Donald C. McHenry

From: A Cyclopeadia of Canadian Biography 1888


   McHenry, Donald C., M.A., Principal of the Cobourg collegiate Institute, Cobourg, Ont., was born in Napanee, Ont., in 1840.  He is son of Alexander McHenry (from county Antrim, Ireland) and Ellen Campbell, daughter of Archibald Campbell, Adolphustown, county of Lennox, a descendant of the Campbells of Argyleshire.  Mr. McHenry, senr., was for some years engaged in the timber business on the Ottawa, but subsequently he was in the dry goods business in connection with his brother-in-law, Alexander Campbell, Napanee.  He died in 1847, leaving a widow and three children, the eldest, the subject of this sketch;  a daughter, now Mrs. Alexander Henry, Napanee, and Miss Nellie, still living with her mother in their native town.  The father, about the time of his marriage, united with the Wesleyan Methodist Church, of which he remained a faithful member until his death.  Upon Mrs. McHenry devolved the arduous task of bringing up her three children; and any success they have attained, they are proud to say, they largely owe to their devoted Christian mother. D. C. McHenry received his early education in Napanee.  When thirteen years of age he went to learn the printing business, soon became fairly acquainted with its details, and rose to the position of foreman in the office of the Standard.  The printing office proved, indeed, a second school to him, and his spare hours were given to reading and study.  He longed for a higher education, and when about nineteen years of age, he closed the door of the printing office to open that of the academy, as an eager student, under R. Phillips, head master, a man beloved by all who have ever been under his instruction. After remaining here a year or two, he was induced to undertake the management of a new paper started in Napanee by the McMullen Bros., of Picton.  At the end of one year the paper was removed to Newburgh, seven miles distant, but after eight months Mr. McHenry returned to Napanee.  A vacancy having occurred in the second position in the Grammar school, he was advised to apply for the appointment.  He did so, and was soon an occupant of a teacher's chair, in the school where he had lately been a pupil.  The work of teaching proved congenial, and he was soon fixed in this as his probable life-work.  His ambition led him to desire a university course, and with this in view he devoted himself assiduously to the study of classics, being aided in Latin, but getting up his Greek with very limited assistance.  After six years of very successful work in this position, he resigned, in 1869, and left for Victoria College, from which he graduated in 1873. His course was one of close application and uniform success - first-class honours in classics and moderns - receiving the second Prince of Wales' medal for general proficiency, and the scholarship for excellence in moderns.  Five months prior to graduation he was offered, and accepted the classical mastership of Cobourg Collegiate Institute - a substitute being accepted in the meantime.  After one year he was promoted to the principalship, which position he has filled for the past thirteen years.  It was at this time (1874), the that he was united in marriage to Alice, daughter of John Grange, of Napanee.  His school was, for many years, about the only one that prepared students for Victoria, and notwithstanding the multiplication of institutes (from four to eighteen), it has held its own, and sent up for arts alone about two hundred and fifty during Mr. McHenry's thirteen years, besides a large number for teachers' examinations, for law, medicine, theology, etc.  In regard to Mr. McHenry's personal dn professional qualities, we quote from testimonials of well-known educationists: -

(1) Rev. Chancellor Nelles - "He is an accurate scholar, a good disciplinarian, and a most successful teacher, and indeed, has few if any equals in the general management of High school work."

(2) Rev. Dr. Burwash - "It is not too much to say that in the teaching profession he has few equals in this province.  Both as an editor of classical literature and as a writer on the science of teaching, he has proved himself a master in his work; while in the instruction of a class and in the organization and government of a large school he stands in the foremost rank of teacher.  As a Christian gentleman, his life and personal character are a model for young men; while his quiet, dignified independence and energy commend universal respect."

(3) Dr. Haanal - "His advice and counsel as a member of our senate has always been highly appreciated as sound, and calculated to advance real scholarship.  Energetic and zealous in every good cause, Mr. McHenry has long been an important factor in educational and social circles here."

(4) Dr. Burns, Hamilton - "One of the most successful educators of our country.  His scholarship is broad and reliable.  Although a comparatively young man, he has secured a status among educators that he may well be proud of.  His record is an exceedingly honourable one, both for talent, success and personal character.  Socially, he would be an acquisition to any circle."

Mr. McHenry's is one of those cases where a boy or young man has had the advantages arising from being early thrown upon his own resources.  What he has accomplished or attained is evidently the result of personal energy and self-reliance.



