Isaac Greensides, a pioneer of County, was born in Yorkshire, England, in 1801, and when a young man came to Canada, first settling in Montreal. He married a Miss Foster, of that city, and resided there for a few years, in 1837 locating in Toronto. Here Mr. Greensides was first engaged as a brick manufacturer, but he later rented a farm in York township west, where he spent six or seven years. He then re-engaged in brick manufacturing, starting a yard in Yorkville, where he also built a home, and there he continued in business until 1866. His wife having passed away in 1847, leaving him with six children, Mr. Greensides had married again, but no children were born to the second union. His children by his first wife were: (1) Jane, born in Montreal and educated in Toronto, married William Smith, of that city, where she died leaving one son. (2) John, born in Montreal in 1834, grew to manhood in Toronto, where he married Miss Elesebeth Powell. He followed brickmaking in the Queen City until his death, in 1902. He left a family. (3) Hannah, born in York township, is the wife of John Shepherd, and has a family of four children. (4) Isaac, born in York township, married Miss Mason, and settled in New Toronto, where he remained until his death, in 1899. He left a family of ten. (5) Mary A. is a resident of Toronto. (6) William completes the family.
William Greensides was born in old Yorkville, now in the city limits of Toronto, Sept. 30, 1838, and received his education in the schools of Yorkville. When twelve years of age, after the death of mother, he started working on his own account at farming and in the brick yards of his father, where he learned the business on the Davenport road, where he owned a yard for four years. Then he purchased a brick yard on St. Clair avenue, where he remained seventeen years, until he purchased his present tract in Bracondale, upon which he has been located for twenty years. During his residence in Yorkville Mr. Greensides erected three houses there, besides a fine dwelling house on St. Clair avenue, as well as two fine brick houses on Lakeview avenue and two large houses on St. Clair avenue, Bracondale, where he now resides.
On May 9, 1860, Mr. Greensides was married to Miss Eliza Powell, who was born in Shropshire, England, Feb. 15, 1840, daughter of Richard and Rebecca Powell, natives of England, and early residents of Toronto. Mrs. Greensides' parents died in the County of Elgin, where Mr. Powell had spent the latter years of his life engaged in farming. His daughter, Mrs. Greensides, was educated in the State of New York. To Mr. and Mrs. Greensides have been born children as follows: Jane Gertrude, Feb. 15, 1862; Frances Ada, Feb. 24, 1863 (deceased); George, Oct. 2, 1865 (who is also deceased); Etta Louisa, Mary 27, 1867; Henry Austin, Jan. 17, 1868; William Arthur, May 3, 1869; Horace Edward, Nov. 11, 1870 (deceased); Abbee, Sept. 1, 1872 (deceased);and Charlie DeWitt, Sept. 9, 1874. Of these Jane is the widow of Frank Brown, and resides in Toronto with her family; she has had six children, Gertrude, Frank, Ethel Laura, Eva, Grace (deceased) and Arthur. Etta is the wife of William Curtis, who is engaged in the market gardening business; they are the parents of two children, Edith and Irene. Henry married Miss Lizzie Hendrick, of Bracondale; they have four children, Gordon, Howard, William and Mary. William married a Miss Rodes of Toronto, and they reside on St. Clair avenue, in Bracondale; they have had four children, Horace, Arthur (deceased), Margery and Edna. Charlie married Miss Christina Stevens, daughter of John Stevens, and they reside in the house adjoining the house of Mrs. William Greensides, Sr.; they have three children, Reginald, Dorothy and Harold. Henry, Charlie and William Greensides have succeeded their father in the brick business.
In religious connection Mr. Greensides and his wife and children are members of the Methodist Church. In politics he is a staunch supporter of the Conservative party, but he has never cared for public preferment. Mr. Greensides is one of the self-made men of the community. Starting out in life at the tender age of ten years to work his own way in the world, he met and overcame every obstacle and has finally reached the top of the ladder of success. He is energetic and enterprising, but these characteristics stand out no more strongly than do those of honesty and integrity. He is a good public-spirited citizen, and as such commands the respect and esteem of the entire community.
(Taken from the Commemorative Biographical Record of the County of York published in 1907 by J. H. Beers Co)