Pioneers & Entrepreneurs|
The biographies featured in this section, by no means cover all of the men who contributed significantly to the development of the Scugog area. Information about many of the pioneers who first settled in Reach and Scugog is almost non-existent, as there were no newspapers to report on happenings in this area until late in 1857. Even throughout much of the 1860s information is scarce, due to a great number of missing issues of the Ontario Observer, the areas first newspaper.
On the following pages are some the men who cut their way through the bush to get to Lake Scugog. They cleared the land, built crude log homes, opened saw mills and grain elevators, built thriving towns from crude settlements, brought the railway to their doorstep, and laid the groundwork for the communities we live in today.
Joseph Reader was born Kent County, England in 1805, and moved to Canada with his wife Rebekah (Wells) and 10 children in 1832. The family settled on Scugog Island in 1843, and built a large stone house near the top of the island hill in 1849, where he lived and raised his family of six boys, Joseph, Ephriam, William, John, Thomas, Walter and James and three daughters, Elizabeth, Hannah and Rebecca.
He was one of the earliest settlers on Scugog Island to farm the land.
He was elected and served as Reeve of Scugog for two years, 1865 and 1866. While a member of County Council he held the post of Commissioner of the Scugog Bridge for a number of years.
Joseph Reader, 91 years of age, passed away on Nov. 17, 1896 and was buried at Scoville Cemetery, Scugog Island. His wife Rebekah died Dec. 14, 1885, at 83 years of age.
WILLIAM READER, Sr.
Mr. Reader was born in Kent County, England on Jan. 30, 1830 and travelled to Canada with his parents in 1831, settling in Quebec. The next year the family moved to Cobourg, and later to Whitby.
In 1836 the family settled in Prince Albert where they remained four years. In 1844, when Mr. Reader was only 14 years of age, he crossed Lake Scugog and settled on the Island, to take up his long life work.
As years went by he helped to clear the land and hew timber to build his home, and in 1855 his bride and life companion, Katie Gamble, joined him. To them was born eight children, three boys, John, William T. and Ephriam, and five girls, Rebecca, Mrs. Isaac Rodman, Mrs. Burton, Mrs. J. Cliff and Maria.
Mr. Reader passed away on Sunday, April 1, 1923 at 94 years of age. A large gathering of friends and neighbours gathered at his late residence to show the high esteem and respect in which he was held. His wife Katie predeceased him on Dec. 13, 1918.
WILLIAM EDWIN REDMAN
William Redman was born in Pickering Twp, not far from Kinsale, and lived there until his marriage to Elizabeth Reader, of Scugog, in 1870. Shortly after his marriage he rented the Reader homestead and ran that farm for five years. He then moved back to Pickering, where he had purchased a farm and remained for 16 years. Mr. Reader then returned to Scugog and took up his work on the farm, which he had bought and upon which he lived, until the time of his death.
Mr. Redman was a man of sterling character and his life was devoted to two main purposes. The first was running of his farm, which was one of the most beautifully kept farms in the county. The second was his practical interest in the church.
Years ago, when there was no Sunday School at the Head Church, Mr. Redman set to work to organize a school and became its Superintendent. He was an active member of the church until advancing years prevented him from taking part in the work.
Scugog lost one of its best citizens when William Redman died on Sunday, January 25, 1925 at the age of 82 years. Left to mourn his loss were three children; Mrs. WC. Roger, Mr. W.E. Redman and Mr. T. Redman. His wife, Elizabeth, predeceased her husband by 12 years.
MATTHEW G. ROBSON
Matthew Robson came to Prince Albert in the 1850s and was appointed village postmaster, a position he retained during the larger portion of the time of prosperity in that village. It was during his term as postmaster, in 1860, he married Sarah Jane (McCaw), sister of Wm. H. McCaw.
Mr. Robson also carried on an extensive money lending business, was public spirited and enterprising, and took a leading roll in the progress of the village, where he served as Justice of the Peace for a number of years.
Having been highly successful, he purchased the magnificent Perry Castle in the town of Whitby, where he resided for a number of years, before returning to Port Perry. After a few years back in town, he moved to Toronto where he resided until his death at 83 years of age, on January 30, 1911.
