Newbliss – A Hamlet in Kitley

Newbliss

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Newbliss on a map from 1861-62

The village dates back to 1802, when United Empire Loyalists settled on grants of land given them by the Crown.

Rachel and Isaiah Wiley were granted Lot 13 on the 4th Concession and opposite it Lot 13 on the 5th Concession was granted to Catherine Moore in 1805. Two dirt roads crossed at the borders of the two lots and a hamlet was born as more settlers moved in.

Newbliss didn’t start out with that name. Originally it was Dodd’s Corners named after a shoemaker who lived on the corner and his father George Dodd with a family of five lived on another. This was in 1802 and in 1820 it became Dack’s Corners from the family of William Dack. In 1855 the name was finally changed to Newbliss.

The name comes from the Town of Newbliss in Ireland, brought here by an Irish schoolmaster, John Mackay who came to teach in Newbliss in that year. He thought the collection of houses and business deserved a new name and he made the decision stick. Mackay taught in Newbliss for over 20 years before retiring.

Further to the south William Dack bought parts of lots 19 and 20 in the 4th Concession and other acquisitions and became the largest landowner in the area.

He was operating a tavern in the 1830’s but the site is unknown. It was probably located along the road from Brockville which became the Victoria Macadamized Road during the 1840’s and eventually became Hwy 29.

Dack’s Tavern also gave birth to the Orange Order in Kitley. Newbliss Lodge was formed in the tavern in 1835 and around 1850 the order built a hall in Newbliss, which burned in 1944.  Newbliss LOL, No.87 observed its centenary in 1935 . The lodge moved its headquarters in 1949, taking over the former Coad’s school, a stone building erected in 1875, replacing the earlier log cabin school. The school had originally been named for the Dack Family, but adopted the name of Coad in the 1850’s.

Newbliss was once a thriving community of over 600 people, with inns, a cheese factory, several schools, a hotel, stage coach house and other business. There was also an active Orange Lodge and a Temperance Hall.

Lovell’s Gazette of 1873 ascribes 250 persons to the village population. There were two blacksmiths, a dressmaker, and engineer, harness maker, milliner, postmaster, two teachers, shoemaker, tailor, wagon maker, two weavers and 35-40 farmers.

The Gazette listed 600 in the village population, but seven years later another census cut the population to 300. In 1902 the population of the hamlet itself was only 25 persons. Earlier figures were believed to be based on post office addresses.

“The original Newbliss Cheese Factory consisted of three frame buildings, the main factory, a curing house and a boiler room. When the main factory was moved from the old Ross farm to the centre of Newbliss, a frame cheese house was constructed for the cheese maker. It still stands beside the general store.” (Kitley 1795-1975 by Glenn Lockwood)

John Edgar, father of James Edgar, was a staunch Presbyterian, but he ran the first hotel and bar room in Newbilss. In 1862, he gave up the hotel business, leasing the premises to George Stewart.

Edgar then formed a Sons of Temperance lodge and was for many years one of its most prominent leaders.

Newbliss cheese factory, later a general store, was one of the busiest in Leeds County in the middle and later part of the 19th Century. Farmers for miles around brought their milk here for processing. The factory produced cheeses weighting 90 to 100 pounds. Patrons used to haul the cheeses encased in round cheese boxes by wagon to the Jasper railway station, from where they were shipped to the cheese board offices in Brockville for grading and later sale. The factory operated until around 1944 when it was converted into a store.

In 1904 the cheese maker, Robert Beckett, was one of the most prominent men in the village and owner of the first car in Newbliss. For years it was known as “Mr.Beckett’s Buick”

Early School

The former Coad’s school, a stone building, was erected in 1875, replacing the earlier log cabin school. The school had originally been named for the Dack Family, but adopted the name of Coad in the 1850’s.

Dack’s school was built on Lot 17 of Concession four about 1830, a simple log structure with unpainted interior walls and austere benches and desks.

About the same time, Newbliss village had a log school which was replaced in 1874 by a stone structure. Newbliss School was phased out of existence in 1961 with the pupils being transferred to Jasper.

