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Historical Inquiry and Communication
Farming at Warden / Eglinton
Excerpts from the 1892 Diary of Alexander McCowan
Founder of Ontario's First Milk Marketing Organization


Expectations: The student will:

  • formulate questions; interpret and analyze information gathered through research; articulate assumptions; and then communicate results of their inquiry

  • describe some skills that are essential to a community and business builder

  • consider chronology as an important part of the analysis of information

  • describe the decision-making process regarding reuse of materials

  • describe the relationship between business profits and spending money on improvements

  • describe the importance of good decision-making

  • describe the importance of economic institutions in Ontario


Rich Task Exercises:

First read the entries on this page (below), all pages that are linked to the Agriculture  and Food Supply main pages, as well as any relevant information that appears at other linked pages at various locations in the text. You should also go to Search This Site and perform searches using words such as "cattle", "barn", "farming".   Use your language and thinking skills to define other valuable search criteria.  Refer also to the Subject Index and "Latest" pages. 

In completing the assignment below, be sure to address the Expectations above. As usual you must clearly state all of your assumptions. The essence of an assumption is to remove a bit of uncertainty in order to make your problem easier to solve. Of course, all assumptions must be both valid and reasonable -- otherwise your solution won't be!

  1. Describe the crops which were grown on the "root ground".

  2. Alex McCowan went to several auction sales at local farms where he "clerked".  What do you think "clerking" involved? What qualities would a good clerk have? Why was Alex McCowan a good choice for the "clerk" at the sale? Which essential skill was "clerking" all about?

  3. Referring to the March 29 entry, how do you think the milk cooler worked? You should consider the age of the diary in comparison with the first appearance of certain familiar appliances.

  4. Refer to the entries of April 29 and 30.  Write the script for a scene where Alex and George are debating the demolition of "the old log house". One wants to keep it for certain purposes and the other disagrees. Both present solid arguments. Then they discuss what building materials can or should be saved from the old log house.  Be sure that they discuss what future purpose certain old materials could have.

  5. Describe some of the improvements that Alex is making around the farm (eg new equipment, more cattle etc.) Discuss these improvements in connection with milk production and a desire to improve farm income.

  6. Write the dialogue for a drama scene… Alex, George and George's wife, Maggie, are discussing options for looking after Alex' baby, Georgie. What important issues are they dealing with as they reason out a decision regarding the well-being and the future of an infant?  You will be thinking at an emotional level as you write this dialogue.

  7. Write the script for the first milk meeting on April 18. The group of farmers discuss the back-breaking farm work, the risks involved in farming, the minimal rewards relative to the risk and hard work and also their future in farming.  

  8. Using any available resources (including people), describe the role of the Ontario Milk Marketing Board (now known as Dairy Farmers of Ontario). Has the board supported the family farm in Ontario? If so, how? What is the future of the milk marketing board and why do you think this is so? Output the results of your analysis to a 300 word essay. List your resources -- both " who" and "what".  (Refer also to the Milk Challenge page.)



In 1892 Alexander McCowan and his older brother George (Geo) were working their father's farms -- Alex on Lot 32 and George on Lot 33, Concession C, Scarborough . Their two farms straddled the present Warden Avenue on the south side of Eglinton -- directly north of the present SATEC@W.A. Porter Collegiate. Their father also owned part of Lot 32 Concession D on the north side of Eglinton.

Alex' "Canadian Pocket Diary for 1892" includes many references to going elsewhere to see "baby".  The very sad explanation is that Alex' baby daughter was motherless. On January 21 1891, Alex had married Georgeanna Ashbridge, sister-in-law of his first cousin, Robert McCowan ("Bob"). She had a daughter, Georgie and, soon after, she died on December 3rd, l89l. Georgeanna was only 35 years old at the time of her death. This diary begins less than a month after Alex becomes a single father, a very busy man as we'll soon see.

For proper care, Georgie was taken to the McCowan Road home of Alex' cousin, Robert McCowan and his wife Hannah, Georgeanna's sister. A logical choice, the baby remained with her aunt until Hannah became very ill. The baby was then taken to stay with John Young and his wife Maggie, Alex' sister.  The Youngs also lived on Warden Ave. but eight miles to the north, near the 14th line in Markham Township . 

