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The Hazelwood Story

The Hazelwood Story:
My great-grandfather Herbert Edward Hazelwood, was born on February 9, 1870 in Matching, Essex County, England. The family lived on a grain farm, but when the price of grain went so low, the family moved to the city of London. In his teen years, Herbert worked after school in a haber dashery in London (thought to be Harrod's) selling men's wear where he remembered selling a hat to Prime Minister Gladstone. The toxic dye in the felt was creating heath concerns for Herbert and his doctor advised him to move from the city where he would have fresh air. He decided to come to Canada and the doctor helped him out by paying half a crown. In 1888 at the age of 18, Herbert left England for Canada, and upon arriving in Montreal, Quebec, he got a job building the railway leading to Saranac Lake, New York.

Here, in Saranac Lake, he met Agnes Rosamond McClelland, who's mother took in boarders from the railroad. Herbert boarded in this home while working on the railroad. After their marriage in 1892, they moved to Montreal, Quebec where Herbert worked as a policeman and Agnes worked for the Family Herald, writing names and addresses on the newspapers before they were mailed, chosen for her good handwriting. After about six years in Montreal, they noticed newspaper ads of land (unsure whether free or $10) in Ontario and moved to Mattawa in 1898. Here, after travelling rugged roads to this remote wilderness, they built their home before winter set in. Money was scarce, so for two seasons Herbert and Mr. Harper, the neighbour family who moved with them from Montreal, went back to work in Montreal, while Agnes, Mrs. Harper and the children stayed in Mattawa. During this time, the Hazelwoods owned a cow, and when Agnes went to look for the cow to milk it, she carried baby John in one hand and the muzzle loader gun in the other. In the summer Agnes and Mrs. Harper picked berries in 20 lb lard pails and carried them 7 miles to Mattawa to sell. To raise money for Christmas gifts for the children, the ladies cut "chicos" to sell. Chicos were dead pine trees still standing, which the ladies split and cut before selling them as firewood. In order to make payments on the farm, Herbert worked on the railroad and sold cordwood, and in later years, they did market gardening. Herbert served as councillor for Papineau Township for about 20 years, and served as reeve from 1933-1936. During the depression years, he was a relief officer and gave assistance to needy families in return for work. They raised their family and lived out thier lives in Papineau Township where Agnes died of pulmonary pneumonia on December 25, 1931 the result of an accident six years earlier. Herbert died of a heart attack on Novemeber 19, 1955. They are both resting in Pinehill Cemetery in Mattawa, Ontario.

One of their sons, Herbert Spencer, my grandfather, was born in Mattawa in 1903 and mar
ried Olive Harper in 1924. She died of scarlet fever in May of 1930 after giving birth to thier second child. Work was scarce, and with two young children to raise Olive's sister Hilda took the baby to Rochestor, New York, crossing the border at Buffalo on June 2, 1930. Herbert then crossed the border at Niagara Falls on June 18, 1930 headed to Rochester, New York looking for work. Herbert and his sons lived at the home of Olive's sister, Alfred & Hilda Benton, where Hilda cared for the children. Herbert returned to Canada shortly after, but work was scarce in Mattawa where wages were $0.50 per day, and another $0.50 if you had a team of horses and wagon. In the fall of 1931 he went to work at the farm of Alex & Lila Munro at Almonte, Ontario where he worked for room and board and $10.00 per month. Here, Herbert fell in love with their daughter Esther and they were married in April 1932 and shortly thereafter they moved to Mattawa. In 1944 Alex Munro was going to sell the farm, so Herbert and Esther moved the family to Almonte to the farm where Esther was raised. Herbert & Esther had eight children, including the two from Herbert's previous marriage. Herbert and Esther lived the rest of their lives on this farm, which today is still in the family.

Owner of originalScott Hazelwood
DateSep 2006
Linked toAlfred Hiram Benton; Mary Harriet Cullum; George Harper; Hilda Annie Harper; Olive Frances Harper; Herbert Edward Hazelwood; Herbert Spencer Hazelwood; John James McClelland Hazelwood; Agnes Rosamond McClelland; Alexander Thomas Munro; Esther Ellen Munro; Delilah Price

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