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History of the County of Bruce, Ontario, Canada
Township of Greenock


[The name is that of a seaport town on the Clyde in Scotland.]

Extract from the Report of County Valuators, 1879.

"Greenock township has more inferior land than any other south of the peninsula. The Mud River having hardly any banks around it for a long distance is flooded in the spring to the depth of three or four feet. It has a far larger amount of swamp than any other in the county, and when the pine is taken off it will not be of any value. There is a portion of good land around Chepstowe, and the most of the gore is first-class land. It has a large amount of mill property. Its average price is $22.60 per acre.''

Extract from the Report of County Valuators, 1901.

''Greenock is a gore township and very few roads are open through from east to west, none being open between the Durham Road and the 10th concession, on account of what is known as the Greenock swamp. A portion of this swamp has been reclaimed since the last valuation, but still there is a great deal to do in the same line. The 6th concession was being opened through the swamp when your valuators were there, which will be a great convenience, especially to the settlers in the western part of the township, and also to those of the eastern part of Kincardine township. There are portions of Greenock as good as can be found in the county, but a very considerable portion is swamp, and a great deal of the northern part is stiff clay, in fact, so stiff that it affects its value considerably. The rate per acre, including village property, is $25.66, of which amount the village property is $2.39 per acre."

Greenock Township has the appearance geographically of being the core around which were laid out most of the other townships of the original county of Bruce. In reality the reverse was the procedure, Greenock being the last township south of the peninsula to be surveyed. After the boundaries of the other townships placed along the borders of the county were settled, there remained a large section in the centre of the county. This formed the township of Greenock, the survey of which was made in 1852 by R. Walsh, P.L.S. [Mr. Walsh commenced his survey at the blind line at the back of the first concession, N.D.R., and proceeded north. On reaching the apex at the north of the township he thought his contract completed, and was preparing to leave when, remembering the strip of land forming a gore in the south-west of the township, now the twenty-fifth concession, he took his staff there and made the survey of it; this was late in the fall, after the snow was on the ground.]

In Chapter II, are to be found particulars of the survey of the Durham Road through this township, and also the reason why in Greenock only, the free grant lots are confined to one concession on each side of the Durham Road.

Greenock, excepting the "free grants," was included among the Crown lands which were opened for sale at the time of the "big land sale," September 27th, 1854. [See Appendix K.] The price at which these lands were offered by the Crown was 7s. 6d. per acre. The first settlers to take up land in the township were Joseph Chartrand and John Caskanette, French-Canadians, who had been on the staff of A. P. Brough, P.L.S., when he surveyed the Durham Road. Anticipating the development of a town at the point where the Teeswater River is crossed by the Durham Road, they took up the lots on which the village of Rivers-dale now stands, and brought in their families in the spring of 1850. Along with them came other families from the same part of Lower Canada in which they had resided. The offer of free grant farm lots in Greenock was held back at first by the Crown Lands Department. [Extract from letter sent to George Jackson, Grown Lands Agent, Durham, by the Department of Crown Lands, August 15th, 1850 : Re Township of Greenock—"As the survey is not fully completed and as there is no intentions of opening the road through the township at present, it is desirable that no locations should be made thereon this season."] Whether this was on account of uncertainty as to future action in regard to extending the free grants in Greenock, as elsewhere, to four concessions in width, or whether the difficulty and expense of cutting a road through the swamp seemed too formidable at the time, the author cannot say; either surmise is quite supposable. On the withdrawal of this restriction in April, 1851, the desirable lots along the Durham line were quickly taken up. The names of those who took up these lots are given in Chapter V. Before the lands in Greenock were open for sale numerous squatters had settled in the township. Especially was this the case along concession A, and in the "Gore" of the township. Among these early settlers were Lewis Lamb, James Mair, James Ledgerwood, John Megraw, David, John, George and William Brockie, John Shennan, John and Dennis Phelan and Edward Boulton. [Edward Boulton seems to have belonged to a class of backwoodsmen, by no means uncommon, whose restless enterprise kept them always in the front of the wave of settlement. He was one of the first settlers in Walkerton, also of Greenock, and again in Amabel. He was residing at or near Meaford when his death occurred some few years ago.] The mill site secured by John Valentine in 1851 puts his name in the forefront of any list of settlers in the northern part of Greenock. The last-named settlers came into the township either via Owen Sound or Durham. There were others who came in via the Bruce and Kincardine boundary line, among whom were Allan Boss and Duncan Campbell in 1852, and later the Camerons and others. Among the leading families who early settled in Greenock were the McKees and the Pinkertons (the name of the latter is perpetuated by the pretty little village of that name). Among those who located lands in Greenock at this time, in addition to others elsewhere mentioned, were the following: William Clark, Richard Garland, George Leask, John M. Wells, George and James Cromar, James Donnelly and Alex. Symon.

To chop down the trees, log, burn and clear up a farm in Greenock meant much and long-continued hard work, many privations and hardships, and demanded, as everywhere in the backwoods, indomitable pluck and an amount of perseverance that might be classed as heroic. The later settlers of Greenock possessed advantages over the pioneers of 1849 and 1850, for some attempt had been made before they settled to open leading highways, such as the Elora and Durham Roads; [In Chapter V. are to be found particulars, giving names of contractors etc., who opened these roads.] so that they had some show of access to saw and grist mills already built and in operation, as well as to stores and post-offices at Walkerton and other villages. The first post-office opened in the township still bears the name of Greenock, for here, as elsewhere in the county at that time, on the first post-office established in a township the name of it was bestowed. This office was opened October 9th, 1852. J. B. Ritchie [See Chapter V. for an account, from the pen of Mr. J. B. Ritchie of this office and the mail service thereto.] was the first postmaster. The next office opened was at Riversdale, in 1853 or 1854, George Cromar being the postmaster.

At first the municipal existence of Greenock was merged in that of the "United Townships in the County of Bruce." The first year an assessment was made was 1851, the total of which amounted to £1,902. [In Appendix M is to be found a statement of amount of assessment as equalized, for the first seven years of the township's existence showing the progress of development in these years.] This seemed to have fixed the assessment for the following year, which was for the same amount. In 1853 the assessment stood at 3,571, and the first taxes were paid in that year, amounting to the very modest sum of £33 17s. 2½d. When the union of all of the townships of the county was dissolved, [See Appendix F.] Greenock and Culross were united for municipal purposes. The first municipal election was held in January, 1854, at George Cromar's house. J. B. Ritchie was the returning officer. He had to go to Lome to receive from the old reeve of the united townships, the Rev. Wm. Fraser, the election papers and be sworn in. The first reeve was George Cromar, who at a later date was the first warden of the county of Bruce. After filling the office of reeve for four years, he resigned it to accept the office of county treasurer. His successor in the reeveship [John Valentine was a native of Montrose, Scotland, when he was born in 1817. He came to Walkerton in 1851 and opened a store in partnership with George Jardine. Securing a mill privilege on the Teeswater River, at Paisley, he built a saw-mill there in 1852 and a grist-mill in 1855 or '56. His family resided at Southampton at first, but from 1855 they lived at Paisley. Mr. Valentine's property was largely in Greenock, and he filled the office of reeve of the township for six years. Mr. Valentine held a prominent place in the County Council, which in 1859 elected him warden of the county. His public life bore a clean record, while as a man he was highly esteemed. His death occurred August 12th, 1872.] was John Valentine, who held the position for six years. In a footnote are given the names of all the reeves of Greenock from the first up to 1906. [Reeves of the township of Greenock: George Cromar, 1854, '55, '56, '57; John Valentine, 1858, '59, '60, '61, '62, '65; Robert Pinkerton, 1863, '64, '66, '67, '69, '70, '71; James Mair, 1868, '72, '73; J. Millar, 1874; William Bradley, 1875, '76, '77, '78, '79, '80, '81, '82, '83, part of 1891 part of 1892; W. W. Reed, 1884; Henry Cargill, 1885, '86, '87; John Coumans, 1888, '89, '90, part of '91; Lewis Lamb, part of 1892; A. Symons, 1893, '94, '95; John McKee, 1896, '99, 1900, '01; J. J. Donnelly, 1897, '98; James Daniels, 1902; John Meagher, 1903, '04; F. Fullerton, 1905; M. McNab, part of 1906; S. Hawthorne, part of 1906.]

The offices of clerk and treasurer of the united townships of Greenock and Culross were held respectively by Archibald Fraser and John McGregor. When Greenock became a separate municipality the two offices of clerk and treasurer were held by James Cromar. As township clerk he acted until the end of 1868. William Clark succeeded him, and remained in office until 1881. The subsequent holders of the clerkship have been John Millar, J. W. McNab and J. J. Donnelly. The township has had as its treasurers, James Cromar (1856 to 1858), Hugh Montgomery (1859-60), William Clark [William Clark, on March 20th, 1905, relinquished his official connection with the township of Greenock, after serving it for twelve years as township clerk, and forty-four years as township treasurer. During this long term of service no complaint was ever made as to the manner in which he performed his duties, which was efficiency itself. Mr. Clark is a native of Edinburgh, Scotland, where he was born in 1834. After serving for some time in the audit office of the North British Railway, he emigrated to Canada with his parents in 1852. He attended the '' Big '' land sale in September, 1854, at Southampton, and purchased lots 3 and 4, concession 10, township of Greenock. He married on February 28th, 1856, Miss Sarah Griffin, of U. E. Loyalist stock, from Nova Scotia. As soon as the season permitted, they entered upon backwoods life, on their uncleared farm, where they resided for nearly half a century. Lately they moved into the village of Cargill, and in their new residence there they had the pleasure of celebrating their golden wedding.] (1861 to 1905), and M. M. Schurter, the present treasurer.

The first public work of importance undertaken by the Township Council was in connection with the rebuilding of the bridge at Rivers-dale. The contract for this work was let to William McVicar, for which he received $2,413, the work being done during the summer of 1863. To pay for this, debentures for $3,250 were issued. These, although bearing 6 per cent. interest, were sold at a discount of 15 per cent. As a help to pay the interest on these debentures, and also to raise a sinking fund, the Council established a toll-gate [This was the only toll-gate ever, established in the county of Bruce as far as the author is aware of.] at the bridge, at which a man of the name of Mahon was installed as keeper. A good deal of opposition arose as a result of a toll being charged for crossing the bridge, and to test the authority for doing so Paul Boss laid a charge, before J. B. Ritchie, J.P., against Mahon for obstructing the Queen's highway, with the result that he was committed to jail at Goderich. The matter was settled at last by the County Council, in December, 1864, assuming the payment of the debentures issued by the Township Council, on condition that the toll-gate be removed.

The big swamp in the centre of Greenock was looked upon for a long time after settlement began as a drawback to the development of the township, and from an agricultural point of view justly so, but from an industrial standpoint Greenock swamp has been a mine of wealth. The Teeswater River, flowing the full length of the township from south to north (the damming up of which by a natural formation of the ground resulted in the big swamp being formed, as related farther on), has furnished power required to manufacture into lumber the pine that grew so abundantly in the swamp. The first mill on the Teeswater was that built by John Valentine in 1852 at Paisley. In a year or so after this John Shennan had a mill built at Pinkerton, which he sold to David Pinkerton, Then, at Chepstow John Phelan had a mill, and. again at Riversdale there was a steam saw and grist mill, run by George Cromar, in 1857.