One might wonder why the baby did not stay with Alex' brother, George, and his wife, Maggie Thomson, just a short walk across the field from his own house. The answer appears to be part of another tragic story. Maggie and George had already lost two sons as 3 month old infants, James Thomson McCowan and John Alexander McCowan. Their third son, William Porteous McCowan, was less than a year old. Under the circumstances, we can imagine that Maggie and George did not want the responsibility of keeping someone else's infant child.

There are many "characters" in Alex McCowan's diary of 1892. His hired help included Will Carlton, Maggie Boynton, William White, Walter (Wat) Lawsey, and William Porteous.  References to neighbours are many.  Alexander (A) Cook was a milk dealer, meaning that he took the milk from the farmers to the dairies. (Cook's mother was a Porteous, as was Alex McCowan's grandmother.)  Hannah Heron lived on the Archibald Heron farm directly south of George McCowan, where Providence Villa came to be built. In early September she became one of Toronto's earliest electric street car fatalities.

Of Alex' siblings, only Maggie Young and George live locally. His brother James farms in Milton , Ontario. Brothers Robert, William and David all farm in Portage La Prairie, Manitoba. John and Mary also live out west. Alex' cousins on the McCowan side include Bob (Robert) and Will (William) McCowan, Kate (and husband George Chester), Maggie (and husband William Patton), Jit (or Jennie, soon to marry James Neilson) and Mary Ann (or Annie).  As Alex' late mother was Martha Weir, he periodically meets with cousins on that side, Alex Weir in particular.  James George Weir is tragically trampled to death by his horses.

The family of Alex' late wife, Georgeanna Ashbridge, includes her siblings Hannah McCowan, Ann Walton and Jon Ashbridge (and his wife, Hannah Heal). McLure cousins are also mentioned. Georgeanna's parents were Isaac Ashbridge and Ruth Auburn (deceased). The Ashbridges farmed south of Kingston Road at Midland.

Alex' father, James Whiteford McCowan, is now in retirement mode, having two sons working his 220 acres. James' obituary mentions his offspring, including sons "... George and Alexander who live on the homestead, lots 32 and 33, concessions C and D, composed of 220 acres, being two as highly cultivated farms as are to be found in the township...". The great bulk of their farm was south of Eglinton Avenue on both sides of Warden.

Uncle Willie McCowan still farms in northeast Scarborough -- he has both pasture to rent out and money to lend. Alex looks after funeral arrangements for Aunt Elizabeth McCowan Gibson (of whom we know very little else).

As detailed in Alex' 1892 diary, Alex and George helped each other with farm work almost daily. The following sample excerpts not only illustrate a wide variety of farm tasks but also the apparent organizational skills of a community builder. Alex was secretary-treasurer of the Scarborough Agricultural Society and very active with St. Andrew's Church and the Library.  The entries in the diary fascinate, not for what they state, but for what they don't. The seemingly straightforward task of, for example, making out a prize list for Scarborough Fair would have been preceded by many hours of planning and preparation. None of this planning could be handled with a phone call or email. It could take an hour or more just to travel to a meeting. It appears he may have also been a pathmaster at the time for the road work in which he was also involved.

1892 was an important year for Alex' Aunt Jane McCowan Whiteside. Just as Scarborough dairy farmers start to become pre-eminent for milk production leadership in Ontario, the Thomas Whiteside family sells their Kennedy Road farm and moves to a new farm at Innerkip, near Woodstock, an area soon also to become well-known for dairying.

Indeed, this very plain looking diary -- beautiful in it's brevity -- is of national importance for it's very brief entries on April 18 and April 19 1892. As Chairman of a "milk meeting", Alex McCowan presided over the inaugural meeting of a new agricultural organization. This new association of Scarborough dairy farmers was the first in Ontario to engage in the orderly marketing of milk. Seeing that they owed a duty to themselves -- an honest day's pay for an honest day's work -- this association later expanded to become the Toronto Milk Producers Association. Eventually, their vision evolved into the Ontario Milk Marketing Board. Alex McCowan was secretary to the Toronto Milk Producers Association "for so many years", retiring from the position in 1906.

Most of the excerpts below were originally transcribed by Margaret Heron Carr for her publication "James McCowan Family from 1833". Further excerpts from the diary have since been added for the purposes of this web site presentation. To realize the full value of this diary, a complete transcription is required as well as careful analysis in the wider context of farm improvements at the dawn of organized milk marketing.


