Pioneer Days in School Section 12

Puslinch Township



compiled by F. L. Maddock


Published for the trustees


Guelph Publishing Company

Guelph Ontario.









When the Trustees of S. S. No. 12, Puslinch, sent out an ap­peal for information as to the early history of this school, I soon learned on investigation that many of the older residents of this section had long since passed away, while others had moved to different parts of the Dominion.  The response to a number of letters soliciting assistance brought but few replies, neverthe­less, three of these contained a wealth of information.


Mrs. Grace Stevenson of Port Haney, B.C., forwarded an old map of the district drawn in 1874, and in addition, a long ac­count of the early history written by her brother, the late Thomas Kernighan, who attended the school in the sixties of the last century.  This account is entirely from memory and was writ­ten for the purpose of self-amusement as the writer was more or less of an invalid for a number of years prior to his death in Van­couver, four years ago.  Mrs. Peter Henderson (nee Eleanor Kernighan) of Winslow, Arizona, sends a graphic account, and Mr. Joseph Thompson, of Owen Sound, furnishes additional facts to complete the early history of School Section Number Twelve.


Guelph, Ontario, November 1st, 1935.


F. L. Maddock.







Early History of S. S. No. 12, Township of Puslinch.


The Section comprises about 4000 acres, and is situated in the extreme northwest corner of the Township of Puslinch.  The south boundary is the blind line between the rear and front of the third concession, the east side is the line between lots 11 and 12 in concessions 4 and 5, the north boundary is the township line between Puslinch and Guelph, and the west boundary is the line between Puslinch and Waterloo.  The land is generally roll­ing, especially on the south side.  The east side is comparatively level, and the north and west is much broken by the River Speed.  On the front of lots 4 and 5 in concession 4 is situated a large pond, covering probably 50 acres, but I understand the greater part has been drained and brought under cultivation.  A spring creek runs across the rear of lots 4, 5 and 6 in Con. 4, and there is considerable swampy land on each side of it. All the lots in concession 5 within the district are much broken by the river.


The Schoolhouse is a large stone building, situated on the south-west corner of the rear half of lot 5, con 4, and was erect­ed in the year 1854.  The contractors for the building were Ru­del Bros. of Berlin.  Access to it is gained by an extra road which was laid out between the front and rear of the fourth conces­sion.









Prior to the building of this school a young lady named Agnes Lawrence taught a private school in the Methodist Church on lot 10, con 4.  The first teacher in the School was Wm. Clairman, who was there only one season.  They appear to have had great difficulty in retaining the services of a teacher, as during the years 1854 and 1855 they had no few­er than three teachers.  After Clairman came McCatto, who remained a few months and was succeeded by Anson, who only held the position for three weeks.  He was followed by Ross, who was a good teacher, but fell into dissipated ways and had to retire.  The next teacher was a young man named William Hart who commenced in 1857.  He proved to be a capable teacher, and his services were retained for three years.  Succeeding him was Wilson Mewhart, who also taught three years and was fairly successful.  James Kennedy then took up the duties of teacher at the beginning of 1863, but only remained one year.  He was a highly educated man, but did not appear to be able to get in touch with either his pupils or their parents.  After a year of considerable friction and trouble, he retired and was succeeded by Charles Eby.  He taught one year, 1864, and was re-engaged for the next term, but before the school started in January, he changed his mind and resigned to enter the Methodist ministry.  Then the school was closed for about a month until the trustees secured the services of Daniel Talbot who remained with them during the years 1865-6-7. The next teacher was John G. Mc­Lean who served two years and then had to resign on account of ill health and soon afterwards he died.  In January 1870, Wil­liam J. Kilgour was engaged as teacher and retained the position for three or four years.  As I removed from the Township in 1874, I am unable to give any information of a reliable nature af­ter that date.








I think that the first person to hold the office of School Superintendent or Inspector was Rev. R. Tor­rance.  During all the time that I was a pupil, the Superintendent was Rev. Jas. Kilgour.




