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

Thomas Ramage, lot 17, concession 4, was born in Scotland in 1826 and accompanied his parents to Canada in 1833. Almost immediately on their arrival in York they removed to and settled in the Gore of Toronto, where his father, the late James Ramage, engaged in farming until his death in 1838. Thomas continued to reside on the old homestead until 1853, when he moved to the Township of Etobicoke and purchased the property where is situated his present residence. Mr. Ramage married in 1853 Maria Mercer, of Canadian birth, by whom he has one daughter, now married. They belong to the Methodist Church. (vol. II, p. 259)

George Rowntree, lot 34, concession A, was born in this township in 1856, being a son of Joseph Rowntree, deceased, late of Weston, a sketch of whose life appears under another heading. Our subject lived continuously with his father up to the two years preceding the death of the latter. In 1881 he embarked in the grist and milling business at the Humberford Mills, in addition to which he farms the lot above mentioned. Mr. Rowntree married in 1883 Angeline Duncan Johnstone, of Canadian birth. (vol. II, p. 259)

John Rowntree, lot 38, concession A, was born in this township in the year 1846, being the eldest son of the late Joseph Rowntree, one of the earliest settlers in this section. Mr. Rowntree, sen’r, emigrated from Cumberland, England, in 1830, and having learned the milling business continued the same on his arrival here. In the year 1843 he built the flour-mill now known as the Green Holm Mills, which he conducted until 1877, removing to Weston about that time, where he lived until his death a year or two after; his wife is still living. The Humberford Mills, about a mile south of the present locality, were also started by the deceased gentleman, and are now owned by George Rowntree, a younger brother of the subject of this sketch. John Rowntree married in 1876 Sarah Hamilton Torrance, of Etobicoke; the result of the union being three children – one boy and two girls. Mr. Rowntree does a large merchant milling business, his brand of flour in the market being known as a superior article; he also runs a sawmill in connection on the York side of the Humber. The family are adherents of the Methodist Church. (vol. II, p. 260)

Joseph Rush, lot 1, range 3, was born in Oxfordshire, England, in 1849. He emigrated to Canada in 1868, came direct to Mimico,and hired out for four or five years. He purchased in 1870 the property on which he now resides, and in 1873 commenced market-gardening, in which he has been successful, finding a great and increasing demand for his produce; occasionally he ships to the States. He was married in 1874; his wife being Caroline Burgess, by whom he has a family of four children. (vol. II, p. 260)

Newman Silverthorne, lot 10, concession 4, was born in the Township of Etobicoke, as also his father before him. His grandfather came from Jersey and settled in this section as a pioneer. Newman was educated in Toronto at a school on Colborne Street, kept by a Mr. Hodgeson. Having lived all his life in the township he has noted with satisfaction the vast improvements which have taken place, and well remembers the first baptism which took place at the Baptist Church, Somerville. Mr. Silverthorne married in 1857 Almira Beals, by whom he has a family of four children. (vol. II, p. 260)

William Simpson, brick manufacturer, Mimico, was born in the county of Derry, Ireland, in 1820, and accompanied by his brother John came to America in 1836. He lived for about eight years in the United States, and while there his brother died. He then came to Canada, and located in Toronto, where he resided thirty-seven years and followed his present business on Kingston Road and in the city, the latter place being on the site now occupied by the Grand Trunk Railway shops. He also made bricks on South Park Street, near the Don, and supplied bricks for some of the principal buildings in Toronto. He subsequently went to Carlton and conducted the same business there for a period of three years, ultimately taking possession of his present premises where he still continues to manufacture red brick on a large scale. He was twice married, first in 1842, by which union there were three children. His second wife was Catharine Doherty, by whom he has a family of thirteen children. He has a son who keeps a hotel on the corner of Yonge and Richmond streets, Toronto. (vol. II, p. 260)

Thomas Wilson Smith, lots 9, 10, and 11, concession B, is the son of the late Thomas Smith, who kept a hotel on the Dundas Road for over seventeen years. The latter was from Yorkshire, England, and on his arrival in Toronto was engaged in the manufacture of crockery ware for three years. He afterwards kept the Bay Horse Hotel in the city for two years, and then took up his residence in Islington on the Dundas Road, where Thomas Wilson Smith was born in 1857. He was brought up principally to farming, and now occupies one hundred and four acres left him by his father, who died in 1872; his mother is still living. Thomas Wilson married in 1878 Mary Ann Marshall, by whom he has three children. (vol. II, p. 261)

