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Fonds Level Description

Accession Number: 02-014


W.T.C. Boyd fonds. Additions. -- 1863-1917. -- 12 cm of textual materials. -- 3 photographs.

Biography / History

William (Willie) Thornton Cust Boyd (1859-1919) was the son of Mossom Boyd (1815-1883) and Letitia McGhee Cust (1819-1881) of Bobcaygeon, Ontario. Along with his step-brother Mossom Martin Boyd (1855-1914), William T.C. Boyd operated the large family-owned enterprises founded by their father, of which the major were lumbering, Hereford cattle breeding, and cattle/buffalo cross-breeding. The Boyds were involved with the planning of the Lindsay, Bobcaygeon and Pontypool Railway, and with the Trent Valley Navigation Steamship Company, of which William T.C. Boyd was President from 1900 to 1904. Boyd was also an active partner in the firm of Boyd and Company along with his step-brother Mossom and cousin John Macdonald. From 1897 to 1899 he served as counselor for the village of Bobcaygeon, and from 1900 to 1901 as reeve. He married Meta Bridgman in 1889, and had 8 children.

Custodial History

This fonds was in the custody of Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Orgill before it was donated to Trent University Archives.

Scope and Content

Fonds consists of diaries, notebooks, and "cash books" of W.T.C. Boyd relating primarily to business matters, with occasional references to personal matters. Also included are photographs of family members; letters written during WWI by Boyd's son, Thornton; letters and documents related to the building of Boyd's house by architect, John E. Belcher; and letters and documents relating to the family cattle/buffalo cross-breeding enterprise.


Titled based on the creator of the fonds.
Fonds acquired in October 2002 from Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Orgill.
Restrictions: N
Associated material located at the Archives of Ontario and the National Archives of Canada.
This fonds is an addition to 01-019.
For related records see: 75-0124, 75-1025, 88-011, 01-010, and 01-016.


Box 1Diary 1: 1884: Inscription on cover: "Contains description of canoe route down the French River made in 1884"; also includes some accounting records and records of purchases made, addresses, etc.

Diary 2:[1892]-1897: Account of logging trip east to Ottawa & beyond, 1894; a report on dams, 1896; lists of names of loggers and wages paid to them; logging statistics, etc. (Note: the first pages of this diary are written in a hand other than W.T.C. Boyd's, and record business matters relating to logging)

Diary 3: 1896: Inscription on cover: "Memoranda. W.T.C. Boyd St. Lawrence Trip. July 1896"; also includes some accounting records

Diary 4: 1903: Inscription on cover: "Memoranda. Trip to Rocky R & thro' head waters of the Trent 1903"; a heading found inside the diary reads as follows: "Trip with R B Rogers & others to head waters of Trent summer 1903"

Diary 5: 1904-1905: Inscription on cover: "Diary: Prince Albert & B.C. Fall 1904, Prince Albert March 1905, P.A. & Candle L. Trail June 1905"; the diary has three sections relating to the three trips; loosely inserted is a small unidentified hand-drawn map

Diary 6: 1905-1906, 1910: Inscription on cover: "Diary of survey of Candle L. limits in Feb & Dec of 1906 was handed to Laurie 24th Nov 1913; Also of trip to Sanderson's operations in 1905"[logging]; Inscription on inside cover: "Memoranda taken March 1905; also Diary of trip to Edmonton & Prince Albert Feb & March 1910"

Diary 7: 1908, 1909, 1913: Inscription on inside cover: "Memo re' Quebec trip May 1908, Memoranda re' Quebec limits, Also a/c of trip to "North Shore" of lower St. Lawrence, with Willie Dunsford in Aug of 1909, Also of trip to Anticosti in June of 1913"; Boyd mentions a meeting of the pulp and paper companies and Quebec Limit Holders Associations at Windsor Hotel, "convened to consider new U.S. tariff on Pulp & Wood." (Aug. 24, 1909)

Diary 8: 1908: Inscription on inside cover: "Diary B.C. trip 1908, and cash a/c for [to]"; diary includes details of passage through Banff, Alberta, July 13th to 15th

