Franks Family History & Genealogy

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Patrick Best Joseph Charles Best was from a large family whose father John Best and his wife Mary Collins, immigrated from Ireland.

Joseph and Carlina Best were married on September 29, 1897 at Eldorado, Ontario with Reverend H. B. Rowe officiating.

Joseph went out west in the spring of 1898 and stayed with his brother Jack, who settled in the north of Glen Ewen, Saskatchewan. Carolina followed her husband after the birth of Arthur Alexander Best, who was born on August 16, 1898. It was a long trip on a mixed train with a small baby but people were very kind and they finally reached Winnipeg, Manitoba where they were housed in the old Immigration Hall until they could board a train for the west. They had to go to Oxbow as the train didn't stop at Glen Ewen at that time. Joe Best picked up his family and took them to the Jack Best homestead where they lived for some time in a sod house.

Joseph Best homesteaded in 1898 on NE 10-4-34 W1, nine miles northeast of Glen Ewen. He remained there until 1906 when they moved to Glen Ewen to live in a house how occupied by Mr and Mrs Bert Ryckman. Then he purchased the house which was part of the old school across from the present school. He worked had to get a new school built. Their house was located on Lot 3, Block 9, Sub. B1764. Later he sold parts of this large lot. They lived there until 1914. Joe ran a feed store in the village, then deciding to return to his former occupation they moved back to the homestead and lived there until 1918. Then he purchased a farm two and one half miles north of Glen Ewen, part of 28-4-34 W1, where he remained until his death on January 17, 1931.

While on the farm, both on the homestead and the second farm, Joe had a blacksmith shop; he sharpened plow shoes and shod horses. He was frequently called upon to doctor horses and cows as there were no veterinarian.

The rest of Joe Best's family was born in the Glen Ewen district. They were Gladys Mary, Charles Joseph, John Cecil, Wesley Robert and Wilbert, who died in infancy in 1910.

The following insert was taken from the Ontario Ghost Towns Web site: ELDORADO, ONTARIO

Nothing much is left of Eldorado now, but in 1866 the story was quite different. When rumors of great gold discoveries such as "Gold the size of butternuts" began to surface in the town, not surprisingly, grew from nothing to some 80 buildings almost over night.

Prospectors and speculators arrived by the multitudes to have their pickings of the rumored riches. Although small amounts of gold actually did exist in Eldorado, the majority of claims were either salted, fraudulent, or at the best, wildly exaggerated. By the 1870's the mines were drying up and the party was over. Almost everyone left.

Eldorado, however, didn't die easily. For a time, the Central Ontario Railway operated a small terminus to service the farm community and a few modest industries continued to maintain operations. Today, Eldorado is almost deserted with some two dozen buildings left, the majority of which are up for sale. The red stop signs are faded to almost white. Its once numerous streets reduced to small backwoods trails. A cheese factory, selling Eldorado Gold Cheese, is still open as is the combination gas station/general store, their survival undoubtedly due more to the busy traffic zipping along on Highway 62 than the sustained patronage of the few diehard residents. An historical plague alongside the highway tells the story of Eldorado and the famous Hastings gold rush of the 1860's.

G E N E A L O G Y & H I S T O R Y B O O K S

Eldorado: Ontario's First Gold Rush
by Gerald Boyce.

Where did Ontario's first gold rush take place? Not, as you might think, in the Kirkland Lake or Timmins area of northern Ontario, but in the Madoc-Eldorado area of Hastings County, less than an hour's drive from busy Highway 401. The discovery was made in August 1886. Thousands of miners and speculators soon arrived from B.C., California and elsewhere. They included "Cariboo" Cameron of British Columbia Mining fame.

This book explores the events of the Madoc Gold Rush and explains some of it's touching, humorous and tragic moments. Gerry Boyce is one of eastern Ontario's best known historians. His contribution to regional history have been recognized by the Cdn. Historical Association and the Ontario Historical Society.
Hastings County includes the following townships: Sydney, Thurlow, Tyendenaga, Hungerford, Huntingdon, Rawdon, Marmora, Madoc, Elzevir, Grimsthorpe, Tudor and Lake.

1866....Gold fever strikes Canada West ( Ontario ) with the discovery of gold at Eldorado in Hastings County. Thousands of miners and would be prospectors streamed into the area providing a boom to settlement in the northern portions of Hastings county along the Hastings Road (Highway 62). Source - book: ELDORADO: Ontario's First Gold Rush

Mrs. Carolina Franks-Best stayed on the farm with her son Wesley Best and his wife, Lizzie Hill-Best until the spring of 1942 when she moved to her house in Glen Ewen. Here she resided until 1962 when she went to Winnipeg to make her home with her daughter, Gladys Best-Young. She was an active member of the United Church, United Church Women and the Ladies Orange Benevolent Association. She passed away at the home of her daughter in Winnipeg on November 16, 1965 on her 91st birthday.
Dec 01, 2002 · Reply