little woman, the top of her head about reaching his vest pocket if he wore a vest. She was very neat and cleanly, and Sam was rather forgetful about such things. He was always chewing tobacco and that great mouth seemed capable of holding a quart of tobacco juice. This he was apt to let go, no matter where he happened to be. After his wife had scrubbed and scrubbed the floor for this to happen there was a calamity. She would seized any club she could find, the heavier the better, and whack Sam over the head with all her might and keep whacking till her temper cooled again. Sam would sit still and let her whack. He said she got over temper quicker that way.

The last time I remember seeing Sam was during a Bowmanville Fair. Bill Glover had a small Shetland pony, as bad tempered, as it was small. That bunch of ugliness has chased me round the stable, when I happened to go, her mouth open, and coming at one she looked as big as an elephant, and I had either to dive into a manger, or climb a ladder and that fun loving Bill Glover, laughed fit to kill himself all the time.

Well Bill hired or bribed Sam to lead this little cyclone to the fair grounds. There was a rope halter around its neck, which Sam took one end of to lead her by. The fun started as soon as Sam started. The pony rushing at him, with open mouth and bit and struck with her front feet kicked and did everything it could think of. Sam walked calmly on, his hands in his pockets one hand holding the end of the rope. The pony was furious, and tried being the same. The pony was game through she fought all the way to the fair grounds, one minute trying to bite, the next on her hind feet and striking with her front ones like a boxer.

At the entrance to the grounds was some obstruction. Sam calmly pulled the pony to him, tucked her head under his arm, and carried her through the gate, onto the grounds. The pony struggled, of course, and got one foot in Sam’s pocket and tore it badly. The big man and the little horse made certainly an amusing sight.

Early Days in Enniskillen - Part 6 By an Old Durham Boy

Mr. D. W. McLeod who kept the Farmers’ General Store was a man whom I regarded in my boyhood as being, in many ways, superior to most of his neighbours. He had had a fair education, was kind and considerate and was a gentleman in every way. I never heard him say a rough word, and don’t think he ever drank any kind of liquor, not to any excess, so common in those days. He was tall and spare of figure, always well dressed and altogether a citizen of whom to be proud. He loved to get into arguments on some abstract subject, suitable of being presented from all sides. His well-known expression actually as it were became a household quotation. Actually as it were he would say to any one whom he had drawn into an argument if I didn’t know more about it than you do, I would feel that I ought to go to school again.

In addition to the store Mr. McLeod had a foundry and machine shop and wagon and paint shops. Most of, it not all, his products related to farm work. He did not at any time have many men at work, but each branch of the business was represented by fairly skilled workmen. He paid fairly good prices for old cast iron, such as broken machinery, or any old thing, which could be re-cast. This was a bonanza for the boys who would lay aside every piece of iron they could find and sufficiently accumulated, would lug the prize to the rear of the store, where it would be weighed, and paid for usually in exchange for something needed. The boys and girls of those days, like those of present days, were fond of candy, but money was scarce with them, so the old iron was usually exchanged for sugar sticks, bulls eyes or conversation lozenges.

Jacob Scott was chief clerk in the store for many years and practically ran the business, as Mr. McLeod was absent more or less, at least after his brother John who lived in town had been elected M. P. P., for West Durham, his residence being the present Hospital at South Park as it was then known. The boys, I am sorry to say, did not always play fair in sale of the scrap iron, as on several occasions, the same iron would be sold two or three times over, by taking advantage of Jacob Scott, when he was busy, and going to rear of store, where the scrap iron was kept and removing to some safe hiding place a quantity of the iron which would be sold in a day or two later. Three boys whom I knew were often guilty of this form of petty thievery. Jacob caught one of tem one time in the act, and what he did to that boy was a plenty; for after chastising him well, he took the boy to school, and before the class mates denounced him as a thief, telling of what he had been guilty. I think it did that boy good; in fact, I am sure it did. Being arraigned before the whole school of boys and girls was a heart breaker. Never after, while he attended pubic school was he guilty of any misdoing.

That boy grew to manhood and is a worthy and prosperous citizen. If he should, by any chance read this, I feel sure he would willingly admit the change in character dated from the time of his humiliation before his schoolmates.

Of those of my boyhood acquaintances, with whom I was able to keep more of less in touch in after years, whose general character and disposition was marked in boyhood and youth, I was interested in comparing, so far as I could, their after years, and middle aged characteristics with that of their school days. The little meanness of the boy and youth were generally still in eminence, but emphasized, and many covered forms of deception added. The slovenly, lazy, untruthful boy grew up into the same kind of man. I found, too, those character was the opposite, whose willingness to play fair, were truthful and hones, in school days, were truthful and honest in manhood. There may have been, or may be, exceptions in comparing after life to habits of youth in some cases, but taken as a general proposition can be demonstrated.

I would like to say to the boys and youths who read this, that we generally find, in fifteen or twenty years after leaving school, much of what we learned there in lessons, and studies have been forgotten, but the habits we formed then still cling tight. The lazy, indifferent, don’t care habits will grow if we don’t fight them, and as we grow older will in time become fixed.

Jacob Scott prided himself on his honesty in dealing with his customers, and it certainly filed him for any one to hint of short weight, or purchase of anything inferior to what it was represented.

Pete Lander was a tramp moulder who only worked long enough in one place to get money to take him some where else. He was always sure of a job, when after some month’s absence he would return to Enniskillen, because he was a good mechanic and his wages light. Pete and Jacob were always snarling at each other, Both were Irish to the backbone, as the saying was them; but Pete insisted on calling Jacob Scotty or Scotch which Jacob resented, and called Lander a hybrid Irishman of no use on earth.

Lander went fishing one day, and took for lunch, some crackers and cheese, which he had purchased in the store. When he returned he charged Jacob with selling him maggoty cheese. Jacob vigorously denied doing so, and brought out a piece of cheese to prove there were no maggots in it, and appealed to some listeners to prove what he said. But Scotty said Landers, that may not be the same kind of cheese, anyway the animals do not come out when there are people looking. I lost half of my fishing day, the time it took to hunt them out, before I could eat the cheese. Why they were almost big enough for bait.

A week or so later Pete had another day off, and decided to go fishing again. He went into the store and told Jacob he wanted enough for a good big lunch but no cheese. No Sir! But he would take the crackers. These were wrapped up and paid for. Pete thought a minute By golly he said that’s dry feed alone, and I can’t drink enough beer to carry me over the day, so give me a pound of raisins to take along. The raisins were wrapped up and handed over. Someone suggested just them that eggs were fine for a lunch, boiled. Pete thought eggs were the thing, he could boil them over in the shop, so he asked Jacob to take the raisins, and give him a dozen eggs, which cost the same. He got the eggs and crackers and started for the door. Jacob reminded him he had not paid for the eggs. I gave you the raisins said he, for the eggs Jacob reminded him he didn’t pay for the raisins. Well why should I? said he I haven’t got the raisins.

Jacob was dumbfounded; for once he was speechless. When he got his breath he told Pete if ever he came in the store again he would throw a scale weight at him. Pete enjoyed hugely these little squabbles with Jacob. He later paid for the eggs and admitted, too, the cheese he had complained about was all right.

In those days there was little doing in the way of amusements or entertainments, no club or reading rooms so necessary in the long winter evenings. Occasionally some show or entertainment would be given in the Orange hall or school house I remember on two occasions attending lectures by Prof. A. B. Kent of Newcastle, father of Postmaster Kent of Bowmanville, of which more later. There were also three circuses in about a dozen years. A fairly thriving temperance lodge, that met weekly. In addition there were occasional Church Socials, soirees and meeting, also occasional paring and husking bees in late fall, and early Winter, in farm houses, but these were more or less private affairs-by invitation.

Whether all these lacked frequency or entertainment, they did not seem to attract the youth from the nightly gatherings in the tavern, where associations and examples were decidedly bad. Many of the workmen in different industries were stranger, and some of them, to use a modern expression were of the hard boiled variety, and the tougher the character of these, the more influence they seemed to wield over the youths of the locality.

Next to the taverns, the Farmers’ General Store was patronized as a meeting place in evenings by those who did not frequent the taverns. The store generally kept open till ten o’clock at which time there were often hangers on. The patience of the store people must have been sorely tried at times. It was a nightly occurrence to see a row of youths and men reaching from entrance to rear lined up along the counter. If a customer came in and his purchase was on the side of store occupied, the loungers would move over to the other counter and seat themselves on it. Those in rear of store had the advantage of having soap boxes for seats, and of being nearer the stove which was some importance in winter and handy for tobacco chewers. The general news of the day was discussed or happily some scandal might be afoot, but by common consent politics was taboo.

Some of the old boys will yet remember Tom Barton-a man of huge size, weighed probably fully 350 lbs. he or rather his family worked a farm on or near the 9th concession. Tom thought himself too strong for hard work; hence he was in the village much of his time. He was jovial, never disturbed in his mind ov3er anything, so long as he had plenty to eat and drink particularly the drink. He was fond of raw eggs, too, and had the peculiarity of putting an egg in his huge mouth; it would disappear shell and all. Eggs were cheap and plentiful these days. Farmers brought in large quantities in exchange for groceries. The price received for the eggs was often from five to eight cents per dozen. The eggs were crated and sent to town every few days. Tom when feeling hungry for supply of eggs would go over to the store and anchor himself near the door. The boys knew what he was there for. Some one near the baskets heaped with eggs in the far end of store would take one and pass it along. It would go from hand to hand till it reached Tom, when it would disappear, shell and all. This had to be done when Jacob was busy, or when his attention was sufficiently occupied, with customers.

About four dozen eggs was considered a fair supply, when not cut short for fear of discovery. When Tom had swallowed the last egg he would saunter across the street to the tavern for some whiskey, which, he said, helped to digest the shells. This performance was gone through on several occasions, much to enjoyment of those in the secret.

One night the fun ended abruptly. Some one substituted a rotten egg for the good one; he should have passed along. Tom suddenly started for the door, much to the surprise of the boys, as only a few eggs had been sent over, his face wearing a look of surprise and disgust; he quickly crossed over to the tavern. The joy and delight of the boys when the cause was made known, was noisy.

The funny part of it was, too, Tom, didn’t blame us, but thought it just happened, and that he was keeping the secret all to himself. We were afraid to question him for fear he might suspect us. Anyway, that was the last time the store was robbed of eggs in effort to find out how many Tom could hold. At one time Tom had some disagreement with his family so he said he would cross Lake Scugog and never return till the Lord built a bridge that he could cross on. He was back in a month-the lake had frozen sufficiently to bear his weight.

