Knox Presbyterian Church,
Table of Contents
"Time is a three-fold present: the present as we experience it, the past as a present memory, and the future as a present expectation."
To mark the 1990 Sesquicentennial Celebration of Knox (Presbyterian) Church Crieff, we have recounted the history of our congregation and its families. This volume attempts to place the story in perspective against the secular and religious trends surrounding and influencing the congregation's development.
While keeping in mind that the church is more than a place of worship; more than buildings or organization; that it is essentially people in action, we have included a section on the families of the congregation. At this time, while some memories are still alive and when increasingly more records are available to the researcher, it behoves us to record, to the extent that it is possible, the families who have made up this enduring congregation and to attempt to find the key to the firm foundation which they built for surviving generations.
Perhaps we may find our own heritage, and in the months and years ahead, seek to replicate the courage and faithfulness, which the founders of our church exemplified. This committee trusts that the marking of our sesquicentennial will be an inspiration to the congregation to rededicate itself to the principles which have guided the congregation in the past: to keep religious education as a priority; to be mindful of good financial management; and to continually celebrate God's goodness to all of His people.
Sesquicentennial Committee: Anna Jackson, Douglas McDonald, Margaret Griesbach, Betty MacDonald, Sharon Logher, Janice MacDonald.
The Reverends Anne and John Yee-Hibbs.
In this year of celebrating the 150th Anniversary (Sesquicentennial)
As we know, the history of any congregation is not focused on a building, but in the lives and faithful witness of men and women who have served God in their day and generation. At the centre of the historical record of Knox congregation is the faith of its members, both those who founded this family of God in the year 1840, and also all those who have followed, to this day, including all those who will be here, in this place, in the future.
And so, in this year of 1990, we are celebrating their history in this context - as part of a journey of faithful men and women, boys and girls, from pioneer times, to the present day, and into the promise of the future; all of whom, God has laid His hands upon, for an ongoing witness to His Name, and for the gospel ministry of His people.
As God’s own Word declares it: “You are built upon the foundation laid by the apostles and prophets, and Christ Jesus Himself is the foundation-stone. In Him, the whole building is bonded together, and grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In Him you too are being built with all the rest into a spiritual dwelling for God.” (Ephesians 2: 20-22)
As your Minister, in this year of commemoration and celebration, it is very humbling to honour the spiritual upbuilding of Christ’s Church in this place with so many servants of God who have gone before us, both as leaders and as followers. And so, let us all pray again: "Thy will be done on earth, as it is in Heaven."
Rev. M. Anne-Yee Hibbs
“Hitherto hath the Lord helped us” I Samuel 7: 12
On the 22nd day of February 1840, a meeting was held at John
Thomson’s house in the first concession of Puslinch near Killean. Present were Thomson’s Scottish Presbyterian
neighbours and members of the Scots Presbyterian community from the tenth of
“When the meeting was constituted the people of the west end of Puslinch and Beverly came forward with a proposal, offering to pay the third part of Mr. Meldrum’s salary upon the condition that he would go to Lot number 15 in the first concession of Puslinch every third Sabbath to preach and to perform all other duties requisite. Rev. Meldrum, the managers, and the elders present agreed to the proposal upon condition that they would give a bond of security for the payment of the sum promised. Two representatives or managers were elected by the meeting: Neil McPhatter, of the first concession of Puslinch, and Gillies McBean for Beverly and it was likewise agreed that East and West Puslinch, and those joining them from Beverly, were united under one head, namely the Presbyterian Congregation of Puslinch in connection with the Kirk of Scotland and that the solemn ordinances were to be dispensed at the original meeting house upon lot no. 28 in the 8th concession of Puslinch.”
Puslinch, 1st Concession. February 22nd, 1840.
“We the representatives of the west end of Puslinch and Beverly, being destitute of the means of religious instruction, do hereby bind ourselves to pay annually to the treasurer of the Presbyterian Church in Puslinch the sum of thirty-three pounds, six and eight pence currency, provided that their minister will come one Sabbath out of every three for the purpose of uniting in the public worship of God, to lot 15 on the first concession of Puslinch.”
Arch’d McMaster (Witness), Gillies McBean (Manager),
Simon Fraser (Witness), Neil McPhatter (Manager)
The church is more than buildings or
organizations; the church is essentially people in action, and here were people
in action! The Rev. Meldrum had just
arrived in Puslinch; he was not to be inducted into the Puslinch Congregation
until three weeks later. Yet, these
people seized the opportunity to settle this matter at once. To act so that they would no longer be
destitute of the means of religious instruction was of exceptional consequence
to these pioneers. The nurturing of the
soul made a difficult life tolerable.
Pledging more than thirty-three pounds currency, when there were
probably fewer than thirty-three families involved, was an amazing act of
faith. In this way the
Who were the people who took this significant step? Neil McPhatter, from the parish of
Killean in Kintyre, Scotland, had lived in
The McPhatter moved to their land the following spring. Their nearest neighbour to the east was the Shepherd, Donald McKenzie, on lot 25 on the south side of the Second; to the south it was John McColl on lot 7 Concession Ten, four miles away in Beverly; to the west, Angus and Duncan McKellar were on lot 2 of the Gore.
John Thomson brought his parents, Mr. and Mrs. James Thomson and the
rest of their family to his property about the same time. His mother was Neil McPhatter’s
sister Betsy. Several of John's brothers
contacted tuberculosis on the voyage from Scotland and when Malcolm died in
February, 1834 the family brought his body from Hamilton to be buried on the
west side of their farm. Later the same year a second son, Donald, also died
and was buried there. This was the beginning of
Archibald McMaster, witness for the Killean people, came
from the Isle of
Gillies McBean was considered among the
Origins of Presbyterianism in Puslinch
To place the actions of the west Puslinch folk in perspective it is
necessary to trace the events of the previous decade relating to church history
in the township. In 1834, Mr. Thos.
Wardrope, a licentiate of the Church of Scotland and a former parish school
Soon the increasing number of settlers in south Puslinch raised
hopes of having a church property.
William Stewart, who purchased lot 23 rear First in 1835, was chosen to
In 1837, they built a log church and cleared an acre of ground for a
cemetery. The next step was to arrange
for regular church organization. The
A Badenoch resident, Mr. Gordon, recommended William Meldrum, a
student for the ministry who had just completed his college course in
From incidental session references and from information given by
those still living in 1899, it is believed that Peter McNaughton of
east Puslinch was an elder in Scotland, and was inducted at the organization of
the congregation; and that Neil McPhatter of west Puslinch was the
elder ordained and inducted then.
Gillies McBean of
"I was glad when they said unto me
Let us go into the house of the Lord." Psalm 122:1
Neil McPhatter, now known as "Elder" Neil, gave
the site for the church from the front east field of his lot 15 farm; the first
Whatever lumber they used was
cut by a whip saw, the logs being rolled over a pit; then with one man above
and one below, a drag-saw was operated from end to end of the log. Captain Thomas Paddock, who had just acquired
lot 16 front and rear of First, also owned lumber at
Let us pause to note those who worshipped in this first
The charge was regarded as one congregation, with a single session
and worship two Sabbaths in the East church and every third Sabbath in the
It seems likely that
The obituary notice for Mrs. McPhatter reveals much about the lady. “She died January 5th 1863, in her 64th year...she was the subject of religious impressions when very young, and these deepened as she grew in years. She emigrated from Dumbartonshire in 1834, and resided near Galt under the searching and powerful ministry of the late Dr. Bayne, whom she admired and loved to her dying day. She married the widowed Neil McPhatter in 1846 and as soon as she came to Puslinch her inquiry was, “What can I do here for Christ?” She was not long in receiving an answer; in strengthening the hands of her husband by her example, her prayers and counsels, and in commencing and conducting with great ability and a good measure of success a Sabbath School in the neighbourhood where she lived; she engaged in the work of teaching the youth the only way of salvation, through the one mediator. “Thus saith the Lord” decided everything for her. She was humble, upright, sincere, hospitable and kind, large-hearted and open-handed for every good cause. She knew how to use the world, without abusing it.”
"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven." Ecclesiastes 3:1
Very shortly after its inception the Session was required to deal with weighty matters of church organization. The Presbyterians of Puslinch were a congregation in connection with the Church (or Kirk) of Scotland, and having so recently left that country they were naturally very much interested and concerned in events across the ocean.
Thus, the Great Disruption in the Church of Scotland was
felt in the small congregation of Presbyterians in Puslinch. The controversy was related to the
relationship between Church and State, and had to do with lay patrons (wealthy
land-owners) of churches nominating ministers instead of adhering to the
reformation practice of congregations “calling” ministers. The final blow came in 1842 when civil courts
These issues of patronage and of state domination over church
affairs did not exist in colonial
On the other hand, a minority group led by the fiery John Bayne, minister at Galt, wanted to cut the tie with the old Kirk completely.
Proponents of both sides crossed the ocean, and aided by the press,
inflamed the issue in the colonies. At
least twenty congregations determined to secede before the crucial Canadian
Synod meeting in
Immediately after the defeat of his amendment,
John Bayne led the secessionist minority in their withdrawal to form a Synod
calling itself the Presbyterian Church of
In a pastoral letter to all supporters, the new Synod admitted it
had no "practical grievance" against the Church of Scotland, but to
countenance sin “is to become a partaker of ...sin.” The same “treachery” might be perpetrated in
The Puslinch pastor, Rev. Meldrum, had attended the Synod and had
withdrawn with the Free Church minority.
The minute of Session for July 14th 1844 in regard to this important
event is of historic interest. It
reveals that Rev. Meldrum had discussed the subject with his parishioners
before he left for
“The Session having considered that the congregation on June 17th last, being the Thanksgiving Day after the dispensation of the Lord’s Supper in this place, had expressed their anxiety of being no longer identified with the Established Church of Scotland ....”
Now the Pastor was back with the news of disruption which had
occurred at the
The Free Church Synod, which by renouncing their connection with the
Church of Scotland had forfeited Government aid and their claim to the Clergy
Reserves Fund, proceeded to consider means of supporting its ministry. A Sustentation Fund scheme was proposed in
1844 to provide each minister with a minimum income by pooling resources. The Puslinch congregation declined to accept
this proposal but expressed its willingness to contribute to the support of
weak congregations and renewed its declaration of adherence to the Presbyterian
Synod also proposed the proper management of financial affairs through the institution of a Deacon’s Court in every congregation. This court would supplant the Board of Managers. The congregation agreed that the cause was worthy but it would not accept the means, namely a Deacon’s Court. Later, the Session reintroduced the idea but the congregation again rejected the proposal again showing preference for the annually elected Board of Management. The Session records read: “We agree to urge the case no further for the present, trusting that by and by the congregation may be led to see the error of their ways, in having a Board of Managers, the invention of men, serving in the church of Christ instead of a court of ordained deacons, the institution of the Holy Ghost”. This dialogue indicates the members’ determination not to return to the customs of privilege, which had dominated in the Church of Scotland.
Reverend William Meldrum
As was customary for ministers then, Rev. Meldrum and Rev. Smellie of Fergus, at different times, went on mission tours to the sparsely settled districts farther north, thus laying the foundations for the Presbyterian Church in those sections.
Soon after the November 5th, 1853 Session meeting, Rev. Meldrum resigned from the charge. He had been the pastor for fourteen years during which time he entered sympathetically in to the struggles of the early settlers, and took a conspicuous part in laying the foundations of Presbyterianism in their midst. He had married a Badenoch girl, purchased a farm, and thus became as one of them.
In 1854, the
Many parishioners believed that a church located near the centre of the Presbyterian portion of the township would enable them to form a congregation of almost unparalleled strength, and would avoid a separation into two charges. Several meetings considered the possibility of building a church on lot 26 rear First, but the majority was not in favour, believing the territory too extensive to be centralized. The decision was made to divide into two separate charges. The necessary arrangements were completed and the tie, which had united them for sixteen years, was amicably dissolved.
A building committee was duly appointed; arrangements were made to obtain subscriptions; plans were adopted for the erection of a frame building with a seating capacity of 400; Mr. Robert Stewart was chosen as contractor. The people assisted in preparing and hauling material and the building was completed in 1854 and dedicated to the glory of God and the spiritual well being of the community. Mr. Meldrum returned to conduct the first communion in the new church, and on the Thanksgiving Monday, he baptised 24 children.
After Rev. Meldrum left the congregation, a student of
"I have seen the affliction of my people and have heard their cry; I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them." Exodus 3: 7,8
Reverend John Bayne
Rev. Dr. Bayne had visited the Puslinch congregation on a weekday
about 1841 to tell them of the proposed College in
Rev. John Bayne had emigrated from
Mindful of the needs of the West Puslinch congregation while he was
Rev. and Dear Sir:
Having been deputed by a Gaelic-speaking congregation in Canada West adjoining my own, to look out for a pastor who might break among them the bread of life, and having heard from Mr. Bonar of your willingness to go out to Canada, and being assured of your qualifications for the pastoral office, I now write to offer you the appointment to the congregation in question that I have been empowered to make, an offer in which Mr. Bonar heartily concurs.
The congregation to which I refer is that of West Puslinch, situated
There is a large body of Highlanders in Puslinch - two congregations - the East and West - were formerly united under one pastor, but both are now strong enough to support a pastor and I understand are flourishing and the West are now anxiously awaiting the results of my action upon the commission they have given me. They have a large church already built - larger than the east - and I have no doubt that an acceptable minister would draw into it a large and flourishing congregation.
There are several worthy men in the congregation and I have no doubt that anything that might be suggested might be done by them to strengthen the hands of a faithful minister in his work and to make him otherwise comfortable. The stipend offered is 150 pounds yearly, equal to 120 pounds sterling and I believe might be depended upon.
From there being only one church to supply and the congregation likely to be located within a few miles around it, the pastoral work would be much easier than it often is in Canada, and in this respect the situation has advantages for a young minister, which I daresay you will be able to appreciate.
Such then is the field for usefulness which is now in the providence
of God set before you - and I will only add that if it commends itself to you
as a field you would desire to occupy, it is desirable that you enter upon it
as soon as possible. The congregation
has now been some time without a pastor and of the natural tendency of such a
state of things, as well as the injurious influence of hope deferred, I need
not tell you. I propose, D.V. returning
to Canada in the course of the next month and would be delighted to have you for
a companion; but if that be too soon for you, although the ministers of Christ
like the soldiers, should be ready to start whenever the trumpet sounds, there
is time enough for you to get ready before winter. Our winters in
At the same time, if anything occurred to prevent your going out this year, I believe the people of Puslinch would wait for you until spring, provided you gave them a definite promise to be with them at that time.
With regard to Canada generally, as a field of labour for the Minister of Christ, I may here state that the material prosperity of the province is at ability to support ministers, there is a widely prevalent desire to secure their services; that our Church has obtained a firm footing and extensive influence in the country which gives every encouragement to hope for an increase of her members and her usefulness; and that no faithful minister of our church need think he is going from a higher to an inferior field of usefulness - but very much the reverse - in going from Scotland to Canada.
As to outfit, should you think of closing with this appointment, I regret that by an oversight nothing has been said of it in the letter requesting me to look out for a minister, but the usual allowance given to missionaries will of course be forthcoming.
Be so good as to let me have your answer, I hope a favourable one, as soon as possible.
Had time permitted, I should have visited North Uist in person, and given you further information about Canada and Puslinch than can well be done by letter, but if anything of information has been overlooked I need scarcely say that I shall be happy to write again.
Praying that the great Head of the Church may dispose you to such a decision as shall be for His own glory and the good of our souls, I am, Reverend and dear sir,
Yours very truly,
John Bayne (signed)
Thus, it was that the
Some two months later, Andrew Maclean and Rev. John Bayne travelled together
to Canada West, via New York. On
appearing as their probable minister, he made so favourable an impression on
The Ministry of Rev. Andrew Maclean 1857-1873
The Reverend Andrew Maclean
Andrew Maclean’s friendship with Rev. Dr. Bayne continued to grow. No doubt, the older man encouraged him to serve beyond the congregation as well. Maclean was marked early as dependable for duties at Synods, Presbyterials, or other special occasions; he was even willing to meet the expenses out of his own pocket, since no official fund for travel existed at that time, and such assignments could be arduous.
A year after his arrival in
His own ministry must have been difficult despite Dr. Bayne's
admonishments to the contrary. The
sacrament of baptism was a cherished tradition with all Scottish families
regardless of their recognition of the need for regular church
organization. Rev. Maclean travelled
from the Third Concession of Puslinch in the north to the Fourth Concession of
“Smith, Andrew MacLean, legitimate son of George Smith and Janet McPherson, residing on 4th concession Beverly, born March 18th 1866, and baptised April 4th 1866 by Rev. Andrew Maclean.”
Frequently families came together and two or more children were baptised the same day. A diarist born in 1865 wrote his family's story of his baptism: “I was christened at my Uncle Archibald's on November 29 1865. My cousin Maggie was christened at the same time. When the clergyman, Rev. Andrew Maclean, was ready, (although we were at my uncle's house, and my uncle was father's older brother as well as being a church elder,) the minister called for the boy first. My aunt, who was the soul of hospitality, was concentrating on preparing the feast for the assembled friends and relatives. When the minister asked for the bowl of water, she promptly drew it from the boiling iron kettle!”
The location of the Smith child’s parents is worthy of comment. The people of north
Pastor and congregation were to have a happy relationship. The Session was now composed of Rev. Maclean, Moderator and Session Clerk, with Neil McPhatter, Gillies McBean, and Angus McPherson of lot 24 Gore. The first change in connection with the services noted by the Session was that hereafter the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper should be dispensed twice a year instead of once as formerly. The Session also made provision for collections appointed by the Presbytery in aid of Home and Foreign Mission funds.
In May 1858, the Session authorized the minister to announce from the pulpit the necessity of nominating three men for the office of eldership in the congregation. At a meeting soon after it was found that the majority was in favour of Donald Currie, Alexander Fraser and Archibald Gilchrist. At the ordination, held on Tuesday June 1, the Strabane pastor, Rev. Alexander McLean conducted the service.
The presence of Rev. Alexander McLean of Strabane suggests the
interesting fact that there were three ministerial
On Thanksgiving Day in 1859, the much beloved Rev. John Bayne was preparing to go to Crieff to preach when he collapsed, and within hours he was dead. Rev. Andrew Maclean was named Interim Moderator of Knox Galt and when Dr. Bayne’s successor resigned a few years later, Maclean was again asked to serve in this capacity.
When Rev. Maclean first came to the community, he boarded with the Archibald Thomson family on lot 21, about a mile west of the church. One may speculate that this family had the largest home, in that theirs was the first stone house to be built in the community in 1853. (It is the present Barber home.) About 1860, the congregation decided to provide a permanent home for their minister.
