William Elliot, one of the founders of the village of Iroquois, is a, son of William Elliot, senior, whose calling was a shepherd, and Mary Cranston, both natives of Roxborough, Scotland. William was the third child in a family of four sons and four daughters. He came to the United States in 1828, locating at Lansingburgh, N.Y., on the Hudson river, where he learned the malting and brewing business with E. Parmelle and Son, and afterwards had charge of their business. In 1840 he came to Moulinette, County of Stormont, Ontario, commenced brewing there on his own account, operating a little less than four years, when he lost his brewery by fire, and discontinued the business.
In 1844, in company with his brother Andrew, he commenced work on the St. Lawrence Canal, having three contracts, one each at Williamsburg, Iroquois, and Galops, being engaged in that business four years. Several years afterwards, in company with Benjamin Chasey, he built the Grand Trunk Railway through Dundas, a distance of twenty miles. In 1848 Mr. Elliot purchased a mill site at Iroquois, and erected a stone grist and flouring mill, an enterprise which constituted the beginning of the village. Five years later he had his mill property destroyed by fire, but immediately built and continued the business extensively and successfully until 1868. During all this time he owned and cultivated a farm near town, and still has farms which he leases. He was one of the first men in this part of the Province to introduce blooded stock, and has done much to encourage enterprise in this direction.
In 1832, six years prior to settling in Canada, Mr. Elliot bought a farm in the County of Chateauguay, Lower Canada, and a few years later persuaded his parents to come out from the old country and’ occupy and own it. There they lived and died with the youngest son, George
Elliot, who still occupies the place, and is a leading farmer and stock raiser in that section. Another brother, Rev. Joseph Elliot, is a resident of Montreal, where he was for several years pastor of a Presbyterian church. The father of our subject was an elder of the Presbyterian church from the time he settled in Canada until his demise.
Mr. Elliot held the office of town councilor before the village of Iroquois was incorporated (which was done in 1857), and the same office afterwards, being reeve at the same time, and also warden of the united counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry. He served as one of the trustees of the High School Board for more than twenty-five years. He has been identified with the industrial, educational, and moral enterprises of the town from the start, and has been, and still is, an eminently useful citizen. Mr. Elliot has been an elder in the Presbyterian church for more than a quarter of a century, and the christian character of no man in the community stands fairer.
February 2; 1848, Emma, daughter of Peter Bowen, of Matilda, Dundas, was joined in marriage with Mr. Elliot, and they have had four sons and four daughters, losing two of the sons in infancy.