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History of Toronto and County of York in Ontario
Part III: Township of Vaughan


VAUGHAN is situated west of Ycnge Street, which divides it from Markham, north of Etobicoke and south of King. It has an area of 67,510 acres. It ranks third in size among the townships of York, being a few acres less than Markham, but it is the second in pcint of population, having 6,828 inhabitants, according to the census of 1881. Survey was commenced in 1795 by Surveyor Tredell, and settlers began to come in during the following year. The concessions are laid out with Yonge Street as the base line, and are numbered to the west. There are eleven in all, the iotli and nth being defective. The survey was not completed until 1851, and ten years afterwards the side lines were re-surveyed. Owing to mistakes in the early survey of the line in the south-western corner of the township, considerable litigation was necessary before the boundary was rectified.

The following is a list of those who received patents in the earlier years of settlement:

1796—Asa Johnson.

1797—William 13. Peters, Captain Richard Lippmootl, Samuel Heron, Samuel D. Kiener.

1798—Jacob Fisher, jun'r, Nathan Chapman, Stephen Colby, Lieutenant Abraham Tredell, Jonathan Willcott, John McKarrby, James Cram, Jacob Fisher, Captain Daniel Cozens, Bernard Carey, Samuel Street, Hugh McLean, James Ruggles, William Graham, Nicholas Cower, Robert Franklin.

1799—Silas Cook, Priscilla Tenbreck, Garrett Klingerland, Thomas Barry, Hon. Alexander Grant, Thomas Butter, sen'r, John Tenbroeck.

1800—John Anderson, James Maul, Richard Gamble, Walter Roe.

1801—Jannette Anderson, John McDougall, Thomas Hill, George McBride, Thomas Knight, Dorothy Porter, Alexander Shaw, W. D. Powell, Thomas Forfar, William Forfar, John Wiritermute, Hugh Cameron, David Thompson, Annie Dally, James Ledan, Ann Davis, Peter Kulum, Joseph Hilts, Rachael DeFoe, Daniel Cozens, Samuel D. Cozens, W. D. Powell, iun'r, William Ilarlong, John Dennis, Garrard McNutt.

1802—Elisha Dexter, Robert Marsh, James Perigo, Mary Lawrence, Alice Osburn, Catharine Williams, Achsah Souls, Nicholas Miller, Sally Miller, John McDonnell, Elias Williams, Asail Davis, Eliza Davis, Nathaniel Huson, Rebecca Iluson, Ann Haines, John Size, Lawrence W illiams, [ohn Wintermute, Jacob Phillips, Sarah Hodgkinson, Conrad Frederick, Hugh Sweeny, Sarah Patterson, James B. Macaulay, George Macaulay, Augustus Jones, Samuel Sinclair, Charles Tremble.

1803—Abner Miles, William Bowkets, Michael Korts, William Hol-lingshead Benjamin Cozens, Abigail Bessey.

1804—John Easter, Joshua Y. Cozens, Thomas Medcalf.

1805— Daniel Soules, Samuel Sinckler, William Flannigan, Pichard Lawrance, Samuel Backhouse.

1806—John Hampstead Hudson, Ambroise de Farcy, Rene Augustin Comte de Chalus, Quetton St. George, Alexander McDonnell.

1807—Joseph Williams, John Cameron.

1808—John C. Stokes, Julian C. Bugle, Margaret Chapman, Jane Wortsell.

1809—John Wilson, jun'r, Eleanor Moore, Louisa Stephenson.

1810—-John Wilson, sen r.

1811—James Edward Small, John Robert Small, Eliza A. Small, Wm. Hunter, Lucy Allen, Haggai Cooke.

1812—Betsey Ann Holmes, Alex. Wallace, John Crosson.

1815—Sophia Dennison, Francis Henry Stephenson.

1817—James Richardson, jun'r, J. Augustus Stephenson.

1819—David Townsend Stevenson.

1820—Francis Renoux, Michael Saigon, James Marchaud.

