AN OCTOGENARIAN: WILLIAM JOYCE
From "The Napanee Beaver" Mar 26 1897
Mr. William Joyce, of North Fredericksburgh, now in the eighty-fourth year of his age, though not a native of this county, has spent so many years as one of its active residents that he may well be classed among our pioneers. He was born in County Armagh, Ireland, on the 11th of June, 1814. His father, George Joyce, owned a valuable farm and was among the well known farmers of his native county. He patriotically served his King in the Yeomanry during the rebellion in Ireland in 1798 under Col. Bleaker, of Carick Bleaker. The command was 300 strong.
The family emigrated to Canada in 1842. Crossing the Atlantic over half a century ago was a very different matter from doing so today. They sailed from Belfast on the 10th of May and experienced a tedious and boisterous voyage of seven weeks and three days, attended with the many privations and discomforts of a sailing voyage of those times. Among the members of their company were the parents, William, the subject of this sketch, his brother George Joyce, now of Richmond township, four sisters, Mr. and Mrs. William Bell, now old and well known residents of Tyendinaga, the parents of Thomas and Lewis Bell, now well known residents of North Fredericksburgh,, and Mrs. M. Nolan.
The survivors of that company have still reasons for a vivid remembrance of some of their experiences in connection with that trip. When off the Banks of Newfoundland, they encountered a very severe storm which lasted 24 hours, during which their ship appeared at times to lie helpless amidst the mountain-like waves. The captain ordered all the passengers, 213 in number, down below for safety and there they remained the long hours not knowing which one might be their last. At Quebec, they all changed for a steamer to Montreal, and the change seemed an agreeable one indeed. They left Montreal in a canal boat, in tow of the steam tug, "Shamrock" and just here they escaped a very serious danger indeed which appeared specially providential. The tug had a canal boat lashed on each side and the vessel in which they were was towed behind. Just after starting the Captain sighted Captain Neilson coming up stream with a steamboat for Kingston, and ordered on all steam so as to get ahead. In the sudden start the cable broke and left the canal boat quite in the rear. Before the Shamrock had gone very far, a loud report was heard and a cry of terror went up. The steam boiler had burst, destroying the vessel so that it sank on end in a few minutes. All the passengers on the tug and the two accompanying boats were either killed or badly scalded and the three boats sank together. Capt. Neilson hurried to the rescue, to help those who were now trying to help themselves, but most of the unfortunates sank with the boats. Capt. Neilson took the remaining boat in tow and brought them on to Kingston. The party soon found their way to North Fredericksburgh, where Valentine Joyce, the oldest brother, who came out the year before, had already settled. Valentine was well known for many years in the township; he died February 7th, 1893, an old man, and several members of his family are still residing in that locality.
The newly arrived family purchased Lot 11 in the 4th concession of Fredericksburgh and became permanent residents. There the subject of this sketch still lives, though now unable, because of age and physical infirmities to carry on business. His nephew, Thomas Bell, now conducts the farm. His father died in November, 1862, and had the satisfaction before that time of seeing all his family comfortably settled. The farm on which they located was at that time, like nearly all the others around it, still in a wild and uncultivated state, with very little clearings. The roads, back in the forties, were yet in a very rough state, with here and there barely enough clearing for teams to pass, and in the spring and fall all but impassable at times. The young people of today have little idea of the mud, the corduroy, the stumps and the stones found even in some of the best roads of the township at that time. Maple sugar making which was a very important part of farming at that time, was a novelty indeed to the new settlers, but they soon became initiated into its mysteries. Wolves were still plentiful and were frequently seen, and it was difficult to keep sheep, in consequence of their depredations. Deer, foxes and other small animals, were plentiful for years after.
Mr. Joyce has still pleasant remembrances of his trips to Napanee, to mill or market, with a yoke of oxen and the common ox-cart of those times. Many of the farmers made their trips to town that way at that time, their wives or daughters perhaps riding in the cart, and they themselves walking the entire distance at the head of the oxen. Travelling at the rate of three or four miles an hour was considered making fairly good time. Napanee was only a small village then, and visits were seldom made to it.
Schools and churches at that time were very small and few. There was not then a church of any kind in the entire township, with the single exception of the old Lutheran church, miles away on the Big Creek. The Methodists had regular preaching places in the school houses here and there, but mostly on weekevenings, and seldom oftener than once in a fortnight, or even monthly. That was before the "Parke's Chapel" was built, which became old and was torn away three years ago, giving place to a modern new one. That was, we believe, the first Methodist church erected in the township. Mr. Joyce has been a faithful member of the Methodist church for more than half a century, taking an active interest in the promotion of all its interests. He was one of the pioneer Sunday school teachers of the township, and in these early efforts he was much encouraged and assisted by the now venerable Milo Parks, who is now about the only survivor of the co-workers of that time. They also secured much encouragement and assistance from the Rev. David Wilson, who first came among them as "the young preacher" about that time, and who has ever since been a faithful teacher and friend--but not another of the preachers of those days is now left remaining.
