Talbot Times 1990 March





BOX 416, ST. THOMAS, ON. N5P 3V2

Winner of the Best Article – Marion Keefer Award for O.G.S. Newsletters, 1988

VOLUME IV                ISSUE ONE            MARCH 1990

MEETINGS: Elgin County Branch, O.G.S., meetings are held on the Second

Wednesday of each month in the Carnegie Room of the St. Thomas Public Library on Curtis Street, EXCEPT June (to be announced) and December (reserved for a social evening – location to be announced).

TALBOT TIMES is published quarterly. (Mar. June Sept. Dec.). Articles and news items are invited. Submissions should be made at least one month before publication, to be published if space allows, or held for subsequent publications. The TALBOT TIMES makes every effort to provide accurate information and disclaims responsibility for errors or omissions. Articles do not necessarily ref1ect the views of the branch officers or newsletter staff.

QUERIES: Elgin County Branch members are allowed two queries published free of charge in each newsletter. Additional queries per newsletter or queries for nonmembers are $3 per query. Queries should be submitted at least one month before publication.


Past Chairman            Norma Smith

Chairman                Jean Bircham

1st Vice-Chair            Marg Daugherty

2nd Vice-Chair            Lloyd Smith

Treasurer                Max Doan

Recording Secretary        Frank Oarke

Corresponding Secretary    Stan Daugherty

Membership Secretary        Marg Daugherty

Query Secretary            Norma Smith

Newsletter Editor        Brenda Edmonds

Publications            Jean Bircham

Cemetery Co-ordinator    Shirley Ewanick

Librarian                Jean Gordon

Vital Statistics        Vera Vint

Social Convenor (Meetings)Vera Vint

Heritage Liaison        Norma Smith

Auditor                Ruth Marr

Archivist                Doreen Herr

Public Relations & Publicity


Just a brief note to all. I wish to thank everyone for a good 1989 and hope that 1990 will be just as good or better. There are several projects on the go now. Shirley Ewanick is going to try to provide histories for the cemeteries that we have published without one.

Shirley would welcome any help our members and friends can provide. The branch is also working on an Elgin County CHURCH RECORDS INVENTORY PROJECT which involves finding the churches which existed before 1900 (1925 for the United Church) and their records, location and the availability of these records. Each township has a volunteer and they would welcome any input that anyone may have about the churches and/or records. I would like to thank these volunteers: Jean Georgevitch, Aldborough; Don L Carroll, Dunwich, Marg Daugherty, Southwold; Norma Smith, Yarmouth; Marion

Thompson, Malahide; Kay Lemon, St. Thomas; (I am doing Bayham and South Dorchester). As noted above our members are busy but ask yourself “not what the branch can do for me but what I can do for the branch?”.


Down along the shore of Lake Erie in Elgin County live two old men within three miles of one another, whose careers bear such a resemblance as to exceed the bounds of coincidence.

Both were born in the year 1839 and therefore are now 93 years old. The father of one was a Baptist preacher, the other’s a Methodist. They have been intimate friends, a sort of Damon and Pythias friendship, for three-quarters of a century. Both were married the same year, 1862. Their wives died on the same date, Sept. 6th though not the same year.

Each had a family of six children. Both were postmasters of their respective villages for more than a quarter century. Both were in the grain business for many years, one as a buyer, the other as a miller.

Both have been active in municipal affairs, the one as Mayor of his home town, the other as Reeve of his native township.

Each served several times in the Elgin County Council. One was Warden and the other could have had the Wardenship but business duties precluded.

Both were provisional directors of the old Tillsonburg, Lake Erie and Pacific Railway and were largely responsible for carrying it to completion.

Both have been very active members of the Mason fraternity. Each has served as Master of his Mother lodge. Both were honored by election to Grand Lodge office, one as Grand Pursuivant and the other as Grand Steward. Together they attended Grand Lodge Communications with unfailing regularity for the past twenty-five years and are now in Masonic circles as the “two youngsters”.