Mr. Robson left behind his wife, and three sons, William, Francis and Clarence. His wife Sarah Jane died on June 28, 1913.
John Rolph was a native of Ireland, born on March 4, 1828. When only a young man of 19 years old, he experienced the calamity of the potato famine in his homeland, where people were reported to be dying on the streets, and dogs fought over the corpses.
He came to Canada in 1854 and settled in Montreal for a few months before moving to Oshawa, and then to Prince Albert.
In 1857 Mr. Rolph married Susan Saunders, at a time when there were no railroads and little of the land had been cleared. He was given the honour of turning the switch to officially welcome hydro to Port Perry and he spoke at the formal opening of Port Perry's cement highway.
Mr. Rolph was active in many phases of community life. For 45 years he was treasurer of the local Bible Society, and he took a prominent part in both church and Masonic work. He was also secretary of Pine Grove Cemetery Co., and served as a military drill instructor.
He loved his work at his harness shop and came down to his shop everyday until he retired and sold his business in November 1924, at 94 years of age.
John and Susan Rolph lived in the county for their entire married life, raising six children. They celebrated their 69th wedding anniversary on Feb. 26, 1925. Mr. Rolph passed away on Saturday, May 2, 1925, at 96 years of age. Susan Rolph passed away on Friday, January 29, 1926, in her 87th year.
GEORGE A. ROSE
As a citizen George Rose was noted for two great loyalties - to the United Church and to the Liberal Party. Both of these he served faithfully for most of his life.
Mr. Rose was the last surviving member of a family of five children, the son of the late Charles Rose, who came to Canada when a boy and settled on a farm of 200 acres of timber at what came to be known as Rose's Corners, a few miles north of Port Perry.
He spent his early life on the farm and in 1881 married Emma Jane Johnson. To them were born two children, Ausbert and a baby girl who died in infancy.
In 1902 Mr. Rose gave up farming and moved to Port Perry. Here he went into business as the local agent the Mutual Life Assurance Co. of Canada. He became the general agent for the Port Perry district and spent 10 years with the company before failure of his health compelled is retirement. During that time he earned a number of important prizes for his work with the company.
George Rose served as treasurer of the Methodist Church in Port Perry, was a member of the Board of Education, and a director of Pine Grove Cemetery for many years. He was a member of Fidelity Lodge, A.F.&A.M. and Masonic honours were accorded at his burial.
George A. Rose passed away in his 83rd year, on Thursday, July 3, 1937, leaving his wife Emma to mourn his loss.
Aaron Ross was born in London, England on July 31, 1828 and came to Canada with his family when he was 14 years old, settling near Whitby. After a few years he moved to Brooklin to learn shoemaking, and upon completion moved to Prince Albert and worked at his trade for about a year. Shortly after arriving in Prince Albert he married Lucinda (Fitchett) and started his own business manufacturing boots and shoes.
In 1865, Aaron Ross and Geo. Currie formed a partnership and carried on the dry goods business for five years. In 1870 he moved to Port Perry. His shrewd business tact showed that the town would be the business centre for the future.
He then built the Ross Block on Queen S., a fine three story building which was destroyed in the great fire of 1884, and which he rebuilt later that year. The business from 1871 to 1873 was carried on by A. Ross; from 1873 to 1876 it was conducted by Brown & Ross as his health was poor. In 1876 the firm of A. Ross and Sons (Robert and William) was carried on about four years, after which the business was carried on by the two sons. Later the business of A. Ross and Sons became owned solely by William Ross.
Aaron Ross was identified for more than 30 years with the purchase of grain and seeds from farmers of Reach and Scugog Townships. He operated warehouses at Seagrave and elevators at Port Perry and Manchester, after establishing his grain business in Prince Albert during the 1860s in partnership with George Currie. About 1876, he purchased Mr. Currie's grain elevator in Port Perry, and operated it as the Ross Elevator for a number of years, before his son William joined him.