Newbliss had two schoolhouses to serve the community, each its own section. The first school was built around 1830 and was titled S.S. #5 Newbliss School. It is believed the first schoolhouse for S.S. #5 was made of log, however no records of the school exist. In 1858, the stone schoolhouse which replaced the log structure was erected. This schoolhouse is still standing, located at the intersection of Highway 29 and Line Road 4. The other school section in Newbliss was #6, with its school being called S.S. #6 Coad’s School. Originally, Coad’s School was known as Dack’s. This schoolhouse was also constructed of log before being replaced by a stone building in 1870. Upon its closure in the 1940s, Coad’s School was sold to the Orange Lodge. (Kitley 1795-1975 by Glenn Lockwood)

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Newbliss Schoolhouse photo November 2016
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Newbliss Schoolhouse – photo taken November 2016
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Newbliss School House c1985

Religion

As in many areas of Leeds and Grenville, circuit riders first brought religion to Newbliss in the early days.

Ezra Healey, probably the most famous of the early circuit riders, included Newbliss in his itinerary in 1822. He was a Methodist assigned to the Rideau Circuit. In 1818 he had begun conducting services in Toledo in a log school house. Methodist history records the fact he ministered to only four families here, probably meeting at Dack’s log school house.

Methodists worshipped anywhere they could find shelter, a barn being used on more than one occasion but in 1834, the congregation built a log chapel on the eastern edge of Kitley Township in the community known as Crystal and the church subsequently bore the name “Providence Chapel”.

The church was used until church union in 1935 when it was sold to a local resident who in turn donated it in 1960 to Upper Canada Village.

Early Anglicans also held their services at Dack’s School with a minister coming from Smith’s Falls to preach. It was years before the first Anglican Church was built. St. Paul’s Church was erected here in1904.

The village was also the first centre for Presbyterians in Kitley Township. The home of James Edgar, a pioneer inn-keeper, was turned into a mission centre about 1835 and Kitley Presbyterians met there until 1847 when St. Andrew’s Church was constructed in Toledo.

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Newbliss Church – photo taken November 2016
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Newbliss Church – photo taken November 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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General Store, old cheese house on the right c1985
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Edgar Hotel c1985
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Road sign entering Newbliss
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Newbliss as shown on a map from 1998

 

 

“Edna’s Scrapbook”

is a paperback book written by Edna B. Chant and was published in 1998. Edna Chant was a reported with the “Athens Reporter” for 23 years and she is the author of four books.

Her book, which is made up of news clippings from various sources, from which we have taken excerpts, gives us a glimpse into life in our area for over a hundred year period ending with stories from 1975.

While her book covers many areas of Leeds and Grenville we have only focused on the area within Elizabethtown-Kitley Township.

Newbliss

While working on the new house of Robert Mackie near Newbliss in August, 1908, a young man Sidney Christie aged 22 of Smiths Falls fell to the ground from a scaffold and was instantly killed.

On February 3, 1928 George Price aged 19 of Newbliss, was found in the stable of his father’s barn with one side of his head smashed in. It was quite apparent that one of the horses had kicked him. He remained unconscious for 36 hours and then he died.

On February 26, 1959 Isaac Lockwood, 73, of Newbliss died of injuries in a car accident.

An 88 year old man, John Andrew Lyons, of Newbliss, was killed on September 11, 1967 on Hwy 29 at Newbliss when a car driven by his wife Bella Lyons, 71, in which he was a passenger, was struck broadside by a car driven by Mrs. A.L. Wells, 21 of Jasper. Mrs. Lyons and Mrs. Wells were both injured.

St. Paul’s Anglican Church Hall at Newbliss was burned by fire on April 21, 1968. Due to the efforts of the firemen, the church was saved.

 

Frankville – A Hamlet in Kitley

Frankville

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Location of Fankville on map of 1861-62

The first Loyalist came in 1784 and a large number settled in Kitley Township in the years 1784 to 1830. They laboured hard to build up this community.

Kitley was surveyed in 1797 and thrown open to settlers. Among the first to arrive was Loyalist Major William Read who had originally secured Crown land in New Brunswick after the American Revolutionary War, then moved westward to Kitley. He was granted 400 acres in Kitley including 200 acres on the 8th concession near the present site of Frankville. This was his home and he became one of the leaders of the new community.

