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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: Woolley, Carpenter, Beemer5

In speaking of the Woolleys it was the intention of the writer to refer more particularly to Daniel Woolley who purchased a part of the old Salt farm in [1856]. He was married in Apr [1858], and began life on his own farm in [1859]. 

He had obtained a better education than any of his brothers, and was a teacher for several years before marriage. He was different from most men in this respect: he loved reproof. He believed that open rebuke was better than secret love. If in conversation he made a misstatement or an error in syntax, he was glad to have his attention called to it. 

He kept his farm properly cultivated, raised splendid crops, yet found time to visit friends, attend political meetings as well as all meeting in connection with the church. He was over 40 years the Sunday Sunday Superintendent at Woodhouse. The writer knows of only one man who occupied a similar position for a longer time, and that was the late A. J. Donly, who will be referred to hereafter.

Daniel Woolley was a local minister for many years and preached very often and very acceptably. He was also a J.P. and one who was not asked to step down and out when the present local government came to power. None of his decisions were ever reversed by the County court.
It may be a matter of wonderment with many why Daniel should have lived so much longer than any of his brothers and sisters. It is quite plain to the writer. When he was quite a young men, he and his brother Peter went to New York and consulted the consumption doctor S. S. Fitch. He told them to breathe, to fill the lungs, to stand up and not allow the shoulders to press down upon the lungs, to avoid irritants and use the most nourishing food, to avid all kinds of intoxicants and narcotics and to take plenty of sleep with windows open.

Daniel acted upon the advice while Peter paid little or no attention to it, the result being that Daniel lived a full half century longer than his brother.
Reference was made [on page 2] to the Beemers -- Levi had two brothers, John and Philip, and two sisters, Susan and Hannah. Those two sisters married Peter O'Carr and a Bowlby, respectively.
A large number of children were born to Mr. and Mrs. O'Carr, more than half of whom died in infancy. Those which grew up were John, for many years a whaler; Peter, who became a physician, married, and died with the white plague; George, who spent most of his years in the United States, but took cold at Charlestown and came home to die soon after the opening of the civil war; Lewis, who spent his time travelling, was in Australia at last account; James was in Missouri when last heard of by this writer.

Then there were three daughters who are still living, two in Simcoe and one at Chicago.

Their father met death in a peculiar and tragic manner. It was in the winter of 1856-7 and a Sunday morning. He and his family started for church with a spirited team. In going down Rose Hill, the horses started to run. He dared not check them suddenly as the sleigh would run into them, thereby adding to the danger.

Allowing them to run, he reined them toward the mill and passed it going up the hill, at the top of which he pulled them against the fence and stopped them. Her remarked "It's a mercy that no one was hurt." Then stepping to the horses heads, he lay down on the snow and expired.

The man Bowlby to whom Hannah Beemer was married, I never knew. His grandson, Frank, occupies the old homestead south of Simcoe. He has the reputation of being a good specimen of the Canadian gentleman.

Philip Beemer, who the writer well remembers, was a great talker. He always seemed to enjoy a visit with my father. At one time he owned a saw mill north of the Round Plains on the Townsend side. Some one told me in my young days of a great bull frog which came up near the mill every summer, and in the night his deep base [sic] voice would be heard singing out the name Philip Beemer, Philip Beemer, and the song was kept up for years after Philip Beemer had left the premises. There doesn't appear to be any pond or stream in that neighborhood at the present day.
John Beemer settled in Colborne and was the father of William, Levi, Hiram and John, the present Police Magistrate. There was one one girl as my memory serves me. She grew up and became Mrs. Jonathan Austin. She is still living at St. Thomas with her daughter. I called upon her at the time of the Norfolk County Fair in October 1909. She was quite feeble.

Levi Beemer became a jewelry merchant in Hamilton and was reported to be a rich man 50 or 60 years ago, but reverses came and his riches took wings.
William, the oldest son, settled on the farm now owned and occupied by John Lee and family. Farming was not William's forte. He therefore gave it up for a more lucrative business, hotel keeping, which he followed in Buffalo for several years then returned to Colborne and followed the trade of the Nazarene until his untimely death which was caused by a load of wood upsetting and falling upon him.