Both are slightly deaf. Otherwise they have complete possession of all their faculties, are mentally alert and in good physical trim.

Each believes, and their friends agree, that he and his comrade will live to be one hundred years old.

Both have exceptional memories for instance either one of them can still confer a degree in a Masonic lodge.

Neither of them smokes nor drinks, although one has been known to indulge in a cigar and the other to lift a glass.

They differ only in stature, facial characteristics, religion and politics. One is tall and broad-shouldered, the other short and stockey. Though both of prepossing appearance, one prefers a short beard the other flowing whiskers.

Each has adhered to his father’s religion throughout life, though they are confirmed churchgoers.

One is a stubborn Grit the other an immoveable Tory. But in three-quarters of a century, they have not had a dispute over politics, religion or any other matter.     A rare friendship indeed.

Their names:

SAMUEL SPARKS CLUTTON, patriarch of Vienna, Ont.

WILLIAM BACKHOUSE, village father of Pt. Burwell, Ont.

The individual stories of these two grand old men are also quite striking. Samuel S. Clutton, the younger by five months was born on Aug. 28, 1839 in a little log house in the woods on the site of the present town of Dundas. His father was a school teacher and a Baptist preacher, having come out from England in 1832. The family moved to Aylmer when Samuel was a youth and there his father operated a woollen mill for some years. The son succeeded to proprietorship of the mill and some 42 years ago moved the scene of his operations to Vienna which at that time was the largest and most prosperous municipality in the district. The milling of grain later took his fancy and he secured ownership of a grist mill which he continued to operate until he was 90 years of age. Meanwhile he had secured the postmasters hip at Vienna and when he retired from the mill, he still carried on as postmaster, an office which with the assistance of his daughter he still fills. His record is 32 years as postmaster and never a mail missed.     But it was in Masonry that Mr. Clutton became most widely known thoughout the counties of Southwestern Ontario. Not only has he been a Mason for over 70 years but he is the oldest living Past Master in Ontario. Initiated in Malahide Lodge, Aylmer in 1861, he served as Master in 1865 and altogether during his residence in Aylmer for seven years. Joining Vienna lodge in 1901, he served as its Master in 1916 and 1917, just fifty years after he had first been Master. This was an astonishing feat, but it is still more surprising that in his 93rd year he can still confer a Masonic degree.

When he was elected District Deputy Grand Master of Wilson District in 1903, the other candidates withdrew to “make room for the old man.” He has served as secretary of Vienna Lodge since 1901. He organized Aylmer Chapter R.A.M. in 1877 and was elected its first Principal, serving three terms. He was superintendent of London District in 1886. He is also a Knight Templar and a Shriner. He has three prized Masonic medals, one to show that it is fifty years since he served as Master, another to signify that he is a past Master and a third which was presented to him by Malahide Loodge in 1872. To demonstrate that he is still very active, Mr. Clutton two years ago journeyed to Great Falls, Montana, to visit relatives and thought nothing of making the trip alone. He is a striking figure, with his keen, penetrating eyes and his flowinq whiskers. In the old days, he says, he wore a heavy beard and never shaved until he was 70 years of age; lucky man!

He likes to ride in motor cars, so we drove over to Port Burwell to see his good friend, William Backhouse.

Mr. Backhouse is one of the real pioneers of Elgin. He is a descendant of the family of pioneer settlers of that name who played a large part in the early development of South Norfolk and East Elgin. His grandmother received an original grant from the Crown covering several thousands of acres. Mr. Backhouse still owns a small portion of that land. He was born in Port Burwell on March 21, 1839 and from his youth he has rendered service of an invaluable character to his native village and to the township of Bayham.

Today and for many years he has been known as Squire Backhouse by reason of that fact that he was police magistrate for many years. He was customs collector there from 1880 to 1920, he was postmaster of Port Burwell for 27 years and he served for 25 years as local telephone manager.