The gentlemen who acted as trustees during the time I have any remembrance of were Messrs. Robert Brown, Thomas Waters, William Stevenson, William May, John Rudel and Cornelius Pannabaker.  Mr. May was Collector of School Taxes until a change in the law abolished the office.


The Library


Soon after the school was started, a good library was secured, the funds being provided by the Depart­ment of Education, and the books being selected by a committee consisting of David Stirton, Thomas Jarmy and Thomas Kernig­han.  Mr. Kernighan acted as librarian, and the books were kept in his house for a few years.  Afterwards, the library was removed to the Schoolhouse.




Soon after the school started, the Great Western Railway was building their line from Galt to Guelph, and a number of their employees lived near the school and sent their children there, and during Mr. Hart’s time the attendance ran as high as 80 or 90.  In my time, it would average 50 in winter and 30 in summer, but I believe it is much smaller now.






Early Residents


Commencing at the south-west cor­ner of the Section, the first lot, viz., rear half lot 1, con. 3, and front. half lot 1, con. 4, was owned by Philip Holm.  He was suc­ceeded by his son David who built a large flour mill and sawmill on the place.  The farm is now owned by Edward Doyle and the mills by W. A. Kribbs.  Rear lot 2, con. 3, was the farm of Nichol­as Cober.  He had a large family of three sons, John, Jacob and Peter, and four or five daughters, of whom I remember the names of Sarah, Martha, Mary and Hannah.  John Cober built a shingle and planing mill on the south end of this farm, which is now own­ed by B. Neustadt and the rest of the farm by W. Pannabaker.  Lot 3 and west half of lot 4 in rear of con. 3, was the farm of Cor­nelius Pannabaker.  He had two sons, Elias, who succeeded him on the farm and Samuel, a blacksmith, and two daughters, Anna and Esther.  This farm is now owned by Walter Holm.  William Bear had a blacksmith shop on this farm, which was afterwards occupied by S. Pannabaker.  East half lot 4 and lot 5, rear con. 3, was owned by Jacob Cober.  He had twelve children, but I only remember the names of Solomon, John, Isaac, Eno, Matilda, An­nie and Rebecca.  The farm is now divided between Solomon and John Cober.  There is a Church and Cemetery on the north-east earner of this place which belongs, I think, to the Mennonites.
















Rear half lot 6, con. 3, was divided into two parts.  The south 50 acres was owned by Neil Holm, and now by R. Chester.  The north 50 acres was owned by John Evans.  Evans gave it to his daughter, Mrs. James Salt, and her son Samson lived on it a number of years, and it is now owned by his brother John Salt.  Lots 7 and 8, rear of con. 3, was the home of William Evans.  His family were Fenton, John, Mary, Alfred, Addy, Thomas and Da­vid.  Thomas Evans now lives on the place.  Front of lot 2, con. 4, was owned by James Salt.  His children were Samson, Jane, Mary, James, John, Joseph, Annie and Samuel.  It is now occu­pied by John Greive.  Front lot 3, con. 4, was owned by Adam Durst.  It was afterwards owned by Gavin Hume of Galt, who rented it successively to Jas. Dimmick, Edward Colleton, Jas. Henry and others.  It was afterwards owned by S. Pannabaker, and now by J. Eggert.  There was an acre off the south-east cor­ner of this place with a house which was occupied in my time by Valentine Fisher and by John Warner.  Front half lot 4, con. 4, was the home of Thomas Jarmy.   He had two sons, Thomas and Charles and two daughters, Theresa and Sophia.  Jarmy sold to James Evans, who also owned the front of lot 5, con. 4. Evans had a family of four sons and three daughters, viz : George, Jos­eph, Smith, James, Elizabeth, Sarah and Annie.  The farm is now owned by Smith Evans and worked by his sons.






Front lot 6, con. 4 was the farm of William Jones.  He had no children but was married to a widow named Jotham, who had two sons and three daughters, viz George,  Fred, Julia, Mary Ann and Ellen.  Jones sold the farm to Robert Brown and it is now owned by a man named Neighbour.  On the north west corner of this place was a tavern called “Speed the Plow”.   This, I think, was built by the Jothams, but was afterwards owned and run by Thomas Pallister.  After he left, it was rented in turn to Joshua Hinchliffe,  Wm. Wheedan, Joseph McGinnis and George Barber.  It is now gone and no trace of the buildings remain.  Front of lot 7, con. 4 was the farm of Samuel Thompson.  His children were Luke, Frank, Clara and Jesse.  After he left, it was rented to several tenants, viz, Jeremiah Woodhouse, Ajax Hartley, Wil­liam Reeve and others, and then sold to Fenton Evans, and is now owned by Neighbour.  It is reported that natural gas has been found on this place.  Front of lots 8 and 9, con. 4 was taken up by Henry Holmes and afterwards sold to William Stevenson.  After his death it was sold to John Rudel, and is now owned by John Goudie.






Front of lot 10, con. 4 was the property of Douglas McGre­gor.  His family members were Peter, Alexander, Janet, Henrietta and Agnes.  After his death, his son Peter owned the place for some years and then sold to John Thompson and it is now owned by D. Galbraith. Front of lot 11, con 4 belonged to William Thomp­son.   His family was Robert, Hannah, Sarah, John, William, Nathan, Joseph and Edgar.  T. Cassin now lives on this farm.  The rear halves of lots 1 and 2, con. 4 were owned by Jacob Mil­ler.  He did not live on it but rented it to Levi Eaton.  He had two sons and two daughters, viz, Enoch, Mary, Alice and Wil­liam.


Rear half lot 3, con. 4, belonged to Peter McNaughton, who had three sons, James, Peter and Alexander, and two daughters, Annie and Margaret.  This farm and also the Eaton place are now the property of The Christie-Henderson Lime Company.   Rear lot 4, con. 4 was first occupied by James Crane.  Suc­ceeding him was Thomas Henry.  Then John Rudel, who had a large family.  Their names as far as I can remember were Ab­ram, Mary, Aaron, Sarah, Ida and John.  It is now owned by W. Eckhardt.  There was a house on the south-east corner of this farm which was occupied by Joseph McCullock and afterwards by Mrs. McGurk.  Rear lot 5, con. 5, was the farm of a Dutch­man named Surares, but in my time was owned by his son-in-­law, David Strome.  His children were Leah, Elizabeth, Hannah, Noah, Andrew, Margaret, Benjamin, Rachel and Solomon.  The farm is now the property of J. Eckhardt.






The school site is on this farm.  Rear lot 6, con. 4 was the farm of Thomas Kernighan. It was taken up first by William Harrison, who rented it to several tenants and then sold it to a man named Kerr, who in turn sold to Kernighan.  The family consisted of three sons and six daughters, viz, Jane, Joseph, Eli­zabeth, Rosanna, Matilda, Thomas, Eleanor, Samuel and Grace.  This place is now owned by Andrew Aikin.  Lot 4, con. 5, belonged to John Biernes.  He had a large family but I only remember the names of William, Frank, Joseph, Samuel, James, Harriet and Emma.  Lot 5, con. 5, was owned by Patrick Flynn.  His children were Sarah, Stephen, James, Bartholomew, Katherine, Thomas, Margaret and Patrick.  This and the Biernes farm are now owned by Henry Snider. Lot 6, con. 5 was the home of William E. May.  His children were Harriet, Annie, Maria, Richard, James, Samuel, Mary, William, Charles, Millicent and Constance.  It is now the property of J. McIntosh.






Rear halves of lots 7, 8, 9 and 10, con. 4 and lots 7, 8, 9 and 10, con. 5 were first taken up by Roland Wingfield and sold by him to John Howitt.  Lots 7 and 8, con. 4 were kept for a long time in woods, except a small field at each end.  The north field was worked by John Campbell, whose children were Richard, Sarah, Elizabeth, Margaret and Mary. Campbell was a weaver, and in the early days did considerable work in that line for the neighbours.  On the south end of those lots lived a man named John Meakin.  After his death his daughter, Mrs. Merrell lived on the place a few years.  Her children, as far as I can remember, were Margaret, Sarah, Annie and Charles.  After she left, William Eagle rented the place and lived there a few years.  His family was William, Wesley, Emily, Elijah, Samuel, Sarah, Mary and Alexander.


These lots were afterwards divided across and the south halves now belong to Joseph Lynch.  The north halves were owned for a time by Benjamin Strome and are now the property of G. Wingfield.  Rear lots 9 and 10, con. 4 were rented by Howitt to Isaac Simpson, and then in turn, to James Keppell, James Cunningham and William Smith.  T. H. Bedford afterwards owned those lots, and they are now occupied by J. D. Clarke.  On the north-east corner of this place is situated a Methodist Church and Cemetery.  Lots 7, 8, 9 and 10, con. 5 were part of the Howitt property.  Lots 7 and 8 were first rented by Manuel Marshall.  His children were Thomas, John, James, Margaret, Sarah, Phoebe and Eliza.  Afterwards, these lots were owned by Alfred Howitt and the present owner is W. T. Ireland.






When Roland Wingfield came from England, he built a house on lots 9 and 10, con. 5, which was intended as a fort against possible attacks from Indians.  It had small diamond­ shaped windows and the front door was studded with large brass nails.  The walls were also very thick, but I never heard of its being put to any actual test.  It was occupied during my remem­brance by Thomas Tracey, Jos. Walker and others.  This farm is now owned by George McAlister.  The first settler on rear lot 11, con. 4 was John Crump.  It was then bought by David Stir­ton, who for many years was Member for the Riding.  His child­ren were Ann, Mary, James, Peter and Agnes.  Mr. Stirton sold this farm to James Glennie.  He rented it to James Crane for a time and it is now owned by G. L. Metcalfe.  On the south-west corner of this farm was a small house occupied first by a shoe­maker named Jamieson. He had several children, but I only re­member the names of two viz, Christina, now the wife of Rev. Mr. Martin of London, Ont., and David, who is now M. P. P. for South Grey in the Ontario Legislature.






Perhaps it might not be amiss to say a few words about the character and habits of these early settlers.  I think the chief characteristic, which will occur to any one acquainted with those men and women, is the sterling honesty and uprightness of almost every one of them.  The south-west part of the section was largely settled by Pennsylvania Dutchmen, being an overflow from the adjoining County of Waterloo.  The men of this nation­ality were all good farmers, and the women excellent house­keepers.  As a rule, they were very religious, and gave strict at­tention to the rules of their Church.  Owing to their thrifty habits, they all acquired considerable property of one kind and another.  I think there were more people of English descent in the section than any other nationality.  There were a few Irish families and still fewer Scotch.


Although for over thirty years a licensed tavern was main­tained in the centre of the section, it can truly be said that none of the farmers, with one possible exception, ever patronized it, in fact the greater number never entered its doors.


Our people were also good church attendants.  There were two churches within our bounds and those who did not attend the local services, generally drove to Guelph, Galt or Hespeler to churches of their own choice.






Our most popular celebrity was Mr. David Stirton who was the Member of Parliament for South Wellington for a number of years.  He was never defeated, and his friends gave him a fare­well banquet in the school-house when he removed from the Township.  The only other resident of our district that I can re­member of as securing more than a local notoriety was Thomas Jarmy, Jr., who at one time was the champion sledge thrower of Canada.


We also had our share of tragedy.  I have a very distinct recollection of the day that Douglas McGregor committed sui­cide.  There was another case of suicide, when Mrs. Ross, the wife of the teacher, hanged herself, but that was before I can remember.  There was another tragedy enacted in the hotel at the corner, when the hotel-keeper, Wheedan, lost his life.  An inquest was held, as a suspicion was entertained that his wife and a man named Hooper were connected with his death, but no proof could be produced.  Another time, a poor tramp was found dead near the school, but nothing was discovered as to his identi­ty or cause of his death.  Another sad occurrence was the death by drowning in the river Speed of Joseph Kernighan.  Of course, every death in a small community is considered a personal loss by every one, but I think that the few mentioned are the only violent or unusual occurrences which happened in our midst.


The amusements of our young people consisted principally in attending private parties in farm houses in winter, and boating excursions on Puslinch Lake in summer, and also the usual ath­letic games common to all rural communities.


We also appear to have been of a musical turn.  Elias Wit­mer taught a Singing School in the schoolhouse during the win­ters of, I think, 1861 and 1862 and again 1867.  W. J. Kilgour also taught Singing School in the years 1870 and 1871.  I remem­ber we had a fine Charity Concert in the school, given in aid of a neighbour who had been ill for a long time. Miss Gerrie was the star performer, and it was a great success.






I will now make a list of those who attended school between January 1863 and March 1871, which was the time I attended myself, as far as I can remember them.



Pupils Attending School at No. 12, Puslinch,

January 1863-March 1871.


Armstrong Thomas

Abelard Charles

Barber Martha

Barber Sarah

Barber Joseph

Bear Edward

Bear William

Biernes Samuel

Biernes James

Blatchford Emma

Cober Hannah

Cober Eva

Cober Annie

Cober Rebecca

Cober Matilda

Colloton Mary

Colloton Annie

Colloton Alice

Colloton Margaret

Campbell Sarah

Campbell Elizabeth

Campbell Margaret

Campbell Richard

Cober Peter

Cober John

Cober Isaac

Carruthers James

Cunningham John

Colloton Robert

Colloton Edward

Dimmick Mary

Dimmick Charles

Eaton Enoch

Eaton Mary

Eaton Alice

Eaton William

Eagle Sarah

Eagle Mary

Eagle Elijah

Eagle Samuel

Evans Mary

Evans Addy

Evans Annie

Evans Fenton

Evans John

Evans Alfred

Evans Thomas

Evans David

Evans Smith

Evans James

Fisher Sarah

Fisher Matilda

Fisher John

Fisher William

Flynn Patrick

Hammersley Isabella

Hartley Mary

Henry Janet

Henry Margaret

Henry Ella

Henry John

Henry William

Henry Joseph

Henry Frederick

Hartley Henry

Howitt John

Hinchliffe George

Israel Magdalen

Kernighan Rosa

Kernighan Matilda

Kernighan Eleanor

Kernighan Grace

Kernighan Joseph

Kernighan Thomas

Kernighan Samuel

Keppell Fanny

Keppell Sarah

Keppell David

Launce Sarah

Little David

McGurk Elizabeth

Morrell Sarah

Morrell Annie

May Annie

May Mary

Marshall Sarah

Marshall Phoebe

Marshall Eliza

Marshall James

McGinnis Margaret

McGinnis Annie

McGinnis Daniel

McGinnis Alexander

McGee John

McNaughton Alex.

Musser Ephriam

Morrell Charles

May Richard

May James

May Samuel

May William

May Charles

Reece Rosa

Rudel Mary

Rudel Sarah

Rudel Ida

Reeve Annie

Reeve Emma

Reeve Charles

Rudel Abram

Rudel Aaron

Rudel John

Reece Edward

Salt Annie

Salt Jenn

Salt James

Salt Joseph

Salt Samuel

Stirton Agnes

Stirton James

Smith Rosa

Smith Charles

Strome Margaret

Strome Rachel

Strome Noah

Strome Andrew

Strome Benjamin Strome Solomon

Strome Isaac

Snelgrove Andrew Thompson Clara Thompson Frank Thompson Jesse Thompson John Thompson William Thompson Nathan Thompson Joseph Thompson Edgar

Walker Annie

Wanner Annie

Wanner Mary

Wanner Henry Woodhouse Sarah Woodhouse Charles Walker William

Waters Henry

Waters Douglas






At the present time, 1919, there are 32 of these dead as far as I know of viz, Joseph and Rosa Kernighan, James, Annie and Samuel Salt, David Little, Joseph, Henry, Noah, Andrew and Margaret Strome, James, Mary and Addy Evans, Douglas Waters, Richard, Annie, Mary, William, Charles May, John, Na­than, Clara and Jesse Thompson, Aaron and Sarah Rudel, John Howitt, William Walker, Rebecca Cober, Mary Enoch and Wil­liam Eaton, Agnes Stirton.


The following were married, viz, Fenton Evans and Annie Salt, Thomas Armstrong and Annie Walker, Richard Campbell and Martha Barber, Enoch Eaton and Sarah Fisher.


The following are the only ones of the pupils named who at present reside in the section, viz, Smith and Thomas Evans and John Cober. 


Mr. Hart, Mr. Eby and Mr. Kilgour are the only teachers living.


The parentage of these pupils was: English 60, Dutch 40, Irish 38 and Scotch 8.  The parents of these children, in common with thousands of others throughout Canada, performed a task, the magnitude and importance of which can hardly be estimated.  They found the country a dense forest, far from market, and in too many instances of a poor quality of soil.  They left it in the form of smiling homesteads, connected by good roads and pro­vided with the necessary attributes of civilization, viz, Schools and Churches.  A walk through either of the cemeteries, one at Kirkland’s corner and one at Cober’s is very interesting to an old-time resident of the place.  There the headstones indicate where “The rude Forefathers of the Hamlet Sleep”.  Men, whose farms were only separated by a rail fence, now lie sleeping quietly, even closer, side by side in the little graveyard.  May their successors, when their time comes to lay down their burdens, be able to leave as good a name and as clear a memory as those old-time trail-blazers of Puslinch.  Of course, there is not one of the original owners of any farm in the district now (1919) alive. The farms of Jacob Cober, William Evans and James Evans are now occupied by sons of those gentlemen.  Others who were my school-fellows have been scattered into every quarter of the Globe.






Although none of the boys mentioned ever attained any position of National importance, there were several of them who have been trusted by their fellows to fill positions of more or less importance.  Thomas Armstrong was Reeve of his Town­ship in Muskoka for several years.  John Cunningham was a prominent Alderman in the City of Guelph; James Stirton has for over twenty years been Postmaster in the town of Morden, Man.; Thomas Kernighan was for three years Mayor of the town of Carman, Man.  Of course, there are several of whom I have been unable to keep track, but all that I have knowledge of, developed into good citizens, a fact that may well be taken as reflecting a measure of credit on our teachers.  If we did not profit by the ef­forts of our teachers, as much as was desirable, it was our own faults, as they were a pains-taking and careful lot of men, and I hope have met their reward.


I have on several occasions, since the days of my attendance there, driven past the old school, but only on one occasion have I been inside the door, when I called for a few minutes.  Miss McQueen was teaching.  Everything appeared much the same as in the old days, except that there were new seats, and the play­ground had been enlarged.


Now, as I said at first, I have had nothing to base my re­marks on except my memory, and as over forty-five years have elapsed since I have had any direct connection with the place or people, it can readily be understood that errors may have gotten into my story.  I have been unable to follow the after life of all my fellow pupils, especially the girls, and more of them may be living in the neighbourhood than I have named, also more of them may be dead.


I have told all that I know about my subject, and will be well re­paid for my trouble if what I have written is of interest to the few into whose hands it may fall.


Thomas Kernighan

 New Westminster, B. C., March 10, 1919.






An Account of the Early History of School Section No. 12

(By Mrs. Peter Henderson, Winslow, Arizona)


I was always told, when a child, that I was born when the school was built, so I was just exactly as old as the school.  Per­haps that was why I have always been proud of No. 12, and liked to hear stories of happenings at the school long before I was able to attend.  But I never met anyone that has as good a memory as myself, so I feel I can give you a true account of what happen­ed so long ago.


