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Pioneers of Hastings County

Exerpts from the Illustrated Historical Atlas of the

Counties of Hastings and Prince Edward


Prepared by Linda Herman

Madoc Township

The township of Madoc derived its name from Lord Madoc of Wales, England and is situated in the North Riding of the County. Its’ settlement has been rapid and commenced about the year 1830. It is bounded on the south by Huntingdon, on the east by Elziver, on the west by Marmora, and on the north by Tudor. Madoc, aside from its mineral wealth, is excellent for agricultural purposes.

Cyrus Riggs, Barnabas Vankleek, James O’Hara, Donald McKenzie, Thomas Allan, John R. Ketcheson, Jacob Hazzard, Uriah Seymour, Louis Empey, William Allen and Robert Cooper were among the first settlers of Madoc township; Donald McKenzie built a grist and saw mill and opened a store, the first in the township, on Deer creek, a tributary of the Moira river, which formed the nucleus of what is now known as the village of Madoc.

The discovery of gold in the quartz rocks of Madoc during the years of 1866-7 caused an immense excitement and the little village of Hastings, now Madoc, received an impetus that was readily taken advantage of by its inhabitants. Houses and stores sprang upand business of all kinds flourished. Large and valuable deposits of iron, copper, lead, marble, and lithographic stone are found within a short distance of the village, which only awaits the completion of the B.& N. H.R,R, to develop the wealth of these products. Uriah Seymour, of Madoc village, erected at considerable expense a smelting furnace, and commenced the manufacture of iron, bringing the ore from his mines in the 5th concession. The works were carried on for some years, but owing to the great inconvenience and expense attending the transportation of the pig iron to the front, he was compelled to abandon the enterprise and the furnace was closed. The ore is reputed to be valuable, yielding about 90% of pure metal of a very superior quality. Gold exists in small, and in some places paying, quantities, in nearly every part of the township, but owing to a want of proper mechanical appliances much difficulty has been experienced in separating the precious metal from the quartz rocks in which it is found, consequently very little money has as yet been made in this direction.

The settlement of Madoc from 1830 up to 1855 continued and today good substantial dwelling houses and building have taken the place of log shanties and dilapidated old sheds. The people are industrious, as is evidenced on every hand by the well tilled fields producing abundantly every description of cereals.

The river Moira takes its rise on the northern boundary of the township, and in Tudor, affording excellent water power, and upon which is erected grist and saw mills. Deer creek also takes its rise within the limits of the township and flows through the village of Madoc. The Hastings macadamized road runs through the entire length of the township, affording to the farmer superior advantages for transporting the products of his farm to the front and market.

In the absence of the township records which were unfortunately destroyed by fire in 1873 we can only give the names of he several parties who were connected with the township Council from 1850 to the present time. Formerly Madoc, Tudor and Elziver were united for municipal purposes, but since the erection of the two latter into separate and independent municipalities, Madoc has elected her own representatives. On the dissolution of the old Midland District, a change of the form of government was established in rural municipalities and the first election by popular vote, in 1850, resulted in the return of the following named gentlemen:-

"Reeve – John R. Ketcheson; Deputy Reeve-Joseph Bradshaw; councillors- Henry Cook, James O’Hara, Mathew Herbeson; Assessors-P. Olmstead, W. H. Bristol; Clerk-John McDonald; Collector-Sylvannus Bond."

During December, 1850, a By-law was passed, ordering the erection of a town hall, which was built the following year , and since burned. From 1850 and up to the present year, the following gentlemen have represented the township in its several Councils,-Wm. Blair, Daniel Thompson, Henry Cook, Jeptha Bradshaw, John R. Ketcheson, A. F. Wood (Reeve for 22 years), Wm. Tumalty, Barnabas Vankleck, ___ Corrigan, W. Findlay, Mark Rennings, J. McCoy, J. N. Moore, E. D. O’Flynn, Thomas Allen, D.C. Brown, John Dale, S. Read, John Fassett, William Ward, Thomas Cross, F. D. Ross, Peter Vankleek, ____ Coskeys, Charles English, J. W. Allen and Joshua Broad. Peter Vankleek is the present Reeve and John R. Ketcheson, Clerk.

The population of the township is about 2,473, of which 1,323 are Methodists, 596 Presbyterians, 324 Church of England, and 230 Roman Catholic.