Though he was past 60, Major Read organized a band of 60 volunteers for service in the War of 1812 and trained them himself. Three of his sons fought in the war. Major Read died in 1828 aged 79. His remains lie in an abandoned cemetery on his old homestead. At the time of his death, Kitley numbered 575 souls.

Several Livingston families also settled here and the 1800 census of Kitley lists David, Daniel, Duncan and Abraham Livingston. Duncan Livingston built a grist mill on his homestead a mile east of Frankville.

Another pioneer was Levi Soper, owner of the land on which now stands the village of Frankville. Ben Wilson bought the Soper land in 1826 and sold it 11 years later to John Brennan.

As a result of these changes in ownership the community bore several different names in its early history. It was known as Wilson’s Corners, Brennan’s Corners Brandenburg and Brennanville. In 1852 when a post office was established the name Frankville was adopted.

Historians are at a loss to explain why the post office chose “Frankville”. No pioneer by the name “Frank” appears in the early records.

Levi Soper was a character from Vermont who was reputed to have reached Kitley in 1800 with only a cow as his possession. He teamed the cow with a neighbour’s horse to clear both his farm and that of his neighbour. He settled on Lot 21 of the 9th Concession of Kitley. The southern section of Frankville covers part of the north half of the Soper farm.  In 1826 he sold his farm to Ben Wilson, who already held Lot 21 in the 8th Concession. Wilson thus owned all the land on which the village was built.  After selling out to Wilson, Soper moved west to the Read of Leeds and Lansdowne where be founded the community of Soperton.

Levi’s cousin. Timothy, settled east of Frankville  about 1805 and became an agent for the settlers, bringing in supplies and taking their grain to grist mills for milling.

Early Mills

The first grist mill near Frankville was established about 1802 by Duncan Livingston on a creek a mile east of Frankville. Here grain for miles around was ground into flour. Duncan operated the mill for about 15 ears before selling out to Timothy Soper.

Later, the grist mill was converted to a sawmill and much of the lumber used in construction in this area during the 19th Century was produced here. A second sawmill stood on the West side of Highway 29 the site in the 1980’s was occupied by the construction buildings of the Brundige Construction Company.

The original Livingstone mill was located on a small tributary of Irish Lake, a mile east of Frankville and the pioneer who built it accomplished a marvel of engineering.

“Water was dammed by a long high stone wall” says author Glenn Lockwood in his book “Kitley 1795-1975”, “forming a miniature mill pond at least 10 feet deep. The dam wall was 12 feet high, solidly constructed of stone, 100 feet long. It was located between two high banks of the creek bed.”

Unlike other mills of the period, Livingstone’s plant did not operate by either plume of water or waterfall, but instead the creek water was allowed to flow gently down an incline of stone to rotate a mill wheel lying horizontal to the creek bed. The water rotated the wheel to which were attached spindles and gears which operated the saws in the mill. The main saw was vertical, later replaced by a more modern horizontal blade.

The mill ran until around 1880. The plant then fell into disuse and around 1940 a stone crusher was brought to the site to crush the stone retrieved from the old dam and walls. Now only a few crumbling remains of Livingston Dam can be seen at the site.

Many of the new settlers were discharged soldiers from the War of 1812. Each private received a grant of 100 acres, each officer received 200 acres. These grants were increased in 1816 to 200 acres for sergeants, 1000 acres for a major and 1,200 acres for a Lieutenant Colonel.

The government provided tools and necessities for these new settlers. Where the Loyalists often received no more than an axe and a hoe, the ex-soldiers were given several different types of axes, spades, shovels, handsaws, crosscut saws and building tools.

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Detail map of Frankville, Map of 1861-62

In the 1820’s, Irish, English and Scottish settlers flooded into Kitley, helped by free passage over the Atlantic guaranteed by the government and an offer of 100 acres of free land per family.

In 1846, Frankville boasted 50 residents, a store, two taverns, a saddler and a blacksmith. Three years later 100 persons lived there and another 150 resided at Chamberlain’s Corners (Toledo) two miles to the north.

The village continued to grow and in 1858, a business directory showed three shoemakers, two innkeepers, two traders, a tanner, a grocer, a wagon maker, the clerk of the division court and a postmaster William Smith.

Construction of the Victoria Macadamized Road in the 1850’s spurred development. The road, once called the Perth Road, later became Highway 29.