Tom’s boys were industrious, and as they grew older the condition of farm and family improved. The older son, William, afterwards enlisted in the Midland Batt. time of Riel Rebellion 1884-5, and was severely wounded at Batochi, I think; was later pensioned, as he never fully recovered from effects of the wound. Tom later enlisted with company of surveyors for duty in Manitoba, under command of Col. Reid of Bowmanville. In the regular life and discipline of the camp, Tom made good. Sundays were devoted to recreation, and the story is told, that Tom one day was cavorting around as usual in his bare feet, when some one for mischief, scattered hot cinders before he was aware of the trick; and they said he did some real and fancy jumping. Of course, Tom was mighty wroth and demanded name of guilty party. When this information was not forth coming, he said in order to get the one guilty he would maul the whole camp, and proceeded to do it. I understand that Tom did not return from the NorthWest, but of that I am not sure.

It caused no little surprise in the community when Mr. McLeod married. It was generally supposed he was a confirmed bachelor. The bride he chose was Miss Mary Rogers, sister of David Rogers so well and favourably known to many readers of The James Papers. A touching compliment was paid the bride and groom on the night of their return home from their wedding trip. The company of the militia of which I have spoken, quietly gathered late in the evening, and at 12 o’clock fired a right royal welcoming salute. The company was afterwards entertained by the bride and groom. The noise of the firing caused great excitement as there were few in the secret outside of those who took part.

David Rogers was quite often in Enniskillen though I do not recall whether he attended the school at any time. Some years before this I remember seeing a Guide Board at the four corners south of the village. It was neatly painted and lettered and solidly mounted. There were hands pointing to the four points of the compass in direction of places named. Hampton was indicated as being South; Enfield and Solina as West; Tyrone East, and Enniskillen North, the distance in each case given. There may have been other places mentioned, but there was the additional information given to enquiring travelers, that this was Painted by David Rogers, seven years old. Some kid, eh? This has long ago disappeared and another erected by Rev. D. Rogers in its place, I believe. Possibly the places mentioned are still there where they were said to be. David in his younger days, at least, showed considerable artistic ability. How far that was developed in later years is unknown to me. He was quite a ready speaker, too, often taking part in entertainments though still a youth. Once I remember at a social gathering at Enniskillen David made a speech on the smoker. He said among other things, if the Lord had intended men to smoke they would have had smoke tacks on top their heads.

Pete Lander as has been inferred was considerable of a practical joker. Occasionally he had the tables turned on him, with a vengeance. Once in particular I remember it was noticed that every day after noonday meal, just before the one o’clock whistle, he would rush into the tavern for a glass of whiskey. The fact that he took a lone drink was not noticed particularly as that was quite a custom, but he would down his drink in a gulp, and rush to a water pitcher at end of bar, fill his glass with water, down that and rush out again.

Pete detested gin, and as that liquid very much resembled water, some one suggested putting gin in the water pitcher in place of water which with help of landlord, they laid plans for next day. Pete rushed in as usual for his drink of whiskey, and downed it in his usual hasty fashion. There were two water pitchers on the bar now, one at each en, he rushed to one in usual place, poured a glass full as he thought of water, which was gin of course, and emptied the glass in two swallows. It seemed to take his breath away; he choked, coughed, jumped up and down, acted like a wild man they said. Catching sight of the other pitcher, and needing water more than ever, he grabbed it still coughing and started to drink from the pitcher. The joker had figured Pete would grab for this after the first pitcher had disappointed him, had put gin in this one also. Pete was more than surprised and wild. He threw the pitcher at the crowd that was nearly dead with laughter, rushed outside to the horse trough, which was full of water in which he plunged his head and swallowed water to cool his throat.

It was a mighty mean trick, but had result of weaning Pete completely from any desire for whiskey in the future. He didn’t go to work that afternoon nor the next day, as he termed it, he was completely comflisticated. The only one he blamed for the trick was the landlord, and of course till Pete could some how turn the tables, and get even, the laugh was on him.

It was usual during the long evenings for the hangers on and loungers in tavern to play cards in rooms adjoining the bar. In the bar room itself were a number of small tables on which dominoes were usually played. One night Pete and several others were in the bar room playing dominoes. The business had been very slack and the landlord on a seat behind the bar was dozing away peacefully. Pete noticed this and after a few hurried words to the others, tiptoed around the room closing doors, pulling down blinds, put out all the lights. Immediately the room was in pitchy darkness. The players seated at tables began rattling the dominoes as though busily engaged in playing. Pete upset a chair, which quickly roused the landlord. An angry exclamation was checked immediately, for seemingly games were going on, and it suddenly struck him that he had gone blind. With a roar he started from behind the bar, knocking decanters and glasses to the floor as he went. He was soon surrounded by the others inquiring as to what was the matter. Can’t you tell said he, I’m blind and another roar of distress followed! They hustled to relight the lamps for it was feared he would have a fit or something if let go any longer. The landlord was speechless with surprise but was a sort of sport after all, for he felt such a relief from his scare, that he set em up for all the boys wanted. Pete reminded the landlord of the gin trick and now we are quits he said.

Early Days in Enniskillen - Part 7 By an Old Durham Boy

Hutchison and Brisbin’s store was just across the street from that of D. W. McLeod. A sign with large letters you could see a quarter of a mile perhaps bore the names, Hutchison & Brisbin.

There was a marked difference in the two stores, that of H. & B. being more up-to-date, goods

more neatly displayed and altogether more business-like than McLeod’s. The counter warmers and loungers, so common nightly in McLeod’s was not encouraged to any extent in H. & B’s. store.

Robert Hutchison and Barney Brisbin, as we used to call them, were both practical men and good citizens. Mr. Brisbin was a bachelor, I believe, at least in earlier years in Enniskillen.

Of Me. Hutchison’s family, I remember a daughter Minerva, and two boys James N. and Wilbur. They all attended school, I think, under Mr. Elisha Jessup. Mrs. Hutchison, the mother, was a fine woman, always ready to aid in sickness where she could, and lend a helping hand whereever needed.

Children, of such a father and mother could not well fail to make their mark in some profession or calling. They were smart, too, Minerva, a pleasant and good-looking girl, was much like her mother, and also a good helper and leader. James N. was more seriously inclined, and more studious, perhaps, than Wilbur, but the latter had that jolly sort of spirit always with ready answer to any query. The boys differed thus far, it seemed to me. James N. was cut out for, and would shine in some professional career, as that of teacher or doctor and Wilbur in some position of trust and responsibility where hard work and intelligence meant success.

I do not remember seeing either of the boys in 30 or 35 years and only lately was told that James Nelson was a physician in Winnipeg, Man.

Whatever line of business Wilbur took up, I am ready to wager, that he is a topnotcher, as his brother Dr. J. N. no doubt is too.

The store previous to Hutchison & Brisbin occupying it had been occupied by Mr. Samuel Trewin who sold out and removed to Oshawa, and there became one of its leading merchants and citizens. About 1850 the store was occupied by a Mr. Mallory, a relative of the writer’s family, who started in business apparently without much experience or knowledge of finance. He had quite a large store and something of almost anything you could ask for. After six months my father asked him how many per cent he was making on his investment or on goods sold. He said he was making five per cent. Father told him that would never do, that he could not keep up with only that amount of profit. well, he said, I don’t know much about your per cent, but I do know I get five times as much as they cost me.

David Salter was one of my older boy schoolmates. David’s father was Constable, and because his father held such a high official position, David felt rather important. When a small boy at school I very much desired to be able to write, not print writing but real writing, but I did not know the characters used. David told me I could write now, but didn’t know it, and would prove it. He gave me a piece of paper and a pencil and told me to make a line of marks across the paper. I did so. The marks were of all kinds of hooks, crosses and turns any old marks I could think of. David read this right off to me. I would fill a whole page of this, and when he had leisure would take me aside and read it to me. It was always a nice little story he would read to me, and tell me it was only good boys who could write such things. I felt very proud of this, but I wanted to write so I could read it myself, and not have to bother anybody. These little harmless deceptions of David encouraged me very much, so that I was soon able to write, so that I could read the nice little stories that David could in my writing. (The stories have evidently come in your later life-Editor.)

I have completely lost sight of him, for thirty-five years.

John Virtue was another of the older boys. I hope he is still well and hearty and as much in evidence at his present age as when a schoolboy. John was always ready for any sort of fun, and his presence was generally indicated by something doing. He was always good natured, honest and helpful, but he simply could not keep down that little Irish in him.

The teacher-Wm. Bice or was it Osborne-was very much occupied as he would need be, having from 80 to 100 pupils of all sizes and ages, from little tots, to others with whiskers!

On the far end of the schoolroom on the wall were several large maps. A peashooter sending a solid pellet against a map with a loud whang, within a foot of someone’s ear, was certainly startling. The party with the ear would let out a startled ouch, the teacher would look up, and John or any one with the peashooters would be innocently hard at work on his lessons.

I wonder sometimes, of these boys, when years later, they had children of their own at school if they acted the part of stern parent at every little misadventure or prank of the youngsters, forgetting when they were young themselves? This forgetfulness is too common an occurrence with parents.

John Virtue taught me the mysteries of Long Division at school. He was some older and further advanced in studies. I could manage Short division where one figure was used, but double figures into a line of other figures enclosed at each end by a fence was beyond me. John straightened all this out for me and soon I was able to go it alone. The teacher, as I said, was pretty busy in attending to class instruction, and had little time to devote to individual information.

But, I found that Long Division as important as it seemed to be, was not the end. There was more for figures to do after that. That was the puzzling part of it, to me, one never got to the end. They were always inventing some new method of using figures just to bother one and keep one busy, and I haven’t got to the end of it all yet.

Then later the teachers became more refined in their cruelty, and smilingly introduce you to a new kind of figuring called Algebra, and as though there were not enough figures to go round, they stick in a lot of letters of the alphabet, and criss-cross signs of one kind and another till you begin to wish for that pea shooter or anything to crate a disturbance.

Early Days in Enniskillen - Part 8 By an Old Durham Boy

Robert Kennedy was the village shoemaker and shoe-repairer. In the early days, boots and shoes were nearly all made to order, so that an efficient boot and shoemaker, was an important institution in the community.

That Robert was efficient and busy is proven from fact of his raising a large family-ten children, I think, most of them boys and not a dull one among them. None of the boys seemed to follow in footsteps of their father in learning to make and mend shoes, but chose other and diverse callings.

William, the eldest son, came the nearest. He was employed away from home for some years. During this time factory-made boots and shoes were being generally introduced and when Bill returned home he had money sufficient to lay in a stock of ready-made boots and shoes. A space for the shop was set aside in the home. The business prospered so much that after two or three years Bill thought he was warranted in greatly enlarging his business. He built a large store of two stories. The upper story for lodge rooms or public meetings and the first floor a sales room, well stocked with boots and shoes. Shoes were made of ample size and strong in those days, service being more important than appearance.

