Enlightments of Elphin


duncan-elphinschool1890.jpgSchool Class, Elphin, Ontario, about 1890-Photo from Charles Dobbie collection

Elphin is a small unincorporated village in North Sherbrooke Township, about 5 km west of McDonalds Corners, at the junction of County roads 36 and 12.

This photo was sent to the Charles Dobbie collection in 2006 by Rick Killingbeck of Elphin, who says about the house on the right:
” In 1884 this house was owned by James Brownlee, in 1905 (by) Lawrence Brownlee. Later it was in the Fournier family (Pete) lastly, then bought and renovated by Mike D’Aoust and presently Rick Killingbeck, 1996-2006 “

The road going off to the right (north) heads to Snow Road.
The road going straight ahead (east) later turns south towards Maberly.


Photo from Charles Dobbie collection

Back Row, L to R: Sherman Gordon, Robert Geddes, John Balfour, George Gordon, Mannie Gilbert, Mabel Dunlop, Iva Duncan, Laura McIntyre,Miss Annie C. McIntyre (teacher).
Front Row, L to R: Tom Balfour, Lindsay Duncan, Gerald Gordon, Dorothy Duncan, Margaret Gilbert, UNKNOWN, Agnes Duncan, Janet Duncan, Ruby Campbell,Agnes Balfour, Margaret Balfour.

Photograph of a class in front of the school at Elphin, Ontario, about 1910.
This photo is part of the Izatt photo collection which was found in the landfill at the McDonald’s Corners municipal dump.

elphin-class-1953-54.jpgSchool Class, Elphin, Ontario, 1953-1954=Photo from Charles Dobbie collection

Photograph of the students inside the Elphin school. Robert E. Macaulay is the teacher at far right. It was his first year of teaching and the first of two years at Elphin. The photo looks very “muddy” because it is a photocopy of a newspaper clipping.


Photo from Charles Dobbie collection



Perth Courier, July 7, 1899

Wilson-Munro—Married at the Presbyterian Church, Blakeney, on the 29th inst., William J. Wilson of Elphin to Marion E. Munroe daughter of Alexander T. Munro of Darling.

Perth Courier, January 6, 1899

Elphin:  The remains of the late William Lock who died in Winnipeg will be interred in the Highland Line Cemetery on Wednesday.  His younger days were spent in Perth; he was a well known figure in McDonald’s Corners for a number of years.  He was good hearted to a fault and his remaining few years he spent with his family in Winnipeg.

More on William Lock:

The corpse of William Lock arrived in McDonald’s Corners on Tuesday evening at the hour of 7:00 accompanied by his son Thomas and his daughter Charlotte.  The funeral took place on Wednesday, Dec. 28 at 2:00 in the afternoon and was attended by friends and old acquaintances of the deceased.  The service was conducted by Rev. Mr. Binnie of McDonald’s Corners during which he spoke with deepest sympathy for the children, seven in number who are now left to mourn the loss of their father.  Thomas is a bookkeeper at a wholesale grocery in Winnipeg; William and Albert both travel for the same firm; and Johnnie keeps a grocery store at Glenborough; Annie is married to a merchant at Glenborough; Maggie is married and living in Winnipeg; and Charlotte.  Mr. Lock was buried in the Highland Line Cemetery beside his wife who died (illegible number, second of two numbers is a “1”) years ago.


Perth Courier, Feb.24, 1899

Elphin:  Mrs. Gunnis (nee Tena McDougall) wife of William Gunnis of Minnesota and daughter of Dugald McDougall of North Sherbrooke, died on the 11th inst.  It was a great shock to her many friends and relatives here.  She was married here about seven years ago and was one of our best girls, respected by all.  She leaves a husband and three of a family, one only a week old.

Perth Courier, March 3, 1899

Elphin:  Mrs. McDonnell (ne Alice Sergeant) widow of the late John McDonnell, of Robertsville, died on Saturday night of pneumonia after a short illness, aged63.  She was a kind mother and neighbor.  Her husband died one year eleven months ago.  Her family, except for one son, are married and have moved away.

McIntyre—Died, at Elphin on Feb. 27, Clara Evelin McIntyre, infant daughter of Malcolm and Tina McIntyre, aged 4 months and 27 days.

Perth Courier, March 10, 1899

Elphin:  Mrs. McDonnell (ne Alice Sergeant) widow of the late John McDonnell, of Robertsville, died on Saturday night of pneumonia after a short illness, aged63.  She was a kind mother and neighbor.  Her husband died one year eleven months ago.  Her family, except for one son, are married and have moved away.