Diary 9: 1911-1912: Inscription on cover: "Temporary Diary for 1911 & 12, England & B.C."; diary details visit to England to enrol daughters in school at Wentworth Hall (Mill Hill)

5 notebooks: notebooks include addresses, notes relating to particulars of operation and maintenance of various boats, weights of Boyd's children at different times, lists of hired men, names of books, notes relating to hunting preparations and results of the hunt, notes pertaining to timber and logging, skating rink schedule, politics, golf scores, seeds ordered, etc.
Notebook 1: [1886]
Notebook 2: 1898, includes the following memo regarding his boat, the Esturion: "Esturion ran 1450 hours season 1898 & burnt 564 cords wood = 3/4 cord per hr or 1 7/8 cords per trip or 3 3/4 cords per day on double trips"
Notebook 3: 1901-1902
Notebook 4: 1908-1912
Notebook 5: 1910-1913: includes a list of subjects passed by Thornton at McGill University, 1910, and the birth and death dates of his children, Paul and Kathleen

"Cash Books": 3 cash books dated 1889-1904, 1907-1912, and 1913-1917; the cash books list household and family expenditures (Note: the 1905-1912 cash book has a loosely inserted telegram dated 1885 and addressed to Boyd from John A. Barron with the following instruction: "Position second Lieut [m]ounted corp's offered you please come will expect recruiting")

Water Measurement Book: 1889-1900 (Note: the heading on each page is "Water on Lock Sills")

Folder 1: Photographs of M.M. Boyd, [Caroline Boyd] 1891, and Ida Lillian Degrassi Boyd

Folder 2: Pamphlets:
Canadian Pacific Railway Company Atlantic service, Montreal to Liverpool, 1903
Trent Valley Navigation Company pamphlets: Kawartha Lakes summer service, Coboconk & Lindsay to Lakefield, by steamers Esturion, Ogemah, Manita, Sunbeam, 1901; Kawartha Lakes summer service, Coboconk & Lindsay to Lakefield, by steamers Esturion, Ogemah, Manita, Empress, 1904; and rate card for Kawartha Lakes Line, 1907
"Through the Lakes", re Kawartha Lakes, with handwritten notation throughout

Folder 3:
letter written by [Mossom] Boyd, Bobcaygeon, 1863, to [ ], saying that on account of business he is uncertain as to whether will be able to "go up tonight or tomorrow"
Auction sale notice of "timber limits, saw mill, lumbering plant, etc.", as instructed by Mossom Boyd & Co., 1892
catalogue of horses owned by Mossom Boyd & Co. to be sold by auction 1893
advertisement of hybrid buffaloes, property of Mossom Boyd Company
list of buffaloes 1914
article by Mossom M. Boyd, 1906, regarding the crossing of Hereford and Polled Angus Cattle
article extract re the extinction of the American bison by William T. Hornaday, 1887
letter by G. Cust Boyd, 1914, to the Minister of Agriculture re the crossing of domestic cattle and the American bison

Folder 4:
list of items packed for hunting camp, 1898
document issued by Her Britannic Majesty's Consulate General, New York, instructing that William T.C. Boyd be allowed to to proceed to the Island of Cuba, 1885

Folder 5:
Documents relating to the building of the W.T.C. Boyd house: letters written between architect, John E. Belcher, and contractors, suppliers, etc.; also house specifications, invoices, agreements, etc., 1889-1990

Folder 6:
Letters written by Boyd's son, Thornton, to his father and other family members, while serving in WWI, 1915-1916; the letters give detailed accounts of Thornton's personal experiences, i.e., training exercises, preparations, the trip to Europe, brigade duty, etc.; also included in this folder are two letters relating to Thornton's death from military officials, one from the hospital chaplain in France where Thornton died, and one from the Department of Militia and Defense, Ottawa (Note: Thornton died in battle on June 5, 1916); (Note: Thornton's letters are enclosed in a cardboard cover with the following inscription: "Letters from Thornton")