Misselbrook Family Website


"The Ted Misselbrook Family Story"... is told by picture and verse through eight generations, beginning with Henry, who along with his wife Jane produced six children.

The Misselbrook Family story as it directly relates to "MY CLAN" has been written and posted to this website along with some photos by Ted Misselbrook.  This however, was only made possible through the files and pictures and the generosity to share by my cousin and good friend Ivor Misselbrook, the families foremost genealogist/historian For all of that and more, Ivor has, and will continue to have, my unending thanks and appreciation.
I sincerly hope my family and local historians
will enjoy this presentation.
Ted Misselbrook

My Great-Great-Great Grandfather Henry Misselbrook,was born in Chilworth Hants England in 1776.
   He married Jane Davis and together they had six children.   
Children of Henry and Jane are; Joseph, born 1814, Henry Jr. born 1815, Thomas, born 1818, Anne born 1819, Sarah born 1822 and Charlotte Misselbrook born 1824. 

My Great-Great Grandfather
Joseph Misselbrook was born in the UK in 1814. 
  Joseph Misselbrook married Lucy Kent and they left their home in the UK to immigrate to Canada. Together they had eight children, including Charles Misselbrook born 1830, Martha born 1838, Samuel born 1841, Harriet born 1846, Emily,(date of birth unknown),Mary (date of birth unknown), Laura Misselbrook born 1857 and Henry III, born 1850.

Joseph and Lucy Misselbrook created a family homestead farm in the Forest area. While information about Joseph's life is limited it is known that he and Lucy arrived in Canada in 1849 and settled on the 11th Concession, Lot 7 now known as the Kinnearel Road, in Bosanquet Township, County of Lambton, just two miles outside of the Town of Forest, Ontario.
   Joseph and Lucy Misselbrook purchased 50 acres of crown land at $2.50 acre and established their homestead farm. The land was thick with trees and it took back breaking work to clear the land. Tree cover included, Oak, Ash, Beach, Hickory, Maple, Elm, Pine and Cedar. The land was reported to be of good quality with a mixture of dark loam and gravel. It is known from the amount of stone foundations and stone houses in the area, that Joseph and family would have had to clear countless rocks and bolders from the land.
    By the year 1852, Joesph, now 48 years of age and his wife Lucy and their young family built a new home on their property, reported to be one of the first homes built in the area.
    Joseph and Lucy lived and farmed until his death in 1883 at age 70.  Lucy would pass away in 1894 at 8o years of age, a considerable achievement given the period of time in which she had worked and lived.  
    Today the farm is owned by a widow named Mrs. Boris. She and her husband had purchased the farm from a Mr. Leonard in 1946 for the sum of $2500.00. 

Joseph and Lucy Misselbrook and family circa 1849

  ( The Samuel and Rachel Misselbrook family from back row left to right are sons William and Wilbert, daughter Edith and Lotty and son George. Front row seated mother Rachel daugher Annie, sons Lambert and Roy and father Samuel Misselbrook.) 