In addition, he has been a farmer, a warehouse manager, a railway promoter, a grain buyer and a municipal official. There has been few public affairs, indeed, in the last 70 years in which William Backhouse has not participated.

In the lumbering days Port Burwell was a live and busy community being the outlet for timber from all parts of the district. Mr. Backhouse took the census once about 50 years ago and it totalled 1,500 persons.     Today there are scarcely half that number in Port Burwell. He remembers the present quiet village of Vienna when it was larger than London and had a population of over 2,000. There were two foundries, a grist mill, a wagon shop, and five taverns. Lumbering was conducted on a large scale. Timber was rafted down Otter Creek to the lake and thence to the United States. Scows were towed by horses up and down Otter Creek between Port Burwell and Vienna.

Although he does not remember the late Thomas Edison, Mr. Backhouse was well acquainted with various members of the Edison family, particularly Capt. Edison, an uncle of the famous inventor.

His Masonic career has been linked with Oriental Lodge, Port Burwell since 1868 and he served as Master in 1906. He is a regular attendant at Grand Lodge. Perhaps the greatest public service of these two qrand old men was their influential work in securing for East Elgin the railway that opened up the district to trade and commerce and which still plays an important part in the community, though not so greatly as in an earlier era. They are now enjoying a well-earned rest from their labours, content in the knowledge that they have lived lives of usefulness to their native county and to the county at large. Each are hale and hearty at 93.


Thanks to the Aylmer Museum for this article.

The firm was established in 1874 by John W. Hutchinson. He came from Kentucky where he had worked as a telegraph operator. He came back to Aylmer to help his sister, and was single at the time. {The business was located on Talbot Street, across from Kebble’s Funeral Home, where a car lot now stands.)

The monuments inscribed at Hutchinson’s shop were made of either granite or marble. Granite stones were imported from Scotland, and marble was brought in from either Italy or Vermont, U.S.A. The stones where sent by boat to either Montreal or Quebec City from these counties and then taken to Aylmer by train. Most of the monuments came to Hutchinson’s with the designs already on them; the lettering and some of the details would be carved out by chisel at the shop. Marble weighs 160 lbs. per cubic foot, red granite weights 180 lbs. per cubic foot.

Mr. Hutchinson was twice Mayor of Aylmer, once from 1889-1891 and also 19091912 and was mayor at the time of the power plant explosion in 1909.

The business was operated by his daughter Miss Hazel Hutchinson after her father’s death in 1928. The business was discontinued in 1956. The Aylmer Cenotaph was installed and unveiled by Hutchinson Memorials.

[Sketch of the Hutchinson Marble Works from the Elgin County Atlas, 1877.]


Alvinston, Churchville, Culloden, Dunwich West, Glanworth, Houghton, Lawrance,

Simcoe, Tilsonburg, Waterford, Aylmer, Clachan, Delmar, Dutton, Glen Colin, Inwood,

New Sarum, Strathburn, Union, Watson’s Corners, Belmont, Copenhagen, Dexter, Eagle, Harrietsville, Iona Station, Port Stanley, Thames River, Vienna, Brownsville, Corinth, Duart, Eden, Highgate, Kingsmill, Ridgetown, Tilbury, Walkers.


December: Hosted by the Elgin County Branch, O.G.S., with the Elgin Historical Society as invited guests. A delicious meal was enjoyed, followed by a Christmas carol singsong and then games of whist and crokinole were played.

January: Pat Zimmer gave an informative “Profile from the Past”, on Mr. Goodfellow and then a description of the holdings at the Aylmer and District Museum. The annual election of executive and reports followed.

February: Due to the sudden illness of Arnold Nethercott we improvised with a tour of the George Thorman Room and a showing of “Sketches of Our Town” featuring Elgin County.

March: Karen Stafford: Researching Quaker Families in Elgin County.

April:    Tom Bananno: Records Held in Woodstock Public Library.

