Our History

Howick is one of the four Huron County Townships created out of the Queen's Bush by the Wilkinson survey of 1847. The Township is named after still another Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies, George Grey, son of the second Earl Grey whose name is perpetuated in the neighbouring township of that name. George Grey entered Parliament in 1829 as Lord Howick or Hawick. He took the name from the town in Roxboroughshire, Scotland, where one of the mansions of the Grey family, Howick Hall is located.

The Township is the most northeasterly of the County, bounded on the north by the Municipality of South Bruce, on the east by the Town of Minto in Wellington, on the south by the Municipality of North Perth and on the west by Morris-Turnberry in Huron. Until lots were officially put up for sale in 1854, nobody in any of the four Queen's Bush townships had clear titled to the land. Settlers up until this time were technically squatters.

It was an unwritten agreement that if the squatters complied with the Government regulations for clearing the land and erected their buildings according to the specifications laid down by the Crown they would have first opportunity to purchase and obtain clear title.

Harding Schoolhouse 1906 class picture

When this occurred in 1854, settlers were careless enough not to proceed to the sale immediately and found that the land on which they had put so much work had been sold to someone else and of course this led to many lawsuits, petitions and various struggles.

The first settler was probably John Carter who arrived in 1851. For the next three years there was not another settler in the entire township. Jacob Cook came in 1853 and Henry Bell. After the sale in 1854 arrived many others.

A class picture was donated to the Harding School House in this 1906 class photo seen here.