Tag Archives: Dalhousie Township

The Dalhousie Settlers of Innisfail Township

The Dalhousie Settlers of Innisfail Township

Perth Courier, September 30, 1932

The Dalhousie Settlers of Innisfail Township

Not Transcribed In Full

A reprint from the Barrie Examiner

A memorial erected to the Dalhousie settlers of Innisfail township, perpetuating the memory of a band of Scottish settlers from Dalhousie Township who located in Innisfail early in the last century and whose descendents played a large part in the up building of that township—a handsome memorial was unveiled and dedicated in the 6th Line Cemetery last Saturday afternoon, Sept. 17, 1932.  There was a large attendance although the weather was rainy and possibly kept some people away.  The sun came out long enough to permit the carrying out of the ceremony but the addresses had to be postponed until later in the day. 

The memorial is in the form of a cairn surmounted by a kildalton cross and is 19 feet high.  Stones were specially selected by the builder Alfred Davis of Belle Ewert from the farms which these Dalhousie men cut out of the forest 100 years ago.  On the cross are carved an axe and a sickle emblematic of pioneer labors.  The monument is of excellent workmanship and is a credit to the builder and worthy of the rugged men and women in whose memory it is erected. 

On the octagonal side of the monument are bronze panels bearing the names of eight families of these settlers, while on the front of the monument facing #11 Highway is a bronze tablet bearing the following inscription:

To commemorate the honored group of Scottish Dalhousie Settlers Allan, Cross, Climie, Duncan, Laurie, Jack, Todd, Wallace, who came to Innsifail Township A.D. 1832 after ten year’s stay in Dalhousie, Lanark County, Ontario.  This emblem is erected by their descendents A.D. 1932 and placed on the threshold of the pioneer log kirk and a later edifice.

Octogenarians present were Mrs. Charles Cross, 86; William Jack, 82; and Joseph Todd, 82(?) 92(?).  They are the oldest members in their respective families.  A  number of objects of interest from pioneer days were exhibited.  These included a piece of a weaver’s beam used in Dalhousie Township owned by Miss Mary Jack; a lute over 100 years old played by Mrs. Martha Cross; also her husband’s white linen trousers made of hand made material which were wore to kirk and on other special occasions; a weaver’s shuttle brought to Canada from Scotland by Isabella Malcolm who afterwards became the wife of Charles Todd whose grandson Charles MacLennan resides on the old pioneer homestead of Charles Todd; cooper’s tools and a Bible brought from Scotland by the grandfather of John Wallace of LeFroy(?); a Paisley shawl owned by Mrs. (Rev) A.B. Reckie(?) of Binbrook and worn by her grandmother Wallace on her wedding day.  Howard Allan has a wicker chair made in Dalhousie before these settlers came to Innisfail.

The chairman in a brief address gave a few facts regarding the Dalhousie settlers. He felt that the memorial was a tribute not only to these but to all who opened up settlement in the township.  The sterling and kindly character of these early settlers were practiced, preached and left by them.  They were noted for their friendliness, always ready to help those in need.  Mr. Allen pointed out that while some sought to cast odium on the Dalhousie settlers for their supposed sympathy with the “rebels” in 1837, some of the settlers and their descendents were distinctly honored.  When the municipality was organized William Cross was elected as its first reeve, Eben Todd was an ex-warden and others in these families have also served in important positions.

Short sketches from family histories wee given by the following:  Allan by Fred Allan, Churchill; Cross by Mrs. (Rev.) TarkingtonLittle by the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Little of Innisfail; Duncan by William Duncan of Lefroy; Jack by Mrs. William Jack of Lefroy; Todd by Elmer Rothwell of Gilford; Wallace by Robert Wallace of Hamilton; Laurie (or Lowery) by J.J. Whalen of Vancouver.

In connection with the Todd history Mr. Rothwell read portions of a letter written 90 years ago by Thomas Todd, Edinburgh, to his brother John Todd in Innisfail.  It dealt with the politics and relative conditions of that day in Scotland and pictured a depression as bad as that through which the world is passing today.

A.F. Hunter’s History of the County of Simcoe contains the following sketch of these pioneers “Innisfail, like West Gwillimbury(?), had its ‘Scotch Settlement’ but the group of settlers which it comprised came from another quarter and at a later date—the autumn of 1832.  Previous to that year they had settled in the township of Dalhousie, Lanark County but finding its rocky surface anything but a congenial dwelling place and seeing no prospects of making a permanent home here they came to Innisfail.  Their native place was Glasgow and its vicinity where some of them had belonged to the recalcitrant brotherhood of Glasgow weavers so notorious in British history.  They left Scotland at the time of the intense public excitement preceding the passing of the Reform Bill.  Most of them had taken part in the agitation and like the Pilgrim fathers of an earlier time they preferred to life beyond the sea rather than endure the grievances of their native land.  Most of the, too, were platform orators and enthusiastic Reformers, which their descendents are to this day.  The individuals who, with their families, composed this interesting group of settlers were:

John Lawrie, N1/2 Lot 17, Concession 2

Rev. John Climie, S ½ Lot 17, Concession 2

John Todd, S ½ Lot 19, Concession 2

Hugh Todd, North ½ Lot 12, Concession 5

Garvin Allan, Concession 3(?), Lot 15(?)

Robert Wallace, South ½ Lot 18(?) Concession 6(?)

William Duncan, South ½ Lot 18(?) Concession 6(?)

William Cross, Lot 20(?), Concession 6

James Jack, North ½ Lot 21, Concession 5(?)

They settled close together and this circumstance together with the fact that a number of their descendents remained at the old homesteads and in the neighborhood gave the southeastern part of Innisfail the Scotch-Presbyterian flavor which it possessed.

At the Rebellion of 1837 some of these settlers did not desire to go to the front and assist in the quelling of the uprising as that natural sympathy to some extent with the principals advocated by William Lyon McKenzie and his party.  As the Dalhousie settlers were not outspoken in their opinion on the matter they were suspected of having non-pacific intentions.  One of the possessed an old rusty musket which was promptly taken from him lest he aid the rebels cause and he was forced by loyalists to go to the frontier.  This circumstance attached the name “Rebels in Disguise” to the Dalhousie people and their descendents for some years after the Rebellion.  Another report was circulated that they had been banished form Glasgow to Dalhousie and that they had fled from their places of banishment to Innisfail.  This report was chiefly made to do duty at municipal elections when any of the Dalhousie settlers were candidates.

John Lawrie on, on the list given above, was a prominent person in his neighborhood and a platform speaker of ability.  His two sons John and William Lawrie together with Dugald McLean were the three sawyers of the settlement for which they manufactured almost all of the lumber for the district with a whipsaw in one of the ole time saw pits.  About the year 1840 John Lawrie, Sr., and McLean obtained a canoe near DeGrasse Pt. on Sunday afternoon and set out to cross the lake to Roach’s pit on the opposite shore.  They were never heard of afterwards and it is supposed they had been drowned off De Grasse’s Pt.

The other son William Lawrie, probably better known than any other member of the group.  A few years after his arrival at Innisfail he married a daughter of Rev. John Climie and filled a variety of callings.  At one time he preached occasionally; at another he occupied the position of chief constable after having served a term in Bradford as Bailiff of the Division Court and another in Barrie in the office of Sheriff Smith.  At another time he was bailiff, auctioneer, etc and traveled throughout the county to a considerable extent in these capacities.

