|Jane Eleanor (Fairhall) Culbert and Richard Culbert in 1886. Jane would have been about 28 years old in this photo, and Richard about 33. Photo by George A. Ellis of Lucan, Ontario.|
The young couple moved in with Richard's parents, John Culbert and Mary Ward in their log house on Lot 19, Concession 2 (the Coursey Line) in Biddulph Township near Lucan, Ontario. Other family members lived with them too, including Richard's younger sister, Mary Ann, who was a witness at their wedding.
I'm not sure how the farm came into Richard's possession but it sounds like there was a struggle for ownership. In her book, "Stories from Life," Richard and Jane's daughter, Ethel (Culbert) Gras recounts that Richard had to pay off a brother and sister who still had claim upon the farm. Ethel goes on to say,"I remember well the event of the burning of the mortgage, that sinister, legal document that stood between them and the full possession of their property."
If you read this post, you know that at the end of the 1800s, Richard built a large, brick house on the Culbert property to replace the log house. He planted a row of poplar trees along the driveway, and the property became known as "Poplar Farm."
|The house at Poplar Farm|
He bought new farm equipment, including a machine (a binder) to cut and bind the sheaves of grain. His daughter, Ethel remarked on how proud he was of this possession. He never owned a tractor, truck or automobile, depending only on his horses for work and transportation.
Richard kept a colony of bees, providing delicious clover honey for the family and a surplus for sale.
|The older couple on the right are Jane and Richard Culbert in front of the house that Richard built on the Coursey Line in Biddulph Township near Lucan, Ontario.|
Ethel said, "A man who knew and liked hard work, Richard was honourable and dependable in all his dealings and highly regarded by his neighbours, especially by those who professed the same religious creed and politics; Methodist and Conservative. He was an Orangeman of the deepest dye; parading proudly with his colourful badge on every twelfth of July." Richard Culbert was an Officer of the local Loyal Orange Lodge, a Protestant fraternal organization.
Photos show Richard with a bit of a twinkle in his eye so one could assume he had a sense of humour...
|Jane & Richard Culbert at their house on Poplar Farm, near Lucan, Ontario.|
However, he's been described by various descendants as "a hard man" and a "stern and severe disciplinarian." His daughter, Ethel said, "He was a man with a strict authority. His word was law within his house and my mother often pleaded with him in vain. He believed in using the rod rather than spoiling the child...a man his children did not dearly love." Despite his tyrannical temper, Ethel says that "he loved his children and would proudly boast of their achievements."
In 1914, Richard and Jane moved into a house on Main Street, Lucan, leaving the farm to their son, Myron Manford Culbert.
|Richard & Jane's house on Main Street, Lucan.|
Even though Richard and Jane lived in town, they still kept a cow, a few pigs and chickens, and had a small garden, although Richard was in a wheelchair for two years after suffering a stroke at age 77.
A side view of the little house on Alice Street...
|Jane (Fairhall) Culbert with sons, Myron Culbert (left) and Arthur Culbert (right). Date unknown but probably 1930s-1940s.|
Richard and Jane Culbert's house on Alice Street, from the opposite side of the previous photo, as it looked in 2017...
Richard Culbert died, age 79 in the house on Alice Street on 2 June 1932 from hypostatic pneumonia and a cerebral hemorrhage.
Jane continued to live in the house with her daughter, Mary Elsie (Culbert) Hodgson until Jane's death in 1949.
Richard and Jane are buried in Nursery Cemetery, a small cemetery just up the road from St. James Cemetery, north of Lucan...
|Nursery Cemetery, 35051 Richmond Street (Highway 4) Municipality of North Middlesex, north of Lucan, Ontario. Photo by Mary Jane Culbert.|
|Richard Culbert and Jane Fairhall's headstone. Photo by their great-great-grandson, Jason William Garrett.|
|For you "tombstone tourists" (and I include myself in that description) the Culbert headstone is near the front of the cemetery and is easy to find. Photo by Richard & Jane's great-granddaughter, Mary Jane Culbert.|
|Map showing location of Nursery Cemetery|
Richard Culbert was a successful, prosperous farmer who contributed to the community and left behind the handsome house on Poplar Farm as his legacy.
Richard Culbert's Family Tree:
John Culbert & Mary Ward (parents)
Hulda May (Culbert) Carscallen
George Arthur Culbert
Myron Manford Culbert
Ethel Gertrude (Culbert) Gras
Mary Elsie (Culbert) Hodgson
Susan LELA (Culbert) Beadle
Richard Edwin Culbert (infant death)