Ingersoll, Ontario

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Town (lower-tier)
Town of Ingersoll
Ingersoll Creative Arts Centre 2.JPG
Motto(s): Prosperity Through Progress[1]
Ingersoll is located in Southern Ontario
Coordinates: 43°02′21″N 80°53′01″W / 43.03917°N 80.88361°W / 43.03917; -80.88361Coordinates: 43°02′21″N 80°53′01″W / 43.03917°N 80.88361°W / 43.03917; -80.88361
Country  Canada
Province  Ontario
County Oxford
Established[1] 1852 (village)
  1861 (town)
 • Mayor Ted Comiskey
 • Federal riding Oxford
 • Provincial riding Oxford
 • Land 12.90 km2 (4.98 sq mi)
Elevation[3] 280 m (920 ft)
Population (2016)[4]
 • Total 12,757
 • Density 1,000.7/km2 (2,592/sq mi)
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Forward sortation area N5C
Area code(s) 519 and 226

Ingersoll is a town in Oxford County on the Thames River in southwestern Ontario, Canada. The nearest cities are Woodstock to the east and London to the west.

Ingersoll is situated north of and near Highway 401. Oxford County Road 119 (formerly Ontario Highway 19) serves the town. A Canadian National rail line bisects the town just north of the center. Passenger service from the Ingersoll train station is provided to other stops in Southwestern Ontario by Via Rail. To the south is a CPR line, which provides freight service to points in the region. The local high school is Ingersoll District Collegiate Institute.

The Ingersoll area became known for home-made cheese production, beginning in the 1830s, and its County of Oxford was home to the first cheese factory in Canada in 1864. In 1866, a giant block of cheese weighing 7,300 pounds (3,311 kg) was produced at the James Harris Cheese Factory, just south of Ingersoll, for promotion of the town's cheese industry. The "Big Cheese" was exhibited at the New York State Fair in Saratoga, NY, and then in England.[5]

Ingersoll developed as an industrial centre. During the late 19th century, the town's largest industries were Noxon Bros., a manufacturer of farm implements (1856-1916) and the Ingersoll Packing Co., a cheese-exporting and pork-packing firm (1880-1920s). The Noxons firm was shuttered in 1916, but other large industries took root during the early 20th century, including the St. Charles Condensing Co., the Morrow Screw & Nut Co., and the Ingersoll Machine Co..[6]

In the 21st century heavy manufacturing is Ingersoll's largest industry, including CAMI Automotive, a General Motors car manufacturing plant that was originally a joint venture with Suzuki Motors of Canada.

Early history[edit]

Ingersoll’s founder, Thomas Ingersoll (1751–1812), was a native of Westfield, Massachusetts who removed to Great Barrington, Massachusetts, and then to the Niagara District, Upper Canada in 1795. In 1793 he received grant of Oxford township (revoked in 1797, and grant reduced to 1200 acres) which became the site of the community of Ingersoll, and where he established a farm for his family and settled other families nearby. Discouraged by the slow pace of settlement, Thomas withdrew his family from Oxford in 1806, but two of his sons, Charles (1791–1832) and James (1801–86), returned to the family homestead, James in 1818 and Charles in 1821. James, born in Oxford, then was 17, his brother ten years older. Together the sons laid the foundations for the hamlet of Ingersoll. Thomas's eldest child, Laura Secord, was a heroine of the War of 1812.

The hamlet of Ingersoll was proclaimed a village in 1852 and a town in 1865. Whereas Woodstock, the County seat, was Oxford County’s administrative centre, Ingersoll became the county’s principal industrial centre, in 1871 home to all four of the County’s industries that had 50 or more hands. Noxon Brothers and the Eastwood foundry, both manufacturers of agricultural implements, employed 103 and 70 hands respectively. With 4,022 in population in 1871, Ingersoll’s population surpassed that of Woodstock (3,982), although its advantage was not to last. By the 1860s, dairying was an emerging industry, sparked farm-wife production of cheese and butter, and then by the introduction of the factory system of cheese production in 1864. In 1866, to promote Ingersoll cheese as a high-quality, standardized brand, a cheese producer, James Harris, and local businessmen produced a 7,300 pound mammoth cheese, exhibited it at the New York State Fair in Saratoga, N.Y., and then exported it to England.[7]

Annual town events[edit]

Ingersoll is host to a number of annual festivals, including the Ribfest,[8] Harvest Festival,[9] Canterbury Folk Festival,[10] Halls Creek Festival[11] and the Winter Lights Festival.[12]


  • Cheese and Agriculture Museum
  • Ingersoll Creative Arts Centre (ICAC)
  • Ingersoll Theatre of Performing Arts (ITOPA)

Cultural resources[edit]

Ingersoll Cheese Factory Museum and Sports Hall of Fame[edit]

