Etobicoke Township Residents from A History of Toronto and County of York

Richard Johnston, retired, Thistletown, was born in the Township of Cavan, Durham County, in 1821, being the third son in a family of seven children. His father, the late Robert Johnston, of Irish extraction, removed from New York to Canada in 1818, and taking up his residence in Cavan Township, brought up his family. On leaving home Richard came to Etobicoke, and embarked in the mercantile business at Thistletown, which he conducted successfully for twenty-two years, and for twelve years during that period untertook the duties of Post-master. In connection with the above business he cultivated a farm which he leased on his retirement about five years ago. Mr. Johnston has been twice married, first to Margaret Weir, of Otonabec, near Peterboro’; by her he had two children, one of whom (a son) is now living in Etobicoke. His second marriage was in 1858 to Mary Duncan; the fruit of this union is three daughters and one son, all living. The two eldest daughers are married, one to Mr. George Rowntree, and the other to Rev. Henry Harper, Methodist minister. With the exception of Mr. Johnston himself, who is a Presbyterian, the family are of the Methodist persuasion. (vol. II, p. 255)

Andrew Kaale, lot 35, concession 1, was born in this township on the lot where he now resides, and is the third son of the late Adam Kaale, an early settler in Etobicoke. His father came from Pennsylvania to Canada with his parents in 1796, when only six years of age, when they settled on the farm now occupied by Mr. Allan Castle; from there they removed to concession 3, subsequently to the farm where Andrew now lives, and where Adam, the father of our subject, died. Mr. Andrew Kaale married in 1871 Elizabeth Nichol, a Canadian by birth. They are members of the Methodist Church. (vol. II, p. 255)

James Kellam, lot 31, concession 2, was born in the Township of Vaughan in the year 1838, and is the eldest son of Mr. John Kellam, of this township, whose biographical notice appears elsewhere. James was brought up to farming and remained with his father until 1864, when he settled on the farm which he still owns and lives upon. He married in 1850 Emma Victoria Havill, a Canadian by birth, of English parentage; her father was the late Richard Havill, Esq., J.P., of Rainham Township, Haldimand County. They have two children, viz.: Alice A., born October 18, 1860, and Richard H., born 29th January, 1862, both of whom are still living upon the old homestead with their parents. In religion Mr. James Kellam is an adherent of the Methodist Church. He has taken an active part in municipal matters, having been a member of the Township Council for the past seven years, and has always exerted himself and supported useful measures for the general good of the municipality. (vol. II, p. 256)

John Kellam was born in Wymondon, England, on the 31st December, 1806. He was early initiated in farming, and on coming to Canada with his father and family in 1831, engaged in the same industry. His father was a shoemaker, and on his arrival in York settled in Vaughan Township, where he followed that trade as long as his health and strength would permit. Our subject took up land on lot 9, concession 9, Vaughan, which he cleared and cultivated for about thirteen years, when he sold out and removed to Rainham Township, Haldimand County. He continued there six years, subsequently returning to York County, and purchased a farm in Etobicoke, lot 32, concession 3, where he remained thirteen years, after which he moved to lot 32, concession 2, where he lived until recently, and is now living in retirement. Mr. Kellam was married in the year 1837 to Rachel Sleightholm; his family number eight boys and three girls, his sons being all settled in the neighbourhood and doing well. The family belong to the Methodist Church. (vol. II, p. 256)

John McLellan, lot 23, concession 1, was born in Bothwell, Lanarkshire, Scotland, in 1807. His father, John McLellan, died when our subject was an infant; his mother is still living in Etobicoke, and is one hundred and one years old. (vol. II, p. 256)

Charles Mason, lots 7 and 8, range 5, is a native of Yorkshire, England, the year of his birth being 1836. He emigrated to Canada when twenty-one years of age, and after remaining a few months in Toronto moved to Etobicoke Township, and hired out among farmers for seven years. In 1865 he settled on the farm where he now lives, containing one hundred and sixty acres, which he cultivates in garden produce for market. Mr. Mason married in 1867 Matilda Eccles, by whom he has a family of six children. (vol. II, p. 256)

John Moody, lot 40, concession 4, is a native of Yorkshire, England, where he was born in 1815. His father, the late Robert Moody, came with his family to Canada in 1831, and settled in Etobicoke with his eldest son James (now deceased), who had come out before the other members of the family. Our subject has principally been employed in farming; he purchased some land on lot 38, concession 4, which he lived on and cultivated for over thirty years; he retired form active work about three or four years ago. He was married in 1840 to Sarah Gardhouse, by whom he had eleven children, all living in this neighbourhood. Mr. Moody was Tax-Collector of the township for four years. He is a member of the Baptist Church. (vol. II, p. 257)

