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History of Toronto and County of York in Ontario
Part III: Village of Markham


THE Village of Markham is located in the southern portion of the township of the same name, on the line of the Toronto and Nipissing Railway, and about three miies from the line dividing that township from York. Settlement in this neignbourhood was commenced almost at as early a date as in the Town of York, the pioneers following the banks of the Rouge River, which for some t ne formed their readiest means of access to the front. The village is agreeably situated, and on entering it by the main road, which runs north and south, the charms of its natural surroundings are at once apparent. The soil m the neighbourhood is rich, and the farmers prosperous and wealthy, and consequently the village as a centre of local trade is a thriving and comfortable community, although latterly it has not increased much in population, owing to the centralizing tendency of our modern industrial and transportation system, which builds the larger cities and towns at the expense of the smaller places. The upper portion of the village to the northward is built on level land, the lower part where it is crossed by the Rouge being uneven and hilly. In 1851 "Smith's Canada" described Markham as "a considerable village, containing between eight and nine hundred inhabitants, pleasantly situated on the River Rouge. It contains two grist mills with three run of stones each, a woollen factory, oatmeal mill, barley mill and distillery, foundry, two tanneries, brewery, etc., a temperance hall, and four churches—Episcopal, Presbyterian, Congregational, and Wesleyan Methodist."' The population given by the census of 1881 was 954. The village was incorporated by by-law ol the County Counc il, passed on the 20th day of November, 1872, to take effect on the 1 st of January, 1873. The following were the members of the first Municipal Council, which held its lirst meeting on the 20th of January, 1873:— James Speight, reeve; Captain Thomas A. Mime, John Jernian, Henry Tane, and Hugh McGill, councillors. Henry R. Corson was appointed . clerk and treasurer; John D. Smith, police inspector; Levi Jones, license inspector, and John Doherty, assessor. Mr. Corson still retains the clerkship and treasurership. The reeve for the current year is G. R. Vanzant.

Markham Village has an excellent High School, the head master being Mr. Dion. C. Sullivan, LL.B. The number of pupils is about seventy. The school house, which is of brick, occupies a conspicuous position, and is an ornament to the village.

The Markham Economist, a well-known weekly journal, of Liberal politics, is of long standing, and exercises considerable local influence.


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