Henry Usborne was one of nineteen directors of 
The Canada Company which was incorporated in England in 1826 with a specific mission to develop certain lands in Ontario and bring a return on investment to its shareholders. 
Mission accomplished, the Company was finally dissolved in 1953 and the license cancelled on Sept.11, 1961.                                

Their aim was to open up 1.1 million acres, soon to be known as the Huron Tract stretching westerly to Lake Huron from Guelph. The land was to be parceled into 100 acre plots for resale. John Galt was in charge and chose Dr. William "Tiger" Dunlop, warden of the forests for the Canada Co., as his right-hand man. In April 1827, Galt, Dunlop, and Charles Prior, with groups of axemen and chainbearers, entered the 
Halton Block. On April 23, at a sunset ceremony, a large maple was felled to mark the site of the new town, Guelph. Once Guelph was established, Galt sent an exploring party through the forest tract to Wilmot Township on June 27, 1827. This expedition blazed a path that developed into the Bridle Road -- the Canada Company's first road.
Usborne Township has an area of 42,681 acres and was named after Henry Usborne.
It is bounded on the north by Tuckersmith, on the east by Hibbert, Fullarton and Blanchard, on the south by Biddulph, and on the west by Stephen and Hay. Until 1845 Usborne had only 283 inhabitants but increased to 1,484 by 1852.  The early settlers in the township were James Willis and William McConnell who settled in the area that was later called Exeter and were largely responsible for the original development of this settlement. Another area called Devon, which was 3 miles to the south of Exeter was developed. In this area, a Devonshire man, John Balkwill, cleared four acres about a little over a mile south of Exeter. He returned to England and was so enthusiastic about the prospects of a new and more prosperous life in the Huron Tract that he attempted, very successfully, to convince a good number of his friends and neighbours to come out. The first of these was his brother-in-law, William May, who arrived with his family in 1832 and registered his land in 1833. Between 1833 and 1835 several of Thomas Balkwill's brothers came out and took up land on both the Usborne and Stephen sides of the London Road. Another Devonshire man, George Snell, settled in Usborne. A brother of James Balkwill who arrived in 1835 was so good in urging new settlers to take up land in this area that the Canada Company made him it's Constable and Agent for the Usborne Township District.                         

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