Historical Plaque Properties


Duncan and Annie McIntosh - Pioneer Farmers
4859 Line 16
Perth, ON


The property has remained in the McIntosh family for over 140 years. It was previously addressed as Lot 22, Concession 11 of Downie Township.  Stories of this family are detailed in the 2002 History of Downie Township History Book “Memories of Downie,” Volume Two.

There were three owners, after the Canada Company, before Duncan McIntosh bought the property. The first owner, Neil Stevenson, could have erected the first house as early as 1854. The 1861 census shows the second owner, Walter Scott, and his family were living in a one-and-one-half storey log house. John Brown, the third owner (1869), sold the property to Duncan McIntosh in 1873. At that time, building permits were not required and assessments remained at similar levels for decades.  It is therefore not possible to determine the age and status of any buildings that were on the lot when the McIntosh family began farming here.
Duncan McDonald McIntosh was born on November 12, 1836, in Aldearn, Nairnshire, Scotland. He was the fourth of seven children born to Duncan McIntosh & Henrietta Cummings. 

On June 12, 1857, at age 21 Duncan boarded the Albert Gallatin in Liverpool, and made his way to Canada via New York. The ship docked in New York on July 15, 1857. Smallpox was one of the most dreaded of diseases in the nineteenth century. When 53 cases of smallpox were discovered among the passengers the ship was quarantined.

Duncan then made his way to Downie Township in Perth County and found work as a farm hand for John Muir.  John and his wife Anne Barrie were born in Scotland but emigrated to Lanark township as children where they married in 1839.  In 1853, John and Anne moved their family to Downie Township.

On December 28, 1860, Duncan married the Muir’s eldest daughter, Annie. They lived with her parents when they were first married. Their first child, Harriet Cummings McIntosh, born on April 3, 1861, was named after Duncan’s mother.

In 1867 Duncan and Annie were farming on Lot 22 Concession 12.  That year on March 21, they welcomed their second child, John Muir McIntosh. Alexander Duncan McIntosh was born on Aug 31, 1870.

Duncan McIntosh purchased Lot 22, Concession 11 on Feb 12, 1873. It is not clear when the family moved to this farm. The birth of their fourth child, daughter, Annie Jean, on Dec 4, 1877, completed their family. Throughout these years, they were running a mixed farming operation.

Duncan was instrumental in the formation of the Downie Farmers Mutual Life Insurance Company formed March 25, 1884. He was an active member and sat on their first board of directors.  Duncan died of heart disease and dropsy on Jan 10, 1907. He is buried in Avonbank Cemetery  beside his wife, Annie, who died on March 29, 1909.
After the death of his father, John became owner of the property. On December 28, 1910, he married Rhoda Soul. An upper story was added to the back of the house. It was here that John and Rhoda raised their two children and continued running the family’s mixed farming operation. Living with them in 1921 were their children, Annie Lillian and Alister Brooks, and also John’s brother, Alexander, and his sister, Annie.
McIntosh descendants continue to live in this home and maintain a large farming enterprise.