Ingersoll has the distinction of having been Oxford County's cheese capital from the mid-1800s to early 1900s, producing and packaging a good deal of the county's renowned cheddar. The museum showcases the town's unique history. The Sports Hall of Fame showcases the town's athletic history. "Path of the Giants" – a 20-foot "fully round" wood carved scene by the late Wilson Johnston, depicting the pioneer trek of his ancestors, the "Dunkards" from Lancaster, Pennsylvania to Cambridge, Ontario in the 1700s. The agricultural barns were built from lumber and timbers taken from barns found in Oxford County. Reg Knox was the construction manager for this project. It required the barn board and beams to be reclaimed from three existing barn buildings in the area. The buildings were disassembled by Reg and his crew and materials transported to the site where these building now stand. Construction was done by hand like the original process. No power tools were used in the construction of these building. Reg worked from a single photograph of the original Old Ingersoll Cheese Factory. The buildings were completed within 3 months by a crew of approximately 6 people from the Ingersoll area.

Ingersoll Creative Arts Centre[edit]

Started in 1972, this active arts centre features an exhibit gallery as well as offering classes in a variety of arts and crafts in pottery, painting and fiber arts studios.[13] This arts centre is located at 125 Centennial Lane.

Ingersoll Public Library[edit]

A branch of the Oxford County Library. It is located in the Ingersoll Municipal Building. War Memorial and Honour Roll are located on the south side of the Town Centre. In the lobby is a statue and plaque to honour Thomas Ingersoll, the founder of Ingersoll. The former library was a Carnegie library located near the corner of Thames and Charles Streets.

Ingersoll Theatre of Performing Arts[edit]

Several amateur productions are presented each year in this historic Strand Theatre, built in the 1950s.


Canada census – Ingersoll community profile
2011 2006
Population: 12,146 (3.3% from 2006) 11760 (7.1% from 2001)
Land area: 12.90 km2 (4.98 sq mi) 12.90 km2 (4.98 sq mi)
Population density: 941.8/km2 (2,439/sq mi) 911.9/km2 (2,362/sq mi)
Median age: 40.2 (M: 38.9, F: 41.3) 38.8 (M: 37.8, F: 39.9)
Total private dwellings: 4998 4670
Median household income: $60107
References: 2011[14] 2006[15] earlier[16]
Historical populations
Year Pop. ±%
1841 400 —    
1871 4,022 +905.5%
1881 4,318 +7.4%
1891 4,191 −2.9%
1901 4,573 +9.1%
1911 4,763 +4.2%
1921 5,150 +8.1%
1931 5,233 +1.6%
1941 5,757 +10.0%
1951 6,524 +13.3%
1961 6,874 +5.4%
1971 7,783 +13.2%
1981 8,494 +9.1%
1991 9,378 +10.4%
1996 10,502 +12.0%
2001 10,977 +4.5%
2006 11,760 +7.1%
2011 12,146 +3.3%

Historical figures[edit]