A convenient lot of four acres near the church was purchased from Allan Stewart. The house and other buildings on the lot were old and unsuitable, so the people exerted themselves to build a new manse. Elder Neil McPhatter was especially energetic in soliciting subscriptions and urging on the work. When the Rev. Andrew first moved into the manse, Mrs. Molly Patterson, a widow from Galt, acted as his housekeeper. In 1861, he married Catherine Cameron of Chatsworth, and she received a true highland welcome to the community. In 1863, Rev. Maclean made an entry in the Register of Births and Baptisms, which must have pleased him:
"Maclean: John Bayne, lawful son of Andrew Maclean, first Presbyterian Minister of West Puslinch and Catherine Cameron, and born on the twenty sixth September one thousand eight hundred and sixty two and baptised on the ninth of February one thousand eight hundred and sixty three years."
In 1866, the family was complete when a second son, Hugh, was born.
In the 1930’s, John W. Gilchrist built a replica of the sanctuary,
and drew accompanying diagrams of the usual seating arrangement for various
periods during Rev. Maclean’s pastorate.
The model has two levels, before and after the pulpit was rebuilt. The church
was parallel to the road, with the entry door at the east end. The model is the property of the
Model, exterior & interior, 1854 Crieff Church built by J. W. Gilchrist
In March 1860, Mr. Currie drew the attention of the Session to the propriety of calling Mr. Charles Blair to the office of eldership as he had recently settled within the bounds of the congregation and would be useful in the cause of true religion in the congregation. Mr. Blair was duly ordained on April 15th 1860.
Elder Neil McPhatter’s death in 1867 was a great loss to the Session and congregation. His passing was eulogized in the Jubilee Book in glowing terms:
"He was a man of conspicuous piety when the congregation was organized, and he was characterized by conscientious fidelity to what he believed to be right. He was fearless in correcting abuses, a zealous defender of the faith, and a strong upholder of the principles of godliness."
Another side of the Rev. Andrew is revealed by Colonel J. B. Maclean’s biographer, Mr. Floyd S. Chalmers. It seems that the Crieff blacksmith, Christopher Moffat, was at heart a frustrated revivalist, always the first and longest contributor to spontaneous prayers at mid-week meeting, given to argument with the minister on any private or public occasion short of the regular Sunday service, and in general, as one church member put it, “a man with tongue trouble”.
Rev. Maclean tried to keep him under control
but nothing availed, and finally Moffat decided to transfer to a Galt Church
and to that end requested his certificate of membership from Maclean - an
appalling thought, especially as the minister knew the people who would soon
have to suffer. Andrew refused; a few
days later when he heard Moffat was forwarding his request to the district
Presbytery, the minister sat himself down and drew up a document listing
eighteen charges against the man. Weeks
of bickering back and forth, meetings, and committee hearings ensued, but Rev.
Andrew would not budge. Eventually,
perhaps for the first time in
Mr. Chalmers goes on: “In the pulpit he was a calm, convincing speaker, a man who used reason and sound deduction for his message rather than oratorical flourishes.” Many years later, in a letter to a friend, John Bayne Maclean described his father in these words: “He possessed a fine clear mind. He was acute in discrimination and logical in his discourses. He was unassuming, pious and substantial. He was to the last a hard student of the Bible, deeply attached to his flock, and very solicitous for the eternal welfare of each of them. He had an intense abhorrence of everything dishonest, false, and hypocritical.”
In 1928, Rev. Maclean's son, John Bayne Maclean, received the following letter:
July 5, 1928.
Lieut. Col. John Bayne McLean
I have just learned from Dr. Bayne (Rev.) of
Do you remember the humble home of James Wight in your father's
I have been in Indian Mission work for nearly 40 years and have at times read with interest, articles on Indian life in McLean's Magazine, little dreaming that I, as a child, knew "McLean"...I should like to greet by this letter John Bayne McLean, not as a grown up individual but as the little boy who used to come to our home with our beloved "minister" around whose name is still a halo.
Yours as in childhood of yore,
A different memory was recalled by a schoolmate who wrote to Colonel Maclean in 1932: At “the first tea meeting I attended in the old church, I was with you and other boys. When tea was being served, an elderly man in front (we were seated near where Mr. Becker sat on Sundays) commented very unfavourably on our behaviour... You took my tea and reached under the seat and emptied it on the floor about the old gent’s feet...”
In June 1870, three new elders were added to the session roll:
William McCormick, Duncan McDonald, and
Let us hear the Jubilee Book: "The long pastorate of Mr. Maclean, extending over 16 years, made a great impression upon the congregation and it is pleasing to remember his kindliness of manner, his saintliness of character, his fidelity in pulpit ministrations, and his accuracy and method in all business relationships.
During his pastorate, the Session was called upon to deal with many irregularities in social and congregational life, and some of these caused intense feeling among the membership; language vigorous and unwarranted was often employed, and the most extreme bitterness was often manifested, but amidst it all, the truly kind and spiritual dignity of the moderator was preserved. His memory is still regarded with very great interest and reverence."
"oir chuir mi romhan gun colas a ghabhail air
ni san bith 'nur measg, ach air Iosa Criosd,
agus esan air a cheusadh." I Corinthians II:2
This was the text chosen by Rev. William Meldrum for his first
service in the
Gaelic is a soft vocalic and mellifluous language; harsh and hard sounds are avoided, softened, or assimilated, and every word tells the story of its own connection to the unlettered peasant as vividly as to the most learned etymologist. A whale for example, is muc-mhara, literally, "a sow of the sea"; an adopted son is uchd-mac, literally a son of the bosom, as contrasted with a son of the womb; a swallow is gobhlan-gaoithe, meaning a bird that soars the breeze with its forky tail; while the word cruthachadh, to create, used in the first verse of the first chapter of Genesis suggests the philosophic notion that form is the product of divine reason on matter.
Rev. Maclean found he was seldom without a booking ahead as a visitor to two or three other pulpits, due to his facility in both Gaelic and English. Neither of his friends, Middlemiss to the north, or Bayne closer by in Galt, could speak the ancient tongue, and though they visited Crieff frequently, and participated in the service, it remained for the church's own minister to deliver the regular Sunday sermons in Gaelic.
By the decade of the 1880’s the Gaelic language had more and more fallen into disuse, with the number attending the Gaelic services reduced. This was in large part due to the passing of the older generation, and the use of English by the second generation. Consequently it was decided to change the order of service and give precedence to the English service, with the Gaelic service following. This arrangement gave great offence to a large number who were jealously guarding the interests of their parent language. It had been made sacred by the heroic memories of centuries, and through it the truth as it is in Jesus had been most profitably communicated to them for many years. After 1890 only the English language was used except at the May and September communions. Gaelic services were held on these occasions and these were greatly appreciated by the worshippers, about 30 being the average number. This arrangement necessitated bringing in an assistant minister who “had the Gaelic”, and who could therefore conduct the Gaelic Service since Rev. Robertson, who was minister at this time, was unilingual.
The last service in Gaelic was held at communion in 1908. It was held in the vestry, the English service being conducted at the same time in the church. Rev. Donald Strachan was the minister at the Gaelic service and Rev. Samuel Lawrence conducted the English service. Some parents who had spoken Gaelic in their youth brought their young children to the Gaelic Service to give them this last unique experience.
"But let a man examine himself" I Corinthians XI: 28
John S. Moir’s book “Enduring Witness” puts this delicate topic in perspective. “The most sensitive area of worship and the most resistant to change was the communion service. In the 1870’s, especially in Highland churches, the practices of fasting before communion, the “Men's Day” service of interrogation and exhortation, and the “fencing of the table” were rigorously preserved to ensure that the infrequent communion was the high point of the church year.”
One of the first decisions made by Session when Rev. Andrew Maclean came, was to increase the number of sacraments to two each year. With the 1890 union of Crieff and Duff’s to a two-point charge there was a change to three communions each year; finally in December 1984 the practise of four communions annually was instituted.
An October 19th 1932, Family Herald and Weekly Star article by Jean Richie Anderson, explains these events: Thursday was a “fast” day when everyone went to church, and when the minister exhorted his congregation to confess their sins humbly to God, and to plead for His forgiveness, that they might be cleansed and be found worthy to approach the table.
At the close of this service, or at the church on Saturday, the tokens would be distributed to the people. The elders reserved the right to refuse a token to anyone whom they thought was not worthy; no greater reflection could be cast on a member, and the discipline usually had the effect of making one forsake the evil.
The real Preparatory Service was on Saturday, when special emphasis was given to self-examination, lest any who were "unworthy" should presume to approach the holy place. "Come first to the Lord of the Table, and then to the table of the Lord," was a text often quoted.
The Sunday service was very impressive. After the singing of a psalm, led by the precentor, the long prayer, the sermon, and then another psalm, the minister would descend from the pulpit and take his place at the communion table. Then the elders would uncover the bread and the wine, but before these were served, the tokens were collected from those in the pews set apart for communicants. The words of warrant were read from First Corinthians, XI: 23:27, and after a prayer consecrating the "elements," the elders distributed the bread and wine to the people. Another exhortation followed, and then the closing psalm, a prayer, the doxology and benediction. It was a long service, but the devout went away feeling that they were descending “from the mountain of ordinance, to mingle once more with the world”. On Monday a Thanksgiving Service closed the communion season.
Church tokens were coin-like metal pieces of various shapes: round, oblong, oval, square, or six or eight sided. They were used in the Presbyterian churches as tickets of admittance to the Lord’s Supper. Some were crude products of a blacksmith’s shop, or, simpler still, the work of some pioneer minister, who rather than depart from any of the cherished customs of his people, would cut them roughly from a piece of tin or whatever metal was nearest to hand. Others were as beautifully made as any of our modern coins, bearing the name of the church for which they were made, the date of its erection, and frequently a text, such as "Do this in remembrance of me," or, "Let a man examine himself."
The token is of very ancient origin, being traced back to the first
centuries of the Christian era. It seems
to have come into use in Presbyterian churches soon after the Reformation in
After warnings for several decades that a common communion cup could
be the source of communicable disease, individual cups were first used in 1897
By that time the communion service among Canadian Presbyterians had already broken with another hallowed tradition: unfermented grape juice had almost universally replaced wine in the service. Credit for this change belongs to the forces of temperance and especially to adherents of the Free Church tradition, for that church had always been in the forefront of the temperance movement. Crieff congregation made the change to unfermented grape juice in 1914. On June 7th 1980 the congregation discontinued the practise of setting aside the centre pews for communicants.
"Observe the Sabbath and keep it holy
as I the Lord your God have commanded you."
The church in general was concerned with the social issue of temperance, which led to the wider issue of Sabbath profanation. In Puslinch, the sacred reverence for the proper observance of the Sabbath was addressed while the issue of temperance was conveniently ignored.
“The Moderator stated that Donald ___ had been applying for baptism to his child; and that during the Moderator's conversation with him respecting the application, he came to understand that the applicant was a professed transgressor of the Lord’s Day, inasmuch as he was a professed malt-maker. For according to his own declaration, malt, to the extent in which he was engaged, cannot be made without violating the Lord’s Day. Therefore, it became the duty of the Session to consider whether they would sanction the continuance of either of the sacraments of the New Testament to such a presumptuous violator of the law of God.
Whereupon, he was called to appear before the Session, and after much reasoning with him respecting his practise as a breaker of the fourth commandment, he was told in very solemn manner, that until he should at least confess his guilt, and condemn his former practise, and promise for the future to forsake his wicked ways, and to attend upon the private and public means of grace with his family, they could not consider him but as an enemy to Christianity, and consequently must refuse him the precious privileges of Christ’s followers.”
When the arrangement for a West Puslinch Congregation to be served by Rev. Meldrum once every third Sunday was made in February, 1840, the Scots from the tenth concession of Beverly were among the petitioners, and their representatives signed the Bond of Surety to pay one third of the pastor's salary.
It seems evident that when the sanctuary moved east to Crieff, the
In addition to the movement to the north and west, which occurred in
all other rural communities, the
This perhaps explains why in the early twentieth century
congregation listings only Tom McDonald and his father-in-law Isaac
Roszell are included from the
The original list included only the name of the head of family. We have attempted to indicate where the
family lived and to give family information about them. All of these families lived in
1. Alexander Robison: lot 7 Tenth; Alexander and Elizabeth McQuillan Robison's son William was born in 1860.
2. Donald Cameron: the south part of lot 8 Tenth was sold to Donald Cameron in 1839 and it remained in his possession until his 1864 death.
3. John McPherson:
4. John Fraser - no record
5. Duncan MacDonald:
lot 12 Ninth, south part;
6. George MacDonald: all of lot 10 Ninth; one of the little MacDonalds. (See the “Families of the Congregation” section).
7. William McBean, lot 11 south part, Ninth, was the first settler in the district in 1834. In 1840, he married Margaret McBean, the witnesses being Gillies McBean and John McColl. This suggests that Margaret may have been Gillies' sister. Children of the couple, who were baptized by the West Puslinch ministers, were: William 1842; Lauchlan 1845; John 1847; Gillies 1849; Alexander 1851; Duncan 1853; Ann and Isobella 1856; and William 1858. They lived on the south part of the lot and sold the north part to his brother John.
8. John McBean:
north lot 11 Tenth; John is named both in the 1844 congregation and by Rev.
Maclean. When the first
9. Gillies McBean: lot 11 Tenth; (See Families.)
10. William McBean: lot 12 Tenth (See Families.)
11. Lewis McDonald: lot 12 south part Ninth; later lot 13 north part. (See Families).
1. Simon Fraser: lot 12 Tenth; (See Families.)
13. Donald Cameron: lot 13 Tenth, Gore Road; these Camerons were from Perthshire.
Donald's sister, Janet, married Hugh Stewart, Crieff storekeeper (See Families).
14. Mrs. Cameron: mother of the above.
15. Allan McCoig:
lot 14 Ninth; Allan and Jane Henderson McCoig's family was baptized
16. Widow Finlayson: no record.
17. Andrew McBain: no record
18. Robert Stewart: lot 18 Tenth; (See Families.)
19. William Renwick and
20. George Renwick were brothers who married Johnston sisters, Agnes and Mary. William and Mary lived lot 19 on the north side of the Tenth. Their daughter Marsina 1861 (Mrs. Silas Decker) was baptized by Rev. Maclean. George and Agnes were also on that property when their children, Peter 1865, and Mary Jane 1869 were born. George was a convert to Evangelism. He and his family later moved west.
21. Alexander Easton: lot 20 Tenth; (See Families.)
22. John Myers: no record.
23. Charles Myers: no record.
24. Donald Campbell: lot 22
Tenth. Donald and Mary McPherson Campbell married in 1841. They were
described as Puslinch residents when they married and the witnesses were
Alexander McKenzie and James Martin. Children of this couple,
baptized by the
25. Kenneth Campbell: lot 23 Tenth. Kenneth and
Penuel McPherson Campbell were
married in 1848 and they
lived on lot 23 Tenth of
26. Alexander Chisholm: In the early period lot 23 Tenth. (See Families.)
28. William Grey: lot 24
Tenth. William was listed by Rev. Maclean as a head of family in 1857. He later moved with his wife,
Elizabeth Stewart, to
29. John McGregor: lot 27 Ninth. (See Families.)
30. Widow Cockran: no record.
31. William McKenzie: The Crieff School Library records that Catherine, Jane, John, Alexander and Daniel McKenzie borrowed books in the period after 1867. We cannot be sure they were of this family.
32. Archibald MacDonald: lot 27 Tenth. (See Families.)
33. John Munroe: in Tenth. (See Families.)
34. Donald and Betty Johnston MacDonald: lot 26, front Gore; One child, Jane Ann, 1856, was baptized here.
Ongoing Church at Crieff
When the lot 15 church was built in 1840, its mission was to serve
the residents of the Killean District and their neighbours on concession ten in
Mr. Donald Currie
Both Rev. McDiarmid and Rev. MacAuley preached at Sunday evening services at Killean. During his ministry, Rev. MacAuley preached there regularly, once each month.
The following information is gained from old newspaper clippings, dated after February 1898:
Interesting Meeting There Friday Night
Galt Men Take Part.
An interesting meeting in connection with the
A second article with the caption, “AN ALMOST FORGOTTEN ART”, “The Record of a Puslinch Sunday School in Memorizing Verses”, follows:
In connection with the Sunday School at Killean there has been conducted a course of memorizing which has been quite popular with the scholars. The report of the secretary, bearing upon it, contained the following interesting statistics: 74 members are enrolled; 22,336 verses have been memorized during the year; 1837 seals have been awarded for memorizing and 90 gold seals; 40 have recited the whole of Christ’s Sermon on the Mount; 24 have recited the whole of the Shorter Catechism; 12 have recited both; 1 has recited the 119th Psalm; 15 wrote on the Home study examination questions in July, seven taking 100 percent of marks and 7 taking over 90% of marks; 15 wrote on the similar examination in December, all taking over 95 %, and 7 100% of marks; 47 have completed the memorizing course, which entitles them to the promised Bibles; 15 have memorized over 500 verses each, 2, over 1000; one has taken over 80 seals, and two over 100 seals. This record is probably unsurpassed in any rural school. The following are the names of those who have been presented with bibles during the year:
IN JULY: Lillie McCormick, Walter Laird, Annie Marshall, Maggie Ferguson, John Wilkinson, Mrs. D. Ferguson, Helen Bryce, John A. McIntosh, Mary C. Gilchrist, Maggie K. Gilchrist, Mary Bryden, Alvina Bartels, Jennie Ferguson, Janet Gilchrist, Effie Kreager, William Elvin, Donald Ramsay, Alfred Paddock, Jessie Robertson, Mrs. Peter Gilchrist, Davina J. Gilchrist, Mrs. J.W. Gilchrist.
AT THE MEETING ON FRIDAY EVENING: Mrs. Henry Fixer, Beatrice L. Paddock, Mary C. Ramsay, Mrs. Helen McCormick, Alice McLarty, Blanche Paddock, Grace Paddock, Jennie Ann McAninch, John James McAninch, Maggie Robertson, Isabella Robertson, Kate H. McIntyre, Margaret R. Bryden, Maggie O. Scott, William Gilchrist, Mrs. A. McMillan, Bella Ferguson, Charlotte Gilchrist, Dollie Lucas, Lorne Edward Lucas, Neil D. Wilkinson, Mary McIntosh, Jane Eleanor Cochrane, Christina M.C. Devine and Alex G. Elvin.
The earning of these Bibles is an achievement of which the recipients may well be proud. The annual meeting showed that the school is in a flourishing condition, and is being well supported by the people of the Killean section.
By the 1860’s, all the land in Puslinch had been taken up and the
100-acre lots did not maintain more than one family. What were the younger sons of the families to
do? The first to leave went to the newly
opened land in Huron, Grey and
However, the advent of the railway enabled entire families to leave
the community. At first
Furthermore, the congregation had lost other members who were still
in the community. Probably many of the
families of the west and south had remained loyal so long as the popular Rev.
