Chapter 13: The Glovers of Bowmanville:

Unidentified McCutcheon (2) (Samuel McCutcheon-1) as of this writing remains unidentified but is speculated to be Hugh (1773-1832).

Elizabeth McCutcheon (3) (Unidentified McCutcheon-2; Samuel McCutcheon-1) was born in 1805 in Grey Abbey, County Down and died in 1860 in Bowmanville, Darlington Township, Durham County, ON. She married William Glover circa 1822 in County Down. He was born in 1799 in County Down, Ireland and he died on the 24th March 1869 in Bowmanville.

 The Glovers of Bowmanville:

I have found some historical information that might shed some light on the mystery of Elizabeth McCutcheon (1805-1860) and William Glover (1799-1869). The following story is partly truth and partly fiction, based on some hard historical data and some circumstantial evidence.

I would like to caution the readers not to take the narrative verbatim. I am however, going to create a new chapter in the book and leave it unattached, for now. I am also not going to do any attachments on, as it will then become cemented as facts. I am hoping that serious researchers question my findings and/or find some new data to either disclaim or re-enforce it.

The hard data (the truth) is the 1861 Canadian Census, two death records for two of her children and several marriage records for her children. Newspaper article announcing the death of William Glover. Old pictures and stories in a book. The Ontario County Atlas of 1878. And then the reminiscing of J. B. Fairbairn – postmaster of Bowmanville for most of his life and who would have ample dealing with the Glovers of Bowmanville. As for the 1851 Census for Darlington, Part 1 is missing. All that is published online are Parts 2-5 (181 pages). See Sources at the end of this Chapter.

Who was Elizabeth McCutcheon – born 1805 in Grey Abbey, County Down, Ireland and died in 1860 in Bowmanville, Darlington Township, Durham County, Ontario?  One researcher, Alice Burke, has this to say of Elizabeth and Hugh [comments in these brackets are mine]:

 “…The other two related families were Hugh McCutcheon and his wife with no family. [This was probably not true – it just means that the researcher did not find any family.] He received a Location Ticket for Lot 4, Concession 4 in Cavan Township (Millbrook area) Durham Co. on February 8, 1824. [It is interesting to note here that Millbrook is located 24 miles north of Cobourg and 26 miles north-east of Bowmanville.] He cleared a few acres on this lot but then he went to work on the Ohio Canal for a time and died near Cleveland, Ohio in October, 1832. [NOTE: Hugh probably died of Cholera during the severe Cholera epidemic of 1832, while working on the Ohio Canal. This may explain a strange comment made by James Fairbairn circa 1900. 31 years after William Glover Senior died, in his memoirs of Bowmanville, J. B. Fairbairn remembered that Glover’s wife was terrified of cholera…]

This meant that his land had not been patented. His nephew, Charles McCutcheon Senior, as the oldest son of his oldest brother managed to claim the estate in New York and then sold it a short time later for seventy-five dollars. [Again this may not be entirely true – Elizabeth, being a daughter, may not have any rights and her surviving brother, Robert and/or siblings, may have been too young to claim their father’s land….so the eldest cousin did…..]

The third family consisted of a sister, Eliza McCutcheon who was married to William Glover. The Glovers had lived in Mono for a time [I didn’t find any evidence of this] but had moved to Darlington Township before 1840. There were Glovers living in Mono and Mulmur Townships and some had moved to Darlington and Brock Townships [so far as I have been able to find out, William Glover was no relation to the Glovers of Brock Township]. Eliza McCutcheon Glover also tried to claim her Brother Hugh’s land but was unsuccessful.” [This was probably her father’s land – not her brother’s].

Cobourg to Bowmnville

Distances for the above chart:

Bowmanville to Millbrook = 26 miles; Millbrook to Cobourg = 24 miles; Cobourg to Bowmanville = 28 miles.

All Stage Coach runnable routes, with stops every 10-15 miles.

