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George James Gale, for twenty-seven years Clerk of the County Council of Grey, was born in Hampstead, England, August 1, 1819, being the son of George Gale, a florist. In his fourteenth year he came to Lower Canada, and to three years steady schooling in the old country, added a few terms at an Academy; then clerked ten years in a dry goods store in the city of Quebec, and one season in a store in Kingston; and was subsequently a merchant two years in Montreal.
In July, 1843, Mr. Gale settled in the County of Grey, and the Township of Derby, adjoining Owen Sound, which at one time was included in that township. At an early day he was engaged in a variety of business pursuits merchandising, real estate, &c. He has also held a great variety of officesClerk of Township of Derby; member of the first Town Council of Owen Sound (185); Commissioner in Court of Queen’s Bench (appointed in 1849); Clerk of the Division Court, Owen Sound; Official Assignee for the County; School Superintendent, and Clerk of the Council, still holding the last office; Lieut. Colonel 3rd Battery Grey Militia.
During the last eleven or twelve years Mr. Gale has been afflicted with nervous debility, unfitting him for manual labor, his only son and child living, John Gale, attending to his father’s official duties. The mind of Mr. Gale is clear and active, his memory especially being strong and tenacious.
It was Mr. Gale who, as Auctioneer, sold the Indian Peninsula after it had been ceded to the Government by the Indians, a great crowd being present, and it bringing $200,000. For this act Mr. Gale received the thanks of Sir Edmund Head, and double pay.
He was once an active and influential politician of the Conservative school, and many years ago his party nominated him for the old Canadian Parliament, but he refused to stand. He was also active as an Orangeman, and at one time was County Master for Grey. He was likewise Warden of St. George’s Church for many years, and very active in church duties for a long period. In 1854 the members of the church made him a present of a beautiful copy of the Bible and Church Service, as a token of their appreciation of his services in Christian work.
February 10,1843, Mrs. Ann Woolrich nee Shaw, a native of Nova Scotia, was joined in wedlock with Mr. Gale, and he has had two sons by her, losing one of them before he was named. The other we have already mentioned. He was the first male child born in Owen Sound. The father of Mrs. Gale, Isaiah Shaw, was twenty-one years a member of Parliament for the County of Annapolis, Nova Scotia. Mrs. Gale gave the first flag on Dominion Day, July 1, 1867, to the Owen Sound Volunteers, John Creason, Captain.