Biography of James Young
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James Young, member of the Dominion Parliament from 1867 to 1878, and now of the Ontario Legislature, is a son of John and Jeanie (Bell) Young, and was born in Galt, May 24, 1835. Both parents were from Roxburghshire, Scotland, his father coming to Galt the year before the son was born.
Our subject was educated in his native town, and chose the printing business as a trade. Before he was 18 years of age, he purchased the Dumfries Reformer, Galt, which he edited from 1853 to 1863, and is the author of two prize essays: “The Agricultural Resources of Canada,” and “The Reciprocity Treaty.”
Mr. Young was first returned to Parliament at the general election in 1867, to represent South Waterloo; was re-elected by acclamation in 1872, and again in 1874; was defeated in September, 1878; and in June, 1879, was elected to represent the north riding of Brant in the local Legislature.
While in the Dominion Parliament, Mr. Young proposed and secured the abolition of Queen’s printership monopoly, and the letting of all departmental printing by tender, thus greatly reducing the annual expenses; in 1871, he secured the passage of an Act confirming the naturalization of all aliens who had taken the oaths of allegiance and residence prior to the Confederation; in 1873 he submitted a bill in favor of the ballot, and in the same year and in 1875 carried addresses to Her Majesty the Queen, praying that the Imperial Government would take steps to confer on Germans and other aliens naturalized in Canada, the same rights in all parts of the world as British born subjects; and in 1874 he proposed a committee and report which resulted in the publication of the Hansard, since containing the House of Commons, debates for 1875-1879 inclusive. These facts we gather mainly from the Parliamentary Companion.
Mr. Young is a Liberal, and was an able supporter of the Mackenzie Administration.
He is a director of the Confederation Life Assurance Company, and the Canada Landed Credit Company; is president of the Gore District Mutual Fire Insurance Company; has been president of the Association of Mechanics’ Institutes, Ontario, for the past eight years; was for several years on the board of school trustees and collegiate institute, and was six years in the town council and one year deputy reeve.
Mr. Young is a member of the Presbyterian church, and has been president of the Provincial Sunday School Association of Ontario, and is vice-president of the same. He was for five years chairman of the Public Accounts Committee of the Dominion Parliament, and occupied other important positions.
The wife of Mr. Young was Margaret McNaught, second daughter of John McNaught, Esq., of Brantford, their marriage taking place in February, 1858.