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Former Lefroy area mail carrier dies

"Harold Stephens, rural mail carrier on the Lefroy route for 22 years, died January 13 in his 71st year. He had been in failing health for some time and for that reason gave up the mail route two years ago. Mr. Stephens had seen many changes in Innisfil since starting to drive the mail about 1952. Most of the 18-mile route was gravel then. Initially, he called at 75 boxes and when he retired he was serving 150 boxholders. In an interview with Scope at that time, he recalled gasoline was only 25 cents a gallon when he first took over the mail route. The deceased saw the end of the era of mail coming to Lefroy by train and the start of truck service. He used to meet the train at 11 o'clock each morning in the early years and part of his contract included delivery of the mail bag for Churchill to the post office there. On retirement he noted the vast decrease in parcels from Eaton's and Simpson's over the years. Harold Stephen's moved to Lot 20, Concession 4 in 1931 and upon retirement from farming a few years ago, built a new house on the farm lane. He grew up at Churchill on the 5th Line, west of Highway 11 where his parents, Llewyn and Lizzie Stephens farmed. He is ervived by his wife, Phyliss and daughter Mary Ann and several step children. A brother, Jim and sister, Doreen also survive. He was predeceased by brothers, Fred and Glen and sister, Eleanor."

Innisfil Scope

Genealogical Interest

Files including letters, newspaper clippings (namely birth and death records), photographs, and essays on select families of Bradford West Gwillimbury

Joe Saint

Evans, Audrey

This photo of Audrey Evans, wife of Art Evans, Bradford's first Mayor and MPP, appeared in the Bradford Witness along with the announcement of her death after a sudden and serious illness.

Bradford Witness

Town Mourns Fire Chief

BRADFORD - They came by the hundreds yesterday (Tuesday) to pay their respects to a dedicated fire fighter - Harold "Butch" Boyd, Bradford's fire chief, who died Saturday in York County Hospital in Newmarket.

He was 64.

Firefighters from across southern Ontario came to pay a final tribute to the quiet, modest man who was buried in full uniform yesterday at Newmarket Cemetery.

His comrades formed an honor guard after a simple ceremony at the Lathangue and Skwarchuk Funeral Home.

Up until the morning before he died, Butch was preparing for a fire safety campaign involving his pet project: having smoke detectors installed in every home in Bradford.


His widow Eileen recalls him telling fellow Bradford firefighter Jim Church Friday, "I've got to go down to the fire hall. There's a lot of work to do."

"Being fire chief was his whole life," said Sherran Breedon, his daughter. "The only time he ever went anywhere - Quebec and Regina - was to a convention as Bradford's fire chief.:

Former Fire Chief Ted Gapp remembers Butch as a "real good, dedicated fireman."

He was born in Newmarket, moving to Bradford in 1937 where he opened a butcher shop. He married Eileen in 1942 and moved into the house, coincidentally, directly across from the future fire hall where he would spend so much of his time.

Eileen smiled when she remembered his unorthodox style of buying a home.

"He never even looked inside the place. He just figured that since he was getting married he needed a house."

She fell through the floor as soon as she stepped in for her first look.


Butch joined the fire department in 1943. He was also a charter member of the Bradford Lions Club, although he stopped his activities with the club some time later.

In addition to his profession as butcher, Butch was also a restauranteur, pool hall operator, and manager of the first vacuum plant in Ontario - "A jack-of-all-trades," according to his daughter.

Butch became fire chief after the retirement of Ted Gapp in 1975.

He was an avid curler and belonged to the curling club up until three years ago.

But his first love was the fire department.

Despite recent hospitalization, he continued to organize his safety campaign, arrange the weekly practice drills, conduct school tours, and when the need arose, supervise firefighting.

He was rushed to York County Friday evening after he developed breathing difficulties. He died the following morning.

Harold Boyd leaves his wife Eileen, daughter Sherran (Mrs. George Breedon) of Bradford, three grandchildren, Laurie, Paul and Trish, and a brother Glenn of Scarborough.

Pallbearers were Orville Hand, Bill Breen, Ron Bannerman, Lawrence McKnight, Jim Church and George Allan. Flowerbearers were Ted Gapp, Ken Carter, Roy Storey, Bev Everitt, Gordon Church and Ted Bulpit.

Bradford Witness

Earl Rowe Dies at 89

Description : Earl Rowe Dies at 89
By Marianne Kazmer
Bradford Witness News Editor

NEWTON ROBINSON - They came to this small village, located just south of Cookstown, to pay their last respects to a political legend.

