by Jack Griffin
Jimmy Poole (Powell) was a native of Lismore, County Waterford. and went to Newfoundland from Ireland, later coming to Quebec and eventually to the Valcartier/St. Catherine district. His seems to have been a very adventuresome spirit for not long after arriving here.. gold being discovered in California (1849) he headed there in company with Charlie White, Pat Woodlock, and perhaps Charles Wolff of Valcartier. They are said to have taken a ship from New York to Panama and after crossing the Isthmus on foot boarded another vessel on the Pacific side and sailed to San Francisco. Jimmy later went to Australia, most likely directly from California, as great discoveries of gold were made Down Under at about the same time. It is known that Charles Wolff went to Australia also so it is possible they traveled there together.
Jimmy later he returned here and married Ellen Murphy in l856 and settled down on the sixth range. However the wanderlust was difficult to overcome and he seems to have left home on other occasions as his son, Jack Poole (Powell), told of living with the White family at Lake St. Joseph and going to school from there. Jimmy was a fine carpenter and a good deal of the local household furniture of his era was made by him and when my father, and his brothers and sisters were growing up, Jimmy was often called upon by grandfather Griffin to erect some farm building or to carry out needed repairs to others. In fact so often was he seen, busy with saw and rule, and always in company with grandpa that the two became indelibly associated with making things in the younger children’s minds at least, as the following story told by the late Mary Ellen Powell (Mrs.Jack McClintock reveals.
One summer, sometime in the month of June, Uncle Joe and Aunt Maggie took Uncle Johnny to school with them. He was only about three years old at the time. The teacher didn’t mind; the school year was almost over anyway, and she gave Johnny a desk at the rear of the class where he could watch proceedings and be watched without getting into mischief. However Johnny’s first school day just happened to coincide with the school inspector’s annual visit and when the the alarm and excitement occasioned by his unexpected appearance had subsided; uncle Johnny’s presence explained, and the inspection carried out, the inspector suddenly turned to Johnny and said “Now young man don’t think you’re going to get off scot free. You’re in school and must at least answer me one question.
I ask you who made the world?” And Uncle Johnny answered promptly “Me fadder and Jimmy Poole”
Uncle Johnny liked to tell about the time when he went to put a new window in the stable and the only tools he had were a cross cut saw and a harrow tooth.