The McPhails of Drummond Township



Stone house in Drummond township.

McPhail Post Village While not officially a hamlet or village today, McPhail was listed as a post village in the Business Directory of 1884. McPhail, Donald McPhail was the postmaster and cheesemaker.

The MacPhails—County Pioneers

Perth Courier, December 8, 1966

The MacPhail farm in Drummond Township is unique in many ways.  Firstly, the 250 acre farm has been in the family for over a century.  Secondly, at present, three generations of MacPhails call the 250 acre plot of land their home.

The 143 year history of the farm had a simple beginning.  In 1824 Donald MacPhail was one of the early settlers in the Perth region, purchasing a plot of land on the road south of the present day Tennyson.  That was the beginning.  That 1824 deed is still in the registry in the office at Perth.

Donald MacPhail tilled the soil for 40 years and in 1864, upon his death, the farm was passed to his son Peter MacPhail.  Peter MacPhail during his tenure as owner, built the present MacPhail house from rock quarried right on the farm.  That was in 1886.  This sturdy structure served as the first post office for the settlements of Wayside, MacPhail, Tennyson and Richmond until the postal building was moved to its present location.


Norma and Mac McPhail

In 1947, the present owner, Robert G. MacPhail, took over the reins of the farm.  Robert MacPhail the grandson of the original owner, is still running the farm.  As previously stated, there are three generations of MacPhails presently residing on the Drummond township property.  The Robert MacPhails (Mrs. MacPhail is the former Doris Croskery) occupy one farm house.  The second dwelling is occupied by Robert’s son Malcolm MacPhail and his wife Norma (Cullen) and two grandchildren.  If that was not enough, a nephew, Donald MacPhail also lives on the farm in an adjacent house.

The MacPhail farm today is a reminder of the past.  There is a building still standing that was one of the first cheese factories in the area, if not the first.  Records on the subject are somewhat vague but it is known that Donald MacPhail was a cheese maker in the building for a short time after he had built the farm.  The stone fire place belonging to the first dwelling built on the land still stands to this day.

Mrs. Robert MacPhail’s aunt Jane Munro will be 104 years old next March.



Author’s Note– Land Deeds—SW1/2 andNE 1/2 Lot 14 Con 3 on April 21, 1824. Mac and Norma McPhail lived on W1/2 Lot 14 Con 3

Perth Courier, Dec. 14, 1888

Mr. Donald G. McPhail, Drummond, has been elected one of the V.P.’s of the Alma Mater Society of Queen’s University, Kingston.

Author’s Note— Land Deed was: SW1/2 andNE 1/2 Lot 14 Con 3 on April 21, 1824. Mac and Norma McPhail lived on W1/2 Lot 14 Con 3

December 28,1888

Queen’s University, Kingston, has sent home for the holidays the following students:  Miss Annie Campbell; Donald G. McPhail of Drummond; Samuel Wilson of the Scotch Line; E.J. Macnee of Drummond; W. G Grey of Bathurst; W. S. Wilson of Bathurst

S.S. No. 9 Drummond
McPhail’s or Code’s School

James Code owned Lot 16 Con. 3 on Tennyson Road where the first log school was built.  John H. Flemming was the teacher in 1867.  In 1875, land was purchased for the second log school on another part of the lot from for $50.  A brick building was erected in 1916 with a basement, furnace and single seating for forty students.

Perth Courier, Feb. 27, 1891

Cockfield—Died, at Perth on Saturday morning, 21st Feb., Christina McPhail Cockfield, relict of the late Mr. Joseph Cockfield, aged 78

On Thursday of last week Mrs. Joseph Cockfield was seized with an attack of paralysis at the dinner table and so severe was the stroke that she never rallied and on Saturday morning death came to her relief.  The deceased, whose maiden name was Christina McPhail, was born in Perthshire, Scotland in 1812 and came to Canada with her parents in 1817 settling in Drummond.  In 1832 she married the late Duncan McDonald, also a native of Perthshire, Scotland.  Since that time they lived in this town.  Her husband died in 1861.  About ten years ago she married Joseph Cockfield whom she survived by a few years.  The deceased was a sister of Donald McPhail of Drummond and though years ago the family was a large one only one now survives.  Mrs. Cockfield was a member of St. Andrews Presbyterian Church and her remains were buried in the family plot in the old burying ground belonging to the congregation.

Perth Courier, Sept. 25, 1891

Wilson—Died, at his father’s residence on the 7th Concession Drummond on the 12th Sept., Andrew William Wilson, 4th son of Mr. George Wilson, aged 21.

37 years ago Findlay McCormick left the 7th Line Drummond and settled in the County of Perth, Ontario.  He rose into prominence in his locality and was for a time Reeve of the township of Hibbert in that county.  He died on Friday last of cancer at the age of 64 and his remains were brought to this town and interred in the old Presbyterian burying ground beside the almost forgotten bones of his long dead friends there whose resting places are marked by tombstones placed many years ago.  The burial of Mr. McCormick took place on Sunday afternoon last and 6 of his old neighbors acted as pallbearers:  Messrs. John Sinclair, William McGarry, Donald McLaren, D.D. Campbell, Donald McPhail, John Bothwell.  The deceased never married and lived with his sister who survives him.  Mr. A.C. Jones of Stratford, who left Pike Falls 25 years ago and has married a niece of the deceased, brought the body down.

About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

One response »

  1. The Christiana Rickard (nee McPhail) is buried with my relatives in the Rickard cemetery!My great grandfather was Duncan McPhail married to Jemima Walkerdine.Duncan Sr. was also buried there and his wife was Mary McCallum. Their children were Alexander, Flossie and Orval. Buried at Rickard cemetery Euphemia, lambton,On, Canada. I have a picture of Christiana’s gravestone as you have. I have been there many times trying to trace my roots. Any connection to you?
    Cheryl McPhail Pickford

    Liked by 1 person

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