Joseph 8 BIGELOW  

16228.312    Joseph 8 BIGELOW, a twin son of Hiram 7 ( Joel 6, Joel 5, Benjamin 4, Jonathan 3, Joshua2,John1) and Mary (ARMSTRONG) BIGELOW, was born at Tecumseh, Ontario on 09 November 1828. Like his twin brother, Joel 8 , he took an early interest in his father's store and 1850 went into business with his twin.  In 1852 he was appointed postmaster of Port Perry, Ontario and held that position for 17 years.  In addition to this he owned a sawmill, planing mill, stave factory, carding mill and tannery.  He retired from active business in 1887, but was into banking, railroading, Justice of the Peace.  He had married on 02 May 1854 Elizabeth Paxton who was daughter of William and Elizabeth (Liddell) Paxton and born in Whitby on 17 April 1828.  Elizabeth died on 12 July 1914 and Joseph on 28 January 1917 at Port Perry and are buried at Prince Albert, Ontario. Residence in Port Perry (below).

Children of Joseph and Elizabeth (Paxton) Bigelow, born at Port Perry:

16228.3121      Emma Josephine, b 10 Aug 1857; d 20 Oct 1945; m 09 Jan 1878 William Hugh McCaw.(see below)

16228.3122      Charles Albert, b 05 Aug 1860; d ____ 1945 St.Petersburg,,FL ; m  Frances _____ ; no children.(see below)

16228.3123      George Tennyson, b 10 July 1862; d 09 Oct 1896; unmarried.

16228.3124      Thomas Dryden, b 27 Nov 1870; d 20 Feb 1939 Detroit,Wayne Co.,MI ; m Estelle _____ ; no children

Joseph Bigelow



Bigelow Society,The Bigelow Family Genealogy Vol II, pg. 474;
Howe, Bigelow Family in America;
Bigelow society records from correspondence with descendant;
Forge, The Bigelow Society Quarterly; Jan 1999; Vol 28, No. 1; p 5;
Note by Duane David
June 30, 1999 at 08:34:14:
Looking for information concerning the son of Joseph Bigelow and Elizabeth Paxton of Port Perry, Ontario. Charles Albert was born 5 August, 1860 in Port Perry. Does anyone know who he married or what became of him?
Follow up:
Posted by: Thalia Hartson
Date: February 12, 2000 at 19:28:30
In Reply to: Joseph (8), Port Perry, ONT by Duane David

In answer to the question about Charlie Bigelow - he was my mother's uncle. He had no children. He married late in life, a
woman named Francis. My mother is Louise Carnegie, daughter of Mabel Irene McCaw, herself daughter of Emma Josephine

Someone else requested some information about my Butler lines this morning so I have the information typed out.  I thought that you might find it as intriguing as I do, so I'm sending you a copy and paste of this information also.  It involves two Bigelow
families.  I'm still trying to find the ellusive Charles Bigelow that I have posted in your site's query section.
Thanks for taking the time to answer my query.  You said you were interested in my Butler lines, so I'll piece it together for you the best I can with what I have to date.  It seems that if I can just get past this one particular generation, I'll have it made.  I'm tracing both backwards and forwards.  I think I may have three branches now descending from Deacon Richard Butler, but still have to fill in some blanks.  Even more amazing is Richard's wife Elizabeth Bigelow.  I have another Bigelow/Butler marriage occurring 150 years later, and I know I'll find a connection somewhere.  Ok, where to start?....from Richard:
Richard Butler m. Elizabeth Bigelow
Nathaniel Butler m. Sarah Banbury
Abigail Butler m. Samuel Walker
Mary Walker m. William Woodhouse *(see below)
Mary Woodhouse m. Benjamin Weston
Abigail Weston m. William Fairchild
Adoline Fairchild m. Henry Butler
Christabell Butler m. Charles Bigelow
Gussie Bigelow m. Harry David
Eddie David m. Edna Mae Edwards
Duane David (me) unmarried

