STORIES BEHIND THE STONES
The family and friends of Unity Church & Cemetery believe that there is so much more to a person's life than a full name, date of birth, and date of death. Every life has a story to be remembered. We truly appreciate those who have already submitted stories about their loved ones who are buried at Unity and hope that in the weeks, months, and years to come that more people will share stories, reflections, and details.
If you have stories, reflections, and/or details of someone buried at Unity that you would like to share, please send it to our email address at email@example.com. We hope that you enjoy reading the 'stories behind the stones'.
Mary Isabel (Aikens) Beveridge
Born: August 1, 1931
Died: August 13, 2016
Born in Hamilton, grew up on a farm in Ancaster township then moved to the farm on Unity Road when she married Albert Beveridge in 1951. Mother of 4 children. Isabel had a love for farm life, family, friends, and her grandchildren. She had a special fondness for her Jersey cows. Her hobbies and interests included playing the piano, gardening, quilting and cooking. She was a member of the Unity Cemetery Board for 25 years.
William Albert Beveridge
Born: November 4, 1927
Died: March 26, 2014
Albert was born on the farm on Unity Road and lived all his life there. He was a farmer and worked for MTO for 31 years. Albert was a quiet man who loved his family, farm and gardens. He had a keen interest in machines, Jersey cows, black lab dogs, and all things car related. He enjoyed attending farm auctions and fall fairs.
William Carl Hebert
William was born on December 11, 1940 in Shediac, New Brunswick. After getting married and having one son, William left his wife and son temporarily in New Brunswick while he came to Hamilton, Ontario to secure work. Soon, William was established as a train operator at Stelco. He then sent for his wife and son to come to Ontario so that they could build a life together. William continued as a train operator at Stelco for 35 years, until he retired.
William was always known to be a stylish dresser and was known for his generous ways. He also was always worried that everyone was doing okay. William’s hobbies included watching Nascar, travelling, and shopping. William had a good sense of humour, and was generous, thoughtful, and brave. He died on April 6, 2005, and is buried in Unity Cemetery.
Christopher William Hebert
Christopher was born on May 17, 1962 to William Carl Hebert and Josie Nugent in Shediac, New Brunswick. Christopher was raised in Hamilton, Ontario. He loved playing and watching sports and getting together and socializing with friends.
Christopher worked as a mail carrier. He was known for his love of all sports and his very warm smile. Christopher enjoyed being with his friends and held them close to his heart. Christopher was sociable and had a great sense of humour. Christopher was brave and never complained when he was sick. He died February 5, 2016, and is buried in Unity Cemetery.
My Name is Leila (Howley) Pettigrew. I was born in 1932 and grew up on Mines Road about a mile and a half from Unity Church. Unity was a big part of my youth attending every Sunday for service and Sunday School. We were always present for teas and other church gatherings until its eventual closure. My father, Ross Howley, served as the Church treasurer for many years as did my mother, Ora Howley, who was also active in the W.M.S at Unity.
My great grandfather, Thadeous Howley, was born in 1830 in Ireland and sailed to Canada when he was 5 years old. Both of his parents died during the crossing. He married Charity Shaw and they took up homestead on Hwy. #6 beside the old Welcome School. Charity was born in 1840. Thadeous died in 1900 and Charity in 1925. Both are buried at Unity. Thadeous and Charity had 4 sons, Gilbert, 1866 to 1957, Edward 1871 to 1873, William 1876 to 1957 and David 1866 to 1946. David was my grandfather and he married Elisa Jane Thompson 1870 to 1943. All are buried at Unity.
David and Elisa had 3 children Harvey 1896 to 1966 married Nellie Hopkins 1911 to 1993, Stanley Ross 1900 to 1964 who married Ora Leeming 1904 to 1984, Vera 1904 to 1986 who married Keith Weylie 1906 to 1975. With the exception of Vera and Keith all are buried at Unity; Vera and Keith are buried in Case Cemetery, Glanbrook Township. Keith and Vera had three children: Norma 1934, Everett 1935, and Edna Mae 1937 to 2011. Norma married James Mosgrove 1931. Everett married Grace Dorr 1933, and Edna Mae married William Shea 1935 to 2000.
