Crastor Scott Recalls Schooldays with the Late James E. Carter





Crastor Scott, choice for today’s sketch in the series of ‘Way Back reminiscences, spent most of his life tilling the pioneer Scott farm near Arkell.  For many years, he enjoyed an exceptional reputa­tion for the stock superiority on that farm and for the superb cultivation maintained there.


Mr. Crastor Scott

and chum, Darlene Barnett.



He is a son of the late James Scott, native of Ettricbridge‑end, Selkirkshire, Scotland, who used to herd cattle when he was but eight years of age.


In 1837, at 13, he came to Can­ada with his mother and his step­father James Murray, who died about 18 months after the fam­ily's arrival in this country from Greenoch to Quebec in the old sailing vessel "Adelaide."


James Scott’s first winter in Canada was spent in working on the Galt‑Dundas stone road through the Beverley swamp.


In 1838, the family settled on the 100 acres, forming lot 6, concession 10 of Puslinch, this being part of the Clergy Reserve of bitter fame.  That farm in due course became the Scott home­stead.


Other than brief schooling in Scotland, James Scott was a selfeducated man.  Up to 1881, he took a great interest in politics, na­tional, provincial and municipal.  He was a staunch Reformer of the old guard.  He lost his eye­sight in 1881 and never again sought public office, save for serving a few more years as a school trustee.  He was a zealous Christian of the Presbyterian faith.






First White Child


His first wife was the former Margaret Anderson, and his sec­ond, the former Elizabeth Johnstone, famed as the first white child born in the district and for the fact that she was cradled in a sap trough.


It was James Scott, who was instrumental in having a post office established at Arkell and for the choice of that name in honour of the pioneering Arkell family.


Crastor Scott is one of the four sons and two daughters by James Scott’s second marriage.


Bitter Campaign


His brother James passed away on the 11th of this month in Tor­onto where he had lived for 53 years.  He was in his 79th year.  For 48 years he was a street­car operator in Toronto up to his retirement 11 years ago.  He be­gan in the days of the old horse cars and used to recall with great interest the coming of electric cars and the bitter campaign against the beginning of Sunday streetcars in that city.  For 13 years he was president of the street railway employees’ union in Toronto.


          A surviving brother of Crastor is William, now living in Vancouver where he is prominent as a funeral director.


          The Scott farm had the distinction of installing the first silo in the district and as well for putting in operation the first traction engine.


          In his cattle-shipping days, Crastor Scott sent many a carload to Toronto in the time of his connection with the Arkell co-operative.


          Crastor Scott took over the old homestead and farm in 1894.  In 1908, he took as his bride, Alice Sherwood of the Nelson Township Sherwoods, well-known farmers there.  She died in 1934.






Arkell’s Influence



Early in his career, livestock formed an important part of his farm specialization.  He became prominent for his Durham cattle and Oxford sheep, in the latter being strongly influenced by Henry Arkell, who was one of the most extensive importers of Oxford sheep in this province, selling them in carload lots to buyers in the United States.


          Crastor Scott used to show both cattle and sheep at various Ontario fall fairs and still has many of the first prize ribbons thus won.  He had similar experiences with both carriage and draft horses.


In the early years of the century, he used to buy horses in Toronto, fatten them on the farm in Arkell and then sell them profitably.  His first experience as he reminiscently recalled required a lot of patience.  He paid $4.10 per hundredweight, but after the months of fattening them, the highest price that he could get was about 25% below the original purchase price.


The outcome was that he delayed selling until able to make sales months later at a satisfactory profit.








Rise of Autos


          With the increasing use of motor vehicles, he decided in 1920 to go out of the horse dealing business altogether.


          Handicaps occasioned by the rise of motorcar traffic made it advisable to go out of sheep raising as well.


          Activity with cattle continued and, at times, there were 60 to 70 head of cattle in the barn, 91 by 54 feet in dimension, which he built in 1908.  The stone barn on the property was built by his father in 1871.


          Since 1909, Crastor Scott has had associated with him on his farm, Robert Barnett, and Mrs. Barnett, the former Edith Milne, is the housekeeper.  Shown in the accompanying picture is the Barnetts’ charming young daughter Darlene, and these two are great chums, as may be seen.  Unlike many other school children, Darlene is keenly looking forward to the re-opening of school next Tuesday.  She attends School Section No. 10, of Puslinch Township, nearby.







Long Walk


          A romantic circumstance in connection with the construction of Chalmers Church in Guelph as recalled by Crastor Scott, is that the granite stone with which the edifice is built came from the Scott farm near Arkell.


          Although Crastor Scott now attends Eden Mills Presbyterian Church, being an elder there, when he was a boy the family attended the Chalmer’s Church in Guelph.  His father was then a church elder and, on occasion, he used to walk the seven miles from Arkell to attend divine service.


          Recalling his own schooldays in Arkell, Mr. Scott said that a desk mate there was Ernie Carter who became the notable Guelph citizen and former mayor, J. E. Carter, who passed on just over a fortnight ago.  Mr. Scott recalled that on an occasion when he was ill in hospital in Guelph a year or two ago, Ernie Carter visited him there and they had quite a chat about old school days.



A Mean Strap


          One of their teachers, in those days of long ago, was Dave MacFarlane, who as Crastor well remembers, could wield a mean strap and seemed to enjoy it, especially when there was a row of boys to punish in succession, as on the occasion when a shinny game had to be stopped by reason of a blow between the eyes, received by Peter Lamb from a mighty drive from the shinny stick of Peter Iles.  The injured Peter was completely knocked out.


          The austere teacher then punished not only Peter Iles, but also all the others identified with the shinny shenanigans.  Crastor recalls too the long black whiskers and the dour countenance of that characteristically severe old nineteenth century pedagogue.


          Other recollections of long ago were wintertime drives with horse and cutter up to the Gray County farm of the late Thomas Scott.  Sometimes they were severely cold drives and rough too, with pitch-holes aplenty.  His nephew, George Scott, now operates that farm.  Besides farming, he is a busy commercial electrician and implement dealer as well.


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