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The Farm of Ronald Kenneth Charlton & Ruth Ann Charlton
First name Ronald Kenneth Charlton & Ruth Ann
Last name Charlton
Community Onondaga


Story

Submitted by: Ruth Ann Charlton


The Century Farm of Ron and Ruth Ann Charlton is situated on the west part of Lot 5 Concession 3, East of Fairchild's Creek. The first piece of land 49% acres was purchased by Jr. James Simpson, then Justice of the Peace in Onondaga Township, from the Crown in November 21, 1862, for $222.75 with taxes being very little. The original deed is on the next page. In 1870 Mr. Simpson purchased 617/10 acres more for $2 000.00 from Anthony Westbrook making the farm 115 acres. It remained this acreage until 1975, when an additional 40 acres were purchased making the original home farm, with buildings a total of 150 acres.

In 1980, 70 more acres were purchased so that now in 1990, the farm consists of 220 acres part in Onondaga Township and part in Brantford Township with the taxes being approximately $4 700.00.

In 1887 - February 24th - Michael Newell Simpson purchased the farm from James Simpson. He became a councillor, and Reeve of Onondaga Township. Michael married Maude Lee on January 17, 1891 at Trinity Anglican Church, Onondaga. They had 2 daughters - Rita Agnes and Etta Ethel (Head). Michael died in 1938 and Maude became executor of the estate.

In 1939 - October 5th - she sold the farm to her daughter Rita Agnes who was by then married to Harvey Fawcett Charlton on June 13th, 1923. This marriage had four children - Harvey Keith born August 31st, 1924; Vivian Rita (Me Bay) born November 15th, 1925; Yvonne Marjorie (Christie) born February 2nd, '928; and Ronald Kenneth born November 2nd, 1937.

In 1963 Ronald (Ron) became the owner of the farm. This deed is on the next page.
One year later July 18th, 1964, Ron married Ruth Ann Me Lean from R.R. #1, Puslinch. They now have four children - Ronald Terrence, born May 29th, 1967, graduated from the University of Guelph with a Diploma in Agriculture - Farm Manager, 1988. He is a keen participant in 4-H in Brant County. Nancy Ann, born May 21st, 1969, is attending the University of Guelph and is entering her second year of Veterinary Medicine. She was Dairy Princess for Brant County in 1986-87, class President for 1986-87 at Pauline Johnson Collegiate. Nancy was the recipient of the President's Scholarship from the University of Guelph, and the Holstein Canada Scholarship in 1989. And the twins Marilyn Elizabeth and Janice Lynn, born February 1st, 1974, are attending Pauline Johnson Collegiate, grade 11.

Up until this time this was a general farm with pigs, chickens and cattle, specializing in the growing of Alfalfa, the first in this area of Onondaga. In 1945 Harvey Charlton became a member of The Holstein Association of Canada and purchased his first Pure Bred Holsteins. He then registered the prefix "ELM BEND" for his farm and his cattle, - a suitable name because of the many Elm Trees and the farm being situated on a distinct bend in the road. In 1957 the Registered Holstein Cattle were transferred to Harvey Charlton and Sons. Two years after Ron purchased the farm the membership was transferred to Ronald Charlton in 1965.

Ib has now become an outstanding dairy operation with approximately 125 head with some being exported to different parts of the world, in particular, England, Mexico, and Spain.

The cattle are zero grazed in summer and are fed silage, high moisture corn, plus hay and concentrates in winter.

The present barn was built in 1896. In the 1953, the original implement shed was torn down and a larger one was built. In 1956, Harvey Charlton installed the stable cleaner. The milk house was built in 1963, and the bulk milk tank installed in 1965. The pipe line milker was installed in 1973. The steel stabling replaced the wooden stable. The Harvester Silo was erected in 1977. The house was built by Michael Simpson in 1879 and originally had 10 rooms. A house situated across the road in Brantford Township was torn down and added to the main house - bricked and served as a summer kitchen and a winter kitchen. The telephone was installed in 1938, the year that Michael Simpson died. While Harvey and Rita Charlton lived in the house for 25 years they had water piped into the house, a bathroom was installed in 1948. Two partitions in the front of the house were removed, enlarging the dining and living rooms, cupboards were built in the kitchen and the summer kitchen was fitted as a laundry room.

In 1970 Ron and Ruth Ann removed the old kitchens and a new addition was built consisting of a kitchen, family room, bathroom, laundry room, a veranda and a basement entrance.

In 1978 the living and dining room were re-decorated extending a doorway into a archway making the two rooms more versatile.

Originally the house was lit and heated with gas from a natural gas well situated on the far, but with the advent of electricity about 1941, everything was converted to electricity, with the barn done first in 1939. Terry is the fifth generation wanting to expand and keep the heritage of this family farm.

Many changes have been noted since this farm was acquired in. 1862 until now in 1990. From horse power to the first tractor to the present day modern equipment. From horse and buggy travel to Brantford taking many hours to the modern day automobile that takes 15 minutes to go the same distance. On July 18th, 1989, Ron & Ruth Ann Charlton celebrated 25 years on the century Farm. On October 16th, 1989, an open house was held at the Onondaga Community Hall to celebrate the 90th birthday of Rita Agnes Charlton. Elm Bend Holsteins has been the recepient of the 2nd Highest County Average for 1989 from Holstein Canada. This award is based on a composite for Milk, Fat and Protein Production.

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