Ross Howley was a hard working happy go lucky man who raised horses and cattle shipping milk to Silverwoods Dairy in Hamilton. He was proud of his animals and his farm. He loved the fall fair but was always home for milking time.
My parents had two children, myself and my brother, Glen. Glen 1929 to 1989 married Patricia Glenny 1933 to 2003. They had six children, Grant, Maxine, Lyle, Edward, Glenna and Neil. Maxine passed shortly after birth and the remaining five children were raised on the family farm on Mines Road. Glen carried on the family farm. He loved to attend auction sales and often ended up hauling cattle for other farmers in the area. Pat was a well known school teacher in the community. All of their children have a close connection to the area and to Unity. Grant still participates in services and the United Church in Caledonia and Ed is on the Board of Directors for Unity. Glen, Pat, and Maxine are all buried at Unity. Grant with the assistance of his siblings still maintains the family farm.
I married Donald Pettigrew and had 6 children, Ross, Gwen, Dawn, Ray, Faith, and Carl. My family moved away from the area but as a young family we would often visit the Howley farm. These visits often meant a trip to Unity. With five generations of Howleys buried at Unity there is a definite connection that is felt by all of the current generation.
The information regarding Keith and Vera Weylie's family was added by their daughter, Norma Mosgrove in September 2020. David and Eliza Jane Howley are Norma's grandparents.
Harry & Gertrude Lee
Harry Stewart Woodrow Lee was just outside Caledonia, on a small farm along Hwy. #54 on October 24th, 1926. He was the second youngest of five siblings. After the death of his father, his mother and he moved to a small house in Caledonia. After school, his first job was at Domtar. He didn’t like that job so he applied at Silverwood Dairies in Caledonia. He became one of their drivers.
Gertrude Elizabeth Grant was born October 3, 1932 in Detroit, Michigan. At that time, her father worked for the Ford Motor Company. When Gertrude was just three years old, her father got a transfer to the Oakville Division of the Ford Motor Company. Her family purchased a house in Hamilton and her father drove back and forth to Oakville. She completed all her schooling in Hamilton, including graduating from Hamilton Teacher’s College. Upon graduation, Gertrude got a job with the Royal Bank of Canada in Hamilton.
One Saturday night, Gertrude got talked into going to a dance in Waterdown. Harry Lee happened to go to the same dance. He spotted a beautiful young girl named Gertrude and promptly asked her to dance. On June 5th 1954, they started dancing together for life when Harry made Gertrude his wife. After marriage they purchased a small farm on Mines Road. Gertrude continued to work for the Royal Bank for the first six years of their marriage. Harry was a truck driver.
Meanwhile, Harry had fallen in love with a piece of property that he had seen out of the corner of his eye. This farm was on the north east corner of Hwy. #6 and Unity Road East. He always hoped it would come up FOR SALE. One day, on his daily route to Hamilton, he noticed his dream had come true. A FOR SALE sign was on the property. All excited, Harry stopped in to talk to the owner who told him that unfortunately it was sold on condition. The owner took down Harry’s information in case the deal didn’t go through. Several nights later, a knock came to their door. It was the owner who told them that if they still wanted the property, it was theirs for the agreed price. Gertrude thought her worst nightmare had just come true. She cried. In August 1955, Harry’s dream finally came true, he was back to his first love “FARMING.” Congratulations Gertrude, you are now milking cows for the rest of your life. With the help of Harry, Gertrude learned to milk cows. Together with Gertrude’s help Harry ran a two hundred acre farm milking 45 head of cattle. They raised four children. When the children were old enough to help, Harry got more involved with his church, even becoming an Elder. Gertrude thought it was time to see the world and travel. Together they did a little, but unfortunately it was not to be. Harry died at an early age on March 24th, 1994. Harry would be proud that the two of his children who stayed to help him run the farm, took over the farm after his death on March 24th, 1994. THANKS Dad, for a job well done.
