C. Dunbar has allowed me to present this information on the death and
life story of an early Ontario pioneer, her great-great-grandmother,
Mrs. Bridget Manion, nee Wolfe.
THE MOUNT FOREST CONFEDERATE
Thursday, November 27, 1930
Published at Mount Forest, Ontario
MANION; At Cedarville, at the home of her son-in-law, Mr. Alex Kerr,
Bridget Wolfe, widow of the late John Manion, aged 94 years, 10 months
and 27 days.
The sympathy of this community is extended to Mrs. Alex Kerr Jr. in the
loss of her mother, the late Mrs. Manion.
THE MOUNT FOREST CONFEDERATE
Thursday, December 4, 1930, page 7
Mrs. John Manion
On Friday evening, November 21, at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Alex
Kerr, Cedarville, there passed away one of the very oldest residents of
these parts in the person of Mrs. John Manion. She had reached the
great age of almost 95 years. Her maiden name was Bridget Wolfe.
On the following Monday her body was laid to rest in St. Patrick's
Cemetery, Proton. The beautiful floral tributes and spiritual offerings
showed the love and esteem in which she was held by her children and
neighbors. Requiem High Mass was offered by the Rev. Father Callahan.
The pallbearers were six grandsons: Vincent Hollis, Damascus; Martin and
Lawrence Manion, West Luther; Uriah Manion, Minto; Phillip Hollis,
Stratford and Glen Stock, Detroit.
Mrs. Manion was the mother of fourteen children. Four predeceased her.
The living are as follows: Mrs. Anna Byrne, San Francisco; Mrs. Ed
Hollis, Stratford; Michael, Stratford; Mrs. Michael Brazill and Mrs.
Frank Stock, Detroit; John of Alberta; Thomas of Saskatchewan; Patrick
of West Luther; Mrs. Wm. Hollis of Coburg; and Mrs. Alex Kerr of
Cedarville. There are 52 grandchildren and about 60 great
Following is a story of her life as told by her to one of her
I was born in the County Limerick, Ireland in the year 1835. We lived
in a great house along the River Shannon. From the garden wall we could
sit and watch ships pass out bound for the Land of Promise, Plenty, and
Peace, America. The sea used to fascinate me and the tides were always
a source of wonder. I had seven brothers, four of them died before we
left and the three remaining, the oldest, came to America with us. I
was the only girl.
My father came to America two years before my brothers and me. The
Georgiana, the boat we sailed on, left the city of Limerick and landed
at Quebec forty days later. A year later my older brother came here and
was seven weeks on the Atlantic. We were giving up all hopes of ever
seeing him again. When my father saw him coming down the road he did
not recognize him. He said to mother, "there is a green horn coming.
I'll bet he has news of Patsy, my lost son, for me." When he saw it was
Patsy he called him the one who fell from heaven.
We remained in Quebec a week and then went to Montreal and from there by
boat to Hamilton. At Hamilton, we secured the horses which had come on
the boat with us. We then drove to Guelph in one day. The roads there
were good at the time. Our men helped to build the first railroad
through Upper Canada for the G.T. Railway Company. From Guelph we moved
up to West Luther as soon as the railroad was finished.
Our neighbors were scarce at that time. I had fourteen children and I
raised all of them in a cradle that looked like a sap trough. I have
walked to Guelph several times, a distance of forty-five miles with no
road, but the trees were chopped to mark the way for the travellers.
Those were the good old days.
Bill Martin, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada.
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