Thomas Godwin

Settler of township lots: Lots 8 & 9, Conc. 7, Stanhope

Location: Map point is the approximate location Lot 9, Conc. 7 at the north corner of Hwy 35 and Buckslide Road.

Land acquisition: Lot 8 & 9, Conc. 7 purchased  from Benjamin Trott in 1883. Ontario Land Parcel Register - Stanhope (Images 30 & 38).

Other land: 

  • Lot 8, Conc. 6 purchased from Joshua Davis in 1874 and sold it to Arthur Hewitt in 1900. Ontario Land Parcel Register - Stanhope (Image 22).
  • Lot 17, Conc. 11 on the 1911 Stanhope Voters List & 1911 Stanhope Post Office List (Thos Godwin, Glamorgan). East side of Kennisis River south of Big Hawk Lake. There is no page for this lot in the Ontario Land Parcel Register - Stanhope.

Dates of residency:

  • 1877 Marriage: Thomas GODWIN, 30, farmer, England, Stanhope, s/o William GODWIN & Ann BAILEY, married Ann DAVIS, 34, England, Stanhope, d/o Philip DAVIS & Mary FOOTE, witn: Caleb DAVIS of Stanhope & Emma M. BERT? of Minden, 17 Feb 1877 at Minden. Source:
  • 1881 Census of Canada, Ontario / Peterborough East / Stanhope, Sherborne & McClintock / Page 18, Family 105. Age 28 on this census. Surname recorded as Godman.
  • 1883 Stanhope Voters List: Thomas Godwin, tenant, Lots 11, 10, 11, 8, 9, Conc. 6, 7, 7, 7, 7.
    - this settler is mentioned with as being on the voters list but with no location. Source: In Quest of Yesterday by Nila Reynolds. pg. 312
  • 1890 Stanhope Voters List: Thos. Godwin, onwer, Lots 8 & 9, Conc. 7 & Lot 8, Conc. 6
  • 1891 Stanhope Voters List: Lot 8, Conc. 6, and Lots 8 & 9, Conc. 7
  • 1893 Stanhope Directory: Thomas Doowin, Boskung Lot 9, Conc. 7
  • 1899 Stanhope Directory: Thomas Godwin, Boskung Lot 9, Conc. 7
    - Son William George Godwin was listed at Lot 8, Conc. 6
  • 1900 Death of Wife Ann and Son William George Godwin at Lot 9, Conc. 7, Stanhope
  • 1901 Census of Canada, Stanhope: Thomas Godwin with 2 children at Lots 8 & 9, Conc. 7
  • 1901 Stanhope Voters List: Lots 8 & 9, Conc. 7
  • 1903 Business Directory, Stanhope: Thomas Goodwin, Boskung, Lot 9, Conc. 7
  • 1903 Stanhope Voters List: Thomas Godwin, farmer, Lts 8 & 9, conc. 7
  • 1911 Stanhope Post Office List
  • 1911 Census of Canada: Durham
  • 1929 Death: Fraserville

Interesting facts:

Thomas Godwin donated part of Lot 8, Conc. 6 for St. Stephen's Church. John Hewitt recourts: "Mr. Godwin had a very sad experience when his son fell off the crib at Horsehoe Lake one night and drowned; he was the first person to be buried in the present Cemetery." Source: Lakes of Haliburton Which Form "The Island", Haliburton County Echo, 1971

In 1875 Thomas Godwin married Miss Anne Davis. While working on a logging crib in 1899 their son William was drowned; Mrs. Godwin did not long survive him. Two years later, Godwin remarried and moved to Millbrook. During his lifetime, Godwin also operated a saw-mill and a cheese factory; he donated the land for St. Stephen's church and cemetery -- it is only fitting that this is his last resting place. (Source: In Quest of Yesterday by Nila Reynolds. Published by The Provisional County of Haliburton, Minden, Ontario 1973 p. 313) Note: Death registrations of Ann and her son William record that William died in June 1900, three months later than his mother.

From Watchman (1888 ), 22 Jun 1899, Hall's Lake - Stanhope News: The Stanhope cheese factory owned by Mr. Godwin was opened for the season on June 13.

Thomas Godwin's Obituary Source: Lydia Coulter Scrapbook Collection - Book 1, Pg 29
There entered peacefully into rest on Thursday, Dec. 5th, 1929 at Frazerville, Ont, one of the early pioneers of Stanhope, in the person of Thomas Godwin. Although the late Mr. Godwin had not enjoyed the best of health for some little time just prior to his death, his sudden passing away came rather as a shock to his relatives and friends. It is only about two months ago that he visited relatives here.

The deceased was born in  an old Anglo-Saxon family in 1853 at Longburton, Dorsetshire, England, where, as a boy, he chummed with our blacksmith and friend, John Welch of Minden. As a young man he came to Canada and settled on a bush farm at Hall’s Lake, going through all the hardships of a pioneer life. In 1874 he married Ann Davis and they had two children, William, who was accidently drowned in Hall’s Lake, while working on the crib on the log-drive some thirty years ago, and Elizabeth now Mrs. Charles Hewitt, of Best Station,  near Peterboro, Ont. Their mother Ann deceased him in the year 1899. In 1901 he was married to Rhoda Davies, and several years afterwards he, his wife, and two children (twins) moved to a farm near Millbrook, Ont, afterwards moving again to Fraserville. Prior to this the late Mr. Godwin had been engaged not only in farming but also operated a sawmill and cheese factory.

He was of a very kind and amiable disposition, a good neighbor and respected by all who knew him. Throughout his life he was a member of the Anglican Church, having donated the land whereon is built St. Stephens Anglican Church, Boskung. For years he was a warden in this little stone church, and a very active worker.

The funeral was held on Saturday, Dec. 7th the body having been brought by train to Gelert, and thence conveyed by hearse, in charge of Mr. John Welch, his boyhood chum, to St. Stephen’s Church, Boskung, where interment was made.

In his 1966 Collection of Sketches, "Agriculture", Clayton Rogers writes about the importance of surplus agriculture in bringing in much needed dollars. "As many of the settlers were from the old land, and cheese a staple food, their interest turned to the manufacture of cheese. At some time about 1885-1888, a factory was erected on Lot 9, Conc. 1, Stanhope near Moorefield Acres. Machinery was installed and a good quality cheese was made for quite a few years. The project was managed on a co-operative basis all patrons being share-holders. The cheese was sold in Lindsay at the board sales and distribution made to several patrons. Among the records of payments for the year 1890 I find the following: Jno. Crawford (Bobcaygeon Road) $12; Hugh Coulter (Bobcaygeon Road) $10; Geo. Hewitt, Boshkung, $9.13; Thos. Godeson $31.31; Thos. Wells - Peterson $20.88; Noah Baily - Birch Lake $21.95; Clare Sisson, Carnarvon $11.44.

Read THE OLIVER FARM, a brief history 1871-2002.

Preceding landowner:

  • Lot 8 Conc. 6: 1874 Joshua Davis
  • Lot 8 & 9, Conc. 7: 1883 Thomas Godwin

Succeeding landowner: 

  • Lot 8 Conc. 6: 1900 Arthur Hewitt; 1921 Allan Hewitt; 1926 Alexander Hewitt

Link to Settlers of Algonquin Highlands family tree

  • Thomas Godwin, b. 1852, Longburton, England d. 5 Dec 1929, Fraserville, Ontario, (Age 77 years) Buried: St. Stephen's Cemetery
  • Family 1. Ann Davis, b. Abt 1836, England, d. 15 Mar 1900, Stanhope, (Age ~ 64 years). Cause of death: Apoplexy; sudden death
    1. William George Godwin, b. 2 Jan 1878, Stanhope, d. 7 Jun 1900, Stanhope, Age 22 years). Drowned in a logging accident in Halls Lake.
    2. Elizabeth Ann Godwin,  b. 7 Oct 1879, Stanhope,d. 1953  (Age 73 years). Buried: Stanhope (Boshkung) Pioneer Cemetery
  • Family 2. Rhoda Davies, b. 12 Aug 1869, Wales d. 19 Mar 1945, Cavan, Ontario, (Age 75 years). COD: Stomach cancer. Buried: St. Stephen's Cemetery
    • John Davies, b. Abt 1829, Wales
    • Hannah Jones, b. 10 Oct 1833,  Wales  d. 17 May 1911, Stanhope, (Age 77 years)
    1. David Arthur Godwin, b. 09 May 1903, Haliburton, d. 20 Jan 1985  (Age 81 years)
    2. Florence May Godwin, b. 09 May 1903, Haliburton, d. 28 Oct 1981  (Age 78 years)

Photo 1: House was originally a Godwin house Lot 8, Conc. 6. Photo is from 1926-1929 when Allen Hewitt owned it because the photo came from Mabel Hewitt. Ben & Ether Harrison house as Peter knew it in 1954. Source: Peter Hewitt’s Photo Collection ‘Now B Harrrison House'

Photo 2: Florence and David Godwin, twin children of Thomas Godwin and second wife Rhoda Davies - Stanhope Museum Photo Collection 006.02.115