The most important thing in life to Gertrude was FAMILY. She took great joy in their four children, three grandchildren and one great grandchild before her death in January 2015. WELL DONE MOTHER. Rest in Peace.
James George and Jessie Ruth Lindsay (nee Whicher)
Jessie Ruth Whicher (b.1865) grew up on a farm about 2 km north of Caledonia on Hwy. 6 with her parents, both born in England, John Whicher (1826-1911) and Margaret Wilhemina Walker (1825-1867). In 1893 Jessie married James George Lindsay (son of David Lindsay and Almira Shaw) who had purchased the farm next door. Their first child John Keith died at birth and later James Eric arrived. Jessie and James had a nice home and were active in the Unity Church and community. James was prominently identified with the Grand River Fire Insurance Company and was president at the time of his death. For 40 years he gave leadership at Unity Church Sunday School and as an elder. He was an extensive reader, took part in many debates, and liked to entertain an audience with his humorous readings. James died in 1934 at 77 years of age, one year before their son Eric married Lois Bain. Jessie continued to live in the Lindsay home with Eric and Lois and family until her death at 80 years in 1946.
Eric and Lois Lindsay (nee Bain)
Eric and Lois were married in 1935 and lived at the Lindsay homestead on Number Six Highway about half a mile south of Welcome School. In 1945 they bought the farm owned by John and Robina Parker, and lived there with their four children: Mary, Jim, Winston and Grace. This farm was at the corner of the Wentworth County line and Number Six Highway.
The Lindsay family was involved in life at Unity Church. Lois sang in the choir, worked in the Sunday School and was an enthusiastic supporter of the WMS (Women’s Missionary Society); Eric was on the Unity Board for many years and was active in community life serving on the Seneca Council, the School Board and farm organizations.
Jim and Marion Lindsay (nee Hamilton)
Jim and Marion were married in 1960 and lived on the SW corner of the Lindsay farm until 1976. Jim and Marion have four children, Brenda, Tim, Peter, and Colleen. Jim worked for Ontario Hydro and their family relocated from Caledonia to Walkerton to Strathroy to Orangeville where he currently lives. Marion was born on the family farm near the corner of County Road 18 and No 6 School Road in Brantford. Marion Nellie (Hamilton) Lindsay passed away at home in Orangeville, on January 24, 2020 at the age of 83. Beloved wife of Jim Lindsay for 59 years. Jim and Marion enjoyed Junior Farmers, growing vegetables and flowers, attending church gatherings, playing cards, trailering and driving near and far to see family and friends. Marion's true calling was providing charity work to the Canadian Cancer Society and the United Church Women's League. Family: Brenda (Dan) Forsyth in Holstein, Tim (Denise) Lindsay of London, Peter (Kristy) Lindsay of Minden, Colleen Stevens of Toronto; proud grandma of Michael, Mallory (Wes), Matthew, Kayla, Emma, Ethan, Christopher and Andrew; dear great-grandchild Riley.
William Henry Oldfield
In 1847, William Oldfield was born in North Seneca Township. His father had died when he was very few months old. William went to Chippewa School in Glanford Township. He purchased a farm in North Seneca, on what later became known as the Eric Lindsay farm on Hwy. 6 north of Caledonia. In 1864, he donated $75.00 for the purchase of the new pump organ for Unity Church. In 1870 he married Lucinda Smuck. They had three children – two sons, Thomas Wesley and William Henry and a daughter, Abigail. William was very active in the community and Unity Church as well as being a successful farmer. He taught Sunday School at Unity Church for many years and was known to come with his lesson well researched and prepared. In 1885 his wife Lucinda died. In 1887, William married Rebecca Silverthorne from Burlington. They had one daughter, Hazel. In 1895 William became quite sick with consumption. He never lost his strong Christian faith, but next year he died leaving his wife and the now four children.
