Alexender Duffes, Grain Merchant

Titus Cummins, founder of Cumminsville and Alex Duffes, formed the Cummins and Duffes Grain Dealers in Burlington, Ontario, aprox. 1877.

As noted in Alexander Duffes-The Early Years, he was born in Utica, N.Y., on 26 March 1837. In 1838, his family moved to the town of Burlington, Nelson Township, County of Halton, Ontario.
Lowville School, Nelson Township, SS. No. 9, Circa 1914. Stone structure replaced log cabin school.
Lowville School, Nelson Township, SS. No. 9, Circa 1914. Stone structure replaced log cabin school.
Nelson Township consisted of many of the small villages in which they lived, like Kilbride. They also lived in Hamilton and Strabane, Ontario. Education took place in small 1-room log cabins, or at buildings on family farms.
 
At the age of 31, Alexander married Hannah Lucinda Cummins, on 17 December 1868. (Her wedding dress resides in the Canyon County Museum). She was the daughter of Titus Geer Cummins. He founded Cumminsville, Ontario, one of many small villages that comprised Nelson Township.
 
Alex Duffes Grain & Storehouse, Burlington, Ontario
Alex Duffes Grain & Storehouse, Burlington, Ontario

Titus was a grain merchant. He and Alexander formed a partnership, named “Cummins and Duffes grain dealers”.

The sign on the store read; “A. Duffes”. It also said that they paid “Cash for Grain,” sold “Groceries & Provisions”, “Boots & Shoes”, along with “Crockery & Hardware”.
 
The store, located on the west side of Brant St., & south of the Grand Trunk Railway, gave easy access to shipping & delivery.
 
After 11 years of running a successful business, he grew anxious to explore the land of his birth. He sold his goods, and with wife and only child in hand, headed for America.
 
Next Up: Alex Travels The Great Northwest
Source/Credits
Halton Images-Lowville School, SS. No. 9
Burlington Historical Society-Copyright Unknown
Alex Duffes Store and Storehouse, Burlington-1877 Halton Atlas

A Scotsman Comes To America

Born July 1806, John Duffes Sr., came from a family of Scottish Highlanders. Members of the Sutherland Clan, they were direct descendants of family Duffuse.

Duffus Castle, Scotland
Duffus Castle, Scotland

Born July 1806, John Duffes Sr., came from a family of Scottish Highlanders. Members of the Sutherland Clan, they were direct descendants of family Duffus. They gained wealth, through their involvement with the East India Trading Company.

At age 29, he married Elizabeth Ferrier. The couple sailed to America to honeymoon, and visit her relatives in Canada.

John completed some family business, then they returned to New York. Waiting for him was a letter and $700.00. He never said what was in the letter, but he understood, that he was never to return to Scotland.

The couple settled in Utica, New York. On March 1837, a son, Alexander Duffes was born. (Remember Alexander, as that is where our Pioneer family begins). They returned to Canada and stayed with her brother and sister.

John took up the plastering trade. In 1844 the family moved to Hamilton, Ontario, where his ornate cornice work, was in great demand. After a cholera outbreak in 1846 he moved his family to Kilbride. He purchased 5 acres of land and built a house.

In 1882, while constructing a Presbyterian Church in Strabane he had a stroke and died. That same church and a general store exist to this day.

A fiddle that he entertained with on his voyage to America is in family hands. He also played the bagpipes.

Atholl Highlanders By Arklestonpiping

Side Note:  The featured image is the Jacobite Steam train on the way from Ft. William, traveling along the West Highland Line. Ft. William is where John Duffes Sr., said he was from.

Featured Image
File:A Scottish Adventure- The Jacobite over Glenfinnan Viaduct.jpg This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license. Attribution 96tommy
File:Duffuscastle4.jpg
Attribution:
Billreid at English Wikipedia
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