My Great Grandfather Samuel Misselbrook was born in Bramshaw England on January 7th/1841.
    Eight year old Samuel arrived in Canada with his parents Joseph and Lucy and the rest of his sibblings from the UK. His family homesteaded in the Forest area.
   In later years as a young man, Samuel would meet and wed Rachel Dawson.They had nine children with William the first born in 1865, Henry in 1868, George born 1870, Lambert born 1873,Wilbert born 1875,Lottie born 1878, Edith born 1880, Annie born 1883, and Roy born 1886.  Together they established a family farm near Oakdale, on the north end of what is now know as Huffs Corners at Lot 31 in Dawn Township. It is worth noting that Samuel's great-grandson Ted Misselbrook and his wife Pat, ironically purchased a home on the south end of Huff's Corners, exactly 100 years after Samuel and Rachel had purchased their farm in 1877.
    In 1877 when Ted's great-grandfather Samuel purchased his Oakdale area farm, it was solid bush, with no roads or ditches. Trees were chopped down, and small clearings made, where they built their shanties out of logs, and roofed them with bass wood troughs. The holes were chinked with moss, mud and wood. Roads and trails were chopped out through the bush. First Nation Indians were living in the area at that time and wild game, such as deer and wild turkeys were plentiful. Lynx and wild cats could be heard at night. The cows ran at large over a number of farms, and had to have bells on. Life was hard but rewarding for Samuel, Rachel and their family.
     Folklore has it that prior to their Oakdale area farm purchase, Samuel lusted for adventure and travel. As a result he and Rachel and their two small boys, loaded their limited worldly possessions in a covered wagon to travel to Western Canada with the dream of "striking it rich" in the gold fields of the Yukon. The story goes that Samuel and Rachel and their two young sons Henry and William found the Yukon so uncivilized that they made plans to return to Ontario and Lambton County as soon as possible. A new baby boy, Lambert was born and upon the return trip some six months later,Lambert was said to be "the first white baby to cross the Dawson Trail", eastward in a covered wagon.  Dalton Misselbrook, Samuel's grandson and my father, "claimed that story to be untrue". In fact, according to Dalton, Samuel and his family only made it as far as Fort Gary, (now Winnipeg Man.) were they lived and farmed for a relatively short period of time before returning to Lambton County, were they established their Oakdale area farm.
    Samuel, is said to have been a man of culture, with a booming base voice who also taught vocal music as well as farmed. He and Rachel were strict Weselyan Methodist, and raised their children in this faith.
    Samuel died in 1910 at the age of 69 and is buried in Shetland Yard Cemetery. His wife Rachel lived until 1930 and the remarkable age of 87. Her son Lambert and his wife Martha would live with Rachel at the homestead farm, until moving to Dresden were Lambert established L. Misselbrook and Son Saw Mill.     

(Martha and Lambert are shown in this 1904 wedding day photo.)

My Grandfather,
Lambert Misselbrook
was born at the Oakdale farm
of his parents Samuel and Rachel.

    However, if you believe the story handed down from previous generations, you might be inclined to think that Lambert was born in the Yukon, during his parents gold mining days, and that he would at 6 months become the first white baby to cross the Dawson Trail, eastward in a covered wagon. While we have not been able to disprove this tale, we are more inclinded to believe, that Lambert was born in Lambton County at his parents Oakdale home.  
    We have not been able to establish if Lambert had a middle name, what we do know is that he was one of nine brothers and sisters, and the fourth oldest. His family members included oldest brother William born 1865, Henry III born 1868, George born 1877, and Lambert born 1873, followed by Wilbert in 1875, the first of three girls, Lottie was born in 1878, followed by Edith in 1880 and then Annie in 1883. The ninth Misselbrook born to Samuel and Rachel was Roy in 1886.  
     Lambert, as a young man would meet, romance and wed Martha Higgins, who was 10 years younger than Lambert. 
      Lambert was introduced to Martha Higgins by his older brother George Misselbrook who was married to Sarah, sister to Martha. 
Three children were born to Martha and Lambert the first being Howard born in 1904, followed by sister  Elsie in 1908 and my father Dalton Carmen Misselbrook in 1912.
     It is understood that Lambert was mechanically inclined, and was comfortable, confident and skilled around all types of engines and equipment. In the late 1800's oxen and horses were the principal sources of power for agricultural operations, but by the early 1900's the process of breaking, ploughing and threshing were more mechanised. 
     Steam driven threshing machines first appeared on the prairies in the 1880's. They were very expensive machines, and few farmers could afford to own their own units, relying instead on travelling threshing crews. Although the exact date is unknown, it is thought that Lambert was able to raise the funding and in the early 1900's purchsed a steam powered threshing machine and built a successful business serving area farmers at harvest time. Many steam engines made use of straw for fuel, although most burned wood or coal. Generally they were equipped with driving wheels so that they could move under their own power, and they would also be equipped with a large flywheel. This flywheel turned independently of the drive wheels, and by means of wide belts, a stationary tractor could also be used to drive a threshing machine.
   Steam engines and threshing machines were fragile, complicated machines and they required knowledgeable people to operate them. The success of custom threshing machine operation rested on the engineer and the separator man. Their job was to constantly monitor the machines, oiling the bearings, lacing and setting the belts and adjusting the engine and sieves to accommodate changes in the crop being fed.
    These individuals were supported by a cast of less skilled workers. A fireman was responsible to keep the engine fed with wood, so that the pressure in the engine remained constant. Teams of tankerman hauled water to the engine to keep the water level high enough for steady pressure. Finally, there were the bundlemen, teamsters with wagons who collected the stooked grain and brought it to the threshing site. An efficient operation could keep as many as six teams of bundlemen at work in the fields scrambling to feed the hungry  machine. The biggest drawback of steam, however was the need to build and let down steam. This process could take an hour or more, consumed vast quantities of wood and limited the number of hours in a day that crew could operate. Lambert and his crew, which would later include his sons Howard and Dalton, had a well earned reputation for reliability, good equipment and quality work, that would later follow him when he established L. Misselbrook and Son, Saw Mill.
 When Lambert and Martha were married (wedding photo shown above), Lambert was 32 years old and Martha 22 years of age.

