Honour Puslinch Reeve, 90th Warden of Wellington County


from the Guelph Mercury newspaper for February 17th 1964.



James McMillan, on the left in the picture, Reeve of Puslinch Township, was today announced as 1964 Warden for Wellington County.  The other contestant for the position was John C. Dale, right, Reeve of Harriston.


The selection of the 1964 Ward­en for Wellington County was a popular one generally and we wish to add our congratulations to Reeve James McMillan of Puslinch Township on attaining that honour at the inaugural meeting of county council re­cently.


We have no doubt that he will retain the prestige of the office that has been exemplified by those outstanding persons who have served before him.  He demonstrated a keen knowledge of county affairs and capable business ability in the conduct of the first session.


The inaugural address deliver­ed a short time after his elec­tion indicated that 1964 may be one of the most active years in county history.  Tribute to his discernment was paid by a form­er warden, who termed the address the most provocative of any warden’s address in pre­sent memory.


He is only the second warden to serve from Puslinch town­ship in the present century and the fifth Reeve of Puslinch ever to hold the highest elective of­fice in the county.  That even dates back to the creation of the District of Wellington, which oc­curred 123 years ago, in 1842.







Pioneer Roots


All Puslinch wardens have served in Wellington County, however, which came into being, in practically its present form, in 1854.  During those 111 years, the former men to serve as war­den were William Leslie, who held the office for two years in 1864 and 1863; William Nich­oll, who served in 1893; Allan Stewart warden in 1899, and Al­bert McWilliams, who was elect­ed in 1948. The latter continues to serve the county and district, on the county tree conservation committee and the Grand Val­ley Conservation Authority.


Warden McMillan is not only a native of Wellington County, but traces his ancestry through four generations of residents of Puslinch township on both sides of the family.  One of his great grandfathers, came from Eng­land in 1837 and the other from Scotland in 1847 to settle in the township, then in Gore District.  It is doubtful if any other ward­en of this county has been able to claim 137 years of family history in this area.


Four Generations


According to the 1906 Histori­cal Atlas of Wellington County, Angus McMillan, his paternal great grandfather, was born in Kintyre, Scotland in 1776 and at the age of 71 came with his fa­mily to Canada in 1847, settling on lot 13 of Gore District.  The farm homestead was taken over, by his son, Lauchlan, who had also been born in Scotland.  The present warden’s father, Donald McMillan was born on the home­stead in Puslinch township and he married Sarah Paddock, the daughter of Richard Paddock.


On the Paddock side of the warden’s family, Capt. Thomas Paddock was born in Shropshire, England, his commission being in the 53rd Foot Regiment, rais­ed in Shropshire.  He came to Canada in 1837 on the ship, George Wilkinson, with his wife, four sons and one daughter.  They lived for the first three years in Waterloo County be­fore he came to Puslinch.


Mr. Paddock was a pensioner and received funds from Eng­land.  He had been an acquain­tance of Sir John Colborne, who was Governor at the time he came to Canada.  After some time, he purchased a threshing machine and, with his sons, threshed in the district, team­ing the grain to Dundas.  He sold a lot of lumber near Anderson’s Mill, at Galt, when he came to Puslinch, so that the log church on the first concession could be finished.


Horses for Settlers


Richard Paddock, the ward­en’s grandfather, was about three years of age when the family arrived here.  He became a gentleman farmer and kept fine horses that were in great demand by American settlers.  He was the father of 12 children, most of whom remained in the area.  It was his daughter, Sarah Paddock. who married Donald McMillan and the Warden was one of four boys and two girls born to this couple.  The Ward­en’s family consists of three sons and one daughter.


Warden McMillan has been a member of Wellington County council for eight years, entering first in 1947 as deputy reeve of Puslinch township.  He succeed­ed James McCaig as reeve in 1959.  He was chairman of the council in committee-of-the-whole in 1963; chairman of the county road committee in 1962, his third year as a member of that important group.  He also served on legislation and bylaws committee in 1957: printing com­mittee in 1957 and 1958: the ag­ricultural committee in 1958 and 1959: the hospitals committee in 1959 and the pioneer cemeteries committee in 1959 and 1963.


The 1964 warden is the 90th person to be honoured with the wardenship of Wellington Coun­ty in the 111 years it has func­tioned as such, being constitut­ed in 1854.  The best of success is wished to Warden McMillan with the expectation that Wellington County will continue to flourish and progress under the guidance of the 1964 county council.




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