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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: Shaw7

Every man and woman who knew Benjamin Shaw respected him. On the farm he was the soul of action. There was no better worker anywhere, and he succeeded in getting every one to do his part. 

In the days of the grain cradle he could swing his equal to the very best. He took the lead and kept it in his own harvest fields, and if any laggard was found he was cashiered and sent home. He was not the best farmer in the township, but he had a farm of splendid soil and raised splendid crops. 

He was a man of superior judgment, and could see what national and international affairs such as war, were likely to happen, and thereby obtained better prices than many of his neighbors. For two or three years before the Crimean war he saw that the storm was brewing, and kept his wheat in the granaries till the war began, and there was a great demand for his grain. He made several thousand dollars more than he would if he had sold at the time of threshing.
His family consisted of five sons and two daughters. The eldest daughter became the wife of the Rev. E. Ryerson, a Methodist at that time, but became a Baptist and was pastor of the Baptist church in Simcoe at the time of his death in 1863. He left two daughters and three sons.  

Mrs. Ryerson, when a girl, attended school at the Olds school house. She was the cleverest scholar there, and one of the brightest girls ever born in Norfolk. She was a beautiful reader and would have made a name on the stage if her mind had been so directed. Her voice was beautiful and her enunciation prefect. The other daughter is the wife of Toronto barrister Elgin Shoff. 

The five sons were Baldwin, Franklin, John, Kinsley and Anson. Baldwin died in Michigan some years since. John died a day or two after the Boughner picnic two years ago. The writer visited him several times during his last few days, but he was not able to recognize me or any one else. He married when quite young one of the fairest daughters of the county, Miss Juliet Steinhoff.

Benjamin Shaw was a gentleman and a firm friend to education, although he had no advantages for learning when a boy. He was not in favor of free schools when first introduced; but when he understood their general benefit he was not known to make any word of objection.

Although he was a great worker, he found time to entertain friends when they came to visit him, and was not forgetful of the Apostle's injunction. He and Mrs. Shaw were divided in their church membership, he being a Methodist, she a Baptist.

In his personal appearance Mr. Shaw was always neat. This was characteristic of Townsend farmers, but he was exceptionally so. No matter where you saw him, at home or abroad, on the farm or in the church, he was never careless, but always cleanly and his clothing in apple pie order. He left a farm to each of his boys.

Reminiscences of Norfolk: Culver8

In writing these reminiscences, the writer cannot be expected to do full justice to all, but he feels more should be said, even at the risk of being considered verbose or tedious, of the Culver family.

Just a little south of Bloomsburg and joining the village was and is one of the Culver farms where were born five brothers and two sisters with Christian names Philip, Mahlon, Oliver, Aaron, Thomas, Amy and Jane. Some will remember the hame of their father, but the writer remembers their loving mother, Rebecca. Everybody called her "Aunt Becky."

She loved all the children. I was 11 years old when she sat by her old fire place and told me stories to delight any ear. She told one which I would like to forget, but she told it so vividly that it would not be forgotten: the Sovereen murder, which occurred in Windham about the year 1830-3.

It would be difficult to find a kinder or more affectionate woman than Aunt Becky. "Her children rise up and call her blessed." Of her seven children only one is living, Mahlon. He and his wife reside with their son at Simcoe. 

When a young man, Aaron married a Miss Appleford. They were a happy and amiable couple, and began farming at Tyrrell as it is now, in Townsend, where they resided ever since till their deaths, hers several years ago, his only a few months since. He has always been a hard worker, but never let his work boss him. If a temperance meeting, or a spelling match, or surprise to a friend, or a picnic, you could wager that Squire Culver would be on deck. He was an enthusiast in temperance work, and was foremost in church. Both he and his wife were Baptists. The writer remembers but one child. She is Mrs. Kellum. "Her husband is known when he sitteth among the counsellors."

Referring spelling matches, they were quite common in the old days, and nights as well. They gave us boys and girls a splendid chance of which we were not slow in taking advantage.

