Patton family, owners of Kilton Cottage cobblestone house
Family name Patton
Other family names Killips
Community Paris

Kilton Cottage, early 20th century. Image from the County of Brant Public Library Digital Collections

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This family history was donated by Joan Benson, great granddaughter of David and Matilda Patton, during a Digitization Days event held at the Paris branch of the County of Brant Public Library on November 14, 2009. For more information, contact the Library at (519) 442-2433.

This history of the descendants of David Patton and Matilda Killips was written by their youngest son, David Patton, on June 27th, 1940.

An asterisk * next to a person's name indicates that they were still living at the time that this history was written.

Introduction: David Patton, Matilda Killips

Family of David Paaton 1824-1904, fourth son of Thomas Patton and Elizabeth Greenfield of County Down, Ireland, and Matilda Killips, 1825-1894, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Killips of County Antrim, Ireland, who were married in the Rosemary St. Church, Belfast, Ireland, by the Reverend C.I. McAllister, June 11,1851.

This sketch written by the youngest member of the family of these good Irish parents in April, 1940 is being revised this 27th day of June 1940, and may require further revision should reliable details of past events come into my possession.

My grandparents, Thomas and Elizabeth Patton with perhaps half of their family of twelve came to Canada about 1834, settling in Ancaster, Canada West, but later moved further west and purchased a farm property midway between Paris and Ayr in the Township of South Dumfries, County of Brant. This farm was the birthplace of the younger members of their family and is known by the Patton clan as "Marshview”.

My father, David Patton was probably a ten years old boy when he tried rolling down the Ancaster hills inside a barrel! Probably his parents decided that South Dumfries might be a safer place to raise a family, and my father, after receiving a schooling in the “Three R'S", was apprenticed with a painter named Craig In Galt. In ’48 or ’49 he nearly lost his life by receiving a terrible scalding by hot oil. Before his recovery was sufficient to resume work, he took a trip to the old country, and fell an easy victim to the charms of his cousin, the vivacious Matilda Killips, who was brave enough to share with him a six weeks passage on a sailing vessel. They took up residence in Paris where three children were born. About_1866, the railways were built throughout this district, and father did many painting jobs by contract employing a number of men on new houses, and also railway buildings and Bridges . A short distance north of the point where the Great Western R.R. was crossed by the Buffalo and Lake Huron branch of the Grand Trunk R.R. park lots were surveyed. On a newly laid out "Oak Avenue", Father and Mother became the owners of two lots, and on this property, they erected a cobble stone house, having many of the beautiful and characteristic appointments and peculiarities of Old Country homes, planted orchard, fruit and ornamental trees and shrubs, garden, berries etc. etc. There was a small barn, a horse; cow, pigs and poultry, the latter three were mother's especial care. They bought two more lots, thus making a property of about 8 acres. By uniting their family names, Killips and Patton, they named this property, "Kilton Cottage", and for over forty years, it was the beloved HOME of the Patton family, and will be fondly remembered as long as the many friends and relatives, who, throughout the years enjoyed its wide hospitality are possession of life and love.

Perhaps about 1863, father gave up contract painting and opened a Hardware Store adjoining Whitlaw’s Flour Mill, River St. Paris. He carried a full stock of shelf hardware, garden and farm tools, paints, oils, varnishes, glass, putty, wallpaper, etc. etc. and did custom painting and glazing in a shop upstairs. He took his youngest brother, James, as partner, forming the firm of Patton Bros. Hardware, continuing until the big Paris fire of 1900.

During his latter years, he held a controlling interest in the Brantford and Paris Plank and Gravel Toll Road, which in Nov.9th 1918 was taken over by the government and forms a part of Provincial Highway No.2.

Margaret Matilda

1. Margaret Matilda

Born in Paris, August 1852, died in infancy.


2. Thomas

Born in Paris, Sept. 16,1853. When two years old, shared a trip to Ireland with his parents and baby sister Bessie. Schooling at Keg Lane. Apprenticed as carpenter with Turnbull and Thompson, Lumber and Building. About 1878 or 1879 took up farming, Galt Road, township of South Dumfries. Later moved to Tp. of Garafraxa near Fergus. Bessie accompanied him. About 1883, Father and Tom jointly bought 100 acres of the Horace Capron farm, immediately adjoining the northern boundary of the Town of Paris and immediately adjoining the Kilton property to the West. Erected house and barn, and made other changes and improvements. Married Annie M., daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Chisholm Esquesing Tp. Near Milton, Sept. 29th 1887. Brought his bride to “Farmhill” where they lived until 1896, when he moved to Paris and resumed his trade of carpenter. Death occurred Oct. 4, 1936.

