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History of the County of Bruce, Ontario, Canada


We, the Chiefs, Sachems and Principal Men of the Indian Tribes resident at Saugeen, Owen Sound, confiding in the wisdom and protecting care of our Great Mother across the Big Lake, and believing that our Good Father, His Excellency the Earl of Elgin and Kincardine, Governor-General of Canada, is anxiously desirous to promote those interests which will most largely conduce to the welfare of His red children, have now, being in full Council assembled, in presence of the Superintendent General of Indian Affairs, and of the young men of both tribes, agreed that it will be highly desirable for us to make a full and complete surrender unto the Crown of that Peninsula known as the Saugeen and Owen Sound Indian Reserve, subject to certain restrictions and reservations to be hereinafter set forth. We have therefore set our marks to this document, after having heard the same read to us, and do hereby surrender the whole of the above named tract of country, bounded on the south by a straight line drawn from the Indian village of Saugeen to the Indian village of Nawash, in continuation of the northern limits of the narrow strip recently surrendered by us to the Crown; [Known as the "Half Mile Strip."] and bounded on the north-east and west by Georgian Bay and Lake Huron, with the following reservations, to wit: 1st. For the benefit of the Saugeen Indians we reserve all that block of land bounded on the west by a straight line running due north from the River Saugeen, at the spot where it is entered by a ravine, immediately to the west of the village, and over which a bridge has recently been constructed, to the shore of Lake Huron; on the south by the aforesaid northern limit of the lately surrendered strip ; on the east by a line drawn from a spot upon the coast at a distance of about (9½) nine miles and a half from the western boundary aforesaid, and running parallel thereto until it touches the aforementioned northern limits of the recently surrendered strip; and we wish it to be clearly understood that we wish the Peninsula at the mouth of the Saugeen River to the west of the western boundary aforesaid to be laid out in townpark lots and sold for our benefit without delay; and we also wish it to be understood that our surrender includes that parcel of land which is in continuation of the strip recently surrendered to the Saugeen River.

We do also reserve to ourselves that tract of land called Chief's Point, bounded on the east by a line drawn from a spot half a mile up the Sable River, and continued in a northerly direction to the bay, and upon all other sides by the lake.

2nd. We reserve for the benefit of the Owen Sound Indians all that tract bounded on the south by the northern limit of the continuation of the strip recently surrendered ; on the north-west by a line drawn from the north-easterly angle of the aforesaid strip (as it was surrendered in 1851, in a north-easterly direction); on the south-east by the sound extending to the southern limit of the Caughnawaga Settlement ; on the north by a line two miles in length and forming the said southern limit. And we also reserve to ourselves all that tract of land called Cape Crocker, bounded on three sides by Georgian Bay, on the south-west side by a line drawn from the bottom of Nochemowenaing Bay to the mouth of Sucker River, and we include in the aforesaid surrender the parcel of land contained in the continuation to Owen's Sound of the recently surrendered strip aforesaid.

3rd. We do reserve for the benefit of the Colpoy's Bay Indians, in the presence and with the concurrence of John Beattie, who represents the tribe at this Council, a block of land containing 6,000 acres, and including their village, and bounded on the north by Colpoy's Bay.

All which reserves we hereby retain to ourselves and our children in perpetuity, and it is agreed that the interest of the principal sum arising out of the sale of our lands be regularly paid to them so long as there are Indians left to represent our tribe without diminution at half-yearly periods.

And we hereby request the sanction of our Great Father the Governor-General to this surrender, which we consider highly conducive to our general interests.

Done in Council, at Saugeen, this thirteenth day of October, 1854.

It is understood that no islands are included in this surrender.


On a memorandum dated 12th instant, from the Superintendent General of Indian Affairs, submitting certain proposed changes, as shown in two certain plans, in the shape of the Indian reserves in the tract commonly called the Saugeen Peninsula, lately surrendered to the Crown, both changes having been assented to by the Indians in Council, and recommending:

1st. That the reserve known as the Saugeen Reserve, now bounded on the west by a straight line running due north from the River Saugeen at the spot where it is entered by a ravine immediately to the west of the village, be bounded instead by the Indian path called the Copway Road, which takes a north-westerly direction, as shown by the red line in the plan. This change will give the Saugeen Indians a small increase of frontage on Lake Huron, and will not interfere with the town plot now laid out on the tongue of land contained between that lake and the River Saugeen.

2nd. That the south-western boundary of the Cape Crocker Reserve, now formed by a line drawn from the bottom of Nochemowenaing Bay to the mouth of Sucker River, start instead from the south shore of Hope Bay, at a small point about a mile from its head, and strike Lake Huron two miles south of Sucker River, as shown by the plan. This change would cut off from the Indians one mile of frontage on Hope Bay, giving them in compensation two miles extra frontage on the Georgian Bay. The head of Hope Bay has been recommended by Mr. Dennis, the surveyor of the tract, as the site for a town, and the present position of the southwestern boundary of the reserve would render it impossible to carry out his suggestion.

The Committee recommend that the proposed changes be effected.


(Taken from Government Reports for the year ending June 30th, 1900.)

