1. Founding to 1873

2. Manufacturers, Newspapers, Schools

3. Mitchell Fair

4. Churches

5. Officials
1857 - 1902

6. Index

Pioneers of

Downie, Ontario

Listowel 1902

St Marys 1902

Stratford 1902

Mitchell, Ontario from its founding to 1873
From History of Perth County 1825-1902
by William Johnston, published in 1903

West Perth, Ontario n many respects the history of Mitchell prior to 1857 is merged in that of Fullarton, Logan, and Hibbert. Any recital of it in detail would be simply a repetition of much already set down in the history of those municipalities. In 1836 a sale of lots took place, and in 1837 John Hicks erected a frame building for a hotel, at the corner of St. George Street and the Huron road. Prior to this event, however, a log building was erected near the river, in Logan, - no doubt the first in Mitchell. Mr. Hicks erected in 1857 a large brick hotel, destroyed by fire many years ago, and replaced by the present Hicks' house. The building of 1857 was a unique structure, built in the form of an old baronial hall, with flanking towers on the right and left corners of its front elevation, and finished in castellated form. Another old pioneer was Daniel Kerr. A store was opened in September 1844, by W. F. McCulloch, of Stratford, on the southwest corner of St. George Street and the Huron road. Mr. McCulloch was succeeded by Messrs. Daly & Mickle, in 1857. Another store was opened by Mr. Wm. Matheson, who was succeeded by Mr. Edward Greensides, who later removed to Monkton. Meantime other settlers were locating. About 1842 along with Mr. Kerr came James McClacharty, Duncan and John Campbell, and, soon after, Robert Christie and R. W. Cana, a grist mill having been erected by the Canada Co. In 1844 came Thomas Matheson, who afterwards became prominent in municipal affairs. Up to this period, and for several years subsequent, progress was slow. In the Canada Company's office, London, England, is an old map of Mitchell in 1844, which shows fourteen buildings at that date. These were nearly all erected on the Huron road, north side, between St. George and St. Andrew streets. Some adventurous pioneer had ventured so far into the woods and erected a shanty on the corner of what is now St. David and Waterloo streets.

Another house was erected near the present advocate office, and one near where the gristmill is now located. A mail carrier made occasional trips between Stratford and Goderich, Mr. Thomas Matheson being self-constituted postmaster until Mr. Hicks obtained a post office. It was not till a period subsequent to opening the B. & L. H. railroad, and construction of the Logan road, that development took place. These two events gave a marvelous impetus to trade in Mitchell, and from being a mere hamlet in 1850 she, in 1857, became an incorporated village. Manufactories now began to spring up, and in 1873 the population had so increased that she was raised to the dignity of a town. The document of incorporation was as follows: -

"Now know ye, that having taken the premises into our Royal consideration, we do by this our Royal proclamation, and in the exercise of the powers in us vested in this behalf, we, as well as by the said vested act as by our Royal prerogative or otherwise howsoever, proclaim and appoint that the said village of Mitchell, in the County of Perth, be on after Monday, the 5th day of January next ensuing, erected into a town by the name of the town of Mitchell.

''Given at our Government House, in our city of Toronto, in our said Province, in the year of our Lord 1873, and in 37 of our reign. William P. Rowland, Governor.''
Next page - Mitchell's Manufacturers, Newspapers, Schools

Also see - The Founding of Mitchell, Ontario Plaque