In the year 1855, there was one quarter of an acre bought from Mr. David Strome from the south-west corner of his farm on lot No. 5, concession 5, Puslinch, and the school was built that summer and classes started before winter.  The trustees had some trouble in finding suitable teachers, Messrs. Clairman, McCarty and Ross being found unsuitable. They were fortunate in securing the services of William Hart, a youth of sixteen but a very clever scholar who taught for four years with success.  All old timers in Guelph knew Mr. Hart and held him in respect.  Our next teacher was Mr. James Kennedy who taught one year.  Mr. Mewhart also taught one year.  He was succeeded by Charles S. Eby, a young man who was preparing for the Methodist minis­try and only taught one year, taking up  missionary work in the East.  I understand he spent his life at that work.  Our next teacher was Mr. Daniel Talbot of Eramosa, who taught three years and was dearly loved by the pupils and gave satisfaction to all.  John McLean, a young man from Rockwood Academy, succeeded Mr. Talbot and taught two years.  Mr. William Kilgour was his successor and taught four years.  He was not strong but never let his weakness interfere with business.  He kept us all busy, taught singing school on winter evenings, and had a base­ball nine going.  We would have been ashamed to say it was too much when our teacher never complained.  This was my last year in No. 12, my first being when Mr. Kennedy taught the school.






No serious trouble ever took place in our school.  A Mr. Kirkland, father of the late William Kirkland, was entrusted with a sum of money to use as he thought fit to help struggling schools.  He very cleverly spent it on a fine library for No. 12.  It really was a fine collection of books, being biographies, histories, poems, stories from history for the half grown children, simple stories and poems for the little ones.  There were several hun­dred volumes.  I do not remember many of the trustees, but it seems Mr. Cornelius Pannabaker was often a trustee.  Mr. David Stirton, Robert Brown, James Evans and Smith Evans also ser­ved as trustees.   The names of the men whose children attended the school, when I commenced school and was eight years old at the time (1863) were Messrs. Bierns, May, Manuel Marshall, David Stirton, Isaac Simpson, Thomas Kernighan, David Strome, Tom Henry, Enoch Eaton, McNaughton Bros., William Thomp­son, Douglas McGregor, William Stevenson, William Jones, James Evans, James Sault, Nicholas Cober, Cornelius Panna­baker, Jacob Cober, Sampson Sault, Miss Oakes (who was tak­ing higher mathematics preparing to be a teacher).


Before No. 12 was built, a Miss Agnes Lawrence taught the larger girls in the little Methodist Church (then a frame building and called “Kirkland’s Apportionment”, but when I visited it in 1907 it was called “Howitt Memorial” and was built of stone.)  While speaking of this little church and cemetery, I wish to speak of an old man who lived on a farm to the east of my father’s farm.  His name was James Meakin and he is buried near the north fence of the cemetery, and was a British War Veteran, and fought at Waterloo.  Kirkland’s Chapel was built in 1845.






A Further Account of the History of No. 12

(By Mr. Joseph Thompson of Owen Sound, Ont., Feb. 12th, 1935.)


Originally No. 12 and the section East of it were in one section, and the school was on the north east corner of my fa­ther’s farm, and that was Lot 11, concession 4, Puslinch. Just when it was made into two sections I do not know, but my bro­ther John, I am quite sure, went for a while to the old school house.  He was born February 24th, 1845.  I was born January 11th, 1860.  The old school was used as a dwelling at the time of my birth, Mr. Downey living in it and his daughter (Lizzie) being born there the same week as I was born (January 1860). 


The first teachers I can remember anything of, and teaching in No. 12 were, Mr. Mewhart and Mr. William Hart.  I cannot re­call who taught first.  Then followed Charles Eby, Daniel Talbot, John Gillies, McLean, William Kilgour, and then another Mr. McLean.  I don't remember any of the trustees excepting Mr. Pannabaker and Mr. Robert Brown.  I hope this will help you, in preparing a history of the school.






(From Mrs. A. Stevenson (née Grace Kernighan)

 Port Haney, B. C., April 23rd, 1935.)


Too much credit cannot be given to the teaching of W. J. Kilgour.  He suffered from his lameness, yet taught and instilled in his pupils a love of learning.  He read to the older ones from studies not on the school curriculum from which we took notes and thus were in advance of our time.  He taught us also to sing, and to recite.  In addition, while hampered by a cane and a crutch, he organized a baseball team known as “Kilgour’s Ath­letics”, and taught them the game.  All honour to his memory.









Teacher and Students at No. 12, October 1935.









Printed by

The Confederate Publishing Company,

Mount Forest, Ontario.







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