Now the other line from Richard, that rejoins again in a later generation:
Richard Butler m. Elizabeth Bigelow
Samuel Butler m. Elizabeth Olmstead
Sarah Butler m. Samuel Buck
Dorothy Buck m. Joseph Woodhouse
William Woodhouse m. Mary Walker*
Mary Woodhouse m. Benjamin Weston
Abigail Weston m. William Fairchild
Adoline Fairchild m. Henry Butler
Christabell Butler m. Charles Bigelow
Gussie Bigelow m. Harry David
Eddie David m. Edna Mae Edwards
Duane David (me) unmarried
Now the problem that I'm having connecting my gggrandfather, Henry W. Butler (born in New York) to the Connecticut families is where I'm stuck.  He is the son of Augustus Butler from Connecticut, from one of the families that moved to Oneida County, New York.  I have a few possibilities and know the general Butler families that settled in and around Paris and Utica, New York in Oneida County, but need to find out who Augustus' father in Connecticut was.  Once I'm past that I've got the connection.  No one seems to know who he is.
I've got another renegade on my hands in Charles Bigelow that married Christabelle Butler.  It is thought that he was born in
Canada and that his father's name may have been Joseph.  I know that once I get past this bit of information, I can connect him
back to someone related to Elizabeth Bigelow that married Richard Butler.  The Bigelow family is very well documented, but Charles seems to be a stranger to everyone also.  I just find it all so amazing that these families are so closely interconnected.
Thanks for your interest and correspondence.  If there is anything of interest here to you, definitely keep in touch.
Duane David,
Seattle, WA

Subject: Info re: lineage
Date: Wed, 30 Aug 2000 08:01:34 PDT
From:  "Linda Lee" <  >
My name is Linda Lee (Bigelow).  I am trying to determine if I fit into this family tree at all.  I was very curious about the following info on your website and I believe I can provide some info regarding the mysterious "Charles aka Charlie Bigelow":
Remark on your website:
I've got another renegade on my hands in Charles Bigelow that married Christabelle Butler. It is thought that he was born in
Canada and that his father's name may have been Joseph. I know that once I get past this bit of information, I can connect him
back to someone related to Elizabeth Bigelow that married Richard Butler. The Bigelow family is very well documented, but Charles seems to be a stranger to everyone also. I just find it all so amazing that these families are so closely interconnected. Thanks for your interest and correspondence. If there is anything of interest here to you, definitely keep in touch.
Duane David, Seattle, WA
Charlie was my great uncle.  If it is the same lineage, he has quite a colorful past.  My grandfather's name was Theodore Felix Bigelow, born 10/23/1872 in Schnectady, New York.  He was married to Mary Jane Donohue born Mar. 4, 1878.  My great grandfather was from Canada and owned a lumbermill on land which is now the city of Toronto, Canada.  I don't know
very much about my grandparents, however, I do have info on good ole' Charlie.  He was an outlaw associated with the James Gang.  In fact, it was believed it was his body in Jessee's grave until one of Jessee's descendants had his body exhumed and determined that it was indeed Jessee.  (Who knows
what happened to Charlie?)

If you would like more info on that branch of the Bigelow's, let me know and
I can put you in touch with someone who knows a lot about it.

Love your website.

Subject: Joseph Bigelow
Date: Thu, 6 Feb 2003 18:16:22 -0500
From: Charlotte Law (Carnegie)  <>
hey Rod, Thanks for replying,
Born 1828 ?
Son of Hiram Bigelow and Mary Armstrong
Married Elizabeth Paxton
3 children- Emma- My g grandmother Married Hugh McCaw-8 children all girls
Hope this will help. Appreciate anthing you can tell me. Thanks,
 Charlotte Law (Carnegie)
Note 12/17/05:
In 1851, Mr Joseph Bigelow came to Port Perry from Lindsay, and became a key player in the development of the town. In 1852, he became the town's first postmaster. A few years later, he bought a saw mill from a Mr. Stephen Doty. This sawmill was located at the west end of the floating bridge (now the causeway), and was not making any profit until Joseph took it over, and refitted it with machinery. This mill cut the lumber for the fence which followed the railway from Port Perry to Whitby.

The mill was later sold to a Mr. J.A. Trull who wished to build a large dam beside it. Unfortunately for Mr. Trull, the mill burned down and the dam was never built.

It was then that Mr. Bigelow bought a stave factory, and a lumber mill, which he ran even after the railway bought the property in 1872. He moved the building uptown, where it housed an apple evaporator.

In 1867 Joseph Bigelow became president of the company responsible for bringing the railway to Port Perry. In 1872 he became the township's first reeve and started the Cartwright roadway. Shortly after this, he opened a foundry in Port Perry.

In 1902, he became president of the Port Perry division of the Royal Bank of Canada. In 1903, he became president of the Board of the Trade.


The Bigelow house is the largest and finest examples of Italianate architecture in Port Perry.
The house was built on Cochrane St. in 1876 by Joseph and Elizabeth Bigelow and remained in the family until 1980,
when Bigelow's grandson William Carnegie sold it.

