Biography of John P. Wiser, M.P.
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John Philip Wiser, member of Parliament from South Grenville, is a native of Oneida county, New York, dating his birth at Trenton, October 4, 1825. He is a son of Isaac J. Wiser, who settled in that county in 1809, and opened a farm in the dense forest. The grandfather of Isaac was aid to General Herkimer, at the battle of Oriskaney. The mother of our subject was Mary Egert, a native of Philadelphia, his parents on both sides being of remote German descent. He was educated in the common school of his native county, and at Hobart Hall Institute, Holland Patent; farmed until twenty years of age; then clerked several years at Gouverneur, New York, and in 1857 removed to Prescott, Canada, as manager for Egert and Averell, succeeding to their business in 1862. His distillery has a capacity for 900 bushels of grain daily, and for feeding 1,200 cattle.
Mr. Wiser has a farm of 600 acres, known far and wide as the “Rysdyk Stock Farm,” which has no superior in beauty of location in Ontario. It lies opposite Ogdensburg, New York, only half a mile above Prescott, and directly along the shore of the St. Lawrence, with a commanding view of the great river. The generally ascending character of the ground makes the view from the rear as well as the front very pleasant.
For stock purposes the farm is divided into different divisions and compartments, separated by high cedar worm fences, strongly and compactly built. About one-sixth distance from the front, it is crossed by the Grand Trunk Railway. Diagonally crossing the farm is a beautiful stream of water, which, by the construction of dams, has been completely utilized for the supply of the several divisions and compartments. The soil is a rich alluvium, all arable and highly cultivated. Previous to its conversion into a stock farm, it was used for the production of hay and grains for use in the distillery. The refuse of the distillery and the manure produce of a thousand head of cattle, amounting to about 5,000 loads yearly, has been used on the farm. This abundance of fertilization accounts for the richness of the soil. This enriching process, he has carried on for the last eight or ten years, making the farm unsurpassed in fertility in this part of the country. In 1875, his hay crop of 230 acres averaged three and a half tons to the acre, the first twenty acres cut averaged over eight tons to the acre.
On this farm he usually has from 1,000 to 1,200 graded cattle, and the only large breeding stable for horses, we believe, in Ontario. He usually has a sale every other year, disposing of about fifty horses at each sale. In this line there is nothing superior to his stock in the Dominion, it being in fact, the best bloods in the world Hambletonian stallions, with the highest degree of the ” trotting instinct,” and brood mares of the noblest strain. Among his stallions of the best class are “Rysdyk,” which cost him $10,000; “Phil Sheridan,” which cost $12,000; and “Chesnut Hill,” sired by “Rysdyk,” and although but six years old, has acquitted himself handsomely on the turf, acquiring a record of 2.26. “Phil Sheridan’s” record is 2.26 1/2. “Rysdyk ” is an untrained trotter and has no record, but is a marvel of power, and in a private trial has shown 2.36 1/4.
Among the best brood mares are “Flora,” “Belle,” “Lady Potchin,” “Jennie Rysdyk,” “Lady Moxley,” and “Jessie,” most of them having a pedigree unsurpassed for excellence.
Mr. Wiser seems to have made horse flesh his study, and reasoning on the principle that “like begets like,” and that by careful cultivation the qualities of an ancestor can be transmitted to his posterity in an improved condition or a higher degree of perfection, he started in this line with the best stock to be found in the United States, and has gone on improving until his bi-annual sales of brood mares and young stallions are noted for their tallness of figures.
In 1877, Mr. Wiser sent three carloads of horses to the Provincial Fair held at London, and took the first premium and a diploma for the stallion ” Rysdyk,” and the first premium on colts of different ages. He has an eye not only for fancy stock, but for its improvement, and no man in Ontario is doing more to encourage the raising of the best class of horses. His success in this branch of his business has created a noble spirit of emulation among stock raisers in other parts of the Province.
Mr. Wiser was first returned to Parliament at the general election held in September, 1878, and has just served his second session in that body. His politics are Liberal.
Mrs. Wiser, who was married February 5, 1856, was Emily, second daughter of the Hon. Harlow Godard, Richville, St. Lawrence county, New York. She is the mother of six children, all of them living, but John Abel, who was drowned when four years old: The father of Mrs.
Wiser was for eight years a member of the Assembly of New York, and has been elected a Justice of the Peace annually for fifty years, still holding that office. His wife, who is also living, and whose maiden name was Mary Rich, was the first female child born in the town of De Kalb, St. Lawrence county. Of the five living children of Mr. and Mrs. Wiser, Harlow G. the eldest son, was educated at Terrebonne (in French), Quebec, Hellmuth College, London, Ontario, and Mount Pleasant Military Academy, Sing Sing, New York. He is an officer of the Canadian Garrison Artillery, and cashier for his father. Eugene Frank, the second child is a student at the Mount Pleasant Military Academy, and the three youngest, Isaac Philip, Mary Kate and Maud Alice, are pursuing primary and preparatory studies at home.