Robert James Deacon Sr.

Settler of township lots: Lot 15, Conc. 8, Stanhope

Location: Map point is the approximate location of this 87 acre lot on Deacon Trail east of Old Mill Road on the east shore of Halls Lake. (Shalom By The Lake). Also includes the island in Halls Lake.

Land acquisition:

  • 1863 Lands Liable to Taxation: Township of Stanhope Patent Register - 57 acres to Daniel J???????; 1879 to William J Maidens (not in AH Family Tree).
  • 1898 Patent from The Crown. Ontario Land Parcel Register - Stanhope (Image 74).

Other land:

  • Lots 16 & 17, Conc. 8, Stanhope - 1907 (80 & 15 acres) from Edwin Johnson for $250 each. Ontario Land Parcel Register - Stanhope (Images 113 & 153).
  • Lot 15 Conc. 9, Stanhope -
    - 1876 Lands Liable to Taxation: Township of Stanhope Patent Register - 86 acres to William J Suiter.
    - 1899 (100 acres) Patent from The Crown. Ontario Land Parcel Register - Stanhope (Image 168).

Dates of residency:

  • 1879 Birth of Son Alexander Deacon (1879–1968) Haliburton
  • 1881 Census of Canada, Stanhope: Robt & Margt. Jane and son Alex, no location - caretaker, lumber depot
  • 1890 Stanhope Voters List: Robt. Deacon, owner, Lot 15, Conc. 8
  • 1891 Stanhope Voters List: Lot 15, Conc. 8
  • 1901 Census of Canada, Stanhope: Robert & Margret F Deacon with 8 children at Lot 15, Conc. 8
  • 1901 Stanhope Voters List: Lots 15 & 16, Conc. 8
  • 1903 Business Directory, Stanhope: Robert Deacon, Halls Lake, Lot 15, Conc. 9
  • 1903 Stanhope Voters List: Robert Deacon, farmer, Lot 15, Conc. 8 & Lot 15, Conc. 9
  • 1911 Census of Canada, Stanhope:
    - Robert & Margarett Deacon at Lot 15, Conc. 8, Stanhope
    - Alexander Deacon, son at Lot 16, Conc. 8, Stanhope
  • 1911 Stanhope Voters List:  Lots 15 & 16, Conc. 8 & 9
    -  William (Thomas?) Deacon, son? was listed at Lot 15, Conc. 8 as laborer
  • 1911 Stanhope Post Office List: Rob Deacon Alex Deacon & Wm Deacon (sons?), Halls Lake
  • 1918 Stanhope Post Office List: Rbt Deacon & Wm Deacon, Halls Lake
  • 1921 Death: Lot 15, Conc. 8, Stanhope. Occupation: Lumberman; shantying & driving river

Interesting facts: From Earliest Land Owners of Halls Lake region - 'Deacon' Homesteaders in Haliburton

Between 1879 and 1896, ten children were born to this couple in Stanhope Township. At least one child, Annie Agnes Deacon, is recorded as having been born at 'Halls Lake'. The Halls Lake property was not granted to Robert and Jane Deacon until 1898. It is understood that the prominent stone home on this property was not constructed until that year. Perhaps this Deacon family had actually occupied the Halls Lake site prior to the land grant, or they may have lived elsewhere within Stanhope Township.

Originally, settler Robert James (Sr.) Deacon was issued 'Free Grant' to 57 acres of 'broken' lot 15 in the 8th concession of Stanhope Township. This property included the single island located in Halls Lake. In the following year, 1899, Robert Deacon was also issued by free grant, the 86 acres of lot 15 in the 9th concession. In 1907 Robert purchased the adjacent 95 acres to the east in Concession 8. Thus by 1907, Robert James Deacon was the owner of 238 acres.

Robert James Deacon also purchased property on the western shore of Halls Lake. In 1909 he purchased the south half of Lot 8, Concession 7, as well as the whole of Lot 9, Concession 7, from the original Patented owner Benjamin Trott. However, eight years later in 1919 Robert sold these lands to the adjacent landowner Robert Oliver. The circumstances that prompted this purchase and subsequent sale are not known.

Most of the Deacon lands of concession eight were level and unbroken, and could be converted to farming lands with relative ease. However the parcel to the north in concession nine was considerably more rugged, and with only a thin soil veneer, may have been reserved for pasture, or fuelwood.