1821—Maria Lavinia Hamilton, Augusta Honoria McCormick, Hannah Owen Hamilton, Wm. Monson Jarvis, S. B. Jarvis.

Several of the names in the list are those of French loyalist refugees who settled in the Oak Ridges region, concerning whom particulars have been given in connection with other townships. Another notable name is that of Captain Richard Lippincott, one of the U. E. Loyalists who attained considerable notoriety during the American War. He was a native of New Jersey and a Captain in the-Loyalist army. Joshua Huddy, who held the same rank in the patriot forces, having been made prisoner of war, was entrusted to Lippincott's charge until an exchange of prisoners could be effected. A relative of Pippincott's named Philip White, a loyalist like himself, had fallen into the hands of the patriots and been cut down while attempting to make his escape. In retaliation Captain Lippincott, acting without any recognized authority, hanged Huddy on April 12th, 1782, leaving his body suspended in the air with the following paper fastened on his breast: "We, the Refugees, having long with grief beheld the cruel murders of our brethren, and finding nothing but such measures carrying into execution, therefore determined not to suffer without taking vengeance for the numerous cruelties, and thus begin, having made use of Captain Huddy as the first object to present to your view; and further determine to hang man for man while there is a Refugee existing. Up goes Huddy for Philip White."

This unjustifiable act—for the killing of a prisoner attempting to escape was obviously no provocation for the deed—resulted in a demand by Washington for Pippincott's surrender, which was refused. A British officer, Captain Asgill of the Guards, who had fallen into the hands of the Americans, was selected as a victim in retaliation, and the time for his execution fixed, but strong influences were brought to bear in his behalf, and he was finally released. Pippincott at the close of the war obtained as compensation for his dubious "services" three thousand acres of land, a large portion of it being in Vaughan. His only child, Esther Borden, married George Taylor Denison, of Toronto. Pippincott died in Toronto in 1826, m his eighty-second year.

Another of the early grantees, Captain Daniel Cozens, was also a New Jersey loyalist. He raised at his own cost a company of soldiers, and at the close of the war his large estates in New Jersey were confiscated. He received from the Crown grants amounting to three thousand acres as compensation for his losses. Captain Cozens is said to have built the first house in the Town of York. He died in 1801, near Philadelphia.

Surveyor John Stegmann, whose name frequently appears in connection with the early survey and settlement of the townships of York, also settled in Vaughan. He had been lieutenant in a Hessian regiment, and served in that capacity through the American War, after which he took a leading part in the work of laying out the new settlements in this locality. His descendants still live in the neighbourhood of Pine Grove. The name is now spelled "Stegman."

The first saw-mill in Vaughan was built in 1801, by John Pyons, who came to Canada from New York State in 1794, and after living for a while in York, settled on lot 32, concession 1, in Markham. The mill was built on the main branch of the Don, where it crosses Yonge Street. In 1802 he constructed a small grist mill with a dam over 200 feet long and ten feet in height. The pond was used to conceal articles taken from the Government warehouse in York at the time the Americans were in possession of the town, during the War of 1812. The invaders generously presented the settlers with a quantity of agricultural implements belonging to the Canadian Government, and when they left a search was made through the country for these articles. Many of the residents in this locality consigned their share of the plunder to the waters of Lyons' Mill Pond for safe-keeping. John Lyons died in 1814, and his mills and other real estate were purchased by William Purdy, who added many improvements. His sons, in connection with their cousin, William Wright, built a tannery and grist mill. The Lyons' mill was afterwards used as a carding and full-'ng mill. A fire in 1828 consumed the new flour mill built by Mr. Purdy, and he sold the whole property to Thorne & Parsons. This firm, in the year 1830, built a new flour mill on a large scale, and also a tannery, and for many years afterwards a large business was done, the locality being named Thornhill in honour of the senior partner of the firm. Mr. Thorne failed in business in 1847, in consequence of heavy losses sustained 011 flour shipped to England, and shortly afterwards committed suicide. During the period of his prosperity he had added several other branches to his extensive business. After his failure the property fell into the hands of David Macdougall & Co. They were unfortunate, the principal buildings being destroyed by successive fires.