Hiram McCrae, born in 1807 in Montague township, son of a United Empire Loyalist from Albany, NY settled in Frankville in 1837 and 21 years later became reeve of Kitley, serving in that post for 32 years. He was named a magistrate in 1853 and later became clerk of the court of the seventh division of Leeds and Grenville.

In 1861 Frankville had four hotels running plus a private tavern. There were two stores, a tannery, paint shop, harness shop, blacksmith and a variety store.

Ten years later, the population stood at 200, catered to by three hotels, four blacksmiths, three harness makers, three shoemakers, two tanners, two carriage makers, two milliners, three stores and a host of other businesses.

Ben Stewart, one of the carriage makers forged ahead with the development of what he called the “Sarven Wheel” for buggies. It was a sturdy but stylish wheel intended for fancy carriages and proved to be in great demand. His factory, long since gone, flourished on the east side of Highway 29.

A brickyard was established in 1870 by blacksmith William Dowsley but he ran out of a good supply of clay by 1879 and returned to his blacksmith’s forge.

At that time about 300 persons lived in the village. But the population fell off during the 1890’s and by 1920 was down around 200.

The brick rectory that serves the church was once a hotel. Frankville once boasted five hotels and was a thriving community with three general stores.

Cheese Factory

The Frankville Cheese Factory was established by Tom Livingston about 1860. Joseph Jones and Abraham Robb took over the factory in the 1880’s and branched out to produce butter and whey. Business dropped off in the 1920’s and the factory was closed. In the 1980’s the building still stood and had been turned into an apartment block, still facing Hwy 29.

 

Churches

Kitley’s first chapel was Providence Church, which is preserved at Upper Canada Village as an example of the Houses of Worship available to the early pioneers of Leeds and Grenville. Providence Church was opened on February 1, 1834 and served the Toledo-Jasper area for over 100 years before being closed. It is unique in that the pews appear as they did 150 years ago, plain wooden benches without backs. A simple lectern without frills served the rector. Providence was built by the Methodists of early Kitley.

St. Thomas Anglican Church

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St Thomas Anglican Church c1985

Built in 1858, the venerable St, Thomas’ Anglican church stood two years empty because no resident clergyman was available to conduct services in the building.

The brick rectory that serves the church was once a hotel. Frankville once boasted five hotels and was a thriving community with three general stores.

Rev. Thomas Bedford-Jones, a young Irish clergyman who arrived in Canada in 1862, in his memoirs told of the unique situation of the church. The church had been built by Frankville Anglicans who “begged” the money all over the countryside to erect the house of worship by public subscription. He found the church still in debt to the tune of $1000.

Bedford-Jones had been appointed as a missionary to the township of Kitley and became the first resident pastor of St Thomas’

He wrote: “The church was opened by me on Advent Sunday, 1862. In 1863 and 1864 in the springtime when the state of the roads made it difficult for the congregation to turn out I had to go on begging expeditions to Kingston and Toronto on behalf of this dreadful debt, which at last was reduced to about $225. Then an appeal was made to parishioners who were chiefly farmers and for the most part with mortgages on their land. To make an earnest effort to wipe off the debt, I induced nine leading men to join me in subscribing $10. each. The balance I proposed to make up by the amount of butter deliberately given to me for one month all over the parish, with its three congregations. The amount calculated at three pounds per family per week from each family, together with our $100. was estimated to pay off all the legitimate claims. The idea took hold of the people and the money was all brought in before the first day of the New Year 1865 and the debt was paid.”

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St. Thomas Rectory, once a hotel c1985

The congregation of St. Thomas’ went without butter for one month in order to raise funds to pay off the church debt.

Early records of Anglican congregations in Frankville are lost to antiquity, but it is believed that services were held in private homes, with travelling ministers officiating.

The church was built of stone with a tall spire at the front. It proved to be a sturdy structure, although its steeple disappeared in a fierce windstorm in 1950. A new pyramid shaped dome, crowned with a new cross, was placed on the tower by local contractor Ernest Montgomery.

Frankville’s United Church began life as an Episcopal Methodist institution in 1878. It replaced a small wooden church built by Wesleyan Methodists in 1857. The congregation disbanded in 1968 and joined St. Andrews’. The building was sold to the Pentecostal Assembly of Canada.

