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The following are lightly edited transcriptions of articles published in the Waterford Star beginning in Nov 1911 and continuing for several months. See footnotes below for specifics.
Reminiscences of Norfolk: Preamble1

We are pleased to announce that we have secured a series of letters on "Reminiscences of Norfolk County" from Mr. G. B. McIntosh of Detroit, an old Norfolk boy. On several occasions the Star has published letters from Mr. McIntosh which were very interesting. The series will run for several month and we are sure our readers will be delighted with them.

Reminiscences of Norfolk: My Father2

"Old days" or "old times" is a subject which many of the old people delight to talk about, but very few of the early settlers of Norfolk are left and therefore these words are for those of my own age, the second or third crop [generation], and I promise not to bring up recollections but those which may be pleasant or profitable.

As I have passed the three score and ten milestone and was blessed with an excellent memory as well as talent for observation, I am of the opinion that I can interest those readers of the Star who have any love for the old men and women of Norfolk.

The very first man of whom I have a good recollection was my own father, Daniel McIntosh. He was called a farmer, but he was out of his latitude when he undertook any farm stock. He could build a house or barn, and quite a number of these monuments are still in evidence in various parts of rural Norfolk and in Simcoe. He could use carpenters' tools but farming implements knew as much about him as he did about them or how to use them. 

But all the gray haired people will remember what a splendid chairman he made at any public gathering. The last time he occupied such a place was in the winter of 1861-2, at a tea-meeting in the old Methodist church, Simcoe. It will be remembered that the great rebellion [Civil War] in the United States had begun, the Mason-Slidell episode had occurred, and the Rev. E. Ryerson, d.d., made the mistake of his life in declaring that "Slavery was a God appointed and God honored institution." Every one was excited but the chairman and the late Rev. James Preston, who was pastor at that time. It was probably the cool heads of those two which prevented a scene that would not have reflected credit upon those who gave the [occasion].

At a meeting a year or two previous to the tea-meeting, held at the Old's school house, the great camp-meeting singer Miliner gave a lecture with my father in the chair. The subject was "woman," and the lecturer extolled her so highly that she was far above and out of sight. When he closed, the chairman made "a few remarks," and took [the] occasion to tell the young men present that the lecturer had not said anything too good respecting the subject, and he, the chairman, hoped that the young men would do the gallant act and not allow any of the young ladies to go to their houses alone.  

When he sat down, his eldest boy rose and moved a vote of thanks to the lecturer, and then said "I think this is an opportune time for the chairman to acknowledge his great mistake in thrashing his boys for doing what he now recommends." I never saw him so completely lost for something to say. He told some of the friends on the quiet, that he never was taken down till that night.

But my father, with all his faults, was a splendid man and beloved by nearly all who knew him. He was a Methodist, but not a bigot. He loved the Bible and never omitted reading a portion and praying with his family, unless prevented by sickness. Family worship was as regular with him as day and night. 

I feel thankful every day of my life for such a father.

Reminiscences of Norfolk: Olds, Schuyler, McInally3

Directly east of Grandpa Collver's farm in Woodhouse lived Archibald Olds. This old house still stands and with the farm was recently owned and occupied by a grandson, Wellington Olds, sold now to strangers.

OThe old man and his good wife Eliza were good and strong Methodists, and their home was the preacher's home. They had a large family, six boys and three girls which grew to manhood and womanhood, but not one of them remains to this day. One of them, Clark, was a teacher for many years in the little schoolhouse opposite the Methodist church in Simcoe., He was the most amiable man of the name and greatly missed when he passed away.

It will be remembered by the oldest residents of Norfolk that opposite the Olds' farm sttod a schoolhouse built by the writer's father and Archibald Olds about 75 years ago.

There will be more to say about that old schoolhouse before finishing these remembrances, but just now let me call the reader's attendtion to a most wonderful revival of religiob which began there soon after its erection. I think the meeting was under the direction of the late Rev. Henry Wilkinson. At all events the meeting was so well attended hat the house was too small and meeting was removed to Mr. Olds' new home, where it continued several weeks and was the greatest revival of religion ever held in Norfolk.

One feature of that meeting must not be omitted: Uncle Archie, as old Mr. Olds was called, kept a wide open house. Hundreds of people took their meals there every day. Those who could not find room in the house slept in the barn. Neighboring women helped in the cooking and waiting. The strangest part of all was the fact that for all a very many ate and were satified, the supply was like the widow's cruise of oil, it became no less, and I had the story from the owner, Mr. Olds himself. The only one that I can think of who will remember that revival is the Police Magistrate.
Opposite the Olds' farm and to the north, was what was known as the Schuyler farm. The owner was John Schuyler, the father of Hiram, William, James, Francis and three girls, one of which, Rebecca, became the wife of the late Loder Culver. They were all ambitious to make money, and were quite a success. They did not speculate, but worked hard for whatever they accumulated.

Old Johnny Schuyler, as everybody called him, was a man of powerful physique. He was not quarrelsome, but he would not allow personal abuse from anyone, as the following illustrates. He was quite active in politics in his younger days, and a good story was told of him at a town meeting held at Vittoria. He had eaten his dinner at the hotel and paid for the same as he came out of the dining-room. Some time after, when he offered to pay for his horse, the hotel man demanded pay for dinner. Mr. Schuyler said "I paid for my dinner as I came from the dining-room." "You;re a liar," said the hotelman. No sooner had he offered this insult than Mr. Schuyler sized him by the collar with his left hand and proceeded to warm his ears with the right. This brought the hotel man to his senses. Suddenly he exclaimed "I remeber now, I got my pay." "You ought to be satisfied now, as you have been paid twice," said Mr. Schuyler, and the scene closed.

