Responsible Government

Responsible Government

by Noreen Croxford

Warwick Twp. Hall and Fire Hall, 2004
Warwick Twp. Hall and Fire Hall, 2004: This original hall was built in 1853, then renovated in 1939 and again in 1954. To its left is the Warwick Fire Hall, built in more recent times to house the trucks and equipment used by the volunteer Warwick Fire Department. courtesy P Ferwerda


Please note: In the following document minor changes have been made in spelling and punctuation to provide better understanding. But not all errors have been corrected. In editing it has been very difficult to know what errors may have crept into the work and what was part of the original. The reader will note the carefree attitude toward spelling that was sometimes evident in the past, both in Council minutes and in newspapers.

The words in bold draw attention to the issues that were being discussed at the time.

Designed by Jessica Rombouts, the maple leaf represents the Canadian flag, hockey sticks represent recreational sports, wheat represents agricultural roots, building/factory is for commercial/industrial businesses and the tree is for forestation.


Government is such a broad topic. Even in a small municipality such as Warwick Twp., to include all the people who served at the various levels — municipal, provincial and federal — as well as the issues they debated and the decisions they made would be a book in itself. The following chapter highlights some of the issues I found interesting as I read through past minutes newspaper reports and other documents which pertained to government in and about Warwick Twp.

The first section deals with the issues of Warwick Twp. until it amalgamated with Watford in 1998. The second section summarizes Watford’s issues from the time it was first incorporated until it amalgamated with the township. Following the issues of  the amalgamated communities is a list of Warwick politicians who have served beyond the local community as Wardens, Members of Provincial Parliament (MPP) and Members of Parliament (MP).

Warwick Issues, 1832–1998

Following is the account of the first Council meeting in Warwick Township.

Year 1835, Township of Warwick, Western District of Upper Canada.

The following persons were appointed as Township Officers on the 5th of January 1835, being the first Township meeting:

Oscar W. Cleverly, Town Clerk

Richard Evans, John Fair, Assessors

A. W. W. Freere, Collector

PATHMASTERS: Robert H. Hull, Wm. Burwell, Wm. Porter, Truman Minor, Andrew Harrower, Foster Martin, Wm. Hume, Henry Cable, Enoch Thomas, Jas. Robinson, David Williams, Wm. McElmurray

POUNDKEEPERS: George Watson, John Tanner

CHURCH WARDENS: Joseph Little, John Creely

FENCE VIEWERS: Jesse Kenward, Walter Vivian, Chauncey Howard

The following resolutions were passed:

Resolved that all pigs to be kept in yoke or in a pen until six months old.

Resolved that horses be not allowed to run at large.1

Apparently the rest of the minutes before 1850 were stored in township Clerk Albert Menery’s attic and destroyed after his death. This selection of Warwick Twp. issues starts after 1850.


June 12:

Harrower-Reid: that in as much as it has been represented to the Council that a large amount of damage and injury has been done to the inhabitants of this Township by reason of rabid dogs running at large biting cattle, sheep and hogs, it is therefore expedient and necessary for the safety of the inhabitants of this Township, and also cattle and other animals therein, that the Reeve be authorized to issue a Proclamation calling upon the inhabitants of this Township to destroy all dogs found running at large between now and the first day of August next.


February 27:

Kenward-Graham: that Mr. Campbell, Mr. Harrower and Mr. Minery [Menery] be a committee to examine and report upon the state of the books belonging to the Township Library and also upon the general management of same Library for the year past with power to select (some) fifty of the books for a branch Library for Ward No. one.


February 27:

Campbell-Kersey: that Mr. Graham and the Reeve be a committee to negotiate and purchase a plot of ground for a Public Cemetery for this Township and to pay for the same out of the Township funds.


February 25:

Graham-Kersey: that a special grant of $60 be made to Ward No. 4 from the land improvement fund to assist in opening the land to Forest Station G. T. R. R. [Grand Trunk Railroad]


July 21:

A communication from George Harrower Esq. was read recommending that a sufficient sum of money should be advanced out of the Township funds to send Smith Goodhand a destitute person to the Hospital at Toronto. Graham-McKenna: it was resolved that the request of George Harrower Esq. be complied with as soon as it is ascertained that Goodhand will be received in the Hospital and that the Reeve grant his order on the Treasurer for the amount.

September 8:

Graham-Kersey: that it is advisable that steps should be taken forthwith for the purpose of taking up subscriptions toward alleviating the distress of the operating in the cotton manufacturing districts in England and in order that a simultaneous (amount) be made in the County, the Clerk be instructed to write the Warden of the County, suggesting the expediency of him calling a public meeting when and where he may think proper, with a view to forming committees to collect for such purpose in the different Townships.

The following are selected items from the 1862 Warwick Twp. Auditors Report.

Amount levied on collectors roll 1862 $3,340.23
David Rogers, Tavern License $24.00
Robert Wiltshire, Tavern License $24.00
T.D. Lee, Tavern License $24.00
James Donnelly, Tavern License $24.00
James Cataline, Tavern License $24.00
Alexander Newal, Tavern License $7.47
Terrence Donnelly, Shop License $22.50
John Auld, Shop License $30.00
Cash from County Treasurer $614.92
Total revenue $5,981.01
Ward 1, John McKenna $398.36
Ward 2, Edward Kersey $352.58
Ward 3, Robert Campbell $235.62
Ward 4, Peter Graham $399.02
Ward 5, William Tompson $222.11
School Trustees. This included:
S.S. # 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,10,11&12,14 and 15 $383.57
2 auditors (10.00 each) $20.00
Clerk and Treasurer $100.00
Librarian Salary $20.00
5 Councillors salary, 21.00 each $105.00
Total expenditures $5,981.01

Source: 1862 Auditors Report.

Note: Each Councillor was responsible for paying workers in his Ward for work such as building & repairing roads, digging ditches, putting in drains etc.

Rates of pay per day
Manual Labour: 87 1/2 cents
Man with ox team: $1.50
Man with horse team: $1.75


February 8:

Graham-Kersey: that the applications of David Rogers, William Brent and Robert Wiltshire for a licence to sell spiritious liquor and keep Houses of Public Entertainment, be granted upon their furnishing the Clerk with the necessary certificates of qualification from the Tavern Inspector.


May 20:

Eccles-McTay: that Captain Campbell and others having made application to this Council for a grant of $600 to make up the deficiency required for the erection of a Drill Shed in the Village of Warwick for Co. number Two Lambton Volunteers;

Be it resolved that in the opinion of this Council the amount required should be levied on the County generally by general rate on the rate payers of the County, as the interest of all are equally concerned and that the Reeve and Deputy Reeve be requested to lay the case before the County Council at its next meeting for the purpose of getting a sufficient grant to complete said building.


May 18:

Howden-Davidson: that the Municipal Council of the Township of Warwick offer a reward of $100 for the apprehension and conviction of the party or parties who on the night of the 16th May robbed the safe of the Township Treasurer to the amount of seven hundred dollars and that the Reeve have notices printed to that effect.


May 3:

Mr. Philips having applied for payment for 10 sheep killed by dogs on the 3rd February last, several witnesses having examined said sheep and it was moved by Mr. Davidson seconded by Mr. Smith that Mr. Philips be paid the sum of $20 as soon as there is sufficient funds on hand being two thirds of the value of said sheep in accordance with the Sheep Act, passed 21 January 1869 and the Reeve grant his warrant for said amount.


July 10:

Robert Campbell-Davidson: that Mr. D. Campbell and Smith examine the London Road across Mr. Kingston’s [Kingstone] farm and examine whether parties can cross said bridge without receiving damage or not.


June 24:

Davidson-Smith: that the tenders for the erection of a bridge across Bear Creek on Mr. Kingston’s [sic] new road be opened and read.

The tenders were then opened and read as follows: James C. Rourke $285, John Roche $269.50, James Maloney $275, Michael (Rategan) $264. The tenders were all considered too high and the parties tending being all present, it was put up at auction.

Eccles-Davidson: that John Roche having bid the lowest for the bridge across Bear Creek, his bid of $197.50 be accepted by him complying with the conditions as it was let.


December 1:

Mr. Dennis Ryan complained of being charged with one dollar Statute Labour tax upon the Collectors Roll, asserting that he had performed such labour when notified. Eccles-Lambert: that the Pathmaster Mr. Andrew Cox be notified to attend next meeting of the Council to state his reasons for not allowing Mr. Ryan credit for such labour.


April 15:

Campbell-Smith: and resolved that the population of the Village of Watford in the year 1871 as far as can be ascertained was 527, this number being agreed on by the Councils of Warwick and Watford.

Campbell-Smith: that the sum of fifty dollars be given to aid the Corporation of Watford to build a Lock-up as we unanimously consider that such a building in Watford will be a saving of expense to this Township, the Lock-up to be built and inspected according to the plan laid down by the County Council before the above amount be paid.


September 20:

Campbell-McGillicuddy: that in compliance  with the Petition of J. Roach and seventeen other rate payers praying for aid to Patrick Downs the sum of forty five dollars be granted to John Roche for the purpose of sending him home to his friends in Ireland, he being a cripple and in indigent circumstances, and that the Reeve grant his order for the same.


Warwick Council: Campbell-Smith: that Mrs. Smith was paid the sum of $22.50 for keeping E. Blake, an indigent person, for 15 weeks.2

Warwick Council: Campbell-Dewar: Mr. J. F. Kenward was granted $10 to expend for Theophilus Fenner, and old and destitute person. 3


May 25:

McGillicuddy-Hall: that James Griffin be paid the sum of $6.00 for damage done to his buggy through an accident in being thrown over a bridge on 2nd Con. NER, said bridge having no railing, and the Reeve grant his order for that amount and he being instructed to have a railing put on said bridge.


February 21:

Healey-McCormack: that the petition of George C. Randal and nine other ratepayers asking for a local drain across Lots 3-4-5 and 6 in 6th Con. SER Township of Warwick be entertained and the Clerk instructed to write to Alex Davidson, the Provincial Land Surveyor, to proceed as soon as possible and lay out said drain and provide plans and estimates of the same.


August 28:

Spalding-Hall that the contract of digging a drain under the provisions of the local drainage Act on 6th Con. NER known as the McPherson Drain be awarded to John Hollingsworth at the sum of One Dollar and eighty nine cents per rod, said drain to be commenced on or before the 15th day of September and completed by the 1st day of May 1883.


