The pioneer settlers in what is now called Huron County, Ontario, were the Van Egmonds, whose nearest neighbors were sixty or seventy miles distant. They were from Germany, on the Rhine, where Constant Louis Van Egmond was born, April 8, 1808. His father, Antony Van Egmond, was a military man, serving twenty-five years in the army.
In 1819 he brought his family to America, locating at first in Indiana County, Pennsylvania, where he farmed and kept a store. Constant had learned to write and speak the German and French languages in the Old Country, and acquired a moderate English education after settling in Pennsylvania, picking it up mainly while at work.
In 1827 the family moved into Upper Canada; rented a farm near Waterloo; worked it one year, then came through the unbroken forests to the Huron tract, following the surveyors, and leaving the nearest neighbor in that direction eighty miles behind. There they built a log house, and contracted with the Canada company to chop forty-five miles of road, four rods wide.
In 1832 they started farming, milling and store keeping the mill at Egmondville, one mile from Seaforth Post Office, and the farm five miles off, father and son working together until the former died in January, 1838.
Up to a recent date our subject was engaged in farming, milling, distilling, and sawing timber. He has sold most of his land adjoining the Town of Seaforth, receiving a hundred dollars an acre for it. He lives at the old homestead, near the Egmondville P.O., fifteen minutes’ walk from Seaforth, retaining the orchard and a few acres of land all he wishes to have the care of, and is now living at his ease.
Mr. Van Egmond was Town Clerk at an early day, and was at one time District Councilor
and Magistrate, and is still Commissioner of the Queen’s Bench. He was connected for a long time with the Militia, and rose to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. He has been a member of the Dutch Reform Church from his youth, and has lived an exemplary life. He is known far and wide by the older class of settlers, and is held by them in universal esteem.
In 1842 Mr. Van Egmond married Miss Ann Johnson, a native of England, and they have six children. Five are married, and four of them live in Huron County, and one in Manitoba. The single one is at home.