Tag Archives: death

Life Interrupted — Linda Knight Seccaspina

Life Interrupted — Linda Knight Seccaspina

Our new editor at The Townships Sun, Rachel Garber thought it would be a great idea if I wrote about our late editor Barbara Heath. Normally it would be an easy task for me, but in this case I had never met Barbara. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t know her– but in reality, we knew each other. They say to have a close friendship you need to meet each other first which helps strengthen the bond. Barbara and I did not need that, as we easily exchanged over a 100 emails between each other and felt like long lost sisters.

I first met Barbara years ago when she emailed me about a story I did about the rumoured 30-foot- long monster called Gog, Manaloo, Memphre, the Anaconda, or the Lake Monster of Lake Memphremagog. Somehow she had seen it on Facebook and asked if the Townships Sun could run it. Since I had spent the first  night  of my honeymoon looking out the motel window which faced Lake Memphremagog searching for that creature; it was a story that was near and dear to my heart.

And so, as they say, began the online friendship of Linda and Barbara. I had been writing for years in the States for publications about celebrities, murders and pets and she assured me that history was my thing and she was right. She encouraged me to keep writing with my heart, and to pursue my potential. It’s not like I needed anyone to encourage my prolific writing, but even though we were the same age, it was like someone putting their arm around you. It was always that way between us. She represented a part of my self-identity.

Barbara under the CIBC sign.

We both believed in saving heritage like the Tomifobia church which is a short distance from Stanstead, Quebec. The poor wee church was sold and abandoned for years and it left a mark on both of our hearts. She was a fighter like myself and we both stood up for the wrongs in our communities. Barbara with the closing of the CIBC in Stanstead and me with stormwater management ponds and supporting local business. It doesn’t matter how slowly we now moved along, we just had to make sure we didn’t stop. Neither of us kept our feelings in a drawer to be forgotten.

I am heartbroken and I should have known her health wasn’t getting better. In March she sent me two beautiful jewellery artifacts that belonged to her mother. She said in a letter, 

“I hope they bring you joy and show your spirit. You are certainly a valuable member of the Sun Family.”

Barbara did not wish to have any services, like myself. We both had figured out that lots of things happen after you die and none of them involve the deceased. I had told Barbara that when I die, cremate me and stick a tree on me. I wanted absolutely no headstones so these genealogists I have been writing about for years will come looking for me. She always thought that was funny.


We never met, yet we knew each other well, almost like we were friends before, 

We never met, but we both grew up in the Eastern Townships and loved and breathed history,

We never met, but you sent me letters from those that enjoyed my writing in the Townships Sun and told me never to stop writing. 

We never met, but you were a friend and a mentor, and for that I will be eternally grateful and never ever forget you.

I wish there was email in heaven.


Also read-Mary Louise Deller Knight — Evelyn Beban Lewis–The Townships Sun

Here Comes the Sun! The Townships Sun

Andrew Baird, Lanark — Killed by a Smoke Stack

Andrew Baird, Lanark — Killed by a Smoke Stack
Andrew W Baird

Birth Date:
abt 1860

Birth Place:
Lanark, Ontario

Death Date:
8 Aug 1919
Death Place:
Lanark, Ontario, Canada

Cause of Death:
Concussion of Brain
29 Aug 1860
7 Aug 1919 (aged 58)
Lanark Village Cemetery
Lanark, Lanark County, Ontario, Canada  Show Map
210767478 · View Source
Name:Andrew William Baird
Birth Date:29 Aug 1860
Death Date:7 Aug 1919
Cemetery:Lanark Village Cemetery
Burial or Cremation Place:Lanark, Lanark County, Ontario, Canada
Has Bio?:N
Father:Andrew Baird
Mother:Margaret Baird
Spouse:Janet Baird
Children:Margaret Stead BairdNettie Scott Baird
ancestry.ca originally shared this on 03 Jun 2020
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
16 Sep 1912, Mon  •  Page 14-Andrew Baird-Lanark Fair

Andrew Baird-Lanark Fair-The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
14 Sep 1910, Wed  •  Page 10

Perth Remembered—Residence and Mills of Boyd Caldwell, Lanark Ontario. Manufacturer of woollen goods and dealer in lumber and square timber. That would be the smokestack that killed Andrew Baird

EARL DONALDSON on  said: Edit

The death notice of Andrew Boyd , states he was killed at one of Caldwell’s mills in Perth . Perth remembered , shows a picture of the Caldwell Mill in Lanark , stating that the location was likely the location where Andrew Baird met his fate . I don’t believe Boyd Caldwell had any operations in Perth . I knew Margaret and Nettie Baird , Andrew’s two daughters .

Thomas Boyd Caldwell came from a business family. In Carleton Place his father had operated a sawmill while in Lanark Village the family operated a sawmill, a woollen mill and a general store.

After his father’s death in 1888, Thomas Boyd Caldwell continued to operate Boyd Caldwell & Co. in Lanark Village. In 1899 he expanded the business to include the woollen mill in Appleton and later he purchased a woollen mill in Perth.

Splinters of bark and wood flew with each thunk of the timber axe. Clearing thick forests near Lanark in the 1840s, muscles rippled and grunts emanated with vigorous swings of the axe. Trees crashed to the ground and then were delimbed, prepared to be sent to the mills. One teenager delighted in lumbering and later in commerce. Peter McLaren found his calling. Read more

Three years later, retiring lumber magnate “McLaren sold his interests in the area. Boyd Caldwell’s death followed in 1888, marking the end of one of the most influential disagreements in Canadian legal history,” according to Cision.

Read more here..