One day, a man named Carpenter living on or near the Long Sault came in to buy a pair of boots or shoes for his son who was with him. The boy, about 16, was one of the tall lanky kinds with feet of outrageous size. The father asked Bill Have you anything in stock that will cover them there feet? Bill allowed he had. In the meantime the son divested his feet of the novelty shoes he had been wearing. The heels, sides and toes of the shoes had been slit wide open to permit of room for the feet to protrude out of doors. The old man took a fresh chew of tobacco, while Bill sized up to feet and started to hunt for the roomiest shoes he had in stock. But it was no use; nothing could be found anywhere near a fit. Bill gave up in disgust, said it was the first time was ever licked. The father was disappointed, too, said to his son Bob Carpenter, put on a thin pair of socks and try on the box the shoes come in, you’ve got a tarnation foot.

The times got pretty bad, and business poor, Bill found the load more than he could carry, and had to pass it up. Had he been contented to have remained in business where he began, he would not doubt have continued to make out well, but the ambition for greater things was his downfall. He could not foresee that bad times would come and thought that with ten times the stock he would do ten times the business. How he afterwards progressed I do not know, but he was not of the kind to sit down and bemoan his ill luck.

The next boys Sam and John, I recall them at school as smart and quick to learn. Sam had a crippled arm, caused by a chisel falling from a building being erected, cutting some ligaments in the shoulder, when a small lad. The arm never grew larger. In spite of this deformity Sam was always bright and cheerful.

One night Sam and I attended a show in the Orange Hall, which consisted chiefly of slight of hand performance and a very fair ventriloquist. The next day at school, Sam was busy trying to imitate what we saw in the show, particularly the ventriloquist part, and made very encouraging attempts, I thought.

I did not dream them that this was to be Sam’s future profession but it was, for in spite of the handicap of a crippled arm, he blossomed out into a full-fledged showman. He could sing and dance, too, this with his sleight of hand tricks, and ventriloquial feats was a whole evening’s entertainment himself.

David the fourth son when about 17 years old was killed on the G.T.R. coming from Toronto.

Bob, as everybody called him, the fifth son, was rather diminutive in size, but more than made up for that in importance and aggressiveness. He was always in evidence somewhere in the village when a boy, if you couldn’t see him you could always hear him. He was quick and clever at school and just as ready for mischief.

When the 45th Batt. Band was removed to Enniskillen as headquarters with all its paraphernalia, and Band leader Bice undertook to whip into shape new player, in time for coming annual drill at Kingston, he sure had some job on his hands. Bob was mascot and snare drummer. His greatest trouble was his uniform. The smallest suit was large enough for him to hide himself in it, but finally it was cut down to size, and made to fit in time for the drill. Mr. Geo. E. Gibbard of Toronto now, but then in Tyrone, was also a member of this band, and attended the annual drill at Kingston. This band was not up to the mark to any great extent in its musical ability, but managed to take part in the annual drill that year. Shortly afterwards the band equipment was sent to Lindsay.

The playing at first, of this band, was something like the shooting at target practice of the volunteer company of militia already spoken of. The range was at the foot of the big hill in a field, the target being placed on a rise of ground to the southeast. The ranges were, I think, 200 and 400 yards. The shooting at first was the despair of Col. Cubitt. The only place that seemed safe from being hit, was the target. The rifles were heavy muzzleloaders, of fifty calibres, I think, and beginners thought they kicked something fierce. I think they were right. Mr. Levi Tole, now of Bowmanville, said If you didn’t watch out after firing, the durn gun would kick you again in the shins. One of the men was cross-eyed, and a couple of his shots went over the top into the Presbyterian Church and elevation over the target of one hundred and fifty feet. But they gradually improved in shooting. Sometimes Col. Cubitt would take the rifle from some one who had fizzled, and try it himself at the target. It amused the spectators when the Col. did no better himself. He was ready to blame the rifle of course for having poor sights. He may have been right, possibly.

Harvesting in the early days, before self-binders were known, or made use of by the farmer was some real work.

Imagine a farm with ripe and ripening fields of grain, that to be harvested had first to be cradled. A fairly good day’s work for a cradler was 2 ½ acres, which usually required two men to rake and bind after him. A self-binder, now, will do possibly five times as much cutting and binding, hence doing the work of about a dozen men. Two dollars a day was considered pretty high harvest wages.

A few there were who had a reputation for cradling, and would cut more grain in a day, got slightly higher pay, as well as those who were quicker binders, that is a man who alone, could rake and bind and keep up with the cradler all day. There was often considerable rivalry between the binder and the cradler as the latter was apt to feel his pride hurt if not cutting more than a man could bind.

Peter Barclay, who owned the Cooper Shop, a kind and pleasant man was one of the best binders and quickest in the section. He would leave his shop to help in harvest if help was needed.

Tom Branton, I think his name was, had credit of being the champion cradler, and probably deserved the name, for in several competitions he had out distanced all competitors.

Mrs. Seeney, a widow, living just out of village, had a field of five acres of wheat ready for cutting. The field bordered on the grounds of the Presbyterian Church. Peter offered to help bind it if somebody would cut it. Branton who was not engaged for the next day, offered to help cut it. The next morning no one but Branton and Peter Barclay showed up. Branton told Peter if he had another to help bind, the two might keep in sight of him, Peter said nothing more than for him to go ahead and cut.

Branton started in vigorously in tall grain and cut half way across the field. Looking back to see where Peter was, he was surprised to find him close up, working away without apparent work. Branton stated off again a top speed. When the round was completed there was Peter still close up. Branton felt real hurt and disgusted. Round and round the field they went till noon. My father who had been stoking the sheaves said he thought the field half cut.

When work was resumed in afternoon Branton continued his hot pace, but after a time began to slacken up. Peter at such times would gently urge him on by poking him in the back with his rake handle. The field was cut and bound that day which was a record for two men! Peter said there was no secret in his binding, he simply avoided useless motions as usually indulged in.

Later when reaping machines became common, the cradle was laid aside except in stumpy or stony fields. Binding was still an important part of the work, as the reaping machines left the grain in sheaves ready for binding. I have seen Peter binding such machine-laid sheaves seeming to pause a second over a sheaf then on to next, he seemed to do very little but just walk.

Peter Barclay was just as good a cooper as he was a binder. He attended to needs of the community in whatever direction needed in first class style. He was a man highly respected by everybody. Mrs. Barclay was a sister of Mr. Levi A. Tole of Bowmanville.

Early Days in Enniskillen - Part 9 By an Old Durham Boy

In the early days to which reference is made sanitary conditions, such as exists to day, were never heard of in Darlington. Precautions taken in case of some contagious diseases were observed but somewhat indifferently. A small pox scare would cause some demand for vaccination but outside, a family where a small pox case happened to be there was no very rigid enforcement of sanitary regulations.

Pupils would often be sent to school, when some member of the family was sick with measles, scarlet fever or mumps. None of the more common complaints except small pox were taken seriously in the earlier days. There were neither bathrooms nor toilet conveniences in the homes then, so important now for health, general welfare and comfort. By the same token, there are many complaints and diseases with high sounding names to-day, we never heard of, if they existed in those days and people lived their lives, and were-let us hope-happy in blissful ignorance of such diseases. Of course, no one suggested that the increase in complaints and diseases were caused by increase in number of doctors.

Bathing facilities were about as limited out of doors as in doors. Nearly all villages round about, had within it, or neat by some half-decent place for boys, or grown ups, for that matter, to bathe. But Enniskellen had nothing of the kind-“no old swimming “ole” nearer than Martin’s mill race, or down near Hayden. I suppose half a dozen times was the limit of my trying to bathe in these places. I found on getting out in the wind and dust and walking home I was dustier than when I left home. The water was generally cold, and I shiver yet when I think of those dips.

Anyway what was lacking in the homes in the way of bathing and toilet facilities in those days, was certainly excusable. The importance of these regarding health was unknown and such fixtures as were made, were not adaptable to country homes. There is no such excuse now, though.

In one country in Indiana, a county ranking highest in the State in fertility of soil and wealth of the people, statistics for 1920 of that County, show there were four thousand automobiles and only 243 houses equipped with modern sanitary conveniences as bathroom. It certainly seems to show a lacking in good common sense. What the present condition of the homes in, and around Enniskillen is, I have not heard, but I will bet a nickel, it shows up better than this country in Indiana.

Farmers were generally eager to purchase any labour saving device or anything that made work easier on the farm, but to provide something for home conveniences or that would make the work in the home easier, and lighten the work of the housewife was looked at askance, by the head of the house. “Women’s work? Pshaw, they get along alright as they are,” and such things as washing machines, wringers, improved churns, clothes dryers, et. were all foolishness and unnecessary expense. As a boy I used to think this mighty unfair.

The mothers and sisters of those days, God bless them, I never think of them, nor of the mothers and sisters of today, but I take off my hat to them. They worked on uncomplainingly day after day, year in and year out, and there was no let up till they were laid to final and real rest.

Conditions may have changed by this time and many labour saving devices been introduced in dairy and housework, but I would wager again, that these things were not bought for the house till conditions forced this, through scarcity of household help or other emergency.

Dr. William Hillier, graduate of McGill University, was the only physician for years with office and surgery in the village. He was an elder brother of Dr. S.C. Hillier of Bowmanville. There was no doctor in Cartwright nor in any of the neighbouring villages, at this time, hence his medical practice was wide and varied. His reputation as a physician and surgeon stood high and was wide spread. So much so, that he was frequently called in consultation by other doctors in critical cases. Once, I remember, he was called to Toronto, and another time to Cobourg, both for surgical operations. In both cases the patients immediately improved and eventually recovered.

No inducement, it seemed, was ever sufficiently great for him to remove to some other locality or city where his medical work would be less onerous, and more concentrated. He seemed a part of the life of the community and took pride in any undertaking that was likely to advance or improve living conditions. There were no drug stores nearer than Bowmanville hence it was necessary to keep a supply of drugs in office for all kinds and conditions of complaints and diseases. He never wrote a prescription for a patient and sent him out to a drug store to have it filled, but did all that in his own office and often in a hurry, too.

My father was once complaining of not feeling just right and appealed to Dr. Hillier for some remedy. Doctor asked a few questions and examined the tongue, then put his finger tips in a little case containing very small pills, took out some and without counting them, told my father to take them when he got home. He did so. Later when about, half-dead, or thought he was, and the doctor called, he indignantly inquired why my father had not taken the pills as ordered. My father said he had taken them, that was the trouble he guessed, for he had taken thirty. Dr. Hillier was dumbfounded for three was a dose, the number he intended to give, but being in a hurry and the pills small he had directed ten doses be taken at once.

In common with most surgeons of his day, he took no heed whatever of the pain he might be inflicting. The quickest and surest way to reach desired result was his motto. When I was about eight years old I complaining pretty loudly of pain in my jaw. The doctor on an examination decided on pulling two teeth, which he did. The loss of those two teeth was an irreparable injury to me. The pain was caused by the teeth crowding each other a little. Modern methods could soon have remedied this, and dentists now, would consider such an act under similar conditions, a crime. He did not use the modern kind of tooth puller, either, the kind that dentists delight in dangling before the eyes of victims, but he used what was called a turnkey, of the kind in general use then, I suppose, like a pair of heavy pincers, liable to slip from the tooth, thus adding variety to the performance.

