The Way We Were: the Story of the Way Family of Way's Mills, Part 16

Anne Leydet

On Thursday October 7, 1875, the readers of the Stanstead Journal read the following notice :

"DEATHS: Way -- At Way’s Mills, Q., Sept 22d, Daniel Way in the 83rd year of his age."

pierre_tombale_daniel_way1.jpgSome 135 years later, a small correction seems in order : Daniel, who was born on August 12, 1794, had just turned 81 when he died on September 22, 1875. And there should have been an Obituary following the Death Notice. Since it’s never too late to do good, here it is:

«Daniel Way led a long and eventful life. He was born and raised in Marlow, N.H., where his father, Wells Way, Esq., was the town clerk. In 1816 Mr Way married Miss Keziah Jacquith, granddaughter of a hero in the Revolutionary War. They first resided in Rochester, Vt, where their son Lorenzo Swedenborg was born. In 1820, Mr Way moved to Marlow, Stanstead Co., which had been founded in the early 1800s by the Gustin, Miller and Mack families, all related to the Ways. Having settled in the area of Mack’s Mills (later Comstock Mills) near Smith’s Hollow (Tomifobia), Mr Way joined his uncle Silas Mack in a business partnership. Mr Mack owned grist and saw mills on the River Tomifobia and Mr Way, then in his early 30s, started a business of cloth dressing, with such immediate success that apprentices had to be hired. Mr Way owned 55 acres of land on which stood his clothier’s shop and a good dwelling house. More children were born: Hannah, Asa, Welles and Delia. Education held much importance for Mr Way. He successfully petitioned for a school in 1826 and when it closed in 1836, he helped fund and build a new school, then hired the teacher.

Mr Way who was an Adventist, did not waver in his faith when the Second Advent did not come as predicted in 1843 and he did not suffer from the Great Disappointment, quite the opposite : that same year, as he neared 50, Mr Way moved to Barnston Township where he had bought some 50 acres from Mr Jacob Clifford. By 1849 he had acquired more land with damming privileges and built a carding mill on the Niger River where he started the manufacturing, dressing and carding of woolen cloth.

Barnston farmers were satisfied patrons indeed. Mr Way was also a shareholder in the St. Lawrence and Atlantic Railway which completed its route connecting Montreal to Portland Maine via the Coaticook Valley in 1853. The business prospered. In 1871, Mr Way deeded his business to his sons, but remained actively involved. In 1872, he invested into brand new equipment, such as carding machines. The town where the mill is situated has grown considerably and is now called Way’s Mills. The successful family business is known throughout the Townships as the Way’s Mills Woolen Factory.

Besides his wife Keziah, Mr Way leaves behind sons Lorenzo (Julia Ann Hodge), Asa (Melissa Clement), Welles (Mary Libby) and daughters Hannah (David Marsh), and Delia (Francis Clifford); grandchildren Alice (Frank Huntly), Amy (Henry J. Johnson), Eva (C. Bailey), Ida (William May); Henry Francis Clifford (Elvira Benton Towle), Edward Clarence Clifford; also several grandchildren in Minnesota, USA : Daniel, Hervey, Nelson, Victor and Effie Way, children of Asa ; and Erastus, Hattie, Nellie, Scott, Daniel, Bertha, Henry, Amanda and Nathan Way, children of Welles. Amongst great-grandchildren are Leilla Brown, Julia Brown, Lorenzo Johnson, Mary Johnson, Hervey Johnson, Gertrude Eudora May, Bertha Gertrude Clifford, Frank Aldebert Clifford and others. All will grieve Mr Way’s passing. The population of Barnston mourns as well, for Mr Daniel Way did contribute in a most important manner to the growth and well-being of this entire community.»

To be continued…