Related reading

Documenting The Lanark Village Caldwell Home –“The Hielans”

The Alexander Clyde Caldwell Family Part 1

Revolutions of Death at Caldwell & Son’s

Sandy Caldwell King of the River Boys

A Walk through Lanark Village in 1871

Your Mississippi River, Ontario Fact of the Day

Kamloops Industrial School– “A New Idea in Residential Schools” After the Fire 1925

Kamloops Industrial School– “A New Idea in Residential Schools”  After the Fire 1925
Petya Lowes Carleton Place, ON

This story about the Kamloops Residental School is hurting my heart in such big way. it just makes me so mad and angry. As a kid I grew up in orphanage. I have seen it all how how kids were treated and the way I was treated.- Petya Lowes–One of The Children of Chernobyl

The Victoria Daily Times
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
08 Jun 1903, Mon  •  Page 2

People call Canada the one of the greatest countries in the world, but we have our faults: slavery, British Home Children, imprisoning the Italian and Japanese during the second world war and the stories of The Residential Schools do not stop. One by one horrible facts come out and as my friend Kyle said: time for the memorials to stop- it’s over due time for fresh drinking water and liveable homes on the reserves etc. These residential schools were not to treat the children of natives better- they were to take the native out of the child and make them white to get rid of the native issues. There is no other answer.– none at all.

When schoolmates disappeared, they were simply never spoken of again. “I just remember that they were here one day and they were gone the next”

We are enlarging the education of the Indian children now growing up to be a reproach to the white population, or made useful members of society and capable of getting an honest and honorable livelihood for themselves and those depending upon them- Kamloops Industrial school-Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
22 Jul 1890, Tue  •  Page 1

It is very satisfactory to learn, as we do by correspondence in another column, that the Industrial School at Kamloops is succeeding so admirably. This excellent institution, established by a paternal Government to elevate the Indian races, is situated on a lovely spot on the South Thompson River, the buildings themselves being of modern design and admirably suited for the education.

We look far into the future and see the little girls now clustering about the Christian ladies who are teaching them the lessons of life becoming wives and mothers, and eating those truths which are the blessed inheritance of the white man, uplifting and broadening their character and aims; while one need not lie a prophet to predict that the day is not far distant when some of the boys who are now climbing the rough road to learning will emulate their fellows in the Northwest who have made names for themselves in the history of their native land.-Vancouver Daily World
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

22 Jul 1890, Tue  

The Kamloops Industrial School was opened, under Roman Catholic administration, in 1890. It became the largest school in the Indian Affairs residential school system. Enrolment peaked in the early 1950s at 500. In 1910, the principal said that the government did not provide enough money to properly feed the students. In 1924 a portion of the school was destroyed by fire. In 1969, the federal government took over the administration of the school, which no longer provided any classes and operated it as residence for students attending local day schools until 1978, when the residence was closed. (National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation)

The dilapidated wood-frame school was partly destroyed by fire in 1924 while a new main building was under construction, the structure that still stands today. Additions were made over the years. The exterior walls are made of local red brick with granite chimney caps, coping stones and detailing. Large timber trusses support the shingled roof, while a galvanized iron bell tower dominates the symmetrical design.

1925– An Indian department policy is expressed in the quarter of a million dollar Indian residential school, whose newly-completed brick and granite walls overlook the South Thompson River near Kamloops. Rising from the north bank and commanding a view of the sunny city across the river and of the rolling hills behind, it stands out from a perfect hillside background. Mount St. Paul and Mount St. Peter form a protection from the wind and add a touch of guardianship to the picture.

The Indian school has been designed as a large central educational and training headquarters as distinct from the small and numerous centres of the past. Centralization has succeeded the system of detached local units in British Columbia. Generally, the area from which the pupils will be drawn comprises Penticton, Westbank, Head Lake, Enderby, Salmon Arm, Tappen, Chase, Shuswap, Kamloops, Chu Chua, Davidson’s Creek, Bonaparte, Shulus, Coldwater, Douglas Lake, Quilchena and some points of the Lytton agency.

Two-thirds of the building is completed. In due course a boys’ wing will be added to the present units which consist of the administration building and girls’ wing. The building was designed by the architectural branch of the Indian department. The contractor of the central portion was Mr. Thomas Carson of Vancouver. Claydon Company of Winnipeg constructed the girls’ wing. Exclusive of furnishings, the cost to date rather exceeds $175,000.

The scheme in its entirety will cost approximately $250,000. Rev. Father James Macguire, O.M.I., whose zeal is manifested in every department of the school work, is the principal. The staff will consist of eight sisters of St. Annes, celebrated all over the country for their deep devotion to educating these children. There will also be a male instructor in agriculture and one in trades. The school has been designed under a three unit system, the administration block in the centre, girls’ wing on the east and boys’ wing on the west of brick and tile construction, the salient features of the design are brought out in granite.

Facing the visitor is the eighty-foot dining-room, seating 250. At the north end two rooms have been reserved for workmen’s dining-rooms. Two exits lead into the yard and playground. Next the large dining-room are two sculleries one for girls and the other for boys the former giving access to the minor kitchen wing containing the kitchen itself of 28 by 38 feet, a store, a dairy and pantry. There is nothing above the kitchen and this permits of the maximum amount of additional light and so allows or getting rid of all odours with glazed brick. All walls are lined with white There are also two staff dining rooms on the floor, each 24 by 15 feet.

I’ll never forgive the Catholic ‘ church for what they’ve done to my ‘ people,” said Bill Seward, 76, of Nanaimo. “When I spoke my language, I got ‘ punished, and there were a lot of times I went three or four days without food. That was my punishment,” said the ‘ former band chief. “I had to kneel in the corner, some- ; times all night. That’s how I got bad knees.”