Thomas Wesley Oldfield
Thomas Oldfield, the eldest son of William Henry Oldfield, farmed the home farm on Hwy. 6 for a few years. For various reasons, he decided in the late 1890s to sell that farm and purchase the LeBarr farm in the village of Mount Hope, right next to the Mount Hope United Church. He set up a dairy herd of Holstein cattle and became well established in the area. He was known to be a kind, honest man who often helped others. Thomas married Abigail Poole of Dundas. They had three daughters, Lillian, Margaret and Grace and a son William Henry born in 1908. Abigail died eight days after having her son. Thomas never remarried but continued to enjoy his family, his farm, his faith and his community for many years.
William & Hazel Oldfield
William Oldfield was born in Mount Hope, ON in 1908. His mother died when he was eight days old. It was always told that at the service for his deceased mother, (funeral services were commonly held at the farmhouse in those days) someone had wrapped baby Bill in a blanket and set him on a settee. Apparently a very heavy woman was looking for a place to sit and was just about to drop down when someone shrieked, “The baby!” After that close escape, Bill was raised by his father (who never remarried but who hired housekeepers to help) and his three older sisters – Lillian, Margaret and Grace. Bill loved the dairy farming operation that his father had right in the village of Mount Hope, and eventually became the owner. He also loved curling and the comradery at the Glanford Curling Club. One of Bill’s highlights was being part of the four-member team from Glanford who won the 1938 International Curling Bonspiel in Detroit, Michigan. Bill was known to be a kind, honourable pleasant man whom you could trust. He served for a period on Glanford Township Council.
Hazel Day was born in West Luther Township, Wellington County in 1915. She was the second youngest of nine children in a hard-working farm family. Hazel often told how when she was young, that she and her siblings thought it was a great Christmas if they received an orange and maybe a bit of candy for Christmas. She could remember times when her mother cut a couple of fried eggs in four pieces so they all got some protein. Hazel loved school. She attended local one room schools, and then Fergus High School. She then moved to west Hamilton, Waterdown and Toronto to finish her Grade 13, and graduate from Toronto Bible College and Hamilton Teacher’s College. Hazel Day accepted a teaching position at the Mountsberg ON one room school where she quickly became a well-loved teacher. (Many decades later some of those students attended Hazel’s funeral.)
Bill met Hazel through a friend of her brother in 1944. They fell in love instantly and were married in 1945 in Bronte, ON. Hazel’s hard-working nature was well suited to be a very helpful farm wife. Bill and Hazel were a great team. Whether it was doing field work, tending to or milking cattle, or raising their three children (Ivan 1946, Grace 1948 and Norma 1951) they enjoyed working together. Bill and Hazel nurtured and encouraged their children to pursue their own interests. This pair always had integrity and fairness in business and took great pride in paying their bills. Bill and Hazel enjoyed participating in community events, loved dancing, and playing euchre. Danny Boy was always Bill’s favourite song. Family was always so important to them both, and they loved entertaining family and friends.
When a sudden heart attack claimed Bill’s life in 1977, Hazel’s kind, supportive and motivating nature helped her deal with many heartaches. She loved gardening and was a proud part of the Mount Hope United Church community. Entertaining family and friends, and cooking and baking for people were things that gave Hazel great joy. She always remained positive and was fun to be with. Hazel was so proud of her six grandchildren – William, Victor and Laura Armes and Robyn, Tami and Abagail Oldfield.
Bill and Hazel always looked forward to attending the annual Unity Church and Cemetery service on the second Sunday in September each year. Since the Oldfield roots were so deep here, this is where they chose to be buried.
