James Albert Macpherson, mayor of the town of Kincardine, and the leading solicitor of the place, was born in the town of Perth, county of Lanark, October 10, 1843. His father is Malcolm Macpherson, a native of Perthshire, Scotland, born June 1, 1806, coming to Canada in the summer of 1815, with his parents. The family were on the ocean when the victory at Waterloo occurred, June 18th. The grandfather of our subject settled where Perth now stands, and felled the first tree on its site. Malcolm Macpherson was reared there; learned the carpenter and joiner’s trade; built half the town in its earlier years, and for eight years was surveyor of the united counties of Lanark and Renfrew. The mother of James, before her marriage, was Elizabeth Macpherson, but no relation to her husband. Her father was a U. E. Loyalist, and settled at Ernestown, on the Bay of Quint. She was the mother of eleven children, only six of them, five sons and one daughter, now living.
In February, 1854, Malcolm Macpherson moved his family to Penetangore, in the township of Kincardine, coming with teams, as there was no railroad to this point. In the covered sleigh in which the family rode, was a small stove, used for warming, and the novelty of the rig excited much attention ahere Perth now stands, and felled the first tree on its site. Malcolm Macpherson was reared there; learned the carpenter and joiner’s trade; built half the town in its earlier years, and for eight years was surveyor of the united counties of Lanark and Renfrew. The mother of James, before her marriage, was Elizabeth Macpherson, but no relation to her husband. Her father was a U. E. Loyalist, and settled at Ernestown, on the Bay of Quint. She was the mother of eleven children, only six of them, five sons and one daughter, now living along the way. At Arthur, in the county of Grey, where they stopped over Sunday, the stable was destroyed by fire, and they lost their deeds, papers, most of their money, bedding, &c., everything but the clothes they wore. They had had no fire in their sleigh for four or five days. To Mr. Macpherson it was like a shipwreck; but he had his energy and courage left. At Penetangore he built a saw mill and grist mill, and ran them with his second son, John Macpherson, until a few years ago. He was a councilor eighteen years, and reeve two or three terms. He is in his 74th year, and has fair. health, His wife died in April 1877. In July, 1854, five months after reaching Kincardine, the subject of this sketch returned to Perth, and was there engaged in studying until June, 1857, when he came back to this town and finished his literary education with Thomas Scott, M. A., since deceased, paying particular attention to the classics.
In November, 1858, he entered the law office of Alexander Shaw, of Walkerton, now member of the Dominion Parliament for the south riding of Bruce, Mr. Macpherson being the first law student in the county. In June, 1862, he went to Whitby, and finished his legal studies with Samuel H. Cochrane, county attorney; was called to practise in Michaelmas term, 1864; practised in partnership with Mr. Cochrane at Prince Albert (Port Perry), until the close of 1865, and in January following settled in Kincardine, still continuing the practice of his profession, and doing an extensive business.
Mr. Macpherson was solicitor for the town of Kincardine from 1866 to the close of 1878, and is still solicitor for the townships of Kincardine and Huron.
He is serving his second term on the local school board, and is chairman of the same; is the third mayor of the town, and looks well to its interests, being public spirited and energetic.
His politics are Liberal or Reform. He is the second chief of the Caledonian Society of Kincardine, the first having been Angus Kerr, now residing near Stratford.
Mr. Macpherson is a Free Mason; was worshipful master of Northern Light Lodge, No. 93, for the years 1874 and 1875, and the present year, 1880, and is an honorary member of Bruce Lodge, No. 341. He is also an Odd Fellow, a member of Lodge No. 172.
He is an adherent of the Established Church of Scotland, of which his father has been an elder for more than forty years, being associated in that connection for a long time with Hon. Alexander Morris, of Perth.
Mayor Macpherson holds the commission of Lieutenant in the militia of Canada, but we cannot learn that he has ever been called into active service.
He is thoroughly wedded to the law, and has never married.