Rev John Climie, the second individual on the above list had been a weaver in a village seven miles from Glasgow.  A brother of his started the famous Clark spool firm of Glasgow.  The name of the firm continued for several years as Climie and Clark.  His family consisted of four sons and some daughters who came with him from Scotland. One of the sons died in Innisfail soon after their arrival.  Rev. John Climie, Jr., of his family, was a Congregationalist minister and was stationed from 1849 onward for some time at Bowmore in Notiawaxaga(?) and subsequently at Darlington(?) in 1851; Bowmanville in 1856; and Belleville in 1861.  It appears to have been difficult for him to abastain from taking part in politics.  His son W.R. Climie was secretary of the Ontario Press Association and editor and proprietor of the Bowmanville Sun until his death in 1894(?).  William Climie another son of the pioneer lived on the homestead on the 2nd Concession line.  The two remaining brothers George and Andrew went to Perth County.

Dalhousie Settlers list click here…

The Lanark ‘Society Settlers’ Ralph Shaw click here.

Lanark Society Settlers

Welcome to the Lanark Society Settlers Freespace Page! click here

The Story of Wild Bob Ferguson of Dalhousie Township

Hoods School SS #2 Dalhousie

Did you Ever Hear About Hoods Corners?

The Tragic Life of Mary Paul–Hood’s Settlement- Mary Beth Wylie

The Church On the Hill in the Middle of Hood

Drummond, Lanark, Darling, Dalhousie, Bathurst and North and South Sherbrooke –Be Ready to March — 1838

Geddes Rapids Bridge 1903 — Dalhousie Lake

Dalhousie Township Names Names Names –Land Registry Genealogy

Adventures at Dalhousie Lake at the Duncan’s Cottages — Noreen Tyers

Cora Munro Yuill — Arthur Yuill — For Glenda Mahoney with Love

Cora Munro Yuill — Arthur Yuill  — For Glenda Mahoney with Love

My good friend Glenda Mahoney asked me to do a wee bit of research and there is nothing I love more.. This is for you Glenda with much love..

Cora Munro Yuill

The House

Lanark County Genealogical Society

April 21, 2020  · Anne Ouimet writes. When I was very young & we would be on our way to Clayton Lake for our vacation. Just a short way from turning down the last road in. I remember my Mom pointing out a house on the left telling us it was Miss Pretty’s house. I never met the lady but we knew we were close to reaching our destination. Would that be the area this family lived in? LCGS Corporate Secretary Rose Mary replies, Here is the house you mention, yes the family lived in this area. The original Evans/Pretty house is the clapboarded one. At one time it was painted yellow. The log house was moved there in the 1970s or 1980s. It was Cora (Munro) Yuill’s house and was moved from the 3rd? line of Ramsay. Maybe someone can assist us in confirming the concession.

Dawn JonesThe original house on the left in this photo was yellow at one time and the Log house was brought in. Heather Higgs and Wayne Pender I think. Rose Mary Sarsfield

Glenda MahoneyAlex do u know where there is a copy of the poem Grandma Yuill wrote about the old house being moved.

Alexandra Folkard
April 22, 2020  · 
This is another photo from the 50’s

Alexandra FolkardIt moved there in the 90’s and it moved from old perth Rd. I Remember going with my Grandma Eileen Boothby (Cora’s Daughter) to look inside the house after they built it back up 🙂

Heather HiggsHi, I lived there for over 20 years and raised my family there… It was my ex husband and I that bought the house in 1986 it was just the original house with board and batten, then we purchased and moved the log part in around 1990.

The wedding

from ancestry and Laurie Yuill marriage certificate 1931

LaurieYuillLaurieYuill originally shared this on 29 Apr 2017

Name:Cora Munro
Birth Year:abt 1905
Birth Place:Darlington Twp. Ontario
Marriage Date:18 Nov 1931
Marriage Place:Lanark, Lanark, Ontario, Canada
Father:Robert Munro
Mother:Ida Munro
Spouse:Arthur Yuill
Name:Cora Manro[Munro]
Racial or Tribal Origin:Scotch (Scotish)
Marital Status:Single
Birth Year:abt 1906
Birth Place:Ontario
Residence Date:1 Jun 1921
House Number:42
Residence Street or Township:Darling
Residence City, Town or Village:Township of Darling
Residence District:Lanark
Residence Province or Territory:Ontario
Residence Country:Canada
Relation to Head of House:Daughter
Father’s Name:Robert Manro
Father Birth Place:Ontario
Mother’s Name:Elizabeth Manro
Mother Birth Place:Ontario
Can Speak English?:Yes
Can Speak French?:No
Can Read?:Yes
Can Write?:Yes
Enumeration District:97
Sub-District:Darling (Township)
Sub-District Number:15
Enumerator:James Guthrie
District Description:Polling Division No. 2 – Comprising that part Of the township west of the Fifth concession line from lot 1 to lot 4, both inclusive and that part east of the fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth, lot 27, both inclusive
Neighbours:View others on page
Line Number:27
Family Number:42
Household MembersAgeRelationshipRobert Manro51HeadElizabeth Manro46WifeEarl Manro21SonWilbert Manro11SonEva Manro23DaughterFlorence Manro18DaughterCora Manro15Daughter


1905(AGE)Select fact


17 Aug 1905 • Darlington Twp. Ontario

1 Source

193126Select fact


13 Nov 1931 • Middleville Manse,

Arthur Yuill


193126Select fact


18 Nov 1931 • Lanark, Lanark, Ontario, Canada

Arthur Yuill

(1897–1963)1 Source


Birth of daughter Blanche Yuill(1934–2012)

26 Feb 1934


Birth of daughter Alma Yuill(1937–2003)

31 Jul 1937


Birth of daughter Eileen M. Yuill(1940–2017)

31 Oct 1940


Birth of daughter Della Yuill(1945–2012)

18 Feb 1945


Death of husband Arthur Yuill(1897–1963)

06 May 1963

199590Select factView


18 Oct 1995

LaurieYuillLaurieYuill originally shared this on 07 Sep 2017–Cora Yuill & Blake Mahoney at his Christening, 1983
sherren193sherren193 originally shared this on 23 Nov 2018

The Yuill family
Connie Jackson
My grandfather was raised by Robina and William. It was his mother Agnes wishes before she died when he was an infant. Grandpa ended up staying on at the farm at his Uncle Bills request. My Grandma said there was always family coming to visit on the weekends and Robina would want the dining room
Judy Arnott
These are my great great grandparents. Allie Yuill was my mother’s grandfather. His mother Robina was my dad’s great great aunt.scrubbed til it shone, good china out and chandelier lit to serve a tasty meal

Clayton Ontario History
April 28, 2018  · 

Robert Munro and Ida Watchorn married 1895. Parents of Eva (Mrs. James Fulton, Admaston), Earl Munro, Almonte, Florence (Mrs. J. H. Watt, Union Hall), Cora (Mrs. Arthur Yuill, Darling) and Wilbert Munro, Hall’s Mills. Grandparents and great grandparents and likely gg grandparents of many!

Conversations with Agatha Yuill –The Buchanan Scrapbook

Walter Mather Yuill — Died at age 28
The Robbing of the Honey Pot- Andrew Cochrane Ramsay Yuill
Clippings of Mrs. Joseph Yuill – Margaret Yuill
Ralph and Iris Yuill
The Hart Children of Lanark — Laurie Yuill

Notes on Alexander and Joseph Yuill
Mrs. Joseph Yuill of Ramsay Makes Butter
Middleville Photos — Laurie Yuill

Turning Back to the Clock Agnes “Aggie” Yuill– The Buchanan Scrapbook

Archie Yuill –The Buchanan Scrapbook Clippings

What do the IDA and Hallmark Have in Common? by Glenda Mahoney

Drummond Cemetery Photos by Glenda Mahoney

The Mahoney Legacy Ends–Masonry Runs in the Blood

The Oldest Cemetery in Drummond

Faeries on the Malloch Farm

A Time Capsule on the Malloch Farm

The Malloch Barn and Other Things

Looking for Napiers

Looking for Napiers



Linea’s great grandfather’s father, John Napier and brother, Tom.

