The Cockfield Family

“Perhaps the best remembered of the early teachers in Buxton was Abel Cockfield. He and his brother Matthew came to Buxton from Buxton British Guiana in South America. Part of their education was received in Buxton Ontario, and Abel at least attended the Chatham Collegiate Institute. He later attended Hamilton Collegiate Institute in Hamilton. They were said to have been of pure African blood. While attending the Chatham Collegiate Institute and being the only coloured student enrolled, he was handed a threatening letter from another student. Giving the letter to the principal, the writer of the letter was expelled. Abel became a teacher and taught in several Kent County schools — the Shreve School on the fifth concession, the Shrewsbury school and S.S. # 13 in North Buxton. He also taught in Essex County. He married Mary Ann Matthews of the Dawn Settlement and they became the parents of eight children. He appeared to be well endowed with the qualities necessary for good leadership along with a sense of pride in his race, tolerating no slip-shod or half-learned work among his pupils. He “walked proud” and “talked proud” and he instilled these qualities in his children and his pupils as much as possible." From Legacy To Buxton By Arlie C. Robbins.

For some reason Abel Cockfield was let go from the Buxton School.  He had difficulty because of his race in procuring another teaching position. The family later moved to Detroit Michigan. Frances (Fanny) lived out her life there and never married.