McCormick, Joseph Cecil: Service no. 844833

Digitized Service Record

Source: Per post by Allan Miller at 18th Battalion Facebook Group.


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John (Jack) and Jennie McCormick family. Standing: Cecil, Edythe, Tom, Jean. Seated: Lou, Jack, Jennie, Russ. Courtesy B Luckham. Via Lambton County Museums.

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(from various clippings)

Joseph McCormick (1815–1895) located on Lot 24, Con. 2 NER when he first came to Warwick from Ireland in 1855 with his wife Sarah Ann Taylor (–1886), his eldest son Samuel and infant son William. They left three sons, Robert J., Richard, and George in the care of his sister until Joseph could send for them. Joseph was looking for better conditions in which to raise his family. En route to Canada they were shipwrecked in an Atlantic storm, but they managed to transfer to another ship before theirs sank. William died shipboard.

In 1858 Joseph purchased Lot 12, Con. 5 NER. Seven years later the three sons joined the family. Joseph and Sarah Ann had five more children: Joseph, Elizabeth (who married Thomas O’Neil), John, James, and Mary.

When Robert J. McCormick (1848–1943) came to Canada with his two younger brothers, Richard and George, he hired out as a farm boy in the summers, his first wages being $9. a month plus board. In the winters he attended school when not doing chores. He spent two years with Isaac Eves, learning the brick making business and then he made bricks for John D. Eccles. By 1869 he had started making bricks for himself, renting the Eccles brickyard. Eight years later he bought the Eccles brickyard and farm, located on Lot 14, Con. 2 NER. In 1882 he took his brother Joseph into partnership with him, forming the firm McCormick Bros. Brick and Tile Yard. In 1887 he took his brother John as partner in a second brickyard on Lot 7, Con. 4 SER, where they also built a sawmill. Robert J. and John ran this until 1904. The brothers operated the largest brick and tile manufacturing business west of London. Many of the brick businesses and homes in Watford, Forest and Warwick were built with McCormick Bros. brick and the farms were drained with McCormick Bros. tile.

R. J. McCormick married Elizabeth L. Smith, daughter of George and Mary Ann (Thomas) Smith. Their three daughters were Mary Alice (Allie), Pearl (Perley), and Ruby.

Robert J. McCormick was a breeder of cattle and Shetland ponies on his farm. He also took an interest in municipal affairs and served both locally and provincially.

Joseph McCormick (1856–c.1955), Robert J.’s brother, married Lucinda Ann Luckham (1861–1934). Their children were Carrie Bell (1892–1892) and Mabel Edith (1895–1988) who married Raymond Morningstar (1890–1955). Joseph partnered with his brother in the brick and tile yard business.

John McCormick (1859–1941), Robert J.’s brother, was born on Lot 12, Con. 5 NER. He farmed 400 acres, raising cattle and breeding horses. He also operated the brick and tile yard business south of the Egremont Rd. with his brother.

John married Susan Jane Luckham (1859–1944). They built a beautiful, large brick home at Kingscourt. John and Susan had six children: Louisa Myrtle (1888–1969) married Frederick Paul (1889–1966); John Russell (1890–) married Martha McLeay (1886–1966); Joseph Cecil (1892–1939) married Lillian Irene Rankin (1900–1939); Sarah Jane (Jean, 1895–1960); Mary Edythe (1896–1981) married Dr. Russell G. Woods (1895–1973); and Thomas Luckham (1898–1948). John was also active in municipal politics. He died at Kingscourt.

Joseph Cecil, John and Susan’s son, served overseas with the Lambton 149th Batallion. He was gassed during the war and suffered lung problems after that. After World War I he worked in the brick and tile yard with his father until he obtained a position as Indian agent for the Sarnia and Kettle Point Reserves.

Joseph Cecil and Lillian’s children Don, Barbara and Patty were young when both their parents died in 1939. Don lived on the farm with his Uncle Tom and Aunt Jean, Barbara went to live with her mother’s sister, and Patty went to live with her father’s sister.

Don continued to live on Confederation Line, on McCormick property, even while he worked in Sarnia. In more recent years, his wife Doris (Burnley) was a recipient of the St. Clair Region Conservation Authority Award for her and her husband’s commitment to making this region a better place to live. They were active members of Ducks Unlimited, Lambton Wildlife Inc. and other environmental groups. They built wildlife ponds on their property on Confederation Line, and planted shelter belts to provide wildlife habitat. Doris and Don’s son Joseph and his wife Laurie (Toffelmire) live in Warwick Twp., but their daughter Jane moved away after graduation from East Lambton Secondary School.


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