From YouTube a brief video of a typical steam powered sawmill operation at the turn of 20th century.   

In 1906 Lambert with his steam powered engine, started his sawmill in Dresden. Years later his oldest son Howard would join his father, and together they would develop a thriving business, that operated under the Misselbrook banner until Howard Misselbrook's untimely death in 1960 at age 56. His son Kenneth, attempted to continue the business, but in 1961 the family made the decision to sell the company to one of their employees, Vern Pumfrey.   Pumfrey and his son Stewart  continued the company , operating as Dresden Sawmill Limited. The business today operates as LumberJack Building Centres with Stewart Pumfrey as president of the company with locations in Dresden and Petrolia.
    Lambert operated L.Misselbrook and Son, SawMill until his death in 1944. He was 71 years of age. His wife Martha died just a few months later, and it is said, that her death was from a "broken heart". "She missed him so much, that she just didn't want to go on without her beloved Lambert" recalled my late father Dalton. 
Martha was known for her gentle and kind ways, notes her grand daughter Velda Clark,"she was always so thoughtful and generous and I loved spending time with her". Lambert and Martha lived for a time on the homestead farm near Oakdale, moving in after the death of his father Samuel,to provide care for Lambert's ageing mother Rachel.  Some time in the 30's Lambert and Martha bought land on Walnut and Davis Streets, in Dresden. Walnut Street became the location for L. Misselbrook and Son Saw Mill and also the home for son Howard and Hazel Misselbrook and their family.  Dalton Misselbrook and his wife Winnifred also built a new home on land gifted to them by Lambert. The lumber for the Misselbrook brothers homes was also supplied by the family owned sawmill. Both Lambert and Martha are rested at the Dresden Cemetery.        

L. Misselbrook & Son Sawmill was located at the foot of Walnut Street, Dresden:

This horse team worked at L. Misselbrook and Son Sawmill to haul logs to the saw shed to be cut into rough lumber. Photo courtesy of the Pumfrey family. Verne Pumfrey bought and renamed the company to Dresden Sawmill Ltd, in 1961. 

Mechanized equipment was used to speed production at L.Misselbrook & Son Sawmill.

This rough looking motorized and heavily tracked piece of equipment was used around the lumber yard at Misselbrook Sawmill to move and stack logs. Photo courtesy of the Pumpfrey family,Dresden.

(Pictured are newly-weds Dalton and Winnifred Misselbrook in this 1935 wedding photo.)

