Chapter 9,9
Sarah Alice Hedley (1886-1976) and
 William John McKenzie (1877-1943)
(gen iv)

Alice Hedley, born March 9, 1886 in Ashfield Township, Huron County, was the ninth and last child of John Henry and Margaret (Maggie) Florence Johnston.  Alice was only 14 months old when her mother died of a heart attack at age 39. Her eight brothers and sisters ranged in ages from one-and-a-half-year-old Albert to 18-year-old William.  In her early years Alice was cared for by her aunt and uncle Lizzie and John Brown of Ashfield. Lizzie was the sister of Alice’s mother, Margaret. In 1888 Alice’s father John Henry married Ann Alexander, and Alice probably spent more time at the home of her father and his new wife and her brothers and sisters.  Five-year-old Alice appears on the 1891Ontario Census for both Greenock and Ashfield.  Alice’s grandmother, 81-year-old Martha Johnston, a widow, is listed along with Alice on the 1891 Ashfield Census for the Brown family. Alice does not appear on the 1901 Ontario Census for Greenock, when she would be 15, although four brothers and sisters older than Alice do appear on the census.

On October 19, 1904 Alice, age 18,  married 27-year-old William John McKenzie in the village of  Ripley, Huron Twp., Bruce County. Witnesses at the marriage were Albert Hedley of Greenock and Rosetta Fletcher of  Ripley. R.I. Hosking was Clergyman.

William John was the son of Scottish natives George and Johanna (Annie) B. McKenzie of Ashfield Twp., Huron Co. George and Johanna and their family of eight are recorded on the 1881 Ontario Census for Ashfield Twp. William John, age 6, is listed as the second youngest of the eight children. His four eldest brothers, like their parents, were born in Scotland, having come to Ontario around 1865-68. The family’s religion was Presbyterian.

1881 Ontario Census for Ashfield Township, Huron County (north)
George McKenzie,       Head,     61,  b. in  Scotland, Farmer,     Presbyterian
Johanna McKenzie,     Wife,      54,  b. in  Scotland,                  Presbyterian
Alexander McKenzie,  Son,        25,  b. in  Scotland, Farmer,     Presbyterian
Kennith McKenzie,      Son,        22,  b. in  Scotland, Farmer,     Presbyterian
Maggie McKenzie,      Daughter, 21,  b. in  Scotland,                  Presbyterian
Roderick McKenzie,    Son,         16,  b. in Scot.,   Farmer Son,     Presbyterian
Colena McKenzie,       Daughter, 13,  b. in Ont., Going to School, Presbyterian
Catherine McKenzie,   Daughter, 11,  b. in Ont., Going to School, Presbyterian
William J. McKenzie,   Son,          6,  b. in Ontario,                  Presbyterian
Gemima McKenzie,      Daughter,  1,  b. in Ontario,                    Presbyterian

Twenty years later– three years before his marriage to Alice–William MacKenzie is listed on the 1901 Census for Huron (west). William, 24, and his widowed father George, age 74, are living with William’s eldest brother Alexander, age 50, his wife Catherine and daughter 5-year-old  Murdina.

1901 Census for Huron (west)
MacKenzie Alex,          Head,       born June  5,  1850, age 50
MacKenzie Catherine, Wife,        born Dec.  9,  1858, age 42
MacKenzie Murdina,   Daughter, born Aug. 15, 1894, age 5
MacKenzie George,      Father, Widower, born Jan. 16, 1827, age 74
MacKenzie William,     Brother,  born Jan. 13, 1877, age 24

Ten years later, the 1911 Census for Ashfield , Huron West shows William, 35 and Alice, 24, Presbyterians, farming on Concession 3, Lot 12. They later moved to Kinloss Township, Concession 10, where they farmed for many years.  In 1924, after the death at age 39 of Alice’s sister Maggie (Hedley) Atkinson (See Chap. 9,7) and as William John’s health deteriorated, William and Alice moved into the town of Kincardine, where they resided for three years. There they gave support to Maggie’s only child, Olive, after her mother’s death in 1923. Olive faced another loss in 1931 when her father Jonathon was killed when a new steel bridge over the Penetangor River collapsed during construction. Although they did not have children of their own, Alice remained close to her niece Olive (Atkinson) McClure and her children Dale and Sylvia of Collingwood.

About 1928 Alice and Will moved to Lucknow, where they resided for 15 years before the death of William, who “was held in highest esteem by his friends” (obituary). He had a poor heart and “a running sore” on his leg. “After a lengthy period of failing health and patient suffering” (obituary) William John MacKenzie died January 1, 1943 at age 65. His funeral service was held at the Lucknow Presbyterian Church; burial at Greenhill Cemetery, Lucknow, Lot 28, Range 3.

After Will’s death Alice, age 57, continued to live in their two-storey white frame house in Lucknow. For many years Alice worked in Johnston’s Restaurant and Bakery, a popular eatery in Lucknow. Her great niece  Jacqueleen Hedley  occasionally stayed at the home of her “Aunt Alice” during the four years she attended Lucknow High School.
Almost without fail Alice attended the annual Hedley picnics where her cheerfulness  and optimistic outlook made her a welcome guest.
Alice, the youngest of the nine children of John Henry Hedley and Margaret Florence Johnson, died at age 90 on August 19, 1976 at Bruce Haven, Walkerton. Internment at Greenhill Cemetery, Lucknow.

Chapter 9,9 contributions from Linda Miller, descendent of Margaret  Florence Johnson,
Photos from Josie and Bill McDonald are much appreciated.


                 Sarah Alice Hedley                                                                                                                            Greenhill Cemetery, Lucknow

this page was updated on Feb.15, 2010
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