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Name Telford, James P.
Othernames James Pattison Telford (Jas. P. Telford)
Lt.-Colonel J. P. Telford, VD
Born 01/29/1839
Birthplace Castleton, Roxburghshire, Scotland
Places of residence Scotland (1839-1840)
Dumfries Township, near Galt, Upper Canada (1840-1848)
Annan, Sydenham Twp., Grey County, Canada West (Ontario) (1848-1887)
Owen Sound, Grey County (1887-1933)
Titles & honors Fenian Raid Medal
Volunteer's Decoration (VD--awarded for his long service in the militia)
Father William Pattison Telford (1797-1879)
Mother Elizabeth Murray
Nationality Scottish-Canadian
Education Annan School (his father, brother and sister had taught there, and much of his instruction was from his father)
Notes Lt.-Colonel James Pattison Telford [b. 1839-d. 1933] was a busy, and very interesting personality in Grey County's history. He was born in Scotland, and was a son of Wm. P. Telford the First [1797-1879], and the Elizabeth Telford (nee Murray), of Castleton, Roxburghshire. After emigrating to Canada, the Telford family resided in Dumfries Township (in the Galt area) of Upper Canada for a few years, before they moved to the "Lakeshore Line" area of Grey County in 1848. James was raised in Annan [Sydenham Township] and became a blacksmith there, after serving his apprenticeship with a blacksmith (James Brown) in Owen Sound. He made an ornamental iron fence that still exists, that decorated his stone house at Annan. The fieldstone house had been built by himself and his brother Bill, and his blacksmith shop was also made of stone. He was also interested in fruit growing, and kept an orchard at Annan. He also kept bees and raised pheasants for a while.

In 1887, he sold his blacksmith shop to Charles Lemon, and he and Catherine and their family moved to Owen Sound. James joined the office of Telford & Co. (a private bank founded by his brother, W. P. Telford II). Later on, he would be associated with his brother in the Grey & Bruce Loan Company (which later became the Victoria & Grey Trust Co.)

In 1906, after 22 years in business, Telford & Co. (a private bank) was sold to the Sovereign Bank of Canada.

James had started his military service in the early 1860s with the Leith Rifles militia (as part of the 31st Grey Battalion). He was commissioned as a Lieutenant in 1863. He served with the Leith Rifles during the Fenian Raid crisis of 1866 and had the rank of Captain. He served continuously in the Canadian Militia for 38 years. He was Lt.-Colonel of the 31st Grey Regiment from 1894 to 1900. His brother and a son and a nephew also participated in the local militia.

Colonel Telford helped Owen Sound acquire a couple of 1850s? cannon that were displayed at the easthill area overlooking the bay in the "Battery". These cannon were shown in a souvenir booklet, and also in postcards.

In the 1901 census of Owen Sound, the James P. Telford family was listed at 297 Union St. South (now 8th St. East). James P. Telford's birthdate was given as January 29, 1839 (Scotland), and he stated that his family had emigrated in 1842 (another source says 1840). At that time, like his brother, J. P. Telford was still involved in banking at Owen Sound. His wife Catherine was born in Ontario on Jan. 15, 1851. Their household in 1901 included Elizabeth Telford (b. Jan. 14, 1869, age 31), Jane Telford (b. March 16, 1870, age 30, Schoolteacher), Catherine Telford (b. Nov. 27, 1871, age 29), Maxwell Telford (b. Apr. 17, 1875, age 25), John M. Telford (b. May 9, 1879, age 21, teacher), Richard M. Telford (b. Aug. 18, 1885, age 15) and James E. Telford (b. Sept. 29, 1889, age 11).

The Telfords resided in a red brick house at what is now known as 591 8th St. East. There was enough property there that James was able to pursue his horticultural interests, and he also kept chickens, had a barn there, and also had a workshop contained in a shed attached to the house. In addition to metal-working, James was a talented woodworker (his father had been as well).

James had a real estate and insurance business at Owen Sound, where he worked until he retired in 1927 at the age of 88.

James P. Telford was a marksman, as well as an avid fisherman. He and Tom Thomson's father, John Thomson, used to fish together near Leith. Vail's Point also was one of his favourite fishing locales. With his metal-working skill and interest in fishing, he was able to develop his own fishing lure, which was called "The Telford Bait". He manufactured this trolling bait and it was patented in Canada and the U.S.

