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Thomas Rutherford

1812 - 1879


The original settler of Lot 35 Concession A, was Thomas Rutherford. He was born in the village of Ancrum in Scotland, near the town of Jedburgh, in 1812. His father was William Rutherford , gardener and gatekeeper for Sir William Scott the owner of the Ancrum estate. 

Before he left Scotland in 1834 at the age of 22, he had worked for the Earl of Minto on the Minto Estate, four miles up the Teviot River Valley  from Ancrum. 

In 1834 he came to Galt, Ontario, with John Telfer who was recruiting settlers in the Border Country for William Dickson who owned most of the land in the Galt area at that time. Thomas also came out with his Uncle Hugh Rutherford and his family, among whom was Elizabeth, afterwards wife of Robert Elliot the original settler  on Lot 38 Concession B, on the Lake Shore Line ( the Don Cianci farm ). 

For the next six years he was in the butchering trade while in Galt, but his first job on arriving in Galt was burying the dead of the cholera epidemic that was sweeping that part of Ontario in 1834.

In 1840 he was hired by John Telfer to help him in his endeavours as Land Agent in opening up the land to settlement in the village of Sydenham ( Owen Sound ). 

In the winter of 1840-41, Telfer went back to Galt and left Thomas in charge of the government stores by himself. 

From 1842 to 1845, he ran a hotel in Owen Sound near the market square on the land now occupied by Legates Furniture. 

In 1845 both he and John Telfer came out to what is now Leith ; Telfer to take up 425 acres on part of which Leith now stands, and to build the local grist mill on what is now Telfers Creek. 

Thomas took up Lot 35 Concession A, paying 45 pounds for it, and got his deed on the ninth of January , 1846, in the Township of Sydenham, in the County of Waterloo, in the District of Wellington, as this area was known at this time. He had made the long trip to Galt in the middle of winter to get his deed with William Sibbald, the original settler on Lot 36 Concession A, his immediate  neighbour. 

On March 1, 1844, he married Catherine MacGregor whose family had come out from Ardeonaig on Loch Tay in Perthshire, Scotland, in 1841. They were the original settlers on the north half of Lot 7 Concession 12 Sydenham, and this farm is still owned by a member of this family in the person of Jack MacGregor.

Last updated: 2021/12/27