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Bruce County Historical Society

Bruce County, Ontario, Canada

Incorporated 1901 - 1915       Re-incorporated 1957

In Memoriam



A keen historian, a gifted researcher, a committed family lady and a wonderful friend has been taken from our midst. We are sorry to report the death of Audrey Underwood, in her eighty-eighth year, at Port Elgin, Ontario on the 23rd of January, 2017.

Audrey was born on the 22nd of March 1929 near Windsor, Ontario in Essex County. Her father was Joseph Howard Webster who was born 30 June 1899 in Amabel Township, Bruce County and her mother was Louie Reta Stanton who was born 12 March 1897 in Treherne, South Norfolk, Manitoba. Although born in Manitoba, Audrey’s mother Reta moved to Saugeen Township, Bruce County before she was four. When Reta and Howard Webster married in 1925 both of their families were living on the River Road in Saugeen Township, Bruce County. Howard and Reta Webster settled into life on Grand Marais Road, East Sandwich Township, Essex County (later Windsor) where Howard had secured work with Silverwood’s Dairy. Their first child was Muriel Bernice born on 12 February 1927, and then Audrey was born on 22 March 1929. In 1932 the Websters’ house was destroyed by fire and the family moved back to Saugeen Township where they purchased the Stanton farm, named Melrose Farm, on the River Road from Reta’s parents.

One of Audrey’s favourite activities was singing. Starting from the age of four, she was in many choirs including the Glee Club in High School, the Junior Farmer Choir, the Pape Street Normal School Choir, the Burgoyne Ladies’ Quartet and in recent years as health permitted the Port Elgin United Church Choir.

Audrey graduated from Saugeen District Secondary School in 1947. She was good at sports, and participated in basketball, softball and track and field. She started skating at the age of five and enjoyed skating on the frozen ponds on her farm, and the local rinks at Ebenezer and Burgoyne where her parents frequently took Audrey and Muriel in the horse and cutter.

In 1947, Audrey’s teaching career began at S.S. #5, Saugeen Township. Being right after the war, there was a shortage of teachers, and many students like Audrey were urged to teach without formal training. The new teachers “observed” at another school for a day or two and then went to work. Audrey took her formal training in summer school at the Toronto Normal School on Pape Street in Toronto.

After three years of teaching, wedding plans were underway, and on the 23rd of September, 1950 Audrey married Bazil Underwood in the Port Elgin United Church. They lived on the Underwood “home” farm, in Arran Township for the next forty two years. Audrey and Bazil were blessed with six children between 1953 and 1964: Thomas James, Kenneth Bazil, John Raymond, Donald Howard, Jean Lenore and Lois Audrey.

One “adventure” in Audrey’s life was establishing a stable of Arabian horses in partnership with her daughters, Lenore and Lois, called Arran Arabians. They raised pure and part bred Arabians. She fondly recalled those days of attending horse shows and competitions with her daughters as some of the happiest times in her life.

Audrey was an excellent sewer who enjoyed quilting, sewing and needlework. She was an avid gardener and she especially enjoyed tending her beautiful flowers at Melrose Farm. She also loved to walk through the forest observing the wildflowers and the animals.

Audrey’s love of genealogy and family history inspired her to organize the first meeting of the Bruce Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society at her home in 1971. Years later, in 1989, she became the founding member of the Bruce County Genealogical Society. In 1996, the Bruce County Genealogical Society honoured Audrey by naming its library for her, the Audrey Webster Underwood Library which is part of the Research Room at the Bruce County Archives.

Audrey was also a life member of the Bruce County Historical Society. At an age when most people would be retiring from offices she took over the reins as president thus breathing new life and enthusiasm into the Society. She was instrumental in the Bruce County Barn Project, which is an endeavour to have every existing barn in Bruce County photographed because they are disappearing at a staggering rate. Barns form an important part of the history of the county and Audrey wanted to preserve images and information for future generations. Audrey was a member of the Municipal Heritage Committee of Saugeen Shores for many years. For several years recently she had been working on a book to document the families who settled in the Dunblane community in Saugeen Township and along County Road 3.

In 1996 Audrey moved to Victoria B.C. where she lived for three years. There, she continued to research her ancestors, sang in the choir of the Centennial United Church, became a member of the Victoria Quilters’ Guild, and walked and hiked in the mountains and by the ocean. In 1999 she returned to Ontario and moved into her childhood home, Melrose Farm on the River Road. She moved to Port Elgin a few years ago, and quite recently to Paisley and then Elgin Lodge, in Port Elgin for a very brief time.

Audrey is survived by her six children, twenty one grandchildren and fifteen great grandchildren. She is also survived by her sister Muriel Stewart of Ottawa. Her funeral was held 28th of January, 2017 at the Port Elgin United Church. Memorial donations were requested by the family to the Bruce County Genealogical Society for the “Audrey Webster Underwood Library” and to the Dunblane Presbyterian Church.