Mr. Schuyler came from Pennsylvania and was one of the most successful farmers in the county. His sons followed in their father's footsteps. They have all passed away. Francis, the last to go, fell dead between the barn and house only a few years ago.

Mrs. Scott was his eldest daughter. All the boys and girls called her by her Christian name, Mary Jane, and we all loved her, for she was very kind to children. I well remember eating many a cookie of her make, and the kind words when giving the toothsome morsels. She was married, quite late in life to a Rev. Scott, a Baptist minister, with whom she lived for several years, then left him because he was brutal and she had no hope of a reformation on his part.

Her brother Hiram was a successful farmers and during the first 20 years of his married life was the hardest worker I ever knew. I saw him about 60 years ago take four loads of cordwood in a day to Simcoe and a cord and a half at each load, and with an ox team. On Saturdays he took five loads.

He was as good in the church as on the farm. It was safe to say that no other member of Simcoe Baptist church did as much for the church as Deacon Schuyler. He was succeeded on the farm by his only son, William H., who passed away two or three years ago.
The next farm to Schuyler's on the east was (and is) the McInally farm. A fine old Irish gentleman was John McInally, the father of Freeman, Isaac and John B. There were several girls, two of whom married William Schuyler and his son Luther. Another became the wife of Mr. Kellum of Windham, and the fourth was Mrs. Franklin, Jenny. The youngest was Mrs. Ward Osborne I think there were other daughters but I am not sure.
Yes, there was another -- her Christian name is forgotten. She became the wife of William Schuyler, the second son of Uncle Johnny. He was noted for his fine matched horses -- took first prize several years in the County, and once in the Province. He was not so closed-fisted as some others of the same name, a Liberal, in politics and liberal in his every day life. He pursued the even tenor of his way -- didn't care for bank accounts, but kept out of debt and was a consistent member of the Baptist church. 

His only son William resides on the farm and is much like his father in appearance and disposition, but not so fond of fine horses. His three sisters, Mary, Margaret and Tamany, married John Yeager, Walter Smith of Charlotteville, and Joseph Wycoff [sic, actually Wyckoff] of Woodhouse Gore, respectively. Of the three I believe that Mrs. Yeager is the only one living. Wehn those three girls were young woen, they dressed alike, were good looking and were called, by way of distinction, the three graces.

Old John McInally came to Norfolk and settled on a bush farm in Townsend, just about 100 years ago. The first house was built of logs, and stood nearly opposite the old Schuyler residence. It was there that his children were born, nearly all of them. They they had a good commodious frame which occupied the site where now stands one of the finest farm residences in the County.

The old gentleman was a good Christian, but he stood aloof from the church till on Sunday about 60 years ago. There was a meeting at Olds' schoolhouse onr Sunday afternoon. At that meeting both he and his wife became members of the old old Wesleyan Methodist church, and for years were members of my father's class meeting. None supported the church more faithfully and none more punctual in attendance at the class, pray meeting and preaching.

His son Freeman became a farmer in Burford township and raised a large family. Isaac lived and died in Windham. John B. is still living, but more dead than alive. His four children were pupils at No. 4 some 40 years since, and the writer was their teacher. If any better dispositioned children ever lived it was not my good fortune to know them. Dora, who became Mrs. DeCew, was an exemplary child. I never saw her after she left school.* Her brother Cameron must be congratulated for laying up sound wiisdom for use in mature manhood. I sincerely hope that in finding a wife after so long a time he has found, as Solemon says, a good thing, and that she will prove to be a crown jewel, more precious than rubies, to her husband.
John B. McInally's wife was a Miss Randsom** [sic]. She was amability personanified. It was be very difficult to find a more careful and loving mother. Many years ago their youngest daughter was taken down with spinal meningitis. The physician, to save her life had recourse to very powerful medicine. Her life was saved but her mind was lost. She became the constant care of her mother, who watched over her for some 40 years with a tenderness and devotion almost divine. 

As there was no hope of the daughter's mind being restored, friends recommended her removal  to a Home of the feeble minded, as this would remove the burden of care from the mother. For many years she could not consent to have her child taken from her. At least she yielded to their entreaties. The daughter was taken away -- the mother's heart strings were broken and she went to her final rest. O that mother! 
God bless her memory.

To be continued.
Reminiscences of Norfolk County
by G. B. McIntosh

Page 1
Page 2
Page 3

Page 4

Page Index:

Grandpa Collver
Loder Culver
Mrs. Franklin
Mrs. Kellum
Daniel McIntosh
John McInally
John B. McInally
Archibald Olds
Clark Olds
Wellington Olds
Ward Osborne
Rev. Jas. Preston
Sophia Ransom
Rev. E. Ryerson
Hiram Schuyler
John Schuyler
Mary Jane Schuyler
William Schuyler
Rev. Scott
Walter Smith
Rev. Wilkinson
Joseph Wyckoff
John Yeager

1 The Waterford Star, 9 Nov 1911 issue, page 1
2 Ibid., page 5
3 Ibid., 14 Dec 1911 issue, pages 1, 4
* Thomas H. DeCew marred Dora Beemer -- see Star article
** John B. McInally 1822-1913, his wife Sophia Ransom 1833-1907
Copyright 2013 John Cardiff