Early Doctors

The main grocery store in this village, once housed the medical practice of two pioneer doctors. Dr. William F. Bourns born in 1861 near Addison , began his practice here in 1891 and served the community for 35 years. He joined Dr. Mort Dixon, a native of the village I a practice which occupied offices upstairs over the store.

Dr. Dison’s father George A. Dixon had operated the store for many years. In 1900 the two doctors bought the old Edger Hotel with the intention of turning it into a hospital. But before the conversion could take place, the old hotel caught fire and burned to the ground. When the site had been cleared, Dr. Bourns erected his own home there. The hospital scheme died in the fire. Both doctors died shortly after.

Early Schools

Levi Soper owned a homestead three miles to the east of Fankville. A school was built on part of this property. The school stands on the 9th Concession, but the road running past the school building is Morrison Road, Kitley 8th line. The school fence runs between the two concessions..

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Soper School photo c 1985

The origins of the original Soper School have been lost in the sands of time. It was probably a log cabin school and existed on the site as early as 1820. This original one room school was known as Otterman’s School, from the Otterman family living nearby. Later when Soper deeded the land over to the School Section board it became Soper School.

A stone building supplanted the original log school and it served the community until it was destroyed by fire in 1912. The present stone building was erected on the site in the same year. George Brundige was the contractor when the school was rebuilt. The building was constructed of square cut stone locally quarried The inside was finished with a white plaster. A raised platform was installed for the teacher. (SS # 13, Kitley)

Among the first settlers around the old school site were the Morrisons, Wilkins, Pryces, Sopers, Wrights, Reynolds, Barringstons, Davises, Mulvaughs, Steacys, Hewitts, Hantons, Brundiges, Merciers. Later the Cooks and O’Gradys moved in.

Louise Mulvaugh was a teacher there prior to 1900. In the 1900’s teachers included Miss. Cocklin (1908), Miss. Greeves; Kenneth Blanchard, Miss. Clow, Misses Nellie and Rose Judge and Fred Leacock who later became a doctor and was killed in a car accident. First salaries paid to teachers ran from $200. to $300. per year. Average attendance was 25-30 pupils but when the school closed in the 1960’s attendance was down to 12.

 

Excerpts from “Leeds Grenville: their first two hundred years”

by Ruth McKenzie pub. 1967

The Livingstones also settled on the seventh and eighth concessions.The names Daniel, David, Duncan and Abraham all appear on the Kitley census of 1800. Duncan Livingstone built a grist mill which he operated for about fifteen years. His farm was on the eighth concession, a mile east of the present village of Frankville.

This village is situated on Lot 21, Concessions 8 and 9, Kitley. The original owner of the lot on the ninth concession was Levi Soper, and part of the village stood on the north end of his farm. The lot on the eighth concession was granted to Benjamine Wilson in 1830. Four years previously he had obtained the north half of the Soper property. The village of Frankville was then on Wison property. Wilson sold the land in 1837 to John Brennan.

These changes of ownership help to explain why the village of Fankville has had so many different names. In early records of the Counties Council, it is referred to variously as Brennan’s Corners, Wilson’s Corners, Brandenburgh, Brennanville and Frankville. Finally in 1852 when the ost office was established there, it was called Frankville, the name that had been used more persistently than any other over the years. Where the Frank comes from, no one seems to know.

Among the early cheese factories was one in Frankville established by M.K.Everts and Isaac Cooledge in 1866. (this differs from the information found in old issues of the recorder and times as written above)

 

Excerpts from the “History of Leeds and Grenville from 1749 to 1879”

by Thad. W.H.Leavitt pub 1879

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Hunt’s Hotel, James Hunt Proprietor (print from Levitt’s Book)

James Hunt is the son of Absalom who married Maria Warren. James was born in 1850; he earned the carriage making business from his father, which he has conducted with success in Frankville and Toledo. Mr. Hunt married in 1872, Margaret the daughter of Richard Johnston, Elizabethtown. A few years since he purchased the residence of the late Captain Brennan; it being destroyed by fire, he erected an elegant brick structure for hotel purposes. He also carries on the carriage business in Frankville. (History of Leeds and Grenville from 1749 to 1879 by Thad. W.H. Leavitt pub. 1879)

 

The Connor Family & Samuel Connor – William Connor came from the County of Caven, Ireland in the year 1821, and settled on the 8th Concession of Kitley, from which place he removed to the farm he now occupies, near the Village of Frankville. He married, about the year 1830, Ellen Horton, by whom he had the following children: Robert, residing in Brockville; Samuel; William who died in 1850; Margaret married Alexander Morrison; Philip died in 1877; Ann married Robert Jelly; and Thomas.