Andrew Maclean was the minister; now they found it a convenient time to move to
other congregations. They had never been
satisfied with the change of location of the church from the lot 15 site. Furthermore, in the middle 1870’s, the
Evangelists were making many converts among former parishioners in the
Given all of these factors it is not surprising that the Rev. Neil McDiarmid, who was called late in 1875, did not have a comfortable pastorate. To quote Rev. Robertson, “Mr. McDiarmid, in a moment of sensitive discouragement, without the counsel of friends, and regardless of consequences, presented his resignation to the Presbytery in the hope that the perplexing difficulties would be adjusted. This expectation was not realized, and his resignation was accepted in March 1879.” Again, there was a prolonged vacancy until the congregation felt constrained to call Rev. Evan MacAulay. He was inducted in August 1880.
"O worship the lord in the Beauty of Holiness"
The frame church built in 1854 had never seemed satisfactory. It was much larger than was required with the
smaller congregation, and being difficult to heat, was often
uncomfortable. The congregation became
convinced that if the building was torn down, the timber and lumber in it might
be used in the construction of a church on a better model. A special effort was made to raise the
necessary funds. The congregation
responded liberally. Mr. Duncan McPherson
was chosen contractor, and the work of reconstruction begun. The new brick church was completed in 1882
and it continues to stand as a permanent monument to congregational wisdom and
enterprise. It was at this time that the
church was designated “
Despite the solid appearance of the new sanctuary, the congregation’s financial situation was anything but stable. There was an augmentation fund available, which rendered assistance for a time. However, an unnecessary misunderstanding arose over the terms of the assistance. Rev. Robertson suggests there was a mutual unwillingness to know the true state of affairs, and the consequent resentment caused an unpleasant termination of the funding. This presented the possibility that the congregation would degenerate to mission status. The minister's coat is reported to have become so shiny by long use that a Gaelic speaking lady declared, “that a louse could not walk on it”.
The unsettled attitude of the congregation is indicated by the following tale: Rev. MacAuley's three young boys, accompanied by a schoolmate, Angus McPhee, succeeded in running away from home. They walked west on the newly built C. P. R. tracks, over the high level bridge over the Grand River at Galt, and stayed the night with a noted atheist, Mr. Brown. The sequel to the story has not been preserved.
The pastor and congregation realized their financial inability to maintain ordinances as an independent charge, and they regretfully faced the inevitable condition of affairs. Mr. MacAuley resigned early in 1888.
It was during this difficult period that the movement toward a "national" Presbyterian Church was mooted, and reinforced by the recent example of confederation. Regional unions took place in the early 1860’s; the laity of the residual Kirk were favourable to union. The passing of time had softened the animosities caused by the disruption of 1844.
The time for formal union was set for June 15, 1875; the place:
Rev. Robertson makes no reference to the effect of the union on his
charge at Crieff. Rev. Andrew Maclean
would not have allowed the occasion to go by without comment: he was far from being an enthusiast in favour
of union. He saw objections which he
regarded as serious, but which others thought were frivolous. Rev. Maclean nevertheless presented his
objections with fullness and clearness during the years of the
negotiations. He also republished, at
his own expense, a large pamphlet which featured Dr. Bayne’s vindication of the
action of the protesters in the 1844 disruption. These objections were duly considered in the
Synod when the question was before the House, and to a large extent, the
objections were removed. In the opinion
of Rev. Dr. Middlemiss, that although Rev. Maclean did not live to see the
Rev. Neil McDiarmid accepted the call of the congregation
in 1876 and in June 1876 James Wight, Kenneth Cameron and James Rae were
ordained as elders, joining William McCormick Sr., Duncan McDonald
The question of employing evangelists for special services in connection with congregational work was submitted to the Session by Presbytery for their consideration. The Minutes of December 1878 record the mind of Session: “Whereas the qualifications for the discharge of the duties of elders, as defined in the apostolic writings, are one and the same, this Session is of the opinion that all have the right to teach and to rule, and is also of the opinion that the employment in evangelical work of men not set apart by the church is contrary to both the letter and spirit of Apostolic teaching; therefore this session resolves that the employment of such men is a usurpation of the elder's office and tends directly to bring it into contempt. Special evangelistic services can be held with very great profit; but great care should always be exercised in the employment of accredited helpers, and the whole management should be under the supervision, direction, and control of the Session.”
As noted earlier, Mr. McDiarmid resigned in 1879 and Rev. Evan MacAuley was called and inducted
in August 1880. He remained with the
congregation until 1888. After the
retirement of Mr. MacAuley, the Home Mission Committee, at the request of the Presbytery,
appointed Mr. James McLaren, a student of
Since Duff’s Church was also experiencing difficulty of a similar
nature at this time, informal discussion naturally took place and inevitably
resulted in the union of the two congregations into a two-point charge. A joint meeting of the elders and managers of
1. That under present
circumstances, a union of the congregation of East and
2. That the united congregations will offer and pay to their Pastor annually the sum of one thousand dollars with manse and glebe. Duff's Church shall pay six hundred dollars with manse and the congregations shall be held responsible to the pastor and Presbytery for the payment of their allotted portion for the stipend, without one having recourse on the other.
3. That in regard to members and adherents of either congregation contributing to pay the pastor's stipend, the present status quo shall be strictly maintained and conserved; and that the church East and West shall be open to members and adherents of either congregation for public worship.
4. That except at communion services in West Puslinch the morning service shall be held in Duff's Church, and the afternoon service in Knox Church, the evening service to be at the disposal of the pastor, as may seem to him good.
The basis of union was adopted in both congregations in 1890, and Rev. Robertson was called to the two-point charge and was inducted in 1890, having come from Waterdown. Mr. Robertson was a man of exceptional ability, especially in smoothing out difficulties, and gave unstintingly of his service in any good cause.
Soon after the induction, Mr. Duncan McDonald passed
away. This death left only two aging
elders: William McCormick Sr.
Due respect was always manifested towards the senior members of session, and their experienced counsel was greatly appreciated by the new members; but their increasing infirmities, on account of advanced age, precluded the activity that formerly characterized their fidelity to the sacred office; so the new members were soon called upon to enter into the full responsibility of the eldership. Mr. McMillan died in 1893 and William McCormick in 1901.
The terms of union with Duff’s specified that on communion Sunday, there would only be a service at one church. However, Rev. Robertson realized that he needed an assistant to conduct the Gaelic services at the communion anyway, and seeing the small number that attended the union service, he proposed that communion could be held at both churches on a given Sunday. Session gave informal assent. This arrangement worked to everyone’s satisfaction. It was also agreed to have three communions in a year, on the second Sabbath of February, and the last Sabbaths of May and September.
As only one representative elder to Presbytery is permitted for one
charge, it was agreed by both Sessions that every third year the representative
elder should be from the
In February 1896 and in February 1898 the Session arranged to hold
special evangelistic services. On the
first occasion, the pastor was assisted by Rev. P. M. McEachern of
Waterdown, and the meetings continued a little more than a week. On the second occasion, the assistance of
Rev. John McInnis of Elora, and Rev. Hugh McPherson of
Other changes in worship practises, which began during the Victorian
era in urban churches, tended to come about more gradually in the
The choir probably got their first gowns in 1938, as evidenced by the following item in Session Minutes:
“Communication was received from the choir on January 23, 1938 asking Session if it would be agreeable for the lady choir members to sit in the choir loft without hats during the church service as they were procuring gowns and had not the financial means of procuring hats. Permission was granted by the Session on condition that the choir procure hats inside of a year.”
Presbyterian church buildings continued to be simple and unadorned to the point of severity, and if such bleakness was popularly viewed as a reflection of greater spirituality and faithful adherence to Reformation traditions, not everyone agreed that plainness equalled piety. J. T. McNeil, for one, believed that a lack of "appreciation for the worship values of art and architecture" arose more from "philistinism and poverty than any puritanical considerations."
Rev. Robertson left the parish in 1906 to take up journalistic work. The text for his farewell sermon was from Hebrews, Chapter 13, verse 8: "Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and today, and forever."
In 1907, Reverend Samuel Lawrence was
called. Born in
In 1913, the three elders: William McAllister, John Martin, and John McAninch were advanced in age and they felt that it was time to ask the congregation to elect new elders. As a result, Archibald Scott, Alexander Chisholm and James Blake were ordained in October 1913. The following year James Blake became Clerk of Session.
At this time, it was agreed that henceforth, unfermented wine should be used at the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper. Following a congregational vote on January 19, 1917, the Session decided to purchase an individual communion set.
The session had lost two elders by death: Mr. Martin and Mr. McAllister, and Mr. Chisholm had moved away, so steps were taken in 1918 to increase the number of elders. Robert McRobbie, William Sim and Fred Roszell were ordained and inducted into the office of eldership on Friday, May 24, 1918.
Rev. Lawrence was an ardent farmer, and the "Glebe," located on part of lot 26 rear Seventh, fronting on Brock Road, contained 27 acres, part of which was quite fertile soil. He operated this farm with an enthusiasm equal to that associated with his pastoral duties. He kept cows, hens, pigs, and horses, raising and selling calves and colts. In the fall of the year, he frequently arranged work bees to have his ploughing and other work completed; he invited a number of farmers from both congregations, with their teams and equipment. He did not neglect his pastoral obligations in any way. Nevertheless, many criticized and objected to his farming activities as being unclerical. Being quite positive and determined in his view, this led to friction, which culminated in the termination of his ministry here. Possibly, to prevent a recurrence of this state of affairs, Duff’s congregation sold the "Glebe" and succeeding ministers seemed content to exercise their surplus energies on the more delicate activity of horticulture.
Rev. Lawrence left the charge in 1919. When he passed away in March 1953, there was
a funeral service in
Rev. Stuart Woods was called later in 1919. One of his first duties was to announce the death of elder John McAninch. After the Session purged the membership roll in 1920, there were 89 members.
Rev. Woods reported that quite a large number of young people and children in the community had not been baptized. After some discussion it was decided to interview the different families and try to interest them in the subject of baptism and to make whatever arrangements they deemed necessary. Accompanied by an elder, Mr. Woods visited families in the community where the children had not received the sacrament of baptism. Several families asked to have their children baptized.
While in charge of this congregation, Rev. Woods was an active member of the local Horticultural Society and through that organization he obtained plants and bulbs for many parishioners. Through his influence and willingness to help in beautifying public
property, he was able to secure aid from men of means who were ready to help in such work. The initial improvements to the church and cemetery at Crieff in the early twenties were in a large measure due to Rev. Woods, and he did his best to mediate between Col. John Bayne Maclean’s grandiose ideas and the more practical approach of the local congregation.
Movement to Church
In the church at large, co-operation between denominations was the watchword of the day from about 1910; it took the form of missions, education, social reform and the thrust towards church union. Canadian Presbyterianism had long been active in the Evangelical Alliance, and in the forty years following the Union of 1875, the Presbyterian Church in Canada joined in and supported a wide variety of international and interdenominational organizations devoted to mission, youth work, Sabbath observance, temperance, and social and moral reform. The sum of all these developments, taken along with the growing sense of Canadian nationalism, produced tentative approval for interchurch cooperation, leading perhaps to church union.
In 1912 and again in 1915, the Church had conducted referendums on
the principle of church union with other denominations. The actual terms of union had never been put
before the members because they were not defined until 1923. Nevertheless, the majority vote favoured
union. The Puslinch Presbyterians voted
with the minority on both occasions. The Crieff congregation and indeed the
A congregational meeting was called at Crieff for January 17, 1925
to discuss Church
“Take notice that the union of the Presbyterian Church in Canada, the Methodist Church and the Congregational Church will become effective on the 10th day of June 1925, and under provisions of sections 10 of chapter 100 of the Statutes of Canada, 1924, a meeting of the congregation will be held in this church on Wednesday the 21st day of January 1925 at the hour of two o'clock p.m. for the purpose of deciding whether or not this congregation will enter the said union. Stuart Woods, Moderator.”
The meeting on January 21st was held in the vestry with Rev. Woods
Chairman and Angus D. McPherson Secretary. It was moved by Archie Scott, seconded by
Robert McRobbie, that the congregation take a vote by ballot on the
question of whether or not it will enter into the
January 22, 23 and 24 from 8-9 o’clock p.m.
January 26, 27 and 28 from 10-11 o'clock a.m.
January 29, 30 and 31 from 10-11 o'clock a.m.
February 2, 3 and 4 from 10-11 o'clock a.m.
The meeting now adjourned and was reconvened in the church vestry on Wednesday February 4, at 8:00 p.m. to hear the result of the vote. The meeting opened with prayer, with Rev. Woods in the chair and the following statement, certified correct by the poll clerk and scrutineers, was read by James Blake:
Total number of persons entitled to vote as per certificate list . . . . . . . . . . 90
Total number of votes cast . . . . . 49
Number of votes cast for union . . . 6
Number of votes against union . . . 37
The meeting now adjourned.
On a national level, the Union was consummated at
In the belief of the majority, the Presbyterian Church of
Locally, Duff’s congregation also decided against union so the
disruption and animosities occurring in various congregations was unknown
here. Probably the mild characteristics
and conciliatory attitude of the Minister, Rev. Stuart Woods, contributed to
this amicable ending to a delicate situation.
Despite the fact that Rev. Woods favoured
The "Presbyterian Record" of September 1955 contained a
photo taken by the St. Catherines Standard and was entitled "(55 years in
The joint congregations called Rev. Peter Mathieson; he was welcomed by Session to his first meeting with them in November 1925. Mr. William Sim was appointed to the office of Session Clerk, which had been left vacant when James Blake resigned.
Rev. Mathieson was born at Forresters Falls, Ontario, and as a minister, he was a strong preacher of evangelical truth. He was beloved by his people, revered by his friends, and honoured and respected by his fellow ministers.
On May 24 1928, Robert McRobbie resigned as Elder. This was accepted with regret. In 1930, Session asked the congregation to nominate two additional members. Duncan McAllister and Duncan McDonald were the choice of the congregation, but when interviewed by the Moderator, they both declined to act. Another vote to elect two elders was taken in April 1933. Charles Martin and James A. McPherson were the choice of the congregation and both agreed to accept office. They were duly ordained and inducted in May 1933.
At the Session meeting held on October 3 1935, Fred Roszell and
James McPherson were appointed to help Mr. Mathieson prepare a
programme for a Memorial Service for those members and adherents who had passed
to their Eternal Reward during the 10 years of Mr. Mathieson’s ministry. For the service on November 2 1935, he took
as his text "If it were not so I would have told you." On the Monday evening following, the
congregation of Knox honoured their minister with an evening of
On the Friday evening following, a gloom was cast over the entire community when the news of the minister’s sudden death became known.
A tribute to Rev. Mathieson
was inscribed in the Session records. In
part, it reads "In all his
teachings he ever emphasized that Jesus the Eternal Son of God suffered and
died in our room and stead, the just and unjust, that He might bring us to God
and that He sure will come again, that they who believe in His name may live
and reign with Him. Although the good shepherd has passed beyond, not in vain
were his teachings and his example here on earth, for always in the hearts of
his flock, his life will be an inspiration." Rev. Mathieson was interred in
Rev. Neil McDiarmid
Rev. Evan MacAuley
Rev. Wm. Robertson
Rev. Samuel Lawrence
Rev. Stuart Woods
Rev. Peter Mathieson
Rev. Marshall of Hespeler acted as Interim Moderator until Rev. J. L. Burgess was called in 1936. Mr. Burgess, born in Orono, came to Crieff
and Duff’s from
Rev. Burgess was of sociable disposition and had many friends, both
young and old. While living at the
manse, Morriston, he raised bees, and had a great horned owl, which added
considerable excitement in the town. Mr.
Burgess’ Ministry of six years terminated in 1942 and he died in 1973 with
The congregation welcomed Rev. T. G. M.
The Session recorded the death of Elder Fred Roszell, age 61, in
1943. Once again, the Session sought to
increase their number. James McDonald
and James Porteous were ordained and inducted in 1944. Again, in 1947 Session recorded the death of
Archibald Scott and of Charles Martin in 1951.
At the time of his death, Charles Martin was the representative elder to
Presbytery. Later the same year, William
Sim resigned as Clerk of Session because of his failing health, so Rev. Bryan
volunteered to take over that task. In
April 1953, Rev. Bryan reported that he had received a call from St. Columba
Church, Hamilton. Later he ministered to
a large congregation in
By September 1953, Rev. Douglas Gordon had accepted the call of the joint congregations. It is recalled that on the night of his induction at Duff’s church, the Old Testament reading was Psalm 29, the psalm of the storms. This was particularly appropriate because thunder rumbled in the distance, and within moments the church was in darkness due to a power disruption. With the sanctuary in darkness, the charge was made to the new minister.
Rev. Gordon was born in Peking China, the son of missionary parents. He served in the Canadian Navy at the close of World War II and taught for a year before entering the ministry. He came to Crieff and Duff’s from B.C. Rev. Gordon enjoyed music, and frequently stepped into the choir from his pulpit to assist with the anthem.
In 1955, the Session recorded with sorrow the death of Wm. Sim. The Session asked the membership for nominations for two more elders. The vote clearly elected Clarence Awde but it was indecisive between the other nominees. Consequently, only Mr. Awde was ordained at this time. As there were now three elders, Session decided to relieve the minister of his duty as Clerk of Session. Clarence Awde took over this session responsibility in 1955.
Rev. Gordon’s ministry here ended after only two and one-half years. Again, Rev. Crawford Smith was called upon to act as Interim Moderator.
In 1956, Rev. Hugh
Rev. Wilson was born in
In 1958, Rev. Crawford Smith was again appointed Interim Moderator.
A unanimous call was extended to Rev. Leslie
Nanson, assistant to Crawford Smith at
Ministers ─ 1935 ─ 1982
Rev. James L. Burgess
Rev. T.G.M. Bryan
Rev. Douglas Gordon
Rev. Hugh Wilson
Rev. Leslie Nanson
Rev. Norman Young
The Kirk Session and congregation suffered a distinct loss in the death of James A. MacPherson on May 9, 1963. Later that year, Session asked the congregation for nominations. Richard MacMillan and Jack McPherson were duly ordained and inducted in January 1964.
In 1967, a motion was passed to hold Preparatory Service on the Sunday preceding the Communion Service. Thus ended a time-honoured tradition of Communion Fast on the Thursday night previous to Communion Sunday.
As Elder Jack McPherson had moved from the community in 1969, Session again sought to add to the roll. Alex McConnell was ordained and inducted in the regular church service, December 14 1969. The Kirk Session and congregation suffered a distinct loss in the death of James A. McPherson on May 9, 1963. Later that year, Session asked the congregation for nominations. Richard MacMillan and Jack McPherson were duly ordained and inducted in January 1964.
The sudden death of Rev. Leslie Nanson in March 1971 shocked and saddened the congregation. As in the case of Rev. Mathieson, Session recorded a tribute:
“We, the session of
While active in the Presbytery and the other courts of our church, he served the congregation as a most faithful pastor. He sought to proclaim the word of God Sunday-by-Sunday, comforting, exhorting, warming, and encouraging our people in the love of Christ. He took his place in the community and in the almost twelve years he ministered here, he has left his mark upon us.
