Ringold of Salop Hill

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the summer of 1850, in the Township of Puslinch, “Ringold”, the celebrated purebred Durham bull, was enjoying the sumptuous hospitality of Salop Hill Farm, Lot 16, Concession 1, and his services were boldly advertised in local newspapers, as can be seen in the example immediately below, available to all ladies, whatsoever their current circumstances, who were desirous of advancing forthwith their family pedigree to a far nobler state.

 

 

 

 

(Advertisement, appearing in Guelph and Galt newspapers)

 

 

 

 

Salop Hill, in 1850, was the home of Captain Thomas Paddock, and his wife, Sarah, and their children, who had originally purchased the property, then, in only a partially cleared state, from one Alexander McNaughton, in the 1830’s, when Puslinch Township was still very much in its original well-forested state.  The property, to which Thomas added several adjacent and nearby farms for his sons, has endured for generations as one of the most successfully-managed family agricultural enterprises in Puslinch.

 

A truly enjoyable letter to read, written by Thomas Paddock in 1835, to his family in Shropshire, England has been made available through the diligent research of Irvin D. Krause, the renowned science educator, in a smartly titled family history book, “Bonds and Other Valuable Assets”, and subtitled “The Descendents of Richard Henry Bond (1783-1866)”.  The letter is reproduced here, but for anyone genuinely curious about the Bond and Paddock families, Mr. Krause’s large and impressive work should be consulted.  The letter, with grateful acknowledgement to the researcher, now follows.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Salop Hill,

near Galt in Dumfries,

Upper Canada.

30th June 1835.

 

 

Dear Brother,

 

I am thankful that I have it in my power to let you know from this distant part of the world that we are enjoying the blessings of good health, which I sincerely hope you, and your family, and all my brothers and sisters and their families, and also my uncles and aunts are in possession of the same blessing.

 

We are highly favoured by the Almighty in being preserved from the cholera that raged so in our neighbourhood last summer.  I hope and trust that it will not appear amongst us again.  The deaths were numerous and whole families were swept away by the dreadful complaint.  Many farmers suffered much in not being able to attend to their harvest.  I myself cut 18 acres of wheat for a neighbour, who is a Dutchman, and whose family was afflicted with cholera.  He lost one son.

 

It answered very well for me as I had not any wheat and my spring crops were not ready.  I have had 50 measures of wheat for my trouble, and we completed it in ten days with assistance of a Shropshire man, the only countryman I have seen in the province.  His name is Edward Hughes, a native of Wellington, and he is a relative of John Pollett.  He had been in the Third Dragoon Guards.  He is a very steady worker and has been with me for four months.  I must here mention that I am extremely obliged to you and my brothers for the money you sent me.  It has been paid to me and established my credit.  I paid my instalment for my land, and Mr. Shade has accounted me 101 pounds, which lets people know I have money in the bank.

 

We are getting very happy, although we would like to see you all, but it is not a day’s journey.  I think, with God’s help, in a short time we will be comfortable.  I assure you it is hard work to clear land when it is hickory timber.  When cleared, it is the best land.  I begin to think well of my timber.  Galt is going to be a very large place.  There are fifty houses to be built this summer.  I sold a great deal for that purpose.  We expect a steam vessel up the Grand River from Lake Erie in a short time, which will make Galt a place of trade.  I have more and better timber than anyone in the neighbourhood.  I have 300 saw logs to take to the sawmill this winter, which is one mile and a quarter from our place.  We draw them on sleighs with a yoke of oxen, and two logs will contain 600 feet of board.  The sawmill has one half for cutting them.  We have three trees that will cut six logs.

 

We shall have a very busy summer.  This fall, I intend to build a better house.  The one we live in now is called a shanty, put up with small logs.  Besides, we have to clear about 20 acres to sow wheat upon.  We have 10 acres now sown with wheat and about 14 to sow in the spring with barley, oats, peas, Indian corn, and potatoes.  Peas are a most excellent crop here, and Indian corn is capital food made into hasty pudding and eaten with milk.  This land will produce to the greatest perfection cucumbers, melons, and pumpkins on the natural ground.  We have pumpkins as large as a milking pail, which make good pies, and very good for cattle.  I brought some Swede turnip seed with me, which answers very well.  I wish I could get some early cabbage seeds and some gooseberry cuttings.  There are none here.  Apples, we have plenty.  I shall plant a large orchard next spring.

 

Our stock consists of two yoke of oxen, two cows, ten sheep, and twelve beautiful pigs, as ever we had at Ridge.

 

You would scarcely know your nephews; they are grown up.  You will be surprised when I tell you we have the best of bread, best pork in the world, and the potatoes could not be better.  We are not at a loss for anything except cheese and beer.

 

 

 

 

 

We can boast of one comfort here that you have not, that is, no tithes, nor but very little taxes to pay.  The assessor of taxes called upon me yesterday and I shall have the enormous sum of 3s/6 (3 shillings, 6 pence) to pay next Christmas.  Any person that cannot do at home, let him come here, if he is industrious, if not, better stay at home.  Here is a great field for improvement and a vast labour to be done.  All mechanical labour is very high and common labour too.  A man will not work for you under 3 pounds per month, with board and lodging.

 

  Wheat is very low at present, not more than /3 per bushel, and what accounts I see from England is that markets are very low.

 

This country is much like England was about the time our grandfather was a boy.  We have good fires on the hearth and the farmer and his family clothing is home made.  They keep sheep here for wool, and geese, for the feathers.

 

Land is advancing in price rapidly.  What was selling two years since for 15 pounds is double, and improved farms are selling very high, although a man that has a family would land here with 400 pounds in his pocket may purchase a farm of two hundred acres, a hundred clear, stock, and everything to his hand for that money.

 

It is of no use any person coming here unless he has a family to assist.  If he is obliged to hire his work done, wages are so high that it will not pay him.  I have a deal more to say, but no room or time.  I must conclude with my wife’s and my children’s and my sincere love to you, all my brothers and sisters and their families.

 

Hoping you are enjoying good health.  Send me some newspapers.  Put them in the post office and they will find the road to Galt. 

 

I am yours truly,

Thomas Paddock.

 

P.S.

I was sorry to read of the burning of the two houses of Parliament.  I see the Duke of Wellington and his party are in power again.

 

P.S.S. from Mrs. Paddock

Please remember me to Mrs. Davies of Dunderton Hall.  I hope she is well.  I have been dreaming a deal about her lately.  Let my brothers and sisters know that we are well.  I have the best husband and children in the world.  Wish I could send you a loaf of George’s maple sugar.  I wish you could see your nephews with the rosy cheeks and your niece.  She is the sweetest little girl in America.  Some of you come and see us; it will only be a pleasant journey.

 

I am your well wisher,

Sara Paddock.

 

 

 

 

 

Over the years, newspaper articles have documented the Paddock family’s accomplishments, accomplishments that demonstrate the benefits accruing to brothers and their families who work together.  Once again, through the research of generous contributors, three such newspaper articles can be provided here.

 

 

 

 

“Fine Farms”

(from the Galt Reporter newspaper for May 4th 1883.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Golden Wedding”

(from the Guelph Mercury for November 5th 1903.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Sawmill Fire”

(From the Hespeler Herald for June 22nd 1936.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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