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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: Beemer, Woolley, Carpenter4

Other than the Collver's, the Beemer's were quite numerous and closely related owing to their intermarriages. Levi Beemer took Martha Collver to wife. She was the eldest child of Grandpa Collver and lived with her husband on the corner lot No. 1, the 14th concession of Townsend in a small frame house on the hill only a few rods south of the Air Line Station, as it is now. There my mother was born, also her sister, Eliza, and her brother, George.
Their father died quite early in years, and their mother became the wife of Joseph Woolley. Their farm was about half way between Colborne and No. 4 school house. He was one of the pioneer preachers of Norfolk, and was a power for good. A fine granite monument has been recently erected over his grave in Old Windham -- purchased and paid for by his youngest son, David, who died in June, 1908.

I am not sure if Joseph Woolley was ordained or not, but he was a great worker in the church and on the farm. His children were MacFarlane, Hiram, Alvin, David, Peter, Sarah and Daniel. 

Sarah died at the early age of 11. She is remembered as the "child of inspiration." There was no person of any age who had a brighter experience or who could speak of the unseen with more eloquence than she. Her name was a household word on this account. In the prayer meeting or fellowship meeting she was the life and soul of the exercises, and in the regular preaching service she was frequently called upon by the ministers to open or close with prayer, and such prayers as she offered were scarcely ever heard proceeding from mortal lips. Surely it was not a misnomer to call her the Child of Inspiration.

Her brothers , David and Peter, died quite young, I can hardly remember David, but the others took wuch an interest in my father's family that it would impossible to forget. Hiram was probably the best farmer in his township, Charlotteville. In fact, it took the very best of farming to bring the best crops out of the poorest soil. For many years he was one of the firmest pillars in the Methodist church at Simcoe, and always took a deep interest in educational matters. He was twice married, his second wife surviving him many years. She was the daughter of the late Peter Wyckoff, the man noted for having two voices on all subjects, but not two votes. (My brother John, will explain this much than I can on paper.)
Alvin Woolley lived all his married life on the second farm east of No. 4 School House, Townsend. Like his brother Hiram, he was a good farmer and the leading member of Zion church. His children were three sons and three daughters, now well scattered, William in Burford, Ansley in Walsingham, Melissa in Townsend, Martha in Woodhouse, and Minnie in Detroit. 

Alvin Woolley was one of the best conversationalists in the County. He was posted on all popular subjects. It was a pleasure to talk to him. He understood how to listen to others, as well as to do his share of the talking.

I remember going to visit him several times during his last decade, and if the day was fair, he would say, "Now my boy, I know you have come to visit your uncle, and we can have a ride and visit at the same time." A horse and buggy would be readied, and we rode to Boston, Brantford, Burford, or to Charlotteville where his brother Hiram resided, or to the lake where lived Uncle David. Such visits we had in those days. I can't think of anything relating to memory more precious.

One thing more -- Uncle Alvin was the embodiment of carefulness. His farm was neat and clean. No foul weeds were allowed, not ever in the fence corners. And in his personal appearance, a stranger would take him for a gentleman, and no mistake. That's what he was. He wanted a higher title -- A Christian gentleman.
MacFarlane Woolley married Priscilla Sterling and lived on the farm owned by his father. Only one child was born to him, the late Joseph H. Woolley, who died in Colborne a few years ago.

I remember one morning about 65 years ago, a man named Jim Dean came running over the hill and shouted to my father and mother, "Come quick, Mack's a dying." They answered by going at once, and arrived before he breathed his last. He died a sacrifice to an old medical whim. The plan of the old doctor was to purge the patient until he was quite weak, then administer a powerful astringent, but in this case the purging was carried so far that it could not be checked and he died.
A few years after the death of Mack Farlan Woolley, a gentleman came up from Lake Ontario country and presented his claim for the widow. She considered the claim good. He was a good looking man and a Christian, just such a man as any good and virtuous woman would like. He was accepted and Mrs. Woolley became Mrs. John B. Carpenter.

Then Mr. Carpenter began to show the people that he know something about farming. He was a success everywhere. Midas like, everything he touched  changed to gold. But he was not parsimonious, the very opposite.  

He was generous to a fault. Look up the old missionary reports and see the hundreds of dollars opposite Mr. Carpenter's name. Then call on the Recording Stewart of the Simcoe Methodist church and get a look at the building fund. Mr. Carpenter's name is there $1,000, as his share or subscription. He gave that and much more before the building was completed. This was the first brick edifice on the ground now occupied by the second. He realized fully the truth of Solomon's proverb "There is that scattereth and yet increaseth." I never knew him to refuse to support any charity or benevolence. He was also a firm friend of education.

It will be remembered that Mr. Carpenter was the first in the province to receive a prize offered by the government for good farming. He was the most systematic farmer in Norfolk. As a farmer, a citizen and a Christian gentleman, it is doubtful if the memory of any other Norfolk man is treasured more deservedly than that of Mr. Carpenter.

I am not certain as to Mr. Carpenter's family, but think there were eight children, four of whom were boys, Edwin, Wellington, Albert and William. 

Wellington is a farmer in Woodhouse and a man respected by all who know him. 

Albert* (I may be mistaken as to the name) married a daughter of the late James McDowell but lived only a few years. 

Edwin was a member of the Ontario Parliament for several years, but was too sociable and lost much respect. I am informed that he is now a teetotaler and respected by all good people. 

His brother William was considered for some years the wealthiest man in Townsend, but was too sure that riches could not take wings and fly away. He lost everything through indiscreet speculation and allowing his brain to be stolen away by that which never satisfied and which never will. 

His mother, after living in affluence all her married life, finally died intestate. 

Her three daughters are doing nicely. The eldest is the wife of a farmer in Michigan, Genesee County. Her husband is a Westover, and I think the son of Luther Westover, a banker at Bay City. I am not certain if he is still living or not.

There were several other Carpenters in the County, John A. and George -- cousins. George was one of the old style of local preachers. I can't just remember his meetings. He had considerable talent and almost always closed with the hymn "Blest be the dear uniting love." Both brothers removed to Michigan many years ago and the writer does not know their subsequent history.

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

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Page 2
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Page 4

Page Index:
Levi Beemer
Edwin Carpenter
John B. Carpenter
Grandpa Collver
Martha Collver
Jim Dean
Priscilla Sterling
Alvin Woolley
Joseph Woolley
Joseph H. Woolley
'Mack' Woolley
Peter Wyckoff

4 The Waterford Star, 21 Dec 1911 issue, page 4
* John Carpenter's son Albert died age 6. John's son Charles Carpenter wed Carrie McDowell. Charles' widow wed secondly Charles' brother Edwin.
Copyright 2013 John Cardiff