William Edwin Gimby's Autobiography

I transcribed this from his original typewritten pages.

Wm. E. Gimby was my great grandfather (my father's mother's father). Originally I had done some editing, but since have decided to let Spelling Peculiarities and so on stand.

In the year 1819 my grandfather Gimby left England on a sailing vessel which landed in New York harbor three months later. There was on board a family by the name of Mitchell. My grandfather and the eldest Mitchell girl became acquainted, and were married on landing at New York.

They all went up to Canada together. The Mitchells settl at Hogs hollow on Yonge St. Toronto, my grandfather on the 2nd Concession of York Township. This is where my father was born in 1828,

After living in York for some years he moved up into Inisfill Township and took up land on the Penetangushene Road.

My grandfather Haughton lived in Waterford Ireland. He had a large family, well educated. He decided to go to Canada in 1837. He came and settled on the Penetangushene Road, in Inisfill Township. His son William, and his daughter Eliza soon were teaching in the Township. In those days the teacher had to board week-about with the Rate-payers (How would you like that).

Now It is about 1845, and my father is twenty, Eliza Houghton is twenty also. What would be more natural than a deep attachment; Followed soon by a happy wedding day. They went to live in their own house on their fifty-acre lot, but she did not give up her school for several months.

They lived on their fifty acres for about a year and made many improvements. Then Father and his brother John decided to go farther west to locate more land.

With packs on their backs, and good axes thrown over shoulders, they walked many miles over trails; passing many clearings as they went. They passed over the Blue mountains, south of Collingwood Village, and continued westward until they arrived on the hills over-looking the blue waters of Georgian Bay, at the south end of which nestled the Village of Owen Sound, surrounded by rocks and hills.

Across the Bay could be seen the Potawatama Indian Reserve with it's pebbly beach. This Reserve was connected with the Saugeen Indian Reserve on Lake Huron, by a well-beaten trail. Twentyfive or thirty miles long.

My father and his brother John walked three and a-half miles out this trail, and found, what they thought would make two good farms.

Here they threw down their heads. Built a little fire and prepared their mid-day meal.

Then they started the work of hewing out homes for themselves in the unbroken forest. My father's lot - After the Survey - turned out to be Lot Number Three and John's Number Four, Half-mile-Strip, Derby Township.

They had a stiff task ahead of them; but they were strong and able. Father was six ft. four and John six ft. two. And they knew all Bush Lore. Give my father an axe, an auger and a drawing knife, and he could make anything from an axe-handle to an ox-yoke.

They soon pushed the forest back and let the sun "Look in". Then they started father's house. And that house had to have a good big fireplace; so they built the fireplace first, with a big granite chimney, and most of the face of the fireplace was granite that glistened in the candlelight like stars in the sky. I'll never forget that fireplace - there we all hung our stockings on Xmas. Eve. (Only one stocking for each child, if anyone put on two it was an awful sin!).

Then they built the hewn log house around the big fireplace. When finished, the fireplace was tight up against the end of the house. And in the inside. There was a big living room, three bedrooms, a loft, and a back stoop. A front and back door. And a stoned-up well at the back door. A pretty complete home for the woods. Then they struck out home for the harvest, and to see the folks.

 Father had a double reason for going home. He wanted to see, not his wife only, but a little _____d baby girl they had been writing him about.

In the early summer of 1849 they decided to go to their new home, Father put mother on the Stage Coach going to Penetangushene. From there she would get a boat across Georgean Bay to Owen Sound. He walked across the country and met her there. It was dark, but mother wanted to see their new home she had heard so much about. So they struck off up the trail in the darkness. Carrying baby and luggage. The bush trail became very, very dark. After they had gone about three miles they had to give up. Father put mother, baby and luggage up onto a big flat stone (It's there yet I saw it two years ago) - and he groped his way to the house and made two big torches - one to go back to the stone, the other to light them home. Mother said it was one of the happiest moments in her life when she saw that torch coming down the trail.

They had no oxen or horses, so father had to carry everything they needed on his back. And mother had to do all the cooking and baking in the fireplace for a couple of years, until they had a road up the Rock.

The first road wound around through the bush; Had many corduroy bridges, stumps, stones and mud holes. I remember it well. Our first log-cottage school was on this old road. My parents lived in the bush fourteen years before getting a Government gravel road. They had to pull their cook-stove, in segments, with ropes, up the Rock, two years after they settled in the bush,

My people settled in the bush in 1849. I was born in 1859. I remember the building of the Government road. I was about four years old. My mother boarded some of the men. They used to sit around in the evening smoking. One man used to get me on his knee and blow tobacco smoke in my face. I used to rebell, but I guess it cured me of smoking. I liked him just the same, he was good to me. He always had some sweeties in his pocket that tasted of tobacco.

My first exciting experience of farm life was when our big frame barn was burnt down. - The Insureance had run out about a week - . We had a hired man, who used to go off early in the morning with the team to draw square-timber. Unfortunately this morning he left the lantern burning and the stable door open. Some young steers that used to sleep around the straw stack went in, knocked down the lantern and burnt everything; but the ducks, the sheep, and an old hen. We could see the poor cows falling over in the flames. The wagon fanning-mill, all the grain and fodder went up in smoke.

I had just gotten my first pair of long leather boots with copper-toes red tops, and finger straps; but I didn't know right from left. I pulled them on the wrong feet. The boot-jack was too big and I couldn't pull them off. I was afraid I might be brunt to death for I heard dad say "the house might go too" The daylight was coming in, And we were all hustleing to get dressed. My sister Martha saw my plight and helped me out. I thought she was going to break my ankles.

The house didn't go, but father had to put Five Hundred Dollar Mortgage on the farm to put him on his feet again. That was his first heavy knock.

Father had eight children to provide for, and none us looked like the farming kind; six girls and two boys. My brother was the fourth, and I was the sixth in the family. Four girls were schoolteachers, and one boy (my brother), and I taught some too. So daf's out-look for farm help was not good. But he was proud of his family just the same. He used to say they were too smart to make farmers of them. (perhaps so).

We all were very happy in rural life. Some-one had said, and I think rightly, "That boys and colts should be raised on the farm, to make anything of them.

I always had a feeling when I was a boy, that my public-school education was neglected. Coming where I did in the family there seemed to be so many chores for me to so that getting off to school was the last thing thought of for me.

If it wasn't bringing up the cows it was weeding the onions, or pulling wild oats, or cutting the heads off canadian thistles in the oats, or hoeing in the potato patch. Everything and anything to keep me out of school. Dad seemed bound to make me a farmer. And I was as strong the other way, I hated farming. I wanted to be a doctor, Like Old Dr. ------ in our neighborhood who drove to town every morning in his little horse and buggy, with a half a dozen dogs following him. - I was despairately fond of dogs.

I got to school at spells. Once long enough to get a third prize. The teachers were poor. Teaching little more than - Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, and Spelling, and "Licking". They taught us a few mountains and rivers in Europe. And a noun was the name of a person place or thing, and a verb was a telling word - What ever that mean't. But we did not know the Province we lived in. So my public school training was meager.

One fall I timidly asked Dad to let me go to school that winter. He said: "Well there's no one to do the chores but you, if you think you can do the work, and go you may try. But that water-hole must be kept well open for the cattle, and calves too". I knew what that all meant.

I had to turn out at five A.M. and go to the barn with an old tallow candle lantern, and I was so afraid of tramps in the barn that I'd have nightmares while sleeping, and those dreams would make me more nervous. Then run home at four and work till nine P.M.. This was pretty hard on a boy of thirteen, I continued for about two months, and could stand it no longer. I was having too many nightmares.

I will go back a few years and tell how I come to quit the farm. My Grandfather Gimby, and many of our relations had moved up and settled 'round about. My grandfather gave me a spotted red and white steer calf. I named him Brindley. I made a great pet of him, and when he was big enough I rode him all over the farm.

The following year; one morning very early my father sent me up to uncle John's for the inch and quarter auger. When I arrived he was knocking day-old pigs in the head and throwing them over the fence onto the manure pile. He said " - Do you want a little Teddy? - and lifted one up by the hind leg. I grabbed the pig in my arms and ran home, I plumped it down on the kitchen floor, where they were eating breakfast. They all laughed and jeered me, but mother - she gave me an appreciative smile that meant heaps to me. Father said " - Where's the auger?" Oh gosh! I soon had the auger home.

I got that little pig on the floor between my legs, and taught him to suck my finger in a tin full of warm milk. I soon filled his belly; and very soon had him weaned. Then I had smooth sailing: no more jeering now. Brindley steer was a year old when I started to ride him. I kept him and my pig in a goose pasture behind the barn, and by the time he was two years I was riding him all over. The pig, singing his little song, would follow along behind, I spent many a happy hour with them, - building Castles in the Air.

