Township of York (West) ‘A’ to ‘C’ surnames from A History of Toronto and County of York

PHILIP ARMSTRONG, deceased, was born in Cumberland, England, in 1810, and in 1830 came to York, where he began business as a butcher and farmer. Soon after the incorporation of the city he engaged extensively in market-gardening, on Yonge Street and Rose Hill. In later years, as the County of York became more densely settled, the divisions existing at present were made, and the City of Toronto Electoral Division Society was formed, in which he held various offices. He was instrumental in inaugurating the first Exhibition of 1852. He lived to see the result of his labour crowned by the Provincial Exhibition, in which, with the desire to promote and advance agriculture, he took a great interest. Although an active worker in the above society, he continued his connection with the West York Association, of which he was President for many years. In early life he was a strong Baldwin Reformer, but later was identified with the Conservative Party. He was a Justice of the Peace for the County of York, which office he held for many years, and a member of the County Council, also of the Agricultural and Horticultural Societies, and the Art Association. He was President of the electoral Division Society. He was connected with various churches, and was instrumental in organizing the present Philharmonic Society. Few men were better known throughout the County of York. His connection with the various industries added to his great popularity. Although three-score and ten years of age, he was still active and retained his mental faculties in a great degree. The York Pioneers and Electoral Division Society, and other associations to which he belonged, attended his funeral in a body. He was twice married, first to a Miss Calvert, of England, in 1837; at Toronto he married Mary, eldest daughter of James Wickson, by whom he left one son. Dr. Thomas Armstrong, only son of the above, was born at Yorkville in 1838, where he first attended school. He passed three years at the Toronto Academy, after which he was engaged upon his father’s farm until 1858, when he began his medical studies at the Toronto School of Medicine, where he graduated in 1862. He then removed to Whitby, Ontario, where he practised for five years. In 1867 he returned to Yorkville, where he has since built up a large and lucrative practice. In politics he is a Conservative. He is a member of the A.F. and A.M., and A.O.U.W. In 1863 he married the eldest daughter of Nicholas Maughan, Assessment Commissioner of Toronto. (vol. II, p. 211)

J. BARNES is the proprietor of the general store at the newly-built portion of the rapidly increasing village of Carlton West Junction. He operated a business that extended through the Township of Markham and Vaughan, establishing the Edgeley Post-office, which he conducted in conjunction with a general store for twelve years, afterwards selling out and moving into the Township of Markham, where he continued in business for eight years. In the autumn of 1882 he disposed of this, and in the spring of the following year accepted the position of buyer for the Parry Sound Lumber Company. He returned to York County in December of the same year, and established his present satisfactory, and largely increasing business. (vol. II, p. 212)

EDWARD BESCOBY, of Eglinton, retired, is a native London, England, and came out to Canada in 1834, in company with his brother-in-law who died some years ago. Mr. Bescoby settled first on the Huron Track, and remained there a few years, subsequently removing to a farm on the Dundas Road. Shortly after this we find him a resident of Toronto, and in the lime business, his firm burning the lime required for the erection of the Asylum, in which trade he continued until 1857. He was married in 1830 to Miss Priscilla Thwaites, of London, England, who died in 1857, while on a visit to her native land. He then purchased some property consisting of mills, lime and freestone quarries at Limehouse in Halton County, which business he conducted until 1871. There he manufactured the first Portland cement produced in Canada. On his retirement from business he paid a lengthened visit to the Old Country, and on his return to Canada took possession of his handsome private residence in Eglinton. Mr. Bescoby served during Mackenzie’s Rebellion as Captain under Colonel Dunlop. He was married in 1864 to Miss Helen Ashbough, of Hamilton, Ontario. (vol. II, p. 212)

JOHN BOAKE, one of the early settlers of York, is a native of County Tipperary, Ireland, and came out in 1821, settling soon after on the farm he at present owns and lives on. He bought one hundred acres first and afterwards owned five hundred acres, dividing the same among his children. He married Rebecca Boake in 1832, also a native of Ireland, who came eight years after and died in 1865; five sons and one daughter survive her. He married Margaret Bell, of Woodstock in 1870. (vol. II, p. 212)

JOHN BOLER, farmer, is a native of Mansfield, England. He came out in 1859 and settled upon the place where he still lives; he leased this first in 1875 and bought the same. In 1860 he married Sarah J. Shipman, also a native of Mansfield; they have one son. (vol. II, p. 213)

WILLIAM BOURKE, hotel proprietor, Weston, was born in Ireland in 1840, and came to Canada with the 2nd Battalion of Her Majesty’s 17th Regiment in 1862. The regiment was stationed at Halifax, N.S., for four years, and afterwards moved to Montreal, where it was after a short stay of two months, transferred to Toronto, when Mr. Bourke left the service. Soon after his retirement from the army he married Rose Ann Hagan, a native of Ireland, by whom he has two children, a boy and a girl. After his marriage he moved to Lambton Mills, where he did military detective duty for nearly two years and then embarked in the hotel business; subsequently he conducted a hotel known as Morgan’s Corner, in concession 2, West York. After spending four years here he migrated to Thistledown and kept a hotel there for eight years and a half. In 1881 he purchased the hotel which he at present conducts, called the Russel House, where he does a good business, and where the travelling public receive every considerate attention. Mr. Bourke has the two following children, viz.: William Joseph and Mary Ellen. (vol. II, p. 213)

