Joseph/John Clough was born in North Dumfries, Ontario to parents David and Sarah. There is little known about his immediate family. In 1861, at the age of 23, he is living with two other families in a house in Beverly Township. He was working as a carpenter at the time. By the end of that year, he married Almina/Elizabeth Adams (1831-1883) in North Dumfries. Almina was born in the United States to John and Sarah Adams.  A year later they had their first daughter together, Lucinda Matilda (1862-1936). A few years later, they had their second daughter, Sarah Louisa (1867-1939). They continued to live in North Dumfries with their family while Joseph was working as a carpenter. In the 1871 Census, Almina was listed as being “deaf and dumb”, although she was not mentioned as such in any previous censuses. In 1881, Joseph was still working as a carpenter and the family was living together in North Dumfries. Sarah Louisa was attending school. A few years later, Almina died in 1883 from cardiac failure. Her two daughters were both married months before her death. They both moved to Sarnia and Joseph remained in North Dumfries. 


Joseph was first admitted to the Poorhouse on September 17, 1890. The Registry states that he was crippled, 54 years old, and had been living in Galt for 30 years. He stayed at the House for about a year before he escaped on August 21, 1891.

As seen in the Berlin Record in 1893, John Clough served a six month sentence as a vagrant in jail in Galt. The article below states that he was “Suffering from a loathsome disease, which rendered him a more fit subject for a hospital cot than a prison cell”. The article deemed him incurable by a doctor at the Galt Hospital and then stated that he was sent to a gaol in Galt. He was treated by a physician in the jail, and left “a cured man”. He is described as being arrested as a vagrant and committed to the Berlin Jail where he was still staying when the article was written in 1893.



Berlin Daily Record, February 27th 1893; Source: Kitchener Public Library Archives


After his stay at the Berlin Jail, the Berlin Daily Record published a follow-up article to Joseph’s story.



Berlin Daily Record, March 6th 1893; Source: Kitchener Public Library Archives


Joseph returned to the Poorhouse on March 25 1893, this time committed for intemperance, spending 50 days there before leaving again. He returned July 12, and escaped again on October 20th. He was returned to the Poorhouse again November 8th, this time staying for two years until 1895. He worked on maintenance of the chapel at the House in 1894 and received $9.00 for his work. 



Joseph Clough paid to work on Chapel, 1894 Cashbooks; Source: Region of Waterloo Archives


He continued to do odd jobs around the House, such as in 1895 he worked on the elevator and received $2.00.



Joseph Clough working on Elevator, 1895 Cashbooks; Source: Region of Waterloo Archives


Joseph committed suicide on November 15, 1895. his death record stated that he died from “Suicide taking carbonic acid”.



Joseph Clough’s Death Record, 1895 Source:


As for Joseph’s children, as stated above, just before Joseph’s wife died in 1883, Sarah Louisa married John Prindle (1863-) in August 1883 and Lucinda Matilda married Daniel Avey (1864-1941) in December 1883. Both marriages took place in Sarnia. Lucinda and Daniel had one child together, Arthur (1884-1937). The sisters and their families moved to Detroit, Michigan over the next few decades. Lucinda divorced Daniel in the early 1900s and shortly after married John Ripley Swinden (1852-1933). Lucinda left her son, Arthur, with his father and moved to Kent, England with her new husband. She stayed there until her death in 1936.

Sarah Louisa also divorced her first husband, Daniel, and married William Hoffman (1861-1938) in 1911 in Windsor, Ontario. They immigrated permanently to Detroit where William worked as a soft drinks retail merchant. Sarah died before 1938 before her husband, William, who is listed as a widow on his death certificate.