The foundation was laid of the village of Cargill, the busiest manufacturing centre in Greenock, in the late fifties. The land on and in the vicinity of the village was taken up by five brothers of the name of McNeil—William, James, Donald, Charles and Malcolm, who purchased some ten farm lots. When coming into the county they first resided at Riversdale. From there, in the spring of 1856, they rafted down the river to the locality where their farms were a quantity of timber they had prepared for the frame of a mill, and shortly after commenced the construction of a dam. At this stage they were persuaded to sell their mill privilege and whatever they had done towards the building of a mill, to George Elphick, who previously had been working as a miller at Pinkerton for his father-in-law, David Pinkerton. The dam was soon completed, and the grist mill set in operation. But it was not till a later date that a village commenced to gather about the mill.

In October, 1871, the Commissioner of Crown Lands sold at the Court House at Walkerton the lands contained in the Greenock and Culross swamps, 8,417 acres in all. The attendance at the sale was large; but the purchasing was confined to the following: Charles Mickle, Sr., Henry Cargill, J. P. Wilson, T. W. McMurray, G. B. Ferguson, William Edgar and O. Phelps. The average price obtained for these lands was $4.66 per acre. Charles Mickle, Sr., secured limits of some 1,700 acres in extent at the sale, and in addition purchased 2,400 acres more from private parties, and also purchased the mill, privilege from George Elphick. Erecting a sawmill at this point, he commenced the manufacture of lumber for shipment, the railway having been completed and a station, named "Mickles" [The village which then commenced to grow was called '' Yokassippi, a corruption of the Indian name of the river.] (now Cargill), located at a convenient distance from the mill. At the sale of the timber limits above mentioned Henry Cargill was a large buyer. In addition to purchases then made, he secured, at a liberal advance from some other purchasers, enough of these lands to bring his total acreage up to one-half of that sold. Six of the original purchasers, Mr. Cargill being one of them, held the property jointly for about a year, when the others sold out their respective holdings to Mr. Cargill. After this, in January, 1879, Charles Mickle, Sr., sold his mill property and some 4,100 acres of timbered lands to Mr. Cargill. This last purchase gave Mr. Cargill practically all the lands in the Greenock swamp. The beginning of Mr. Cargill's identification with the manufacturing industries of Greenock was when he leased, in 1872, from Messrs. Toohey and Coumans their mill at Chepstow; but with the purchase of the Mickle mill property the development by him of the wealth that lay in the swamp commenced. Canals parallel with concession and side-roads were dug, by which to float the timber from where it had been cut to the mill. These canals have also drained the swamp, turning miles of it into good dry farm land, and making possible the opening of roads through it. To the water-power sawmill Mr. Cargill added a large steam sawmill, a steam planing mill and grist mill. The thriving village of Cargill preserves the name of its founder, and its prosperity tells the tale of the broad-minded business efforts of Henry Cargill, and continued by W. D. Cargill, his son.

[In a footnote in Chapter VIII. a short biographical sketch of Mr. Cargill is to be found. The following extract from a local paper shows a side of his character worthy of being remembered. "H.C.," writing in the Kincardine Review, has the following: "On the day of Henry Cargill's funeral I was talking to a prominent Liberal about him. ' No one ever heard me say an ill word against Henry Cargill,' he said, 'and I would have no peace in my family if I did. And I'll tell you why. Many years ago a little girl was walking into Walkerton with a market-basket. Mr. Cargill drove up and offered her a ride. Nearing the corner of the road leading into Walkerton he inquired how far it was into town. She said it was two miles and a half. He drove her to the store, turned around and drove back. He had gone five miles out of his way to give a ride to a little girl with a market-basket. She's my wife now and wouldn't let me say a word against Henry Cargill if I felt inclined, which I never did.'

