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We Made Baldur

Public Servant

Town Official John Harrower



John Harrower was born in Ontario. He married Annie Couzens, who was born in 1854 to Elizabeth and Charles Couzens of Albany, New York. Annie spent her childhood in Guelph, Ont. John and Annie were married at Aberfoyle, Ont. in 1875. They lived at Walkerton, ON. until 1878. In 1879, they came to Argyle and settled in the Roseberry district. In 1891, they moved into the new town of Baldur.

Adapted from Come into our Heritage, page 461.

From the Baldur Gazette Special Historical Edition, 1940:

A meeting held on the 22nd of January 1889 is an important stone in Argyle's history for on that date William Stark retired as secretary - Treasurer of the municipality; and John Harrower, on the motion of Councillor R. Johnson. William Stark had served the Municipality for a period of seven years, they were the formative years in municipal growth; and undoubted¬ly some of the wisdom of early lead¬ers could be traced to the sound advice of William Stark. Today after fifty years it is a pleasure to read his minutes. Minutes written with bold strokes of the pen and contain an almost unsurpassed wealth of detail. John Harrower, his successor became an institution in Argyle. He held his office for 44 years. He saw Argyle grow from a scantily settled pioneering community to one of the wealthiest municipalities of the Province. The Municipality of Argyle was John Harrower's greatest love and he served it faithfully. When he retired in 1933 he was succeeded by his daughter Miss Gladys Bessie Harrower.

The complexities of modern  civili¬zation have added greatly to the burden of municipal administration. Municipal Councils and Municipal offi¬cers of today have to grapple with a vast amount of work unknown and undreamt of by the men of the 1880’s., yet in reading the minutes of March 5th, 1889, I find some similarity in the problems. In that year the muni¬cipality found it necessary to ad¬vance money for seed grain under conditions somewhat similar to those employed in recent years. On that date they had to give consideration to a petition praying that a bridge be built between sections 3 and 10 in Township 4 range 14; but the pray¬ing petition had no effect, for the Council said no. They also listened to a long complaint about Roseberry School, yet judging from the action taken on the matter we are rather of the opinion that the worthy coun¬cillors believed the complaint had no foundation. They appointed two assessors and paid them $50 a year each. They donated $25 to the Winni¬peg General Hospital; and so throughout the minutes we find these, pioneers dealing with subjects that I still found familiar to modern ears.


The premises of Harrower and Price which doubled as the Municipal Office.

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