Sample Excerpts
Diary of Alexander McCowan for 1892

Jan  l   At George's for dinner. Wm Patton and family Aunt Mary (Weir), Kate, Annie (McCowan). John Young and Maggie, Mary Ann and two girls for dinner.  Mary and Maggie Marshall for tea.

Jan 8   Took load of chop to Highland Creek Mill. Called at Bob's (McCowan) and Chester 's on way home.

Jan 14   At Woburn , Agricultural meeting. 60 cts. Called at Bob's.

Jan 19 Cow we got from R. McCowan calved this morning

Jan 21   Went to York for a load of coal.  John Young and Maggie came down just before dinner.  3000 lbs? nut? coal at $5.25.

Jan 22   Went over to George's in morning.  John Young's man called for calf on way home from town, $2.00.  Wrote letter to Mary. (sister in Minnesota )

Jan 23   Posted memorial cards and letter to Mary. Posted memorial cards to David, William and Robert. (Alex's brothers in Portage la Prairie).

Jan 24   Went to church in morning. Church collection 25 cts.  Over to see the baby in afternoon and down to Wm. Patton's.

Jan 26   Went to town with load of straw, 2550 at $10. per ton, $12.75.  l4 below zero in morning.  Very cold windy day.  Letter from Jenny & Dave. (McCowan, brother in Portage )

Jan 28   Went to town with load of hay.  Got new shoe on Nell. Got a new cap 35cts.  D and Maggie Marshall were here at night.

Jan 30  Went to Cook's ice bee. Two loads from Gray's pond

Feb  4   Cut feed at George's in forenoon. A nice day.  Went up to Whitesides in afternoon. Got a letter from Mary.

Feb 6   At Woburn , suit with McKay.  Judge allowed him $20. Went down to Ashbridge's in evening (Georgeanna's farmily). Called at McClewers and left a Memorial Card. (McClure, cousins of the Ashbridges.)

Feb 8   In Toronto with cutter.  Got Georgie's picture. Picture & expenses, $3.05.  Left a Memorial Card at Mrs. Lambert's.  Called at Aunt Lizzie's (Ashbridge) but could not find anybody.

Feb 9   Paid George Chester $3. for paper.  Called at Bob's to see baby.  Went to A. Stirling's for dinner, and W. Gooderham 's in afternoon. Got Jennie shod. 2 new shoes.  Sunday school concert at Junction at night, 80 cts.  Mr. & Mrs. R. Davidson came home with me at 10.

Feb 10   Went over to George's with Mr. & Mrs.Davidson. Stayed for dinner, then drove them to Chesters, Jenny McCowans, Robt McCowan and left them at Mr. Stephenson's at 4.00.  Paid R. Bell $3. for Weekly Empire for Robert, and for carrying mail for George & myself $300.

Feb 11   Took a sample of wheat over for George to take into Keith. In afternoon called at D. Martins & A.W. Forfar.  Paid Dr. Sisley's bill, $60.00. Called at Marshall's.  Met Wm Young on road. He paid me for grain (?) by express, $2.90.  I paid him for 2 plow shears, 80 cts.  Snowed in morning, turned colder at night.

Feb 15   Went to managers' meeting at church in afternoon. Got a ride with R. Martin. Paid John Raynor .75 cts. for going to D. Martin's one day threshing machine.  Very cold at night.

Feb 16   4 below zero.  Went to Toronto with apples.  Got $9.50 for 7 barrels.  Got $2.80 for 4 pair chickens. $1.25 for 3 bags potatoes.  Got sugar, $2.00. Expenses .63  Got 30 bags from Keith to take in load of wheat at $1.00 per bushel.

Feb 17   In town for books for library.  Went in with R. Martin, 45 cts.  R McCowan sick in town.  Tina McClure and sister here. Away just before I got home.

Feb 18   Cleaned up Spring wheat for Keith, 29 bags, and 5 bags for grist.  Filled up a load of chop, and went over to see Bob.   He was just about the same.

Feb 20   Paid Paterson for l l/2 tons coal, $7.90.  Went to town with 7l bushels wheat for George  Keith at $l. per bushel. Got 5 l/4 lbs butter, $1.05, 9 lbs. cheese, $10.90, medicine for horses, 40 cts.  85 cts expenses.   R. Martin, Mr. & Mrs. Carmichael, John & Mary Marshall, Mr. & Mrs. Davidson and I had a look through some of the churches. Neils, Milligans and Keloggs

Feb 21   Went to church.  Mrs. George & Mary Marshall (with me).  Mary stayed the afternoon.  George & Maggie came over in afternoon.  Fine day, mild. 25cts (church collection)

Feb 24   Mailed A. McKinnon $2. prize money (probably re Scarborough Fair).  Took 30 bags down to Highland Creek to get ground.  Helped George to cut feed in afternoon. Jit and Annie McCowan came over about 5 o'clock. Stayed at George's for supper, then came over with me.  Left for home about 1/4 to 9.