He was a very genial man, good company and a lover of music. He could make it too. My mother was sick at the time and my father was almost frantic fearing that she was about to die. William Beemer, being her first cousin, came with his wife to see her. He brought his favorite instrument, the clarionet, and played several pieces which delighted us all, especially mother. It was better than medicine. She began to recover from that time and was soon well.

John Beemer's son John, the present police magistrate, is too well known to require any words from me. However I must give him a passing notice. He is now an aged man, wrinkled and hoary; but so far his judicial decisions have been marked by a prudence, wisdom, earness and dispassion very seldom found in the walks of professional life.

Nearly half a century [has passed] since I lived next door to him. His family consisted of two daughters and one son with their mother. I was in his house quite often, and I took notice that he was a very kind father and husband. I never heard him speak to anyone angrily. He loved a joke and I dare say he does to this day.

One Sunday morning in the Spring time we had no potatoes. I knew Mr. Beemer had plenty, so I told the girl to go over and ask him for a pail full -- that I would get some in a day or two and return the same measure to him.

She returned with the empty pail, saying "Mr. Beemer said we could have the potatoes if we would be sure to bring them back again. I knew we could not do that, so I did not get any." In a few minutes he appeared at our door with a good supply. He laughed heartily as he remarked "The young lady doesn't seem to properly understand my joke."

The Squire's youngest daughter died early in life. She was loved by all of her acquaintance. I think the finest monument in Old Windham Cemetery is one of Aberdeen granite and erected in her memory. The older daughter married a Mr. Freeman, son of the late Wesley Freeman, Esq., of Windham. I am not certain, but think she is still living. Her husband died after a very few years of married life.

Harry, the only son, is a farmer and manages the old farm where he has resided since his birth. He and his sisters were students of mine in their childhood. They were studious and obedient.
Their father was married three times. His first wife was a Miss Barber of Boston, a sister of Squire Barber, who for many years was a merchant and postmaster of that village. He will be spoken of hereafter, as will others of the same name
His second wife was the daughter of William Wood of Windham. She was a teacher for some years, and one of the handsomest young ladies in the county. None knew but loved her. Mrs. Culver who died in Woodhouse Gore very recently was her sister. She was also a loveable woman.
Reminiscences of Norfolk: Shaw6

About the year 1843* one Sunday morning my father took me by the hand and led me to old Windham. A funeral was being held; the first of which I have any remembrance. I heard the sighs and sobs of an old lady who was called by all who knew her "Aunt Freelove." It was her husband Michael Shaw who was laid to rest that day. 

He had lived and died on the farm directly north of the Schuyler farm. His family consisted of Vincent, Jacob and Benjamin, and several girls, one of whom became Mrs. Book and passed her life at Ancaster, another a Mrs. Slaght. She had a daughter Ophelia. I think she is Mrs. Kendall, a widow at Simcoe. Of the Shaw Boys Vincent lived about a mile east of Alvin Woolley.

Quite late in life he was "called" to preach and was a supernumerary in the Baptist church. He didn't believe in education and his children were evidences of that. One of them was for some years called the mayor of the celebrated Rattlesnake Harbor in Windham township.

A laughable story is told concerning this neighborhood. Brandy Creek is one of the suburbs. One day the railway train was going south having a number of passengers, one of which had been imbibing too freely. He was pretty drowsy, but he opened his eyes when the brakeman called out "Brandy Creek! Brandy Creek!" Pretty soon the brakeman called out "Rattlesnake Harbor! Rattlesnake Harbor!" Then the drowsy fellow was wide awake. Calling to the conductor, [he] said "Be sure to let me off before you get to Delirium Demons. I don't want to go there."

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

Page 1.
Page 2.
Page 3.
Page 4

Page Index:
Jonathan Austin
Squire Barber
John Beemer
Levi Beemer
Philip Beemer
William Beemer
Frank Bowlby
A. J. Donly
Peter O'Carr
Michael Shaw
William. Wood
Daniel Woolley
Peter Woolley

5 The Waterford Star, 4 Jan 1912 issue, pages 1 and 4
6 Ibid., page 4
* Michael Shaw, born 30 Aug 1763, died 18 Sep 1844 
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