1885 sketch of the Bigelow House

The Coming Of The Railway
By Samuel Farmer
On The Shores of Scugog

    Those early times were palmy days for Prince Albert; but changes were coming. There were now three rival villages in Reach - Prince Albert, Port Perry and Manchester. Each place had its strong men who studied and fought to secure advantages for their respective villages. In Manchester there was Adam Gordon a man of quiet determination, who had considerable influence, as he at one time represented the riding in Parliament. At Prince Albert, Joshua Wright was the champion at first, but later he transferred his allegiance to Port Perry. He was a great fighter, fond of a debate, and often able to carry his point by sheer force of personality. There are many unwritten stories told of the prowess of Joshua Wright in debate. In Port Perry Messrs. Bigelow and Paxton were the men who looked after the municipal interests. These men stood out prominently as champions for their various villages.
   Up to 1867 all the grain and lumber that had been taken to the front had been teamed there. There was no railway along this route. Often there had been talk of one, but no definite effort had been made for its construction. Had it not been for the rivalry of the villages; it is quite possible that the railway would not have been built until some years later. But Prince Albert was quite sure that Prince Albert would have to take a second place before many years.
   Thinking men knew that none of these places could amount to much until there was railway communication with the Front. The old days were passing and new conditions had to be met.
   In 1867 application was made to the Local Legislature for a charter to build a railway from Port Whitby to Port Perry. Messrs. Joseph Bigelow and Thomas paxton were the men who started the project. Associated with them and forming the Provisional Board of Directors were the following gentlemen: W.S. Sexton, Chester Draper, John Ham Perry, James Holden and Sheriff Reynolds.
   After the charter was secured, meetings were held in Whitby Town, Whitby Township, and Reach Township to secure bonuses from these various municipalities. In this manner $100,000 were raised, divided as follows - Whitby Town $50,000; Whitby Township $20,000; Reach Township $30,000. Stock was subscribed to the amount of $100,000; and with this capital the work of construction was begun. During this time and until the completion of the railway, Joseph Bigelow was president of the company.
The contract for building the road was let to J. H. Drumble, of Cobourg, who worked at the job for a while and then sold out to C. E. English, of Toronto. This latter gentleman did not complete the work, but a dispute arose between himself and the company,and the result was that the company finished the building of the road themselves.
   In deciding the route of the railway, many conflicting interests had to be studied. Reach Township had voted a bonus of $30,000 but the voters were not all agreed as to the route of the proposed railway. Adam Gordon and his friends wanted the road to pass through Manchester. Joshua Wright and his friends worked to get the railway to pass by the tannery a little West of Prince Albert. Had either of these routes been followed there would have been endless trouble, because Prince Albert and Manchester were rival grain buying centres, and the railway would have meant business success to the place that secured it, and failure to the other place. What finally resulted was that neither place secured the advantage. Stations were built south of Manchester and east of Prince Albert; but the terminus of the railway was at Port Perry. As things turned out the terminus was much more valuable than the stations. Grain which before had been marketed in Prince Albert and Manchester from the north was hauled to Port Perry after the railway was completed, and Aaron Ross moved his grain buying business from the former to the latter place. That year he built the elevator at present operated by James Lucas. Adam Gordon, of Manchester, also put up a big elevator, which was later destroyed by fire.
   It was not all plain sailing in building the road. There was the usual difficulty in raising money, and after a while funds became low. Joseph Bigelow had money which he was willing to lend to the company, but so long as he was president of that organization, he could not legally do this. Accordingly he resigned his position, and loaned the company $40,000. James Dryden became president.
   In 1873 the company sold out. The following extract from the Port Perry Standard, dated May 23, 1873, gives details as to the transaction:
   "T. Paxton, Jos. Bigelow, C.E. English and J. Dryden, Esqs., have disposed of their interest in the Port Whitby and Port Perry Railway by a transfer of seventy thousand dollars of the stock, and some eighty-three thousand dollars of the bonds of the Company to James Austin, President of the Dominion Bank, James Michie, wholesale merchant of Toronto, and James Holden, of the Town of Whitby. Mr. Dryden, the late President, and Mr. C. Marsh have retired from the board, and have been succeeded by James Austin as President, James Michie as Vice-President, and James Holden as Managing Director.
   "We understand that the gentlemen associated with Mr. Holden in the purchase are among the wealthiest capitalists of Toronto. With the exception of the changes referred to, the personnel of the Board is the same as heretofore - Messrs. C. Draper, A. Ross, E. Major and John Dryden being the Directors. We hope the new blood and capital that has been brought into the concern will be of advantage to all concerned, and to the interests of the public generally.
   "If the men who now control will do what they promise, in the way of fully equipping the road with rolling stock, which is at present insufficient to meet the demands for traffic, and the road is otherwise put into first-class condition, we shall not regret the change. In referring to the condition of the roadbed, we may say that there is no better in the Province; and in condition to run over it is superior to the Grand Trunk. With a change of gauge of that road, which we would be glad to see, trains could run from Port Perry to Toronto without change or transshipment at Whitby. With proper management in the Company's interest, this will be one of best paying roads in the country.