  • Thomas Ingersoll (1751–1812) b. England. removed to Great Barrington, Mass. and then to the Niagara District, Upper Canada in 1795. Received grant of Oxford township (revoked in 1797, and grant reduced to 1200 acres) which became the site of the modern town of Ingersoll. Instrumental in settling families in Oxford during the 1790s. Discouraged, he ceased his promotion of settlement in Oxford in 1806, but two of his sons, Charles and James, returned to the family homestead in 1818 and laid the foundations for the hamlet of Ingersoll.[17]
  • Charles Ingersoll (1791–1832) and James Ingersoll (1801–86). Sons of Thomas Ingersoll. Charles was a brother-in-law of William Hamilton Merritt, Niagara merchant, promoter, Tory politician, and Charles's financial backer. MP for the Oxford riding 1824–28 and 1830–32. Died of cholera in 1832. During the 1920s, James established businesses – a grist mill, a store, a distillery, and an ashery – which became the nucleus for the hamlet of Ingersoll (a village 1852 and a town, 1865).[18]
  • James Harris (1824–1885). Owner of the factory in which was built Ingersoll's famous Mammoth Cheese, 7,300 pounds, in 1866. Sponsorship of the venture came from a newly formed private corporation, the Ingersoll Cheese Company, whose shareholders included Harris, farmers who supplied the milk and expertise for construction of the mammoth, and businessmen. The cheese was exhibited at the New York State Fair at Saratoga in 1866, and then exported to England.[19]
  • Laura Ingersoll Secord (1775–1868). Daughter of Thomas Ingersoll and wife of James Secord, who served in the militia under Isaac Brock. The couple lived in St. Davids (now Queenston) where American troops stopped at their home seeking supplies during the War of 1812. On June 21, 1813, Laura Secord overheard plans of a surprise attack on British Troops led by Lt. James Fitzgibbon at Beaver Dams. Secord was responsible for walking 20 miles through the woods, in newly controlled American territory in the Niagara Peninsula, to Beaver Dams to warn the British. As a result of this information Lt. Fitzgibbon's small British troop and a larger contingent of allied Mohawk warriors were able to intercept and dedeat the attack. Although not initially recognized for her role, Lt. James Fitzgibbon later certified that the informant was Laura Secord.[20] Secord's story has often been embellished over the years but her role in Canadian history has since been established by various historians. Secord was never a resident of Oxford County, and possibly never visited Ingersoll.[21]
  • Adam Oliver (1823–1882). Born Scotch Lake settlement, near Fredericton, NB in 1823. Moved with his family to Middlesex County, Upper Canada, in 1819. Moved to nearby Ingersoll, 1850. There he established himself as a lumberman, mill owner, contractor, and politician. Developed businesses in Orillia (1868–72) and Thunder Bay District (1872–78). Mayor of Ingersoll, 1865–66. Warden of Oxford County, 1866. MLA for the Oxford riding, 186–-75.[22]
  • James Noxon (1833–1906). Born Bloomfield, Prince Edward County, Upper Canada. Moved to Ingersoll, Canada West, 1856. With his brothers and his father's financial backing, he established one of the largest manufactory of agricultural implements in the province (Noxon Company Ltd.) and the chief industry in Ingersoll. In 1878 he built a mansion which was later to become the town's Alexandra hospital (1909). Mayor of Ingersoll, 1884–85 and 1887. As president of the firm and its largest shareholder, James lived beyond his means, running up credit and draining the company's resources to pay the bank interest. To save the firm, his brothers ousted him in 1887. He removed to Woodstock to become plant manager of Patterson & Brother, an agricultural implements firm (1887–1891) and then to Toronto, to serve as provincial Inspector of Prisons and Charities (1891–1905). Meanwhile, in Ingersoll, the Noxon Company's Noxon-family ownership ended in 1898, the company lost its prominence of early years, and the company was shuttered in 1916.[23]
  • James McIntyre (1828-1906). Born in Scotland, moved to Canada 1841, and to Ingersoll, 1854. Cabinetmaker and undertaker, proprietor of furniture factory. But best remembered as author of some famously awful poetry, and above all for his 1866 poem, "Ode on the Mammoth Cheese", a tribute to 7,300 pound cheese that local men built to advertise the Ingersoll brand.
                        We have seen thee, queen of cheese,
                        Lying quietly at your ease,
                        Gently fanned by evening breeze,
                        Thy fair form no flies dare seize.


  • Hugh McKay Sutherland (1843–1926). Born P.E.I. Moved to Oxford County, 1849. Worked for Adam Oliver as a bookkeeper in 1858 and became a partner in the Adam Oliver Company, formed 1867, Became a partner in the company's sawmill business, 1868–72. Became Dominion Superintendent of Public Works for the Northwest Territories, 1874–78. Removed to Winnipeg where he succeeded as a promoter of railway, mining, and lumber companies. MP for Selkirk, Manitoba, 1882–87. Retired to England, where he died in 1926.[25]
  • Lt. Col. William George Wonham (1819-?), Provincial Land Surveyor, Ingersoll. b. England 1819. Resided in Ingersoll by 1851. Drew the 1857 Tremaine Map of Oxford County. Married with four children but became a widower in 1860. Wonham Street in Ingersoll is named for him. During the early 1880s he left Ingersoll for the Northwest to take employment with the Dominion Department of the Interior. In 1884, in an interview with the Winnipeg Times, he described his work in the Rocky Mountains in surveying a national park [Banff] for the Dominion Government:
“Some time ago I received instructions from the Department of the Interior to proceed to the Rockies and survey a park in the Cochrane Ranch Co.’s timber limit, using my own judgment as to the best location. The spot I located is about 4 miles from East Padmore and about 64 miles from Calgary in the first range of the Rockies. The scenery is grand and beautiful in the extreme, rivalling everything I have ever seen. The surface of the park, which is traversed from one end to the other by the main line of the C.P.R. is heavily timbered and contains one large lake and several smaller ones. The surface is very rocky and broken and the hills are picturesque in the extreme. As the train service does not extend past Calgary the journey west of that point has to be made by hand car. On the return journey the pumping apparatus broke, and owing to the strong wind and the track being on the downgrade we ran the car at the rate of thirteen miles per hour for seven hours by standing up and holding our coats sail fashion to catch the wind.”[26]
  • Robert Stuart, (1852–1926), born in Embro, raised in Ingersoll. Robert’s extended family of origin comprised three Stuart brothers who emigrated to Canada from Banffshire, Scotland, and had businesses in Ingersoll John, a miller (1825–1899), Peter, a miller (1827–98), and Robert, a grocer (1834–1913). Robert’s father, John Stuart, operated mills in Embro and Ayr during the early 1850s. In 1858 he bought Elisha Hall’s sawmill in Ingersoll, which he converted into an oatmeal mill (named North Star Oatmeal Mills). In 1873 John sold North Star Oatmeal Mills to his brother, Peter; moved to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, with his son, Robert; and opened a second North Star Oatmeal Mills in Cedar Rapids. In 1874 John and Robert entered into partnership with a railroader, George Douglas Sr., of Cedar Rapids. In 1876 Robert married Maggie Shearer, a niece of George Douglas. In 1877 Robert Stuart & George Douglas of Cedar Rapids Iowa became co-partners with the father, John Stuart, and an Ingersoll miller, W.S. King, in founding new steam mill in Ingersoll, on north side of the River Thames. The father and son team, John and Robert, later opened a second mill in Chicago. There in 1899 Robert became a co-founder of the American Cereal Company, which was renamed the Quaker Oats Company in 1901. Robert’s progeny did well with that company. His son, Robert Douglas Stuart (1886–1975), became CEO of Quaker Oats in 1922 and served as United States ambassador to Canada from 1953 to 1956. His grandson, Robert Douglas Stuart Jr. (1916–2014), was CEO of Quaker Oats from 1966 to 1981 and served as United States Ambassador to Norway from 1984 to 1989.