Acreage of unsold lands in the Saugeen Peninsula, the proceeds of which, when sold, will increase the Indian Capital Account : Albemarle, 714 acres; Amabel, 268 acres; Eastnor, 1,048 acres; Lindsay, 3,772 acres; St. Edmunds, 4,267 acres; Bury townplot, 807 acres; Harwicke townplot, 1,111 acres; Oliphant townplot, 40 acres; Southampton, 22 acres; Wiarton, 25 acres; Saugeen Fishing Islands, 880 acres; Cape Hurd Islands, 7,720 acres.


August 26th, 1848. In Council:—

His Excellency the Governor-General was pleased to direct the attention of the Executive Council to the subject of colonization settlement of the vacant lands of the Crown in Upper Canada.

By order of His Excellency, and in conformity with the opinion of the Council expressed in various deliberations in the presence of His Excellency, and as further connected with the same subject to a report of the Commissioner of Crown Lands proposing locations for colonization and settlement, His Excellency was pleased to state that proceedings had been taken in the several Departments for the purpose of commencing operations under the proposed plan, and His Excellency was pleased, for the purpose of giving the necessary authority for carrying out the purposes of the Government regarding colonization and settlement in the Wellington District, by and with advice of the Executive Council, to adopt the following order:

It is ordered by the Governor-General, by and with the advice and consent of the Executive Council—

That the tract of Crown Lands in the Huron, Wellington and Simcoe Districts bounded on the south by the Canada Company's lands, on the west by Lake Huron, on the north by the Simcoe District, and on the east by the townships of Maryborough, Peel and Garafraxa, be a locality for disposal and settlement on the plan adopted at the Owen Sound Settlement.

It is further ordered that a road be laid out to commence in the unsurveyed lands of the Crown at a point as near the south-east corner of the township of Melancthon as convenient to be carried through Melancthon, Artemesia, Proton and Holland, so as to join the Garafraxa Road as near to the village of Sydenham as possible, and that upon the said Road being explored and laid down to the width of one chain, that two tiers of lots of fifty acres each be laid out on each side of the road.

It is further ordered that a road be laid out through the said tract of the width of one chain to commence on Hurontario Street, to be carried through the southern part of Nottawasaga and through the townships of Osprey, Artemesia and Glenelg to the Owen Sound Road, then across that road through the townships of Bentinck, Brant, Greenock and Kincardine to the mouth of the Penetangore River, on Lake Huron, and that a double line of lots, to contain fifty acres each, be laid out on each side of the said road, and that side lines or roads of the same width be allowed for at convenient distances to connect the front with the roads to be laid out in the rear of these lots.

It is further ordered that a parallel line of road be run on each side of the said two roads above named, of the width of one chain, but the said additional roads are not to be cleared at the expense of the Government.

It is further ordered that the two main roads above mentioned be cleared of timber without eradicating the stumps of the trees any further than may, in some cases, be necessary to make the road passable, and that cheap causeways be laid over the swamps and bridges of cheap construction over the streams, so as to make the said roads passable for wheel carriages.

It is further ordered that settlers being subjects of the Queen, males, and not under the age of eighteen years, be assigned each a lot of fifty acres. They are to be placed on their respective lots by the agent, and are to have a free grant of the same lots on clearing on the same respectively to the extent of twelve acres, within four years from the first day of January next after their taking possession of the said lots.

The said settlers are to be composed of persons who have the means of maintaining themselves until they can procure a maintenance by cultivating their lots.

Upon the abandonment of any lot by a settler, the same is to be open for sale or grant to another.

The settlers receiving grants are to have the privilege of purchasing, in addition to their grants, so as to make up in the whole two hundred acres.

Settlers on parts of the tract not intersected by roads, and not included in the fifty-acre lots laid out for grant, are to have the privilege of purchasing to the extent of two hundred acres each.

As it is desirable that there should be straight boundaries in the rear to the lots lying upon the road, and as by reason of deviations caused by the nature of the ground, in seeking a good line of road it may not be practicable to have the road in all cases run in a straight line. The agent should be instructed by the Commissioner of Crown Lands to locate upon lots which, by reason of the deviations aforesaid, shall contain more than fifty acres, persons who are prepared to purchase and pay for the surplus, and in case lots shall by such deviations be made to contain less than fifty acres, and parties shall not be willing to accept the lesser quantity in full of their grants, to locate upon such lots persons who shall be willing and prepared to purchase the surplus over and above fifty acres in two or more lots.

It is further ordered, that so soon as it may be practicable, townships be surveyed and established on each side of the lines of road to be laid out, and that in the meantime and in anticipation of such establishment, the agent be instructed to locate persons on the lots laid out and surveyed.

It is further ordered that the names of the locatees, with the numbers or designation of their lots, and also the names of the purchasers, be entered in a book to be kept by the agent, and also that a book in the like form be kept in the office of the Commissioner of Crown Lands, to be filled up from monthly returns to be made by the agent, so that the one book may be a duplicate of the other, and that alterations in locations or sales be noticed in each.

It is further ordered that the expenses of surveys, of agency, of clearing and making the aforesaid roads, be paid and charged by the Commissioner of Crown Lands in a separate account, and repaid to him by warrants issued from time to time in his favor.

It is further ordered that the agent be instructed to select a place for his residence, at some convenient place within the said tract where there shall be a site for a town or village, and in the neighborhood of water power, and that he shall erect a dwelling-house and make a clearing of twenty acres at the expense of Government, according to such instructions as has been conveyed to him or as shall be conveyed to him in that behalf by the Commissioner of Crown Lands.

