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

Reverend Thomas Graham Scott was born in Markham Township, June 30, 1838. He is of Irish descent, being a native of Tyrone, Ireland. His mother was Annie Graham, born in County Armagh, Ireland, May 23, 1815, and died in April, 1882. Thomas Graham Scott’s preliminary education was received at the Common Schools, supplemented by indefatigable home study. He afterwards went through a Primitive Methodist course of ministerial studies. He commenced life on the farm his father occupied, which he afterwards gave up for the more responsible calling of a Methodist minister. He was married in Newmarket on June 12, 1872, his wife being Miss Bella Hirst, of Yorkshire, England; they have four children: Lillian Hirst, Ernest Graham, Sarah Bella and Winifred Henry. (vol. II, p. 421)

Samuel Sheardown, deceased, was born in Lincolnshire, England, in 1806, and emigrated to Canada in 1828. He settled in York County, and worked out for a few years as hired man until he had saved sufficient money to purchase a bush farm. He was the pioneer of his section, and had to cut his way through the bush to reach his land, which was lot 6, concession 9 of King. He was married in 1838 to Miss Isabella Drummond, who died in 1874; they had eight children, all of whom are living, William, John, Samuel, James, Peter, Elizabeth, Catharine and Thomas. Mr. Sheardown’s death occurred soon after that of his wife in 1874, at the age of seventy-one years. (vol. II, p. 421)

Benjamin Shuttleworth, lot 27, concession 10, was born in Vaughan Township in 1843. He received a Common-school education and was brought up on his father’s farm. He learned the trade of a waggon-maker. He married Eliza Gould, daughter of John Gould. Mr. Shuttleworth’s father was a native of England, and emigrated to Canada at an early day and settled in Vaughan Township. He took an active part in the Rebellion of 1837, and being a sympathizer with Mackenzie, his house was frequently searched. He was killed by lightning in 1841. (vol. II, p. 421)

John Smelser, deceased, was born in Germany, and came to Canada with his parents when quite a child. His father died shortly after his arrival. His mother died at sea. After the death of his father, John was bound out as an apprentice; but ran away from his master and settled in the United States. He returned again to Canada and joined the British Army, and fought during the War of 1812. The family have in their possession a medal of which he was the recipient for his bravery and fidelity. At the conclusion of the war he bought a bush farm in Vaughan Township, which he cleared and cultivated, afterwards purchasing one hundred acres in King Township. Mr. Smelser was married in the United States. His wife was Miss A. Puteraugh; of the issue of this marriage six children are living: Isaac, Daniel, Joseph, John, Kate and Mary. Through life he was exceedingly prosperous, and at his death in 1859 he left a handsome estate for the benefit of his children. Isaac Smelser was born in Vaughan Township in 1819 and was early accustomed to all work in connection with farming. In 1847 he bought lot 7, concession 8, and subsequently married Mary Ross. The family consisted of six children, four of whom are living. His first wife died and he married a second time, his wife being Susan Wells, daughter of Jacob Wells; they have three children. He is a Conservative in politics, and belongs to the Presbyterian Church. (vol. II, p. 421)

Joseph Smelser, lot 2, concession 5, is the third son of the late John Smelser, and was born on the family homestead in 1835. Like the rest of his brothers he was brought up to farming, and endeavoured to bring his farm as near perfection as possible. He was married in 1859 to Ellen Ann Bailey, of English birth, by whom he has one son, Thomas Baldwin Smelser. He belongs to the Church of England, and is a Conservative in politics. (vol. II, p. 422)

James Somerville, lot 19, concession 9, was born in the City of Glasgow, Scotland, in 1828, and came to Canada with his mother in 1832. She came to York County and settled in Toronto Gore, and subsequently married A. McShanack. James was brought up to farming and assisted to clear the farm where he now resides, which he purchased on his stepfather’s demise. He also bought an additional two hundred acres, thus bringing the amount of acreage in his possession to three hundred, two hundred and fifty of which are under a good state of cultivation. From a small commencement Mr. Somerville has, by perseverance and hard work, got together a large estate. He was married in 1859 to Miss Flora McLachlin, by whom he had eleven children, eight of whom are living. He is a member of the Presbyterian Church, and in politics is a Reformer. Mr. Somerville had only a limited education; but he has through life been a great reader, his library ranking as one of the best stocked and most complete in the section. (vol. II, p. 422)