Matilda Unsworth

A. Matilda Unsworth* 1888 at “Farmhill”. Education at Keg Lane school. Trained as teacher. Served in school districts in the vicinity of Paris and Milton for a number of years. While on a trip to Europe, the Great War of 1914-1918 began. I don’t suppose she was in any Measure responsible for this war, but sha had to leave Europe as hastily as possible. In 1933 she retired from teaching and is at present living with her mother at No.2 Warwick St. Paris. Her mother's age is 82.

Mary Chisholm

B. Mary Chisholm 1889-1899


3. Bessie. In Paris Sept. 18th 1856 - Feb. 19, 1908. A wonderful life of devotion, helpfulness, and cheerful service to us all. Loyal and true to her church, her home, her God and to her hosts of friends. Spent one wonderful year (1878) in Ireland visiting relatives there.

Margaret Matilda

4. Margaret Matilda

At Kilton Cottage, South Dumfries, August 6, 1858- Feb. 2, 1936. Common school education- uneventful home life until her marriage at Kilton cottage to Thomas Helliker, farmer of South Dumfries on Dec. 28, 1881. Like other members of the family, she enjoyed many loyal friendships formed in various locations in the vicinity of Paris and Princeton. Their little boys died in infancy and they decided to quit farming and move into Paris. This was probably about 1911. Thomas Helliker found ready employment with a coal and lumber company at Paris Junction. His death occurred in January 1932.

Mabel Patton

A. Mabel Patton*. Nov. 18, 1884. After common and High School training Mabel went to Clifton Springs, graduating as registered nurse. Coming home to Canada, she did valiant service as a nurse until she formed an alliance with Wellington Moore* who made his livelihood selling paint. They were married in Paris on Dec. 30, 1913, and I was at the wedding. For some years they resided in Winnipeg, but later established the “Wallie Moore Paint Co." in Toronto, which is still doing business in that city. They have a lovely home at 81 Millwood Road.

Ronald Thomas

A-1 – Ronald Thomas* Dec. 8, 1914. Now one of the finest upstanding young fellows that I know. Worked in his father's business for some time after leaving school, devoting special attention to the study of chemicals, IN their application to the manufacture of paints and colored inks, yet, through it all, cherished a great love for a horse. He is now a highly trusted member of the R.C.M.P. with the Headquarters Division, Regina, Saskatchewan.

Mary Ileen

A-2- Mary Ileen* Oct. 24, 1916. Clever, capable girl. Have had little opportunity of knowing her. She holds a good position in the office of a business firm in Toronto.

Margaret Dorris

A-3- Margaret Dorris* Sept. 1, 1918. The girl that charms with her gentle touch and winning smile. Is still holding to her comparatively recent decision to train for a nurse. When she graduates, she hopes to join the Canadian Airways.

Bessie Lynn

B. Bessie Lynn*

Jan. 3, 1891. Common school education, Paris Plains. Coming to Paris with her parents about 1911, she served as tailoress with Dan McTavish, well known Tailor and Fitter, Paris. On June 2, 1924 she married John Emerson Berrill, mechanic, of Paris. They built a good and comfortable home, 58 St. Andrews St. where four children, all girls, were born. Her husband’s sudden and untimely death on Feb. 19, 1936 is a great sorrow.

Bessie Lynn's children

B-l- Dorothy Joyce.* April 15, 1925

B-2- Margaret Joan* Feb. 16, 1929

B-3- Kathryn Grace* Oct. 10, 1930

B-4- Beverly Jean* June 28, 1932

These girls are all at present at school and form an interesting bunch. Everybody likes them and they are early making themselves quite useful. Their home is quite near us, and I am always assured of a great welcome when I drop in to see them. “Tell us a story, Uncle Dave" is their invariable greeting.

John Killips

5. John Killips

At Kilton Cottage, Sept 8, 1860- 1926. Keg Lane School. Tassie School, Galt. Served apprenticeship with George L. Scott, Druggist, Paris. Druggist assistant for about three years in Chicago, Ill. About 1864, he went to Manitoba, and bought a small drug business in Minnedosa, which he successfully carried on for nearly 20 years. His marriage with Edith I. Smith of Stratford, Ontario, took place, Oct. 13, 1888. Their home WAS a happy gathering place for many of the residents of Minnedosa. After a time they decided to move to Vancouver, B.C. which proved a somewhat unsatisfactory venture. For several years they lived in Toronto, where the growing family had much better educational opportunities, but their dear mother's sudden death, April 20, 1913 was an irreparable loss. John's sister Anna endeavored to fill the gap for a considerable time and was there when the Great War of 1914-1918 called all three boys to the colors. Later, John married again a widow Mrs. May Pabst. A son, John, born to them probably in 1918, but I have no definite knowledge of either mother or son at present. John K. Patton met a tragic death by fire Feb, 12, 1925.