It is further ordered that such portions of the above order as contains information for settlers and purchasers be published by the Commissioner of Crown Lands in such newspapers as he may select.


24th August, 1848.
The undersigned agent, appointed by His Excellency the Governor-General for the settlement of the Crown Lands in the townships of Glenelg, Bentinck, Brant, Greenock and Kincardine, in the county of Waterloo, hereby gives notice to all persons willing and having means of locating therein, that his office is temporarily fixed at or near "Hunter's," on the Garafraxa Road, where he will receive the application of the settlers, every day of the week between the hours of nine and five o'clock, from the 15th day of September next.

Fifty acres of land will be given to any settler eighteen years old and a subject of Her Majesty, who will present himself, provided with a certificate of probity and sobriety, signed by known and respectable persons and having the means of providing for himself until the produce of his land is sufficient to maintain him. The bearer of that certificate shall mention to the agent (who will keep a registry thereof) his name, age, condition, trade or profession, whether he is married, and, if so, the name and age of his wife, how many children he has, the name and age of each of them, where he is from, whether he has somewhere any property, and in what township he wishes to settle.

The conditions of the Location Tickets are : To take possession within a month after the date of the ticket, and put in a state of cultivation at least twelve acres of the land in the course of four years ; to build a house and to reside on the lot until the conditions of settlement are duly fulfilled, after which accomplishment only shall the settlers have the right of obtaining a title of property. Families comprising several settlers entitled to lands, preferring to reside on a single lot, will be exempted from the obligation of building and of residence (except upon the lot on which they reside), provided the required clearing of the land is made on each lot. The non-accomplishment of these conditions will cause the immediate loss of the assigned lot of land, which will be sold or given to another.

Leave will be granted to those who shall have obtained a lot gratis to purchase three other lots on the road (150 acres), at eight shillings per acre for ready money, so as to complete their two hundred acres in all.

The land intended to be settled is of the very best description and is well timbered and watered.

The roads will be opened on a breadth of 66 feet, and the land on each side will be divided in lots of 50 acres, each to be gratuitously given.

Beside the principal road, there will be others (one on each side of the principal road) marked out on the whole extent of the territory, and on which free locations of 50 acres will be made. But as the Government only intend to meet the expenses of survey on those additional roads the grantees will have to open the road in front of their location.

The most direct route to reach the agency on the Garafraxa Road is by way of Guelph and Elora, in the Wellington District.

Crown Lands Agent.


BY-LAW. To dissolve the Union of Townships comprised within the. County of Bruce, and form the same into separate Municipalities.

WHEREAS all the townships within the County of Bruce, one of the United Counties of Huron and Bruce, are at present formed into one Municipality, having the Township of Kincardine as the Senior Township ; and whereas the same is found to be very injurious and inconvenient for the inhabitants of these Townships ; and whereas since the same has been formed into one Municipality, the population within it has greatly increased, entitling the Union to be subdivided into separate Municipalities; and whereas in terms of numerous petitions from the inhabitants, freeholders and householders of many of the said Townships, signed by at least two-thirds of the same, it is set forth that there are at least one hundred names of resident freeholders on last year's Collector's Boll, and in others there are over fifty and less than one hundred names of resident freeholders on their respective Collector's Bolls for last year, and that from their position with regard to streams and other natural obstructions, it is very inconvenient to be united to the Township of Kincardine for Municipal purposes; and whereas, it is expedient by one general By-law to dissolve the present Union of Townships comprised within the County of Bruce, and form them into separate Municipalities.

1. Be it therefore enacted by the Municipal Council of the United Counties of Huron and Bruce by virtue of the powers vested in them by the Upper Canada Municipal Corporation Acts, and it is hereby enacted by the authority of the same, that from and after the first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty-four, the union of Townships comprised within the County of Bruce shall be dissolved, and the aftermentioned Townships shall be separated from the said Union, and shall from and after that date form separate and distinct Municipalities.

2. And be it enacted, that the Township of Huron shall form one Municipality, and that William Gamble, Merchant, shall be the returning officer to hold the first election, the election to be holden at the School House, Pine River, Lake Shore Road.

3. And be it enacted, that the Townships of Brant and Carrick, be united for municipal purposes and form one municipality, the Township of Brant to be the senior Township, and that John Eckford be the returning officer to hold the first election, the election to be holden at Mr. Joseph Walker's Tavern, in the Township of Brant.

4. And be it enacted, that the Townships of Greenock and Culross be united for Municipal purposes, and form one Municipality, the Township of Greenock to be the senior Township, and that John B. Ritchie be the returning officer to hold the first election, the election to be holden at George Cromar's house, No. 30, North Range, Durham Road.

5. And be it enacted, that the Townships of Arran and Elderslie be united for Municipal purposes, and form one Municipality, the Township of Arran to be the senior Township, and that Archibald Boy be the returning officer to hold the first election, the election to be holden at the said Archibald Boy's house in the Township of Arran.

6. And be it enacted, that the Township of Saugeen be a separate Municipality, and that Alexander McNabb be returning officer to hold the first election, the election to be holden at Belcher's Tavern, Village of Southampton, in the Township of Saugeen.

