Lives Lived Archive

Joseph H. Patrick
1863 - 1939
Raised with seven other siblings on a farm in Ilderton, Ontario Joseph H. Patrick, born in 1863, made remarkable advancements in breeding and showing farm animals. He learned much of what he knew from his father, Thomas III, who had bought a plot of farm land directly across from his own parents. Joseph was the oldest of his parent’s sons to remain on the farm and therefore inherited it upon Thomas III’s death in 1888. His father had already begun creating a reputation for the...
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Monroe Landon
1887 - 1980
Born in 1887 in Norfolk County Monroe Landon was dedicated to his pursuit of knowledge whether the topic be farming and livestock or some other living creature. In fact, his friends would comment that while he was studying at the Ontario Agricultural College he would spend most of his time in the library, more even than the time he spent in the classroom. Upon his graduation from the OAC, Mr. Landon was a farmer and breeder of purebred Jersey cattle which he often showed at the Royal Winter...
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John Smith Bessey
DECEMBER 9, 1832 - MAY 25, 1921
John Smith Bessey was born on December 9, 1832 in Esquesing township, Halton County, Upper Canada. The Bessey’s were originally from the Thirteen Colonies, and John’s grandfather fought for the British during the American Revolutionary War. The family were thus forced to flee the newly-established United States and came to British North America. Like many other United Empire Loyalists, the Besseys were granted land in the developing province of Upper Canada and took up farming....
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Seager Wheeler
1868 - 1961
Considered by many to be one of the most important farming individuals in Western Canadian history, Wheeler was a notable farm implement inventor and developer of grain seed and horticultural varieties. Few people will forget his prowess as a prize-winner of local and international competitions. A hard-working and extremely intelligent figure, he demonstrated the importance of visionaries such as himself during a time when farm research and theory was mostly conducted by government agencies...
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William C. Beaty
JANUARY 6, 1828 - JULY 26, 1895
William “Bucky” Crawford Beaty was a farmer and public spirited citizen of Halton County. He was born on January 6, 1828 on a farm in Trafalgar, Halton. He was the third eldest of the thirteen children of John Beaty and Elizabeth Stewart. His father had emigrated to Upper Canada from Ireland in 1818, becoming one of the first settlers of the Trafalgar township. The family farm was built on land that was awarded to him by the crown. Beaty struggled with his education in his...
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Charlotte Whitehead Ross
JULY 15, 1843 – FEBRUARY 21, 1916
Dr. Charlotte Whitehead Ross was a physician who was well-known for practicing throughout rural Manitoba. She holds the illustrious distinction of being Manitoba’s first woman doctor, and one of Canada’s pioneers in the field. Throughout her career she would assist pioneer families who were living in isolation with often severely limited resources. Her commitment, compassion, and indomitable spirit would ensure that rural Manitoba would develop along a safer and healthier...
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Dr. John Archibald Ruddick
JUNE 6, 1862 - MARCH 4, 1953
Dr. John Archibald Ruddick witnessed the growth of Canada’s dairy industry over a life nearly a century long, being involved in many of the developments along the way. Dr. Ruddick was born on a farm just outside In Ingersoll, Ontario. In 1866 Jonathon Jervis built the Maple Leaf Cheese Factory on the corner of the Ruddicks’ farm. Dr. Ruddick would take up occasional work throughout his youth at the factory, grafting him to the industry he would devote his life to. In 1880 Dr....
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William Saunders
1836 - 1914
At the age of twelve William Saunders immigrated to London, Ontario from Crediton, England where he’d been born in 1836. He received no formal education, but he began an apprenticeship with a local druggist. He was a natural at the career and opened his own pharmacy at the age of 19, which he later expanded into a wholesale pharmaceutical store. Saunders became a well known member of the North American pharmaceutical community, even becoming a founding member of the Canadian...
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Andrew Wesley Magwood
1888 - 1961
Andrew Wesley Magwood, born in 1888, was deeply involved in his local community’s agricultural pursuits. For 12 years Mr. Magwood acted as secretary for the Grey County Federation of Agriculture, which now serves 1450 farms in the area. During his time with the Grey Country Federation of Agriculture he coordinated over 100 farm forums. Aside from acting as secretary, Mr. Magwood also worked as president of the Hanover, Bentinck and Brant Agricultural Society. In that same area, he...
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James Mills
1840 - 1924
James Mills was born in 1840 near Bond head in the county of Simcoe to parents of Irish descent. He was the eldest of ten children. Mills was a figure who was committed to the improvement of agricultural education in Ontario, and his name is one that will forever be associated with the Ontario Agricultural College, for which he served as president and instituted a number of important reforms. Mills contribution to rural Ontario began at a young age. Although he lost his right arm in a...