Historical landmarks[edit]

Norsworthy House[edit]

Norsworthy House (250 King St. E.) was home to the family of James Counter Norsworthy (1846–1936). James, native of Devonshire, England, had moved to the Thamesford area in 1852, entered the insurance business, and in 1876 removed to Ingersoll, where he became an inspector for the North British Mercantile Insurance Co. Norsworthy acquired his house in 1878, as part of a dowry from his marriage to Mary Jane Cuthbert (1853–91). James had four sons and a daughter by his first wife, Mary Jane. After her death in 1891, at the age of 38, he remarried to Mrs. John T. MacDonald of Sarnia in 1895.

Today, the Norsworthy family is known for its family home, a stately Victorian mansion. styled “Norleigh.” James enlarged the house to add an office and a separate entrance for clients and a large front porch; and he added ornate features such as stained glass windows and finely-carved fireplaces, and an upper-story tank to supply the house with water in a gravity system.

The family is remembered for its outstanding contribution to Canada’s war effort during the First World War. All four Norsworthy sons enlisted as officers, and two of them, Edward and Fred, were killed in action. After the loss of his sons, J.C. Norsworthy became an expert historian on the war and travelled extensively to speak on the subject.

The house is rumoured to be haunted by the ghost of Norsworthy's first wife, Mary Jane, who died in 1891 after nursing her children back to health from diphtherias. Perhaps the ghostly Mary Jane’s target was the second wife, the replacement mother for her children. That said, the current owners have never seen the Lady in Grey or anything else that could be considered ghostly. Neither have any of the guests who have stayed with them through the bed and breakfast they operate.[27]

Natural areas and parks[edit]

Victoria Park[edit]

Ingersoll's first park, established in 1869. It was known as the Town Park until 1882 when, on the occasion of the town's Queen's Birthday Celebration, it was named Victoria. This park lies adjacent to Centennial Park and is home to the Victoria Park Community Recreation Centre.

Soldiers' Carroll Memorial Park[edit]

Ingersoll's second oldest park and, unlike Victoria Park, located near the centre of the town (north of Canterbury Street and east of Thames Street). Formerly the site of Partlo’s mill pond. The town established Soldiers' Carroll Memorial Park in 1919, using a bequest from Dr. D.W. Carroll (1838–1912), by purchasing and draining of Partlo’s mill pond. Hall's Creek, which formerly flowed into the pond, continued, butits course was changed and widened; rustic bridges were erected and other improvements made, including the installation of a swimming pool for children.[28] Also about 1920, the Lady Dufferin Chapter, Imperial Order Daughters of the Empire, erected a Park Cenotaph to honour Ingersoll men who gave their lives and served the Empire in two World Wars and the Korean War. Thus, many townspeople have referred to Carroll’s Park as Memorial Park. In 2006 a Town by-law renamed Memorial Park honour of Yvonne Holmes Mott (1934-2005) for “outstanding contributions to the Town and its people over her lifetime.”

Each July the Park serves as the main venue for the annual Canterbury Folk Festival, with the main stages, seating area, beverage tents, and craft vendors located there.

Centennial Park[edit]

This eight-acre park was created as a Canada Centennial project in 1967. The Ingersoll Cheese Factory Museum and the Creative Arts Centre are located at the upstream end of the former Stuart's Millpond (1822-1909). Centennial is a long and narrow, grass-lined park with a variety of young and older trees. There is a small cheese-themed playground with benches and a walking bridge over a small babbling brook. The playground and benches are constructed of natural wood and bright yellow 'cheese slices'. The backs of the benches look like pieces of Swiss Cheese with the requisite holes. Camping is allowed in the summer with basic toilet facilities at a cost of $15.00 per night. In the winter, there is a charming display of lights that runs the length of the park from the entrance on Harris Street to the exit on Wellington Street.

