James Livingston, member of the Ontario Legislature, and a prominent manufacturer, was born in. Fast Kilbride, Lanarkshire, Scotland, November 29, 1838. His father, Peter Livingston, was a weaver by trade, dying in the old country; and his mother was Barbara Bright; she died in Listowel, Ontario.
James received a parish school education; worked at weaving until seventeen years of age; came to the county of Perth, Ontario, in 1856; worked one year at farming in the township of Mornington; then came to Conestogo, county of Waterloo, and commenced work for Messrs. M. B. and J. S. Perine, flax growers, being in their employ for eight years, was foreman all but the first year, and working in different places.
In 1865, in company with his older brother, John Livingston, our subject commenced flax growing at the village of Wellesley, and they are now operating in six different places. They usually cultivate about 3,000 acres and do a business of from $240,000 to $250,000 per annum.
During the last seven years they have also been manufacturing linseed oil at Baden, the firm name being J. and J. Livingston. Lately they have started a foundry here, also a general store, being the leading men at Baden, engrossing, in fact, nearly all its business. Their energy and go aheadativeness would be wonderful in any other age but this.
James Livingston has a farm of 200 acres, and he manages it as a recreation, hardly considering it a part of his business.
He was reeve of the township of Wilmot in 1878 and 1879, being elected both times by acclamation, and in June, 1879, was elected to the local Parliament for the south riding of Waterloo. He is a Reformer, and has been vice president of the Wilmot Reform Association. He is a Blue Lodge Mason, and an attendant at the Lutheran church.
In June 1861, Mr. Livingston married Miss Louisa Liersch, of Baden, and they have eight children living and have buried two.