7. And be it enacted, that the Townships of Bruce and Kinloss remain joined to the Township of Kincardine.

WILLIAM CHALK, Warden, Huron and Bruce.
Passed 21st Sept., 1853.
D. H. Ritchie, County Cleric.


"On the Communication of the Honorable the Commissioner of Crown Lands, dated 28th April instant, respecting the appointment of a local Agent for the sale of Crown and School lands in the County of Bruce, who should reside in the Town of Southampton, and which communication is as follows, namely: 'The Commissioner of Crown Lands respectfully suggests to His Excellency the Governor-General in Council, the necessity of appointing a local Agent for the sale of Crown and School lands in the County of Bruce, to reside at the Town of Southampton, at the mouth of the River Saugeen. To this part of the Province public attention has been very generally directed as affording a large field for the settlement of the emigrants and for the rising families of the farmers living in the more populous parts of the Province, and hundreds of persons have gone and settled themselves even before the surveyors have been able to divide the lands into farm lots. Much difficulty is expected to arise unless these lands are offered for sale and settlement at an early day. It would therefore be very desirable at once to appoint a resident agent there, whose duties would be to sell the Crown and School lands in that County, to superintend the making of the two roads already ordered to be opened, and to issue timber licenses on the north shore of Lake Huron and Superior. The undersigned would suggest that Mr. Alex. McNabb be appointed to such agency. Mr. McNabb at present holds the position of Head Book Keeper in the Department of Crown Lands, and is a very efficient officer.'

"The Committee respectfully advise that the proposed agency be established and that should such be your Excellency's pleasure, Mr. McNabb be the Agent, on the conditions specified, and the Committee further advise that the several suggestions of the Commissioner be approved and acted on."



Toronto, June 27th, 1851. Notice is hereby given, that certain Lands (appropriated for School purposes under the Statute 12 Vic. Chap. 200) in the Townships of Brant and Kincardine, and in the Villages of Penetangore and Southampton, in the County of Bruce, will be open for sale, upon application to Alexander McNabb, Esquire, on and after the fifth August next.

Lists of lots and information as to the terms and conditions of Sale can be obtained at the Office of the Commissioner of Crown Lands.

The Globe, the Guelph Advertiser and the Huron Signal will insert the above once a week until the day of Sale.

Appearing in Can. Gazette, July 19th, 1851, and immediate subsequent issues.


Quebec, July 23rd, 1852. Public notice is hereby given, that the strip of land situate North of the Townships of Arran and Derby, in the Counties of Grey and Bruce, and extending nearly from Sydenham to Saugeen, having recently been surrendered by the Chippawa Indians of Saugeen and Owen Sound, to Her Majesty the Queen in trust, to be sold for their benefit, and having been surveyed and laid out into Farm Lots, for the purpose of settlement, is now open for sale, excepting Lots, Nos. 28, 29, 30, 31, and 32, subject to the condition of a road (now projected) being constructed through the whole length of the tract of such width and in such direction as may be hereafter determined upon. Intending purchasers will, on application to John McLean, Esquire, of Guelph, the authorized Agent for the Indian Department, be informed of the price per acre, and terms of payment.

By Command,
Superintendent General.



Quebec, 30th July, 1852.

Notice is hereby given, that the School Lands in the Counties of Bruce, Grey and Huron, are now open for sale to actual settlers on the following terms, viz.: The price to be ten shillings per acre, payable in Ten Annual Instalments, with interest; the first instalment to be paid upon receiving authority to enter upon the land. Actual occupation to be immediate and continuous; the land to be cleared at the rate of five acres annually for every hundred acres during the first five years; a dwelling-house, at least 18 by 26, to be erected ; the timber to be reserved until the land has been paid for in full and patented, and to be subject to any general timber duty thereafter; a License of occupation, not assignable without permission to be granted ; the sale and the license of occupation to become null and void in case of neglect or violation of any of the conditions; the settler to be entitled to obtain a Patent upon complying with all the conditions ; not more than two hundred acres to be sold to any one person on these terms.

[The following resolution of the United Counties Council, passed June 24th, 1854, makes evident that the conditions mentioned in above advertisement were not in all cases successfully enforced : " That these Counties, in a financial point of view, are suffering serious loss in consequence of parties having got possession of a large portion of the most valuable lands in the County of Bruce, and by means of misstatements, insincere promises to the Crown Lands Agent, and other unfair means, have contrived to evade this wise condition imposed by Statute, namely, actual and continuous settlement, and thereby retarding the progress of improvement and its consequent increase of population and industry, which alone is the true source of individual and popular wealth. For this cause, and with a view to the prosperity of these Counties and its consequent most desirable increase of revenue, it is most judicious that the Warden be required to petition (at as early a period as may be) the Governor and Council, praying that such measures may be adopted as will make sure the practical performance of the evident good intentions of the Legislature as displayed in the 5th section of the Act 16 Vic, Chap. 159."]

First published in The. Canada Gazette, July 31st, 1852.
All papers in the province to copy for one month.



Quebec, 17th August, 1854.

