"Thomas Bearman, Sr., of Elderslie Township, is of a large family of sons of a Liverpool hatter, who, subsequent to the Anglo-American war of 1812-15, decided to emigrate to Ohio, United States. At that time the British Government placed restrictions upon the emigration of skilled tradesmen to the United States, and to avoid their operation Mr. Bearman was obliged to sail first to Quebec, where he arrived in June, 1818, just previous to the leaving of the celebrated Richmond military colony, to settle in what was afterwards the County of Carleton, then the northern limit of the old Johnston District. He met at Quebec Colonel Cockburn, of the British army, an old acquaintance of the family, who induced him to abandon the Ohio enterprise and join the Richmond colony, and as a consequence he became a settler in the Township of Nepean, some eight miles from the present site of Ottawa, on the Richmond Road. The Bearman family subsequently became one of the most influential in that part of the Ottawa Valley, and the offices of Magistrate, District Councilor, Commissioner of the Court of Claims, Reeve, a Colonel of Militia, and various others of less importance, were successively and continuously held by several members of the family, who still occupy very prominent positions in the municipal and provincial politics of their section of country. When Bytown (now Ottawa) was founded in 1826, the subject of this sketch was a government contractor of the works at that place, having himself built the house of Colonel By, the commanding officer of the Engineers, and furnished all the oak timber used in the construction of the locks at the Rideau.
In 1854, Mr. Bearman purchased the land in Con. 2, Elderslie, where he now lives, and the same year commenced to build the first mill in that section of country, adding a grist and carding mill thereto some twelve years later, where is now located the prosperous village of Scone. By energy, industry, and honesty combined in a rare degree, he was surmounted the difficulties incident to life in the back woods, and is now one of the largest landowners in the county, having nearly 2,000 acres, of which he cultivates about one-half. Though several years beyond the allotted threescore and ten, he is active and vigorous enough to successfully manage this large business in addition to his various mills, &c.
Mr. Bearman, as well as being an enterprising man in his private business, has always been of the most forward in the encouragement of all public improvements, having been one of the original agitators for the railway through this county, and throughout the development of the scheme, one of its strongest and most influential supporters. He has at various times filled responsible public offices with acknowledged ability, having been in the Township Council as Councilor and Deputy Reeve for many years, and having acceptably performed the duties of Postmaster of the village of Scone, ever since the establishment of the office at the place."
Belden 1880 Atlas of the County of Bruce