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One of the very few men now living in this part of the county of Peel, that were here in 1820, is John Lynch, who is two years older than this century, being born in Goreham, Vermont, November 9, 1798. His father, David Lynch, who was from Cork, Ireland, moved from the State of New York into Canada in 1813, settling near Cornwall. John received but little mental drill in school; at twenty-one years of age came into what is now the county of Peel, took up land in the 2nd concession east, in the township of Chinguacousy, about one mile from where Brampton now stands, and with his own axe opened a farm. At that time bears and wolves were much more numerous than people, particularly whites; partridges and other wild fowl were exceedingly plentiful, and the mosquitoes no man, no thousand men, could number.
Mr. Lynch farmed until about 1832, when he moved to Toronto, where he was in the brewing business with other parties a few years, returning to the county of Peel, and farming a few more seasons, and starting a brewery in Brampton about 1839. He abandoned the brewery business about twenty-five years ago, and after being a real estate agent and conveyancer a few years, retired from manual labor.
Mr. Lynch was appointed a justice of the peace nearly fifty years ago, and still holds that office; was reeve of the township of Chinguacousy, and the first reeve of Brampton; and was for a long time connected with the militia, rising to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel of the 6th Peel battalion.
He has for may years been a contributor to the local and general press, and years ago took a liberal share of the prizes for the best essays on agricultural subjects, offered by the Provincial Agricultural Association. Books and the pen are still to him sources of profitable amusement. In 1874 he compiled and published a Directory of the county of Peel, containing the names of all persons on the assessment rolls of 1873, and historical notes of the early settlement of that part of the Home District now included in the county of Peel.
In 1867 he delivered a lecture before the Brampton Mechanics’ Institute, on “Canada, its Progress and Prospects;” the lecture was published in pamphlet form, with some additions, in 1876. A copy is before us, and abounds in valuable statistics, showing how Canada has advanced, keeping pace with other countries in this progressive age. His lecture shows by “facts and figures,” what an American statesman predicted, that Canada is likely to become, has in fact already become, “a great, prosperous, and powerful people.” We make an extract from the lecture:
“Canada has indeed held a very high position at each of the exhibitions of all nations, the articles she exhibited being superior in number and quality to those of many other countries of far greater pretensions. Canada considerably excelled our neighbors of the United States at every one of those exhibitions. This may be partly accounted for, as to the London exhibition, by the unhappy anti British feeling which prevails among many of the people of those States, and which at times afflicts them very severely. It confessedly prevented their sending nearly so many articles to the exhibitions at London as they otherwise would have done. But there could be nothing of that kind to interfere with their exhibiting at Paris in 1855; and it is supposed that they would do their best on that occasion. At that exhibition we find that seventy-five prizes were awarded to the United States, and ninety-six to Canada. I have in my possession a very gratifying evidence of our success at those exhibitions, being a medal awarded to the County of Peel Agricultural Society for wheat, barley and peas, exhibited at the London Exhibition, 1862.”
Mr. Lynch has had two wives, marrying the first Miss Susan Monger in 1832, and losing her in childbed in one short year; and the second, Miss Anna McCormick, in 1845, she dying about 1852, leaving one daughter, who married Arthur Wigley, of Pittsburgh, Pa., and died in January, 1877. A granddaughter is all he has left.
Mr. Lynch is a Roman Catholic, a man of excellent character, abstemious, and in every way correct in his habits, a good neighbor, and greatly respected by all who know him. He is often. seen on the streets of Brampton, and no man living here receives more cordial greetings.