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Natives, French Canadians, Acadians

The Caughnawaga Ploughing Match (1883) | Surnames: Tehoniataronwe, Montour, Jocks, Sky, Phillips, Daillebout, Patton, DeLorimier, Leaf

A GRAND SUCCESS – TWENTY NINE ENTRIES — EXCELLENT WORK — PRESENTING THE PRIZES.

The first ploughing competition ever held in Caughnawaga was looked forward to by the residents with an intense interest, which was not confined to the Indian reserve but spread among the farmers for miles around. The farm of John Tehoniataronwe had been chosen as the scene of the completion, and early on Saturday morning spectators began to arrive in large numbers. It is estimated that between four and five hundred people were on the ground, among them many visitors from the neighbourhood of Chateauguay.

For the first class, over 18 years of age, there were twenty-three entires, a number which few older and more pretentious associations could equal. Each man had to plough a width of twenty four feet by about two acres in length, with a prize ridge in the centre. The competitors drew lots for position, and at the given signal started off, every man appearing to be perfectly at home with the plough. Excellent work was done, indeed some of the farmers present declared it equal to the best they had seen. One of the judges remarked that he had seen some of the best Canadian pressmen do worse work. After over an hour’s examination, in addition to watching the progress of the work, the judges awarded the prizes in this class as follows:-

Class I – 1st prize, $8, Chief Montour; 2nd prize, $5, Matthew Jocks; 3rd prize, $4, Francis Sky; 4th prize, $2, Thomas Phillips.

In the second class six boys under eighteen years of age were competitors, and certainly astonished the spectators. The prizes in this were awarded as follows:

Class II, under eighteen years of age – 1st prize, $5, Jean Daillebout; 2nd prize, $3, J. Patton, 3rd prize, $2, Louis DeLorimier; 4th prize, $1, Joseph Leaf.

In addition to these the following special prizes were awarded: $1 for the best mated pair of horses, presented by Mrs. Tully of Chateauguay, awarded to Isaac Clause; $1 for the first ploughman off the field, presented by Capt. Fullerton, awarded to John Deer; $1 for the youngest ploughman on the field, awarded to Louis DeLorimier, aged thirteen years.

In the consolation match Lazare Zachary, M. Lefebvre, John Daillebout and Thomas Jacobs were each awarded half a bushel of timothy hay seed and Jean DeLorimier one dozen grape vines, the former being the gift of Mr. William Evans, seedsman, and the latter of the Beaconsfield vineyard.

The field was decorated with Union Jacks and bunting, and certainly presented a very gay appearance. The prizes were presented from the village hustings by Mr. Wallbank, E.E., honorary president of the society, who in the course of a brief address advised the men of the village to devote their time as much as possible to agricultural pursuits, and to prepare well for the fall exhibition. The success of the ploughing match was in a great measure to be attributed to the deep interest taken by Chiefs Jocks and Williams in the welfare of the band. He also spoke of the importance of education as regarded the children, and advised them to provide as good facilities as their means afforded.

Addresses appropriate to the occasion were also delivered by Chiefs Jocks and Williams, and the following resolutions were carried with applause by the large assembly.

Resolved – That the thanks for the band are hereby tendered to the ladies and gentlemen who have practically shown their interest in us by generously contributing prizes for our first ploughing competition.

Resolved – That the gentlemen who acted as judges, by their care and strict impartiality in awarding the prizes have won our highest regard and are entitled to our gratitude.

Resolved – That, knowing the importance of cultivating the land, we hereby pledge ourselves to encourage by every means in our power the Caughnawaga Agricultural Society and to co-operate in making the fall exhibition a success worthy of so promising a beginning.

Source: Montreal Daily Witness, April 30 1883

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