By: William Alexander MacKay (1842-1905)
By Zorra, in the following sketches, is meant a little district in Oxford county, Ontario, some ten miles square, composed of part of East and part of West Zorra, and containing a population of about fourteen hundred. It was settled about the year 1830, chiefly by Highlanders from Sutherlandshire, Scotland.
Within the last forty years there have gone from this district over one hundred young men who have made their mark in the world. With most of these it has been the writer's good fortune to be personally and intimately acquainted; and companionship with some of them has been to him a pleasure and a benefit.
It is not intended to include all these in the following sketches; this were impracticable, but it is believed that a brief, unvarnished account of the career of some of them may be an inspiration, not only to the young men of Zorra to-day, but to men everywhere struggling against difficulties, and earnestly engaged in the conflict of life. Such sketches will also be to many a pleasant souvenir of early days, when
"Hearts were light as ony feather,
Free frae sorrow, care and strife."