On November 25, 2016 with the passing of Kent M. Lamont the Bruce County Historical society lost a long time active member.

Kent was born in Saugeen Township on May 19, 1923. He was the son of Donald (Dan) and Florence (nee Webster) Lamont. He was the second oldest and last surviving of six children. They were the fourth generation of Lamonts on the second concession of Saugeen Township. Much against his mother’s wishes Kent elected to join his father on the farm rather than attend High School in Port Elgin. It was a decision he never regretted.

With his older brother Don already serving in the Royal Canadian Air Force, Kent was kept at home to help on the farm. In the early 40’s he purchased the farm on the 4th concession which backed onto the home farm. In 1947 he married Edythe Bumstead, a nurse from Meaford and they began their family life together. They had 5 children Richard (1949), Norma (1950), Ron (1952), Gord (1955) and Ross (1956). Richard passed away in 1954 at age 5. Edythe passed away in 1987 almost exactly 29 years before Kent’s passing. He is survived by the remaining four children, six grandchildren and eleven great grandchildren.

Kent was a progressive and hardworking farmer. He built up a herd of pure breed Ayrshire cows and feed beef cattle. He took great pride in growing good crops, feeding his stock well and being a good neighbour. His fondest hobby was raising and showing Clydesdale and Commercial horses.

Kent always had a strong commitment to his community. He served in many farm and farm related organizations such as junior farmers, crop improvement, fair boards, plowmen’s association and Clydesdale and Commercial horse associations. He also supported recreational activities including being the first President of the Port Elgin minor hockey association and an executive member of the Port Elgin Intermediate hockey club.

Kent was a lifelong member of Queen Hill and then Tolmie Memorial Presbyterian Churches. He sang in the choir and served as an Elder for many years. Later he spent many years on the Board of Management for the Dunblane Presbyterian Church (where his mother had been the first church organist).

Following in the footsteps of several generations of Lamonts he was involved in political activities. Kent served on school board for many years and was among a group of trustees who had the vision to build the Port Elgin Saugeen Central School. He was an active member of the Liberal Party of Canada and Ontario, serving as riding president at both federal and provincial levels, acting as a successful campaign manager and winning the federal Liberal nomination in 1965.

History was always an area of great interest for Kent. He had a broad knowledge of local history and loved to read about history. While he enjoyed learning of the famous individuals in Canadian history he most loved the stories of local families that settled in Bruce County. Kent was chair of a community group known as the Saugeen History Hunters who published a Saugeen Township history in 1984. He was the last surviving member of that group. He later served on the executive of the Bruce County Historical Society including two years as the President. In his later years the Annual General Meeting of the BCHS was a highlight for him and he enjoyed his annual year book.

Kent will be missed by his family and many friends. He was not just interested in Bruce County history he was a part of it.


Lynn William Caldwell, was born June 1, 1944 to William (Bill) George and Betty Rose (Friar) Caldwell at the Walkerton Hospital. He was big brother to Garry (1946), Lloyd (1948) and Grace (1958). Sadly he was predeceased by 2 infant brothers Robert in 1949 and James in 1951. The first year of his life was spent on Concession 10, in Elderslie Township. From there, his parents rented a farm in Bruce Township on Concession 10, for another year, until they purchased the farm in 1946 on Concession 12 of Bruce Township. Lynn had lived on this concession ever since!

Lynn attended SS #15, a rural school in Bruce Township. He then went to high school in Port Elgin until Grade 10 and then furthered his education more at Business College in Galt, where he took accounting for part of the year. However, Lynn did not enjoy city life and was glad to get back to the country!  

As a young man Lynn worked for various neighbours learning carpentry and farming. Lynn also worked at the Port Elgin Co-op for a year before going to work with various companies constructing farm buildings; J.&H. Fleming in Hanover and Walkerton Building Supplies. He worked at Bruce Packers, Paisley, where all the brothers worked at one time or another but he eventually decided to start farming. Lynn rented the farm for a year before purchasing it in 1965. It was referred to as the "Hay Farm".  

In the winter of 1964, Lynn met Marguerite Ann Northcott through a teacher friend at a Youth for Christ group. Faith was important to both Lynn and Marguerite, and so it was fitting that they met at a Christian group. On July 30, 1966 Lynn and Marguerite were married – they would have celebrated 50 years this year however, Marguerite passed away in May of this year. Marguerite and Lynn, were married at Four Square Gospel Church in Durham by the Rev. Dave Illman. They were blessed with three children: Stephen, Sandra and Susan and eight grandchildren: Aaron, Alyssa, Samuel, Raymond, Alexander, Morgan, Owen and Lyndon.  

Lynn started farming with beef cattle for a while, then switched to raising and selling registered Holstein heifers. Upon deciding to milk Lynn began with a very small herd of 12 milk cows. At first Lynn and Marguerite just shipped the cream, by taking it to the Paisley Creamery as there was not much volume. Gradually the volume increased and it would be shipped by cans. However, they soon realized this was too much work! So Lynn added a milk house with a bulk cooler tank by 1968 and added a silo in 1969.  