Notice is hereby given that the undermentioned lands (set apart for school purposes under Statute 12, Vic. Chap. 200) in the County of Bruce, U. C., will be open for sale to actual settlers, upon application to Alex. McNabb, Esquire, at Southampton, in the Township of Saugeen, on and after the twenty-seventh of next month, on the following terms, viz.: The price to be Ten shillings per acre, payable in Ten equal annual Instalments, with interest : the first instalment to be paid upon receiving authority to enter upon the land. Actual occupation to be immediate and continuous : the land to be cleared at the rate of two acres annually for each hundred acres, during the first five years; a dwelling house, at least sixteen feet by eighteen, to be erected: the timber to be reserved until the land has been paid for in full and patented, and to be subject to any general timber duty thereafter; a License of occupation not assignable without permission will be granted : the sale and License of occupation to become null and void in case of neglect or violation of any of the conditions : the settler to be entitled to obtain a Patent upon complying with all the conditions, not more than two hundred acres to be  sold to any one person on these terms. (What here follows regarding description of lands is condensed from notice as printed.)

Township of Bruce—Lake Range, Lots 11-70 and rest of Township surveyed in Concessions.
Township of Kinloss—1 Concession, Lots 1 to 80.

Also: The undermentioned Crown Lands. Subject to the same conditions of Actual settlement and terms of payment, at 7s. 6d. per acre.

Township of Carrick—All farm lots therein.
Township of Culross—All farm lots therein.
Township of Greenock—Lots on second Concession and all North of same.
Township of Kinloss—Lots on 2nd Concession to 12th Concession inclusive, and on Range 3 North and Range 3 South of the Durham Road.

Population of the County of Bruce according to the Census taken in the following years:


Equalized Assesment of the different Townships in the County of Bruce in each of the years from 1851 to 1857 inclusive. Showing the relative development of each during the first years after settlement:


List of places in the County of Bruce which have been before known by various designations, nick-names or otherwise, during their history. These several names may be found in this work.



At a meeting of the special committee appointed by the Legislature, held 2nd December, 1869, to inquire into the merits of the petitions from residents of Bruce, respecting the claims for the continuance of money for local improvement from the Land Improvement Fund, Crown Lands Agent, Alex. McNabb, gave the following evidence:

I was Crown Lands Agent for the County of Bruce from 1851. The county began to settle up in 1854, and it continued settling up rapidly for the subsequent five or six years. The lands, excepting three townships, were school lands—the school lands were not the best lands. We had several applications from settlers to purchase. In the petitions presented to the House he recognized the hands of many of the original purchasers; although some of them came in lately and some are assignees of the original purchasers. Messrs. Gillies, Brown, Adair, Eckford, Rae and Rowe were original purchasers.

Mr. Blake having read the evidence given by Mr. Adair, Mr. McNabb referred back to his original instructions. He said when he first went up he told Mr. Price, the commissioner, that roads were essential before they could open up the country and facilitate settlement. The difficulty arose how money for that purpose was to be obtained. The question was fully considered and at length it was decided that a tax or fee of 30s. should be raised upon every 200 acres sold, and 20s. upon every 100 acres in the township of Brant. A sum of £1,500 was advanced, to be repaid from the fee fund, and he was instructed to enter into conjunction with Mr. Jackson, who was then agent in Grey. He took charge of that portion of the road from the Durham Road to the village of Paisley. He then took charge of the balance of the road to the Saugeen River. This forms part of the Elora Road. Another road was opened with the assistance of Mr. Jackson. In August, 1852, he received instructions to stay all sales. In September, 1852, he received instructions to open sales in certain townships. The only further instructions he received were in 1857, to keep the returns of each township separate under Crown, Clergy, paid School Reserves. The roads referred to were completed at an expenditure of £1,800—an additional £300 having been sanctioned by Mr. Rolfe, the commissioner who succeeded Mr. Price. Mr. McNabb had received a private letter from Mr. M. Cameron in 1852, which had been mislaid. It was private, but he thought it was intended to inform the settlers. It referred to the passage of a Land Act and contained an intimation that the price of land would be reduced and to allow a payment of 2s. 6d. out of purchase money for the purpose of creating a fund to effect improvements. He knew of the passage of the Act in 1853 and was aware of the clause with reference to the Improvement Bund. Beyond the letter referred to he had had no intimation from the Government. In his own mind he considered that the money would go towards opening up new roads and repairing those already constructed. Shortly after Mr. David Gibson, Government Superintendent of Colonization Roads, came to the county with reference to the opening up of roads.

Mr. Richards objected to this evidence, but if the committee intended to allow everything to be given in evidence he should say no more.

Mr. McNabb had frequent conversations with Mr. Gibson, who led him to believe that the road would be opened up through the county and paid for through that fund.

