In 2002 I received a photocopy of Maria McQuaig’s book, through the kindness of Mary Lou Fry. As I read through it I felt it had considerable genealogical value, not only for the hard facts it contained, but also for the pictures it portrayed of the life of our Grant ancestors, in the second half of the nineteenth century. Here are first hand accounts, by someone who knew Lewis Grant and his wife Annie Gurnsey (Maria’s grandparents), and Daniel Grant (Maria’s father) and his family.
I felt this book was worth
transcribing for ease of reference and availability. I have
tried to transcribe it as accurately as possible. I have
retained original spelling. The only changes I have made are
the addition of some punctuation marks for easier reading.
Barbara M. Grant
Maria Amelia Grant McQuaig
I was born in Ontario, Canada, at Grant’s Mills, by the Nation River, on Dec. 24th 1848. My father was a Canadian, a miller by traid. Both my father and mother were Methodists, and had a good education, considering the limited educational advantages of those days as compared with the present. They were married April 21st 1840 by Revd. Joseph Anderson, Presbyterian Minister of South Gower. My father whose name was Daniel Grant was born at Grant’s Mills on May 17th 1817; died October 14th 1877.
My mother whose maiden name was Eliza Sarah Montgomery, was born at Johnstown by the St. Lawrence, Grenvill County, Ontario Canada in the year 1823 November 23rd , and died at Grant’s Mills on January 22nd 1854.
My mother’s father’s name was Aaron Coben Montgomery, was of Scotch decent, in politics he was a conservative, he was also an Orangeman and Master of the Lodge which met in his own house when he lived in Johnstown by the St. Lawrence River.
In religion he was Church of England. He was talented and had a great intellect; and was highly educated, was a beautiful pensman, an artist, engraver and composer having written books of music and printing the notes with his quill pen made by himself. I have one of those books in my possession at the present time; it was given to me by my Grandmother Montgomery a short time before her death. I also have his ink stand which is a curiosity made of stone about 14 inches in circumference and a place in the centre to hold the ink; then small round holes between the out side edge and this centre place for the ink, to stand the pens in as he would always have several pens on hand.
Grandmother told me that in those days most people had wooden slabs placed at the graves of their dead instead of stone as we have now: and that people would come for miles, and miles, around to have Grandfather engrave this wooden slab for them to place at the grave of their departed friends.
In disposition he was pleasant and winning.
Grandma said he was very genteel and aristocratic having been brought up in the City of Montreal, Quebec: that was where his father and mother lived. Their family consisted of two sons Aaron Coben, and Archibald who lived in the city of New York, U.S. He too had a son by the name of George Archibald and he too was highly educated, was a lawyer, had the title of Major and was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel but I will speak of him again further on. Archibald had a daughter who is married to a Mr. Birdsil, they live at Bimmington near New York City. I have at the present time in my possession a book of poetry called “Star Dust”, which she composed: she also composed prose. Mrs. Birdil has visited our friends here in Canada, was at my brothers Erastus and Wesleys and I think at sister Mary’s. At that time I was at school up at Merrickville and did not see her.
My mother’s mother’s maiden name was Sarah Pratt She was born on Feb. 15th 1806, had one brother whose name was Elias Nelson Pratt born Oct. 10th 1810. He started for California the overland route and they received word from him at a point where scores were dying with Yellow Fever and never heard from him again; they sent word, but could never get an answer again so they supposed that he had taken it and died too. Grandma used to often speak about Uncle Elias and wish that she knew what happened him.
You know this Sarah Pratt was wife of Aaron C. Montgomery, therefore she was my Grandmother Montgomery. Grandma had a sister whose name was Mary Ann; she married Daily Sellick Esq. of Prescott; they too were Methodist; Aunt died while quite young and left three sons Elias, Albert and Allen. Allen’s wife who was a Miss Fletcher of Cardinal was a great writer both of Prose and Poetry. She too died young and left three children, two sons and a daughter; they lived in Chicago, U.S.
Grandma ………..(illegible) United Empire Loyyalist,………….and at that time the Indians were both savage and numerous in this country; and there was a cousin of Grandma’s whose name I cannot recollect at present, but she was a young lady, tall, fair complection and light long hair; whose mother prepared a dinner for her to take to her father and his men who were working some little distance from the house, and as she did not return at the usual time her mother thought she was waiting for her father, and when her father came home unaccompanied by his daughter, her mother began to inquire as to her whereabouts; her father with great astonishment said we never saw her today, that is since we left the house in morning; so immediate search was made, not only by the father and his men, but all the neighbours and friends came to seek and to sympathise; but O, what sadness filled the heart of that father and mother, yea what horror filled their hearts; for she cound be found no place; and the search was kept up for days and nights by both women…
(p. 10-16 missing)
Lewis Grant, Esq.
My grandfather on my father’s side was a Scotchman, in politics he was a reformer, in religion he was a presbyterian.
He was son of Wm. Grant half pay Lieutenant, 1st royals, Farmer of Carron, parish of Aberlour; and Catherine Grant daughter of Lewis Grant, Esq. Wester Elchies; Scotland.
He was sent out by Governor Simco and arrived in Canada in the winter of 1791 and 1792 by the way of New York; and served the Government as deputy surveyor till June 1800.
He then commenced building a mill on lot No. 7 in the 9 consession of Edwardsburgh on the Nation River in the spring of 1801.
Her was educated (for a doctor, but was too tender hearted), in the old country before coming out to Canada; he was of a kind, lively, cheerful disposition always ready with a joke. He was only 18 years old when he came to Canada, and at that time it was woods where he began to build his mills, known as Grant’s Mills. He also began to clear land too, he took up several tracts of land and my brother Erastus and his son Eldon O. are now living at Grant’s Mills on a part of the farm cleared by Grandfather.
At the age of 30 years he married Miss Annie Gurnsey and to them were born four sons whose names were Lewis, Daniel, Alexander and Allen, and three daughters Nancy, Mary or (Polly) as she was always called and Rachel.
Grandfather built a large frame house by his mill where he spent the remainder of his days and at his death gave this farm and mill to my father and he was to take care of Grandma which he always did. She lived with us for seven years then spent her last days with her daughter Rachel.
I can remember of Grandpa coming in our house and getting me to stand in a chair and get on his back and then he would carry me in his house and ask Grandma if she had something for his girl, and she always had something for me too. Our house was close to Grandpa’s. He lived to be 84 years old. And was buried in South Gower Cemetry. The words on his tomb… (page 20 missing)
I should have mentioned on the 19th page that Grandfather drew the machinery with ox teams from Montreal for his grist mill which he built in the summer of 1801 which was also the first mill on the Nation River and the only one at that time between Kingston and Montreal. They did all the grinding from Byetown now Ottawa, Waddington U.S. A. and all the surrounding country for years.
Annie Gurnsey was the maiden name of my Father’s mother. She was daughter of Daniel and Rachel Gurnsey who were U.E.Loyalist and came from Balston Springs in the State of Massachusetts, and were among the first Methodists in Canada in Barbra Heck’s time. They built a large frame house above South Mountain and as there were no churches in these parts then, they had their Methodist meetings up stairs in their house. Grandma Grant had a brother John who lived near Niagra on the other side of the river, that is on the U.S. side; he was a great Methodist too. And one of our ministers, the Rev. Anson Green, speaks in a Book he wrote, of having stopped with Uncle John while traveling his circuit; his home, like his father’s, was always open to welcome the servants of God.
Grandmother’s sister Fannie was drowned in Lake Champlain while crossing the ice on their way to Canada. It was very sad for the parents as well as for the rest of the family, her body was never found and that made it doubly sad, but as they were christians they had a refuge to flee too in the hour of so great a trial, for God has told us to cast our burdens upon him and he shall sustain us.
Grandma was not only a methodist, but a good christian woman and a tender and affectionate mother and never would let an opportunity of doing good go by without imbracing that opportunity.
She was very kind to my mother who lived between 8 and 9 years with her and she as well as my Grandma Montgomery was a very neet housekeeper and a good cook too. She lived for some years with us after Grandfather died and she always prayed in evry prayer-meeting and always bore testimony in every fellowship-meeting of the power of God to save and to keep.
Grandmother Grant lived to be 82 years and died as she lived trusting in God.
Her funeral text was II Timothy 4th Ch. 7,8 verses: I have fought a good fight, I have finished ,my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
Her remains were laid in the South Gower Cemetery.
The words on her tombstone are:
Angel’s voices called her…
(page 26 missing)
Daniel & Eliza Sarah Grant, my father and mother, lived all their married life at Grant’s Mills, the first 8 or 9 years in with Grandfather and Grandmother Grant, then father built a stone house by the side of Grandfather’s, where Eldon O. Grant now lives, and Grandmother told us that during all these years that mother lived with her she never heard her speak an unkind word to any one. She was always liberal to the poor, attentive to the sick and kind and sympathetic to all, and a good housekeeper too, as well as her mother. To them were born four children Erastus Grant, and Mary Jane Grant, wife of Wm. Imrie of Ventnor, Maria Amelia Grant, wife of Henry McQuaig of Hulbert, Ont., and Wesley Healy Montgomery Grant of Regina Sask.
Father and Mother also took a little cousin of mother’s and brought her up as her father and mother died when she was very young; her name was Laura Almira Pratt. We children loved her as much as if she had been our sister, in fact we always thought she was till one day at School one of the scholars told sister Mary that Laura was not her sister and this news grieved Mary so much that she went home crying to tell mother of what she thought to be very cruel news. The School house was only a very short distance from our home. And Uncle Alex Grant was at our house when she reached home so he talked to Mary and told her not to mind anything the scholars had said and told her that Laura was her sister, of course she was her adopted sister.
Laura was fair complection, light wavy hair, blue eyes, and of a cheerful, kind disposition. She was converted to God when very young and joined the Methodist Church of which she was a member till God called her home.
Laura married Silas Shaver he was a Methodist, and a millar by traid; he rented Father’s mill for three years and lived in Grandfather’s house by us, we were glad to have them so close by us. Silas and Laura were both beautiful singers. After some years they moved west to Odessa, where dear Laura’s health began to fail. To them were born four daughters Adalaid, Almira, Hetta and a sweet little babe whose name was Mary born to them in March 1868 and on the 9th of the following June Dear Laura was not, for God took her to be forever with Himself, and just before her spirit took its flight to that home above she sang,
“Come angel band around me
I come behold I come
Come bear me away on the snowy wings
To my own immortal home.”
She was just in the prime of life only in her 26 year when she was called home, and her husband and all her children but Hetta have since followed her home.
Little Mary was called home on
July 5th after her mother, being only five months old, and her
little body was brought home and buried by her mother’s in the
Vancamp Cemetery to await the resurrection morn.
The words on dear Laura’s tombstone are,
Husband, children cease your
Where I am you soon will come,
I as a wanderer earth was keeping
Dying is but going home.
Father and Mother moved in the stone house in the fall of 1848 and I was born on Christmas eve Dec. 24 1848, and brother Wesley was born June 24th 1853, and our dear mother died Jan. 22nd 1854. She had ulcers on her liver and canker in her mouth, and the canker went to her stomach, and that baffled the Doctor’s skill. I can remember us all standing by her bedside when her spirit took its flight to be forever with her God; and I remember of Father taking me in his arms and lifting me up to take the last look at her lifeless form as she lay in her casket, in the south west corner of the parlour, but at that time I did not fully realize what a great loss I had met with; but as months and years rolled by I fully realized what it meant to loose a good, tender, affectionate, kind sympathetic loving christian mother, and God alone knows how my heart has yearned for a dear mother’s love.
Rev. Thomas Maley of Kemptville preached Dear Mother’s funeral sermon from Ezekiel XXIV Ch. V 16 verse “Son of man behold, I take away from thee the desire of thine eyes with a stroke.”
And the words of the text were the words that were put on her tombstone.
Her body was laid away in the South Gower cemetry to await the resurrection morn.
February 22nd 1907
The first year after Mother’s death Aunt Maria Forester staid with us, then Grandfather Grant died and Grandmother Grant moved right in with us, you see she was left all alone; and she staid seven years with us, and Laura was with us part of this time until she was married.