We, on this occasion give thanks to God for the service of our
former minister and we extend our deepest sympathy and commend the comfort of
God to his wife and his sons Robert and John.”
Interment was at
Again, Dr. Crawford Smith served as Interim Moderator until Rev. Norman Young of
A library fund was established in 1972 from the donation of $1500.00
by Mr. and Mrs. Thomas McDonald.
Dora MacMillan, Gary Collins, and
In 1975, an annual Christmas Eve Candlelight Service was instituted with Christmas music and an impressive ceremony of the overcoming of darkness by light, with all members of the congregation holding a lighted candle. Rev. Bob Spencer of Crieff Hills has traditionally conducted this part of the service. The Candlelight service continues to attract members, their friends and visitors, who fill every seat in the sanctuary.
In 1977, Hugh Taylor was inducted as an elder at Knox Crieff, having
previously been ordained as an elder at Knox
In 1978, Session recorded the death of James McDonald and in 1980 the death of Hugh Taylor. Since 1978, the annual Congregational meeting has been held the third Tuesday of each January, and is preceded by a Pot Luck Supper. In May 1980, two new elders were added to Session: Mrs. Margaret Griesbach and Stuart McDonald were ordained and inducted.
Rev. Norman Young retired to Guelph in 1983 and while wishing him well, the congregation was sorry to loose him as their pastor. However, we are pleased to welcome him back to the pulpit whenever our present minister has other commitments.
A vacancy committee was appointed at a joint session meeting of Duff’s
and Knox. On the recommendation of the
vacancy committee, the Reverend M. Anne Yee was invited
to preach for the call. Born in
In July 1984, the practice of holding joint summer services with Duff’s congregation was begun - with one month of services at each church. In November 1986, three new elders were added to the Session roll. They were: Derek Jamieson, Muriel Mast and Douglas McDonald. Also, in 1986, Session approved the formation of the Friends of Crieff and the group started its meetings in 1987.
During 1987, Clarence Awde resigned as Session clerk after 34 years of devoted service. Although no longer Clerk, Clarence Awde continues as an active member of Session. Derek Jamieson is the new Clerk of Session.
In 1988, Session and Board carried out an Every Person Visitation concerning the physical and spiritual growth of the congregation. The results of the returned questionnaires were analyzed and presented to the congregation at a meeting later in the year. Recommendations were: that an adult bible class be instituted; that church school time be changed to occur during worship; that a Church Growth Committee be established and the publication of a Church Newsletter be instituted.
Alex McConnell's move from the community in 1988 caused the need for another elder. In June 1989, Robert Cook was ordained and inducted.
Members of the Board of Managers are perhaps the unsung heroes within the departments of church activity. Throughout the history of the church, they have struggled to balance budgets that are at the mercy of congregational donations.
The first managers were little John Thomson, big John Thomson, and Matthew McPhatter, son of Neil the elder. A few decades later the collection of funds west of the church was chiefly in the hands of Donald Stewart and William McCormick Sr. East of the church, John McGeachy looked after collections. For a time, nearly the whole responsibility rested upon Mr. McGeachy, who with surprising energy, and often at great inconvenience, called upon the people for the payment of their subscriptions towards the support of the church ordinances.
Shortly after the 1890 reunion of the East and West congregations,
By 1899, the managers were Walter Cowan (Chairman), Donald McMillan, John Martin, Archibald McMillan, William Easton and James Tennant. Donald Stewart was Secretary of the congregation. A decade later Willie Sim was Chairman and Richard Paddock, Charles Martin, William McCormick Jr., Archie Scott and Alex Chisholm were managers. Names of succeeding managers and officers of the Church may be found in the family portion of this book.
In the period 1890-95, the vestry or Sunday School room was built by
the carpenter John McMillan.
Voluntary help assisted with the work.
Local farmers hauled the brick from
Concerns of the Board since 1900 have been Budget and Maintenance. The Duplex Envelope system was inaugurated in 1907 and at the congregation meeting in 1908, the managers were directed to canvas the congregation again to explain the envelope system. The meeting also ordered a printed statement of the congregation for the year 1907. Printed reports were standard from that time except for 1924 when the annual meeting decided that due to financial conditions, reports would not be printed that year. From 1907 to 1968, the reports contained an alphabetic listing of parishioners and the amount of their individual contributions.
Canvassing for funds to meet the budget had been the norm since the
origins of the
The practice of borrowing from the Bank or from members of the congregation was also used. In 1922, the limit placed on the treasurer to be borrowed was $100.00, but by 1926 the limit had been increased to $300.00. Twice in this period, the Board turned to Colonel Maclean for assistance. In 1929, they asked Rev. Mathieson to interview Col. J.B. Maclean about a parking space in front of the church. In 1932, the Secretary was directed to write to the Colonel about a tree that had fallen in the cemetery. In 1933, managers were urged to stir up outstanding money from their districts.
Caretaking of the church has been an ongoing concern. During the first decade of the century, James Hollinger was engaged. Alex Chisholm won the tender in 1913 until he moved away in 1917. No record is available until 1925 when Maude McCormick was reimbursed. Following her: Mr. and Mrs. Dan MacDonald; Mr. and Mrs. Russell Kerns; the Rolfe boys; Mrs. Gordon McAllister; again, Mrs. Kerns; Mr. and Mrs. Alex McConnell; Bill Hamilton; and finally Ron and Bonnie Blancher.
Until the furnace was installed in 1958, the church was heated by a wood-burning box stove. It required from two to three cords of hardwood, plus a cord of cedar for the winter months. The wood was cut twenty-two inches long and cost $3.50 per cord in 1894, $10.00 per cord in 1926, $6.40 per cord in 1933, but by the 1950's the cost had risen to $25.00 or $30.00 per cord. One minute of Board notes that there would be a wood-cutting bee for the church in Duncan McAllister's bush. The large box stove was located at the rear of the sanctuary behind the pews and connected to the chimney behind the pulpit by an amazing length of horizontal and vertical stove pipes.
“1938: Session and Board met in May....it was decided to clean the stove pipes on Monday.”
In later years, a second smaller stove was placed near the vestry door. A small box stove heated the vestry.
Lighting of the sanctuary was also a concern. Originally light was provided by small coal oil lamps suspended in a wheel shaped arrangement above the centre seats and by hand-lamps with a reflector, held in swivel brackets on the wall, between the windows and behind the choir. Later gasoline lamps were installed. They were large hang lamps, suspended on long wires near the aisles. They were a marked improvement, but if the air pressure on which they operated failed, it was sometimes necessary to restore pressure with a hand pump.
In 1929, electricity became available when Colonel Maclean arranged for hydro lines from #6 highway to his Crieff property.
"May 29 1930 - Mr. Porteous and Mr. Roszell were appointed a committee to proceed with the wiring of the church. They were empowered to go ahead and make the necessary arrangements. Cost was reported in the June 24 Minutes: $154.43."
In 1938, there was a decision to change to light fixtures which would use stronger bulbs.
In 1923, a screen was put around the choir platform and in 1933, the pulpit was carpeted and an organ lamp was purchased; painting the church then cost $65.00. In 1945, $500.00 was required to wash the walls and ceiling, paint, varnish and grain the woodwork, frost the windows and put on the scroll. Frosting of the windows was a frequent expense until amber glass was installed. Carpeting was installed in the Sanctuary in 1968.
About 1890, the church received $800.00 as a share of a sale of land
This must have been a much needed improvement, for until then it had been necessary to blanket and tie the horses to a rail fence, winter and summer, as there was no shelter of any kind. In fact, the lack of shelter for the horses had long rankled with the members who came a long distance to worship, and the attitude unwisely voiced by a Crieff member that if "the gentry from Killean wanted sheds, let them provide them", did not help matters. By the time the sheds were built in 1890, few members came from as far west as Killean.
In 1910, the sheds were replaced by a much larger building. They extended almost the full length of the west side of the cemetery, open to the sideroad, with a barn type frame on a solid stone wall. This long building was divided into sections, each section accommodating two buggies or democrats, without unhitching and well protected from the weather. Dan McMillan was the contractor. The cost was $500.00, which was raised almost entirely by canvas and pledges to the building fund. The final payment on the loan was $23.
"Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not;
for of such is the
During the period 1870-1900, the church depended, to a great extent,
on the teachers at the local public school for their help with the
During the difficult period before the union of the two charges in 1890, Mr. W. M. Kannawin, the public school teacher, revealed a great interest in the spiritual welfare of the young people, and kept the Sabbath School in operation while other departments of church work had almost ceased to exist. Mr. Kannawin continued as Superintendent and Bible Class teacher until he left the section to pursue his studies in the ministry. His successor was Mr. John McAninch with the new public school teacher, Mr. J. M. McDonald in charge of the Bible Class. Mr. McAninch and others urged Mr. McDonald to be Superintendent as well as Bible Class teacher in the following year. He yielded to their persuasion and continued to act until he to left the school section.
Then Mr. John Martin was called to superintend the school and Mr. James Armstrong, the new teacher, was invited to be Bible Class teacher. Other Sunday School teachers at this time (1900) were: John McAninch; Walter Cowan; Misses Aggie Grey, Maggie and Lizzie McPherson. The organist was Miss Maggie Cowan, and the leader of singing was Miss Aggie Martin. The number of scholars on the roll was 85 with an average attendance of 48. Sabbath School was then open about eight months of the year, and for the winter months some of the younger children attended Bible Class.
From the time John Martin was appointed Sunday School Superintendent until 1965, elders took the responsibility for superintending the school. John McAninch followed John Martin, and from 1915 to 1940 Archie Scott took the responsibility. He was followed by James A. McPherson, Charles Maltby for a year, and James McDonald 1950-1965.
During this period, the memorization of scripture and catechism and the resulting awards was an important factor in Sunday School activity. An anticipated highlight at the end of the class was the distribution of Sunday School papers from Presbyterian Publications. At that time, there was still little outside entertainment available and these papers offered stories and puzzles that excited the juvenile mind.
From the time of formation of the Sunday School, it was traditional that classes ceased during the cold winter months. It was not until 1963 that Session and Sunday School teachers met and agreed to have Sunday School continue throughout the winter months. In 1973, classes began to cease for summer vacation in July and August.
Superintendents since 1965 have been: Mary McPherson 1965-73, Florence McConnell and Muriel Mast 1973; Florence McConnell 1974-76; Eleanor Martin 1977-81; Sharon Logher 1982-83; Bonnie Blancher 1984; Pat Fowle 1985-87; Gillian Huffmon 1988-present.
Sunday School yearly events follow a pattern. Annually the year begins in early September with Rally Day when the children participate in the church service and organize for another year of lessons. Christmas is marked by White Gift Sunday. Normally non-perishable foods are given to make up hampers for needy families. In 1980, money was given for the Somali people. Also, in the Christmas season, a fun night Christmas Concert was presented. For several years, the Sunday School presented a play, which was followed by carol singing, Santa Claus, and the giving of candy bags filled by the Ladies Aid. Since 1985, the concert has been held during the church service with the children participating in the service. Afterwards they serve lunch to the congregation and Santa then visits.
Since 1981 there has been a “winter fun” day; as long as Alex
McConnell kept his horses at Crieff, the fun day was held at Crieff Hills and
the highlight of the afternoon was a horse-drawn sleigh ride followed by a
pot-luck supper. In 1988 after Alex’s
Other highlights which have occurred on occasion have been prayer balloons, singing visits to Morriston Nursing Home, presentation of flowers to ladies on Mother’s Day, participation in the Easter sunrise service at Crieff Hills, and the donation of money to the Young Adults to assist with their support of an adopted child. Annually the year ends with Awards Sunday when attendance Awards and Robert Raikes Awards are presented. Recently each child has received a book as a memento.
The year is completed with a congregation picnic. Historically, this event has moved
about. Before 1900, it was held in the MacDonald
woods, west of the church and south of the road. Later it moved to Robert MacRobbie's
woods, on the west side of sideroad 25, north of the railway. A swing erected between two tall beech trees,
with ropes thirty feet long, provided a delightful thrill. Lemonade was a treat then and ice-cream was
first introduced to the picnickers by Archie Scott who manufactured it with a
hand operated ice-cream freezer. Later
it moved to
In 1976, the picnic was held at
Attendance has dwindled with the population shift locally. From a recent attendance high of 48 in 1978, it dwindled to 15 in 1988. The results of the Every Person Visitation suggested that Sunday School held at the same time as Church should be attempted; in the fall of 1989 this policy was adopted. Early results are positive: The congregation appreciates having the children in the congregation for at least part of the service; teachers are also pleased to join the congregation for a time; and several new families are bringing their children to the service.
"O come, let us sing unto the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation" Psalm 95:1
In the early church the Precentor stood in front of the pulpit and, using the tuning fork for correct pitch, he led the singing while the congregation sat. They then stood for prayers. The first precentor to lead the praises of the sanctuary was John Thomson. He led in both Gaelic and English during the services in the first church, and for a time in the second building.
His successor was John McGregor who also led in both languages; then Robert Stewart, who could only lead in English, but was assisted by Neil Currie who officiated as leader of praise in the ancient language. In 1864, William McCormick Sr. began to lead in both languages; after a few years, he was relieved of the English service by Alexander Easton, who had an excellent voice, and Alexander Murchison, who was assisted by a choir. When a choir developed (probably in the 1870's), they sat in the front seats. William McCormick continued to lead in Gaelic until a few years before his death in 1901. Although almost 90 years of age, his voice, of remarkable sweetness and power, was often heard in leading the praises of the aged worshippers with solemn and patriarchal impressiveness.
The growing wealth of the British North American colonies during the 1850’s contributed to many new evidences of sophistication in Presbyterian church life, none of which was so bitterly contested as the introduction of musical instruments and new music into the worship services.
American Presbyterians had led the way in this direction in the eighteenth century by the introduction of instrumental music and Isaac Watt's "imitations" of the psalms, but as late as the mid-nineteenth century "lining" of the old psalm forms was still the norm in the British colonies. Since the psalms were divinely inspired, rehearsals for choirs, where they existed, were forbidden. Congregations and choirs were expected to rely on some instant musical inspiration, which by all reports did not descend universally or frequently on the worshippers.
Somehow, organs seemed to be the greatest threat to Presbyterian purity. Organs were condemned by the Free Church Synod in 1855. The controversy was over the use of organs, which were referred to by opponents as "carnal" instruments. At Crieff, there was much opposition to the use of an organ: one precentor declared that he would prefer listening to a fanning mill rather than an organ. Similarly, there was objection to the singing of hymns rather than the psalms of David.
About 1870, William McCormick Jr. began to lead in the English service. He organized a choir, and his passion for music made it a pleasure to train them with great proficiency. They obtained considerable prominence, and often received invitations to provide music for neighbouring church entertainments. In 1899, he was still leading in both languages and the choir members were: Sopranos: Wm. McCormick, Aggie and Katie Martin, Annie and Lizzie McAllister, Jane McAninch and Jennie Cowan. Maggie Cowan sang alto. Tenors were James Armstrong, Alex Cowan and Robert McRobbie. Those who sang bass were Donald Stewart, Archibald McMillan, Duncan McAllister and Charles Martin.
An organ was eventually purchased - the debt incurred for its purchase was paid off in 1907. It stood against the north wall with chairs on either side for the men of the choir. The ladies sat in front of the organ.
J. S. Moir comments that, "As frontier conditions waned, worship services became more sophisticated and more decorous." Yet the criticism remained, with some justification, that congregational singing declined in inverse ratio as organs were introduced. A similar separation of the worshipper from the worship service was charged against church choirs, which evolved in this period as a distinct, sometimes professionalised, body physically separated from the mass of the congregation. This trend was reinforced after 1900 by the gradual adoption of distinctive gowns and head gear for the choirs. Choirs, intended to sing with the congregation, began more and more to sing at the congregation as anthems were inserted into the order of service.
Mr. John Frey of Morriston was a talented singing teacher and Choir
Leader. He led the choir at the
Shortly after he moved into the community in 1931, James Porteous was appointed organist and choir leader, with Jean McPherson as his assistant. About this time, a new organ was purchased. It was installed farther away from the north wall so that the choir could sit facing the organist. A platform was built for the choir and it was eventually screened in.
In January 1938, the choir asked Session if it would be agreeable for the lady choir members to sit in the choir loft without hats during the Church Service as they were buying gowns and could not yet afford hats. Permission was granted by the Session on condition that the choir procure hats inside of a year.
When Jim Porteous left the community in 1946, Mrs. Gilbert Hobson
accepted the position until another could be found. The talented Leeta Horning, teacher at
In 1961, a Junior choir was formed and was led by Mrs. Nanson. They sat in the front pews at first, but when they got new blue and white gowns they moved to the choir loft and sat in front of the few remaining senior choir members. For a time in the middle ‘60s, Margaret Anne McConnell and her brother Kenneth played while Mrs. McDonald was ill. In 1968, she was able to play again until early 1973. The New Revised Book of Praise was introduced to the congregation on Sunday January 28th 1973.
Diane McConnell played for a few years, and then her mother, Florence McConnell, took her place. In 1975, there were very few choir members. However, by 1977, their numbers were increasing under the leadership of Maureen Spencer and the choir enjoyed Hymn Sings with other choirs as well as participating in the annual Candlelight Service. In 1979, the Ladies Aid provided material for new Junior choir gowns, which contributed to their success. Unfortunately, there was no longer leadership for the senior choir. In October, choir members left the loft to draw attention to their plight. When Rev. Young found the lack of choir support difficult, the choir returned to the loft, but it did not have regular practice and again they ceased to participate. The Junior Choir filled the gap until 1984 when it too ceased to function for lack of leadership. For a few years, David McConnell played the organ and the choir loft was empty. The Junior Choir performed at special services.
In October 1987, the Senior choir was reorganized under the leadership of Janice MacDonald who is our current organist and choir leader. Late in 1988, the Senior choir raised their own funds to purchase new gowns, which they initiated at the Christmas Choir Festival at Duff’s Church.
Early in 1989, our Choir began the practice of Processional and Recessional. Their enthusiasm and pleasure in adding to the service of praise is a valuable addition to the worship service.
1988 Crieff Choir
The church at Crieff was the
sole community gathering place and through the years it was used for special
entertainments as well as for worship.
Sometime later, an event of a different nature was recalled by a parishioner born in 1899. "The first moving picture that I saw was at an entertainment in the church in 1907. It was given by two Carey brothers. I recall only two pictures or reels, one a balloon ascending and another, speeded up intentionally, which the operator explained was where all bad little boys go."
We quote "Presbyterianism in Puslinch": "In June 1899, East and
Tuesday July 4th, the concluding services in connection with the Jubilee were
The evening meeting in the church, which was charmingly decorated, was a most important one.