I didn't get much to school. I got through the third book, and had a few lessons in the fourth. But at home it was work, work. No let up. Although two sisters were teaching; there wages weren't high, and they helped two others who were going to the Grammar School. And what made it worse Dad lost nearly every blade of grain one harvest by a hail storm, that flattened everything just when he was going to start harvest.

My pig was two and Brindley was three years that fall. And I'd been helping to do the fall ploughing with a yoke of oxen and a grass-hopper plough.

And Oh! How that grass-hopper plough kicked when it struck a stone. My brother had the horses and the big plough.

My dad asked me one day if I'd trade my calf and pig for a spring coalt. "Where's the colt?" I said. "O I'll buy the colt," he said. I told him I'd like to see the colt. He looked hard at me and said, "You little rascal, you're afraid I wouldn't buy the colt."

He bought the colt, and we made the deal. Father sold my calf and killed my pig. I was broken hearted. That pig-killing day was a rough one on me. I saw Uncle John and Dad getting the big sap kettles swung up and the platform with the big pork barrel leaning up against it. The wood, and kindling, and lastly whetting up their big knives, and my brother Johney was helping too. I couldn't stand this, I went over to a neighbors, and tryed to forget. I came home after dark. It was snowing. There was the improvised platform all covered with hair and slush. There were the ashes and embers under the kettles. And leaning up against the cook-house were eight straight rails with a dead pig hanging up by it's hind legs behind each cedar rail. I knew my pig was there. I hunted till I found the pig with a slit ear. That was mine and I cried. I cried with madness and vowed I'd get off the darned old farm. I smelt liver cooking
But the end was not yet. I raised my colt until he was three. I called him Fred. I broke him in,. And I made up my mind that I would sell him first chance and put his price into my head in education.

I had an old red spelling book, and a small dictionary, and I learned every thing in each, down to the latin roots. I sold the colt, one day in town, to a plasterer for One Hundred and ten dollars, took his note for six months at seven per. cent. I told Father and Mother when I got home, and they just smiled and looked at each other.

I knew father was in hard luck. First loosing his barn and chattles, all but the horses and sheep, then folling in a few years a hail storm. And the land becoming leaner each year from continuous cropping. And other expenses, over which he had little control. All 'tended towards weakening his energy. So I, in a weak moment, told mother I wanted to hand over that Note to father; and go away and dig for myself. She said she knew father would be glad to get the Note; but she didn't want me to go away from home so young. I expected that from mother: But I had made up my mind. No farming for me. I didn't mention " University " but that was in the back of my head. I was afraid to even think it for a good many years.

I was fifteen in September and I left in November. Father said, " Let him go, he won't stay long ". Mother felt badly. I got a job in a bake-shop, with two bachelors. Six dollars a month and board. I was cooked all day in bake-shop; and roasted all night sleeping between two fat bachelors. I stood it for month and a week: but was failing fast.- Too much sweating. I bought a double breasted, black pea-jacket, store-made, for Five dollars, and a pair of buckskin moccasins. I went home for Sunday, feeling proud. The first Store-made coat I ever had.

I knew what was in father's head: but I had another job in a grocery store, at eight a month and a vacant room over the store, but board myself. I had to take off the shutters at 7 a.m. & put them on at 9 p.m., Saturday's at 11 p.m.. I had the lamp-glasses to clean, the store to sweep, Then goods to deliver, split the wood for two homes, take care of the horse , and a cow sometimes. Then make my bed and cook my own food. I stood this out for six months, but couldn't save a dollar.

The Bachelors dissolved partnership: so I got my old job at six a month and board.

I didn't want to be a baker. In fact I never relished baker's bread. Had to pull too many half-grown rats out of the sponge nearly every morning.

I worked for this baker for over a year. Got a few clothes and saved a few dollars. After I was away for two years father asked me to come home. My three eldest sisters were married. The fourth one was in the high school. My brother was twenty-one, and father promised some schooling if he would stay till that age. There were only the two younger girls at home to help. So I went home and spent two winters drawing saw-logs. Clear red pine, and sold them for six dollars a thousand. I drew them six miles, made two trips a day - Wind or storm. I worked hard all summer, and we sold out following Spring.

I didn't ask, nor get anything from father. I felt very sorry for him. His hopes and ambitions were gone. His family weren't intended to be farmers. Out of the six daughters four were schoolteachers and the only two sons were Medical doctors. He was proud of us all; He was foiled in his calculations.

After the Auction, and things straightened up I got a job a framing and carpentering. Ten a month. Work from five a.m. to sundown. Lost all wet time and moving. For the last couple of years I was studying a little every time I got a chance. So that summer (1878) I got two days off and wrote on Entrance to High School and passed .

When the winter came I got carpenter work on the railway, and I saved and put in the Bank $29.90 a month. And had two hours a night to study
From here on I took jobs of my own, for the summer. And railroaded during winter months. For a couple of winters I taudht school as a substitute. I gained nothing by school teaching, excepting I had more time left me for study. But that meant a lot to me
By 1884 I had a nice little Bank Credit, so decided to go after my Matriculation. I went to Collingwood Collegiate for two years and passed in everything but Latin Prose: and that had me done! I couldn't register with the University without that. I had failed only by three marks. I got on the train. Went to Toronto, Went up the Hon. G.W. Ross' Office (He was Minister of Education then). I told him my troubles. He asked for my marks, looked at them, smiled, and asked me two questions only. One was -"Was I raised on a farm", and two - "Did I ever teach school". I answered both with Yes! He pulled up to the table. Wrote me a Pass on Latin Prose.

I spent the balance of the day getting registered with the University and the Ontario Medical Council. That night I slept soundly for ten hours. "No tallow-candle lanterns, nor nightmares". Just eleven years since I handed my father that 110.00 dollar Note. It was his anyway. Just a kid's idea of ownership.

I was ready for the University Course at last. I was short about $250 but during my Course I had two summers yet to work and I could earn more that $350 on the railway during those summers. So I was safe to sign up in Toronto Medical School My only brother and I entered together. He hadn't enough to carry him through, but took chances. We had stuck close to each other all along as brothers should. We roomed and ate together, and when we could we organized a club where ten or twelve students would buy our own food and hire a woman and her dining- room outfit. This was splendid for students who wanted to save.

My brother and I worked hard. I was in one show only (theatre) in the three terms, and then I paid a quarter and sat in the "gods".

I worked the two summers on the rail-way and put away $350. I took my M.D.C.M. at the end of the third year. There was a new regulation passed by the Medical Council that a student must wait four consecutive years before trying his final with the Medical Council. That left me in the lurch. I had to go and practise and run the risk of paying a fine; or go back and work at carpentering for another year.

I went to see the Registrar of the Medical Council. I tried to convince him that I should be allowed to write, as I was registered before that regulation was passed. The only thing he said he would do was to keep me from paying a fine. I thought that pretty good and thanked him He told me to locate in some out-of-the-way place where I wouldn't interfere much with Licensed doctors. I went to a small village thirty-five miles from Toronto, in the sand hills of Uxbridge Township. There was no doctor there. Things didn't look very bright to me. But I didn't want to go back on the railroad carrying my M.D. certificate in my pocket. And I had to keep myself primed up for the final Examination with the Medical Council in a year hence.

Moreover, to be candid, there was the best little girl in all the world waiting - Yes, waiting for me for ten years. We got married before the year was up. And I had to pay a fine for practising before the year was up. I wrote to the Register, regarding the Fine and his promise; but he had gone to England on a trip. It took my last and only Fifty dollars.

A few months later I wrote on the final Examination and got through. So I then had my M.D.C.M.:M.C.P.S.O.. And my brother had the same. He went back to our hometown, and opened an Office - which was a mistake. He then, in a couple of years, moved to Wiarton in Bruce County, and eight years later moved to Sault Ste Marie, where he died in 1916 of cancer at the age of sixty one. He took a more active part in political and Municipal Life that I did. Was mayor of Soo for two years.

The little village where I first settled was called Goodwood. It had scarcely enough good land around it to give a doctor more than a bare living. But looking back now over fifty years of Practice I am convinced that the people there were a most kind and cordial class.

When I arrived there with my bride the whole community met us at the Station with the Village Band; and the Band with many of the Citizens, escorted us up to the Methodist Parsonage: and played The Campbells are coming as we marched. We had a fowl supper provided by the Ladies, - had a jolly time getting my wife acquainted with them all.

Although I worked up a very nice little practice it was no place for a young doctor to make his permanent home.

Maternity work and diseases of children were my principle sources of revenue.. Growing tame strawberries, small vegetables, and large families seemed to be the Industry of the village.

My first maternity case were twins, that completed the round dozen in that family, the other ten were girls.

