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PATERSON, John and Eliza Mildred McCagherty

Young bachelor John Paterson emigrated from Houston, Scotland  at the end of the 19th Century. He is  on the passenger list on the ‘Scandinavian‘ in the Port of Halifax in 1887.  He was the son of John Paterson and Elizabeth Fleming and it is believed the only family member that emigrated. He quickly established himself and  went into partnership with fellow-Scot Alexander “Sandy” Fraser,  operating the Fraser Paterson General Store in the Village of Westmeath. Also see FRASER entry.

“Alexander Fraser built and operated a general store in the village of Westmeath since well before 1900. The two-story structure was located on Main Street adjacent to the only bridge and creek in the village. Inside at the front door an 8-foot wide stairs led to the second floor where there were large items like furniture and linoleum.

Fraser Paterson Store (2)

Fraser Paterson Store, Westmeath

“The store catered to the needs of the lumbering industry. Fraser owned large timber limits on the Quebec side of the Ottawa River. Cattle bought from farmers were kept in the lot at the front of the Westmeath Public School. In the autumn months, the cattle were brought to the side of the store, weighed on the only scale in the area, and returned to the separated lot at the school. Then large herds of cattle were driven by foot, crossing at Spotswood’s ferry to Waltham and up the Black River to the camps. Hay and oats bought from farmers for feed accompanied the expedition. “The general store was also an outlet for farmers’ produce. When Alexander Fraser went into partnership with John Paterson, the store was enlarged. A new building behind the store housed much of the bulk goods. Bert Goddard worked at the store for years as a clerk. John R. Fraser a cousin of Alexander’s was the store’s bookkeeper. The store sold mostly in bulk. Usually customers brought in a container to have filled from the bulk one. Clothes and fruit were also sold at the store. Eventually a generator installed between the store and the creek provided lighting. It was the only building or home to have such a luxury. – from the Ross Museum Website

John Paterson (1862-1932) m. Eliza “Mildred” McCagherty (1879-1964), on December 3rd, 1900. She was the daughter of Patrick “Pat” McCagherty and Eliza Ann Bromley, farmers from the Sixth Concession of the Township – Lookout Road. 1964 Paterson, Mildred McCaugherty Obit.   See MCCAUGHERTY entry.

1900 John & Mildred MarriageReg.

1900 John and Mildred Marriage Registration, Westmeath

By the 1901 Census the newlyweds had established their own household in Westmeath Village and by the 1911 Census three children had been born:

Paterson John                M               Head                     M           Mar 1862   49

Paterson Eliza Mildred   F               Wife                     M           Nov 1879    31

Paterson William            M             Son                       S            Sep 1901       9

Paterson John A              M             Son                       S             Nov 1903     7

Paterson Elizabeth         F             Daughter               S             Apr 1910       1

In the 1921 Census the household included a domestic servant named Mary Brooks. John’s occupation is listed as salesman in a general store.


1921 Census Paterson Household

As a small boy, Arthur McBride, now an elder in the community, remembers seeing “Old Mr. Paterson” sitting at a tall desk and carefully writing in the store ledgers. Very Christmas Carol “Bob Cratchit”.  For more on the Fraser Paterson store  and see the store ledgers, go to Westmeath Shops.


The Ottawa Journal, Tuesday, June 11, 1935


Paterson- McCagherty stone, Westmeath Cemetery

Paterson- McCagherty stone, Westmeath Cemetery

The children of John and Mildred Paterson were:

1. William P. E.  Paterson, MD, (1901- ), practised in Ottawa. 1958 Paterson Wedding  , 1960-Paterson-wedding

2. John Arthur Paterson (1903- ). Arthur lived in Toronto.

Robert Welland Paterson

Robert Welland Paterson

3. Elizabeth “Beth” Fleming Paterson (1910-1991). Beth lived in Ottawa.

4.  Robert Welland Paterson (1915 -1970) m. Margaret Kaine (1916-1982) in England during the WW2.  Settled in Dallas,  Texas.  Buried at Westmeath. 1970 Paterson, Robt. W Obit.   Their children were:

i. John Paterson

ii. Robert Paterson Jr.

iii. David Paterson

iv. Patricia Paterson

v.  Heather Paterson