The subject of this brief notice is a descendant of a family of English agriculturists, and dates his birth in the County of Kent, February 17, 1817. His parents were Henry and Harriet (Farris) Jull. The name is not very common either in England or Canada; there are few families of that name in this Province.
Thomas received an ordinary English education; did some farming with his father in boy hood; learned the trade of a millwright, and then abandoned it; in the autumn of 1835, left his fatherland; came to Trafalgar, in the County of Halton, and farmed and ran a saw mill for twenty-one years, having a liberal experience of frontier life and of hard work. When he first settled in that county, much of the soil was covered with standing timber, and he furnished the material for many a pioneer’s humble frame house.
In the spring of 1856, Mr. Jull settled in Orangeville, then a small hamlet; built a grist mill that year; bought a saw mill the next, and is still engaged in the manufacture of lumber, agriculture, and other pursuits. The grist mill he sold in 1876, after running it for twenty years.
Mr. Jull has been a Justice of the Peace more than thirty years; was a councilman at one time in the township of Garafraxa (which includes part of the town of Orangeville), and was the first reeve of Orangeville, serving in that position for several terms. He has long been chairman of the local School Board, and is also one of the License Commissioners for the county. Mr. Jull was President of the Tramway Company, which finally culminated in getting the Toronto, Grey and Bruce Railway, which came to Orangeville in 1871. The Credit Valley Railroad reached this town in December, 1879. He abounds in public spirit, and no man here has done more towards furthering the interests of the place.
Until the County of Dufferin was formed, Garafraxa was in the County of Wellington; and Mr. Jull was at one time President of the Reform Association for the Centre Riding of that county.
He is a communicant in the Methodist Church of Canada; for a long period has been an official member of that religious body, and is a man in whose integrity and general uprightness of life the most implicit confidence is placed. He is a kind neighbor, and a true friend to the needy and industrious.
In October, 1839, he married Miss Mary Lawrence, daughter of Orange Lawrence, founder of Orangeville, and after whom that place was named; and of nine children resulting from this union, only four are living. All are married but Cyrus, who is at home and in delicate health. Sarah, the only daughter living, is the wife of John Lindsey, of Shelburne, County of Dufferin; Bennett is a merchant at Ridgetown, Kent county, and Orange resides in Orangeville.
Orange Lawrence, a native of Connecticut, came to the Niagara District, Canada, soon after the second war between the United States and England; a few years later removed to the township of Trafalgar, County of Halton, and farmed and manufactured timber there till about 1842, when he came to the place where Orangeville now stands, and purchased the site of most of the present town, together with a saw mill and small grist mill. At that time there were a log house and an empty shanty here. He was the first permanent settler; kept a store as well as farmed; at one time had an inn; was captain of a militia company in the rebellion of 1837; and was postmaster many years, holding that office at the time of his death, which occurred in 1861.