His strong points were his business abilities and an indomitable will all through life, from his first start in business in Prince Albert up to the date of his death. Mr. Ross enjoyed a series of successes, so much so that during his life he was a provisional director of the Dominion Band and always took an interest in that prosperous institution.
He was at one time a director of the old Midland Railway, before being taken over by the G.T.R., and was also a prominent member of the Toronto Board of Trade.
His force was his business tack and ability. He was as public spirited a man as was to be seen in his support of institutions of religion and educational character; at one time he was vice president of Whitby Ontario Lakes' College and was often chosen by his church to represent that body in conference.
In politics he was a consistent Reformer, but never accepted any public position.
As a Methodist he was loyal to his church enterprises; the deceased will greatly be missed by the church of his choice in this town. He was also a liberal giver to the poor, but very few knew of it. Thus has closed the private and public career of a man who was always a wise councillor; one who was loved and respected by his family.
Aaron Ross died in Port Perry on Saturday, July 11, 1896 at 68 years of age. Left to mourn his loss is his family, consisting of his wife Lucinda, sons Robert, William, James, Fred, Charles and John, and daughters Mrs. Hossack and Sarah.
His large funeral was a tribute of respect and esteem in which the deceased and the family are held in the town and vicinity. Services were held in the Methodist Church. To show the esteem in which the deceased was held by the church, his seat, the pulpit and choir railing were heavily draped in black and ornamented with beautiful white and purple flowers.
Pallbearers were Messrs. J.H. Brown, H. Doubt, Thos. Courtice, J. Powers, C.W. Jones and William Brock. After the solemn services at the church the large funeral cortege made its way to the Pine Grove Cemetery for interment.
William Ross was born in Prince Albert in 1856 and received his education in Port Perry's public and high schools, before receiving a degree in the B.A.B. College, Toronto.
Mr. Ross came to Port Perry from Prince Albert when his father Mr. Aaron Ross, moved his business from that place. He was invited into partnership with his father in the larger general store business, under the name of A. Ross & Son, located in the Ross Block. After the death of the his father in 1896, William purchased the grain elevator from the estate and added the business of grain merchant to his activities.
In 1898 he sold the Ross Block to the Western Bank of Canada, who had an office in the building but retained possession of the store as a tenant. In August 1911, he sold his grain, seed and real estate business to James Lucas, with plans to move to Toronto.
Wm. Ross served on the town council and was Reeve for several terms in the 1890s, and introduced Port Perry to the amortization system of retiring debenture debt by equalized annual payments. He was the Liberal member of the House of Commons from 1900 to 1904, during the Laurier regime, and was president of the South Ontario Liberal Assoc., and president of the Ontario Ladies' College at Whitby.
In 1911 Mr. and Mrs. Ross sold their Casimir St. home, retired and moved to Toronto, where they became prominent workers in Eaton Memorial Church and well known in business circles. Not only was Mr. Ross well-known as a business and public man, but as a private citizen, no one stood higher in the estimation of the people. He was a staunch member of the Methodist Church, and was superintendent of the Port Perry Methodist Church for many years before moving to Toronto.
Mr. Ross was held in high esteem by all who knew him and was said to have a kind, tender heart. He passed away on January 21, 1937 at his home in Toronto, leaving his wife, Clarissa (Bingham), a son Walter, three daughters and five brothers to mourn his loss. A a large number of friends assembled to pay their last respects, as he was laid to rest at Pine Grove Cemetery, Prince Albert.
DR. JOHN HERBERT SANGSTER
Dr. J.H. Sangster, a notable figure in the Canadian medical and education world, passed away at the King Edward Hotel, Toronto on Jan. 27, 1904, after suffering from a serious heart attack.
John Sangster was born in London, England on March 26, 1829 and came to Canada with his parents. He received his early education at Upper Canada College. He worked in the education field until 1871 filling the positions of head master at a number of schools in Toronto and Hamilton.
While teaching as a professor of chemistry and botany at Rolph's Medical School, he began the study of medicine and earned his degree of M.D.
After retiring from educational work in 1871, he travelled to Chicago, but returned to Canada within a few years. In November 1874 moved to Port Perry and set up a medical practice, and constructed a new home at the north end of the town.