Gathered in the Newton Robinson United Church, with the rain falling softly outside, they listened as Rev. Henry Dahlin performed the service. It was the final tribute to a man whose political career spanned almost 65 years.

William Earl Rowe, former lieutenant-governor of Ontario and political veteran died last Thursday at his Newton Robinson home after suffering a hear attack. He was 89.

Born in Iowa, Mr. Rowe grew up in Simcoe County, where his political career began in 1919 when he became reeve of West Gwillimbury township. He spend 35 years as a Conservative legislator at both the provincial and federal levels before he was named lieutenant-governor in 1963. A former leader of the Ontario Conservative party, Mr. Rowe was also the youngest member in the R.B. Bennett cabinet, where he served as minister without portfolio.

In 1958, his daughter Jean Casselman Wadds was elected to parliament making the Rowes the first father-daughter team in Canada's history. She now serves as on the MacDonald Commission on the economy.

In addition to his long and distinguished political career, Mr. Rowe was also actively involved in harness racing throughout his life. Together with his son Bill, he founded both the Barrie and Windsor Raceway.

Among those attending the funeral service held Monday afternoon at Newton Robinson United Church were Lieutenant-Governor John Black Aird, Premier William Davis, NEw Brunswick Premier Richard Hatfield, Solicitor-General George Taylor, former lieutenant-governor Roland Michener, and York-Peel MP Sinclair Stevens.

Premier Davis described Mr. Rowe as "a great Canadian who will be remembered as a man who excelled as parliamentarian, Queen's representative in Ontario, as a breeder and racer of standard-bred horses, a farmer, and most importantly, in raising a fine family."

Mr. Rowe's wife, Treva, died five weeks ago after suffering a series of strokes. They are predecessed by a son, Lennox.

Mr. Rowe leaves a sister, Mary Lennox and a daughter, Jean Casselman Wadds. In addition, he leaves to mourn grandchildren Mrs. Jane Hutchins, Nancy Casselman of Toronto, Earl Rowe of Shanty Bay, Clare Casselman of Toronto, Scott Rowe of Cookstown, Cindy Rowe of London, Patti Rowe of Cookstown and great grandchildren Jennifer Hutchins, Katherine and Crystal Rowe.

Mr. Rowe was buried at Newton Robinson Cemetery.

Marianne Kazmer

Death of a Great Canadian W. Earl Rowe, 89, Politician Ontario Lieutenant Governor

Bradford Witness and South Simcoe News
February 15, 1984

W. Earl Rowe, veteran of federal politics and former lieutenant-governor of Ontario, died yesterday of a heart attack at his farm, about 70 kilometres (43 miles) north of Toronto. He was 89.

A lover of both politics and horses, Mr. Rowe spent 35 years as a Progressive Conservative member at both provincial and federal levels before being named lieutenant-governor in 1963, a post he held for five years.

His only defeat at the polls came in 1937, when he waged an unsuccessful attempt to wrest the Ontario premiership from Liberal Mitchell Hepburn. Shortly afterwards, he returned to federal politics.

Born in Iowa of Ontario parents, Mr. Rowe began his political career in 1919, when he was elected reeve of Gwillimbury Township.

He next won a provincial seat in the riding of South Simcoe in 1923 and two years later won the federal seat of Dufferin-Simcoe. He held the seat for 38 years with the only interruption being his try for the Ontario premiership.

Mr. Rowe was the youngest member in the cabinet of R.B. Bennett, serving briefly in 1935 as a minister without portfolio in the short-lived government. he resigned his federal seat and returned to provincial politics when the government was defeated in November of that year.

He remembered Bennett as "probably the most knowledgeable and least appreciated prime minister because of the very difficult time he went through."

Mr. Rowe was provincial Tory leader from 1936 to 1938, but his failure to win a seat in the 1937 election, and reported dissension in party ranks, sent him back to Ottawa.

He ran federally for Dufferin-Simcoe again in 1940, and was reelected six times before leaving federal politics in 1963 to become lieutenant-governor, a position he held for five years.

Mr. Rowe and his late wife, Teva, raised horses.

Bradford Witness

Vital Statistics

  • Collection
  • 1800-

Contains documents and information on Vital Statistics in Bradford West Gwillimbury.

Bradford West Gwillimbury Public Library

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