Mr. Joyce had a good early education and for a term was a successful school teacher in his neighbourhood, teaching in the old long school house near the Hay Bay shore--now only a remembrance among the oldest of the inhabitants. Several of the present grandfathers of that locality may, per chance, still remember receiving their first threshings from his faithful school-rod. Those were the days when Solomon's wise admonition was always kept in remembrance: "Spare the rod and spoil the child." In these degenerate days the popular translation appears to be the "spoil the rod and spare the child."
The near neighbours at that time were William Barragar, Jonathan C. Jackson, Billyat Outwaters, Peter Parks, Jacob Hermance, Peter Woodcock and others, all of whom have passed over to the great majority. The old man, now having served his day and generation, is calmly awaiting the Master's call, in confident hope of hearing the "Well done, good and faithful servant", in common with many of his former co-labourers.
Mr. Joyce has never married, as he felt it his duty to remain at home in care of his aged parents. He has, by his honest industry, always succeeded in making a comfortable home and making ample provision against old age. He has been a life long temperance man, and of regular and industrious habits and now reaps the advantages in his old age. With the exception of a severe injury in consequence of a bad fall a year ago, he feels but lightly the burdens of his eighty-three years. He can still see to read without glasses. His hearing is good and his memory is unimpaired. He has been very fond of reading and is therefore a man of excellent intelligence. As an evidence of his rare good judgment in reading matter, we may here remark he has been one of the reliable subscribers and regular readers of the Napanee Beaver almost ever since it was first established, and would now deprive himself of a good many comforts sooner than be deprived of its regular weekly visits.
Special thanks to Linda Corupe for transcribing “An Octogenarian”
DENIS LAKE, ESQ.
From “Journal of Education for Ontario 1874”
Denis Lake was born in the year 1808, on lot 22, on the 4th concession of Ernestown; and the house in which he was born, though a frame one, is still standing and occupied.
When about 25 years of age he settled in Portland, where he continued to reside till last fall. When he went there that part of the country was almost a wilderness, although now it is one of the finest sections about Kingston. By industry, strict economy, and good judgment, he succeeded in his vocation, and soon becoming an extensive and model farmer, he was enable to secure a large quantity of land, which, under his management and good taste, became one of the finest country homesteads in the Province.
Mr. Lake furnishes a good example to young men, by showing that one can go into the woods with his axe on his shoulder, and a determination to succeed, as his only stock in trade, and in the course of a lifetime become one of the wealthiest men of his locality and times. - Kingston News.
MAJOR ARTHUR B. LOYST
Articles from the "Napanee Beaver"
Major Loyst Is Interviewed For Historical Society
Mr. Alkenbrack then interviewed Major Loyst, and the interview was tape-recorded.
Major Arthur Loyst has been farmer, cavalryman and school trustee. He also took part in municipal politics as reeve of South Fredericksburgh Township, served four years in county council and was warden of the county in 1911. He is the oldest living ex-warden of Lennox and Addington.
When Major Loyst joined B Squadron of the 4th Hussars 70 years ago at the age of 16, his regimental sergeant-major was John Magee, father of Bert Magee, Sandhurst. His wages were 50 cents a day, with an added $1 for his horse when at camp. The cavalrymen had to look after the horses at the summer training camp and clean the stables. At that time the officer's pay ranged from $1.50 to $4 a day depending on his rank. Major Loyst took command of his regiment in 1909.
On his father's farm was a large wood lot. As a young lad, he helped to clear this and drew lumber to Gibbard's furniture factory in Napanee. Barley was grown extensively in the Hay Bay area and sold for $1 a bushel. Storehouses were built along the bay shore at Hayburn, Parks' and Woodcock's. Two-masted schooners sailed into Hay Bay to ship out the barley. This trade ceased when the price of barley dropped to 30 cents. Ferries were operated to provide transportation across the bay. Woodcock's ferry was a one-horse tread ferry; Brooks later operated it as a gasoline-powered ferry. A two-horse ferry operated between Hayburn and what now is known as Wilson's Island. This ferry was built by some Napanee people to encourage the farmers of Hay Bay area to trade in Napanee. Major Loyst is quite familiar with Hay Bay; he has fished its waters, and on his 80th birthday he skated across the bay.