Harold Smith

A. Harold Smith* At Minnedosa, Manitoba, Jan.4, 1869. The traveller and scholar of the Patton clan. Sent through the Great War 1914-1918 recovering from almost fatal wounds sustained in the Battle of Sanctuary Woods, he returned to the scene of the war in the service of the Y.M.C.A. Returning to Toronto at the close of the war, he resumed his college work and finished a remarkable university course with scholarships, B.A. and Ph.D. His marriage with Marguerite Irene Taylor* likewise a university graduate took place in the chapel of Knox College, Toronto, Sept. 4, 1923. For a time he held a position in the Provincial college at Edmonton but most of his professional work has bean done in Michigan State College, East Lansing. Yet his mind constantly reverts to the western Canadian wheat fields and to Wheat as an economic factor. Marguerite too, who possesses an almost uncanny mastery of values and figures has been repeatedly called upon as a capable government executive. They have a beautiful and commodious home, 926 University Drive, East Lansing, Michigan. Both have done somewhat extensive and observant travelling, and both are applying their wide knowledge of various subjects and conditions for the welfare of the nation or better still, the nations.

David Clair

B. David Clair* At Minnedosa, Manitoba, Nov. 20, 1890. Probably the best loved, most genial, originally witty and clever member of the Clan Patton. Gained a pretty good business training with the Dunlop Tire Co. Hamilton. Married Marion W. McCosh of Paris Ont. Oct. 13, 1913. With his other brothers he took part in the Great War 1914-1918 and suffered from a gas attack, from which he gradually recovered. For several years, he has held a position on the executive staff of "Sangamo" manufacturers of electric fittings and appliances, in the Toronto branch of that company, whose headquarters are in Springfield, Illinois. Clair, like most of the clan, loves outside air and natural beauty and, in the fairly extensive setting of their wonder¬ful house at Islington, he has developed his natural love of flowers, until it has become a veritable and pleasing hobby, Especially in the culture of roses, both Clair and Marion are enthusiastically successful. Clair has become recognised as something of an authority on Roses, and his services on the executive of the Ontario Rose Society has been rewarded by his appointment to the President of that Society for this year, 1940. Today's Globe and Mail (June 28th) told of his success at this season's Annual Rose Show of the Ontario Society. One of his entries was judged to be "Best Rose in the Exhibition”.

John David McCosh

B-l In Hamilton, Ont, John David McCosh* Jan. 9, 1915. After leaving school, David served with a Starch Manufacturing Co. in Toronto, is becoming an enterprising travelling salesman for same company. Recently his application for the Canadian Air Force has been accepted, and he has passed the difficult medical, eye and other examinations. God bless him as he, with others, takes his place in defense of the King and Empire.

Anna Margaret Louise and Norman Edwin Greenfield

B-2 and 3, Twins- Anna Margaret Louise* and Norman Edwin Greenfield* September 2, 1922. This pair enjoy and inspire considerable fame in both in their Islington home, and in their mother’s native town of Paris, where they are frequent visitors. We have every reason to expect good things from both of them. Margaret is said to be a replica of her grandmother Edith. She expects to graduate from High School this term. Norman, we are told, is, since the declaration of war, becoming somewhat careless about his studies and is anxious to attain the age of 18 (next September) so that he may join up with the armed forces of Canada and the Empire. He sure knows how to handle a rifle. He was named after his uncle, Norman Edwin Greenfield, who went overseas never to return.

Norman Edwin Greenfield

C. Norman Edwin Greenfield. In Minnedosa, Manitoba (probably) in February, 1894 (?) a most lovable and promising lad. Fell at the battle of Sanctuary Wood, beside his wounded brother Harold, in defense of King and Country June 2, 1916.

Edith Muriel

D. Edith Muriel* At Vancouver, B.C. December 17, 1902. After leaving school in Toronto, she began training and became a registered nurse. Moved to Los Angeles, California, probably about 1925. Was united by marriage with Chester Brainerd Rice* of Los Angeles November 7, 1931. Continued for some years to collaborate with doctor in medical office work. About two years ago Chester and Muriel visited us at Paris while on their overland motor trip.

Edith Patricia

D-1 At Los Angeles, California, Oct. 31, 1939, Edith Patricia* Her uncle and aunt (Clair and Marion) who recently returned from a trip to the Pacific, report that E.P. Rice is a remarkably charming wee girl.


