Prologue to Killed by Zulus — Duncan and James Box

Prologue to Killed by Zulus — Duncan and James Box

 A few Months ago I wrote  Killed by Zulus — Duncan and James Box and today I found the story before the story they say.

In October of 1890 Duncan and James sat on the steps of the father’s farmhouse just a few  miles from the small village of White Lake, Ontario. It was a beautiful day in Renfrew County and both boys watched the cows and horses graze in a field nearby while they discussed their future.

After their father married Ellen McLachlan their father Alexander (Alec) Box found out that the soil of their 200 year-old farm was rich sandy loam perfect for the growing of potatoes. In fact their potatoes were so in demand locally that customers flocked to the farm and  potatoes were bagged, loaded, and paid for on the spot by many eager buyers.

You would think that Duncan and James would be content with inheriting the farm but Duncan brought up conversation mentioning to James that there was no future for them in White Lake other than being potatoe farmers.

Duncan lamented that their friends were out west in Manitoba and he just didn’t want them to end up like their friend Lal, living alone trying to raise prize beef. He did not want his future to be a hillbilly existence and wanted to be rich as if you didn’t have money you were going to go nowhere but the shores of White Lake.

They both realized their siblings would stick around and one of them would take the farm over some day, and it was time for the both of them to leave. Their friend Tom was in Edmonton prospecting for gold in Peace River country and Duncan thought that was the life for the both of them– oil and prospecting.

Duncan wanted to know how much James had in the Arnprior Bank and James said he didn’t have a dime. When Duncan expressed surprise James told him he hadn’t liked the face of the new manager so he had taken his $ 300 out of there and put it under his mattress. Between the two of them they had $700, so they decided to leave immediately.

When their father Alec heard of their plan he wasn’t surprised but he hated to see them go. Strong good-looking boys, they had been hard workers on the farm and never given their parents any trouble. As they stood on the steps saying good bye a few days later their Mother expressed concern that she might never see them again. When they shook their father’s hand in farewell they found a few dollars in their hands.

Next the boys arrive in Winnipeg….



Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun andScreamin’ Mamas (USA)




Photos by Gary Box

This is the house my great great grandfather John Ambrose Box built and farmed in White Lake and is now a museum complete with a log school, small log home and log church all moved on to the property when the town took over. The church and school house were constructed in 1868… least that is what is indicated over the doors of each building. In fact, I was told that the school was used until 1967. He also ran the General Store. The herb and flower gardens are magnificent. White Lake is about 30 miles from Carleton Place.







Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun andScreamin’ Mamas (USA)




A Time of its Own– The Mystery Photo


The Short but Illustrious Life of Dr. Daniel Muirhead

What Was it Like Living in Beckwith 1800s? Christina McEwen Muirhead

Christena McEwen– The Belle of Beckwith Part 1 -“The Woodcocks”

Killed by Zulus — Duncan and James Box

Was a Boldt Castle Boathouse Once in our Midst? See the Home of the Daphne!

He Hailed from Carleton Place– Harold Box– The Forgotten Scientist?

“Bossin’ Billy” McEwen Muirhead –Box family

McLaren Left it All to the McLeod Sisters–His Maids!


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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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