John Lawson Park and Trail[edit]

Located along the south bank of the Thames River, this park contains walking trails in a natural area. Accessed from Charles St. West, at the bottom of Wonham St. South.

Smith's Pond Park[edit]

This park is a natural area with walking trails, tall grass, and an annual fishing derby. Its location on the south side of Canterbury Street is the former site of Smith’s mill pond. This pond vanished on 5 March 1976 when its swollen waters broke through the embankment supporting Smith’s dam. The park was established in 2000. The park includes the ruins of the old cement dam and a new, much smaller pond,created by splitting the flow of Hall's Creek. One fork of the creek runs through the pond, the other fork alongside it.

Nineteenth-Century Millponds in Ingersoll[edit]

Early mills required water power, which was obtained by damming steams to create millponds and mill races. Thus, Ingersoll’s first pond may have dated from the years 1819–20, when James Ingersoll built a saw mill and a grist mill. By the 1850s Ingersoll had five ponds whose mill races delivered power to grist mills, flour mills, saw mills and a woollen mill. All five ponds were located south of the River Thames, four of them using water from two north-flowing tributaries of the Thames River and one using water from the Thames itself. Three mill ponds were located along Hall’s Creek,[29] which flowed swiftly northward from Eliza Hall’s farm: Hall’s Pond (later Stuart's Pond), Smith’s Pond,[30] and Smith's "lower pond" (later Partlo's Pond).[31] To the west was Benson's Pond (later King's Pond) on Whiting Creek.[32] Lastly, there was Carroll’s pond, just south of the River Thames.[33] To make this pond, Daniel Carroll diverted water from the west-flowing Thames to create an artificial, west-flowing creek; then he damned the creek to create the pond and mill race, which delivered power to two grist mills; the outflow of water from these mills returned the creek water to the River Thames.The last of the ponds, Smith's Pond, came to an end in 1976.

The advent of steam power in the 1850s freed industries from dependence on water power and proximity to mill ponds. This allowed new industries to locate on the north side of the Thames and other hitherto neglected places.[34]

Historical churches[edit]

Thames St. in Ingersoll, Ontario (2008)

First Baptist Church[edit]

A Baptist Meeting House opened "on the side of a hill in Albert Street, near the English Church" in June, 1858. The congregation constructed a red brick church building in 1896, on what is now the northeast corner of Thames Street South and Canterbury Street. This building was destroyed by fire following a lightning strike in 1898, but was immediately re-built on the existing site. It is still an active, community-oriented, Christian Church.[35]

Ingersoll Christian Reformed Church[edit]

The church's original congregation came from the Netherlands in the mid 1850s. In 1955, a barn was renovated into a church on King Street. In 1973 the barn was sold and later burned in 1975. In 1976, the congregation decided to rebuild on 1.6 ha (4 ac) just west of the first church.

Peoples Revival Centre[edit]

In 1942, the congregation bought the collegiate gym and moved the complex to its present location.

Princess Elizabeth Community Centre[edit]

In 2012, Princess Elizabeth Public School was purchased by a charity named the Vedic Institute of Canada and has been converted to Vedic Ashram or Retreat Centre. [36]

Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church[edit]

The congregation was established in 1838. The brick church building was built on the corner of Thames Street North and Bell Street in 1879, and is one of the tallest structures in the town. It was raised to parish status in 1864.

Salvation Army[edit]

The congregation was established in 1884 and the church was built in 1935.

St. James Anglican Church[edit]

The congregation was established in 1834. The present building was erected in 1868.

St. Paul's Presbyterian Church[edit]

The congregation was established in 1846. It was originally named Knox Presbyterian until the union of a number of parishes in 1889.

Trinity United Church[edit]

The original "Two Tower" church was built in 1865. The present building has only one small tower. The Methodist congregation joined the United Church in 1925.

Historical schools[edit]

Ingersoll District Collegiate Institute[edit]

The current building was constructed in 1953. The original school was demolished in 1954. A cairn and plaque mark its original location in the front parking lot.

Princess Elizabeth Public School[edit]

It originally opened in the same year as Canada's Confederation – 1867. The current building includes the one that opened as a replacement in 1909. This school was closed and has been taken over by Vedic Institute of Canada in May 2014.