     "In reference to the parties who have had control in the past, we can assuredly say that notwithstanding all the obstacles that have been thrown in their way to embarrass and annoy them in the completion of the road, they succeeded and carried it to its present state, and have established a large and paying traffic. For so doing no men have been so vindictively, persistently and wantonly abused and misrepresented as Mr. Bigelow, Mr. Paxton and Mr. Dryden, and all through their honest endeavors to secure the completion of a railway to this section of the country.
   "Knowing well the importance of the work to the country and the country generally, Mr. Bigelow and Mr. Paxton have been the moving spirits in this enterprise from its first inception, and they deserve credit for their determined and persistent efforts in its behalf; and, without fear of successful contradiction, we affirm that the county is more largely indebted to these gentlemen for the completion of the road than all the other parties connected with it.
   "These gentlemen have been charged with desiring to stop the road at Port Perry in order to serve the interests of Port Perry alone, regardless of the Town of Whitby and other sections of the county, but such statements are by no means true. They were made with a special object in view - that of hurting the credit of those they were aimed at, and to injure the prosperity of this place. These gentlemen have only been actuated by one motive, and that simply the completion of the road. They were willing to hand over the road, or their interests in it, and did so, as soon as a bona fide proposition was made to them, by which they could obtain re-payment of their large advances. It was hardly to be expected that while Mr. Bigelow held so large an interest in the Company, both as a stockholder and a creditor, that he and the gentlemen with whom he was associated, would give up control and allow a ring of manipulators to endanger his interests, and those of his friends, without due consideration to security. When those desirous of managing the affairs of the company found this was the case, a combination was formed for purchasing the interests of the gentlemen to whom we have referred.
   "The advance made by Mr. Bigelow amounted to $49,110, of which he received $42,000 in legal tender from the Bank of Montreal on Monday, a nice little sum in hard cash. We hope the croakers will now end their abuse, as these gentlemen have shown by their willingness to retire, what we have always contended for, that it was not the control they wanted, but that they were actuated wholly and solely by the desire, first to secure the road and then to secure themselves, and we don't blame them for it."
   In spite of the continuous efforts of the Directorate to make the railway a profitable project, and in spite of the optimistic spirit of the press of that day, profits were small if they existed at all.
   It was plain that profits could not be attained so long as the railway was a stub line having no direct connection with any of the larger railways. When a passenger wished to travel to Toronto, he did not buy a ticket straight through to his destination, but paid his passage to Whitby, where he bought another ticket to Toronto. In the same way freight was shipped to Whitby and then transshipped to Toronto and other points. Various efforts were made to dispose of the road to some of the larger companies, but without success.
   Finally it was thought advisable to extend the road to Lindsay, so that its earnings could be increased. Another campaign for bonuses was begun, the money raised, and the road extended.

  1912 Railroad Port Perry
     Since the time of extension there have been various views of the advisability of this movement. It is certain that Port Perry lost considerable trade eventually; and some have considered that the bonus of $20,000 given by Port Perry for the extension of the road was worse than wasted. In fact most people agree that the amount of the bonus was too large.
   Those who advocated the extension claimed that eventually the road must have failed had it not been extended. There was not enough business to warrant the upkeep of the railway, and the probability was that trade would decrease instead of increase, as the lumber was gradually being cut away. In any case larger railways would not buy the railway as it stood. After the railway was extended, close watch was kept on the earnings of the road until the company was able to show a margin of profit. Then it was that the Midland Railway bought the road,and it finally became a branch of the G.T.R.
   The early locomotives used wood for fuel, and along the east side of the track were immense piles of cordwood. At that time the engines on the Grand Trunk also burned wood; but it was plentiful all along the track, so that no difficulty was experienced in obtaining fuel.
   The rolling stock was rented from a man in Montreal, except in the case of the passenger car which was bought in the United States.

Modified - 07/25/2010
(c) Copyright 2010 Bigelow Society, Inc. All rights reserved.
Rod  Bigelow - Director

Rod Bigelow (Roger Jon12 BIGELOW)
Box 13    Chazy Lake
Dannemora, N.Y. 12929
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