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Biography of Hector Cameron

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Hector Cameron, Member of Parliament for North Riding of the County of Victoria, in the Province of Ontario, and one of the leading members of the Ontario Bar, is descended, on the paternal side, from the Glen Dessary branch of the Clan Cameron, of Inverness-shire, Scotland, and is the only surviving son of Assistant Commissary General, Kenneth Cameron, who, at the time of the birth of our subject at Montreal, June 3, 1832, was stationed there on duty connected with his office. Other members of this branch of the Clan Cameron have been quite prominent in Canada, among whom we may mention the late John Cameron, Esq., uncle of Hector, who was a well known member of the Old Canadian Parliament, from 1857 until 1861, for Victoria County. On the maternal side our subject is of English descent his mother being Christian Selby, daughter of Robert Selby, Esq., of North Earl, Northumberland, England. On the return of his father to England, the subject of this memoir, then quite young, accompanied them, and was afterwards sent to King’s College, London. Later, while his father was stationed at Dublin, Ireland, he entered Trinity College, in that city, where he graduated in 1851, taking the degree of Bachelor of Arts; returned to Canada the same year, and subsequently took the degree of M.A. at the University of Toronto.

Subsequently, after being stationed in various places in the old world, General Cameron also returned to Canada, assigned to duties connected with the Commissariat Department in Montreal, where he died in October, 1855. Soon after reaching Toronto in 1851, Hector Cameron began the study of law with that distinguished leader of the Bar Hon. J. Hillyard Cameron, Q.C., who, previous to his death, was probably the most eminent of the profession in Canada; and called to the Bar of Upper Canada, in Easter Term, 1854, he at once entered upon a practice which has been very successfully pursued ever since. During 1858-59 he was in partnership with the present Minister of Education, Hon. Adam Crooks. After the dissolution of that firm, Mr. Thomas (now the Hon. Chief Justice) Moss, who had previously been a student in his office, was taken into partnership by Mr. Cameron; this connection lasted until 1864, when Mr. Moss retired. From this time Mr. Cameron practiced alone until 1876, when the present firm of Cameron and Applebe was formed. He has always enjoyed a large practice, and has done a leading business for many years, not confined to either Common Law or Chancery, but largely in both courts; to his many cases in the latter, however, he probably largely owns his reputation as one of the leading lawyers of Toronto. In 1872 he was created a Queen’s Counsel; and in addition to his general practice, is standing counsel for the Northern Railway of Canada, Dominion Telegraph, and American Union Telegraph Companies. He has also been somewhat interested in railways, and for some years was director of the Huron and Quebec, and is now a director of the Belleville and North Hastings Railway, and Counsel for that Company and the Grand Junction Railway. The political sentiments of Mr. Cameron are in favor of the Conservative party, and he has taken a lively interest in politics for many, years; was an unsuccessful candidate in South Victoria, in 1867, for the House of Commons, and in North Victoria, in 1874. In November, 1875, after Mr. MacLennan, the incumbent for the latter constituency had been unseated, he was again a candidate. Mr. MacLennan was returned, but upon a subsequent scrutiny of the votes, Mr. Cameron was declared entitled to the seat, and since that time has continued to hold it, being re-elected at the general elections in 1878. In Parliament he has actively supported the Conservative measures, and has been Chairman of the Private Bills Committee, Though taking a lively interest in all legislation, he more frequently discusses the legal questions that often arise, than any other, on the floor of the House.

In religious views he adheres to the Church of England; is a member of St. Andrew’s Society, and of the Orange Order.

Mr. Cameron was married in August, 1860, to Clara, eldest daughter of William Boswell, Barrister-at-Law, Cobourg, and grand-daughter of Captain, Hon. Walter Boswell, R. N., and by this union has two children a son, born in 1863, and a daughter, born 1876.

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