In 1881 his beautiful home was destroyed by fire, so he built an even larger and more commodious residence at his Beechenhurst property. His new palatial white brick house, described as one of the best in the province, was destroyed by fire in February 1893.
Dr. Sangster was a man of exceptional ability and commanded the respect and admiration of all those who knew him. He served as a member of the Ontario Medical Council, published a number of school text books, and was often called on to be a guest speaker.
Dr. Sangster was twice married, in 1851 to Miss Mary Price of Toronto and in 1871 to Miss Caroline Elizabeth McCausland, of Toronto.
At the time of his death he left his widow, Caroline, three sons Dr. W.A., Selwyn and Beverly, and one daughter Mrs. S.C. Corbett. He was a member of the Church of England, and was buried at Pine Grove Cemetery, Prince Albert. Caroline Sangster passed away on April 1, 1916, at 86 years.
DR. W. A. SANGSTER
Dr. Sangster was born in Toronto in 1872, and moved to Port Perry with his family when he was 3 years old. He was educated at the public and high schools and graduated with honors from the Royal College of Dental Surgeons in 1894.
Dr. Sangster began practice in Port Perry the following year and in 1897 a fire destroyed the building in which his office was located. After the fire, he secured an upstairs office in the Willard block at the corner of Queen and Perry St., where he carried on his practice. He was an athletic man, with a keen interest in sports, and an avid and enthusiastic hunter.
He became a member of the Toronto Dental Society and the Ontario Dental Society, occasionally reading papers before these societies.
Dr. Sangster married Minnie (McLean) on Aug. 19, 1922. She died without warning in Port Perry on Friday, May 18, 1923, after giving birth to a son.
Dr. W.A. Sangster passed away on Sept. 20, 1959, at 87 years of age.
One of Port Perry's popular young businessmen, Louis Sebert passed away in Port Perry on Mon. Sept. 29, 1902, at the young age of 45 years.
As a townsman he was active, energetic and obliging and took a prominent part in every movement for the best interests of the town. He managed the St. Charles Hotel for a number of years and in May 1900 purchased the Oriental Hotel, located on the north west corner of Queen and Water St., and renamed it the Sebert House.
He had just completed extensive renovations to the hotel, making it one of the best hotels in the county, about a year before his death.
The community sustained a severe loss with his passing and many places of business in town were closed to attend the service, and pay respects to this popular, young businessman.
He left behind his wife and children, as well as three brothers and three sisters.
W. S. SEXTON
W. S. Sexton was one of the areas earliest and most esteemed businessmen during the developing years of Reach and Scugog Townships. Later in life he moved to Port Perry and became one of the town's most loved and respected residents.
Mr. Sexton purchased the saw mill of Thomas and George Paxton in the early 1850s, located just south of the village dock on the waterfront, which became known as Sexton's Wharf. He carried on the lumbering business until the pine forests around Scugog Lake became exhausted.
In public life, Mr. Sexton served as a member of Scugog Township council for many years before being elected as Reeve for seven consecutive years, from 1867 to 1873. The highlight of his political career was his election as Warden of Ontario County in 1870, on the first ballot. He also served as a school trustee for the Port Perry Grammar and Common School during 1860s and 70s, and was a moving force behind the building of the Port Whitby and Port Perry Railway.
It was Reeve Sexton who, at County Council in June 1871, introduced a by-law to incorporate the Village of Port Perry. While a member of the County council, he worked diligently to ensure improvements to the Scugog Bridge, and ultimately that it be constructed as a solid roadway.
In December 1873, Mr. Sexton announced that having been requested by a large number of ratepayers, he would run for the the office of Reeve of Port Perry, but lost in his bid to popular townsman Joseph Bigelow. In Nov. 1874 he sold 800 acres of his Springwater Farm on Scugog Island, to Reach Twp. Reeve James Graham, and moved to Port Perry. Just a few years later, in 1877, he sold his lakefront saw mill property to Joshua Wright.