There is a photograph of four of the lures made by James P. Telford (see 1990.002.002). The Grey County archives also has a drawing of the design. A Telford Bait No. 3 is also in the collection at Grey Roots Museum (see 1973.043.008).

Melba Croft included a head and shoulders image of Col. J. P. Telford on page 266 of FOURTH ENTRANCE TO HURONIA.

He also was a member of the Boys' Brigade Council. The Boys' Brigade was an international youth organization intended to provide young males with athletics, skills, and discipline in order to help them become good citizens.

Circa 1915, Colonel Jas. P. Telford was listed as Secretary-Treasurer of the General & Marine Hospital at Owen Sound. He served as its Secretary-Treasurer for about 25 years.

James and Catherine celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary on January 9, 1933. They both passed away in 1933, James on April 24th, and Catherine on June 12th. They are buried at the Annan Cemetery.

There is an archival collection re Lt.-Col. James P. Telford at the National Archives (1995) and Telford items in the Grey County Archives.

One Scottish heirloom that Colonel Telford had proudly kept was a black leather wallet (man's purse) that had belonged to James Pattison from Langholm, circa 1792, that had been presented to his William Telfer (sic), his brother-in-law, and then passed on by him to his son, William Pattison Telfer (Telford, b. 1797-d. 1879), and then presented by him to his son, James Pattison Telford, on August 14, 1850 (at Annan, Sydenham Township). It was passed down to Colonel Telford's son John M. Telford, then to his son William James (Bill) Telford, and then to William John Pattison (John) Telford. This branch of the family also inherited Colonel Telford's sword.
Occupation Militia Officer / Marksman
Fenian Raid Veteran
Fishing Lure inventor
Banker (Telford & Co.)
Boy's Brigade
Real Estate & Insurance
Publications Cathcart, Ruth, HOW FIRM A FOUNDATION, has image of the Telford residence at Annan
Telford, Murray M., "From Roxburghshire to Grey County: A Telford History", 1981 (booklet)
Telford, Murray M., FROM SCARLET TO GREEN, 1987, has images of the Telfords in uniform, as well a couple of J. P. Telford's military gear items shown (i.e. binoculars case)
Ross, Allan, REMINISCENCES OF NORTH SYDENHAM, 1924, mentions J. P. Telford and the 31st Grey Battalion / Leith Rifles
Relationships Fishing / Hunting Friend: John Thomson of Leith
Grandson: Murray McCallum Telford
Grandson: William James (Bill) Telford
Great-grandson: William John Pattison Telford (usually known as John Telford)
Role Military/Soldie
Spouse Catherine MacDonald, m. 1868
Children 9 children
Elizabeth Telford (b. 1869)
Jane Telford (b. 1870)
Catherine Telford (b. 1871)
Maxwell Telford (b. 1875)
John MacDonald Telford (b. 1879-d. 1960)
Richard M. Telford (b. 1885)
James E. Telford (b. 1889)
Jean Telford (b. 18__, m. George Thomson)

Associated Records

Image of 1965.020.011 - Cupboard

1965.020.011 - Cupboard

This is a white ash and glass-windowed china cabinet, 19th-c. There is an area above the lower cupboard area wherein one can place a tray or two, etc., so it is almost like a sideboard. The donor said that this was called a "pie shelf". The two panes of window glass are set in arched cutout-framed doors. The glass is clear and seems thin compared to modern cabinet glass. There are metal pulls, on each of the two drawers which are immediately under the windows. The drawers are side-by-side. The bottom storage compartment (two doors) has a thumb press-type of latch. The back side of the cabinet has multiple bare wood slats.

Image of 1973.043.008 - Lure

1973.043.008 - Lure

A silver metal, twisted, trolling fish hook/tackle/lure that was patented and manufactured by James P. Telford (b. 1839-d. 1933) of Owen Sound, Grey County. It has "TELFORD / NO 3 / PATENT". It is also known as "The Telford Bait." It is plated metal, with a shiny silvertone finish (nickel-plated?). There is a brass swivel, and some fabric and thread wrapped around the hooked end.

Image of 1981.076.002 - Box

1981.076.002 - Box

Buggy egg crate. This is a long wooden crate (a) with a lid (b) that stays on with two bent nails. The crate is divided into two sections on the inside, has dovetailed corners, and wood protrusions on both ends which make it easier to grip and carry. The entire crate is covered with some kind of varnish that makes it shiny. Both long sides are stencilled in black ink with "BUGGY EGG CRATE / PATENT NO. 123713. 1910 / MANUF'D BY / WALTER WOODS LIMITED / HAMILTON & WINNIPEG".

