Before recording the minutes of the first council meetings held in North and South Grimsby a few words of explanation will enable the reader to better understand the records, as they have been handed down from early days. In 1790 the Townships of North and South Grimsby did not exist, but the area covered by these two Townships was then known as District or Township number six. The different districts up to this time were designated by number. The reader will understand that all resolutions and appointments which are recorded applied to district No. 6 as a whole and that Smithville and Grimsby villages both came under these regulations. It will also be observed that the appoint- ments were made to citizens of both villages. Pioneer names familiar to the citizens of Grimsby and Smithville will be found. Where these meetings were held we are not told, except that some of them were held at the house of John Green, who came from New Jersey in 1782, and lived on Lot 10, Concession Livestock in those early days was allowed to run at large and it was necessary as a result of this that each owner of stock have a private mark or brand. This mark was recorded in the books of the Clark so that stray animals could be claimed by their rightful owners. We give below the minutes of these first meetings held in District Number Six. We may add that the penmanship in this early record is excellent and the ink used has retained its color and is easily readable.
At a meeting of the inhabitants of Township Number Six this fifth day of April, 1790 at the house of John Green, according to an order from court and an advertisement for that purpose, the following persons were elected into the offices annexed to their names and presented to the Honorable Court for their confirmation:
Levi LewisOverseer of Poor.
John Green, Levi LewisOverseers of Roads.
John Pettitt, Levi LewisViewers of fences and prisers of damage.
At the same time a vote was passed by a majority that no fence be left more than five inches between the rail to the fifth rail.
At a meeting held on the third day of April, 1792, at the house of John Green, a subscription was signed for wolf scalps and the money to be paid to Nathaniel Pettitt to pay out for scalps.
Entered at the request of Benjamin Wilcox and David Palmer, town wardens, a settlement they had the 30th day of July, 1796, with John Moore and Jacob Glover concerning two hogs sold in 1795.
one hog sold for £1-16-0. one hog sold for £0-18-0.
A meeting held the fifth day of March, 1798. A vote was passed that every inhabitant shall pay one shilling for every wolf taken and killed in this town, the one shilling to be collected by the collector and paid to the town wardens, they to pay the same to persons who kill the wolf in town.
At a meeting of the inhabitants of the Township of Grimsby, held the first day of March, 1802, the following persons were elected: Andrew PettittClark.
Edward Griffin, Benjamin BellAssessors.
John Pettitt, Robert Nelles, Sqrs.Town Wardens. Hogs were to run at large.
NOTE(It will be noted from the above record that District No. 6 has ceased to be known as such and that a Township has been formed, namely, the Township of Grimsby).
In 1807 horses were not to run at large.
Posted at the request of William Lawrence, this third day of December, 1810, two brindle cows, both white faces, one marked with a crop off both ears, likewise two spring calves with them.
Posted at the request of J. Pettitt, this fifteenth day of January, 1814, a strayed hog marked with a crop off the right ear, which came to his place about the middle of December last.
Meeting in the interests of the Township of Grimsby, the fourth day of January, 1830, the following were elected:
Daniel PalmerTown Clark.
Lewis Whitney, John CampAssessors.
Ralph Walker, Ezekiah Smith, William Fisher, Dave Freeland, Abram Meridith, Henry Nixon, John Cline, Henry Smith, Nathaniel Griffin, Eli White, John Beem, Peter BuckbeeOverseers of Roads.
Posted at the request of William Nelles, stray steer, came to him about last September, 1833, two years old, crop off left ear, and halfpenny under the right, natural color red.
The above steer was returned to the owner.
1833Cattle and strays as before, horses not to run at large. Pigs not to run at large until four months old, provided they do their neighbors any injury.
Andrew Hunter’s mark is the form of a Poplar leaf on both ears. William Moor’s mark is a square notch on the right ear.
William Canada’s mark is a half crop on the upper side of the left
From these brief records we learn of the things which concerned the people of these early times, how simple their needs were and how few the activities of the municipalities.