PARKER AND FARRELL FAMILY
William Parker was born in Garrigill, Cumberland, in England on August 21, 1847. His parents were Robert Parker (1811 – 1873) and Hannah Clementson (1814 – 1892.) Together with his family, William emigrated to Canada when he was seven years old. He lived in Glanford Township. He was a farmer as well as a stone mason and a butcher. William was the Secretary of Unity Church Sunday School for over thirty years. William’s first wife was Lavina Whaley. They had two sons together but the children and Lavina died young. William then married Emma Coon and they had three children together – Carrie, Charles and William Jr. Emma died. William married Samantha Ruth Cook next on Sept. 11, 1883. Together they had eight children: Robert, Evelyn, Violet, Stanley, John, Harold, Kenneth and Zelda. William’s original holding of land was later distributed among his children: Ken, Harold, John, Stan, Rob, Evelyn, Zelda and Violet.
Samantha Ruth Cook
Samantha was born on Sept. 27, 1861 in Glanford Township. (Her parents were Jonathan N. Cook, born in Suffolk, Ipswich, England on July 20, 1821 and he died in Tyneside, ON June 4, 1887 and Mary Ann Bigham born July 20, 1823 in Etobicoke, ON, married Jonathan Cook on January 22, 1846. She died in Tyneside ON March 23, 1893. They are both buried in Edward’s Cemetery, Tyneside, ON) Samantha Ruth Cook died Feb. 21, 1934 in Binbrook ON at the home of her youngest daughter Zelda (Mrs. Harry Martin.)
Carrie Parker Snowden
Carrie was the daughter of William Parker and Emma Coon. She was born on March 8, 1876. She attended Chippewa School (S.S. #3, Glanford Township) and was a member of Unity Church and Sunday School. In 1903 she moved to Hamilton and then she moved to Stratford, ON. In 1908 she married Will Snowden from Stratford. Will and Carrie came to live in Caledonia in 1935. Will died in 1944. Carrie was a keen gardener. She found joy in growing flowers and vegetables for many years. Carrie died on September 17, 1971 in Hagersville.
Stanley & Marion Parker
Stanley was born in Glanford Township on January 21, 1891. He was the son of William and Samantha Parker of Glanford. Stanley served in World War 1 in the 129th Battalion M.G.S. After the war, Stan farmed and stood on the Hamilton Market selling meat that was butchered on their farm.
Jessie Marion Lyons was born March 13, 1897. She was the daughter of John Jacob Lyons and Florence Baker of Ancaster Township. Her childhood home is now the site of White Chapel Memorial Gardens in Hamilton. Her brother happened to serve in the war with Stan Parker.
Romance ensued and she married Stan on April 21, 1920. Together Stan and Marion bought their farm on Leeming Road (Glanford Township) Mount Hope. Marion went from being a “city girl” to no hydro in the country. Stan and Marion both worked hard to make money to pay off the farm. Marion made beans, beans and more beans for them to eat as economical food. Stan sold a lot of magazine subscriptions to help pay off the $10,000. mortgage on the farm. They had two children: Dorothy Aileen born March 8, 1923 and William John (Jack) born August 31, 1924. Stan had a “meat route” selling meat to customers in their homes. Marion made lye soap with the fat that she saved. She also made head cheese that she sold on the Hamilton Market. Stan served on Glanford Council and he was a member and Master of St. Andrew’s Lodge #62 in Caledonia. Stan and Marion and their daughter and son were members of Unity Church and then Grace United Church in Caledonia.
Stan and Marion built a retirement home on their farm and moved into it in 1953. Marion loved quilting, gardening and baking. She also knitted for missions. Stanley died on Feb. 17, 1968 in Hamilton. Marion’s positive friendly personality helped her to continue to enjoy her family, friends, community and home. It was generous of Marion to donate the carpet runners that still grace the aisles and front of Unity Church in 2020. Marion died on April 15, 1996.