Grandma Montgomery (Beach) took little brother Wesley home with her and kept him till he was 5 years old and she did the sewing for us until sister Mary could do it herself.
Then Father did not have so great a care of Wesley as he would have had if he had kept him at home, but it was very hard for Grandma to give him back again but Father wanted us all brought up together under the parental roof. We use to go very often to Grandma’s. She was always like mother to us, and would always bring us something when she would come, and always have something for us when we would go there. She lived in South Gower a little west of Pelton’s Corners in a large frame house with a varanda round it. There was a never failing Spring a short distance from the barn where cattle and horses were all allowed to go and drink , it was always full and running out a little.
Grandmother Grant was too old to take care of Wesley or look after the house alone so Father always kept a hired girl till we girls could do the work ourselves, and he use to take us with him when he would go any place if he possibly could, and if he could not then he would always bring us something home. I remember of him once coming home from Brockville and we thought he had forgotten to bring us something but after he came in the house he put up his umbrella and let two black silk parasols slip out on the floor. I remember well how they looked; they had joint handles that could be turned down, and we were the only little girls around that had parasols and I can tell you we were well pleased.
We would often go out and stay in the mill with him when he was grinding and I got so I liked the mill and I really wished that I could be a miller too, and after we grew up so we could knit and sew we use to take our work to the mill and sit in a little room where Father had his desk to write on and there was a large box stove there too and many a time we would pop corn on that stove and my how it would pop around. Oh but it was fun to see it pop.
And if ever children enjoyed being with their Father it was we and when the day was over the evenings were spent in reading aloud some good book or paper. Sometimes Father would read and sometimes he would have sister Mary as she was a good reader. Father was always very much opposed to novel reading so that kind of literature never found a place in our home, for which we all thank God.
When there were revival
meetings at Heckston father would take the sleigh or wagon so
as to take the men, or the neighbours who had no way of their
own. When the meetings were in our School house, Mary and I
use to polish our candle sticks and have them just shining to
take, as candles were the only lights we had in those days.
Then there use to be Camp Meetings and Father would have a
tent and Grandma Montgomery (Beach) would always go and take
care of the tent. I can remember of us going to Spencerville
and Dr. and Mrs. Palmer from New York were there, they would
both preach and both sing. I remember the chorus of on hymn
they sang was
“O the way is so delightful
In the service of the Lord,
O the way is so delightful, halleluiah.”
Winchester, March 23rd, 1908
After we children were pretty well grown up father married a Miss Matilda Kyle to whom were born six children, two of whom died in infancy, another whose name was Bertha died after she grew to be a young lady, she took cold and went into a decline. She was saved when a child so when death came she had nothing to fear. Cora Ethel married a Mr. Tuck of Kemptville they moved west where she took typhoid fever and lived only four weeks; she left one child whose name is Bertha. A short time before her spirit took its flight to be forever with her God she sang “Take time to be holy” and so on the rest of the hymn. She was a good christian woman.
There are only two of that family living now, William in Regina and Maggie also of Regina, she is a great worker in the church and Sabbath School; their mother died last fall out in Regina; they did not bring her body back to Ontario for burial, but laid it away in the Regina cemetery there to await the sound of the last trumpet.
Brother Erastus married Margaret Robinson who has made him a good wife, a great worker in the church and kind to the poor, sympathetic to the sick, always willing to lend a helping hand to those in need. To them were born three children two sons and one daughter, the daughter and one son dying in their childhood. Eldon who married Bertha Hyndman of Grant’s Mills being the only child who lived to grow up.
Sister Mary married Wm. Imrie of Ventnor who has made her a good companion; they have two daughters Jennie Laura the eldest who married W.A.Dinwoodie of Ventnor has four nice bright children Alice, Shirley, Willie, and Gideon; and Eliza their youngest daughter married Elisha Adams of Shanley. They have one daughter Laura Grant Adams.
After sister Mary married and moved from home I was very lonely, it seemed I could not live without her; I missed not only her company but her advice and sympathy, she was like a mother over us and took the lead in everything and planned things. Oh it seemed as though she were dead, the first night after she had gone and I was through with the work, as usual father sat down to read and I beside him, after a few moments he asked me if I was lonely without Mary; I said yes, that was all I could say for my heart was breaking within, and I knew he was just as lonely without her as I was for she was so much like our sainted mother and she always took her turn in reading aloud with father at nights. But I had dear brother Wesley who was a great comfort to me for we dealy loved each other and he was always kind and good to me and would take me any place I wanted to go.
After some years Grandma Montgomery’s (Beach) health began to fail, and after a time she was confined to her bed, so I staid with her and took all the care of her during her last illness which lasted over a year; at times she suffered a great deal; sometimes she would get quite better so she could sit up and take a few steps then take another bad turn again and every bad turn would leave her still weaker, she never would regain the same strength she had before, but when she got a little better I would always think now she is going to get better. I could not think I had so soon to part with her; it seemed she must get better. After being up one night with her I went up stairs to lie down and rest a while but before lying down, I knelt in prayer and I felt a hungering and thirsting after more of God and as I prayed I said, “Nearer my God to thee, nearer to thee, even it be a cross that raises me nearer my God to thee, nearer to thee.” I no sooner had prayed these words till the Holy Spirit said would you be willing to part with either your Father, or your Grandmother that you might be brought nearer. And Oh I just knelt, and knelt at my bedside, but I could pray no more, for they were my two treasures which I thought I could not give up, so after a time I rose from my knees with my prayer unfinished and of course unanswered. And God alone knows the sadness of my heart at that time. I did want the blessing, but I had not got to the point where I could give up everything to get it, so I could not have it. At this time my father was in declining health, but around at work and came to see Grandma several times during her illness, and when he bade her goodbye the last time he was privileged to come; he said well Mrs. Beach I don’t know which of us will go first, but if I do I’ll be at the gate to welcome you in, and if you go first look out for me, I’m coming too. And when he left I stood on the varanda and watched him out of sight and Oh such a sadness as came over me I never felt like it before. I stood there for quite a while, but could not get rid of this terrible sadness that had come over me and I went up stairs and wept and I felt this is the last time Pa is ever going to come, and I could not get over this feeling, and in a few short days brother Erastus came and he said to me, Maria, Pa is sick, and he wants to see you, and quick as a flash this sadness that I had when he went away all came back to my mind, and the next thought was he’ll never get better. Well I went to see a neighbour woman to have her come and take care of Grandma while I was away for it was five miles to Father’s, and I went home with Erastus to Father’s, he had had the asthma from a child and he suffered a great deal but God was with him; when a severe pain would dart through him he would say its only a pin being taken out to let this tabernacle down, and after a night of severe suffering he would say it was just a breeze to drive the “Old Ship” nearer the harbour. He said when you cannot hear what I am saying, I will be telling you to watch and pray, and a short time before he passed away he took each one of us by the hand and gave us a parting blessing; when he took my hand he said is this Maria, the Lord bless Maria, I want my children to be living witnesses, I say living witnesses for Christ, the world won’t think so much of you, but it’s no matter what the people of the world say; never be ashamed to own Christ; I want you to preach Christ by your walk, and conversation. God bless you my child, put your trust in Him, He will be everything to you; He will be your all in all, what more could you need. He said Maria have you been praying to-day, I said yes Pa I have been praying all day. He said I knew some one had been, I hope it will be the Lord’s will to soon take me home. I said if it’s His will I hope you may get better, it seemed I could not give him up. Then he said let me go, give me up, don’t keep me back by fervent prayer. And when I am gone I want my children to tell I died rich, richer than a king. I am going to heaven. I don’t think it, I know it. I am sure of it. These are only a few of the things he said; and during his short illness if we would ask him to eat anything he would say I have “bread” ye know not of.
And on Saturday night, the last
night he was on earth, dear sister Mary said to him, I hope
you’ll get some sleep and rest tonight Pa, but he said no I’ll
not sleep tonight, but to-morrow I’ll go to sleep in the arms
of Jesus, so on Sabbath forenoon about 11 o’clock he fell
asleep never to awaken in this world of pain and suffering; I
was sitting by him and he had my hand in his, and he just fell
asleep sitting pillowed up in the bed, as he could not get his
breath when lying down, and he just slept a very few moments
till he turned deathly pale and his spirit had taken its
flight to be forever with the Lord and words fail to tell how
I felt, but the first thought that came was this, who will
pray for us children now as dear father did? And I answered
the question by saying no one can, or will ever pary for us as
he did, Oh he was the best man I ever knew. And I never can
forget how I felt as I gazed, and gazed upon that dear
whitened face and those lips that could tell me no more of the
“Old old story of Jesus and his love” and I did not want to
take my hand from his for I knew that was the last clasp his
hand would ever give mine on earth; and I sat and looked and
looked for tears were not at my command, I was too much
grieved for tears to flow, it was a great trial.
I did not weep, tears were
When first I saw my father dead,
In tearless silence by his side
I sat and scanned him in his bed.
I looked into his whitened face,
Then I must take from his, my hand
And gently laid his in its place.
But tears were not at my command.
I, stooping, pressed my lips upon
His cold, but else unaltered brow,
Still did not weep, though more alone
Was I, perhaps, than even now.
I tried to think, it could not be,
He did but sleep, but ah; how vain,
The coldness of that brow to me
Was what would never wake again.
And busying memory brought to bear
The sunnier tint each feature wore;
When sweet Affection’s smile was where
Affection’s smile would bloom no more.
When that, now frosted, pulseless breast,
All bright with honor’s holiest flame,
From those mute lips so fondly pressed
On me to keep my own the same.
This led me to the tender hours
When those same lips were wont to dwell
So beautifully on the flowers,
The fields, and things above as well.
From whence, I knew, my girlhood’s brain
Had caught its first impulsive fire,
Some sparks of which may still remain
And stel, at times, along my brain.
Then all that good, that grace
A thousand deeds of kindness done,
As shades of memory seemed to rise,
And pass before me one by one.
Ah, that was more than heart could stand,
My tear-stained eyes at once ran o’er
And still I gazed, so silent gazed,
With eyes that ne’er their last could look.
Before he passed away he
selected his pall bearers who were Messrs. Geo. Sanderson of
Kemptville, Robert Cummings of North Mountain, Peter Cummings
of Heckston, Joseph Smith of South Mountain, William Gravel of
South Mountain and William Fraser of North Mountain. Rev’d Mr.
Teason Methodist minister preached his funeral sermon from
Psalms XXXIV and 19 verse. Many are the afflictions of the
righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.
We laid his precious body to rest beside our dear mother’s in the South Gower Cemetery; and the words on the tombstone are –
Father, thou art gone to rest
We will not weep for thee
For thou art now where oft on earch
Thy spirit longed to be.
It was on Oct. 14th 1877 that he died and was buried on the 16th. I then went back to take care of dear Grandma, the time seemed long to her while I was gone although I drove several times during those two weeks to see to her and see how she was. She was so glad to have me back again for I knew what she needed and just how she wanted things done and she was always satisfied with everything I did for her and if any one would offer to do anything for her she would say O Maria knows just how I want it done, she’ll do it, and when speaking to me she would always call me “my dear child”. She was always so kind and affectionate so tender and loving to me and I loved her so much, that if she had any faults I never saw any of them, she was over a year confined to her bed and I took all the care of her day and night and her Doctor, who was Neil McIntire told me the care I took of her was better than all his medicine, and my brother Erastus wife said to me Maria never think that your life has been in vain for if you never should do anything else the care you took of your Grandma would be enough, would be worth while.
And just as Grandma passed away her son, my Uncle Albert turned to me and said, I would say of you as it was said of one in the scripture “She has done what she could.”
When Grandma would have those severe spells of suffering she could not talk to me but she would tell me after they were over and she felt a little better that she could during the severe pain see her glorified body, could see her two bodies lying together, but knew she could not have the glorified body till she was through with the suffering body. And at one of those times she saw a man, she said about the size of my brother Wesley all in white standing by her bedside, and she was so happy while he stood there and she said to him “may I be clothed with thee in white.” Then she put forth her hand to touch him, and he vanished from her sight. Surely the blessed Jesus is near to his suffering children to sustain and keep; down to the end of time. And repeatedly she would say “my soul would leave this heavy clay”. “Blessed Saviour, come and take me to thine own dear self.”