In 1820 Henry White built a distillery farther up the stream. On lot 34, concession 1, Nicholas Caber, a German, built a saw-mill in 1825, which was destroyed by an incendiary fire five years later, being rebuilt the following year. In 1835 it was bought by John Barwick, who ran it for many years, and subsequently sold out to George Wright. It was again burned and rebuilt, and is still in operation. On lot 36, in the same concession, Barnabas Lyons, a son of John Lyons, previously mentioned, built a sawmill in the year 1839, which was worked for about thirty years. Hiram Dexter built a saw-mill 011 lot 37, in the year 1836, which was in operation for many years. In 1830 John Dexter pat up a saw-mill on the next lot, which was in use until about 1870. At this point the stream divides, the west branch passing the village of Carrville and Patterson's Agricultural Implement Factory. On lot 16, concession 2, now Carrville, Thomas Cook built a saw-mill in 1850, which was worked for upwards of thirty years, until the supply of logs failed. O11 tli". next lot Michael Fisher built a sawmill, in 1820, and the year following put up a grist mill, which is still in good working order. The small village of Patterson is situated on lot 21, concession 2, where, in 1854, Messrs. Patterson commenced operations by the construction of a saw-mill, afterwards establishing here the extensive farm implement manufactory to which the place owes its prosperity. On lot 41. in the same concession, a saw-mill was built by Reuben Purr in the year 1828, which was worked for about twenty years. Mr. Purr was an excellent mechanic, and constructed the first fanidng-mill in use north of Toronto. Rowland Burr, his son, was one of the most noted mid and factory builders in the early days. lie put up a tlour mill—known as the Greenfield Mill—on lot 41, which was leased to Mr. Shephard, and was destroyed by fire about the year 1840. C. E. Lawrence built a saw-mill on lot 42, m 1834, and six years afterwards built a carding and fulling mill and woollen factory, which he worked for many years, until his death, after which it changed hands frequently. James Lymburner built a distillery on lot 43, which was afterwards conducted by Mr. Kurtz, who was succeeded by J. Clarke. The latter also built and kept a tavern at Richmond Hill. On the same lot occupied by the distillery, Lymburner built a small log r[st mill in 1811, which was afterwards owned by John Atkinson, who about 1840 put up a new grist mill at a cost of about £1.000. Mr. Atkinson afterwards fell into financial difficulties, and his property was purchased by Edward Hawke, of Toronto. This mill is still in good working order. A double-geared saw-mill was erected on lots 45 and 46 by James Playter in 1848, which is still extant. Higher up, on the same branch of the stream, stood a distillery built by James McDavids in 1844. A saw-mill was built by John Langstaff in 1847, which was the nucleus of various other industries dependent on the same water-power, including a foundry and edge-tool factor . Mr. Langstaff also had an implement factory on another small branch of the Don, in the immediate neighbourhood. This was constructed in 1850, a steel file factory being afterwards added.

On lot 50, concession 1, a saw-mill was built, in 1842, by a man named Heslop, and worked for many years. Peter Prank put up a saw-mill on lot 25, in the second concession, near Patterson, which was used for about twenty years. In all, there have been first to last twelve saw-mills, seven grist mills, and three distilleries, built on the Don and its tributaries in Vaughan Township.