It was in the winter of 1857-8, we had one of those joy producers at Wiggins Corners, just one concession south of Renton. Squire Culver was a regular attendant. Whang, the miller, loved money no better than the Squire loved the "Spelin Skule." One evening he was pronouncing words for the chosen to spell. I was the referee, and a part of my duty was to define the words when required. The word "tongue" was given, and at that particular moment only two or three were left standing. One was a Miss Douglas, the tallest girl in the county. It was her turn to spell. She knew the word very well, but, for a little fun's sake answered "tongue, a little race horse that often run away with women."

We enjoyed a laugh, the Squire the heartiest of all, and the incident passed. So also did more than 50 years, and when at the Boughner picnic, I saw a lady, and by her height took her to be Miss Douglas. I asked if I could be excused for speaking. She replied "You don't have to ask to be excused. I remember your definition. You were right. The little race horse ran away with me, and I am mother and grandmother and great-grandmother. How is it with you?" I answered in accordance with the facts.
Philip was the first born. He lived all his life on the farm were he was born. He and his wife were careful to see that their children were not deficient in education. They were zealots in the Baptist church, Bloomsburg, at the time of their deaths a few years since.

Their children were mostly daughters, one of whom resides in Buffalo, N.Y. I believe she is still a Culver, as her husband is a son of the late Michael Culver, who lived and died at what is now called the Sand Hill. At an early day it was called Hard Scrabble, supposedly because it required a hard scrabble to make a living there. It is different now. The farms are in good condition and scrabbling is now necessary.
Another daughter is the wife of Professor David Barber. Soon after their marriage they were students of the celebrated Dr. Root at Chicago and became graduates in instrumental and vocal music; but owing to throat trouble he professor had to quit singing. In my opinion he is the finest organist in the county. 

Before he was married the little brick church at Old Windham was dedicated. Some few are living who heard the singing on that occasion by the Misses Culver and Charles Friedenmoot. As they sang "The Little Brown Church in the Vale," the people were more than delighted. David Barber was the conductor. Dr. Robinson, the preacher, declared he had never heard as good singing in his life.
Oliver became a blacksmith, and was good at his trade. He must have made money as he was scarely ever away from his shop. "A rolling stone gathers no moss." The converse of this is also true.
Thomas, the youngest brother, was never married. He died, if memory does not lack, in the fall of '57. A few years previously he had the misfortune to break a leg. He told the writer that he was not entirely recovered from that fracture, and some were of the opinion that his death was hastened on that account. He was a very popular young man, quite a favorite with the fair sex and was greatly missed when taken away.
Amy married John Beachem, who was a good sociable fellow, kind father, a loving husband and obliging neighbor; but he died at an early age and his wife was not long in following him. They were considered a handsome couple. Their daughter was a very fine looking young lady. The writer never saw her after her mother's death.
Those who knew George Culver will say that a bare mention of his name in these memoirs is not doing him justice. He was a man will liked by all -- a strong temperance advocate in practice -- lived according to the Golden Rule -- but was a little too much inclined to believe that a man was his friend because he professed to be.

George Culver was not a churchman, but was a much better Christian than meny who make very loud professions. He passed away at the age of seventy years, or nearly, leaving his wife and sic children, who are all living. His oldest boy inherited the industry care and economy of his mother, and is now the owner of the farm previously owned by the late J. B. Carpenter.

Reminiscences of Norfolk: Culver9

It was a Culver that introduced the cheese factory into Norfolk, and it is quite safe to say that many farms have been imporved and many thousands of dollars brought into the county on account of that industry. The breeds of cattle have been vastly improved. Up to the time of the cheese factory's advent very few of the farmers had any cows bu the native grades. Now there are many of the Holstein, Jersey, Alderney* and other excellent breeds.

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

Page 1
Page 2
Page 3
Page 4

Page Index:
Prof. David Barber
John Beachem
George Culver
Michael Culver
Oliver Culver
Philip Culver
Thomas Culver
Rev, E. Ryerson
Benj. Shaw family
Juliet Steinhoff

7 The Waterford Star, 25 Jan 1912 issue, page 1
8 Ibid., pages 1 and 4
9 Ibid., page 4
* Alderney dairy cattle from the British Channel Island of Alderney are now extinct.
Copyright 2013 John Cardiff