On March 9, 1974 the family experienced the devastating barn fire that Marguerite so eloquently wrote about, later. They lost their entire herd of registered Holsteins. Lynn was able to save fifty young heifers and a bull waiting for transport to Mexico. Yet again, faith played a notable role for the Caldwell family as they were able to see the blessings amongst their sorrow. They were very thankful that the fire did not spread to their home.  

Marguerite wrote, “While we had no income, many generous gifts helped see us through this difficult time, including a crate of eggs and a load of hay. . . .Truly, everything worked out well in the end.” (Our Family Farm stories from Bruce Grey. Port Elgin: The Brucedale Press, 2014) Their prayers were answered as to what to do next, the Caldwell family was able to purchase the Cumming farm, still on the 12th, and by November of 1974 they were ready to move onto it. Marguerite and Lynn remained on this farm until their deaths.  

Sadly enough, in 1980 Lynn was diagnosed with Farmer’s Lung, caused from the mold in the grain, and he was forced to sell the Dairy Cattle. During, and following this, Lynn simply continued on, in his determined style, with various business deals to keep him busy.  

In 1984 tragedy struck once again and Lynn rolled the cattle truck, breaking his wing bones near bottom of his spine. However, it seems that this is all part and parcel of trying to make it as a farmer. Lynn doggedly continued on, buying and selling lots of equipment to Northern Ontario, cash cropping, and raising various animals – Beef, Sheep, etc. Lynn also raised a few foals as driving horses. Selling seed for various companies, which then branched out to include a seed cleaning business, which was started by Lynn and still runs today! To know Lynn was to know his love of antiques and tractors. He owned a variety of tractors but loved John Deere tractors the best! Indeed, Lynn William Caldwell was a well-respected business man, not only for his integrity, but also his work ethic, compassion and honesty. And it is these fine qualities that Lynn has instilled in the Caldwell family. He was told at a young age to be “an asset to the country not a liability”. Lynn was always there to help others!  

Lynn was often seen wearing his farm cap, heard whistling a hymn and was sure to have with him a toothpick and pocket knife. He had a good sense of humour and loved to joke and had an amazing memory. Like Marguerite, family was most important to Lynn. Giving tractor and combine rides to the grandchildren and friends gave not only the riders but also Lynn great joy. He also enjoyed making maple syrup and playing crokinole and checkers with the grandchildren. Other favourite family activities were family reunions, Christmas and enjoying ice cream. Interestingly enough, Lynn loved his cell phone, thinking it the best investment and piece of equipment ever! Woodworking was another passion of Lynn’s, as was finding a good auction deal on antique bells, tractors, or farming tools. Lynn always took the time for others and loved to talk! The family often joked that he should have hung a shingle out as a farm consultant! They also joked about “Caldwell Time” which meant always being late!  

Lynn enjoyed traveling the countryside checking crops and knew almost all the back roads in Bruce and Grey Counties. He always liked to take a scenic route and never the same way twice. In 1981, Lynn and Marguerite packed up the three children and drove the car for three weeks to Kelowna, BC and back, visiting friends and relatives along the way. Later Lynn and Marguerite were also able to travel to England and New Mexico to visit relatives and to Iowa on a seed business trip.  

Lynn also served his community by functioning on numerous committees: Bruce County Heritage Association – since it began after the 1993 International Plowing Match, first show 1994; International Plowing Matching 1993 – Antique committee; Bruce County Historical Society (also President); Home and School – (also President); Church Board / Member – involved since its inception in 1952/53; West Bruce Feeder Finance – for years; Bruce County Farm Safety – (also President); and as a 4-H Leader in the Maple Syrup and Feeder/Stocker Club.  

Lynn loved making connections and a big part of, not only his wisdom but also sharing, this was his various sayings, here are a few:
· Summer fog will cook a hog. Winter fog will freeze a dog.
· Leap year – it will jump out at you every time!
· Frogs croak 3x before spring is officially here.
· A bird in a hand is worth 2 in a bush.
· When ash comes out before the oak, oats and grass be sure to choke. When oak comes out before the ash there will be sure a splash.
· Corn had to be knee high by the first of July.
· What you sow is what you reap.
In addition to all of the above, Lynn often defined the success of the day by two things: Making a deal (and a good one at that!) and learning something new.  

In true Lynn style, he waited until his beloved Steam Show was ending on Sunday afternoon, August 21, 2016 to take his last breathes. He was 72. He now is reunited with his beloved Marguerite.  

