A Peek Into 1891 (By Fred C. Cook) By a bit of quick mental arithmetic it immediately becomes apparent that 1891 was seventy-four years ago. The century, in which The Bradford Witness has existed, still had almost three-quarters of its time to run. As you read this article the reason for the year 1891 will introduce itself. Sometimes our best assets are not given their proper value. I place the local paper among these. Lodges, Service Clubs, Churches, etc., keep minutes of their meetings and thus have a permanent record of their history. This is not the case with a community. Without the local newspaper much of the story of this, or any other community, would be lost. This has been strengthened in my thinking by two events which occurred within the last several years. First - a short time ago a friend handed me some clippings from a copy of "The Beeton World," issue of August 31, 1916. From it I was reminded that I has graduated from Bradford High School that year and had started as an apprentice in the drug business, under the lat W. L. Campbell. It was also interesting to read therein that Mr. and Mrs. T. W. W. Evans had spent the previous Thursday and Friday with Lieut. G. T. Evans, in Toronto, before his departure for overseas (World War I). There were many more items of interest. Second - some time ago I was given a copy of "The South Simcoe News", dated March 5th, 1891. This give me "A Peek Into 1891". Perhaps I should make some explanation of " The South Simcoe News". If you look at any present day issue of "The Bradford Witness", you will see that it is headed "The Bradford Witness and South Simcoe News". My understanding is that, at one time, there were the two papers in our town, just how and when they became one is something which will likely be mentioned elsewhere herein. The copy I have of the old 1891 paper is headed "South Simcoe News and North York Messenger". I imagine this goes back to the days when we were in the political riding or North York. This is interesting as it seems now that history is about to repeat itself and once more we will be in North York. For the remainder of this article I will tell you come of the things I gathered from this ancient paper of 1891. The South Simcoe News was published every Thursday at the rear of the Post Office, by H. S. Broughton. The Post Office, in those days, was situated immediately west of the Kilkenny furniture store on Holland Street West. The yearly subscription was $1.00 in advance. If not paid in advance it was $1.50. The previous Sunday evening, this would be March 1st, 1891, the Rev. H. S. Mathews, pastor of the Methodist Church in Bradford, preached a sermon on Canadian Methodism from the text, 1st Samuel, 12th chapter, and 24th verse, "Only dear the Lord, and serve Him in truth, with your whole heart, for consider how great things he hath done for you". Simcoe Lodge 79, A.F. & A.M., was meeting regularly on Friday evening on or before the full moon. On the previous Monday morning, March 2nd, a dwelling on Holland St., belonging to Mr. J. D. Booth, had been destroyed by fire. It is interesting to note that the efficiency of our firemen has not slackened over the years. The old paper states, "We never saw our firemen do better work than on this occasion". Another item of interest: "A gang of swindlers is now at work with a new wrinkle. They offer to paint the roof of your house for $5.00, and when they come for payment they present you with a bill for $25.00, adding to the contract, forty gallons of pain and oil at 50 cents per gallon which you hadn't thought of when making the bargain. You sign an agreement and you are caught. Recently, the Epworth League (Methodist Church) had held a largely attended entertainment at which a debate was held on the subject, "Resolved that the printing press has done more for the world than the steam engine". The decision was given in favour of the press. A partnership under the names of William H. Taylor and Edward Foxton, physicians and surgeons, operating in Bradford and Bond Head, was dissolved by mutual consent, Dr. Taylor continuing to practice in Bradford, and Dr. Foxton in Bond Head. There are some school reports which indicate that Ernest Baker was the teacher at S.S. No. 12, West Gwillimbury; J. Rogers at Bond Head, and Fred Batten at S.S. No. 14, West Gwillimbury. And the following are some of the people advertising in the paper: T. Sutherland, Barber; Dr. Henderson, Bradford Pharmacy; Mark Scanlon, M.A. Barrister, Attorney - at - Law, Solicitor; Thos. Driffill, Issuer of Marriage Licenses, Office Strictly Pricate; Gibson Cook, Telephone and Express Office, Seeds of all Kinds (Gibson Cook died in November of the same year); Wm. H. Porter, L.D.S., Surgeon Dentist; J. Stibbs, Baker and Confectioner; W.J. Walker, Furniture and Undertaking; B. Barnard, Insurance, T. Driffil & Sons, Toys, Fancy Goods, and Stoves; H. S. Broughton, Insurance; Bemrose Brothers, Ladies' and Men's Clothing; Ogilvie the Tailor; W.R. Strong, Leather Goods; Chas. Elliott, "The Leading House", Dry Goods, Furs, Wall Papers. So I have my "Peek Into 1891", as I hope you have, but it is also a peek into the history of our community. It has occurred to me that maybe you, my reader, feel that some of this is from my own personal memories. Just to set things right, 1891 was ten years before my time. I was born in Bradford in 1901.