The Methodist Minister was my good Lieutenant; one day he brought me up to make a friendly call on a retired farmer. He received us very kindly He was suffering with a chronic ulcer on his ankle, The Parson, without consulting me, proposed to the old gentleman that I be allowed to take the "case" in hand. He sharply said -"Na,Na,No good doctor would come to these sand-hills to practice". We laughed. He seemed surprised. Didn't know he was giving me a slam. I thought he had one bright idea anyway.

Although our short sojourn in Goodwood was pleasant it didn't satisfy our aspirations. The Preacher's time was up on that Circuit and we felt that ours was about the same.

By this time we had helped to increase the population by one. We had a bright baby girl to take away with us. She is now a woman past middle life; and has a son six ft. one. I have three grandsons that total eighteen ft.

Well we got out. We were sorry in a way; and the people expressed their disappointment too. Wife and babe, also furniture, went on train. I drove across country.

Just as I was leaving a fellow came in and offered me a young colt for his medical account; I took it gladly. I tied to the right buggy shaft so it could trot along on the grass.

I had over 150 miles to travel to reach the little town of Chesley in Bruce County. I knew it only by reputation. My horse and little colt jogged along, leisurely, side by side. Although not acquainted, the horses seemed very happy. When they were hungary I turned off onto the grass for a rest and a mid-meal feed. Sometimes close to an orchard if no one around.

On the fourth day, in the evening, we made our last mile in the midst of a terrific Equinoctial wind and rainstorm. My wife and baby had gone to the Proverbial Retreat Provided, as always, by relations on such occasions.

I spent the first day hunting a house. I found it so profitable I spent the following day hunting a stable. By the second night everybody knew me, and I knew everybody - Even the kiddies on the street knew the new doctor.

The population of the village was seventeen hundred. The farming Country round about was the best ever. I made the fourth doctor. Two in middle life, and one old doctor. The Population was principally German and Scotch, a few other Nationalities.

I was there only a few weeks when I met an Irishman, a good farmer, He gave me a welcome hand, and told me I'd have an uphill trip, and he believed I was either very smart, or a fool to settle in between the two leading doctors. He said while he'd like very much to patronize me, he didn't just then see how he could.

I told him I wasn't smart; but I had good early training by his first cousin who was my preacher when I was a young boy. It wasn't long until I had John Williams and his large family on my list, and my best supporters.

I found the Germans a very industrious and prosperous people, and an easy prey. The other Nationalities also soon fell in line. But the Scotch were hard to hook, but good and lasting when I got them.

I made a practice to never look surprised at results. And always wore a smile when the doorbell rang; even if the caller was a deadhead at two A.M.

In about three years I bought a Corner Lot, across the corner from my strongest opposition. No co-operation in Old Ontario in those days). I built a fine white brick residence, with a slate roof, and a brick stable

I sold my road-horse, and matched-up a team of dappled-bay carriage horses. With them I carried away most all the red Tickets from the Fall Fairs 'round about.

I bought an old hipped horse for night driving. Very trusty. But one very dark night, when I forget my "Dash-Lantern" he run me into a fix. I used to sleep very much on my homeward journey; and this particular night as I was taking my usual nap I was awakened by the stillness. I roused and jumped. I landed on a rail fence and slid down the other side into long grass. My horse frightened at the noise, and made a jump. The buggy wheel was caught on the snake fence and held him.

I made my diagnosis in the darkest night I ever was out, and I soon was on the road again. I led old Trusty for a little way down the road. We soon saw an Electric glow six miles away in town. I got into the buggy again and finished my nap. He wakened me next time pawing at the driveway door.

Do Doctors now get all the thrill that we got with the lantern tied
Upon the dash-board's open side. Napping and trusting good old Bill.

By the time I was in Chesley six years my Practice had exceeded my expectations by double. My opposition across the corner felt it keenly. He said and did some very unkind things. But I just paid no attention, and worked away.

I slept so much on my homeward journeys that I started to have Illusion. One night I ran bang into a woman pushing a baby carriage. Another night I climbed right over two men in a buggy. But all my Illusions vanished before anyone was hurt.

Practicing Medicine in a small town, surrounded by an old staid farming community is a dull place for one with a restless spirit, I unfortunately had a restless spirit. Routine was hard on me.

I thought I saw Money in a Thoroughbred Ranch in Alberta, and prepared myself for the enterprise. I bought two carloads young heifers and bulls. All thoroughbred, short-horn-durhams. I had each one's pedigree. I floored the two cars with two and a half-inch white ash plank, and blocked out white ash double trees, wiffletrees and neck-yokes; I covered the floor with shavings. I put my lively little bunch in on the shavings. Gave two men a free ride to Alberta, for their help. I got a young doctor in on my Practice. And off we went for a two-week's jaunt on a freight train. We unloaded twice, to give the stock their land-legs. We arrived at Old Alberta in two weeks, on Sept 15th 1897.

Then I started to discover mistakes. --- I came in the wrong time of year. The man I engaged to have buildings ready was N.G. He had only the four walls of a log building, not chinked, no roof, no floor, and no hay. He was an English Remittance man. I drove my cattle down to his ranch? I drove them away next day. Found a vacated Ranch, owned by a Yankee, from Dakota. Bought hay for $1.50 a load. And them I sat down to rest and think. It was very cold in the mornings, the air seemed piercing, and it was only September. The prairies looked dreary and desolate Every Rancher that came to see me told me the same story: --"Wrong time a-year boss to bring in them age calves".

They called me the Tender Foot over at the Store. I got the Blues. Did you ever have 'em? I tossed a copper "Heads I go. Tails I stay". Heads-up eight times out of nine. "Now what should I do?  This is child's play." But I had tried it once before and it came right--- Once I was offered a big rise and big pay on the railway, and the Copper told me to turn it down; and I did and went on into Medicine. I never regretted it.

I had $4.000 worth of tender young Thorough Breds on the cold bleak prairie, and winter on my heels. --" and a Tender foot " ---. I decided to go. I had to draw and drive the contents of two car-loads to Innisfail Alberta, to find a good center for a big Auction Sale of Thorough Breds. I had brought out with me a heavy team of mares, harness wagon and Buckboard, Two Collie pups a beautiful big Newfouland. A lot of old Ontario preserved fruit, and honey all in Gem jars; and a lot of household goods, and chickens. I toted all this stuff over the prairies. Three trips a week. My mid-day meal I took at THE LONE PINE. A stopping place for Indian Tribes and later for white men; as there was a flowing spring with good cold water there. By the time I arrived time had marked it's changes. The Tree had fallen: and someone had transformed the trunk into a big Watering Trough,. There was no building and no sign of Life to be seen anywhere. I enjoyed my mid-day meals there - Just thinking, thinking of the past. And gazeing at the various colors of the Rockies lining the Western Horizon, as my good old mares were shaking their heads with the flies and finishing their "Mid-day Meal".

By this time I had all my movables drawn up, The cattle were drove up the last day. Then followed the big Sale. I had it advertized in all directions. The Ranchers swarmed in from all directions. Some of them camping just outside the village. The Auction Sale started at 12 noon sharp. Everything went well first afternoon. Profits soared. I slept good that night.

At noon the next day the Auctioneer took his stand. A great many Ranchers had gone. Things didn't look bright. Stuff was knocked at less. The auctioneer tried with a few jokes, but enthusiasms lagged. I saw a big Indian with two long black plaits hanging down is back. Leather breeches and ornamental jacket. A real Indian and seemed pleasant. I called him aside and told him I had a stove-pipe hat with a five dollar bill in it that was his if he'd wear it all after-noon and make Fun. I told the auctioneer to use him. And he certainly did. In a short time things took on a new life, and by dark everything went, even the old pail that I used at the Lone Pine Watering Place. And I was free. I sold the collie puppies but for the time kept my good Newfouland.

When everything was settled I had $400.00 on the profit side of Profit & Loss Account. Had I broken even I'd been satisfied, for I had heaps of pleasure out of it.

I left Alberta; and my Thorough Bred Short Horns and all behind me and struck over the Rockies for Atlin B.C., a new mining centre, half way up to the Clondyke.

When I arrived at Vancouver I sat in a Hotel just listening to tales of the North. Then I went to Seattle Washington and listened again: I asked no questions- just listened. I came to the conclusion that it was no 50 - 50 up North. It was 1 in a 1000 and then some. So I struck for home and Country.

Home was killing - Not the Patients, but me. So by the day after Xmas, 1900, I was on the Road again, heading for the north end of Lake Temiscaming where the Government and the Settlers offered a bonus to any doctor who would take chances of being frozen or starved to death. I would be the only doctor in Ontario between North Bay and the North Pole. I thought that sounded good.

First night stayed at Toronto: Second night at Mattawa: Third night at Booths Supply Depot on The Kippewaw Lakes In Quebec: Fourth Kelly's Camps, Kippeawa Lakes Quebec: Fifth Night French Village of Ville Marie Quebec: Sixth night at Head of Lake Temiscaming in a New Ontario village of a population of 300, Called Thornlow then New Liskeard now.