In 1835 Weller instituted tri-weekly service between Cobourg, Port Hope, and Peterborough [located near Millbrook]. William (Bill) Weller headquartered in Cobourg.

From the limited historical data that I have now found, I think I can safely say that:

  1. Elizabeth McCutcheon was NOT a sister to: John (1770-1827), Samuel (1772-1828), Hugh (1773-1832), Robert (1774-1832), Sarah (1776-1862). This was not a possibility as found on the 1861 Canadian Census; Her husband, William Glover Senior, stated that there was one death in his household in 1860; one female aged 55 years and that he was a widower.  This places her statistics as: Born 1805 and died 1860. So far, I have found four children, born 1844-1853. These are probably their younger children.
  2. Elizabeth was definitely related to the McCutcheons From Donaghadee.
  3. Elizabeth was possibly a daughter of one of the above mentioned McCutcheons.
  4. With all probability, she was a daughter to Hugh McCutcheon and his wife.
  5. They also probably had at least one son from the following comment made about 1845: “……He ran up to the livery stable then being kept by Mr. McCutcheon……” and that son might possibly be Robert McCutcheon (born 1823 in Grey Abbey, County Down – 23rd June 1900 in Cornwall, ON) who was married to Margaret Reid.
  6. Elizabeth, her husband and children arrived in Bowmanville by 1830 as is indicated by the comment made by Fairbairn: “This fixes the date of [Glover’s] arrival in Bowmanville at 1830….”
  7. Fairbairn’s recollection 30 years later when he states “Mr. Glover must have remained in Toronto two years” is a bit fuzzy. William Weller hailed from Cobourg and ran his Stage Coach routes from there so it is logical that Glover headquartered in Cobourg, not Toronto which was 72 miles away – a long way in those days to go to and from work.
  8. It seems logical that when Elizabeth and William immigrated from Ireland to Quebec, their next stop was Cobourg, not Toronto.
  9. All historical records found state that they were both born in Ireland.

I now have some circumstantial evidence that Elizabeth McCutcheon resided in Cobourg before she moved to Bowmanville in 1830. In 1825 or 1826, it was to Cobourg that Hugh McCutcheon and Mary Stewart came to when they first came to Canada and where their second and third children were born. Hugh McCutcheon (1795-1861) was probably her first cousin – not her nephew as previously believed.

Population of Cobourg in 1827 was 350 people – 40 houses, 2 inns, 4 stores, several distilleries, a grist mill. Ships could dock here starting in 1832.

Population of Bowmanville in 1825 – census taken by Mr. Simpson circa 1825, shows 118 people. Postmaster, James Fairbairn says: “I have in my father’s handwriting a statement showing the population of Darlington in April 1827, 31 adult Baptists and 124 under 16 years of age; Methodists 45 and 180; Presbyterian 18 and 72; Church of England 7 and 28; Roman Catholics 10 and 40; professing no religion 61. SUMMARY: 172 adults and 444 children; Total 616.”

Father and son, Robert and James Fairbairn held the position of postmaster in Bowmanville for nearly 78 years. James Fairbairn started chronicling a History of Bowmanville in the late 1890’s and early 1900’s, ending just before his death in 1905. James had the occasion to know almost every citizen of Bowmanville.

According to an article I found published by James Fairbairn, as he was writing about the history of Bowmanville, and publishing his short stories in the “Canadian Statesman”, Fairbairn says of William Glover:  “Mr. Glover must have remained in Toronto two years as his advent here as a resident arose from the dreadful scourge of Cholera which had broken out in that city. His wife became alarmed and insisted upon getting to some place less dangerous. Why they pitched on this locality I do not know. This fixes the date of his arrival in Bowmanville at 1830…”  Joseph Maynard Senior kept a lively place of business right where the Prower block stands on King Street combining candy shop, bake shop, livery stable and hotel – bar was called “Hindes Bar”. Fairbairn’s assessment of the Glover’s residing in Toronto is uncertain, as is evidenced by his use of the word “must”. Rather, they resided in Cobourg.