Cherished dad of Stephen (Amanda) Caldwell of Elderslie Township, Sandra (Laszlo) Guta of Paisley and Susan Caldwell (David Camp) of Stouffville. He will live on in the hearts and minds of his grandchildren, Alexander, Morgan, Owen, Aaron (Sarah), Alyssa, Samuel, Raymond and Lyndon. Lynn will be sadly missed by his brothers, Garry (Ila) Caldwell of Paisley, Lloyd (Diana) Caldwell of Chatsworth and his sister Grace (James) Birrell of Pinkerton, as well as many nieces and nephews. Fondly remembered by his sister-in-law Mary Northcott of Williamsford. He was predeceased by his beloved wife Marguerite and his parents, William and Betty (Friar) Caldwell.  

Visitation [was] held at Immanuel Evangelical Missionary Church, Paisley on Friday [August 25] from 1 – 4 and 7 – 9 p.m. [and] a funeral service celebrating Lynn’s life [was] held on Saturday, August 27, 2016 at 11 a.m. Interment in Lovat Cemetery, Bruce Township.

Memorial donations to the Bruce County Heritage Association, Saugeen Memorial Hospital Foundation or Paisley Missionary Church would be appreciated as expressions of sympathy.

from Rhody Family Funeral Home



Peacefully, with family by his side, at the Residential Hospice of Grey Bruce, Owen Sound, on Saturday, July 26th, 2014, in his 78th year. Don, loving husband of Sharon (nee Lacasse). Don is survived by his sister, Noreen and her husband Harry Kibler, brother, Howard and his wife Audrey Ribey, sister-in-law, Marsha and her husband Dan Lewis, brother-in-law, Patrick and his wife Sheree Lacasse, and many loving nieces and nephews. He is also a special nephew to Marion (McKenzie) Lougheed, and Bert McKenzie and Jean Foden. Don is predeceased by his parents, Wilmer and Jean (McKenzie) Ribey, sister, Marion and her husband Alvin Schlorff, niece, Elinor (Schlorff) Phillips, and his father and mother-in-law, Norman and Eva (Schock) Lacasse.

Don was an educator /administrator with the former Bruce County Board of Education, a life long member of Wesley United Church (Bruce Township), an active member of the Bruce Township Historical Society for the past twenty years, and a world traveller.



McSPORRAN, Donald Halbertson - King's Scout RCAF Pilot, Bomber Command Teacher Construction Inspector Designer Conservationist Story Teller Died on 27 December, 2013. Don was born in 1920 to Malcolm McSporran and Minnie Butchart. He had three siblings: Duncan, Barbara and James. He lived in Toronto's Lawrence Park, where his grandfather James Butchart, built houses. Don joined the RCAF in 1940, his bomber shot down in 1942, prisoner of war until 1945. He Married his true love, Irma Westenberger, a nurse, in 1949. He taught school near Toronto and in Richards Landing in the early '50's; worked as construction inspector on the Mid-Canada Line, communications lines in Newfoundland, and the Toronto Subway, finally at the Toronto International Airport design office. Don and Irma transformed the Queens Bush Farm just west of Chesley (from 1971) back into a forest, renovated the house and joined various historic and conservation organizations. They donated part of their farm to the Escarpment Biosphere Conservancy. They travelled extensively to South America, Mexico, Australian, New Zealand, Europe, crossing Siberia, visiting St. Petersburg. Don died peacefully on 27 December with Irma at his side, after a neighbours' farewell day at their farm (23 December) and a festive Christmas day with his daughter and grandchildren. He is survived by his wife, Irma, his children, Malcolm and Joanne; his grand-children, Shenandoah and Anpayo; Edana, Freya and Bryn; and his great grandson, Carter. His son, Alexander died in Vancouver in 2009, and was survived by two adopted relatives from the Philippines, Joanna and Bernard Pereno. Don McSporran was one of those great Canadians who, having lived through the adversity of the depression and the War, came home and made this country the, peaceful and just society that it has become. He was a model citizen, providing an example for all, of an honest, ethical, hard-working member of society. He was frugal, yet generous, optimistic and steadfast; the kind of Canadian we all hope to become. We will always remember him for his kindness, good nature and fine story-telling abilities.

Don and Irma McSporran were the Bruce County Historical Society's book custodians and area directors for the society's east region for many years.



Well-known Chesley furniture manufacturer, conservationist, sportsman and historian, Bruce Arthur Krug, passed away in Chesley on May 21, 2013 in his 95th year. He was the son of the late Christian and Mary (Hauser) Krug. Bruce was the last surviving member of his immediate family and was predeceased by his sisters Lily (Alfred) Siegrist, Florence (Ralph) Gibson and brothers, Wilfred, Russell, Howard and Reverend Crossley. A funeral service celebrating Bruce’s life was held on Saturday, May 25, 2013, with interment in Chesley Cemetery.

The Krug family is well known for the Krug Brothers & Co. Furniture Manufacturers, spearheaded in 1886 by twin brothers Conrad and Christian Krug. It was a true family business with their three brothers and their brother-in-law working with them. Over the years many Krug offspring worked at the factory. Christian’s son Howard took over the family business in 1941 when his father died and his brother Bruce joined him five years later.