Linea Napier Henderson‎ wrote Saturday
 Cathy Machin


I was told you were looking for information about Napier’s.

My Grandfather was William Napier who lived in Lake Avenue in Carleton Place, He had 2 brothers, 1 Dan who lived in Lanark and Andy who I do not know anything about. William had 2 children, Donald my Dad and Agnes by another marriage. I am not sure if any of that helps. Cathy( Napier )Machin


Lanark County 1878 map, great details on towns, villages, hamlets, roads and railroad network
And there is more..
Glen Napier
My grandfather was Daniel Napier born 1894 and died Feb 1963.He had a farm on the 10 th line of Drummond outside of Lanark village.His father was John Napier born 1856 and his mother was Jane I think she was a Camelon.They had 4 sons.My grandfather Daniel married Christina Tullis and they had 3 sons John,Arnold & Wallace(who was my father).John Napier’s father was Andrew James Napier born in Scotland in 1828.Andrew married Fanny Stretch they had several children one being John.I assume that Fanny passed away as Andrew remarried in 1878.In the 1871 Ontario census it lists Andrew Napier age 43 and a Catherine Napier age 72 so I think Catherine would be his mother.
Andrew Napier died in 1898 and is buried in the Hopetown Ontario cemetery.
Glen Napier

Darling Township 1884 Land Owners click here..

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)




The Hendry Henry Family– Lanark County–Genealogy Tip


Millar Miller– Christopher and Sarah Allison and Packenham Genealogy

Edwards Genealogy– Family Photo Album

James Stewart Ferguson– Lanark County Genealogy

The Oldest Queen’s Graduate D.W. Stewart– Middleville — Lanark Genealogy

Middleville Genealogy-McIlraith- Sommerville

Connecting the Bread to Go with Mr. Jelly-Carleton Place Genealogy

Muirhead Gillies and the Boxes Are All Related–Genealogy and Photos

Photos of Austin Bain Gillies— Gillies Family Genealogy

Names Names Names of St. James Carleton Place Genealogy

The Sinclair Family Cemetery–Photos by Lawrie Sweet with Sinclair Genealogy Notes

Trodden Wright Genealogy

Letters from Lanark–Thomas Ferguson and Mary Barr

Letters from Lanark–Thomas Ferguson and Mary Barr


Thomas Ferguson and Mary Barr 

FERGUSON Thomas Dalhousie con 3 lot 26E Mon 7 day 23 year 1821

Dear Brother and Sister:

I received yours on the 17th of March. I was down in Lanark when I received you letter and on the way home, I was taken suddenly bad with pain in the stomach and bowels and in that state it was tight times with me to get the home of Hugh Hunter on the night of the 17th and on the 18th we found it prudent to send for Dr. Murray for we was afraid it was inflammation but on his arrival he dispelled that doubt for he said it was a windy colic and I am getting better. Mother and Mary is in some measure of health when I parted with them on the 19th, for Mother has been with Mary since the death of our Father and for a considerable time before it. Thomas came home from the shanty on the 17th of said month and he has not been very well since for I expect that it is the cold he has caught. You wanted to know if Thomas was at home the time of the storm. No. He was at the shanty, likewise you want to know all the particulars concerning the death of our Father.

He was at Hunters all the time of his illness. He, for 2 days after he arrived at Hugh’s, his throat swelled but the swelling fell immediately after and on the Wednesday before he died he was considerably better for he was reading at Chambers Journal more than the half of the day but on the day following he was much worse for he complained of stitches in his chest and body and on Friday he was still getting weaker and Friday night Hugh left home and came up to inform us that he was making worse and on Saturday morning Hugh and I left home to go down but to our great surprise when we arrived he was gone; a lifeless corpse so there was no person there but mother and Mary and the 2 children when he died., on the night of Friday after Hugh left home, he began to think that death was approaching but had no idea that it was so nigh at hand for he was quite and considerably composed.

He would not lie in the bunk nor bed but to have his made at the fire. It was between 12 and 1 o’clock when Mother lay down to take little repose for she was tired out. Mary lay down with the children for they were both badly at the time and she spoke several to her Father but he give all at the times a sharp answer and Mother rose after Mary had spoken to him but he had drawn his last breath and this was about 2 o’clock in the morning and we removed his corpse home on the 1st of March and he was interred on the 2nd on the third line of Lanark beside his son James.

We received a letter from Aunt Love on the 28th of February. John Love is in very poor health, likewise Aunt Taylor and there are some more particulars concerning Uncle Williams’ death and widow but I have not time at present to write them down. I wrote a letter——–this time a good way on to Mysena to (Jane) Telling her what has happened likewise I sent one to George (Sheare) and one to John Love and I was going to write to Uncle Nathanial but you informed me that you was going to write to him which will save me the trouble.

I now commence to inform you that our Father died without making any will and you will be heir according to law; so I want an immediate settlement for Mr. D that is in Quebec, the creditors are pushing me pretty hard for it but I will keep them at bay till I get things settled so I only hope you will consider the matter and come up and we will make a definite settlement so I add no more at present so I remain your Brother until Death.

Alan Ferguson

At bottom of letter written with different pen and ink and maybe by a different person, Allan Ferguson of Dalhousie 1850, John Ferguson, Thomas Ferguson, James Ferguson, Sarah Ferguson, Mary Ferguson, Jane Ferguson.

The original letter is in the possession of  Grant Davis McFarlane R.R. #1, Lanark, Ontario.

Mary is in the 1851 Census, age 70, living with her daughter Mary Ann and son-in-law Hugh Hunter. In 1861 she is back on her original homestead, living with her son Allan who has inherited the farm. The homestead has returned to forest and only a small excavation remains to show where the original house stood. Flowers and rhubarb still grow in the overgrown clearing. The St. James Ferguson Cemetery is located in the churchyard of the abandoned St. James Church on Concession Line 2 in Dalhousie.

Thos. Ferguson Pioneer Cemetery

Lot 26E1/2 Con 3, Dalhousie Township

Burials – 1835 to 1860

The Thomas Ferguson Cemetery

In 1821, Thomas Ferguson, his wife Mary Barr and children, John, Jean, James, Thomas, Mary Ann, and Sarah immigrated from Johnstone, Scotland to settle on the E 1/2 lot 26, conc. 3, Dalhousie Township.

This corner of that lot became to family burial ground.

Known to be buried here:

Thomas 1783 – 1846

Son – James – 1811 – 1835

Daughter – Sarah – 1819 – 1860

Granddaughter – Mary – 1848 – 1854

It is know that other members of the family, particularly infants and small children are buried here.

Mary (Barr) Ferguson, wife of Thomas, b. 1780, d. Mar 21, 1863 is buried at the St. James Church, Hood’s.

This plaque is placed by their many descendants, to honour their memory.

Photos by Carolyn and Keith Thompson – 27 August, 2001.

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 and Screamin’ Mamas (USA)


Did you Ever Hear About Hoods Corners?


It began innocently with finding this great article called:

To Hoods Corners by Way of Watsons Corners.

By Ed Somers 1985 edited 2005

Where, on the map, is Hoods Corners? Watson’s Corners is on the map. Both of these places are located in Ontario.  To be even more specific they are in Dalhousie Township, Lanark County  in Ontario, just a little to the southwest of Ottawa. It takes about one and one half  hours to drive from the Ottawa airport.  At least that is how long it took me to drive back from Hoods Corners after I had found the place.