In the same article, Fairbairn then goes on to say that “William Glover, Father of our present mail contractor [his son, William George Glover], is said to have brought the first mail that appeared in the village. He arrived on horse-back and must have caused quite a commotion among the onlookers…..” is suggestive that William Glover was running mail 28 miles from Cobourg to Bowmanville sometime before 1830 by horseback and would have been in the employ of William (Bill) Weller. Bill Weller had procured the lucrative government Royal Mail contracts and by 1830 bought several Stage Coach Lines. Weller held onto most of these mail contracts through the turbulent times of Upper Canada’s political upheavals and the free-wheeling capitalism taking place at the time. He held these contracts for over 25 years. His Stage Coaches came to be called the “Weller Royal Mail Line Stage Coaches”. Weller himself, even as an affluent man, sometimes drove Stage Coach. It seems that Glover started out working for Weller and eventually partnered with him in the Royal Mail Contract business.

Here is an eyewitness account of one such journey in 1831: “…the coach became mired in the mud. In one very bad clay hole with a steep bank, our machine fairly stuck fast and was all but upset…the coachman was obliged to repair to a neighbouring farm for a team of oxen while some of the party provided themselves, sans ceremonie, with stakes from the adjoining fence, to be ready with their aid. In due time the oxen arrived, the body of the carriage was lifted off the frame and the wheels extracted, the whole affair being transacted without any symptoms of bad humour…”

In the early years, travel to Bowmanville by Stage Coach was probably unpassable for much of the season with mud, pitch holes and no bridges for the rivers, so henceforth the need to deliver mail by horseback.

Fairbairn says of Glover: “When I first recollect him, he stood at least six feet in his stockings and weighed not less than 200 pounds. No superfluous flesh; every muscle standing out like whipcord. You may ask how I knew this. Well, I am not romancing, often out of curiosity, I put my hand on his and I tell you he had the strength of two ordinary men.”

William Glover bought the lot on which the new post office now stands and resided there until he sold the property to the town and it was upon this lot they built the town hall.

PAGE 11 of the book “Bowmanville:  A Retrospect” published 29th April 1958: Erection of a Market Building and Town Hall:……..After the “new” Town Hall and Market Building were erected in the mid-1850’s, the “old” Town Hall became exclusively a United Grammar and Common School, two brick wings being added to the old building at a cost of £6000.00. At the meeting on the 3rd of April 1855, Council accepted the offer of William Glover Senior for the lot on the corner of King and Temperance Streets for the sum of £1000.00 and of James Head for the lot on the corner of Church and Temperance Streets for £500.00, and at the next meeting in that month, the above mentioned lots having been purchased, they deemed it advisable to proceed to the erection of the Town Hall, funds being made available at a reasonable rate of interest.

William Glover LiveryWilliam Glover was said to have his hand in the apple pie up to his elbow in the Stage Coach and Mail Delivery and Contract business.  When Weller’s line of Stages came into operation Glover drove Stage Coach for them for several years. Once William Glover Senior retired from driving the Stage Coach, his son George, took over, driving Coach for around 20 years while his older son, William Junior, managed the livery and mail contract business until he died.

Picture ©:

Caption reads: Wm. Glover; Cab and Omnibus Proprietor; Bowmanville. From historical records, this business was established in 1847.