Feb 26   Went to Wm McCowan's sale with Father & George. Left team at Bob's.  Clerked for sale. Things went pretty flat.   Sale amounted to $863.47 besides hay, turnips & some foals. Got home about 9 o'clock. Turned colder at night.

Mar 1   Started to draw out manure to top dress the south field next to the road. Got the pulper handle fixed in morning 15cts. Went down to S. Auburn 's in afternoon. Wrote a letter to Mary at night and one to Agriculture Dept Toronto. Bright cold day.

Mar  3  Fine day. Went over to Bob's in afternoon and down to Ashbridge 's.  Hannah went to McClure's with me. Baby had a little cold.

Mar 6  At home all day. George took Jennie and Maggie to lake.

Mar 15   Started to dig the well in stable.  Got the brickets ironed off at shop, 75 cts.  Got down 8 feet. Fine cold morning. Zero. Got a letter from William.  Answered it at night.

Mar 16   Worked at well all day. Spurgeon helped to fix things and wheel dirt away. Got down 7 ft. Archibald Heron and Mrs. were here at night.

Mar 17   Worked at well again.  Got down 6 feet today.  Very little water. Sold a bag of oats to Bill Studman 90 cts. Went over to Bob's at night. Hannah is sick in bed. Baby has a cold. Got 800 bricks from D. Chapman.

Mar 18   Jennie lying in stable this morning with her nigh hind leg broken. George came over & shot her. Went up to J. Young's. Brought Maggie down to Bob's for baby. Hannah about the same. Maggie went up on train. George here in my place at well. Harris team (glue factory) came for Jennie. Got down about 5 ft.

Mar 20   Went to church. Nice clear cold morning. Collection 25 cts. Went over to Bob's to see how Hannah was. She was getting better again. Jon & H (Ashbridge, Hannah McCowan's brother) were there.  Hugh Clark's buildings were burned last night with 7 horses, 2l cattle, sheep, pigs, hay, oats, barley, etc.

Mar 21   3 ft of water in well this morning. Worked all day got down 3 feet, not a spring yet. Very hard. Got pick sharpened again, 10 cts at Hough's. George started to pull down the old house. J. Sanderson was here to see about putting in a pump. Fine weather.

Mar 23   Went & got drill made at James Ley's, 16 ft. long, 2 1/2 point. Started to drill in afternoon. Got down 10 feet.  No more water yet. Snowed some in afternoon.  Got buggy shafts fixed at Jas Leys, 35cts. Got some beef from J. Young. 700 bricks.

24   Drilled again this forenoon, got down l6 ft. in all, no water yet.  Got another l2 foot rod added to drill to start in morning.  At committee meeting at church in afternoon.  T. Ellis tender accepted for repairing church, $500. Fine day, snow, went very fast.

Mar 25   Started to drill again. Got down 3 feet more, 19 in all.  No spring yet. Bricked the well up. Took 15l0 bricks to do it.  George was over and helped me.

Mar 28   George & I went up to help Whitesides load at Agincourt all day.  Paid James Ley for fixing drill and having the use of it, 75 cts.  Cut feed about half hour in morning at George's.

Mar 29   George & I back helping Whitesides to load. Got finished about 9 o'clock at night. Brought Maggie Marshall home from Agincourt .  Got milk cooler, brought it home.

Mar 30  Went to W. Hough's sale in afternoon. Clerked for him. J. Sanderson brought the pump and put it in after sale. 12 ft of water in well.

Mar 31   Cut down big poplar tree at road and went up for long ladder to Whiteside's.  Fixed well top in afternoon.

Apr 1   Went out to Uncle Willie's for Aunt Jane (Whiteside). Brought her to William Pattons. Got home about 7 o'clock. Milk cheque came today. Fine spring day. 15 feet water in well this morning.

Apr 4   Put on a load of straw in morning. George went with it. Got $9. per ton, $26.90. Went to meeting at Church in afternoon. R. Martin came over. Wrote to Insurance Company about church insurance.

