Another Episode in Spinsterdom–The Armour Sisters of Perth

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The years under Queen Victoria’s reign (from 1837 to 1901) saw fewer marriages arranged by families, and more romance between couples. Young people from both upper and lower classes had opportunities to mingle in a supposedly safe environment with members of the opposite sex. For upper class people that might mean the opera and coming out balls, for lower class members of society there would be dances put on by churches. You’d probably be chaperoned through all of these activities, which is kind of a downer, at least until you were engaged.

The bad stuff came after you got married, especially because, at least as far as women were concerned, you were stuck in it. So, you had to make really good decisions about who you were going to marry. And you’d have to make them early, because most women married between 18 and 23 and waiting longer might make you a spinster.

Elizabeth Drexel, an American heiress, married Harry Lehr in 1901. He was supposedly fun and charming and they had a great courtship. He proposed to her by saying, “You must have guessed I have been in love with you ever since that first evening. I know you don’t love me, but you are lonely, you need someone to take care of you.” So everything was fine until they were married, at which point he promptly announced to Elizabeth, “I married you because the only person on earth I love is my mother. I want above everything else to keep her in comfort. Your father’s fortune will enable me to do so. But there is a limit to sacrifice. I cannot condemn myself to the misery of playing the role of adoring lover for the rest of my life…. for God’s sake leave me alone. Do not come near me except when we are in public, or you will force me to repeat to you the brutal truth that you are actually repulsive to me.” She never divorced him, and lived with him, unsatisfied, for the next 28 years.

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So I have written about the Schwerdtfeger spinster sisters from Carleton Place, and now I have found another set called The Armour Sisters of Perth. In the early 1900s they lived at 60 Drummond Street that is now apartments?. They were the daughters of Dr. John Armour an early Glen Tay Line settler. If you have any information about them please email me: sav_77@yahoo.com

 

historicalnotes

 

1911 Census of Canada
Home / 1911 / Ontario / Lanark South / 27 Perth / page 9 split view
Transcribed by: Bea Gosselin

10 101 Armour Mary F Head S Aug 1846 64
11 101 Armour Beatrice F Sister S Jul 1856 54
12 101 Armour Martha F Niece S Mar 1884 27

Armour—Died, at Perth on Sunday, Aug. 20,  1899 John Armour, aged 85–Perth Courier

 

On Sunday last, 20th inst., about midnight, death came to the family residence of John Armour, Sr., of this town and claimed as his own the honored head of the house at the ripe old age of 86 years.  The deceased had always been a man of robust constitution and only latterly felt that the four score years and more upon his head were giving warnings that the end was not far off.  Mr. Armour was born in Linnwood(?), Renfrewshire, Scotland on the 10th December, 1813 and came with his parents to this country in 1821 being then not 8 years old.  The family settled on the 3rd Concession Dalhousie near Lanark where they lived for many years and where his mother died, her last resting place being in the Lanark Village cemetery.  

The deceased was married to Miss Catharine McFarlane of Rosetta and settled on the 9th Line of North Burgess where he lived until he came to town to reside some ten years ago.  He was a man of sterling character and strict honesty and during his whole life he endeavored to succeed in doing to every man what he would like every man to do to him.  He inherited a large legacy left to him by a deceased relative in Scotland some years ago and his contribution to all religious, educational and charitable institutions were very liberal.  Nothing deserving of aid was ever passed by him when he was appealed to.  His widow and family of five sons and three daughters survive to mourn the loss of a kind and generous father and husband.  He had but one sister the late Mrs. George Richmond of Drummond.  The funeral on Wednesday was a very large one many from a distance coming in to attend the last rites of an old and respected friend.

 

Want to see more? Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in Hometown News

Bertha Schwerdtfeger — Mother of the Carleton Place Schwerdtfeger Sisters

So was there Money Hidden in the Schwerdtfeger House?

 

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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.

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