Henry Hartley - Education Advocate

Henry Hartley (1900-1988) was involved with many organizations and felt strongly about education.  He was chairman of the Sandwich South public school board during the 1950’s until 1962.   He was in instrumental in establishing the Sun Parlour School for the Mentally Retarded, working with Elmer Queen, Mayor of Essex, and Dave Freeman, the police chief of Essex. More information can be found on the schools page.

Henry was on the board of directors of Oldcastle Co-Op when Walter Jessop, then Manson Jessop, were in charge.  He was also on the board for  Co-Operators Insurance and was a member of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture.

In later years he became very involved with his church and was the Chairman of the Deacon Board of Church of the Open Bible and supported his Pastor John Baptist in building this church. They purchased the old army barracks  that had been used by Western Institute of Technology and converted them into a church which was located on Malden Road and Todd Lane of Sandwich West.


Mary McCarthy (Downing) - Pioneer, Entrepreneur

Mary McCarthy was the daughter of Denis Downing, One of the original settlers on land granted by Colonel Talbot.  She married Michael McCarthy, a lifelong friend, shortly after the death of her husband.

She was responsible for turning her home into a tavern.  The tavern addition would later become the first town hall for Sandwich South in 1893.  This home / tavern remains today on the south west corner of Highway #3 and Oldcastle side road.


LCol Ronald A. Holden, OMM CD (ret)

LCol Holden was raised on a farm in Oldcastle Ontario. As an Air Cadet he learned to fly with an Air Cadet scholarship in 1947. He joined the RCAF as a pilot in 1950 and enjoyed a varied service career both on the ground and in the air. He has logged more than 20,000 flying hours and notable among the 75 types flown are the Harvard, T-33, CF-100, F-86 Sabre, CF 104 Starfighter, four engine Argus Maritime Patrol, and Tracker Ocean Surveillance aircraft.

He retired from the Canadian Forces in 1982 and actively farmed for 29 years.  Ron and his wife Joyce travelled extensively while in the military and now enjoy a more settled but still busy second career. They have three children, and five grand children .


Raymond Ducharme Morand - Politician

Born in Sandwich East, Ontario in 1887.  He grew up in Jackson’s corners, which is now the Roseland area of Windsor. He was first elected to the House of Commons of Canada for the riding of Essex East in the 1925 Federal Election. As a Conservative, he was defeated in the 1926 election and was re-elected in the 1930 federal election.  In 1935, he was the Deputy Speaker and Chairman of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons.

Many streets in the Roseland sub-division area were named after him and his family. (Ducharme, Morand, Bedford to name a few)


Myrtle Crowder - Historian

Mrs. Crowder is among the most well- known and well-respected ladies of Sandwich South. Through her role as Tweedsmuir History Curator* of the Oldcastle Women’s Institute from 1950-1980, she has left a legacy of local history in many volumes that has been a resource for many people. Ken Bennett acknowledged her contribution in his book ‘The Saga of the Irish Settlement’. She is also acknowledged by Laura Langlois in ‘The History of Sandwich South’, and contributed to Neil Morrison’s ‘Garden Gateway to Canada’. In 1967, when the Ontario Department of Municipal Affairs was compiling local histories, Sandwich South Clerk Bert Bedford and the Council wisely forwarded the request to Mrs. Crowder.

Mrs. Crowder is described by as a woman of unlimited energy. While raising three children, Helen, Robert and Edwin, she was active at St. Stephen’s Church Ladies’ Guild, Essex Deanery of the Anglican Church Ladies’ Auxiliary, the Home and School Association for SS #6, the Women’s Institutes of both Oldcastle and Essex District, and the Essex and District Horticultural Society. She had beautiful flower gardens (In 1983 her special rose won the Molson’s trophy for ‘Queen of the Show”, and a memorial ‘Myrtle Crowder Trophy’ is awarded annually for Best Floral Arrangement at the Essex Garden Club.) and a variety of fruit trees in her orchard.

She organized banquets, work shops, bus trips and conferences. Countless members of this community have benefitted from the efforts of Mrs. Crowder.

Taken from a presentation by Ruby Robertson to the Olde Sandwich South and Area Historical Society in 2004