Mr. McNabb, in selling lands, alluded to this whenever the subject came up, which it frequently did. He then explained the object of the fund—that in consequence of the Land Act of the Legislature of 1853, the Government had power to appropriate towards opening roads in the county one-fourth of the proceeds of the purchase of school lands and one-fifth of the crown lands. He did not tell them that the government would appropriate it, but that the Government had power to appropriate it. Subsequently Mr. McNabb said that he had told settlers that they would have the benefit of that fund—that is, that the county would have the benefit of it. He did state to them that although the price of the land was 10s. it was virtually only 7s. 6d., because there would be 2s. 6d. expended in roads and bridges which they would otherwise have to pay themselves. That was his own honest belief, and in proof Mr. Gibson was sent up to complete the roads. The subject of the backwardness of the roads was constantly mentioned as an obstacle to settlement by intending settlers. When this occurred he always referred to the Act of Parliament, and to Mr. Gibson being in the county laying out the roads. He thought the opening of the roads facilitated settlement. He did not know that his statements had any such influence. It may have had such influence, but he could not say. He mentioned it to show that the settlers would have good roads. Some settlers came to him and went away without settling; but it was a subject of complaint. He had complained of it himself. He had sold to Mr. Adair, but did not recollect the conversation he had with him. Mr. Adair's evidence was read to Mr. McNabb, who said he had no doubt it was true if Mr. Adair said so, but he had no recollection. He had had thousands of sales, and it was impossible to recollect the conversation he had with all of the applicants. He did not remember any of the conversation, but such was his respect for Mr. Sinclair and the others who had given evidence, that he could not question them. All intending purchasers seemed much interested in the fund. He always led them to believe that one-fourth or one-fifth of the proceeds was the amount to be returned, and Mr. Gibson frequently had conversations in the same strain. He was quite satisfied in his own mind that the settlers would get the benefit of this money, and he spoke of it as strongly as he felt himself. He had thrown his lot in among them and felt a common interest. The opinion generally prevailed among the settlers that they would have this fourth or fifth. There was no doubt entertained whatever. The bulk of the settlement of the county did not, in his opinion, take place upon the strength of his assurance. He could not have had conversations with so many people. He was also agent of the bank. It was all one office. The same conversations were held there when people came to pay their deposits. He felt that when the clause was omitted in the Act of 1859 it was a breach of faith. He thought the Government had been pledged, and that was also the impression of the settlers. The settlers never gave up the hope that justice would be done them by the restoration of the fund. He remembered an election address signed by Malcolm Cameron in 1854 referring to the fact of their having obtained a Land Act which reduced the price of land to 10s., and gave a fourth to public improvements. He could give no other information about the other counties. He considered the Land Act of 1853 to be a general Act for the province.


The following report of the Land Improvement Fund Committee was presented to the House:

The Committee have held many meetings and examined numerous witnesses and papers, and carefully considered the matters referred to them, and they find unanimously: 

1. That on the 7th of July, 1852, the Government of the day passed an Order in Council in the following words: Upon the memorandum submitted by the Commissioner of Crown Lands relative to the School Fund in the counties of Grey and Bruce, the Committee of Council recommend that the reduction in price from 12s. 6d. to 10s. an acre, as suggested, be approved, and that the regulations laid down in said report be approved, and further, that a measure be submitted to Parliament to authorize the expenditure of a sum equal to 2s. 6d. per acre of the purchase money on the improvement of the roads and harbors within the said counties, and the Committee further recommend that not more than 200 acres be sold to any one individual except upon special recommendation of the Commissioner of Crown Lands, approved by His Excellency in Council.

2. That by the Land Act of 1853 it was enacted that it should be lawful for the Governor in Council to reserve out of the proceeds of the School Lands in any county a sum not exceeding one-fourth of such proceeds as a fund for public improvements within the county, to be expended under the direction of the Governor in Council, and also to reserve out of the proceeds of unappropriated Crown Lands in any county a sum not exceeding one-fifth as a fund for public improvements within the county to be expended under the direction of the Governor in Council.

3. That at this period there were large tracts of Crown and School Lands in various counties settled; and it was the policy of the country to encourage the settlement thereof as much as possible.

4. That one of the greatest obstacles to settlement was the want of roads and bridges, and it was in order to induce the speedy settlement of the country by providing means for the construction of such works that the said Order and Act were passed.

5. That shortly after the passing of the said Act large numbers of persons purchased and settled on the vacant Crown and School lands, and within a very few years they were well settled, four-fifths of the School lands having been settled in 1853, 1854 and 1855.

6. That the general belief and opinion of the settlers was, that they would be entitled to have one-fourth of the price of School lands, and one-fifth of the price of Crown lands, expended within the municipalities, on the construction of roads and bridges.

7. That this belief and opinion was entertained by several of the Crown Land Agents who sold the lands.

8. That several of such agents stated to the intending settlers, that if they became settlers, one-fourth of the price of School lands, and one-fifth of the price of Crown lands, would be expended as aforesaid, and that thus the price of their lands was practically less than the stated price by these amounts, which would otherwise have to be raised by local taxation for the same purposes.

9. That large numbers of settlers purchased on the understanding with the agents stated in the preceding paragraph, especially in the county of Bruce, where the population increased from 2,837 in 1852, to 27,494 in 1861.

10. That the Government of the day, in an Order in Council, dated on the 27th February, A.D. 1855, referred to the Improvement Fund as being established by the Land Act of 1853, and ordered certain expenditure thereon, and in another Order in Council, dated on the 27th of March, A.D. 1855, further assumed the existence and availability of the Fund.

11. That on the 11th December, 1855, the Government of the day, in an Order in Council, referred to the said Fund in the words following: "The Minister of Agriculture also brings under your Excellency's notice that numerous applications have been made for aid from the Improvement Fund, created by the 14th section of the Land Act, 16th Vic. Chap. 159, which authorizes one-fourth of the proceeds of the sale of School lands, and one-fifth of those of Crown lands, to be expended in the several counties in which the sales are affected.