My father Dalton Misselbrook was born in Dresden on December 17th, 1912.
     He married Winnifred Susan Weese on September 25th, 1935 at the United Church manse, she was 17 years of age and Dalton 23 years old. In the early years the young couple lived in a rented home on Davis St., a place owned by a Mr. Perry. Later Lambert, (Dalton's father) would gift the young couple with land at 334 Davis St., on which to build their new home in 1939. Dalton was 27 years of age at the time. Lambert also provided free of charge the lumber from his sawmill to his son Dalton and daughter-in-law, Winnifred.  Lambert and Martha did exactly the same thing, (free land and lumber) for his oldest son Howard and his wife Hazel Misselbrook. Velda (Misselbrook) Clark  recalls that her father did the same for her and husband Keith Clark shortly after they married, "free land and lumber." All agreed it was pretty nice start in life, and made possible initially through the generosity of Lambert and Martha Misselbrook.  It is note-worthy that Dalton and Winnifred's home was designed and building plans drawn by Alfred Tricker who was a life time resident of Dresden.  
        As mentioned, Dalton was a born on December 17th,1912 a Christmas baby for his parents Lambert and Martha.  As a young boy, "Dalt" as he was now being called, was delighted to help his father and older brother  Howard operate the steam powered threshing machine for farmers in the Lambton County Oakdale area.  "I was always facinated with steam powered engines and I would travel to the Brigden Steam Threshers Show and other steam engine events,  every year, year after year,recalled Dalton,to his son Alan. Later Dalton, would build a scaled-down model of a steam engine, and it could often be heard chugging away in the basement of his Davis Street home.
    Dalton found employment at McVeans' Hub and Spoke factory and worked there until he was hired by Canadian Canners. In a newspaper interview, Dalton told the reporter that he was hired by Canadian Canners in 1938 starting at the old plant on Water Street as superintendent. "There were only the two of us, the manager and me, So, I must have been the superintendent".   Dalton remembers helping to stake out the site of the new Canadian Canners plant on Wellington Street, in Dresden in March 1947. 
     "The ground was so hard we couldn't drive wooden stakes into it, recalled Misselbrook. "We had to get metal stakes and sharpen them at a blacksmith's before we could drive them in. The wooden stakes just cracked."
     The first couple of years the manager and Misselbrook were the only full-time staff, after which the regular staff rose to five. During the tomato pack, the employee ranks swelled to 125 people. About 100 women were hired as peelers, with about 25 men hired to do the heavy work. It was all hand labour in the late 30's  and on into 40's and early 50's.  
      News of the new plant for Wellington Street was well received by Misselbrook. "I thought it would be a great thing for the town," he told the reporter. "I knew the old (plant) was going to close up soon and it did--in 1949."
     Manager of the old #5 cannery from 1947-49, Misselbrook went to the new plant in 1949 as manager. He remained plant/area manager until 1959, when he was succeeded by Stan Green. Dalton recalled that Canadian Canners had a dozen operating canning plants across the country and that he had the opportunity to transfer to a smaller operation elsewhere in the system as area manager, and that he chose not to make the move. He is reported to have told his oldest son Alan, that he (Dalton) was not interested in leaving the community or uprooting his family and besides that, the Area Managers job increasing required people with universtity education, something he did not have. 
    "Operating procedures  were altogether different in the 50's and 60's, he recalled to the local reporter in a mid-1980's interview. He said going from manual labour to modern technigues eliminated some jobs and improved efficiencies all around. He said bulk unloading of tomatoes by water eliminated a lot of manpower from the old hand method which was a "dirty job". Prior to bulk unloading, tomatoes came in baskets and, before that, crates.
    Full time staff had risen to 12 at the new plant with a seasonal staff of 200 people during the pack.
