The Curious Case of Benjamin Tett




Benjamin Tett on his arrival in Canada went directly to Perth where he found that the best immediate situation he could hope for was that of school teacher—assistant to Rev. Michael Harris, Church of England clergyman in that place.  In 1821, however, Mr. Harris gave up the government school and despite local support Mr. Tett was not appointed to succeed him.  This disappointment forced the young teacher on his own resources and he opened a private school  26 pupils came to him at once, indicating that his ability had already begun to command attention.  Ten shillings per pupil per quarter, however, offset against six pounds rent plus the cost of wearing apparel and fuel left little for the teacher.

He lived in a two room apartment in Perth kept what he called “Bachelor’s Hall”.  One room was used for the bedroom and pantry and the other for the school and cooking purposes.  In September, 1822, the class increased to between 45 and 50 in number.  The problem, however, was to realize any tangible cash profit.



Buttermilk Falls.
This is the front piece photo of “The Canadian Mississippi River“. The book’s caption reads: ” Buttermilk Falls at Snow Road, on Antoine Creek within sight of the Mississippi River”. This picture must have been taken in the early part of the 20th century because of lack of vegetation.-Charles Dobie Collection

In 1822 Mr. Tett took up a 100 acre immigrant holding about 12 miles from Perth ( *see link on bottom) and also purchased a half acre town lot in Perth.  On both of these lots he intended to build houses.  The reason for this building spree was that many of his debtors could not afford to pay him in cash and by providing them houses on which they could labour and towards the construction of which they could donate materials, he made it possible for them to remunerate him in this useful fashion.”

He bought another quarter acre in Perth in 1824, presumably for the same collection method since he continued in ‘Bachelor’s Hall’.  Thus while in Perth he experienced and partially met the great pioneer problem—how to advance economically in a land where cash was scarce.



History of Bedford Mills and Benjamin Tett–click here.


Benjamin Tett–Click here

Honor Tett

Birthdate: October 29, 1837 (83)
Birthplace: Newboro, , Ontario, Canada
Death: Died June 28, 1921 in Perth, , Ontario, Canada
Immediate Family: Daughter of Benjamin Tett and Julianna Poole
Sister of Mary Ann Tett; Elizabeth Tett; John Poole Tett; Jane Tett; Benjamin Tett and 2 others
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated: November 16, 2014



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

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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