Mr. Sexton lived in a commodious house on Water St., behind the Sebert Hotel, which was destroyed by a fire which swept along the north side of Queen St., in July 1883. It wasn't long after this tragedy that he decided to move to Brooklyn, N.Y. Before leaving he was honored at a complimentary supper, at which time he was presented a fine gold headed cane and an expensive pipe by his many friends.
The town was saddened to learn that W.S. Sexton, passed away in Brooklyn, N. Y., on Sept. 3, 1893. His body was returned by train to Port Perry, and his body was laid to rest in Pine Grove Cemetery.
William Spence was a resident of the county for more than 50 years. He was born in Ireland on May 20, 1834 and came to Canada when he was 18 years of age, settling in the town of Whitby. Here he followed the vocation of a contractor and erected many buildings. In 1873 he moved to Utica and then to Prince Albert and finally to Manchester in 1886.
As a young man, he was a highly skilled builder, who was chosen as the the general contractor for Port Perry's first Town Hall. In addition he built the Court House at Whitby, the Town Hall at Manchester, as well as homes for many local personalities. He was also responsible for a number of the business blocks built on Queen St., Port Perry, after the great fire of 1885.
His extensive knowledge of municipal law made him an exceedingly valuable clerk and mentor to the members of municipal councils. He held the position of Reach Township clerk for more than twenty years, and retained the position until the time of his death. An active man, he also served as the secretary of the Reach, Scugog Agricultural Society for many years and was a respected member of Fidelity Lodge, No. 428, Port Perry.
Mr. Spence was a devoted husband and father, and was married to Mary Ann (Pardon). The popular couple had five children, John, Robert, William, Nellie and Maud.
Wm. Spence was 72 years of age when he died at Manchester, on June 30, 1906. A large an influential gathering of more than 500 people followed the remains to the site of his grave for his burial. The funeral was held under the auspices of the Masonic Order. His wife, Mary Ann passed away on January 29, 1913 at 79 years of age.
James Stonehouse was the eldest son of John and Ann Stonehouse, who emigrated with their respective families to Ontario from York, England, nearly a century ago.
He was born on what was known as "Coates Settlement" in Reach Twp., into a family of four brother and four sisters. After passing through the public school he attended the old Port Perry Grammar School.
Having conducted a successful farm and implement agency at Sunderland for a number of years, he travelled west and settled in North Dakota during the 1880s. Here he engaged in bank clerking for several years, before moving to Texas for at time. After becoming severely ill while living in Texas, he returned to Ontario. When he recovered he took a course in dairying at the Ontario Agriculture College Dairy School, and after completing the course, was engaged as an instructor for several years.
In February 1903 he purchased the Port Perry Creamery, from which he carried on very successful business for many years. He was an acknowledged expert in the production of creamery butter and in 1904 was appointed Butter Instructor at the Kingston Provincial Dairy School. He later expanded his business by purchasing the Blackstock Cheese Factory.
When Mr. Stonehouse decided to retire in April 1918, he sold the creamery to Allan Goode. Although no longer a businessman, he continued taking an active interest in public affairs. He served on town council for many years and was elected Port Perry Reeve in 1919.
Mr. Stonehouse died of heart failure while on vacation in North Dakota, in Sept. 1924. No man was more highly respected and few, if any, ever served both church and municipality more faithfully. He was always a champion for his ideals of right and, even though his opponents might disagree with his viewpoint, they could not help admiring the courage and consistency of the man.
Mr. Stonehouse was a faithful member of the Methodist Church, a member of Port Perry Council and a staunch champion of the temperance cause. He was interred at Pine Grove Cemetery, Prince Albert.
John Stovin was a highly skilled building contractor in the community, and many of the best edifices in the village bear evidence of his superior workmanship. It was he who installed the new metal ceiling in the new Town Hall.
He frequently held public positions, serving on Port Perry council in the early 1900s, but he strictly attended to his business, which proved a lucrative one. He was a son of toil, active industrious and persevering.
Mr. Stovin passed away at Port Perry on Friday, May 3, 1918, at 68 years of age. He is survived by two brothers and three sisters, William and Joseph Stovin and Mrs. Wm. Jamieson, Mrs. H. Frise and Mrs. Reuben Bond.
