Biography of Joseph Cawthra

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Joseph Cawthra, Manager of the Newmarket Branch of the Federal Bank of Canada, is a descendant of an old prominent family in the County of York. His grandfather, Joseph Cawthra, a native of England, settled in Toronto, about the beginning of, the present century; was a druggist at first, then a general merchant; became one of the heaviest importers in Upper Canada, and died one of the richest men in the Province. John Cawthra, father of our subject, came from England with his father when about eight years old; settled in Newmarket, about 1822, and was a prominent man here for many years, being the first representative of the County of Simcoe, immediately after it was set off from York, in the Upper Canada Parliament. Here he was a leading merchant and manufacturer for a long period, having a flouring mill and distillery, as well as a store, and being a stirring and efficient business man, dying in 1851. His wife, who had preceded him by nearly twenty years, to the spirit world, was a noble Christian woman, active in religious and benevolent enterprises, and a warm friend of the poor. Although she has been dead nearly fifty years, there. are those still living in North York, who recollect her Christian activity and her many deeds of charity.

The subject of this sketch, was born in Newmarket, December 25, 1823, and was educated in public and private schools, was connected with the stores until about five years after his father’s death, when he removed to Toronto. There he remained, looking after his business for
seven or eight years, and subsequently spent a year in New York City, acquainting himself with the business of banking and commerce.
When, in 1865, the Royal Canadian Bank was about to establish an agency at Newmarket, Mr. Cawthra was invited to take the management of it. He returned to Newmarket, fitted up suitable premises, and managed this agency until the early part of 1879. In February of that year, the Royal Canadian Bank, which had amalgamated with the City Bank of Montreal, was withdrawn from Newmarket; and the Federal Bank of Canada being about to establish a branch here, appointed Mr. Cawthra to manage it. That work he is now doing with prudence and success, being eminently trustworthy, as well as painstaking and efficient.

He is a member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. In October, 1868, he married Charlotte Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Dr. J. Bentley, of Newmarket, by whom he has four children.

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. 26 January 2015. - Last updated on Aug 6th, 2012


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