Etc. -- Elias Boughner's 1920 obituary
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A lightly edited transcription of a page 6 article from the 6 May 1920 Simcoe Reformer newspaper. 

The Late Elias Boughner

Elias Boughner was born in Windham, Norfolk County, 
6 Feb 1845 on Lot 6, Concession 13 -- the Boughner homestead since 1799.

The Boughner's were U. E. Loyalists who came to Canada after the Revolutionary War and settled for a time near the Niagara frontier, but finally settled in Norfolk and became a numerous family here.

Young Boughner was educated in the Public Schools of the home neighborhood. This was early in the days of the Ryerson regime and the schools were very primitive in architecture and outfit for the pupils' rapid progress; but there were some excellent schools in South Windham at that day, in which many of the youngsters received all the schooling they ever had, and became influential and prominent citizens of Norfolk.

Mr. Boughner's experience, no doubt, led to ohis off-repeated statement that with all the extra expense and improved methods today, progress does not seem commensurate with present-day efforts.

From the education thus received, aided by private study, Mr. Boughner was able to successfully pass the prescribed examination for a Common School Teacher, and for some 20 years was engaged in that profession.

Much is said about the meagre salaries paid to public school teachers. Mr. Boughner began teaching at Houghton Centre in 1866 on a salary of $24 per month, and his success was a surprise to his friends, as many male teachers were only getting $20. He afterwards was rewarded with advances in different schools to $300, $350, $400 and $450. The latter was regarded as very high.

His early school days ran back to the times when the teacher "boarded around." A young Scotchman of fair education and considerable literary talent came to the neighborhood and engaged to "keep the school" for the magnificent sum of $12 per month and board around. Every one sending children was expected to board the teacher in proportion to the number of pupils sent to school.

This continued for the next three months, when other arrangements were made. He was a successful teacher for the time, but the cup that cheers and inebriates led to his removal. This term was the last of "boarding around" in South Windham.

Mr. Boughner held a certificate as public school teacher bearing the date 30 Dec 1864, signed by William Craigie, Chairman, and James Covernton, Secretary of the Board of Instruction, of Norfolk.

These gentlemen, with others, viz. D. W. Freeman of Windham, Elder VanLoon of Townsend, John A. Backhouse of Walsingham, and others, were the Local Superintendents of Education in the various municipalities, doing much of the work now entrusted to the County Inspector; and whose influence and labors were greatly appreciated by the people.

In 1872, Mr. Boughner was elected to the Municipal Council of Windham. It was unusual in those days for a young man to be chosen for such a position, but his choice seemed satisfactory, as he was repeatedly elected to the County Council, being Reeve in 1888 and 1889, when he retired from both municipal service and teaching.

In 1889 he was chosen by the Conservatives of North Norfolk to contest the riding against the exceedingly popular sitting member, John H. Freeman. 

Mr. Freeman died very shortly after the election, and Mr. Boughner was again the standard-bearer of his party. He was defeated in both contests, but put up a strong fight, and in the later of the two elections polled the largest vote ever given a Conservative in the riding.

The writer well remembers the oratorical contest on nomination day between Mr. Boughner and G. W. Ross, then Minister of Education, and admittedly one of the greatest platform speakers Canada has produced. The consensus of opinion, shared by Ross himself, was that the country school teacher had not come out second best.

In addition to his educational and political labors, Mr. Boughner was greatly interested in the work of the Agricultural Societies on Windham Township and Norfolk County. He served each society for many years in different capacities.

He was appointed County Clerk of Norfolk in 1900. Since then he has served the community faithfully and well, and he met his death by injuries received in a successful attempt to protect from fire the records entrusted to his keeping.

Mr. Boughner joined the Methodist Church in 1864, and has since been an earnest worker on its behalf. He had taken special interest in the Sunday Schools, have been a Bible Class leader for years.

Elias Boughner

Also see:
his 1924 bio
his accident, death

Copyright 2017 John Cardiff