Two individuals were inducted in 2005 – James McBain and K. C. Emerson
James Alexander McBain
1910 – 1988
Throughout his 78 years, Jim McBain actively represented Elgin County on municipal, provincial , federal and international levels. A graduate of St. Thomas Collegiate and O.A.C., Guelph, Jim started farming in 1927, later inheriting the McBain home, Lott 11, Con. 10, Yarmouth. In 1937, Jim married Dorothy Blanche Scidmore who passed away of T.B., two years later. His second wife, Florence Muriel North, whom he married in 1943, lived until 982, survived by their six children; Heather Ann, Linda Jeanne, Jamie Charles, John Alexander, Colin Michael and Suzanne Marie.
Jim McBain has farmed in both Yarmouth and Southwold townships since 1927. He organized the first Eglin Seed Fair, becoming the Premier Exhibitor in 1951 and has won recognition and awards for his grain at exhibitions in both Canada and U.S.A. Jim also raised purebred Holstein cattle from 1930 until his barn was lost by fire in 1965. Jim was elected a director on the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association in 1947, appointed a director of Ontario Agriculture Council in 1949 and served as President of Elgin Federation of Agriculture from 1952 – 1953.
Beginning in 1931 where he was elected to the local school board, Jim has served the citizens of Elgin County at all levels of government:
– Yarmouth Twp. Councillor (1940-44) Dep. Reeve (1945, 1946) Reeve (1947, 1948) – Warden of Elgin County (1947-49) Dir. Of Ontario Agriculture Council. – Member of Parliament for Elgin County (1954-65) – Parliamentary Delegate to NATO Conference in Paris, France (1958) – Chairman of Government Agriculture Committee (1959) – Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transportation (1962) – Elgin County Dep. Sheriff (1966-72) Elgin County Sheriff (1972-76) – Charter member and past President of North Yarmouth Historical Association – Charter member and Director of Kettle Valley Pioneers – 60 year member of First United Church, St. Thomas (1985) – St. Thomas Rotary Club – President (1968 -69) made Paul Harris Fellow (1986)
Kenneth Currie (KC) Emerson
K. C. Emerson was born in Bayham Township,where he attended Vienna Elementary & High School. He graduated from Tillsonburg High School in 1935 and went on to study business administration at Westervelt College. Together with his wife, Pauline Grace (Brown) Emerson, now deceased, and their three children; Milton, Margaret and Anna, K.C. has remained a progressive and innovative member of Bayham’s agricultural community for more than sixty years.
After three years as bookkeeper/storekeeper for Union Gas, K. C. began farming in 1943. Starting out with cattle, purebred Yorkshire pigs for the war effort, and general field crops, he began specializing in flue-cured tobacco during the early days when this product first became established as a commercial crop in Elgin County. Since 1949,K.C. has been a member of the Canadian Seed Growers’ Association, Charter member and Past Vice Chairman of the Ontario Flue-Cured Tobacco Growers’ Marketing Board, Past Secretary & Past President of the Ontario Flue-Cured Tobacco Growers’ Co-operative, Founding member & Past Prsident of Delta Leaf Tobacco Company, and founding member and President of Emerson Tobacco Company Ltd. Through the years, K.C. has purchased and rehabilitated numerous farms, returning them to improved productivity, has implemented Environmental Farm Plans into current farming operations, and has set out over 50 acres of Pine, Spruce, Walnut and Ash trees in addition to maintaining a local stand Pawpaw bushes, a Carolinian species.
Since the early 1940’s, K. C. has actively served communities of Elgin County through his involvement with:
Vienna Board of Education
Tillsonburg District High School,
Ontario Secondary School Trustees Association
The Thames Valley District Health Council
The Elgin – St. Thomas Hospital Board
Ontario Hospital Association
Tillsonburg District Memorial Hospital Board
St. Luke’s Anglican Church in Vienna
Bayham Culture Committee
The Royal Canadian Legion
Royal Arch Masons and numerous charter of the Shrine Club.
K.C. Emerson has served as Warden of Elgin County (1963)
Reeve for the Village of Vienna (1960 – 1993)
and most recently as Councillor of Ward 1 for the amalgamated Municipality of Bayham (2003)