EDWARD BROWN, proprietor of grocery and provision store, corner of Davenport Road and Bathurst Street, is a native of London, England, and came to America in 1844. He landed at Philadelphia, and after spending a few months in the States came to Toronto. He followed the occupation of painter and grainer for a while, having learned that trade in England, but subsequently commenced in the grocery and provision trade. He continued in that trade until 1883, on Yonge Street, finally relinquishing the active part of the business in favour of his son, who is established at the address above mentioned. Mr. Brown married in 1858, Miss Margaret Thompson, a native of Gloucestershire, England, by whom he has a family of four children, two sons and one daughter living in Toronto. (vol. II, p. 213)

JOSEPH BROWN, proprietor of Black Creek Brick Yard, was born in Durham, England, and came to Canada with his father, John Brown, in 1849. The latter was a potter by trade, and carried on the business here which he had learned in the old country, and in conjunction with his partner received £100 for making the first draining tile in this Province. The family have been potters and brick-makers for generations. This yard was established by J. Wellington in 1856, and was leased to Mr. Brown in 1860. He commenced the manufacture of brick in 1881, and employs eight hands, turning out about one million bricks annually. (vol. II, p. 213)

JOHN A. BULL, proprietor of the Carlton Carriage and Waggon Works, was born in Carlton Village, being the son of the late William Bull. His grandfather John Bull, settled with his family one mile east of the village, on the farm now owned and occupied by J.R. Bull. William Bull, the father of the subject of this sketch, was a waggon-maker by trade,and followed that occupation to within ten years of his death, which occurred in 1883. John A., learning the trade of his father, succeeded to the business in 1880, which he has since conducted with ability, and bears a good reputation in city and country for producing first-class work. He turns out a large number of carriages and substantial waggons yearly. (vol. II, p. 214)

JOHN EDWARD BULL, lot 7, concession 4, was born on the concession on which he now lives in West York. He was the son of Edward Bull, a native of Tipperary, Ireland, who emigrated to Canada in 1819, finally settling near the Davenport Road in this township, and who died in 1876. His mother was Margaret McKay, a native of West York, who died in 1873. John Edward is one of a family of four children who survive their parents, and with the exception of about ten years continued to reside on the farm he now occupies. He married in 1861 Susan Bunt, a native of Vaughan Township, by whom he has seven children. (vol. II, p. 214)

J.P. BULL, Davenport Post-office, lots 29 and 30, concession 2, West York Township, is a son of the late Bartholomew Bull, a native of Tipperary, Ireland, who came to Canada in 1818, and settled soon after on the farm, which the subject of this sketch, jointly with his two brothers, now owns and occupies. He lived at home until the death of his wife in 1871, and took up his residence with a son who was located at Yorkville, and with whom he lived until his death in 1878, at the advanced age of eighty-seven years. His family consists of three sons and two daughters, who survive him. The sons are, Dr. Bull of Toronto, T.H. Bull, Clerk of the Peace for the County of York; and J.P. Bull, on the old homestead. One daughter is the wife of Dr. Pattalls, of Brampton, and the other the wife of James Good, iron-founder, Toronto. Mr. J.P. Bull was born on the home farm, and married in 1849 Harriet Bishop, who came to Canada in 1844. On coming of age he received from his father two hundred acres of land in the Township of West York, on which he lived for forty years, during that period doing much building, and making vast improvements. As a man of considerable influence, he has held several offices, and taken an active interest in all that concerns the municipality. He has been a Justice of the Peace for thirty-five years, and was Deputy-Reeve for the township several years. As a member of the Methodist Church he has manifested a more than ordinary concern in its welfare, and the Agricultural Society of the county recognizes heartily the share he has taken during the last forty years in promoting the advantages which it now enjoys. He has held office in connection with it continuously during the period of his membership, and for seven years presided over its deliberations, being at the present time Vice-President. Mr. Bull has a family of two sons and four daughters, one son being settled in the Township of York, and the other near Brampton. Mr. Bull was one of the founders of the Dominion Grange and remains Treasurer of the society at the present time. His address is Davenport Post-office. (vol. II, p. 214)

WALTER J. BULL, lot 8, concession 4, the son of J.P. Bull, elsewhere noticed, commenced farming for himself near Brampton in 1876. The following year, his father being desirous of retiring from farming, Walter rented the old homestead “Downsview Farm”, after which the post-office, church, etc., of that name were called. He still resides on the old farm, which contains two hundred acres of land. His wife was the second daughter of Thomas Holtby, Esq., of Brampton. (vol. II, p. 215)

