Post Office History, Fenelon Falls ON

Fenelon Falls, Ontario, Canada

Post Office History

Office Name: Fenelon Falls
Electoral District: Victoria (Ontario)

Post Office Established Aug 6, 1838

Name of Postmaster Military Status Date of
Date of
Date of
Cause of
(Capt.) James Wallis 1838-08-06
William H. Powles PM in 1844
Rev. John Hickie PM in 1853 1855-04-16 Resignation
Thomas S. Stayner 1855-06-01 1856-12-03 Resignation
James Fitzgerald 1857-02-01 1868-08-08 Resignation
Robert B. Jameson 1868-11-01 1878-09-25 Death
George Cunningham 1879-01-01 1887
Francis Johnston Kerr 1887-12-01 1914-02-16 Death
Martin William Brandon 1914-03-06 1941-05-28 Death
Miss Emma Eveline Purdy 1941-06-03 Acting
Charles Routley McInnes OAS 1894-11-02 1942-02-12 1964-11-02 Retirement
Gordon Arnold Southorn 1964-11-02 Promoted
Mrs. Elizabeth Lightfoot 1965-01-11 Acting
Albert Thomas Sinclair 1965-02-11 1978-10-16 Resignation
Keith J. Sassien 1978-10-16 1978-11-10 Transferred
Allen Driscoll 1978-11-10 1979-07-18 Transferred
Stephen Tighe 1979-07-18

Post Office Information Disclaimer: This reproduction is NOT represented as an official version of the materials reproduced, nor as having been made in affiliation with, or with the endorsement of the National Archives of Canada. The source of this material is the National Archives of Canada

Postmasters Bio

First Postmaster-
Lt Col “Captain” James Wallis (Sr)
b- Jan 18, 1806 Glasgow, Scotland per headstone
d- May 23, 1893 at his farm home “Merino”, Peterborough, ON, per headstone
buried in Little Lake Cemetery, Peterborough, Peterborough Co., Ontario, Canada
James Wallis came from a very wealthy and influentual family in Cork Ireland.
Came from Maryborough, Glanmire, Cork, Ireland, where his father owned a 14,000 acre estate, called Drishane Castle
Immigrated to Montreal in 1832
1891 lived in Monaghan North, Peterborough West, Ontario, Canada shown as a widow, age 83
1881 same place, shown as a farmer, age 73
1861 same place, age 53, Farmer, born in Scotland
1851 same place, shown age 43 in Ireland?
Credited as the founder of Fenelon Falls.
With Robert Jameson, he built a sawmill, a Flour mill, laid out the townsite and began bringing in settlers to the new village.
Wallis purchased up to ten thousand acres of land in Fenelon Township
Credited with being the first to import purebred Horses, Cattle and Hogs.
He named his estate after his purebred Merino sheep.
1859 ad Oct 20, 1859 he was having an auction sale, he had 100 town lots for sale, a working Stone Grist mill with 2 Burr Stones, and 6,000 acres of farm land
Son of Henry Wallis (see below) and Helen McCall
Helen's father- James McCall, of Braehead, Lanark
She died at Braehead, Aug 30, 1814? Helen married Henry Aug 11, 1796
James married twice-
Apr 22, 1840 married (1) Janet Elizabeth Wallis nee Fisher
b- 1815 Hay Bay, Lennox and Addington Co., On
d- May 16, 1849 Peterborough Co., ON
daughter of Judge Fisher, of Adolphustown, Lennox Co, Canada West
Dec 30, 1851- James married (2) Louisa Wallis nee Forbes
b- France, age 50? in 1881 census, age 44 in France in 1861 census, age 32 in England in 1851
d- Jan 28, 1887, Merino, Peterborough, ON, age 69
buried in Little Lake Cemetery, Peterborough, Peterborough Co., Ontario, Canada
daughter of Cmdr Robert Millar Forbes, RN, of Peterborough
1st wife:
Daughter- Helen Sarah Wallis-
b- Apr 10, 1843 age 18 in 1861 in Scotland
d- ? ,married Rev Walter Roger, of Peterborough

Son- Henry Alexander Wallis
b- Nov 23, 1844, age 17 in 1861 in Upper Canada
d- 1913 unmarried

Son- James Wallis Jr.
b- Apr 23, 1849 Peterborough Co. ON, (age 13 in 1851 in Upper Canada)
d- Nov 1, 1862 at sea, age 13 yrs 6 mo

daughter- Margaret Isabella Wallis
b- Aug 25, 1847
d- died as an infant

2nd wife:
Son Charles Stayner Wallis
b- Oct 10, 1854 in Peterborough, age 26 in 1881 in ON shown as a Lawyer, age 7 in 1861 in Upper Canada
d- Aug 29, 1938 in Vancouver

