Robert Hays – Founder of Haysville, Ontario

In memory of Robert Hays, Esq., J.P. – Founder of Haysville, Ontario

Robert Hays“This gentleman died at his residence, in McKillop, in the County of Huron, Canada, on the 18th inst., aged 80 years. He had been a long time in an infirm state and his death was not an unlooked for event. His funeral took place on Sunday the 19th, and the procession was fully 3/4 of a mile in length, the largest ever seen in McKillop. He was inteered in the Harphurhey burying ground. He leaves five sons and two daughters and his aged partner in life, behind him. One of his sons, as is well known, is the ex-Registrar for North Huron, and also an ex-M.P.P., and by profession a lawyer. As the deceased gentleman was a man of some note, a more lenghtened notice seems to be demanded. He was born near Londonderry, Ireland, somewhere about the year 1794, and when a boy, went to the Parish School of Comwell, where he received a fair education. When about 24 years of age he married, and his father dying about this time, divided his farm between his two sons, hence the subject of this memoir went to farming, and married about the same time. He continued in this occupation for about five years, during which time he was strongly impressed with the injustice of the tithe system and the oppressive taxation which burdened the people. He told an old friend that while working one day in the field, he began to think that surely there was a freer and better country somewhere, where a poor man would not be kept down by oppressive taxation. His resolution was taken. He threw down the spade with which he was working, sold his far, and never wrought another day in his native country.

Before leaving Ireland, he went six months to the Grammar School of Letterkenny. He then went to the United States, leaving his wife and family in the meantime in Ireland, until he would make a home for them on this side of the Atlantic. He went to the States and engaged in the milling business with his wife’s uncle, General (George) McLure, who fought in the war of 1812. Here he remained for a few years after which he went to Rochester and engaged in milling again for three or four years. On the whole, his milling operations were not successful, for though an active, industrious, honest, painstaking man, he did not nearly receive the pay which he was promised for his labor. This at first disheartened him. At this time he sent for his wife and family, having resolved to make America his future home. He next came to Canada and bought a farm near Ingersol, and united with it the business of tanning. After four years residence in Ingersoll he removed to the village now known as Haysville; the place having been named after him. Here he bought 200 ares of land, and built a mill and made the village. Here he remained for about 8 years, being somewhat discouraged at times by his mill dam being carried awway. He sold out in Haysville and bought 200 acres of land in McKilop, where he spent the remainder of his days. He has been, we believe, about 30 years a resident of McKillop, and during about 25 of that time he has been a magistrate, and one of the clearest headed and best we have ever had, and of him it can be said what can be said of but few, that though his decisions were frequently appealed from no appeal was ever sustained. He sat in the County Council as Reeve for quite a number of years, when we believe McKillop, Hullett, Morris, Grey and Howick were in one municipality, and old settlers maintain that the business of the country as fully as well transacted then as it as ever been since. He was always a staunch advocate of Common School Education, and was the first, we understand, to advocate the taxation of property for that purpose. His ideas became law, and a certain amount was rated on the propety, and since then the principle has been gradually extended until the Free School system has become universal. While in the County Council he advocated the taxing of the wild lands of the Canada Company, which also became law; but for this he was looked upon with enmity by that powerful Corporation. He was always a friend of Temperance, and no man, from his earliest days until his death, ever saw him the worse of liquor. As a public speaker, he was too nervous and excitable to succed well when he was opposed by calm, cool heads; but when unopposed and uninterrupted he could express his ideas in good plain language and reason well. In politics he was a rather extreme Reformer, up to the time his son ran for member. At this time he was very much annoyed at his old neighbors voting against his son, and fromt that time he never acted with the Reform Party. In religion, he was a Prespyterian. He was always a firm believer in the grand truths of Christianity. Reverence for the Bible, the Sabbath day, and a detestation of profanity were strong features of his character. Several years ago he had an apoplectic attack which impaired is intellect, and for a time he lost the power of speech. He knew that his intellectual powers were failing, and resigned his office as Treasurer of the Township, and his commission as J.P., recommending at the same time several younger and more active men, who were appointed by his advice. From this time he was preparing for death, as he knew that the sands of life were almost run. We believe he died the death of a true Christian, and of him it might be said – “Mark the perfect and behold the upright, for the end of that man is peace.”

Obituary newspaper unknown.


A Tale of a Slave of Wellesley Township


I was born in Petersburg, Va. When very young, I was taken to Montgomery county. My old master died there, and I remember that all the people were sold. My father and mother were sold together about one mile from me. After a year, they were sold a great distance, and I saw them no more. My mother came to me before she went away, and said, “Good by, be a good girl; I never expect to see you any more.”