The settlement of Vaughan was completed about thirty-five years after the arrival of the pioneers. The general character of the land is clay and clay loam; 19,266 acres being heavy clay, 41,074 acres clay loam, 5,670 acres sandy loam, and 1,500 acres sand. About one-third of the total area is rolling land. The low bottom-land does not embrace more than 1 ,ouo acres, and about an equal area is wet and springy. Thirty-five thousand acres are regarded as first-class agricultural land, the market price of which averages about $70 per acre; 20,000 are ranked as second-class, and are estimated as worth $50 per acre, and the third-class land, including 12,510 acres, is valued at $30 per acre. About one-half of the farms are under first-class fencing. One-third of the dwellings and out-buildings are of brick, stone or first-class frame. Under-drainage is not practised to any considerable extent, only about one farm i« twenty-five being under-drained As nearly as can be given the proportions of the area devoted to the staple agricultural products are as follow:—Fall wheat, 10,600 acres; spring wheat, 2,750 acres; barley, 6,600 acres; oats, 6,500 acres; peas, 5,000 acres ; potatoes, 700 acres; turnips, 700 acres; other root crops, 500 acres; hay, 6,600 acres; pasturage. 8,000 acres, and orchards, 500 acres. The average yield per acre of these crops is as follows:—Fall wheat, 15 bushels; spring wheat, 10 bushels; barley, 18 bushels; oats, 40 bushels; peas, 15 bushels; potatoes, 100 bushels; turnips, 500 bushels; other root crops, 500 bushels; hay, ri tons. About 11,000 acres is still wooded with pine and hardwood, which makes the total area of cleared land about 56,500 acres.

In "Smith's Canada" the population of Vaughan for 1842 is given at 4,300. In 1850 it had increased to 6,255. that time there were in the township five grist and thirty-four saw-mills, and the crop of 1849 produced 155.000 bushels of wheat, 4,000 bushels of barley, 102,000 bushels of oats, 46,000 bushels of peas, 51,000 bushels of potatoes, and 7,000 bushels of turnips. In the same year the number of Public Schools in operation was twenty.

According to the census of 1881 the total yield was 152,996 bushels of wheat, 149,795 bushels of barley, 242,483 bushels of oats, 75,283 bushels of peas and beans, 103,622 bushels of potatoes, 32,890 bushels of turnips, 48,019 bushels of other roots, and 8,656 tons of hay.

The population, like that of several of the townships of York, shows a slight decrease during the decade 1871-81, for which the exodus to the States and to the Canadian Norlh-West is partly responsible, but is larger-accounted for ;n the case of Vaughan by the incorporation of Richmond Hill, a portion of which :s embraced with the limits of the township. In 1871 the population was 7,657; in 1881 t was 6,828. Of the population in the latter year those of German origin numbered 993, being mostly the descendants of old settlers from Pennsylvania. There were 5,248 native Canadians, file occupiers of land numbered 824, of whom 500 were also owners. The total area in occupation was 67,848 acres.

In 1881 the live stock of the township numbered as follows:—Cattle, 2,952; horses, 2,481; sheep, 4,349, and hogs, 2,207. The principal breeds are Clydesdale horses, Durham cattle, long-woolled sheep, and Berkshire and Suffolk hogs. Among the owners of thoroughbred cattle are M. Reaman, Robert Marsh, William Agar, George Bell, Peter Frank, Jacob Lakmer and sons, and Edwin Langstaff.

The municipal records of Vaughan, which have not been preserved farther back than 1850, show that in that year the council was organized under the new legislation which then carne in force by the election of David Smellie, David Bridgford, John W. Gamble, James Adams and John Lawrie as councillors. At the first meeting held in the township hall in the fifth concession, J. W. Gamble was elected reeve and David Smellie deputy-reeve, James Ashdown was chosen township clerk, and Nathaniel Wallace, John Stephens and William Porter, assessors. At a subsequent meeting, Rev. James Dick was appointed superintendent of Common Schools at a salary of £20. In 1851 the councillors were David Smellie, D. Bridgford, J. W. Gamble, Alexander Mitchell and John Lawrie. The election for the offices of reeve and deputy resulted as before. Mr. Gamble held the reeveship without intermission untd 1858, when Mr. D. Bridgford, who had been elected deputy-reeve every year since 1852, succeeded him. In 1859-60, H. S. Howland was reeve and Alfred Jeffrey deputy. Robert J. Arnold filled the chair in 1861 and the two following years, with William Cook as deputy-reeve. In 18G4 H- S. Howland was again chosen reeve, and continued to hold the position umi] 1868. Alfred Jeffrey was deputy-reeve during the former year, and Thos. Graham for 1865-7. In 1868 the reeveship fell to Peter Patterson, and William Hartman and Robert J. Arnold became deputies. In this year All. G. J. F. Pearce, who had officiated as township clerk and treasurer for nearly ten years, resigned, and Mr. J. M. Lawrence was appointed to succeed him. Mr. Patterson held the reeveship for four years. David Boyle was elected reeve in 1872-3, and W. C. Patterson succeeded to the office in 1874, and retained it for several years. I11 1875 the number of deputy-reeves was increased to three by reason of the growth of population. The principal municipal officials for 1884 are as follows:—Reeve, T. Porter, Humber; 1st deputy-reeve, William Cook, Carville; 2nd deputy-reeve, D. Reaman, Concord ; 3rd deputy-reeve, Alexander Malloy, Purple-ville; councillor, George Elliott, Woodbridge ; township clerk and treasurer, J. M. Lawrence, Richmond Hill.