J. McGeachy. Mrs. P. Gilchrist. Mrs. J. Scott. T. McDonald.
C. Blair. P. Gilchrist. J. Scott. G. McDonald.
Mrs. D. Stewart. J. McPherson. Mrs. A. McDonald. Mrs. A. McPherson.
Mrs. A. McCormick. Mrs. D. Cameron. Mrs. J. McPherson. Mrs. K. Cameron.
Although there had been no special advertisement, the church was filled to its utmost capacity: and young and old soon felt the solemn impressiveness of the hour. The Pastor presided and after devotional exercises, the Rev. Dr. Wardrope gave an address. He had known Puslinch for 65 years and he took the audience in retrospective vision to the earliest days. They could almost hear the wolves and other denizens of the primeval forest; they almost suffered the hardships of pioneer life, or got lost with him amid the uncertain blazes that sometimes bewildered travellers. The religious life of more than half a century was also traced, and memories of other days acknowledged the Good Shepherd’s constant care. He exhorted all to renewed consecration and hoped the services now closing would cement the two congregations in increasing fellowship, progressive activity, and abiding prosperity.
The Rev. Archibald Blair spoke of his relationship to them. He was born in the congregation, baptized there, and though leaving in early life, he had retained an interest in them. He referred sympathetically to the ministers of the congregation and recalled profitable reminiscences. He then spoke of the strong theology and vigorous religion of the former generation: and while acknowledging the glory of the progressive age which is closing the century, and inspiring the young to efforts worthy of their fathers, he thought they could learn much from this wholesome Christianity.
Mr. Allan Stewart, Warden of the County of Wellington, of whom the congregation is justly proud, was next called upon. He spoke as a worthy representative of the conservative school of religious life and made some happy local references, which were much appreciated.
The chairman called on Mr. Wm. McCormick Jr. to lead the congregation in singing the two first verses of the 103rd Psalm in Gaelic as follows:
Om'anan, beanaich thusa
an Dia Ichobhah mor;
Moladh gach ni an taobh stigh dhiom
'ainm naomha mar is coir.
beannaich fein a
I chobhah mor do Dhia:
Na dichuimhnich na tiodhlacan
a dheonuich dhuit an Triath.
With his rich, sympathetic voice Mr. McCormick sang this majestic Psalm, lining it, in the Gaelic fashion approved by centuries. Many visitors had never before heard praise in Gaelic, but the aged present, and several of the young, were able to join in the once general form of praise.
The choir of Duff’s Church rendered an excellent programme of music. The audience, deeply impressed by the evening’s service, sang devoutly, "Praise God, from Whom all Blessings Flow", and retired with the benediction pronounced by Rev. Dr. Wardrope.
The Lawn Social, sometimes called a garden party or a strawberry festival, was for half a century an interesting event in the social activities of the congregation. It was not an annual event and it began in Rev. Robertson’s pastorate about 1905. Football or baseball games were played in the afternoon; a generous supper was served on tables by the ladies, and a paid group of entertainers put on the evening’s entertainment. Jimmie Fax was a popular entertainer, singer, and cartoonist for many years. Usually the local Member of Parliament patronized these gatherings, and smoked a cigar with his political admirers.
The following minutes from a June 10th 1908 congregation meeting reveal how such an event was organized: "A meeting of the congregation was held to see about having a lawn social. Moved by Archie Scott, seconded by Miss McPherson that we have a garden party. Carried. Moved by Wm. Sim, seconded by Archie Scott that we hold same at Walter Cowan’s, if convenient. Carried. Moved by James Blake, seconded by Miss McPherson that Robert McRobbie be appointed to see Mr. Cowan. Carried. Moved by Archie Scott, seconded by ... to have it on or about July 8. Carried. Moved by Angus Stewart, seconded by Archie Scott that Alex Chisholm, James McPherson, Wm. Sim and Archie Scott be appointed managing Committee and James Blake Chairman. Carried."
Lawn socials are also remembered at the homes of Allan Stewart, Angus D. McPherson, and James Blake.
the horse and buggy days many rural residents had little opportunity to attend
concerts in surrounding cities. Mr.
Lawrence, minister 1907-1919, was personally acquainted with the members of a
celebrated male quartet from Galt, “The Maple Leaf Quartet” and on numerous
occasions he arranged for their concerts in
1920, a parishioner recorded the following description of one of these events.
"Our Church Anniversary was last Sunday.
Rev. Mr. Kannawin of
A 1929 Board of Managers Meeting had lengthy discussion about having a social on the Monday night after anniversary and it was agreed to have a social evening. They passed a motion to ask Dr. Kannawin to remain over for Monday night and give an address, assisted by a neighbouring choir. A Committee was appointed and an entry fee set.
All through the 1930’s, the Monday night following Anniversary Sundays was set aside for an evening of entertainment.
The year 1940 saw the passing of another impressive and historic
milestone in the annals of the
SUNDAY, JUNE 16, 1940.
A.M. Rev. Chas Mullen of
P.M. Rev. James Smart of
Mrs. Reed, soloist of Guelph, will assist the choir in the morning service. The Hespeler quartette will assist at the evening service. There will be appropriate music at both services.
Monday. June 17th
3:00 o'clock Soft Ball Games commence the sports programme
5:30 o'clock Supper served. Bagpipe music
8:15 o'clock programme
by MacGregor Concert Bureau, featuring Scotch songs,
Scenes of early days re-enacted by Crieff Young People.
W. M. S. Centennial Observance, Wednesday at 2:30 o'clock
You are invited to visit the Historical Collection on display in the MacKay house, arranged by Capt. John Gilchrist.
Admission 50 cents Children 25 cents
Col. MacLean provided an illustrated printed pamphlet giving the Sunday service program and containing records from his father’s collection. This was a valuable historical record. A loudspeaker was used for all the functions, for the first time at Crieff. The large attendance at the Sunday services could not be seated in the sanctuary. Chairs and benches were arranged on the grass, immediately east of the church, and those seated there were able to take part along with those inside.
On the following
Monday, a large and most enjoyable garden party was held at the home of Mr. and
Mrs. Duncan McAllister, east of the church.
Former residents of Crieff district attended, renewing old friendships.
Supper was smorgasbord style and girls’ softball teams from Morriston and
Tansley competed in the afternoon, Morriston winning. These games were played in the field east of
McAllister's orchard. Girls playing
softball, as an alternative to men’s hardball, was still a novelty in 1940, at
Crieff. This was the first time that
food was served this way at a Crieff function.
Pipers John McFarlane and Colin Blyth of
"A thousand years in Thy sight are but as yesterday when it is passed and as a watch in the night. Psalm 9:4
On two occasions, the
congregation celebrated anniversaries with the Covenanter's form of
worship. In 1967, celebration of the
anniversary of Confederation was marked in this way and in 1975, the
celebration of the 100th Anniversary of National Presbyterian Church
Covenanter's Order of Service:
When the Congregation is assembled, the Session Clerk enters and calls the people to rise and to remain standing to hear the Commandments of God:
* The Commandments - Exodus 20: 1-17 (The congregation may now be seated and remain seated during the following Psalm).
* Psalm "All people that on earth do dwell" (Old One Hundredth) - led by the Precentor
* Old Testament Scripture - Isaiah 40: 18-31
* New Testament Scripture - Ephesians 4: 1-13
* Enter the Beadle and the Ministers (congregation rises).
* Call to Worship (congregation standing).
* Prayer of Invocation and Confession (congregation standing.)
* Psalm "Gods law is perfect" (SL Andrew) led by Precentor
* Prayer of Thanksgiving and Intercession (Congregation Standing)
* Intimations and Offerings
* Psalm "God of our saving health and peace (Precentor). As this psalm is a prayer, the congregation will stand to sing it.)
When Rev. Andrew Maclean’s widow died in 1916, her sons brought her body back to Crieff for burial beside her husband. On this, the first visit in more than 40 years, the Colonel was shocked by the neglected condition of the cemetery and general surroundings. A year or two later he made a more leisurely trip, chiefly for the purpose of deciding on a suitable new monument for his parents’ graves, and according to his biographer, “hoping that his earlier impression of the place would be proved wrong. Not so; the weeds were high; it was dangerous to walk about because of the bumps and hollows in the ground and whatever vestiges of fencing remained could not keep out the wandering cows.”
By the time he climbed back into his chauffeur driven car, the
colonel’s original plan had been considerably extended. As a memorial to his parents and also to
their friends and fellow worshippers buried there, and as a gift to the
community, he would undertake the complete renovation of the area and make
provision for its future upkeep. He
must engage the best professional designers available - and that meant the
Olmstead Brothers, recognized as
He employed Maude McCormick who lived beside the cemetery to care for his parents’ graves. When she heard that the Crieff congregation had called a meeting for November 8th 1920 to discuss improving the cemetery, she told the Colonel. As a result, J. B. Maclean and his brother Hugh attended the meeting and became involved in the planning process. There may have been another influence at work. The minister of the time, Rev. Stuart Woods, was a keen horticulturist. It was probably he who suggested the meeting in the first place.
Whatever the case, the meeting was of great significance. From the date of this meeting in 1920 until his death in 1949, the Colonel continued to co-operate with the Cemetery Improvement committee and the congregation. The removal of the horse-sheds from the cemetery area was just the first step.
The colonel undertook to have the grounds landscaped and an imposing stone wall built around two sides. Of course, the congregation was drawn in with voluntary labour.
Stone fence, completed in 1923.
The completion of the wall and entrance gates was an event to be especially noted and remembered. The congregation, desiring to express its appreciation and gratitude to the Macleans for their extensive improvements and work at the cemetery, arranged a day to celebrate the completion of the wall. It was held on Thanksgiving Day, November 10th 1924. The entire congregation attended and about 120 guests and former residents of the community attended, three hundred in all.
The program began at 1:00 p.m. with a sumptuous banquet, prepared and served by the ladies of the congregation. A number of seats near the vestry door were removed and tables were erected there, on the platform, and in the vestry, with the people being seated in successive groups.
Henry Becker of Toronto, who had grown up in the house east of the cemetery,
thanked the people for their royal welcome and moved a vote of thanks to the
ladies for the banquet. This was
seconded by Rev. Wm. Kannawin of Hamilton, a former teacher at the local
school, and participant in the
The laying of the corner stone in the completed wall by Angus Stewart was an impressive part of the occasion. Mr. Stewart had been Church Treasurer for many years. The corner stone and appropriate records were placed in the east pillar of the gateway directly in front of the church.
Following the laying of the corner stone, the congregation moved into the church and witnessed the unveiling of the memorial stone to the Rev. Andrew Maclean, as the original gravestone had been replaced by a large tombstone, and the Macleans, with the congregation’s consent, moved the original stone to the north wall of the sanctuary, beside the vestry door.
At a Managers’ meeting in May 1912, the sale of the manse property was discussed. This old house had not been used as a manse since 1888. It had been occupied by various tenants and was the Crieff post office for a period ending in 1912 when rural mail delivery began. The annual rent at this time was $25.00 per year. The strained finances of the congregation prevented necessary repairs and maintenance. Consequently, the property gradually acquired a dilapidated appearance.
After prolonged discussion, over many years, a motion was passed at the 1925 Annual Meeting which approved the transfer of the manse and 4 acres of land to Colonel J. B. Maclean, as a gift, by deed. With commendable Scots caution, the motion included a clause whereby, if the property ever passed out of the Maclean name, it would revert back to the congregation. This clause was omitted from the registered deed and when the property was sold, the congregation could not register a claim.
Colonel Maclean’s biographer maintains that the congregation’s gift of the manse property abruptly changed the thinking of J. B. Maclean. Chambers continues, "Quite aside from the sentimental associations involved, here was a completely new experience for Maclean, in that he had never before received a gift of "real property" by deed or inheritance; in fact it would be the single such occasion of his lifetime."
Soon the new Crieff program was nicely under way. Architects took charge of a careful restoration scheme which would retain the original character and plan of the manse as closely as possible, while adding all the comforts of modern living, and finally achieving a spanking white colonial clapboard house, snug and serene among its new lawns and gardens. Year by year, further improvements were made, the most ambitious being the moving forward of the old carriage house to a situation where it could be linked with the main dwelling by means of a roofed patio. Thus the cavernous place where the Rev. Andrew had kept his horse, buggy, and cutter became the nucleus for the Colonel’s spacious private retreat, laid out exactly as he designated, with a large, airy library panelled in pine, amply windowed and having a handsome fireplace, and with plenty of space remaining for a big bedroom, bathroom and entrance hall.
The acreage expanded too. Those constantly watchful eyes of the new country gentleman had noted the absence of beneficial bird life because the natural woodland habitat had long ago disappeared. So, when the farm on which the manse property was located became available, the Colonel purchased it and started a reforestation project. As the two adjoining farms to the west came on the market, he acquired those also, winding up with a total holding of more than 300 acres. His idea now was to establish alongside his new woodlot, a modern working farm that would become a source of information and inspiration in the best practical methods for the whole district.
The Crieff congregation, appreciative of the extent of Colonel Maclean’s work and generosity, and the transformation in the cemetery grounds which now had extended over many years, arranged a special day, June 15th 1934, on which to honour and pay tribute to Colonel Maclean and his brother, Major Hugh Maclean. The entire congregation attended as well as a large number of invited guests. The highlight of the occasion was the unveiling of a memorial plaque in the front stone wall. Again, the ladies of the congregation catered, serving a banquet on the lawn east of the church.
At an appropriate moment in the proceedings, the chairman, Rev.
Mathieson, called upon Dr. Henry Becker of
The internal auditor from the Maclean Hunter business office was assigned the job of keeping the farm books. He wrestled valiantly with inventories, assessments, taxes, staff lists, wages, and at a certain point found himself forced to probe the mysteries of butterfat content in milk. “The Colonel was sure his herd’s production rated the best price going,” he recalled. “Yet the dairy to which he shipped constantly produced records showing the milk lacked the proper butterfat ratio. I even went to the plant to watch the tests. Neither the Colonel nor I could get to the root of the problem. Then one Monday morning he came back from Crieff in a state of glee. “Patterson, I've solved it!” he said. “I dropped by at the herdsman’s house; there was no one around, so I went in - and what do you think I found in the cellar? A separator, and three full pails of cream! I want you to fire the thief at once!”
1934 Congregation and friends
Back Row: MacGregor Stewart, Chester Schultz, Edward McGeachy, Donald A. Stewart, Andrew Scott, Billie McNally, Jim Blake, Wm. McCormick, Angus Smith, Donald McDonald, Gordon McAllister, Angus McDonald, Russell Kerns, Ernie Plumtree.
Fourth Row.. Fedora ?, Archie Scott, Beatrice McMillan, Wilma Stull, Dave McNaughton, James A. McPherson, ____,Bruce Stewart, Wilfred Roszell, Jack Porteous, Wm. Sim, Isaac Hobson, Percy Harbottle, Jim McDonald, Ernest Roszell, Jack Sawyer, Alfred Reid, Dan MacDonald, Angus McDonnell, ____, Kenneth McDonald.
Third Row, ladies standing: Donelda Gregor, Grace Stewart, Mrs. McDonnell, ____,Rowena Stull, Margaret McCormick, Edith Martin, Mrs. Dave McNaughton, Christina Ramsay (Mrs. Welch), Edith MacDonald, Janet Martin, Jessie Elliott, Bessie McCormick, Jane McCormick, Clara Nelson, Davina Gilchrist, Lillian Martin, Jean McPherson, Margaret Blake, Lillian Reid, Charlotte Fraser, Helen Templeman, Grace McAllister Scott.
Second Row: ladies standing Katherine Gregor, Margaret Scott, Mrs. Duncan McDonald, Abbie McIntosh, Mary Cameron; ladies sitting: Mary Helen Beattie with baby; Elizabeth Kerns with Mildred over her shoulder, Alfie standing in front and Harold to his left; Jean Wigood with Allan, Lottie Harbottle with Lorne & Lorraine, Mrs. Fred Roszell, Mrs. Jennie Stewart, Mrs. Sandy John McPherson, Adelaide Harbottle, Mrs. Kenneth McDonald, Reta,
(Mrs. Tom) McDonald, _____, Flora McPherson, Mrs. (D). Kate McCormick, Mary Blake, Winnie Tennant,____, Mary Scott, Fred Roszell.
Front Row: Chlldren: ____,_____,Margaret Templeman, Lorne Templeman, Rev. Mathieson, Dr. Henry Becker, Hugh Maclean, Col. J. B. Maclean, Rev. Kannewin, Mrs. Bob Kennedy.____, Charles Martin, Duncan McDonald, Katie McAllister, Duncan McAllister, Charles Plumtree, Ross Templeman, ____, ____.
During the restoration of the manse and the three old houses belonging to him, numerous artefacts from pioneer days came to light in sheds, basements and attics. "These things must be saved," the Colonel declared. To this end, he created a museum in the McKay house at the corner; he engaged John Gilchrist to care for it and to make small-scale models of early farm implements, housekeeping aids, and a carefully detailed reproduction of the first church at Crieff. He planned to erect a special fireproof building to house it but World War II forced abandonment of that plan.
It also slowed activities at his demonstration farm and the Ayrshire
herd was dispersed. The Colonel died in
1950. He willed the manse to his nephew
who in turn sold it to the Danish Association of New Canadians, which operates
it as a social and vacation resort. All
remaining lands and buildings were bequeathed to the Presbyterian Church in
the Annual Congregational Meeting of
Moved by Duncan McDonald, Seconded by William Sim, that Archibald Scott, Duncan McAllister and D. McPherson be appointed trustees. Carried.
At the Trustees first meeting, January 31st 1924, the Secretary, A. D. McPherson, received from Rev. Woods, the Deed of Land pertaining to the Manse property and from Mr. Duncan McDonald the Deed of Land pertaining to the church sheds property and also the Insurance Policy. At the annual meeting of the Trustees, arrangements were made to carry out the instructions received from the congregation with regard to the transfer of the manse property to Col. J. B. Maclean.
Since that time, trustees have been appointed annually for a three-year term. Currently they are: Scotty MacDonald, Doug McDonald and Bob Fowle.
In 1986, Session agreed to the formation of a new social group within the church, “The Friends of Crieff”. Under a steering committee the group began to function in 1987, and in 1988 began to have a more permanent format. Meetings are held once every two months; the program committee rotates among three geographic areas, each of which has a couple that are Vice Presidents who delegate the program responsibility. There is no set meeting place or format. The Valens Community Centre has been the locale for a lobster boil, a box lunch social, Mystery Dinner Theatre, euchres etc. The Sunday School room at the church is also used for potluck suppers and late evening snacks. Outings for a variety of entertainments have been arranged, as well as golf tournaments and a car rally. The membership changes with the appeal of the program. “Friends of Crieff” has already contributed to the fellowship of the congregation.