Then I belonged to Mr. T–N–, the son of my old master. He was pretty good, but his wife, my mistress, beat me like sixty. Here are three scars on my right hand and arm, and one on my forehead, all from wounds inflicted with a broken china plate. My cousin, a man, broke the plate in two pieces, and she said, “Let me see that plate.” I handed up the pieces to her, and she threw them down on me: they cut four

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gashes, and I bled like a butcher. One piece cut into the sinew of the thumb, and made a great knot permanently. The wound had to be sewed up. This long scar over my right eye, was from a blow with a stick of wood. One day she knocked me lifeless with a pair of tongs,–when I came to, she was holding me up, through fright. Some of the neighbors said to her, “Why don’t you learn Eliza to sew?” She answered, “I only want to learn her to do my housework, that’s all.” I can tell figures when I see them, but cannot read or write.

I belonged to them until I got married at the age of sixteen, to Mr. John Little, of Jackson. My master sold me for debt,–he was a man that would drink, and he had to sell me. I was sold to F–T–, a planter and slave-trader, who soon after, at my persuasion, bought Mr. Little.

I was employed in hoeing cotton, a new employment: my hands were badly blistered. “Oh, you must be a great lady,” said the overseer, “can’t handle the hoe without blistering your hands!” I told him I could not help it. My hands got hard, but I could not stand the sun. The hot sun made me so sick I could not work, and, John says if I had not come away, they would surely have sold me again. There was one weakly woman named Susan, who could not stand the work, and she was sold to Mississippi, away from her husband and son. That’s one way of taking care of the sick and weak. That’s the way the planters do with a weakly, sickly “nigger,”–they say “he’s a dead expense to ’em,” and put him off as soon as they can. After Susan was carried off, her husband went to see her: when he came back he received two hundred blows with the paddle.

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I staid with T–more than a year. A little before I came away, I heard that master was going to give my husband three hundred blows with the paddle. He came home one night with an axe on his shoulder, tired with chopping timber. I had his clothes all packed up, for I knew he would have to go. He came hungry, calculating on his supper,–I told him what was going. I never heard him curse before–he cursed then. Said he, “If any man, white or black, lays his hand on me to-night, I’ll put this axe clear through him–clear through him:” and he would have done it, and I would not have tried to hinder him. But there was a visitor at the house, and no one came: he ran away. Next morning, the overseer came for him. The master asked where he was; I could have told him, but would not. My husband came back no more.

When we had made arrangements for leaving, a slave told of us. Not long after, master called to me, “Come here, my girl, come here.” I went to him: he tied me by the wrist with a rope. He said, “Oh, my girl, I don’t blame you,–you are young, and don’t know; it’s that d–d infernal son of a–; if I had him here, I’d blow a ball through him this minute.” But he was deceived about it: I had put John up to hurrying off.

Then master stood at the great house door, at a loss what to do. There he had Willis, who was to have run away with us, and the man who betrayed us. At last he took us all off about half a mile to a swamp, where old A–need not hear us as he was going to meeting, it being Sunday. He whipped Willis to make him tell where we were going. Willis said, “Ohio State.” “What do you want to be free for?

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G–d–you, what do you know about freedom? Who was going with you?” “Only Jack.” G–d–Jack to h–, and you too.” While they were whipping Willis, he said, “Oh, master, I’ll never run away.” “I did n’t ask you about that, you d–d son of a–, you.” Then they tried to make him tell about a slave girl who had put her child aside: but he knew nothing about that. As soon as they had done whipping him, they put a plough clavis about his ankle to which they attached a chain which was secured about his neck with a horse-lock.

Then they took a rheumatic boy, who had stopped with us, whom I had charged not to tell. They whipped him with the paddle, but he said he was ignorant of it: he bore the whipping, and never betrayed us. Then they questioned him about the girl and the child, as if that boy could know any thing about it! Then came my turn; they whipped me in the same way they did the men. Oh, those slaveholders are a brutish set of people,–the master made a remark to the overseer about my shape. Before striking me, master questioned me about the girl. I denied all knowledge of the affair. I only knew that she had been with child, and that now she was not, but I did not tell them even that. I was ashamed of my situation, they remarking upon me. I had been brought up in the house, and was not used to such coarseness. Then he (master) asked, “Where is Jack?” “I don’t know.” Said he, “Give her h–, R–.” That was his common word. Then they struck me several blows with the paddle. I kept on telling them it was of no use to whip me, as I knew nothing to tell them. No irons were ready for me, and I was put under a guard,–but I was too cunning for him, and joined my husband.

