Newmarket Residents from A History of Toronto and County of York

Thomas Atkinson, auctioneer, commission agent, etc., was born in Yorkshire, England, September, 1828. When two years of age he was brought to Canada by his parents, who first located near Richmond Hill, Vaughan Township, York County. They subsequently moved to Whitchurch Township, and Thomas was then sent to school at Hartman’s Corners under the tutorship of J.C. Moulton. He divided his time in the early part of his youth between working for farmers and attending school, and was subsequently apprentice to Eli Irwin for three years to learn the waggon-making business, after which he worked at his trade in Newmarket and other places for a number of years. He worked in Bradford, Simcoe County, two years, and then established himself in business, which he conducted for some time; but this latter venture proving unprofitable, he decided to go to Toronto. He there worked in the service of McLean & Wright, and was engaged building cars for the Northern Railway. After a period he returned to Bradford, and again conducted business for himself, which at the expiration of two years proved of considerable value; but from shrinkage in the value of stock, which effect was produced by the close of the Russian War in 1856, he found it necessary in order to recover lost ground to remove to Yorkville, where he continued in business one year, and finding no improvement he wound up his affairs. The United States now attracted his attention, and thither he departed, locating first at Lockport, and afterwards at New York City, where he worked at his trade. The breaking out of the Civil War rendered remunerative employment not easily procurable, and Mr. Atkinson returned to Canada, and settled in Newmarket, after a short stay in Hamilton. He adopted the business of Insurance Agent and Auctioneer, in which he has been successful. He was afterwards elected a member of the Town Council; but after serving one year he was defeated at the polls on his second candidature in consequence of his strenuous advocacy of the Public Market for the town. In 1882 he engaged in the jewellery business, which is under the superintendence of his son. Mr. Atkinson was married in Newmarket to Jane Philips, formerly of Hampshire, England; their issue is one son named Lemington. (vol. II, p. 469)

John Arnott, cooper, Newmarket, was born in Northumberland, England, in 1821, and emigrated to Canada in 1854, and locating first in Toronto, he remained there about three years. He came to Newmarket in 1857, and a little later became one of the partners in the firm of Arnott & Fox, the well-known coopers and manufacturers. They work up four hundred cords of stave bolts into barrels annually. Mr. Arnott was married to Miss Jane Douglas, by whom he has a family of two daughters. (vol. II, p. 470)

George H. Bache was born at Brierley Hill, Stafrordshire, England, in 1813. In company with his father and younger brother he emigrated to Canada in 1829; they located first at Cobourg, from which place after a residence of a few months they removed to Toronto. His father subsequently purchased land on lot 2, concession 3, Georgina Township, situated on the shore of Lake Simcoe, which farm they cultivated about three years. They then returned to Toronto where his father kept hotel, during which period George H. worked as pattern-maker, in Duchess Foundry, and assisted in building the engine for the steamer Colborne, which was the first steamboat launched on Lake Simcoe. The family then removed to North Gwillimbury, where his father purchased a farm, which they cultivated for about two years, and in 1837 came to Newmarket. During his residence in Newmarket he followed his trade of carpenter and joiner. He also held the official position of Bailiff of the Court of Requests and County Constable, in addition to which he has been Bailiff of the Division Court under Judge Boyd. When Newmarket was first incorporated Mr.Bache was elected to serve in the first Town Council, and at present occupies the position of Market Clerk, having held that office for the past ten years. The same year that he settled in Newmarket he married Miss Lucy Hunt of Nottinghamshire, England, by whom hehad two children, one only, a daughter, being now alive; she married Mr. John G. Partridge, a native of Staffordshire, England. (vol. II, p. 470)

W.H. Bentley, M.B., Toronto University, M.C.P.S., Ontario, physician and druggist, Newmarket, was born in the City of Toronto, where he was educated, and graduated from the University in 1878, since which time he has practised in Newmarket. (vol. II, p. 470)

John Brimson, carriage manufacturer, whose birth-place is Wiltshire, England (1830), emigrated to Canada with his parents, who first settled on a farm in Simcoe County, Ontario. John moved from there in 1844, and the succeeding five years were spent in learning his trade with Edward Kermott, after which he worked as journeyman several years. After spending about twelve months in Bowmanville, Durham County, Ontario, he came to Whitchurch, and followed his trade for nine years previous to settling in Newmarket. He established his present business in 1868, which now amounts to $3,000 annually. Mr. Brimson was married in 1850, to Miss Jane Brodie, of Newmarket, by whom he has a family of two sons, Robert Hudson and John Herbert. (vol. II, p. 471)

