Sunday, January 22, 2012


The history of the county of Bruce and of the minor municipalities therein ...By Norman Robertson, Bruce County Historical Society (Ont.)

here is the URL:

PAGES 339- 342
(copying has resulted in some odd punctuation)

Mildmay commenced to take form as a village about 1867 when Samuel Merner had a survey made of part of lot 26 concession C For the first half dozen years the place was called Mernersville although the post office which was established in 1868 was known as Mildmay. The first postmaster was Donald McLean who also was the first merchant of the place. The three water privileges on Otter Creek in or about Mildmay have all been used to advantage. The first industry to which water power was applied was a sawmill erected by Samuel Carr near the present railway station. A gristmill is said to have been established by a man named Stewart late in the fifties. of this the author cannot affirm but in 1867 there was a good grist mill run by William Murray

The nucleus around which villages form in a new district is generally a blacksmith shop and an hotel The first of each of these in Mildmay was started respectively by John Lenhardt and Charles Schiel. Before the railway had reached the county of Bruce there were established at Mildmay a woollen factory by Edmund Berry and a pottery by I Bit schey besides grist and sawmills

Having these industries located and also having good water power for further industries the village of Mildmay presented greater inducements to the railway company for the fixing of their station at that point than could Balaclava and therefore obtained the coveted prize Since the opening of the railway Mildmay has made very rapid progress so much so that it is doubtful if there is another unincorporated village in the province of its size and activity certainly it can rightly claim to possess a larger amount of trade than several of the incorporated villages within the county It has its local newspaper The Mildmay Gazette established about 1893 a system of electric lighting and banking facilities the Merchants Bank having established an agency there in 1900 Xo village in the county is more loyally supported by the surrounding country than is Mildmay which fact seems to assure its continued prosperity Next to Mildmay the most important village in the township of Carrick is Formosa Its situation is unique being in a valley through which runs Stoney Creek supplying water power to the mills In this valley there are places where low rocky cliffs picturesquely intrude themselves upon the line of the highway to avoid which the street has to forsake the usual straight line until the rocks are past A settlement was formed at this point in 1854 but the village did not take form until some years later John B Kroetsch started a sawmill here in the fifties which was the first industry of the place some ten years later he added to this a grist mill The first store was kept by A Schick and the first hotel by John Kartes The post office was established there in 1862 the first postmaster being FX Messner It is not too much to say that Messrs Anthony and FX Messner were the leading spirits of Formosa for about thirty years as storekeepers and private bankers In a footnote1 is given The death of Mr Francis X Messner which occurred March 10th 1906 removes a prominent pioneer and philanthropist In 1862 he with his brother Anthony settled in the locality of Formosa then a dense forest and started several business enterprises encouraging settlers and helping them to establish the homes they are now enjoying An earnest promoter of Catholic education he built two convents one in Formosa and another in Walkerton His philanthrophy was not confined to Bruce he was ever ready to assist charities throughout Canada He was most


34I a biographical sketch of FX Messner which will enable the reader to see why he will be remembered in connection with Formosa as long as the present generation of the village are alive The inhabitants of Formosa are almost entirely of German or Alsatian birth or descent and are members of the Roman Catholic Church The church they have erected is by long odds the finest ecclesiastical building in the county It is built of stone Its dinien tions are 160 by 60 feet and its lofty spire glistening in the sunlight may be seen for miles around During the erection of the building services were held in the old frame church erected some twenty years previously the peculiar feature being that the new building was built around and about the old one until at last but glimpses of it only eould be had through the windows of the building which was being erected This fine church was opened December 9th 1883 The first church services at Formosa were held in the old log school house that stood on the site of the present school building

The first priest to be stationed at Formosa was the Rev Father Stier The Rev Father Jehl is the priest at present in charge of the parish After the church the next prominent building in the village is the convent under the charge of the Sisters de Notre Dame This building the gift of A and FX Messner was opened by Bishop Farrel October 20th 1872 A boarding school conducted by the sisters has been well patronized

Some few years ago it was asserted that there were indications of the existence of coal oil at Formosa An artesian well was sunk over a thousand feet deep and at one time it was thought that they were on the point of striking oil but only to be disappointed Another well not far off was sunk with like result A fine flow of water comes from these wells which is all the unfortunate shareholders have to show for their expenditure

A German settlement without a brewery would be incomplete This need was supplied to Formosa about 1869 when Andrew Rau built his brewery which under different owners is still in operation In a purely German settlement lager beer is partaken of as one of the ordinary and necessary things of life How much this is so has been evidenced at For successful in business until an unfortunate enterprise caused him great losses and saddened the last few years of his life owing to the fact that some of his friends were involved with him Mr Messner was a prominent Liberal and on one occasion received the unanimous nomination in East Bruce for the House of Commons an honor which he declined He is survived by his widow The Globe Toronto


CARLSRUHE Formosa in days now past where every Sunday morning after hearing mass the hotels were filled by the church goers having a quiet mug of beer before starting on their drive back to the farm and strange as it may seem the license inspectors did not think it advisable to enforce the law there in regard to prohibited hours Another of the villages of Carrick is Carlsruhe which derives its name from the capital of the Grand Duchy of Baden in Germany Its location is elevated and healthy and its inhabitants are said to be noted for their sociability Deutscher Amtand und Gemuetlich keit A post office was opened there in 1864 Ignatius Korman being the first postmaster and also the first merchant His successor was Ernst Seeber 1 The Roman Catholic church in the village is one of the foremost in the diocese It is modelled after the cathedral at Roermonde in Holland and is of the Romanesque style of architecture It was built in 1873 at a cost of over $15,000 Its numerous stained glass windows are artistic and worthy of inspection The first resident priest was the Rev Franz Rassaerts MIHS a man of scholastic attainments and large heartedness His death occurred in October 1886 The present incumbent the Rev JE Wey PL possesses the affection and respect of his parishioners There are in the village both a public and a Roman Catholic separate school Carlsruhe although not a populous village has many of the luxuries of larger places such as electric lights two daily mails and is connected with the outer world by both telegraph and telephone Otter Creek although not a large stream has been made the most of as a source of power After driving the mills at Mildmay it is next used to furnish power to the Saugeen Valley Roller Mill now owned by Jacob Steinmiller & Son This mill was originally built in the seventies by W m H Clendening and Wm Brown He failed to make a success of it and the mill passed into the hands of the Bank who sold it in 1886 to Mr Steinmiller 2 Under his management the mill has obtained a wide spread reputation for the high grade of flour produced It was awarded a bronze medal at the World's Fair at Chicago in 1893 It also carried off the Grand Prix Mr Seeber filled the office of postmaster from 1869 until 1906 excepting four years which he spent teaching school at Neustadt During this Albert Goetz held the office Jacob Steinmiller came to this county from Germany in 1867 His as a miller extends over half a century He claims to have 1875 set up the first roller machinery in the province the machinery imported from Vienna by Messrs Snider of St Jacobs

No comments: