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The Way We Were: the Story of the Way Family of Way's Mills, Part 12

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One of the earliest settlers of Way’s Mills, Harry Hollister, owned over 100 acres in the Fifth Range on which he operated a grist mill and a saw mill. He died in 1857 (see Part 8, 10 and 11). The following year, his widow Mary Ann Yemans sold the farm and the mills to Valorous Truell for 100$ on condition that (the following is an extract from the 1858 deed of sale):

"Valorous Truell shall support and maintain …Mary Ann Yemans … in the dwelling house situated on the … described tract of land, in a decent and confortable manner, finding and providing her with all the necessities and conforts of life such as boarding, clothing and washing according to the custom of the country and her rank and station in life, …with medical aid and assistance in time of sickness, and … with a reasonable amount of spending money from time to time as she may require it to go visiting or travelling, also … with a team already harnessed and brought to the door, whenever she may require it to go to church or visiting, and lastly in every respect to conduct himself in a proper and becoming manner towards the said widow…"

What kind of a buyer would buy property with such onerous conditions imposed upon him? A good son-in-law of course ! Valorous Truell (b. 1837) has fallen in love with Caroline Hollister (b. 1839) and they marry in 1858. The newlyweds move into the Hollister’s family home. The couple has 4 children, including Harry Valorous (b. 1863), who becomes a lawyer after graduating from McGill Law School; and Newton Theodore, (b.1866), who will become principal of Lachute Academy. Valorous will take good care of his mother-in-law until her death in 1865. He keeps the farm but parts with the land on which the mills stand as early as 1864.

Valorous’ father, George Washington Truell, was born in 1792 in Bristol, Grafton County, N. H. He moved with his family of 9 children to the Barnston area in 1837 where he lived until his death in 1867. He and wife Fanny are buried in Burbank cemetery on Provencher Road. Valorous’ older brother Byron, (b. 1834), moves to Lawrence Mass. in 1854 after getting his education in Barnston and finishing at Stanstead Academy. After working as a merchant’s clerk, he starts his own business in 1863. It becomes the leading dry goods store in Eastern Mass. Byron will serve as a member of the House of representatives in 1875-76 ; of the State Senate in 1877-78 ; of the State Executive Council in 1890-91. He will become a Director of the Pacific National Bank and in 1894, president of the Lawrence Board of Trade. It was written that "in all public measures or any movement pertaining to the public good, he took great interest."

Valorous, like brother Byron, will serve the public good. He becomes a school commissioner and a municipal councillor in Barnston. In 1872, he is appointed a justice of the peace for the district of St. Francis, becoming at age 35 the youngest magistrate in Quebec. Wife Caroline dies at 41 in 1880 and the following year, Valorous weds Ada Sutton, daughter of John Philpot Sutton, local farmer and dentist. In 1889, Valorous relocates to Lawrence and the «Valorous Truell Farm» becomes a summer residence until Valorous’ passing in Way’s Mills in 1909 . Ada sells the property in 1910. Between 1925 and 1944, the farm will notably belong to Henry T. Emo and wife Jessie, fondly remembered as the owners of the general store in Way’s Mills.

The beautiful Truell farm still stands to this day, hidden from view above the Niger River where Harry Hollister built a mill dam almost 200 years ago, long before Daniel Way’s arrival in the area.

To be continued…