Dr. Hillier always if possible attended every call when medical attention was required whether from wealthier or poorer class. The question of patients’ ability to pay, never entered into it, he went just the same. I have seen him returning home from an all night vigil after watching over some patient desperately ill, the roads deep with snow through which the horse was wearily plunging and the Dr. half dead, through exposure and want of sleep. Yet if an urgent call came in an hour after reaching home, with a fresh horse the doctor would be on his way again. He was thoroughly in love with his work as any successful physician must be, but as the years came and went the work began to tell on him. It was no wonder a doctor such as he, had the respect and admiration of the people, and the true friendship of most of them.

Dr. Hillier was a pretty rabid Tory, and in the heat of political discussions he was rather forceful in his expressions. He would let anyone know where he stood on the matter in about a minute.

These same political opponents, when ill, even when other doctors were within call, would send for Dr. Hillier. As one man explained, he would quarrel with the doctor on political or other things, but with his proficiency as a doctor he had no quarrel.

Some neighbours tried to pull off an April fool joke on him once. It was Robert Hall, I think, who then lived in the village before he moved to the Hooey farm in Cartwright. Hall or someone in the plot sent an urgent call to the Dr. to set a broken leg. Dr. Hillier hurried over, and found the patient to be a turkey gobbler that had met with an accident. The Dr. showed no surprise but set the leg in splints and did all that was needed and sent home. The next day a bill for $20.00 was sent as medical fee for setting a broken leg. This spoiled the April fool joke of course, and I understand, the bill was paid.

Dr. J.W. McLaughlin began his medical career in Enniskillen. He was the first rival, or competitor of importance Doctor William Hillier had. Dr. McLaughlin was a great acquisition to the village, not only because of the beautiful home and surgery he afterwards erected but in the keen interest he took in the prosperity and general welfare of the community.

As was common in those days there was no great amount of love lost between the local doctors. Dr. McLaughlin being a later graduate of more modern teaching considered his knowledge more up to date, hence their methods of practice varied in many particulars. Dr. Hillier’s many years’ experience stood much in his favour, and altogether there was a pretty sharp distinction drawn by followers of each. Dr. McLaughlin was as keen a Grit, as Dr. Hillier was a Tory, which tended to widen the felling of aloofness between them.

Notwithstanding all this Dr. McLaughlin must have had great confidence in medical skill of Dr. Hillier for on two occasions when Dr. McLaughlin was seriously ill, he had Dr. Hillier as medical advisor. Once, when a surgical operation was necessary, the question of an anaesthetic to use, was a point of dispute. Dr. McLaughlin seemed to have an abiding faith in ether as an anesthetic and demanded that ether be used. Dr. Hillier had as strong a faith in chloroform, and refused to administer ether, and threatened to withdraw from the case, if ether was insisted on. Dr. Hillier had his way’ chloroform was used and Dr. McLaughlin recovered.

Years after in discussing with Dr. McLaughlin, a new anesthetic of recent discovery, he still expressed his faith in ether. It was suggested he had lost one great opportunity of proving his argument with Dr. Hillier that time, for if he had shuffled off, he would have had the satisfaction at least of knowing his argument was the better.

The first Mrs. (Dr.) McLaughlin was a real loveable woman, a great help to the Dr. in winning the respect of the people. She was always ready to do her part at entertainments or gatherings and church work. Her cheery good nature and kindly smile was always in evidence. She could sing, too, most charmingly.

When her first baby, Maggie, I think, was only a few weeks old, as I was passing the surgery which was near the street-the new building was not yet erected-she came out, took me by the hand and said I must come in to see her baby. I was much embarrassed for, from some cause which I do not remember, my clothing was muddy, my face dirty, and hair unkempt. My first impulse was to resist, but she held on. When we got in, she took the little mite of fluffiness from its cradle placed it in my arms, and asked me if I didn’t think it the finest baby in the world? I was scared to death almost for fear I might drop it or break it or something, but managed to stammer out, that I thought it the finest baby in the world, and it needed to be if it grew up to be as fine and good as its mother. Mrs. McLaughlin was a Miss Ida Gross of Tyrone, who will be remembered still by many readers.

Early Days in Enniskillen - Part 10 By an Old Durham Boy

In my boyhood days, there was no entertainment I attended which gave me greater pleasure or were so interesting and instructive as the lectures of Prof. A.B. Kent of Newcastle, father of Mr. Carl B. Kent, Postmaster, at Bowmanville. In after years, in recalling the lectures and electrical experiments, I thought that in some ways he was quite a little in advance of his time, scientifically.

The last entertainment and lecture of his that I heard, was in the schoolroom at Enniskillen, when I was a schoolboy. There was a large audience and this lecture was the fourth, I think that I had the pleasure of attending in seven or eight years. Each succeeding lecture had something new and interesting.

The general uses to which electricity is applied now, was unknown then. There were no electric lights, no telephone, and no dynamos. The only practical part played by electricity, in human endeavour was the important one, the electric telegraph.

The chief way of generating electricity was by voltaic battery. The first part of his lecture consisted in describing what a voltaic battery was and Prof. Kent had a large one containing many cells. He showed the position of the cells, the metal plates of copper and zinc, the diluted sulphuric acid, the binding screws and connecting wires. He had in addition, Condensers, Magnets, Lyden jars, air pump, and several miniature machines, which would all run by power generated by the battery; he had put together before us.

The story of the telegraph and its inventory Morse was given. Its mystery explained and illustrated by two telegraph instruments, one placed at each end of the room, connected by wire. One of the Prof’s. sons, William, then a small boy, was operator at the far end of the room on one instrument. William was an elder brother, I think, of the present Postmaster at Bowmanville, and may account also for Carl’s knowledge of telegraphy in after years.

In those days lightning rods were much in evidence on country homes and barns, some of them had two. The question of their being any real protection against lightning was much discussed. Prof. Kent was asked by some one in the audience to give his opinion, dangerous. As for two lightning, he said with a merry twinkle in his eye, could strike between two rods, but never between one!

The protection which lightning rods might afford, he illustrated by a diminutive dwelling, with a small lightning rod. Inside the house was a container filled with an explosive gas. If the rod was not properly grounded and insulated, a spark from the Lyden jar touching the top of the rod exploded the gas, the house collapsed, with considerable noise. When rod was properly installed the electric spark passed away without exploding the gas and no damage to the house was done.

Speaking of lightning rods, one is reminded of the story of Abraham Lincoln in his early political history, when a candidate for the Legislature. He was practically unknown to most of the constituency. One day he had to speak from same platform as his opponent. In going to the place of appointment, he passed the home where his opponent lived, and noticed several iron rods pointing skyward from the roofs of house and outbuildings. He inquired what they wee for. Their use was explained to him, which seemed to give him food for contemplation.

At the meeting place his opponent among other things, told the audience, he hoped the people would vote for him, and not for a man unknown to them, who lived somewhere back in the wilderness; about whose life they knew nothing.

Mr. Lincoln in reply said, “Friends, you don’t know very much about me. I haven’t had the advantages that some of you have had, but if you did know everything about me that you might know, you could be sure there is nothing in my character that made it necessary, to put on my house a lightning rod, to save me from the just vengeance of God”.

Prof. Kent had some magnets, one of which the arms were quite long. On this he placed a wheel with axle reaching opposite sides. When the magnet was held in a slanting direction and the wheel ready, he would ask some boy to catch it as it jumped off. The wheel, of course, would run down smartly to end of magnet, but in place of jumping away, would simply turn around the ends, and start to run up the opposite side, much to the surprise of the boy, there to catch it, and amusement of spectators.

On a Lynden jar, was an upright attachment from which was suspended by fine wire, a number of small objects to imitate birds. When the jar was being charged, the birds, by repulsion would appear to rise to fly away. A toy sportsman with a gun could be seen approaching with gun pointed which when near enough completed the circuit, making a flash and report, the birds would drop as if shot. Greatest curiosity and interest were created by this electrical exhibition which on the program was alluded to as “A sportsman kills a flock of birds with a flash of lightning”.

He had a battery arranged to permit any members of the audience who cared, to test what electricity felt like, to form in front and join hands. Soon some of them would begin to squirm, and beg to let go. Others, a little more plucky would remain for greater test, but all went away with the feeling, that there was more electricity than they cared to take in at one time.

Prof. Kent had a pair of electric slippers, too, connected by wire to the battery. Some of the more venturesome were induced to bare their feet and put on the slippers. They didn’t keep them on long, for as soon as current was applied the subject would dance and try to turn a handspring!

Bill Willis, he of militia spoken of, was there pretty “groggy”, as usual. He was in a front seat fast asleep. Those sitting, next to him on the seat took off Bill’s shoes and socks while Bill slept on. The slippers were adjusted and current turned on gently. Bill sat up with a start, looked around as though trying to remember where he was and what it was all about. A little more power caused Bill to stand up which he did with a jump; a little more power and he jumped several times. The old Prof. was greatly amused and as the audience caught on to the trick they went wild.

In those days nothing seemed to cause keener delight than to see a poor devil the victim of some trick so long as some one else was “the goat”. Another jump and Bill sat on the floor. He was pretty well sobered by this time, but his feet wee “groggy”and simply would not keep still. Whether the Prof. had applied much additional force this time, Bill jumped so high one of the slippers came off. This, of course, cut off the current, and Bill had leisure to look about. He looked at the slippers, at his bare feet, at the audience and then at Prof. Kent. As he turned to take his seat all he said was “Well, I’ll be dinged” and sat down. The audience applauded Bill loudly for anyone who could take a jolt like he had had and keep his temper was admired.

The mechanical churns and other pieces of machinery, would run when attached to the battery. When the wheels began to turn, the cumulative power from the battery kept accelerating the speed of the machine. Prof. Kent explained that if he did not, from time to time, sever connection with the battery, the speed would be so great, the machine would tear itself to pieces. He said also that was one reason why electricity would never become a useful or practical source of power as experimenting had proved the impossibility, of controlling this cumulative force.

The Prof. varied the entertainment between times by singing, accompanying himself on his organ. He could sing well, too. Many of the old songs, so dear to the hears of the “old boys’ now, he sung besides others I heard then for the first time. Among the songs he sang were “Old Black Joe”, “Old Folks at Home”, “Be Kind to thy Father”, “Annie Laurie” and “Silver Threads” which was new then. He had some amusing songs, too. One I never heard since, about the man or some one.

Who is sick?

Go call the Dr. and be quick

The Dr. Comes with free good-will

And gives a dose of calomil


The song gives the result of this dose of Calomil, and, I think, describes the funeral.

If there were more Prof. Kents in these later days to give similar entertainments, in schools in country villages, they would be found educational, instructive and interesting for both big and little people.