Read the rest here..

Author’s Note–So then I became hooked and started to do research about this forgotten hamlet is north of Watson’s Corners. It is a little known place settled by families that arrived in Canada on the ship *”Prompt” and settled in Dalhousie Township, Lanark County, in the area known as Hood Corners.

The came from Perth by wagon, arriving on September 15th; and then on to “Lanark” which they so named on their arrival on September 30, 1820. Lots were drawn for the acreage, the Hood land being some six miles to the west. The area around Lanark abounds with natural lakes, some swamps and much granite out-croppings on the hillsides — a difficult place indeed for these early settlers to establish a new home.

A shipboard romance developed while crossing the ocean between Will Hood and Martha Park and they were later married. Martha Park came to Canada from Scotland on the “Prompt” in the company of her 3 brothers and their families–William, John and David.Will Hood had been educated in the University of Glasgow, and so became the teacher at Hood’s Corners School in the new world.

hoods school 001.jpg

hoods 1909 001 (1).jpg

*Hood’s School– Photos–see in historical section for info- Photos from-Mary Beth Wylie-(daughter of Eileen Paul, granddaughter of Ray and Minnie Pretty Paul and so on… )

Will and Martha Hood had 10 children, 4 girls and 6 boys. Most of their children settled in the western part of the Province of Ontario, where they found much better agricultural opportunities.

That first winter at Dalhousie Township, the school teacher hired and brought over by the name of George Richmond, died when a tree fell on him. He was the first death in the Dalhousie settlement (“The Lanark Society Settlers” by Carol Bennett p. 16). This is probably the teaching position that William Hood took over. It has been said that William had had two years of college before emigrating to Canada. The school house was located at an intersection called Hood’s Corner. The school is still standing today, but is a private residence. The Common School Report for 1827 (From the Journal of Assembly of Upper Canada – 1928) shows that William Hood was one of six teachers in Dalhousie Township. William Hood had 12 boys and 10 girls in his classroom.

The soil in Dalhousie Township was quite rocky, causing many of the original emigrants, and many of the first generation children, to relocate to western Ontario where the soil was better. William and Martha did not leave, probably because William had his teaching pay (whatever he could collect in money or other things such as food) besides his farm to supplement his income. However some stayed and have descendants in the area today. The 2 Hood girls married Hill brothers and moved to Salt Lake City.

There is a hill called Jack Hill on the farther side of Hood’s Corners (where the school and the home of William Hood still exists) from Watson’s Corners. The Jack family lost their first home to fire. Apparently they also lost their important papers as well.

37-normal (1).jpg

Mary Jack–12 Jul 1868 – 11 Nov 1963

Photo from Robin’s Ancestry


Of Dalhousie Township, Lanark County.

In 1820, William JACK and his wife, Mary HOOD, who were married on the 30th of January 1811, in Barony, Lanark, Scotland; along with James HOOD and his second wife, Margaret BISLEN, and other members of the Jack & Hood families arrived in Canada on the ship “Prompt” and settled in Dalhousie Township, Lanark County, in the area known as Hood Corners.

William JACK relinquished his land in Lanark County and resettled in Innisfil Township, Simcoe County.

John White JACK, 2nd son of William and Mary married Jane HOOD, daughter of James Hood and his 1st wife, Elizabeth Jones; was Velda Leask’s great grandfather.

Would appreciate being in contact with other descendants of these families to share information.

George Leask – e-mail – geoval@direct.ca

November 17, 2000

Biography for William Hood and Martha Park

Received from: Jan Darbhamulla 

William Hood.jpg

Photo from Sandwalk: A Mormon Tale

William Hood was born July 6, 1799 at Barony Parish, Lanarkshire, Scotland.  He was the oldest (and only surviving) son of James Hood.  His mother, Elizabeth Jones, died when William was a young child, and so his father eventually remarried.  William left from Greenock, Scotland with his family on July 4, 1820 and sailed on the Prompt for Canada.  It has been said that he met his future wife, Martha Park, on board this ship and that theirs was a shipboard romance, but there is no documentation to support that Martha came to Canada at that same time.  Martha was born Dec. 31, 1799 in Cambuslang, Lanarkshire, Scotland, the daughter of James Park and Marion Allen.  Martha’s father did come to Dalhousie Township, Lanark County early on, but so did several other people with the same name.

That first winter at Dalhousie Township, the school teacher hired and brought over by the name of George Richmond, died when a tree fell on him.  His was the first death in the Dalhousie settlement (“The Lanark Society Settlers” by Carol Bennett p. 16).  I believe that this is the teaching position that William Hood took over.  William had had two years of college before emigrating to Scotland.  The school house was located at an intersection called Hood’s Corner.  The school is still standing today, but is a private residence.  The Common School Report for 1827 (From the Journal of Assembly of Upper Canada – 1828) shows WIlliam Hood as one of six teachers in Dalhousie Township.  William had 12 boys and 10 girls in his classroom.

William and Martha had a large family of ten children, although many of their children moved to western Ontario where the land was better for farming.  The soil in Dalhousie Township was quite rocky, and making a living as a farmer proved to be difficult.  Their oldest child was Marion who was born in 1826.  Marion married John Baird and is buried at Hopetown Cemetery, Lanark County.  James came next, born in February 1828.  James moved to western Ontario and lived in several counties, but is buried at Harriston Cemetery, Minto Township, Wellington County.  Elizabeth, born May 1, 1830, married Robert Ferguson and moved to Hay Township, Huron County.  Martha married William Rodger on Apr. 22, 1856.  She died on Feb. 20, 1917.  William, born Aug. 5, 1834, was the first son to move to western Ontario.  Per his diary, on his way west he stopped at Simcoe County to visit his grandfather James Hood.  He also stopped at his aunt’s to visit Isabella who was not expected to live, plus other relatives in the area, before settling in Howick Township, Huron County.  William died Apr. 1, 1922 and is buried at Clifford Cemetery, Huron County.  Margaret, born in 1836, married Archibald Penman, and is buried at St. Andrew’s Cemetery at Watson’s Corner, Lanark County.  Andrew, born in November 1837, also moved to Howick Township, Huron County, and lived and worked there as a farmer until 1902.  Several of Andrew’s children had moved to North Dakota, so Andrew, his wife, and two youngest children also relocated to North Dakota, where Andrew and his wife, Ann Scott, ran a boarding house in Devil’s Lake.  Even though he died in North Dakota, Andrew and his wife are buried, per their request, at Harriston Cemetery, Minto Township, Wellington County.  John, born in 1841, lived in many Ontario counties, but is buried at Huntsville, Chaffey Township, Muskoka District.  Gemmill, born two years after John, died when he was only twenty.  He had moved to Howick Township, Huron County, and died when a tree fell on him.  David, the youngest child, born in 1846, also moved to western Ontario, but eventually settled in Duluth, Minnesota, where he was a successful builder.

William and Martha lived their remaining lives in Dalhousie Township, and are buried at St. Andrew’s Cemetery, Watson’s Corner, plot 187, Lanark County, Ontari

Biography for James Hood

Received from K Jan Darbhamulla 

James Hood and his family emigrated to Canada in 1820 aboard the Prompt.  In “The Lanark Society Settlers” by Carol Bennett, p. 51, it is written that “A story handed down says that the Prompt was formerly a battleship which had been sunk during the Napoleonic war and later raised and used as an emigrant ship.”

Not a lot is known about James Hood’s early years as a boy.  It is documented that James (of Bridgeton) Hood was born in Kelso, Roxburgshire, Scotland in April 1775/76.  His parents were William Hood and Hannah Clarke/Clerk.  William worked as a weaver and when James was still a young boy, sometime after 1779, the family relocated to the Glasgow area.

