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Agriculture has evolved from the primitive subsistence farming of 200 years ago to the huge agri-conglomerates of the midwest today. Small groups of local farmers started to organize. First it was ploughing matches in the 1830s to demonstrate skills, then the formation of agricultural societies to exchange knowledge. Then the fairs were organized as a social and educational event as well as a marketing opportunity.

By the last decade of the 19th century, some dairy farmers in Scarborough began to think a little deeper. These visionaries looked at their costs and at the balance between supply and demand.  On April 18 1892, Alex McCowan chaired the inaugural meeting of what was to evolve into the milk marketing board movement in Ontario. Thus began the modern age of agri-marketing in Canada.

Here is a snapshot from 1916:

To Raise Price of Milk

The Milk Producers' Association, at a meeting in Toronto on Monday, decided to raise the price of milk for the ensuing seven months to $2 per eight gallon can. The price last winter for the same period was $1.65 per can. The high price of feed has caused the increase. Bran, shorts, and gluten meal have all gone up, selling a third higher, while ensilage corn is a short crop. Mr. E.H. Stonehouse, president of the association, said that the farmers would welcome a Royal Commission to arbitrate the question, as the farmers did not desire an unreasonable profit. The farmer was now getting 3 1/2 cents per quart, while the dealer was selling milk at 8 and 9 cents.

The Scarboro Heights Record V11 #7


James Neilson Dead

He Was One of the Pioneers of York County
and Well Known In Business Circles

One of York County's pioneers, Mr. James Neilson, Scarboro', died at the residence of his nephew, John Neilson, Scarboro' village yesterday at the ripe age of 77 years. The deceased was not only one of the best-known men throughout the country, but was also well known to the older business men of this city.

It was early in the '30s that the deceased came to this country from Scotland with his parents, where they took up land on the lake shore in Scarboro'. All the trials that were known to the early settlers of Canada were experienced by this worthy family, but by perseverance and industy they were in a few years in easy circumstances.

The deceased, after a few years' work on the homestead, took up farming on his own account near by and soon accumulated sufficient money to enter the grain business in this city about 20 years ago. He entered into partnership with the well-known firm of Antoine V. Delaporte & Co., Front Street, the business proving highly profitable. In this business he became acquainted with every farmer within York and adjoining counties. Having accumulated a large amount of property, which required his attention, he retired from the grain business a few years ago, but spent a good deal of his time in the city, always making the old grain house his headquarters.

He was a man who always attended to his own business strictly, never meddling in politics or municipal affairs. He was a Presbyterian, a bachelor and a most worthy man in every particular.

The deceased had four brothers and two sisters, the only one now living being a sister residing in Scarboro'. His father died some years ago at the age of 91.


Left a Quarter of a Million

Will of the Later James Neilson of
Scarboro Township Entered
for Probate Yesterday

The will of Mr. James Neilson, late of Scarboro, and formerly of the firm of A.V. Delaporte & Co, grain and produce, was yesterday entered for probate.

The estate consists of $3844 book debts and promissory notes, $10,167 in mortgages, $24,562 in bank stock and shares, and $221,311 cash in bank.

The executors, Robert Kilgour and Alex. Neilson, a brother, are requested to provide for Helen Neilson, sister of the deceased, as long as she lives. Two nieces, Agnes Neilson Kennedy and Jane Neilson Jackes, receive $10,000 each, and the remainder of the estate is divided equally amongst three nephews, Alexander, John and James Neilson.

The Scarboro Heights Record V12 #4