John Swan was born at Borelia in 1862, the son of Mr. and Mrs. James M. Swan. He was one of a family of seven children, four boys and three girls.
Mr. Swan lived in Port Perry all his life. At Borelia, the blacksmith shop of his father became the centre of his interest. Later the shop was moved to the vacant building just north of Mr. Peter's pump work, and the family began the making of buggies, cutters and sleighs, under the firm name of Swan's Carriage Works. The business developed well for many years and the present commodious quarters were occupied. But of late years transportation conditions have changed entirely and the business reverted to the old trade of blacksmithing.
Mr. John Swan was a good workman and an honorable citizen. His interests were centered in his home and his business. He was held in high esteem by his friends and associates as well as the public. Mr. Swan was a member of the Port Perry Band, but apart from that took no part in public life.
In 1903 he married Miss Clara A Henry, of Scugog, who survived him. They had one little girl, who died in infancy.
Mr. Swan died on July 23, 1934 and his funeral was largely attended, and interment was made at Pine Grove Cemetery.
WILLIAM JAMES TROUNCE
William J. Trounce was born in 1838 in Cornwall, England, the son of John and Ann Trounce, who were farmers. William immigrated to Canada about 1856, eventually settling in Reach Township, where he began working as a labourer in the lumber business in Port Perry.
It didn't take long for this ambitious young man to make his mark. Throughout his 35 years in the area he became one of the most important businessmen in the community. Mr. Trounce became a partner in the lumber business with local entrepreneurs Thomas Paxton and Joseph Bigelow about 1861. The firm of Paxton, Bigelow and Trounce grew their business to include four factories along Port Perry's waterfront, employing 60 men, and capable of a daily output of 18,000 feet of lumber, 10,000 barrel heads, 12,000 staves and 17,000 shingles.
In April 1881, the partnership of Bigelow and Trounce was dissolved, with Mr. Bigelow keeping the mills at the south end of Lake Scugog and Mr. Trounce retaining the north mills. Mr. Trounce then began to operate under the name, Trounce's Union Mills. A few years later when Joseph Bigelow decided to retire in 1887, he sold his interest in his waterfront flour and planing mill to his former partner.
Mr. Trounce continued to operated the mills until the spring of 1888 when the business went into bankruptcy. The business and property was taken over by the bank, who subsequently sold it to James Carnegie.
More than 35 years after arriving in Port Perry, Mr. Trounce and his family moved into a home at 44 Anne St., Toronto, Ontario. Ten years later, the family immigrated to United States, settling in Buffalo, New York, where Mr. Trounce, according to census information, became an insurance agent.
William Trounce married to Catherine Oakley of Peterborough on April 13, 1864 and raised a family of four children while living in Port Perry.
Catherine Trounce passed away on December 1, 1917 in Buffalo, and was buried in Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Toronto.
William James Trounce lived to the ripe old age of 92, passing away at his son's home in Manhattan, N.Y, on August 23, 1929.
William Tummonds was born near Bath and for years farmed in the township of Reach. He disposed of his farm to his brother and went to Toronto, where he was in business for four years before returning to Port Perry in 1877.
Mr. Tummonds conducted a grocery, flour and feed store on the south-east corner of Queen and John Streets on a large lot for about 35 years, with a residence connected to the store. His was the only store left standing at the time of the big fire of 1884. Ironically, after escaping destruction by the great fire of 1884, the building was destroyed by fire in December 1933.
During the early 1900s, he purchased the old fair grounds property, a plot of 30 acres, and operated it as a farm until he sold it to the town for athletic and fair purposes.
He was a good public citizen, enterprising and public spirited, a staunch Conservative, and member of the Methodist Church. Despite being incapacitated with blindness the last few years of his life, he held a keen interest in public affairs.
Mr. Wm. Tummonds passed away on Thurs., April 30, 1914 and was laid to rest at Pine Grove Cemetery. He left behind his wife, one son and one daughter, Dr. H. Tummonds, Port Perry and Mrs. D. Horton, Toronto.