Image of 1982.048.001 - Spear, Fish

1982.048.001 - Spear, Fish

One hand-forged, metal, four pronged fish spear. The spear no longer has its (wooden?) handle, just the iron.

Image of 1996.034.004abcd - Desk, Portable

1996.034.004abcd - Desk, Portable

Bird's eye maple "Deed Box" (writing box) that pre-dates 1879. The box is rectangular, with an attractive bird's eye maple wood exterior. The box has L-shaped brass hinges. When opened up with the lid laid back, there is a sloping surface which provides a writing surface. The interior has 4 compartments, and two compartment covers. One big compartment underneath is for papers, then there is a rectangular area for pens and pencils, and a small, squarish section at the right (likely for nibs, stamps, etc.). The interior of the lid is also a storage area for papers and stationery. A small brass pivoting catch helps hold this compartment's cover in place. The box has a tiny key still with

Image of 2004.006.003 - Flask, Powder

2004.006.003 - Flask, Powder

Pressed metal gunpowder flask, 19th-century, with a teardrop-shaped body. There is an ornate pressed design is present on both sides. No maker's logo or name seen. The body is a dark greyish metal, while the nozzle end is brass.

Image of 2004.006.001 - Wheelchair

2004.006.001 - Wheelchair

Three-wheeled canework (rattan) wheelchair, called an "invalid's chair". It has rattan panels and wire-spoked wheels. Its maker's label wording is missing now (likely was a Gendron product). Looks like the maker's label was affixed at the back. There is a wooden foot rest. The small rear wheel is made to pivot.

Image of 2004.006.002 - Pouch, Cartridge

2004.006.002 - Pouch, Cartridge

CANADA RIFLES pouch for a pouch belt. In the 19th-c, the Canada Rifles used the insignia of a bugle horn. This would be worn on a militia officer's "pouch belt" which was worn over one shoulder to hold the pouch in the small of the back. The body of the item is rectangular, with thick, dark-coloured tanned leather forming a box-like area. Inside there is a metal (tin) liner which keeps the shape and provides a durable receptacle. This liner looks like it once had a red finish, which is only partial now. The front flap has a decorative silvertone applique on it and is shaped with a very small point in the leather below it. This motif is reportedly "the generic Rifles bugle horn". It l

Image of 2004.006.004 - Spur

2004.006.004 - Spur

Boot spur (called a box spur), intended for a left boot, made of brass and steel. It is a 19th-century item that belonged to a militia officer. It is plain-looking, with no decoration. The wheel pivots and projects just slightly (not as dangerous looking as some spurs look). LEFT is impress-stamped in the middle on the steel piece. It looks like this steel tang was inserted into the heel. This is confirmed by a military archivist, Timothy Dube. He said it would fit directly on to the heel of the boot, without straps. No maker's identification is present (suggests it pre-dates 1891).

Image of 2004.006.005 - Shoehorn

2004.006.005 - Shoehorn

Brass shoehorn (military). It is made of one brass piece, that was bent to shape it. It is stamped with a maker's mark that has a triple anchors in an oval (top/narrower end).

Image of 2004.006.006 - Case, Binoculars

2004.006.006 - Case, Binoculars

Militia officer's binocular case. The leather, open-topped pouch part that held them is darkly-coloured (blackish) tanned leather. There is an ornate Royal Cypher of VR applique on the front side (this dates it as being issued in Queen Victoria's reign--Victoria Regina). The underside has a slit strap that fits on a post fastener. There are brass fittings / connections. See RELATED military items re Telford and the 31st Greys.

Image of 2004.006.007ab - Lubricator-sizer

2004.006.007ab - Lubricator-sizer

Gun oiling tool (firearm accoutrement, usually called an "oiler"). It has a smooth-walled, cylindrical, pocket-sized case (all brass) which would hold oil for cleaning rifles. It has a fixed tool, which uses a knurled-edged, threaded end cap as its handle. No maker's identification or stamping (likely pre-dates 1891), but it looks very much like British gun oiling tools. -

Image of 2004.006.008 - Sabratache

2004.006.008 - Sabratache

A military sabretache made of black leather, shield-shaped larger body, which has three suspension rings. The front has a gusseted, flapped pouch area. The flap has two slits, either of which can be used on the brass post catch. The lower area has another brass post. When the pouch is flipped over, the shield-shaped area provides a writing surface, with corner holders to hold the document. There is also an inner fabric-lined storage area, possibly intended for holding writing implements and stationery. No maker's name or mark is seen.