"Last spring I met him in Ottawa, and he asked me to go with him to Booth's sawmills. Accompanied by W. H. Bennett, M.P., and T. I. Thompson, M.P., we went to the great mills, where a thousand men and the most approved machinery turn every part of a log worth saving to some account. Mr. Cargill was engrossed with the work going on. He talked with the laborers, inquired about every feature that was new to him, and when he came away, in his quiet, deliberate way, said: "Boys, if I only owned this mill—and I would rather own it than the Canadian Pacific Railway—instead of having a seat over in that house across the river, I'd have an armchair here, where I could sit down and smell the lumber." He said it so sententiously that no one could doubt he meant it.'']

A "captain of industry" is a title that was fittingly bestowed on the founder of this extensive business. The rapid increase of the population of Cargill village, owing to the establishment of fresh industries and the enlargement of old ones, led the various religious denominations having congregations there to take steps toward the building of churches. This determination seems to have been reached at one and the same time by the Church of England, the Methodists and the Presbyterians, and during the summer of 1902 three handsome brick church edifices were erected for these three bodies. [These churches, although spoken of as being in Cargill, are really in the township of Brant, and not in Greenock.] No unincorporated village of the same population in the county equals Cargill in appearance. What with granolithic sidewalks, electric street lighting and handsome residences, the villagers have reason to be proud of their place of residence.

The village of Pinkerton may claim priority over any other in the township as to the year when it began to take form as a business centre. It is prettily situated, and if the decision to make it the county town, referred to in Chapter VI., had been adhered to, there is no doubt but that a beautiful, busy town would have developed there. The land forming the site of the village was squatted on about 1853 by John Shennan. [Walkerton's first postmaster, and after leaving Greenock, the founder of Balaclava, in Carrick.] As early as possible he took steps toward the erection of a saw and grist mill. Before completing the same he sold out his rights and improvements to David Pinkerton, who had the sawmill in operation about 1854, and the grist mills some three or four years later, following which, in the course of a few years, a carding and fulling mill was added to the industries of the place. Thomas Pinkerton was for a number of years the leading man of the village, its several mills having passed into his hands. The Presbyterian congregation at Pinkerton is united to that in West Brant, forming one charge; the church at Pinkerton is a frame building, and was erected in 1874. The Church of England also have a congregation there, which erected in 1878 a church edifice, a roughcast building, that has accommodation for about 250 worshippers.

Riversdale was surveyed into village lots in 1855, at the instance of Joseph C. Chartrand, George Cromar and James Bennie; but it may date its commencement from the time a post-office was established there in 1854. George Cromar was the foremost man in the little village at that time, and continued as such until his death, which occurred in the summer of 1861. In 1857 he built a steam saw and grist mill; then the usual supply of blacksmith shops and hotels appeared one after another. A Division Court also had its office there. In 1860 James Millar and Anthony Mason rented the mills from Mr. Cromar, and after his death purchased them from the •executors of the estate. These mills have had an unfortunate experience from fire, having been burned down some five or six times. The Presbyterian congregation at Riversdale was formed about 1857, the Rev. Walter Inglis being the first minister. The present church building of this congregation was dedicated in October, 1880. There is also at Riversdale a Roman Catholic church, but for many years there has been no resident priest there.

The village of Chepstow came into being because of the water-power developed there, locally known as "Phelan's dam," and where a saw-mill was built by John Phelan. There is a story about how the village received its name, which is here given for what it is worth, without vouching for its truth or accuracy. "Mr. Phelan and the early settlers in the neighborhood, who were nearly all Irish (although now more than half are of German descent), petitioned the Post-office Department for a post-office, which was to bear the name of 'Emmett,' in memory of the Irish patriot, who was hanged for rebellion in 1803. 'And what do you think,' said Mr. Phelan, 'some blackguard in the Department who knew Irish history, changed the name to Chepstow, which was the residence of Earl Strongbow, the first English invader of Ireland!'" Mr. Phelan never forgave the Government for this outrage. In 1857 a frame church was built by the Roman Catholic congregation, which bore the name of St. John's. In 1903-04 a very fine church edifice was erected to take the place of the old one, and was dedicated by Bishop Dowling, of Hamilton,. October 2nd, 1904. The proximity of the flourishing village of Cargill precludes much further development at Chepstow.