May:    Ralph King: Barnardo Home

June:    Silent Auction: Bring your papers and booklets which are no longer of use to you, they might help someone else. Someone else may help you.


Date:    April 28, 1990

Time:    9:30 am – 3:30 pm

Place:    St. David’s United Church, Springbank Ave., Woodstock Cost:    $10 includes lunch Speakers:     lO am    “Health, Medical and Social Assistance Records” Carolyn Gray, Ontario Archives

2pm    “Military Records” Glenn Wright, National Archives


What is it?    A listing of all churches in Ontario (by county) that have existed within the boundaries. Also a complation of all records for these churches, plus their location and availability to the public.

Who is doing it? Volunteers from the various O.G.S. branches and anyone who might have information about the church and/or its records.

Why?    So that people can find out if the church and its records are available to aid their searching.

What happens to the information gathered? It will be published by O.G.S., hopefully to start in 1991.

Who to contact? If you have any information about any church or its records please contact the branch in your area which will give you further information about who to contact



NORTH-SEABORN/SEABURN-ROBINS – all formerly of Aylmer, Ontario area. John NORTH d ca 1883+, where? when? Leaving wife Elizabeth and 2 ch at home desolate, George and Annie. A son John or Jack NORTH m to Ellen of Nell _____ had 2 boys. Was a barber in Aylmer 1883 +, anyone any info on this wife’s maiden name or family? Alice ROBINS m a SEEBURN on 1891 Census, need info on this family. Searching for Sarah ROBINS, sis of Alice. Am compiling these families and need any desc from 1874 to present. Info to Mrs Ruth Robertson.

CASWELL – Seeking info re: James CASWELL b ca 1805 in US and farmed in Bayham Twp. around 1851. Possible bro to Daniel or Matthew CASWELL also of Bayham, but this not confirmed as yet. Any info re his ch: William 1832-1913, m (1) Mira COOK ROBERTSON (2) Mary STRONG HAMMIAL, Louisa b ca 1841, Lodemy b ca 1843,  James b ca 1846, or any other descendants not listed here would be greatly appreciated. Contact Mrs Cathy Boag.

LIDDELL/CROSBY – Seeking info about John LIDDELL and his wife Margaret CROSBY, who cames possibly from Glasgow, Scotland and lived at or near Iona at the time their dau Margaret Isabella was b in 1865. They lived at or near West Lorne in 1889 when Margaret was m to Samuel J. DRAPER at West Lorne by Rev. O.C. Carey on 1 Jan 1889. They had another dau (Laura?) who m Ernest R. HARWOOD. They were Baptists. I would be happy to hear from anyone descended from them or having info about them. Write Mrs Mary Becker. Could anyone supply me with the name/address of the Baptist Church at or near Iona. and West Lorne and the address of the local  cemeteries there. Any info re the Scottish Settlers in that area would be most welcome. All info to Mrs Mary Becker.

HODGKINS/HAZEN – Almira, d/o Oliver HODGKINS of Bayham m in 1854, John Wesley HAZEN, who is said to have gone to Black Hills. She is mentioned in her father’s will in 1874. Was there any issue? All info to Ross W. McCurdy.

PRATT-CLAUSE-TROMBLEY-WESTOVER-PARKER – Searching desc Edward PRATT b VT 1810, m Nancy PARKER 1832, res Bayham Twp, Elgin Co. Ch: Cyrenius m H.

CLAUSE: Mary m J.J. CLAUSE; Francis; Jefferson; Deborah; Edward m M. TREMBLEY; Nancy m J. WESTOVER; Elizabeth & Susan. Info to Don and Marjorie Erkfritz.

WESTOVER-KILMER-SMITH – Who was Agnes KILMER SMITH? Her grandfather was a WESTOVER, but, which one???Several different WESTOVER girls m into KILMER line. All info to Don and Marjorie Erkfritz.