James married his first wife, Elizabeth Jones/Jonnes in May 1798 in Bridgeton, Barony Parish, Lanarkshire, Scotland.  Their first child, William, was born July 6, 1799.  He would end up to be the only surviving son that James had.  William eventually married Martha Park and lived the rest of his life in Dalhousie Township, Lanark County, Ontario.  William died in Feb. 1874, and he and Martha are buried at St. Andrew’s Cemetery, Watson’s Corner.  Jane came next.  She married John Whyte/White Jack, her cousin, and it is reported that she died in 1862 in Simcoe County, Ontario.  Elizabeth was born next, in 1801.  Her first husband’s last name was Graham.  It is not known if he was related to Dr. William Hood’s wife, Jean Graham.  After his death, Elizabeth married WIlliam Allan, and also died in Simcoe County, Ontario in August 1875.  A girl named Hannah may have been the next child born, but nothing is known about her except for her birth date, so she may have died while still very young.  Another daughter, Jean, may also have died young, one year later in 1803.  Elizabeth Jones also died during this same time, so her death may be linked to childbirth complications.

Almost five years later James married Margaret Bisland/Besland in October or November of 1808, again at Bridgeton, Barony Parish.  Nothing is known about the early years of either of James Hood’s wives.  James and Margaret went on to have a large family.  Their first child was Jean, born in August 1809, who married her cousin James Jack.  They are buried at Tiverton Cemetery, Bruce Township, Bruce County, Ontario.  Agnes was born next on March 4/5, 1811.  She married Alexander Hill, Jr.  Alexander eventually became an early Mormon and they were on that first wagon train to Salt Lake City.  Agnes died at Mill Creek, Utah.  It is recorded that James Junior, born on Jan. 31, 1812, died in June of 1827 at the age of 15 in Dalhousie Township, Lanark County.  He was mistaken for a deer or some sort of animal and shot to death.  Decades later, a man on his deathbed confessed to this accidental killing.  It has been said that becasue of the grief that James and Margaret suffered at James Jr.’s death, that the family did not want to stay in Dalhousie Township any longer, and that caused them to relocate to Simcoe County.  Margaret came next, born on Nov. 24, 1813.  Her first husband was her cousin Davidson Todd.  After his early death, she married another cousin, James Graham Hood, son of Dr. WIlliam Hood and Jean Graham.  Margaret was quite a bit older than her second husband, but he must have been quite fond of her, because he included her on his own headstone many years later after her death, even though she was buried at a different cemetery.  Isobel was the next daughter, born in September 1814, but she seems to have died when she was just a toddler.  Robert, their next son, died on September 20, 1820, not long after the family arrived in Lanark County,  Ontario.  He was about four years of age.  A second Isabella/Isobel was the next chiild and she also married into the Hill family like her older sister.  Isabella was the first child of James and Margaret to be born in Dalhousie Township, Lanark County, Ontario.  Her husband was Archibald Hill.  Archibald also became an early Mormon, but Isabella died in Nebraska, while on the wagon train to Utah.  Annie came next in 1823.  She married Gilbert McArthur and died at Stayner, Simcoe County.  Another daughter, Mary, died at 1 1/2 years of age in 1826.  After Mary’s death, another Mary came along and she married a farmer who may have been named Edward Beecroft(?).  She died in April 1910 at Nottawasaga Township, Simcoe County.  The youngest child was Janet/Jennet who died not long after she had her first birthday in 1830.

It has been said that James was very active in the Disciple of Christ church in Simcoe County.  Both James Hood and Margaret Bisland are buried at Creemore Cemetery, Notttawasaga Twp, Ont.

Biography for William Hood and Hannah Clark

Received from Jan Darbhamula 

William Hood was born September 24, 1744 and christened September 30th in Kelso,  Roxburghshire, Scotland.  William was a weaver by trade, and married Hannah Clark/Clarke on November 25, 1769.  Probably some time after 1779 the family moved from the borderlands (Scottish lands near the border of England) to the Glasgow region.  William may have been buried on June 1, 1810 at Carlto-Ramshorn and Friars Cemetery, Lanarkshire County, Scotland.  Nothing more is known about Hannah.

Their oldest child, Agnes, was born May 1770.  Nothing is  known about Agnes, except that she may have died in 1822 in Dalhousie Township, Lanark County, Ontario, Canada.

Their second child, Isabella/Isobel, married John White/Whyte who died in the Battle of Waterloo.  Isobel came to Canada on the Prompt in 1820, and eventually married again.  Her second husband was William Duncan who had also come on the Prompt with his first wife, Philadelphia Stubberfield, and their children.  William had been in the Battle of Waterloo and had survived without getting hurt.  He was 6’6″, while his son James was a mere 6’2″.  James also married a Hood, Margaret Hood, who was the daughter of Dr. William Hood and Jean Graham.  The Duncan’s eventually moved to Simcoe County in the early 1830’s, and many from this line are buried there at Sixth Line Cemetery.  A large group of people from the Dalhousie Township, Lanark County region moved to Simcoe County, Ontario.  This group was called the Dalhousie Settlers, and are mentioned in the early pioneering history of Simcoe County.  Many people found it very difficult to farm successfully in the rocky soil of the Dalhousie region, and so eventually moved to other places.

Their third child was Elizabeth who married a widower, John Todd.  The John Todd family came to Canada on board the Prompt, and also moved to Simcoe County in the early 1830’s.

James was born next.  His first wife was Elizabeth Jones.  After Elizabeth died, James eventually married Margaret Bisland.  The James Hood family came over on board the Prompt with the rest of the family.  James and Margaret are buried at Creemore Cemetery, Simcoe County.

Next came Hannah.  Nothing is known about her except for her christening date, so it is assumed that she died while still young.

The date of birth for the last two children, William and Mary, is confusing, and their exact birth years are not known for sure.  William first studied theology, but later switched to medicine and became a doctor and stayed in the Glasgow area.  He married Jean Graham, who may have been the daughter of a minister.  After having five children, William and Jean died within days of each other during a major cholera outbreak in Glasgow.  Their five children were left orphaned.  Eventually these five children went to Simcoe County, to their Aunt Mary (Hood) Jack to finish raising.  Three of these children married into her own family.   The oldest child (of Dr. William Hood and Jean Graham), Joseph Gemmill Hood, married Isabella Jack.  Hannah Graham Hood married William Jack Jr.  Margaret Hood married James Duncan (as mentioned above).  James Graham Hood married Margaret Hood, the daughter of James Hood and Margaret Bisland and the widow of Davidson Todd (from the John and Elizabeth [Hood] Todd line).  The youngest child was Elizabeth Graham Hood who married Thomas Jack.

The final child (although maybe not the youngest) was Mary Hood who married William Jack and who also came with her husband and children on the Prompt.  They eventually moved to Simcoe County.


Perth Courier, Sept. 15, 1876

To Manitoba—Mr. John Hood, Dalhousie, set out from here last Monday morning on his way to Manitoba whither he has gone on an inspection tour.  If the country suits him, he intends selling his farm in Dalhousie and settling there.

*Prompt Ship-The British government then had the townships of Ramsay, Dalhousie, Lanark and North Sherbrooke surveyed and laid out for the immigrants.  The village of Lanark was to be the grand stopping place for immigrants when they arrived.  So early in the year of 1820 a ship was sent up called the Prompt and set sail from the Clyde in the month of April and after a journey of about three months they were landed at Lanark Village or rather where Lanark Village was supposed to be as it was then an unbroken wilderness.  They suffered much and I have been told that the snow was on the ground before some of them got into their shanties.  But as we did not come out until the following year I will confine my remarks principally to what took place under my own knowledge and what I have been told by my parents and others I can rely on.