Apr 8   Started to town with load of clover hay. Sold it at York . Got home about 10. Aunt Jane & Kate Chester came about ll o'clock.  Aunt stayed all night. Came on rain at night.

Apr 9   Went over to George's with Aunt in forenoon. Cleaned up barley & oats in afternoon for seed. Cold windy day.

Apr 11   George went to town with hay. Wes Dix came for peas, 25 bu. at 75 cts. Went up to Wexford for Mrs. Pringle.  Jit, Annie & Maggie Stobo came over to George's in afternoon. Came here about 6, and stayed till 9.  Cold & windy.

Apr 12   Went up to John Young's with Aunt Jane.  All well. Baby doing nicely. Got back about 7.30.  Mr. & Mrs. D. Martin and Agnes Marshall at George's. Cold and windy day. George went to town with hay 2675.

Apr 13   Went to town with load of hay. Sold at Leslieville for $13. Drew firewood from road (?) Aunt Jane and Mrs. Marshall came over and we put away bed clothes and put camphor in chest as well. Sold cow & calf to Jefkens $46.00

Apr 15   Took Aunt Jane Whiteside to Toronto. Will rolled hay field in front of house. Got Gip shod in fore feet, and fork mended, .50.  Ida away at Ellesmere. Cold weather.

Apr 18   Fine day. Sowed barley all day. Went up to the milk meeting at Wexford at night with Geo. Formed an assoc. $1.00. Vice President, Chairman of the meeting.

Apr 19  Fine day. Finished barley field about five o'clock. Started oats. Went to milk meeting at Cooks with Geo. To be same price as last year Set four hens at night. 15 eggs each.

Apr 29   In town with  load of clover hay. Got $11.  Got home about one. Filled up 15 bushels peas for to send to James (probably his brother Milton) & 4 bags potatoes. Went down to Ashbridges in evening. Will took a load of old shingles over to Spurgeon. Working root ground.

Apr 30   …Got Mangol, carrot seed, lawn grass & corn (seed) from Keith 4.47. Tore down the old log house & finished cultivating & rolling root ground.

May 2   Meeting at church in afternoon. Agricultural meeting at W. Patton's in evening. George Chester & Kate went with me. A good turn out.

May 3   Father & I went up to John Young's. Baby doing nicely. Got red berry bushes from him. David Martin came down and we got the library books report made out.

May  4   Planted berries in forenoon, 2 rows red, l black, & 8 currant bushes.  Went down to nominations at York in afternoon. Came around by R. Bell's to see about hall.  Wm. & Wat put on load hay. Fixed up fence in front some at night. Milk man twice today.

May 6  Town with load clover hay. J. Keith got it at $12 per ton. Got Aunt Jane's & Ida's rings. Went down to meeting at R. Hannah's at night.

May 7   Went to Woburn for ballot box & instructions, but did not get box. Annual meeting at library in afternoon.  Will  took 20 bags chop down to McCulloch.

May 8   Went to church. Got dinner at Chester 's. Went over to Bob's in afternoon. Got home about 7 o'clock. Fine day but cooler

May 11   Election day. Will drove me down in morning. Rain. Will got Nell & Rose shod. All round fine growing day.  Poll: Leuben 66, McLean 101. Total majority 240 in riding. George drove Father out to Uncle Willie's.  42 chickens out (hatched) today.

May 12  Digging out old apple trees and cutting them up all day. Fine growing weather.

May 14   Went to town with ll bags potatoes.  Got 40 cts per bag. Saw James (brother) in town.  Aunt Mary came home with me.

May 16   Went up to Marshall 's for 4 bags of potatoes for seed, 40? cts per bag. Cut potatoes for seed, Father helped me. 8 bags in all. Will working on ground, getting on ready.

May 19   Drawing out manure. rained in afternoon. Minnie foaled last night. Foal died.

May 20   Buried foal this morning then went out to Uncle Willie's hunting pasture for colts. Got dinner at Alex Weirs. Came around by W. Pattons. Paid him for 500 bricks, $3.00.  Came by Will McCowans & got potatoes. Called at Bob's got end of wippletree? iron mended

May 25   Wm & I took colts to Uncle Willie's to pasture in forenoon. Laid out lane fence, and took 15 bags of peas & barley down to York, & brought home 40 posts. In afternoon spotted cow calved. Paid Stephenson for 66 posts at 13 1/2 cts each  $8.90. Sold load hay.