April 4:

Stevens-Campbell: that the Reeve erect a bridge or frame of bridge on (Guy) Street in the Village of Warwick to not cost more than $50.00, Mr. William Haun to sign a bond that he will not ask for any more expense in the building or repairing of said bridge or approaches for next 15 years.


Bailiff J. F. Elliot visited the farm of Thomas McGregor, Main Road, on Monday to seize a span of horses. McGregor got wrathy and made a lurch at Elliot with a bayonet, which, fortunately only ripped a hole in the Bailiff’s vest, otherwise he would never have served another paper. The old man was disarmed, and the bayonet, a wicked looking weapon as sharp as a dagger, was taken away from him. McGregor will appear before Wm. McLeay J. P. on Friday to answer the charges of assault with intent to do bodily harm.4


January 16:

Mr. Muma was granted the sum of $25.00 to get John Roberts (who has been receiving aid from the Council) removed from his present home to his daughter’s in Buffalo, she engaging that he will not return.5


March 26:

McCormick-Brandon: that this Council desire to express their sincere regret at the death of Robert Herbert who for the last 25 years has filled the office of Township Auditor and would wish to extend to Mrs. Herbert and family their deepest sympathy in their great bereavement and praying that the Giver of All Good may be their solace in this their time of trouble and that the Clerk be instructed to send a copy of this resolution to Mrs. Herbert and family.


March 30:

Leach-Kersey: that the Reeve grant his order in favour of M. McLeay for $40.00 for acting as Constable for 20 days at Mr. Cables and disinfecting the both houses in time of diphtheria and as recommended by Board of Health.


February 8:

The Reeve reported that he had as authorized by Council taken John Stafford to the House of Refuge and Mr. Reycraft reported that he had taken William Nichols there also on the authority of Council at a special meeting.


June 8:

A deputation of ratepayers were present asking that William Moon (who had both legs broken while working in a gravel pit) be sent to the hospital, he being in destitute circumstances. McFarland-Reycraft: that the Reeve and Councillor Baird make arrangements to have him sent to Sarnia Hospital.


October 16:

The Board of Health through their Chairman reported the following cost ($14.90) incurred through cases of Scarlet fever in the Township.


June 29:

Blain-Graham: that the Reeve grant his order in favour of G.L. Phillip, undertaker in Sarnia, for $12.50 for funeral expenses, burying William Nichole, an inmate of Poorhouse.


At the meeting of the Warwick Council, Mr. W. H. Stewart who has been the faithful and efficient Clerk of the Township for the past thirty years tendered his resignation, being about to remove to the West. He is succeeded by Mr. N. Herbert, a young man well qualified for the responsible duties of the office.6


March 16:

Laird-Dann: that in view of the proposal of the Hydro Electric Radial Commission to approach the Federal Government with a view of securing the aid of $6400.00 per mile granted to railways under construction, to assist in the building of the Radial between London and Sarnia which railway eventually becomes the property of Municipality that we send a delegation to Ottawa consisting of the whole Council and the Clerk for the purpose of aiding the movement.


February 18:

Higgins-Parker: that the Reeve grant his order in favour of Robert Morgan for $7.00 for waiting on Jno. Lowery during the time of quarantine for Small Pox.


February 17:

Higgins-Williamson: that the Clerk write the different Red Cross Societies of the Township regarding a Memorial Monument in memory of the boys who have made the supreme sacrifice and ask the secretary of the different societies to bring it up at their next meeting and report to the Council on same, or if possible send two delegates to the next meeting of the Council. We do not deem it advisable to pay the money they have on hand over to London Society as has been requested.


March 24:

Campbell-Parker: that the Reeve and Clerk as representatives of the Council Board, be instructed to sign the petition to the Government asking them to make permanent the war-time prohibition. […]

Williamson-Muma: that the Clerk notify the delegation from Watford that the Council of the Township of Warwick will not co-operate with them in the erection of a Memorial Monument.


September 1:

Chambers-Mansfield: that the Reeve grant his order in favour of Dr. Siddall for $6.00 for quarantining Ernest Karr for measles.

Chambers-Percy: that the Reeve grant his order in favour of Elwood Jones for $3.10 for spring of car broken on 4th Con. opposite Lot 12, SER.


October 3:

Campbell-Sessions: that the Reeve grant his order in favour of the Ingot Iron Co. for $85.84 for 3 culverts and $7.60 for pipe for the Ellerker Drain and charge the pipe to the drain account.


Hydro Electric Power was turned on in Warwick on October 25. Warwick was first placed in the Sarnia district with Mr. Geo. Allen as Superintendent. Later it had Inwood for district headquarters and Mr. Chittick as Superintendent. At present, in 1947, we are in the Forest District under the supervision of Mr. Sam Moffat.7


March 5:

Richardson-Smith: that the Reeve grant his order in favour of the following Pathmasters for shoveling snow: Basil Kernohan $3.70, Chas. Ellerker $5.95, George Harper $6.20, George Thomson $4.00, Wm. Haney $3.10 and Otto Ellerker $1.60.

December 15:

Richardson-Reycraft: that the Reeve grant his order in favour of Ed Thompson for $15.65 for services as School Attendance Officer, salary $10.00 mileage $5.65. […]

Smith-Jones: that the Reeve grant his order in favour of W. D. Thompson for $8.10 for services as Weed Inspector for 1934.


March 2:

Woods-Jones: that the Reeve grant his order in favour of Alex Fleming for $3.60 for 18 hours shoveling snow.

October 5:

Kelly-Wilkinson: that we having been informed that Roy Willoughby and Mrs. Evans’ dogs have been seen worrying sheep, that we instruct Clerk to notify those parties that those dogs must be destroyed within 24 hours after receiving the notice.


May 3 at a meeting of Council:

Wilkinson-Woods: that the Reeve grant his order to Dept. of Health, Toronto for the sum of $2.28 for insulin furnished two patients (Mrs. Rundle and F. Sitlington.)

October 2:

Miss Annie Ross and Mrs. L. H. Cook on behalf of the Warwick Women’s Institute and W. P. McDonald interviewed the Council in regards to a grant to help defray the expenses of an Agricultural Course for boys and girls to be held in Warwick Village in January 1938.

Wilkinson-Woods: that the Council grant to the Women’s Institute the use of the Township Hall and also a grant of $25.00 to defray expenses for the Agricultural Course in January.


Wilkinson-McKay: that this Council purchase a duplicator from the Gestetner Co. London for the price of $135.00, half to be paid this year and half next year without interest and that the Reeve grant his order for the sum of $67.00 this year’s payment to be paid when delivered.


A special meeting of the Warwick Council was held to consider the repairing of the Town Hall. It was decided to repair the hall this year by extending the length of the building by 10 feet, veneering with red brick and placing an eight foot basement underneath. The present hall was erected by Mr. John McElrey [McElroy] in 1853, when the sum of 150 pounds was voted by the council for the construction.8

November 6:

A committee from the Warwick Women’s Institute waited on the Council to arrange for a supper and entertainment in connection with the opening of the new hall. It was decided to hold the opening on November 24th and the Members of the Council were to meet a committee from the Institute to make final arrangements at an early date.

December 9, at a meeting of Council:

By-law No. 8 setting the rates of rental for the Township Hall was read first, second and third times and finally passed as follows: That $5.00 be charged for dancing for ratepayers of Township; that $4.00 be charged for suppers; $2.00 for Christmas tree entertainments; $2.00 for Women’s Institute meetings; $3.00 be charged for school fairs and all other meetings, and Red Cross meetings free; that the Clerk be appointed custodian of the hall and permission to use the hall must be obtained only from the custodian; that the Women’s Institute hold the key to the kitchen while they occupy same.


November 3:

McKay-Stewart: that we authorize the Clerk to write certain parties who have slot machines in their places of business that they be taken out and left out or we will prosecute.


August 2:

Cable-McKay: that the Council of Warwick request parties to refrain from dumping waste material of any description on the roads of the Township or prosecutions will follow.


March 9:

Stewart-Wever: that the Reeve sign an order for an Adams Motor Grader No. 412 with scraper attached, price $8818.00, providing the Dept. of Highways approves the contract.


February 4:

The committee appointed to bring a proposition to the Council to give to the soldiers who enlisted in the last war some recognition for their services submitted a report to give to each soldier who served overseas $100.00 and those who served as home defence $15.00 and petitioned for the adoption of the report.


July 7 at a meeting of Council:

By-Law No. 13 declaring Warwick Township a closed district for hunters except for licences issued by appointed Township Officials; that open season be from December 1st to February 28th and resident hunter licence be 25 cents and non-resident hunter licence be $1.00 each. The Clerk and Mr. T. H. Cook to sell the licences.


April 5 at a meeting of Council:

Bryce-Parker: that the Council of Warwick protest the suggestion of the Watford Business Men to go on fast time in the Village of Watford, and we suggest it is a hardship for the farmers who have difficulty in securing help and would also suggest that the business men go to work whenever they like but leave the clocks on standard time.


Is Watford district to experience another oil boom similar or far surpassing that of twelve years ago when many paying oil pools were pumped, some for weeks, others for months, immediately east of Watford, on Highway 22 and one mile south? On Tuesday night of this week Demeray & Nichols, drilling under the supervision of Roy A. Avery, of Weston, brought in a new well at 450 feet on the farm of George Morris, 4th Line, Warwick, 1½ miles west of Watford, which is now under test, and several other test wells will be drilled in that district where no extensive drilling has been previously tried. Mr. Avery claims the locations are first selected by modern scientific methods, and very important indications of oil sources may be soon released in this area.9


Warwick Twp. Council, 1951
Warwick Twp. Council, 1951: Back: Adam Higgins (Road Superintendent), S. Reycraft (Treasurer), C. E. (Zeb) Janes, Front row: Ivor Weaver, Gord Bryce, Hanson Holbrook, J. Parker, G. Levitt. courtesy Warwick WI Tweedsmuir Books

Ivor Wever, last year’s Reeve of Warwick Twp. and Warden of Lambton County, was almost a unanimous choice as Liberal Progressive candidate in East Lambton at a well attended convention in Petrolia Monday evening.