Before she passed away she said, ”Don’t fret for me when I am gone, just look at it in a right way; that I am not suffering. I feel for you, but the Lord be with you and give you every needed blessing is my earnest prayer, and whether I have my right senses to the last or not, you may know it is well with me. It is just like going through the door into another room, and don’t fret beyond reason, it is hard for you: I know you will miss me, but the Lord will be your friend if you trust in Him. I feel I am near the Pearly Gates and your Pa will meet me there, he said he would, and I know he will. I can see a star. Do you hear them singing? Do you? I said no Grandma I do not hear anyone singing. She said don’t you hear them singing? I hear them,and I hear Philemon and Laura singing. Then she said, Oh I see Jesus. The Pearly Gates are open wide, I see Jesus. Yes I see Eliza. I see Daniel. I see Laura meaning my Mother, Father, and my adopted sister who had passed on before her. And when the time came that I did not know whether she knew me or not, I said Grandma do you know me? She said yes my dear child, I know you, it is Maria. I am blessed with good children, they are all good.
I was sitting by her bedside
and she was holding my hand in her’s, and when she got so she
could not speak she let go of my hand, and put up both of her
hands and put her arms around my neck and drew me down and
kissed me, then took my hand in hers again and in a few
moments was gone without a struggle; yes gone through those
pearly Gates which she saw wide open. It was on the 20th of
March 1878 just 5 months after my dear Father had passed away.
Miss Ann Dulmage helped me to dress her. I combed her hair
myself she had long waivy hair. Then on the 22nd the funeral
services were held in the South Gower Baptist Church as that
was a large church and just on the way to the Cemetery.
Besides the Methodist ministers there was the Baptist and the
Presbyterian ministers, it was a very large funeral. The
funeral text was in I Peter, 1 Ch., 24 verse “For all flesh is
as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The
grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away.” The
words on the tombstone are
The winter of trouble is past
The storms of affliction are o’er,
Her struggles are ended at last
And sorrow and death are no more.
Rev. Mr. Teason, Methodist minister preached her funeral sermon and he said she had a brain and intelect above the mediocrity.
After my dear Grandmother’s funeral Major G.A.Montgomery a cousin of my Mother’s drove me down to sister Mary’s where we stayed all night. He returned to Merrickville and I to Grandma’s old home, but it was no home to me for she that made it home was forever gone, however I stayed a few weeks and did up all the sewing for Uncle’s wife as she was no sewer. Then the Major came for me to go to Merrickville and do some sewing for his aunt Mrs. Whitmarsh; and I had just returned from Merrickville when Mrs. M.F.Beach of Winchester sent for me to go down to her place. I went down on Sunday evening and that evening one of her children took diptheria and the next day another took it, and so on until eight of her boys in whom she prided so much were stricken down with that dire disease. There was a niece of Mr. M.F.’s there on a visit from N. York, U.S. a Mrs. MacCombie who had come for the health of her children and was intending to return to New York that week as her children had improved much in health, but it was otherwise ordered for her eldest a sweet little girl of about 3 yrs. Took the terrible disease and died and the poor sorrowing, and almost heart broken mother had to lay her darling child or I should say all that remained of her darling child to rest down in Ridge Semetry and return with only her Baby Boy. Mrs. M.F. Beach’s boys all recovered from the disease. Mr. Beach’s thought it was owing to the diffrent treatment that the children had, as Mrs. MacCombie allowed her brother to doctor her little girl and he was one of those Homeopathic Dr’s.
People were very much afraid of the disease. I was the only lady who went to the cemetry. I went with Mr. M.F. and he drove me to my Aunt Nancy Christie’s who lived just a little below the Ridge. I was afraid to stay at M.F.’s any longer and Aunt wished me to remain with her for a visit, so I was there for four weeks. Then my brother Erastus drove down for me to go to his place which I did. And during all this time the Major was urging me to take a course at school and teach so when I got to brother Erastus I then started to the school in the section below Grant’s Mills. That was the section below my old birthplace. I went there for three month and got on well; they had a good teacher by the name of Thomas MacDowell. Then the Major thought I’d get on faster and better in the Merrickville School; there were four teachers in that school. The Principal was Mr. Alex Macdonald a fine man and one of the best teachers I ever knew, and he took as much interest in me as if I had been his sister, and he and his wife who had been one of the former teachers showed me every kindness. I feel I cannot speak too highly of them both. When I went they were all strangers but I soon had many warm friends whose kindnesses I cannot forget. Mr. Agustus Derrick was my class leader while I was there, and he and his wife were both good friends of mine as well as Mrs. Derrick’s sister who was also a Mrs. Derrick and with whom I boarded for over a year. There was a Mrs. Putnam and her son Gordon who showed me very much kindness and Mr. & Mr.s Wm. Edwards as well as many others whom I could mention.
I was taken right into the
Principal’s room, but all the teachers showed me very much
kindness, as well as the pupils. I thought very much of all
the pupils, especially Miss Ida MacGee, Dr. Wier’s three
daughters, Miss Brennen, Miss Gill, Miss Chrosier, Miss
Merrick, the Misses Meakel, and Miss White.
I went down to Kemptville to pass the entrance examination. I then went to Iroquois High School and boarded with the Principal Mr. Wm. Whitney who had in the meantime married the Mrs. Derrick of Merrickville with whom I had boarded before and loved very much.
Then I went a term to the
Collegiate Institute at Kemptville and boarded with an old
couple by the name of Story; they were formerly of the U.S.
they were exceedingly kind to me. She was a very motherly lady
and I appreciated it very much for I felt so much the loss of
my dear Father and Grandmother and one day while I was up in
my room I wrote these verses.
An Orphan Child
An orphan child I am
Away from all my dear dear friends
But in this place I sing and pray
To him who placed me thus;
Resigned an orphan for to be
Because my God, it pleases thee.
Naught have I else to do,
But sing and pray the whole day through,
And he whom most I love to please
Doth listen to my prayer;
He’s parted me from all my dear, dear friends,
But still he stoops to hear my prayer.
God has an ear to hear,
A heart to love and bless, and own
And though my words be e’er so rude,
He stops, and hearkens to them all.
Because he knows my heart is fixed,
That love, sweet love inspires each word.
I find it good my heart to raise
In humble prayer, and praise,
To him who died on calvary’s cross
To wash away my stains;
And through his blood I hope to meet
With Christ, and all my dear, dear friends.
The teachers at this time in Kemptville were Mr. Carmon of Iroquois and Mr. Wm. Pelton son of Clinton Pelton of Kemptville. After I finished my term there I thought I’d take another term in Merrickville with my former teacher Mr. Alex McDonald which I did; then Dr. Wier’s daughter Minnie insisted on me taking her school for the remainder of that year as she wished to go as a trained nurse. So I took the school at what was then called the Flats, but now Andrewsville about two miles below Merrickville and I then boarded with Mr. and Mrs. Agustus Derrick and had they been my brother and sister they could not have treated me more kindly.
The school was small, but I loved the children dearly. I often would think that I could never love children more than I did those.
I hope I shall meet them all in heaven without the loss of one, the people of the section were very, very kind, and I was often invited out to tea, and to stay all night at the homes where the children were coming to school.
At the close of the year which was 1882 I came to spend my holidays with my sister, Mrs. Wm. Imrie and my brothers, Erastus and Wesley and just so soon as the trustees of the section below Grant’s Mills where I had gone to school those three months before going to Merrickville heard I was down to spend my holidays they came to see if I would take that school and offered me a higher salary, and as I had not promised to go back up there I accepted it, and did not go up to the Flatts in Montague Township again only when I went to visit and I still like to go occasionally to visit there.
While I was in that school I
saw some verses I thought were nice so I changed them to suite
myself; they are the following.
The School Teacher in Montague I Cor. XV 58 verse
Oh! The sweet promises my Bible affords
Each anxious School Teaher that’s taught of the Lord;
And oh! How consoling my mind to sustain,
To know that muy labour shall not be in vain.
Oh! help me dear Saviour, to teach not in vain.
Engaged in this honoured employment I’m found,
Delighting to tread on such heavenly ground,
And patiently waiting from God to obtain
Some proof that my labour has not been in vain,
Oh! help me dear Saviour to teach not in vain.
Though seed which I sow may not seem to take root,
Yet still I’m encouraged to look for the fruit;
As farmers do when they cast in the grain,
I’ll wait, and I hope it will not be in vain,
Oh! help me dear Saviour to teach not in vain.
And when I am called to yield up my breath,
And pass through the shadow and valley of death,
With “my dear loving friends”, to die will be gain,
And prove that my labour has not been in vain;
Oh! help me dear Saviour to teach not in vain.
And oh! should there meet me on Heaven’s blest shore
A child from my school who arriv’d there before,
Me thinks he will say when he sees me again,
“Dear teacher, your labour was not all in vain”,
Oh! then I shall shout in a rapturous strain,
Praise God, my teaching has not been in vain.
Winchester, Feb. 13th 1910
We had a day in the school for fixing up the School yard, which we called “Arbour day”; the children enjoyed it very much. We made flower beds and set out young trees and fixed up the School grounds as well as we could, then we all marched two and two up to Grant’s Mills and over the bridge then out to the swamp known by the name of “Hell Gate” and there we gathered evergreens and trimed the hats all up with green ; had a good strool in the swamp and then returned to our school. I am sure the children will never forget that day.
…“Jesus lover of my soul” it certainly was a beautiful thing.
Bertha Hyndman now Eldon O.
Grant’s wife had a beautiful recitation too. Bertha Hyndman
and Bertha Grant sang some very nice hymns too. In fact the
children all did exceedingly well, both the small and large
ones. Last of all I gave the following recitation.
When the lessons and tasks are
And the school for this season is dismissed,
And the little ones gather around me,
To bid me good-night and be kissed,
Oh the little white arms that encircle
My neck in a tender embrace!
Oh the smiles that are halos of Heaven,
Shedding sundshine of love on my face!
And when they are all gone I’ll sit dreaming
Of my childhood too lovely to last;
Of love that my heart will remember
When it wakes to the pulse of the past,
E’er the world and its wickedness made me
A partner to sorrow and sin:
When the glory of God was about me,
And the glory of gladness within.
I ask not a life for these pupils,
All radiant as some might do,
But that life may have just enough shadow
To temper the glare of the sun.
I would pray God to guard them from evil,
But my prayer would bound back to myself;
A seraph may pray for a sinner,
But a sinner must pray for herself.
These twigs were so easily bended,
I’ve banished the rule and the rod;
I’ve taught them the goodness of knowledge
They’ve taught me the goodness of God.
My frown was sufficient correction;
My love was the law of the school.
Then why should I punish these pupils?
Who are always so good and kind.
I shall leave the old School House now,
But if I were to return no more;
Ah! how I would sigh for these dear ones
That meet me each morn at the door.
I would miss their good nights & their smiles,
And the gush of their innocent glee,
The group on the green, and the flowers
They bring every morning to me.
I would miss them at morn and at evening,
Their song in the school and the street;
I would miss the low hum of their voices,
And the tramp of their delicate feet,
But when the lessons and tasks are all ended,
And Death says,”Thy school is dismissed”
May all these pupils gather around me,
To bid me good-night and be kissed.
M.A.Grant Dec.11th 1884
Edwardsburgh S.S. No. 23.
During the summer holidays of 1884 I went up to Mr. Agustus Derricks to make them a visit and see some of my former school children. I had a very pleasant time. I then returned to take up my duties again in the dear old school for the remainder of the year.
Then I took the school again beginning in January 1885 which was another pleasant and profitable year and saw some of the children who did not know a letter when I went, could by this time read very nicely and write and do some questions in arithmetic. There certainly were some very bright, smart children in the school and they were so kind and thoughtful too.
