By Mrs. Charles Welbury Scane
It has always been a great deal of satisfaction and pleasure to me to listen to the pioneers of the family telling me their past history, and that of the other old settlers in the community, so as I am complying to a request for the history of our land which no other person ever had a deed, and which still is in the Scane family,
In the first place I will have to mention a little bit of the history of these old established settlers who were Ridgetown's earliest ones. As you will notice John Scane 2nd. was the owner of this property.
The Scane family were of strong old English stock, well to do, highly respected and lovable people. They came to Canada from Yorkshire, England, in the year 1820. They came first to Toronto, which was then called York, then to St. Thomas, and finally to Ridgetown.
In their native land England, they followed the trade of Whale fishing, owning their own sailing vessels. They followed this trade for over a century. Several of the older members of the family were drowned or lost at sea while working at this prosperous trade, but they were renowned sailors. This probably accounts for so many arriving in their sailing vessel in this fair country of their adoption -- Canada. The trip took them fourteen weeks at sea. They encountered rough seas, iceburgs, and many hardships on their voyage.
They came to Canada as protestant missionaries of the Methodist faith. They preached the word of God and were faithful to their church. They brought with them scores of bibles, two to which are still in the family as property of Charles Wilbury Scane, the third heir. One of these old Bibles was the property of the old family many years ago, before it was brought to Canada. It dates back to August 10,1764.
The first members of the family of whom any date was obtained were Thomas and his wife, who were born in Yorkshire, England. Thomas was born in 1765, and died in Canada in 1845,while his wife died in Canada in 1920.
John the first born, married Bessie Mitton in 1800. She was born in England in 1798. They became the parents of nine sons, and two daughters, four of whom died in infancy. Their oldest son John 2nd. grew to manhood, and purchased the farm in question, which comprised of 100 acres, received from the British Government through their land agent Colonel Talbot. Thls land is situated on the tenth concession of Howard Township, Lot 5. The deal was made in 1842.
Since the growth of timber was so heavy and there ware no trails, Mr. Scane always carried a compass until the trees were blazed. This land was very fertile, but offered very little promise of anything but hard work for many years to come. Mr. Scane was obliged to make a clearing for his new home. He was a strong man of muscle, brain and will power, and a true pioneer lumberman. He split rails, built the rail fences and framed and built a barn. Mr. Scane was also the captain and framer of most of the log houses and barns in this district at that time.
Three years later he framed and built a new barn, hewing the huge timbers by hand. This barn is still standing. Although the boards are worn very thin from the weather, it is in good condition,
The timber on this land was of maple, oak, black walnut, and a quantity of white walnut. Mr. Scane made poster beds for this new home, one of white walnut and one of black walnut. These beds are still the property of Charles Welbury Scane.
In 1852 John Scane 2nd. married Catherine Marsh, grand-daughter of Sarah Montgomery Marsh, Ridgetown's first white settler. This Sarah Montgomery raised Catherine from a young girl. She was born in the United States, was well educated and a talented singer and musician. These gifts brought Catherine into the social life of the community and into the work of the church.
Catherine and John were married on the 23rd. day of May, 1852, by the Rev. Wm. Price. Their wedding certificate is still in the family. They became the parents of three sons and one daughter, whose names are: Charles Welbury, who is still owner of the farms his father bought; John Leonard who died at the age of eight; Harry James and Elizabeth Alice. Catherine, this beautiful wife and devout mother, passed to her reward at the age of thirty-seven. She died on April 12, 1865, leaving her small family without a kindly mother.
Around I860 John Scane purchased another farm on the Ridge - Road, lot 6, in Howard Township, near the home of his father. Here he erected the present house which has been well kept and is a good home. Mrs. Scane helped to plan this home but died before it was completed. Frank Brien had the contract to do all the wood work which he cut by hand. The lathing was done by P.J. Orendorf, and the plastering by Anthony Atkinson. This house has a basement under it, laid of large stone with a floor of brick, it being the first house to have a basement. The masonry was done by Mr. Scane himself.
In 1867, Mr Scane moved his family out to their new home on the Ridge-Road, Charles, John 3rd. and Elizabeth went to the old log school at Rushton's Corners where they had gone before leaving the tenth concession, and where their father was chairman of the school board. Harry went to school in Ridgetown, and this school stood where Mr. P.J. Buckborough's home now stands, Later it was moved a block farther east to stand between the property of Mr. Russell Clark and the home of Mr. John Watson. Mrs. Stewart lives in it at the present time.
Two lovely barns and a shed were also built on this property but they were destroyed by fire and there was no insurance. They were replaced in 1901 by a large bank barn still on the property.
Charles Welbury Scane owns and still lives on this farm. He is seventy-seven years of age and has the same ambitious character as his father. He built his own straw stacks at the age of seventy-seven, which is a credit to him. Mr. Charles Scane is a model farmer with good traits of character and is often sought for advice on farming and many other matters. He was trustee of Scane's school for twenty-three years in succession. His four remaining children are Carrie May, Bessie Jane, Howard Marsh, and Gordon Leonard; his other son John Charles died on September 22,1908,at the age of two years and four months. John and Bessie were twins.
This biographical record was written in 1922, when it was compiled by Mr Charles Welbury Scane, who passed away in his eighty-ninth year on September 30, 1943. Mr. Scane attended to all his business until his death. He had a wonderful memory and had retained all faculties until the last when he suffered a heart attack and passed away peacefully. He is survived by his wife, Nellie Clarke Scane, and his four children who mourn the loss of a kind and loving husband and father.
Mr. Scane's four children are: Carrie May, who married Neil Lynn McMillan of Northwood on July 17,1929, and who have one son Lynn Scane McMillan born March 23, l943. Bessie Jane who married I. Gordon Love of Toronto on June 26, 1940. Howard Marsh who married Helen Horsman of Ridgetown on July 2, l941, and who have two children, Mary Jean born January 25, 1944, and Catherine Anne, born September 1, 1946; and Gordon Leonard, unmarried on the old homestead with his mother.
Mrs. Charles Welbury Scane
Transcribed from the records of Mrs. Geo. S. Brien, Rural Ridgetown Women's Institute.