Ezra Annes was born January 25, 1796 at Hartland, Vermont, the eldest son of Ezra Annis and his second wife, Silva Annis. He was married in 1822 to Maria Ann Losie at Whitby, Ontario, Canada. The Vermont records show his name spelled both ways, "Annis: and "Annes". When he moved to Canada he used the spelling "Annes" and all Canadian Records and his descendants use "Annes".
As a young man of about 25 years old, Ezra struck off for Ontario, Canada. Possibly he had heard about his grand uncle, Charles Annis (1738-1823) and his success in the Whitby/Oshawa/Scarbourough area of Ontario. It is not known whether he was in contact with his cousins in the area.
Ezra's younger brother Alva Annes 1797-1847, who is recorded as a Doctor in the Whitby-Oshawa area, at some point joined his brother in Canada. At this time we have no further information other then the following:
1. In 1837 Alva Annis (his brother) was residing at Consession 1, Lot 28 (the same location as Ezra
2. In the history of Cedar Lodge: A July 1842 resolution over the practice of elections resulted in considerable discord within the Lodge and generated two factions. One faction continued to meet in Pickering under the leadership of Dr. Annes, while the other, lead by his brother Ezra Annes, moved to Oshawa and met in the "Oshawa House".
3. It appears that Dr. Alva Annes died in 1847.
Ezra wasted no time in settling into his adopted country and according to an article in the Atlas of Ontario, Canada which told of early settlers in the Whitby, Ontario area:
"James Hall settled on the Lake Shore in 1820. Ezra Annes was earlier, having been a clerk to Mr.(Joseph G.) Losie, who kept a small store, and who becoming embarrassed, the estate was purchased by Mr. Annes."
Not only did Ezra take of the troubled estate of Joseph Losie, but in 1822 he married Mr. Losie's daughter, Maria. The couple had a large family of ten children, but unfortunately at this time we only have the name of one son, Henry Warren Annes, who was born in 1824.
Maria Ann (Losie) Annis circa 1861
Ezra worked hard as his business and farm and started a long history of service to his community (Whitby).
In 1836 he built a home at the southwest corner of Dundas and Frances Streets (601 Dundas Street West) and he and his descendants made this their residence for many years.
Ezra’s obituary, which appeared in the “Whitby Chronicle”, Aug 25, 1857 offers us a view of a man that rose to power in a community through a just and steadfast hand. In the last year of his life he evidently made an enemy with the press, not because of his actions, but rather because of his association with a indivdual, or individuals, who represented him.
Politically, he was instrumental in working toward the objestive of having Whitby made the "County Town" and his efforts were successful in that task. He was first elected Reeve of the Township and then in January 1857 was returned as a councilman for the Center Ward. He was then elected as Mayor of Whitby in which capacity he was serving at the time of his death.
Ezra’s obituary, which appeared in the “Whitby Chronicle”, August 25, 1857 offers us a view of a man that rose to power in a community through a just and steadfast hand. In the last year of his life he evidently made an enemy with the press, not because of his actions, but rather because of his association with a indivdual, or individuals, who represented him.
Death of Ezra Annes, Late Mayor of Whitby
“The demise of this much lamented gentleman took place at his residence in the town of Whitby on Tuesday last. Mr. Annes had been ailing for a considerable time. Before his election to the office of mayor eight months ago, his health was impaired. Since that time his decline, although gradual, was visibly sure, and day by day one could almost see him sinking into the grave. During the last three weeks his frame had become more enfeebled so that he was unable to leave his room once during the time. On Monday night his physical powers appeared to be prostrated, although he retained full possession of his mental faculties to the last. Dr. Gun__, the medical attendant, considered it necessary to remain all night, and the members of the deceased’s family also watched in anxious attendance. Shortly after five o’clock in the morning the vital spark fled and poor Mr. Annes was a corpse. Mr. Annes’s age was sixty one years and seven months. He scarcely looked quite so old, even in his last illness.Ezra's family continued to reside in the home on Dundras Street after his death. His wife, Maria, died February 12, 1861 and is buried with Ezra at the St. John's Anglican Cemetery, Port Whitby, Ontario.
