Transcribed from the Lanark Era, 1916 and published in the August, 1998, LCGS newsletter. Submitted by Del Dunlop.
This is a transcription of the Lanark Era’s article announcing the death of Mrs. Robert Affleck of Middleville in the year 1916.
[Editor’s Note: Breaks have been added to the text for ease of reading.]
Mrs. Robert Affleck of Middleville, died yesterday (Tuesday) morning in her 103rd year. She was Lanark County’s own centenarian. For the past ten years she was bedfast, although no particular ailment seemed to be the cause, just a gradual wearing out of the system by reason of extreme age. Her faculties remained unimpaired to a remarkable degree and a month before her death she threaded a needle without the aid of eyeglasses, a feat which is not often attempted by persons after the allotted span of life is passed.
Mary Borrowman was a Glaswegian, born in the metropolis on 14 November 1813. When but six years old she left her native city with her parents, the late Mr. and Mrs. William Borrowman, bound for Canada, where they arrived ultimately, after a long eventful journey, and settled down on a piece of land which is the farmstead occupied by Mr. J. Wesley Borrowman, Middleville.
Seventy-six years ago Robert Affleck and Mary Borrowman were made man and wife and began a life together on the farm now owned by Mr. Albert Affleck. Mr. Affleck, her husband, died thirty-three years ago and eleven years later, on the death of her son John, Mrs. Affleck with her daughter Amanda moved to a new home adjacent to the scenes of her former years and she lived there until her death.
There was a family of eight children — William B. of Middleville; Mrs. Robert Watt, Lanark Village; Mrs. James Kemp, Wood May MB; Mrs. William Tait, Pilot Mound; Miss Amanda at home; and two sons and one daughter dead — John K., Robert R., and Mrs. James Masson. Full sisters and brothers were Mrs. David Grey, Sarnia; Mrs. John Hunter, Perth; Mrs. John Long, Perth; John Borrowman, Utah; all dead, and half brothers are William Borrowman, Middleville; Thomas at Wyoming ON; George in Minnesota, and David and James dead.
The funeral takes place this afternoon at 2 o’clock to the Congregational Church, Middleville, thence to the Village Cemetery. Rev. Mr. McColl will be the officiating clergyman. The fact that Mrs. Affleck was over 100 years old and that she was the grandmother of 42 children and the great-grandmother of 54 grandchildren places her in a class by herself.
Reference to the date of her birth shows that the lifetime of this remarkable woman covers the full period of the settlement of this district, and she was one who had witnessed with her own eyes the changes which have taken place from the primitive days when Lanark was placarded on a Tamarac tree, and Middleville was only a hint, down to the present time. She was an observant woman and these changes did not go unheeded. Their significance was deeply impressed upon her mind, and in later years she would draw upon the wonderful storehouse of her memory and tell it to her delighted hearers the story of long ago. In this respect Mrs. Affleck was an unusual woman, and when she reached her hundredth year and even later it was perfectly marvelous with what clearness she portrayed the events and incidents of Lanark’s early days.
The privilege of visiting her and of having a conversation with her was one exercised by many person desirous of learning from a reliable source something of the history of the district. All through her life Mrs. Affleck evinced a strong spiritual tendency and was a devout member of the Congregational Church. She was a close student of Bible teaching and became broadly conversant with Holy Writ. Her marked personality developed for her a wide friendship and far and near Lanark’s centenarian was known, not alone for the singularity of her age but for the strong qualities of mind and heart and her fine womanly instinct. It is given to very few individuals to reach the allotted span mentioned by the Psalmist, “the days of our years are threescore and ten,” but cases are extremely rare when age goes on to exceed the hundred year limit. The passing of Mrs. Affleck marks the severing of a link that directly connected us with the past.