Charles Eli Chadwick, son of Rev. Eli Chadwick, a Baptist minister and school teacher; was born at Preston, Lancashire, England, August 13, 1818. His father and grandfather were born in the same county. His mother was Margaret Weal, a native of Dumfries, Scotland.
In 1820 the family came to Canada, the next year went back to England, and in 1827 returned to this country, and settled near Vittoria, County of Norfolk, Upper Canada. There our subject was educated by his father, who taught a public school several years, having also a farm, on which the son was reared. In 1843, Mr. Chadwick removed to the Township of Dereham, County of Oxford, farming there for ten years, holding, meantime, several township offices.
In 1853 he settled in Ingersoll, being appointed Postmaster, which office he held for eight years. Soon after accepting it, he became also the Manager of the Niagara District Bank, which was eventually merged in the Imperial Banka position which he held for twentytwo years, leaving it in the summer of 1877. In January, 1878, Mr. Chadwick was elected Mayor, by acclamation, and a year later, was re-elected in the same manner, he making a very efficient Chief Magistrate of the town. In various ways and in different positions, he has made himself a very useful citizen. Probably his best work for the public was done in the school board, of which he was a member for more than twenty years, and Chairman much of the time. Through his influence many important changes in the system of public instruction were brought about, he having more to do in molding and improving that system than any other man in the town, though he had earnest cooperators in this noble work.
Since he became a resident of Ingersoll, Mr. Chadwick has written for the local press, on . political, educational and general subjects, and his pen is not entirely laid aside. He has also, on various occasions, delivered addresses before different organizations, agricultural, literary and others, which have been very cordially received, and he was highly complimented for the able manner in which he has presented his views to the public. In 1878 and 1879, he was ” orator of the day at Ingersoll, at the celebration of the natal day of the Dominion of Canada, and his addresses on these occasions were published in the local papers. We take the liberty of making a short extract from the oration last delivered, on the subject of Patriotism and Home. It is a fair sample of his writings, and full of wholesome sentiments:
“Patriotism among a people is more essential to a nation than wealth, and patriotism has its root in the love of home and in the intelligence that comprehends the exalted uses and necessities of that at once divine and human creation, the organized state, the blended life of men living in society and constituting a nation: and without a nation, without a Government that can look with equal eye into the face of the whole family of nations, what is wealth or national prosperity? The possessor of our country’s rights, privileges and liberties ought to project his views beyond the span of a single life, and leave enduring evidences that he has lived for country, mankind, and after generations. The most sacred among secular things with the true lover of his country, should be the home and the homestead. Home is an English derivative from Germanic ideas and genius; its accessary relations hardly exist in their completeness elsewhere. No other language has a word which translates its kindly authority, its generous equalities, its domestic bonds, its sweet charities, its serene repose. Strength there learns to respect the rights of the weak, and thence to embody that sentiment in the forms of political and legal justice. Beneath these old gothic arches refounded and renewed, in this Canadian soil, stand the household gods, guardians over a civil and religious liberty, so often rescued in so many different ages from the tempests of revolution. Here faith looks up to the sky. Here social virtues and domestic culture sow the precious seeds of public integrity, pure patriotism and unspotted fame. Here, close by the bosom of nature, the impulses of honor and truth have full play. In these retreats is nourished the integrity that frowns upon corruption. Here is developed the public conscience that steadily expels vice and venality front public temptation, and here springs up the healthy influence which corrects the demoralization of public life. I say then that the home and its surroundings deserve the citizen’s first regard. Every improvement, useful or graceful, that is within a prudent use of his means, ought to be made upon the little empire over which he has sway, and in which he trains citizens for society and the State. And if this little home government be as enlightened as it may be; if industry reign there; if woman give scope to her instinctive good taste and withhold not the cunning of her hand; if a morality higher than the law prevails there, then an improving and beautifying influence will go forth hand in hand with the abundant increase that rewards the well directed labor there bestowed.”
In September, 1843, Mr. Chadwick married Miss Jane McCartney, of the County of Oxford, and they have five children living, and have buried four.