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Biography of Peter R. Randall

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Peter Rice Randall, Mayor of Port Hope, is a descendant of a United Empire Loyalist family on his mother’s, the Ferguson, side, and was born near Cobourg, in the Township of Hamilton, July 7, 1822. His grandfather, Robert Randall, a Highland Scotch man, was temporarily in the United States, when the father of our subject, John P. Randall, was born, and subsequently returned with his family to Great Britain. The father of Peter was an officer in the British Navy, serving on a man-of-war vessel for four years; was taken prisoner by Napoleon’s forces, and kept a prisoner one year on the Island of Martinique, then exchanged, and came to Canada about 1811, settling in Northumberland County, where, as already announced, our subject was born. He fought one year against the United States, the first year of the second war. Israel Ferguson, the maternal grandfather of our subject, left Vermont about the time of the first outbreak between Great Britain and the United States, and, after halting a short time in Montreal, settled on the Bay of Quinte, west of Kingston, on land granted by the Crown, some years afterward removing to the Township of Hamilton, Northumberland County.

John P. Randall cultivated his farm for many years, and taught school during the winter season; and in that school, in his youth, the subject of this notice received the rudiments of an English education, supplementing it, when a little older by private study, and obtaining a good practical, business outfit. He lost his father when he was fifteen years old, and took care of himself after that age, learning the carpenter’s trade, and working at it until about 1848. At that period he located in Port Hope, and was engaged in contracting, building and running a machine shop, a sash factory, and a planing mill until 1856, when he went to Toronto and for ten years was there in the book publishing business.

In the Spring of 1866, Mr. Randall returned to Port Hope, and was a bookseller here until he went out of business a few years ago.
For the last six or seven years he has been in the Common Council, and in January, 1879, was placed at the head of the municipality, making an efficient Chief Magistrate. He was for some time a member of the Public School Board, and of the Harbor Board, and is ex offcCio a member of the Gas Company; be is also a Director of the Cemetery Company; is quite public spirited and disposed to push public enterprises calculated to benefit his adopted home.
Mr. Randall is a Baptist in religious sentiment, and has been deacon of the Port Hope Church for years. The purity of his life is unquestioned. In whatever cause he enlists his energies, he shows himself a “live man.”

May 12, 1849, he married Miss Elizabeth Webster, of the Township of Hamilton, and they have had three children, only one of them, Charles Frederick, now living. He has a family, and is Inspector of Weights and Measures at Port Hope.

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