Robert Srigley, deceased, ranked amongst the very early settlers of Upper Canada. He came to Canada in company with his parents in 1785, who settled near Niagara. In 1808 he bought and cleared lot 34, concession 2, Whitchurch Township, where he brought up his family, which consisted of ten children, four of whom are now living, viz.: Jesse, Malon, Elisha and Christopher. During the War of 1812 he assisted to build gun-boats at Collingwood. Robert Srigley died in 1836, after a useful and prosperous career. He had acquired during his lifetime about four hundred acres of land, and besides attending well to the duties of his farm, he filled various local offices with credit, viz: Constable, Assessor, Tax Collector, etc. (vol. II, p. 422)

Major Stephenson, lot 33, concession 4, was born in England in 1812, and came to Canada in 1834. He settled in York County, and hired out among the farmers for the first six years after his arrival. He then rented his present farm which he held until 1850, when he purchased it. He has taken very great interest in agricultural matters, and was selected by the North York Agricultural Society to compete for the prize given to the best ploughman in the country. He obtained the first prize – being then over fifty years of age – which consisted of a silver tea service, and for this event was also presented with a gold watch by the friends of agriculture in York. He was married in England in 1834 to Mary Field; they had eleven children, nine of whom are living, viz.: William, Elizabeth, David, Phoebe, Marjory Mary, Elijah, Frank, Martha and Jane. (vol. II, p. 423)

George Stewart, deceased, was born in 1798, and came to Canada in 1823. He settled in York County, and located in King Township, where he purchased two hundred acres of land, being lot 11, concession 4. The land when it came into his possession was quite uncleared, but by industry and perseverance he succeeded in bringing the greater portion of it under cultivation. He accumulated a fine property during his lifetime, and was in a position to give his children a fair start in the world. He died in 1864; and of a family of sixteen children, twelve were living at his death. James Stewart, lot 15, concession 9, was born in Canada in 1823. He had a Common-school education, and early acquired a knowledge of farming. He purchased his present farm, a great portion of which he has cleared, and has since added one hundred acres of lot 15, concession 8. He was married in 1846 to Miss Margaret Rankin, a native of Ireland, by whom he had twelve children, ten of whom are still living, viz.: Mary E., George, Sarah J., William, James A., Rankin, Lena, Bella, Robert W., and Ida. Mr. Stewart is a member of the Presbyterian Church, and is a Reformer in politics. (vol. II, p. 423)

Henry Stewart, deceased, was a native of Scotland, and came to Canada in 1831. He located in York County, and settled on lot 5, concession 2, King Township, which he cleared, and by labour and skill put his land in fine cultivation. He was a useful member of the community, and held the office of Township Councillor for many years. He was appointed Justice of the Peace, in which position he gave great satisfaction. He died in 1872 at the advanced age of eighty-five years; five children of his family survived him, viz.: Mary, James, Robert, Allison and John. James Stewart, lot 5, concession 2, son of the above, was born in Scotland in 1820, and was eleven years old when he came with his parents to Canada. He received a fair English education, and then assisted his father to clear up the farm. He now owns ninety-nine acres of land where he resides. He was married in 1845 to Miss Magdaline S. Rainey, of Bradford, whose father was an old settler. They had a family of twelve children, nine of whom are living, viz.: Henry, William, Robert, Geroge, Agnes, Mary, Allison, Eliza and Harriet. After the Rebellion Mr. Stewart received a Lieutenant’s commission under the command of Major Armstrong. He is a member of the Presbyterian Church, and is a Reformer in politics. (vol. II, p. 423)

James Wallace Stewart, pastor of the Methodist Church, Schomberg, was born in Cookstown, Simcoe County, February 26, 1853. He is one of a family of seven children born to Mr. J.W. Stewart, who emigrated from Ireland in 1830, and settled in Simcoe County. The reverend gentleman married in 1878 Miss Ralston, of Cookstown,who died the following year, leaving one child, Gertie. He married again in 1882 to Miss Mary Cross, daughter of James Cross, of Innisville. (vol. II, p. 424)