The passengers of the Prompt remained in Perth until Sept. 30, 1820 when the government paid an installment of one third of their bonus money.  Then they set out for their new home in Lanark Village in wagons.  Near there, on a hill top overlooking the Clyde, they were deposited with their baggage and they located a short distance to the west of the present site of McDonald’s Corners.  Prominent among the original members of the community were James Martin, William Barrett, Charles Bailey, James Watson, George Brown, Thomas Easton, George Easton, Edward Conroy, Peter Shields, John Donald, John Duncan, Andrew Park, James Park, John Todd, William Jack, James Hood, Alexander Watt, and Robert Forest.

Aug 31 Ship Prompt Nairn 4 July Greenock 370 settlers to Geo. Ross (Larnark county settlers)

Perth Courier, April 13, 1906

Mr. and Mrs. James Crosbie celebrated their Golden Wedding on the evening of the 28th ult.  Mr. Crosbie is a native of Scotland.  When a child, his parents came to America settling in Dalhousie where he has since resided.  Mrs. Crosbie whose maiden name was Jane Richmond, was also a native of Scotland.  She with her sister Isabella, orphans, aged respectively 12 and 10, came to live with their aunt near Middleville.  Mr. and Mrs. Crosbie were united in marriage by Rev. James Geggie(?) in the manse at McDonald’s Corners and then took up residence at Isadore(?) where they have ever since resides, their industry and frugality gaining for them a beautiful home and every comfort in their declining years.  On the evening of their anniversary they were surrounded by their children and grandchildren and a few acquaintances who, after partaking of a sumptuous repast, spent a very pleasant evening in music and dancing and well rendered recitations by the children, and games.  The many and costly presents which they received testified to the love and esteem in which they are held.  Their children are as follows:  James, their eldest son and George their youngest son are still under the parental roof; Mrs. David Horn at Middleville and Mrs. Robert Horn at Hood’s.  The whereabouts of their second son William are unknown.  Mr. Crosbie will be 80 years old and Mrs. Crosbie will be 71 if spared until their respective birthdays.

*Hood’s School Info–Anyway, you posted some information about Hoods School ( by the way this school was  just outside of Watson’s Corners at the corner of Sugar Bush Way and concession 3 – across from St James Church.) This school was attended by my mother and her siblings as well as her father and his siblings. The Paul family ( my mother’s family) still lives on Sugar Bush Way.

I thought you might like these pictures. One is of the school ( undated) the other self explanatory.

Thanks for letting me share.

Mary Beth Wylie

(daughter of Eileen Paul, granddaughter of Ray and Minnie Pretty Paul and so on… )

Biography for James Hood by Jan Darby

Easton, George – Private Burial Site – Lot 16W, Con 3, Dalhousie Township west of Hood.

Easton, Matthew George – Private Burial Site – Lot 15E, Con 4, Dalhousie Township, west of Hood.

St. James Church & Cemetery – Lot 16, Con. 3, Dalhousie Twp., at Hood, Ont

James HOOD and James PARK

Families – Lanark County.

HOOD: Descendants of James Hood, (b. 1776 Scotland) and his wife Elizabeth Jones (b. May 1798 Scotland), who settled in Lanark, Ont., in 1820. They arrived on the ship the Prompt.

Other surnames attached to this family are;


PARK: Descendants of James Park, (b. 1766 in Scotland) and his wife Marion Allen (b. 1788 in Scotland) immigrated to Canada aboard the ship the Prompt in 1820.

Other surnames attached to this family are;


I’m interested in locating other researchers for these families. Willing to share information. Thanks.

Sue DeLuca-LeGresley – e-mail legresleydeluca@home.com

The Lanark Era
Lanark, Ontario, Canada
14 Apr 1909, Wed  •  Page 5
photo-MB Wylie-
When the Hood’s church was sold in 1971 the last service was held in September 1971 in honour of the pioneers.

I am including as well a picture from the 102 anniversary of the church. Sadly I no longer can identify all the people, although the faces I remember, the names I have forgotten. However my grandparents Ray and Minnie Paul are there with their neighbours and friends.

Mary Beth Wylie


Tracey McNicol

Arthur and Winnie were my grandparents. The last name is McNicol. Their son, my father, was Ray McNicol and was a member of the O.P.P. not the Ottawa police. So great to read this story. Thank you for sharing !

The Story of Wild Bob Ferguson of Dalhousie Township

The Story of Wild Bob Ferguson of Dalhousie Township

Robert “Wild Bob” Ferguson

1866 – 1889

Buried in the Ferguson Cemetery, Dalhousie Township


Friday August 23, 1889 The Perth Courier

Tragedy at Calabogie Lake Fatal Row Between Two River Drivers The Inquest

Kingston Ont., August 15 – “I’ll fight that fellow or I will be in hell tonight.” These were the remarks of an enraged river man in the village of Madawaska on Tuesday night. About eight o’clock he was shot and after great agony died yesterday about 11 o’clock . It was Edward McLaughlin, river driver, who shot Robert Ferguson and killed him.

Madawaska is a small village in the Kingston and Pembroke railway, fourteen miles from Renfrew. Both men were employed at High Falls by E. B. Eddy, Hull Que. On Tuesday Ferguson and McLaughlin went down from High Falls to Madawaska, and were soon intoxicated. Ferguson, ugly when in his cups, interchanged some blows with McLaughlin, but they were speedily separated. Ferguson, however, was not satisfied, he was most violent in his threats. The blustering river driver could not be pacified.

Almost an hour afterwards he found McLaughlin, quietly sitting on a veranda at Burn’s Hotel. Stealthily he approached the sitter, and when close to him struck him, knocking him over. McLaughlin, exasperated, drew his revolver and shot Ferguson in the abdomen. One person says that a fellow named Jack Lee had hold of Ferguson after he knocked McLaughlin over, and the latter put his arms around Lee, and shot Ferguson. Others say that McLaughlin used his weapon in self-defence.

A Brockville commercial traveller named Jamieson is of the latter opinion. After the shooting McLaughlin appealed to Jamieson to know what to do. He was advised to give himself up, but first go to his home at High Falls and see his wife and two children. Jamieson helped him out with his boat and he started up the lake. Ferguson was a native of  Dalhousie, being born on Lot 26 in the 3rd con. of said township in the month of January, 1866, and was consequently about 23 years of ageand was wanted for various offences in Lanark County.

McLaughlin is aged 22 years, and is a quiet fellow. He was afraid of Ferguson and courted his friendship rather than enmity. Ferguson, who was unmarried, had a bad reputation. He was an outlaw, having stabbed a man, and a warrant was out for his arrest. Some years ago, he attacked a peddler and, after a beating terribly, relieved him of some of his goods. For this crime he served a term in the Perth gaol.

An inquest is now in progress. McLaughlin is at his home and ready to surrender when called upon. The character of the deceased was made evident by his conduct before the shooting, he went about the settlement in search of McLaughlin and roaring “I’ll lick that fellow or be in hell to-night.”

Further Details – The Kingston Whig Man Visits The Place  The thriving village of Madawaska, Calabogie Lake, is located on a very romantic and pretty spot on the line of the Kingston & Pembroke R.R. about fifteen miles from Renfrew.

When the wind is high and the log drivers in the employ of E. B. Eddy, Hull, P.Q., cannot work at Calabogie lake they make their head quarters at Madawaska. The gang is composed of fifty-three men, forty-seven of whom work at the head of the log drive about twenty-five miles from the village, and six men are located at the village to urge the logs on their way down the river. Edward McLaughlin, who lives at the head of the lake, and Robert Ferguson, of Dalhousie, were two of the drivers stationed at the village. On Tuesday the weather was not suitable for the drivers to work so they gathered at Madawaska.