The new Liberal candidate and the present Conservative Provincial Member of East Lambton, C. E. “Zeb” Janes, have always been close friends, reside in the same corner of the Township, have worked together in municipal and community affairs — and if a provincial election is decided for October as at present predicted, the election campaign in East Lambton will be a shining example of clean, honorable political debate between those good men who agree on fundamental principles, but belong to different political parties.10


May 3:

A resolution was received from the session of the Warwick United Church soliciting the support of the Council in preventing any racing as a sport or means of entertainment on any Stock Car Racing Track in the Township on Sundays.

Bryce-Holbrook: that the Council of Warwick do prohibit Sunday racing or any form of amusement on the grounds of the Warwick Stock Car Race Track.


At the Ontario Good Roads Convention held last week in Toronto, Gordon Bryce, Reeve of Warwick, was elected a director of the Association. This is a six-man board and Warwick is proud to have their Reeve as a representative thereon. This is the second time Lambton County has had a member of the Good Roads Directorate.11


August 6:

A petition was presented by the residents of Warwick requesting that something be done about the odor from the Pea Vinery.

Emery-Jones: that the petition of the ratepayers of Warwick Village be entertained and that the Reeve and Deputy Reeve contact the Canadian Canners as soon as possible in regards to same.

November 4:

The Trustees of the Warwick School Area presented a petition from a number of the residents of the School Area showing that they were in favour of a Central School.

The Council decided to call a special meeting with the trustees of the School Area on November 9.

November 9:

A special meeting of Warwick Council was held this evening to discuss the issue of debentures for the proposed Central School in the Warwick School Area No. 1.

Present: all members of Council and the members of the Warwick School Area Board and the Secretary Mr. C.W. Wilkinson.

The School Area Board presented a petition to the Council for the issuance and sale of debentures up to $120,000.00 for the construction of a Central School in the Area.

The application was refused on a majority vote of the Council.


Brandon-Pedden: that By-law No. 18 appointing Gerald Herbert as Township Clerk be passed and signed. Carried and by-law passed.


February 21 at a special meeting of Council:

Muma-Pedden: that the wage rate of Grader Operators be increased from $1.20 to $1.30 per hour to be effective from January 1st, 1959.

Warwick Council, 1959
Warwick Twp. Council, 1951: This photo was taken at Warwick Township Hall, where Council meetings were held until the office was built on Nauvoo Rd. The old Council table is still used in the hall in 2008. Standing: Basil Gault, Gerald Herbert, Ivor Wever. Seated: Frank E. Muma, Wm. McRorie. Elwood Jones, Jim Brandon, John Pedden. courtesy W Jones


The following are selected items from the 1964 Warwick Twp. Auditors’ Report.

Revenues: 1964
from Taxation $237,354.99
from Canada $0.00
from Ontario $34,311.66
Fire protection $4,194.35
Livestock damage $635.50
Cattle spraying $3,301.79
Pub. Works – roads, Highways and Streets $49,698.05
Sanitary and waste removal $181.50
Conservation of Health $401.90
Social Welfare $513.31
Public School $38,443.61
Separate School $4,541.26
High School $43,758.06
Recreation and Community Services $5.00
Gross Total Expenditure $271,093.34

Source: Corp. of Township of Warwick – Financial Statement & Auditor’s Report for 1964.


Warwick Park Dedication:

The Warwick Centennial Committee took pride on Saturday afternoon in officially opening their Recreation Park in Warwick Village.


Acton-Quick: that the Municipal Council of the Township of Warwick deems it desirable and expedient to submit to a vote of the persons in the municipality qualified to be entered on the voter’s list and to vote at an election to the Assembly the following question under the provisions of The Liquor Licence Act, namely: Are you in favour of the sale of liquor under a lounge licence for consumption on licenced premises? And that the total cost be paid by the Township.


March 18:

Russell Duncan, Russell Hollingsworth, Clare, Keith and Antonius Manders, George Morris, Donald Mellon, Lyle Hayward, Jack Duncan, Road Superintendent Manders and Engineer Monteith discussed with Council the drain for Watford lagoons. The Engineer explained that the Department of Environment intends to control outlet flow to eliminate or minimize damages to downstream properties and does not wish to make individual agreements with owners. He recommended establishment of a municipal drain by which the Council might be better able to deal with the Department if problems arose. The owners stated that they were not in favour of a Township Drain if their share of cost was very substantial but were interested in their possible assessments which the Engineer offered to give in the near future.


Warwick Reeve George Holbrook presented the East Lambton Water Advisory Committee with a petition bearing 20 names requesting water service along the main line from the Petrolia booster station to Watford.12


October 24:

Minielly-Peters: that the Clerk be instructed to publish a notice to cattle owners that the Township will pay half the cost of warble fly treatment applied in the fall on bills presented to the Treasurer before November 30th, 1977 and that the spring spray treatment will be discontinued.


Motorists who frequently travel 79 Highway north of Watford have watched with curiosity the activity over the past week and a half at the corner of 79 and 2nd Line south.

Curbs were installed on the southeast and northwest corner of the intersection for traffic control by the Ministry of Transportation and Communication [MTC]. Only one problem, they were installed in the wrong place. They were removed by Don Patterson and his back hoe.

Following their removal, forms were made and the curbs installed….again, only in the right place this time. But guess what! The curbs were too high this time, so Don Patterson and his back hoe took out the curbs….again.

Monday morning the MTC crew were back again a third time to install the curbs. Two questions keep cropping up, one is, who pays, and the other is, why are they being put there in the first place?13


Clayton Bryson, Ron D. Jariott and Robert Lupton interviewed Council requesting some action toward getting water service from the existing Wyoming to Watford pipeline. They were informed that Council favours their request as well as providing service to a considerable area in the south-west part of the Township. They asked that Watford Council be provided with copies of Township correspondence on the subject during past years and that Warwick Council give written assurance to Watford Council that it had Warwick’s permission to make agreements with Warwick owners for service as had been done near Arkona.14


Opening of township office on Nauvoo Rd. 1982
Opening of township office on Nauvoo Rd. 1982 Ralph Ferguson MP, Lambton County Warden Don Elliot, Councillors Steve Morris, Carl Bryson, Frank Van Bree, Reeve Andre Peters, Lorne Henderson MPP, Councillor Doug Acton, School Board Representative Jean McPherson, Clerk Gerald Herbert. courtesy F Van Bree

On October 8, Warwick Township held the official opening of their new municipal building. It was located a half mile north of the junction of Highways 79 and 7, on County Road 9. The building housed the Council Chambers, Clerk’s office, record storage, mechanical room and washrooms. There was also a 6 bay garage connected to the office building.15


January 3:

Mr. Wm. Hollo and Mr. Steve Evans attended Council to discuss the possibility of preparing an Official Plan for the Township. The Official Plan has no by-law status but will bind the Township to that plan. The Official Plan is under the authority of the planning act and is subsidiary to the County Plan. It is good for the attraction of business such as a Service Centre and industries where an official plan will be needed. Hollo mentioned the plan will help the Township set its priorities for the next ten to twenty years. Six other Townships in Lambton County have an Official Plan.

The plan will also include an emergency plan such as automobile accidents, tornadoes and snow storms and the Township can contact the correct authorities more efficiently.16


Warwick Council Meeting:

At council’s request, two representatives from Laidlaw Waste Systems came to Council to discuss the expiring landfill agreement. Since the Township is accepting outside waste and in the interest of good public relations, Laidlaw agreed to offer the Township free service for 1984. They also advised that this is one of the best landfill sites in Southern Ontario and it is their intention to keep it so. Council advised that they had received very few complaints the past year and they were generally satisfied in the manner the site was used.17


An overall mill increase of 4.53% has been set by members of Warwick Council for the year 1986. The total budget for the Township is $2,021,561. Warwick Council considers the budget fiscally responsible considering the substantial increase in Township insurance, gravel and dust control cost. They also have little control over the School Board requirements.18


The Warwick Recreation Committee is looking for a distinctive logo to identify the annual Festival Day in Warwick Township. The big day is held on the Civic holiday in August at Warwick’s ball park in the village.19


Bill Adams is the first recipient of the Warwick Township Volunteer of the Year Award. Bill received the award during the Thursday night card party at the Warwick Hall in Warwick Village from Doug Hollingsworth, Chairman of the Warwick Recreation Committee and Deputy Reeve of the Township.20


It was a wet day in Warwick in more ways than one on Tuesday. With the turn of a valve the Warwick Township Municipal Water System officially kicked in, bringing fresh water to Village and rural residents. As new pipe is laid, water from Lake Huron will eventually replace bacteria-plagued well water for up to 500 people in the next few years.21

New tanker truck being delivered from British Columbia, 1988. courtesy P Ferwerda


Mayor Mac Parker and Fire Chief Peter Ferwerda. courtesy P Ferwerda


Nov. 13: A five-year wait for water is finally over for the homeowners along 15 Sideroad in Warwick Township just west of the Village of Watford.


Warwick Township Mayor Mac Parker is presenting a motion in County Council today to ask for an interchange on the 402 Highway at Highway 7.

“An interchange at the 402 and Highway 7 would give easier access to fire and emergency calls on the 402 Highway for our fire department” said Mayor Parker. “It would also benefit our business community in Warwick Village.”22

The Warwick Firemen are very proud of their newly renovated Fire Hall in Warwick Village and they would like everyone to come out and see the hall and the equipment on Sunday.23


Sandy Ferguson was recognized as Volunteer of theYear for her contribution to the Warwick Township community. Sandy (Murray’s Sandy) was instrumental in organizing the reconstruction of the playground equipment at the Warwick Ball Park. She was the spark that got the ball rolling among service clubs and organizations to complete the project. She is also an energetic member of the Warwick Recreation and Cultural Association. Councillor Joyce Runnalls made the presentation to Sandy on behalf of the Warwick Council.24


Provincial Highways Transferred to County: As of April 1st Lambton County received 155.4 kilometers of Provincial Highways and have been informed there will be an additional transfer as of January 1st 1998. The roads turned over to the County include Highway #7 and Highway #22 running from the stop lights at Modeland Road in Sarnia to the Middlesex County Line (London Line and Egremont Road).25

On January 1, 1998, the amalgamation of the Village of Watford and the Township of Warwick took place. Further “issues of the day” of the united Councils are continued later in this chapter, under The Road to Amalgamation.

Watford (1873-1998)

The first settlement, known as Browne’s Corners, was three-quarters of a mile north of the present village, at the corner of the 4th Line and 18 Sideroad. This was the stagecoach stop between Warwick Village and Brooke Twp. When the Great Western Railway was built in 1856, the settlement named by Col. Browne for his native home in Ireland moved to the present location, and the village grew rapidly.

