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Pioneer - KIRKWOOD, William

Biographical Sketches of
Early Settlers of Wellington County

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Information from: Historical Atlas of the County of Wellington, Ontario.
Toronto: Historical Atlas Publishing Co., 1906

KIRKWOOD, William (d.), was b. at Castle Semple estate, near Howood, Renfrewshire, Scot., and d. in 1850, age 56. William Kirkwood, Freeholder of Howood, Scot., sailed for Canada on Young Norval in 1820, and was eight weeks crossing. He left his family in Toronto, and, with his son John, pushed west in search of land. He located on lot 2, con 6, Caledon Tp., on the town line of Erin, where he put up a shanty, and the following year moved up his family from Toronto. They were obliged to walk most of the way, as the bush was impassable for teams. They crossed the Credit River on a log. At the time of his death at the comparatively early age of 56, he had a most comfortable home. He was a Presbyterian, and a Liberal. He m. Margaret McDonald in Scotland. Issue: John, Mrs. Wm. Beer, Erin Tp.; William (d.) and James (twins), Erin Tp.; David, Brampton, Co, Clerk, Peel Co.; Mrs. Daniel Douglas, Norval, and Mrs. George Thompson (d.), Toronto; Mrs. Creighton (d.), Mrs. Trout, (d.); Mrs. McLachlan (d.), and Mrs. A. Near (d.).

John b. in Howood Scot., 1808; d. 1880, age 72. He worked in the cotton mills for about three years before he came to Canada with his parents in 1820. He helped his father to put up the shanty on his place before the family were brought up from Toronto. In 1832 he bought 50 acres of lot 1, con. 6, Caledon and later the remaining 50 acres and finished clearing them. He was a good business man, and brought the first cylinder separator into the district, where he operated it for years, and at his father's death he retained the homestead. He was Township Councillor, and Deputy Reeve for years of Caledon Tp., and served as Deputy Reeve in the old Home District Council. About 1856 he was appointed a Magistrate, and at Confederation, Mr. Kirkwood and Isaac Harris, of Caledon, were the first to be re-appointed, so that oaths, etc., could be administered. He was one of the workers in the Liberal party, and was active in the support of the Presbyterian church. He m. Margaret, dau. of Alex. Patullo of Caledon, who d. in 1898, age 84. Issue: William (d.), Brampton; Mrs. T. H. Lee (d.), Vancouver; Alexander (d.), and Mrs. James Buckham (d.), Chinguacousy; Mrs. George Sharp, and James, Caledon; John and Mrs. Charles Overland, Erin.

John, Jr., b. Caledon in 1849, and went to school to the Rev. Dr. Fletcher, of Hamilton, who was a school teacher of No. 1 Erin. He operated the farm some years before his father's death, when he succeeded to the homestead, where he now resides in a large stone house, one of the finest homes in the section. He also owns 100 acres the east half, lot 3, con. 11, Erin. He has a local reputation as a breeder of Polled Angus cattle, keeping both thoroughbred and graded cattle, which he raises for his own satisfaction, as he likes good stock of all kinds. He is a widely read man, and keeps up with all current events. For about thirty years he has been Postmaster at Rockside. He has been an active worker in the Liberal party, being on local committees at different times. In religion he is a Presbyterian. He m. Alice, dau. of James Sharp of Caledon. Surviving issue: Bessie L. and George S.

James, son of the late William Kirkwood, was b. Scotland in 1817, and d. in 1853, age 36. He set. in Erin in 1840, on the 100 acres lot 4, con. 7. He was an ardent sympathizer with Mackenzie in his troubles against the Family Compact. Like all of the Kirkwoods, he was a Liberal. He d. of sunstroke at the early age of 36, just as he had gained a good start in life. In 1840 he m. Agnes Davidson. Issue: William and John, U.S.; James, David, Thomas, Ann J.(d.), and Mrs. D. McGregor, Caledon.

James was b. in Erin in 1845. He has been a leading man in the township for years. He was a Councillor for twelve years, commencing in 1870, being successively Councillor, Deputy Reeve, for five years and Reeve three years. In 1891 he was elected M.P.P. for East Wellington, and was in the House for three years. In 1902 he was appointed Police Magistrate for the unorganized district of East Nipissing, which position he held for three years, until removed by the present Whitney Government. He was Sec'y. of Erin Agr. Society, and Sec'y of East Wellington Farmer's Institute for some years. He is noted as a man of pronounced opinions in temperance questions and is a total abstainer He is an Elder of the Presbyterian church n and in politics a Liberal. In 1871 he m. Agnes McDonald. Issue: Annie, Mrs. F. Brydon, Erin; Violet, Alexander, teller in Traders Bank, Rockwood, and Herbert.

From: Historical Atlas of the County of Wellington, Ontario. Toronto:Historical Atlas Publishing Co., 1906





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