Mrs. Sarah Schermerhorn Marks 91st Birthday -

Has Been Active All Her life -- Keen Memory


FOREST MILLS -   Mrs. Sarah Schermerhorn of Forest Mills on July 5, celebrated her 91st birthday and received the hearty congratulations of a host of relatives and friends throughout the entire district on having accomplished that venerable age.

     Mrs. Schermerhorn was Sarah Gordon Metcalf and was born on July 5, 1874, the daughter of Mary Gordon Metcalf and William Metcalf shortly after they came from Belfast, Ireland, to Canada and settled in North Fredericksburgh.  They moved from there to Clarks Mills which is now Camden East and from there to Forest Mills where on Christmas Day in 1864 she was married to Leonard Schermerhorn of the same place.  Her husband, who was of Dutch descent, always impressed it on his children that their long, difficult name, was “spelled with three R’s”.

Many Descendants

     They spent all their married life in the Forest Mills and Roblin districts.  Fifteen children were born to them, of whom seven girls and five boys are living.  She has sixty grandchildren and ninety-five great grandchildren.  She was baptized in the Anglican church at Clarks Mills, and was married by a Methodist minister, Rev. M. Thompson.  All her married life she was a staunch Methodist but after the union joined the United Church.

Her living children are as follows:  Mrs. Mary Tyrrell, Watertown, N.Y.;  Joel Schermerhorn, Nokomis, Sask.;  James Schermerhorn, Notikewan, Alberta;  Mrs. James Dudgeon, Selby;  Mrs. Marcus Welsh, Picton;  William Schermerhorn, Notikewan, Alberta;  Mrs. William Waddell, Napanee;  Mrs. Theodore Waddell, Marlbank;  Mrs. John guest, Picton;  John Schermerhorn, Roblin;  Mrs. Ada Kimmett, Marlbank;  Gordon Schermerhorn, Forest Mills.  A daughter, Jane, and a son Leonard, died in California and Pearl died at home.  In October, 1921, her husband passed away at Forest Mills.

     Her sons, James and William were the first white pioneers of that part of Peace River district where the village of Notikewan is.  Her children and grandchildren are scattered all over North America from California to Peace River. She has two living sisters, Mrs. Eliza Carscallen, Deseronto, and Mrs. Jane Sexsmith, Portage La Prairie, Man

A Keen Memory

     Mrs. Schermerhorn’s mind is very active and she can recall many incidents of pioneer days, she recalls the days when the settlers made a little extra money by the sale of potash which was made on the well wooded farms.  An old lime kiln can still be seen on the farm of Mr. J. Sweet  and nearby across the road from it is a field on the farm of Mrs. Charles Walroth that is still called the “Potash Field”.  Mrs. Schermerhorn remembers when these places of industry were active, where huge ash logs were burned and the resulting potash bagged and sold in Napanee.

An Active Woman

     Maple sugar was used almost entirely for sweetening.  She tells of the big “drives” of beautiful oak logs which came down the Salmon river each spring.  Cheese factories were often “manned” by young women in those early days and a young woman would hire out for domestic service for three or four dollars per month.  This venerable old lady was a great help to her husband in raising their large family.  She used a hand loom and wove beautiful rugs and carpets, which sold readily.  She also wove flannel and fullcloth.  More than 53 years ago she wove 40 yards of carpet for the first Methodist parsonage in Roblin district for many miles around.

     With the exception of last Christmas she has knitted beautiful woollen socks for her boys in Peace River and at home.  Mrs. Schermerhorn till within the last year, was never idle.  Candlewick bedspreads, quilts and hand-woven floor coverings were made by her in great numbers.  Mrs. Ada Kimmett is with her mother, who is now confined to her room, and gives her every loving care.  A birthday celebration was held for her on July 5 when all who were able to be present gathered at her home and spent the day.  She is decidedly Conservative in politics and is also an ardent Protestant.


See also:  Obituaries:  Sarah Schermerhorn



The Last of the Family

The Original Scobell Family is Now Extinct

The Last Member Was Buried on Sunday - Nearly All of Them Were Residents of Kingston -

A Disaster Over Half a Century Ago - A Timely Sketch of an Old Line

(from the Daily British Whig July 17 1894)


   The funeral of the late Mrs. Amelia Gould, relict fo the late Henry Smith Gould, of London, Eng., took place on Sunday afternoon from the residence of her son, Joseph S. Gould, 123 Ordinance street. She had reached the advanced age of eighty-two years and five months. She was the youngest of a family of sixteen children born to Joseph Scobell, architect and builder, of Colyton, Devon, England, andhis wife, Mary Spurway. Nine of this large family reached the age of maturity, the others died in their childhood. Of those who grew up, the greater number were well-known residents of this city.

   Taking them according to age, Joseph, the first-born, followed the profession or calling of his father. He came to Kingston, some time in the twenties. He erected the block of cut stone stores for the late William Wilson, on the corner of Brock and Wellington street. He afterwards removed to Montreal, and from thence to Quebec, where he died in 1856.

   The next son, William, also came to Canada in the early part of this century. He was for a time a resident of Kingston; aftewards he removed to Hamilton. In 1839 he paid a visit to his native land, and was on his way back to Canada, his brother, John, and family being with him, but they never reached Kingston; they were wrecked in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and all perished. G. and M. Creighton, "News" office, are grandsons of William Scobell.