Few records are available for this organization of the church, which has been cyclical and dependent on the number of young people in the community. It may have been coincidental that Young Peoples emerged about the same time as the old custom of weekly prayer meetings was passing away. In the early decades of the twentieth century, horse and buggy was still the main form of transportation, and the electronic age had not yet begun. There was a definite need for organized social and recreational activities for the young people of the community. The first group to be formed was known as the Guild; it was organized when Rev. Samuel Lawrence was minister.
During the period 1920-1950, under the supervision of the minister, an executive was selected and devotional, literary, and social committees were appointed to arrange meetings which were held twice monthly in homes or in the church. Interesting programs, featuring debates, current events, discussions, spelling or geography matches, were held; the season usually concluded with a banquet, and a summer picnic. Colonel Maclean was the special guest at one of the banquets. Interchanges with neighbouring societies were also pleasant and sociable occasions.
following excerpt from “The News of Crieff” in the
"The Young People's Society held their literary meeting at the home of Miss Grace and Mr. Donald Stewart one evening, with a good attendance. President Leslie McPherson was on the chair for the devotional period. Coral Paddock read the scripture. Rev. Bryan gave the study and prayer was offered. The roll call was answered by a verse of scripture.
The literary committee presented a Scottish Program. Harold Kerns read a paper entitled "The
Gaelic." William McCormick gave a
humorous talk on Robert Burns. and Mrs. McCormick read one of Burns’ first
poems, "Handsome Nell”. Everyone
joined in singing Burns' songs, "Ye Banks and Braes of Bonny Doon"'
and "Coming Thru the
In 1965, Y. P. S. was reorganized under Rev. Leslie Nanson and continued to function until 1970. Again in 1975, Rev. Norman Young reorganized it. In 1975, the average attendance of 25 members met every Monday evening. They enjoyed social outings as well as having bible study. In 1977, Rev. Bob Spencer began to act as advisor to the group. During this period, the group began the tradition of decorating the sanctuary Christmas tree and giving Lenten readings in the church service. For a few years, they sponsored "Irish Stew" suppers to raise funds for their foster children.
Rev. Spencer retired as advisor in 1987 and the group was reorganized in 1988 with Jayne Shoemaker and Delores Hamilton as advisors. They conducted a post Sunday Service game, "Win, Lose or Draw" for the congregation’s enjoyment. In the spring of 1989, they operated a car rally as a fundraiser. Lack of numbers again making planning difficult, the group disbanded later in the year.
Women’s Missionary Society was organized at
The young society was set back two years later when the Robertsons left the charge and again a year later when Mrs. Patterson also moved away. However, the members supported Miss Grey as President and the group carried on.
The Journal of the Society at this time was called "The Missionary Messenger". From the time of the Crieff organization, the various Canadian Societies were working side by side until they joined together in 1914 with the motto "The World for Christ". The Church Union disruption of 1925 did not seriously affect W.M.S. It was quick to reorganize and continues to do a great and important work through its various auxiliaries. The new name selected for its magazine was "The Glad Tidings".
an Auxiliary of W.M.S. of the Presbyterian Church in
The ladies of
Women’s Missionary Society Life Members
* also Honorary Life Membership
Mrs. Kenneth McDonald
Mrs. Chas Mast
Mrs. Fred Roszell
Mrs. Frank Rolfe
Miss Abbie Mclntosh*
Mrs. Gilbert Hobson
Miss Catherine McIntosh *
Mrs. Jack Mast
Mrs. Carl Ross
Mrs. Alex McConnell
Mrs. James McDonald
Mrs. Stuart McDonald
Mrs. Wm. McCormick
Mrs. E.S. MacDonald
Miss Margaret Scott
Mrs. John Griesbach *
Mrs. Fred Spencer
There is an annual pattern of activity followed. World Day of Prayer is marked on the first Friday in March, the Crieff society hosting on a rotating basis with the other local churches. Spring and Fall Thank offering is shared with Duff’s W.M.S. and the June Meeting has been held as a Joint meeting with Duff’s since 1925. Crieff W.M.S. alternates annually in hosting a potluck supper and meeting with the Kirkwall W.M.S.
Meetings at Crieff are held monthly except for July and August. Afternoon meetings prevailed until 1963 when the group opted for evening meetings to accommodate young mothers. Study material is obtained from Head Office and the members familiarize themselves with the church across the world. Other projects include collecting stamps for the Bible Society and Grocery Store tapes, which are redeemed for cash and used for gifts to handicapped young people in the community. The W.M.S. supports Glen Mohr and Armaugh camps. At each meeting, the Fellowship of the least coin is practised, with the funds being sent to Women's Inter-Church Council for international use. A visitation program for shut-ins continues to function as does the Secret Pal tradition. The group acts as an auxiliary to the Morriston Nursing Home.
Ladies Aid -
It seems that the Ladies Aid originated during World War I when churchwomen, having knitted various articles for the Red Cross to send to soldiers, met in homes to pack boxes to send overseas. When the war was over the group decided to continue this fellowship. Until 1926, they were known as the Women’s Sewing Circle. In that year, they became the Ladies Aid.
The ladies held their meetings monthly, beginning at 1:00 p.m. They generally quilted, sometimes completing two large quilts for the hostess, and always a sumptuous lunch was served. This was a fellowship group, and in the beginning, the only religious part of the meeting was grace before lunch. Only in 1961, at the urging of the minister’s wife, did they begin to have a devotional service.
The ladies had two quilt projects to make money: in 1930 and in 1963 autograph quilts were made of blocks with more than four hundred embroidered names at a cost of ten cents per name. The 1930 quilt was sold for $5.00, the 1963 for $35.00. We have been fortunate to locate both of these quilts for display at the time of our Sesquicentennial. Each block is a piece of history in itself. Each lady was given the responsibility of selling and embroidering the 17 names for the block.
Quilting continued to be the main program for this group through the 1940’s and into the 50’s. However, the demand for quilts dwindled, as did the skills involved; as alternative items for bedding became available and as the skilled fingers of the older generation were no longer present at the meetings, the focus changed.
They turned to making quilt blocks for the Red Cross, mending choir
gowns, and then into more ambitious fund raising activities. For a number of years they held bazaars,
featuring home baking, handicrafts and plants for sale. In 1961, Schneiders Meats of
Dating back into the early twenties, the women of the church had assisted financially when it was necessary to redecorate the sanctuary. When the church was redecorated in 1945, the Ladies Aid paid one-half of the $500.00 cost. At the time of the expansion of the Sunday School rooms, they furnished the kitchen with the stove, dishes and cutlery. They purchased the new piano for the Sunday School, as well as the pulpit falle, hymn chart, and the flags. They presented the baptismal font to the church in memory of Mrs. Elizabeth Kerns. The ladies also made sizeable contributions to the church’s general fund, the Sunday School, famine relief, missions and Cancer Society.
In addition to their fund-raising, they gave service in kind to the community. The sick, the bereaved, and the shut-ins were remembered. They assisted in church cleaning, painting and making candy for children at concerts, serving lunch after funerals and visiting nursing homes.
Changing society in the 1980’s spelled the end of the Ladies Aid, as it has been known. It ceased to meet, although most of the members were also members of the W.M.S. and the fellowship was not completely lost. With the advent of the Puslinch Community Centre, the possibility of fundraising through occasional catering there brought about a new type of fellowship. This evolved as the men of the congregation were called upon to assist both in the kitchen and with the serving. In 1988, the name “Ladies Aid” was changed to “The Fellowship Group”. Short business meetings are held the same evening as W.M.S. to hear reports and to make decisions.
The January 1989 Annual Meeting made way for a Church Growth Committee which began to function shortly after, with members being Marg Griesbach, Gladys McDonald, Muriel Mast, Marg Paddock and in 1990, Joan Pearce. The purpose of this committee is to help encourage and nurture spiritual and numerical growth within the congregation.
Already, the committee has distributed flyers in the neighbourhood, developed a pew card for newcomers, and a congregational newsletter. The Committee has appointed a Communications Coordinator who will see that you receive a copy of the Church Bulletin for a given Sunday that a member may have missed. In the fall of 1989, the Committee instituted a Quarterly Newsletter with Anna Jackson as editor.
“It has come… dark, stern, terrible.” With those words, the Presbyterian Record of October 1914 noted the beginning of that hideous catastrophe of modern civilization, World War I. “It may well be that out of the wreck and ruin of war, when the passions of strife are stilled, there may come throughout the world a truer sense of the values that are spiritual and eternal, as compared with the material and temporal things for which self- seeking men and nations strive and fight.”
During the next horror-filled years of carnage, members of the
Presbyterian Church in
Robert J. McPherson
The outbreak of World War II in September 1939 was viewed with sorrow and resignation. Again the Record commented: “The one thing possible to the Christian conscience in the circumstances is to go through with the hateful business without rancour or bitterness, and with the hope that the destruction of those who have brought evil upon the world will be overruled by God so as to achieve a greater good in the future.”
Knox Crieff mourned with the families who lost sons: the Kenneth McDonalds, the Alonzo Huffmons and the David Priests. Two newspaper clippings give a sense of the drama of war:
"A memorial service was held in Knox Church Crieff in memory of Sgt. Major Donald McDonald of the Highland Light Infantry of Canada, who was killed in action, September 2, 1944, on the western front. Rev. Bryan was assisted by Captain Fraser, late chaplain of the H.L.I. overseas."
"Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth
McDonald have been notified that their son, company Sergeant Major John Ingram
McDonald, was killed in action on the Western Front, October 8 1944. A memorial service will be held in
These men served in World War II:
IN HONOUR AND LOVING MEMORY
of those who paid the supreme sacrifice in the war of 1939-1945.
Clarence H. Huffmon Donald R. McDonald
John I. McDonald David L. Priest
Their name liveth for evermore.
The task of recording the families of a congregation over 150 years is difficult and regretfully names may have been omitted. For this we apologize. Names have been taken from the 1844 list of members, as well as other names recorded in the book, “Presbyterianism in Puslinch”; lists of subscribers to the lot 15 church in 1851 and 1854; lists of Heads of Families recorded by Rev. Maclean; and lists of contributing members recorded in annual reports. In addition, names and dates have been gleaned from Baptismal Records, Marriage Records, Cemetery Records and newspaper obituaries as well as some family histories. If some family names are omitted it is because they were baptized elsewhere and no other record of the name has been found. We have used the prefix "Mc" or "Mac" as it was recorded until the family, or a branch of the family, changed the spelling.
We have not attempted a complete genealogy. Instead, these pages are meant to document the families who have contributed to the West Puslinch Congregation and to illustrate the points made elsewhere in this text: the contributions made to the life of the West Puslinch Congregation by the members, and the population changes and other social issues which affected our church and its people.
We trust that the property descriptions will not be confusing to
readers. Township roads in west Puslinch
and the former
The Families of the Congregation:
Clarence and Olive Fixter Awde have lived on lot 17, rear Gore since their marriage in 1939. Clarence grew up on a farm near Hagersville. Olive, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Fixter, was an elementary school teacher. Their only child, Earla, was born in 1946.
Clarence Awde had served a term on the Board of Managers at Knox Crieff before he was ordained as an elder in 1955. From 1956 to 1987, he served faithfully as Clerk of Session. When he retired from that position, he was honoured for his service by the presentation of a painting of his farm buildings. He continues to be active in his role as elder. Mrs. Awde was a Sunday School Teacher and she also sang in the choir.
(Mrs. James Boyd), lives at
Ainslie, son of William and Margaret Gamble Ainslie, was born in
Brock and Joyce
Barnhardt moved to a new home on lot 27 Front First recently. They attend worship and their children,
Andrew and Brooke, are members of the
The “Annals of Puslinch” places Roderick Beaton on lot 27 front First and notes that he was known as Rory Mount since he lived at the top of the hill east of the church. Also, Rev. Andrew Maclean’s methodical listing of the heads of families places him on the First. However, when the children of Roderick Beaton and Eric McLean were baptized by Rev. Maclean, ( Duncan, born 1858, baptized 1859, and Janet born and baptized in 1861), the place of residence was given as lot 26 Gore. Rev. Meldrum performed the wedding ceremony of Roderick Beaton, labourer and Henrietta McLean in 1853. Alexander Fraser and Kenneth McKenzie were witnesses.
Henry Becker and his
brother Christopher emigrated from
Dr. Henry Becker returned to Crieff several times and was present at the functions honouring Colonel Maclean and his brother Hugh in 1924, and again in 1934. Edward Becker married Edith Ennis. It is likely that she was the granddaughter of George Paddock (eldest son of Capt. Thomas) and his first wife, Catherine Bond. Edward and Edith Becker’s daughter, Marjorie Worsley, visited Crieff in 1987.
While they lived at Killean, Harold and Dorothy Bennett were active
in the congregation. Harold served on
the Board of Managers 1969-1974, and Dorothy taught in the Sunday School; their
children, Barbara, John, and Dorothy attended Sunday School. About 1980, the family moved to
John Blair succeeded to lot 10 rear Gore, which his parents
Archibald (c1785-1863) and Mary McDougall Blair, natives of Kintyre, had
pioneered. John Blair is recorded as
having subscribed to a collection on behalf of the lot 15 church in 1851, two
years before he married Margaret Dunbar in 1853. Two of their children were John and
Robert. Several of John’s brothers and
sisters married into community families: Christina (Mrs. Lachlan McMillan);
Barbara (Mrs Angus McCormick); Mary (Mrs. Malcolm Currie); Donald married a
In April 1853, the Crieff Session recorded the following: “The Moderator mentioned that Charles Blair had been applying for a certificate of character, having in view to visit his native land for the benefit of his delicate health. The session, in agreement to grant this request, expressed their regret that the health of a member so dedicated to the cause of the Redeemer and so useful as a Sabbath School teacher as Mr. Blair has been, should require him to leave them for a season.”
In March 1860, the elder, Donald Currie reminded the Session that
Charles Blair had recently settled in the community and that he would be a
suitable candidate for church eldership.
He was ordained as an elder on April 15, 1860. Charles and his wife, Agnes McMurchy, lived
on lot 23, Ninth of
Donald Blair’s family was raised by Malcolm Currie and his wife, who
was the children’s aunt. The children
were Archibald, who became a Presbyterian minister, and another son and a
daughter who moved to the
Rev. Archibald Blair
visited the West Puslinch congregation at the time of their Jubilee Celebration
in 1899 and he addressed the congregation during the final evening of the event
and reminded them that “They should revere the memory of their fathers and that
they could learn much from their wholesome Christianity”. The Rev. Archibald Blair passed away in 1923 and
and Annabell McNabb Blake probably came to lot 19, front of Gore from
Their son James was born in Puslinch, and he succeeded to the farm and married Mary Cowan, daughter of Walter and Mary McPherson Cowan. The Blake's only child, Margaret (Mrs. Norman Wainman of Galt), was born in 1913. James Blake was active in the life of the church. As early as 1910, he was listed as acting on the Board of Managers and he was ordained and inducted into the office of elder on Friday, October 10th 1913 and the next year he became Clerk of Session. He continued to serve the congregation in this position until the Union vote was held in 1925. It was a great loss to the congregation when the Blake family favoured church union and elected to withdraw from the Presbyterian Church. Mr. and Mrs. Blake retired to Galt in 1949.
Ronald and Bonnie Goodwin Blancher, who live on lot 25 front Second, have been active in the congregation since moving to the community in 1982. Ron served on the Board of Managers 1987- 1990 and Bonnie is a faithful member of the choir and of W.M.S. She also served as Sunday School Superintendent for a term. Their son Carl was a member of the Young Adults Group. The Blanchers also contributed to the welfare of the church by acting as caretakers, beginning in 1989.
there is no evidence that the men of the Blue family frequented the lot 15
church, their familial closeness to the family of Neil McPhatter suggests that
they would have been involved. They were
the children of Angus and Grace McKinnon Blue.
Their father died in Kintyre in 1803.
Their mother remarried in
The Bond family came from
Richard's brother Henry married Jane Paddock, daughter of Captain Thomas Paddock. Their nephew, William Jr.’s son Richard, married Grace McMillan, daughter of Archibald; and a niece, Tillie, married Fred Paddock.
William and Katie McCaig Bond, on lot 17, had no children but
they raised Beatrice Paddock after her mother’s death about 1920 and gave her
their surname. After Mrs. Bond's death,
William remarried twice, first to a widow, Mrs. Jones, and later to Annie
Walters. William Bond served on the
Church's Board of Managers about 1912 and canvassed on behalf of the
church. At the time of Church
Wallace and Laurene Holm Burrows moved to lot 25 front Second in the early 1940’s with their family, Bryce, Neil, Donna (Mrs. Kenneth Ritchie), and Laurie (Mrs. Matthews).
Bryce married Ann Tweedle and they live on lot 28 front First. Their children grew up in the congregation, Peggy, Mark, Jane, and the twins, Beth and Brenda. Ann taught for many years in the Sunday School, and assisted with the Junior Choir. (The 1980 Annual Report notes that only she could tie the bows on the Junior Choir gowns to the satisfaction of the children.) Bryce served on the Board of Managers for two terms, 1967-69 and 1976-78, before transferring their membership.
the early period, the surname Cameron was common around Crieff. The record of pew occupants in the church,
about 1870, notes that Kenneth Cameron and his sisters occupied one. They were the family of Captain John (Castle)
Cameron and Annabella McLennan who came to Puslinch in 1841, settling on the
First near the
of the sisters were Margaret, (Mrs. Donald Shepherd McKenzie), Christina (Mrs.
Cameron (c1826-1897), native of Ullapool, Ross-Shire was ordained as an elder
Duncan (Lochiel) Cameron (c1818-1886) of Perthshire and his wife
Helen Stewart, sister to the Stewarts on lot 25 at Crieff, first lived on the
Stewart farm. Their children, John
(1852-1927), Ann (1854-59), and Isabella (1856-59) were born while they lived
there. A second Isabella was born in
1859, and by this time, the Duncan Camerons were living in “
John Cameron, eldest son of Duncan, married Annie McPherson,
daughter of Alexander on the adjoining north lot. This couple was active in the Crieff
congregation. John was appointed to the Board of Managers about 1891. Possibly, Marjorie Cameron (Mrs. John Hay)
was a sister to
1830-85, a native of Ross-Shire, and Jane Henry Chisholm were married in
1856. Their family was Margaret (1857),
Marianne (1860), Alexander (1862), Barbara Isabella (1864), and Jane
(1868). They were active members of the
Crieff congregation. They lived on lot
33 Tenth of
Alexander married Jane (Johanna) Stewart Bell from Shakespeare in 1891 and continued on the homestead until 1917 when he moved to Badenoch. Alexander Chisholm served on the Board of Managers for many years before being ordained as an elder in 1913. He served until he left the community in 1917. He died in 1945. Their family was Jane (1892, Mrs. Howitt Stewart of Corwhin), Noble (1894, who married Jessie Fielding and lived at North Cobalt) and Margaret (1898, Mrs. George McConnell).