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Daniel J. Morkeberg
AUGUST 2, 1870 - JANUARY 28, 1963
Born in Denmark on August 2nd 1870, Daniel J. Morkeberg was an extremely influential man in the Canadian dairy industry. Prior to his contribution to dairy in Canada, Mr. Morkeberg served in the Danish Royal Guard as a young man and was even afforded the opportunity to meet the man who would later become King Christian X of Denmark, who had been serving as a cadet at the time. A voyage to North America landed Mr. Morkeberg in Montana in 1892, where he spent much of his time working in...
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David Fife
1805 - JANUARY 9, 1877
The history of Canadian agriculture owes a great debt to the experimental efforts of one man. A Scotch immigrant farmer, David Fife was responsible for introducing a strain of wheat uniquely suited to the harsh and unforgiving Canadian climate. Known as Red Fife, this wheat served as the foundation of Canada’s agricultural prosperity through the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Born in Scotland in 1805, David Fife immigrated to the Province of Upper Canada (modern-day Ontario)...
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George Lane
March 6, 1856 – September 24, 1925
George Lane was born outside Des Moines, Iowa to Joseph and Julia Lane. His parents had an adventurous spirit, having set out together from their birthplace Indiana westward. Even after George had been born his parents continued to move and explore, first to Kansas with George in stow and then to Montana, where his father was one of the men to discover the Alder Gulch mine. Although his parents eventually settled on a fruit farm outside Boise, Idaho their adventurous spirit had certainly...
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Howard Laing Hutt
OCTOBER 5, 1866 - JUNE 27, 1948
Howard Laing was one of the most foremost figures in the history of Ontario horticulture. Hutt was born on a farm in Stamford township in Welland, Ontario, the oldest of seven children. He began his education at Cornell University before completing a degree at the Ontario Agricultural College in 1891 with a B.S.A. He was made the head of the horticultural department at the Ontario Agricultural College in 1893, a position he held until 1908. He combined the O.A.C.’s practical and...
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Harry J. Boyle
OCTOBER 7. 1915 - JANUARY 22, 2005
Harry J. Boyle was born in the small community of St. Augustine, Huron County, Ontario. Boyle’s home life was dominated by the general store that his father ran alongside their farm. Boyle spent hours each night taking in the sounds and stories of rural life as they conglomerated on the first floor. When Boyle’s father gave up his farming to focus on the store Boyle, still in his childhood, attempted to continue in his own small way by taking up gardening. A memorable anecdote...
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Charles McInnis
1896 - 1977
Born in Iroquois Ontario in 1896 Charles McInnis was a dedicated advocate on behalf of farmers, hoping to bring power to farmers in the marketplace. He worked tirelessly towards his goal through many means of activism, including involvement in a variety of committees and associations. In 1937 Mr. McInnis joined the Ontario Federation of Agriculture as an executive member. The Federation had only been created the year prior as the Ontario extension of the Canadian Chamber of Agriculture....
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Herbert H. Hannam
SEPTEMBER 27, 1898 - JULY 12, 1963
Herbert Hannam was born in 1898 in Swinton Park, Southgate district, Ontario. He was, in addition to being a dairy farm operator, a leading figure in the agricultural sector of Canada in the early 20th century; an editor, educator, and political leader involved in various organizations. Hannam grew up on his family farm before attending the Ontario Agricultural College. In order to finance his education, he taught in elementary schools in Grey County before graduating from the O.A.C in...
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Stewart A. Brown
1898 - 1966
Stewart A. Brown was born in 1898, Southwold, Elgin West, Ontario. His parents, Mary Brown and Duncan Brown, were of Scottish descent. One of the premier men in Canada’s cattle industry, Stewart Brown was a remarkable breeder, exhibitor, exporter, and judge who left an undeniable impact on the industry. Throughout his career he dedicated himself to the improvement of the cattle industry, demonstrated by the various positions he held. Brown’s career in the farming industry...
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William McCraney
DECEMBER 15, 1831 - JUNE 21, 1911
William McCraney was born on December 15, 1831 in Trafalgar township, Halton county, Upper Canada. His parents, Hiram and Louisa McCraney were one of the first settler families in Halton, being granted the land as did many other United Empire Loyalists who fled the newly-formed United States in the wake of the War of Independence. The McCraney’s were thus substantial landowners in the region, and contributed much to its early development. William McCraney used his family’s...
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Daniel Massey
FEBRUARY 24, 1798 - NOVEMBER 15, 1856
Daniel Massey was a farmer and farm-implement manufacturer of Upper Canada, notable for being the founder of the Massey farm implement business, the predecessor of the Massey Ferguson company, an enormously successful multinational corporation that is currently one of Canada’s premier farming equipment manufacturers. His company and its legacy would revolutionize farming in southern Ontario. Massey was born on February 24, 1798 in Windsor, Vermont, the son of American farmers Daniel...
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Celebrating 150 Years of Canadian Agriculture