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My shoes gave out before many days,–then I wore my husband’s old shoes till they were used up. Then we came on barefooted all the way to Chicago. My feet were blistered and sore and my ankles swollen; but I had to keep on. There was something behind me driving me on. At the first water we came to I was frightened, as I was not used to the water. It was a swift but shallow stream: my husband crossed over, and I was obliged to follow. At the Ohio Bottoms was a great difficulty,–the water was in some places very deep,–it was black, dirty water. I was scared all but to death: but I had become somewhat used to hardship. If I had seen a white face, I would have run into the river.

By and by, we succeeded in crossing the last one. Then we struck a light at a shingle-getter’s shanty, made a fire with the clapboards and dried ourselves. We were merry over our success in getting so far along, and had a good laugh as we burned the boards and part of the shanty itself. I felt afraid at getting into a boat to cross the Ohio River: I had never been in any boat whatever. Now to get on this in the night, frightened me. “John,” said I, “don’t you think we ‘ll drown?” “I don’t care if we do,” said he. We reached Cairo well enough.

We never slept at the same time; while one slept, the other kept watch, day or night. Both of us never slept at one time,–if we had, we would not have reached Canada. One morning, as I was watching by a fire we had made, John sleeping, I saw a dog, and told John. Said he, “‘t is some old white man hunting a hog,–however, we had better go from this fire.” We went down into a valley and there remained. In the afternoon, an hour before sunset, a white man came

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suddenly upon us, while we were getting ready for a night’s march. I started to run: John stood. The man said, “Stop, there!” But I kept on; his face was so white, that I wanted nothing to do with him. John said, “What did you say?” “Stop, there.” John said, “I ‘ll do no such thing.” Then hard language passed between them. The man said, “I ‘ll have a pack of hounds after you before night.” John answered him with an oath to frighten him, “You had better do it, and be off yourself, or I ‘ll blow a ball through you.” The man never had heard a negro swear at him before. They are generally so cowed down, that John’s swearing at him, alarmed him more than a bullet from a white man. It showed that he was desperate,–and that was the only reason why he used such language. The man struck spurs to his horse, and went off in a hurry. We followed him, as he went the same way we were going, and kept as close to him as we could: for, if the man got hounds he would start them at the place where he had seen us; and coming back over the same route with hounds, horses, and men, would kill our track, and they could not take us. But we saw no more of the man.

Soon after dark, we came to a lake. We found an old white man there in a shanty, who was caring for a slave that had been shot by his master a few days before. We went in and saw him,–he was an old, gray-headed man. His master had threatened him with a flogging, and he took to the river: just as he reached the water, his master shot him behind. But he got across. He was wounded, and without hat or shoes. In this place we were informed about our route. It was in Kentucky.

While we were stopping at the shanty, a day or two,

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John went out one evening with the old man, to hunt for provisions. I went to bed. By and by the dogs barked; the door opened, and by the fire I saw five white men. One said, “Who you got here?” “Only my own family.” I was afraid, and crept out slyly on my hands and knees, and hid behind an ash-barrel until they were gone.

In a few days we crossed the ferry. Then we went on, and were without provisions, except some corn, which we parched. We met here a runaway slave, who knew the route of the country above us. He was returning to his master, where he had a wife and children.

At Cairo, the gallinippers were so bad, we made a smoke to keep them off. Soon after I heard a bell ring. Said I, “John, somebody’s dead.” It was a steamboat bell tolling. Presently there she was, a great boat full of white men. We were right on the river’s bank, and our fire sent the smoke straight up into the calm. We lay flat on the ground. John read the name–Maria. No one noticed us: after the boat was gone, we had a hearty laugh at our good luck. Thinking there was no more trouble, we did not put out our fire. Presently came a yawl boat: they saw our fire, and hailed, “Boat ashore! boat ashore! runaway niggers! runaway niggers!” We lay close, and the boat kept on. We put out our fire, and went further back from the river, but the musquitoes were so bad, we made another fire. But a man with a gun then came along, looking up into the trees. I scattered the fire to put it out, but it smoked so much the worse. We at last hid in a thicket of briers, where we were almost devoured by musquitoes, for want of a little smoke.

Next day I lay down to sleep, while John kept watch.