Image of 2004.006.009 - Hook, Coat

2004.006.009 - Hook, Coat

Military-style tent pole multiple clothes hook / hanger. It has a 8.3 cm high tanned brown leather middle area which wraps around a tent pole and buckles on. There are four ornately-cast hanging hooks, each of which has two glazed white porcelain knobs. One copper rivet is missing now, making one hook loose. No maker's identification mark is seen.

Image of 2004.006.010ab - Medal, Prize

2004.006.010ab - Medal, Prize

A silver medal from the Ontario Rifle Association (late 19th-c), that was presented to James P. Telford of Grey County. A: Presentation Case - hinged, green plush exterior squarish case, burgundy plush lining with dark pink satin lining the lid. "P. W. Ellis & Co. / Medallists / Toronto" printed in gold lettering on the pink satin. Silvertone catch at the front. B: Medal - The medal is coin-like and 4 cm in diameter. Its thick edge is smooth, not knurled, and there is no engraving. The obverse has a relief illustration of a kneeling 19th-century marksman / rifleman. The border has maple leaves and a beaver in the design. The reverse side has a central banner with IN PACE PARATUS 1812-37

Image of 2004.006.011 - Belt, Sword

2004.006.011 - Belt, Sword

A CANADA MILITIA waist belt with an officer's waist belt plate and sword slings. It is made of machine-stitched brown tanned leather, with brass posts and connection rings. There is a brass hanging hook at the man's left side. The "sword slings" were used to attach the officer's sword scabbard to the waist belt. There is a two-piece clasp [the belt plate]. The Canada Militia area has a dull silvertone border, with a beaver and crown above a brass background. The larger clasp piece has a ring of repeated maple leaves (diameter of 5 cm). No maker's name or logo is present.

Image of 2004.006.013ab - Puttee

2004.006.013ab - Puttee

Pair of khaki green puttees (1909 patent), a&b. The pair of puttees has a green khaki woollen length which is approx. 124 cm long overall, and 10.5 cm wide. One end is shaped and machine-stitched with a brown khaki twill tape for binding the roll (one would roll the puttees up when not in use) or for tying them. The twill area is about 2.2 cm wide and 152 cm long. The twill tape end has a sewn on label identifying the manufacturer as Fox, of Wellington, Somerset [England]. FIP Patent 4214-1909. The other end has a straight edge.

Image of 2004.006.014 - Scrap

2004.006.014 - Scrap

Tanned leather shield for a boot spur. No longer has a spur with it. Brown, small, shield-shaped commercially-tanned leather item, with a linear margin line, and two slits. No maker's name seen. It was owned by the Telford family, who were involved with the 31st Grey Battalion and the 31st Grey Regiment.

Image of 2010.011.003 - Gown, Baptismal

2010.011.003 - Gown, Baptismal

Christening gown. It is white and has some Ayrshire work (fancy eyelet embroidery done in white) on it. The white drawstring at the neckline does up at the back. Below it is a single four-holed, mother-of-pearl button with a pattern of six dots on it. The waistline of the back closure has two ties. The yoke eyelet pattern has repeated six-petalled and three-petalled flower and leaf motifs. The skirt is very finely tucked in a plain area before the waistband. The sleeves are decorated with a repetition of the floral eyelet, with the top area cut obliquely. The long skirt has a group of five horizontal tucks, and a white-embroidered area of seven-holed eyelet mofits with eight petals an

Image of 2014.037.001 - Cabinet, Office

2014.037.001 - Cabinet, Office

Small, brown-finished, wall-mounted wooden cabinet. The angled top of the cabinet has visible joinery. There are dividers at the angled top compartment area. The dividers of the six compartments below it are no longer extant; however, the grooves suggest that when inserted, the dividers would have created three small compartments per shelf. Partial, typescript labels show that the cabinet was used for sorting mail for Owen Sound banks, and possibly for the Northern Business College. It was built using round-headed nails. The backing piece appears to be a replacement.