Clark of Badenoch is a member of Knox, Crieff and his sons David and
Archibald Cochrane of Puslinch and Sarah McColl of
and Gary Collins built a home on lot 10 front First several years ago and
Mrs. W. J. McCall, Gary’s late mother was also a member of Knox Crieff, before her death in 1980.
The Connell family came from Lowville to Valens in 1919 and when Allan married Wilhelmina McDonald they took over the old McPherson homestead, which had been farmed by Mina’s father, Duncan McDonald. Allan and Mina had two sons, Keith and Arnold. Mrs. Connell was active in the church and sang in the choir. The Connells sold the farm in 1972, and retired to Galt.
Bob and Donnalee Cook and
their daughter Carolyn became members at Crieff in 1981. From their home on the south side of
Cowan Sr. came to lot 29, rear Gore, “Juniper Hill Farm” in 1849, from the
Cowan homestead on the
Their only surviving son, Walter (1843-1930), married Annie McPherson of the neighbouring farm, lot 28, in 1878. Their family was Margaret (1870-1961, Mrs. Hugh McAninch), Alexander (1881-1963), Jean (1883-1980, Mrs. John Sawyer), James (1885-1948), Mary (1888-1977, Mrs. James Blake), Thomas (1890-1970), and Walter (1892-1950).
Walter Cowan was chairman of the Board of Managers in 1899, and about 1900, he was a Sunday School teacher. In the Managers’ Minutes there is a record that permission was to be asked to hold a garden party on the Cowan property. In 1913, Walter Cowan was nominated to the position of elder but he declined. Mary and Jean taught in the Sunday School as well as participating in the choir. Their brother Alex also sang in the choir.
Cowan Jr. and his family were active in the church until they left
Several families of Curries were involved with the church in the 19th Century. Malcolm Currie’s family was noted for the number of sons who became Presbyterian ministers. Donald Currie was an elder of the West Puslinch Church and Neil Currie, the Killean teacher, was a tremendously talented individual. Rev. Andrew Maclean noted that William Currie lived near the lake.
and Mrs. Malcolm Currie, emigrants from Kintyre, Scotland, were members of the
1844 Puslinch Presbyterian congregation.
They had come to lot 34 rear Gore in 1842, after spending five years in
Currie of lot 15 rear Gore subscribed to the support of the lot 15 Church and
he was made an elder of the
Currie’s children included Hugh, Willie, John and three daughters, Catherine,
born in 1848, Christina and Mary. John
married Margaret, daughter of William McCormick on lot 19; they lived in
Currie was one of the early teachers at
He was an expert conveyancer, inventor, carpenter and tailor. He was known to write a complicated property deed, correct in detail, and all the time be telling a thrilling ghost story. He believed in the superstitions common to the time but regretted that personal contact with the spirits, that seemed so common, could not be established. He would sleep in haunted houses, but to his disappointment, the apparitions would not appear to him. Mr. Currie would make fine pens for the pupils from goose quills, as well as manufacture the ink. This was made by boiling soft maple bark, to which was added copperas (a ferrous sulphate) and sugar. He could write the Lord’s Prayer beautifully within the size of an English penny. He was a modest subscriber to the lot 15 church in, 1851.
Rev. Andrew Maclean also lists David Currie as being the head of a church family while he and his wife, Christina Campbell Currie were living on lot 13 First. By 1864, they had moved to lot 15 Second. Their children, baptized by Rev. Maclean, were Kate (1859), Christina (1861), Janet (1863), Ann (1867), and Edward (1869).
Hugh Dunbar lived for a time on lot 11 front First. Possibly, he rented the property from Little John Thomson. In 1851, his daughter Isabelle married William Ross of lot 9, rear First; in 1853 his daughter Margaret married John Blair from across the road. Another daughter married Donald Blair, brother to John. Hugh Dunbar subscribed modestly to the lot 15 church.
original Eastons were Alexander (1811-1863) and his wife Agnes Oliver who
occupants of the
Bill and Betty Jean Huffmon Egerdee were married in the church in 1966. The Egerdee girls, Janet (1970, Mrs. Bill Lang) and Caron (1971), were baptized at the church and their mother Betty taught Sunday School for a few years in the middle seventies.
Donald Ferguson was the Killean Storekeeper and Postmaster for many years. Children of Donald and Isobel Marshall Ferguson were Marshall (1867-1933), Isabella (1862-1926), Jennie (1875), Maggie (Mrs. Tait), Mary (Mrs. Neil Wilkinson), Annie (Mrs. Richard Ball), and Donald, (c1877, who went west in 1905). This family was active in the Killean Sunday School.
Marshall Ferguson son of Donald Sr. married Nellie Amy and continued
to live at Killean for a time. Their
children were: Angus 1918; Donald 1919; Ian 1920 and Isabella. This family
Lewis Ferguson continued his brother’s business at Killean. His wife was the former Jean McCormick, daughter of Neil. They too were active in the Killean services.
Fixter was born in
Fixter married Evelyn Awde of Hagersville and their children were John (1931),
Clarence (1934), and Doreen (1947, Mrs. Michael Blumenthal of
served on the Crieff Board of Managers for a term beginning 1925, and again for
two terms in the 1960's. Evelyn was active in the Ladies Aid. Scott passed away in 1985, and Evelyn retired
John Fixter married Ruth Scott, daughter of Walter and Tena MacMillan Scott, and their children were Diane (1961), Jane (1965), Mary (Mrs. James Grant), Peggy, (Mrs. John Coram), and Patty (Mrs. Azzoparde). The girls attended Sunday School. John and Ruth moved to Arthur in the mid-eighties. Clarence remains on the farm with his wife Liz and their daughter Nancy.
Fordyce was a weaver who lived in a house on lot 20 front First. He is named as the head of a family that
belonged to the church and he also supported the lot 15 church. Thomas and Margaret Rae Fordyce’s children
were Margaret (1844), Elizabeth (1847), John (1848), Elizabeth (1851), George
(1853), and Jane 1856. By 1881, Thomas
Fordyce was living in
and Pat Fowle purchased lot 27 from Russell Kerns in 1979 and they have been
active in the church. Bob served on the
Board of Managers, acting as chairman and serving as Trustee. Pat taught in the Sunday School and acted as
superintendent. She is a member of
W.M.S. Their children Mark and Adam were
in Young Adults and Kristin attended
Alexander Fraser and his wife Mary pioneered lot 26 on the northeast corner at Crieff, which in the early period was known as Fraserville. They came from Lochbroom in Ross-Shire. Alexander’s mother, Mrs. Murdoch Fraser nee McKenzie, also emigrated. She died in 1861, age 84.
was Alexander who gave the land for the
Alexander Fraser Jr. married Isabella, daughter of Donald Dhu McPherson in 1841. They lived on the Fraser homestead when Rev. Maclean was minister. Later they moved to Galt. Their children were Murdoch (1846), Anne (1848-48), Abigail (1858-1937, Mrs. William McDonald), William (1852) Catherine (1854, Mrs. Hancock), and Mary (1857-1934, Mrs. Richard Dennis).
Alexander Fraser (c1824-1911) emigrated from Lochbroom in Ross-shire in
1838. He first settled on lot 29 front
First. About 1840, he moved to lot 17,
front Second. He married Catherine Black
(from Argylshire) in 1857. Their
children, who were baptized, were Janet (1860), Eliza (1862, Mrs. Davenport of
connection of the Crieff Frasers, Archibald Fraser was a Scotsman and a nephew
of Mrs. Wm (Eliza) McCormick. At the
time of his marriage to Charlotte Paddock, he took over Wm. McCormick's lot 18
rear Gore farm and Wm. and Eliza moved east to the house on the hill on lot 20,
front First. Although the Frasers had no
Fraser of Inverness-Shire emigrated to lot 12 Tenth of
and Robina Stevenson Galloway were married by Rev. Maclean and they lived on
lot 28 front First. Their children were
Margaret (1867), Frances (1869), Eliza (1871, Mrs. Bannatyne), Ethel, Harvey,
Thomas, David (1882), Alice, Ruth, Hattie, and William. James Galloway’s parents, James and Margaret
McHarg were buried in
and Leslie George live near Aberfoyle and they attend worship at Knox Crieff.
Their children Laura and Colleen are members of
John and Ann Taylor Gilchrist
settled in Puslinch on lot 11 rear First in 1843. Their family, born in
Gilchrist the eldest son of John and Anne, and Janet McNab Gilchrist married in
Gilchrist's daughter Jessie married James Findlay, a Clyde shoemaker, and two
of their children, John (1872) and Ellen (1874) were baptized by the Crieff
minister in 1875 prior to that family’s departure for
Gilchrist with his wife Charlotte, daughter of the McMillans of lot 13,
continued to farm the homestead, lot 11 rear First. Their family was Christy (1857, Mrs. Hardy),
Ann (1859), Mary (1860, Mrs. Galbraith),
John Gilchrist, with his wife Euphemia Wilkinson, farmed lot 15 rear Second. Their family was Mary (1860, Mrs. Dickie), John (1859), Ann (1862, Mrs. Robertson), Neil (1864), Malcolm (1866), and William (1867). This family worshipped at Crieff.
Gilchrist and his wife Janet McIntyre were active members of the 1840 church as
well as the Crieff Sanctuary. Archibald
was a collector in 1851 while the
Peter Gilchrist was the youngest son of John and Ann. He married Margaret Wilkinson, sister to Mrs. Archibald Thomson. They were listed as pew holders in the 1854 church and they continued to attend until about the time that Rev. Maclean died. Their older children, John W. (1865), Ann (1866, Mrs. Angus McCormick), Janet (1868, Mrs. John Urquehart), and Davina (1872) were baptized by Rev. Maclean. However, the younger children, Mary (Mrs. John McKenzie); William and Margaret (Mrs. Andrew Leishman) were born after the family left the church. They attended the ongoing Sunday School at Killean, the services at Ellis Chapel, and as the children grew older, they walked to evening services at Crieff.
Angus and Barbara Thomson Gilchrist lived on the east corner of Barbara’s brother John’s lot 10 farm. They were no connection of the other Gilchrist family. Barbara, daughter of James and Betsy Thomson, was blind. Their children were James (1857), John, and Archibald (1863).
William, (1829-1888), and Mary Ann Horracks Gilfillan lived lot 24
rear First when the following children were born, Helen (1855), Mary (1857 Mrs.
King), John (1859), Janet (1861), Margaret (1862), Susan (1870), and Jane
(1874). Other children were William of
Princeton, Isabella, and Ellen, a maid at Andrew Maclean's manse before her
marriage to L. Singular of
Robert and Mary McNicol Goudy were living in Fraserville (Crieff) when their children John (1860) and Alexander (1862) were born.
The Gregors were formerly members of the Morriston Evangelical Lutheran Church, but after they moved to lot 29 front First and when their children were school age (c. 1915) they began to attend Sunday School. They were Donelda (1905-75, Mrs. Jim McDonald), Lincoln, Gordon, and Katherine (Mrs. Campbell McKinnon). After Donelda’s marriage to Jim McDonald, her mother began to support Knox Crieff.
Grey of the Tenth of
Children of Robert and Agnes Grey were Jean (1866), and Agnes (1868-1923). These women did not marry and continued to live on the farm. They were loyal members of the church. Agnes taught Sunday School for many years.
Griesbachs came to the community about 1946 with Margaret's parents, Mr. and
Mrs. Pettigrew. John Griesbach served on
the Board of Managers 1966-68 and again in 1975. Marg has held office in the W.M.S. both at
Crieff and at Presbytery where she was President 1983-86. In 1984, Marg was ordained as an elder at
The Griesbach children grew up in the congregation: Judy, who was a baby when the family moved here; Joan, Jayne and John were born here. Both Joan (Kotarski) and Jayne (Shoemaker) are living with their families in the community, and they are participating in church functions.
and Delores Hamilton live in a home on #20 Sideroad North and they support the
congregation. Delores assisted with the
Young Adults in 1988-89 and their sons Daniel and Mark have been
John and Ann Hamilton live on Sideroad 25 North. Their children Bill and Lisa attended Sunday School and Young Adults in the 1980’s. John served on the Board of Managers 1986 through 1988, acting as Chairman for the last two years. He is a valued member of the choir.
George and Dorothy moved into the community in the seventies and their children, Christopher, Deanna and David are growing up in the congregation. They live on lot 27 front First. Dorothy with her musical talents has been active in the Sunday School, playing piano for the youth choir. She also sings with the senior choir.
Don and Diane Harris on lot 22 Rear Gore attended worship briefly at Crieff before choosing another church home. Nevertheless, they still participate in Friends of Crieff and Diane is a member of W.M.S.
Doug and Diane Hersey’s home is on lot 20 rear Gore. They have lived there since early in their marriage, and their daughters Rochelle and Kelly have participated in Sunday School and the Young Adults Program. Doug and Diane are also active in Friends of Crieff.
Hobson family was originally a Quaker family from Ballyhagen in
Gilbert continued on his father’s farm. His wife, the former Beatrice Wilson, was
The Hollingers rented the manse and operated the Crieff Post Office until it closed in 1912. They were also caretakers at the church as well as supporters of the church’s work. Children of James Hollinger’s first marriage were Victoria, Duncan, and Katherine (Mrs. Dan McDonald). Children of the second marriage were Ella (Mrs. Delmar Wheeler), and Jack who married Jessie McAllister. James Hollinger died in 1928. His mother was the former Margaret McDonald, a half sister to Anne, Mrs. Duncan McDonald of lot 24, rear Gore.
Mel and Leeta Horning with
their family moved to a house on the Maclean estate (now, The House of the
Shepherd), when Mrs. Horning became the teacher at
The Alonzo Huffmon Family moved to lot 24, front Second from the Freelton area in 1941. Mrs. Huffmon attended Church. Their six sons were in uniform in World War II. Clarence paid the supreme sacrifice.
youngest son, Harry, and Mildred Kerns married in 1942. Mildred has been an active supporter of the
church and its organizations. Their family is: Betty Jean (Mrs. Wm. Egerdee),
James, Robert, and Diane, (Mrs. Mike Markovinovic). Diane worships at Knox Crieff where she
Huffmon, son of Harry’s deceased brother Gordon, married a British girl,
Gillian Bates, and shortly after Gillian became involved with the Sabbath
School as a teacher, and in 1988 as Superintendent. Their children, Stephanie, Stuart, and
(1901-1968) and Janetta McDonald Hunter (1903-1982) lived in Clyde, Puslinch,
and later in
Mr. and Mrs. Charles Irwin lived on lot 26 front First. Their children, Dean and Irene, attended
Don and Anna McCormick Jackson moved to the lot 19 rear Gore farm which Anna inherited in 1986 and they have participated in various church organizations since then. Don acted on the Board of Managers, 1987-1990. Anna is Chairman of the Sesquicentennial and History Book Committees.
Derek and Janet Morris Jamieson’s home is on lot 29 front First. Derek served on the Board of Managers for a term and was ordained as an elder in 1986. When Clarence Awde retired as Clerk of Session in 1987, Derek took over that responsibility. Janet is a supporter of the Senior Choir and W.M.S.
(1874-1949) and Annie Cameron Kennedy lived latterly on lot 25, rear
First. Robert was the son of Annie
McPherson, daughter of Duncan Corniel, and Donald Kennedy. They were
When Russell and Elizabeth McPherson Kerns were first married they lived on top of the hill, on lot 27, rear Gore. Later, they moved to the big stone house in the hollow which had been built by Mrs. Kerns’ grand-uncle, and which they shared with Mrs. Reid. Their children, Mildred (Mrs. Harry Huffmon), Harold, and Alfred grew up in the congregation. Mrs. Kerns was a loyal member of the church and its organizations, W.M.S. and Ladies Aid, and for many years, she was the church caretaker. She passed away in 1965.
served on the Church Board of Managers for a term 1950-52 before he left the
community to work with the
Alf and Lorna Morphy Kerns lived in the house atop the hill from the time of their marriage until they moved to Milton in 1967, where Alf works. Their children Terry, Ellen and Heather attended Sunday School and their parents supported the church.
Griesbach Kotarski returned to the Crieff Community, to Juniper Hill farm, with
Charles and Catherine Kuhl Kubbe lived on lot 27, front First for a time in the 1920's and their children, Lloyd (1921) and Isobel (1925), were baptized at the church. Older children who attended Sunday School were Esther, Charles, Herman and Edith. This family came to Crieff from the U.SA. and they were church caretakers for a time.
his marriage to Mildred Upsdell,
Mr. and Mrs. Walter Larter sold lot 27 front First, west part, to the Kubbes and lived in the hollow east of the church in the 1930’s; at this time they were part of the Crieff Church community.
James C. Lauder worked as a hired man in the community for several years in the 1920’s, and participated in Church functions.
Joy Lawley moved from Cambridge with her daughter and son-in-law Joyce and Brock Barnhardt, and she worships at Knox Crieff.
Hans and Sharon McDonald Logher live in Morriston and are active in
the congregation in which
Maclean and her sons held a pew in the church while her husband Rev. Andrew was
Pastor. John Bayne was born 1862, and
Hugh in 1866. From 1920 until his death
in 1950, John Bayne Maclean, President of Maclean Hunter Publishing Company,
became more and more interested in the beautification of the
(1899-1974) and Jannet Claire Wingrove Maltby married in 1922 and celebrated
their 50th wedding anniversary. Charles
Maltby was born near Aberfoyle, and his wife in Nassagaweya. For a time in the 1940’s, Charles Maltby worked
for Colonel Maclean; later he farmed lot 29 for a time. It was from Juniper Hill Farm that their only
daughter, Lorna, was married to Stuart McDonald. Her brothers are Jim, Russell, Raymond and
Donald. Charles Maltby acted as Church
School Superintendent for a year, about 1949, and served a term on the
brother and sister, William and Ellen Manson were adopted by
served on the
and Linda Markle live on lot 22 Rear First.
They worship at Knox, Crieff, and their children Jonathon and Jarrell
are members of the
were two log houses on the Martin property and the Martins gave one to their
only daughter Grace (1843-1928) and her husband John Martin who had come from
Martin, son-in-law of the original John Martin (not a blood relative), was
ordained an elder of Knox Crieff on July 19, 1891 and he served until his death
in 1917. He was also on the Board of
Managers in 1899. John Martin “loved his
bible and was sincerely interested in the training of young people”. He was
John and Grace Martin’s children were Charles (1874-1951), Agnes (1878-1918, Mrs. John Mitchell), Catherine (1879-1964, Mrs. Duncan McAllister), Dan (died in 1919), and Ida (1885, Mrs. Gilbert McAllister of Erin, and later Vancouver). The Tosh family of Badenoch is descendent of the Mitchell’s daughter Grace (Mrs. Innis Buchanan Durfey).
Martin was on the
Charles Martin married Lillian Ross of lot 9, rear First and their children were John (1910), Janet (1912, Mrs. Andrew Simpson), Edith (1916, Mrs. Tom Priest), and Kenneth (1926). This family moved to lot 24 rear First and John continued to farm there until he retired to Heritage House in 1987. Mrs. Lillian Martin, always a faithful member of the church, died in 1978, in her 94th year.