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When I awoke, I told him I had dreamed about a white cow, which still seemed a white woman, and that I feared we would be caught. We were in the woods, in a low, damp place, where there was no bit of a road, and we knew not where the road was. We started to find a road, and then met with a white woman. I reminded John of my dream. “Good evening, good evening,” said she. My husband asked if she would sell him some bread: this was to make conversation, so he could inquire the road. “Oh yes, just come to my house, I’ll give you some bread.” We went to the house, and presently her husband came in. He asked, “Have you got free papers?” John answered, “No.” “Where are you travelling to?” “To the upper lakes.” “We are not allowed to let a colored man go through here without free papers: if we do, we are liable to a fine of forty dollars.” He allowed us to remain all night,–but in the morning we were to go before a squire at Dorrety, and, if we were free, we would go on. This was the woman’s arrangement: the man did not seem inclined to stop us. She said, “If we stop you, we shall get fifty dollars apiece for you: that’s a–good–deal–of–money,–you know.” The man asked John if he had a pistol. John produced one. The man said ‘t was no harm, he would take care of it for him,–and locked it up. They lived in a little, dirty log hut: they took the bed off the bedstead, and lay down on it close to the door, so that it could not be opened without disturbing him. The man took a nice silver-mounted pistol from a cupboard, loaded it, and placed it where he could reach it in the night. We lay on the bedstead–they on the floor. She was the evil one: she had made the plans. Their name was Smith.

At about three o’clock in the morning, husband

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aroused me,–“I’m going away from here; I don’t value them, now other folks are asleep.” We both got up. John spoke roughly, “Mr. Smith! Mr. Smith!” He aroused: “we are unwell, and must pass out,–we ‘ll be back very soon.” Mr. Smith got up very readily, and pulled the bed away a little, so we could slip out. As John passed by the pistol, he put his hand on it, and took it in exchange for his old one. It is a beautiful rifle pistol, percussion lock,–John has been offered fifteen dollars for it. If the man will come here with John’s old flint lock, my husband will exchange back, and give him boot. I am very sorry for my friend, Mrs. Smith, that she did not get the hundred dollars to go a shopping with in Dorrety–am much obliged to her for our night’s lodging. We went across a small stream, and waited for daylight. Then we went on to Dorrety, and passed through the edge of it, without calling on the squire, as we had not time.

One Sunday morning, being on a prairie where we could see no house–about fifty miles west of Springfield–we ventured to travel by day. We encountered an animal, which we at first supposed to be a dog; but when he came near, we concluded it to be a wolf. He yelped something like a dog: he did not attack us. We went on and crossed a stream, and then we saw three large wood-wolves, sneaking around as if waiting for darkness. As we kept on, the three wolves kept in sight, now on one hand, and now on the other. I felt afraid, expecting they would attack us: but they left us. Afterward we made a fire with elder-stalks, and I undertook to make some corn bread. I got it mixed, and put it on the fire,–when I saw a party of men and boys on horseback, apparently approaching us. I put out the fire; they turned a little away, and did not appear

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to perceive us: I rekindled the fire, and baked our bread. John managed to keep us well supplied with pies and bread. We used to laugh to think how people would puzzle over who drank the milk and left the pitchers, and who hooked the dough.

I got to be quite hardy–quite used to water and bush-whacking; so that by the time I got to Canada, I could handle an axe, or hoe, or any thing. I felt proud to be able to do it–to help get cleared up, so that we could have a home, and plenty to live on. I now enjoy my life very well–I have nothing to complain of. We have horses and a pleasure-wagon, and I can ride out when and where I please, without a pass. The best of the merchants and clerks pay me as much attention as though I were a white woman: I am as politely accosted as any woman would wish to be.

I have lost two children by death; one little girl is all that is spared to me. She is but four years old. I intend to have her well educated, if the Lord lets us.

“A north-side view of slavery. The refugee: or, The narratives of fugitive slaves in Canada. Related by themselves, with an account of the history and condition of the colored population of Upper Canada”

