John Short Larke, editor and proprietor of The Oshawa Vindicator, an old and strong Conservative paper, is a native of Lancelles, Cornwall, dating his birth May 28, 1840. His ancestors, who belonged to the yeomanry of that part of England, were originally from Scotland, his parents being Charles and Grace (Yeo) Larke. When he was four years old the family emigrated to Canada West, settling near Oshawa, his father farming awhile, and then becoming a miller, being now still alive. The mother of John died in 1878, while on a visit to England.
After passing through the grammar school of Oshawa, our subject took an undergraduate course at Victoria College, Cobourg; subsequently was in the Bowmanville Post office a short time; was then relieving agent on the Grand Trunk Railway, and afterwards taught three years, the last year in the Oshawa High School.
In June, 1865, Mr. Larke purchased the interest of William H. Orr in the Vindicator, and in October, 1878, the interest of Samuel Luke, being since that date, its sole proprietor and conductor. It is an eight column folio, neatly printed, and edited with marked ability, being an excellent country journal, a powerful exponent of the tenets of the Conservative party, and the oldest paper in the County of Ontario, being in its 24th volume.
During a heated, political canvass, Mr. Larke is usually called upon to enter into public discussions of the issues, and there are but few speakers in the Province who can match him in debate. He is thoroughly versed in the details of public affairs; is clear, logical, candid and persuasive in argument, without any of the tricks of unfair disputants, and is at times decidedly eloquent. His tongue, as well as pen, has much influence in every political canvass.
Mr. Larke is chairman of the Local Board of Education, and a director of the Ontario Loan and Savings Company; is connected with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, but rarely, we believe, meets with the Lodge, but among the Sons of Temperance he is more. active having held high positions in the Order, being at one time Grand Worthy Associate of the Grand Division of the Province. He is a true friend of his fellow man, and by tongue and pen works for his highest interests. Religiously he is connected with the Canada Methodist Church of which he is a local preacher, and a Bible Class Teacher. He loves Sunday school work. The young have no truer friend in Oshawa than Mr. Larke.
On the 20th of October, 1870, Miss Elizabeth A. Bain, of Oshawa, was united in marriage with Mr. Larke, and they have three children.