To the immediate west is the boiler room, at a lower level. On the ground floor are the principal’s roomy offices and waiting-room, a parlour and staff rooms. Principal Macguire’s sitting-room and bedroom are here also and there are bathrooms and storerooms on the same floor also. The main corridor gives access to the chapel, as yet unequipped and with seating capacity for 250 and vestry with immediately adjacent two fire- escapes. On the first floor are the boys’ and girls’ infirmaries, with nurses’ rooms, bath, linen and general storerooms, ready for all contingencies. Passing through the connecting link, giving access from the administration building, the visitor finds himself in the girls’ wing. On the semi-basement floor are two staff bedrooms, with connecting bathroom, twelve children’s bathrooms, lavatories and washrooms. Under the recreation room is a particularly well laid out, splendidly equipped laundry and disinfecting room. On the ground floor of this wing are the sisters’ community room, girls’ (senior and junior) sewing-rooms; two large classrooms and four staff bedrooms, with bathrooms and toilets.

The Province
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
03 Aug 1957, Sat  •  Page 35

The first floor is devoted to dormitories, clothing-rooms and the necessary staff rooms for supervision. On the second floor are dormitories, staff bedrooms and staff duty rooms, so placed as to avoid or minimize supervision over the dormitories. The floors of the lavatories and washrooms are to avoid fires made out of terrazzo. Floors of corridors, dining-rooms, kitchen and stores and dairy are of asphaltic mastic.

Doors and trim generally are of British Columbia fir. Ceilings are of metal. In connection with such an institution the kitchen is of much importance that in this particular connection, one is not surprised to find a huge finely equipped refrigerator plant. Ice-making is also provided for. The water supply is self-contained, coming from the nearby river. Pumps have been installed to take care of both domestic and irrigation supplies. It is expected that another pumping unit will be added In the near future.

Children were forcibly removed from their homes once attendance became mandatory by law in the 1920s, with their parents under threat of prison if they refused. The children were not allowed to speak their native language nor practise their own spirituality. Many children ran away and some disappeared and died.

The farming land in connection with the school is approximately 160 acres, all capable of cultivation. Here are growing in profusion: Alfalfa corn beets potatoes, cabbages, while and vegetables. There are eighty head of cattle, many horses and hogs, turkeys and chickens by the hundred. There is a very fine barn, also carpenter and blacksmith shops, poultry houses, root and vegetable cellars. Here boys receive instruction in agriculture and such training as will enable them to carry out the necessary farming operations on their own land some day.

Girls’ training includes instruction in all domestic problems, including cooking, making butter, preserving fruits and vegetables, all branches of sewing and knitting and that general knowledge of domestic economy which will make them good Indian housewives of the future. At the beginning of September there will be about 150 pupils in residence. The complete scheme will afford accommodation to at least 250

A former student, who asked not to be named, said one of the brothers would come into the dorm two to three nights per week. He would crawl into bed with the boys, ‘ kissing and fondling them’. “When we heard him coming we’d say, who’s going to get it tonight?’ It was terrible,” said the man, who was molested by the brother.

Kamloops Industrial School

(This strap was found by residential school survivor Rudy Bruyere, who wrote the dates he attended St. Margaret’s on the back of it. Photo: Martha Troian/APTN)
On the back of it, “1951 to 1962” is written in permanent black marker. That is during the time when Bruyere attended St. Margaret’s.

Read-‘A very painful artifact’: Strap used at residential school moves from family home to archives

The Province
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
27 Jul 1957, Sat  •  Page 35

The Province
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
24 Mar 1920, Wed  •  Page 2

Did you know?

“The ‘Heathen’ School opposite the Carleton Place Baptist Church is now in operation.”

What was a ‘Heathen School’? Was it a school dealing in Wicca? Is that where the Witches of Rochester Street got their education?  The ‘Heathen School’ was built, in part, to convert the world through seeded evangelism. Carleton Place was not the only town that had one. People from so-called “heathen” nations would attend, learn to spread the gospel. Sons of some of the most prominent Aboriginal leaders of the time (many of mixed ancestry) received their education at the Foreign Mission School in Conn., later becoming distinguished members of their nations. It seems that Carleton Place felt it needed its own.

Of the native Indians who a 180 years ago had been almost the sole inhabitants of the Lanark and Renfrew area, only a few stragglers still remained in Lanark County in the late 1800s.–read The Heathen School in Carleton Place — Salem’s Lot?

Carleton Place Town Hall
5h  · 
The flag on the Carleton Place Town Hall has been lowered to half-mast to honour the memory of the 215 children who tragically lost their lives as part of the former Residential School system in Kamloops and to pay respect to their families and survivors.
“This is an important gesture to acknowledge this unnecessary tragedy and the heartbreak felt across the nation at this recent discovery,” says Doug Black, Mayor of the Town of Carleton Place

Also read-The Wright Brothers– British Home Children

Clippings of the Barnardo Home Boys and Girls

Home Boys and Family–Mallindine Family — Larry Clark

Canadians Just Wanted to Use me as a Scullery-Maid

Laundry Babies – Black Market Baby BMH 5-7-66

More Unwed Mother Stories — Peacock Babies

Documenting John and George Bradley

Documenting John and George Bradley
he Windsor Star
Windsor, Ontario, Canada
08 Oct 1906, Mon  •  Page 6

But after I did some research –George died in 1918 from heart disease,. In 1911 he was not in jail but living with the Cannon family and his brother William.