Landed at Gordon Creek Off C.P.R. train at noon first day. Spent afternoon on Kippeawa Lakes with a one-horse sleigh loaded with Northern Mail: A french woman and little child. The woman and child in sleigh with blankets and mailbags around them up to their shoulders, we could see only two black heads, and faces. The mother's was the biggest, The baby's the prettiest. Neither could talk English. The driver and I didn't ride much. Too cold. The ice was dangerous. We saw open water in many places. Made one portash. Had to try ice with axe many times, and struck Booth's Camp at 9 p.m.. Had a good supper and bed. I slept in a little cabin in warm blankets, had breakfast and dinner -- No charges Thank you.

We left this Depot at noon with a team of horses and a double sleigh. We had bad ice. We had to lead one horse behind mostly all after noon as the ice was dangerous, and I was left with the horses. The driver put slip nott ropes around their nicks, for fear they should go under. One horse's hind legs went through once. The driver kept ahead trying the ice and giving me signals. About dark we got into the bush, and reached Kelly's Camp at 11 P.M. for a real old lumber-man's supper. Here we met a sleigh load of Native Silver coming down from a small silver mine on the east shore of Lake Temiscaming, up north from Ville Marie. I had a few hour's sleep and started at 5 A.M. with another double team: a little round jolly Irish driver, who had been over the route only once before. Kelly started us off with a lunch in a basket and a Fee of $5.00 for my bed and eats.

We spent all forenoon and half the afternoon on the ice. The reason for all our worry on the ice was we were first on the ice that season and it was a very risky trip.

We reached the northern end of the Kippeawa Lakes about 3 P.M. We had our dinner of frozen bread and salt pork some hours before, and the horses had their oats. Then we nosed our way into the bush, for the last 20 mile trek. We expected to find a hard frozen trail. But 6 or 8 lumber teams going to a northern Quebec Camp had gotten in ahead of us; and they left nothing but mud, water and broken ice to flounder through for about ten miles. In one big slough, about 15 inches deep, the tongue and roller pulled out of the sleigh. The horses marched to the farther shore, and left us sitting in the mud-boat. The little round-bellied Irish man sat and laughed. He then jumped into the mud, wiggled over to shore, got the two long ropes we had for chokeing the horses, - should they have gone through the ice - . He tied the ropes together, and-they were just long enough to reach from horses to sleigh. So I was soon floating ashore.

About an hour after dark we arrived at the eating house. Found men and teams which had preceded us. They had the Inn cleared of grub and a big fat greasy woman and two little black French-men were frying Slap-Jacks. The sweat was running down their faces despite 20 degrees outside. The woman was mixing the batter. We had to wait our turn, with our poor horses standing out in the cold, with frozen blankets thrown over them. They tried to nibble a few oats out of a hole tramped in the snow.

Our last ten miles was over a barren looking waste; and Oh! How that cold keen air from the north hit down on us. 'Twas then my mind ran back to my home in good old Ontario, with fine carriage horses and comfortable surroundings. I was chilled to the bone. I'd been on the trail since 5 A.M., and now its 11P.M. -- We're 5 miles out and I'm sleepy: I must sleep: I told the little Irishman to kick me when he saw the lights of the village, and I slid down under the blankets, and knew no more until I felt a kick, another and another. I grabbed his foot and pulled myself up.

All the hair on the horse's tails, legs, bellies and even their manes were loaded with muddy icey balls. Which was a big contrast to the jolly jingle bells we heard when "Riding in a one-horse open sleigh". The rumble of the ice balls sounded more like a funeral dirge.

Twelve Midnight we were in the Ville Marie Quebec. I went to bed right up over the Bar-room in a hotel. And Oh! The noise and din -- It was shouting, singing, swearing, and laughing. All in French. The only French I knew was in swearing and I heard plenty of that.

The lumber-jacks had come in from the camps and were celebrating. I wandered around Ville Marie the next forenoon, and saw what I never saw before nor since. I was told it was an old custom among the French at the New Year time -- Any man may kiss any woman he meets, irrespective of station or looks, or otherwise
When I left Gordon Creek four days ago I left in a One Horse Open Sleigh. When I landed in Hailybury I came across from Ville Marie on Lake Temiscaming in a One Horse Open Sleigh. All were loaded Mail Bags. I landed in Hailybury at 9 P.M. and was offered a ride around the head of the Lake to Thornlow (now New Liskeard) The snow was deep. The air was keen and cold. The sky sparked with stars. I saw a few lights, only a few. It was near mid-night. I stood alone in the deep snow to watch 1900 and the old Century go hand in hand to their death.

Then I turned to the more practical side of life and hunted a place to sleep. I was told there was no hotel, but the biggest house in the berg was a boarding house. I found that house, and rapped on the door. A kind-hearted looking big woman opened the door and said. "You're the doctor".

I felt better. Had a light lunch and was given a bed in a big open up-stairs where there were rows of beds, but no partitions. I was over in a corner bed with blankets hanging from the rafters to form the Spare Room(?). When I put out the lamp I could see the light from below shining through the cracks. I had gray blankets hanging around me, and under me over, me, and when I wakened up in the morning I had gray blanket hairs in my mouth.

I was wakened in the morning by an Irish voice talking quite loud and this is - Verbatim - what he said --"By gad every dom woman in the hul settlement will be getten sack now. I hare thares a dother come in."

I rolled out. Pulled on my pants and socks; went down stairs to wash and incidentally the see the Gentleman, but he had left.

After breakfast I went out to survey my new Prospect. I wasn't favorably impressed. It looked like a hole surrounded 3/4 by bush and 1/4 by ice. I got onto the highest point I could find, and I counted 32 dwellings, mostly shacks, some few resembled houses. And I counted 32 smokes heading straight up into the clear cold sky. All but one was coming from stovepipes. That one was coming from a cement chimney. So I concluded there were about 30 or 32 families, or not more that 200 souls. Perhaps nearly 300 if the families were large.

This, with the sparsely settled country dotted here and there in the bush did not offer a very bright future. After being there for a few weeks I found too that the people had lived in there so long without a doctor they called him usually when it was too late. This was hard on a doctor in more ways than one.

The Mail came in once a week over the Kippeawa route. During the winter it was brought over from Ville Marie by a Habitaw. He had no English and just dumped the bags on the snow: slid down on the ice again and away he sped. We had to wait a week to answer a letter. In the summer time we got our mail three times a week by steamboat up Temiscaming Lake.

I let a room in a private house. My bed in one corner; my drugs in another; the door in another corner; the stove in the last corner. And I with my table and chair in the middle. I boarded with the family and had to saw and split my own wood.

I didn't do much through the winter, and what little I did was on snow-shoes. Sometimes a bob-tail (wolfe) would follow me for miles but always kept a comfortable distance away. I nearly tumbled over one one night: he was sleeping. I didn't disturb him. I had only my grip with me.

One day in March four of us went out looking timber and game . One of the men brought down three Cariboo. Knocked down one after another on the run.

But the carrying of them was a terror on me. We skinned and quartered them. We had a carry of about six miles. I liked the life. But I'd liked to better had there been about $4.000 a year in it. But it had a different complexion at about $400. So I had to turn my attention to some side issue.

I saw money in Buying Improved Homesteads and Reselling to Newcomers. And I thought I saw money in timbering the 320 acres the Government gave me as a bonus. I took No. 1 first. I cleared on an average $100 a deal and I averaged a deal a month. Then in the second winter I tried the timbering -- A much bigger risk, but managed to clean up about 3 or 4 hundred. It was slippery work. I seized my dump just before it was watered or I'd lost it all.

My Practice was improving as the settlers flocked in. I went out and brought my family in in the spring. It was a delightful trip up the Lake for my little family. They took after their dad in going into the wild places. Watching the steamer jumping boom-logs, and unloading Cargos into Pointers (Lighters). And getting into Pointers themselves to get to shore - One little girl lost her shoe in the mud, but it was all fun to them.

The only place we could find to move into was a board house covered with tar paper and alive with bed-bugs. I knocked around a lot before I graduated, and became acquainted with a great variety of body-crawlers, but that house beat everything. We stood our bed legs in coal oil dishes, and they would crawl up the wall, along the ceiling and then parishute down on the beds.

We got the little marauders under control in a few months; and before winter we moved in to a new house.

We had no sunday school for Methodists. The Presbyterians had, and a church and a Missionary. The Baptists had a Missionary who lived in a small tent down by the water.

The Methodist Missionary undertook to start a Sunday-school, and persuaded me to take charge. A woman offered to teach the girls if I would take the boys. We had an old Organ that was donated from some church in Old Ontario. We had to find and Organist. We found a girl who said she could play the Melodeen and was willing to assume the task and the woman teacher consented to pitch the tune. But I had to find the oldest and well known hymns, as we had no hymn book.

