One of the oldest and most substantial merchants in Sarnia, county of Lambton, is Daniel Mackenzie, who has been in business here more than thirty years, and has weathered every financial storm. He is a native of the village of Campbelltown, parish of Ardersier, Inverness-shire, Scotland, and was born on the 4th of March, 1828. His parents were John and Margaret (Cameron) Mackenzie, his father being a druggist. Both families, were military.
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Daniel received a parish school education; lost his father about 1833, and in 1843 came to Canada with his mother and two sisters locating at London, where he learned the mercantile business. His mother is yet living, being with her son in Sarnia, and in her eightieth year, still having the use of all her mental faculties.
In 1847, Mr. Mackenzie settled in Sarnia, and two years afterwards went into the general mercantile trade, in company with Thomas Houston, the firm name being Houston and Mackenzie, the former retiring from the business in 1854. Since that date our subject has been alone, and for several years has confined himself to dry goods, doing a steady, safe, and successful business. Thousand of others have bowed before the fierce tornadoes which swept over this continent, commencing in 1857; but by the exercise of a little foresight, and by prudent management, he has kept his head above water, and is still pursuing “the even tenor of his way.” He has access to the best markets in Europe and America one secret, no doubt, of his splendid success. The orphan boy who came to Canada thirty-seven years ago to seek his fortune, has not made a failure; and all he has is the accumulation made by his own hands and by honest means.
While carefully attending to his own business, Mr. Mackenzie has not neglected his duties as a citizen. He was for twenty-one consecutive years connected with the Local School Board, closing with the chairmanship of that Board; and was thirteen years in the town council, in the several capacities of councilor, deputy-reeve, reeve, and mayor, holding the latter office in 1878-79.
Probably no man in the town has done more valuable service in its municipality than Mr. Mackenzie. He is quite public spirited, and has taken great pleasure in aiding to push forward public improvement. A town cannot have too many of such a class of citizens. He is President of the Lambton Permanent Building and Investment Society.
He is an elder of St. Andrew’s Presbyterian church; for many years was a faithful worker in the Sunday school cause, and his sympathies are enlisted in every enterprise tending to improve, in any respects, the condition of the people, young or old.
His politics are Reform, and at one time he held the office of President of the West Lambton Reform Association.
In 1856, Mr. Mackenzie married Miss Margaret Flintoft, of the County of Lanark, Ontario, niece of the late Sheriff Flintoft, of Sarnia, and she is the mother of seven children, all living but one son.