Name:George Bradley
Marital status:Single
Race or Tribe:Irish
Birth Date:Dec 1857
Birth Place:Ontario
Census Year:1911
Relation to Head of House:Servant
District:Lanark South
District Number:90
Sub-District:7 – Beckwith
Sub-District Number:7
Weeks Employed:50
Can Read:yes
Can Write:yes
Family Number:

George Bradley
Birth Date:abt 1856
Death Date:11 Dec 1918
Death Place:Lanark, Ontario, Canada
Cause of Death:Heart Disease
Jane Ebbs
Beloved Wife Of
John Bradley
AE 39,Yrs.

Franktown Public, Lanark, Ontario

In Memory of Frank Cavers Appleton — Cavers

In Memory of Frank Cavers Appleton — Cavers

I could not help but notice in your list of those who made the ultimate sacrifice in World War II, an error in a family name That is the name of Frank Cavers, misspelled as Frank (The C Cavers name has become familiar to me because of a visit  to the Cavers family home here in Ramsay recently. The farm holds a great deal of interest for me and I have come to learn a little of the people who lived there. Fortunately their history is fairly recent and easily obtainable. It is through this interest that my attention was drawn to your list of men and noticed that Frank Cavers was not remembered. Please let us give proper credit where it is due. Yours truly, Daphne Stevens Carp

November 1980- Almonte Gazette

Author’s Note: When I came upon this letter to the editor from 1980 I knew Frank Caver had to be documented for posterity.


Robert Franklin Cavers

In memory of:

Warrant Officer Class II Robert Franklin Cavers

March 23, 1943Yarmouth, Nova Scotia

Military Service

Service Number:



Air ForceUnit:

Royal Canadian Air ForceCitation(s):

1939-45 Star, Atlantic Star, War Medal 1939-45, Canadian Volunteer Service Medal and Clasp.

Additional Information


April 23, 1916
Appleton, OntarioEnlistment:

March 14, 1941
Vancouver, British Columbia

Son of Thomas Edgar and Bessie May (nee McNabb) Cavers, of Almonte, Ontario. Brother of Harold, Melville and Agnes.

Commemorated on Page 145 of the Second World War Book of RemembranceRequest a copy of this page.

Burial Information


Ontario, CanadaGrave Reference:

Lot 20.

Thomas Edgar Cavers

BIRTH9 Feb 1883Ramsay, Lanark County, Ontario, Canada
DEATH23 Dec 1957 (aged 74)Almonte, Lanark County, Ontario, Canada
BURIALUnited CemeteriesBeckwith, Lanark County, Ontario, Canada
MEMORIAL ID204736433 · View Source

1957, Thursday January 10, The Almonte Gazette, page 6
The funeral of Thomas Edgar Cavers took place December 26th from the Fleming Bros. Funeral Home, Lake Ave. West, Carleton Place to the United Cemetery for interment. Rev. J. Ray Anderson of Almonte conducted the service. Mr. Cavers died in the R. M. Hospital, Almonte, on December 23 after a short illness. He was 74 years of age and was born February 9th, 1882 in Ramsay Township, son of the late Thomas Cavers and his wife, Margaret Miller Thom. He had farmed for years in Ramsay and attended Appleton United Church. He was married in June, 1915, to the former Bessie May McNab. Surviving besides his widow are two sons, Harold of Toronto; Melville of Almonte, a daughter (Agnes), Mrs. Tudor of Perth, a brother, James of Carleton Place and a half sister, Miss Margaret Cavers of Almonte. The pallbearers were Messrs. Ollie Stewart, Victor Kellough, Duncan Stewart, Stewart Cavers, John Lowe and Edward Lowe. Among the beautiful floral tributes were pieces from Almonte Legion, Weaving Room of Collie’s mill, Appleton W.I.. Appleton W.A

Bessie May McNabb Cavers

BIRTH23 May 1892Carleton Place, Lanark County, Ontario, Canada
DEATH18 Apr 1980 (aged 87)Carleton Place, Lanark County, Ontario, Canada
BURIALUnited CemeteriesBeckwith, Lanark County, Ontario, Canada
MEMORIAL ID204736554 · View Source

1980, Wednesday May 7, The Almonte Gazette, page 2
Bessie May McNabb Cavers, Nel-Gor Castle Nursing Home, Carleton Place, died April 18, at the age of 87 Mrs Cavers was born May 23, 1892. in Ramsay township, the daughter of the late David McNabb and Agnes Kellough On June 30. 1915, she married the late Thomas Edgar Cavers, a farmer, in Appleton Mrs Cavers was a member of Zion Memorial United Church, a charter member of the Appleton Women’s Institute, and a life member of the Ladies Auxiliary of the Royal Canadian Legion, branch 240 She was the mother of the late Frank and Harold Cavers, and the sister of the late David, George, and Welland McNabb. Mrs Cavers is survived by her daughter Agnes Tudor, of Toronto, and her son Melville Cavers, of Almonte A public funeral was held April 21 from the Alan Barker Funeral Home The service was conducted by Reverend Mitchell. Burial took place at the United Cemeteries. Ashton Mrs Cavers pallbearers were Tom Proctor, Delbert Barr, Art Fulton, Doug Stewart, Bert McRae, and Bill Struthers

From the North Lanark Museum ( Appleton)

Only two years after the Collie Woollen Mills began production World War Two began. The war was a major boost to the local economy. The mill shifted to 24 hour a day production in order to fill the military contracts. The mill produced woollens for uniforms, blankets and other military needs.