Early Days in Enniskillen - Part 11 By an Old Durham Boy

Mr. Levi A. Tole was among the older young men, who was much in evidence in and around Eniskillen. His father’s farm was about a mile East from the village towards Haydon. When his elder brother Elijah went out West, Levi had the chief care of the property on his hands, which kept him pretty busy. In spite of this Levi found time to attend social functions, such as teas, parties, etc., for none such seemed quite complete unless Levi was on hand. Thus he was considered the life of any party or gathering, and his unfailing good nature made him a general favorite wherever he went.

When cultivating his first moustache, the care he bestowed on it was the object of the keenest solicitude of friends and neighbors, but so good natured was he all their joshing never seemed to ruffle him a bit. He always had an answer on tap ready for any quizzer.

He was as might be expected a prime favorite with the ladies, especially, God bless them, much to the disgust of some of the Beau Brummels who couldn’t get a look in, when Levi was around.

Though too young to be a real associate, I admired Levi, as did many of the younger fry because we always got help, and a square deal from him.

He has, I understand, been living in Bowmanville for a number of years doing the business of real estate dealer and auctioneer. If so, I am willing to wager, he is a top notcher among the best of them, anywhere. He can be serious and earnest, too, but his ready wit stands him in good stead at all times. Just try him sometime when he is busy with his “Going”, “going”, “Last call”, and get funny with him, you’ll find out. Hey! Levi, how about a game of checkers?

Mrs. Tole was formerly a Miss Sarah Clemens, a very fine type of woman for a helpmate, and altogether I know that Mr. and Mrs. Tole are citizens of whom any town may well be proud.

Among the industries not represented in Enniskillen, in early days, was that of barber. Shaving had to be largely self inflicted. Hair cutting was usually performed by amateurs, with more or less skill and of course varying success. The mother in the home usually performed on the small boys, but the larger boys and Dad looked for some one who was more up-to-date.

The best amateur hair cutter, I can remember, in those days, was George Gainer, a consumptive patient of Dr. Hillier’s who worked for the doctor in return for medical treatment. George was always ready to perform when duties did not interfere and never made any charge for his tonsorial services. He had an ordinary chair in and out house for convenience of patrons. The chief trouble was, however, that George might be half way through a séance, and receive a call from the doctor to do something urgent, which might keep him busy an hour or two, and the victims meanwhile be compelled to wait. This happened to me once. There was to be a picnic over in Virtue’s woods. Before time for assembly I ran for George to cut my hair. He had one side nicely trimmed off, when he got a call to go somewhere and left me just as I was. I was a member of the band, which was to help entertain the picnickers, hence had to go just as I was. My cap, when pulled down well, hid some of the mistreatment, but not enough to escape the sharp eyes of my comrades nor the guying I got. George completed the job late that night.

Bill Ferris, about sixteen, had a shock of hair, which was handy for pulling because one could get a good hold. One morning coming into school, he kept on his cap, took his seat and seemed reluctant then to remove it, he tried to look as though he had forgotten about it. When the cap was finally removed, suppressed laughter spread around the class room. Some one had tried to cut Bill’s hair. The scalp showed through in patches here and there. Tom Swain said it looked like a field of corn after it was cut and put up in bunches. At recess Bill explained he had tried to cut his hair himself. We believed him, for it sure looked like it. One trouble was he said he couldn’t use the blamed scissors in his left hand nor could see the back of his head to know whether he was cutting it long or short. At noon time George Gainer fixed it over as well as conditions would permit and Bill was happy once more. But the boys always recommended Bill to anyone who needed a stylish hair cut.

John Ferris, of pleasant memory, a cousin of Bill’s, from boyhood to manhood everybody liked. He was always good natured, kind and helpful whenever he could. When old enough he began to work in McLeod’s foundry to learn blacksmithing. Neither the work nor surroundings were pleasant for him, for being an apprentice he had all the dirty work to do. In spite of all he kept right at it. I never heard him complain, but laughingly would tell of some job assigned him to do because no one else would do it. He said “Its all in the game”.

Years after Richard Sylvester took over the foundry and made it into an up-to-date plant, John was much in the front. Later, when the works were removed to Lindsay, John went along as an important practical asset. He married Miss Mary Jane, a daughter of Mr. Robert Hall.

In after years when he was living in Lindsay with an interesting family around him, I found him the same kindly worthy John. He seemed to me one of the best examples of stick-toativeness that I have known.

When baseball was quite a rage in Enniskillen, John Ferris was catcher for the team for some time. In those days a catcher had little protection – no masks, no protection, no gloves and he worked behind the bat with nothing excepting possibly a chunk of rubber held tightly between his teeth, to prevent their being knocked out, and would go through the game in spite of bruises and sprained fingers.

Dr. S. C. Hillier, then in Enniskillen with his brother Dr. William, played first base and did it well. Running the bases worried him most. Mr. Elisha Jessup, the school teacher, also essayed the game, too, but was rather excitable in a way. He would yell like a Comanche Indian while running the bases. Harry Hooper who was then beginning his medical studies with Dr. Hillier was another player and Dr. T. J. Tamblyn, a brother of Mr. W. W. Tamblyn, M. A., of education fame once principal of Bowmanville High School, was also a player. Levi A. W. Tole tried the game a few times but gave it up in disgust, the ball would persist in going through his hands, hit him on the knuckles, or in more vital parts. Levi said he thought he could do more good and enjoy the game more just looking on.

Early Days in Enniskillen - Part 12 By an Old Durham Boy

The family of Prestons, like the one of Robert Kennedy was quite large. All the Preston boys that I remember, five, I think, were mechanics, and employed in McLeod’s foundry when old enough, and later with the Sylvester Works.

Dad Preston was distinctly of the Scottish type, tall and spare, as were most of the boys, and had charge, I think, of the paint shop.

The eldest son, Ned, as all called him, was man grown when I was a boy. He was steady, hardworking and generally respected, as were, indeed, all others of the family. From some cause, the nature of which I do not recall, Ned after a long illness from some affection in an arm, had to have it amputated at the shoulder. Long after the arm had healed he did not gain strength and acted all the time, like one in great pain. I tried to sympathise with him in his affliction. He told me the pain seemed to be in hand of arm amputated as though something was heavily pressing upon half closed fingers. He would seem to make motions as though trying to hold the lost hand. Boy like I was much puzzled and wondered if the man’s mind was not a little deranged. He could not sleep nor rest and he said he had about reached the limit of endurance. Some friend of the family suggested that the buried arm be examined. He had heard, he said, of such things when not properly interred making trouble. Notwithstanding the foolishness, as some called it, the limb was exhumed. It was found to have been carelessly buried, perhaps through haste, so that the soil pressed heavily on the half closed hand which was most exposed. The fingers were straightened and arm wrapped comfortable and reburied. Strange to say, from that minute almost, the pain ceased, and he rapidly gained strength, and soon he was looking as well as ever.

I asked him many questions because I was deeply interested in the strangeness of it all. Some who knew of it, and whose opinion I asked, passed over the matter lightly as a mere coincidence, anyway, why should boys like me want to bother about it? But I did “bother about it”, for in after years I never lost an opportunity of following up any clue that might shed light on any reported phenomena of similar nature. I found cases even more strange than this of Ned Preston, and the more critical the examination, the more puzzling. Light has been shed on the matter, and conclusions or solutions arrived at, which satisfied me. But thank you, I will not enter into any psychological discussion here.

Hugh Thompson, in early days, a citizen of Enniskillen, was always a great puzzle to his neighbors. As I recall him last he was perhaps forty years of age. He had been in the west for some time gold hunting it was understood. He had a brother William who at one time taught school, till the grade for teachers was raised, then tried local preaching, but he was too slow, as some said, to get out of his own way. William and his mother lived in their home about opposite the Methodist church. When Hugh returned from the West he dispossessed his mother and brother, having obtained title to the property through means fair or otherwise. It was hinted by some that he had brought considerable gold back with him, but he never enlightened anyone as to that, anyway, his habits of living did not indicate it, as he kept busy at work. He was a genius in a way, a jack of all trades. He seemed equally at home whether lathing or plastering, bricklaying, carpenter or paper hanger. His home was turned into a work shop, except one room, where he could cook and sleep. He lived entirely alone, discouraging any attempt at sociability. Very few were ever known to enter the house; in fact, so far as his home was concerned, he was a complete hermit.

His record of being stingy and mean and the treatment of his mother made him generally disliked, which did not seem to worry him much.

He had a large wood working lathe run by a wheel nearly twelve feet in diameter connected by belt to running gear of the lathe. There was a system of crank shafts on wheel to which were attached a pair of pedals. By standing on these pedals and throwing his weight first on one, then on the other considerable power was communicated to the wheel. He turned some beautiful pieces of work in this way on the lathe. Sometimes when he needed some little assistance in his work, he would ask some boy to come in. I was in the place several times in this way, much to my delight, there were so many interesting things to see.

In one room were many beautiful designs in plaster of Paris, for ceiling and column decorations of original design. These, I understood, he sent to some firm in Toronto.

What interested me most of all, however, was a four wheeled vehicle, made to run when a man was seated in it. The wheels were about two feet in diameter on axles on which the body rested. The seat which had a high back, was so constructed that it would tilt forward and back, being connected by crank shaft with rear axle would help turn it. The steer gear was also made to tilt forward and back did duty also in helping propulsion. There was in addition a foot rest movable forward and back with the feet. Thus the body, arms and legs did duty in supplying power to drive the vehicle.

This was long before the days of the bicycle, at least in Enniskillen; yet Thompson would run along the road, which was not very smooth either, with considerable speed even up grade, making a rather ludicrous figure, with arms, body and legs in motion. He was very secretive as to driving gear connections under the body.

Certainly there was something of value if it had been brought out. He never attempted to run it, however but there was more or less criticism and sarcastic references, about scaring horses, and looking like a fool when operating it, which so disgusted him, at last he threw the thing in the cellar, and, I believe, it never saw daylight again.

A trace of feeling as to inventions in those days, was seen many years later when an M.P.P. from West Durham introduced a bill in Parliament to limit the usefulness of the automobile, permitting it to run only on certain days of the week in the country. The bill was so ridiculed it had to be withdrawn. This invention of Thompson’s would no doubt have been revolutionary, with even a little encouragement, but the bitter denunciations, he received when horses shied, or seemed frightened at his approach so disgusted him, as I said before, that he threw it aside.

I believe, too, there was a law then in force, compelling any such vehicle to have a horse attached in front when traveling on a public road!

Early Days in Enniskillen - Part 13 By an Old Durham Boy

I have no knowledge of the general appearance of Enniskillen at present as to its homes, streets and surroundings. I am very sure though that it is not in the same conditions that I recall of it in the early days – weeds, chiefly thistles, growing in vacant spaces, and on side of streets in places here and there, gates hanging by a single hinge, the crown of an old hat pressing out here and there, where a pane of glass had been and sidewalks, what there were of them, more or less disrupted. These conditions were greatly improved, however after Sylvester took hold of the foundry. The place was enlivened considerably as new workmen arrived and made their homes in the hill top village.

