|"History Of Botany Community" regularly appeared in the Ridgetown Dominion (by Mrs. W.J. Dunlop)|
|Oct 03, 1963
. . . originally there were two cemeteries in Botany, one in connection with each of the churches and known as the Presbyterian cemetery and the Methodist cemetery. A few years ago they were united under the name of the United Cemetery of Botany and since that time they have undergone vast improvements.
|May 28, 1964
. . . this settlement was by no means free from tragic happenings. One was of a shooting accident. The two men were close neighbours, their properties joining, Mr. John Atkinson and Mr. Neil McMillan. Mr. Atkinson was a good hunter and enjoyed taking his gun whenever an opportunity came and rambled out into the woods to shoot squirrels and rabbits. Squirrels were very plentiful at that time. Having wandered into the bush for a little sport and seeing at some distance what he supposed to be a black squirrel moving on top of a log, he fired his gun and the object disappeared. On going over to the spot he was horrified to find that his neighbour who had been cutting wood in that place and had sat down beside a log for a short rest, his black hat just showing above the log which led Mr. Atkinson to mistake it for a squirrel. The shot proved fatal to Mr. McMillan after living a short time.
Great sympathy was expressed on every side, both to the bereaved friends and the heartbroken neighbour. Mr. Atkinson at the time said he would never again take the gun in his hands but as time is a great healer even in the worst of tragedies, he after several years took a little enjoyment with his gun but there is no doubt a shot was never again fired by him but was a reminder of the sad affair just mentioned.
resident celebrating 100th birthday this Friday
An open house will be held this Saturday afternoon at the Park Street Place in Dresden for Myrtle Brown, a Dresden resident who will be celebrating her 100th birthday on March 26th.
Mrs. Brown is understandably looking forward to the open house, to welcoming family and friends who will be honouring her on her special day.
She was born in Harwich Township on March 26, 1894, a daughter to Willmina and Christopher Atkinson, and has over the decades witnessed a vast number of changes. While she once used a horse and buggy in Dawn Township to visit students to whom she taught piano, Mrs. Brown now draws a measure of enjoyment from watching hockey and baseball games on the television set.
This latter activity has been curtailed in recent years, one of her daughters admits, but Mrs. Brown still enjoys music, although her hearing is limited.
As a young girl, Mrs. Brown spent a year studying music at a music conservatory in Detroit, and she later used this skill as a piano teachers. Several of her student lived in Dawn, and they were charged 25 cents a lesson.
The former Myrtle Atkinson married George Brown and left Ontario to move to the Canadian west, first living in Regina, then later on a farm near Fillmore, Sask.
The Browns returned to Ontario, lived for a few years in Chatham, and then farmed near Mull in southeast Kent County. Eventually they moved to a farm on Con. 6 in Dawn township. It was during those years that Mrs. Brown again drew on her musical ability; she was a pianist at the Rutherford Presbyterian Church.
Tragedy struck, however, when Mrs. Brown was only 35. Her husband died and she was left with three young daughters to raise. Another move was necessary, and since her own mother had been recently widowed, Mrs. Brown and her daughters moved, shared Grandmothers Atkinson home, close to Dresden on Highway 21.
During those years Mrs. Brown worked in Dresden, first at the grocery stores of Stroups and Landi Johnston's, R.W. Tyrell's Dry goods store, and later with Mr. Tyrell's successor, Harry Fraser. Mrs. Brown also worked at the Artistic Ladies' Wear in Chatham, and when Simpson-Sears first opened a catalogue store in Dresden, she was the store's first manager.
Mrs. Brown is a member of St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church in Dresden.
She has been a resident of Park Street Place since Oct. 19, 1987. Earlier that year she fell in her apartment and broke her hip, and has since been confined to a wheel chair. Although her eyesight and hearing have diminished over the years, Mrs. Brown continues to carry a zest for life, as well as a contentment found in life well-lived.
Her three daughters are: Doris North of Chatham, Elsie Stinson of Pain Court and Norma Strangway of Sarnia. Mrs. Brown also has eight grandchildren, 12 great grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
|Rewarded For Service (Sarnia Observer, November 12, 1996)|
Atkinson's contributions to the community haven't gone
The former sergeant major in the Canadian Army was recently recognized for more than 30 years of community service by Branch 62 of the Royal Canadian Legion when he was presented with the Legion's highest honour, the Meritorious Service Medal.
The award was given in recognition of his work for the legion and with other community organizations. During his 30 plus years as a legion member, Mr. Atkinson, 80, has been involved in many committees, most notably the annual poppy fund where he serves as treasurer. Mr. Atkinson, who joined the legion in 1966 also serves as chairman of the finance committee and as auditor for the 102 army cadets corp., ladies auxiliary at both Sarnia and Petrolia legions, WANNA Br. 515, and with his church.
He has also served as a board member at Devine Street United Church.
Much of Mr. Atkinson's volunteer work involves donating his financial expertise as a retired chartered accountant. And, its a service he enjoys providing to others.
"That's why they put me as chairman of the finance committee. Who better than a chartered accountant." he said.
Most weeks, Mr. Atkinson gives 5 or six of his mornings to work with the various committees and organizations. Then it's home for lunch and then off to help one of the many other groups he works with.
"This mostly take the mornings. I'm usually out of here by noon," he says of his daily visits to the legion to work on this year's Poppy Campaign.
"I don't know about that," added his wife Maxine, whom he met and married while serving as a military staff clerk at District 1 Headquarters in London, from 1942 to 1946.
"I'd say, most of his spare time, about 70 per cent, is spent here at the legion or with seniors volunteering his time."
But, she's not complaining. Despite his other commitments, Mrs. Atkinson says he husband of 52 years always manages to find the time to help her at home when her arthritis acts up.
"Sometimes after a little half hour nap in the afternoon, I'm ready to go again," he said. "I think if they ever made me stop I'd die. I wouldn't know what to do with myself."
Besides the legion's Poppy Fund, Mr. Atkinson is very proud of his work with the local army cadet corps. He is equally proud of them for their assistance in selling poppies each year.
"We work very closely with those kids," Mr. Atkinson said of the legion's association with the cadets. "I enjoy seeing them have something they like to do so they are not out breaking into a store or stealing a car. That's always been my aim to help the little ones along. That's why I'm involved with the 102 cadets."
"As long as I can walk on two feet, I'll still be helping the kids along," he added.
As for the award, Mr. Atkinson said he wasn't expecting it. That it came as a surprise to him when he heard provincial vice president Doug Green mention his name when making the presentation.
"I didn't know anything about it," he said.