The war deeply affected the community of Appleton as sons and daughters enlisted to protect their country while families worked extra shifts at the mill

When the war was over, the community prepared an honor roll that hung in the Appleton Community Hall. The honor roll now resides at the North Lanark Regional Museum in Appleton:

This honor roll, which hung in the Appleton Community Hall until it was destroyed by fire, commemorates those Appleton residents who volunteered for active service during World War II. A silver star denotes those soldiers who gave their lives.

Bert Aitken

Stewart Aitken

John Barden

Leslie Barden

Gertrude Blaney

Earle Bridges

Frank Cavers (*)

Harold Cavers

Melville Cavers

John Collie

Jean Collie

Henry Collie

Forest Dezell

Harold Dowdall

Gordon Duncan

Hugh Duncan

Kenneth Duncan

Robert Duncan (*)

William Duncan

Arthur Fee

Elizabeth Fitzpatrick

Leonard Ford

Jack Gallagher

James Galvin

Jack Gladish

Max Gladish

Gordon Hallahan

Rupert Hopkins

William B. Hopkins

Russell James (*)

Hugh Kennedy

Earle Lowe

Stewart Neil

Bernard Pye

James Pye (*)

Keith Salisbury

Clyde Service

Ralph Sinnett

Harold Snedden

Lawrence Spinks

Leonard Spinks

Eric Stead

Neil Stewart

Raymond Struthers

William Struthers

George Walkley

Rank: Warrant Officer Class II
Trade: Air Gunner
Service No: R/97637
Date of Death: 23/03/1943
Age: 26
Regiment/Service: Royal Canadian Air Force, #113 Bomber Reconnaissance Squadron (Yarmouth,, Nova Scotia)
Citation(s): 1939-45 Star, Atlantic Star, War Medal 1939-45, Canadian Volunteer Service Medal and Clasp

Killed at Yarmouth airport, N.S., with 3 other aircrew, when their plane crashed after take-off and then exploded. Son of Thomas Edgar and Bessie Cavers, of Almonte.

Date of Birth: 23 Apr 1916
World War II

Find A Grave contributor SJ Hearn:
Warrant Officer Class II Cavers was one of six airmen killed in the crash and resulting explosion of Hudson (#BW 620) aircraft at the aerodrome in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia; the Hudson, with four airmen aboard, had just taken off on an operational patrol. Besides the four crew members, two of the five ground crew members who attempted to assist, also perished in this accident.
The four aircrew members were:-
Sergeant Alexander John BAILLIE,
Warrant Officer Class II Robert Franklin CAVERS,
Warrant Officer Class II Mervin Elwood TARRANT and
Flying Officer Charles Leroy TRIPP.
The two ground aircrew members were:-
Leading Aircraftman Lloyd Edward BRIGGS and
Aircraftman 1st Class Frank HALLEK.

Warrant Officer Class II Robert Franklin Cavers is commemorated on Page 145 of Canada’s Second World War Book of Remembrance.

Appleton Women’s Institute Tweedsmuir History .click

Family Members




Half Siblings


A Tale of Immigrants — John Davies

A Tale of Immigrants — John Davies

Almonte was the scene of an exceedingly touching tragedy this week. Mr. John Davies was one of the many emigrants who are these days breaking the ties of centuries and leaving the old land to try their fortunes in the great fertile belts of western Canada.

He, with his wife and family of three children endured all the hardships of a rough passage and were living in expectation of reaching their journey’s end and the land of their dreams in a few days, when suddenly the husband and father, through the will of an all powerful providence, was hurled into eternity and the wife and family left alone, strangers in a strange land. 

Mr. Davies had been sitting on the steps of the emigrant special when it left Carleton Place early Tuesday morning, and was just about to re-enter the car when the wind caught his hat and in an effort to regain it he lost his balance and fell off the rapidly moving train. 

He was missed when the train reached Almonte and it was determined to go back and look for him. He was discovered lying beside the track in an unconscious condition with his skull badly fractured. 

He was immediately brought to Almonte and medical aid summoned, but he only lived an hour or two. The body was taken charge of by the immigration department, who had it taken to the Almonte House, where it was kept until the day of the funeral, which took place on Wednesday at St. Pauls. 

The family stayed here until Thursday, when they continued their lonely journey west. Deceased was born in Wales in 1853, and was in his 49th year. He was a butcher by trade and a member of the church of England. The family are well grown up, the boy being about 21 years of age and the two girls a few years younger.

April 3 1903

Name:John Davies
Birth Date:abt 1854
Birth Place:Wales
Death Date:31 Mar 1903
Death Place:Lanark, Ontario, Canada
Religion:Church of England
Cause of Death:Concussion of Brain Caused by a Fall From The Morn

Related reading

Irish Immigrant Girls Were in Demand Despite Hard Times

Early Trains Were Thought to Make Women’s Uteruses Fly Out

The Man Without a Country

Lanark County 101 — It Began with Rocks, Trees, and Swamps

Rock the Boat! Lanark County or Bust! Part 1

It Wasn’t the Sloop John B — Do’s and Don’t in an Immigrant Ship -Part 2

Riders on the Storm– Journey to Lanark County — Part 3

ROCKIN’ Cholera On the Trek to the New World — Part 4

Rolling down the Rapids –Journey to Lanark Part 5

And the Stone and Brick Masons Marched– Jennie Marshal Brian 1901

And the Stone and Brick Masons Marched– Jennie Marshal Brian 1901

I wrote about one of our iconic stonemasons Levi Brian a few years ago and he also owned for a short time the Leland and the Queen’s Hotel at one point. He sold the Queen’s Hotel in 1904 and the Leland Hotel in 1907. Darling resident, (“Huey’s Plains” ) Hugh O’Brien nearest known relative was Levi Brian in Carelton Place

The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
17 May 1904, Tue  •  Page 9

Levi’s wife had died in a fire and I could not find out any information. Today I found the information and I am going to share it here to be documented.