CHARLES L. VICKERY
Charles Vickery was born between Raglan and Columbus on March 28, 1856, on the farm his grandfather had received as an original grant from the government of Upper Canada in 1800. His father died when he was a boy of 12 years, leaving him as head of a family of six.
Charles Vickery came to Port Perry about 1870, and during those years proved his sterling worth by his actions. It was a common saying that "Charlie Vickery's word is as good as his bond," and such proved to be the case.
His actual business career commenced about 45 years ago in the lumber, wood and coal business and he has occupied the same premises ever since that time. In 1914 he was awarded the contract to build a 210 foot pier at the lakefront Port Perry for the government.
His keenest interest was in his home and business. He was a member of the Sons of England for 50 years, and the Church of Ascension.
In 1880 he married Emma E. (Warkup), who predeceased him in 1917, and remarried to Mrs. S. Ewers of Markham. He is survived by his widow, three daughters and one son. He tore down his old factory at the corner of Perry and Mary St. in 1914 to built a new home.
Mr. Vickery passed away suddenly on Saturday, March 29, 1930 and the funeral was held from his late residence and was largely attended. His business was purchased by Fred Reesor of Markham.
THOMAS J. WIDDEN
Mr. T.J. Widden is a native of Reach township and came to Port Perry to learn merchandising in a number of local stores. In 1891 he began business for himself in premises at the corner of Queen and Perry St. Although not a large store, the wedged shaped building provided a place for a nice, neat store in which he carried out a square business in the general trade of groceries, crockery, boots and shoes. The store became known as Widden's Corner. In February 1935, he retired after 43 years in business in the town.
Mr. Widden served on the School board for a number of years and for a times was secretary. He also spent 10 years as one of the auditors of municipal accounts, and was always interest in civic matters and the interest of the citizens of the town. Mr. Widden's lived at the corner of Queen and Bigelow St.
He was born in 1856, and passed away in Port Perry on Wed., December 29, 1937, in his 81st year. He was interred at Pine Grove Cemetery in Prince Albert.
Mr. Willard was born in England in 1841 came to Canada when he was a 10 year-old boy, and settled with his family in Columbus. When he reached early manhood, he started a general store in the village of Taunton, where he remained for 15 years, serving as village postmaster for that period.
When he sold his property at Taunton, he set up shop at Raglan in 1885 where he conducted a store for four years, before he came to Port Perry and built the business block on the south east corner of Queen and Perry, which became known as the Willard Block. Mr. Willard operated out of the store on the west side of the building, while there were two other stores to the east and the market building at the rear along Perry St. Upstairs was the office of Dr. W.A. Sangster, dentist, and location of Port Perry's Public Library.
The business conducted by Mr. Willard was that of dry goods, boots and shoes, clothing, carpets and furs of all kinds.
Although interested in the affairs of the town, Mr. Willard never accepted any offers of public life. The Willards lived in their home on Cochrane St. He passed away in 1939 and was interred at Pine Grove Cemetery.
Mr. Williams is a native of Port Perry, the son of Edward Williams. For many years he conducted a liquor store business in town, selling it to Mr. W.S. Short in 1899.
In 1897 he purchased the valuable foundry of Paxton, Tate & Company, located on Perry St, near the corner of Paxton. The industry was one of the most valuable in the town, dating back more than 40 years.
The buildings and yard occupied an area of six acres, with the business office on Perry St. The work area included a machine shop, foundry, pattern room, blacksmith shop and electric light plant. It's main products were turbine water wheels and saw mill machinery. Through his products, the name of Port Perry became known from one end of the country to the other for his fine machines.
Madison Williams lived in a good home on John St. and served some time on town council. Later he and his wife Mary, who predeceased him in 1915, moved to their new home at Lindsay. He died Dec. 2, 1934, at 78 years of age.
Joshua Wright was one of the areas most active and influential political leaders a period for more than 30 years, being elected councillor and reeve in both the township of Reach and in Port Perry. On the homefront, he served in the Reach Volunteer Infantry Company as a Captain during the 1860s and was a director of the Prince Albert Public Hall Joint Stock Company.