Mr. Lawrence is of U. E. Loyalist origin. His grandfather, John Lawrence, held the rank of captain in the royalist forces during the American War of Independence, and at its close he went to New Brunswick, where he remained until 1S17, when he came to Upper Canada. Mr. Lawrence's maternal grandfather, Robert Marsh, .settled in Vaughan in 1800.

The incorporated villages of Richmond Hill and Woodbridge are the most considerable centres of population in the township. Klineburg, a village about two miles from the western and three from the northern line, has a population of upwards of six hundred. Other villages in the northerly portion of the township are Purpleville, two miles east of Klineburg, Teston, Maple, and Patterson, further to the east. Vellore is in the centre of the township, and Elder Mills, Carrville, Pine Grove, Edgeley, Concord and Brownsville in the southern section. The Northern Railway traverses the township almost parallel with Yonge Street three or four miles to the west, and the Toronto, Grey and Bruce, entering it at the south, near the Humber, takes a north-westerly direction.

The first white child born in the Township of Vaughan is said to have been Susan Munshaw, who afterwards became Mrs. Wright.

The School Inspectorate of North York consists of the townships, towns and villages of the North Riding, together with that part of the Township of Vaughan north of the second side-road, which separates between lots ten and eleven across the municipality. For reporting purposes the whole Township of Vaughan is included. This inspectorate, therefore, comprises the townships of Georgina, North Gwillimbury, East Gwillimbury, Whitchurch, King, and Vaughan, the Town of Newmarket, and the Villages of Holland Landing, Aurora, Richmond Hill and Woodbridge; this last reporting only in the northern inspectorate. In these municipalities there are eighty-five school-boards, who employ from one hundred to one hundred and ten teachers, with an aggregate salary of over $40.000; an average of $425 to males and $265.62 to females. The outlay on building in 1883 was over-$8,ooo; on maps, etc., $400; on care-taking, heating, etc., $7,500; for all purposes over $56,000. The income from all sources in 1883 was over $62,000--nearly $3,700 from the Legislature; $7,000 from municipal grants; $32,000 from direct taxation, over $10,000 from C. R. Fund and other funded moneys, and the balance from 1882. The school population of this district is about 7,600, of which the attendance at present at school is forty-five per cent. Twelve years ago the percentage of attendance was thirty-seven and a quarter. The classification of the children enrolled in 1883 was as follows: 2,400 in the First Book; 1,600 in the Second Book; 1,800 :n the Third Book; 1,200 in the Fourth Book; and thirty-five in the Fifth Book. Nearly all are instructed in arithmetic and writing; considerably over half in geography, drawing, grammar and object lessons; while music, temperance and hygiene, geometry and mensuration, algebra, history and elementary physics receive a fair share of attention, according to the numbers in the classes for which these subjects respectively are prescribed. Drill and calisthenics are not entirely overlooked, though they are not taught in half the schools.

