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The United Empire Loyalist Settlement at Long Point, Lake Erie
Chapter LVIII. Buchner

There were four brothers of this name settled in New Jersey before the war, Mathias, Henry, John, and Martin. They came originally of good old German stock, and remained staunchly loyal to King George. Not content with a passive allegiance, they took up arms, not in defence of the "Vaterland” across the water, but in defence of the right of their adopted sovereign.

In the U. E. Loyalist record we have an entry to the effect that Henry and John joined the Royal Standard at New York, the latter in 1779. With regard to Mathias, the entry records show that he joined the Royal Army in the Jerseys as early as 1777. Martin is not mentioned, but, no doubt, he was an active loyalist also, for the four brothers came to this country together in 1795.

The long journey from New Jersey was made on foot, a walk of five hundred miles. The two children of Henry, a son and a daughter, Henry and Anne, mere infants at that time, were slung in baskets, one on either side of a pack horse. Father and mother walked by their side and carried a few small relics of their former home. They followed the military highway by Lake Champlain, Fort Ticonderoga, Plattsburg, and then turned Northward to Cornwall. Slowly they made their way by land along the north shore of Lake Ontario, and along the high road running west, which Governor Simcoe had projected in 1795, biit which at that time was, in many places, simply a blaze, for the Governor had left the Province before his intentions could be carried out.

They settled first at Lyon’s Creek, in the Niagara District, but about 1800, removed to the Long Point settlement, and received from the Government the following grants of land, chiefly in the township of Windham:

“John Boughner, son of Mathias, of Willoughby, Lincoln Co., 200 acres, 30th September, 1800.

“Mathias Boughner, jun., son of Mathias, 200 acres, 30th Sept., 1800.

“Anna Boughner, daughter of Mathias, 200 acres in Woodhouse, 23rd June, 1803.

“Alex. Boughner, son of Mathias, 200 acres, in Windham, 26th June, 1807.

“Getta Boughner, wife of Alexander (supra) and daughter of Jacob Glover, a U. E. loyalist, 200 acres in Windham, 16th Feb., 1811.”

Two daughters of Henry Buckner also received land.

“Elizabeth Owen, wife of Abner Owen, 200 acres in Woodhouse.

“Mary Wilson, wife of Joseph Wilson, jun., 200 acres in Windham, 4th May, 1811.”

The present home of Elias Boughner, on the 13th concession of Windham, is on the identical site of the original log cabin, erected just a century ago.

It will be noticed that the name as spelled in these entries is “Boughner,” a mistake of the copyist no doubt; but as the grants of land were drawn out in that name, the majority of the family adopted it thenceforward.

For years the wolf, the bear, and other ferocious animals were a source of terror to the early settler. The want of firearms and ammunition, in many cases made their extermination a task of great difficulty. They grew very bold and would come even by day to the door of the shanty, ready to seize the poultry, pigs, sheep, or provisions of the early settler, and even his little child, while night was made hideous by their incessant howling.

The little sheep-fold of Mr. Mathias Buckner had been broken into, night after night, by wolves. There was not a doubt as to the nature of the marauder, for a few inches of snow lay on the ground and the tracks were plain. He followed the marks through the woods to a cave at the mouth of which the bloody snow and scattered tufts of wool were an indisputable evidence that the offender had been tracked to his den. The mouth of the cave was not much larger than the body of a man. To attack a ferocious wolf in such a place might well make a man shudder; but, nothing daunted, Mr. Buckner prepared to enter the den. He fastened a candle on the end of a long pole and shoved it into the cavern, and, taking his musket and a pitchfork, he crawled in on his hands and knees. The roof of the cave was higher on the inside, and he was enabled to stand almost upright. Carefully looking around in the awful silence, he saw a pair of glassy eyes gleaming in the shadow. His life depended on one shot. He aimed a little below the glittering eyeballs, and a howl of pain told him that his shot was effective. But a frantic leap of the maddened animal showed him also that the wolf was far from dead. He seized the pitchfork, and, though his coat was torn by the claws of the wolf as he sprung aside, he succeeded in impaling the animal at the first thrust, and a few stabs settled it forever.

This story, and others as interesting, was told the writer by an old lady now nearly eighty years of age, living about two miles from Til-sonbunr. She is the widow of Peter, one of the six sons of Mathias.

Mrs. Boughner is an extraordinarily interesting old lady, with the marked conversational power of her family.

The family is an extensive one, and well and favorably known throughout the section, Mr. Elias Boughner being on two occasions the standard-bearer for the Conservative part}’ in North Norfolk. Though he missed election, the immense vote cast for him is an evidence of the regard and esteem with which his fellow citizens honor him.

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