Excerpts are taken from the minutes of Watford Council or from the Watford newspaper Council meeting reports.

On June 25th, 1873, a by-law to incorporate the Village of Watford read in part as follows:

Whereas by and under the direction of the County Council of the County of Lambton, a census has been taken by Thomas Leacock and Thomas Fuller, of the number of souls comprised within the Village aforesaid, and surrounding neighborhood of the Village at the present known as Watford, in the Township of Warwick, and by such census it is shown that the said limits comprise within them over seven hundred and fifty souls, and the residences of the inhabitants are sufficiently near to form an incorporated Village, and over one hundred resident freeholders and householders of said Village and neighborhood of whom not fewer than fifty are freeholders, have, by petition, requested the County Council of the County of Lambton to erect and incorporate the said Village into an incorporated Village, separate and apart from the said Township of Warwick. And that the first election of Municipal Officers in and for the said Village of Watford, shall be held in the Watford School House, in the manner provided for by the said Municipal Act. Passed 25th of June, 1873, Hugh Smith, Clerk, R. Fleck, Warden.26

The first meeting of the Council of the Village of Watford was held in Britannia Hall, and the minutes are as follows:

Minutes of the 1st Council, January 7, 1874

Present: John McLean, Reeve. Councillors: James Bole, Jonathan Pattenden, James Merry.

Motion   1. that Thos. Fuller be Clerk, pro. tem.

2. that Samuel Howden, be appointed Clerk for the remainder of the year.

Council met pursuant to adjournment. Members all present.

Reeve in chair.

Auditors: H. O. Baker, J. Fuller

Pathmasters: J. Fuller, Samuel Anderson, Robt. Kells

Solicitor: T. B. Pardee

Poundkeeper: S. McLaughlin

Treasurer: T. Fuller

Assessor: H. Lane

Fence Viewers: H. Kerr, D. Ross, J. Laurence

License Inspector: S. Anderson (Salary $15)

Motion: McLean-Merry that all parties intending to apply for licenses are required to do so at the next meeting.

Mr. Pattenden gave notice that he would be at the next meeting to introduce a by-law to define amount to be paid for Hotel and shop licenses in the municipality.

Motion: Bole-Dixie that the Clerk prepare a by-law to be submitted at the next meeting to confirm the appointment of Clerk and Treasurer, also to appoint certain officers.

Motion: Reeve-Merry that a seal for the Corporation be procured having inscribed on it the words – The Corporation of the Village of Watford, encircling a Beaver.

On motion of Pattenden – Bole that council adjourned to the 1st Tuesday of Feb. at 6 p.m.

S. Howden – Clerk27


A communication from Mr. Bryce, sec. of the School Board, was read asking the Council to raise $1300 to meet the expense of the school for the current year.28

That Watford is a progressive Village is repeating what is a well-known fact all over the Province. There is not a village of its age and size in Canada that has the same amount of steady business, and as safe a foundation on which to conjecture that it will continue, and increase it until it ranks as one of the leading towns in the Province. It owes its importance to the stamina of Canada solely – agriculture; and it must be apparent that as the comparatively new tract of fertile country by which it is surrounded, and to which it is indebted for all it is, is developed, will be gradually reared into greater prominence. The number of mercantile establishments doing a successful trade in Watford gives sufficient proof of the standing of the village among its fellows. There is scarcely any line of commercial trade not represented.29

Town Hall, Watford
Town Hall, Watford; The Watford Town Hall was once located on St. Clair St., on the north side, between Warwick St. and Nauvoo Rd. It was later used as a blacksmith shop across from the present day fire hall or armoury. The building was demolished in 1989. courtesy D Hollingsworth


A communication was read from Mr. R. D. Correstine, asking that he be relieved from paying this year’s statute labor in consideration of an agreement between him and the Council of last year, whereby statute labor against his property on Main Street was remitted for 1875 and 1876 on account of his having built a sidewalk in front of it.

Merry-Wilson that Mr. Correstine’s statute labor be deducted from his taxes for 1876, for work done in 1875 on sidewalk on Main Street.30

Teachers’ Salaries: The following comparative statement shows the average salaries paid to male and female teachers during the last two years.

1874 1875
Male Female Male Female
Bosanquet Twp. 370 246 381 262
Brooke Twp. 360 285 415 267
Euphemia Twp. 403 262 350 264
Plympton Twp. 384 270 368 264
Warwick Twp. 364 270 366 270

Source: Public School Inspector’s Report to the Lambton County Council for the year 1876 as reported in Watford Advocate, June 30, 1876


July 27:

McLaren-McLeay that Mr. Lawrence’s tender for oak at ten dollars per thousand be accepted and that the plank for side walks be divided equally between Mr. Lawrence and Mr. P. Cameron at the rate of $12 per thousand and all such lumber to be ordered through Mr. Bole, Chairman of Board of Works.


The municipal election passed off last Monday with the greatest quietness. The Council for 1879 will have two new men. Our taxes are not overly high, but our streets are in wretched condition and our system of drainage still worse. Sooner or later our Council must grapple with the question of drainage, but whether the present Council is equal to the occasion, it is not for me to say, time will tell.31


A petition presented by J. A. Eccles and Mr. M. D. O’Brien regarding purchase of agricultural grounds. A committee was struck to ascertain where a suitable place could be purchased, not less than 7 or 8 acres. At a special meeting in May, a by-law was passed for the purchase of Agricultural Park and Pleasure Grounds. On July 5, the by-law was read, passed, signed and sealed.


Motion that Mr. Scott’s claim for $20.00 in damages due to plank missing in sidewalk to be paid as full settlement.


To the Editor:

Dear Sir – Your contemporary’s attempt to introduce the temperance question into the municipal elections, has received a fitting rebuke by the electors, and I am sure, tended to hurt the chances of those who are temperance men. Such “crank” ideas cannot help but end in disaster.32


The citizens pleaded in vain for the Bank of Commerce to open a branch here. Documents dated October 18, 1884, included a statement made by the railway company through their agent, proving that there was a sufficient amount of merchandise shipped from the station at Watford to warrant the opening of a branch bank here. The list of business men with their signatures attached to the petition included: Peter Graham, M.P.P., Peter Dodds, E. D. Swift, David Roche, John Baker, John Marshall, W. H. Rogers, M. S. Campbell, P. S. Renier, H. Cook, D. Roche, R. McLeay, John Fuller, W. F. McLaren, A. Brown, D. Watt, L. Harvey, I. D. Reid, H. P. Lawrence, U. M. Stanley and many more, while the list of carload lots of merchandise shipped enclosed from the railway company reads: “From 1863-64, live stock, 29 cars; grain, 57 cars; lumber, 60; cheese, 28; apples, 6; machinery, 4; immigrants effects, 29; wool, 4; ashes, 2; dressed meat, 3; scrap iron, 5; and cordwood, 40, making 258 carloads of merchandise shipped out of the thriving village. And yet the request of the people for a branch of a bank to be located here brought no compliance.33


September 5:

Reeve-Dixie: that we grant the Fire Brigade the use of the Park free of charge for their demonstration on the 16th inst. And that $100.00 be granted to assist them in their demonstration.


Nine ladies voted at the municipal elections in Watford. This is the first time in the history of the village that the ladies have participated in local politics.34

Mr. Bryson presented a petition signed by seventy of the ratepayers, asking the Council to prohibit from running at large, unless in proper charge, of all cows, horses, sheep, hens, geese, goats and other live animals, after the 1st day of February, 1887, and to take a vote of the people on the question on the day of the Municipal elections.35


A by-law was passed, empowering the Corporation of the Village of Watford to raise by way of loan the sum of $1500.00 for the purpose of paying for a site for a cemetery, fencing and improvements to the same.


It was agreed that the Electric Light Company should install 3 lights where directed by the Board of Works. If they prove satisfactory and the Council thinks it necessary, more lights could be erected at the same rate of $1.00 per week for each light. […]

Council authorized the Reeve to call a public meeting for the ratepayers to hear the estimates and conditions that is proposed to start water-works in the Village.


October 6:

A petition signed by the members of the Watford Silver Band asking for a grant of $100.00 was presented to Council. […]

Reeve-Lovell, that the petition of the members of the Watford Silver Band be received and placed on file, and that this Council regrets the inability to comply with the prayer of the said petition at present owing to the fact that all the available funds of the Municipality have been already fully appropriated.

A by-law to provide for the construction of drains and sewers in the municipality was passed.36


Council received a communication from the High School Board and trustees, requesting Council to make provisions for providing the board with the sum of $7,000 for the erection of a high school and purchasing land. […]

Communication received from Public School Board, requesting $8,000 for the erection of a Public School Building.


Dr. Harvey was heard regarding the health of the Pierce family and that there is a number of them sick and that they need a nurse and assistance. It was moved and seconded that the family receive $20 assistance, as there has been sickness in the house for some time.

Emily Murphy


Moved and seconded that the recommendation of the Board of Health to have all privy pits filled up and made into dry earth closets be adopted and that a by-law be passed at our next meeting for the same.


Reeve-Louks: that the Public School Board be notified that the Public Library has been taken over by the Municipal Council and a free library established and that they should appoint three members of the Board of Management at their first meeting.


Wise-Virgo: that by-law No. 9 providing that all new sidewalks shall be constructed of concrete or other such permanent material be read a first time.


Hume-Saunders: that the Reeve be authorized under instructions of the town solicitor to negotiate with the Railway Company concerning the raising of the railway bridge.


Williams-Saunders: that the English Church have the same electric light as the other churches in the Village and to be put in under the direction of the Board of [Works].


July 1.

Alexander-Johnston: that we grant the Old Boy Reunion one hundred and fifty dollars for decoration purposes to be used on streets.

Old Boys Reunion, 1907
Old Boys Reunion, 1907: These reunions were celebrations of civic pride and brought former residents back to the community. courtesy Watford Historical Society


July 29 at special meeting of Council:

Meeting called to consider aid from the Corporation for reception of the Honourable Colonel Samuel Hughes, Minister of Militia who is coming to lay corner stone of Armory. […]

McKercher-Fowler: that the Village of Watford grant the Citizens Committee to aid in the reception of the Honourable Colonel Samuel Hughes who has kindly offered to lay the corner stone of Armory the sum of one hundred and twenty five dollars.


