ORIGIN AND HISTORY OF THE MCCOLL PIONEER CEMETERY
This is a brief history of this cemetery, one of the oldest in Elgin County, Ontario.
Duncan McColl, the founder of the cemetery, originally came from the Parish of Kilberry, Argylleshire, Scotland. He immigrated to Canada about 1820. With his sons, Samuel and Thomas, he laboriously established his farm by historic Brock's Creek, Aldborough Township, near Eagle and West Lorne.
When Mr. McColl's health began to fail, and he was no longer able to work, he used to walk across Brock Creek, and up on the hill. There he would lie down under a tree to rest and watch his sons work clearing away the forest. He grew to love this spot, and asked that he be buried there when he was called to his eternal rest. When he died in 1822, his sons respected that wish, and had him buried under that tree. The surrounding area was subsequently designated by his family as "The McColl Cemetery." Many members of other pioneer families in the area were laid to rest in this cemetery.
Samuel McColl remained on the homestead and became the owner of the cemetery. His brother Thomas McColl, later Elder McColl, settled in Dunwich. Samuel's last surviving son, Samuel McColl, of Dutton, continued the cemetery's care until his own death and burial here in 1914, leaving the cemetery in the charge of his two nieces, Annie McColl and Flo (Mrs. Ardah) McCallum.
Later, upon the advice of Mr. Daniel Lang of Eagle, the care of the McColl Cemetery was placed in the hands of a Trustee Board, with Mr. J. Walker K. C. of Chatham kindly executing the legal work involved. More land was included at this time, to create an overall area of approximately two acres.
On June 15, 1921, the first meeting of the plot owners was held in West Lorne, and the first Trustee Board was formed. It included: J. B. Ferguson (President), Mr. Archibald J. McColl, Dr. T. H. McColl of Tilbury, and Mr. Alexander D. McColl. All of these men - with the exception of Mr. Alexander McColl - are buried in McColl Cemetery.
A fund-raising campaign among the plot owners for the upkeep of the cemetery was initiated by the Board with gratifying results. It appears that a sufficient fund was raised because no other appeal was necessary until 1973. It is interesting to note under present day circumstances, that the financing at that time was secured by a perpetual bond of $500 at 3% interest.
Let us hope that as generation follows generation, a deep respectful concern for the McColl Cemetery will be maintained by those associated with it.