Twenty-three years of developing the Deacon Homestead may have taken its toll on the aging Robert James Deacon for in 1921 he passed ownership of the entire farm to his unmarried son George who continued to farm the family homestead. A photograph shows evidence that the lower portions of Deacon's Hill were used as pasture. The lakeside of this lot was fenced with a typical split cedar rail fence, presumably to retain the enclosed animals. A barbed wire line was strung along an east-west 'draw road' that bisected the lower reaches of the hill. The rugged upper reaches of Deacon's Hill were likely reserved as a source of firewood, game animals, and wild berry crops. There is scant evidence of use of the upper portions of Deacon's Hill, although two stone piles have been located in an area that borders an isolated segment of the maple/oak forest.  Source: Halls Lake, It’s History, Geography, Geology, Mythology and Genealogy by Dave Bulford, 2001. Pg 18

Deacon Hill occupies the entire western half of Lot 15, Concession 9 of Stanhope Township.

In his 1966 Collection of Sketches, "Early Settlement", Clayton Rogers states that "the reasons for the influx of early pioneers is quite varied. Robert Deacon came in from Peterborough - representative from a bank there - to look after the closing out of a logging outfit that had gone into bankruptcy - settling at Little Hawk Lake during the term of the winding up proceedings, then after looking over the local territory took up lots between Hall's Lake and Hawk River, farmed and lumbered there for years and is one of the better Lake Shore properties of the area. It is now [1960s] owned and operated as The Homestead by the daughter, Mrs. Emma Ackerman."

According to Bulford‘s research, in 1898, Robert James Deacon (Sr.) was granted 57 acres along the east shoreline of Halls Lake, a property that included the single island associated with this lake. Deacon continued to acquire property and by 1907 he owned about 150 acres suitable for light agriculture, 70 acres of rugged upland forest, approximately a kilometre of fine sandy beach frontage, as well as the island. He too built a large stone home that stands today, occupied, after 100 years. Source: Dave Bulford. Tales of the Halls Lake Area. April 5, 2005

Preceding landowner: The Crown

Succeeding landowner:

  • Lots 15, 16 & 17 Conc. 8 and Lot 15, Conc. 9: 1921 George Deacon (son, b. 1886) for $2,000.
  • Lot 15, Conc. 8: 1922 W. K. Hewitt B&S; various others including 1927 Eugene & Emma Ackerman, 1928 Victor McBrien (island), 
  • Lot 16, Conc. 8: 1924 Eugene & Emma Ackerman

Link to Settlers of Algonquin Highlands family tree

  • Robert Deacon, b. Nov 1834, Perth, Ontario d. 8 Apr 1921, Stanhope (Age ~ 86 years). COD: Chronic hypertrophy of prostate with cystitis. Buried: St Stephen's Cemetery
  • Margaret Jane Sisson, b. 19 Jul 1856, Peterborough, Ontario d. 08 Feb 1928, Haliburton (Age 71 years). Buried: St Stephen's Cemetery
    • Thomas Sisson, b. 13 Mar 1821, England d. 9 Nov 1907, Guilford, Age 86 years)
    • Jane Wilkinson, b. 12 Apr 1819, England d. 12 Jan 1891, Cavan, Durham, Ontario, (Age 71 years)
  • Children:
    1. Alexander Deacon, b. 12 Nov 1879, Stanhope, d. 20 Jan 1968, Lindsay, (Age 88 years)
    • 1903 Stanhope Voters List: Alexander Deacon, farmer, Lot 16, Conc. 8
    2. Letitia Jane Deacon, b. 22 May 1881, Stanhope
    3. Mary Jane Deacon, b. 25 May 1881, Stanhope d. 24 Nov 1913  (Age 32 years)
    4. Robert James Deacon, b. 20 May 1883, Haliburton, d. 1969  (Age 85 years)
    5. William Thomas Deacon, b. 11 Feb 1885, Stanhope, d. 21 Jul 1981  (Age 96 years)
    6. George Deacon, b. 14 Jun 1886, Halls Lake, d. 06 Mar 1971  (Age 84 years)
    7. Agnes Annie Deacon  b. 28 Dec 1889, Stanhope,d. 11 Jul 1933, Emily, Victoria, Ontario, (Age 43 years)
    8. Margaret L Deacon, b. 25 Sep 1892, Boskung,  d. Jul 1947, Ontario, Age 54 years)
    9. Emma Letitia Deacon, b. 30 Nov 1896, Stanhope, d. 15 Nov 1959, Ontario, (Age 62 years)

Deacon Family Homestead, Halls Lake. View from Deacon Family home, later purchased by daughter, Emma Letitia Deacon and husband Eugene G. Ackerman. Source: wildwillows1960 originally shared this on 11 Jan 2009

Deacon Family Home, Halls Lake, later Ackerman Home. Souce: wildwillows1960 originally shared this on 11 Jan 2009

Left: Obituary, Lydia Coulter Scrapbook #1, page 16. Right: Margaret Sisson. Source: Joanna Franchino originally shared this on 04 Oct 2014