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In the Dominion of Canada when a man is appointed to a municipal or judicial office, he is usually allowed to remain in such office if he chooses to, during good behavior or life. Hence it is not an uncommon thing to find a man who has held a town, city, or county office twenty years or more sometimes more than thirty years. The subject of this sketch is one of that class of worthy officials, whom the public like to retain in the municipality of the city because of his faithfulness and his assiduous endeavors to serve the people. The compensation, to such a man consists not in dollars and cents alone, but in the satisfaction of knowing that he is doing his duty, and that his services are appreciated.
Alexander Samuel Abbott, son of Samuel and Mary (Gunning) Abbott, was born near Mount Bellew Bridge, County of Galway, Ireland, June 30, 1812, the Abbotts being an old Irish family. His uncle, Thomas Abbott, was Justice of the Peace more than fifty years, in the county just mentioned. His maternal grandmother was a sister of Lord Netterville, an Irish nobleman.
Alexander received a fair business education; at thirteen years of age was apprenticed for seven years to the dry goods business in the town of Galway, and continued in that department of trade until 1813, when he emigrated to Canada, settling in London. Here, after clerking two years in a store, he was appointed (1845) town collector, holding that office until 1856, when he received the appointment of City Clerk, a position which he has held steadily for nearly twenty-four years. Ten years earlier he was appointed Secretary of the School Board, and that office also he still holds. While collector, he was agent for five years of the “Globe Insurance Company of England.”
Mr. Abbott has always affiliated with the Conservative party, but has never been an active partisan, taking no public part in such matters.
He has been a Free Mason since 1834, and has hell every office in the Blue Lodge and Chapter being at first in the Grand Lodge, No. 209 of Ireland, and now 209 A. of Canada, of which lodge, at the time of writing, he is chaplain.
His church connection is with the Canada Methodists, he holding the office of steward and trustee. His Christian life is above reproach, and he bas especial sympathy for the poor and unfortunate.
In 1834 Mr. Abbott was united in marriage with Dorinda, third daughter of William R. Ruxton of the Royal Engineers Department, Ireland; and of eight children, the fruit of this union, seven are living.