Lovers’ Deaths Brings Healing Spring at Homer Watson Park

By Walter Cunningham
Twenty-Fifth Annual Report of the Waterloo Historical Society 1937
In the misty past, Iroquois Indians hunted game in this region. There was a band that was notorious for their prowess in the chase, their Woodcraft, cunning, and cruelty to prisoners. The Upper Canada tribes were less bloodthirsty and feared the Iroquois. When a warning of their approach was received, runners were dispatched to other friendly camps summoning their warriors to assist them in repelling the dreaded marauders. One year, the Iroquois scoured the Niagara region. Since their spoils were meagre, they determined to cross the peninsula and pierce into the Lake Huron district, and on the way to pillage the camps of local Indians and take their scalps to decorate the ridgepoles of their wigwams. Of their coming, a scout alarmed the Attiwandaron village on the Grand River, below Brantford. But all the Attiwandaron warriors were absent on a hunting expedition. In their huts there were only old braves, squaws, boys and maidens. Although wearied by a three days’ run the scout volunteered to warn the absent Attiwandarons.
In the vicinity of Elmira, there was a friendly tribe camped for the summer and known as the Petuns. The greylocks in the village considered it their duty to warn the Petuns of the Iroquois menace. Whom could they send? The old men were too feeble; the squaws not able to undergo the journey; and the chits too inexperienced in forest lore. The prospect of the Petuns being notified of the danger dwindled as the names of possible runners were weighed and discarded. In the Attiwandaron settlement was a maiden named Nashwaaksis. Her comeliness and vigor had won the admiration of Oromocto, a Petun warrior, who had once visited the Attiwandaron village. To her, the memory of his smile was still green.
The music of his voice, telling her that the stars were jealous of her eyes; the birds of her songs; and the flowers of her beauty, were treasured up by the maiden. Thinking of the warrior whom she loved and who, in her heart of hearts she knew, loved her, she offered herself as a messenger.
At daybreak, Nashwaaksis set forth on her long journey. Three days later she reached the Petun camp. There she was feted for her bravery in hazarding the dangerous trail alone. To recover from her exhaustion, she remained for a number of days. Oromocto was solicitous for her comfort and presented her with a pair of moccasins to replace those she had worn out while bringing in the warning. On the eleventh day, she and Oromocto left the Petun shelters for the Attiwandaron village, where it,was agreed that their marriage should be performed as soon as the hostile Iroquois had been driven out.
The first day’s journey brought them to the bluff overlooking the Grand River at Doon. They decided to camp for the night in Cressman’s Woods, nearby; Nashwaaksis to sleep and Oromocto to guard her. In the deep foliage a nook was dound for the maiden, who, wearied with travel, soon fell asleep. After hearing her regular breathing, Oromocto resolved to scout the surrounding woods and ascertain if unseen foes lurked in them. Silently, like a panther, he slipped from tree to tree and knoll to knoll. Darkness crept over the woods. As dawn blotted out the stars and brightened the dome overhead, the Iroquois’ fierce war-whoop rang through the woods. Oromocto dashed furiously along to the dell where his loved one reposed, only to behold a score of fiends leaping through the woods and intent on slaying him.
Hastily lifting Nashwaaksis, telling her to be brave, he thrust her deeper into the foliage. Then he turned and faced his enemies. The fierceness with which he defended his betrothed may be judged by the fact that he dispatched seven of his foes before receiving his own death-blow. When Oromocto was slain, Nashwaaksis uttered a heart-broken scream, sprang from her hiding-place and fell dead across the body of her lover.
Google Image

Google Image

Two days later a party of Attiwandarons appeared on the tragic scene, searching for the maiden. Stoically, they beheld the bodies of the betrothed. They lifted the lifeless forms. As they raised them, a spring of water gushed from the spot. The Attiwandarons interpreted the appearance of the spring to mean:

“Clear as the character of beautiful Nashwaaksis; pure as the love of the twain, and cold as the heart of the Iroquois.”
The waters of the spring were said to contain ingredients that not only restore health but insure happiness. After the brave Petun, the active waters have been named: “Oromocto Spring.”
The tale of the two dead lovers first appeared in the local newspaper in 1917 to help fund raise for the effort to save Cressman’s woods. It was a story designed to raise awareness of the place, but was created in the mind of of a local resident. There is no basis of fact and it is just a wonderful piece of local fiction.

Blanch Alexandrine “Adine” Seagram Bowlby’s tragic death

A Tragedy Marred Holiday Celebration

Mrs. G.H. Bowlby Lost Her Life in Fatal Motor Car Collison. Cars Collided at Victoria and Edward Streets. Other Occupants Escaped With Slight Injuries

An Inquest Into Death

The holiday festivities in the Twin Cities were marred by a fatal accident in which Mrs. G.H. Bowlby lost her life and a number of other citizens were badly shaken up and bruised.

The accident was caused by a collision between two automobiles at about one thirty o’clock on Saturday afternoon at the corner of Victoria and Edward Streets. Mrs. Bowlby with the four-year-daughter of Captain Tom Seagram of Waterloo, who was driving a Peerless car, was in the back seat of the machine which was going easterly on Victoria Street. At the same time a Ford Roadster, driven by Mr. Harvey Kennedy, who was accompanied by Mr. L. Wellheuser and Mr. Harry Lang, the latter sitting on the door, was going up Edward towards Victoria. A crash came. While Capt. Seagram swerved his car sideways it received the full impact of the other car. The machines were turned turtle and the occupants thrown out and underneath the cars. They, except Mrs. Bowlby, were able to extricate themselves from them machines and willing hands were soon offered. It was found that Mrs. Bowlby was pinned underneath the car was severely injured. Her brother, Capt. Seagram, extricated her from the wreckage. She was unconscious. Medical assistance and the ambulance were summoned. Dr. Kalbfleisch was on the scene soon. The ambulance arrived; she was removed to the hospital, where Dr. Kalbfleisch arrived a few minutes later. An examination of her injuries revealed a fracture of the skull, a broken collar bone and several broken ribs, which also caused internal injuries. An operation was deemed necessary. This was performed by Drs. Kalbfleisch, Gillespie and Hagmeier but unfortunately the efforts to save her life could not be brought to a successful conclusion and her death followed. This was about half an hour later.