I'm no musician but it would be hard to convince my that the little organist always played the right tune. I'm sure that once she played -- 'We'll not go home till morning.' When we were trying to sing 'Jesus lover of my soul'. The spirit was willing but the flesh was weak.

One dry hot Sunday afternoon the crownland Agent came around and advised me not to hold Sunday- school. He said, 'Look at fire and smoke off there, and the wind coming our way.' Sure enough it was certainly coming our way.

In a short time, we could see the flames jumping from evergreen to evergreen and throwing great tongues of fire high above the trees.

In half-an-hour the village was enshrouded in smoke, and fire was jumping from stump to stump, and embers and sparks were flying in all directions. One house was in flames and other threatened.

Every man, woman and child were working; digging fire breaks in the grass, and carrying water. Our shack was close to the Wabbie River. I got my family out near the river on a spot clear of grass. They helped to carry out many pieces of small furniture: one little girl about six had on her arm a little basket containing two eggs and her Sunday-school papers. They ate their supper there and stayed there most of the night. I kept my boat tied to the shore close by.

There were many settlers cleaned of everything, the buildings and contents. One man took his family, and two little pigs into the well. His dwelling and everything were burned over his head. A few cattle and many fowl were burned. Some people drove their stock to the river or lake. Three houses were burned in the village.

Late in the after noon a man on a white horse came galloping in from Hailebury after the doctor. My cow and horse were lost in the smoke somewhere. He said, 'Get on my horse, and I'll get your's and follow'. I strapped my Obsterctic bag on my back, mounted the white steed, and struck for the burning bush. He called after me, 'If you have to leave the road, give him the line and cling close to his neck.' I soon saw burning trees across the road. I gave him the line and clung to his neck, and shut my eyes as well, and the good old horse did the rest. A man on another came to coach me. I was out of the bush now. He galloped off, and I brought up a close second. I had learned well to ride old Charlie and my little brindly steer long ago.

Soon the cries on a bouncing baby floated out over the air, and I was riding homeward on my own white horse. He was not as good as the other fellow. When he tried to meander around the burning timbers he lost his way. And once the saddle girth broke, and I slid off, saddle also.

But that was nothing. Everyone carried hay-wire to mend breaks in Temiscaming. We wiggled our way around the fires, and landed home a little after dark. The fire had settled some, and the village was shrouded in smoke. Not many slept much that night. Many settlers spent the night on the river banks. Some had to wade out into the water for safety.

The fire cleared much land, but the branding-up was dirty work. The poor men looked blacker than niggars, as they carried the small brands into heaps to burn again.

A man up the West Road shot himself last night. I was sent for in the morning. I drove my Buck- board as far as the roads were passable. I pushed the Buck-board off the road, and put on the saddle. I arrived there in mid-afternoon. I could have made better walking. But riding was more restful, and more romantic.

The man was lying in bed with the revolver in his hand. The poor fellow became discourage. He was trying to put a portable sawmill into a ravine, and became short of help and money. I was Coroner for Temiscaming. So I had to make out my Death Permits, and Reports. He was a stranger up here, and a boarder in this house. It was raining and dark.

We stripped and laid him out. The Mistress of the house changed the pillowcase and made the bed for me.

I didn't just much care for the lay-out, but the only alternative was --- go home in the rain and darkness. I slept well, but could easily have reached out and shook hands from where I lay.

Next morning was bright and sunny. My trip home was very pleasant. Just a road through the bush, with no more than six settlers in the twelve miles.

All my call outside the village were hard, and on an average unprofitable. In fact the people were mostly poor. They seemed to think that my pay should be the same as a laborer's, or a few cents more.

They were having it hard trying to make homes for themselves, I pittied rather than blamed them.

I bought out a lot of disgruntled settlers, and resold their claims. I timbered my own lands. I built and furnished a drug store. Out of all three I made a little.

I must find new pastures -- I advertised in some outside Papers for Soldiers South-African Land Scripts. I was deluged with Scripts for sale. I bought all I had the money for at 50 dollars a script. I located them forthwith, and sold many at from 150 to 300 a Script.

I was doing well, the Dominion government was running a trial line for the Transcontinental west for Lake Attitibe, and the Ontario Government was running their trial (T & N.O.R.) to James Bay. I hired a white Man and an Indian to go north; follow these lines to where they crossed and blanket the Junction with Veteran Script. I located 640 acres, and sat Pat.

Inside of six months I received a notice from the Land and Mines Department that the Government had cancelled my lands and expropriated the 640 acres as a junction Townsite. You may guess that I didn't sleep any that night. Hon. G. W. Ross was Prime Minister now. The last time I went to see him he was Minister of Education.

I hustled to Toronto. The minister Of Lands was from the same County as I was. We went to school together.

He said under the circumstances he felt very badly, and thought I was entitled to compensation. I asked him for 340 acres. I asked for 160 acres. I asked for 80 acres. No good. He said he thought I'd better ask for cash. We finally got down to $20.000. He seemed satisfied at that. I asked one more question: 'Will this be settled before the coming Election?' (that would be soon). 'I'm afraid not' he said. 'Well it's settled now' I said. 'Why do you talk that way Gimby?' he said. I told him that after the next Election Ross would be snowed under so deep there would be no Ross anymore. He said he couldn't do anything until after the Election. So we shook hands and never saw each other again. He is dead a long time now.

I took those four Scripts and planted them on Mining Ground north of Night Hawk Lake. A new Government came into power and made everyone do Government Improvements on all those lands. Which, on account of isolation was impossible on my part.

With the Grit Party expropriating the Town-site, and the Tory Party making me do Government Improvements, which was impossible for anyone to do at the time, I didn't make much out of the Enterprise.

If those Politicians had left me alone (I was breaking no law) it's no knowing how much I might have made. The second locations had some good discoveries of gold on them. But never venture never win. I'll tell you later how another venture turned out.

To go back to the Practice of Medicine. One evening in early spring the ice had left the river, and it was full to over flowing, and some pulp logs were drifting down, three men came gliding downstream, and pulled ashore at the bridge.

They wanted the doctor to go up the river about six or seven miles to see that they thought to be a very sick man. They had a flat-bottom boat. They put me on my knees in the bow, with a lantern tied on the gunwale up near the bow. I was to watch for pulp logs and give signals.

Sometimes it was hard to see the logs in time. If we struck a log head-on or at right-angles it was fairly safe; but an angular blow and a big log would be very dangerous till we either slid off or bumped over it.

We made poor time, as the current was strong, and logs numerous. After two hours, or more we slid into a little notch at the shore; and unloaded. Three big strong lumber-jacks, and the doctor - Poor man.

It was dark, but we took the lantern off the boat. We had two miles more through bush on a narrow trail. not always very dry, and I had only rubbers over short boots. We traveled Indian fashion. I first, lantern-man second, to give the doctor light, they said, and the other two fellows brought up the rear. My feet were wet. It must be 11 P.M. We struck the little clearing, and saw a light. The man with the lantern came up with me. He told me the boat would be at the shore for me in the morning, and I could easily drift homeward until I got in the log-jam. Then take Shanks-mare for the balance of the way.

The poor thin looking woman met me at the door with a smile and a welcome hand-shake. She said 'My man is some better now, but at noon I thought he'd never stand it till night.' Then she wiped her eyes with the corner of her apron.

I glanced around the one-roomed shack. The only one I saw was a man sitting in front of an old high- oven stove in his bare feet. One heel on each corner of the big damper. He was chewing a wad of tobacco. Well, I've heard if a cow chewed her cud she'd always get better. So I hoped this might apply to the humans as well.

My diagnosis was Gall Stones. And daylight proved I was right, for in the morning I could see he was Jaundiced.

I was hungry and sleepy too. The old iron kettle was on the stove and steaming. The woman seemed to hesitate, as she looked at the cupboard and I hesitate to tell what I had for my supper and breakfast, they were the same. - dark heavy bread, Store currants, that mother put into cakes, tea with neither sugar or milk. I slept in the usual bed made by boring holes in the logs, driving pegs in, laying small poles on the pegs with cedar bows for a mattress, and the proverbial gray blankets above, below, and usually around, had a bagful of straw for a pillow. Good-night.

Next morning it was Sunday. There was a slight tinge of green on the White Birch and the Poplar. The Sun was tipping the tree tops along the western border of the clearing. I felt happy. I believed there was something good somewhere in the country for me yet.

I bade the people good-bye. The man told me I'd get my pay sometime, the woman apologized for not having things better for the doctor. I told her to keep up her hopes. She would have a good home here some day soon. She told me they thought that twenty years ago when they moved into Muskoka. And now they are doing it all over again in Temiskaming.

Life is full of disappointments. We require much hope and determination to keep going.

