Sketch of the Life of Maria Amelia McQuaig
Partly written in her 56th year and so on, some written in her 70th
year, Jan. 19th 1905, Hulbert Post Office, Dundas Co.,
Our thanks to Hugh Campbell for sending this transcript to us
In 2002 I received a photocopy
of Maria McQuaigs 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 (Marias grandparents), and Daniel Grant
(Marias 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 Grants 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 Grants Mills on May 17th 1817; died October 14th
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
Grants Mills on January 22nd 1854.
My mothers fathers 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
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 Marys. At that time I was
at school up at Merrickville and did not see her.
My mothers mothers 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. Allens 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
Grandmas 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 fathers
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 Grants 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 Grants
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
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
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 Grandpas. 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 Fathers 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 Hecks 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 fathers, was always open to
welcome the servants of God.
Grandmothers 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:
Angels voices called her
(page 26 missing)
Daniel & Eliza Sarah Grant, my
father and mother, lived all their married life at Grants
Mills, the first 8 or 9 years in with Grandfather and
Grandmother Grant, then father built a stone house by the side
of Grandfathers, 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 mothers 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 Fathers
mill for three years and lived in Grandfathers 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 Lauras 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
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 mothers in the
Vancamp Cemetery to await the resurrection morn.
The words on dear Lauras 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 Doctors 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 mothers love.
Rev. Thomas Maley of Kemptville
preached Dear Mothers 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 Mothers 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 Grandmas. 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
Peltons 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
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
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 Grants 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
Montgomerys (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 dont know which of us will go first, but if I do Ill
be at the gate to welcome you in, and if you go first look out
for me, Im 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 hell 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 Fathers, and I went
home with Erastus to Fathers, 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 wont think so much of you,
but its 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 Lords
will to soon take me home. I said if its 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, dont 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 dont 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
And on Saturday night, the last
night he was on earth, dear sister Mary said to him, I hope
youll get some sleep and rest tonight Pa, but he said no Ill
not sleep tonight, but to-morrow Ill go to sleep in the arms
of Jesus, so on Sabbath forenoon about 11 oclock 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 Affections smile was where
Affections smile would bloom no more.
When that, now frosted, pulseless breast,
All bright with honors 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 girlhoods 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 oer
And still I gazed, so silent gazed,
With eyes that neer 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. Revd 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 mothers 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, shell 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
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
Before she passed away she
said, Dont 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 dont 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 dont 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 hers, 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 oer,
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
After my dear Grandmothers
funeral Major G.A.Montgomery a cousin of my Mothers drove me
down to sister Marys where we stayed all night. He returned
to Merrickville and I to Grandmas 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 Uncles
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. Beachs boys all recovered from
the disease. Mr. Beachs 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
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 Christies
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 Grants 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 Id 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. Derricks
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
Principals 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. Wiers 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;
Hes 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 eer 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 calvarys 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 Id take
another term in Merrickville with my former teacher Mr. Alex
McDonald which I did; then Dr. Wiers 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
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 Grants 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
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 thats 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 Im 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 Im encouraged to look for the fruit;
As farmers do when they cast in the grain,
Ill 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 Heavens blest shore
A child from my school who arrivd 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 Grants 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.
Grants 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 Ill 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,
Eer 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,
Ive banished the rule and the rod;
Ive taught them the goodness of knowledge
Theyve 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
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 Marys
husband and I went over to Somerville, St. Lawrence County,
U.S. on a visit to Mr. Henry Bennetts whose wife was Louisas
aunt. One day Louisa and I walked over to Spraigville, a short
distance from Mr. Bennetts; 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
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 Id 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 Id 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 dont 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, Marys 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 Adams, 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 Lockerbies 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
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 Gods 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
days 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, its 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 Gods own hand that
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 Gods 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 McQuaigs fathers 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.
Malcolms wifes 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 McQuaigs fathers 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 fathers,
that is of Henrys. Then in 1850 Malcolms two sons Henry and
Robert crossed the ocean to Canada too. The grandfather
Henrys wifes maiden name ws McCauley.
In April 24th 1889 I married
Henry McQuaig of Hulbert, Dundas Co. Ontario. We were married
at my sisters Mrs. William Imries, 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
On the following day April 25
we drove to Henrys 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. Henrys
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 Id 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
ladies class in the Sabbath School.
Another year I taught the young
ladies 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
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
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 dont say
anything my child God knows it all and perhaps some day hell
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 Gods 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
Wesleys 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 farmers
too, so my brother Erastus wife and Wesleys 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 brothers 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
Ill 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
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 Wesleys 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 Wesleys 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 Wesleys father in the barn yard and we
heard Wesley call once and we said Oh! Harrold cant 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, Wesleys 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 Ill be back tomorrow at 9 oclock. 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; dont 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 dont
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
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 Wesleys; 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
Wesleys 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 Smiths 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
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. Pauls
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.
