William F. (or S.) Burley [ 1843 (Approx.) - 1886 ]

William Burley is listed in the 1871 census as a 28 year-old Ontario-born, Methodist, and his first appearance in the directories, as a tin-smith, was in July of the same year. The census also records the details of his “Tin shop” noting that he employed two men and that “this establishment ran only six months.” Burley soon re-established himself for by 1875 he was expanding and “opening up a new stock of hardware to supply the wants of numerous customers” [CP 30 April 1875; 2]. In August he moved “to the stand lately occupied by Meagher Bros., which he has had refitted entirely to his liking, and added considerably to his stock of hardware and tinware” [CP 3 September 1875; 2]. The hardware section was on the main floor, the tin shop upstairs.

Burley may always have done blacksmithing, as he was referred to as such by the Canadian Post in 1876 , and it was to this profession that he turned to after 1880. Joseph Heard moved into “the store lately occupied by Mr. W.F. Burley” in March 1880 [CP 2 April 1880; 3], and it was soon reported that Burley had left the village for Manitoba where he intended taking up a farm [CP 30 April 1880; 3]. The Assessor’s Roll of 1881 as well as the Census marks his return to Fenelon Falls, and the opening of his blacksmith shop at the [SW] corner of Bond and Colborne streets. He was to remain there in business until September 1884, when he was asked to vacate the building to allow McDougall and Brandon to commence building a mill [FFG 2 Aug 1884; 2]. Burley died of “apoplexy or a bursting of a blood vessel in the brain” at the age of 46 on the 6th of January 1886 [FFG 9 Jan 1886; 2]. “He was a very respectable and worthy man”, who left a “widow and four sons…”.

69 Variant spelling: W.F., W.S., and W.E. Burley, also Burly and Burleigh. The 1881 Census lists him as 41 years old.

70 CP 10 November 1876; 2.

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