While loitering about some of them drank freely and became boisterous. Ferguson drank more freely of liquor than the rest of the men and soon worked himself into a fighting humor. He was quarrelsome and would not be pacified. He made special effort to fight with McLaughlin who seemed peacefully inclined. He and Ferguson were not good friends having fallen out on Monday about the question as who should steer the boat they were using. Ferguson wanted to settle the matter by fighting McLaughlin on Tuesday. They, with others, met in the bar-room of Byrnes’ hotel in the evening.

While there Ferguson began quarrelling with the men. McLaughlin tried to stop the disturbance and Ferguson pitched into him. Both clinched and fell to the floor with Ferguson on top. Then McLaughlin trolled Ferguson over, while in this position they were separated. McLaughlin cut about the face, left the bar-room and went to the verandah. He told the crowd that he would not stand Ferguson’s abuse, and would not be “chewed” by him. Ferguson went away, and failing to secure a revolver, came back to Byrnes; hotel, and seeing McLaughlin sitting on the railing of the verandah struck him a stinging blow in the face without a moment’s warning. McLaughlin was dazed for a second or more and Lee, a county constable, caught hold of Ferguson.

When McLaughlin came to himself he pulled a Smith & Wesson revolver and discharged a bullet into Ferguson’s body, while he was being held by Lee. Lee’s hand was scorched by the blaze. He had a narrow escape from receiving the lead himself.  Ferguson was carried upstairs into Byrne’s hotel where he died at 9:30 o’clock Wednesday morning. McLaughlin was quite sober when he shot Ferguson, and expressed sorrow for what he had done. He asked Mr. Jamieson, a commercial traveller, if he thought Ferguson was fatally shot. Mr. Jamieson said he was sure he (McLaughlin) had killed Ferguson. Then McLaughlin exclaimed: “My God, I did not mean to kill him. I pointed the revolver at his legs.” You should not have used the revolver,” said Jamieson.”What shall I do,” enquired McLaughlin. Jamieson said: “Go home and tell your wife about the affair and then surrender to the authorities boldly.”

At ten o’clock McLaughlin rowed up to the head of the lake and had not been seen since. It is said he is still at his  home and that he is afraid to come to the village. He labours under the idea that if he comes down he will be lynched. No efforts have been made as yet to arrest him, notwithstanding that a warrant has been issued for his capture. He is a hunter, and the constable holding the warrant thinks it would be useless to try to arrest McLaughlin where he lives.

Mr. Nicholson, Clyde Forks, married to one of Ferguson’s sisters, laid the charge of murder against McLaughlin before magistrate Eddy, of Renfrew. McGuire, agent for Eddy, says since McLaughlin has been in his employ he has been a steady, peaceable man. Ferguson was not an agreeable character. He had a very cranky disposition and had to be discharged from the river gang last year for bad conduct. He was only employed, latterly, in a temporary capacity.

Dr. Galligan and Mann, Renfrew, were called to attend Ferguson after he was shot. They found it was impossible to save his life. Dr. Galligan remained with him until he died. Before he expired he prayed frequently. The doctor drew up his will. In it he left property worth $500 in Dalhousie, to a brother, Allan Ferguson. After the post mortem examination was made by Dr McCormack, Renfrew, Dr Galligan order the remains to be buried.  The affair caused great excitement in Madawaska and Renfrew. The residence of these places talked freely about the participants in the affray. A great deal of sympathy was expressed both for the murderer and his victim.

Yesterday when the Whig reporter arrived at Madawaska he saw the hotel, on the verandah of which Ferguson was shot by McLaughlin. The hotel is a large frame building and is conducted by Mr. Byrnes. The house stands prominently on a hill and faces the railroad, it can be seen a long distance away. It was crowed yesterday with river man, who discussed, in a vigorous way, matters pertaining to the murder. The streets were crowded with people while the inquest was being held in the hotel.  The enquiry into the cause of Ferguson death was not concluded yesterday. It was resumed to day at 12:30 o’clock . The principal part of the evidence was however, submitted yesterday. Dr. Galligan corner, says he will not charge McLaughlin before the jury with will full murder.

E. McKay, of Thistle Carswell & McKay, mill owners, knew McLaughlin well and considers him a quiet decent man.  Many people are indignant at the position which County Constable Lee took during the process of the disturbance which led up to the murder of Ferguson. They consider that Lee did not do his duty when he failed to arrest the men who were acting disorderly. If he had done this at the beginning of the quarrel, Ferguson would not have been killed.  This morning about 2:30 o’clock the coffin, containing the corpse of Ferguson, was placed on board a K.& P.R. train and carried to Clyde Forks where it was transferred to a hand car and carried away. The remains were accompanied by friends of Ferguson, including two brother-in-law, Robert Craig and W. Nicholson. Two ladies were in the party and seemed to be in great grief. The corpse was interred to-day at Dalhousie in St. James church cemetery.


The Evidence Presented

The coroner’s inquest, conducted by Dr Galligan, of Renfrew, began at 12:30 on Thursday. The following Jurors were empanelled: S. Dempsey, foreman; Robert Box, J. McAdam, A. S. Bradford, John McPherson, James Strong, G. Legre, A. Proux, W. Ramsay, John Mahon, A. McPherson, S. Hunter, W. Hawley and P. Barry.  After the jurors had been sworn evidence was submitted. G. Armstrong said he lived at Quio.

He saw Robert Ferguson and others on Tuesday on a street in Madawaska with their coats off. Lee was holding Ferguson. A short time afterward McLaughlin appeared with a revolver cocked and pointed downwards. McFarlane, a river driver, went towards McLaughlin. He (McLaughlin) told him to keep back because he would shoot any man who would lay hands on him. Lee, foreman over the river drivers, was seen conducting McLaughlin to a stable on Tuesday afternoon.

In the evening witness heard the discharge of a revolver and looking about saw McLaughlin with his hands on his face as if drying blood on it. Matthew Tracy, driver, lived in North Onslow. He saw Lee and Ferguson clinched in the afternoon. Ferguson appeared to be under the influence of liquor, and says he wanted to fight. Tracy heard a shot fired, then saw Ferguson stumbling around Byrne’s hotel, he said another river driver, saw McLaughlin with his revolver pointed downwards. Witness said he did not understand enough of the English language to know what McLaughlin said.

Dalphes parent saw Ferguson and McLaughlin on August 13th in the bar of Byrne’s hotel. There Ferguson hit a man named McPherson twice. McLaughlin tried to stop the quarrel. Ferguson struck him. Then McLaughlin gave Ferguson a kick. The men clinched and McLaughlin threw Ferguson. McLaughlin said he would not hit him. Afterward McLaughlin had a revolver in his hands.  Gideon Labelle came from Hull, P.Q. He saw Ferguson trying to fight with McLaughlin. Byrnes told McLaughlin if he wanted to fight to go outside. McLaughlin went out of the hotel and said: “If Ferguson comes near me I’ll shoot him.” Then McLaughlin flourished his revolver.  George Sylar, of Gatineau Point, saw McLaughlin holding Ferguson down in the bar-room. McLaughlin did not hit Ferguson.