Every morning they would bring me fresh boquets of flowers during the summer and would always come up the road to meet me and walk back with me. In the winter they would often bring a hand-sleigh and coax me to get on and let them draw me to the school, they always wanted to be doing something for me.
During the summer holidays of 1885 Miss Louisa Imrie of Ventnor and niece of sister Mary’s husband and I went over to Somerville, St. Lawrence County, U.S. on a visit to Mr. Henry Bennett’s whose wife was Louisa’s aunt. One day Louisa and I walked over to Spraigville, a short distance from Mr. Bennett’s; the country there was very hilly. We walked as far as they had told us and still we could not see the village so we walked up the hill and when we got to the top of it there was the village at the bottom, so we went down to some of the stores and we each bought a brown plaid dress, they were gingham, nice too. And we visited an Iron Mine that day, I still have some of the specimens which I picked up at that mine and a gentleman who was there gave me a piece of what he called the core, it was a long round piece taken out to see if the mine was worth working or not, and a lady at Spraigville insisted on us coming in for tea when she found we were from Canada. Another day Mr. Bennets son drove us to another village called OxBow on account of the bend in the river which resembled the bow of an ox and on the way he took us to see what was called Pulpit Rock; it was a wonder, just on the edge of a very steep hill, and the rock was almost as staight as if it had been cut down from top to bottom, only about half way up was a large place hollowed out, and resembled a pulpit hense the name. We visited the cemetery at Ox Bow too. I have some nice blue stones which I brought from Ox Bow.
While we were there Mr. And Mrs. Bennett drove us twenty miles to Silva Lake; we went over hills and through the vallies; we took our lunch with us and when we got there Mr. Bennett made a fire; we boiled water, had a cup of tea and our lunch in beautiful grove by the lake shore, then spent the after-noon on the lake, there was a family who lived at the far side of the lake who had a boat that would carry quite a number at a time, the boat went by turning a crank.
At tea time we came to shore and Mr. Bennett made another fire and we had our tea, then started for home over the hills and through the dales, and certainly we did have a very enjoyable day, we had a span of horses and a double rig. When I started for home Mr. Bennet gave me a cake of maple sugar to treat my scholars with. On Sunday Louisa and I went to the Congregational Church in the morning and the Methodist in the evening. My object in going over to the U.S. was to get some of their school books for I had always thought I’d like to teach on the other side, but first thing I saw on Sunday morning was the people going to the factory with their milk, so I was satisfied then to remain on the Canada side. However I came down to Governeur which was seven miles east from where I was, I stayed two nights and a day there and had a splendid time; the people there, as well as where I had been were so very kind and sociable. Then Louisa came down to Governeur and we started for home well pleased with our visit, and I returned to my school again, but I was not very well and the doctor said the school was a bad place for me, the breath of so many made it very unhealthy. So I though at the close of the year I’d turn my hand to something else, although I was sorry to leave my school and the dear children whom I loved so much. At the close of that term I talked to the children and told them how great I had felt the responsibility to be during the three years I had been with them, and that it had been my daily prayer to God that I by his help might be able to lead them to the Saviour. I tried to do my duty and I prayed God might bless my feeble effort and when I appear before him that I might come bringing my sheaves with me. I asked God to give me a message for you today, and you may forget the lessons I have taught you, and the many other things I have told you but don’t forget this one thing that The eyes of the Lord are ever upon you. And I pray that you may each give you heart to God now in your youth, you do not know how my heart goes out for your salvation and I trust at the last great day when God comes to number up his jewels that I with every one of you may be found numbered among his jewels and receive a crown of glory and reign with Christ forever in his blessed kingdom.
Then I gave the following
A Good Bye To My Pupils
We meet to-day in the school-room
‘Tis the closing of the year,
This morning in youth and gladness
We meet in the school room dear.
We have gathered on mornings in spring time
When the air with its perfumes was sweet
When the meadows have yielded their treasure
And hill sides the teacher to greet.
There were violets, anemones and dasies,
Those banquets how cheering to me,
The offerings of hearts trustful, loving,
How dear are the givers to me.
Good bye ‘tis sad to be spoken
Good bye to the children, each one.
Good bye when school days are all over,
We will meet in our glorious home.
Dec. 24th 1885
(pages 120-124 missing)
Hover around us while we pray,
New perils past, new sins forgiven,
New thoughts of God, new hopes of heaven.
Dear brother Wesley and his wife Fannie used to drive up very often to see me, so did Erastus and Maggie and sister Mary and her family were so close by that I saw them very often. Jennie and Eliza, Mary’s children were always glad of an excuse to come too, and I was just as pleased to have them come.
My sister Ethel stayed with me six months, we got a terrible fright one Sunday night, it was the first spring I was there in 1886. During the day the water was raising very fast in the river and at night the ice in the pond began to break up and come down in very large cakes so that the dam and bridge were taken away, and of couse when the dam was gone the water came with such great force that it just deluged the whole flat and we were on this flat but those who lived on the high ground were all right. It was a dark night and the roar of the water and the crash and jam of ice was terrible, how we did wish we were out of the flat, and in the after-noon Ethel and I had called up to Mr. Dan Adam’s, we were not an hour gone, but the water had risen so it was running across the street so that we had to be driven to our rooms. Oh how we did wish we had stayed on the other side, we went to bed, but did not sleep, soon got up as the house was surrounded by water and ice and the cellar was full on the level with the ground, and we feared lest some large cake of ice would strike the corner of the house and let the water in, all we could do was ask our heavenly father to protect us from the water. Mr. Mathew Lockerbie’s family left their house in a rowboat with a lantern, but were in great danger as the water was so swift and the ice cakes so large, but before morning the water began to fall a little and the next day it had entirely ceased to run across the road, but it was impossible to drive on the road or walk either as it was in a jam of great large thick cakes of ice. My but we were thankful to see daylight and the water fall. Mrs. Fenton wanted us to go over to her place so boards were fixed for us to cross, all the neighbors were very anxious about us during the night and would have taken us across too in the boat, but we thought it a great risk to cross as the others were nearly upset by the swift current of water. The men had some hard work to clear the ice off the road, but the water has not been so high there since, it was the dams giving way that caused the water to raise so quickly, the Spencerville dam gave way too and that caused such a rush of ice and water.
But I did like so much living at Ventnor, the people were so kind and my priviliges in connection with the church were so great I could attend all the services never missing any O, what blessed priviliges and such powerful meetings, I never enjoyed better, and the daily communion had with my blessed master, I could say my peace flowed as a river. I remember of one Sunday night I was so blessed I never slept till daylight. Rev. W.T.Smith was our minister then, he called on me that following morning; I told him how I had spent the night; he said I am so glad I called, I am so glad I called; he used to call very often; he was a good man of God too, and we used to have some good conversation on spiritual things; I cannot tell how much I appreciated and enjoyed those blessed priviliges. I read a great deal, but the books I read were the “Bible” and a monthly magazine called the “Guide to Holyness”, it was a good book too.
One Sunday afternoon I was just reading and seaching the bible for suitable passages of scripture to have, to quote to my companions to help them spiritually and suddenly all my joy was taken from me. Oh my, I thought I could not live without it, but the Holy Spirit whispered to me seek for somthing greater; seek for something greater; so immediately I began to pray and ask my heavenly father for the needed blessing: this was on Dec. 16th 1888. I did not fully understand what to ask God for, but the Holy Spirit would whisper to me seek for something greater, and Oh how I did long to have my joy back again. I thought I would rather die than live without it, but still knew I had done nothing to grieve the Holy Spirit, and did not feel condemned, but continued to read my Bible and pray for the needed blessing and to be lead by the holy spirit and I was so very anxious to receive the blessing that I could scarcely think of anything else, or do anything, but read and pray and at times I would have just a little ray of light and then again it seemed as though the heavens were as brass and I were groping in the dark, but I continued to seek for this was God’s way of leading me on; and on the 13th of January 1889, Rev. W.T.Smith preached from the words to be found in The Acts of the Apostles, 1st chapter, 8th verse. But we shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you; and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.And while he was preaching the holy spirit showed me as plain as the noon day’s sun that I was to ask God to baptize me with the “Holy Ghost” as he did the disciples on the day of pentecost. And I knew without a doubt that was what I was to seek for and just so soon as church closed I crossed the church to where brother Erastus wife was and said to her, Maggie I know now what I need, it’s a baptism of the Holy Ghost such as the disciples received on the day of pentecost. So I went to my home that night and began to ask God to give me the baptism. And at….
(pages 132-138 missing)
Some little time after this Sunday morning my friend, Miss Maggie Cook came in to see me, and said, after you received that blessing I was not satisfied and I said to my aunt; “Maria has something that we have not got and I began to seek for the blessing too , and I went down and stayed to a meeting at Chesterville. I went night after night, but I did not get the blessing, untill one night I went up to my room, shut the door and knelt in prayer and there I prayed untill I received it”. And that dear friend soon sickened and died, and is now praising God in the Upper Sanctuary. How differently God leads us. I was taken to the church to receive the blessing so that she would be lead to seek it too, and she sought and found it while in her room….(illegible)…since, but I have had the power of God and I have had a peace which passeth all understanding, and God seems nearer to me as I commune with him as friend with friend, and I can see his hand in all things temporal as well as spiritual and I can say “’tis God’s own hand that leadeth me.”
Through the remainder of the winter and spring we had powerful meetings. And on the 24th of the next April 1889 I entered into the most soelmn contract of all my life, when I became the wife of Henry McQuaig of Hulbert, Dundas Co. Ont., and left my happy, happy home to share with him his home. I did not go thoughtlessly as a horse rushes into a battle, for I felt the responsibility to be very great, and I did not go without much thought, much prayer, much study of God’s word and many tears. I felt it was a very solemn act, and feared lest I might after all rue it, and wish I had remained in my own happy home, but he seemed to be so nice and made such great promises conserning my future welfare and happiness; and spoke about the rest of the family, how that they would all be good to me, as he was a widower and two sons at home. So I went thinking if the mother is good, the children will be too; well I learned sometimes that is the way, and sometimes it is not, but I thank God I can say my conscience is clear, I believe by the help of God that I did my duty towards them both; also towards the ones who were not at home.
Henry McQuaig’s father’s name was Malcolm; he was of Scotch descent, but born in Ireland, County Derry, Parish of Asha Dewy, town of Colrain.
In religion a Presyterian, the old Kirk. His traid a linen weaver, until he crossed the ocean and came to Canada, he landed at Quebec in the year 1847.
He came on to the the farm above Winchester Springs which he bought, and where he spent the remainder of his days, and was a farmer in this country.
Malcolm’s wife’s maiden name was Jane Brown.
To them were born six sons, and five daughters Elizabeth ,Mary, Jane, Sarah, Margaret, Robert, Henry, James, John, William and Thomas.
These children were all born in Ireland, and Robert and Henry remained three years in Ireland after the rest came to Canada.
Malcolm McQuaig’s father’s name was Henry McQuaig, he was born in the Highlands of Scotland near the coast. His father was well off, was a farmer, and had houses rented too, and had nice ponies and brought some of them over to Ireland to his son Henry, as Henry moved over to Ireland when he was quite young and Henry was a farmer in Ireland, besides Malcolm; Henry had a son John and a daughter whose name was Catherine, and when Malcolm came to Canada two of his sons Robert and Henry stayed in Ireland for three years after with their Uncle John and Aunt Catherine who never married and lived on the old home place of their father’s, that is of Henry’s. Then in 1850 Malcolm’s two sons Henry and Robert crossed the ocean to Canada too. The grandfather Henry’s wife’s maiden name ws McCauley.
In April 24th 1889 I married Henry McQuaig of Hulbert, Dundas Co. Ontario. We were married at my sister’s Mrs. William Imrie’s, Ventnor Ont. in the stone house near the banks of the Nation River, by the Rev. W.T.Smith. Those present were my brother Erastus and his wife and their son Eldon and his wife, my brother Wesley and his wife and Miss Louisa Imrie, whom I dearly loved. And Henry was accompanied by his daughter Sarah Clark, to whose home we drove that evening after tea. Mr. And Mr.s Wm. Clark were there too.