Edward Stock, lots 13 and 14, Mimico Estate, is a native of Lancashire, England, and was born in the year 1815. His father was James Stock who, emigrating to Canada with his family in 1830, came direct to York County, and settled in the Township of Etobicoke on lot 8, meridian 2, where he commenced farming, after having cleared the land which was at first all bush. Edward remained with his father until his marriage, which took place in 1836; his wife’s maiden name was O’Hara (now deceased), and the fruit of the union was eight children, all living but one. On leaving the homestead he rented a farm in the township where he lived about twenty years, afterwards purchasing the property on which he now resides, about one hundred and ninety acres. Mr. stock has a very comfortable home and a well-tilled farm. (vol. II, p. 261)

John Strong, lot 15, concession A, was born in the Township of Albion, Peel County, and is the son of Mr. Henry Strong of that section. The latter is a very old settler in Albion, and came out in 1835 from County Cavan, Ireland, and took an active part as a Loyalists in the rebellion of 1837-8. Our subject came to Etobicoke in 1862, and took possession of the farm purchased for him by his father; the same farm on which he at present resides and owns. At the time of his first settlement only about thirty acres were fit for tillage, the rest being bush which he has since cleared, and he now has one of the finest farms in the township. Mr. Strong was married in 1867; his wife was Mary Jane, daughter of Mr. Matthew Canning, the present Reeve of Etobicoke. They had seven children, two of whom are dead. Mr. Strong has been an active member of the Loyal Orange Association for over 25 years, having joined L.O.L. No. 184, Albion, July 12, 1859. (vol. II, p. 261)

Henry Thompson, lot 40, concession 4, waggon-maker, was born in Yorkshire, England, in 1817, and came to Canada with his mother and family in 1830. His father had come to Canada about ten years previously, and died two years after his arrival. The family came direct to Etobicoke, and settled on lot 17, concession 4, for a short time, afterwards moving to lot 31, concession 3, the same farm being now in possession of our subject’s brother, Richard Thomas. In the year 1835 Henry went to Brampton, and was taught the trade of waggon-maker, and after remaining there six years, removed to Clairville where he carried on a waggon-making business for twenty years. He then came to the lot above-mentioned, and commenced farming on a small scale, which he continued some time, and in 1878 returned to the Village of Clairville and recommenced the waggon business which he still conducts. He married in the year 1840 Eleanor Hetherington, of English birth; they have no family. Mr. Thomas for many years belonged to the Primitive Methodist Church, and was superintendent of the Sabbath school for about twenty-five years. (vol. II, p. 262)

George A. Thompson, merideian 2, is descended from a family who settled in this township in 1803. His grandfather, Alexander Thompson, was a sergeant in the King’s Rangers, and on receiving his discharge together with a pension, he drew two hundred acres of land from the Government, on which he located in the year above-mentioned. As an instance of the value of land in those days we may mention that the half of this lot was sold shortly afterwards for a set of harrow pins, an old mare and $30 in cash; the same one hundred acres is now worth over $10,000. His father, the late Archibald Thompson, was born on the farm adjoining that which is occupied by the son; he died February 12, 1865. Mr. George A. Thompson was married in 1877 to Georgina Peers. Among the reminiscences of Old Toronto handed down by the grandfather, we may mention that he remembers well the Americans landing at York in 1812, and the bodies being laid out after the explosion of the magazine. He was out at the time of the Rebellion of 1837, and the family are still in possession of the musket which he carried on the memorable occasion of the Yonge Street skirmish. He planted potatoes on the present site of Osgoode Hall. (vol. II, p. 262)

John Torrance, lot 38, concession 1, was born in the Parish of Stonehouse, Lanarkshire, Scotland, on July 22, 1819. In his youth he was employed in the distillery business for about eighteen years, and worked for three different firms in Scotland. He came to Canada in 1848, and, on locating in York County, Ontario, worked for one year in Scarboro’ Township. He afterwards worked in Vaughan Township, and in 1851 rented a farm where he lived for two years, keeping bachelor’s hall. In 1853 he married Miss Jane McLellan, of Etobicoke, by whom he has a family of seven children, five girls and two boys. In the year 1869 he purchased the farm where he now resides, which he continues assiduously to cultivate. His interest in all matters agricultural has been very great, he having in his possession several prizes received at different fairs for his exhibits. (vol. II, p. 263)