Victory Memorial Public School[edit]

Built in 1920, Victory Memorial School was named in honour of Canada's participation and victory in the First World War. It replaced Central Public School, built in 1850.[37]

Plaques and monuments[edit]

The Big Cheese[edit]

Located south of Ingersoll, at the Elm Hurst Inn off Road 119; first exit north of Highway 401. This plaque marks the site of James Harris's co-operative cheese factory, in which was constructed a giant 7,300-pound "Big Cheese." The mammoth cheddar was made in eight days and cured in three months in a specially built shed. In August, 1866, the “Big Cheese” was transported on a modified wagon by six horses to the train station in Ingersoll. It was exhibited at the New York State Fair in Saratoga and then shipped to England, where it was bought by a Liverpool merchant.[38]

First Cheese Factory[edit]

Located at the Ingersoll Post Office, a historical plaque commemorates the establishment of the first cheese factory in Canada near the Oxford County village of Norwich in 1864. The rapid, widespread adoption of the co-operative factory system across Ontario marked the beginning of the modern dairy industry in Canada. The Canadian Dairymen’s Association was founded in Ingersoll in 1867.[5]

Founders of Ingersoll[edit]

Located on the south east corner of the Thames Street bridge. Commemorates Major Thomas Ingersoll and his son Charles who were responsible for the first major settlement of the Townships of East, West and North Oxford and who founded the community of Ingersoll in 1793.

Site of Thomas Ingersoll's log cabin[edit]

This plaque, situated on a pavilion, marks the former location of Thomas Ingersoll's log cabin, circa 1795. Located between 131 and 147 Thames Street, Ingersoll.

The old town halls and the present-day one[edit]

The original market house and town hall, constructed of wood in 1853 on the southeast corner of King and Oxford streets, was destroyed by fire in April, 1856. The village council replaced it with a brick building in 1857, at a cost of £2,700, and paid £8 15s to have its image displayed on Tremaine’s 1857 Map of Oxford County. The town demolished that building in 1990 and replaced it with the present-day town hall, on the southwest corner of King and Oxford streets. A Saturday-morning farmer’s market operates seasonally on the town hall square, situated on original site of the town hall. An historical plaque marking the second building vanished with its demolition.



  • Ingersoll District Collegiate Institute The current building for IDCI opened in 1954. It replaces the older, smaller building of the Ingersoll Collegiate. As a district school, it drew students from outlying rural and village communities, transported into Ingersoll by school bus.


  • Harrisfield Public School (formerly Harris Heights Public School)
  • Royal Roads Public School (formerly Princess Anne Public School)[39]
  • Laurie Hawkins Public School
  • St. Jude's Catholic School

Notable people[edit]