On the following day April 25 we drove to Henry’s home, Sarah and her husband went too. Mr. Reynolds the Methodist minister was there for tea that evening the 27th Saturday we drove up home again, went to Ventnor church on Sunday, and moved my things down to Hulbert the next week. The next Sunday we went to Hulbert Church. Henry’s sister Margaret had been keeping house for him she stayed on for some time after, until she got ready to go out west where she married a Mr. Bissel. I found quite a change in cooking and working for three men and in the summer four men and a little boy very often, as the married son worked with them and usually his little boy came with him, and very often other men too. I did not milk in the mornings, but did at night, and carried water from barn to work with, and very often got my own wood, carried water to wash with from the rain barrels and washed on a washboard and had no wringer. That fall the house was fixed over and stables; of course that meant more men to cook for. Well when they got through I had the house to clean up and the paint off the outside of the windows and it had got very cold by this time in November and I took cold and it developed in diptheria and brother Erastus’ wife came and took care of me I was very bad, but God blessed the means that were used and I was restored, then my throat got so I could not swallow, then I could hardly talk so I went to see Dr. Stepenson of Iroquois and he gave me the medicine so strong that it nearly killed me, my throad became paralysed and by taking the medicine as directed it made me powerless and I fell to the floor one day when I was getting the dinner and they picked me up though Iwas dead as I was unconscious for a short time and could not sit up all the rest of that day, next day when I would try to walk I’d fall, had not power to walk, so they went for sister Mary and she stayed a few days with me, and the Dr. said the medicine was just what I needed but to take only half the quantity so I soon got around again, but my throat was weak for a long time.
We had good prayer meetings and Sunday School, and always had good ministers who visited me often and they were very welcome guests. I had good neighbors too, who showed me great kindness. There were three young ladies who were exceedingly kind, Miss Marcella and Netta McIlroy two sisters and Miss Lena Graham. Marcella was a very devoted christian. She died after a few years, but sent for me to come and see her, but she had nothing to fear, her work was done and she was ready. When I went she said I was lookng within to see if I were all ready and pure, to go and stand before God and while I was thinkng this way the holy spirit said to me “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.” And a great peace came over me and since then I feel I am ready, but I felt I wanted you once more and I wanted to tell you . She only lived a very few days after. I went to her funeral too. I missed her very much, and I missed her at church for she was always in her place.
One year I taught the young ladie’s class in the Sabbath School.
Another year I taught the young ladie’s Bible Class.
And another year I taught the senior Bible Class.
I did not take a class after that as I felt it was too much with all my other duties and cares, but would occasionally take a class if some teacher was absent, but I often lead the prayer meeting on Wednesday night and sometimes on Sunday nights too.
On Oct. 13th 1891 there was born to us a son, whom we called Wesley Malcolm Daniel. O how I prayed to God that if it were his will to spare his life to grow to manhood that he might be a good useful christian man, and that his influence over others might always be for good.
He was great company for me, and tonight while I am writing these words I can say so far he has been a great comfort to me too; and he is now in his nineteenth year.
I have heard parents say their children never repaid them for all their trouble, but I cannot say that, for mine has been a blessing to me.
I always took him to church with me and he was always good in church. And always had a kind affectionate disposition and anything he could do for me always has seemed to be a pleasure. He has always been kind to everybody and always willing to do a kindness to anyone who needs it.
Brother Erastus’ wife came the night that Wesley was born and stayed a few days with me, he was not made very welcome by some and I was called to pass through deep waters, but I found God faithful to His promises and His grace sufficient and the steeper the perecipice and the more rugged the path the nearer my heavenly Father was and the blessed Holy Ghost was always so precious and whispered some precious promise to sustain and keep me. It was wonderful the patience the Lord did give me. I never would have thought I could have endured such things as I did without resenting it and neither could I had it not been for the power of the most High which always overshadowed me and his everlasting arms were around and about and underneath me. Oh it is wonderful how the Blessed Holy Ghost would whisper the precious promises which sustained and kept me and by the fiery trials I was called to pass through I was brought near to God and had wonderful answers to prayer and sometimes had warnings from God by dreams at night which helped so much to prepare the way. Oh! It is wonderful how God has lead me, surely it has been by paths that I thought not of, but as I look back I can say it has been His own hand that has lead me all the way.
My home was always open to receive the ministers of God, who visited us very often and frequently I would invite our classleader and wife and some of our classmates too, to take tea with us and we would have a good prayer meeting before they would leave for home. One night while we were engaged in our prayermeeting the power of God was poured out upon us without measure. That night there was Rev. Bouker, Geo. Keys and wife, Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Marshall and Mr. Thos. Irvin from Western Ontario.
((p. 154 missing)
In the year 1898 we built up the brick part of the house higher and made cottage roof so there were nice rooms up stairs and we moved the woodshead around so the end was next the road and made a pantry and summer kitchen off it. We also built a silow and made new cow stables and run the water underground from well into the stables, so I had a gang of men all summer and fall and we just got the house finished and I had it all cleaned when Herb got married; then I did not move into the part which we had made all over, but we gave that part to Herb and we lived in the old house that winter and the next summer we began to build another kitchen for ourselves, but I had worked so hard the summer before and with so much inconvenience that I gave out intirely in the summer of 1899 so the men had to stop the work of building as there was no one to go on with the cooking and work in the house and I was very ill and very low, so low that no one who saw me thought that I would ever recover and I never did intirely recover from it; have never been strong since, but my work was not done and God raised me up and spared me to my child, a while longer; he was now seven years old so I had him go to school that summer untill I took down in bed and he used to get me wood and chips and take a small pail and carry in water and pour it into the large pail until he had the large one filled for me. He was not very strong and he had a mile to walk to school and would only eat a few bites of breakfast and bring most of his dinner home from school. Then he had to go back to the headline which was over a mile for the cows and sometimes they would be in the woods and twice there was one of them he could not find and he was sent back again for that one and it was dark before he found her and got out again and that a long summer day and no supper yet that was six miles of a walk those days and he not very well too. I often wished I had the strength that I once had and I would have gone for them myself. Then other times and that very often too; he would be ordered to go for the cows and just so soon as he would get home with them he would be ordered to go right back again to bring out horses, or colts, or perhaps a shovel, or something else just to send the poor child back again because he dare not refuse to go. Oh! How my heart did ache for him many times, but I wondered often that God allowed such work to go on. And had he only been spoken to kindly and treated with common civility it would not have been so hard to have borne, but I would always say don’t say anything my child God knows it all and perhaps some day he’ll give us a home some place else and these are only some of the minor things and I simply mention them that I might say we always found “God’s grace to be sufficient” and “all things did work together for our good.”
My sister Mary came and stayed three weeks then my brother Erastus wife and my brother Wesley’s wife would drive down often and it was about ten, or eleven miles and they would bring us things cooked up and straighten up for us as I now had to keep Wesley out of school to take care of me till some of them would come back again. I often wonder now at the things a child of seven years can do when its in his heart to do it. He would cook the meals too for his father and himself, sweep the floor and do all that was done. Reader do you wonder that sometimes I thought there never was such a child at seven years of age? They cared for me in this way for seven weeks and my people decided to take me home where they could care for me all the time and it was so far for them to drive and at that time they were farmer’s too, so my brother Erastus wife and Wesley’s came and took me up home where Wesley and I remained among them for seven more weeks then my husband who had come to see how I was several times came and took us home, but I was very weak still but able to be around and I got a girl to help me straighten up the house for it was as the men had left it.
But God was with me still drawing me closer to himself, but duing my illness before I went to my brother’s a neighbor a Mrs. Doile brought me in some autumn leaves they were beautiful faded maple leaves; so I had my sisterinlaw Maggie pin them on the wall of my room where I could see them and as I lay there and gazed upon those leaves they were a sermon in themselves to me. I thought “We all do fade as a leaf” and many a blessing I received while I looked at those faded leaves. I told my minister Rev. Arthur Haggar who used to visit me very often and sit at my bed side and recite to me the XCI Psalm for he knew that was my favourite Psalm. One day when he called my leaves were all gone, a lady who called to see me not noticing the leaves brushed against them and crumbled them to the floor; I said nothing, but was very sorry, but told Mr. Haggar my leaves were all gone; he said no your leaves are not gone; not lost, I have your leaves rivited on the hearts of my people. I preached a sermon from your leaves and when you get better I’ll preach it to you but during his station there I never was able to go to church so never heard his sermon and that was in the fall of 1899 and in 1911 after we moved to Winchester Ontario to live the Rev. John Webster a powerful man of God preached from the following text Isaiah 64 ch. & 6 verse “We all do fade as a leaf.” So after 12 years I heard my sermon but by one who kew nothing about my leaves, but I told Mr. Webster after the service was over and he had three faded maple leaves; they were beautiful, but all different from each other. He went on to show that we all like the leaves would fade differently and like the leaves we would fall and that it was right we should, it ws a grand powerful sermon. My how I did enjoy it and it brought back to my memory my leaves on the wall from which I had preached a sermon for myself 12 years before. So Mr. Webster gave me the leaves he used while preaching his sermon; I still have them and prize them very much.
In January 1902 Wesley and Harold McQuaig were playing in the barn; they were playing hide and seek and there was a board off up high by the perline beam and the barn was full up to where the board was off and when it was Wesley’s turn to hide, he was at this place and put one foot out of this hole, and child like while in his glee thoughtlessly he put the other foot out and Oh! To his horror, when he went to come back he found he could not possibly draw himself in again, and he such a terrible distance from the ground. It was about 22 ft. and the ground below his was bear of snow and a lot of stones on the hard frozen ground. There was a sort of ladder at that end of the barn where they went up to fix the rope and pulley to draw up hay and he had hold of this ladder which was inside the barn and he on the outside hanging from one of the rounds and when he found it impossible to draw himself in again he told Harrold to go the house and tell his father to come. So Harrold came and asked me where was Grandpa? I told him in the cow stable and he ran out so quickly I wondered what he wanted and followed him outside and asked him what he wanted of grandpa and he said “Wesley’s on a stick” and I asked him if he could not get off and he told me no and I asked him where Wesley was, but he was so excited and he was young too and could not tell us for by this time I had tun out to the barn myself and just met Wesley’s father in the barn yard and we heard Wesley call once and we said Oh! Harrold can’t you tell us where he is and he said on a pole; so his father thought of stacks which were behind the barn and he ran one side of the stacks and I the other and he was a little ahead of me when he passed the stacks and thought of where this board was off the end of the barn and turned and looked and as he looked he threw up both hands and I knew by the horrified look of his face that he saw him and that it was something terrible and I was so frightened by that look on his face that I remembered no more till I was stooped over my dear precious sweet, darling boy trying to lift him up for he had fallen on the hard frozen ground and stones beneath and broken his leg and foot and hurt his back and stomach and had jarred himself O! so terribly. Well Henry, Wesley’s father said to me “run for Herb to help us” so I ran and Herb came but his father had lifted the poor darling child in his arms and carried him to the house and Herb took him in his arms and carried him and laid him on my bed then went for the Doctor Bouck, he came and looked at him, looked at the distance he had fallen and went away without doing anything for him. I thought then, he thinks Wesley will die and nothing can be done for him, but the Dr. said “I’ll be back tomorrow at 9 o’clock.” It was Jan. 4th 1902 on Saturday after-noon he fell, so on Sunday morning he came as he said, but Oh! my what a long sad night it was to me as I stood all night by him and held his heel in one hand and my other hand under the poor broken leg; just under his knee and neither of us slept and still we did not know what had happened and he was so very weak; too weak to speak out loud and I felt my heart would break if he would die and I would never know what caused the fall, so I said my dear child try and tell mother what happened you; don’t try to tell me all at once for it will tire you too much, but tell a little at a time, so before morning he had told me the whole circumstance and how he had held on the the round of the ladder till his hands got so cold he could not hold any longer and one of his mitts was off too and he felt his hands were slipping, so he caught another round and held to that just so long as he could and the boards reached to that place and he could get no more of the rounds to hold on to, but had I of known you were coming I would have tried to hold on a little longer for his father thought he could have broken the fall had he only been there. And when his father saw him and threw up his hands, the dear child was just falling and was down about ten feet.