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Connor House, from Levitt’s History of 1879

Samuel Connor was born in 1837, on the old homestead. At the age of sixteen he was apprenticed to Wellington Lewis, to learn the trade of shoemaker. Aftre a service of three ears he removed to Frankville; then visited the Western States, but returned to Frankville, where he opened a shoe shop in connection with a tannery and continued the same about twelve years. In 1870, he built a large hotel engaging also in the manufacture of cheese. Disposing of his hotel n 1876, he purchased the Robinson House, which he refitted in the most substantial manner for the accommodation of old friends.

In 1864, Mr. Connor married Charlotte Burnett, of Elizabethtown; and in 1868, he was appointed Township Clerk, a position which he yet fills. (History of Leeds and Grenville from 1749 to 1879 by Thad. W.H. Leavitt pub. 1879)

Joseph Coad

Mr. Coad was born April 13, 1842 in the Township of Kitley. He redeived a good education at Public School, and for some years engaged as a teacher. Subsequently he entered into the mercantile business with his brother at Toledo.

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Store of J.Coad- Leavitt’s History of 1879

In 1874, he purchased the general store in Frankville, at that time conducted by Messrs. C. and R. Richards, and since that date has carried on a large and constantly increasing business. Mr. Coad for served for several years as Secretary of the Agriculture Society of North Leeds and Grenville. He has been twice elected a member of the Municipal Council, and is especially qualified to discharge public business. In 1873, Mr. Coad married Maggie, daughter of Thomas Connor. The Dominion Telegraph Office and the Post Office at Frankville are under Mr. Coad’s supervision.

 

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Frankville Public School c1985
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Sketch of Dack’s Tavern
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Maxwell’s Tavern on the road to Dodd’s Corners c1985
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Connor House, old pioneer hotel c1985
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Looking north into Frankville photo 2016
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Hanton’s General Store, c1985
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Frankville going south c1985

 

 

 

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Dack’s Tavern c1985

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Edna’s Scrapbook”

is a paperback book written by Edna B. Chant and was published in 1998. Edna Chant was a reported with the “Athens Reporter” for 23 years and she is the author of four books.

Her book, which is made up of news clippings from various sources, from which we have taken excerpts, gives us a glimpse into life in our area for over a hundred year period ending with stories from 1975.

While her book covers many areas of Leeds and Grenville we have only focused on the area within Elizabethtown-Kitley Township.

Frankville

The first post office at Wilson’s Corners was opened on January 5, 1841

Mrs. John Loucks of Frankville was a leap year baby. She was the former Annetta Richards and was born near Frankville on Feb. 29, 1868 and lived to be 101 years of age. In that time she only celebrated 24 birthdays. She married John Loucks on her birthday, Feb, 29, 1888. Before her marriage she was a school teacher and since that time the couple farmed at Frankville. Mrs. Loucks drove a rig from Frankville to the Brockville Market weekly, with fresh eggs, homemade butter, vegetables and maple syrup. She well remembered how she dreaded to meet an automobile as the horses never got used to them and would rear in fright. One of her fondest memories was how they enjoyed their battery radio, as it was a pleasure on long winter evenings. She was a real hockey fan, Boston being her favourite team. After the death of her husband, she lived with her only son George, who died Feb 13, 1966. Her last years were spent with her grandson and his wife Jim and Doreen Loucks in Brockville. Annetta Loucks died on Dec 14, 1869.

The Village of Frankville was incorporated in 1896. For 77 years only seven By-Laws were passed. On April 10, 1973 the police village passed out of existence and all assets were turned over to the Township of Kitley.