    The work day was longer in the 40's and 50's and Dalton was known to spend twenty-four hours a day at the plant during the tomato pack. His wife Winnifred would deliver meals to the factory and fresh clothes daily, especially during the days at old plant #5. His sons Alan and Ted, would take turns with deliveries, so that they would get to see and spend some time with their father during during the "tomato run'. 
    "When the pack was on, the run was a day and night job. Not like now when it's an eight hour shift for the foremen and they go home." recalled Dalton to a Leader Publications reporter. 
    There was no employee union in those days, but Dalton always said that working at Canadian Canners was considered a good job. Canadian Canners paid the top wages in Dresden at that time.
     Dalton also took great pride in the fact that he was a long term member of the Dresden-Camden Volunteer Fire Department. He joined his brother Howard, and Uncle Billy Dawson in the fire service and would during his volunteer career rise to the rank of Deputy Chief under his great friend and mentor Chief Rufus Law.        
    When Chief Law died suddenly, Misselbrook was asked to step-up to Fire Chief, but he felt his commitment to Canadian Canners could not be undermined and he chose to remain Deputy Chief. He would finish his fire department career, manning the "pumper" trucks, deciding that the younger men should be the ones to do the heavy, hard and climbing work required by a fireman.      
    In 1954 Dalton and Winnifred bought a water-front cottage at Walpole Island. It served as a place of refuge from the cannery as there was no telephone service at the cottage and the island was not  easy to get to either. Cars were delivered four at a time by a cable ferry, the service was slow and and somewhat unreliable. "It was the perfect place for Dalton to be, during time away, from a busy tomato pack" recalls Winnifred when remembering those times with son Ted. The cottage would also become a place for family and friends to come visit, especially during weekends. Many of Winnifred's nieces and nephews have fond memories of time spent at the Walpole Island beach with water sports on the St. Clair River. Sons Ted and Alan especially enjoyed the cottage and they along with their families and friends have strong memories of the good times enjoyed there. Dalton and Winnie's grandchildren, Lee and Dawn, Jill and Beth also have happy rememberings of their time spent enjoying the sun, water and family at Walpole. 
    Dresden Town Councillor D.C. Misselbrook arrived on the political scene sometime during the late 50's. Dalton's son Ted remembers being told by his father that the "Canners" suggested he run for office.  At that period in time Dresden town councillors were elected for one year terms only. Each year brought a new election. "Dad did not enjoy the political life, and he could hardly wait for his term to be over" remembers Ted. "I asked him why he ran for office in the first place and he said it was something 'his canners bosses' wanted him to do."  "Looking back, I think it had to do with the Canners wanting some farm land expropriated from the Shaw family, and that Dalton was there to ensure that the Canners interests had a advocate in place," said Ted.
   Among his other community interests was the Dresden Anglican Church. Raised methodist and later  adherent to the Baptist Church, he joined Winnifred a confirmed Baptist and he attended regular Sunday serices. Dalton would later find spiritual comfort with Christ Church Anglican, Dresden. It should be noted that Dalton and Winnifred joined the Anglican Church and were later confirmed in that faith because of their son and daugther-in-law Alan and Lillian. When Al and Lil were married in 1962, he was Baptist and she Roman Catholic. As a compromise they settled on the Anglican church,though a protesent faith, they expressed many of the religious rituals practiced by the Catholics. Later Ted and Pat Misselbrook would join the rest of Misselbrooks by becoming members of the Anglican Church as well.
   Dalton, invloved himself with the Church Board of Management and he and son Ted did serve on the board together for several terms.  A licenced electrician, Dalton would also attend to any electrical problems at the church and would later donate a "lighted cross" that to this very day adorns the front of Christ Church Anglican.