ROBERT CARRUTHERS, deceased, was a native of the County Cumberland, England, and came to Canada with his people in 1810, the family settling upon the farm now in the occupation and ownership of his son George Carruthers. The father of Robert was James Carruthers, one of the oldest settlers in the township, they having no neighbours nearer than three miles for a long time after their settlement. Robert resided on the old homestead until his marriage, when he moved to Carlton, and lived there six years, afterwards moving to Toronto Gore, where he spent eight years. In 1856 he returned to the old homestead and died there. The surviving family consists of three sons and five daughters, all of whom are settled in the county. George Carruthers has resided at the old homestead since the family returned from Toronto Gore; he received the old place by will from his father, which contains fifty acres. He married in 1873 Mary A. Watson, daughter of Francis Watson, of this township. (vol. II, p. 215)

EDMOND JOHN CLARK, located on Yonge Street, in the Township of West York, was born in East York, being the son of John Clark, a native of Essex, England, who came to Canada at an early day. His mother was Charlotte Shuttleworth, daughter of the late Henry Shuttleworth, a York County pioneer, who settled at Mount Albert, being a native of Lincolnshire, England. Edmond John Clark in 1879 married a daughter of Robert Leslie, of East York. (vol. II, p. 216)

W.J. CONRON, Weston, cattle dealer and exporter; commenced his calling in early youth with his father, who has been engaged in the same line since 1845. He has been engaged in the export trade since 1881; at present, however, he does a local trade. He has also been Clerk and Treasurer of Weston Village since its incorporation. (vol. II, p. 216)

WILLIAM CORNISH, proprietor of the planing-mill and lumber business recently established in the thriving Village of West Toronto Junction, is a native of Exeter, Devonshire, England, and came to Canada in 1876. He settled first in Coaticook, Quebec, remaining there six years, subsequently coming to Toronto, where he was engaged with Mr. Fletcher until 1884. He commenced the erection of the building, and having now established his business, we may add that it is likely to prove of great advantage to the village and its surroundings. (vol. II, p. 216)

JOHN COTTRELL, florist and gardener, Deer Park, is the son of the late Samuel and Margaret Cottrell, who came from Shropshire, England, in 1869; his father was a farmer in the Mother Country, and on his arrival here. He was variously engaged to 1871, when he commenced market-gardening, following that occupation until his death in the spring of 1883. John, his son, succeeded him in the business, and is at present entering more extensively into the cultivation of flowers and shrubs. (vol. II, p. 216)

JAMES COULTER, born in the County Down, Ireland, in 1821, was ten months old when his parents settled in the Township of Etobicoke. His father, besides farming, engaged extensively in sawing lumber, being the owner of three saw-mills. Since 1841 Mr. Coulter has carried on the business of erecting mills. He owns the Weston Foundry and machine shop, which he erected in 1856. It contains all the machinery necessary for the construction of the different parts of mill machinery. The motive power is furnished by two steam-engines, twenty-five and six horse-power respectively, while eight men are employed. On February 8, 1854, Mr. Coulter married Abigail Card, who was born in 1826. They have eleven children living and one dead. The former are Andrew, Eleanor, Martha, Eliza, Levi, Mercie, James, Louisa, Eustace, George and Ida. (vol. II, p. 216)

RICHARD COX, proprietor of the market garden on lot 22, concession 2, is a native of Norfolk, England, and came to Canada in 1873. In 1878 he bought eleven acres of land, which he reduced by sale to six acres, where he cultivates garden produce, having reclaimed his land from the bush. He married before he came to Canada Miss Elizabeth Middlestock. Mr. Cox expects in the future to give his attention especially to fruit-growing. (vol. II, p. 217)

JOSEPH CROSSON, lot 22, concession 5, was born in 1826, on the farm he now occupies and owns, and is the son of John Crosson, of German extraction, a native of Pennsylvania, United States, who settled in Canada in 1805. The elder Crosson had previously paid a visit to this country in 1801, but had returned to Pennsylvania; and, perhaps, impressed with the prospect of Canada, he returned four years later, having in the interim married Elizabeth Gower, who accompanied him. We are told that the journey was made with only a colt two years old, on the back of which their household effects were placed; the distance covered, and the slow pace at which they of necessity moved, must have occupied a great length of time. Mr. Crosson was a pioneer in the true sense of the word, for, apart from the physical endurance required to perform such a journey, in which innumerable hardships were their unpleasant lot, the prospect on their arrival at their destination would be the reverse of exhilarating, in a sparsely settled, unbroken wilderness, with a home to hew out of the forest with the woodman’s axe. He owned the first waggon in that part. Time, labour and energy will do great things, and as improvements began to show themselves in his new home, brought about by his unfailing industry, with his children growing up around him, he passed serenely on through life, feeling only the occasional sorrows which the loss of those we hold dear provoke and which remain the common lot. His long and useful career was brought to a close in 1868, at the venerable age of ninety-three years. He survived the partner of his joys, toils and sorrows but eight years, and was laid in his last rest by the surviving members of his family. Joseph, who owned the old homestead, was married in 1846 to Ann Wild, a native of Nottinghamshire, England, who came out with her people in 1829, by whom he had twelve children, only four of whom are now living. Of the other members of the family of twelve children which composed the original family of the old people, only three remain besides the one whose name appears at the head of this sketch, one being settled in Missouri, one in the County of Peel, and William L. is in this township. (vol. II, p. 217)