This is not the first time we have seen young men disappear or leave home. Originally documented when 5 to 14 years old in 1880, these boys are traced to the 1900 census when they were young adults. In general, the decision to leave farming was related to the urban-industrial “pull” of the surrounding environment and the degree of farm mechanization of the community. While migratory behavior correlates positively with occupational change, the major social correlates are somewhat different.
There was also the exodus to Manitoba, which was a milestone in Lanark County in the late 1800s. From north to south and east to west the farmers and farmers’ sons were flocking westward. The main reason was that it was said Manitoba was the destination of finally having good fortune in farming.
The results of farming were terrible in the years of 1880- 1890 and a hay crop had failed owing to drought in summer of 1888. Yesterday I learned in the Almonte Gazette there was a terrible infestation of insects and grasshoppers that ate the crops that summer of 1888. The spring of 1889 was turned into rain and dampness which also hindered growing. Read- When Crops Failed — Lanark County Went Manitoba Dreamin’
John Elliott never turned up anywhere– so he either ran of foul play, changed his name, and the list is endless.
CLIPPED FROMOttawa Daily CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada16 Dec 1892, Fri • Page 8