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The Way We Were: the Story of the Way Family of Way's Mills, Part 6

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larger_cassville.c1860.jpg1819 : Daniel and Keziah Way and their first-born Lorenzo are now settled on Lot 9, Seventh Range of Stanstead Township, between Griffin Road and Smith’s Hollow, by the Tomifobia River. Lorenzo’s siblings are all born here : Ziha Erastus (1819, dies young), Hannah (1821), Asa (1824) , Welles (abt 1826) and Delia Keziah, the youngest, born on September 17, 1828.

As can be gleaned from Kathleen H. Brown’s book, «Schooling in the clearings : Stanstead 1800-1850», Daniel Way is actively involved in his community. In 1826, he is among thirty petitioners requesting a subsidized school at Griffin’s Corner. The petition gets the support of Reverend T. Johnson, an Anglican clergyman from Hatley exerting great influence over the Township’s schools, then under the church-dominated system of the Royal Institution for learning. In September 1826, Lorenzo, Hannah and Asa start attending Griffin’s Corner School.

Reverend Johnson has agreed to recommand a school subsidy for Griffin’s Corner on condition that a church be built there. Public notices appear in the British Colonist and Saint Francis Gazette in 1826 : residents are to meet to discuss the building of a church...Yet nothing happens as American-born settlers have no interest in an Anglican Church. So Reverend Johnson arranges for Royal Institution funding to cease in 1828 and the school is closed! But in 1829, Lower Canada’s government introduces a new system : «assembly schools» are to be locally managed by Township trustees with government grants. So in July 1830 and at least until the end of 1831, Lorenzo Hannah and Asa go back to sit on the benches of Griffin’s Corner School.

larger_millerite.1843.chart_.jpgThe assembly school grant system ends in 1836, forcing parents to rely on their own resources. On January 1, 1839, twelve residents, Daniel Way among them, draw up a partnership agreement to fund and build a new school mid-way between Smith’s Hollow and Mack’s Mills : «We, the undersigned, being desirous of promoting the interest of our Children and the rising generation, and feeling sensibly the want of a common school to effect this, we therefore resolve upon building a school house…». Daniel is appointed chairman of a committee supervising the construction and is asked to hire a teacher. The school, built at a cost of $174.75, opens in May 1839. Wells and Delia Way are probably among its first students .

Daniel and Lorenzo become dedicated Adventists. American Baptist revivalist William Miller has been predicating that the Second Advent will come in March 1843. His sister lives in Bolton and he will make several visits in the Townships between 1835 and 1843: Georgeville, the Outlet (Magog), Hatley and Stanstead are on his preaching circuit. In June 1840, Miller gives lectures in Georgeville. He writes of «large congregations» and «that much good would be done there». However the Second Coming of Christ does not occur in 1843 and as new dates are set and nothing happens, Adventists suffer a «Great Disappointment».

But not the Ways. On the contrary, 1843 is an important year for them... On September 26, Daniel buys from Jacob Clifford a part of Lot 4 in the Fifth Range of Barnston Township, adjacent to land owned by one Harry Hollister, at the cost of 12 pounds 5 shillings!

The Ways will later give their name to the mills they will build and the settlement will be known as Wayville, then Way’s Mills. But well before the Ways arrive in 1843, Harry Hollister, Jacob Clifford and others are clearing this beautiful land watered by the Niger River!

To be continued...