Seymour Township

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Seymour, Ontario is a geographic township and former municipality located in Northumberland County, Ontario, Canada. It is currently part of the Municipality of Trent Hills.

The Township was named in 1798 for Lady Elizabeth Seymour, the wife of Hugh Percy, the first Duke of Northumberland. She later became the Baroness of Percy, from which adjoining Percy Township gets its name.

European settlement began in earnest in the 1830s and brothers Lieutenant-Colonel Robert Campbell and Major Robert Campbell were granted 890 acres on the Trent River in 1831. A settlement grew, and in 1876, the Village of Campbellford was separated from Seymour and incorporated as a separate municipality.

Seymour was originally part of the United Counties of Northumberland and Durham, then Northumberland after the United Counties were restructured in 1974. In 2001, Seymour was amalgamated with Campbellford, the Village of Hastings and Percy Township to form the Town of Campbellford / Seymour, Percy & Hastings. It was renamed Trent Hills later that year. According to the 2001 Census, Seymour had a population of 4,528 at the time of amalgamation.

Facts 1876:

The township of Seymour lies north north-west of Murray, being bounded on the north by the township of Belmont in Peterborough, on the south by Brighton and Murray, on the east by Rawdon in Hastings, and on the west by Percy and Asphodel. The Trent traverses it. Population, 4,289. The population in1850 was 2,117; in 1861, 3,842. The native population number about two thirds, and the settlers from England, Ireland and Scotland, about one third in equal proportions--the Scotch however, have a small preponderance. Quite a number of retired half-pay military and naval officers located in the township after the first survey.

Seymour was surveyed and laid out, first in 1819, and again in 1833. Major CAMPBELL, of Cobourg, after whom Campbellford has been named and by whom the village was founded, has done much in advancing the prosperity of the township of Seymour. He took up with his partners some 4000 acres of land, and his enterprise and encouragement induced quite a flourishing settlement.

1851 Census Comments

To our benefit, Henry Rowed, the enumerator of Seymour Township, Northumberland County in the 1851 census took advantage of the comments' column. The following transcription was provided by Jennifer Kolthammer, May 27, 2006 in the tng mailing list.

[page1d, 3]

It is quite impossible to give any information of the value of separate farms at this season as we have between 2 and 3 feet of snow on the ground besides which the men belonging to the different farms are all in the woods working at Lumber, the women and boys of course are ignorant on these subjects, but the general price of land is from 15/0d to 1/15/0 per acre, much above its real value in my estimation, but occasioned by the Emigrants wishing to settle in the neighbourhood of their relatives already residing here. I think amongst the industrious farmers where proper precautions are taken winter wheat in this Township averages 20 Bushels per acre, but spring wheat does not succeed as well.

In the religious Census I wish to impress on your minds that by "Presbyterian" is meant that church which is in connection with the Church of Scotland. I have not met with any other in this Township with the exception of some Free Church men whom I have entered as such, namely "Free Church".

[page 3d, 7]

I find that the schools in this Township cause general dissatisfaction. I am told in almost every house that the school houses are too distant or that the Teachers are incompetent. And altho I was aware that the attendance of children at school was small I must confess my surprise at the small number returned. I could perceive no perceptable difference in the Free schools and others. The only children who attend in either case are those who are too young to assist their parents in their occupations. One great difficulty is not being able to find competent Trustees, a large majority of them not being able to read and write.

[page32d, 65]

I beg to call the attention of the Board to the great difficulties I have had to contend with in taking the Census. 9 or 10 lumber Shantys in the most distant and wild parts of the Township have caused me much trouble as invariably the Cook was the only person I could find to answer my questions and he could do little more than give me an idea of the names and ages of the men & I beg to assure the Board I did my best to give as accurate a return as laid in my power, also not having forms sufficient delayed me several days as I was obliged to go to Cobourg a distance of 40 miles to procure more & when I returned a heavy snow storm which lasted three days kept me from travelling, then a severe cold caught by wading from house to house in two to three feet of snow confined me several days. It is quite impossible to judge of the value of land more than the average price if wild land is from 20/0 to 25/0 per acre. I find the Scotch & English have succeeded best as Agriculturists. The Roman Catholic Irish with very few exceptions have not become independent and seem satisfied to reside in small shantys surrounded by the cows and pigs. The English settlers appear to make their residences the most comfortable but the Scotch have cleared the most land. The Old Canadians British do not get on as well here as old country people. Henry Rowed

[page 33d, 67]

This Township has been a very great favorite with the Lumbermen who have completely gutted the woods of all the valuable Timber & this year I consider that the business is more considerable than it has been since that business was introduced into the country, as it appears an inferior article is expected to find a ready sale at remunerating prices. In the last few years several saw mills have been erected on the Trent and Crow River and as the Circular Saws are used instead of the old fashioned upright saws the amount of sawn lumber has increased very much. & I make no doubt that branch of the business is only in its infancy as we have a country behind us with an inexhaustable supply of Logs and splendid water power. I think in all the above number there is not an individual with the exception of John McA--- who has any right whatever to the land he lives on. It is a splendid country north of Crow River 7 the Trent, both possessing unequalled water power. & if the contemplated rail road to Lake Huron should be constructed it will pass directly thro' it.

1851 Agricultural Census Comments

In almost every case in this Township there are summer Fallows & new land wheat & as both come under the head of land under cultivation, I am forced to include it in the column for improved land & am therefore obliged to enter the new land and summer fallow under the head of pasture to make the columns for land agree but it is undoubtedly wrong and I make no doubt [--] this Township I have entered as pasture more than double what is truely pasture. Also residing so far from the Commissioner I could receive no instructions further than the printed directions, the mail is much too slow and uncertain to trust for information thro' that source.

I wish the Board to understand that orchards are very often under crop in 9 cases out of 10, so that I had to deduct the quantity or orchards from the quantity under crop altho' to have come to a proper estimate such ought not to have been the case & I have to enter lands as under cultivation altho laying waste because that land was once cleared. I also have to enter as pasture land that was fallow which in this Township is not less than one tenth of the whole improved lands & nobody can tell the difficulty of getting answers to questions when it is necessary to be so very accurate excepting those who have tried it.

Killed 42 Deer. Potatoes are almost all lost by rot and in most cases they were very small before they rotted altho' they had arrived at maturity when the disease commenced. Buck wheat also failed owing to the great heats we experienced in the month of September at any rate it is not cultivated to any extent with us. Turnips are not much cultivated altho in the last 2 or three years we begin to attend more to root crops than formerly this year most of the turnips are left in the ground on account of the winter beginning a fortnite earlier than usual. Many farmers who have been growing large quantities of wheat tell me & I know it from experience, that they can no longer do so as the expense of raising, where it is done by hired labour is greater than the return.

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