    Dalton, in 1967 had a brush with death, when Doctors discovered a dangerously large aneurysm located below the heart. The medical team headed by Doctor Hub White replaced the artery with a nylon tube, below the heart, with said tubing running down both legs. There is little doubt that the aneurysm was posed to burst, and that this operation was truly life-saving.  
     Dalton and Winnifred spent many winters in Florida leading up to his retirement from Canadian Canners. They had a favorite motel and the same returning friends including the motel owner Win Oozier at Hallandale, a bit north of Miami. "Mother was good to send post cards to keep us informed as to their winter travels" recalls Alan Misselbrook.
    Florida and the pending birth of grand-daughter Jill posed a point of conflict for Dalt and Winnie. Dalt was determined to leave for Florida no later than the 8th of February. Winnie was like-wise determined that  they would not be going anywhere until "that baby was born."  Pat, ever so accomodating gave birth to Jill on February 8th, 1970. Dalt and Winnie came to Chatham Hospital to visit their new grand-baby,and to congratulate Ted and Pat on their first born. It was known that Dalt had his car packed, and the gas tanked topped, and after a appropriate amount of time spent in the hospital, turned to Winnie and said "well, lets go, we've a long trip ahead to get to Florida".   
    Shortly after retiring from Canadian Canners in 1977, Dalton and Winnifred sold the cottage, claiming that they no-longer had the energy to maintain both a house and a cottage. Some months later they sold their home on Davis Street and moved to a new one bedroom apartment, called the Royal Manor. But, before the move took place, Dalton was once again hospitalized for a surgical procedure.  As a result furniture from their sold home was stored in the garages of Ted and Pat.  Winnifred moved to the young couple's Croton home, while waiting for Dalton to recover before  their move to the Royal Manor apartments.  
    Dalton Misselbrook retired from his position as maintenance forman in 1977, and capped what he considered to be a wonderful 39 year career.
    During his thirthy-nine years at Canadian Canners, Dalton and Winnifred found the time to build their new home on Davis Street and raise two children. The first to be birthed by Winnifred was Alan Dalton on January 25th 1942, a healthy boy born at their Davis Street home with Mrs. Victor Stanley as mid-wife and Dr. Jack Ruttle in attendance. A repeat performance by Winnifred, Dalton and the others was held when Lambert Edward (Ted) Misselbrook was born on May 27th, 1945. 
   In 1984 Dalton, was told by his medical people that he had early stage lung cancer. His oncologist told him he was confident that by removing the cancerous half of the lung that he (Dalton) would live another 5 years. The doctor was right. Dalton died on July 29th, 1989 at Chatham Hospital.
   Winnifred courageously fought mental health issues most of her adult life. And as a result, at age 60 it was determined that a retirement home setting was required in order to provide her with the 24 hour care she so desperately needed. Some years later she became a alzheimer's victim and was moved to Chatham and Medeow Park Nursing Home. Winnifred died on March 9th/2000 from pneumonia at age 82 years, with her sons Alan and Ted and their wives Lillian and Pat at her side.  

(Picture is Lillian and Alan Misselbrook in this undated photo)

My brother, Alan Dalton Misselbrook
was born on January 25th,1942 from his parents Davis St., Dresden home.

His mother Winnifred was a great fan of movie actor Alan Ladd and decided the same first name spelling would be used for her first born Alan.

(Pat and Ted Misselbrook from a photo taken at early 1990's wedding)

Lambert Edward (Ted) Misselbrook was born on May 27th, 1945 from his parents Davis St. Dresden home. 

My daughter Jill Misselbrook was born in Chatham Hospital on February 8th, 1970.

My daughter Beth Ann Misselbrook was born at Chatham Hospital on December 2nd, 1972.  

My grandson Justin Thomas (Misselbrook) Foulon
was born at St.Josephs Hospital,
London, on November 9th, 1995.

My grandson, Cameron Joel Misselbrook-Larocque was born at St. Josephs Hospital, London, on January 31st.,2003.

Ted is shown in this 2005 photo with daughters, Jill Misselbrook and Beth Misselbrook at a back yard barbecue held at Jill and husband Carl's Wellington Street, Dresden home.