On the 12th of July 1901 the funeral on Tuesday of Mrs. Levi Brian ( formerly Jennie Marshall of Clayton) was held in Carleton Place which was very largely attended. She died on Sunday night from the effects of burns, received that morning by the accidental explosion of a coal oil can. She was 45 years-old. The untimely death of such a highly esteemed lady, so faithful a mother, such a kind and generous neighbour, was a shock such as seldom comes to any community.

Six children are left with the grief stricken husband. They are Mrs. Albert Salter (Jennie), Eva. Melvin, Marshall, Warner and a 15 month old baby boy Hilton. In the funeral procession in body marched: the stone and brick masons and others engaged under Mr. Patrick McGregor in the erection of the Findlay buildings. The service in St. James Church, conducted by Rev. A. Elliott, was intensely solemn and impressive.

The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
08 Jul 1901, Mon  •  Page 1

After his wife Jennie ( Jane) died in the fire he married once again to Annie Mary (Mary) Fanning of Carleton Place in Almonte on June 5, 1911. (Note: Mary is also related to the McNeelys) — see–

The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
20 Dec 1897, Mon  •  Page 6
The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
21 Jun 1907, Fri  •  Page 6
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
07 Dec 1900, Fri  •  Page 2


Maurice Burke, a cooper, made barrels across the street from where the post office now stands.  His sister Julia taught school in the Public School for many years.  We often heard the youngsters rhyming c-a-t  CAT, r-a-t RAT, etc.  She was burned to death in a fire as was Levi Brian’s wife.

Putting a Face to Levi Brian, Stonemason, of Carleton Place

In Memory of Jack Wilson — The Mason’s Mason

The Foster Brick Found in the Mississippi River –Tracy Thompson Wells

Tracy Thompson Wells


Last month while I was diving with the boys I saw this brick but couldn’t get it. The boys found it today. I bet there is a story there somewhere. Tracy Thompson Wells It was at the bottom of the river behind my house. I found it diving last month, but couldn’t bring it up. The boys grabbed it today. 🙂
Tracy Thompson Wells Hard to say. Some of the older houses used to put their family names on the foundations of their houses. It will be interesting to find out.

So all day I researched Fosters in Carleton Place, and let me tell you it was not a common name in our fair town. If you look closely at the letters on that brick they were definitely done by a blacksmith but a brick at the bottom of a river bed could have come from anywhere. However I found an odd story from January of 1909 about a man named Foster and Carleton Place and thought it should be documented along with Tracy’s brick.

Between 8 and 9 pm on January 11, 1909 Mr. William Foster aged about sixty-five, was found dead in the small frame building on Victoria Street where he had been living alone for some time. The deceased had not been seen outside since Monday morning, and the coroner figured he had died sometime on Tuesday. He was found completely clothed except that he had removed his overcoat and he was found stretched upon the floor.

For over twenty year ago Mr. Foster kept a livery stable and then became an agricultural implement agent. During the past few years he was engaged in hiring men for the lumber camps. The deceased was a quiet, sober, inoffensive man and it is with a deep, sense of regret that he should have died under such sad conditions. Relatives have been notified, and until their arrival the body-will remain in Patterson’s Morgue, who was removed shortly after discovery.

Of course the brick above does not come from this man, but because there were few Foster’s in Carleton Place the tale needed to be told and Mr. Foster needed to be remembered. If you have any idea about this brick give a shoutout to Tracy.

What have you found in the river??? This was found in the Mississippi too-The Dacks and the Mysterious Old Anchor–Sept 6 1968— Almonte Gazette

A relic of the Mississippi river’s interesting past was reclaimed from the waters recently by Kathy and Keith Dack. The two were diving in the river opposite the former Hawthorne Woollen Mills, now Leigh Instruments, when this discovered a ship’s anchor, well over three feet in length and of tremendous weight.Does anyone know anything about this?https://lindaseccaspina.wordpress.com/2017/06/05/the-dacks-and-the-mysterious-old-anchor/

Devlins and Alexander Lang were blacksmiths 1869 in Carleton Place

1898 Almonte Gazette –They were those of Duncan Cameron, Richard Dowdall, Robert Kenny, McGregor Bros. (Forbes and Neil), and James Warren & Son, all of Carleton Place 

1846 smiths Canadian gazetter

“In 1881 and 1882 charcoal was made by Sandy Hunter, a blacksmith in Carleton Place, first for his own use in his blacksmith shop to shrink the wagon tires on the wood felloes of the large six foot wheels of the dump carts used by the Boyd Caldwell and Peter McLaren lumber firms.  His sons Alex and Lorenzo Hunter followed in their father’s footsteps and continued this enterprise from a commercial standpoint for some time.

So I will keep looking for the owner of the brick, but if Tracy had not found it we would not have documented the story of William Foster and how he died alone. Everyone needs to be remembered.


K P—–I would like to make a suggestion. If possible, send the boys back down to the spot and see if there are more bricks with the name Foster on them. If there are, then I would say Foster was the name of the brick maker. I have investigated bricks in the past and when I do I use the website Scottish Brickmarks website at scottishbrickhistory.co.uk In Perth Ont., and places as far away as northern Quebec, I have found bricks that have come all the way from Scotland in the 1800s!

