Trafalgar Township Historical Society

“Recognizing, documenting, educating and celebrating the rich agricultural heritage of North Oakville,Trafalgar Township”

Pioneer Families Background

ALBERTSON – William Albertson born in NJ in 1793 came to the Township of Proudfoot in 1800 and to Trafalgar in 1811.

APPELBE – Squire James Applebe kept the local store in Post’s Corners and was the Postmaster. He was Irish. Behind his store was his house which was built in the 1850’s. He was a candidate for provincial office for 4 days. He wrote his resignation as postmaster in 1871 requesting that his son be appointed so that he could run for office. Four days later he had changed his mind and withdrew his resignation. The premier was not interested in having him back as postmaster as he was running against the government. 58 local citizens submitted a petition to have him reinstated. His son Robert Swanton Appelbe was a solicitor who established himself at Oakville in the 1860’s. He married daughter of Thomas Jaffray Robertson. Applebes sister was the wife of Sir Charles A Hanson, Bart., Lord Mayor of London at the end of WW1.

CHALMERS – Presbyterian George Chalmers, a Lowland Scot, started as a general merchant at Munn’s Corners about 1820. He began to buy up land along The Sixteen where it crosses Dundas Street in 1816. There he built a saw mill. Chalmers lived in a frame house in the village he had founded at Sixteen Mile creek. He was colonel of the 5th Regiment of Gore Militia and took an active part against the Rebellion. By 1840, he was in financial difficulty and his land and buildings at Sixteen Mile creek were sold.

COBBAN – Dr. James Cobban was born in Scotland in 1802 and in 1832 took up residence at Sixteen Mile Creek to practise his profession. He was the third pioneer doctor between Hamilton and Toronto. He was Surgeon to the 5th Regiment of Militia of Gore Nov 1838. One daughter married Clarkson Freeman who was in partnership with him at the time of his death in 1857. Another daughter married Clarkson’s brother Dr. William Freeman.

CULHAMS – Charles and John Culham owned a considerable amount of land between 17th Line and The Sixteen Mile Creek. They also operated a mill there. Each of them built a large brick house on their properties.

FREEMAN – Isaac Freeman born in NY 1794, son of William, of German background. He fought in the Revolutionary War. In 1800 he migrated to Canada and settled first in Ancaster, then in Halton Co. He assisted in the pursuit of William Lyon Mackenzie King. Had a son Clarkson. Clarkson became a Dr. in Trafalgar Twp. and during the late American war was a surgeon with General Grant’s army of the Potomac. Mayor of Milton 1870 to 72. His Portrait is here.

HAGER – Lawrence Hager born in NJ in 1784 came from Pennsylvania in 1799 to Grimsby. He settled in Trafalgar Twp. in 1806 and died in Palermo in 1870.

KAITTING – William Kaitting’s father, John was born near Utica, N.Y. and his mother in New Jersey. They settled on Lot 18 on Dundas Street. William is listed in 1877 atlas with a business of market gardening and small fruits. His Portrait is here.

KING – In 1858 William King purchased the south half of lot 16, concession 2 south of Dundas Street. William was cousin to William Chisholm, founder of Oakville. Here he built King’s Castle. In 1859 he sold the house to his cousin Robert who in turn sold it to his brother Thomas Chisholm. He was quite a traveler and is said to have circled the globe three times. King had built the home intending to marry a rich lady but this failed and he married the housekeeper.

MCCRANEY – William McCraney MP – His Portrait is here. His Trafagar Twp. residence in Trafalgar Twp. residence is shown here. His biographical sketch is here.

MUNN – Daniel Munn drew lot 16 on the south-east corner of the 6th Line in 1806 where he also opened a Tavern some time prior to 1814. This cross-roads soon became known as Munn’s Corners. Daniel married Millicent Post. He was the first town clerk for Trafalgar in 1813.

POST – The Posts came from Connecticut to York and then later to Halton. Jordan Post, was the father of the Posts who came to Trafalgar Twp. His son Ezekiel m. 1st Anna Munn and 2nd Phebe Butt. Ezekial settled in Trafalgar in 1806. Ezekiel was named the first constable for Trafalgar in 1809. In 1814 he was the town warden. Ezekiel had land just east of Posts Corners. His brother Ephraim Post owned 200 acres on the south west corner of Dundas & Trafalgar where his Inn was located. He came in 1811. Their sister Millicent married Daniel Munn and he operated the Inn at Munn’s Corners.

PROUDFOOT – John Proudfoot purchased the mill, land and buildings at Sixteen Mile creek from George Chalmers. On the 1858 Tremaines map he owned about 400 acres north of Dundas Street at Sixteen Mile creek. This is where he had his home called Tara Hall. The fact that he owned this land above Dundas makes me wonder if the saw mill was not above Dundas instead of below as suggested in most of the history books on Oakville.

RORKE – John Rorke is listed in 1877 Atlas as a grainer and a painter.

SOVEREIGN – Philip Sovereign whose father had come from NY and settled in Norfolk Co in 1799, moved to Trafalgar in 1812.

SPRINGERS – Richard Springer came to Canada in 1786. They came to Trafalgar about 1807.

TRILLER – Phillip Triller was a Loyalist who in 1806 had brought his wife and ten children from New Jersey to Upper Canada. Triller drew lot 20 of the 1st concession south of Dundas Street. He built the first mill in Trafalgar there.

WRIGHT – Dr. David Dolmage Wright, son of a Wesleyan Minister and “graduate of the Whittakerian School of Medicine and Surgery NY, of the University of Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia and Licentiate of the Medical Board of Western Canada” began his practice at Post’s Corners in 1851. Three years later practised in Oakville.

YOUNG – William Hixon Young, son of the Oakville House’s first proprietor, was born at Munn’s Corners, where his father had leased the tavern from Millicent Munn prior to the building of The Oakville House.

Open Archives

We host our Open House at the heritage Palermo School House. Check the calendar below for the next scheduled day.

Meet our archivist, search our archives, research township family history or just come to reminisce. You’ll never know who will show up with a fascinating new piece of local history.

Admission FREE but voluntary donations are welcome.

Upcoming Events

Oct
18
Fri
1:30 pm Open Archives @ Palermo School House
Open Archives @ Palermo School House
Oct 18 @ 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm
We host our Open Archives at the Palermo School House. We invite you to meet our archivist, explore our archives, research your Trafalgar Township ancestors, or just reminisce.
Nov
15
Fri
1:30 pm Open Archives @ Palermo School House
Open Archives @ Palermo School House
Nov 15 @ 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm
We host our Open Archives at the Palermo School House. We invite you to meet our archivist, explore our archives, research your Trafalgar Township ancestors, or just reminisce.
3:30 pm Board Meeting @ Palermo School House
Board Meeting @ Palermo School House
Nov 15 @ 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm