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Thomas Oliver, who represents North Oxford in the Dominion Parliament, is a native of Sutherlandshire, Scotland, the son of Thomas Oliver, senior, whose calling was that of a shepherd, and Janet nee Walker, and was born in March, 1821. He was educated in part in a parish school, and with additional private study fitted himself for an instructor. After teaching a parish school two years in his native county, he came to Canada in 1840, and located in the township of Zorra, now West Zorra, county of Oxford. There he taught school three or four years; then settled in Woodstock; sold goods twelve years for W. C. McLeod, general dealer, and subsequently was in the dry goods business for himself for eight years, when he sold out. Since that time he has speculated a little now and then, but being in comfortable circumstances, is inclined to moderation in his labors.
Many years ago Mr. Oliver held the offices of school trustee, councilman and reeve, and was warden in 1866. In the same year he was elected to parliament, to fill a vacancy caused by the death of Hope Mackenzie, brother of the late premier, and was re-elected at the general elections in 1867, 1872, 1874, and 1878. His constituency is strongly Reform, and backs him up at each election by more than the full vote of his political confreres.
The religious tenets of Mr. Oliver are Presbyterian, he having long been connected with that church. He married Miss M. C. Clark, of East Oxford, on the 29th of September 1857, and they have one son and two daughters.