To the Editor of Guide-Advocate:

Dear Sir: The above question has been asked by many during the past four months and no one seems to be able to give a satisfactory answer. On good authority we learn “that our town has had a policeman for 30 or 40 years, until about four months ago” and then suddenly the citizens find themselves without police protection. […]

On Saturday evening last when a very large crowd was in town, several autos came in and went out without any lights and some had no rear lights and others drove through the streets at from 20 to 25 miles an hour, and this also took place on Sunday and Monday.

At 11:30 on Saturday night a race took place the full length of Main Street, between two horses attached to buggies, the drivers forcing them at break-neck speed as far as the Presbyterian Church, and back, over all the crossings endangering life and racking the nerves of those who were trying to sleep by their yells.

I remain, Yours Sincerely, F. G. Robinson37


Hydro was turned on in Watford on Saturday, Aug. 11th 1917. Make a note of the date. In a few years someone will be enquiring the exact date.38


May 3:

A deputation of ladies from Women’s Institute and Daughters of the Empire waited on the Council in respect to Soldiers Memorial. Mrs. N. Pritekett and Stapleford representing Daughters of the Empire, Mrs. Brown, Willoughby and Humphries representing the Ladies Institute. Hawn-McIntosh that the Reeve correspond with the Minister of Public Works as to erecting of a memorial on the Public Square.


Accounts to be paid, James Blezard:

Constable Salary $25.00
Ringing Bell $10.00
Feeding Transients $  2.00
Burying calf $    .50


A least once a month, council would be required to approve “relief accounts” similar to the list below. It appears that the list is of people and/or businesses that are being re-paid for expenses that they incurred while providing assistance to the indigent.

January 2, 1934:

R.E. Dobbin, Coal, $22.00; Wm. Williamson, Coal, $25.00; W.C. Towriss, Bread, $5.95; B.F. Taylor, bread, $2.24; J.W. Edwards, meat, $2.34; W.C. Connolly, milk, $3.72; Caldwell Dairy, milk, $2.48; C. Thompson, groceries, $17.93.


Doar-McClung: that the communication from The Canadian Aid to Russia Fund be received, and that we conform to their request for receiving clothing, and that same be left at Harper’s Store, and Cook’s Drug Store, and that advertisement be placed in local paper and the Clerk request instructions.


September 14, a special meeting of Watford Council:

McClung-Hollingsworth: that we the Council, assembled in regular session, deem it most appropriate at the earliest date to prepare and make plans for a program for Victoria Day; and also formulate plans for a Civic Welcome for the homecoming of our men and women who have served in the armed forces. […]


April, at a special meeting of Watford Council:

The Reeve addressed the Council calling attention to the fact that a strike was in progress at The Andrew’s Wire Works. He suggested that, if possible, could some action be taken by this body to encourage the Department of Labour to make effort at consultation.

McClung-Cook: that the Minister of Labour, Honourable Mr. Daley, be solicited to execute his authority in investigating The Andrew’s Wire Works strike which is now in progress, and endeavour to terminate it as soon as possible; that a copy of this motion be forwarded to Mr. C.E. Janes, M.P.P. Toronto; Mr. Robert Henderson, M.P. Ottawa.


Fuller-Maxwell: that Watford Council adopt Daylight Saving time, for the Municipality of Watford from the 29th day of April until the 30th day of September, and authorize the Reeve to issue the necessary proclamation.39

Daylight Time will be effective in most communities of Southern Ontario, except in Kent and Essex, where Chatham and Windsor will remain on Eastern Standard Time. Blenheim Town Council decided this week to remain on standard time, but many business places will close at five p.m. to enjoy the extra hour of daylight.40

Watford, like most communities of Ontario, except the border area near Detroit, will change over to Summer Time this Saturday at midnight and town and district residents are reminded to move their clocks forward one hour.

Transportation schedules will be somewhat confusing. Greyhound busses will operate on Daylight Time, the railroads and mail service on Standard Time.41


George Hipel, Arena Specialist of Preston, who has built more Arenas throughout Southwestern Ontario than anyone else, examined Watford Arena on Wednesday afternoon with the Arena committee which is seeking ways and means of securing artificial ice for Watford for next winter. Mr. Hipel very definitely emphasized the building has lost its original structural strength and warned that a wind or a heavy snowfall might cause its collapse at any time. The Arena committee, greatly disappointed that the present Arena is unsafe, will discuss prospects of a fund-raising campaign throughout the district before calling a public meeting to determine whether Watford will embark on a long delayed Arena project.42


May 2:

Barnes-Dobson: that the Reeve contact Mr. Grey of Wyoming and the members of the water committee of Lambton for the purpose of ascertaining the cost of a supply of water from Petrolia to the Municipality of Watford and Wyoming. The action to be taken with the Ontario Water Resources Commission and the interested Municipalities of Lambton.


Council decided to back the movement being brought forth by Wentworth County Council urging the abolishment of soap detergents which are polluting our sewers, lagoons, creeks and lakes.43

OPP Constable Elvin Willsie agrees “it is unnecessary to continue horn greetings for blocks after two cars have met, particularly at 2 a.m. Even in this modern age, the horn does not take the place of a sincere hand shake!”

Section 42 subsection 3, of the Ontario Highway Traffic Act says: “A person having the control or charge of a motor vehicle shall not sound any bell, horn or other signaling device so as to make an unreasonable noise.”

For 1st offence: $5 and costs. For 2nd offence: $10 and costs. For 3rd offence: $25, in addition licence or permit may be suspended for 30 days.44


August 11: at a special meeting of Watford Council

A special meeting, called by the Reeve to meet with a delegation from the Rotary Club regarding the Rotary Club’s proposed swimming pool. Mr. Allan Roder spoke on behalf of the Rotary Club and informed the members of Council that the Rotary Club was prepared to build a swimming pool for the Village if the Village in turn were prepared to maintain and keep the pool in operation after completion. Mr. Roder informed Council that in most cases the pools did not operate at a profit and in these cases the Municipality involved had to take care of the deficit. After several minutes of discussion, the Reeve informed the delegates that the Council could not make a quick decision but would give the matter further thought and let them know of the results in the near future.

October 5:

The Reeve informed Council that some answer should be given the Rotary Club regarding their proposed swimming pool. Council instructed the Clerk to write Mr. William Thompson and inform him that they would not consider taking the pool over if it would be a burden to the Ratepayers, but if the members of the Rotary Committee were in favour of bringing in the facts and figures pertaining to a swimming pool, the Council would possibly consider a grant to help maintain and operate the pool.

The following are selected items from the 1964 Auditor’s Report to Watford Council.

Revenues: 1964
from Taxation $122,258.91
from Canada $1,224.00
from Ontario $11,339.01
Total Revenues $203,368.76
Fire protection $5,007.91
Police protection $5,646.73
Pub. Works – roads, Highways and Streets $20,002.28
Sanitary and waste removal $3,578.50
Conservation of Health $356.44
Social Welfare $117.94
Public School $35,549.38
Separate School $196.82
High School $17,060.53
Recreation and Community Services $2,119.62
Gross Total Expenditure $200,126.23

Source: Corp. of Village of Watford – Financial Statement & Auditor’s Report for 1964



Three committees to study the feasibility of establishing a Watford Medical Centre were named at a meeting of 17 district organizations and clubs. Watford has no dentist and only one doctor.45


The new North American Sanitation Co. Landfill Site on the 2nd Line South of Warwick Township is now in use and the local dump has been closed. Watford residents take note – no more dumping of debris at the old town dump.46


June 28: special meeting of Council

A special meeting of Council was held in the Legion Hall to meet with interested ratepayers whose property would be affected if a new bridge was constructed over the CNR tracks. Approximately 50 persons were in attendance.

Grogan-Mucha that we approach the CTC [Canadian Transport Commission] with a proposal to replace the present bridge with a new bridge, leaving the approaches as they now exist and inform the CNR to lower the tracks to meet their requirements. Motion was unanimous.

Overpass Ribbon Cutting
Overpass Ribbon Cutting: The old railroad bridge on Main St. (Nauvoo Rd.) was replaced by one with longer approaches in 1976. It was also raised to accommodate the higher rail cars that were being used. courtesy Lambton Heritage Museum


April 2:

Three hundred and thirty three students at East Lambton Secondary School dusted off their books Monday and attended classes after a nine week absence. They joined 6900 other Lambton County high school students who have been out of school for 62 days because of a strike by their teachers. The dispute has yet to be settled. The Board and its teachers each voted to accept mediation-arbitration.47


Mrs. Fran Woods was officially appointed Clerk-Treasurer of the Village of Watford during Monday night’s Council meeting. Mrs. Woods took over the duties of Clerk-Treasurer last December when Henry Maas moved to Forest. She was serving as Clerk-Treasurer during the probationary period of six months.48


Donnie Muxlow has been hired as the manager of the Watford Community Arena and Recreation Director. Bud St. Peter will take over the duties as the Public Works Manager in the Village. These two appointments were made March 2 to fill the gap left by the death of Dave Besse on January 28. Dave held both posts.

Muxlow and St. Peter are no strangers to either spot. Donnie has worked with Dave for six years and he is looking forward to carrying on the operation of the local arena in a capable manner. Muxlow will also be in charge of recreation in the Village. He has enrolled in courses for recreation directors and has several ideas on making recreation in the Village available to everyone. St. Peter has been with the Public Works Department for 11 years.49


March 14:

Bryce-Clark: that Watford Council supports Pat Muxlow’s endeavour to have VIA Rail westbound train #83 stop in Watford at 5:30 p.m. The Clerk also be instructed to forward Council’s letter of support to all persons listed on the attached Appendix F.50


Watford will lose its last “dirt” road shortly, much to the delight of Dr. Les Allen, a resident of the street. Dr. Allen lives on Victoria St. which had been a dead end street until the Glen Cairn Subdivision was opened up recently. Victoria St. was extended to McGregor St. and the new street was paved last summer. This left a portion of the street in front of the Allen house still unpaved. Dr. Allen said he asked for the street to be paved 30 years ago. Watford Council has instructed Spriet and Associates to proceed with plans and drawings for street construction on Victoria St. from Main St. east to the existing paved portion.51


The sound of the old town bell may soon be heard loud and clear in the Village of Watford…. The bell is located in the tower of the old Fire Hall, now the home of the Watford and District Historical Society. It has been determined that to ring the bell by hand each day is unsafe.

