Matthew Became The First Postmaster Essay

Matthew Became The First Postmaster Essay

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Matthew became the first Postmaster in Foley on February 1, 1873. It was one of his first steps to forming, what would become, the major source of Rankin fortunes for more than half a century. The wealth did not come from the recompense of being Postmaster, for that was only $10/year where at least $300/year was needed to sustain a small family and Mathew had 10. It would come from initially the farm and then from the magnet that the Rankin’s store became. It became a stopping off point for travellers along the Parry Sound Road to Rosseau or Bracebridge and the place to get many goods without the need of going all the way into town. People would stop by the store with their eggs and butter to supply the store or sometimes take their goods into town and sell there if they could not deal with Matthew.
The store itself was modest by the standards of the town but it was more about convenience and freshness of the produce. However, sophisticated American tourists from Buffalo and Baltimore praised the store and, by then Matthew’s son, Samuel’s running of the place in the summer of 1899. The North Star for August 3, 1899 records bargains noticed by one (from a visit of Mr. Vernon, a Chicago merchant who had recently visited the store):
He was astonished at seeing the low prices of some of] the same shoes he sold in Chicago for 50% higher. Still proof that country stores are not behind for bargains. Mr. Rankin gives 12¢ for butter and 15¢ for eggs.
Five years later, Rankin’s were still advertising they had lots of nice shoes, Davie’s smoked ham and a fresh load of breakfast bacon.
As the store became a success, Matthew involved a few of his sons in the business, in particular Samuel, Robert and Frederick. Miss Maggie was happy in the sto...


... middle of paper ...


...m on February 11, 1880 in Parry Sound to Annie Rebecca Farrington. Both were just shy of 22, William a mere one month older. She lived 3 lots up the road from William’s father’s store and was the daughter of Samuel F. and Richande S. Farrington (Lot 128B). The newly weds had plans no other of Matthew’s children had, and that was to leave, not only Parry Sound but Canada and head down to South Dakota, immediately. Annie’s parents had left for South Dakota the year before and that was William’s goal. It must have been a bold decision.
There were not any more Rankin marriages for seven years until the eldest, James married ‘the girl next door’ Eliza Jane Boyd on April 6, 1887. Her parent’s farm was 5 lots south by Windfall Lake (Lot 9+10, Con. 3). In just about a quick as one can they had their first child Ella on February 6 the following year and another Myrtle by 1889.

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