Transcribed from The Sarnia Observer, July 15, 1967, Page 6, and submitted to the LCGS website by Donna Scott.

           EDITOR’S NOTE: Mrs. George MILLIKIN, who with Mr. Millikin lives on one of Lambton County’s centennial farms at 644 Kimball Road, has prepared a comprehensive history of the family farm and the Millikin family. This history was originally presented before the Lucasville Women’s Institute, of which Mrs. Millikin is a member. Later, friends and fellow members of the institute had the history included in the Tweedsmuir book which was published by the wife of the Governor-General of Canada, Lord Tweedsmuir (John Buchan). Mrs. Millikin has graciously given permission for the Sarnia Centennial Committee to reprint this history in the series of historical articles which is being collected.

           In 1948, the descendants of the Millikin family observed the one hundredth anniversary of the coming of Emanuel and Ann Hanna Millikin to Lambton County.

           It is said that the Millikins were originally inhabitants of Scotland, but went with William of Orange as soldiers into Ireland and fought at the Battle of the Boyne, July 12, 1960 [should this be 1690?]. Among these was an Emanuel Millikin, (the great-grandfather of the aforementioned Emanuel) and his four sons, Emanuel, John, David and James.

           After the war was over, grants of land were given in the counties of Leitrim and Sligo, Ireland. Hence the Millikins didn’t return to their native Scotland, but remained as farmers in Ireland.


           David MILLIKIN, who fought at the Battle of the Boyne, had three sons — Patrick, David, and Emanuel; of these David was the father of the Lambton County Emanuel. His wife was Jane BOWLES, and they were the parents of five sons and two daughters–John, Rebecca, Richard, Margaret, David, Thomas and our Emanuel, all of whom were born in County Sligo, Ireland. Unfortunately both David and Jane Millikin died in early life, and John and Rebecca were left with the care of the younger children, Emanuel being only 18 months old.

           Rebecca Millikin married George TAYLOR in Ireland, but in 1822 they migrated to Canada, where they settled in Sherbrooke in the County of Lanark. Along with Rebecca and George came all the other Millikins, except Margaret, who was married to Thomas CONBOY. Emanuel at this time was 11 years of age.

           In 1846, Mr. and Mrs. George Taylor again set the pace for the family by moving to Sarnia Township where they purchased a farm and remained for the rest of their days. John Millikin also came to Lambton County at this time and settled in Sombra Township. Richard remained in Sherbrooke. Margaret, by this time a widow, followed her kindred to Canada and settled with her children in Plympton Township, Lambton County. David also moved to Sarnia Township. Thomas remained a permanent resident of Sherbrooke.

           Meanwhile, in 1836 Emanuel had married Ann HANNA, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert HANNA. She had been born in Castlebar, Ireland, in 1819 and as a child she had come with her parents to Sherbrooke where she met Emanuel. To them had been born five children – Margaret, Rebecca, Hannah, Elisha, and William,–in Lanark County.


           In 1848 they, with other families of their connection, moved to Sarnia Township. It is not known where they lived first, but they finally settled on the farm, currently owned by Emanuel’s grandson, George W. Millikin and Mrs. Millikin at 644 Kimball Road. The date of the deed of this land is December 21, 1848. This transaction was between the Hon. Malcolm Cameron and Mrs. Emanuel Millikin.

           Life in those days must have been strenuous and active. The land was almost an unbroken forest and the roads were just trails through the forest. It was a common practice to carry supplies even 100 lbs. of flour, from Pt. Sarnia to the farm. The Millikins apparently made potash, for in possession of the present owner of the farm are store bills, made out in 1853 and 1854, showing the exchange of potash for goods at Mr. Glap’s store; sugar then was nine cents (9c.) A pound.

           Maple trees were plentiful and these were capitalized upon by tapping. But the main work on the farm was the clearing of the land and the establishment of buildings. It is said that the family at first occupied a house of sod, which was replaced by a log house. Stables of logs were also constructed. On this farm four more children were born–John, Maud, Josiah and Isaac, bringing the total of children to nine.


           It would seem almost incomprehensible that a man who was the father of such a large family and who was clearing a farm would have time for any other activity. Yes, newspaper clippings and family treasures attest to the fact that Emanuel, a devout Christian became a local minister and conducted services at Providence Church, located on the tenth line at Moore and at the first Methodist Church at Vyner. He also taught a night school for the young, until schools were established.

           Among the family treasures are included some of the books and Bibles he used in carrying out his public services to his community. There is an old tradition that comes out of Ireland that has been told in many Millikin Houses and runs as follows:

           A mother had lost several of her sons by death in infancy, and dreamed that if she would name the babe then sleeping by her side, Emanuel, it would be spared and grow to manhood; this she did, and the son became an honor to this parents. And so the name became almost sacred in the family. Certainly when our Emanuel died at the age of 45 in the year 1856 from cholera, just at the time of the Great Northern Railway was being built to the north of his farm, he had fulfilled the tradition of his name and has even since remained a source of interest and honor to his many descendants.


