Transcribed for the LCGS website by Eileen Bashak.
The Ottawa Daily Free Press
Tuesday Mar. 25 1879
Page 4 The Manitoba Train
Starting from the Station – the Parting Scenes
It was half past 3 o’clock before the Manitoba train started from the Canada Central Depot with its load of living freight, farm implements and household effects. “Westward the Star of the Empire makes its way” and the shout of “Hurrah for Manitoba” resounds throughout the land. From all sections, the news comes of parties starting for the great North-West. It is to many a land of promise because the words have come down often of late years that it is a most promising land. Most of those who are removing hence sensibly go with the intention of settling down on land and begin farming at once, of which there is no more independent life on the face of the earth. Homes for the millions have been opened up in the heart of the continent, and the soil yields large returns at the touch of the hand of the husbandman. At the present rate at which immigration is flowing upon the Western wilds, in a short time it will be made to blossom as the rose, growing into provinces which will put to the blush our own Ontario, the present “garden” of the Dominion. The scene at the Canada Central depot during yesterday was one of indescribable confusion. The hurly-burly continued from an early hour in the morning until the time of departure. The train men and station employees had a great time in getting everything in shape making order out of chaos. The “emigrants” were more or less excited , being anxious to see that their goods were properly stowed away, and that nothing should be forgotten. But in time everything was all right and ready for the start. There was a great crowd at the station to see the party off, and the Ottawa City Band under the lead of Allie Brown and superintendence of Mr. G. St. George, kindly put in an appearance and discoursed some choice selection of music to cheer up those who were about to separate from friends and make the parting less severe if possible. The train consisted of fourteen freight cars–and four passenger coaches. There were about 250 passengers on board, all belonging to this immediate section. They embraced some of the best residents — the bone and sinew of the community; but they will still belong to Canada, even in their new homes in the great Lone Land.
Among the party were the following: Messrs. J.W. Hughes, Joseph Baskerville, Thos. Baskerville, Osgoode; Thos Archer, Moses Cayley, Nepean; Samuel Craig, North Gower; J.F. Shillington, Goulbourn; Geo. Smiley, Duncan Wilson, Cumberland; Jno. Logan, J. Sparks, J. MacColson, Wm. Graham, Andrew Johnston, Bell’s Corners; Wm. McClutchy, Templeton; Adam Acres, Huntley; J. Johnston, Wm. Hubbs, D. McLaren, Fitzroy; James Lindsay, Wm. Binks, Mrs. Keeley, Napoleon Harshee, Alphonse Leger, W. McCullough, S.E. Clark, A.C. Clark, W. Banwarden, M. Wanless, St. Andrews, Quebec; Charles Kentler, Wm. Kettle, J.A. Johnston, W. Hughes, W.M. Ewen, C.A. Wilson, Thomas Cousins, Wm. Hay, James Hay, Lachute; James Muir, J.A. Shillington, Goulbourn, Thomas Acres, D.H. McLean, George McLean, John Good, W. York, James Hodgins, Stephen Bower, J.W. Wright and J.C. Simpson.
For Dakotah: Messrs. Wm. Hubbs, John Johnston, M. Copps, E. Copps, Moses Abbott, M. Pepper, T. Moran, R. Cockburn, L. Kennedy of the Richmond Rd. Rody MacDonald, Benjamin Edwards, Alex. S. Peacock, John Kenna, George Haggarty, James Haggarty, J.W. Enright, Walker Kirby, Ottawa.
There were four car loads of stock which was owned by Messrs. Joseph Baskerville, Thomas Archer, Thos. Cousens, George Smiley, L. Kennedy, J.W. Hughes, David McLaren and A. McEwen.
The parting scenes were most affecting and the touching strains of “Auld Lang Syne” touched a tender chord in the breast of every one present; but as the train started to move out from the station cheer after cheer went up. While the band struck up a more lively tune, that of “The Girl I Left Behind Me” and the waving of handkerchiefs gave a final adieu to those who were bound to make a fresh start in life, in a new and almost strange land. Mr. A.H. Taylor, Mr. Wills and the station officials did all they could for the comfort and convenience of the party. Mr. Taylor went with them to Brockville, where two special trains of sixteen cars each were formed, the original train having been largely added to along the line. We wish every one of the noble pioneers — men, women, and children — success in their new homes.