Mr. Wright started his municipal career as a councillor in 1859 when he was elected as a councillor for Reach. Then in 1866 he was elected reeve of Reach Twp., a position he filled for three terms, and was honoured in 1869 by being elected Warden of Ontario County. In the early 1870s, he moved to Port Perry, and between 1877 and 1893 was elected as Reeve of Port Perry on seven occasions. During his years as Reeve of Port Perry, Mr. Wright served as a commissioner of the Scugog Bridge and through his efforts convinced the County to complete the bridge as a permanent roadway. He retired from municipal politics at the end of his term in 1893.
In 1871, Mr. Wright tried his hand at provincial politics, running as a candidate for North Ontario Riding, but was defeated by Charles Paxton.
Joshua Wright was also a ambitious businessman. He operated a successful boot and shoe store in Prince Albert, and expanded his operation to Manchester in the mid 1860s. He was the first in the village to install a steam powered engine into his tannery business.
With the shift it trade, he moved his Boot and Shoe Store to Port Perry in 1873, and in 1877 purchased and outfitted the Sexton Mill property for a large new tannery. In September 1880 he expanded his business interests, leasing the Port Perry Grain Elevator and ventured into grain buying. When his lease on the building ran out, Mr. Wright proceeded to build a new grain elevator on his property near the railway station, finally selling out in 1883 to D.C. Downey. In 1891, Mr. Wright returned to the grain business, taking over his building, which had been closed down and refitted it for an elevator and grain facility. Less than a year the entire building and stock was destroyed by fire.
Mr Wright was born in 1835, and passed away in February 1898 at 63 years of age.
WILLIAM EDWARD YARNOLD
Wm. E. Yarnold was born in England and when quite young came to Canada with his father. He was educated at the Simcoe County Grammar School and after completing his education was articled as a student to the firm of Rankin & Robinson, Provincial Land Surveyors of Toronto.
In 1854 he obtained his diploma as a Provincial Land Surveyor and began the practice of his profession in Prince Albert, for almost 30 years, before moving to Port Perry in 1882. He occupied the position of County Surveyor for a number of years, and acted as engineer for about 10 township municipalities. He was entrusted with considerable surveying work by the railways. He became so predominate in his profession that his word was readily accepted as being equal to his bond. His services were in demand in all parts of the Province and his popularity as a professional man was ever on the increase.
Of his more important local projects, Mr. Yarnold was awarded the contract for constructing 600 feet of permanent roadway at the east end of the Scugog Bridge. In 1882, he was hired to prepare a survey map for the embankment across a section of the Scugog which would later become the Cartwright causeway.
Mr. Yarnold and his wife were greatly beloved citizens. He was described as being short of stature, slightly built, with pale, calm and highly intellectual countenance, and mild and investigating eyes. The Yarnold's home was located at the corner of Queen and Cochrane St., one of the beautiful spots in town.
The death of Mr. Yarnold in December 1916, came after falling sick with pneumonia. He was mourned by his wife Celia, and daughter Ella, and the residents of the town he had resided in for more than 60 years. Celia S. (Haight) Yarnold died at Port Perry on Thurs., Feb. 27, 1919 in her 91st year.
FRANK MERWIN YARNOLD
Frank M. Yarnold passed away in Port Perry on Feb. 4, 1901 following a serious ailment. He had retired from business at his office in December due to his illness. He was a highly respected and lifetime resident of Port Perry and Prince Albert.
Mr. Yarnold was born and raised locally, the son of W.E. Yarnold. He was educated at Port Perry public and high schools, then went on to graduate from law school before returning to his home town to set up practice. Over the years attracted a large clientele, many who became good friends.
Mr. Yarnold had a long and distinguished career. He was appointed clerk for the village of Port Perry in November 1892, and less than six months later was appointed the corporation's solicitor. In June 1893, he was again honored by being appointed solicitor for the corporation of Reach Township.
In addition to his professional career, he served as a member of the school board and for several years held the position of chairman. His genial, kind sympathetic nature and uncompromising principles, were so blended as to secure him hosts of friends and respect. He was a devote Christian and an active conservative.
At the time of his death he left behind his wife, Ella M. Yarnold.