Biography of John Page
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The subject of this sketch, the Chief Engineer to the Department of Public Works, is a native of Fifeshire, Scotland, where he first saw the light of this world, on the 9th July, 1816. His father was John Page, a contractor. He received his early mental training in the University of Glasgow, not, however, completing the full college course. He was bred an engineer, and, before leaving his native land, served a while as Engineer of the Northern Lighthouse Board, under Robert Stephenson.
Mr. Page crossed the Atlantic Ocean in 1838, and was engaged for four years on the Erie Canal, in the State of New York, entering the service of the Canadian Government on the Welland Canal in 1842, and being still engaged in that service.
He was appointed Chief Engineer to the Department of Public Works in 1853, and ten years later declined the offer of Deputy to the Minister of Public Works. Engineering has been his life study and his life work, and he is a thorough expert in his profession. The principal lighthouses in the Strait of Belle Isle, as well as on Lake Huron, and a great number of the lake harbors in the Province of Ontario were constructed under his direction. The enlarged system of. canals between Lake Erie and the city of Montreal, involving great professional and practical knowledge, are now being carried out. under him. On these subjects he has written many full and elaborate reports one lately issued is looked upon with deep interest by those familiar with, or requiring information on, such matters. The Government or the public has no more faithful servant, as fully evinced by the numerous arbitrations and commissions with which he has been intrusted no one more capable or efficient in his own peculiar work.
The wife of Mr. Page was Elizabeth Grant Wylie, daughter of Dr. Alexander Wylie, of the County of Dundas, Canada, their union being dated June 15, 1852. They have seven children, four sons and three daughters, the family making their home in Brockville, seventy miles from Ottawa. The children are receiving an excellent education. The family are Presbyterians, worship at the First Church, Brockville. Their house, a little out of town, is one of the finest in this locality, standing on a sightly ten acre lot, and almost buried in a forest of evergreen, with maple, mountain ash, chestnut, and a few other kinds of trees, interspersed. The view on all sides, excepting on the east, is broad and charming. Any prince of the old world might be delighted with such a rural and romantic home.