J.B. Caldwell, retired, was born in New York City in 1807, and emigrated to Canada with his parents in 1819, where they rented a farm in Markham Township, York County, where his father was unfortuately killed by the falling of a tree three months after their arrival. They subsequently removed to York Township and rented a farm belonging to Capt. D. Haines, from which place Mr. Caldwell went to Whitchurch in the fall of 1820, where he worked on a farm as hired boy. After a lapse of five years he removed to Thornhill, where he commenced to learn the trade of blacksmith; but by the end of the first month he gave up the prospect of being a blacksmith and moved to little York, where he learned chairmaking with Erastus Wiman. After about six years spent in the “Queen City”, he again turned his face northward, and locating in Newmarket rented a house and shop of Mordecai Millard. After the lapse of three years he built a house, which took fire and burned down while he was in little York on business. His capital at this time, to use his own words, was a “York shilling”. He followed the business of painting and chair-making about fifty years, being burned-out three times during that period, and by industry and perseverance has been enabled to retire altogether from active life. He was married in Toronto in 1830 to Miss Rosina Potter, a native of Ireland, by whom he has nine children living, six sons and three daughters. James Caldwell, deceased, was a U.E. Loyalist and emigrated from Tyrone , Ireland, to America in 1807. He subsequently drew two hundred acres of land from Government in Albion Township, Peel County, on which the settlement duties were performed after his death. (vol. II, p. 471)

W. Cane & Sons, lumber merchants and manufacturers. The present head of this firm, Mr. William Cane, was born in Albany, New York, in 1822, of Irish parents. He emigrated to Canada in 1840, and first located in the Village of Queensville, York County, where he commenced the business of wood-turning and operated a pump-works. He also purchased the saw-mill formerly in the hands of Mr. Wilson, and in addition bought some land on which he erected another mill. During his residence in Queensville he was Reeve and Councillor of the Township of East Gwillimbury for a number of years, and was for the year 1874 Warden of the County of York. His settlement in Newmarket dates from 1875, in which year he established the business which has now such an extensive connection. He also bought S. Sykes’ foundry and engine works. The foundry was burned in the spring of 1876. The firm afterwards built a tannery on the same lot, which is now occupied by R. Park & Co. as tenants. He first built the steam saw-mill which is conducted under the management of the present firm. The existing sash and blind factory was also built about the same time and is a portion of the business. The manufacture of pails, tubs and wooden ware is a department of the business for which the firm have become celebrated. Mr. Cane’s general fitness for municipal office was quickly recognized by the citizens of Newmarket, and very little time was allowed to elapse after his location in the town before he was elected a member of the Council, and on Newmarket receiving the honour of incorporation in 1881 he was elected Mayor, which office he has since retained. Mr.Cane was married in 1844 to Cathatine Belfry, of Queensville, by whom he has eleven children: eight sons and three daughters. (vol. II, p. 472)

R.J. Davison, general merchant, was born at Holland Landing in 1842, and first commenced business in Newmarket in 1870 as partner in the firm of Harrison, Sheppard & Co. Mr. Sheppard retiring in 1875, the style of the firm became Harrison & Davison. This latter partnership closed in 1880, and Mr. Davison then established his present extensive business, which amounts now to about $26,000 per year. He deals largely in dry-goods, cloths, tweeds, ready-made clothing, hats, caps, ladies and gentlemen’s furs, boots and shoes, etc., also in general groceries. He was married to Miss Mary Wright, of East Gwillimbury , in 1874; their family consists of two sons and one daughter. Mr. Davison is of Irish descent, his father, George Davison, having been born in County Tyrone, Ireland, and emigrated to this country in 1832. His maternal grandfather was a U.E. Loyalist and emigrated from Pennsylvania to the Niagara District at the close of the last century, and located in York County in 1804. (vol. II, p. 472)

John E. Dickson, Principal of High School, Newmarket, was born in East Gwillimbury in 1850, being the son of Andrew and Elizabeth Dickson. His parents were natives of Peebles, Scotland, and emigrated to America in 1834, settling first in Ohio State. They removed to Canada in 1836 and located at Newmarket, York County, afterwards removing to a farm near Newmarket. J.E. Dickson is the youngest of a family of ten, and acquired his primary education at the Public School near his father’s farm, and was also a student at the Scholastic Institution of which he is now the principal. He graduated at Toronto University in 1879, and the year following received his present appointment. He was in 1880 married to Miss Mary Randall, of Whitchurch. (vol. II, p. 472)

Edmund Elvidg is a native of Nottinghamshire, England, and emigrated to Canada, settling in the Province of Quebec in 1815. He came to Upper Canada in the year 1836, and located in York County, where he followed the business of a millwright for several years. He was married in 1849 to Miss Grace McArthur, of Simcoe County. Mr. Elvidg has been Collector of Taxes in Newmarket for several years, also Engineer of the Fire Brigade, and now occupies the post of County Constable. He is one of a family of nine children born to Henry and Elizabeth Elvidg. (vol. II, p. 473)

