By Myra Chepack
This article is based on the information amassed on a Thomas Hargrave of Markham, who may or may not be the Thomas Hargrave, who was President of Markham Fair in 1917. The photo, with the name of Thomas Hargrave printed on the back and the listing of this name in the Past Presidents of the Fair, are not conclusive evidence that this, in fact is the correct Thomas.
This gentleman was born on February 12th, 1864 to James and Elizabeth Hargrave. He married, at the age of 24, on October 31st, 1888, Mary Forgie of Pickering, her parents being John and Barbara Forgie. At the time of the marriage, Thomas was listed as being a butcher and having been born in England. Witnesses to the wedding were George Duncan of Markham and Jennie (possibly Jessie) Forgie of Pickering.
Thomas and Mary ‘s first child was E. Barbara, born May 7th, 1892. There is no record of her death and no resting place known to the author. The second child was Harry John, born on April 16th, 1895, who died January 14th, 1965 and is buried with his parents, at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Cemetery in Markham.
An obituary in the Stouffville Tribune on April 9th, 1925 shows a Mrs. Wm. Forgie, mother of John (a Reeve of Pickering) leaving four daughters, one of whom is Mrs. Thomas Hargrave. Unfortunately the Mary Forgie we have married to this Mr. Thomas Hargrave, died September 26th, 1922. Three years prior to the person we presume to be her mother! The other daughters were Mrs. Thomas Neal of Claremont and JESSIE and Annie. There was also another brother, William. The use of family names throughout seems to be too much of a coincidence.
A marriage certificate shows Thomas Hargrave marrying Alice Hall on June 24th, 1925. An obituary, states that Alice Hall died January 10th, 1926. Her resting place is unknown, but it is not with Thomas. Her obituary also presented an anomaly. It stated that she had lived in Toronto, prior to her marriage ten years ago. There were less than three years between the death of Thomas’ first wife and Alice Hall and the duration of the marriage was less than ten months, if one is looking for a typo.
The 1917 census shows Thomas Hargrave to have been 54 years of age and the owner of Lot 19, Conc. 9. This was a parcel of 50 acres, which Thomas purchased in November of 1893, from Abraham and Margaret Brillinger for the sum of $2000.00. In that same census, a young man names Harry John, aged 22, presumably the son of Thomas was leasing Lot 18, Conc. 8. There was a building on this property but not on Thomas’ property.
Every attempt will be made to provide an updated and more conclusive version of this article in 2018. Should anyone have any information or photos that may be of assistance, all leads will be appreciated and acted upon.
A number of people have assisted in this search, including the Markham Museum staff, whose help is offered so generously. Many thanks.