   Next comes Richard. He was the pioneer of the family, and came to Canada in 1818 and settled in Kingston. For fully half a century he was one of Kingston's prominent men. He did business as a warfinger, etc., in the premises at the foot of Brock street, now known as Folger's wharf. He was also for many years government inspector of pork, potash, etc. His cooperage for the manufacture of casks and barrels, was in a part of the lower flat of the store house, about where the electric light company's works now are. His residence and office was in the building now known as the Union hotel. He passed away in 1862. His body was interred in Cataraqui cemetery.  

   John, the next son, was a clock and watch maker. He was doing business in his native town, but was persuaded by his brother William, then home on a visit, to leave it, so with a large family of children, and some of his sister Mary's, he started in 1839 with his brother William for Canada, but as before stated, they all met a watery grave.

   The next son, Thomas, a baker by trade, came out to Canada. He resided in Kingston for a short time, then returned to London, Engl, and died.

   Next in order was a daughter, Mary, who was married to Charles Hawkins, of Colyton. She died many years ago in London, Eng.

   Next in seniority comes Betsy Nott, wife of the late Samuel Phippen. She came to Kingston with her husband in 1831. In the month of April of last year, Mrs. Phippen was called to join her husband, who had preceded her a few short years before to the shadow land. She had reached the age of eighty-four years and ten months.

   Her brother Sidney, was her junior by about two years. He was, so to speak, a life-long resident of Kingston, and for so many years did business as a contractor and builder, being a prominent man in his line. He and the late Richard Tossell erected the court house - still standing - and which for so many years had the reputation of being the best court house in Ontario. He passed away in 1872. Cataraqui cemetery received his body when laid away to rest.

   And now, the youngest, the last born of Joseph Scobell's children, has passed away in the person of Mrs. Gould. They have all gone where the eye of human reason cannot penetrate, except by faith. Just twenty-five years ago she and her son arrived in Kingston. She wished to meet again two daughters as well as her other relatives who had so many years before preceded her on the journey across the Atlantic. Her illness was long and painful, but loving hearts and hands ministered to her wants. At last her end came, and that end was peace. The funeral services were conducted by the Rev. Richard Whiting. A large number of relatives and friends attended the funeral.



Is a Sterling Pioneer

A Sketch of One of Lennox County's Residents

He Did His Duty Well in Making the Community He Lived in One of the Best in the County

He Took the Oath of Allegiance Three Times

(from the Daily British Whig Nov 30 1896)


   John O. Sexsmith, J.P., one of the oldest residents of Richmond township, is nearing the eightieth mile-stone of an industrious and useful life. He was born in Delaware county, New York state, on the 14th April, 1817, but his parents moved to Canada in 1821, when he was but five years of age, and they settled in Richmond, then an all but unbroken wilderness, and he has resided on the same farm ever since. He has lived to see that unbroken wilderness one of the wealthiest and best cultivated sections of all Canada, and he has done well his share in making the locality what it is.

   George Sexsmith, the father of John O.S. came to New York with his parents when a young man and married there, we believe. He moved to Upper Canada and became one of its hardy and respected pioneers. He died many years ago, and was buried in the old burial place on the Carscallen farm, a couple of miles down the Napanee river, where numbers of the well-known early settlers found their last resting place. His wife attained the ripe old age of ninety-three years. She died over forty years ago and was buried in the old "Vandebogart burial ground", now a part of the Napanee cemetery, where her monument now stands. They reared several children who became well-known citizens but the subject of this sketch is now the last surviving member.

   Mr. Sexsmith, though a British subject by birth, as has already been intimated, long ago became one legally, and that without doubt; for he has three times taken the oath of allegiance to the British crown. When a young man he took the oath before casting his first parliamentary vote. Then again, in the troublesome times in connection with the Mackenzie rebellion of 1837, many well-known reformers, who had supported Marshall Bidwell and his friends in this couanty, found it judicious to take the oath again, though there was no tincture of disloyalty about them. Over forty years ago he was appointed a justice of the peace, on the recommmendation of David Roblin, who then represented Lennox and Addington in parliament, and for the third time he took the oath.

   Mr. Sexsmith has been all his life time a farmer and a good type of the intelligent yoemanry of which our old county is so justly proud. By his own industry and good business habits he provided amply for this family and a competence for his old age. He had only the advantage of a country school education, but by his own reading and study he has become one of the best genereally read and informed men among the farmers of this country. For years he was superintendent of schools for his own township and performed those duties well.

   Mr. Sexsmith has been from his boyhood an active and prominent member of the Methodist church. For fifty years or more he has been a well known local preacher in that church. In the early days in this county when ministers and churches were few, he did much valuable and gratuitous service in that capacity. Then the Napanee circuit extended from Casey's point on the bay to beyond Switzer's church, and north and west to the rear of the county and some miles into Hastings. In all that section, including Napanee, Newburgh, Deseronto, Selby, Roblin, Forest Mills and Kingsford, there was but one church - at Switzer's.

   His health still remains good; though not so physically strong as years ago; his mind is still as active and his memory as good.

   He was married over half a century ago to Miss Eliza Robinson, also a resident of Richmond, who is still a help-meet indeed to him and is also still active in body and mind. They have had four children, all of whom are still living. These are Mrs. J. S. Hullet, of Napanee, Mrs. Ira Hudgins, of Selby, George A., of Sheffield, near Erinsville, and David R., who resides on the homestead with his father.