Founding of Wallace, Ontario
Early Settlers
Council Projects

From History of Perth County 1825-1902
by William Johnston, published in 1903

Surveys in Wallace being completed in 1854, it was thrown open for settlement in 1855, at a fixed price of $2 per acre.   A portion of this amount was returned by government as a contribution for local improvements.   This rebate was afterwards known as the local improvement fund, and payable annually.   Several settlers had located in Wallace previous to a survey being made.   Mr. John Binning, no doubt, was first pioneer, locating where Listowel now stands in 1851.   Later on in that year came James Stinson and his family, locating on what afterwards were lots 17 and 18, concession 6.   In 1853 came the families of McWhinnie, Wilson, Brady, Richard and James Strong, who settled on concession 4 John McDermott, for many years a prominent man, was an early settler, and built the first saw mill.   South-west were north of Ireland people and Scotch.   Here we find McKee, Everal, Coughlin, Smith, and Thompson as first settlers.   South-east are English and Scotch, as McAllister, Hunt, Bartley, Gordon, Binning, Dodds, Hay, and Climie.   In the north are North of Ireland people, and settlers from Simcoe.   Amongst these are Burns, Long, Moffatt, McDermott, Horne, Johnston, Kearns, Ranton, Hayes, Elliott, Warren, Henderson, Ruler, Brothers, and Ferguson.   Edward Leggatt and Thomas Milligan were also early settlers.   The pioneers who came from Simcoe had some experience in backwoods life.   This was a valuable acquisition in a new country.   Their knowledge of the work peculiar to clearing land was of great advantage to the unskilled immigrants from across the sea.   Its proximity to Waterloo County and the older sections eastward created a large influx of experienced bushmen.   In fifteen years from its first settlement Wallace had a population of 3,580, indicating rapid progress.

In this township are few villages, and those of little commercial importance.   This condition does not arise from an unprogressive feeling amongst the people.   Indeed, the contrary is true. The policy adopted at an early period of aiding railways had led to centralizing trade at two points, Listowel and Palmerston.   These two important towns lying partly within her original borders afford excellent facilities for disposing of goods at remunerative rates.

Origin of the names of   Molesworth   Palmerston   Shipley  and Trecastle, Ontario

Founding of   Gowanstown, Kurtzville and Wallace, Ontario
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