-A +A

100 Years Ago in Chapple - 1920



By Rilla Race, Chair, Chapple Heritage Committee


The year is 1920. George Hughes is once again Reeve of Chapple. Robert Angus is Road Commissioner. Name of council members are unknown for this year.

Much information is given to us concerning the Barwick Brass Band in 1920, with leader George W. Davis and managing director, James Warren. The band was made up of about 18 members. In February the Women's Institute gave the band $75 to help pay expenses and buy instruments. In July, they received new coats and caps which gave them a 'real smart appearance'. The band played at many functions including box socials, picnics, suppers and concerts. On December 31st, New Year's Eve they performed at the informal opening of the McGauley Hall in Barwick. The band continued to perform regulary until about 1922-1923. One of its last performances was the dedication of the cenotaph in August of 1923.

Charles E. and Ray Davis - sons of George W..jpg   George Davis's sons - Charles and Ray with band instruments. 


In March of 1920 the C.I.B.C opened a branch in Barwick. At first, they were open only Wednesday and Saturday. They rented space in a building belonging to George Davis. Later they moved into a building constructed by George Hughes, just north of his store, and now the Barwick Post Office. This is one of the oldest buildings remaining in Barwick. The bank remained open various days and hours for the next few years, but finally closed in 1936.  By that time, it was only open one day a week. 

In February 1920 Malcolm Gillies closed his store in Barwick. The newspaper says he sold his store building with all its fixtures, outbuildings, stables, driving sheds, warehouse and four town lots, two in the new division across the street and two on which the store stood. The store operated about 17 years, which would make its opening about 1903.


Following the closing of this business, Malcolm opened a hardware store on Lot 18, Barwick Village which was operated by his sones. This store was open until 1928 when it was destroyed by fire.

December 1920 - 'George Hughes has his new store completed and is busy getting his stock moved in'.


December 1920 also saw the informal opening of McGauley Hall in the village.


The hall was 30 ft. x 80 ft. and was to have a poolroom in the basement, theater on the first floor and dance hall above.


"James Warren has engaged the services of W. Dixon to build his new garage and dwelling house, just south of the CN depot. The garage will be large enough to accommodate eight or ten cars. A pumping station will also be installed for gasoline."

James only operated the garage for a couple of months before selling it to Jack McCutcheon of Blackhawk and moving to Rainy River to operate a garage there. Unsure how long this garage operated and believe it later burned down.

July - "Mr. Kilpatrick is building a store at Chapple Corner."

August - Women's Institute decided to build a booth on the athletic grounds. 'The booth will be 12 x 24 with partition and the ladies will be able to accomodate many people at the fall fair which will be held on September 23rd'.

October - Plans are underway to build a consolidated school. Five trustees were appointed to oversee the work - Robert McGauley, T.B. Wilson, James Johnston, Archie McDonald, and James Moore.

November - 'Barwick Women's Institute held a very successful clinic on October 28th. in all, nine patients were operated on; seven children and two adults. Dr. Bethune and Dr. Young were in attendance assisted by Mrs. O'Keefe of Emo'.

November - John Henry opening up a new blacksmith shop and building a residence in Barwick. Cecil Wilson told me that Jack Henry's blacksmith shop was in a long building on the lot just north of the Anglican Church. His family home was on the lots now lived on by Larry and Shirley Allen.

November - Leland Kilpatrick opened a barber shop in the Wright Building on Main Street.

December - The Barwick Women's Institute considered the getting of a trained nurse, but decided a doctor for Barwick was more a necessity. A committee of three ladies "(the best looking)" was appointed to wait on Council at their next meeting with the objective of securing their aid. 




Chapple Heritage is continuing to collect materials for family histories. Information of the following families, all in Chapple before 1910 has now been archived: James Tierney, Hugh Caldwell, Samuel Rice, Edward Holmes, Adam and James Hoover, Joseph Gibbens, Joseph Fearon, Arthur Ion, John Ritchie, Dan Smith, Arthur James Smith, William Shaw, Herman Howell, William Dumbrill, John Kidd Robertson, Robert James McGauley, George Thomas Hubbard, Cale Smith, John Hillcox, Robert Stirrett, Andrew Frood, George W. Davis, John and Archie Kerr, John and William Sim, Oliver Obens, William John Anderson, Thomas Knechtel, William and John Gordon, and John and William Evans.

Materials relating to a number of other families who setteled in our township before 1930 is also being worked on at present: James Abbott, Dr. Blakely, Dr. McIntyre, George Both, M. T. Cathcart, Harry Choquette, Fred Cousins, Joseph Elviage, Richard Esson, Malcolm Gillies, Frederick 'Dick' Harvey, James Johnston, Kernehan, James Lavender, Lindsell, Lovell, Love, Traiton Luckens, Madill, Archie McDonald, John McNabb, Forbes, James McPherson, William Muir, Pentney, Nels Peterson, Kate Ruttan, William Scott, William Shannon, Jospeh Syncox, Duke Toner, Albert Tull, James Warren, Thomas Weston, Dick Wilson, T.B. Wilson, William Wright, Eli Johnson and Wolden family.

There are probably other families, not yet identified, that will also be included. For the most aprt, we are searching family histories that have not already been published in the Chapple History Book. If you have information or photos that you would like to provide for any of the families mentioned, please contact  Rilla Race at brrace2@gmail.com .

While much of the focus is on the earliest settler families in Chapple, histories from later than 1930 are also welcome.


Chapple Heritage Committee still has copies available of the township history book ‘Between the Ripples….stories of Chapple’ at a cost of $35 plus shipping.

If you are interested in the early history of our township and some of the original settler families, please contact the township office. If your family lived in Chapple in our early years, let us know about them. You can contact either the township of Chapple office or Chapple Heritage at P. O. Box 54, Barwick, Ontario P0W 1A0. If you have photos or historic information about our township, please share it with us.