Adin Wesley Daigle Foster was a manufacturer of bricks from England- Linda Seccaspina apparently they would load the ships with bricks on empty trips across the big pond?

No photo description available.
No photo description available.

William Foster

Ontario Deaths, 1869-1937 and Overseas Deaths, 1939-1947


Name:William Foster • Edit
Event Type:Death
Event Date:11 Jan 1909 • Edit
Event Place:Carleton Place, Lanark, Ontario • Edit
Marital Status:Widowed
Birth Year (Estimated):1841
Death Place:Carleton Place, Lanark, Ontario
Death Age:68 years
Father’s Name:William Foster • Edit
Father’s Birthplace:England
Mother’s Name:Ann Wilton • Edit
Mother’s Birthplace:Huntley
Record Number:178

Tales of the Rivermen

Perth Flood 1930s Tay River

What if Locks Had Been on the Mississippi River?

The Sad Tale of Willie Dinelle and Father Cavanagh

The Sad Tale of  Willie Dinelle and Father Cavanagh

Willie Dinelle, 11-year-old son of Peter Dinelle, whose home was in Almonte, lost his son on May 27, 1919. The boy was brought to a local hospital, suffering from an affliction of the ear, died shortly after an operation from a brain hemorrhage.

Mr. Dinelle states that his son’s illness followed a blow on the side of the head, which he alleges was administered to the lad in January by Father Cavanagh, Roman Catholic parish priest of Almonte. The allegation was made afterwards the boy’s ear became infected and paralysis of the side of the face set in, finally resulting in death.

In view of the circumstances in connection with his death, Coroner Dr. W. W. Saulter of Ottawa decided to hold an inquest. A post mortem examination was conducted by Dr. Campbell-Laidlaw, and medical testimony was submitted at the adjourned inquest.

Witnesses had been summoned from Almonte to appear here when the inquiry was resumed. Among those who have been called bv Coroner Saulter, is Father Cavanagh. According to the story of the father, Mr. Peter Dinelle. his son Willie was playing hooky from school. On the street he met Father Cavanagh, who admonished the boy and urged him to go to school. What happened, according to Mr. Dinelle, is that Father Cavanagh “boxed” the boy’s ears and took him to school.

A short time afterwards an infection of the ear set in, followed by paralysis of one side of the face. The lad himself, it is alleged attributed his condition to the slap on the head which the priest gave him. but whether his death was the indirect cause of the blow received, remained to be proven.

Dr. Salter declared the complications which caused the death of the boy might “conceivably” be from the result of a blow on the side of the head, but that generally it came as the outcome of a diseased condition of the ear. The coroner would not comment on the exact nature of the boy’s illness, stating that the inquest would reveal the facts. Endeavors are being made to secure witnesses who can throw any light on the cause of the boy s death.

The whole affair was the subject of widespread comment in Almonte. It was stated by the boy’s father that when Father Cavanagh approached him and asked him to take the family and live in Ottawa he was angry. Father Cavanagh urged hm not leave his wife and children all alone in Almonte and to stop drinking. He had also gotten the children some much needed clothes and food but regarding the alleged blow he said he could not recollect such an incident.

The townsfolk were showing much interest in the affair, however, and were anxious that the case be sifted to the bottom. The boy’s mother, Mrs. Dinelle. resided in Almonte with three other children. A sad circumstance is that three weeks prior to Willie’s death, another small member of the family was buried as she miscarried a child.

On June 11th, 1919 Father Cavanagh. the Almonte parish priest. was completely exonerated of all blame in connection with the death of Willie Dinelle a 12-year-old Almonte boy. The jury found that the youth died as a result of an abscess on the brain, and that no blame was attached to anyone. The boy had stated that he had been struck on the head by Father Cavanagh because he had not attended school. He afterwards complained of pains in the head. Medical testimony showed there was no sign of fracture. Father Cavanagh in his evidence said that the boy had admitted to him that he had been knocked down by some boys at school.

1908 Census

Pierre DinelleChef Male 29 Ontario

Elmire DinelleWife Female27 Ontario

They had a stillborn child that was never named

Willie Dinelle Son Male 3 Ontario

Leonie Dinelle Daughter Female 1 Ontario

( Leonie married a Forgie in Aylmer and died in 1982)

Item of Note-

Doctor Hanly liked to carry a cane when walking and he had quite a collection. He used a gold-headed cane for Sundays, but his favourite was an Irish blackthorn which his great friend and neighbour, Father W. E. Cavanagh of St. Mary’s brought to him following a trip the priest had made to the Holy Land of Ireland.

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
09 Jun 1919, Mon  •  Page 7
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
11 Jun 1919, Wed  •  Page 10
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
26 Mar 1935, Tue  •  Page 4

No photo description available.

St. Mary’s Convent: a John Dunn story– CLICK HERE https://millstonenews.com/2017/11/st-marys-convent-a-john-dunn-story.html

St Mary’s Church 1924 Almonte Gazette- Sylvester O’Donoghue — Hilty Liberty, Frank McAuliffie, Wilfred Grace, Joe Rooney, Father Cavanagh, Mac Hogan, Jim Byrne–

1960 Accidents – Union Street and Blakeney

Was John C. Howard Guilty? 76 Years Ago in Almonte

Old St. Mary’s Almonte — Clippings Photos and Memories

Peter McCallum — From Brown and Wylie Mill Employee to The King of Mack’s No Rub Laundry Soap

Peter McCallum — From Brown and Wylie Mill Employee to The King of Mack’s No Rub Laundry Soap

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The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
21 Nov 1936, Sat  •  Page 21

Peter McCallum was born in the township of Goulburn in 1859, a son of James McCallum and Esther MacKay, Scottish pioneer settlers. After serving an apprenticeship with the Brown Flour Mills of Carleton Place. He came to Almonte and the following year was married to the former Jane Moore McNeely of Appleton, a daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Thomas McNeely.