           With Emanuel’s passing Ann Hanna Millikin was left with a family of nine children, her oldest sons Elisha and William were at that time 12 and 10 years old respectively. Upon these two boys evolved all the work of the farm. According to their father’s will, Elisha and William were to have the farm when William attained the age of 21 years. In return for the farm, these boys had the responsibility of caring for their mother and the other members of the family until they could earn their own living.

           Besides their general farming, Elisha and William did much wood cutting; for their wood they found a ready sale, since both the boats and railroad required wood for their engines. They also owned a horse power threshing machine and threshed grain for their neighbors.

           They supplied two teams of horses, the machine and three men; the farmer was expected to supply the additional horse and to pay the Millikin brothers 11 dollars a day for their services. But in 1875, or thereabouts, after seeing the steam engine, the Millikins had foresight enough to sell their machine while there was still a market for it.


           The year 1876 brought further changes to the Millikin farm, for in that year William bought the north half of the farm from his brother Elisha for $1,000 with the provision that he assist Elisha in clearing 100 acres, which he bought on the Plank Road.

           On April 10, 1877 William married Janet BRUCE, a second daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Donald BRUCE, a family who came from Scotland and settled in Moore Township. To this union were born seven children.

           First Jessie Hanna, a school teacher, who married Louis N. HILLIER and who had children — Jean, Isabelle, William Marjorie and George. Secondly, Charles Franklin, a farmer, who married Mary A. JAHN and who had two children — Henry and Wilma. Thirdly, Samuel E., who died at the age of seven.

           Fourthly, Ethel Maud, a nurse, who married Victor JOHNSON and who had four daughters — Doris, Kathryn, Marion and Shirley. Fifthly, George William, who married Margaret Ann YOUNG and who is present owner of the Millikin homestead. Sixth, Edna Belle, who married Archie McINTYRE and who had two children Arthur and Janet, and lastly Anna Gertrude, a school teacher, who married William C. FLECK and had two children, Ruth and Jean.

           In this centennial year of 1967, only George and Margaret Millikin of all the immediate descendants of William and Janet are left living.


           On April 19, 1881, Mr. and Mrs. William Millikin bough 20 acres by the railroad from William Luscombe, thus making a 120-acre farm. In 1883 the township council bough an acre of land from William Millikin for gravel for the roads of Sarnia Township. The purchase price for this acre of land was $100 and there was great concern expressed over the extravagance of the council.

           The roads in the southern part of Sarnia Township received the first coats of gravel from this pit. This was done by statute labour, six days of labour being required for each one hundred acres of land. In later years, this gravel pit became a skating rink for the young and particularly for the pupils of S.S. No. 12.

           In April, 1885, the house, which was frame was burned and since it was a barn frame, it burned for many days. As there was soon to be another child born it was of great importance to have a home built. George Bruce, a brother of Mrs. Millikin’s, who was a carpenter, along with his men, was able to accomplish this with the help of John Taylor and the neighbors. The north part of the present structure was ready for occupancy the first week in June. The child was born on June 20, and that child was George William, the present owner of the farm.


           Over the years various improvements were made until the farm reached its present state. In 1914, the telephone was installed in the home. In 1915 William and his son George raised the barn on a high foundation, and shortly after put up the cement silo. George bought the first automobile in 1917, adding both to the pleasure and the speed of the farm. In 1928, hydro was installed and with that came running water and all the other conveniences that are now enjoyed on the farm.

           On November 21, 1920, George, the present owner acquired the farm from his father, when William and Janet Millikin retired to Corunna, where they lived until Mrs. Millikin died on November 9, 1928, after which time Mr. Millikin returned to the homestead, where he died October 6, 1932. It is also interesting to note that his mother, Ann Hanna Millikin, died there at the age of 89 years on New Year’s Eve, 1907, and after being a widow for 50 years.

           Over the years two events, particularly happy in the memory of the family, have been held at the homestead. One was the celebration of the Golden Wedding of Mr. and Mrs. William Millikin. Fifty people were present for dinner, 10 of whom had been present at their wedding in 1877. In the evening friends and neighbors called. The second event took place in the summer of 1948, when many descendants of Emanuel Millikin assembled at the homestead for a picnic supper.

           On March 22, 1921, George Millikin married Margaret Ann YOUNG, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Colin YOUNG of Moore Township. Of this union there has been no issue. However, George, has one great-nephew who bears the Millikin name; he is the young son of Henry, who, like his great-grandfather Emanuel, died at an early age on January 12, 1964, leaving the one male descendant that the William Millikin family has.

           This child, Robert, who will celebrate his 12th birthday on September 6 of this centennial year, now resides in Sault Ste Marie with his mother, far from the Millikin Homestead, where Millikins have lived for the past 119 years.

April 11, 1967

           EDITOR’S NOTE: William Millikin, father of the present owner of this farm, was active in construction of the original Plank Road.