John Allen Orchard, Clerk of the Division Court for the County of Welland, and a son of Thomas and Eliza Ann (Medway) Orchard, was born in Devonshire, England, March 2, 1815. Colonel Orchard, of the British army, was a cousin of his father, and John A. Medway, an officer in the British navy, was a brother of his mother. A large number of the Orchards are military and professional men.
Young Orchard was educated in common and private schools, farmed with his father in the old country until 1835; then came to Upper Canada with the family, and after spending a few months in Toronto, located at Drummondville early in the year 1836, here making his home from that date.
At first Mr. Orchard kept books for his father, who was a butcher, clerking also a while in the Pavilion hotel. In November, 1839, his father died, and the son took his place as a butcher for a year or two. The mother lived until September, 1868, dying in her 88th year.
About 1841 Mr. Orchard commenced farming, renting at first, and followed that business until 1852, when he became an auctioneer, a business in which he is still engaged. On the demise of Hon. James Buchanan, Mr. Orchard sold off his property, and soon afterwards administered on the estate of Lieut. General Murray. For some time Mr. Orchard was an Insurance Agent; is now dealing more or less in real estate, and has been Clerk of the 4th Division Court, County of Welland, the last fourteen or fifteen years. Prior to taking this office he had been bailiff of the same court for six years ending in 1865. He is also Clerk of the Township of Stamford, Commissioner for the taking of affidavits of the Queen’s Bench, Justice of the Peace, appraiser for several loan companies, issuer of marriage licenses, and chairman of the Board of License Commissioners for the County, a position he has held from the date of his membership of that board. He has been a Conveyencer for the last ten or twelve years, and is assisted in this work by his nephew, Joseph G. Cadham.
At the time of the rebellion, which broke out in 1837, he shouldered his musket and marched as a private to Gravelly Bay, now Port Colborne, and the day after reaching there was appointed corporal. He was made quarter master of the 44th Battalion when it was organized, and, after serving in that capacity a number of years, resigned.
Mr. Orchard has been an Odd Fellow for more than a quarter of a century; formerly of Manchester Unity, now Canada Order; is Past Grand Lecture Master, and also Treasurer of Lodge No. 17, Drummondville. He is a member of All Saints’ Episcopal Church, and long served as warden of the same.
The wife of Mr. Orchard was Martha Hargrave, of Buckinghamshire, Eng., their marriage being dated December 23, 1842. They have had three sons, and lost all of them.