When Robert Hall was appointed pathmaster, about that time, to make needed improvements on roads and streets he made a careful survey of the work to be done. The number of days road work, as it was called, due from each property holder depended upon amount of his property, but every male over 21 years, was supposed to do one day’s work in some assigned place, whether owning property or not, or in lieu of day’s work, to pay one dollar. Some of the larger real estate holders might have from twenty to thirty days. A day’s work was allowed for each man and horse, so it was easy for a horse owner to haul gravel, or run the road scraper and soon work up the allotted days. Previously there had been much looseness or carelessness, as many would somehow sidestep the work, but Hall saw to it that each and every one came to time and did his bit.

Whether it was a written law or not, I do not know, but a man was supposed to work with such tools as he had. He was not forced to buy or borrow for this special work. Bill Willis showed up on his day to work with a huge butcher knife, and reported for duty. Hall said nothing, but felt the edge of the knife, and pointed to a nice crop of thistles stretching along the road, said, “Go to it, there’s your day’s work.” The laugh was on Bill this time , for it would have taken him a month to cut them with the knife, and thistles were not pleasant to handle. He hustled off somewhere and borrowed a scythe, and did the work well. We boys later had a fine bon fire when the thistles were dry.

Under Hall’s supervision, and energy the weeds in open spaces and along the road disappeared. Gates hanging by one hinge, he allowed the man responsible his day to repair. Broken walks were repaired and new ones laid; altogether the place got such a cleaning up as it never had before, and looked so splick and span, as, Bill Willis said, “Enniskillen looked like it had on its Sunday clothes”.

But more than one man is needed to be interested in appearance and cleanliness of a place, and in two or three years was back in same old rut. It seemed to me a shame, too, a village so pleasantly located, surroundings attractive, plenty of wooded hills near, to see streets devoid of shade trees.

In a community of people all of one mind, and taking pride in appearance of houses, and cleanliness of the village, much can be done to that end. A week set aside, as “clean up week” under supervision of a committee of women appointed at a meeting of citizens would work wonders, too. Interest the children also. If each householder would plant along the front of his lot, the half dozen or less of the beautiful maple trees easily obtained there, it would add to the value of his property. These trees being planted individually more interest would be taken in their care and preservation.

Starting with something like the ‘clean up” campaign, other work can be planned, such as most needed to be done.

In these days of automobiles, when there is such ready intercommunion, a clean and thriving Enniskillen, would be the envy of other communities, and they would soon begin action along those lines, too.

Some villages have already experienced what co-operative effort can do, and have risen from a state of staleness and deadness, to a much more satisfying state of human existence.

Early Days in Enniskillen - Part 14 By an Old Durham Boy

As I remember it, the smoking habit in the early days, among the older men was pretty universal. Among the youths it was not so common, perhaps as now. Cigarettes were never in evidence so far as I know, at least to be noticed. The pipe was the usual medium of getting a smoke. Cigars were much less common. Chewing tobacco was perhaps more universal even among the younger fry.

I am pleased to say, though, that not one among the youths of whom I had spoken and others of my companions used tobacco in any form, whatever their fathers may have done. I cannot speak for them in after years, for like many with the world, may have got the habit to show they were sociable.

I was most effectually cured of taste for chewing tobacco, by once being given a bite of the black strop chewing plug of tobacco so popular in those days. I swallowed juice and all. I think, for after two or three days when I had recovered the sight of a plug of chewing tobacco, would almost “turn my insides out,” and I have’nt got over it yet.

There was one thing that all the boys did like to indulge in, that was sugar of the kind common then, not for sale anywhere now, I believe. It was known as Muscavada sugar which was of brown color and damp in feeling. It had a “tang” to the taste that was very inviting, for no matter how much you ate, you always wanted more.

This sugar came in great hogsheads which had to be emptied or shoveled into barrels in front of the store for removal into the storehouse. McLeod’s store sold usually a hogshead of this sugar per month. What a treat for the boys who happened to be around when this was going on. Jacob Scott, the clerk, couldn’t watch both ends and middle, to prevent a lump as big as a cocoa nut from disappearing now and then, with some boy.

But the great event was when the hogshead was emptied, and turned over to the boys to squabble over. Adhering to inside in crevices, cracks and hollows were layers of sugar, the shovel couldn’t reach. So the boys with improvised tin scrapers, or any old thing that would scrape, would pile inside that old hogshead and get to work. There was room for six or eight boys by standing on one another, to scrape off the sugar. The boys down below caught what fell from those above, in their hair or down the back of their necks. What a sight the clothing was to be sure, smeared from head to foot with the sugar. More than once I was sent to bed without my supper for getting clothes in such a sate, but the loss of supper didn’t worry much, as I was pretty well filled with sugar. Sometimes too, nails, to fasten on the hoops protruded inside an inch or more, so often our clothes were torn as well as smeared.

Once when a number of us was inside a hogshead scarping merrily away, somebody upended the thing and rolled it off the platform to the street. This one had nails in it too. We never could find out just who did it, though we watched and waited long. We were ready to forgive the guilty party, of course, as soon as we had paid the trick in some way.

In after years I tried frequently to get some of this sugar, but never succeeded. Improvements in refining took that kind from market in condition it was then. It was because of impurities in it, the taste was given, in which we so much delighted.

Early Days in Enniskillen - Part 15 By an Old Durham Boy

William Bingham, a carpenter and builder, lived a little east of the village. As I remember the family in the early days, there were four boys and two girls. The family was a most interesting one and always highly respected. Mr. Bingham besides his profession of builder, was a farmer too, though not on a large scale. The boys when not attending school, helped with the farm work, none of them seemed inclined to follow their father in carpenter work.

The eldest son, Samuel, a fine young man, died shortly after reaching manhood. George and James, the two youngest, were little kids then, while Hugh S. the second son – Smith we used to call him – was quite a lad. He attended school at Enniskillen and it was under the tutelage of Elisha Jessup, that he obtained a teacher’s certificate and started out as many others have done to teach the “young ideas”.

Hugh taught school for several years and then studied medicine; later graduating as a full fledged physician, practicing, I believe, in the city of Toronto.

Hugh, all the years I knew him, and we were much together, was kind, sociable, and helpful always, an active worker in the Sons’ of Temperance Lodge. During later years, I hoped many times of having the pleasure once again, of meeting him. It was with much sorrow, I heard of his death. Dear old Hugh, one more of the old boys passed out and beyond.

The profession of Medicine seemed to run in the Bingham family, for beside an uncle, who practiced at Enniskillen for a time, the two younger sons, George and James, became doctors, too.

The Bingham boys were all good students and were capable of making their mark in any line of endeavor.

Old Grandad Bingham, grandfather of the boys, came from a part of Ireland that required a good deal of courage in which to live, through continual fights with the Catholics. Up to his death, the old man had a most intensely bitter hated of anything even resembling Popery.

He was rather a fierce looking old man, as I remember him, an appearance largely assumed no doubt, to scare the boys which seemed to delight him.

The first time I saw him, when I was a little fellow, he nearly scared me into fits. I met him suddenly one day. He stopped in front of me and told me I was one of the boys, who had escaped from a pen where he had them fattening, and he looked so fiercely through his shaggy eyebrows, I let out a yell, and took the nearest fence, and never stopped running till I got home.

Hugh told me that the old man was his grandfather and that he was only fooling with me. Later, once again, on meeting the old man, he couldn’t scare me so easily, and I didn’t run, but he told me to stick around, where he could find me when needed, as he had to eat a boy each month!

Dr. George Bingham is a famous surgeon living in the City of Toronto, and Dr. James, I hear, is practicing in New York City.

I must tell a little anecdote just here, without mentioning names. A former resident of West Durham obtained his degree in Medicine, and in due time located in New York City. An old school mate of his, already for some years in New York, happened one day to see the Dr’s. sign, telling the public his name, qualifications, etc., and his willingness to attend their call, if they would convenience him by becoming sick occasionally. The school mate had not seen the doctor for more than twenty years, and felt if he called he would most likely not be recognized. He went in, and found the doctor in readiness for any professional services needed. The visitor assured him he had only called to make a business proposition which he would state briefly if the doctor was ready to listen. The doctor expressed his willingness to hear his proposition. It is this said the visitor “ I have heard with what success you have met with in your medical practice, and I feel we could make a barrel of money in partnership, you to travel around the country and doctor the sick, and I would follow you a little later, and take orders for tombstones”. The Dr. was most indignant, of course, and expressed himself in language befitting the occasion. The visitor who could contain himself no longer let out a roar, and getting his breath, made himself known. The Dr. was glad to see him in spite of the informal introduction “but” he said “you sure got my goat”.

Early Days in Enniskillen - Part 16 By an Old Durham Boy

Among the early settlers in the vicinity of Enniskillen was James Austen who lived a half mile or so west of the village going down the big hill.

He was born January 1st, 1800, in one of the Eastern Provinces, I believe, and settled on the farm sometime about 1820, so one can nearly figure out his age when he plunged into the woods to hew out of it a home.

His experiences and hardships, except in some particulars, were much the same as many others, in those early days, had to pass through, when as first settlers they buried themselves in the deep woods. Not a farm you can see to-day with its rich fields of grain and green pastures, comfortable homes and out buildings, but had had its beginnings through the energy and self denial of some brave soul to whom we seldom or never give a thought to-day.

Mr. Austen was alone when he entered the woods of his farm , carrying such articles on his back as were most needed. Selecting a suitable site, he built a log cabin, made it as warm and comfortable as he could, and began clearing a space around it. Gradually this space increased in size as he piled and burned the logs and brush.

The second year he planted among the stumps such seeds as he could get, which added an additional supply of food. Previous to this his chief food supply was obtained by hunting, trapping and fishing.

Bowmanville was the nearest place he could get a supply of flour, and this he carried home on his back. The roads seemed too bad for even oxen to travel on, and the trip usually required two days or more. His love of hunting and trapping enable him from time to time, to lay in a good variety of fur pelts, which he sold at fair prices taking them, I believe, to Toronto. About 1850 he married a Miss Collins who proved a worthy helpmate to him and mother to his children. By this time he had a comfortable and roomy frame house, good barns and other out buildings. There were eight children – five boys and three girls. All attended school at one time or another in the village, and were not only schoolmates of mine but playmates as well.

January First was the great day of the year in the Austen family, as it commemorated “Dad’s” birthday, and the first of the year as well. Usually that day was spent in shooting a mark. The old Man was a capital shot, and after we boys had fired several rounds, and though we had done pretty well, he would come out and easily beat our best efforts at shooting, then laughingly tell us to let him know when we improved a little, he would come out again.

The greatest enjoyment we had, however, was, when night came, and a blazing wood fire in the chimney place, to have the old man relate his experiences of nearly fifty years before, most of what is narrated here was told us on such occasions.