William John (Jack) Parker
Jack Parker was born August 31, 1924 to Stanley and Marion Parker. He attended Chippewa Public School in Glanford Township and Caledonia High School. Jack married Lois Margaret Killman on August 28, 1946. They lived with Jack’s parents in the farm house until Jack’s parents moved into their retirement home in 1953. By that time, Jack and Lois had three of their four children in the home: Marie, Ross and Joan. Their fourth child Brent was born soon after. Jack worked at a variety of jobs. He farmed, drove truck, held a series of factory jobs, did custom farming and helped to butcher. Jack’s hobby was driving his antique car – lastly a 1932 Pontiac. Jack died on March 21, 1999.
Stan & Aileen Farrell
Stanley Lawrence Farrell was born Oct. 24, 1915 in Saskatchewan to John and Edith Farrell. He moved to Ontario in approximately 1945.
Dorothy Aileen Parker was born March 8, 1923 to Stanley and Manion Parker. Aileen married Stanley Farrell in Unity Church on Sept. 12, 1946. They lived in a log cabin that was at the east side of Hwy. #6 and the Fourth Line, south of Caledonia. That cabin is now part of the display on the grounds of the Cayuga Museum. Stan worked for the Caledonia Milling Company. Together they bought the Fagan farm at Willowgrove, which is at Hwy. #6 and the Fourth Line. This property had a well-established orchard with a variety of fruits. Stan and Aileen had three children – Dennis, Patricia and Arthur. They raised beef cattle and pigs, did custom silo filling and had a fantastic garden. Aileen was a very busy wife and mother down on the farm. Her garden was huge and legendary. It was no small feat to manage such an amazing garden and three small kids. It is said that Aileen could pick strawberries and raspberries faster than lightening. She sold rhubarb and corn to the neighbours. Aileen loved making casseroles and doing embroidery. Stan loved sports, but especially curling and golf. Stan refinished furniture in his later years. Stan died on June 15, 1990 in Hagersville.
After her mother Marion Parker died, Aileen moved into her parent’s retirement home on Leeming Road. She continued to love gardening there. Aileen never learned to drive a car, but it was said that she put a lot of mileage on the telephone. She died in her home in Mount Hope on October 30, 2015.
John Dennis Farrell
Dennis was the son of Stanley and Aileen Farrell. He was born on July 15, 1949. Dennis was an intellectual having graduated from both McMaster University and Mohawk College. He never drove a car. Dennis moved to Toronto and was employed by Bell Telephone and C.G.I. He loved sports but only participated in curling. Dennis was a terrific bridge player. He really enjoyed coming home to the family farm at Willowgroove and attending family reunions. Dennis died on December 13, 2001.
Harold & Elma Parker
Harold Thomas Parker was born in Glanford Township on July 23, 1893. He was the fifth son of William and Samantha Cook. Harold attended Chippewa School (S.S.#3 Glanford Township) and then graduated from Caledonia High School in 1911 or 1912. Harold attended the University of Toronto and taught school near Hartford, ON. Then Harold enlisted in the 54th Brantford Battery and was overseas for three and a half years. Upon returning home, Harold obtained his First Class Teaching Certificate and taught at Fern Avenue School in Toronto.
Elma Mary Boyle was born on July 2, 1903 in Almonte, ON. (This was also the birthplace of James Naismith, the man who created the sport of basketball. Elma had a sister, Jennie Boyle, who married a man whose surname was also Boyle.) She moved with her family to Toronto when she was one year old. Elma taught school in Toronto. Her family thinks it was the same Fern Avenue School that Harold taught at. Elma was blessed with a most charming personality.
Elma Boyle married Harold Parker on December 21, 1925. Harold and Elma had two daughters, Janet and Kathryn. Harold and Elma enjoyed many summers in his retirement cottage on Hwy #6 between Leeming and Haldibrook Road, which was on a piece of his father’s farm. Harold died in June of 1969 in Toronto. Elma died in the spring of 1972 in Toronto.
