Reuben Spaulding Patterson, mayor of the city of Belleville, is descended from a family which was among the original settlers in Londonderry, N. H., emigrating from the north of Ireland in 1736. Peter Patterson, the progenitor of the Pattersons in New Hampshire, was from the county of Antrim, born in 1716, and dying in 1800. The colonists who came with him brought their minister and doctor, and everything which they thought would be necessary in starting a colony.
The grandfather of Reuben was Thomas Patterson, who fought for the independence of the American colonies, and who was in the third generation from the pioneer in Southern New Hampshire.
The parents of our subject were Robert and Esther (Spaulding) Patterson, his father being at one time a member of the New Hampshire Legislature and a merchant in Londonderry, where he was born; and his mother was a second cousin to Franklin Pierce, President of the United States in 1853-1857, and was born from English parentage.
Reuben was born in Londonderry, March 26, 1820, and was the sixth child in a family o f ten children, eight sons and two daughters. In 1829 the family emigrated to western New York, settling in Perry, then in Genesee, now in Wyoming county, where Reuben was educated in the district school and the Perry Centre academy, his father there settling on a farm. Both parents died at an advanced age at Westfield, New York, residing at that time with their son, Alfred S. Patterson.
Hon. George W. Patterson, of Westfield, at one time Lieut.-Governor of New York, was a brother of Robert Patterson. Another brother was at one time representative in Congress from Genesee county, New York.
Our subject, like some of his brothers, had a taste for mechanics, and learned, with two older brothers, James and Alfred, to manufacture agricultural implements, working in Rush and Canandaigua, N. Y.
In 1848 Mr. Patterson came to Dundas, Canada West, whither his brother Robert preceded him, and there they engaged in the manufacture of agricultural implements, removing to Belleville in the spring of 1851, and here continuing the same business. The firm of R. and R. S.
Patterson continued until 1868, when, the health of the senior member failing, he removed to Michigan.
Prior to this date they had purchased a foundry and machine shops at Whitby, and the company with Nicholas W. Brown, late member of the Ontario Legislature, started a branch business at that place. Before leaving the Province, Robert Patterson disposed of his Canadian business to our subject, who discontinued the manufacturing department at Belleville, but retains his interests in the factory at Whitby, the firm name being the Brown-Patterson manufacturing company, which is doing a heavy business, the particulars of which may be found in the sketch of Mr. Brown. Mr. Patterson has a depot at Belleville for the distribution of the company’s articles in that section, and manages the business in the eastern Provinces, and in Quebec and the Maritime Provinces.
On settling in Belleville, Mr. Patterson promptly and thoroughly identified himself with the interests of the city, then a town, he having been in the council fourteen years. During that period many important improvements were projected and carried through that body. He is now (1880) chief magistrate of the city, and is untiring in his efforts to promote its welfare. He was at one time a director of the Belleville and North Hastings Railway, and is now a director of the Grand Junction road.
Mr. Patterson has been vice-president and president of the Reform Association for the west riding of Hastings, and in 1872 was the candidate of his party for the House of Commons, and was defeated. The riding is usually Conservative.
Mr. Patterson cherishes the religious belief of the progenitor of the family in New Hampshire; being a member of the John street Presbyterian church, and has at times served on the managing committee. As far as known, he has lived a very correct life. It is a noteworthy fact that neither he nor any one of his seven brothers, have ever used either tobacco or liquor.
In May, 1852, he married, at Niagara Falls, Miss Anna Cahill, of Dundas, and they have lost one child, and have two sons and a daughter living. Robert is bookkeeper for the Brown?
Patterson manufacturing company, Whitby, and Jenny, Frank, and Peter Wallace, are at home.