After a hearty breakfast that most certainly had included potatoes and porridge and perhaps a protein source, James Love and son John would have headed out to the barn.
Around 8 a.m. Bessie, John's four year old daughter heard the ringing of the farm bell. What was going on? Who was ringing the bell that was mounted on the shed attached to her grandparent's house across the lane? It was usually rung to call the workers to meals and it was too soon as she had just had breakfast.
It was not good news; Bessie's grandpa had been badly hurt while working in the barn. Two slightly different accounts appeared in the newspapers. The first is from an unidentified newspaper.
Caught by a wheel of the rack-lifter which was used to elevate the loads of grain, he was thrown through the end of the barn, and dropped a descent of twenty feet outside. The accident was caused by the rope which is drawn by horses to elevate the load, breaking when the load was nearly up in position. Mr. Love was apparently trying to get the dog in position in the cogs of the wheel, in order to check its rapid revolution, caused by the weight of the descending load, when he overbalanced himself and falling was carried to his death.
This second one according to Manitoulin Roots was from The Recorder, Thursday, August 27, 1914.
While unloading oats in his barn at Mindemoya on Friday morning Mr. James Love met a sudden and painful death. He was standing on a beam at the top of the barn operating part of the unloader when the rope gave away and the heavy load drew the machine back suddenly, catching him in the side as it went and throwing him out through the side of the barn falling on his face in the barn yard. When picked up, he was unconscious and never revived, passing away at noon. The force with which he was thrown may be imagined from the fact that when his body struck the wall of the barn the boards were smashed and his body landed at least ten feet away from the barn. He was badly bruised and possibly injured internally.Dr. R. W. [Robert William] Davis signed the physician's return of death on his death registration, citing the cause of death was shock due to a fall. What is not known is whether James was taken to Mindemoya to the doctor's office (no hospital in 1914) or did the doctor come to the farm.
On Sunday afternoon, the funeral took place from his home. Rev. William Munro, the Presbyterian minister from Providence Bay, conducted the service. Many friends and neighbours came to show their respect and support for the Love family. Family friends acted as pallbearers. The men were all from Mindemoya: George Bond, John Galbraith, John Cooper, William Hare, John Cochrane and Thomas Fisher.
James was only 62 years old when he died. James had lived on Manitoulin Island since September 1870 except for a short time during the winter of 1871-1872 when he returned to Southern Ontario.
So what is known about James Love, my great-grandfather.
He was born, according to his marriage registration in Greensville, Wentworth County, a hamlet four kilometres north west of Dundas, Ontario. The post office was named so in 1853; this area was known previously known as Franklin Corners and Joyce's Corners. His birthdate is believed to be 12 March 1852. Sadly, it is said that when he was a few months old his father, Thomas Love, died. His mother, Agnes Hamilton was left with three young children: Robert, Thomas and James.
His mother remarried when James was a little boy. Henry Vincer was originally from England and she met him most likely Wentworth County. James had four half-siblings: William Henry, Agnes, Sarah and Marion. It was with his two brothers and his half- brother that James went to Michael's Bay on the Manitoulin to work in the lumber camps there in September 1870. It would have been quite the adventure. While there, the brothers purchased property.
James' brother headed back to Southern Ontario in October 1871 to get his mother, half-sisters and step-father en board the wooden schooner "Sea Horse". The schooner didn't get far; there was a storm. The high winds took the schooner off course. It went down off the west coast of Fitzwilliam Island on 17 October 1871. There were no survivors.
James married Elizabeth Fields Robinson on 14 November 1876 in Assiginack Township, Manitoulin Island. Together they had ten children but only one son and five daughters survived to adulthood. At the time of his death Margaret and Grace were still living at home.
It was not until 10 May 1884 that James received the deed to his property. The dead read:
James Love and Thomas Love, both of the Township of Carnarvon in the District of Algoma in the province of Ontario in our Dominion of Canada, Farmers, Heirs at law of the late Robert Love deceased and assignees of Agnes Vincer, mother of the said late Robert Love deceased, and the assignee of Thomas Shortreed, who is the original purchaser, contracted and agreed to and with our Superintendent of General of Indian Affairs duly authorized by us in his behalf for the absolute purchase at and for the price and sum of eighty dollars . . . Lots 12, 13, 14, 15, 4th Concession and Lots 14, 15, 3rd Concession and Lot 15, 2nd Concession to have and hold assured unto the said James Love and Thomas Love their respective heirs. 10 day May 1884.
James was Presbyterian and attended the church in Mindemoya. At that time the Methodists and Presbyterians shared the same frame building built 1886/1867 with the ministers preaching on alternate Sundays. He was very involved as he served as an elder and was for twenty years the Sunday School superintendent. People gathered for prayer meetings in their home. It is said that he "had a warm interest in all who loved the Lord, irrespective of their denominational name."
Had his father not had this accident and died, would John have been expected or required to sign up for military service or would he have been exempt as a farmer. Would Margaret have left home and got married instead of caring for her mother until her death? We will never know.
It was a sad and difficult time for James' family but he also left a void in the community with his passing.
August 21, 1914 - Total Solar Eclipse (http://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/solar/1914-august-21 : accessed 1 March 2014)
James Love obituaries in "The Love-Vincer Family" compiled by Mary Love, Effie Williamson and Pat Costigan, loose leaf format, undated, unpaged.
James Love Ontario death registration #020056 (21 August 1914); digital image, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : 23 December 2007); digital image, citing microfilm MS 935 reel 210, Archives of Ontario, Toronto.
"Greensville" Ontario Rural Routes (http://www.ruralroutes.com/greensville : accessed 9 March 2014)
University of Michigan Library, Great Lakes Maritime Database (http://quod.lib.umich.edu/t/tbnms1ic/x-127206/1 :accessed 20 March 2014)
Rick Salen & Jack Salen. The Tobermory Shipwrecks. Tobermory: Mariner Chart Shop, 1976. p. 74
James Love - Elizabeth Fields Robinson Ontario marriage registration #001011 (14 November 1876), microfilm MS 932 Reel 23, Archives of Ontario, Toronto.
"Mindemoya Pastoral Charge Joint Needs Assessment Committee Report" (http://manitouconference.ca/img/JNACFinal-Profile-011-Mindemoya-PC.pdf : accessed 5 March 2014).
© 2014 Janet Iles