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Go West Young Man

By about 1870 Scarborough's population had peaked. The original farmer-immigrants from Europe were still healthy fifty or sixty year-olds and were actively working their productive farms. The Ontario farmer was enjoying an affluence and political influence as never before -- nor since for that matter. The farmer typically had three or more sons anxious to start working land of their own. But good farms were at a premium in Scarborough and generally unavailable to the younger generation. This was the story right through southern Ontario's farming communities.

The timing was good for the opening of the west to settlement. Young men by the dozen left Scarborough after 1870 for the prairies. Portage La Prairie, in particular, was a favourite destination.

One of these men was David McCowan, an older brother of Alexander McCowan.

David McCowan
Nov. 1 1849 - Feb. 10 1930

The funeral arrangements for the late David McCowan have been completed. A private service will be held tomorrow at the residence at 2 o'clock, and the public service at 2:30 in the First Presbyterian Church. The members of the Rural Council [of Portage La Prairie] will act as pallbearers, while all former councillors will attend in a body. The rural office will remain closed all day tomorrow out of respect to the memory of the late Mr. McCowan, who for so many years was its secretary-treasurer. The office is being suitably draped.

From The Scarboro Heights Record V11 #3
The McCowans' Who' Who
, V. 5


Note: Refer also to this page regarding the opening of the Temiskaming district.