I did not see him falling for which I did thank God and I always said God saved me seeing the terrible sight. During the night I said Wesley we don’t know how it will be with you, perhaps you may not get better, God may take you to himself and are you afraid to die? He said “No, I am not afraid to die”. So I talked to him and told him how Jesus had promised never to leave us and I quoted some passages of scripture to him and asked him if he felt he was fully prepared to die if Jesus called him home and he told me he was, so that was a great comfort to me for I had always tried to teach him right and to keep him within the fold of Christ and he was now ten years old and he had professed to be saved when he was seven years old at a revival in the Ventnor Church held by Revd. Craig. He was not long at the altar, until he got up, went to a little boy whose name was Fairbairn and got him to go forward to the altar to seek Christ too. This was the time my brothes wives had taken us up when I was so poorly.
Well on Sunday morning the doctor came to set the broken leg and Robert Ellis and Robert McQuaig came to help him and after they had been some time in the room with the door shut R. Ellis came out and whispered something to Henry and he just walked the floor and I asked him what was wrong but he told me nothing and I said there is and I am going to see. R. Ellis told me not to go there was nothing wrong, I said what did you tell Henry, but he would not tell me, so I opened the door and Oh! I shall never forget the terrible sight which met my gaze, for the Doctor had the poor child pulled half off the bed and rubbing first one side of his neck then the other trying to bring back the life which was almost extinct. I did not wonder then that his father was pacing the floor.
The Doctor said he should have taken the pillow from under his head before he gave the chloroform and had not, so the child was almost smothered to death and he had to bring him to and administer the choloroform again. I can tell you it was a very anxious forenoon. Then it was bandaged so tight that it started the pain so bad in the leg that it had to be made looser, but the Dr. said that Wesley was so patient through it all . Said he had a case of a young man with a broken leg at the same time and he was so impatient that he told him “if you saw little Wesley McQuaig with his broken leg and foot and all bruised and jarred with such a terrible fall and there he is so patient and not a word.”
And so he was patient and had to lie there for four weeks with his leg in the splints and four more weeks with it in the plaster of paris, but just so soon as it was in the plaster of paris I got him on a couch in the kitchen so it was not so lonely for him when he was with me, but O how I did pity him, for his foot was worse than hisleg and was weak and would get so tired when he was on it much at a time after he began to walk around, but so soon as he was able he started school again and I was always so lonely without him and I used to go up stairs and watch till he was out of sight. He always was and still is so good and kind to me and not only me, but to every one that he had anything ro do with. I was so thankful to God for sparing him to me and I always prayed that he would be of a kind disposition and my prayer is answered.
On July 1902, to Mr. And Mrs. W.A.Dinwoodie a son was born whom they called Shirley Imrie. I went up and stayed a week with her; Wesley was with me and while we were there there was a “Farewell Gathering” at my brother Wesley’s; there were about 65 persons at the social gathering who had come to say good bye and pay their last token of respect before they took their departure for Regina . They had refreshments on the lawn which consisted of ice cream, cake and coffee. The people then gathered about my brother and his wife and their pastor, Revd.A.Wilkinson and asked them to sing “Blest be the Tie That Binds”, after which he delivered a very suitable address at the close of which Mr. H. McFadden presented my brother with a beautiful bound “Bible” and his wife with a handsome “Album” in behalf of those who were gathered there. My brother made a very suitable reply although he was not expecting anything of that nature. The assemblage dispersed after singing “God be with you till we meet again”. It was with a very sad heart that they left their home for Regina, but it was on account of brother Wesley’s health the Doctors had given him up they could do no more for him and he was growing weaker all the time and they told him there was one chance and that was to go west, so they took it to the Lord in prayer and felt confident that Regina was the place. Well God was with them and not only restored my brother to health, but he has prospered him temporally too. They were always good to give to all church purposes and every good cause, but now they can give more abundantly. It was very hard for my brother Erastus, my sister Mary and myself to part with them for we were a family who were very much attached to each other and distance and time cannot sever that true love we bear for each other.
Sister Mary felt very sad too for her husband Mr. Imrie was quite ill all that summer caused by a rush of blood to his head and had to keep his bed for some length of time and was not able to look after his work, but towards fall he got better.
Then on September 3rd 1902 Eliza M. Imrie second daughter of Mr. And Mrs. Imrie was married to Elisha E. Adams of Shanly by Rev. A. Wilkinson, Methodist pastor, in the presence of about 60 friends. The bride was dressed in white silk taffeta trimmed with applique and carried a boquet of white astors. Miss Ruth Adams cousin of the groom acted as bridesmaid. She was dressed in white organdie over pink and carried pink astors. Little Miss Alice Dinwoodie niece of the bride dressed in pink silk made a charming maid of honor. The groom was assisted by Mr. John Graham of Smith’s Falls. Mrs. Rev. A. Wilkinson played the wedding march. After the newly married couple had received the congratulations of those present the company repaired to the dineing-room where a sumptuous repast was partaken of from a table loaded with all the delicacies of the season. Then after a couple of social hours were spent Mr. and Mrs. Adams left amid shours of rice and good wishes by the G.T.R. midnight train for Toronto, Niagara and other western points. The high esteem in which the bride was held was shown by the valuable presents received, but none were more prized than the one given by her uncle Wesley who had gone to Regina Tuesday July 22nd 1902.
In November 26th 1903 the funeral of the late Major G.A.Montgomery was held on Saturday afternoon to Regina cemetery. Service was held in St. Paul’s church by Rev. G.C.Hill, the congregation being composed very largely of old time residents of Regina and fellow pioneers of the late Major. The pall bearers were G.T.Marsh, Chas.Willoughny, B.J. Tinning, B.Friel, Alex Sheppard and J. Rigby.
Dear Brother Wesley and his good wife Fannie left for Regina on Tuesday July 22md 1902 and reached Regina on Friday; they went to Aunt Susan Beach’s, but G.A.Montgomery insisted on them going to his place so they went and were with him for two months, but G.A.Montgomery would have liked them to have stayed on with him, but they thought it better to get settled and Wesley was anxious to get into business himself so he went into the real estate and has done well and his health is restored and God has lead him all the way and has prospered him and he has met with very many kind friends too. They has a pleasant trip out, but my it seemed so hard to let them go and he felt so badly too, that he could not say good bye so he just went off and we thought we were going to see him again.
In July 20th 1909 sister Mary and her husband Mr. Imrie went out on a visit to brother Wesley’s and brother Erastus for by this time he had gone to the west too.
Mr. And Mrs. Imrie had a very pleasant trip out and had a very enjoyable time while in Regina and stopped off at Toronto for a few days on their way home in September.
Before brother Erastus and family went west my son Wesley and I drove up one Friday evening after school and on Saturday Erastus’ wife, Harry and Earl Grant, Wesley and myself drove up to South Gower Cemetery, going by “Flint Hill” where our Father had often driven us when we were children and by the old Heckston Campground which was once owned by my uncle Lewis Grant and where I had often been to meeting and had seen precious souls born into the kingdom of God. Then on around to the old home of my dear sainted grandmother; I got out and called at the home, told the lady who I was and how I had longed to see inside the walls of the room where I had spent so many days and nights caring for my Grandmother; so she took me in and showed me through the house and showed me very great kindness and insisted on me staying for dinner but I did not as we wanted to go on to the Cemetery, but the lady whose name I think was Robinson told me never to pass without coming in and said she had heard of me that the neighbours had told her of me. I felt satisfied then after I had seen through those rooms once more. Then we drove on to the Cemetery but before going in we took our lunch which my brother’s wife had prepared and took with her and then we spent the after-noon visitng the graves of our dear departed ones as my sainted Father, Mother, Grandfather, Grandmothers, Aunts, Uncles and many others were laid away there to await the sound of the last “Trumpet of God.” My, but it was a very profitable spent day throughout a days march nearer to the great white throne. We all enjoyed it very much. Then we drove back to my brother Erastus, stayed all night and my son Wesley and I drove down home to Hulbert.
In the year 1905 Robert McQuaig’s wife took ill and died of tuberculosus.
Her sister Mrs. Hugh McQuaig asked me to write some verses in memory of Mrs. Robert and I told her I would if God gave me some to write, but that I could not do it of my self; so I went home and prayed to God to give me some verses as a memoriam, well I prayed several times and still the verses were not given, but I continued to ask for them and one Sunday morning I was not very well, not able to go to church and either Wesley or his father stayed with me and when evening came I told them both to go, that I could stay alone and when they started I got my Bible and Hymn book and sat down by the table. I told them before they started away that I’d have church of my own. So when I sat down with my Bible and Hymn book, before I had opened either of them my Heavenly Father gave me the following.
In loving memory of Sarah Gallagher, beloved wife of Robert B. McQuaig, Winchester, Ont., aged 44 years, 4 months, 15 days, died August 24th 1905. The funeral service was conducted by the Rev. F.Tripp, who preached a very appropriate sermon from the words, :”Death is swallowed up in victory” I Cor.XV,54. Deceased was a very devoted wife, an affectionate tender mother and a kind obliging neighbor. She was a writer of both prose and poetry, also …….artist. She leaves a husband, two sons, one brother and sister and mother to mourn, but not as those who have no hope for Mrs. McQuaig was converted at a revival in the Methodist Church at Hulbert, conducted by the Revs. A.A.Smith and McAdoo in the year 1880, and continued faithful to God until death.
My husband dear could you but see,
I’m from all care and sorrow free,
You would not grieve nor shed a tear,
But long to cross and come up here.
My dear companion I’m not dead,
I’m living here with Christ my head
My body sleeps beneath the clay
My soul’s alive through endless day.
You teach the boys as God commands,
And gently lead them by the hand.
There tender heart will need a guide
To lead them to the Saviour’s side.
This is the time, do not delay,
But hasten while ‘tis called to-day,
And lead them to the Saviour’s breast
‘Tis there they’ll find eternal rest.
While sheltered there beneath his care
He will protect from every snare,
Will guide their youthful steps aright,
And bring them here to endless light.
The light is from the household gone
My voice forever more is still,
A place is vacant in your hearts
Which God alone can fill.
My life on earth is past, my work is done,
Freed from its clay my spirit flies
To inherit the mansion in the skies
Prepared by God’s own son.
By – Mrs. Henry McQuaig
In September 1905 Mrs. Hugh McQuaig’s infant child took very ill and only lived two days, so very soon after the death of her sister Mrs. Robt. McQuaig. So Mrs. Hugh McQuaig came to me again with a sad lonely heart and asked me if I could write some verses for her baby boy, so by the help of my Heavenly Father I wrote the following.
In Loving Memory of Vernon Cecil
Infant child of Mr. And Mrs. Hugh McQuaig, Hulbert, Ont., aged three months, died Sept. 1st, 1905.
We have not lost our little babe,
He’s only crossed the tidal wave,
He’s only gone to swell the band,
In that holy happy land.
He’s just across the other shore,
With hands outstretched,
He beckons us o’er,
Where many friends have gone before.
Our little babe so sweet and fair
Has gone to dwell with the angels there,
He wears a robe of purest white,
And dwells in God’s everlasting light.
Our little babe stands at the gate
To welcome father, there he waits,
And brothers too, babe speaks to you.
Make ready now to join our crew.
My grandma dear, just look up here,
And see this band at God’s right hand.
Here’s a mansion too, all ready for you,
And a palm, and a robe, and a crown.
Our little babe has crossed the sea,
And calls out mother! come to me,
I’m watching here, both early and late,
To welcome you through the pearly gate.
We have a lamb from sorry free,
Safe, gentle Shepherd, safe with Thee,
A little pledge in mercy given,
So guide our steps the way to heaven.
By – Mrs. Henry McQuaig
In November 1907 Mrs. Hugh McQuaig came again and asked me to write an obituary for her aunt Mrs. Linton who died October 14th 1907.