"That none of this Fund has as yet been set apart from the sales hitherto made, although an Order in Council has been passed for the expenditure of £25,000 thereon. That it appears requisite that the Crown Lands Department should be directed to apprise the Inspector General of the amount at the credit of each county for proceeds of sale of both Crown and School lands so that the proportions accruing to the Improvement Fund may be set apart by the Receiver General for that purpose. Out of the Improvement Fund referred to he recommends that the following sums be appropriated to the objects hereafter stated, viz.: (Stating several applications)."

12. That on the 28th day of July, A.D. 1856, the Government of the day passed an Order in Council in the following words : In reference to the Fund for Public Improvement formed under the 14th Section of the Act 16 Vie. Chap. 59, the Committee recommend that the funds derived from the sale of lands in each particular township or other municipality, and applicable to the purposes of the Fund, and not already apportioned, be applied to the making, maintaining, altering or improving the roads or bridges in each of those townships or other municipalities respectively, and be for this purpose distributed and disposed of, by and through the Municipal Council of each such township or other municipality, each such Council to report to the Bureau of Agriculture the manner of expenditure of all such moneys, on the 1st days of January and July in each year, and at any intermediate time within ten days after having been called upon so to do by that Department.

13. That on several occasions during the years 1857, 1858, 1859 and 1860, the Government of the day, by Orders in Council, appropriated to purposes of local improvement moneys arising out of the Improvement Fund.

14. That books were opened in the Crown Lands Department, labelled "Road Improvement Fund," with a heading to each page in the words, "Statements of the amount available for public improvements on sales of Crown lands, under 1C Vic. Chap. 159, Sec. 14, in each township in the county of---------," in which books the accounts of the fund were kept.

15. That on the 6th March, A.D. 1861, the Government of the day made an Order in Council in the following words: "On the recommendation of the Honorable the Commissioner of Crown Lands, the Committee advise that the Order in Council of 7th December, 1855, authorizing the payment of the Improvement Fund created by the Land Act, 16 Vic. Chap. 159, be rescinded." But no order has been made rescinding that of 28th July, 1856.

16. That no part of the Improvement Fund accruing since the 6th March, 1861, has been applied to the purposes of the Fund.

17. That large sums of money have, since 6th March, 1861, been received by the Government of the late Province of Canada from sales of Crown and School Lands, made between the date of the passing of the Land Act and the 6th March, 1861.

18. That further large sums have been received on account of such sales by the Government of Ontario, and further large sums remain due on account of such sales.

19. That large sums have been expended and large debts incurred by the various municipalities for the construction of roads and which would otherwise have been in whole or part conducted by means of the Improvement Fund.

20. The Committee beg leave, lastly, to report that they abstain from stating any opinion or making any recommendation, because they understood the order of reference to confine them to the ascertainment of the facts for the information of the Legislature.

That an idea be had of the amount derived from the Land Improvement Fund, the following figures are given, showing amounts available to various municipalities for the period from 31st December, 1859, to 6th March, 1861:

The loss to the several municipalities arising from the action of the Government in withholding payments, was the amount due to each from collections made from March 6th, 1861, to July 1st, 1867. Payments were made to the various municipalities of the principal and interest, compounded at 5 per cent., under 45 Vic. Chap. 3-49 Vic. Chap. 6. and 54 Vic. Chap. 9. In 1886 $31,889.69 was so paid to municipalities in Bruce on account of interest.


The Committee on the destitution existing in the County of Bruce, consisting of Messrs. Eraser, Gillies, Brown, Gunn, and Brocklebank, having duly considered the lamentable state of the county, and having consulted the Crown Land Agent and others, beg most respectfully to report:

That they find that the deficiency in breadstuffs in this county prevail to a most serious and alarming extent.

That this deficiency arises directly from causes beyond human control. That your Committee have too good reason to believe that a very large portion of the prevailing destitution requires immediate relief, and that, in many cases, no time can with safety be lost.

Your Committee are of opinion that the most desirable and feasible mode of relieving this distress, will be, by passing By-laws in the suffering Townships, authorizing the issue of Debentures payable in five years, unless the Government is willing to advance the whole sum from the Improvement Fund without the issue of Debentures, in the following proportion, namely: Bruce, £1,000; Kincardine, £1,000; Huron, £1,000; Elderslie, £600; Kinloss, £500; Carrick, £500; Culross, £500; Greenock, £500; Southampton, £500; Kincardine Village, £500; Saugeen, £500; Arran, £500; and Brant, £500; mortgaging the Improvement Fund for the final payment of such Debentures. That such sum of money so raised shall be expended in opening up leading lines of roads in the respective municipalities, such work to be given out in small contracts to the needy and destitute, and to be paid for only in grain or flour, to be purchased by the municipalities, stored up in convenient localities, and distributed under their jurisdiction.

That the principal leading roads through the several municipalities calculated to benefit the greatest number, be opened and improved.