Raney Loucks of Frankville was killed on November 19, 1897 when he was thrown from a wagon. He had gone to Brockville to meet his son James who was returning home on train from the west and they were almost home when his team of horses ran away, and he was thrown to the road, landing on his head, dying instantly.

Mr and Mrs. James Rae of Frankville lived to observe their 70th wedding anniversary. They had enjoyed a happy and useful life, and became known as the grand old couple of Kitley. They were married Dec. 29, 1899 in Dally, Ayrshire, Scotland where they lived for their first 29 years of their life and where Mr. Rae was a blacksmith by trade. They came to Canada in 1928 and he opened a blacksmith shop in Frankville which business he carried on for many years. In 1961 he retired and they moved to a new bungalow. They raised four children James Jr., Jessie, Marion and Jean, Mr. Rae died on Jan. 1, 1970 aged 95 years, and Mrs. Rae died on Feb 14, 1972 aged 96 years.

On Feb 4, 1903, the barns of Wesley Soper at Frankville were struck by lightning in a most unusual winter electric storm When Mr. Soper rushed to the barn to rescue the cattle he found all 21 dead in their stalls. He lost 30 pigs in the fire as well as all his machinery. He carried $500. of insurance.

A well known Frankville woman, Mrs. Richard Hanton, was drowned in the St. Lawrence River in Brockville on May 2, 1903. She had been a patient in hospital but was much improved and went for a walk each day. On this day she did not return for lunch, and a search was made for her In the meantime, her body was found floating by two young boys who told the police.

On July 3, 1905, George Oliver of Frankville drowned in Saskatchewan

On July 12, 1906 fire destroyed all the barns of John Reynolds at Frankville. It was started by a young boy playing with matches. As nearly all the men of the area had gone to the Orange Walk it was hard to get help. The men and women who came had a hard time to save the house.

On September 5, 1906 Norman Godrich, aged 40, died after suffering a bad fall at the Frankville Cheese Factory. He was taken to hospital in an unconscious condition but died in a short time. As far as we know he had no relatives. He had worked at the factory some time and was well thought of.

The barns on the Henry Johnston farm at Frankville were burned in August 1908. The owner lives in Saskatchewan but the farm is rented to William Curtis. When Mr. Curtis went to the barn in the morning he found a tramp sleeping in the hay mow. He ordered him off the place. The tramp was very angry and he said he would make it hot for him. Mr. Curtis went to the factory and when he was going back home he saw smoke coming from the barn. The fire spread rapidly and all the season’s crops were lost as well as seven pigs.

Two serious fires in Frankville caused a lot of excitement on November 6, 1916; the large barn of Watson Davis was burned. It must have been arson as the fire broke out in three locations at once, A calf was burned, but the cows were saved. Al the hay and grain was lost, also some tools and a wagon. On November 7 the barn of James Smith was burned and many places threatened. Richard’s store was scorched, and also William Ennis’ barn. Men of the village worked all night to save them. W. Richards thought his store was going and he had a heart attack and nearly died.

On October 11, 1935 hydro power was turned on at Frankville.

Irene Mott was killed July 5, 1938 by a farmhand at Frankville.

Willard Wing, age 3 drowned in a water tank at Frankville in 1942

An Athens man Arthur Reed, 42, was fatally injured on July 11, 1957 while at work at the Brundige Construction Co., in Frankville. He was welding  a tar tank when it exploded hurling his body into the air and blowing the roof off of the shop. He was rushed by ambulance to Kingston General Hospital but only lived a short time.

On August 31, 1958 a twister assed over Frankville causing a lot of destruction in just a few seconds. A garage owned by James Dawson was lifted from its foundations and carried 30 feet. Dawson’s car in te garage didn’t have a scratch. Trees went down like ten pins all over the village smashing several cars under their weight. A shed owned by Gerald Mercier was rolled over three times and came down again right side up. Roofs were carried away on the farms of Donald Davis and Byron Derbyshire.

On December 31, 1967, the home of Mrs. Ethel Neddo of Frankville was burned. Everything was lost, including all the clothing of her son George and two boarders Terry Reed and George Ouderkik.

A small house near Frankville was burned on April 29, 1969, occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Jordan Morris and their three children. Mr. Morris had gone to work at 6 am and shortly after an explosion occurred in the kitchen, The family escaped in their night attire.