A post-mortem examination was held later in the day and through it the opinions of the medical men on the character and extent of the injuries received by Mrs. Bowlby were ascertained.

Injuries Sustained by Others

Captain Seagram’s injuries were: sever abrasions on the face and a severe shaking up. The little daughter aside from the nervous shock and scratches, escaped unscathed. The occupants in the other car all escaped with slight injuries. Mr. Kennedy, however, received bruises in the side of his body. But none of them were incapacitated. Both machines were badly damaged. The Peerless car, however, after it was put on its wheels was taken to a garage under its own power.

Had Been Out Berry Picking

It should be added that the occupants in the Ford roadster had been out berry picking and were homeward bound with their berries.

Inquest Deemed Necessary

Coroner Dr. Kalbfleisch deemed an inquest necessary and immediately had a jury empanelled. Later in the afternoon they viewed the body of the deceased and also inspected the scene of the accident. They then adjourned until 1:30 Wednesday afternoon.

In connection with the cause of the accident the facts, it is expected, will be brought out at the inquest. Incidentally side from the cause, it is noteworthy that the corner of Edward and Victoria Streets does not afford a clear view to people traversing the streets. On three corners buildings are near the street line and hide the view from one street to the other.

Mrs. Bowlby’s Death a Severe Loss

The death of Mrs. Bowlby under the tragic circumstances caused intense sorrow among the citizens of Kitchener and waterloo. The loss sustained by the family is also keenly felt by the people of the community and b hundreds of friends that Mrs. Bowlby had elsewhere. Possessing a pleasing personality and endowed with noble qualities of kindness, charity, and an interest in the welfare of others, she had a warm place in the hearts and thoughts of all who knew her. Mrs. Bowlby gave valuable service on not a few organizations of public benefit and patriotic purposes among them being the Daughters of the Empire.

When the late Major B.H. Bowlby went to England in 1915 where he was engaged in surgical work in military hospitals, she accompanied him. Since his death which was caused by falling over a cliff in September 1917 she engaged in Red Cross work until she returned home about a year ago, to be with her father, who was in poor health.

Mrs. Bowlby was a daughter of Mr. Joseph Seagram, ex-MP, of Waterloo. Surviving her are her father and four brothers, who are Mr. E.F. Seagram, Captain Tom Seagram, Mr. Joseph Seagram, Jr., Orillia, and Mr. Norman Seagram, Toronto.

Seven Eye Witnesses Empanelled

Quite a number of witnesses are being empanelled to testify at the inquest, among them being seven eye witnesses. The jury consists of the following gentlemen: J.E. Bilger, foreman, B.H. Ziegler, J. Welker, L.S. Orlowski, Geo. C. Doerr, S.H. Hessenauer, Charles P. Knapp, George Steinmetz, J.A. Fuhrmann, V.R. Berlet.

Funeral Tomorrow

The funeral of the late Mrs. Adine Bowlby will be held tomorrow afternoon. There will be a service at the residence, 11 West Weber Street, at 4 o’clock and afterwards at St. John’s Anglican Church. After the church service the remains will be taken to Montreal.

Kitchener News Record – 21 Jul 1919 pg 1

Millicent Milroy of North Dumfries – Princess?

Millicent Milroy

Millicent Milroy

On Monday, Millicent Milroy of Rockwood was buried beneath a Monument in a Cambridge cemetery, taking with her to that grave the details of a mystery that received international attention in 1972. The inscription she had engraved on that monument explains the controversy the ex-teacher stirred. It reads:

Millicent A.M.M.M. P.St.Daughter of James and Helen Jane Milroy 1890- wife of Edward (VIII) Duke of Windsor 1894-1972

Duke of Windsor

Duke of Windsor

The initials stand for Agnes Mary Maureen Marguerite, Princess of the Royal House of Stuart. The later designation is based on her claim that her father, James, was Prince James of Scotland, pretender to that throne until he came to Canada. The monument – engraved in 1968 – gained wide attention in 1972 when the duke died. Milroy said she secretly married the duke during one of his frequent visits to Canada.