Fred Leaver came up with a design to ring the bell using an electrical sequence with a timer system.… The cost of the local[ly] designed workings would be less than a quarter of the estimate for the manufactured system. Although the committee has not been very vocal about their work on the project, they have been gathering information from many sources and feel they now have a workable solution at a nominal cost.52

The following are selected items from the 1997 Watford Financial Information Report.

Revenue: 1997
from taxes $1,252,663.00
from Ontario $36,461.00
from Canada $2,221.00
from penalties and interest on taxes $18,992.00
Total revenue $2,139,881.00
General Government, wages & material $194,691.00
Fire protection $77,240.00
Protective inspections & controls $9,106.00
Roadways $290,906.00
Sanitary sewers $102,405.00
Waterworks system $185,397.00
Garbage collection $22,153.00
Garbage disposal $11,648.00
Cemeteries $12,199.00
Parks & recreation $297,570.00
Elementary Public School $347,144.00
Elementary Separate School $57,041.00
Secondary Public School $272,629.00
Secondary Separate School $44,769.00
Total expenditures (not including schools) $1,245,824.00

Source: 1997 Financial Information Return for Watford Village

The Road to Amalgamation

The road to amalgamation began with Watford’s request to annex 1000 acres from Warwick Twp. in about 1989. Watford had previously annexed 144 acres, and the township was not willing to give up another block of land.

The Lambton County Boundary Application Committee made the following findings in their report of November 22, 1991:

  • There is a shortage of land in Watford for residential development.
  • Sanitary servicing extensions from Watford would require boundary adjustments or amalgamation.
  • Watford is surrounded by Warwick; they share services such as fire protection, the arena and the community centre.
  • Watford’s library serves Warwick residents, as does Watford’s commercial area.
  • The sanitary landfill near Watford could be better regulated by an amalgamated Council.
  • There could be a reduction in duplication in such services as administration, public works and recreation.

Both Councils considered the amalgamation of the two municipalities to be inevitable but it was not desired by either Council at that time. It took another seven years for the two Councils to agree to amalgamation. After amalgamation it was agreed a) that Watford would have hamlet status, similar to Warwick Village; b) that no changes would be made in municipal or mailing addresses in Watford; c) that Watford residents would still reside in “Watford” in the Township of Warwick; d) that the new municipality would be known as a Township because the population of just over 4000 is under the required number of residents to be a Town; and e) that the Township of Warwick Council would be comprised of five members, including a mayor and four councillors, all of whom will be elected at large.

In the November 1997 election, Mac Parker was elected Mayor of the new Municipality of the Township of Warwick. Percy Heath topped the polls for Councillor in his first run at political office. Warwick incumbent Joyce Runnalls was second. Third was Watford incumbent Jerry Westgate and the fourth seat went to Warwick incumbent John Boer. The two Councillors from Warwick and two from Watford dispelled the concerns voiced by some ratepayers that all four could have been elected from either Watford or Warwick.53

After Amalgamation (1998-present)


A new committee will be chosen to deal with the new proposed expansion of Canadian Waste Services Inc. The committee is to be a cross section of residents of the community to be named by Canadian Waste Services Inc. Warwick Council will be consulted but the decision on new members will be solely made by CWS, who have assured Warwick Council the company will listen to their input. The present Public Liaison Committee will continue to look at the operational aspect of the Warwick Landfill.54

Councillor Percy Heath made a presentation to the Lambton Kent District School Board on behalf of the Township of Warwick during the meeting held in Lambton Kent Composite School in Dresden. Councillor Heath said in part:

“It is regrettable that your proposed closing of East Lambton Secondary School (ELSS) will result in some decrease in employment in the community and the diversion of considerable spending to other communities. Perhaps up to $2,000,000 will be lost and you will be giving a big gift to other municipalities…It looks to us as if your whole program is slanted in favour of urban values and that you have abandoned the needs of the less populated rural communities.

“ELSS enrolment hovered on the 400 mark when the Board policy began to allow, permit or perhaps with the large school bias, promote students from Brooke Central to attend LCCVI [Lambton Central Collegiate and Vocational School in Petrolia], Brooke having previously been an ELSS feeder school. It appears now that as many as 120 students who would normally go to ELSS are attending LCCVI… A cap on the time children will be forced to spend on a bus commuting to and from school needs to be set. We feel that a maximum busing time be set at not more than one hour….

“Have you considered alternatives that would sustain the smaller communities and consider closures in urban centres verses rural centres? … In closing, we need not forget that our primary objective is to have the best education for our young people.”55

Warwick Township is working hard to promote a positive picture of economic development in this area with the Business Retention and Expansion project in the Township. Bryan Boyle [Regional Information Coordinator, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food], who spearheaded the BR&E, gave an update on the successful program, conducted over a six month period beginning last April. Warwick was one of 10 communities who took part in the pilot project. It was very successful in Warwick, due to the excellent leadership team.56


The corner of Nauvoo Road and Ontario Street in Watford will change dramatically in the next several months. All systems are go for the Bluebird Square Parkette and work will begin as soon as weather permits this spring…. Jim Vafiades, a well known landscape architect in London, designed the project. Jim has a personal interest in the project as his parents owned the Bluebird Restaurant. Jim and his older brother John were raised in the apartment over the Bluebird. In fact, Jim incorporated several sentimental features into his design of the Bluebird Square Parkette.57

East Lambton Elementary School students have double the space to play on during recess and noon hour. An agreement has been completed between the Lambton Kent District School Board, Township of Warwick and the Optimist Club of Watford on the grassed area directly behind the school. Lambton Kent District School Board has agreed to pay $1,000 a year to lease the property in question for the next 10 years.58


Don Bruder is the new Township of Warwick Administrator-Treasurer. … As Township Administrator-Treasurer, Bruder holds the senior staff position in the municipality. He is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations and services of the Township, budget development and management, strategic initiatives and other projects. Bruder has an extensive career in municipal management. He brings over 21 years of municipal experience to the position in Warwick.59

Township of Warwick Mayor Todd Case was elected the 148th Warden of Lambton County on the first ballot Wednesday afternoon in the County Building, Wyoming. … He will chair County Council and represent the County at social functions across Lambton and sit in committees that govern economic development, health services, social housing, land ambulances, planning and development, senior services, Provincial Act Offences administration, libraries, museums, social services, waste management and public works.60

The new 58 bed assisted living complex, Brookside Retirement Living is well under construction and is expected to open in spring of 2003.

An engineering study is currently being undertaken on the Watford Sewage Lagoon with a view to keeping the system efficient and expanding capacity.

The Township has experienced growth through 84 building permits totaling $9.8 million.

The competition is more than fierce, it is white hot. The very existence of the Industrial Park “site ready” as it is, is a considerable advantage for the Township of Warwick.61

The Warwick Fire Department celebrated their 50th anniversary… during a gala evening of entertainment, fun and a few serious moments. Warwick Fire Department appreciated all the support from the community in observance of their 50th anniversary celebration.62

The Watford Warwick Medical Centre and Dental Office received $135,900 from the provincial Municipal Affairs and Housing Ministry responsible for Rural Affairs during a surprise announcement on Friday afternoon. The funding will facilitate expansion of the Medical Centre and Dental Offices on Simcoe Street in Watford.63


Warwick’s politicians are not rushing to judgment on Lambton County’s work-place/public place tobacco smoking by-law. If approved, the by-law would ban smoking in restaurants, bars, Legions, bingo halls, casinos and all other places in which people work – except for limited spaces in nursing homes and psychiatric facilities.

On April 7th, Lambton County Council, under the weighted vote system, gave third reading (formal approval) by 31 to six to the controversial ban on smoking.64


The Township of Warwick has two Volunteer Fire Departments. After amalgamation they were able to do away with some duplications while continuing to assure a quality response from both departments.

In 2006 the Watford Department included Chief Rick Sitlington; Deputy-Chief Jim Hart; Captains Don Hart, Rob Richardson and Scott Cran; Training Officer Don Hart; Fire Prevention Officer Jim Lamb; Secretary-Treasurer Terry Smith; Firemen’s Association President      John Couwenberg;Vice-President Steve MacLachlan; Firefighters: Mike Bryce, Al Cameron, Mike Couwenberg, Chris Cran, Dan Duncan, Joe Edgar, John Hoefnagels,     Ken Kingston, Keith Milner, Dave Preece, Jim Rops, Ken Rops, Al Shanahan and Brian Shanahan.

In that same year, the Warwick Fire Department included: Chief Peter Ferwerda; Deputy-Chief Brad Goodhill; Captains Roger Sitlington, Lawrence Zavitz and Rob Richardson; Fire Prevention Officer Jim Straatman; Fire Trainer Roger Sitlington; Firefighters Brad Blain, Mike Clark, Mike Demers, Mike Esselment, Randy McEwen, Steve Minielly, Robb Nethercott, Brad McCann, Mike Richardson, Mackie Rombouts, Mike Rops, Jim Straatman, Aaron Turner, Bill Turner, Cameron Turner and Al Vansteenkiste.65

The following are selected items from the 2006 Financial Information Report.

Revenue: 2006 (from Schedule 10)
from taxes $1,402,536.00
from Ontario $56,658.00
user fees and services $1,668,895.00
licenses, permits, rents, etc. $58,919.00
fines and penalties $54,660.00
Total revenue $4,739,842.00
Expenditures: (from Schedule 40)
General Government, wages & material $562,103.00
Fire $289,196.00
Roadways $844,193.00
Police $636,900.00
Environmental services: water, sewer and garbage $1,412,246.00
Recreation and cultural services $488,292.00
Planning and development $205,136.00
Total expenditures $4,738,726.00

Source: 2006 Financial Information Report


Waste Management of Canada Corporation, Canadian Waste Services and their predecessor Laidlaw Waste Systems proposed expanding the Warwick Landfill site to accommodate waste from across Ontario, starting in the 1980s. The Warwick community in general opposed this idea, claiming that each municipality should look after its own garbage, and that each municipality should provide facilities and incentives to reduce, reuse and recycle as much as possible.

After 2000, when the Terms of Reference for the most expansion proposal were approved by the Minister of Environment, Council members spent hundreds of hours studying the application, and its associated processes. It was the single largest item that Council had to deal with, ranging from understanding technical considerations and legal ramifications, to representing the interests of all the residents of the township.