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 Beachs, 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
Wesleys 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 brothers 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
McQuaigs 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 Id 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,
Im 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 Im not dead,
Im living here with Christ my head
My body sleeps beneath the clay
My souls 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 Saviours side.
This is the time, do not delay,
But hasten while tis called to-day,
And lead them to the Saviours breast
Tis there theyll 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 Gods own son.
By Mrs. Henry McQuaig
In September 1905 Mrs. Hugh McQuaigs 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,
Hes only crossed the tidal wave,
Hes only gone to swell the band,
In that holy happy land.
Hes just across the other shore,
With hands outstretched,
He beckons us oer,
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 Gods 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 Gods right hand.
Heres 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,
Im 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
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 Wesleys
got there the 22nd at 11 oclock 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 Grants Mills, together with
their son Eldon and his family, who left on Thursday, April
4th, 1907, reached Regina, Sask., Sabbath morning at 6
Since youve gone, dear brother Erastus
In foreign lands to roam,
Pray dont 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,
Well all try to be faithful
Till in heaven we shall meet.
Theres a kind of chilly feeling in the blowing of the breeze
And a sense of sadness steeling through the branches of the
And its not that spring is slowly drawing nigh,
But its 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
Good-bye, the brooks all murmur, and the ripples heave a
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
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
Just say: well not forget dear Mary and Maria, nor the day we
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
It was Eldon who sold the home
before going to Regina in 1907.
This home at Grants 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 Marys 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
ministers 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 Herbs he had been out helping him draw
gravel from John Spencers 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 Grants and some
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 Fathers 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 well 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 devils thrall,
I think how he has kept us one and all,
I think how well meet with Peter and Paul.
I think how well meet at Jesus feet,
I think of the dear faces we there shall greet,
I think of all the hands well shake,
I think theyll 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 itll be better on that great day.
I think therell 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 theyll 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 weve 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 Gods command,
So we may meet at His right hand,
Arise, and shine! My darling boy,
And God shall cleanse from all alloy.
And well 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. Its 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
mothers 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 oer.
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,
Youd 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.
Its 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 oer.
Uncle Philemon held to fathers 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 oer
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 oer.
And thus two men so true and brave
Were rescued the from a watery grave,
And Willie shouted, Mary dear,
Your fathers 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 Ill leave,
And I to God did closer cleave.
I said my God Ill trust thee still,
Oh answer me now if this is thy will,
I thought of course its 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 its because theres no water there.
That the flames ascended so high in the air.
But God was now ready to answer my prayer,
And thats 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 youd 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 Id 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 hes going to let me stay.
But I feel this frame is going down,
And soon Ill have to leave this town.
But I believe Godll 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.
Hell guide your wandering steps aright,
And teach you how in his war to fight,
Hell 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 hell open wide,
And youll behold the Lamb and his bride.
Your garments then will be pure and white
And Hell place on your head a crown of light
Youll sing the song and wave the victors palm,
And cast your crown at the feet of the Lamb.
By Mrs. Henry McQuaig, July 23rd 1911.
In 1912 Henry McQuaig my
husbands 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
Wesleys uncle Wm. Imrie came down to Winchester to attend
Mrs. Wm. Christies 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
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 Im
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
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 Gods 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 Gods 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 Id send fourth another call.
Hes just passed through the pearley gate,
And there he stands, for you he waits,
In that beautiful City which lieth foursquare
Itll not be long till youll meet him there.
Ill 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 victors palm your hand shall bear.
Together youll roam those streets of gold,
Of which in His blessed word your told,
Together youll bathe in that crystal sea,
So patiently wait, that welcomes 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,
Shes gone forever with Christ to abide.
She had a glimpse of the other shore,
And there she stands to welcome us oer.
Shes 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 Gods right hand he does interpose.
Shes 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 well meet her there.
Shes bathing now in that crystal sea,
What a welcome shell have for you and me,
Shes beneath the shade of that Tree of Life,
Shell 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 victors palm she too shall bear,
For shes freed from every earthly care.
But soon well meet at Jesus feet.
Her loving face we there will greet,
And the dear hands we too shall shake,
I know shell be there at the pearley gate.
We cannot see the opposite shore,
But Christ is there, with an open door,
And one by one Hell call us oer,
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,
Ive searched and searched for hours,
Ive strolled the paths from gate to gate,
Thinking perchance down there you wait.
To the church Ive 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 hes 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 Ill just wait, and listen and pray,
For I know hell 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
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
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
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