May 26   Will digging post holes. I set the posts for the lane fence and laid out sideline fence up to the orchard.

May 28   Set posts in morning. Put wire on lane (fence), and to barn door in forenoon. Harrowed down potatoes & corn in afternoon.  Went to Sproul's raisin? in afternoon. Sold 2 cows & heifer to W. Studman for $135. Got $45. on  them. Deliver them Monday morning.

May 30   Took load of hay to Andrew Warff 2575 at $12. per ton. Cattle to W. Studman , $135. Took George's colts down to pasture in afternoon. Father with me. Called at Will's & Bob's.

May 31   In town with load of straw, 2l25 at $12 Dominion Brewing. Got some wire and hinges 383 seed corn 15. Paid Father $210., the money I got from him in Jan. Will put in posts along side orchard. Order a monument from J.P. Wheler for Georgie, $125.00.

June 2   At a bee at Church. Will & Wat started to cut thistles. Wm. Henry got calf. Rained at night.

June 4  Wet morning and all forenoon. Cleaned out and whitewashed cellar in afternoon.

June 6   Went up to Alex Weir's in forenoon to see about hiring Maggie Boynton. She is going to come at $9.00 per month for summer, $8.00 for winter. George came over at night and we killed 4 pigs.  They weighed 480 lbs.

June 8   Met T. Crawford at Wexford in forenoon, got road list. Went up to J. Young's. All well, baby doing splendid. Got home at 6. Hung gate east end barnyard at night.

June 9  Rain again. Cleaned out sitting room and hung pictures. Went to meeting at church at night.

June 10   Went to Toronto about printing bills, etc. for social expenses, 85 cts.

June 11   Took Mary Tingle over to Wm Patton's in morning. Will scuffled mangols in afternoon. I harrowed potatoes & corn in afternoon. John Young called going home from town.

June 15   At mangols again today. I went to town in afternoon for chandeliers for church. Got turnip seed 8 lbs at 25cts ginger snaps $l, brown sugar $1 got bird case home $5.50. Got tea kettle mended.

June 16   Took chandeliers over to Church in morning.  Will started to work the turnip ground in morning. I was at it in afternoon. Does not work well.

June 19   Rain in morning. Went to church with George. Took my team at night. Got there just before it started to rain a very heavy rain.  Church reopened today.

June 20   Warned out the hands for road work.  Went to church in afternoon to Social. Sold the  tickets, about 600, $12l.15 taken in.

June 21   Took Mary Tingle down to York in morning. Made out a list of printing for Scarboro Fair & went out to Markham in afternoon.  Settled with R. Martin. Got some cabbage plants from him. Planted them after I got home.

June 22  A lot of rain again last night. George & I went to Toronto and got a new mowing machine, $43.00 to be the price at Brantford. Went to Anthony Ionson's for road scraper after I got home. Will Carlton went to York at night.

June 23   Started road work. Went over the beat, and out to town line with it. Pulled mustard out of peas & oats after we got through scraping roads.

June 25  Put screen on doors. Made a letter box. John Young & Maggie & Willie & baby came about 10. John & Willie went to town. Maggie & I went down to Ashbridges with the baby in the afternoon. Jon (the baby's uncle) thought she had done splendid. He made her a present of $5.00. Miss Johnston here this evening.

June 26   Maggie & Miss Johnston went to church with me. Sacrement Sunday. A very good turnout. Collection 45. Started to go (to church) again at night, but a shoe came off Nell and we had to turn back.

June 28   Fixed geer for T. Jacksons binder and put mowing machine together & sold Flora to Hunter. Hitched her to wagon in forenoon. Geo & I went to Clarks barn rasing in afternoon. Went around by Alex Weirs at night.

July 2  Went to Toronto . Got home a little after twelve o'clock. Got sugar machine and small table. Will scuffling in afternoon. Left $200 in bank. Got milk money cheque in morning. Rain again at night.

July  4   Cut the hay in orchard this morning. Kate Chester, Will McCowan, Bob & Hannah came over in afternoon. Took Willie Pringle up to Wexford in afternoon. A fine day. Started to hoe turnips in afternoon.

July 5   Got a basket of strawberries from John Young, 4 cts. per box. Helped Ida to clean them and preserve them. Will cut some fence sides today & hoed turnips the rest of time. Sold calf, $6. George started to cut hay today. Sold calf $6.

