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Jacob Farrand Pringle

For the last two years I have had one research focus: Cornwall's House of Refuge. Even though Cornwall's House of Refuge facility has captured most of my attention, this has not stopped me from shelving many other research ideas. 

Two years ago while I was researching, I came across a small tidbit of information that really intrigued me. Apparently, in the early 1900s there used to be a public drinking fountain in front of Cornwall's Jail. This fountain was erected in memory of Cornwallite Judge Jacob Farrand Pringle. In that moment I asked myself, "If this fountain was dedicated in someone's memory, why was it removed? Where did it go? What happened to it?" After I asked myself these questions, I immediately felt the need to correct this. The goal I wanted (and still hope) to achieve is to honour Judge Jacob Pringle in some way.

At the time, I knew replacing this fountain was simply out of the question. There are several commemorative plaques and canons taking up  space in front of Cornwall's jail. There would simply be no room for a fountain, and it would be too costly to re-erect. In November 2015, I received an email inviting me to attend a public Naming Committee meeting. The purpose of this meeting was to brainstorm ideas for possible names for Cornwall's new school. When I saw that email, my eyes lit up, and all I could think of was, "Sara, this is your chance."  I tried my best to persuade Cornwall citizens to name the school in honour of Judge Pringle, but another name was chosen. 

Eventually, I'm hoping Cornwall will recognize Judge Pringle by naming a new Street, a Lane Way, or something after this man who has a lot to be recognized for.

I'm sure the biggest question in your mind is, "why does Jacob Pringle deserve to have a Street named after him?"

I have created a list of some of the highlights of Judge Jacob Pringle's life. There are three that really stand out to me. I have bolded them in the list below:

  • 1833 – Judge Pringle was educated at the Cornwall District School.
  • February 12, 1833 – Passed his exams as a law student.
  • 1837 – Judge Pringle served as a Private in the Rebellion of 1837. He occupied the Old Fort at Coteau Du Lac, Quebec.
  • November 1838 until 1840 – Judge Pringle was called to the bar and admitted as an attorney.
  • Judge Pringle practised law in Cornwall in partnership with Judge George S. Jarvis, under whom he had studied.
  • December 1838 – Pringle served as a Private, Corporal, and Sergeant in a company of artillery that his father had been authorized to raise. It disbanded in May 1839.
  • 1840 – Judge Pringle opened up his own law firm in Cornwall.
  • 1844 – Judge Pringle and his brother James Dunbar Pringle went into partnership. Their business dissolved in 1850. (His brother moved his law firm to Hamilton, and Judge Pringle continued his business in Cornwall and practiced there until 1866.)
  • 1851 until 1856 – Judge Pringle was elected as a member of the Town Council.
  • He was mayor of Cornwall in 1855 and 1856.
  • November of 1857 – Judge Pringle became Clerk of the County Council for Cornwall. (Which he held until 1866.)
  • January 1858 – Judge Pringle became Clerk of the Peace & County Crown Attorney for Cornwall. (Which he held until 1866.)
  • Autumn of 1862 – Judge Pringle created and served as Captain in the Cornwall Volunteer Infantry Company. He kept this position until he was appointed Judge in 1866.
  • 1866 until 1878 – Judge Pringle was appointed Juniour County Court Judge for modern day Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry.
  • December 1870 – Judge Pringle was appointed Local Master of the Court of Chancery for Cornwall.
  • 1878 – Judge Pringle was appointed Surrogate Judge of the Maritime Court.
  • June 1878 – Judge Pringle was appointed Judge of the County Court for modern day Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry. He held this position until March 1900. (He retired, and died one year later.)
  • Judge Pringle was also Cornwall’s first historian. He wrote the first historical account of Cornwall and some surrounding areas, “Lunenburg or the Old Eastern District.”

I think Cornwall should honour Jacob Pringle by naming a Street "Jacob Pringle Street" or "Jacob Pringle Lane."

Jacob Farrand Pringle was Cornwall's first historian. His book, "Lunenburg or the Old Eastern District" gives us both small and large details of life in Cornwall in the 1800's. Some of the records he used for research have not stood the test of time, but because of his book, we still have access to this information. 

Jacob Farrand Pringle cared about the history of Cornwall, and it's future. He made sure Cornwall's history was well documented for future generations, and he did his best to ensure Cornwall's success by sitting on Town Council for five years, as well as taking on the role of Mayor for two. I think Cornwall should honour this man's accomplishments, and his dedication to Cornwall by naming a new Street after him.