Biography of George Davidson

eorge Davidson, sheriff of the county of Waterloo, is a son of John and Margaret Davidson, and was born in Aberdeen, Scotland, May 15, 1814. Both parents belonged to Aberdeen families. John Davidson was a merchant, and burgess of Aberdeen, retiring from business in 1833 and dying in 1853. Our subject was educated at Aberdeen; studied law for about four years in the same place; came to Canada alone in 1835; and took up 200 acres of land partially cleared, in the township of Woolwich, county of Waterloo; and improved it until about 1841, when he moved into Berlin; here bought out a mercantile establishment; traded alone a few years, then took into partnership his younger brother, William Davidson; went himself to New Aberdeen, six miles from Berlin, and there built a saw mill and grist mill, opened a store and a farm of 500 acres, and remained there until the spring of 1852, when he retired from business and returned to Berlin. The next January he became sheriff of the county, and has held that office for twenty-seven years.

Sheriff Davidson was the first postmaster at Berlin, receiving his appointment from the British Government; he was also the first postmaster at New Aberdeen; and held many years ago, at sundry times, the offices of township and county councilman and school trustee.
He went into the military service as a Lieutenant, on the breaking out of the rebellion near the close of 1837, and has been Lieut.-Colonel, commanding the second battalion of Waterloo militia, for nearly a quarter of a century.

Col. Davidson is a Royal Arch Mason, a member of the Presbyterian church, an elder of the same for more than forty years. His circle of friends is quite extended, and he is much esteemed for his fine social and other good qualities.

In 1836 our subject married Miss Margaret Garden, of Aberdeen, Scotland, and they have buried six children, and have six living, all settled in life. George, the eldest son, is managing a woolen factory at Waterloo; William is a barrister in Toronto; Robert Garden is in a hardware store, same city; Alexander is head physician and surgeon of the Leith hospital, Scotland; Margaret is the wife of Irvine Kempt, assistant manager of the Caledonian Railway, Glasgow, and Elizabeth is the wife of William Rose, miller and merchant in the town of Waterloo.

Since settling in Waterloo County, forty-five years ago, Col. Davidson has never ceased to cultivate the soil. At one time, while at New Aberdeen, he had 300 acres under improvement, and still cultivates about one third of that amount. Though usually having, as is here seen, a variety of irons in the fire simultaneously, he has done, either with his own hands or by proxy, a great deal, for a single person, towards developing the agricultural resources of this part of Waterloo county. He has been an energetic, pushing business man, just the kind needed in a new country men having backbone and ” a mind to work.”

MLA Source Citation:

The Canadian Biographical Dictionary and Portrait Gallery of Eminent and Self Made Men, Ontario, Volume 1. Toronto: Toronto American Biographical Pub. Co. 1880. Web. 30 January 2015. - Last updated on Aug 6th, 2012


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