Witness saw McLaughlin outside the hotel with a revolver and heard him say he would shoot the first man who laid a hand on him. McFarlane tried to take the revolver from McLaughlin.  Peter Kane, of Pontiac, Que., saw Ferguson strike McLaughlin in the face. Then McLaughlin pulled a revolver. He aimed it a Ferguson and fired. When the ball entered Ferguson’s body he exclaimed “I’m shot.” The men were twelve feet apart when the shot was fired.  Michael Foran, Maynooth, saw Ferguson strike McPherson. McLaughlin stepped up and said it was too bad for Ferguson to strike McPherson. Then Ferguson struck McLaughlin in the face. McLaughlin kicked Ferguson. They clinched and both fell, with McLaughlin on top. Both men had been drinking.

When Ferguson was on top on McLaughlin he said, “I will not hit you.” McLaughlin said he did not want to fight. Ferguson tried to force the quarrel. McLaughlin was seen by witness in the yard at the back of the hotel with a pistol in his hand. McLaughlin went to a store to get a shirt, and Ferguson followed him and asked him to fight, he refused to fight. When McLaughlin was sitting on the railing of Bryne’s hotel Ferguson struck him in the face, and then McLaughlin fired at Ferguson. David Milligan, Quio, Que., saw McLaughlin and Ferguson clinched on the floor of Bryne’s hotel, McLaughlin was on top of Ferguson held one of McLaughlin’s legs with his teeth. McLaughlin yelled that Ferguson was biting him. Byrnes ordered the men outside.

McLaughlin had a revolver in his hand at this time.  He told McFarlane he would shoot any man that would lay a hand on him. Witness saw men carrying Ferguson upstairs after he was shot.  John Lee, constable, Madawaska, knew McLaughlin and Ferguson. On August 12th Ferguson was angry at McLaughlin because he did not take an oar and row the boat they were in on crossing Calabogie lake. On the morning of August 13th Ferguson said he would break McLaughlin mouth before night.

About 3 o’clock in the afternoon witness saw Ferguson at his pump. Ferguson was furious. He swore by his Maker he would fight, then he went to Byrne’s hotel and witness went after him. Ferguson struck McPherson. McLaughlin told Ferguson not to bother the old man because he was the worse of liquor. Ferguson then hit McLaughlin and broke one of his teeth. Connors caught Ferguson and told him to be quiet. McLaughlin kicked at Ferguson, they clinched and fell on the bar floor. Ferguson was biting McLaughlin on the thigh when one Dillon separated them. McLaughlin turned Ferguson over on his back and said if Ferguson kept quiet he would not strike him. McLaughlin went to the door and Ferguson followed him and they clinched again.

Witness caught Ferguson and some other person seized McLaughlin. Witness advised Ferguson to leave McLaughlin alone. McLaughlin then drew a revolver and said: “The first man that lays a hand on me I will put a hole in him.” Witness called McLaughlin aside and asked him to give up the revolver. He refused saying, “I’m alone here and the crowd is against me.” He would have surrendered the revolver if Joe Varneau had not told him to keep it. McLaughlin went to Harris’ store to buy a shirt. Ferguson went to look for him. When Ferguson could not find McLaughlin he returned to the hotel and swore “By the red roaring Irish – either McLaughlin or I will be a corpse before morning.” He said he would go and get a revolver.

About 7:30 p.m. McLaughlin came to witness house. Witness advised McLaughlin to keep out of Ferguson way. McLaughlin said he would, that he was a married man and had a wife and family, and it would not suit him to fight. He said he and Ferguson came to Madawaska together to get men to work in the mine. Witness and McLaughlin went to the hotel and sat on the railing. Ferguson came along with a panel in his hand and walked up to McLaughlin swearing that he would settle the row now. Witness stepped between them and told Ferguson to stop fighting for McLaughlin did not want to fight. Ferguson acted as if he was not going to fight, but suddenly struck McLaughlin in the face. Witness caught Ferguson and pushed him back against the wall, saying that he would have to stop. Instantly the pistol was discharged. Witness let go of Ferguson and he shout “I’m shot,” and walked into the kitchen.

Witness saw McLaughlin afterward. He said he was sorry for shooting Ferguson, but he could not help it as he was afraid of him.  Dr. Norman McCormack, Renfrew, performed the post-mortem examination on the body of Robert Ferguson. The doctor found slight bruises about the elbows, and a slight bruise on the left shin. A small wound was discovered on the left side between the seventh and eighth ribs.

On the body being turned over on its side blood came out of the wound. When examining the wound in the chest he could not get the probe to enter, he made very slight attempts to enter the wound. On opening the abdomen blood issued. On laying the abdominal cavity open he found it full of blood, and a perforation was in the diaphragm. The right side of the heart filled with clotted blood. The doctor could not trace the bullet any further than the diaphragm. The bullet went first through the chest at the junction of the diaphragm and thorax, then from the thoracic cavity into the abdominal cavity. All the organs examined were healthy. The death of Ferguson was caused by internal hemorrhage from a wound caused by a bullet, it was found in the abdominal cavity. The inquest was then adjourned until to-day at 12:30 o’clock .

The Verdict

The following is the verdict of the Coroner’s inquest: – “That Robert Ferguson came to his death from the effect of a pistol shot, fired by Edward McLaughlin, and we find Edward McLaughlin guilty of manslaughter in the third degree.” This verdict rendered in the above case – manslaughter in the third degree against McLaughlin. The Kingston News says is tantamount to acquittal because there is no law dealing with such a charge. There is manslaughter in the second degree, but not the third.



Dear Editor

1889, September 6   The Calabogie Tragedy  Lavant, August 28th, 1889 To The Editor of The Courier.

Dear Sir, – . Your correspondent says he was an outlaw, having stabbed a man. I would like to know who the party was, and where it happened, as such a thing never occurred in the county of Lanark . Your correspondent also says that some years ago he attacked a peddler and, after beating him terribly, relieved him of his goods, For this crime you say he served a term in the Perth gaol. Well, Mr. Editor, Robert Ferguson was never in Perth gaol in his lifetime, that I can testify to.

I have known him from infancy, and for the last 12 years lived within a mile of his parents residence. I must also state that here were several charges laid against him there was no truth in. I must admit that he had lived rather a wild life, although he had a very respectable parents.

His funeral was one of the largest that ever passed through Lavant township. The corpse was interred at Dalhousie, in St James’ church cemetery, where the funeral service was conducted by Rev Mr. Mcllroy, Presbyterian Minister of Poland, Dalhousie. After the burial there was a floral wreath placed on his grave by a young lady whose name I withhold, I am Sir, Yours & C A Friend.

[Note. – Our esteemed correspondent is in error in thinking the narrative first published in our columns of the Calabogie tragedy was written by a COURIER correspondent. The account was taken from The British Whig and The Toronto city dailies, we have no reporter at the place to write upon the event. Upon enquiry we learn that the deceased, Robert Ferguson, never was in Perth gaol, and it seems that other stories going about in reference to the unfortunate young man were equally without foundation. But the assault, etc., told in our columns last week appears to be true enough. One thing is quite clear – if he had never touched whiskey, young Ferguson would be alive and well to-day, and probably a good citizen. – Ed. Cour.]


Ferguson Cemetery-

St. James Church & Cemetery at Hood.

Lot 16, Con. 3, Dalhousie Township

Burials – 1861 to 1904

Click here to see headstones

Related reading

Madawaska Village, Ontario, Canada
A Nineteenth Century Murder in a Missing Ghost Town-Bytown.net

For the Love of Money-Gillies Gilmours and the McLarens

The Church On the Hill in the Middle of Hood


Thanks to Melanie Johnston Mason and her research on the Ferguson family we now have a geat photo of Wild Bob Ferguson with an unknown lady, killed in Calabogie in a bar room brawl

Robert “Wild Bob” Ferguson
1866 – 1889
Buried in the Ferguson Cemetery, Dalhousie TownshipThe Church On the Hill in the Middle of Hood