Joseph McHardy Hamilton Shannon (1866-1955) and Amelia Todd (1876-1938)
Joseph Shannon and Amelia Todd
Before immigrating to Canada, Joseph and Amelia lived in Belfast Ireland. Joseph worked as a salesman of fine leather and shoes in his brother’s shoe store business. In Ireland, he took elocution lessons and played the violin. Amelia was the youngest of nine children. She was educated in Ireland and was a professional dressmaker and milliner. In May 1903 Joseph immigrated to Canada and established himself with housing and a job, and Amelia followed in 1905 with three of their children: Beth, Jim and Josie. Their youngest child Ronald had contacted a respiratory disease shortly before they were to leave for Canada and did not survive. They would go on to have four more children in Canada: Susie (born in 1906 was the first child born in Canada after the whole family settled along the Highway), Ted, Jessie and Amelia. Amelia, their youngest daughter, was an elementary school teacher. Her husband’s name was John Tomlinson (1908-1964). John Tomlinson was a carpenter. Amelia and John are both buried at Unity Cemetery. The Shannon family had a strong connection with Unity Church and were active in their community; Amelia sang in the church choir, and was the president of the York Woman’s’ Institute while Joseph was a regular attendee of meetings with the Masonic Order. Both Joseph and Amelia are both buried at Unity.
Josie Shannon (1901-1983) and Laura Sadie (Peart) Shannon (1918-1957)
Laura Shannon and Josie Shannon
Josie was always fun to be with because of his happy outlook on life; Laura was very much the same. It was said that Laura possessed an infectious belly laugh. They ran their York farm on the Grand River and had four children together; Emerson, Amelia, Shirley and James. Their home was filled with laughter and they were a very close family. It was not uncommon for their kitchen to be the gathering place of many family and friends especially throughout the holidays. Josie enjoyed off-farm enterprises through the years, from dairy delivery, to Haldimand County weed inspection to the rural mail delivery route that he very much enjoyed. Both Josie and Laura were active members of York United Church. Laura enjoyed singing in the York choir, and kept busy with the farmhouse in York on the river that was fondly nick-named “Pine Lodge”.
Jacob Hedley Osborne Smuck was born on March 7, 1878. He was one of nine children born to Osborne and Mary Jane Knowlton. In order to keep his eight sons busy and out of mischief, Osborne had them move the bales of hay from one side of the barn to the other instilling in Hedley the value of hard work.
In 1903 Hedley married Cora Leeming daughter of Jane Emerson and Ralph Leeming. They had three children, Jenny Leone (B. 1904. D. 1949), Harvey Clifford (B. 1906 D. 1985) married Norma Searles. and Doris Helen (B. 1912 D. 2012) married William Spera. Their dairy farm was located on the southeast corner of Highway 6 and Unity Road. Sadly, Cora died when Doris was 13 years old. After Cora’s death, Hedley continued raising dairy cows and managing his 100-acre farm. He sold a few Holstein cows to Mr. Cranston of Carluke so that he could start a new dairy herd.
Hedley began collecting milk cans from many area farmers starting his business with one milk truck. Over time Hedley built his milk trucking business to four trucks and delivered milk daily to Hamilton dairies Royal Oak, Silverwoods, Borden’s, and the Co- Op. Before his death Hedley bought a milk tanker truck in order to modernize his business. This successful enterprise was continued by his son Harvey. Coupled with his dairy farm and milk routes to Hamilton, Hedley’s work took him to the stone quarry in Hagersville where he hauled loads of stone used in the construction of Highway 6 (Plank Road) to Port Dover. Hedley was a lifetime member of Unity Church, Grace United Church, and the Masonic Order. Hedley died in 1966 and is buried in Unity Church cemetery.