Fairbairn has this to say about Stage Coach Drivers:

“What about the stage drivers? How any rational human being would choose such a calling is one of the things unexplainable. The run was from Posts’ tavern in Pickering to Bowmanville [a distance of 23 miles], and the next stage to Bill Marsh’s in Hope [a distance of 24 miles]. Of course the couriers were changed at each post station. They were out in all weathers, summer winter, fall and spring. The roads, if they could be called such, were a terror excepting in summer or in the winter when there was sleighing. During the fall and spring rains there were places like the bottomless pit. About half way up what once was called “Munson’s hill”, now “Stanley’s”, there was a layer of quick sand. It became at times a quagmire. A stretch of the road opposite Mr. Loscombe’s and Souch’s hill were as bad, and this is just a sample of what generally prevailed throughout these counties. The huge coach then in use, when filled up with passengers, luggage and mailbags, was a heavy load even for the four horses that hauled it. How did the poor brutes stand it? They certainly were made of good stuff. It was quite an adventure to go any distance on this kind of conveyance in bad weather. It was so often upset or stuck in the mud and was so delayed that there was no certainty of its arrival at a given time at any point. Two hills, one in Bowmanville and the other at Wilmott’s were a constant source of anxiety to the voyagers. Going down was worse than going up. The Jehus ran the horses down the incline, and to the beholder it looked a dangerous proceeding to see them racing down at full speed with the lumbering load behind, but they became expert in handling the whip and reins. I never knew an accident to occur in consequence. The drivers were compelled by law to blow a horn on approaching a post office. Many a night, I lay awake expecting to hear its melodious sound. They commenced at Stanley’s and on a cold clear night you could hear it a very long distance. There was quite a knack in using it. Mr. Hindes had a favorite dog that was always on the lookout and would yell for all he was worth at the first toot. The poor devils of drivers had a hard life and most of them a hard fate.

Their remuneration was of the most meagre kind. This was supplemented by what was called “jumping the pole,” namely, taking pay from passengers who were not booked and pocketing it. Those who continued in the work did not live past middle life; many became totally or partially blind, two committed suicide, and the balance drank to excess. Indeed the latter remark will apply to them all.”

George Glover was one such teamster. He drove Stage Coach for almost 20 years in the Bowmanville area before moving to Columbus, Ohio where he lived with his sister, Elizabeth Shannon for several years. By 1921, he was back in Canada and living at the House of Refuge in the Town of Cobourg.  He died a pauper in Cobourg on the 23rd June 1928 at the age of 77 years. He never married.

According to James Fairbairn “The mailbags in use on the main routes were made in England and were of the heaviest kind of leather, in share somewhat like an ordinary trunk. They had on the upper side a flap or small door, and this was secured with hasps fastened to the leather by iron bolts. A chain ran through them meeting in the centre and locked completing the receptacle. When full this was about all a sturdy man could lift.”

After Glover Senior quit the road he acted as the local agent for the Royal Mail contracts. At this time the steam boats carried a portion of the mails during the summer months and when he first became a contractor in Her Majesty’s service it was to carry the mails to and from the port in Cobourg. He also took passengers there.

Carrying Her Majesty’s Mail paid very well but was literally a pain in the derriere. The government contracts were bureaucratic orders specifying every operation in minute detail. The contracts specified the exact distance, departure and arrival times, the speed Stage Coaches were to achieve; how, when and from whom the mail was to be picked-up. Government agents were also sent out to audit the Stage Coach operations.

One evening, under James Fairbairn‘s nightly watch, a mail bag was missed being loaded onto the last outgoing Stage Coach.  He ran up to the livery stable then being kept by Mr. McCutcheon (now located in the Prower Block) roused some men in the stable to saddle him a horse and he set off at full speed to catch the Coach, such was the urgency to insure that Her Majesty’s mail reach its destination – on time. This incident was around 1845.

Who was the “Mr. McCutcheon” of mention running the livery stable owned by William Glover circa 1845? I speculate the “Mr. McCutcheon” mentioned was on of Elizabeth’s brothers.

Of William Senior, Fairbairn says that “He was hasty in temper and when angered from any cause it was better to be at a safe distance.”  It appears that Glover Senior commanded a begrudging respect preferably from afar.

The Grand-trunk railroad came into being in the 1850’s supplanting the Stage Coach as a means of travel and transport of goods. Glover Senior however was fortunate enough to secure that mail contract also and he continued to hold it during his lifetime. His son, William Junior, by 1881 was also in control of the Royal Mail contract.