Christopher Stokes, deceased, was born in England in 1800, and came to Canada in 1827, and located in Aurora. He was a miller by trade, and devoted his life and energies to the business. He bought two hundred acres of land in King Township, lot 4, concession 7, in 1834, and four years later built a grist-mill. He was a thorough pioneer, cleared all his land from the bush, and made many serviceable improvements. The state of the country at that time may very well be understood when for a long time the settlers bringing their grain to be ground carried it on their backs, this being chiefly from the absence of waggons and roads. Throughout his life Mr. Stokes was very successful; and at his death, which occurred in 1868, he left an estate worth $30,000 to be divided among his six children. James Stokes, merchant, King P.O., was born in Vaughan Township in 1836. He received a Common-school education, after which he assisted for some time about the mill and farm. He moved into the Village of Springhill (King) in 1869, and opened a general agency in machinery and agricultural implements, auctioneer, etc. He began the business in 1876, and in 1881 erected his present commodious brick store and residence, where he now carries on a large and profitable business. Mr. Stokes was elected Deputy-Reeve in 1875, which position he held for six years and then resigned. He married in 1861 Miss Jeffray, only daughter of Mr. William Jeffray, who was born in little York, now Toronto, in 1803; they have three children, viz.: Ada, Hannah and William. He is a Conservative in politics. (vol. II, p. 424)

Joseph Stokes, miller, Kettleby, is the son of William Stokes, who emigrated from Pennsylvania to Canada in 1834. William was a carpenter by trade, which business he successfully followed for twenty years, afterwards purchasing a farm in concession 5, King Township, remaining in the county until his death in 1880, aged seventy-three years. Joseph, the subject of this sketch, was born in Pennsylvania in 1832, and was only two years old when his father came to this country. After receiving a Common-school education he commenced life in the milling business. He operated his father’s saw mill for some years, and subsequently purchased his present romantic and valuable mill property in Kettleby where he resides with his family. He married in 1856 Mary Vernom, a daughter of Nathan Vernom, by whom he has five children, one only (a daughter) being married, the rest are yet at home, Carrie, William F., Clinton and Cora. His father-in-law, Nathan Vernom came to Canada previous to the War of 1812, in which he took part. Mr. Stokes was elected to the County Council in 1868, and again in 1874, and served until 1882, the greater portion of which time he officiated as Reeve. He was Warden of the county in 1880. He was appointed Justice of the Peace in 1872. He is an active spirit in politics in the section, and has done good service for the Reform Party. The genial and hospitable disposition of Mr. Stokes has gained him an abundance of friends in the township, and all unite in wishing him a life full of years and continued prosperity. (vol. II, p. 425)

John Story, deceased, was born in Lincolnshire, England, in 1834, and came to Canada when eight years of age with his parents, Peter and Charlotte Story. The family settled on lot 30, concession 11 of King Township, all of which was bush-land, which the father in time cleared. John was early made acquainted with the rudiments of farming, and assisted his father in the work of openeing out the land for cultivation, and on arriving at man’s estate purchased the farm whereon his widow now lives. He also acquired by purchase one hundred acres of lot 21, concession 4, and afterwards bought the old homestead. Mr. Story was married in 1850 to Miss Hutchinson, by whom he had six children, all of whom are living, viz.: Sarah, Henry, Alfred, John and Jenny. He was a Conservative in politics, and a member of the Methodist Church. His death occurred in 1881, at the age of fifty-seven years, after having lived a very useful and energetic life. (vol. II, p. 425)

Oliver Sturdy, deceased, was born in Yorkshire, England, and came to Canada in 1851. He settled on lot 10, concession 5, which he continued to farm until his death in 1883, at the age of eighty-three years, leaving a widow and one son. (vol. II, p. 426)

Charles Sturdy, lot 9, concession 5, was born in England in 1834, and came to Canada with his parents. He acquired a fair education in England, and afterwards devoted his life exclusively to farming. He inherited the old homestead from his father, and has also purchased the adjoining lot, where he now lives. He has taken great interest in all school matters, and is known as a man of very good standing. Mr. Sturdy has been twice married. His first wife was Miss Jefferson; Oliver and Charles are the survivors of this union. The second marriage was to Miss Watson, daughter of John Watson, an old settler, by whom he has one child, Lizzie May. He belongs to the Church of England, and is a Conservative in politics. (vol. II, p. 426)