Possibly, those things of long ago were more firmly fixed in his memory and clearer than events a year old. At such times, too, I have noticed a wistful look in his eyes, when, he would cease speaking, as though, in mind he dwelt again in the uncomfortable cabin so long his home, as the spectre of it all would rise before him, with a start, as though contrasting that, with his now pleasant surroundings.

Again more pleasurable remembrances would come, of those days, of youthful vigor, when he first saw the now fertile fields when covered with thick woods – the dark longwinter, and the joy he felt when he could see the grey old forest turning green again, and the waterfall freed from an icy grasp mingled its cheering sound, with the song of birds and up the ravines and hillsides a welcome, too.

He was a man of few words, possibly caused by the solitary life he so long led, took little part in political discussions – though he always voted. He was a member of the Church of England, and a regular attendant, as was his family.

Occasionally he would walk with us and point out places where he had killed bears, sometimes after a fight, and where deer had fallen to his unerring aim.

On a knoll he pointed out where a tree once stood, up which he had to climb to escape the wolves. He had been cutting some timber in upper part of farm, and was on his way home one evening, when he heard the cry of wolves. He thought they were behind him, and hurried on, but he found they were between him and the cabin which, if he could have reached he would have been safe.

Wolves, he said, when alone or in pairs, were notoriously cowardly, but in any considerable number, or pack were very bold. From the cries echoing from all sides he knew there must be a considerable number, too many for him to confront.

The nearest refuge he could see was his tree. Before he could reach it they were after him and in order to get out of their reach in time, he had to drop his axe and gun, much to his disgust.

The air was growing very chilly and the prospect of spending a night in that tree was not a cheering one, and without supper too. In meantime the wolves were leaping and howling at him, and he wished more and more for his gun. A wounded wolf, he said, was “immediately devoured by his mates, and to kill or wound enough of them, the remainder would soon be satiated and slink away.

For about two hours, as near as he could judge, the howling and leaping against the tree went on, then suddenly ceased. Evidently, something had frightened them, for they slunk away silently into the woods. He lost no time in getting down, but found his limbs so benumbed he could not stand for a long time. If the wolves had returned then, he would sure have been a victim because he could neither run nor climb the tree again. His little cabin was never so welcome as at this time which he reached at last. A rousing fire, and a hearty supper, soon restored him to normal feeling, then to bed and a dreamless sleep till daylight.

Another time, about half a mile from the house on the bank of a little stream he pointed out as having the closest call in a fight for his life.

Once in late fall he was returning to his cabin after a hard day’s hunt, for game seemed unusually scarce. His larder had got very low, and he was forced to knock off work in order to replenish it. Late in afternoon he killed a deer a fair size. By tieing its legs he was enabled to swing it over his shoulder and back which left his arms comparatively free to assist in making his way, through the tangled brush and over logs. He had just crossed the stream and suddenly was confronted by a huge bear that seemed to rise up from nowhere, and towered above him in height. Ordinarily he said, he was not scared of bears but this one he soon saw, meant business. Hampered as he was with the deer, he could not raise his gun to shoot, neither could he reach his hunting knife.

As the bear reached out to seize him he ducked and leaped desperately aside at the same time. He had to keep jumping and dodging for to run ahead he knew the bear would over take him in a jiffy. Often he felt the wind of the huge paws on his face, as the powerful sings just missed him. He was also intent on getting rid of the deer, for he felt sure the bear would stop long enough to investigate, and might be contented with the venison, and he would be free from immediate pursuit. He was growing mighty weary of it all. Possibly so far, not more than a minute had elapsed but it seemed like an hour since the bear had introduced himself.

Just at this point reached in the story the old man laughed heartily. He said his predicament just then recalled a story he had heard long ago before, about an Irishman, a new comer in the country, who going through the woods one evening suddenly met a bear. He had heard stories about ferocious bears till his hair almost stood on end, but had never seen one before this. This one to him looked as big as an elephant. The man was armed only with a knife, and he thought it a good time to ask help from heaven. He said “OLord, I never troubled you much in asking favors but if you won’t help me, please don’t help the bear and you will see the darndest fight you ever saw”.

He said the Irishman evidently won the fight, which must have been some encouragement, for by a desperate heave he threw the deer over his head in front of the bear. Much to his disappointment the bear kept right after him. After dodging another charge, he tried to swing his gun around for a shot. The gun was a flint lock, sometimes uncertain of fire, but now owing to the thumping and threshing, the gun had undergone the chances of missing fire, were much increased. If it missed, his chances of escape were gone. He turned quickly and fired, just as the bear was upon him. The discharge of the gun half turned him round, and before he could recover himself he was flung heavily to the ground under the bear. He was breathless, and the weight of the bear made it most difficult to get his wind. He was surprised the bear made no move, and after great effort he managed to get free. An examination of the bear showed the whole top of its head had been blown off. The muzzle of the gun had pointed upwards, and in the bear’s mouth when discharged.

He had just sufficient strength left to reach his cabin, leaving the bear and deer which he knew would be there when he returned unless discovered by wolves. The next morning with his ox team he found them as they had been left. He had no means of weighing the bear but, from the known weight of bears he had previously killed, which were much smaller, he estimated this one to be over 600 lbs. He had seen none like it before, its color being a very dark brown. He had bear steaks and chops all winter, which he had preserved by freezing and keeping snow covered.

Powder, he said was somewhat expensive then, and often scarce. As he made his own bullets and slugs from scrap lead which he melted, he though he would try to manufacture his own gun powder, too. He knew in a general way the constituent part and how it was made, and thought it worth while to try, which if successful would be a great saving. He made his own charcoal, obtained some saltpeter and sulphur in Bowmanville.

He worked for several evenings pulverizing the charcoal and saltpeter and mixing them. He had a small keg nearly filled with the mixture, and was going to try a change in his gun when a spark from the fireplace fell into it. The old man made a wry face, while we were anxiously waiting to hear of the destruction wrought by the explosion. Then with a laugh, “Do you know” he said “It burnt nearly all up before I could put it out”. He made no further attempts to manufacture powder.

For some years he had no time piece – didn’t need one very much so long as he had an almanac to know when Sunday came. Later, in some place he was, he came across a dilapidated clock some one had discarded. He brought it home and tinkered with it, till he got it to run. It had only one hand; the figures on face had almost disappeared and no one but himself could tell the time by it. One day a wayfarer came in and on leaving wanted to know the time. The clock had just struck eight. The man questioned the correctness of the clock, said he knew it was not eight yet. Mr. Austin assure the man, that it did not mean the time, it was only a sort of signal “You see the one hand points straight down now, when it does that and the clock strikes eight, I know it is twenty minutes after four; I am mighty proud of that clock”. The visitor said he would take his word for it.

Afterwards when the boys had grown, Mr. Austen thought they needed and could work a much larger farm. He sold out to Mr. James Stainton, I believe, and bought property in Essex County, Ont., to which they removed. Mr. Austen died at a ripe old age. The boys, I believe, made out well. One of them I understood, became Warden of that County. Another example, Mr. Editor, of what the “Durham Boys” have accomplished in times gone by, but most of them had to go somewhere else to do it.

Early Days in Enniskillen - Part 17 By an Old Durham Boy

The Division of Sons of Temperance in Enniskillen, in early days, was a live and thriving institution for a number of years. At one time, in order to add funds to the treasury and awaken amore wide-spread interest in temperance, it was decided to give an entertainment consisting of some light drama, if something suitable could be found within the dramatic powers of the members. The play “Ten Nights in a Bar Room” was chosen from a number submitted. There were about a dozen, more or less, important parts in the play, which had to be fitted in some how, with the character selected for each part from among the members. Very few of those selected to take a part had ever seen a real play performed or had ever been inside a theatre, so they had much to learn.

Fortunately, among the lodge members was a man employed in the Sylvester Works who had formerly some experience in stage arrangements, as to entrances, exits, scenery, etc. His wife also had taken part in some plays previously, and was an able assistant. I am sorry I cannot recall the name, as their daughter most ably filled the role of “Little Mary Morgan”.

Mr. Robert McLaughlin an active member, whose carriage and wagon shop, was then in Enniskillen, also took great interest in the preparation for the play, and was of great assistance. He was considerable of an artist, too, and took charge of painting the scenery need, the curtain, the bar-room or inn known as the “Sickle and Sheaf”, exterior and interior views, and other movable parts all done in high class order. Rehearsing went on, while the stage and scenery were being prepared.

The play “Ten Nights in a Bar Room” was well chosen, because it filled in every way conditions called for, not only being a good temperance play, but the members chosen for the different parts also seemed to fit in perfectly with the characters in the play.

James Pollock as “Slade” made a perfect “Mine Host” of the “Sickle and Sheaf”. The character he had to assume ranged from a clean cut sociable inn-keeper and bar tender, the first night which was supposed to represent a year, and as the nights or years followed, to look more and more like the beer drinking, beer visaged portly innkeeper till at the last he assumed the gruff and hiccoughy voice, sodden features and habits of a genuine ibriniate.

Jim to show off the ever-increasing corporosity, had an air bag about the size of a large pillow case, this when flattened out, and buttoned under vest and coat, air forced into it by a tube it could be increasingly inflated.

Towards the last act, it took sometimes the combined efforts of some of the strong lunged to distend the bag to necessary proportions. The coat and vest had also widened considerably and sure was hard on the buttons.

Once after several performances had been given, Jim was perhaps a little more strenuous than usual. Anyway, in the last act, Slade was supposed to be knocked out, or falls in a fit or something, near front of stage, the buttons of coat and vest gave way and the bally wind bag popped up into full view.

Someone in the wings had presence of mind, before the curtain fell, to throw a covering over the supposed dead man, so that not many in the audience noticed the awful catastrophe!

Another James who had the part of Switchell a happy-go-lucky character in the cast, a part that required the assumption of being more or less “fuddled” all the time, could act the part to perfection. Switchell in the play had a deep hatred for Green, the gambler, and whenever they met at any time was always ready to show it. This time in Tyrone, when near the last act of the play, Hammond, always the victim, charged Green with cheating at cards. The dispute ended in a quarrel in which Hammond was stabbed by Green. Switchell usually around at such times, made a desperate rush across the stage in attempt to seize Green, which the latter avoided and made for an exit, as the exit was reached Jim made one spiteful kick at Green’s retreating figure, which missed and Jim landed full length on the broad of his back on the stage. It required some effort to prevent Jim from still following Green even out of sight of the audience. This play of Jim’s “brought down the house” as the saying goes, all fitting in finely with the spirit of the play. But how it would have looked if that fierce kick had connected with the person of Green, as Jim in his earnestness had intended it to can only be left to the imagination.

He was mortally afraid of firearms whether loaded or not and Green the gambler was supposed to be armed, so there after when Jim would begin to act obstreperously, Green would simply draw his empty pistol when Jim would immediately subside.

