Location: Ontario Canada

Biography of John Flesher

John Flesher, late member of the Ontario Legislature, and one of the leading business men of Orangeville, is descended from an. old Yorkshire family, and was born in Driffield, that county, June 8, 1833. His father, the Rev. John Flesher, of Forestmoore House, near Knaresbro, was for some years a Methodist minister, a man of uncommon ability, being a vigorous writer and eloquent speaker. Young Flesher was educated in a Collegiate Institute at Ramsgate, and came to Upper Canada in 1847 with his elder brother, Wm. Kingston Flesher, who, a few years ago, represented East Grey in the House of Commons. After spending two or three years with this brother, he commenced mercantile pursuits, first in Bolton, Albion, and later with Walker and Sons, Toronto; after which he entered business for himself in the County of Grey. One year later he purchased his brothers mill property in Adjala, and for ten years was engaged in the manufacture of flour and lumber. In 1868 Mr. Flesher settled in Orangeville, and again engaged in mercantile pursuits. A few years ago he sold out that business, and is now engaged in brokerage and conveyencing. While a resident of Adjala, Mr. Flesher served as a School Trustee for some years; since removing to Orangeville has been in the Council for four or five years, and in January, 1875, was elected to the Local...

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Biography of David D. Hay, M.P.P.

David Donalson Hay, member of the Ontario Parliament for North Perth, was born in Brought Ferry, near Dundee, Scotland, January 20, 1828. His father was Robert Hay, a contractor and superintendent of works, and belonged to an old Scotch family. His mother’s maiden name was Catharine McKiddie. He received a good English education including mathematics, at parish and private schools; at sixteen years of age crossed the Atlantic ocean to try his fortune in the new world, being alone and depending on his own resources. After spending a few months in a mercantile house in the City of Montreal, came as far west as Bowmanville, County of Durham, where he was a clerk for Bowman and Simpson for a few years; and went thence to Lefroy, in the County of Simcoe, where he kept a store until 1853, when he settled in Elma, County of Perth. This township then included the present site of Listowel, which village, at that time, was known as Mapleton. There was only one house in the place. One of the foremost business men in the village. He has been Clerk of the Division Court for twenty years; was Reeve of Elm, seven years, and has been Reeve of Listowel an equal length of time, and has been serving at different times as Trustee of local schools. In 1867 Mr. Hay took a leading part...

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Biography of Lambert R. Bolton

The Bolton family is thoroughly identified with the history of the Township of Albion and the County of Peel, some of its members having figured quite prominently in this locality. James Bolton, one of the pioneers in Albion, and the grandfather of our subject, came from the County of Suffolk, England, to Upper Canada in 1818; his occupation was that of a carpenter and builder. He settled in Albion, near the Humber, the next year. We learn from the “Historical Atlas of Peel County,” that he erected the first grist mills at Weston, Newmarket, Lloydtown and Tecumseh, and also a number of buildings in the City of Toronto and the neighborhood. He was quite a noted man, and active, using his pen as well as voice in opposing the “Family Compact,” and taking a prominent part in politics previous to the Rebellion, leaving the country at the time of the outbreak, and dying in Indiana in 1838. He left six sons, of whom Charles the eldest son, was the father of our subject. He was born in England in 1804; married Catharine Parker, daughter of William Parker of Albion, in 1827; bought the farm that year which covered part of the present village of Bolton; was a farmer and subsequently a merchant here, and died in 1863; held the offices of School Commissioner under the old law, School Trustee,...

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Biography of John Creasor

John Creasor, twenty-five years a Barrister at Owen Sound, is a native of the County of Simcoe, being born near Barrie, January 21, 1833. He is a son of John Creasor, senior, farmer, and subsequently Division Court Bailiff, and Margaret nee Anderson. His father was from Yorkshire, England; his mother from Glasgow, Scotland. He was educated at the Barrie Grammar School; commenced studying law at Barrie with Hon. James Patton, and finished at Toronto with the late Judge Cooper; was called to the Bar at Michaelmas Term, 1854; soon afterwards settled in Owen Sound, and has here been in general practice, doing business in all the Courts. He is of the firm of Creasor and Morrison, who are doing a good business, and stand well. Mr. Creasor is a sound lawyer, a fair advocate, and a strictly honest and honorable man. He was County Crown Attorney a while, and resigned; holds the office of Solicitor of the County Council of Grey, and of the Town of Owen Sound; was in the Town Council four years, and is, and has been for twenty years, a trustee of the Town schools, doing all he can to further the interests of education. He occupies the position of Chairman of the Education Committee of the Board. Mr. Creasor was Captain of the Owen Sound Volunteers several years; was stationed with his company at...