Kenneth Martin married Eleanor Biers in 1954 and they lived across the road from the Martin farm until they built their own home, rear Second on Smith Road. Their children are Keith, Janice, and Carol. Janice married William O’Krafka and their children are Jeffrey and Kaitlin.
Martin served as Church Trustee of Knox Church for about 15 years, and served
four 3-year terms on the Board of Managers, acting as chairman for two of those
years. Eleanor taught and served as
Superintendent in the
Charles and Annie Tennant Mast raised their family, James, John, Stanley, and Douglas, on the west part of lot 27, front First where the Harris family now lives. Mrs. Annie Mast died in 1983, in her 83rd year. Mrs. Mast was a regular attendant at Ladies Aid meetings, and a life member of W.M.S.
Mast, son of Charles and Annie Mast, went to
Rick and Deborah Burjoski Mast tend
In 1986, Muriel was
ordained as an elder at
Stanley and Beatrice MacRobbie Mast live on the Given Road. Their children Betty Diane (deceased 1950), Donna, and Ronald attended Sunday School; Donna (Clayton) and Ron have both had their children baptized at Crieff. The Clayton children are Shawn and Stacey. Mrs. Mast served her turn as a teacher in the Sunday School and she is a W.M.S. member.
William (1835-1917) and Janet McDonald McAllister
(1833-1929) were married in St. Helen's Church about 1867. Janet had gone from Puslinch to
Wm. McAllister was ordained as an elder in 1891 and he served until his death in 1917. He is described as always being ready to support any movement that he believed to be in the best interests of the "Master's Kingdom". Mrs. McAllister died in 1929.
Their family was Janet (known as Jessie, 1869-1950, Mrs. Jack
Hollinger), Duncan (1870-1957), Annie (1875, Mrs. Albert Howatt), and
Duncan and Catherine Martin McAllister were married at
the bride’s home on the Second in 1901 and they celebrated their 55th
anniversary in 1956. They first lived on
lot 27 front of First, and later moved one farm west to lot 26. Duncan and Katie were loyal and active
Gordon and Tena Elliott McAllister lived in half of the McAllister
house while their family was growing up.
Their children are Mary (Mrs. Earl Wingrove), Martin, Betty (Mrs.
Laverne Gunby), Delores (Mrs. Jim Mattel),
The widow McAllister was listed in the 1844 congregation. Christina Ramsay McAllister had emigrated in 1831 to lot 6, rear Second with her husband John McAllister, who died about 1843, leaving his young widow with six children, Archibald (married Charlotte Gibson), Alexander, Elizabeth (Mrs James Clark), Christina (Mrs. George Heritage), Jane (Mrs. James Maude), and Johann (Mrs. Wm. Maude, born after her father's death). Mrs. McAllister later married Thomas Heritage and they had a daughter Martha who married Wm. Young and was active in the Ellis Chapel congregation. Thomas McMaster is a direct descendant of Archibald McAllister and continues to live on this property.
John McAninch, born in 1847 in Campsey, Scotland, came to
Mrs. McAninch was a granddaughter of Neil McPhatter
the Elder. She was a lifelong member of
Crieff church. The McAninch
children were John James, Hugh, Nelson (1880-1961), Matthew, Jane Ann
(1882-1957, Mrs. Fred Roszell), and
Just as Elder Neil McPhatter was considered the leader of
the West Puslinch Presbyterians, so Gillies McBean was looked to as the leader
By 1844, Gillies McBean had been ordained an elder, and
in 1858 was named the first representative elder from the
For a period of perhaps three decades after 1850, the McCallum
name was known in this community. After
her husband’s death in
The McConnell family originated in
Alex acted on the Board of Managers for several terms between 1959
and 1973. In 1969, he was made a member
of session and served in that role until he retired and left the community in
1988. He chaired the 1975 celebration of
the Presbyterian Church in
Margaret Ann was organist 1964-66; Kenneth, 1966-80; Diane 1972-74;
then their mother
The McColls were early settlers of lot 7 Tenth of
In the latter 1800’s, there were many families of McCormicks in the community who were church supporters. By 1986, the name had completely disappeared. In 1837, John McCormick (1785-1839) and Kate Wilkinson McCormick emigrated to lot 15 front Third with their entire family, Neil (1808-1884), William (1810-1865), John (1812-1885), Malcolm (known as “the sailor”, Callum Shauther, 1815-1882), Archibald (1816), Alexander (1821-1878), Angus (c1826-1893), and Janet ( known as Betsy, Mrs. "little" John Thomson). The "Widow" McCormick mentioned in the 1844 congregation listing is probably Mrs. John McCormick, as “little” John died in 1839.
Neil McCormick (1808-1884), eldest son of John McCormick
(1785), with his wife, Isobel McDonald, pioneered
Sandy McCormick (1858-1930) was Neil’s eldest son. His wife was Eliza McLarty of lot
7, rear Gore. They lived on the McCormick
homestead. Their children were Neil who
married Amy Ferguson and Mary who did not marry. With the help of hired men, Mary continued to
farm the homestead until her death in 1964.
Mary was a supporter of
William McCormick was the second son of John McCormick
(1785). The story is told that when his
wife’s married sister, Janet McNab Gilchrist was going aboard ship
to sail to
Jack McCormick and Tillie McKellar, (daughter of Angus McKellar
of lot 7, front First), were married on a December day in 1882 which was long
remembered because of the wild snowstorm combined with bitter cold. It was that night that the McQuillans
of lot 8, Gore became lost and one died from frostbite. Although Jack and
Tillie moved to
John McCormick, the third son of John McCormick (1785), married his first cousin, Kate Wilkinson, in 1843. They farmed lot 16, front Third, and their family was John (1844-1919), Catherine (1845-1922, Mrs. Peter McFarlane), Jane (1847-1881, Mrs. Donald McLeod), Alexander (1852), Janet (1854, Mrs. Wm. Paddock), Archibald (1856-1910, no issue), and Malcolm (1858-1928, unmarried). Frank Paddock is a grandson of William and Janet McCormick Paddock.
Malcolm McCormick was the fourth son of John McCormick (1785). He settled lot 18 front Gore, and with his wife Catherine Wilkinson, a cousin, he was listed as a supporter of the original log church on lot 15. After her death, he married Nellie Carruthers Gibson, a sister to Willie Carruthers and Mrs. Alexander McIntyre. They continued to support the church at Crieff. Malcolm McCormick retired to a house he built on the west portion of lot 20, front First. Mrs. Duncan McAllister remembered that when the Sailor married Nellie there was a party at McIntyres on the Gore road. Some of the girls, putting their arms around the groom’s neck, broke a blister or lump that never healed, and eventually killed him in 1882.
Nellie and her brother Willie Carruthers continued to live in the house and Nellie continued to be listed as a church supporter.
Archibald McCormick, fifth son of John McCormick
(1785), and his wife Flora McCallum, lived on lot 22 rear First
adjoining the McCallum farm on lot 21. Flora McCallum McCormick
was killed by lightening as she returned across the fields from her parent's
home, carrying her youngest child Jane.
It is assumed that Archibald also died young. Their daughter Jane married and gave birth to
seven children in
Alexander McCormick, sixth son of John McCormick 1785, married Catherine MacDonald in 1848. This couple had no issue, but they raised Janet, Neil and Isobel’s daughter. Since Alexander and Neil were brothers, and Isobel and Catherine were sisters, Janet was a niece to both of her foster parents.
Angus McCormick, seventh son of John McCormick (1785) married Barbara Blair in 1851 and lived first on lot 18 rear Gore, then lot 20 front Gore. Barbara was the daughter of the lot 12 Blairs. Their family was John (1854), Mary (1856-1924), Archibald (1859), Jane (1861, Mrs John McLarty), Christy (1863, Mrs. Edgar), Janet (1869), and Margaret Ann (1875-1954, Mrs. Robert Ainslie).
Neither of Angus’ sons married.
Christy McCormick (Edgar) was the mother of Maude McCormick
1886-1966, who inherited her Aunt Mary’s house on the east side of
The only sister to these seven brothers was Janet (Betsy) who married little John Thomson.
William McCormick (1806-1901) was a nephew of John McCormick
(1785). He and Jane McKay
emigrated from Kintyre, Argylshire with their two young children, Margaret
(1837) and William (1839). William’s
older brother Malcolm had come with Neil McPhatter in 1831-32. Other brothers and sisters followed and their
father Archibald arrived in 1845 and he lived for two more years. William’s brother Malcolm left Puslinch early
William and Jean McKay McCormick pioneered lot 19 rear Gore and their other children were Donald (1843-1926), Euphemia (1845), John (1847-1919), and Barbara (1849). Mrs. McCormick died and William remarried in 1853. The surviving children of William and Betty McMillan McCormick were Malcolm (1854-1932), Mary (1856), and Angus (1859-1941).
William McCormick, 1806-1901, was Precentor at
His son, William McCormick Jr. (1839-1910), served on the
Board of Managers up to the time of his death in 1910 and he made a tremendous
contribution to the Service of Praise in
William Jr.’s sister, Margaret, married John Currie of lot 15 rear
Gore. Barbara, Mrs. Colin Campbell,
Donald married Catherine McGeachy and lived on lot 19 front First. He acted as Church Treasurer for several years before 1890. His daughters Jane (1898-1983); Cassie (1901); and Helen (1902) all took their turn playing the church organ before they moved to Galt in 1927 after their father's death.
Angus McCormick, youngest son of William and Betty McMillan McCormick, inherited the farm and married Annie Gilchrist, daughter of Peter and Margaret Wilkinson Gilchrist. Their family was William A. (1899-1986) and Bessie (1901, Mrs. Carl Ross). Bessie contributed to the Service of Praise, playing the organ, and she was active in the W.M.S. at Crieff before her marriage in 1953.
William A. McCormick and his wife Margaret McPherson continued to live on the farm. Mrs. McCormick was particularly involved in church work, with W.M.S. and Ladies Aid projects.
The McCormick’s only daughter Anna, Mrs. Don Jackson, grew up in the congregation, and played the church organ for two years before leaving for college in 1953. She and her husband returned to live on the farm in 1986.
John McDiarmid succeeded to the homestead of his
parents. John and Agnes Mason
McDiarmid’s daughters, Ida (Mrs. Roy Coburn) and Margaret (1898-1966, Mrs. John
Robson), participated in
MCDONALD AND MACDONALD
There were several different families by this name in the early
church. We have traced four different
families which all contributed to the congregation. These are the families of John McDonald
whose brothers Duncan and Angus also came to Crieff; Lewis MacDonald;
the “little McDonalds”, and their brother Duncan and nephew Thomas;
Duncan and Ann McPherson McDonald emigrated in
1844 from Badenoch, Invernesshire where he was the miller of Brae Ruthven
Estate and of Noide.
When the Huron Tract opened for settlement in 1850, James, Angus and
Hugh went to
The various McDonald and MacDonald families
who are still active in the congregation are descended from John McDonald,
son of Duncan and Janet Stewart McDonald. John settled lot 25 rear Gore. His only son James was born in
James MacDonald with his wife, Marjorie McPherson,
daughter of Elder Angus McPherson, inherited the lot 25
property. This family kept the Crieff
Post Office in the 1880's. Their
children were John (1869-1888), Angus (1872), Bella (1870, Mrs. Angus McPherson),
Duncan (born in Esquesing Twp., 1874-1941), Kenneth (1876-1961), and Donald
(known as Dan, 1879-1963). James McDonald
was one of the
Duncan McDonald, son of James and Marjorie, purchased lot 24, rear Gore and farmed there with his wife, Elizabeth McAllister. The farm had been pioneered by Mrs. McDonald's maternal uncle, the elder, Angus McPherson. The McDonalds were loyal church members. Duncan McDonald served on the Crieff Church Board of Managers and Cemetery Committee for many terms between 1920 and 1940, and was Church Treasurer for a period in the 1920's. Mrs. McDonald was active in W.M.S. and Ladies Aid.
Their family was Janetta (1902-1982, Mrs. Robert Hunter), Angus John (1904-1976), Wilhelmina (1907,Mrs. Allan Connell), James (1911-1920), and Howitt (1913).
Kenneth McDonald, son of James and Marjorie, and his
wife, Annie Ingram (1881-1952) lived in
John and Donald McDonald enlisted immediately when the
H.L.I., (Highland Light Infantry) was called to the colours in June 1940 and
they served continuously with the regiment, going into
Tom McDonald spent his life in business in Minneapolis, Minnesota, but he remembered his home church with affection and great generosity.
Jim and Donelda (Gregor) McDonald were loyal supporters of the church in every aspect of its ministry. Jim served on the Church Board of Managers steadily from 1938 until 1956 and for most of those years he was also the chairman. He was ordained as an elder in 1944, and he was Sunday School Superintendent from 1949 to 1965. Mrs. McDonald was organist and choir leader for many years, beginning in the latter 1950’s until shortly before her death in 1973. She was also a loyal member of W.M.S. and Ladies Aid. Their sons, Douglas and Paul, grew up in the congregation.
About 1976, Douglas, with his wife Gladys (Haugh) and their children
Brent and Michele returned to live on the family farm. They immediately became
involved in the church; Doug served on the Board of Managers before becoming an
elder in 1986. He is a Church
Trustee. He has also served on committees
of the Maclean Estate Committee of the Presbyterian Church in
Paul and Wendy (Schwartz) McDonald live in Aberfoyle and are active in Duff’s Church.
Stuart and Lorna (Maltby) McDonald continued on
the family farm in
Dan and Katherine Hollinger MacDonald raised their family on the homestead, lot 25, rear Gore. Their children were Edith (Mrs. Jack Porteous), John (died 1973), James, Donelda (Mrs. Jim MacMillan), Philip, and Edward (Scotty). The three older sons, Jack, Jim and Philip, were all in the armed forces in World War II. Mrs. MacDonald acted as caretaker at the church for many years as well as supporting the church and its organizations. She passed away in 1961.
Philip and Margaret Borthwick MacDonald are active
Ronald and Catherine Head MacDonald are members of Knox Crieff. Their children are Craig, Shawn and
Michelle. Craig and Shawn are
Edward Scott and Elizabeth McLean MacDonald continue to live on the family farm. Scotty and Betty have been loyal and active supporters of Crieff church. Scotty MacDonald served on the Board of Managers from 1962-1972 and again from 1977-82 and is a Church Trustee. Betty had the honour of being the first female to be elected to the Board of Managers 1973-75. She has acted as Missions Treasurer for many years, as well as being an active member of W.M.S. Their son Hugh farms with his father and also lives on this century farm. A second son, John, died in infancy in 1968.
Hugh and Janice Fletcher MacDonald built a new home,
north of Hugh’s parents’ home, when they married. Hugh grew up in the congregation,
participating in Young Peoples and then the Board of Managers. Janice, with her musical talents, is our able
organist and choir leader. To a great
extent, it is due to her talent that the choir has achieved so much since its
recent rejuvenation. Their daughter Amy
Duncan and Angus McDonald, brothers of John on lot 25, were stonemasons who settled lot 24, rear Gore. Angus was the more skilled of the two; they were the stonemasons who built Angus "Elder" McPherson’s house in 1859; their own house was slow to be finished. They built the cellar and foundation, then put a roof over it until they had time to do the upper stonework; it was completed in 1862; they also built the stone house on lot 26 rear Gore where the Scotts lived.
Their mother, Janet Stewart McDonald, emigrated with them
and died in 1847 shortly after their arrival.
Their sister, Janet, married James McDonald, son of Duncan
and Ann, and farmed in
Duncan married Ann McDonald, a Scottish lady with a 7-year old son
Francis McDonald. When
Duncan McDonald farmed lot 12 Ninth of Beverly, south
part on the sideroad to Highway 97. He was a brother of the little McDonalds
on lot 10 Ninth of
Alex McDonald, the Peddler, came to
Thomas McDonald Junior married Jannet McAllister,
daughter of Donald McAllister of
Thomas and Jannett’s son, Thomas (1879, the third) married Emma
Roszell and inherited the little McDonald’s farm on lot 12. Emma Roszell MacDonald died in
1911, age 28, leaving a son Norman. It
appears that Emma’s father, Isaac Roszell, continued to live with Tom McDonald. The two men were regular supporters of
To complete this puzzle we should investigate the origins of the
Lewis MacDonald family. The
original Lewis McDonald, from
Archibald and Catherine Gilchrist MacDonald lived on lot
27 Tenth of Beverly (
John (c1824-1911) and Catherine McMillan McGeachy
(c1839-1916) are named as pew holders in the 1854 church. Having emigrated from Kintyre, Argylshire,
they lived first on lot 33 rear Gore.
Their children were Jessie (Mrs. John Simpson and later Mrs. Walter
Elliott), Donald (1855-1916), Agnes (1863-1921, Mrs. Roderick Munroe), Margaret
(Mrs. David McNaughton), Catherine (1859, Mrs. Donald McCormick),
Mary (1860, Mrs. Scott of Badenoch), John (1864), Archibald (1866-1931), Edward
Many members of this family were active in the church over the years. In the book, “Presbyterianism in Puslinch”, Rev. Robertson cites an example of the collection of funds in the latter 1800's. “For a time, nearly the whole responsibility of the financial affairs (of the West Puslinch Church) rested upon Mr. John McGeachy, who, with surprising energy, and often at great inconvenience, called upon the people for the payment of their subscriptions towards the support of the church ordinances.” He was named to the Board of Managers about 1891.
Donald McGeachy, a bachelor, occupied a pew in the 1854 church, and he also was appointed to the Board of Managers about 1891. Edward and Mary Jane Walker McGeachy were faithful in their attendance at Crieff church. Their family was Jack, Russell, Marie (Mrs. George Schultz), and Lloyd. Archibald is also listed as a church supporter. John McGeachy’s marriage to Lizzie Decker was performed by Rev. Robertson in 1898. Jim and Margaret were their children. John McGeachy later converted to Evangelism.
George and Marie McGeachy Schultz were married in 1930 at
Morriston by Rev. Mathieson. Their
children were William, Shirley (Mrs. Rory McLaren), and Dr.
Edward. Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd McGeachy
John McGregor was a teacher at
John and Margaret Miller McGregor moved from lot 27 Ninth of Beverly to lot 13, First of Puslinch. Their children were Mary (1859) and Catherine (1861), both born in Beverly, Flora (1862) and Margaret (1863), born while their parents lived on lot 15 First and while their father taught at Killean.
John McGurie was an interesting character, who worked with various farmers and over a period of years, into the 1920’s, supported the church.
Alexander (known as
William McIntosh and his wife, Annie Rea, lived with
their family on lot 27 rear Gore until their move to
Alexander McIntyre emigrated in 1841 and purchased lot 6
front Gore for the family. He was a teacher.
He married Mary Gilchrist, daughter of John and Ann Gilchrist. When their first children were born he was