Township Council consistently raised objections to the application for expansion, and informed provincial politicians about the Township’s objection to being the venue for Ontario’s waste. However, the decision was solely the responsibility of the Province.

In 2007, the Ontario Ministry of Environment approved the expansion application, and in 2008 the Ministry of the Environment issued the Certificate of Approval for the expanded site. Warwick’s landfill site will be allowed to accept garbage from all over Ontario for 25 years. It will also be an active landfill extremely close to a residential community.

Wardens of Lambton County from Warwick Township, including Watford

Since 1832 Warwick has had many community-minded citizens who have been willing to participate in our democratic form of government. Unless noted elsewhere, information in this section is from The Wardens, Councillors, Parliamentary Representatives, Judicial Officers and County Officials of the County of Lambton for 100 years from 1849 to 1949, compiled by John A. Huey.

Colonel Robert Campbell – Warden 1859 and 1880

Robert Campbell (1815–1883) arrived in Warwick Twp. in 1830. He was a member of the District Council in 1847, when it was composed of the Counties of Kent and Essex. He was a member of County Council for 33 years. Colonel Campbell took part in the Rebellion of 1837 and in the Fenian Raid of 1866. He was Reeve of Watford in 1881.

John D. Eccles – Warden 1874

John D. Eccles (1817–1882) was born in Ireland and came to Canada in 1835. He was a farmer, a Justice of the Peace and a Magistrate. He was also Secretary of East Lambton Farmers’ Mutual Insurance Company. He was active during the Rebellion of 1837.

George Shirley – Warden 1877

George Shirley (1823–1859) was born in Lanark County, Ont. He taught school in the 1840s in Lanark County, then settled in Brooke Twp. in 1846. He was Clerk of Brooke Twp. from 1851 to 1870 and Reeve from 1873 to 1878. He was Reeve of Watford in 1891. Shirley farmed and served as Justice of the Peace for many years.

Eusebius McGillicuddy – Warden 1881 and 1882

Eusebius McGillicuddy (1831–) was born in Ireland. He farmed in Warwick for over 60 years. He was Reeve of Warwick for eight years and Treasurer for 16. In 1912 he retired to Watford.

Joseph Hall – Warden 1889

Joseph Hall (1834–1909) was born in Toronto. He was a farmer and Justice of the Peace for many years. Hall served on County Council for 25 years. His son, William G. Hall, was elected Warden in 1916.

Robert J. McCormick – Warden 1892

See Robert J. McCormick, MPP, below.

Peter McCallum – Warden 1893

See Peter Duncan McCallum, MPP, below.

Archie McIntyre – Warden 1902

Archie McIntyre (1837–1905) was born in Scotland. He taught school in Warwick in 1857–1858, then in Oil Springs in 1859–1860. This carpenter, farmer, auditor and assessor was Reeve and County Councillor for 16 years. He was president of the Lambton Fire Insurance Company and a Director of the Industrial Loan and Mortgage Company.

Robert Auld – Warden 1910

Robert Auld (1865–) was born in Warwick Twp. He was a farmer and later Justice of the Peace and was active in municipal affairs. He moved to Watford in 1911 where he was a mail route carrier.

William George Hall – Warden 1916

Born in Warwick Twp., William George Hall (1867–) farmed and owned 600 acres in one block. He specialized in stock-raising. He spent eight years on Council, then became Warden, following in his father’s footsteps.

Nicholas J. Sitter – Warden 1923

Born in Warwick Twp., Nicholas Sitter (1874–) was of French descent. He moved to Bosanquet Twp. in 1896. He taught school for four years, then engaged in farming and stock raising.

Frederick C. Eastman – Warden 1926

Frederick C. Eastman (1883–) was born and educated in Warwick Twp. He farmed with his father until age 18, then engaged in the cheese-making business in the Village of Arkona. In 1918 he married Lila Dowding.

William G. Connolly – Warden 1930

Born in the County of Leeds, William G. Connolly (1880–) served in the 3rd Cape Mounted Riflemen in South Africa. He graduated from Toronto University with a degree of Bachelor of Arts in 1905. In 1907 he married Kate Thompson in Watford. He then served for seven years in Japan doing educational work, returning to Watford in 1913. Connolly became a member of Lambton County Council in 1923.

Roy Emerson Dick – Warden 1939

Born in the Village of Hensall, Ont. Roy Emerson Dick (1896–), remained there until the age 20. He studied telegraphy and was a telegrapher for Canadian National Railways in Watford for over 20 years. In 1923 Dick married Marjorie Cook of Watford. Roy Dick entered his municipal career in Watford in 1930, and became a member of Lambton County Council in 1935.

Ivor Wever – Warden 1950

Born in Warwick Twp., Ivor Wever (1902–) was a farmer and stock raiser. He married Edith Thomas of Bosanquet Twp. in 1928. Wever entered his municipal career in 1944, and became a member of Lambton County Council in 1947.

Ivor Wever party at SS#14, Warwick
Ivor Wever party at SS#14, Warwick: Reeve Ivor Wever became Lambton county Warden in 1950. Political activism is evident at a grass roots level, with people of all ages involved. courtesy N Croxford
Ivor Wever Party
Ivor Wever Party

Russell V. Watson – Warden 1958

Russell Watson (1922–) was born in Bosanquet Twp. He worked as a contractor in the retail lumber and building supply business in Watford. Watson married Ethel May Richardson in 1943, then Cleo Mary Plom in 1966. He was elected to the Watford Council in 1950 and served on Lambton County Council from 1956 to 1962. Russell Watson was the youngest Warden in Lambton County history to that time. Watson was Chairman of the Lambton County Water Resources Committee which was instrumental in getting a pipeline built to supply water to Watford and Wyoming in 1962. The final choice for the new County Buildings was made during his term of office.

Alvin W. Perritt – Warden 1970

Alvin Perritt (1912–) was born in Kent County. He operated his own business, being electrical appliance sales and service. Perritt commenced his municipal career in the Village of Watford in 1965 and was a member of Lambton County Council from 1965 to 1972. During his term as Warden, the North Lambton Rest Home in Forest was converted to a Home for the Aged. Alvin Perritt retired from Council at the end of 1972.

Todd Case – Warden 2003, 2004

Todd Case (1964–) was born in Toronto. The son of a banker, the family moved several times, but settled in Alvinston in 1978. He attended East Lambton Secondary School in Watford. Cathy Pazitka of Glencoe became his wife in 1987. They have two sons, Scott and Brett. Todd first became Mayor of the Township of Warwick in the election of 2000, and was re-elected in 2003 and 2006. As Mayor, he represented Warwick at Lambton County Council, and after one year as a sitting member, successfully ran for Deputy Warden. In 2003 and 2004 he was elected Warden. For the duration of his terms as Mayor of the Township of Warwick, the landfill expansion was always one of the most important issues, and it took a great deal of his Council’s time and effort to resolve.66

Members of Provincial Parliament

Boundaries for the electoral district have been changed many times since 1867. The Provincial and Federal boundaries often did not coincide with each other. Generally, the boundaries changed as the population grew and shifted.

The following list of Members of Provincial Parliament (MPP) lived in Warwick Twp.

Please note: The number on the left is the 1st, 2nd, etc. sitting of Provincial Parliament. That is followed by the name of the riding during that election and then the year. That is followed by the name of the elected MPP for that riding. The parentheses following each name indicate the political persuasion of that candidate.

3. Lambton East, 1875, Peter Graham (Liberal)

4. Lambton East, 1879, Peter Graham (Liberal)

5. Lambton East, 1883, Peter Graham (Liberal)

6. Lambton East, 1886, Peter Graham (Liberal)

7. Lambton East, 1890, Hugh McKenzie (Liberal)

7. Lambton East, 1893 (byelection), Peter Duncan McCallum (Independent-Conservative)

8. Lambton East, 1890, Peter Duncan McCallum (Independent)

12. Lambton East, 1908, Robert John McCormick (Liberal)

13. Lambton East, 1911, Robert John McCormick (Liberal)

22. Lambton East, 1945, Charles Eusebius (Zeb) Janes (Progressive Conservative)

23. Lambton East, 1948, Charles Eusebius Janes (Progressive Conservative)

24. Lambton East, 1951, Charles Eusebius Janes (Progressive Conservative)

25. Lambton East, 1955, Charles Eusebius Janes (Progressive Conservative)

26. Lambton East, 1959, Charles Eusebius Janes (Progressive Conservative)

Peter Graham, MPP

Peter Graham (1821–1900) was born in Cumberland, England. He came to Canada in 1834. At the age of 16 he volunteered in the Militia and fought in the William Lyon Mackenzie Rebellion of 1837-38, joining Captain Crawford’s Militia Company. Once peace was established, he was discharged as a sergeant.67

Peter Graham
Peter Graham, MPP (Lambton East, 1875-1890). courtesy Herbert family

Graham came to Warwick in 1853 and settled in what was then an unbroken wilderness, on Lot 12, Con. 4 NER. During his 16 years on Warwick Council, he was the first Deputy Reeve elected, and the first Reeve to be elected by popular vote in 1867.68

In 1875 he began his career as a provincial politician. Mr. Graham was elected to the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th Parliaments of Ontario, representing the Liberal Party of Ontario in the electoral riding of Lambton East.69

Graham’s wide range of expertise gave him an exceptional advantage when dealing with such matters as the Tile Drainage Act, which he originated. This was a most important measure to the townships of Western Ontario.70

In 1890 Peter Graham was appointed as bursar of the Asylum for the Insane in Hamilton by the Ontario Government, a position which he faithfully filled up to his death. Mr. Graham married Catherine Chambers, and they had 10 children: Elizabeth, Margaret, William, Thomas, James, George, Mary, Catharine, Peter and Jane.71

Hugh McKenzie, MPP

Hugh McKenzie (1840–1893) was born in Inverness, Scotland. He arrived in Warwick Twp. when it was all bush, cleared his own farm and remained for the balance of his life. He was involved in affairs of the township and county for 35 years.

Hugh McKenzie
Hugh McKenzie, (MPP Lambton East, 1890-1893). courtesy N Holden

McKenzie was elected to the 7th Parliament of Ontario in 1890, and represented the Liberal Party of Ontario in the electoral riding of Lambton East. He contacted typhoid fever and died at the age of 53. His death caused the need for the byelection in which Peter McCallum won the seat.72

Hugh McKenzie was the uncle of Hugh Alexander McKenzie, who would later become federal Member of Parliament for the riding of Lambton-Kent.

