About Mornington

First Council Meetings

"It was proposed by Adam Chalmers and Seconded by John Hamilton that James Whaley be appointed Reeve for the present year - Carried.

It was proposed by James Whaley and Seconded by John Hamilton that "Samuel Whaley be appointed Township Clerk for the present year - Carried."

These are the very first entries in the Minute Book of the Township of Mornington Council.On January 16, 1854, the first Council Meeting for Mornington Township was held.

Council meetings were held at Mr. Wm. Houston's tavern in Millbank , and eventually in other taverns throughout the Municipality.

Early Politics

Municipal paper work was still in its very raw beginnings in 1854. By-laws were simply written into the Minutes of the Council Meetings, such as February 9, 1854 - By-law for Taverns No. I , which, in part, required tavern keepers to have "a sufficient supply of unadulterated liquor and a general observance of the Sabbath day and that a copy of this By-law be put up in each tavern."

By-law No. 2 allowed storekeepers to sell liquor, provided they purchased a license to do so.

In 1855, roads were maintained and constructed by Statute Labour. The Statute Labour Law passed by the Provincial Government required landowners to do so many days' labour on the roads. It was the job of the "path master" to supervise the work and to make sure that everybody did his allotted days of work.

At the tender age of four years, Mornington Township was already becoming involved in some pretty intriguing political scandal . On February 19th, 1857, Samuel Whaley was relieved of his position as Township Clerk when he was unable to explain why "the collections roll contained contradicting statements that the money had been collected, the expenditure of which could not be ascertained by the Auditors in a satisfactory manner." One can only imagine the whispers and gossip that would have circulated at the time in any one of the eleven taverns throughout the Township.

Transportation

By 1859, the roads system had been divided up into "beats" and each "beat" had a path master. There were 54 beats each with a path master.

In 1876, the Stratford and Huron Railway was asked to change its proposed route so that it would come by Henderson's Hotel. The extra cost would be $30,321. The Railway was agreeable to this, plus providing Mornington with two stations (one near Henderson's and one near Milverton). However, the Township also had to pay some additional costs, bringing the total to $40,000. A By-law to that effect was drafted for submission to the ratepayers. On December 21, 1876, the By-law was finally passed by Council, and the Reeve was authorized to sign an agreement between The Stratford and Huron Railway Company and the Township of Mornington.

The first Road Superintendent, R.M. Allingham, was appointed in 1925. In 1926, the Road Superintendent's annual salary was $259 and in 1927, he received $20 for expenses to attend a Road Convention in Toronto.

In 1927, stop signs were erected at some of the more dangerous intersections when the age of the automobile came to Mornington Township, along with the inevitable complaints of rough roads and the insurance claims for damages to automobiles.