Mr. Annes was a resident of the town of Whitby for nearly forty years, having come here in 1819. He was born in Vermont in the United States in the year 1796; hence he came to Canada in early youth and settled down in Whitby, married in 1822, Maria Losie, whose father was one of the first if not the very first settler in the town of Whitby. At the time old Mr. Losie owned nearly half the land within the limits of the town, the present Worden property, the Perry property and the farm owned by Mr. Annes at his death, all formed part of the Losie estate. Mr. Annes in settling down had to encounter all the hardships and inconveniences which await the settler in a new country. With a powerful will and persevering industry he overcame the obstacles in his path, from the depths of the forest he secured a home to his family - a pretty large one by the way, which grew yearly around him - and in the performance of the duties of a parent, a good citizen, a just magistrate and an honest man, the years of Ezra Annes were devotedly spent – in all which relations there are we will venture to say but few gone before him who can render a more just account of the discharge of the same important trusts.
Mr. Annes was always amongst the foremost in all matters which concerned the interest of the town of Whitby. At the time of settling off of the County of Ontario his efforts to effect that object and have Whitby made the County Town were indefatigable. He was first elected Reeve of the Township under the Upper Canada Municipality Act. Last January he was returned as councilman for the Centre Ward and was subsequently elected to the Mayoralty of the town. Mr. Annes held the Commission of the peace for many years and was well known to the litigants and disputants of the town and county. The exercise of this magisterial authority was called upon almost on every occasion – and so well regarded were the soundness and justness of his decisions that nearly half the magisterial business of the county was brought up and settled before him. In the town few other magistrates were resorted to until his illness. Mr. Annes was active and vigorous in the discharge of his duties – he knew friendship or affection when administering the law. His position in this respect did not render him a popular favorite. And it was strange to remark that while the free and independent electors trusted their properties and liberties into the hands of Mr. Annes and sought for the benefit of his good counsel – they voted and shouted at the hustings for his more easy mannered and popular rivals.
In politics Mr. Annes was a Reformer – standard and true to his principles and honest and consistent in the support of them. He voted and worked for the return of W. L. Mackenzie at an election a quarter of a century ago; he was also one of the furors who persisted in finding a verdict for Mackenzie at the time of the destruction of his press and type. Old Mac never forgot Mr. Annes’s conduct on those occasions and he appeared frequently to take pleasure in referring to them in his message. Mr. Annes had a family of ten children to whom he was greatly attached, and of these one, the eldest daughter is dead – three daughters are married and four unmarried daughters and two sons are living with their mother. All of whom are arrived at an age to take care of themselves. Although Mr. Annes might have speculated and made wealth as others did who came into the township wanting the same opportunities, he preferred living on his farm and bringing up his family in security and independence. Mr. Annes was a member of the Church of England. Up to the last moment he was attended by the Rev. Mr. Pentland. He died fully reconciled to death and full of hope and confidence in the enjoyment of a blessed future. A short time since we felt called upon to comment strongly on little injustices which we considered to have received unmeritedly at Mr. Annes’s hands. We now more willingly obey the unbidden duty in endeavoring to do justice to his memory. It was not Mr. Annes’s self that could do one and intentional wrong. We never doubted him. But illness and the false representations of an individual with whom he stood connected, and whose misconduct embittered, if not hastened the good old gentleman’s approaching dissolution, was the cause to which we ascribe his feelings towards us. We should mention that during Mr. Annes’s illness his colleagues in the Town Council passed a resolution conveying a vote of sympathy and condolence with himself and family.
The funeral takes place this day, Thursday, with the remains of the deceased, who was a Royal Arch Mason, will be interred with Masonic honors.
May his ashes rest in peace."
The house was then passed to their eldest son Henry W. Annes. Henry also served on the Town Council of Whitby in 1882-1883 and again in 1885 and Henry Street in Whitby was named in honor of Henry Warren Annes.
The house is now the home of Ezra Annes House Bed and Breakfast.
Please visit the link below for beautiful photographs of the interior of the house and grounds.
"Ezra Annes House Bed and Breakfast"
Annis Family Association
Ezra Annes House Bed and Breakfast, Whitby, Ontario, Canada
The Annis Family in the US and Canada