Bruce and his brother, Howard Krug, were considered pioneers and leaders in reforestation in Bruce and Grey Counties. They donated the Kinghurst Tract of 600 acres of old growth forest in Sullivan Township, Grey County to the Federation of Ontario Naturalists in order that the land will be left in perpetuity as a nature reserve for the people of Ontario. The land has been designated as an Area of Natural and Scientific Interest.

Throughout his life, Bruce, along with brothers Howard and Wilfred, showed an interest in the recording and collecting of history. Bruce’s interests were varied, collecting photography, books, postcards, stamps and a huge array of artefacts relating to pioneer life. Over the years, Bruce and the Krug family have contributed both money and artefacts to the Bruce County Museum & Cultural Centre.

Bruce was the first President of the reorganized Bruce County Historical Society in 1957. In 1990 Bruce was recognized as honorary president, a lifetime tribute. Members of the Bruce County Historical Society are very appreciative of the support of Bruce Krug and his family over the years and extend their sympathy to his extended family of nieces and nephews.



Past executive member of the Bruce County Historical Society, Christine Welsh, passed away in Port Elgin on May 23, 2013 in her 92nd year. Christine was the loving wife of the late Keith Alexander and mother of Brenda Kaake and the late Butch, the late Doug and his wife Patricia, Bill and his wife Darlene. She was predeceased by her brother Goldie McCulloch, sisters Flora Chisholm, Margaret Wright, and Evelyn Gregg, and sister-in-law Dorothy Daniel.

Christine was born and raised in Saugeen Township and attended S.S. No. 5 Public School right on her family’s farm property. After attending High School in Port Elgin, she graduated from Stratford Normal School and began teaching at the Burgoyne School, S.S. No. 2 Arran. She married Keith Welsh, a local farmer who lived a short distance from the school. After Keith’s passing, when their son Bill was about two years old, Christine went back to teaching, eventually retiring from Saugeen Central School, Port Elgin.

From 1988-1993 Christine filled the various rolls of Vice-President, President and Past President. She then moved to the role of Newsletter Editor from 1994-1997. Members of the Bruce County Historical Society are very appreciative of the contribution Christine Welsh made to the Society and extend their sympathy to her family.



The society's membership secretary Donelda MacKinnon of Tiverton died March 15, 2007, at the South Bruce Grey Health Centre in Kincardine. She was 81.

Donelda served as membership secretary from 1997 to 2006. She was the area director of the society for Bruce West from 1990 to 1996.

She was born in Bruce Township on March 14, 1926. She and her husband Bruce farmed in Kincardine Township until his death in 1981. She managed the farm until 1986 when she moved to Tiverton.

She was a member of Knox Presbyterian Church and the Eastern Star. Donelda was a tireless worker and well-respected in the community.



Bruce County Historical Society lost a much valued member in the passing of Marion McGillivray in late 2006. Marion was editor of the yearbook for most of the 1980s and served as secretary of the society for many years.

Marion was also editor of Reflections of Arran and All Our Yesterdays, the Arran Township and Culross Township histories, and she was layout and production editor of Bruce Township Tales and Trails.

She was author of two books still sold by the Bruce County Historical Society. From City Streets to Trackless Forest is an historical novel. In it Marion skillfully wove the known facts and family lore about her great-grandmother Jane Smith, later Mrs. Peter Bartleman, into a credible tribute to one of Bruce County's earliest pioneers. Critical Years, co-written with Chris Paterson and published by Bruce County Historical Society in 2002, is a history of the Bruce County Museum and Archives.

Marion was honoured by the Bruce County Historical Society in 2003 for her many years of service. The plaque at that time noted that she "faithfully dedicated herself for many years as teacher, editor, secretary and friend to the causes of education, historical research and the retention of the archives, in the County of Bruce".

Her many accomplishments as a secondary school teacher and local historian are a legacy which will benefit many for years to come.



(Donalda McClure, a former president of the Bruce County Historical Society, died in Chesley Nov. 14, 2005. The following appeared in the Owen Sound Sun Times Nov. 16.)
By Mary Golem
Sun Times Correspondent

Her family remembers her as loving, hard-working, determined individual.

Many others remember her as the "voice of Chesley," a woman who for many years reported the community's events to area newspapers, radio and television stations and was actively involved in a host of community organizations.

Donalda McClure died Monday at the Parkview Manor Nursing Home in Chesley. She was 97 years of age.

From 1960 to the late 1990s, Mrs. McClure reported the news from Chesley district to The Sun Times in Owen Sound, the Kitchener-Waterloo Record, CKNX radio, CKNX television, CFOS radio and on a few occasions to CBC radio.

Her grandson, Matt McClure, now in India, followed in his grandmother's footsteps and works as a foreign news correspondent for CTV News.

Upon learning of his grandmother's death, Matt emailed a note home to his father David saying his grandmother "was full of life and lived every day to the fullest. I always admired her seemingly endless drive. Just to say I'm from the same stock makes me immensely proud."