Hedley is survived by his grandchildren: Judith Leone Spera (B. 1945) married Kenneth Coomber, Norma Jean Smuck (B. 1947) married Allan Daniels, Douglas Bryan Smuck (B. 1960), and his great grandchildren, Carolyn Leone Coomber (B. 1977), David Kenneth William Coomber (B. 1979), Christopher Edwin Daniels (B. 1974), Todd Clifford Daniels (B.1977), and Kyle Douglas Smuck (B. 1976), and his great great-granddaughters, Caitlyn Leone Rogers (B. 2005), and Ella Ivy Daniels (B. 2013).
Norman and Pearl Whaley
My grandfather, Norman (1885-1978), became the fourth generation of Whaley’s to immigrate from Suffolk, England. He was born on the original Crown-purchased farm (by Samuel Whaley) in Seneca Township (1837). In time, decreased farm profitability necessitated that my grandfather, six brothers, and two sisters develop their lives independently. Norman purchased the farm at the corner of Unity Road and Highway 6. Adopting the prefix Hillhaven, he began breeding purebred Holsteins with other livestock housed. Son Frank, showing the most interest in the operation, aided in developing a high-conformation herd.
Norm and Pearl Millward (1890-1965) married in 1913 and had four children—Norma, Millward, Franklin, and Audrey. Both were extremely involved at Unity—board, committees, and choir.
I (Jane) always believed I was one of my grandfather’s favourites; however, in hindsight, he never, ever shared his favourite Laura Secord chocolates with me! Grandpa did, however, trail me around the exterior of any-and-all 4-H show rings offering advice. A colourful character, he continued driving at 85+years to Frank’s Hannon farm, but, without a licence. He rationalized, “They’d never throw an old man in jail!”
Conversely, my grandmother Whaley was a quiet, sweet soul. Extremely talented, grandma painted, sang, played piano, and attractively decorated the large farmhouse in her favourite colour purple. Sadly, her chuckle diminished with the automobile death of youngest daughter, Audrey. She enjoyed visits to and from American relatives who had adopted her as an infant. Working extremely hard in the house, barn, and fields, Grandma advised my mother, Jean, to never take on farm duties as she would be committed for life.
Five generations of Whaley’s are currently buried in Unity Cemetery.
By Jane Whaley
Frank and Jean Whaley (nee Atkinson)
High-school sweethearts dad (Frank 1918-2004) and mom (Jean 1919-2006) both graduated from Business College. After marrying, they lived an active social and sports’ life with good jobs in Hamilton. In time, dad’s farming bug resurfaced. Mom should have forecast this when she and dad returned home early, from their honeymoon, so he could show a heifer in Toronto. Mom relented, forfeiting her accounting position, to purchase an old, dilapidated farm on Gage Ave., Hannon. Married 60 years, they had four children—Jane, Joan, Woodrow, and Wendy.
While continuing to work as Personnel Manager at Firestone, dad toiled in the barn early mornings and late nights—loving every minute. He had a great sense of humour, laughing at his own jokes and novel rhymes. Mom was witty, musical, and fashionable. And, for life, tailored all things fabric. She creatively renovated and decorated our home with antiques. The Sears’ and Eatons’ delivery men could have driven blindfold to our place.
While we all worked hard, our close-knit family had the best life ever. As Hamilton expanded, our farm became half-country/half-city. Saturday nights were treat-nights, while watching westerns on TV. After Church, we each received $1.00 to spend on lunch, at a restaurant. Frequently, we would talk dad into a bonus chocolate bar on the way out; he’d have one too. Then, we’d visit our grandparents and cousins.
Our life was not all work as we were involved in many extra-curricular activities. Always young at heart, dad liked to join in our friend’s activities—baseball games, skating, and wiener roasts.
With Waylea Holsteins, we really teamed up for 4-H and all levels of showing. While competitive, our family had loads of fun.
At 55, dad retired from Firestone. My parents moved to a larger farm in Mount Hope where he increased his show herd. Again, mom set about renovating, decorating, and graciously entertaining our expanding family and their life-long friends.
By Jane Whaley