WEBBER – William WEBBER born where? when? m(l) Sabina Jemima BUNDY, b 1857 Ontario, m 1876, d 1885. Ch: John Henry WEBBER and Arthur Rufus WEBBER. (2) Florence Lydia BUNDY, Sabina’s sister. Florence b 1860, Ont., m 1885, d 1893. Ch: Oscar, Alma, Annie, George WEBBER. Family lvd in Norfolk and Elgin counties. Would like any info on this family and am willing to share. Karen Pendell.

PALMER – Ebenezer PALMER b when? where? M in 1869 to Sarah Elizabeth BUNDY. Sarah b 1851 England, d 1941 Sanilac Co., MI. Ch: George Wm., Sarah Ann, Catherine, James Eneas, Edith. Sarah and Ch moved to MI 1883. What happened to Ebenezer? Last known to be living in Elgin or Norfolk counties. Info to Karen Pendell.

DENNIS – Joseph (d in War of 1812, place of burial unknown) m Elizabeth WINTERMUTE. Known Ch: Enos m Mary McEWEN; John m Mary McKAY; Mary m Henry KILMER; Joseph m Martha LEPHER; Peter m Rebecca SEITZ; Catherine m Horace WESTOVER; James m Sarah TIRE; Jacob m (1) Sarah JOHNSON, (2) Elizabeth CRANE; Martha m Isaac BOWLLEY; William ( b Humberstone Twp, Welland Co., 10 March 1813) m Rebecca BREWER. Elizabeth apparently lvd with her youngest Son William in Malahide Twp and she d in 1856. William, his wife Rebecca, and Elizabeth are bd in Luton Cemetery in Elgin Co., and although they share the same headstone no relationship is stated. Require info that Elizabeth and William were mother and Son. Any info or possible sources for info will certainly be appreciated. Mrs. Joan Gerhard.

ATKINSON-McMURDOUGH – Seeking info on the Ch Of Wilson ATKINSON and Mary McMURDOUGH. They were b in South Dorchester. Ellen J. b 1858, Eliza M b 1860, Sarah A. b 1862, Silas b 1864, Mary E. b 1867, Martha b 1868, Rachel b 1870, Celestia b 1872, W. John b 1875. Info to Albert M. Atkinson.

PANGBURN/PANGMAN – Interested in any PANGBURN/PANGMAN info. Especially on Samuel and Eliza (DOBSON) PANGBURN. Resided in Aylmer area at least 1860-1872. From New York State. Seven Known ch, some moved to MI in 1880’s. Ch m into BROWN, HAYWARD, OGDEN, & SEALY families. Need Samuel and Eliza’s death dates. Info to Nancy B. Smith.

McKENWAN/McKINVEN/MacKINVEN – Need help on Alexander KcKENWAN/  / MacKinven family. Res in Aldborough at least 1831-1851. Wife Euphemia TAYLOR and Marguerite Sophie DESROCHER. Ch include Margaret, Alexander & Bessie b , 1831-1840, perhaps others. Believed to have married in Montreal. All info to Nancy B. Smith.

ESSELTINE – Researching ESSELTINE families of Elgin and Oxford counties – particularly the line of Nelson ESSELTINE. Nelson’s father was Erastus, b 1820 in Malahide Twp, died in latter part of the century, bd in Old Delmer cem near Tillsonburg. Erastus’ parents are listed in 1891 census as being German, this possibly should have been Palatine-German- :they came from Columbia county, NY- Claverack and Kinderhook. Parish records have been checked thoroughly and the ESSELTINES move out of the Albany area in the late 1770’s and reappear in Canada in both Elgin Co and the Kingston area as UEL’s and then again ca 1812. Can anyone help me bridge this gap between 1780 and 1810 on the movement of the ESSELTINES that came to south western Ontario? All info to Mrs Gail Benjafield.


Our branch is saving all Zehrs Grocery Store cash register tapes to raise funds for the possible purchase of a microfiche printer. For every $300 in cash register tapes the branch will receive $1. If everyone will either bring or send their tapes to the branch it will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.