David McClure, who now lives in Grand Bend, said he has fond memories of his mother "and how she surely whetted my son's appetite for journalism" by taking him as a young boy to a council meeting in Chesley. He then watched as she prepared and filed a report to several news outlets.

Donalda Laverna (McGregor) McClure was born in Bentinck Township on Feb. 23,1908, the daughter of Jessie Young and Donald McGregor. She attended S.S. 9 Sullivan and U.S.S. 2 Sullivan and Elderslie (Scone School) from 1914 to 1922, and the Chesley High School from 1922-1926. She wanted to be a teacher, but her father's disability from a back injury prevented her from doing so and she worked on the farm. However, five of her nine children became teachers, as did some of her grandchildren.

David McClure recalls hearing his mother share memories of the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918-1919. "Many in the Chesley area died from the flu," she wrote. "Mom remembered the tolling of the Chesley church bells at the time of a death. She remembered taking food in baskets to neighbours who had the flu, leaving the food on the neighbour's doorstep." None of Mrs. McClure's family died during the epidemic.

She remembered the Great Storm of Nov. 9,1913, when so many ships sank on Lake Huron, David added, and told of her father propping boards against inside windows to prevent them from bowing in and shattering from the wind pressure.

Mrs. McClure met her future husband, Matthew James (Jim) McClure, at a Scone School box social, where women prepared lunches, which were then auctioned off in a fundraiser. Jim bought the lunch Donalda had prepared. They were married on June 5, 1928, and honeymooned on the S. S. Hibou, a Georgian Bay cruise ship out of Owen Sound. The Hibou water tanks or water pumped from Georgian Bay must have been contaminated and Mrs. McClure contracted typhoid fever. She spent the first month of her marriage in the Owen Sound Hospital, her weight dropping to 90 pounds.

James and Donalda McClure had a family of nine - Jean and Elizabeth, both deceased, Jim of Collingwood, Scott of Toronto, Jessie in Nova Scotia, Donald of Chesley, David of Grand Bend, Bill of Chesley and Malcolm, stillborn. There were 31 grandchildren and 39 great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by her husband Jim in April, 2003, just two months shy of their 75th wedding anniversary, four grandsons and one great-grandson.

"Mom and Dad had difficult times during the Great Depression," David said, "but their resourcefulness was such that we were completely unaware of the Depression. Examples of my parents' resourcefulness included growing about five acres of market garden and selling the produce in Chesley and other towns, raising poultry which would be killed, plucked and sold at the Owen Sound barbecue Diner, marketing northern Ontario blueberries shipped the day before from Blind River to Chesley by rail, grinding wheat screenings late at night for a local cattle farmer ... growing raspberries and strawberries and selling nursery stock."

Donald McClure of Chesley remembers one summer his mother picked 800 quarts of raspberries, often having them picked and delivered to a store in Hanover before the store even opened. He also remembers the year she had 800 tomato plants in her garden.

Along with selling garden produce, the McClures operated the family's water-powered feed mill business. The mill, built in 1883, is a Chesley landmark and is now operated by their grandson Bob. David also recalled his parents shipping fertilized eggs to Connaught Laboratories in Toronto in the 1950s for production of the Salk polio vaccine. Both, at different times, were president of the Bruce County Historical Society.

Mrs. McClure was also chair of the Chesley Public School Board in the 1960s, a life member of the Chesley Hospital Auxiliary, long-time member of the Chesley Horticultural Society and "a staunch Liberal" who also liked to read, quilt, make bread, keep scrapbooks, spin wool, knit and crochet, her daughter-in-law Shirley said. "I just don't know how she had the time to do all the things she did."

An active member of the Free Presbyterian Church (later known as the Presbyterian Reformed Church) in Chesley, Mrs. McClure had a strong Christian faith and a caring attitude toward others. Known for her remarkable memory and knowledge of Chesley's early days, Mrs. McClure "will be missed," Arran-Elderslie Mayor Ron Oswald said. "The McClures are a pioneer family in Chesley," he said. "Both Donalda and her husband Jim served their community well ... Donalda was a great ambassador for Chesley, a very sincere and dedicated lady."




Matthew James (Jim) McClure, a strong supporter and tireless worker of the Bruce County Historical Society, died in his 98ih year March 8, 2003 at Parkview Manor, Chesley.

Mr. McClure was born in Mooresburg, Sullivan Township, Grey County, the fourth of seven children of Matthew David and Elizabeth (Elliot) McClure. He lived in Toronto until the early 1920s when he cycled to Chesley to work in his grandfather Elliot's mill, which had been sold to his parents.