Son- John McCall Wallis
b- Aug 20, 1856, age 22 in 1881 in ON, shown as a Bank Clerk, age 5 in 1861 in Upper Canada
d- June 23, 1895

Daughter- Louisa Margaret Wallis
b- Nov 15, 1852
d- Apr 18, 1854

Daughter- Mary Henrietta Wallis
b- May 8, 1858, age 24 in 1881 in ON, age 3 in 1861 in Upper Canada
d- Sept 28, 1882

Daughter Katharine Elizabeth Wallis
b- July 18, 1861, age 20 in 1881 in ON, age 29 in 1891
d- Dec 1957, International known sculptor

Daughter- Ada Wallis
b- age 16 in 1881 in ON, age 27, in 1891, living with him, she lived in Burrington England in 1938

siblings of James Wallis Sr:
Harry (Henry) Wallis, d- July 28, 1827, drowned on his father's estate (one record said this was John?), unmarried.
Robert Wallis, d- Oct 4,1814 age 14 mo.
John Wallis, b- ca 1811, d- Jan 24, 1830, age 19, of malignant typhus fever, Henry's youngest son, unmarried
Sarah Wallis- married William Smith, she died June 22, 1877 at Hillhouse, Kiranewton, N.B.
and 7 daughters:
Margaret Helen Wallis- married George Dennistoun Esq Dec 14, 1837 in Scotland, d- Dec 14, 1839 at Newton Place, in Glasgow, Scotland
(note there was an Alex Dennistoun in Fenelon falls in 1858, so family ties were close here)
The Dennistoun family owned the Glasgow Bank so were very wealthy
There is a District in Glasgow Scotland named after this family.
They were tied into Scottish Royalty, Robert II and III, so very high up in Society.
Ellen Wallis, married a Charles Bolton, d- Feb 1842 in Waterford co., Ireland
Elizabeth Wallis- married Sir Joshua Christmas Paul, 2nd Baronet Ballyglan Waterford, Elizabeth d- apr 16, 1836
missing 4 more
see link below for whole family tree

Henry Wallis family of Drishane Castle, Co. Cork, Ireland, Drishane castle, one of the strongholds of the MacCarthys
Henry Wallis bought the castle in 1709
In 1703, Thomas Wallis of Curryglass bought part of the estate of the Earl of Clancarty, attainted, in the Barony of Muskerry, County Cork. In 1721 George Wallis of Curraglass married his cousin, Elizabeth Wallis of Drishane, county Cork and their eldest son, Henry, eventually inherited the Drishane estate.
Apr 1838- Henry Wallis, of Drishane Castle, is appointed Deputy Lieutenant of the county Cork
1845- Henry Wallis, Esq., D.L., Drishane Castle
July 1849 appointed to County of Cork Grand Jury
Jan 1862- at Drishane Castle, Henry Wallis, Esq, Lieut. Col, of the South Cork Militia
I think Henry Wallis Sr. died Jan 6, 1862 at his Drishane Castle
In 1906, the last Wallis of Drishane Castle, Henry Aubery Beaumont Wallis was divorced from his estranged wife Elizabeth Bingham

Lots of Info on the Wallis family online so will not add more than this, see link below

Note- I did find a reference to a Twomey family renting a house on the Drishane Castle Estate,
So this might be my brick wall tie to Ireland, and the County Cork for Jeremiah Twomey above
The Estate is near the Blackwater River which is the area of the Twomey clan, on some old maps.
1852 James Wallis had the Ogemah built and we know Jeremiah Twomey was a Blacksmith that worked on building the boat.
We know from history he brought in tradesman to work on his various projects.
Did he bring Jeremiah from his old home to work on it? or did Jeremiah find him looking for a job after he came to Canada?

2nd Postmaster
William H. Powles
b- June 1813 Hereford Co, England
d- Jan 30, 1907 at Fenelon falls, ON, age 93
Buried: Fenelon Falls Cemetery
Township Clerk
He shows up on map of Fenelon Township in Fenelon Falls History link below
Located at what is known as Powles Corners, named after this man's family
Highway 121 and Highway 35 intersection and Powles Rd just south of that.
1850 shown as postmaster with a boot and shoe store
wife- Sarah Bentley
b- Oct 1822, Dublin Co., Ireland
d- Dec 15, 1903 Fenelon Falls ON, age 81
Buried- Fenelon Falls Cemetery
6 children in 1871
daughter- Sarah Powles b- ca 1851, age 20 in 1871 in ON
son- James Wallis- b- ca 1853, age 18 in 1871 in ON
son- Henry Powles- b- ca 1855, age 16 in 1871 in ON
son- George Powles- b-ca 1856, age 15 in 1871 in ON