The Late Mrs. Linton
The late Mrs. Linton, whose maiden name was Miss Mary Ann Woodrow, was born in the county of Antrim, Ireland 79 years ago. She was a very inteligent, devoted christian lady, a great lover of good literature. She was converted to God in her childhood and united with the Presbyterian church and became a great worker in the Sabbath School, her parents Mr, and Mrs. Robert Woodrow who were faithful members of the Presbyterian Church, came out to Canada with their four daughters and settled at Hulbert, after which Miss Mary Ann united in marriage with Mr. Henry Linton; she then joined the Baptist Church with her husband, but as there was no church of that denomination at Hulbert, she was a faithful attendant and earnest worker in the Methodist Sabbath School, having taught the young ladies Bible class for some years, and was always present at the public services and prayer-meetings, and her kind, cheerful, pleasant manner won for her very many friends who will not soon forget her. A few years ago she went to live with her son Robert of Ottawa, where she will be much missed for she brightened the home with her pleasant countenance and Godly conversation, and after a week's illness she was not, for God had taken her to be forever with Himself. She leaves three sisters, Mrs. McDonald of Brockville, Mrs. Blakely of Ogdensburg and Mrs. Gallaher of Hulbert, also two sons John in the West and Robert of Ottawa who brought her body to be laid away in the Union Cemetery at Mountain, on October 16th, to await the resurrection morn. The sorrowing ones have the sympathy of the community.
By Mrs. Henry McQuaig
In June 1906 Brother Erastus and his good wife Margaret went on a visit to Brother Wesley’s got there the 22nd at 11 o’clock at night and returned the 14th of July.
They had a very pleasant trip and liked Regina so well that in April 1907 Erastus and his son Eldon sold out and moved to Regina.
Sister Mary and I was very lonely to see our dear ones going so far and then we were the only two left in Ontario.
We were sorry too to see the “old Home” go into the hands of strangers after being ours for over one hundred years, but such is life, buying and selling, coming and going and saying good bye.
So one day while alone and feeling sad on account of their departure I composed the following seven verses, but the next five were a suitable piece which I changed to suite myself.
Mr. And Mrs. Erastus Grant of Grant’s Mills, together with their son Eldon and his family, who left on Thursday, April 4th, 1907, reached Regina, Sask., Sabbath morning at 6 o’clock.
Since you’ve gone, dear brother Erastus
In foreign lands to roam,
Pray don’t forget your sisters
Who still abide at home.
Think oft upon the river,
That rippled by the “mill”,
How we in early childhood
Would slide down from the hill.
And oft upon that river
Our “boats” would glide at night,
While father watched us from the shore
To see that all was right.
And there was brother “Wesley”
Go from his home he must
He was guided by the Saviour
In whom was all his trust.
And God the Lord went with him
And opened up his way,
He healed all his diseases
And led him day by day.
Oh may we all remember
What we were early taught
By our now sainted father
That Christ our pardon bought.
And oh my precious brothers
If we no more should meet,
We’ll all try to be faithful
Till in heaven we shall meet.
There’s a kind of chilly feeling in the blowing of the breeze
And a sense of sadness steeling through the branches of the trees,
And its not that spring is slowly drawing nigh,
But it’s just that I remember I had to say
“Good-bye” the wind is wailing “Good-bye,” the trees complain,
As they bend their leafless branches all dripping now with rain;
“Good-bye,” the brooks all murmur, and the ripples heave a sigh
As if they all felt sorry I had to say
I know many have said it, sometimes soft and easy, with eyes cast down that dared not look aloft
For the rears that trembled in them, for the lips that choked the sigh,
For it touched the tender heart and made it beat
And oh ‘twas hard to say, and meditating here alone
With the pleasant past behind me, and the future all unknown,
Looming yonder in the dark, I cant keep back the sigh,
And the tears fall faster for I had to bid you all
And when you sit together in the time as yet to be,
By your love encircled fireside in that far off distant land,
Let the sweet past come before you and with something like a sigh,
Just say: we’ll not forget dear Mary and Maria, nor the day we said
By Mrs. Henry McQuaig, Hulbert, Ont., sister of Messrs. Erastus and Wesley Grant.
On December 25th 1904 Brother Erastus, his wife, and Sister Mary, her husband and my husband, son and myself took our last Christmas dinner together in our dear old home, the home of our childhood, the Stone House by the river side. Eldon O.Grant, Erastus’ son and his family were present too as he owned the home place at that time, but Erastus and Maggie lived in a part of the house and it was them who made the dinner.
It was Eldon who sold the home before going to Regina in 1907.
This home at Grant’s Mills had been owened by the Grants from the time my Grandfather cleared the spot and built the mill dam and first mill on the Nation River between Kingston and Montreal in the year 1801.
In May 1907 the School House at Hulbert took fire and burned to the ground in the after-noon and Wesley went to sister Mary’s to attend school, but shortly after Herbert wanted Leila to get to school too, and told his father he had better move to Winchester. So his father came in and told me Herbert thought we had better go to Winchester and for me to prepare to go in the morning and we would either buye, or rent a house. Next day we came and rented a house on Gladston Street where we lived till December. We then moved on Victoria Street in a house we bought from Mr. Ford.
Leila came when we moved and went to school here till the measles broke out in the school and Wesley took them so Leila got frightened and went home. In In the holidays Sister Mary sent us word to meet them, their two daughters and their families together with our cousins Daniel and Eliza Grant from Toronto at the South Gower Cemetery to visit the graves of our Father, Mother and many other of our friends. So Wesley hired a horse and we met them at the cemetery and spent a very pleasant time together.
In the winter of 1910 sister Maggie Grant came home from Regina on a visit. She landed here in Winchester on December 31st 1909, so we had a very pleasant New Years day together and Mrs. Archer the Church of England minister’s wife had asked to set her tables in our large kitchen which we used for a dining room for her room was small and she wanted to give a dinner to her Sunday school children and we all had our dinner to-gether. Wesley did not get home till nearly noon from Herb’s he had been out helping him draw gravel from John Spencer’s who lived up near Ventnor. He came home with a pair of sore heels for he froze them while drawing the gravel. It was a long cold drive after helping to do the work at the barn and a very cold time at the gravel pit getting the load on. Maggie and Wesley had some very pleasant drives together during the winter and Maggie enjoyed her visit very much, but I was taken very ill while she was away making some other visits and the Dr. telephoned for her and she came back and took care of me till I got around again. Maggie started back to Regina in March 1910. She went by Toronto and stoped off and made some visits at Mr. Dan Grant’s and some other places.
On Dec. 8th 1910 after I had
done up my morning work I sat down to read in the Bible and
when I had finished reading I sat still and was thinking of
the past days when we were all at home at our Father’s then I
started to get the dinner and while getting dinner the
following verses were given to me by my heavenly Father.
My thoughts of Loved Ones.
As Christmas Tide is drawing nigh
I think of the years as they are fleeting bye,
I think of the pleasures as they fade and die,
I think of the home where we’ll meet bye and bye.
I think of the loved ones who have passed on before
I think of the dear ones who enter my door,
I think of the loved ones on the Pacific shore,
I think of the dear ones in Regina once more.
I think of the goodness of God to us all,
I think how he saved us from the devil’s thrall,
I think how he has kept us one and all,
I think how we’ll meet with Peter and Paul.
I think how we’ll meet at Jesus feet,
I think of the dear faces we there shall greet,
I think of all the hands we’ll shake,
I think they‘ll be there at the pearly gate.
I think how he has kept us that we did not fall,
I think of how so early he did each of us call,
I think it was well we did all obey,
I think it’ll be better on that great day.
I think there’ll be a welcome for you and for me,
I think we shall bathe in that crystal sea,
I think we shall see the Lamb and his wife,
I think they’ll be there by that tree of life.
I think of the crown that we then shall wear
I think of the white robe so pure and fair,
I think of the palm that we all shall bear,
I think we then will be free from all care.
By – Mrs. Henry McQuaig
Dec. 8th 1910 Winchester, Ont.
I was very anxious to have something for Wesley himself so I took for my subject Isaiah 35 Chapter, 8,9,10 also Isaiah 60 Chapter, 1st verse and composed the following.
The Way of Holiness
My precious son come walk up here ,
God calles thee to a higher sphere,
He calles thee to a path of right.
Where all is peace and joy and light.
He bids you leave this world of show,
And walk up here with Christ you know.
And walking here we’ve all things new,
And Christ shall then take care of you.
Upon this road no beast shall walk,
Nor those who do so idly talk,
Just the redeemed of God are there,
So come my boy, leave all thy care.
No lions walk upon this road,
The unclean must leave down all their load
The ransomed to their Lord shall sing,
Hosanna to their new born King.
Arise and shine: ‘tis God’s command,
So we may meet at His right hand,
Arise, and shine! My darling boy,
And God shall cleanse from all alloy.
And we’ll bear witness in his name,
And through his blood all riches claim,
Till to his throne he calls us home,
No more down here on earth to roam.
By – Mrs. Henry McQuaig
Jan. 10th, 1911 Winchester,
I wrote the following on our old home, the Stone House by the side of the Nation River. It’s the house father built and the birthplace of us children and when we would go out with a big boat load at night father would stand by the shore and watch lest something would happen us, but he was very brave himself and he and Uncle Philemon Beach were bringing down a piece of timber to make a boom when the boat upset near the dam and they would have been drowned had father not have caught and held on to the limb of a willow tree which grew by the shore and reached far out over the river. This Philemon Beach was my mother’s step-brother whom she loved very much and he was a good man too. And this Willie Rutherford was a yound man a neighbor and used to help my father sometimes.
The Old Home
That old stone house by the river side
That dear old home where we use to abide,
That home where our father taught us to pray
So we would be ready for that great day.
The mill has fallen and crumbled to dust,
But we are still left, in our God to trust,
And the lessons our father taught us there
Can we forget? Oh no! they follow us everywhere.
The dam is out, the floom is gone,
And so is the boom what we ran upon,
The pond is low, the lilies are there,
But our boats glide not in the evening air.
The sound of our voices which we loved to hear,
Upon the water when the night was clear,
Resounding back to those on the shore,
Who stood and watched for our safety o’er.
But our voices there re-echo no more
For some now dwell on a distant shore,
And some to the far off west have gone,
While the girls reside not far from the farm.
But that dear old river, that Nation you know,
It still flows on as in days of yore,
It still ripples by the very door,
Of that house which stands upon the shore.
That house still stands as firm as a rock,
You’d think it were built of a solid block,
And there it stands as time rolls on,
Not very far from the old mill pond.
When the water was high and the current swift
Uncle Philemon and Father went out in a skiff,
It was rushing then at a mighty speed,
So to this danger they must take heed.
It’s not easy to find two men so brave,
But that willow saved them from a watery grave,
That willow stands to-day by the shore,
That saved them then from going o’er.
Uncle Philemon held to father’s coat,
When they were both quite out of the boat,
And father, he could never swim,
So he held on to that willow limb.
And father said “Oh Philemon dear”,
Us both I can hold no longer here.”
And then the limb so far out of reach
Was soon in the hand of Philemon Beach.
We children stood upon the shore
We feared dear father would be taken o’er
We feared they would both go over the dam,
For my it was close, just right at their hand.
For a time we had but little hope,
So Willie Rutherford ran for a pole and rope,
And thus they got them to the shore,
And then their danger was all o’er.
And thus two men so true and brave
Were rescued the from a watery grave,
And Willie shouted, “Mary dear,
Your father’s safe, come on out here.
We children then with glad surprise
Ran to our father with tear stained eyes,
We praised the Lord our God above,
For saving those we dearly loved.
By – Mrs. Henry McQuaig
Jan. 18th 1911
The following is on the burning of the School House out at Hulbert. I never was happy out there and pleaded with God to give me a home elsewhere.
Prayer Answered by Fire
When I saw the School House in a flame,
How I did praise His holy name,
I thought perhaps this place I’ll leave,
And I to God did closer cleave.
I said my God I’ll trust thee still,
Oh answer me now if this is thy will,
I thought of course it’s quite a loss,
But I prayed to him who died on the cross.