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Biography of David Robertson, M.D., M.P.P.

David Robertson, the leading physician and surgeon in Milton, and a member of the Ontario Legislature for Halton, is a native of this county, and was born in the Township of Esquesing, July 9, 1841. His father, Alexander Robertson, was from Perthshire, Scotland; his mother, whose maiden name was Nancy Moore, from New England. The father of our subject, born in Perthshire, 1785, was the grandson of Colonel Donald Robertson, of Woodshiel, who commanded the Clan Robertson at the battle of Culloden, April 16, 1746, in which he was severely wounded. On recovering he made his escape to France, and saved his head but lost his property. Prince Charles thought so highly of him that he procured a Colonel’s commission for him in the French Army, in which he served for more than a quarter of a century. While in that country he married a French lady, greatgrandmother to our subject. Alexander Robertson entered the British Army when quite young, and obtained an officer’s commission, serving in the Peninsular war, where he was so seriously wounded that he was obliged to retire from the service. After a few years’ residence in the West Indies, he came to Canada and settled in Esquesing in the County of Halton, among the pioneers in this locality. At first he followed surveying and school teaching, and subsequently farming, and was one of the...

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Biography of Byron M. Britton, M.A. Q.C.

Byron M. Britton, one of the leading barristers in the eastern part of the Province of Ontario, is a son of Daniel and Nancy (Moffatt) Britton, and was born at Gananoque, County of Leeds, September 3, 1833. His father, a merchant in that place, was born in New Hampshire, as was likewise his grandfather. His mother was a native of the State of New York. Byron was educated at Victoria College, Cobourg, where he was graduated in 1856. He read law at first with Hon. P. M. VanKoughnet of Toronto, afterwards Chancellor, and finished at Belleville; was called to the Bar in September, 1859, and on the first of December of that year opened an office in Kingston, where he has been in steady practice for twenty years, his business having become years ago, quite extensive. He practices in all the courts of the Province and in the Supreme Court of the Dominion, and possesses in rare combination, those qualities requisite for a first class solicitor and counsela fine mind, an acute perception, strong nervous temperament, thorough acquaintance with law and general literature, great energy and wonderful industry. As a speaker he is fluent, and strikes one most by an earnest interest in his client’s welfare. His strength in this respect might be said to be almost his only weakness, his earnestness and nervousness sometimes producing irritability of temper....

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Biography of Rev. James T. Bogert, M.A.

James John Bogert, Rector of Napanee, and one of the Rural Deans of Lennox and Addington, is a native of this Province, being born in Brockville, August 2, 1835. His father, John Bogert, Barrister, was a Captain of Cavalry during the “Patriot War” of 1837-38, and practiced his profession in Brockville, being known as the “honest lawyer,” dying in 1842. The father of John Bogert lived at one time in the United States. The mother of our subject, Mary Radcliffe before her marriage, was a native of Wales. Mr. Bogert was educated at Trinity College, Toronto; graduated BA. in 1835; received the degree of M.A, three years later, and was ordained Deacon by Bishop Strachan, in 1858, and Priest the following year. Mr. Bogert was curate at Prescott two years; was appointed Rector of Napanee in May, 1862, and is still serving this parish with the most cordial acceptance. Since he settled here, a fine gothic house of worship, built of blue limestone, with white limestone facings, has been erected, also a handsome rectory; and the numerical and financial strength of the church has been greatly increased. A few years ago the parish was divided, and his younger brother, Rev. David Ford Bogert, assumed the pastorate of the rural part of it. In March, 1879, the Bishop of the Diocese of Ontario appointed eight Rural Deans, selecting Mr. Bogert...

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Biography of Henry Hart

The oldest and most successful lawyer in Paris is Henry Hart, son of Phillip Dacres Hart, who was long connected with the East India Company, and retired in the prime of life with a competency, living in London, England, where the son was born, February 16, 1827. The maiden name of his mother was Elizabeth Ann Chase. Both parents were English. When our subject was in his eighth year the family emigrated to Upper Canada; reached St. Catharines in I835, and the next year settled in Brantford. The father died in 1855, the mother in 1876. Young Hart was educated in the schools of Brantford, and in Upper Canada College, at Toronto; studied law with Daniel Brooke, of Brantford; passed examinations at Toronto at Easter term, May 23, 1860, and has been in practice at Paris from that date. He does a general business, Common law, Chancery, Conveyencing, &c., and is one of the most industrious, professional men in the town. He had a good business almost from the start; has the utmost confidence of the people in his integrity as well as his ability, and his profession is quite remunerative. Whatever he undertakes to do, he does thoroughly, and looks well to the interests of his clients. Mr. Hart has held but few offices, his law business being usually about as exacting on his time, we presume, as...