daughter- Rebecca M Powles
b- 1860
d- Jan. 21, 1898 in Fenelon Falls ON, age 38
married Simeon Cooper
children- Arthur Carlos Cooper and Daisy Sarah Cooper

son- John Powles- b- ca 1863, age 8 in ON

3rd Postmaster
Rev. John Hickie
b- abt 1820 in Ireland
Rev John Hickie was in the village of Omemee in 1857-1859
Residence: 1880 Verplanck Westchester New York USA, shown as a wheelwright here
married Jane Burns
b- abt 1830 in NS
daughter Amelia Hickie
son James Bruce Hickie
b- Feb 1, 1844 in ON
d- 1925
married Emma Common in Michigan USA
Jane Adortha Wilson, nee Hickie 1848–1920
Owen Hickey 1859–
James Hickey 1861–
Jane Hickey 1863–
Maggie Hickey 1865–
Annie Hickey 1869–

4th Postmaster
Thomas S. Stayner
Thomas bought the Fenelon site from James Wallis in 1862
He was affiliated with a few Banks
He was a Captain in the 2nd Batt, Victoria Co Militia at one point, from Montreal Artillary in the article
Can't find anything concrete on him, too many to choose from

5th Postmaster
James Fitzgerald
b- ca 1809 in Ireland, age 52 in 1861
d- Dec 17, 1869 in Fenelon Falls, age 61, if I have the right guy?
shown as a Merchant in 1861 in Fenelon Falls
married Elizabeth Fitzgerald
b- ca 1817 in Ireland, age 44 in 1861
Charlotte Fitzgerald- b- in Upper Canada, age 22 in 1861
John Fitzgerald - Upper Canada, age 21 in 1861
Joseph Fitzgerald - Upper Canada, age 15 in 1861
Elizabeth Fitzgerald - Upper Canada, age 13 in 1861
Harriet Fitzgerald - Upper Canada, age 10 in 1861
Mary Fitzgerald - Upper Canada, age 8 in 1861
Edward Fitzgerald- Upper Canada, age 5 in 1861

6th Postmaster
Robert B. Jameson
b- ca 1826, in Scotland, age 45 in 1871
d- Sept 25, 1878 in Fenelon Falls ON
shown as a Merchant in Fenelon Falls in 1871
wife- ? died before 1871
Living with him- Mary Cunningham
b- age 40 in 1871 in Scotland
She had 3 children-
George Cunningham- age 21 in 1871 in ON (I believe he became the 7th Postmaster below on this mans recommendation)
Clerk in 1871 in Fenelon Falls
Mary Cunningham- age 18 in 1871 in ON
Hynan? Cunningham- age 14 in 1871 in ON

7th Postmaster
George Cunningham
b- age 43 in 1891 in ON
1871 census- his mother Mary Cunningham, age 40, born in Scotland, George Cunningham, age 21, sister Mary Cunningham, age 18, sister Hynan? age 14, all born in ON,
all living with Robert Jameson above
George shown as a Clerk
1881 census, shown as as a widower, living with Jamima Cunningham, age 55, Helen Cunningham, age 30, Hyndmore Cunningham, age 27, and George Dalton Cunningham, age 9.
He married Minnie Maud Ullyott Feb 13, 1872, Victoria, ON, age 19, born abt 1853, died Dec 3, 1873
George Dalton Cunningham born July 28, 1872 in Fenelon Falls, ON, died Jan 28, 1937 in Vancouver BC, age 64
1891 census- he was shown a widower, and as a labourer
Living with his mother- Mrs J. H. Cunningham age 66, born in Scotland
sister- Lynda B. Cunningham, b- abt 1855 in ON Private School Teacher

8th Postmaster
Francis Johnston Kerr
b- Sept 14, 1848, Clark, Durham Co, ON
d- Feb 16, 1914
1888- Telegraph and Insurance Agent in Fenelon Falls
married Evelyn Amelia Craig Jan 7, 1885 in Fenelon Falls, ON
b- Sept 21, 1858 in ON
d- Nov 5, 1901 in Victoria, ON
Grover Johnston Kerr- 1887–1943 Served in WWI
Anndan Kerr- 1891–
Garnet Vivian Kerr- 1896– Served in WWI

9th Postmaster
Martin William Brandon
b- 1863 in Fenelon Falls, ON
d- May 28, 1941 fenelon Falls ON
son of Andrew Brandon and Martha Johnston
married Sarah Jane Goulais
b- Dec 30, 1895 in Bobcaygeon, Victoria, ON
d- 1932 in Fenelon Falls, ON
they had a son

Rest enter Privacy Issues and will not be researched

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My Main Fenelon Falls Page

Fenelon Falls War Memorial


  • Last modified: 2021/05/26 16:17
  • by dlgent