How I had look to God for grace,
How I had pleaded for another place,
I thought if I was free from there,
I could live on earth almost anywhere.
They say it’s because there’s no water there.
That the flames ascended so high in the air.
But God was now ready to answer my prayer,
And that’s why the flames went so high in the air.
The School House burned and down it fell,
Oh my! If you had heard the children yell,
They ran for water, but none was there,
So the flames continued to go up in the air.
Herb said “father you’d better go live in town,
So I got ready without one frown,
And back we came and rented a house,
But my! There was in it a great big mouse.
The mouse eat his boot from toe to heel,
He missed that boot a very great deal,
So I patched it up so neat and nice,
You never would know it was near the mice.
So the house I cleaned, and worked away,
And wondered if God would let me stay,
To Wesley I’d say this is too good to last
I fear there will come a terrible blast.
My neighbors too are the very best.
Oh my! but I am greatly blest.
I wanted Wesley away from there,
Oh my! how God does answer my prayer.
But now I praise Him every day,
Because he’s going to let me stay.
But I feel this frame is going down,
And soon I’ll have to leave this town.
But I believe God’ll say, come child, this way,
No longer there you need to stay,
No more on earth you need to roam,
Come now and enjoy your heavenly home.
By - Mrs. Henry McQuaig. Jan.
I was then asked by Miss Maud Millock to write something for her so I wrote the following taking for my subject I Timothy IV v. 12.
“Youth is the time to serve the Lord.”
Let no man thy youth despise,
But come and walk in the path of the wise,
For God doth claim thy service now,
So come dear Maud at His altar bow.
Oh come and render Him your vow,
Who suffered and bled with a pierced brow,
His kingdom first he says to seek,
And from all needs he will you keep.
The blessed Father says “this is the day”,
Then come my dear make no delay.
And walk upon the kings highway,
And you will find he leads and guides alway.
He’ll guide your wandering steps aright,
And teach you how in his war to fight,
He’ll teach you how the young to win,
And bring them in from the path of sin.
And when your work on earth is done,
And you the blessed race have run,
The gates of heaven he’ll open wide,
And you’ll behold the Lamb and his bride.
Your garments then will be pure and white
And He’ll place on your head a crown of light
You’ll sing the song and wave the victor’s palm,
And cast your crown at the feet of the Lamb.
By— Mrs. Henry McQuaig, July 23rd 1911.
In 1912 Henry McQuaig my husband’s health began to fail, he had heart trouble and took weak spells and I would make him a warm drink and give him some light nourishmend which would always revive him.
On July 2nd 1914 he took a weak spell while we were in the parlor talking to his brother James’ wife who was visiting here from the West and who has since passed away. And as usual I helped him to the couch, got the warm drink and in a short time he was better and walking around out of doors and took his tea with Wesley and me and went to bed and rested good till towards morning, when he said to me “light the lamp I want to go downstairs. I did so and came down with him and he turned quite ill so Wesley went over for Dr. Reddick and he gradually grew worse and in a few days we sent for Dr. Lock, but there was no help this time, but the two Drs. kept coming and did all they could for him and he suffered a great deal and needed constant attention day and night. So Wesley quit his work to help me attend to him and Wesley’s uncle Wm. Imrie came down to Winchester to attend Mrs. Wm. Christie’s funeral as she passed away July 12th, and he stayed to help us for by this time we had to lift him.
A few mornings before he passed away while at family prayer we were all greatly blessed together, it seemed as if the very heavens were opened to us and he began to pray and quote passages of scripture with us and on the following morning we thought he was asleep so we knelt just inside the door of another room so as not to disturb him, but he was not asleep and said “I wish you had prayed out here, I heard you, but I could have heard you better here and God has answered your prayer.” And on the morning of the 16th July he passed quietly away to be forever with the Lord.
My dear Sister Mrs. Imrie came and she with her husband staid a week with us. On July 18th 1914 The funeral which was held in the Methodist church was conducted by our pastor Rev. F.H.Sproule and his remains were laid away in the Maple Ridge Cemetery there to await the resurrection morn.
On Feb. 24th 1916 Wm. Imrie my brother-in-law of Ventnor, came down to Winchester to visit Wesley and me, he stayed till March 1st. We had a very enjoyable visit together and on April 1st we received a telephone that he had passed suddenly away that morning.
He had family prayer and breakfast over he went to the river pulled his boat to shore then came to the house and told his wife Mary that he was going to take the poney and drive to the sugar bush and see how things were there, and as he started he said “Well I’m off” and she said “Well take care of your self”. He went in the barn and told his son-in-law he was going to the sugar bush and while talking to him, he droped and was gone instantly. It was a great shock to his wife and daughter whom he had just been talking to so short a time before, it certainly was a great trial to them.
Wesley and I went up the next morning on Sunday; the roads were in an awful state with snow in some places and water in other places.
The funeral which was at the home was conducted by their pastor the Rev. Wm. Hanna assisted by Rev. Albert Cleland of Cardinal. Text was fourth Chapter of II Timothy, verses 6,7 and 8. “For I am now ready to be offered.” The remains were laid to rest in the South Gower Cemetry.
He was converted 32 yrs. previous to his death and shortly after was appointed classleader which position he held at the time of his death. He will be greatly missed in all church services as well as in the home and by his many friends.
I composed the following for
his sorrowing wife.
My Dear Companion
As I sit by the window in the old familiar place,
I think I almost see the dear sweet face.
But alas! the chair is vacant, his voice is not heard,
No more he is here to read God’s word.
While I sit and gaze on that old armed chair,
Oh God! thou only knoweth how I miss him there,
I turn and look through the window pain,
It seems he should come home again.
Again I turn, this time to the the river side,
Where first we sat when I was his bride,
But fifty years have come and gone,
How time does hurry one along.
And then my steps to the church I speed
For we always went God’s holy word to heed,
While the parson the hymns and bible read
With the rest I reverently bowed my head.
When I raised my head and loked around
Many others too had gone I found.
And a voice within so sweet did say,
“My darling child, look up this way.
Your dear companion is not gone,
He hovers near you so be strong
I just allowed the veil to fall,
Till I’d send fourth another call.
He’s just passed through the pearley gate,
And there he stands, for you he waits,
In that beautiful City which lieth foursquare
It’ll not be long till you’ll meet him there.
I‘ll give you more grace to bow to my will,
So precious Child just trust in me still,
And a robe of white you too, shall wear,
And the victor’s palm your hand shall bear.
Together you’ll roam those streets of gold,
Of which in His blessed word you’r told,
Together you’ll bathe in that crystal sea,
So patiently wait, that welcome’s for thee.”
To -- Mrs. Wm. Imrie
By – Sister M.A.McQuaig.
April 1st 1918. Winchester, Ont.
Mother or Grandmother
Dear Mother has crossed the swelling tide,
She’s gone forever with Christ to abide.
She had a glimpse of the other shore,
And there she stands to welcome us o’er.
She’s passed on through the pearley gate,
And there she stands, for us she waits,
She longed to leave the heavy clay,
And walk those streets in eternal day.
And now she looks on him who was crucified,
And there she beholds the Lamb who died,
The Lamb who died, but again He arose,
And at God’s right hand he does interpose.
She’s roaming now those streets of gold,
Of which in his blessed word we are told,
In that beautiful city which lieth four square
God help us to live so we’ll meet her there.
She’s bathing now in that crystal sea,
What a welcome she’ll have for you and me,
She’s beneath the shade of that Tree of Life,
She’ll there behold the Lanb and His Wife.
A crown of life she now shall wear,
And a robe of white so pure and fair,
The victor’s palm she too shall bear,
For she’s freed from every earthly care.
But soon we’ll meet at Jesus feet.
Her loving face we there will greet,
And the dear hands we too shall shake,
I know she’ll be there at the pearley gate.
We cannot see the opposite shore,
But Christ is there, with an open door,
And one by one He’ll call us o’er,
To meet with her who has gone before.
Lord help us to say “thy will be done”,
‘Tis so hard to part with our dearest one,
But give us grace to bow to thy will,
And help us dear Lord to trust in thee still.
M.A.McQuaig, Jan. 24th 1918.
During the summer of 1918 my
dear son Wesley was away from home for a few months and one
day I sat on the varanda writing a letter to him and I
composed and sent the following.
My Absent Son
As I sit on the varanda and scan the place,
How I miss your dear sweet smiling face,
I walk inside perchance in there you may abide,
But alas! no sound I hear, can it be your playing hide.
And then those spacious halls I roam,
Oh tell me why you come not home,
No coat or hat I find upon the wall,
Perhaps you got a sudden call.
The garden too, and all its bowers,
I’ve searched and searched for hours,
I’ve strolled the paths from gate to gate,
Thinking perchance down there you wait.
To the church I’ve gone at the hour of prayer,
But I find for me, you wait not there.
Do tell me please, where my boy does wait?
Can it be he’s passed the old home gate?
Oh no! he has never wandered by,
For the moon shone bright in the beautiful sky
And if he left that day on a west bound train,
There was not a sign of a cloud or rain.
For the sun was high in the eastern skye,
So I know he hovers some place near bye
And I’ll just wait, and listen and pray,
For I know he’ll return some near future day.
To my dear son W.D.McQuaig
From Mother M.A.McQuaig.
Summer of 1918
W atch and pray that ye enter
not into temptation Math.26 v.41
E nter into his gates with thanksgiving Psalms 100 v.4
S erve the Lord with gladness Psalms 100 v.2
L ike as a father pitieth his children so the Lord pitieth them that fear him
Psalm 103 v.13
E very good and perfect gift is from above. James 1 v.17
Y e are my witnesses saith the Lord Isaiah 43 v.10
M y son if sinners entice thee consent thou not Prov. 1 v.10
A soft answer turnth away wrath Prov. 15 v.1
L o I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Math .28 v.2
C ast thy burden upon the Lord and he shall sustain thee. Psalm 55 v.22
O, Lord my God, in thee do I put my trust Psalms 7 v.1
L ook not not behind thee neither stay thou in all the plain Gen. 19 v. 17
M y son if thy heart be wise, my heart shall rejoice, even mine Prov. 23 v.15
D elight thyself in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart
Psalm 37 v.4
A rise and shine for thy light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon
thee. Isaiah 60 v.1
N eglect not the gift that is in thee. I Timothy 4 v. 14
I n all thy ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy paths Prov. 3 v.6
E stablish thou the work of our hands Psalms 90 v.17
L ook unto me and be saved; for I am God Psalm 42 v. 2
Mc y soul thirsteth for God Psalm 42 v.2
C ome thou with us, and we will do thee good Numbers 10 v. 29
U nderstanding is a well spring of life. Prov. 16 v 22
A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches Prov. 22 v.1
I will instruct thee, and teach thee Psalms 32 v.8
G od is our refuge and strength. Psalms 46 v.1
From Mother Nov. 28th 1919.
Written to my son Wesley while he was away from home during the summer of 1919. When he was Foreman on the Prescott and Quebec Boundry Provincial Highway, building bridges.
In the year 1918 my very dear brother Erastus began to fail very fast; he had hardning of the artries and just became weaker and weaker until he was quite helpless, but a few weeks before Christmas he seemed to be quite a little better so that he was able to sit at the table and take his dinner with the rest on Christmas day and seemed to enjoy it very much too, although his dear wife had to feed him. Then on Friday he took worse and suffered quite a lot all day Saturday, but on Sunday he did not seem to suffer only from weakness and at the evening family worship he lead in prayer himself and he prayed for the church that there might be a revival. He also prayed for all the members of the church and for all his loved ones, and the minister Mr. Robson. In the morning he was anxious to get up, so they got him up and he lay a little while on the couch, then wished to sit in the chair so they put him in chair and his wife got him some nourishment and he took only two tastes of it and just laid his head against the back of the chair and was gone, yes gone to be forever with the Lord. His dear wife Maggie wrote me saying Erastus and I set up the family altar the first night we stayed in our own house after we were married and it was never broken down, when he got so he could not sit up to read, he would say,”now when the house is quiet you had better read.”