July 12   Wat laid up & stayed in bed all day. Had Dr. Britton at night. Cut hay below the house in forenoon. Finished drawing in clover, ll more loads, one of them Timothy. George over in afternoon.

July 18   Finished drawing in hay from field north of root ground & 2 loads out of field by house. Over at George's in afternoon, got in 14 loads from his field. Samples of wheat from Portage today & shipping bills of 2 cars wheat.

July 19   Drawing in here all day from field at house. I went to Toronto to see about wheat. Got it stopped at North Bay until further orders… Renewed insurance on barn $8, and insured house for $2000, $18.00.

July 29  George came over and cut barley. Went down to Ashbridges in morning got binder fixed when packer crank broke. Came home and took down crank in afternoon. Came on rain. Got home about 6:30. W. Walton wanting for me to fix his knotter.

July 30  Finished cutting barley about 11 o'clock. Charley Humphrey came with his knotter and got it fixed. Went over to Geo and cut his barley in afternoon. Finished at supper time. Went up to fix Waltons binder. Did not get it fixed to suit me.

Aug 1   Finished making out prize list for Fair in forenoon. George & I went out to Markham in afternoon. Called at John Young's. Baby is doing nicely.

Aug 4  Fixed line fence between J. Walton and me… got milk money $53.63

Aug 9   Cut peas in afternoon. George was over & helped to roll them up. A great deal of lightning tonight. Aunt Elizabeth (Gibson) died this morning. Born ll August l825, apoplexy.

Aug 10   Alex Weir brought M. Boynton down this morning. I went up to A. Weir's for her. Got a letter from the Asylum. Had to go to Toronto & get her buried. Undertaker, $8. Necropolis $6., Expenses $1.50. Papers advertising, $1.50.

Aug 20   Will rolled rape ground. Wat finished hoeing turnips I went over to George's & drew in oats. Finished cutting peas after dinner. Went up to J. Young's after 4 o'clock. Baby not well, bowel complaint.

Aug 21 Will Carleton wanted to have a row (fight) about putting bedding in stable.

Aug 22 Will Carleton left this morning. I paid him $45.00

Aug 23   George very sick at night. Hoeing & working here in forenoon. Drawing in oats at George's after dinner. Finished at supper time. Brought in 3 loads here after supper. Ike Tick came tonight. Going to help with harvest. $1. per day.

Aug 24   Fixed rack in morning for sling. Got in l7 loads. Rod broke after supper. Wat upset waggon backing out of barn. Alex Weir called going home from town. George some better.

Sept 3   Went over to Georges & drew in his peas. John Young came this way from town. Baby some better.

Sept 4  At Hannah Heron's funeral at Knox Church . A big turn out at it.

Sept 6   Started Wat to plow in morning. Jit, Hannah & her Father (Isaac Ashbridge) came over. We all, with Father, went up to J. Young's. Baby some better.

Sept 12   Went to Agincourt for Georgie's monument and got it put up. Paid $30.

Sept 14   Too wet to plow. Went to Exhibition. Saw Abe Brown & Co. about Manitoba wheat. Father, George, Maggie Boynton in town. Got supper at Ex.

Sept 26   Started potatoes. Jimmie Heron & A. Spurgeon got up 16 rows. J.S. Weir killed tonight at Norway House, horses ran away. Making entries till 12 o'clock.

Sept 29   Fine morning. Started for Fair (Scarboro), but had to turn back for tickets. Had a very good Fair on the whole. $270 gate receipts & stand.

Sept 30   Started to plow down manure. Got a man in afternoon, Wm Porteus, $15. for a month. Wat at manure. Cow died in afternoon. Went down to get Harris to take her. Made out prize list for Sun at night.

Oct 1   Went to town with George. Got my teeth set into a new plate. Made out Prize List for Pickering News. Got $1. for doing it.

Oct 10   George, Father & I went after the colts & brought them home (from Uncle Willie's) in forenoon. Paid R. Crawford taxes, $30.15.

Oct 11  Paid James Gibson for pea harvester $13.00

Oct 15   Started Wm to plow sod. Very hard. Father & I went to John Young's in afternoon. Georgie is doing fine. Got a letter from Dave (brother in Portage ). Robert has typhoid fever.

Oct 16   Went to church, Maggie with me. Went over to cousin Robt McCowan's in afternoon. Saw Will (McCowan). He had just got home from Manitoba .

Oct 17  Took a load of hay to milk men in morning, 2840 at 8 1/2 (per ton) $12.00.