I slipped down along the little narrow trail to the river. I could see the little pulp logs popping along, Making their way to the great Pulp Mills Far Away. My feet were wet, and I was hungry, but they were only the ordinary things that come to us in a new country. I pushed the flat-bottom out and was soon sailing down the river. Raceing with the pulp logs. There was a strong boom across the mouth of the river. So I had to watch the jam and keep close to shore. I went about four or five miles and found my boat jammed up against the bank. So I made my jump and landed safely on shore. I had about three miles to walk and encountered another little trouble. The clay in Temiscaming was white and stigky. So sticky that it would pull the shoes off the horses, and I had rubbers on (or off and on and off again). My hands were soon covered with mud and my clothes were all besmeared with mud too. I had no strings, but I remembered by dad making ropes out of willow twigs. Just what I wanted. I soon made two strong willow ropes. Tied my rubbers firmly on, and went off through the bush like a fawn.

Wasn't I hungary when I got home about 3 P.M. My family had grown to six. That meant that I had eight stomachs to fill three times a day. sometimes nine if we could manage to get a maid to work for a bunch like that.

Then the school a board and tar-paper building 16 by 22 the small children attended fore-noons. Large ones after-noons. The teacher wasn't a young man, and liquor used to come in from Hailebury freely on week ends. We had no hotel in our village yet.

Very frequently the little children sang - just sang all fore-noon, and it was whispered the teacher slept, just slept all fore-noon.

A week after the suicidal case I was called up the same road; about eight miles up and two miles back in the bush. I rode buck-board five, saddle three and walked two miles. I tied my horse, high up, to a tree, so he couldn't lie down, nor get tangled. This was a very pleasant trip out but not so on my homeward journey.

I found two brothers - one 14 the other about 26 or 30 years. Living in a small log shack, with almost flat tar-paper roof (tar-paper roofs should be made steep to prevent leaking). This roof leaked badly. Their bed was made out of poles, and portable, so it could be moved when raining. The elder brother was lying sick with Pneumonia. Been sick ten days. No woman, No help of any kind. When coming in way a partridge sitting on a brush pile. I lifted down the gun, from where it hung on the wall and knocked over the bird. I went over my patient, found both lungs affected, one lung solid, other loosening up a little. Respirations superficial and fast. Temperature not very high. Face a dark palor. Expression anxious. I had a hopeless case - No Oxygen. No Whisky.

I had a Partridge. I plucked it cleaned it cut it up and stewed it. He looked at me sometimes. With the help of the young lad, and a big iron spoon he gulped down some good partridge soup. I'll never forget his look when he tried to say, "Thanks doctor!"

I took the boy back to the settlement with me and paid a quarter for a quart of milk for him, and arranged with a couple to go in a stay with him. They didn't have to stay long. In a few days they carried a carpenter-made coffin and lowered it down in a new grave-yard. Only a few were there to say "Good-by".

The rest of this family came in, from Muskoka, on the first boat. The River was jammed with pulp wood, and the Meteor could not go up to the Dock, had to unload onto Pointers. The cattle and horses through the gangway into the ice-cold water to swim ashore. Rather a cold reception into their new home.

All the Passengers, including this family, came ashore in a pointer. The father came straight to me and grabbed my hand, and said, "I thank you doctor for your kindness to my poor Jim." I saw one little teardrop lying on his cheek. Poor Jim and his younger brother had come in to prepare a home for them.

Silver was found on this man's farm later on. I think they made good on it. I know they Organized a Company and sold Stock on it during the Cobalt Boom.

"My time is not yet." I require a few more times of wet feet, frozen ears, empty stomach; and plastering of Temiskeming clay, to complete my Education.

I had few county calls and I was glad; for they all had a something in them to mar what little pleasure there was in them, and most of them little or no pay.

My next trip was up the Blanche River, in my own skiff. I hired a good oars-man. We had to go down the Bay, around a point, up into another Bay and up the river about six miles; making a round trip of about thirty miles. We had a fine trip in the Bays and up the river. I soon added one more citizen to Temiscaming.

We started homeward before the sun tipped the Western Horizon. Our down trip needed no oars. Just a little steering from the stern. When we got into the Bay it was dark, a few choppy waves were striking the side of the boat; and some clouds around the Horizon. As we got into deeper water the waves became heavier and slapped our light skiff so that it was hard to keep her up against the stiff breeze.

We couldn't just tell how far away, or how near we were to shore. We knew there was one settler some where between the river's mouth and the Point. A streatch of five miles. After zig-zagging around in the Bay for two hours we saw a shore light.

I held the prow of the boat against the light and we soon felt her grating on the pebbles. We were hungry. It was 11 P.M. I jumped out and made my way, in the darkness to the light. The man inside the house was alone and had only half a loaf of bread. I bought that at his own price and we ate it between us standing on the shore. I wanted my man to stay there for the night. He insisted on pulling out and trying to make the point. We pushed out into the darkness, and on the third try we rounded the point and headed north for the mouth of the Wabbi river, but didn't hit it, and found ourselves stuck in the mud.

Then our troubles began. It was the darkness before the dawn. My man stripped, grabbed the bow-line and jumped into the water. He towed me around in mud and water until he slid down into the bed of the Wabbi.

As the Sun was throwing his rays over the Eastern skys were were pulling up the Wabbi, listening to the birds singing. Happy and Hungry.

After paying my oars-man, I had $5.00 for my Professional Services, and eighteen hour's time. I hear someone - "Why didn't he charge more?" - You can't take blood out of a stone.

As I stood on that shore at mid-night, helping to eat the heel of a loaf, I thought of a time 22 years ago, when I stood on the shore of Lake Superior, at dawn. Sharing my loaf with a poor fellow who was stranded and looking work, like myself.

It happened this way. In 1880 old Ontario was dead. Many were looking work and only a few got it. I decided to go up the Lakes. I had only nine dollars. It would cost four to get to the Soo deck passage. No work at either Soos. I was told to walk to Mackinac, sixty miles through the bush, and I'd get work on railway, building from Detroit to Marquette.

I had only $3.15 after paying my bed and eats at the Soo. I decided to pay my $3.00 on boat to Marquette, Leaving me only 15cts to face a cold world with. On the boat I met a nice young farmer lad, looking work and broke. The boat pulled into Marquette at dawn May 24th 1880. We stepped off the boat facing work or starvation. Carrying our carpet bags, with little in them. I had a clean shirt and my Bible in mine.

He stood by the carpet bags while I went up town to spend the 15cts. Then we walked up shore a little way to a quiet spot to dine. As we ate I watched the sun rise over the Eastern Horizon where the sky and waters met. We then lay down on the pebbly beach and slept.

We had work before noon swinging an 8 pound hammer ten hours a day at one sixty a day and board yourself. I soon had a better job building bridges at $1.75 a day. We worked twelve and a half hours and were paid for over time. I opened a Bank account first month. We slept in tents all summer and boarded ourselves.

When I had a little over $150.00 in the Bank the days grew shorter and colder, and I commenced to think of the folks at home. I decided to strike for home. We were about 30 or 35 miles down the right-of-way - but that was nothing on a home-ward journey, with a light heart, So off I struck up the line with my carpet bag hanging on my shoulder on a little stick. I'd soon be twenty one. The line wasn't graded yet but I was told the grading and steel were about 18 or 20 miles distant. About 4 P.M. I saw an Engine and flat cars ahead. I hustled and reached the last car and got aboard just as the engine gave a little " Toot toot " and away we sped. I got into a bed in a house that night, the first in four months. I carried my money in the soles of my socks at night all the way home.

Now I must turn to Temiscaming again, and tell of another memorable trip. It was up the Wabbi on the Ice in March. My call came at 11 P.M. I ran to the barn and gave my horse a feed of oats. I put another feed in the butt of a bag, and filled the bag up with hay. I put it begind my feet in the cutter. I took a mid-night snack. I took a hot brick out of the oven for my feet. We slid down onto the Ice. Horses always travel gingerly on Ice, and sweat easily.

We glided silently up the river. Saving the scrigning of the runners on the Ice, and the music of the sleigh bells. Occasionly a sharp crack from a frosted tree would ring out to tell me " It's a frosty night ".

I was warned to get off the River at the big Pulp-wood Piles; and so I did, for the Ice was looking jjuicy. Caused, I supposed by the heavy dump. My horse seemed to know what I was looking for, As he tossed his head uneasily, too.

My horse scrambled up the bank and wiggled his way through the pulp piles out into the clearing, and across it into the bush. There was no other road so I had no fear of getting lost. I had four or five miles to go to get to what was known as the " Four Corners ". And two miles farther on another trail. I felt lonely. The bush was thick and the timber small. Only an odd pine towering away up towards the pale moon. The road was good and rabbits were lively.

