John Wurtele Marston, treasurer of the united counties of Prescott and Russell for the last quarter of a century, was born in L’Orignal, on the 1st day of May 1806, and has always been a resident of the place. His father, Jacob Marston, a native of New Hampshire, followed his grandfather into Canada, a little before the close of the last century, and visited the spot where L’Orignal now stands, in 1796, coming here with Nathaniel H. Treadwell, the proprietor of the township, and being, it is claimed, the first Anglo Saxon to fell a tree in this township; and two or three years later made a permanent settlement here. The mother of our subject, before her marriage, was Mary Cass, whose father was a United Empire Loyalist.
Mr. Marston received an ordinary English education; clerked for some years for Silas P. Huntington, and, in 1828, commenced the mercantile business for himself, continuing it until 1851, with fair success. During part of this period he held office in the old Ottawa District. He became clerk of the District Court, and registrar of the Surrogate Court in 1846; deputy-clerk of the Crown in 18.53, these offices he still holds, and since 1855 has been treasurer of the united counties of Prescott and Russell. He has proved a very faithful county officer, is a model accountant, and a man of the highest integrity, and has the unlimited confidence and greatest respect of the people.
Mr. Marston has had much concern for the educational and other interests of his native village, and served for some time as trustee of the high school.
He is an adherent of the Presbyterian church; has been a trustee of the Canada Presbyterian church since it was organized in 1832, and is the only one of the five charter trustees now living. He is most emphatically the oldest landmark of L’Orignal. Born and reared here the fourth season of his life, already seemingly far spent, he has seen the Ottawa valley in this vicinity, converted from a wilderness into a well improved country, with all the marks of thrift as well as civilization. He is a remarkably well preserved man, and a stranger would hardly place his age as high as seventy. His life has been remarkably exemplary, worthy of being copied by young men.
In 1836 Mr. Marston married Miss Mary Ann Davis, of Milton, Vermont, and she died in 1844, leaving four children, one son and three daughters. The son, John J. Marston, M.D., has been assistant-surgeon in the American army since 1864; Sarah, the eldest daughter, married Eden P. Johnson, of L’Orignal and died in 1867; Mary Adelia, is the wife of John Miller, merchant, L’Orignal, and Caroline L., is the wife of Sturgis M. Johnson, of Almonte, Ontario.