Charles Nurse, hotel proprietor, Mimico, was born in Maidstone, Kent, England, in 1841, and emigrated to Canada in the year 1871. He had previously served his time and worked at the trade of plane and carpenter’s tool maker, and on his arrival in Toronto worked as carpenter for about nine months, after which he followed the occupation of saw sharpener. He came to his present place of business in 1876, the well-known Nurse’s Hotel, at the mouth of the Humber, where he has accommodation in the summer months for a large number of excursionists, pic-nic parties, etc.; the pleasure grounds in connection therewith form no inconsiderable portion of the attraction of the hotel. Mr. Nurse is a shareholder in the Annie Craig boat, which makes for trips per day during the season, between the City and the Humber, commencing on the 24th of May. Our subject was married in 1865 to Mary Sunnuck; they had one child, a boy. Mr. Nurse has earned a wide-spread reputation as a runner, having defeated all opponents at distances varying from one to ten miles, and the trophies of his numerous victories on view at the hotel are to him a source of pardonable pride. He also does quite a business in fishing in the spring which he markets in the city; he builds his own boats for this purpose. Mr. Nurse has been instrumental in saving a number of lives from drowning in his vicinity, and in addition to several medals received from the Humane Society, he has been presented by friends of the rescued parties with valuable mementoes of his courage. (vol. II, p. 257)

Edward O’Brien, lot 29, concession 3, is a native of this township, and was born in 1852, being the youngest son of the late Christopher O’Brien. His father was one of the earliest settlers in this part of the township, and emigrated from County Westmeath, Ireland, at an early day, and lived for over fifty years on the lot now occupied by his son Edward, and followed the occupation of farming up to the period of his death. He had two other sons farmers, Patrick in the Township of Mornington, Perth County, and Thomas in Clinton, Huron County. The subject of this notice has always remained on the old homestead, which he became possessed of at his father’s death. His mother died about two years ago. He married in 1884 Elizabeth Shannon, of Canadian birth. He belongs to the Roman Catholic faith. (vol. II, p. 257)

Jonathan Orth, lots E and F, was born in the Township of Markham, York County, in 1815. His father, Abraham Orth, emigrated from the State of Pennsylvania after the War of Independence, and settled in Markham, being one of the first pioneers of that section. His family consisted of four sons and two daughters, of whom Jonathan was the youngest, two other of his sons are still living, one in Toronto Township, Peel County, and one in Woodstock, Oxford County. Mr. Orth, sen’r, removed from Markham to Etobicoke Township, and was amongst the first settlers in this township. He died here in 1843. Jonathan inherited a part of his father’s patrimony, and has been very successful through life. Having grown up as it were with the growth of the township, he has taken an active part in municipal matters; he was for sixteen years Assessor, and while a member of the Council held for some time the office of Deputy-Reeve; was School Trustee for over twenty-one years, and is now Secretary and Treasurer of the Board. He was twice married, first to Miss McDonnell in 1835, by whom he had a family of four children. His second wife was Miss Rutledge, of Canadian birth, also dead; the fruit of this union was one child. Mr. Orth is still hale and hearty in spite of advancing years, and appears likely to live long – which is the earnest wish of all his friends – to enjoy the comforts with which through the labours of a long life he has been able to surround himself. (vol. II, p. 258)

Jerad Paisley, lot 19, concession 3, is a native of Fermanagh, Ireland, and came with his father and family to Canada in 1817; they located in Toronto for some months, and while here Mr. Paisley, sen’r, unfortunately lost his life. Being desirous of forwarding some letters to the Old Country, he, in company with two others, rowed off to a vessel lying in the Bay about to sail east, and on their return to shore they were overtaken by a squall, which capsized the small boat; his companions saved themselves by clinging to the overturned craft, but Mr. Paisley, not so fortunate, was drowned. The widow married again, and young Jerad lived with his stepfather until he was sixteen years of age. He was brought up to farming, and on commencing for himself obtained fifty acres in the Gore of Toronto which he cleared; this he afterwards sold, and purchased one hundred acres in Etobicoke, the same on which he now lives. He married in 1838 Rebecca Rutledge, also a native of Fermanagh. During the Mackenzie Rebellion Mr. Paisley joined Denison’s Cavalry and remained until the disbandment of the volunteers. Mr. Paisley was twice married; his second wife’s name was Martha Ann Hillis. The family consists of five sons and five daughters, some of the sons being in the service of the Government. (vol. II, p. 258)

James Peacock, lot 17, concession 3, was born on the lot where he now resides in the year 1830. He is the second son and fourth in order in the family of Jonathan Peacock, one of the first settlers in Etobicoke. The latter was a native of Helmsley, England, and when he first settled here no roads, or the still more visible signs of civilization, churches and schools, were to be seen. Religious worship was conducted in different farm houses by a Mr. Robert Walker, of Toronto, who travelled to and fro on foot. James Peacock married in 1859; his wife’s name was Mary Dawson, a daughter of Mr. Mark Dawson; they have a family of seven children living; two are dead. Mr. Peacock has succeeded in making a very comfortable home for himself and family. (vol. II, p. 259)