William Henry Pope (#561) was in the Poorhouse from December 13, 1875 until his death on June 2 1877. He was born in 1859 in Toronto, Ontario, the same year his parents, Moses Pope Jr. (1837-1866) and Elizabeth Dorothea (1842- ; b. Brown), were married. Within the next two years, his parents had another son, John (1860- ), and moved to the Township of Peel where they lived with Moses’ family: his mother, Mary Ann Pope (1802- ; b. Selby), and his siblings Henrietta (1842-1907), and Sylvester (1847-). William Henry’s grandparents, Moses Pope Sr. (1802-) and Mary Ann Pope, had been living in the Peel region since 1851 and perhaps some time before that. However, Mary Ann is listed as widowed in the 1861 census, suggesting that William’s grandparents split up or divorced at some point. Moses Pope Sr. was found on an 1861 agricultural census of Peel region for owning 100 acres of land and cultivating 25 acres of it.  Mary Ann is still living in Peel in 1871 with her daughter, Henrietta, and her son-in-law, Samuel Brown (1834-1932), with their children Ellen (1863-), Louisa (1865-), Willameena (1867-), and Franses (1869-).

William’s parents eventually decided to move to Wellesley, Ontario to live with Elizabeth Dorothea’s family sometime between 1861 and 1866 and William stayed with this family until 1875 when he entered the Poorhouse due to sickness. The Brown family, consisting of Elizabeth Dorothea’s parents, John Brown (1816-1872) and Lucinda Brown (1826-), and her siblings, Sarah (1835-), George (1837-), Nathan (1841-), Charlotte (1845-), Hannah (1847-), Alice (1848-) and Susan (1849-), had been living in Wellesley since 1843. They were one of the families that was living in the Black Settlement in Queen’s Bush. For more information on this, please visit the Race page. William’s father, Moses Pope Jr., died in Berlin, Ontario in November 1866 after:


a quarrel in his home [Pope} had not eaten anything for several days, devoured six cans of oysters and two pounds of tallow on Friday evening. He soon became very ill and died on Saturday night. (Brown-Kubisch, p.222)


As for William Henry, he was enrolled in elementary school in Wellesley, Ontario in 1871 at the age of eleven, along with his brother, George, who was eight years old at the time. He entered the Poorhouse just four years later, the cause being that he was “idiotic”. He died two years after entering the House from intestinal consumption, most likely from consuming infected meat or milk which would have caused intestinal anthrax. He never married nor had any recorded children.He was buried in the House of Refuge cemetery.

William was recorded in the County Minutes in 1877 by the House Physician, Dr. J. W. Walden, after his death:



1877 County Minutes; Source: Region of Waterloo Archives