The coming of the railroad produced a boom and then a bust period between 1852 and 1856 in Bowmanville as transportation methods changed and competition became greater.

Occasionally William had opposition in the bus line and this he did not readily brook. Many a funny encounter took place between him and the passengers who wanted to patronise the opposition. He had a rough voluble tongue and did not hesitate to use it no matter who the party happened to be. The first omnibus he brought into town created quite a furor. J. B. Spence who was an engineer on the Grand Trunk Railway, a fine looking fast Englishman, took the driver’s seat and ran it up and down the town stopping at all the hotels. It was chucked full of those who wanted to enjoy the fun and they soon got as full as the coach. They had a good old fashioned spree over it. The old gentleman lived to be pretty well up in years but he had to pass in his checks and take the last journey as we all must do. I saw him shortly before his death; he lived in the place now owned by Robert Young, B. S. His son William succeeded him in the business and to this day is the mail contractor. William Junior also keeps a livery stable. So we have another rare occurrence to relate, the Glovers, father and son have had direct connection with this branch of His Majesty’s service for seventy years and in no case has a bag been either stolen or lost. The only break in the chain was for four years when McMurtry and Sandercock got the job by tendering at a lower rate than the [Glovers].

PAGE 28 of the book “Bowmanville:  A Retrospect” published 29th April 1958: Port Bowmanville as a summer resort… Around the mid 1890’s considerable interest began to be shown in Port Bowmanville as a summer resort. (We may now call it that because in 1896 the government changed the name from Port Darlington to Port Bowmanville.) There had been campers some years before that – Henry Tait and his numerous family being among the first to pitch up tents behind the sand fence on the west pier. Then in 1896 Dr. Reid built a two storey villa on the west beach near the pier…… W Cawker built a smaller place just behind Reid’s house. Then W. G. Glover built a summer house on the little eminence just east of the Harbour Company’s office…..

William Glover Junior must have been a relatively wealthy man in order to be among the first to erect a summer home on the banks of Lake Ontario.

From about 1861 to 1891 (when the Canadian Census lists their religion as Methodist), the family’s religion was that of “Bible Christian”. The Bible Christian Church was a Methodist denomination founded by William O’Bryan who eventually came to be called “Bryanites”. This particular branch of Methodism originated in North Cornwall near the County of Devon, England. The Bible Christians were numerous to Bowmanville in the early 1840’s. They could often be heard out in the street when they were having a prayer meeting. They were not ashamed of the gospel they believed. They were long called “ranters” perhaps from the earnest way in which they taught and preached.


  • Elizabeth GLOVER (4) (Elizabeth-3; Unidentified McCutcheon-2; Samuel McCutcheon-1) was born in 1844 in Bowmanville, ON and she died in Columbus, OH. She married Unknown SHANNON in Bowmanville before they immigrated Ohio circa 1860. This family had no children.
  • William George GLOVER Junior (4).               See “A” following.
  • Mary GLOVER (4) (Elizabeth-3; Unidentified McCutcheon-2; Samuel McCutcheon-1) was born in 1849 in Bowmanville, ON.
  • George GLOVER (4) (Elizabeth-3; Unidentified McCutcheon-2; Samuel McCutcheon-1) was born in 1853 in Bowmanville, ON and he died on the 23rd June 1928 in Cobourg. He never married.

A:        William George Glover Junior (4) (Elizabeth-3; Unidentified McCutcheon-2; Samuel McCutcheon-1) was born on the 9th April 1845 and he died on the 7th October 1909 in Bowmanville, ON. He married Elizabeth TAPSON (born on the 14th December 1840 in Devonshire, England and she died on the 27th November 1917 in Bowmanville, ON) on the 7th March 1965. They are both buried at the Bowmanville Cemetery. Her parents were John Tapson and Anne Powell Rice.