R. Flood, Manager of Loan Company, Newmarket, is a native of Middlesex County, Ontario. He was born in 1836, and acquired his education in London, Ontario. In 1862 Mr. Flood came to York County, and locating at Richmond Hill commenced business as a general merchant, which he continued for four years. He then went to Manitoba, and after a stay of nine years returned to York County, and taking up his residence in Newmarket commenced the banking business under the style of R. Flood & Co. Mr. Flood subsequently became Managing Director of the Provincial Real Estate and Loan Company, which was established in 1881, the President being James J. Pearson,. Registrar of the North Riding. Mr. Flood married Grace Agnes Wyatt, of Hamilton City, in 1862; they have a family of six children, four sons and two daughters. (vol. II, p. 473)

G. Fox, of the firm of Arnott & Fox, was born in Germany in 1820, and emigrated to America, settling in New York State in 1851. After two years’ residence in the Empire State he came to Canada, and fixing on York County for his future abode located in the Town of Newmarket. He was married in 1853 to Miss Regine Treuzier, also a native of Germany; they have a family of eleven children, four sons and seven daughters. (vol. II, p. 473)

Thomas Gain, merchant tailor, was born in the County of Waterford, Ireland, in 1852, and came to Canada in 1858. He first located in Montreal where he remained for a few years, after which he came west to Toronto, where he worked at his trade for ten years. He located in Newmarket about 1868, and for the first five years superintended the tailoring department of Mr. William McMasters, after which he established himself in business. He has been a member of the Town Council for two years. Mr. Gain was married to Miss Sarah Brown, a native of Bristol, England, by whom he has five children living. (vol. II, p. 473)

Nelson Gorham, J.P., retired. The gentleman to whom we accord this space in our pages is the eldest-born resident of the Town of Newmarket, and is one of a family of eleven children. His father, Eli Gorham, was born in Danbury, Conn., January 2, 1787. His mother’s maiden name was Hambelton; she was born in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, in 1790, and died in York County in 1830. His father was a woollen manufacturer, and came to Canada before the War of 1812. He located in Newmarket, and followed the business of woollen manufacturer and farmer until his death, which occurred April 11, 1867. Nelson was born in Newmarket, June 6, 1812, and was educated at Aurora Academy, Cayuga County, N.Y. On finishing his studies, he assisted his father with the business, which he carried on for ten years after the death of the latter, when he retired from active business life. He was married March 26, 1863, to Miss Bull, of Loana, Chautauqua County, N.Y.; they have no family. Mr. Gorham has ever taken an active interest in all that concerns the welfare of his native place, and has occupied numerous offices in connection with public and municipal affairs, among which may be mentioned the Reeveship of Newmarket Village, and also that of Judge Advocate. With regard to military affairs Mr. Gorham has always taken a prominent position, and having held a commission on Navy Island during the Rebellion of 1837-38, his knowledge has been of considerable service. He has been Captain of Artillery and Brigade Inspector. He is a member of the English Church, and a Liberal-Conservative in political matters. He is a Mason and a member of I.O.F. The first carding machines introduced and operated west of the Bay of Quinte were brought by Mr. Gorham, sen’r, in 1808. (vol. II, p. 474)

Patrick Harding, general merchant, and dealer in groceries, crockery, glassware, etc., was born in Sligo, Ireland, in 1846, and came to Canada with his parents when only one year old. They located first at Newmarket, York County, and subsequently in North Gwillimbury, where Patrick worked around amongst the farmers. When he reached the age of twenty, he removed from Canada to the United States and settled in Pennsylvania, where he worked at the saw-mill and lumber business. He subsequently returned to Canada and purchased a farm of two hundred acres in the Township of Georgina, York County, which he cultivated for a period of six months, and then abandoned that project and commenced working ina hat factory. He again removed to Pennsylvania and worked in a hat factory in Philadelphia, and ultimately returned to Canada and locating in Newmarket, followed the business of hat making until 1880, when he established his present large and prosperous business, which is now doing about $20,000 annually. Mr. Harding still owns the farm in Georgina in addition to the more recent purchase of two lots in Newmarket, upon which he has built a handsome residence at a cost of $1,500. In 1847 he was married to Miss Sarah Howard, of Newmarket, by whom he has one child living. His father, Timothy Harding, still resides on his farm in Georgina Township. (vol. II, p. 474)