The village of Madoc , with a population of about 1000, on the south boundary line is now incorporated, having assumed that position, January 1878. The elective officers for the present year are Thomas Cross, Reeve; E.D. O’Flynn, Dr. Loomis, Dr. Sutton and S.D. Ross, Councillors. There are five churches:-Presbyterian, Church of England, Canada Methodist, Episcopal Methodist, and Roman Catholic. There are a number of fine residences; the stores, of which there are a large number, are more like city places of business than those of a back country village. An elegant Model School is in the course of erection, and when completed will accommodate 250 pupils; an excellent gravel road connects the village with Belleville, distance 24 miles. The Belleville and North Hastings, and the proposed route of the Toronto & Ottawa Railroads, run through the village, the former of which will be completed this fall. Madoc too, has had its reverses; in 1873 a general conflagration took place, in which the principal part of the village was destroyed. Solid brick blocks have taken the place of the wooden ones burned, and the Madoc of to-day bids fair to become one of importance in the county of Hastings.

The old Presbyterian church in the village of Madoc was destroyed by fire in 1873. And the congregation, which was formed in 1853, have erected, at an expense of about $20,000, an imposing new structure of stone, which may be seen for miles in any direction from the village. Its dimensions are 86 feet long, 44 feet, wide and 58 feet from the basement to the ridge, the sire is 118 feet high from the ground, its seating capacity, with gallery, 600, and when finished inside will be one of the finest places of worship to be found in the Province. The present pastor, the Rev. Mr. Wishart, who settled in 1857, and is a native of Culross, graduated at St. Andrew’s and Glasgow Universityies, and stufied theology in the F.C. Divinty Hall, Edinburgh, Scotland. After preaching the gospel for two years in the capacity of assistant at Kincardine and Duncan Temple, he was sent out to Canada by the Colonial Committee of the Free Church, and was settled as above-mentioned at Madoc, then a small hamlet on Deer creek. Perhaps the prosperity of the thriving village of Madoc is more due to Dr. Wishart’s energy than any other individual. His private residence was the first stone building in the place. He has built two other churches in the township of Madoc, and was instrumental in the erection of a church in Huntingdon Township, and also two others on the Hastings road. The erection of St. Peter’s Madoc, is also chiefly due to his exertions, and when entirely finished will be a lasting monument to his memory. The Rev. Dr. Wishart has always been identified in every effort for the improvement of the people. Of the most exalted integrity, he is honoured and respected by all who have the pleasure of his acquaintance.

In 1870 an effort was made to connect Madoc village with Kingston by a railway, which was christened and known as the Kingston and Madoc Railway. After considerable labour and money had been expended in working it up, the Kingston people changed their minds, and took up the Kingston & Pembroke road. In 1873 the Belleville & North Hasting Railway was projected, and in 1874 a charter obtained. The provisional directors were Hon. Lewis Wallbridge, A.F. Wood, H. C. Floyd, Dr. Boulter, M.P.P., James Brown, M.P., McKenzie Bowell, M.P., Thomas Kelson, R. S. Patterson, N.B. Falkiner, S. B. Burdett, Thomas Emo, E. D. O’Flynn and Peter Vankleek. In the same year the company was organized and A.F. Wood Esq., elected provisional president. In 1876 the stockholders organized a Board and A. Pardee, Esq. of Pennsylvania, who had invested considerable money in the road and iron mines in Madoc, was elected president, with H. C. Floyd, A. F. Wood, McKenzie Bowell, R. S. Patterson, W. Merslon, and A. B. Foster, directors. Bonuses of $60,000 were granted by the county and Madoc township, and the Government gave a subsidy of $60,000 more. The road commences at a point on the Grand Junction Railway, in the township of Sidney, about fifteen miles north of Belleville, and runs northerly through the townships of Rawdon and Huntingdon into Madoc to the Moose iron mines, in all 22 miles. The road is about all graded, bridges built, ties distributed, and it is confidently expected the road will be fully completed this year (1878). The scheme is intended to develop the iron mines, and the projectors expect to extend the road into the interior as a colonization road.

Bannockburn is a rising post village on the Moira River, in the north part of the twonship and is also becoming a place of importance. There are flouring and saw mills, and considerable business is done at certain seasons of the year. Gold was discovered, and the Toronto & Whitby Mining Co., whose lands are adjacent to the village, erected a quartz mill from which small quantities of gold have been taken.

Eldorado is another gold-mining and post village in the township of Madoc. It is at this point the Richardson mine is situated. There are several quartz mills, but none of them appear to be working except, perhaps, at intervals; and since the reaction that took place some years ago Eldorado’s star seems to have set, for the village has not improved much wither in point of population or business since that date.

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