I came a last to the Four Corners. Nothing! Nothing but trees and snow. I'd been here once in the summer time. I got out of the cutter, stepped up to the horse's head. I couldn't hear a sound. The stillness and cold was depressing. I was told to incline a little to my left. I did so and led my horse. Found a trail winding in and out among the trees. I drew the shafts to the centre of the cutter to avoid hitting trees.

I got into the cutter again for the last two-mile stretch. The day was breaking when I saw the clearing. I saw a house almost buried in snow but no stable, So I covered my poor horse up well in the bush, I tramped a hold in the snow and put his oats and hay in it. I got over to the house on a high narrow path, I knocked at the door, pulled the string and stepped in. I hear a voice say - " I'm over here doctor ". She was over there in a corner of an ill-lighted log house chinked with moss. And a loft half covered with rough boards, The floor was dirty. The table was strewn with dirty dishes. The bed was unsanitary.

The woman was very ill. She had a still-born baby ten days ago. There was a woman here then for three days.

My diagnosis was Septicemia (blood Poisening) She has a Tempt. of 103. I asked her if she had any help now, she tossed her head up towards the loft and I glanced up to see four little round dirty faces, with tossed and tangled hair peeping over the edge of the last board in the loft at me. When they saw me looking they popped back.

They reminded me of the swallow's nests under the eves of the big frame barn on the farm years ago when I was a boy.

I didn't know what to do for this poor woman. If I left her here alone she would probably die. If I undertook to take her out where I could take her? The nearest hospital is North Bay. And that would mean a week of hard travel over ice and show. And no one able to foot the bills.

I sat down and wrote explicit orders that any ordinary woman could understand. Then I made a cup of tea and gave it to the woman with a piece of bread. I then put up medicines with careful directions on each.

Then I left to go around by the settlement on my way home to secure a woman and send her that day if possible.

I got nothing to eat, and my poor horse was stiff with the cold. We landed in the settlement long after mid-day as the roads were very heavy. I secured the woman and started her back on foot.

Then I undertook to get my horse and me a good meal. And get on our way home. We got home at 10 P.M. Just 23 hours making a round trip of about 35 or 40 miles. The following fall I was glad to get an order on a store of $5.00 to settle the account in full. Never get rich on that - Ah?

After about two years of hard work and poor pay I started to say some very unpleasant things to myself about myself - Such as " Are you a fool? Why did you leave the farm? Is this all you'r going to get after giving long day of work and long nights of study to get someplace? Is this the place you saught for?." Here trudging through the sticky mud, with an empty stomach, wet feet and sore heart! What kind of a fool are you? Jut a simple one, or a D.--- Fool.

The Ontario Govrnment was building a rail-way up the west side of Lake Temiscaming from North Bay, Intending eventually to extend to James Bay. I was halting between two decisions. Should I stay and watch developments - They might strike something rich in the rocks!. Or should I move to the Soo, where my brother was doing well?.

This hard north country was the worst place in Ontario for a doctor. I had the whole Territory to myself from North Pay to the North Pole. But what had I? Rocks, Timber, Snow, Mud and Poverty. We must have Minerals, or Nothing.

I thought when the 1st boat came in I'd take a run out to the Soo and have a look around. I did so. I was amazed. I hadn't been in Soo since 1880, When I was looking in vain for a job. The Soo was now a booming centre of Industry.

But I longed so for the Wild-Wood. Where I played when in my Child-Hood By a silvery tinted stream.

Many people are confronted so frequently with Decisions. Others seem to slide placidly through life with scarcely a shadow on their path-way. My decisions, or undecisions were my chief stumbleing blocks.

I didn't know what to do! It's hard! I went back to Temiscaming, and on the way in on the boat I heard wild rumors of a great discovery Native Silver on the right-of-way about ten miles south of New Liskeard.

Any man with any sense would have said - I stay, but I didn't!. I pulled out. Fool, Nothing else.

Some months back a bunch of fellows organized a small Mining Company, They sold a few shared amongst the neighbors and put a prospector in the bush for a few months, but he got nothing. I bought 100 chares for $10.00 but I counted nothing on them. Before settleing down in the Soo I took another trip through Southern Alberta When I got on the C.P.R. boat at he the Soo I heard someone call me by my given name from the Captain's Deck. It was my old friend whom I knew years ago, and who rested me off that night when I was pulling rail-way spikes at the Humber.

I went up to the wheel House. He introduced me to the Captain as One of his boys. We had a very pleasant afternoon and evening together. I left the boat next morning at Ft. William, For Ft. Mc Leod.

I didn't stay out there long; the Chinook winds and musquitoes soon drove me off the western Plains. I opened an Office in the Soo, and in a few weeks the C.P.R. doctor here died. I wired to my old friend on the C.P.R. at Toronto, He wired Head Office in Montreal and I received the Appointment in a few weeks.

I couldn't rest in my Office in the Soo and listen calmly to all the news about the wonderful discoveries in the mining aera. No I had to go.

I went and came, and went and came again, and again. I organized two Companies, and two syndicates; I put men in the bush. I put a double shaft down 50 ft. On a calcite vein with cobalt bloom, and traces of silver. I worked as I never worked before. I spend about three-quarters of my time in the Soo and one-quarter in Cobalt.

I found Individual Effort more profitable than Team-work. Some men are like that. What I made I made myself. What I lost I lost in Syndicates. I quit in about ten years with ample means for any ordinary man.

It was next to impossible for me to rest in the Soo with so much going on in the bush, Which I had left and where I was so well acquainted. I could see a good opening in the Soo. But I saw a greater opportunity to make or break, back where I had left.

I divided my attention. Part time Professional; part time Speculative. I bought a lot and built a house close to the foreign settlement. So that I could catch the foreigners and the transients. That was a good move.

At the end of ten years I found myself on Easy Street. And it was no Wild Catting schemes either. It was digging out the silver and selling it, and selling Claims that had some spectulative value.

As the children grew older we sold, and moved to centre of city. I bought a nice residence on Queen St. I spent $ 2.000 changing the architecture and putting in up-to-date offices.

We lived in it only a year when I got, or caught the moving fever again.

This time it was down to Port Perry. On that beautiful Lake Scugog. A lovely Old Home, Owned once by Dr. Sangster. There was seven and a half acres, Laid out in lawns, ornamental trees, fruit trees, shrubs, large and small fruits. An above all a nice Sugar Bush.

It seamed an ideal resting place. Where Swallows fly, and Robins chace. Wach other 'cross the lawn. I found a hidden quite nook. Near-by a little rippling brook. And there I stole at dawn. I lingered in that Sugar Bush. To hear the Robin or the Thrush Warble their Evening Song.

This was my boyhood dream come true. This was the place I used to tell my little brindly steer about when riding him back to the back fields after the cows.

I wasn't rich, but we wanted for nothing. Three Hundred and month was an Income far removed from Eight a month and work thirteen hours a day for that. The people in Port Perry were a very fine class, but we had lost all our old Ontario ways I suppose " We wanted back to Grigsby Station, back where we used to be so happy and so poor ". We wanted the rugged rocks, and tall pines, Where the moose and the caribou range.

We were too young too retire anyway; not sixty yet. When we spent one summer there we got tired of fruit fruit everywhere. We couldn't get anyone to carry it away.

I sold out to Kent the Jewler of Toronto, and before the year was out we were back in the Soo in our home on Queen St. And we spent the Xmas. Tide as though nothing had happened. I made $ 500 on my Port Perry deal which paid travelling expenses.

In 1933 I sold my Queen St. Property to T Eaton Co. Where they now have their stores. My son Dr J.E. Gimby had lived there since he returned from the war. And we had built a cozy smaller home in the east where the aristocrats live.

We live close to the shore of the Old St. Mary's River. So close that we can hear at time, the dogs barking over in Uncle Sam's Land. But their bard is a friendly one.

We can sit on our back lawn and see the Traffic of two great friendly Nations passing up and down the River.

Before this year is out we'll each have reached our eightieth year, and I have already passed by fiftieth year in Practice. I stepped out of my office 1st of March and my son took it over. This is also our Golden Wedding Year.

Dr. Gimby included a page of Reminiscences and two 'Supplement' pages. I have made no attempt to integrate these into the rest of the narrative.


(A)There are times in everybody's life when certain events stand out clear and above all other events; or periods.

In our old log house on the farm we had a loft, where we children used to play on cold or stormy days. There was no stair-case. Just a short ladder, and a round hole in the loft floor. It was a splendid place to play, if we didn't kick up too much dust or noise. Sometime we'd forget and then we would make the duct fly and the rafters ring. Then mother's head would appear up the hole - Not to scold, just to gently reprove us, and say " the noise made her head ache; or some such expression. Then getting down through the hole required skill and agility for fear we'd kick the ladder over.

(B)I promised my cousin once if he and the teacher came to grips I would attack on his account. I didn't. He wanted to know why. I told him, when I saw her leg down through the hole in the floor, and he had her by the wool - her hair was wool like a niggar. I thought my help wasn't required.

