Harrison Farm Property

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Mrs. Harrison was a Boer Farmer's daughter, when she became a widow, she took her son and lived in India 9 years, then went to England where he went to school, then got a job. He married an English girl, who had emigrated to Canada with her parents, as he had come to Canada, landing in Ridgetown. He bought from Canada Land Co. manager Edward Wilson, who had been granted a parcel of land to be sold and settled by the Crown, Lot 13 Concession 9 Howard Township consisting of 75 acres covered with maple and walnut trees. The farm is l-1/4 miles from easterly limits of Ridgetown on the Ridge Road. They built a log cabin and lived there awhile, then moved to London where he became a school teacher and taught for awhile, then came back to the farm.

Mr. Edmund B. Harrison became Township Clerk in Civic Affairs, then 10 years later, 1860 he was appointed Township Treasurer. The tax collectors brought sacks of money to be counted and checked.

After teaching a while he became School Inspector for Kent Co. and through his influence it was divided into East and West Kent. He considered it a disgrace to be a poor writer, so taught himself to be near perfect. A great chess player.

A new frame cottage with extension was built in 1862, all lumber was cut on the farm, and the house was finished inside with walnut, there was a parlor, 4 bedrooms, large dining room, kitchen and pantry and front hall. In the extension was a large summer kitchen, store room, wood shed with double doors so a wagon load of wood could be backed into it and unloaded. Upstairs over the extension were 5 bedrooms, a large study and dark room for storage, also a small cellar. The house was built on a stone foundation and all outside walls insulated with sawdust. The contract was given to Ferguson Brothers of Thamesville for $245.00, which included cutting and finishing and painting of all wood work.

A circle drive was planned with a double row of maple trees circling the house, and 2 poplar trees were planted at the gate. Named the farm "Mapleton" 300 rose bushes, along with many old England flowers were planted near the house, also fruit trees, raspberries and strawberries were also planted. The barn burned down and replaced by a steel barn in 1907, in 1919 the house was remodelled with a rug brick veneer and a sun porch added. Most of the old extension was torn down, and a fine basement added by the late Harry B. Harrison, In later years a cider mill was built near the road. Mr. & Mrs. E.B. Harrison had several children, one son William Thomas Harrison became a surgeon and Dr. and practised in Toronto later moved and practised in Keese, Peterborough County.

Chris Sidney Harrison moved to Detroit. James M Harrison became a Methodist Minister and went to North West. One daughter, Edith Jane, was born April 1855, died June 1879, just before she was to be married to a neighbor school teacher. She had been to a picnic at the Lake and got soaking wet, contracting galloping consumption. Her mother also got the disease by caring for her daughter and died soon after. The youngest son Harry B. Harrison was born Feb. 1860, and died 1932, Sept., and was buried in Greenwood Cemetery, also the his father, Edmond B. Harrison died age 86 years, 1907 also burled in Greenwood Cemetery, leaving the farm entailed to his youngest son, Harry B. Harrison, and Harry's children. Harry B. lived on the farm, one time had an Implement, Harness and feed store in Ridgetown, and for some time was manager of Farmers Co-Operative. Harry Brailsford Harrison married Mary Squires who was born near Simco 1878, their children Mary Eleanor born Feb. 1906, married Smith Rason Sept. 1943, Harry Edmund, born April 1909,married Winnie Emma Monk Aug. 20,1936. Edith May, born Dec. 1912, married Ivor Charles Monk Aug. 1936. They have 2 children Robert Charles and Roy, who are both living in London. Still living on the farm is Harry Brailsford Harrison, widow Mary and their son Harry Edmund, and his wife Winnie, and their son Harry Patrick Harrison, born October 20th 1942.

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Transcribed from the records of Mrs. Geo. S. Brien, Rural Ridgetown Women's Institute.