Although she refused to give any details of that event in later years,she told a Galt Reporter writer in 1972 that the marriage took place in western Canada and the couple had two sons, Edward and Andrew. Edward VIII abdicated the throne to marry Wallace Simpson, and American devorcee, in 1936. When asked for prove of her marriage, Milroy said that the duke had taken all pictures, records and momentoes of the event with him to back England. A Guelph woman who befriended Milroy in 1983 said Milroy promised to remain silent on the matter ‘They’ll have to wait until I die: then they’ll know,’ the woman quoted Milroy as saying. She added that Milroy also mentioned a family Bible that would clear up some of the mystery. Milroy, 95, was born in Galt (Cambridge) and went to school there. She taught school in Lambton Mills, Malton, Northern Ontario and Rockwood for 35 years. She also wrote a book for senior students and centred the action in Rockwood. In later years, she was a regular contributor to the Letters to the Editor section of the Mercury as she commented on events of local and national interest. She died at Guelph General Hospital on Saturday and a private family service was held Monday. She is survived by a niece and nephew in Guelph. Then internment took place in Cambridge’s Mount View Cemetery, beneath the monument that put the quite, private woman in the public eye just over a decade ago.

Guelph Daily Mercury Guelph, Wednesday, October 16, 1985

Dr. Mayor George Herbert Bowlby’s Tragic Death


George Herbert Bowlby

George Herbert Bowlby

George Herbert Bowlby

Well-Known Kitchener physician Meets With Sudden and Tragic End of Seaford, England – Was Assistant Director of Medical Service

“Dr. Herbert Bowlby is dead,” was the shocking information which was circulated throughout the city with great rapidity on Sunday morning, after the message had been received by relatives in the city about 10:30 o’clock announcing that Capt. G. Herbert Bowlby, M.D., had been found dead at the foot of a cliff near Seaford. Within a few minutes of receiving the news in the city a number of the civic flags were lowered to half-mast out of respect to the memory of the deceased.

The message was sent from Ottawa by the Officers in charge of Records, and was addressed to Mrs. Adin S. Bowlby, 11 Weber St., W., wife of the deceased officer, who is also in England. Mr. Reinhold Lang, who is occupying the Bowlby residence, telephoned to Capt. T.W. Seagram, Paymaster of the 118th Battalion; informing him that a message was received announcing the death of Dr. Bowlby. The relatives of Dr. Bowlby were immediately notified and the news came as a severe and unexpected shock to all. The message was as follows: – “Deeply regret to inform you that Deputy Assistant Director of Medical Service, Seaford, reports November 11th, 1916, Captain George Herbert Bowlby, A.D. M.S. Embarkation, Shoreham-in-Sea, was found dead at foot of cliff near Seaford. Further particulars will be sent when available.”

Late in the afternoon a brief cablegram was received by relatives from Mrs. Bowlby with this information “Herbert dead.” It is expected that further information as to the tragic death of the late Dr. Bowlby will be received direct from England today.

The Late Dr. Bowlby

The late Capt. G. Herbert Bowlby, M.D., L.R.C.P., A.D.S.M., was born in this city in July fifty-one years ago, and has lived here the greater portion of his life. He was a son of the late Dr. D.S. Bowlby and is a direct descendant of the United Empire Loyalists who came to Canada at the time of the revolutionary war in the United States. His ancestors originated in Nottingham, England. Richard Bowlby, of whom the doctor is a direct descendant, came to America with the celebrated William Penn, the founder of the state of Pennsylvania. Dr. Bowlby was educated at the Public and High Schools in this city, and also took a course at St. Jerome’s College. He was a graduate of Toronto University, where he received his degree in medicine. He had since become a member of the Royal College of Surgeons in London and also was a Licentiate of the Royal College of Physicians.

During his school days he was prominently identified with the athletic activities of the student and was goal keeper for the famous High School football team of 1877 to 1882. He was also identified with various cricket clubs in this city and in Toronto.

Dr. Bowlby was medical officer of the grey’s Home and at the last encampment attended the lectures on army hospital work and field ambulance work, and after passing the necessary examinations took the rank of Captain, which was recognized by the military authorities when he offered his service with the Army Medical Corps with the Canadian Expeditionary Forces. He left this city in July of 1915 to assume his duties and since arriving in England has been on duty in the large military Hospitals at Shorncliffe and more recently at Bath. He was recently appointed Assistant Director of Medical Service.

