Biography of John Butterfield

John Butterfield, barrister, editor and proprietor of the Weekly News, and warden of the united counties of Prescott and Russell, is a native of Glengarry, this Province, being born in the township of Lancaster, May 4, 1844. His parents were Richard Butterfield, a school teacher, from England, who died on Good Friday, 1853, and Elizabeth, nee Tracy, of Irish descent, she dying in 1867, leaving eight children. Two others had preceded her to the spirit world, and one daughter has since joined her. Our subject was the eighth child. He was educated at the public schools of Lancaster and the high school at Vankleek Hill. He studied law in the office of Messrs. Cameron and Scott, Toronto, entering that office in 1862; was admitted to practice in Hilary term, 1868, having finished his law studies at L’Orignal, where he settled in 1864; and was called to the Bar in Easter term, 1875. He was appointed Master in chancery in June 1869, and held that office until he resigned, in 1875, to enable him to practice in that court. The legal business of Mr. Butterfield extends to all the courts of the Province, and to the Supreme Court of the Dominion, and his reputation as a lawyer, like his business, has a steady increase. He is comparatively young in the profession; possesses studious habits, and is ambitious enough to apply himself closer to his studies, and will be likely to grow and distinguish himself as a lawyer.

In August, 1876, Mr. Butterfield bought the office of the News, which he is editing with marked ability, as an independent paper. He seems to be rather proud of the pen, and the editing of the paper affords him a fine field for literary recreation during his leisure moments.
Mr. Butterfield has been connected with the militia for several years, and holds the rank of Major 18th battalion volunteer infantry. He is serving his first year as reeve of the village of L’Orignal, being elected by acclamation in December 1879, and he had a similar honor conferred upon him by the united counties of Prescott and Russell. The latter being an honor rarely bestowed on anybody. With the exception of Hon. John Hamilton, senator, Major Butterfield is the only member of the county council who was ever chosen warden on first entering that body. He is its youngest member in years; he, no doubt, fully appreciates the compliment paid him for his fine business talents and executive abilities.

In July, 1868, Mr. Butterfield was united in marriage with Mrs. Frances Evelina Freel, widow of Judge Freel, and youngest daughter of the late John Chesser, of Plantagenet, at one time a member of the Canadian parliament for Prescott.

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. 14 December 2014. - Last updated on Aug 7th, 2012


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