W. L Duncan penned this letter to the Presque Isle based newspaper in the spring of 1922 when he was 66 years old. William Linton Duncan (1856 Banchory, Scotland-1941 Washburn, ME) immigrated with his parents and siblings in May 1873 to the Scotch Colony of New Brunswick. In 1885 he married Catherine Cocker (1864 Banchory, Scotland-1939 Washburn, ME) who had immigrated with her family at the same time aboard the same ship Castalia. About 1891 William and Catherine and four children (Alex, Agnes, William, and Florence) moved to Washburn where four more children were born (Jennie, Kenneth, Isabelle, and Stuart.)
Star Herald, May 11, 1922
WAS BORN IN OLD KINCARDINE
HOOFED IT FROM THERE TO P. ISLE, WORKED IN WOODS, WAS A SOJOURNER IN WASHBURN—IS NOW MAYOR OF SOMERVILLE
Washburn, ME., May 1922
Editor Star Herald,
I was somewhat surprised and also pleased on opening my Star Herald last week to see the insert at the top of the front page entitled “Clean-up Week,” by the Mayor of Somerville, Mass.
Now I make a yearly pilgrimage to “Burns Night” over to the old home at Kincardine, New Brunswick. As usual I found myself in the ranks of the pilgrims Jan. 25th last. When I got there the first news that greeted me was: “Another one heard from.” (a common expression there when a good word comes.) Jack Webster is Mayor of Somerville.” Of course I rejoiced with the few that are left there at Jack’s good fortune, and we innocently thought no one else was interested. And now comes the Star Herald, along with its other marked improvements, and scoops the doings and sayings of a humble Scot, who is only doing his duty in his adopted country.
Some twenty-eight years ago Jack Webster, then a boy of seventeen, footed it from Kincardine through Presque Isle on his way to the woods up-river. On his return from the woods he made a sojourn of a few weeks with us in Washburn. He did not like woods work. The next I heard of him he was fireman in the meat packing plant, where today he is chief manager. He had been a city alderman for a number of years before his election as mayor. He is an elder in the Presbyterian Church, so he is strictly in line with Chief Justice Cornish, as to what kind of man makes a true American citizen—not necessarily, of course, because he is a Presbyterian—but because of his many other civic virtues.
I take notice the canny Scot shines through when he says, “untidy yards depreciate property.” He also goes more than skin deep. He is thorough in his cleaning when he advises looking after the cellars. No half way work will do. He is surely looking after his pre-election promises, and working for a safe, healthy and beautiful city.
Although the Scotch Colony is fast going back to forest, and its once cultivated fields are now gradually becoming covered with a thrifty growth of birch and maple, and the people have dwindled to a mere handful, still I take great pride in the old place. The Scot is a wanderer, and during the last fifty years they have trekked over Canada and the United States from there, but I have yet to hear of one who is not paying his way. In fact, a good many of them, like Webster, are prominent citizens in the communities of their adoption.
It makes me sick when I go there now, their numbers are so few. The Germans got the most of the last bunch of young fellows, and now they “lie in Flanders Fields.” They did their duty, and have also been heard from.
Next year will be the fiftieth anniversary of our landing on this side the water, and we are already making plans for a “gathering of the clans.”
W. L. Duncan
Note: “Jack Webster, ” the mayor, was born John M. Webster about 1878, son of John and Jessie (Milne) Webster who were also among the first group of Scotch Colonists aboard the Castalia in 1873.