Since he has been on hospital duty in England, Dr. Bowlby has written many interesting letters to his aged mother, Mrs. D.S. Bowlby, 57 Margaret Avenue, in which he gave vivid descriptions of the scenic beauties surrounding the tow institutions at Shorncliffe and Bath. It is supposed that while taking a walk to view the scenery around the Hospital at Bath that he met with an accident which resulted in his death as reported by the military authorities.

Kitchener,BowlbyG.H.Dr.-residence-busyberlin1897During his residence in the city Dr. Bowlby took an active interest in municipal affairs and served several years in the Council and was Mayor of the town in 1901. He always took a keen interest in the welfare of the K-W Hospital and at the time of his death was a member of the Medical Advisory Committee. He was also a former Medical Health Officer. Since the commencement of the war he was active in the various patriotic enterprises of the city.

The late Dr. Bowlby is survived by his wife, who is a daughter of Jos. E. Seagram, ex-M.P., his aged mother, two sisters, Mrs. E.P. Clement, and Mrs. J.P. Fennell, and one brother D. Shannon Bowlby, all of Kitchener. It is not definitely known whether the remains will be brought to this city for burial.

Berlin Daily Telegraph 13 Nov 1916 pg 1, 5

Conrad Stroh – one of the first settlers of Woolwich

Conrad Stroh standing in front of Captain Thomas Smith's Log House.

Conrad Stroh standing in front of Captain Thomas Smith’s Log House. Image from Region of Waterloo Archives

November 10, 1899 Death of One of the First Settlers of Woolwich On Friday the 13th ult., there died at the home of his son George east of the village of Conestogo, Mr. Conrad Stroh, one of the old pioneers of Woolwich. Deceased was born in Lehrbach Hesse Darmstadt, Germany, Oct 3rd, 1811 and was consequently a little over 88 years old when he died. With his three brothers he left the Vaterland and after a voyage of 47 days reached America and came on to Berlin, where he made his home for a short time. Here he was married by Rev. Bindemann, in 1839 to Miss Annie Marie Oswald who shared his joys and sorrows for some 55 years and predeceased him about 5 years. Afterwards he took up land near West Montrose and a little later a couple of miles east of Elmira and finally he got possession of the homestead opposite the junction of the Conestogo and Grand rivers, where by preserving energy and thrift he and his partner in life succeeded in carving out of the rich virgin forest a comfortable home. Here he spent the remainder of his life with the exception of a few years prior to the death of his wife when they lived in Conestogo. Deceased enjoyed robust health until about a year and a half ago when he had a severe attack of the grippe from which he recovered but which left him in much feebler condition. A few weeks ago he was taken sick and gradually sank until released by death. During this time he had the best attention and care from his son and daughter-in-law for which he expressed his gratitude during his last days. Deceased possessed many good qualities and as a mark of esteem his remains were followed to their last resting place in the Lutheran cemetery at Conestogo by a large concourse of relatives, neighbours and friends. He was one of the founders and a life long member of the Lutheran congregation at Conestogo [St. Matthews] and a staunch Liberal in politics. He leaves behind him four sons and two daughters, all married, 28 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren also three brothers, Yost of Woolwich aged about 77 years, Henry of Waterloo aged 81 years and John of Berlin aged nearly 91 years. Woolwich at the Turn of the Century:1900, (Woolwich Historical Foundation, Woolwich Township, Ontario, Canada, October 2001), p. 42 _____________________________________ CONRAD STROH was one of the mighty hunters of by-gone days. He lived on the banks of the Grand River, about one mile east of Conestogo, and died at the good old age of 87 some eight years ago. Conrad was an unerring marksman, and when he pulled the trigger of the old flint lock the bullet sped with undeviating accuracy to the objective point. A friend and companion of Conrad’s was Jacob Benner, of West Montrose, who was also a Nimrod who had won his reputation by practical and visible results. He, too, was a keen-sighted marksman and prided himself on never missing his aim. Although the two were fast friends there existed a little good-natured rivalry between them regarding the supremacy of marksmanship. One day a test of skill was determined on. Each was to fire at a spot on a certain. tree. Both fired, but on examination only one bullet hole was found. Both claimed it, and a dispute arose which cooled their friendship and threatened an open rupture. In those days the settlers made their own bullets and lead was scarce. Some days afterwards Benner, passing the spot where the trial had taken place, thought to save the lead by cutting out the ball embedded in the tree. Imagine his surprise when he found both bullets in the one hole. Benner communicated the discovery to his friend and the warm comradeship was resumed that was never afterwards broken. Chronicle-Telegraph Newspaper, 100 Years of Progress in Waterloo County Canada Semi-Centennial Souvenir 1856-1906 (Waterloo, Ontario, Canada: Chronicle-Telegraph Newspaper, 1906) pg 26