Your Committee strongly recommend that this Council do petition Government in reference to this matter, authorizing the Provisional Warden to proceed to Toronto forthwith, in order to lay before Government and Parliament, if necessary, the state of affairs in this county, and to endeavor to obtain a sum of money in advance of whichever scheme may be adopted by Government for the relief of immediate distress, such sum, if received, to be handed over to the suffering Townships in proportion to the sums set down after each. Your Committee further beg to recommend that each Reeve shall, in his own Township, inculcate the absolute necessity of strict moderation and prudent management on the part of the people, as well in regard to unnecessary indulgences, as in reference to their general habit of living.

All of which is respectfully submitted.

Chairman. Committee Boom, 5th Feb., 1859.




The following list contains the names of all members of the Independent Companies, (the Companies of which the 32nd Bruce Battalion was composed upon its organization on the 14th September, 1866), to whom has been awarded the Canadian General Service Medal for services rendered in the suppression of the Fenian Raid of 1866.

The 32nd Battalion was not called out on active service in 1870 and no medal, therefore, has been awarded for that year.

Among other residents in the County who received Fenian Raid medals for service in other corps than the 32nd Battalion are : Thomas Dixon, H. P. O'Connor (deceased), David Traill, John Henderson, W. A. McLean (deceased), W. A. Green (deceased), and Norman Robertson.

The following list contains the names of all members of the 32nd Regiment who have been awarded the Colonial Auxiliary Forces officers' Decoration or Long Service Medal respectively, and whose decorations or medals have been engraved "32nd Reg't."

There are, probably, others who have been awarded the distinction, who counted time served in the 32nd Regiment towards the necessary qualifying of twenty year3, but whose last service was performed in some other corps.

C. A. F. officers' decoration.
....... Lieut.-Colonel J. H. Scott.
Surgeon-Major De W. H. Martyn.
P. M. and Hon.-Major J. Henderson.
Captain J. Douglas.
Lieut. C. A. Richards.
C. A. F. long service medal.
P. M. and Hon.-Major A. B. Klein.
Q. M. and Hon.-Major D. Robertson.
Captain T. Mitchell.
Q. M. Sergeant J. A. Hogg.
Bandmaster D. Fisher.
Sergeant C. Hurford.
Sergeant H. D. Wettlaufer.
Private D. Bell.



To His Honor the Lieutenant Governor in Council:

We the undersigned Commissioners appointed under ''The County Council Act, 1896," by the Lieutenant Governor in Council, to divide the County of Bruce into County Council Divisions, report that having duly heard and considered all the evidence adduced before us, and having had due regard to the provisions of the said Act, we have divided the said County into nine County Council Divisions for the purposes of the said Act, as follows:

1. The First County Council Division to consist of the Townships of Albemarle, Eastnor, Lindsay, Bury St. Edmunds, and polling sub-division number five of the township of Amabel and the town of Wiarton.

2. The Second Division to consist of the Township of Amabel, except polling sub-division number five, the Township of Arran and the Village of Tara.

3. The Third Division to consist of the Township of Elderslie, polling sub-division number five of the Township of Greenock, and the Villages of Chesley and Paisley.

4. The Fourth Division to consist of the Township of Brant and the Town of Walkerton.

5. The Fifth Division to consist of the Townships of Carrick and polling sub-division number six of the Township of Culross.

6. The Sixth Division to consist of the Township of Culross, except polling sub-division number six, and the Township of Greenock, except polling sub-division number five, and of the village of Teeswater.

7. The Seventh Division to consist of the Townships of Huron and Kinloss and the Village of Lucknow.

8. The Eighth Division to consist of the Town of Kincardine, the Township of Kincardine and the Village of Tiverton.

9. The Ninth Division to consist of the Townships of Bruce and Saugeen and the Villages of Port Elgin and Southampton.

All of which is respectfully submitted.

Dated at the Town of Walkerton, in the said County of Bruce, the first day of July, A.D. 1896.




At Sydenham (Owen Sound), on Tuesday, the 2nd September next, and following days, at 10 o'clock a.m., will be sold at public auction about 144,800 acres of Wild Land, consisting of the Townships of Keppel and Amabel, and the Town Plot of Southampton on the North side of the Saugeen River, being composed of the Southerly portion of the Saugeen Peninsula, adjoining the Townships of Arran and Derby.

The farm lands wil be put up to sale in lots or parcels of nearly 100 acres without any conditions of settlement duty excepting those fronting on the line of road laid out from Sydenham to the Pishing Islands, and the new line of road from Sydenham to Saugeen on these the Department will impose a condition that the purchaser shall, within one year after the date of purchase, cut and remove all the Timber from the centre of the road to the depth of ninety feet.

The valuable property within the Township of Amabel known as the Palls or Mill Privilege, situated on the River Au Sable, comprising an area of 1,100 acres, will be sold in one block.

The Town and Park Lots in Saugeen will also be put up to sale at the same time.

The terms will be one-third of the whole purchase price in cash at the time of sale, and the balance to be paid in six equal annual instalments, with interest at 6 per cent. per annum.

The Department reserves to itself the power to attach to any lot, at the time of sale, the obligation on the part of the purchaser to pay for any improvements which may have been made on such lot by squatters. The fact that such improvements had been made before the date of this advertisement must be proved to the satisfaction of the Department before the 15th August next.

An Agent or person to conduct the sale will be in attendance at Owen Sound from and after the 20th August for the purpose of affording to intending purchasers such information as may be required.

Superintendent General.

Indian Department, Toronto, 18th July, 1856.

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