Joe Alcorn’s Boy


The story of the  “Your Loving Anna” family continues.

William D. Hanthorn was born six-and-a-half miles north of Coe Hill, Ontario in 1904. He was the son of Joseph Hanthorn and Florence Leveridge. In “Your Loving Anna” Hanthorn’s grandmother Anna Leveridge told us of her life in the Coe Hill area in the late 1800s.

In “Joe Alcorn’s Boy” Hanthorn continues the story of growing up in North Hastings in the early part of the 1900s, and the family’s new life in the southern part of Hastings County at Carrying Place.


Excerpt From Book.

I was born on our farm 6 ½ miles north of Coe Hill, on June 18,1904. We called it “Maple Farm”, or just, “the farm.” At the time it only had about 10 acres cleared out of the hundred acres of woods my father had bought. He had a team of oxen and clearing that big timber was a real big undertaking. The woods purchased by him were alongside the land owned by Uncle Charlie and Aunt Katie Tivy. She was my mother’s younger sister. Uncle Charlie was unfortunately killed by a horse before I was old enough to remember. They had three boys and one girl, Marjorie. My Grandfather and Grandmother lived across the road from Aunt Katie, on the farm to the east called, “Park Farm.” They were called David and Anna Leveridge. They came to Canada from England in 1883 and settled in the Coe Hill area. The farm they came from in England was called Park Farm.

My mother had persuaded my father to buy this lot when they were married. They had a bee and put up a small house on the west side, opposite to the road to Coe Hill. A barn was built across the road on the first spot Pa could clear. Using our team of oxen, Buck and Bright, Pa went back to Coe Hill to work, just to keep the wolf from the door. It still got awfully close a good many times.

My mother was a very good-looking, young bride and my father was a smart, young, good-looking fellow. My mother said she was attracted to him the first time she met him; he stood up so nice and straight and seemed so proud of himself and her. All the other suitors were all stoop shouldered and dirty looking. Not my father, he was always neat and clean. They got along really well. The only disagreement they ever had was when my father would drink and my mother was death set against it. They thought the world of one another. My mother could not dance, but my father could sing and dance and I will always remember how proud she and the rest of our family were of him. My mother was always a lady and my father, even on the rare occasions when he drank, was always a gentleman.

We were a poor, but happy family. When Pa found that he had to leave my mother on the farm he made a deal with Dr. Hardinge, our family doctor, for him to run a telephone wire through the woods, so my mother could call for help, if needed. Grandfather, Grandmother and Aunt Katie lived so far away. This telephone never was very satisfactory, as it had to come so far through the forest and trees would fall across it. I remember tripping over it when I used to set out the dogs to hunt deer or pick ginseng. I don’t know how long it worked, but I know it must have cost Pa plenty even though Dr. Hardinge made him a good deal on it. Dr. Hardinge ran telephone wires all around Coe Hill and was the owner and the brains behind the service. Dr. Hardinge would mix powders for all conceivable ailments. He, and eventually his daughter, Mattie, had a great reputation for cures. People used to come for hundreds of miles just for their powders. He thought a lot of my father and mother and delivered many of their nine children, but he often forgot to register them, and if he did, he waited so long to do so, he forgot if it was a boy or a girl. He made mistakes and caused some of us, in later years, considerable trouble trying to obtain birth certificates. I doubt, though, if he ever sent my parents a bill for his services.

C. William Hanthorn 2014
Now on Sale



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