Thomas Umpleby, lots 6 and 7, concession 3, was born in the neighbourhood of Doncaster, Yorkshire, England, and emigrated to Canada in 1842. He came direct to Toronto, and worked for a few months with Jacques and Hay; afterwards rented a farm near Springfield, Toronto Township, where he remained seven years. He then removed to a two-hundred-acre farm in the Indian Village, having obtained a lease for ten years, but at the expiration of two years was obliged to retire on account of a fit of ague. He next went to Somerville, and worked for two years at the chair factory, afterwards renting the same, which business he conducted for seven or eight years. He subsequently rented two farms on Dundas Road near Dixie, where he stayed ten years, which proved very successful in a pecuniary sense, and ultimately purchased the farm where he now resides. Mr. Umpleby married in 1844 Mary Vaughan, by whom he has a family of four daughters and one son living, two sons having ided. The daughters are all married. (vol. II, p. 263)

Peter Wardlaw, lot 24, concession A, is a native of Scotland, and was born near Glasgow, being the youngest living son of the late Peter Wardlaw, who emigrated with his wife and family to Canada in the year 1835. His father came direct to York County, and purchased land in concession 4 of West York, where he lived until his death; his wife, the mother of our subject, is still living in this township, and is ninety-nine years of age; she is a native of Scotland, and was born near Bothwell Bridge, the scene of the historical battle of that name. The family consisted of eleven children, three only being now alive. The subject of this biographical notice lived with his father on the old homestead until 1844; and having married the year previous he took possession of the farm where he now lives. His wife’s name was Julia Clark, who was born in Canada of Irish parents; they have a family of seven children. He is a member of the Presbyterian Church. (vol. II, p. 263)

Charles Ware, merchant, was born in Bridgewater, Somersetshire, England, in 1824. Before coming to Canada in 1849, he had been for a short time in the boot and shoe business in Birmingham, and on his arrival here he started the same business at 103 Yonge Street, Toronto, which he continued for ten years. He subsequently went to Hamilton and after a short stay there of seven months returned to Toronto and resumed business. In 1859 he came to Lambton Mills, and, after seven years spent in the shoe business, he commenced the general store which he at present carries on. He married the year before he emigrated, his wife’s maiden name was Elizabeth Knight. (vol. II, p. 264)

John Watt, retired, Thistletown Village, was a blacksmith by trade and a native of Scotland. He was born in 1820 at North Berwick, East Lothian. His father was a soldier in the British Army, and our subject’s early years were spent with his grandparents. After learning his trade in Berwickshire he came to Canada in 1843, and worked for his father in Toronto, the latter having received his honourable discharge for the Royal Artillery, for seven years. About the end of this time he married Ann Fleming, and a year later (1850) he moved from Toronto to his present residence in Thistletown, where he followed his trade until a short time ago. His first wife having died, he married a second time Mary Fleming; his family consists of two sons, one by each wife. He has been very successful in business, and his present comfortable home is the result of thrift and industry. Mr. Watt is a member of the Presbyterian Church. (vol. II, p. 264)

Robert Wilson, lot 32, concession B, was born in the parish of Mullabrack, County Armagh, Ireland, in 1817, being the third son of Mr. Joseph Wilson, of that place. Our subject served in the Irish Constabulary four years and nine months and emigrated to Canada in 1849, accompanied by his wife and two children. After landing, his wife and family were taken ill with fever, which delayed their arrival in York two months. He first settled in York Township, where he lived about ten years. In the year 1873 he bought the farm on which he now lives, and during his settlement here has done remarkably well, his present comfortalbe home abundantly testifying to this fact. He married in 1845, before he left Ireland, Martha McLellan, by whom he had a family of nine children, one of whom is dead. Of four sons living, one is the Rev. William Wilson; one daughter married the Rev. Matthew Couron. (vol. II, p. 264)

Samuel R. Wood, lot 8, concession 1, was born in the City of New York, being the eldest son of the late Samuel Wood, a well-known and respected resident of Etobicoke. The latter emigrated from England in 1830, and remained in the United States about ten years, subsequently in March, 1840, coming to Canada. He purchased the farm in this township on which his sons George and Arthur now reside. Samuel R., the subject of this sketch, was born in 1840 and from his youth upward followed farming. He married in 1876 Amelia Ann Musson, by whom he has a family of two children. (vol. II, p. 265)