William Glover Junior (2)Caption Reads: “Glover’s Bus”. Wm. G. Glover’s” omnibus”  made regular trips to the Grand trunk Station and the lake [Lake Ontario]. In good weather the open “hand-engine” was used. Picture came from the book “Bowmanville. A Retrospective”.


  • Lottie Estella GLOVER (5)            See i following.
  • Effie J GLOVER (5) (William George Glover-4; Elizabeth-3;Unidentified McCutcheon-2; Samuel McCutcheon-1) was born on the 29th October 1871 in Bowmanville, ON and she died on the 22nd September 1944 in Toronto, ON. She married Charles Arthur CAWKER (1873-1938) on the 27th June 1900 in Bowmanville. They are buried at the Bowmanville Cemetery. His parents were Charles Mathew Cawker and Sarah Glover (no known relationship to William Glover). This couple were childless.

NOTE:  PAGE 43 of the book “Bowmanville:  A Retrospect” published 29th April 1958: Miss E Glover, later to be Mrs. C. A. Cawker, was sophrano soloist in the Methodist Church at the time Mr. Knight was leader. She held the same position later in St. Paul’s choir. Both she and Mr. Knight were leading figures in every musical event in town; both were fine musicians.

  • Gertrude Louise GLOVER (5)        See ii following.
  • Mildred Matilda GLOVER (5)        See iii following.

i.   Lottie Estella GLOVER (5) (William George Glover-4; Elizabeth-3; Unidentified McCutcheon-2; Samuel McCutcheon-1) was born on the 19th May 1965 in Bowmanville, ON. She married Archibald BINGHAM (1860-1909) on the 8th July 1891 in Bowmanville. He is buried at the Bowmanville Cemetery. He died of Diphtheria. His parents were Gilbert Bingham and Mary Mann.

Lottie Glover (2)

NOTE:  Lottie is pictured in the attached photo taken from the book “Bowmanville; A Retrospect”: published in 1958. After her husband died in 1909 and then the early death of her sister, Mildred, Lottie lived with her sister’s husband, Dr. William Tenant and helped him raise their 3 young children.


·         William Meredith BINGHAM (6) B. 3rd October 1895 in Elgin, ON. D. 1st July 1900 in Bowmanville, ON. of Diphtheria. He was buried at the Bowmanville Cemetery.

ii.   Gertrude Louise GLOVER (5) William George Glover-4; Elizabeth-3; Unidentified McCutcheon-2; Samuel McCutcheon-1) was born on the 29th December1879 and she died on the 7th November 1954 in Bowmanville. She married Allan Marcus WILLIAMS (1872-1930) on the 28th August 1907. They are both buried at the Bowmanville Cemetery. His parents were Marcus David Williams and Katherine Prower.


·         Gwendolyn Gertrude WILLIAMS (6) B. 31st October 1906 in Bowmanville, ON.

·         Allan A WILLIAMS (6) B. 1913 in Bowmanville, ON.

iii.                  Mildred Matilda GLOVER (5) William George Glover-4; Elizabeth-3; Unidentified McCutcheon-2; Samuel McCutcheon-1) was born on the 13th August 1882 and she died 23rd August 1920. She married Dr. William Tennant (1880) on the 31st August 1910. William Tennant was a Veterinary Surgeon. His parents were George Tennant and Florence Cook.

NOTE: The primary cause of her death was Abortion, resulting in complications of Septic Peritonitis and Heart Failure. She was buried at the Bowmanville Cemetery.


·         William TENNANT (6) B. 1912 in Toronto, ON.

·         Elizabeth F TENNANT (6) B. 1916 in Toronto, ON.

·         Winifred TENNANT (6) B. 1917 in Toronto, ON.




3                     Clarington Digital Newspaper Collection – Canadian Statesman

4            Book “Bowmanville;  A Retrospect” published  29th April 1958

5                     Ontario County Atlas of 1878.

William Glover Senior Death Notice


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