Peter Duncan McCallum, MPP

Peter D. McCallum (1853–1917) was born in Wellington County. The family moved to Bosanquet Twp. a few years later. He was a prominent farmer and cattle drover who took an active interest in municipal affairs, serving on the Bosanquet Council for many years. In 1878 McCallum married Annie Vivian of Bosanquet Twp. They had two children, William H. and Ethel. He was Warden of Lambton County in 1893. The following year he moved to Con. 7 NER, just east of Forest. In 1906 he moved to Forest.73

Mr. McCallum ran as an Independent-Conservative, representing Lambton East, in the by-election of 1893, caused by the death of Hugh McKenzie. He was elected to the 7th Parliament. He was successful again in 1894 when he ran as an Independent and sat in the 8th Parliament.74

With the election of the Whitney Government in 1905, he was appointed assistant Inspector for Liquor Licences for East Lambton in 1906, a position he held until his death.75

Robert John McCormick, MPP

Robert J. McCormick (1848–) was born in Ireland, of Scottish extraction. He came to Warwick Twp. in 1862 or 1863, where he was a farmer and brick maker. McCormick was a Councillor from 1882 to 1891, Deputy Reeve in 1891, Warden of Lambton County from 1892 to 1894, and was elected MPP for Lambton East in 1908 and held it until 1914.

William John Hanna, K.C., MPP

The Watford Guide stated that “Few men in Ontario are better known than the Hon. W. J. Hanna, the genial and popular member of Lambton West in the Ontario Legislature.”76

William John Hanna (–1918) was born and raised in Watford, but practised law in Sarnia. A member of the Conservative Party, he represented Lambton West in the 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th and 14th Parliaments. Hanna was the Provincial Secretary and Registrar from 1905 to 1916.77 While serving in this positon he created the King’s Counsel (K.C.), which recognizes distinguished service in the legal profession and in the community.

Charles Eusebius (Zeb) Janes, MPP

Zeb Janes (1888–1983) was born in Warwick Twp. He received his primary education at Warwick SS#1. After graduating from Business College he followed in his father’s footsteps, becoming a farmer.

Zeb Janes played an important role in the development of Lambton County. He served as the Treasurer of Warwick Twp. for 45 years. As well, he was a Director of the People’s Telephone Company of Forest for 40 years. He was also a Director of the Ausable River Conservation Authority, a Director of Lambton Loan and Investment and an active participant in the development of the Petrolia, Forest, Watford and Lambton-Kent High School Districts.78

Zeb Janes represented the electoral riding of Lambton as a Progressive Conservative, and sat in the 22nd, 23rd, 24th, 25th and 26th Parliaments (1945 to 1963).79

Because of his municipal and agricultural experience, Zeb was valuable in many areas. As a Member of the Legislative Assembly, he served on many parliamentary committees. He turned down a cabinet position as Minister of Tourism because he didn’t want to be tied down to one field of interest.80

In 1925 Zeb married Margaret Hazel Dolbear of Brooke Twp., and they had two daughters, Calla Evelyn and Mary Margaret. In 1959 Zeb married Hazel Delilah Sinclair Metcalfe.

Members of Federal House of Commons

Boundaries for the electoral district varied many times since 1867. The Provincial and Federal boundaries often did not coincide with each other. Generally, the boundaries changed as the population grew and shifted.

The following list of Members of Parliament (MP) lived in Warwick Twp.

The number on the left is the 1st, 2nd, etc. sitting of Federal Parliament. That is followed by the name of the riding during that election and then the year. That is followed by the name of the elected MP for that riding. The parentheses following the name indicate the political persuasion of that candidate.

18. Lambton-Kent, 1935, Hugh Alexander McKenzie (Liberal)

19. Lambton-Kent, 1940, Hugh Alexander McKenzie (Liberal)

20. Lambton-Kent, 1945, Robert James Henderson (Progressive Conservative)

21. Lambton-Kent, 1949, Hugh Alexander McKenzie (Liberal)

22. Lambton-Kent, 1953, Hugh Alexander McKenzie (Liberal)

Hugh Alexander McKenzie, MP

Hugh McKenzie (1882–) was born in Watford to Alexander McKenzie and Margaret Fleming, both of Scottish descent, and attended school in Warwick and then Watford High School.81

Hugh A McKenzie
Hugh A. McKenzie (MP Lambton-Kent). courtesy M Parker

While still a lad he had to discontinue school on the death of his father. Then he and his two brothers operated the farm.

Hugh remained a farmer until 1935 when he was nominated as a Liberal candidate for the federal Lambton-Kent riding. McKenzie was elected to the 18th, 19th, 21st and 22nd Parliament of Canada. He represented the newly formed electoral riding of Lambton-Kent.82

Knowing the many problems with which the farmers were faced, Hugh McKenzie championed their cause in the House and became a member of the Agricultural Committee.

Continuing as a Member of Parliament for 10 years, Hugh was defeated in the 1945 election, but his capabilities had been recognized in Ottawa and he was appointed to go to China as a Canadian delegate with the United Nation Relief and Rehabilitation Administration. The work of these delegates was to investigate and administer relief to the devastated areas of China that had suffered as a result of World War II.

Accompanied by Mrs. McKenzie, he sailed to China, making his headquarters in Shanghai. Hugh McKenzie married Ethel Robertson of Watford and they had three daughters, Margaret, Beth and Helen. Ethel died in 1927, and when the children had grown up, Hugh married Mrs. Lela McLean of Strathroy in 1944.83

It is interesting to note that he came by his interest in politics naturally. When he was just a boy of 13 or 14 he looked up to his uncle (also Hugh McKenzie) who was a member of the Ontario Legislature for Lambton-East.

Robert James Henderson, MP

Robert James Henderson (1877–) was born in Brooke Twp., the son of Thomas Henderson, who was Irish, and his wife, Letitia Ann Reid, who was Scottish. Robert was educated at Watford High School and London Normal School. In 1926 he married Minnie Van Netter, daughter of Brooke Twp.’s Municipal Clerk Richard Van Netter. Henderson taught school from 1899 to 1940. He was elected to the House of Commons in 1945 as a Conservative member in the 20th Parliament.84


1 Warwick Women’s Institute Tweedsmuir Books.

2 Watford Guide-Advocate, August 25, 1876.

3 Ibid., November 17, 1876.

4 Ibid., September 2, 1892.

5 Ibid., January 20, 1893.

6 Ibid., May 4, 1906.

7 Tweedsmuir Books.

8 Unknown newspaper.

9 Watford Guide-Advocate, April 29, 1949.

10 Ibid., June 1, 1951.

11 Forest Free Press, February 18, 1953.

12 Lambton County Gazette, December 2, 1976, p. 10.

13 Watford Guide-Advocate, October 17, 1979.

14 Ibid., February 20, 1980.

15 Warwick Women’s Institute Tweedsmuir Books.

16 Watford Guide-Advocate, January 26, 1983.

17 Ibid., January 25, 1984.

18 Ibid., May 14, 1986.

19 Ibid., March 25, 1987.

20 Ibid., March 22, 1989.

21 Sarnia Observer, April 11, 1990.

22 Watford Guide-Advocate, January 12, 1994.

23 Ibid., June 8, 1994.

24 Ibid., January 3, 1996.

25 Ibid., April 16, 1997.

26 Progressive Printing, Watford Centennial, 1873–1973, 1973.

27 Ibid.

28 Watford Advocate, July 16, 1875.

29 Ibid., February 25, 1875.

30 Ibid., November 17, 1876.

31 Watford Guide, January 10, 1879.

32 Watford & Alvinston Guide News, January 6, 1882.

33 Lambton Settlers Series: Early Days in Brooke and Warwick, Vol. 4, Lambton County Branch of Ontario Genealogical Society, 1997. Written by Kate Connolly in the mid–1920s and first published in the Watford Guide.

34 Watford & Alvinston Guide News, January 8, 1886.

35 Watford Guide-Advocate, December 10, 1886.

36 Ibid., October 10, 1890.

37 Ibid., July 14, 1916.

38 Ibid., August 24, 1917.

39 Ibid., April 6, 1951.

40 Ibid.

41 Ibid., April 27, 1951.

42 Ibid., May 1, 1953.

43 Ibid., February 7, 1963.

44 Ibid., May 16, 1963.

45 London Free Press, January 24, 1970, p. 7-R.

46 Watford Guide-Advocate, December 7, 1977.

47 Ibid., April 2, 1980.

48 Ibid., June 11, 1986.

49 Ibid., March 4, 1987.

50 Ibid., April 6, 1988.

51 Ibid., January 9, 1991.

52 Ibid., April 3, 1996.

53 Ibid., November 12, 1997.

54 Ibid., February 9, 2000.

55 Ibid., January 19, 2000.

56 Ibid., January 26, 2000.

57 Ibid., January 24, 2001.

58 Ibid., October 13, 2001.

59 Ibid., January 23, 2002.

60 Ibid., December 11, 2002.

61 Ibid., March 3, 2003.

62 Ibid., June 18, 2003.

63 Ibid., September 3, 2003.

64Ibid., April 22, 2004.

65 Ibid., October 5, 2006.

66 Todd Case, interview.

67 Belden’s Illustrated Historical Atlas of the County of Lambton, edited and published with additions by Edward Phelps, 1973, p. 18.

68 Ibid.

69 Watford Guide-Advocate, February 19, 1954.

70 Belden’s.

71 J. H. Beers & Co, ed., Commemorative Biographical Record of the County of Lambton Ontario, 1906.

72 Watford Guide-Advocate, February 19, 1954.

73 Forest Centennial 1959.

74 Watford Guide-Advocate, February 19, 1954.

75 Forest Centennial 1859–1959.

76 Watford Guide-Advocate, August 16, 1907.

77 Watford Guide-Advocate, February 19, 1954.

78 Mary and Paul Janes, The Janes Family History, J. B. Pole Printing, 1980.

79 Watford Guide-Advocate, February 19, 1954.

80 Janes.

81 John A. Huey, ed., The Wardens, Councillors, Parliamentary Representatives, Judicial Officers and County Officials of the County of Lambton for 100 years from 1849 to 1949.

83 Sarnia Observer.