Almonte in those days was a thriving textile town and as might be expected Mr. McCallum took up this work, serving for a time as foreman in the shawl factory of William Wylie and continuing for a number of years as an employee in that plant after it had been purchased by the late James Wylie and converted into a flannel mill.


The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
16 Jul 1952, Wed  •  Page 8

One department over which McCallum had control over at Wylie’s Mill was the dyeing and scouring of the woollens and it was there he conceived the idea of making a soap in tablet form designed to lessen the labor of wash day. After a considerable period of service in the textile plants, Mr. McCallum felt the urge to strike out for himself in a business of his own. He had secured a formula for making a new kind of laundry soap that was particularly effective as a water softener and after working on the idea for some time and improving it in various ways, he started to market his product.  In a crude way he sought to develop those ideas, evolution brought improvement and the result was the widely-used “No-Rub” products that found a market a market in all parts of Canada.

From a small beginning the business developed by leaps and bounds. Mr. McCallum’s son, John D., became associated with him and as time passed new lines of soap making were added and the requisite machinery installed. A lover of fine scenery he did much to improve the appearance of the town in various places. He was prime mover in constructing two miniature parks affording a fine view of the falls, one of which was completed only a week or so before his death.

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The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
06 Sep 1950, Wed  •  Page 23

November 12 1936–Almonte Gazette

Mr. McCallum Reported To Be Making Good Progress In Hospital. People of Almonte and district will be glad to learn that Mayor Peter McCallum, who underwent an operation at the Civic Hospital, Ottawa, Saturday morning, is progressing favorably. Mr. McCallum went to the Ottawa hospital about two weeks ago to undergo treatment and after he had been under observation for some time an operation was deemed necessary. In the absence of the Mayor, Reeve W. W. Watchorn returned from the November session of Lanark County Council to preside at the last regular meeting of Almonte Council, Tuesday night. 


Mack’s No-Rub, Cake….5 cents each-Almonte is also the modest source of Mack’s No Rub, washday friend of many a thrifty Canadian housewife. Who’s “Mac?” He’s John D. MacCallum who could tell you some interesting facts about the town’s popular lawn bowling green. Almonte is proud of its efficient house of mercy, the Rosamond Memorial Hospital, endowed long ago by the famous miller and members of his family, the latest gift coming from Mrs. Alex Rosamond.



The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
21 Nov 1936, Sat  •  Page 10



The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
23 Nov 1936, Mon  •  Page 3



The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
23 Nov 1936, Mon  •  Page 3


Their house was built in 1916 by Peter McCallum, a local businessman and local politician, serving Almonte as Chairman of the Roads and Bridges Committee during the 1920s and as Mayor of Almonte from 1931 to 1932 and from 1934 to 1936. Peter McCallum founded a company in Almonte known as Mack’s Laundry Specialty Company in 1908 and which became famous across the country from Halifax to Vancouver for its handmade laundry flakes and bars. They were known simply as “Mack’s Non-Rub”. The products were especially well known in Western Canada and in the supermarkets of the time; Loblaws, the A&P and Dominion stores all had standing orders for their Western stores. The factory and offices stood on Edward Street on a piece of land that ran between Water and Reserve Streets. The business closed when chemical bleaches and detergents were introduced. Peter McCallum moved to a smaller house on Country Street in 1937 and died a few months later. The house remained in the McCallum family, occupied by his son, John Duncan McCallum and his wife Madeleine until 1963. 

Mr. McCallum, who came from Carleton Place and his wife, Jane Moore McNeely of Appleton, acquired the property in 1916 and built on it the same year. Originally a much larger lot, successive sales and grants for other building lots have reduced the property to its current size of approximately 0.29 hectares (0.73 acres). The house sits well back from the street and contains mature evergreen and deciduous trees. The house is located towards the northeast corner of the lot, providing for lawns and garden to the south and west. On Country Street the boundary consists of an iron fence with stone gate posts and a cedar hedge.  From Mississippi Mills—

Karen Hirst— Was McCallum Soap Factory—side street off of Water Street was then called Edward Street, now McCallum Street. Maybe there was another soap factory on Water Street? No, McCallum Street off of Water Street. Was Edward when the soap factory was there but now McCallum—across from Agricultural grounds

During the Dirty 30’s in Oungre Saskatchewan, my father John Kerry recalls that Grandma Kerry used a ‘ No Rub Soap,’ that when used with their prairie alkaline water was the only soap to make a suds. Needless to say it was Grandma’s soap of choice! — the soap was ‘MacCallum Soap from the McCallum Soap Factory’.

Dad of course had no inkling at the time that the McCallum Soap Factory was located on McCallum Street,  just across the street from a future investment of his, in a little town called Almonte.

Barbara Joan Cook Karen Hirst I am sure you are right – I remember it being a rectangular building – black wood and it did not face onto Water – just one side of it. And oh …. the smells some days. I can remember holding my breath as I walked past it – good practice for those underwater swims.

More History on the Almonte Knitting Mills — Wylie Milling Company

Almonte in the 1950s

I will Wash Your Mouth Out with Soap!

What the Heck was Electric Soap? Chatterton House Hotel Registrar

As the World Turns in Carleton Place — Soap and Ground Beef

Who was Cody the Kid in Carleton Place? — Soap Box Memories