Oct 21  Cleaned up load barley in morning Went to J.G. Weir's sale with Geo. Got home about 9 o'clock.  Back no better.

Oct 22   Went to town with buggy. Back worse. Paid J. Wheler balance on monument, $92.50.

Oct 28   All went to Agincourt for wheat. Finished unloading car. D. Marshall took 2 loads for us. 632 bushels in car. Paid $173.88 for freight. Nearly had a big runaway. Broke waggon tongue & seat. Aunt & Uncle Whiteside at George's at night.

Nov 1   Raining a little & windy. Plow gone this morning. Found it up an apple tree on sideroad. Went to town about ll. Paid for mower $43 repairs. Sold catalogues for Mechanical Institute (Library), $27. Minute book for Scarboro Fair, $l., postage stamps, $3.00 expenses, $1.10.

Nov 2   Father & I went out to Uncle Willie's & paid him our note, $600.00 & interest, $72. $28.00 for colt pasture. He gave me $10.00 to pay part of Aunt Elizabeth's funeral expenses. Paid Wm Porteus $1.50 to pay Wyatt his washing bill.

Nov 5   Cold morning. Will helped me at turnips finished about 4 o'clock. Went up to D. Martins with catalogues for library. Gave Wm Porteus $5.00 tonight. Uncle & Aunt Whiteside here tonight.

Nov 6   Took team to church today. Ground white with snow.   George, Uncle & Aunt Whiteside with me. They here all night with me.

Nov 10   Thanksgiving Day. Snowing in morning. Cleaned up barley.  Working around all day. Ground white with snow.

Nov 11   Went to town with barley.  Got home about 4. George & John Young came over at night & helped me clean up a load barley. John stayed all night with me.

Nov 12   Went to town with barley. Brought 750 lbs. soft coal from York . Saw James in town today.

Nov 14   Got ready for threshing machine & asked hands. Machine here in afternoon. Cleaned up south floor at night. Father went up to James to stay. (In Milton )

Nov 17  Tried to get a shot at a big white owl

Nov 18   Aunt Jane, Annie & Jit McCowan came over today. Went over to George's in afternoon. Drained water furrows in sod & south field.

Nov 19   Drew water furrows in east field & Spurgeon cleaned out all today. Maggie went to town. Aunt Jane came over & got dinner for us. Bob McCowan here.

Nov 20   At church. George rode with me. Aunt Jane, George & Maggie here in afternoon.

Nov 24  Set horse power and cutting box to cut corn. Frame of horse power gave out. Went after kettle for (making) cider in afternoon to Thos Young. Peeled apples at night.

Dec 5 George and I hunting cows. Got 2 at Selley's sale, $72.50 for them. George got 1, $42

Dec 6  Will at D. Martin's threshing. Got spurgeon to help me to clean up a load of oats for A. Cook.

Dec 9  George's man came over and we cut corn and straw. Fine day. Got ready to go down to A. Heron's with Father. Got word not to go.

Dec 11   Went to church. Mary Marshall came home with us.

Dec 12   Cut feed at George's in forenoon. Finished cleaning up load of oats in afternoon. Took Mary Marshall up home. Got home about 9.

Dec 16   Father & I went down to Ashbridge's. Paid Jon his prize money. Got home at dark. All well.

Dec 17 George and I went down to Seltey's to see if he would exchange cows. He would not. So we went to George Bell's and I got one for $47.

Dec 19   Helped George clean up a load of chop to take to Mill in morning. Came home & cleaned up 17 bags & took them down to York in forenoon. Went over to Bob's in afternoon. Jon Ashbridge & J. Walton were there. Had a shooting match. Brought home baby chair.

Dec 23   Cut feed in forenoon. George and I went away in afternoon to look for cows. Called at Marshall 's & got tea. Very cold.

Dec 24   Went up to John Young's with things for the baby. She is doing nicely. All well. Very cold.

Dec 25   Cold day & not feeling very well. At home all day.

Dec 26   Went down to Ashbridge's for dinner. Got home about 7.30. Bob & Hannah & Mrs. Walton there. 17 below zero this morning.

Dec 30   Cutting feed till about 3. Mary Ann & family here in afternoon.

Dec 31   Took Mary Ann & children up to John Young's. All well. Not so cold today. Geo got Agri meeting notices printed $1.50.


 The Scarboro Heights Record V14 #12


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