Clara Eveline McIntyre, infant daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Malcolm McIntyre of Elphin died suddenly on Feb. 27.

Perth Courier, March 24, 1899

Munro—Died, at Elphin on March 14, Daniel Munro aged 53.

Elphin:  A very sudden though not altogether unexpected death occurred her last Thursday morning when Daniel Munro, blacksmith, after taking a light breakfast, sat down in his rocking chair and while the rest were at breakfast, passed peacefully away without the least struggle.  He leaves a wife and one son.  He was a kind and obliging parents and neighbor.

Elphin:  Mrs. Neil McVean, Sr., passed peacefully away last Saturday.  She was about 53(?) 63(?) years old.  The funeral took place today at 10:00.  She came from Glengarry over 40 years ago and she was a kind neighbor and devoted mother to her family.

Perth Courier, July 1, 1898

Elphin:  The youngest son of Randolph McKinnon was drowned in Dalhousie Lake on Saturday evening while bathing with four other little comrades.  Alexander Duncan, 15 year old son of Robert Duncan, made a plucky attempt to rescue him.  Alexander Duncan who had his clothes on when David McKinnon cried for help, stripped off all but his shirt and went in but the struggling boy caught his hand and would have pulled him down but he shook him off when he came up again.  Alex made a second attempt but the drowning boy caught him by the shirt when a fearful struggle took place and poor Alex got out very much exhausted and his shirt torn off, unable to save his comrade.

Perth Courier, Sept. 16, 1898

Elphin:  The weather has turned quite cool…..The frost was so hard as to make frost on Saturday night…..The threshing mill is on its rounds…..grain is turning out well…..The corn is mostly cut…..Hugh Weir is laid up with a gathering on his leg but is a little better…..George McConnell who is in the Kingston Hospital is improving…..Robert Bain, Jr., has had a slight attack of pleurisy again…..Duncan McVean went out to see Dr. Kilborne last week…..Mr. Storie of McLaren’s Depot buried his two year old child yesterday.

Elphin:  Peter Campbell and wife are here now from the township of Hibbert visiting friends.  Both are old residents of North Sherbrooke.  She is a daughter of Chief McDougall.

Perth Courier, July 28, 1899

Elphin:  John Currie, an old resident of North Sherbrooke, died at his residence at Cromarty, County Perth, on the 6th inst.  He and his family left here, the farm on which George Campbell lives, about 32 years ago.  His wife, a sister of Dugald McDougald, reeve of North Sherbrooke and Dalhousie and four sons, survive him.  He was born on the 7th July, 1831 and was an intelligent, upright man in all his dealings and had the courage of his convictions.


Perth Courier, Sept. 29, 1899


Elphin:  A gloom is sadness was cast upon the community by the sudden death of Kate Rutherford, daughter of William Rutherford, who died at Minnesota near Mallory on Sunday, Sept. 17 after an illness of three weeks.  She was put in a sealed copper casket and brought home by her brother William for interment.  The funeral took place on Saturday from her father’s residence being one of the largest processions witnessed here for a long time.  She was a bright, healthy, smart girl of 23 when she went out last March to keep house for her brother William.  About three weeks before her death she took malarial fever which turned into typhoid fever from which she never rallied.  Her remains were interred in the Crawford Cemetery.

Perth Courier, Dec. 8, 1899

Elphin:  Thomas Izatt, one of the oldest residents of North Sherbrooke, passed peacefully away on the 24th ult., after an illness of about 5 months, which he bore with Christian fortitude.  He married the only daughter of the late James Smith about 34 years ago.  She preceded him about three years before.  They leave two sons, James who bought a farm near Mississippi Station a few years ago and lives there, and Allan, on the homestead both in comfortable circumstances.

More in this issue on the death of Thomas Izatt:

An old and respected resident of North Sherbrooke, Thomas Izatt, died at his late residence on Nov. 24, after a lingering and painful illness at the age of 78 years.  Deceased was a quiet, industrious man and for many years a faithful member of the Presbyterian Church at Elphin.  He was a native of Ayr, Scotland.  The funeral was held on Saturday, 25th inst., the service being conducted in the church and was well attended.  He leaves two sons to mourn his loss:  Allan who resides on the old homestead; and James, who owns a farm on the Mississippi Station.  The remains were laid in the Crawford Cemetery.

Elphin:  Catharine Ferguson Duncan, wife of Alexander Duncan, McLaren’s Depot, although complaining for some time, died rather suddenly of Bright’s Disease.  She leaves a husband and five small children to mourn her loss.  She was a kind mother and a good neighbor.

Elphin:  A young child of Duncan McLellan was taken away by diphtheria and others of the family have it.

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

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.

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