  • Elizabeth 'Betty' Gardner Taylor, (1916–77), born in Ingersoll. A track and field specialist in the 80-metre hurdles. The bronze medalist at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Also competed in the 1932 Los Angeles games. A silver medalist at the 1934 British Empire Games and the 1934 Women’s World Games.[40]
  • Aimee Semple McPherson, (1890–1944). Born Aimee Kennedy on a farm near Salford. Raised in the Salvation Army barracks, Ingersoll. Converted at a Pentecostal revival in Ingersoll, and at age 17 married Robert Semple, a Pentecostal exhorter. The couple left Ingersoll for the mission fields in China, where her husband died. Then she remarried to an American, Harold McPherson – whence her name, Aimee Semple McPherson. Based in Los Angeles, she prospered as a radio evangelist and founder of the Foursquare network of churches. The premier woman evangelist of her time, sensational in preaching, controversial in her family life.[41]
  • Alfred Lucking (1853–1925), James Thompson McCleary (1853–1925), and Frank McDonough (1846–1904) were “Ingersoll Old Boys” who made good in the United States. In 1904 Lucking was a Democratic Congressman for Detroit, Michigan; McCleary was a Republican Congressman for Minnesota, and McDonough was a Wisconsin State Senator. On meeting each other on the floor of Congress, Lucking and McCleary discovered that they had been born within two blocks of each other, in Ingersoll. “Forty years ago,” recalled McCleary, who had been educated in the Ingersoll high school, “I knew and was known by nearly every person in Ingersoll … my native town.” Lucking, not so much: his parents removed to Michigan when he was aged two. McDonough had removed to Wisconsin at age 17.[42]
  • David Manicom (1960), Canadian author Manicom's The Burning Eaves (2003) was a finalist for the 2004 Governor General's Awards for English Language Poetry, while "Progeny of Ghosts" (1998) won the Quebec Writer's Federation prize for non-fiction[4] and was short-listed for the National Writer’s Trust Viacom award for non-fiction.[43]
  • Mark Hominick (1982– ), mixed martial artist, former TKO Major League MMA Featherweight Champion, and retired UFC fighter[44]
  • Alanson Harris, b. Ingersoll, 1816. Worked on his father's bush farm and attended school. With his father, established a saw mill in Brant County, 1841, then bought a foundry and manufactured agricultural implements in Beamsville, 1857. Moved his business to Brantford, 1872. Continued to visit his family members in Ingersoll. Merged with three other companies to form the Massey-Harris Company, 1891. Died 1894.[45]
  • Ken Armstrong (1953–). Born Ingersoll 12 October 1953, son of Huck and Ruth Armstrong. Canadian Olympic diver at Montreal Olympics, 1976, and Moscow Olympics, 1980. Coach of Canadian national team, 1984, and US national team, Sydney 2000.[46]
  • Tom McKee (1936–2012). Born Ingersoll, son of Frederick “Brass” and Vera McKee. Sportscaster Brian Williams tribute: “Tom McKee was one of the first generation of major TV sportscasters in this country along with Don Chevrier, Ernie Afaganis, Don Wittman, and Ted Reynolds. They were the ‘big five’ for years.” [47]
  • George Hayes (1914–87). Born in Montreal but grew up in Ingersoll. NHL linesman, 1945–65. The first linesman to work 1,000 games. Elected (posthumously) to the NHL Hockey Hall of Fame in 1988. Retired in Ingersoll.[48]
  • Ernest A. Wilson (1880–?), Harold Wilson (1911–95), and Lorna Reid Wilson (?–2000). Ernest Albert Wilson, Harold’s father, was owner of Ingersoll Machine and Tool Co. (Ingersoll), Morrow Screw and Nut Co. (Ingersoll), and Greavette Boats Ltd. (Gravenhurst). With these resources, Ernest and his son Harold built the Miss Canada series of hydroplane speedboats. Harold drove the boats and his fiancé (later wife) Lorna was on board as mechanic (1933–50). They were winners of three world championships during the 1930s and 1940s against American competitors such as ‘My Sweetie,’ ‘Skip-a-Long,’ and ‘Such Crust.’ In 1950 Harold and Lorna retired from racing.[49]
  • Richard Pennefather Rothwell (1836–1901), civil, mechanical, mining engineer[50]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Ingersoll History". Corporation of the Town of Ingersoll. Retrieved 9 February 2011. 
  2. ^ "Ingersoll census profile". 2011 Census of Population. Statistics Canada. Retrieved 2012-08-09. 
  3. ^ Natural Resources Canada – Toporama Archived 2010-02-10 at the Wayback Machine. – varies within town from 268m to 300m.
  4. ^ "Ingersoll (Town) community profile". 2016 Census data. Statistics Canada. Retrieved 8 February 2017. 
  5. ^ a b Heather Menzies, By the Labour of their Hands, the Story of Ontario Cheddar Cheese (Kingston, 1994), 26–38.
  6. ^ Emery, George (2017). Ingersoll’s Millponds: 1820-1976, Fire & Ice, Pestilence & Pleasure. Ingersoll Historical Society. p. 34. ISBN 978-0-9688876-7-7. 
  7. ^ Emery, George. Elections in Oxford County, 1837–1875; Heather Menzies, By the Labour of their Hands, the Story of Ontario Cheddar Cheese (1994); Brian Dawe, Old Oxford is Wide Awake! Pioneers, Settlers, and Politicians in Oxford County, 1793–1853 (1980); James Ingersoll, “History of the County of Oxford,” in Woodstock Sentinel-Review, 31 January 1879. 