Erastus Jackson, eldest son of Christopher Stroud Jackson, was born in the Village of Merrickville, County of Grenville, Ontario, Canada, on August 29, 1829. Two years later his parents removed to the Town of Prescott, on the St. Lawrence, where the family remained for over six years, when they again removed westward, and settled in the Village of Wilton, Township of Ernestown, County of Lennox. During the next seven years the parents of the subject of this sketch gave him all the advantages of education obtainable in those early times in the District School of that locality; but, as those years included the period when the pedagogues of the day “boarded around”, those advantages were exceedingly limited. In January, 1845, the Canada Christian Advocate was established in the Town of Cobourg, by Messrs. Webster & Leonard, as the acknowledged organ of the M.E. Church; and as the junior member of the firm had been an old school-mate of the father of Erastus, it was arranged that the youth should enter the office as an apprentice, with the view of learning the “art preservative”. In 1848 the General Conference of the Church took control of the Advocate, and removed its office to Hamilton. This, of course, led to the dissolution of the parternship between Messrs. Webster & Leonard. The former, however, continued as editor of the paper; and Mr. Leonard bought another press and continued the printing business in Cobourg. The employees of the office were divided, part going to Hamilton, and part remaining with Mr. Leonard, who continued the publication of a monthly periodical called the Canadian Gem, which had been started before the dissolution. Shortly after this a General Election followed, and Mr. Leonard was induced to commence the publication of a weekly political paper called the Courier, in the Liberal interest. The contest in Northumberland that year was between Messrs. Weller and Meyers, the former noted as being the proprietor of the line of stages then running between Kingston and Toronto, and a strong Reformer, the latter a lawyer, if our memory serve us, residing in the neighbourhood of Trenton. During this contest Mr. McCarroll, previously connected with the management of a Liberal paper at Peterboro’, was the accredited editor of theCourier; but, Mr. Weller being defeated, the paper did not succeed very well, and only continued about a year after, when Mr. Leonard moved his office to Toronto, where he still continued the publication of the monthly periodical above referred to, and also became the publisher of a Church paper – the organ of the Methodist New Connection body. Mr. Jackson accompanied Mr. Leonard to Toronto, where he completed his apprenticeship in January, 1850; and about the first of the following May proceeded to Guelph, and occupied a situation in the Advertiser office there – Then printed and edited by John Smith, Esq. Here he remained until the summer of 1852, the Advertiser meanwhile changing hands and passing to Mr. Kieling, who afterwards started the Guelph Mercury. In 1852 Mr. Jackson again returned to Toronto, and took a situation in the office of the North American, conducted by the Hon. William McDougall, where he continued until June of the next year, when, in company with Mr. A. Henderson, another North American typo, he purchased the Newmarket Era office. The partnership only continued one year, when Mr. Jackson became sole proprietor, and he was editor and publisher until February, 1853, when he retired from business and handed over the paper to his son, Mr. L. G. Jackson, who conducts it. The subject of this sketch has ever taken a lively interest in every enterprised calculated to advance the prosperity of the Town of Newmarket or County of York. For most of the time during the past twenty years he has held a seat in the local municipality of the town, and with the exception of one year, has been its Reeve and Representative at the County Council since 1871. He has also been Warden of the county, and having taken a lively interest in municipal matters for so many years, is generally regarded as a pretty good authority in municipal law. Mr. Jackson has also been an active worker in agricultural matters; he has been Secretary and Treasurer of the North York Society for over twenty years, and largely through his instrumentality the Directors purchased the beautiful grounds, and erected the commodious buildings now the property of the Association in Newmarket, not equalled by any society in the county. During the period when the present Judge Adam Wilson occupied the position of Solicitor-General in the Sandfield-Macdonald-Dorwin Administration of Old Canada, Mr. Jackson was appointed Coroner and Issuer of Marriage Licenses, and continued to hold the same until he voluntarily resigned in 1878. Mr. Jackson has also taken a deep interest in the Mechanics’ Institute of the town, and for years occupied the position of President. He was also elected for this year to the Provincial Board of Mechanics’ Institutes. He is still Reeve of the town, as well as taking part whenever occasion requires in the work of the local magistracy of the place. Considering his limited opportunities in early life, and the success that has attended his public and private affairs, he may be regarded as essentially a self-made man, the printing office being his principal schoolmaster. For many years he occupied a position on the Executive Board of the Canadian Press Association, was its Secretary for some years, and has also filled the President’s chair. He has been twice married; his present wife being a daughter of the late James Wright, jun’r, of the County of Wellington, by whom he has seven children all living but the eldest, who died when quite young. Mr. Jackson is a Liberal in politics, and took a prominent part in nearly all the great conventions of the party, as a supporter of the late George Brown, from 1858 until after confederation. (vol. II, p. 475)