W. H. Mellow

Fine Record in Deseronto – Chamber Commerce


    DESERONTO, April 6 –

     In retiring from business several weeks ago, W. H. Mellow achieved a splendid record for continuous business in the town of Deseronto, in all fifty-six years.  These years together with his four years apprenticeship make in all sixty years in the blacksmith business, which will be hard to duplicate in Eastern Ontario.

     Mr. Mellow was born at Mount Brydges, a son of Mr. and Mrs. W. J. Mellow.  His father was a most successful farmer and for one and a half years resided at Morven, after which he purchased 200 acres of land in the Flinton district.  Disposing of this farm, W. J. Mellow, with Mrs. Mellow and family, moved to Gretna, North Fredericksburgh, where the farming pursuits were continued.

     The subject of his sketch went to Napanee in the year 1875 and apprenticed himself with the late Daniel Henwood, with whom he remained four years.  He then came to Deseronto and opened up a blacksmith shop at the corner of Fourth and Dundas Streets, which he operated for two years.  Desirous of purchasing a property in a suitable center, Mr. Mellow bought the house at the corner of Thomas and Fourth Streets from Reuben Robinson.  This was in the year 1881 and as there was no building suitable for his business he at once erected a shop which was closed after his retirement and which is a splendid building today.  Throughout his 56 years in the business Mr. Mellow always had at least one assistant and during the period of the great war employed four men for a considerable time.

     Mr. Mellow informed your representative that when he purchased the house in which he has resided since 1881 there was hardly a house east of Fourth Street and also scarcely a house west of Mill Street.  The population in Deseronto has fluctuated and was the largest during the boom days of the Rathbun company.  With the incoming of the motor vehicles, there was a decline in the blacksmith trade, but the trade which Mr. Mellow had kept up fairly well despite the motor cars.

     During his many years in the business his highest price for setting a shoe was 35c and for a new shoe 60c.  The prices during the past few years have been 20c for the former and 45c for the latter.  Mr. Mellow has in his day on several occasions put on 50 shoes, which is a good day’s work.  For a long period of years he maintained an implement shop in connection with the blacksmith shop.

     Mr. Mellow is nearing the four score mark and is in very good health.

     He has been a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows for 54 years and a member of the Masonic craft for over 28 years.

     An Anglican in religion, he was warden in St. Mark’s Church for some years.

     After a life-time filled with activities and hard work his many friends wish for him good health and many years in the autumn of life.



The Late J.C. Morden

Career of an Aged Resident of Hastings, Lately Deceased

British Whig Aug 26 1895


   James Cotter Morden, born June 9th, 1807, and who recently died at the residence of his daughter at Wildwood, Florida, was for nearly ninety years a resident of the counties of Prince Edward and Hastings. His father, John Morden, settled near Rednersville about 1790. His mother was a Bowman, and was the identical child whose remarkable early history is given on page 266 of Dr. Ryerson's Loyalists of America. In November 1807, in the house that day pillaged by the Americans, who left only one blanket for the mother, the child first saw light. Friendly Indians cared for the helpless ones and saved their lives. The memory of this has been preserved on both sides up to this time. When a boy, J.C. Morden lived with his uncle, James Cotter, who early in this century was a well-known member of parliament. Here he found a good library, and he made the most of it. Eighty years of persistent reading gave him a range of knowledge possessed by very few men. Unaided, except by books, he early acquired a good general knowledge of the leading sciences. In June, 1833, he married Leonora Fairman, who survives him, and seven children of the union are scattered from Florida to Vancouver.

   For half a century he lived in Sydney, Hastings county. On leaving there in December 1894, over seventy of his neighbors turned out to do him honor and presented him with an address and other tokens of esteem. In 1837-8 he served as an officer of the militia. Early in life he acted as a justice of the peace. Joseph W. Morden, of Napanee, whose son, A.L. Morden, Q.C., recently died in Scotland, was his eldest brother. He, as well as John Howell Morden, the next brother, died at an advanced age; James C. Morden spent his long life in trying to make others wiser and better. His unswerving honesty assisted in moulding the character of the many with whom he associated. He was always in touch with the young, and more than one man who has since made his mark can remember the words of encouragement that came when most needed. He was a Methodist from his youth, and was noted for kindness and benevolence.