This teacher was a daughter of the tavern keeper at the corner: and she was a terror with the blue-beach gad. She wore hoops. If a child pulled it's hand back and the gad came down on her hoops it would make the dust fly, and her mad. One stroke of the gad for every miss-spelled word. She'd mark it on the black-board for fear of missing a stroke.

(C) When I got my new boots on the wrong feet, when the barn was burning down. I thought I was going to be burnt to death.

(D) When I owned a black pig and a brindly steer. I thaught I was a Million-heir.

(E) When I gave my father the $100.00 I thaught I was a great Philanthropist.

(F) When I went home with my first Store-made pea-jacket I was proud.

(G) When I passed my Examination into High School I was thankful, and it gave me a peep into the future.

(H) When Hon. G. W. Ross Minister of Education (Afterwards Prime Minister) passed me in Latin Prose, gave me a warm shake-hands, and wished me well, I said - THANK YOU! And stepped out into the cold world feeling a warm place in my heart for the Hon. G. W. Ross. and a stronger determination to go forward.

(I) That day I Registered with the University And Ontario Medical Council, and signed up with the Toronto Medical School. I then paid a $5.00 deposit and then carried back to my little dingy room on Sackville St. a bundle of human bones rolled up in paper under one arm, and a scull rolled in paper under the other. I was weary, and a little nervous perhaps. I should have gone to bed and slept.

I sat up till midnight and studied the bones in Gray's Anatomy; and the scull sat on my table grinning at me. I went to bed. Soon I found myself sitting up an trembleing. I'd been dreaming the owner of the bones was after me.

The next morning, though tired, I was happy. I had no fear of the future, and the Goal was in sight. Three terms in school, and two summers on the Rail-way would complete my Course. Although I had to knock around and travel may a rough path it was all an education, and fitted one for harder tasks ahead. And prepared one to mingle and sympathize with the great majority in life's pathway.

I was cognisant of one fact, e. g. When I got through school I wasn't through studying; and I was well trained to carry that on all the way through life.

Supplement No. 1

In our first house on the Farm there was a loft Very few went up there. It was a hard place to get up to. There was a round hole cut in the floor just big enough to slide through if one was careful, 'cause we used to say the hole was Nickedy. The circumference had been bored 'round with a small auger, and centre knocked out. It certainly was " Nickedy ". I remember it well, as up in that loft was our play ground on wet or stormy days. We'd make the rafters ring. Mother would call up through the hole - Children - Children; You'r knocking dust down over everything. We had a small ladder to get up and down on. We had to watch our step getting down.

Mother was too kind. She scarcely if ever slapped a child. But I remember many motos she taught us at her knee - Kind words will never die, No never die!

Once, and only once, an old Irish woman whos husband kept the tavern down at the Corner, came up to our place. She was sitting trying to make herself agreeable, talking to mother she spyed a picture on the wall of Christ Blessing Little Children. She said " Mrs Jamby who is that man? I think I know his face; "Mother said " Why Mrs Brown that is Christ Blessing Little Children". Mrs Brown said - " Poor man, He was always fond of Childrer, I way his Pictur in Ireland wen I was a wee wee gurl.".

When I was a small boy I was very fond of having a stick-horse A broom handle was my choice, If I couldn't get that I went to the bush and cut a stick. Father kept his grain-cradle through the winter hanging up high in the summer cook-house - For the sake of the younger generation I'll tell you that the cradle was our Harvester in those Olden Days. The Cradle replaced the Sickle still further back.

Well when father was away to town I looked very hard at those cradle fingers, and thought what a dandy stick-horse one of them would make. There were four, about three ft. long well braced up to the snathe by small round wooden rods. Quite and ingenious piece of workmanship. Dad could make the whole thing. Just give him the snathe and blade. To me, he was the smartest man in the world. Well I'm drifting!

To get back to my covetousness I spyed the cradle-fingers. Dad was away. He'd never look up at that cradle till next harvest The temptation was too much. I started to dismantle the cradle. I twisted and broke the braces and soon was straddle-legs the fourth finger. Before Dad got home I had my new horse hid away in my stable in the fence corner.

I'll never forget the day when dad saw that broken cradel. Didn't I get trimmed. He took off his leather belt, took hold of my left hand. I ran round and round. About twice every round that belt came down on my upper legs, and I would jump. As soon as I both jumped and squeeled he quit. It's over seventy years ago; but I remember he seemed as much overcome as I was.

I watched him putting that finger in, but not very close up. It took him a long time. First the drawing-knife then his jack-knife and lastly broken glass to scrape and smooth everything up. It was a very fine mechanical job to put a finger in a cradle with only a few tools. Looking back now I'm surprised father let me off so easy.

Father and I had a large team of general-purpose bay horses with white faces (not clydes). They were 16 - 5 hands high. We called them Charlie and Nell. Charlie was quiet but Nell would bite and kick. When any one had a long trip to make Charlie was the horse to go. With a foalded quilt or a saddle I made many a mile on Charlie. I arrived one day, home on charley with a little black puppy. His head and two front paws sticking out of my coat pocket. I called for help and father came. He laughter. I supose I made a funny picture sitting up there on a patch-work quilt with a pup hanging half out of my side pocket.

Father lifted me down off old Charlie and helped me to pull the pup out of my pocket. He looked at him and said " - What's his name "? I was ready and piped up " Tray "- So far so good: but getting a new pup was a matter of strategy in my early days at home. I could manage two, but when it came to three I had to prove to all concerned that number 3 was a lost dog and hungary, and I'd try and find his home.

My little black puppy was half spanial, he grew up to be a beatiful dog with long glossy black wavey hair. Everyone liked Tray. He lived fifteen years, Mother said he wasn't the same dog after I left home.

One night when I was about twenty five I went home to spend Sunday. I did not meet Tray at the gate as usual. Mother's first words were tray is sick ". I went and found him on his bed. He mumbled something to me and licked a little milk out of my hand. I covered him with an old blanket and in the morning he was dead. I buried him wrapped in the same blanket by the little gate in the flower garden.

As soon as I got a home of my own I got a spanial dog. Spanials were my choice. Dog Loveing runs in families. I have seven children, and each one has a dog; and they are just as fond as I was of dogs.

I was working on the Railway I think it was in 1879. I was helping to build a turn table at Owen Sound, I was sent down to Orangeville to help widen a narrow guage to a wide guage. Our gang had to work down over the Caledon Hills to the Humber, where there was a big railway camp We arrived at the Humber at midnight. My job was pulling spikes with a heavy claw-bar - a pretty had task for a light-weight. The C.P.R. gave a midnight meal there to all the men. The meal consisted of bread, cheese and whiskey. I was a stranger to most everyone. The Grog boss, with a pail and a tin cup went around twice during the meal. The first time he came to me I said " No thank you ", He came the second time just when we were finishing. I Said " No thank you again " - Tut me bie yel never stand it till the mornin ".

I didn't think anything of the incident; as I never drank nor smoked all my life. but when I got up to go out a man tapped me on the shoulder and said, in a kindly way, " What are you doing tonight " I said drawing spikes. He walked along with me and asked my name and a few other questions. he had a railway lantern and said " I'll stay a spell with you ". He stayed till daylight and rested me off once.

The last rail was pushed out and the old Toronto Gray & Bruce was the Canadian Pacific Ry.; Having a standard guage. My new acquaintance was Mr Johm Wanless Superintendant of Construction. He gave me an order for my keep till Monday morning, and told me board the train for Toronto - It was now Sunday morning - and come back on monday morning to Orangeville. When I left the train at Orangeville he was the first man I saw. He spotted me at once and asked me if I would like to work for him to go back to Owen Sound and tell my Boss that I was coming to Orangeville. My Boss said damn it. "That's his old trick when I get a good man". That's the first time I knew I was a good man. But some years later Mr Wanless told me it was my refusal to take that drink of grog that night in the old boarding camp that brought us together.

He asked me if I was going to stay on the Railway. I told him No. I was heading for the Medical School if I could ever make the grade. He told me to come to him when I needed help during my course. A job would always be waiting me. And so I did. I was working on the Railway six months previous to hanging out my M.D. Shingle.

I tell this little experience particularly to boys and young men, and it gives me pain at this date to have to include the girls, and young women too. We know not who is taking notice of us always. That refusal in the dingy camp meant much to me during the next four or five years.

Included in the autobiography papers is a short poem(?).

Soo April 13 /39

I am hustleing for fear
of my eyes. They are going
slowly and surely.

Bob went home today. Jack
a few days ago.

May says she'd fight now
If anyone tried to take
Her little Johny Austen.

The snow is going quietly.

We've not been out of city yet.

We have a new girl????

Our old girl was to be married
to day to a soldier across the
river. He didn't turn up.


Love to all,

From dad

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Last revised March 4th., 2006. Comments to: E. A. Young