From the day when the surveying party engaged in laying out the Durham Road tried to find a place where a road could be made across the Greenock swamp, covered as it was with a rank, tangled growth of vegetation, and that offered no better footing than spongy knolls of grass and moss standing in pools of water, down to a comparatively late date, the Greenock swamp has seemed a section of the county lying beyond the powers of the settlers to reclaim and transform into agricultural lands, and it was left to be exploited by the lumberman, who found therein timber of all descriptions that has been most profitable to cut and market. The initial movement towards finding out what was necessary to be done if the swamp was to be drained began in 1868. As the result of a memorial from the County Council in August of that year the Commissioner of Public Works directed Robert Gilmour, C.E., of 'Paisley to examine the swamp and see what were its possibilities, and see what had to be done to develop them. Mr. Gilmour reported to the following effect: "At lot 14, concession 5 of the township of Greenock, the Teeswater is crossed by an escarpment of limestone rock, which comes up within three feet of the summer level of the river. To break through this barrier (which appears to be the natural dam which has mainly contributed to the formation of the swamp), an extensive excavation for some distance would be required." Mr. Gilmour proposed a plan of digging a canal from above this natural dam to a small creek that empties into the Teeswater near Pinkerton, and also another canal from the swamp to the Penetangore River. No action seems to have resulted from Mr. Gilmour's report. In 1883 Mr. McCallum, Chief of the Public Works Department of the Province of Ontario, inspected the Teeswater River, with a view of getting the swamp drained, but nothing more was done. In 1887, as a result of a largely signed petition, the County Council voted a sum of money for the removal of Phelan's dam at Chepstow, as many held it to be the cause of the waters of the Teeswater being dammed back to such an extent. The removal of the dam in the following year did not affect, to any extent, the flooded lands. On February 2nd, 1903, a meeting was held in the village of Rivers-dale to consider the subject of having the swamp drained. This meeting urged upon the municipal councils of Greenock and Culross to take steps towards the object sought. Mr. James Warren, C.E., was engaged to make a survey of the river. His report, in part, to the Township Council of Greenock is as follows:

Extract from Report of James Warren, C.E.

Walkerton, April 2nd, 1903. John Meagher, Esq., Reeve of the Township of Greenock:

"Sir,—At your request I made an examination of the Teeswater River from Chepstow to the townline of Culross, with the view of ascertaining the probable cost of deepening the river, so as to get better drainage for the lands now affected by the water of the river.

"I find a good fall from lot 15, con. 5, to Chepstow, which will give that part of the river a good current; from lot 16 to the south boundary there is little difference in the level, only enough to give the water a fair flow. The chief obstructions are from lot 15 to Phelan's Dam at Chepstow. This part or section will be the hardest cutting, as it is gravel. From lot 15 to the boundary of Culross the bottom is soft and can be easily removed.

"In the section from Thompson's Bridge to Culross boundary, I would recommend a channel 20 feet wide, and to the depths shown on the profile, and from Thompson's Bridge to the old site of Phelan's Dam the channel should be 25 feet wide. In many places south of Thompson's Bridge the river would clear itself if the outlet was cleared away.

"The estimate of the probable cost from Phelan's Dam to Thompson's Bridge of clearing out the outlet I would place at $6,018.30, which is the hardest section on the work, as the cutting is deeper and harder to take out.

"From Thompson's Bridge to the south boundary of the township, I would estimate the cost at $2,041.50, being a total of $8,059.80.

"Counting the farm lots benefited in whole or part, the acreage is 16,559 acres, which I would value at $185,150, according to the annexed schedule, which shows the value set on each lot, also the benefit derived.

