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James Bonfield, the representative for South Renfrew in the Ontario Legislature, descends from an old agricultural family in Ireland, and was born in Gortmore, county of Tipperary, in 1825, his parents being John and Elizabeth O’Meara Bonfield. A maternal uncle of James, Father Morgan O’Meara, was a Catholic priest.
Mr. Bonfield received a good English education, including the higher mathematics, attending school most of the time until 1848, in the spring of which year he came to Canada, and settled at Eganville, township of Grattan, where he has resided for thirty-two years. He commenced work in this Province as a clerk for John Egan, from whom the village of Eganville was named; in 1863 opened a general store for himself, and not long afterwards commenced lumbering and discontinued merchandising.
Mr. Bonfield was at one period reeve of the township of Grattan; in 1875 was elected to the local Parliament for the riding of South Renfrew, by acclamation, and at the expiration of his term, after an animated contest, was re-elected by a handsome majority. His political affiliations are with the Reform party.
Mr. Bonfield was reared in the Roman Catholic church, and earnestly adheres to the faith of his parents, and a long ancestral line. His marriage is dated November 20, 1854, his wife being Miss Catharine Tracy.