In this district there are ninety school-houses. Of these, thirty-two are brick and fifty-eight are frame. In seventy-four cases the premises are freehold and in sixteen the grounds are rented, while the houses are the property of the school corporation. Nearly fifty of the houses have been erected since the year 1871, and thirty have been enlarged or improved so as to meet the requirements of the Act of that year. Almost, if not all the school-grounds, are over half an acre, and many are double that size. School property, which has more than doubled in value in twelve years, is now worth $150,000, and $90,000 has been expended in the improvement of school premises in the same time.

The Township of Vaughan has eighteen school sections and unions with houses in them, and three unions with houses outside the municipality.

No. 1, union with Markham or Thornhill, is a brick house, with a frame addition, in the Village of Thornhill. The average, Vaughan part, 26, Markham part, 29. Teachers, R. O. Harvey and Annie Hendrie.

No. 2, union with Markham. Frame house on Yonge Street, lot No. 9. built nearly fifty years ago, is probably the oldest in the county. Average from Vaughan part, 4, Markham part, 15. Emma M. Ansley, teacher.

No. 3, Carrville School, stands on lot 15, half way across the 2nd concession. This frame building was enlarged a few years ago, and is conveniently arranged for its purposes. Teacher, James Bassingthwaighte. Average attendance, 38.

No. 4, a union wit In Richmond Hill, has no school of its own.

No. 5, or Hope School, stands on the west end of lot 28, in the 3rd concession. It is a brick building, with a frame addition for an assistant. Average, 37. Teacher, Abram Carley.

No. 6, Maple School, is a substantial brick structure, somewhat awkwardly divided into two rooms. Teachers, Joseph P. McQuarrie and Jennie Walkington. Average, 50.

No. 7, or Mudville School, on the east end of lot 6, 3rd concession, is a good brick building. The average is 32. Teacher, Chester Asling.

No. 8, Edgeley School, is a good brick house on the west end of lot 7, 4th concession. Average, 41. Teacher, Jacob II. Hoover.

No. 9, Town Hall School, is a large frame structure on the west end ol lot 17, in the 5th concession. Teacher, Nellie Franks. Average, 24.

No. 10, a tine, new brick building, stands on the north-west corner of lot 30, in the 5th concession. Average 24. Teacher, Robert Moore.

No. 11, Purpleville School, is a good frame house, with excellent furniture recently introduced. It is situated on the- east end of lot 27, 7th concession. Average, 34. Teacher, Wm. Watson.

No. 12, Pine Grove School, stands on the west end of lot 9, in 6th concession. The building is frame. Average attendance, 38. Teachers, John W. Franks and Annie Mason.

No. 13, on the east end of lot 6, in the 9th concession, is of brick. Average, 19. Teacher, Joseph Clark.

No. 14 is a union with, and has its school m, Woodbndge. Average attendance, 9.

No. 15. near the centre of lot 15, in the 9th concession, is a line, new brick building, fairly turnished and kept. Average, 38. Teacher, Thos. P. Hoidge. A small part of Toronto Gore is in union with No. 15.

No. 16, in union with 7. Toronto Gore, called the Coleraine School, is a brick building, rather awkwardly placed on the ground, and suffering from defective foundations. Teacher, Miss McDonald. Average, from Vaughan, 19, from Toronto Gore, 6.

No. 17, Wleinburg School, in the Village of Kleinburg, is a brick house, with frame addition for assistant. Its situation is tine, overlooking one branch of the Humber. Teacher, Kenneth Beaton. Average, 36.

No. 18, near the middle of lot 31, in the 10th concession, is a frame house, not well furnished. Average, 24. Teacher, James Asher.

No. 19, Patterson School, is a good brick structure, situated on the east end of lot 21, 2nd concession. Average, 28. Teacher, Hesse A. Nicholls.

No. 20, a new frame house on the west end of lot 31, in the 8th concession, has a good situation and is kept in fair condition. Average, 34. Teacher, James R. Graham.

No. 21 is a union with the house m Markham, about two miles north of Richmond Hill, on Yonge Street. Average attendance from Vaughan, 29.


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