  8. ^ Tapley, John (25 April 2015). "Ribfest off festival town menu". Ingersoll Times. Retrieved 21 February 2017. 
  9. ^ "Ingersoll Harvest Festival". Retrieved 5 July 2011. 
  10. ^ "Mission". Canterbury Folk Festival. Retrieved 5 July 2011. 
  11. ^ "Hallscreek Festival". Retrieved 2017-05-04. 
  12. ^ "Ingersoll". Festival of Lights. 
  13. ^ "History of Ingersoll Creative Arts Centre". Ingersoll Creative Arts Centre. Retrieved 21 February 2017. 
  14. ^ "2011 Community Profiles". Canada 2011 Census. Statistics Canada. July 5, 2013. Retrieved 2012-08-09. 
  15. ^ "2006 Community Profiles". Canada 2006 Census. Statistics Canada. March 30, 2011. Retrieved 2011-02-09. 
  16. ^ "2001 Community Profiles". Canada 2001 Census. Statistics Canada. February 17, 2012. 
  17. ^ Dawe, Brian (1980). Old Oxford is Wide Awake! Pioneer Settlers and Politicians in Oxford County, 1793–1853. Toronto. 
  18. ^ Dawe, Brian (1980). Old Oxford is Wide Awake! Pioneer Settlers and Politicians in Oxford County, 1793–1853. Toronto. 
  19. ^ Menzies, Heather (1994). By the Labour of their Hands, The Story of Ontario Cheddar Cheese. Kingston: Quarry Press. pp. 46–49. 
  20. ^ Moir, John, S. Laura Secord. 
  21. ^ McKenzie, Ruth. "Ingersoll, Laura (Secord)". Vol. IX (1861–70). Dictionary of Canadian Biography. 
  22. ^ George Emery, Elections in Oxford County, 1837–1875: a Case Study of Democracy in Canada West and Early Ontario (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2012), 136–84; George Emery, Adam Oliver of Ingersoll, 1823–1882: Lumberman, Millowner, Contractor, and Politician (Ingersoll: Ingersoll Historical Society, 2002), 1–179.
  23. ^ Emery, George (2001). Noxons of Ingersoll, 1856–1918. The Family and the Firm in Canada's Agricultural Implements Industry. Western University, London: Ingersoll Historical Society. pp. 1–86. 
  24. ^ John Lennox, "McIntyre, James," Dictionary of Canadian Biography Vol. XIII (1901–1910)
  25. ^ Theodore D. Regehr, "Sutherland, Hugh McKay," Dictionary of Canadian Biography, Vol. XV (1921–30); George Emery and Glenna Oliver Jamieson, Adam Oliver of Ingersoll, 1823–1882, Lumberman, Mill Owner, Contractor, and Politician (Ingersoll Historical Society, 2002)
  26. ^ Ingersoll Chronicle, 10 May 1883, 14 February 1884.
  27. ^ Ingersoll Tribune, 12 November 1936;Ingersoll Times, 28 October 2006, article by John Tapley
  28. ^ Toronto Globe, 17 December 1920, p. 6.
  29. ^ For the name, Hall's Creek, see Tremaine's 1857 map of Oxford County.
  30. ^ named for James Smith (1825–1920), miller. Directory of Oxford County, 1857–58; manuscript census for Ingersoll, 1871; Death Registration, Ingersoll, 1920.
  31. ^ named for William Partlo, miller on Mill Street. See Town of Ingersoll Directory, 1894–95. Manuscript Censuses for Ingersoll, 1881, 1891. In time, Partlo's Pond was drained to create Dr. Carroll's Park (Memorial Park).
  32. ^ For the name, Whiting Creek, see Tremaine's 1857 map of Oxford County. The owner of the Whiting-Creek dam was James Rea Benson, possibly in partnership with Thomas Rodman Merritt. Both were businessmen and sometime partners in St. Catharines, with connections to Ingersoll. Benson’s wife was a daughter of Charles Ingersoll. In September, 1857, Benson and Merritt sold 150 Ingersoll lots by auction. Benson Street and Merritt Street lie on either side of the mill pond. See Wikipedia, James Rea Benson (180785); Directory of Oxford County 1857–58; Ingersoll Chronicle 18 September 1857.
  33. ^ Pond named for Daniel Carroll, land owner and miller (1795–1878). Shenston’s Gazetteer. Doug Palmer, “Daniel Carroll,” in Retrospect, Official Bulletin of the Ingersoll & District Historical Society, Vol 1, No.3, November, 1994, 40–41; Manuscript Census for Ingersoll, 1852; Directory of Oxford County, 1857–58; Chronicle Feb 12, 1873
  34. ^ Tremaine's Map of Oxford County, 1857;Historical Map of Oxford County, 1876; Bird's-Eye Map of Ingersoll, 1887; J.C. Herbert, Ingersoll: Historical Highlights, 1999; Ingersoll Chronicle 1854–1919
  35. ^ Ingersoll Chronicle, 4 June 1858
  36. ^ Tapley, John (2 June 2014). "Former Ingersoll school takes on new life". Ingersoll Times. QMI Agency. Retrieved 21 February 2017. 
  37. ^ Ingersoll Chronicle, Dec. 16, 1915.
  38. ^
  39. ^ Skiing accident claims Ingersoll teen. Woodstock Sentinel Review (2012-02-22). Retrieved on 2013-10-05.
  40. ^ "Betty Taylor". Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on October 17, 2013. Retrieved March 20, 2014. 
  41. ^ Lately Thomas, Storming Heaven, the Lives and Turmoil of Minnie Kennedy and Aimee Semple McPherson (New York, 1970)
  42. ^ Ingersoll Chronicle, 31 March 1904; LUCKING, Alfred, (1856–1929)|publisher = Biographical Directory of the United States Congress; "Bio: McDonough, Frank (1846–1904)," Clark County History Buffs.
  43. ^ "Here In Ingersoll" (PDF). Oxford Media Group. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 21, 2014. Retrieved March 20, 2014. 
  44. ^ "'The Machine' punching up support for Sakura House". Woodstock Sentinel Review. Retrieved March 20, 2014. 
  45. ^ Cochrane, William (1891). Men of Canada, Vol. I. Brantford: Bradley, Garretson & Co. p. 254. 
  46. ^ ;
  47. ^ Toronto Globe and Mail, 2 December 2012
  48. ^ Ingersoll Times, 10 September 2012
  49. ^;;
  50. ^ The Mineral Industry. Scientific Publishing Company. 1901. pp. 20–. 

External links[edit]