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

Linda Knight Seccaspina was born in Cowansville, Quebec about the same time as the wheel was invented and the first time she realized she could tell a tale was when she got caught passing her smutty stories around in Grade 7 at CHS by Mrs. Blinn. When Derek "Wheels" Wheeler from Degrassi Jr. High died in 2010, Linda wrote her own obituary. Some people said she should think about a career in writing obituaries. Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa from 1976-1996. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off she finally found her calling. Is it sex drugs and rock n' roll you might ask? No, it is history. Seeing that her very first boyfriend in Grade 5 (who she won a Twist contest with in the 60s) is the head of the Brome Misissiquoi Historical Society and also specializes in local history back in Quebec, she finds that quite funny. She writes every single day and is also a columnist for Hometown News and Screamin's Mamas. She is a volunteer for the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum, an admin for the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page, and a local guest speaker. She has been now labelled an historian by the locals which in her mind is wrong. You see she will never be like the iconic local Lanark County historian Howard Morton Brown, nor like famed local writer Mary Cook. She proudly calls herself The National Enquirer Historical writer of Lanark County, and that she can live with. Linda has been called the most stubborn woman in Lanark County, and has requested her ashes to be distributed in any Casino parking lot as close to any Wheel of Fortune machine as you can get. But since she wrote her obituary, most people assume she's already dead. Linda has published six books, "Menopausal Woman From the Corn," "Cowansville High Misremembered," "Naked Yoga, Twinkies and Celebrities," "Cancer Calls Collect," "The Tilted Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place," and "Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac." All are available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle. Linda's books are for sale on Amazon or at Wisteria · 62 Bridge Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada, and at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum · 267 Edmund Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada--Appleton Museum-Mississippi Textile Mill and Mill Street Books and Heritage House Museum and The Artists Loft in Smith Falls.

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

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