"The total benefit derived I would place at $18,975, or at an average of 84 cents per acre, and the cost of construction I would place at 50 cents per acre on the whole of the lots affected by the drainage of the river.

"Taking the lots as a whole, it is quite feasible and would be of great value to the township, as it would enable the lands to be cleared and cultivated, which at present cannot be done, and when these lands are cleared they will be excellent grazing lands, and after a short time, when the soil would be somewhat consolidated, would yield good crops of grain and roots.

"I have prepared a profile of the bottom of the river from Chepstow to the boundary of Culross, a total distance of 8.910 miles. I was fortunate enough to be able to take the measurements on the ice, which was more accurately done than could be done on the land at any other time.

"If the whole work cannot be gone on with, I would strongly recommend that that portion between Thompson's Bridge and Phelan's Dam to be done, as that would give a good outlet to that part of the river south of Thompson's Bridge."

About the same time the Ontario Government was approached by R. E. Truax, M.P.P., and a grant of $7,000 was obtained for the dredging of the river, which was a little more than half of the expected entire cost. This grant was to be made available only when the balance of the amount required for the work had been provided by the county and the two townships interested. The County Council was willing to aid in the work, and its members so expressed themselves, adding that they thought that Greenock and Culross, the two interested townships, should assume the larger share of the financial obligations. This the two township councils would not do. The matter, therefore, has remained in status quo.

For fully half a century after the first settler had entered Greenock no east and west road through the township had been opened in that stretch of territory lying between the Durham line and the 12th concession, on account of the impassable swamp. As the effect of the drains or canals cut in the swamp by Henry Cargill in his lumbering operations, as related in a preceding paragraph, the time came when there arose the possibility of constructing a highway through the swamp. In 1899 the township voted $500 to open the 6th and 10th concession roads, this was supplemented by a grant of equal amount by the County Council and the Provincial Government, a donation of $500 was made by Henry Cargill to help this needed undertaking. The work was commenced in 1900 and completed in 1901.

For a number of years in the centre of the county there dwelt a group of men of marked intellectuality, of whom the leaders were William Bradley and William Bowes, of Greenock, and Henry Brown, of Elderslie. They have all passed away, Mr. Bradley dying in 1892, Mr. Brown in 1903, and Mr. Bowes, the last, in 1906. Robert Munro, the editor of the Port Elgin Times, on the death of the last-mentioned of the group, wrote as follows:

"By the death of Mr. Wm. Bowes (June 17th, 1906) one of the most remarkable of the early settlers of Bruce has been taken away. Born in Scotland, he came to Canada when a young man, and at once attracted attention by his wide fund of information, acquaintance with the best literature, and intelligent interest in scientific and social problems. In the days of George Brown the letters of Mr. Bowes on the labor question, ethical topics, and on various subjects of interest, were frequently found in the Globe, and he contributed many an excellent article to the local press. He had a keen incisive style, with a fine command of words, but his subjects were too abtruse for the mass of readers to get hold of. He was liberal in his views on theological, political and literary topics. As a conversationalist he excelled, and delighted to cross swords with men like Alexander Shaw, Judge Kingsmill, Henry Cargill, James Innes, ex-M.P.. and even George Brown himself. Of the death of Mr. Bowes we may say, 'There goes the last of the Romans,' the last of a band of men of whom 'Bowes, Brown and Bradley' were the well-known types. He lived in Greenock till a few years ago, when he came to spend his last days with his daughter. Mrs. Handbidge, of Arran. The funeral took place at Pinkerton. The editor of The Times knew Mr. Bowes at first hand for twenty-four years, and has nothing but kindly recollections of his great ability, almost daring humor, and intellectual honesty in dealing with the problems that attract thinking men."

With this appreciative encomium of one of the prominent men of Greenock, whom the local press playfully called the "Philosopher of Greenock Swamp," the author would bring this chapter, on possibly the most unique of the townships in the county of Bruce to a close.


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