The last time the play was given was in Blackstock. The part of Little Mary Morgan, owing to illness, was assigned to Bob Kennedy, who could act the part very well in all but the voice, which was easily detected by audience as not that of a girl.

Some feeling was expressed, too, after the show, that something had been put over on them. There had been considerable opposition, in some quarters, to the play. The idea of anything like a theatre play, was sinful and abhorrent. After the play was given in Enniskillen a couple of times, earnest requests were made to honor other lodges with the entertainment. The play was given in Bowmanville, Oshawa, Tyrone, Orono and Hampton, with invitations from most of them to repeat the performance.

By this time the opposition the play was getting was quite marked, and so much said that the ladies of the cast were much disgusted.

The Presbyterian preacher, Mr. Stewart, had a good deal to say in criticism. In a letter to The Statesman, he referred to the play as consisting of “bold women and precocious children”, though most of them attended his church. He was a most austere man, one of the kind who never showed by his face, that he had the love of God, or fellow man in his heart. Later when forced to retract his statement it rather ‘broke him all up’.

The play did good in many ways. In no place where given under auspices of a Lodge of the Sons of Temperance of that place but increased membership in that lodge was reported.

Another one, among several I would like to refer to, was Bill Willias, a mention of whom has been made several times. The first time the play was given Bill was there. Those who know the play or have read the story will remember when Little Mary morgan went to the tavern to try and persuade her drunken father to come home. The father had no money to pay for the whiskey, which enraged Slade the barkeeper so much, he seized a heavy glass and threw it at Morgan, which missed, struck the little girl on the head.

The scene later of the distracted mother watching as she had the whole night through, the dying child, the father stretched out on the floor nearby in a drunken sleep – the room one of poverty and wretchedness, the momentary awakening of the child to tell her mother of the wonderful things she had seen, of the beautiful home her father and mother were living in. Morgan aroused just then, heard the child’s story, and on his knees vowed before God and his dying child never to touch liquor again. What chord all this touched in Bill’s heart I cannot say, but his sobs could be heard by the whole audience. Jim made the same vow that Morgan made, and kept it.

I do not know where a single on of the then players is living to-day, but to all who may be living, I wish God speed.


It’s People, Teachers, School and Schoolmates.

By Rev. David Rogers, St. Thomas

Mr Editor,

The note in your paper from Mr. John Broad, of Detroit – an Old Haydon Boy – also a private note suggesting that I continue “Reminiscence” will be my apology for requesting a little more space in your widely circulated journals.

As the residents of Hampton were mostly English, so the early residents of Enniskillen, as the name would suggest, were mostly Irish. I could recall many amusing incidents illustrating the wit and quaint humor of these people. Let one suffice:

There was a dog tax of $1. Along with the customary questions put to tax payers by the Assessor, he asked “Have you a dog, Mr. H-? I’ll give you $10.00 sir, if you can tell me who killed my dog.”

Among the persons who were of interest to some of us, because of their characteristics, were Jacob Scott, Arthur Knox, Wm. Barton, James Parr and others. A Mr. Robert Bancroft used to come out from Cartwright on the occasion of temperance meetings, debates, etc. He was able to produce, with great fluency, sentences which were beyond the comprehension of an average boy, but he was listened to, even when he spoke “a conglomerate mass of heterogeneous matter.”

Later he became a weekly contributor to The Statesman, and would record Cartwright items after this fashion: “Mr. Albert Hughes is recovering from his serious illness. Drs. Mitchell and Fish formed the medical combination that crushed the power of inflammation, and spared is Albert to the nation.” The birth of a child would be recorded thus:

“Let it be known in several zones, That a son was born to Josiah Jones.”

There was only one Bancroft. Nearly 60 years ago, a Mr. Finney was the teacher in the public school. Somewhat erratic in manner, but had skill and tact in training children for his school entertainments, which were largely attended.

Alexander C. Osborne was highly esteemed by the writer. He introduced the custom of singing, by the children, for three or five minutes just before dismissal for recess or dinner. It had a good effect.

Wm. Henry from Belfast, Ireland, taught a year or more, followed, perhaps, by a Mr. William Stott from Cobourg.

I remember very well indeed, Hugh Smith Bngham, one of the pupils of those days, and his reciting – in a dramatic way, “The charge of the light Brigade. I have not seen him for over 40 years, and was impressed in reading of his death, only a few days ago.

From among the pupils may, I name J.J. , W.H., and Fanny Virtue, James Pollock, Alfred Wood, Esther Bingham, Nancy Hall, Agnes Montgomery.

Mr. Jarvis, a young man of striking appearance came from – somewhere- and took charge of Haydon school. He was an excellent penman – of the Spencerian type, and the samples of his work, hung in Enniskillen Post Office, elicited unstinted praise.

Sunday School Superintendents within any recollection were Geo. T. Bambridge, Samuel Trewin, W. H. Rogers and James Stainton. The first named was a prominently devout and godly man, and although he removed to Markham village about 1864, I kept in touch with him, until his death which occurred in Toronto, a few years ago.

I fancy Mr. Stainton’s tenure of office was of much longer duration than any of the others. His knowledge of scripture, and his ability to lead in the service of song qualified him for efficient service. The labor of such men, and their influence upon the young heart and mind cannot be overestimated.

What a change in the village itself – as well as in its inhabitants! Just to think only 55 years ago there were three hotels dispensing grog in that little village. To the credit of the people of Darlington, they voted out the licensed bar years ago, and for many years, the corner lot, where stood the leading hotel, has been growing potatoes and other vegetables, and an implement and repair shop stands upon the ground formerly occupied by hotel No. 2.

The foundry which employed, perhaps, 20 or more hands, has long since been closed and the changes have come, as in other places, have reduced considerably, the population.

But it is still Enniskillen and the writer loves to walk its streets, and look over the landscape especially to the west, beyond the bill hill, embracing what was known as “the promised land.” Looking westward, suggests the setting of the sun in life’s journey. The writer has been so constantly at work that he has seldom lifted his eyes to see how low the sun is getting. A kind Providence has watched over our life and ordered our steps, and we are grateful for the rich and glorious things of this life, and hope of the better things in the yongerland, whither so many of the friends of half a century ago, have gone.

“The shadows lengthen down the vale,

The stars come out at last,

The golden into silver pales,

The day is almost past.

Hard by the shore bent forms we see

Where heaven’s barges float,

Who, facing to eternity, -

Are waiting for the boat.”


Additional Notes by Rev. D. Rogers, St. Thomas

Dear Editor, - When I penned a few notes recently of Hampton, it’s people, etc., I had no though of extending them to Enniskillen and Tyrone. It would be difficult to recall everything, even if space were available, but my attention has been called to some omissions about Enniskillen which may be of interest to record.

The early places of store-business I remember, were D.W. McLeod’s, John Pierce’s, Samuel Trewin’s, Hutchinson and Brisbin’s (in 1867) later carried on by Mr. Robert Hutchinson until his removal to Listowel in 1888. The clerks I recall were Jacob Scott, Sandy McLeod, Samuel Bingham and John C. Mitchell. Drs. Wm. Hillier and McCullough were the earliest physicians. The former died in 1870, and was succeeded by his brother Solomon Cartwright Hillier, now of Bowmanville, who inherited the name and reputation of his brother William and he too, made good. In 1864 a young man of the neighbourhood to the south east, James W. McLaughlin, graduated in Medicine and he began practice here. In 1870 he erected the fine brick residence till recently occupied by Dr. C. W. Slemon and now by Dr. H. Ferguson, the present local physician. Dr. John C. Mitchell began practice in medicine in Newtonville in 1874, and a few years later came to Enniskillen where he had been a store clerk and practiced for a number of years.

I made some reference to the Sylvester Foundry – but in the early sixties it was carried on by D. W. McLeod.

In 1867 or 1868, Robert McLaughlin left his little farm (and shop by the road-side) near Tyrone, and opened up a carriage and wagon shop in Enniskillen. He did a thriving business – was honest and conscientious in all his work and dealings, and doubtless these elements contributed to the wonderful success that has marked his whole business career.

I have been informed that Isaiah Tole, father of Mr. Levi A. W. Tole, the Bowmanville Auctioneer, was among the first settlers, so also the Montgomery family. John, son of Andrew Montgomery, a popular and fine looking young man, graduated as a physician in 1867 and practiced for years in Bethany and Blacksock. A sister Mrs. J. J. Gibson lives in Bowmanville.

The Presbyterian Church under the care of Rev. John Smith from 1851-1869 was largely attended, its members coming a distance of from 8 to 10 miles, filling the church every Sabbath afternoon. So also was the Wesleyan Methodist Church with its service at 6:30 p.m. In the year 1873 the M. E. Church erected a red brick building on the opposite side of the street – later burnt down, and the new one erected in its place was chosen as the one for continued use at the Union of 1884.

Editor’s Note – Believing that hundreds of our readers far and near read these memory sketches by Rev. D. Rogers and that another man still possessing a memory that ante-dates his by several years we have requested Mr. L. A. W. Tole to write of an earlier period than is covered by Bro. Rogers.


Dear Editor James;

I am greatly interested in the articles already presented and those to follow recounting the early incidents of the community life of the village of Enniskillen and Township of Darlington by your unidentified contributor – one of the boys (or girls) of that happy period which James Whitcome Riley calls “Those old days of the lost Sunshine of Youth.”

May I voice the wish of myself and I am sure that of many others that our mutual friend would at once disclose his identity, so that those of us who must have been his schoolmates, though, possibly younger in years may have the greatly added pleasure of walking with him in imagination seeing his face and hearing his voice as he leads us in some delightful highway of youthful memories.

Everyone knows how the pleasure of a splendid letter from a friend is greatly discounted if one does not know who that friend may be.

How vividly I recall those kerosene saturated cotton fire balls; the bonfires; the glorious times on the big hill and the annual school examinations of which I remember distinctly you, Mr. Editor, was present at one.

How well I remember myself along with Dr. Geo. A. Bingham of Toronto hoisting the flag on that same old belfry and I quake with fear to this day as I recall it, for I remember descending the way I went up, via the ladder, which this time reached slightly above the roof edge. The roof was so steep and slippery that I expected every minute to slide off to death below. A kind Providence saved me but I never cared to try it again.

The old school house stands there yet, though the pupils are scattered far and wide and I lift my hat it reverence to the memory of those great men the teachers of those days – Osborne, Jessup, Henry, Stott and perhaps greatest of all the late A. E. McCready, the brilliant husband of Mrs. Addie McCready of your town. Our debt to these men who awakened and encouraged the electric spark of high ambition in so many of their pupils, and left with each a lasting memory, sweet and fragrant, is beyond price.

Again Mr. Editor, let me urge that our friend the writer of those early times gives us the enjoyment of knowing his identity.

Sincerely yours,

Winnipeg, Man J.N. Hutchison

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