He met Donalda McGregor at a box social in the Scone School. They married June 5,1928, at the McGregor farm in Sullivan Township, and lived on the west side of Chesley where he operated the grist mill. Keenly interested in politics, education, and history, Jim was involved in several organizations in Chesley and Bruce County. He was a life member of the Bruce County Historical Society since its reorganization in 1957, becoming President in 1963, and joint editor of its Bulletin until 1970. He was on the New Horizons Committee from 1979 to 1989. Jim was co-chairman with John Sim of the Bruce County Archives Building Committee & Trust Fund from 1969 to 1975. Jim was a member of Chesley Council, 1963 to 1969, and a School Trustee 1950 to 1955. When Jim had the time he enjoyed woodworking, and started making grandfather clocks. His goal was to build one for each of his children, making his pattern from the grandfather clock in his home. He enjoyed knitting, which he learned as a child making items for the Red Cross during World War I. He managed to find the time to knit scarves, mittens, toques and other things for his grandchildren. He was a devoted member, elder, and precentor of the Presbyterian Reformed Church, Chesley. Jim is survived by Donalda, his wife of nearly 75 years, five sons, Donald, Chesley, a past president of the Bruce Historical Society; David, Grand Bend; Jim, Collingwood; Bill, Chesley, and Scott, Toronto; one daughter, Jessie DeBaie, Nova Scotia. Also 26 grandchildren, and 31 great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by two daughters, Jean (McCurdy) McPhedran and Elizabeth Wathke, an infant son, Malcolm; also by four grandsons, Andrew McClure, Daniel McClure, Hugh & Philip Wathke; and one great-grandson, Aaryn Fulton. Jim was also predeceased by his sister, Estella Kenyon, and brothers, William E., Alexander D., John M., Douglas, and Innis S. McClure.

Funeral service took place at the Presbyterian Reformed Church, Chesley, Wednesday, March 12 at 2 p.m, conducted by Rev. A. McCombie. Pallbearers were son-in-law, Peter DeBaie, and grandsons, Robert McCurdy, Ian McClure, Robert McClure, Boyd McClure, and Campbell McClure. Spring interment will be in the Chesley Cemetery.



A well-known Chesley furniture manufacturer, conservationist, sportsman and historian, Howard Henry Krug, passed away in Chesley on 16 October 1997 aged 93 years.

Howard Henry Krug was born in Chesley 24 September 1904, son of Mr. & Mrs. Christian Krug. He was raised in Chesley and received his early education in that town. He attended the University of Toronto, graduating first in his class from the School of Forestry in 1926. While at university, he spent his summers in northern Ontario doing timber surveys for the Dept. of Lands and Forests.

Mr. Krug was known for the outstanding care taken in the Krug family woodlots which included the Kinghurst Forest in Sullivan Township, Grey County. In 1931 he instituted a programme of tree planting. Twenty-seven years later, a desk was made from four of the first pine trees planted. The Kinghurst Forest is remarkable in terms of both its size and its age. It is said to be the most mature, least disturbed upland forest of any size in Grey and Bruce Counties. It is comprised of 600 acres of hardwood trees, many of them over 200 years old and 100 feet tall. This land has been gifted to the Federation of Ontario Naturalists and has been designated as an Area of Natural and Scientific Interest (ANSI).

An avid ornithologist, Mr. Krug was noted for his contributions to bird banding in Ontario. During his lifetime he banded more than 100,000 birds. He also played a key role in bringing bluebirds back to Bruce County by establishing a chain of nesting boxes throughout the County. He was instrumental in securing Chantry Island, in Lake Huron off Southampton, as a national migratory bird sanctuary. Howard Krug was an enthusiastic sportsman. He was a keen ball player, played on the college team in Toronto, and, after returning to Chesley, on Inter-church teams. He was an excellent skier and tennis player, and helped to reactivate the Chesley Curling Club.

In 1950, upon the death of William Krug, he became president of Krug Bros. Co. Ltd. and continued to hold that office until the business was sold in 1987.

He was an adherent of Trinity Evangelical Church in Chesley of which his grandparents were founding members and which later became part of the United Church of Canada.

Howard Krug, along with his brother Bruce, was an ardent historian. He was one of the founding members of the reorganized Bruce County Historical Society in 1957. Howard and his brother, Bruce, have contributed generously, both money and artifacts, to the Bruce County Museum and Archives over the years. Members of the Bruce County Historical Society are appreciative of their support, and extend their sympathy to Bruce and the family.



Another victim of cancer, Mary Isobelle (Toots) Underwood, passed away in Southampton on 15 June 1998 at the age of 65. She was the wife of John V. Underwood of Southampton, and the daughter of Jean (Leask) Clazie and the late Grant Clazie of Saugeen Township. She is mourned by three daughters and one son - Mary, Andy, Jane and Betty, as well as eight grandchildren. She is also survived by brother, Jim Clazie and his wife Edna, and sister-in-law, Maureen Maundrell and husband Douglas.

