The founder of Centreville was Thomas Johnston. He immigrated from Ireland to New Brunswick in 1821; in June of 1824, he married Esther McGee, who he had four children with.
On April 14, 1829, Thomas Johnston began a trail from Buttermilk Creek (Florenceville) to present day Centreville. He built his log cabin near the present day United Church, and moved his wife and family into their new residence.
The first child born in Centreville was Charles Johnston. He was born in 1831 and was the fourth child of Thomas and Esther.
Mr. Johnston owned 200 acres of land between the present Gregg Settlement road and Knoxford road (Route 560). Life was hard for the early settlers and Thomas often became discouraged trying to prosper on his new land. It was his wife who inspired him to continue on. The folklore of Centreville claims that Esther had a vision of three churches situated on their farm. Today, this vision has been fulfilled, with the Baptist Church, the United Church of Canada, and the St. James Anglican Church all housed on the land once owned by The Johnstons.
Surveyors for the railroad came to Centreville in May of 1896 and in October of the same year construction was underway. Due to a lack of funding the construction of the railroad halted in December 1896, causing great disappointment to the residents.
In 1912, the construction of the railroad was revived and on October 1, 1914 the railroad was completed. A regular passenger train service was inaugurated on December 19, 1914.
Telephone and Electricity:
The first telephone line in Centreville was built around 1894, from Centreville to Woodstock. In 1902, the phone lines were extended to surrounding areas.
The first electrical lights in Centreville where provided by C.M. Sherwood Co. in 1901. On February 26, 1924, the electric line was turned on and the installation of our present electric service was completed. Mr. C.M. Sherwood’s company also manufactured the first electric plant.