E. In Toronto, probably in 1918 by John Killips Patton’s second wife, who was Mrs. May Pabet, “John”

Anna Jane

6.Anna Jane*

At Kilton Cottage, South Dumfries May 18, 1863, a great home lover, something of an artist, as well as a keen housekeeper. Never very strong physically, yet very capable of noting and attending to the one hundred and one details. About 1885 or 7 she spent a year or more with Joh K. in Minnedosa, Manitoba. A trip to Ireland probably about 1910 was an outstanding event in her life. Mother’s death occurred August 27, 1894 and about four years later, Father decided to sell the Kilton property, and with Bessie and Anna took up residence in Paris until the time of his death Oct. 12, 1904. The two girls moved to another house on River St. where Bessie’s sudden death occurred Feb 19, 1908. Anna lived or boarded or kept rooms of her own or did as health permitted, but was in Toronto with John and Edith at the time of the latter’s sudden death. Anna remained with John and his a family, filling in with an admirable devotion. Daring that time all three of John’s boys went overseas to take part in the Great War. After John's second marriage, Anna went to London, Ont. for a time, eventually returning to Paris, living for a time with Tom and Maggie Helliker and for a time with as at "Farmhill" and has had a variety of lodgings, where she could find crowded space for the few antiquated, yet, to her, extremely precious articles which served as reminders of our dear old Kilton home. At prevent sha is boarding in a house on Banfield St. a short distance from our home where she is always a welcone visitor.


7. David*

At Kilton Cottage, South Dumfries May 16, 1886. Leaving school at 15, I entered an office of a woolen mill in Paris, but preferred outside work and for three years assisted father and Tom in the Farmhill enterprise. Early in 1937(?) caught the Manitoba fever, and, forming a partner¬ship with another young fellow, famed for six years near Minnedosa, Manitoba.

  • Lost- six years of the best of my young manhood -
  • Lost- All my bit of money savings -
  • Lost- A big chunk of superfluous conceit -
  • Gained- some dearly bought experience -
  • Gained- An inadequate and lop-sided education by long winter night reading and study -
  • Gained - a life-time sweetheart by long continued long-distance correspondence with a girl of my schoolboy fancy.
  • Gained - a few loyal friendships which are still in evidence as the Christmas season comes each year.
  • Gained a great and abiding love for this part of Western Ontario. Its marvellous natural beauty enhanced by good soil and a sane system of agriculture, also tasteful methods of horticulture.

Married Jane McNaughton Telfer* of South Dumfries Twp. April 8, 1893. In the spring of 1898, we took over the Farmhill property, extremely difficult undertaking in our circumstances. In 1902, after Janey's father Wm. Telfer died, his youngest daughter, Janey's sister Margaret Ellen came to share our home. In 1910 Duncan A. Telfer* Janey’s brother lost his wife. There wore left a family of two boys and two girls. We assumed considerable responsibility regarding two of these, and full responsibility for Elisabeth* their two year old. All four are now married and all have families excepting the oldest boy, Lorne A.* of Toronto.

After leaving school, 4 our dear little, bright little girl, Elizabeth, got a job of book-keeping with the Henderson Coal Co., Paris Station. Later she was with a wholesale Coal Business in London, and again evidently still in love with the "dusky diamonds", with the Sibbick Coal and Wood business, Paris.

On October 24, 1936, she was married at our present home, 63 Banfield St., Paris to Paul Giles Pettit*, fruitgrower, of Fruitland, Ont. On March 11th a son, Cecil Telfer* was born to them, and we receive satisfactory reports of his growth and development.

In October of 1926, I suffered a physical and nervous breakdown, and after being laid up nearly all winter, I realized that I was unable to carry on with the spring work. Held a successful sale of livestock and implements, but failed to obtain the price I desired for the farm, so leased it to a neighbor. In October 1926, I found a satisfactory buyer for Farmhlll, Thomas Woods, Belwood, who with his family is capably managing the property.

Last year Farmhill won First Prize in a competition over a wide area, as the farm showing the most improvements.

In December 1926, we moved into the house which we now occupy. Though out thoughts and affections still cling to Kilton and Farmhill, we have the great satisfaction of knowing that both properties have passed into exceptionally capable hands.

In July 1926, at Gimsby, Ont. Oscar Pettit, the husband of Janey’s sister, Elizabeth* died. There were three sons left, all married, with little homes and small families of their own, and so it came to pass that with the exception of a year spent with her eldest son, Harry, in Saskatchewan (he and his pioneering family are now in the Peace River District) and periodic visitations with her Grimsby friends and relatives, Elizabeth Pettit has had her home with us. I sometimes jokingly say that “I married the best of Wm. Telfer’s three daughters but eventually got possession of all three of them.”

Looking back over everything, I think how fortunate we were that Father and Mother were spared to us until we grew up, married, and had homes of our own. Many times I think of, and marvel at, their their wonderful courage, their thrift, their loving care and providences, their genial hospitality, their admirable sense of humor, their abounding generosity, their Christian teaching, practice and example, their love of everything beautiful, their continuous united industry.

First, last and best of all, we rejoice in the memories of the happy, comfortable, and beautiful HOME we enjoyed together.-Kilton Cottage

I close with this loving tribute to my devoted wife, Jane McNauhton Patton,

"Though all unrecognised in halls of fame,
Let this be said by those who speak her name,
No Mountain height she scaled on daring wings,
But she was true and kind in little things."



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