Isobelle was a teacher for 35 years, first in several rural schools in Saugeen and later in Port Elgin Saugeen Central School. After retirement she became very active in numerous activities and hobbies, one of which was editing the Bruce County Historical Society Yearbook from 1989 to 1993. She was also a member of the Quilter's Guild and travelled throughout the County collecting pictures and data of antique and historical quilts. At the time of her illness she had been incorporating this into a history of Bruce County quilts.

We remember Isobelle for the enthusiasm she had for all her interests, whether it was preparing a programme for the South Saugeen W. I. or taking her school class on a tour of the local museum. We remember her for her dependability and loyalty to friends and associates and for original (and sometimes controversial) ideas which usually improved the "good" judgment of her co-workers to "better" judgment.

The Bruce County Historical Society is grateful for the years of service which she cheerfully gave, and offers its condolences to family members.



Mrs. Avery, the former Edna Kroft, was born and raised in Wallace Township, Perth County. While a teenager during World War II, she came to Kincardine to work in Malcolm's Furniture Factory, making parts for the wings of Mosquito Bombers. She married Orland Avery in 1955 and the couple farmed near Armow in Kincardine Township. In 1975 her husband died as the result of a tragic accident, but Edna continued to farm the property and lived there until hospitalized by her recent illness. She is survived by two aunts, and a sister-in-law, Mrs. Ruth Kroft.

Edna was interested in people, her neighbourhood, her church and local history. She took an active role in the society, serving as committee member, president, treasurer and a member of the Bruce County Museum Board. She also helped with the publication of the Kincardine Township History - all this in addition to her work in many other associations in church and community.

One has only to view her beautiful home at Armow to realize that her immaculate lawn and garden, her painted and well-kept farm buildings, her weedless fields and trim fences serve as a memorial to her diligence, intelligence, tenacity and boundless energy. The endless stream of visitors to her hospital bed during the past few months, as well as the huge crowd at her funeral clearly show the esteem in which she is held. May we warrant half as much when our time comes!



Mrs. Downey, the former Hilda Fairbairn, was raised in St. Catharines. She graduated from the Ontario Agricultural College (Entomology), Guelph, Ontario, where she met her husband George. In 1938 the couple were married and farmed Lot 19, Con. 12 of Kincardine Township. After George's death in 1982, Hilda continued to reside there until the last few months of illness. She is survived by her sisters-in-law Allison and Agnes, son Fraser at home, and daughter Janet (Mrs. Gary Robertson) of Gait.

Although not a native of Bruce, Hilda had a deep interest in its people, and this interest soon translated into a hobby, which became a life work in history and genealogy.

She was a founding member of the revived Bruce County Historical Society in 1957, acting for a short time as its treasurer, then its secretary for over 20 years. She was also one of the "Founders" of the Bruce County Museum and Archives at Southampton.

She quickly became an authority on the early settlers of her community, then, of the nearby villages and towns. She compiled the Tweedsmuir History of "Eskdale" and helped compile the History of Kincardine Township. She wrote weekly articles for the local newspaper entitled "Ae' Glint on Ither Days", and addressed groups far and near on her favourite topic. She was never too busy to answer queries, either by telephone or letter, and if she didn't know the answer, she would find out.



William (Bill) Collins was born 4 October 1910 in Kincardine Township, son of Annie and Thomas Collins. When he was three years old, the family moved to Saskatchewan to farm. Bill attended the University of Saskatchewan where he received his Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture. Bill was a cream and butter inspector for the Government of Saskatchewan. He married Frieda Schoepp of Langenburg, Sask., on 6 April 1942, and one week later he enlisted in the army and served overseas in the Canadian Signal Corps. After the war in 1946 he farmed on the lakeshore road at Bruce Beach and also spent a few years as dairy fieldman for Waterloo County, residing in Cambridge from 1962 -1972. Then he returned to his farm at Bruce Beach to retire.

Bill Collins was a dedicated and valuable member of the Bruce County Historical Society. He was an active member of the executive for several years and served on various committees, such as the New Horizons Committee which was responsible for the purchase of equipment to furnish the new Archives building in Southampton.

He seldom missed the monthly executive meetings regardless of the weather or distance. He helped arrange buses for the annual bus trips. No job was too small or too involved for Bill, and he could be relied upon to offer his help and suggestions whenever needed. He and his wife Frieda willingly assisted with decorating Historical Society floats for parades in communities throughout the County. When the big ploughing matches were held in Bruce County, Bill spent many hours helping with the Society's booth at the site. He has helped the Society to interview seniors and record their memories on tape. The Society has been making a collection of slides of houses, businesses, churches, schools and outstanding scenes of Bruce County and Bill has been in charge of it. He helped to compile several books for the Society.

Bill and his wife, Frieda, enjoyed travelling and went on many tours in recent years throughout the world. Many friends have enjoyed the travelogues they have given using slides taken on these trips.

In 1979 William Collins became president of the Society and was an excellent leader. He died on 23 May 1995 a week after attending an open house for the Society in the County Museum where they had a display of historical slides. His friendly advice and support are sadly missed.