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Biography of Rev. Michael Stafford

Rev. Michael Stafford, Priest of the Roman Catholic Church, Lindsay, is a native of the County of Lanark, Ontario, the son of a pioneer settler, Thomas Stafford, and was born March, 1, 1832. His father was from Wexford, Ireland; his mother, whose maiden name was Elizabeth McGarry, from West Meath, same country. His family fought for Irish separation, and that was the reason Thomas Stafford came to Canada. Up to fourteen years of age our subject was educated at a district school near Lanark, his teacher, Robert Lees, still living, and filling the office of County Attorney of Carleton. The school house was an abandoned lumber shanty; the seats were made of basswood logs hewn flat on the upper side, and the desks were constructed by boring holes in the side of the house, driving in pegs and laying an unplaned board on the pegs. From that humble school house he was promoted to the district school in the town of Perth, where he spent two years; immediately afterwards gave one year to study at Chambly, then seven years at St. Therese College, and took his ecclesiastical course at Regiopolis College, Kingston, where he was a pupil of the late V. G. McDonnell, and a schoolmate of Rev. John O’Brien, now Bishop of Kingston. Mr. Stafford was ordained Priest in 1858, by the late Bishop Horan, and was Director...

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Biography of George Stephens

George Stephens, late United States Consul at the port of Cobourg, was a native of Schoharrie County, N.Y., and was born December 27, 1805. His parents were George and Sarah (Wood) Stephens, his paternal ancestors being from England; his maternal from Wales, both great-grandfathers coming from the old world. His grandfather fought for the independence of the American colonies. Our subject received a common school education; at seventeen years of age came to Canada, located at Colborne, and manufactured furniture for several years, till he was burnt out, when he removed to Cobourg. With the exception of two or three years spent at Mishawaka, Ind., he resided here for forty five years, being engaged all this time in the furniture and piano forte business, and was a successful manufacturer and merchant. While General Grant was President he appointed Mr. Stephens Consul at this port, and that office he held at the time of his demise, July 26, 1875. He served on the Public School Board here for some years, and took pride in aiding to raise the standard of education; he was also a Justice of the Peace for a long period. From youth he was connected with the Methodist Church, and was a conscientious, consistent member, always found in his place at the meetings of the Church, and usually serving both as Trustee and Steward. He was a...

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Biography of Stephen J. Jones

Stephen James Jones, Judge of the County Court of Brant, and Master in Chancery, dates his birth at Stoney Creek, County of Wentworth, December 21, 1821, his father being Stephen Jones, son of a United Empire Loyalist, and born in Duchess County, New York. A great-uncle of our subject, Augustus Jones, also a loyalist, was Government Land Surveyor in the old Niagara District his residence being at Stoney Creek. The mother of our subject was Mary Smith. He was educated in the district grammar school at Hamilton; studied law at first with Miles O’Reilly, of Hamilton, and afterwards with S. B. Freeman, Q.C., of the same city; was called to the Bar in February, 1846, and practiced with Mr. Freeman until 1853, when he received the appointment of County Judge. He is the only officer of the kind whom the separate County of Brant has ever had. The appointment of Master in Chancery was made in August, 1875. Judge Jones is naturally of a judicial temperment; has a legal turn of mind; is not afraid of work, and is a growing man. He is considered, on the whole, outside of the county, as well as in it, one of the ablest and most satisfactory County Judges in the Province. During the earlier years that he was on the Bench, appeals were not unfrequently made from his decision, but rarely...

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Biography of Robert Hay, M.P.

Robert Hay, member of the House of Commons for Centre Toronto, is a son of Robert and Elizabeth (Henderson) Hay, and was born in the parish of Tippermuir, Perthshire, Scotland, May 18, 1808. His father was an agriculturist in moderate circumstances, with a family of nine children; and at fourteen years of age our subject had to leave school and rely upon his own small hands for support. He became an apprentice to a cabinet maker; learned the trade thoroughly in the town of Perth; worked at it as a journeyman in the old country until the summer of 1831, when he sailed for the new world, reaching Toronto on the 10th of September. Here has been the home of Mr. Hay for almost fifty years, and by hard work and the most careful attention to his business in all its details, he placed himself in comfortable, and we might say independent, circumstances years ago. In the year 1835 he commenced business, forming a partnership with John Jacques, a native of Cumberlandshire, England, and the firm of Jacques and Hay continued between thirty and forty years. They commenced with a capital of about $400 each, and with a “force” of two apprentice boys, enlarging from year to year until they had something like four hundred men. After they had been in business about twenty years, they were burnt out...

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Biography of Hon. George Sherwood, Q.C.

George Sherwood, Judge of the County Court of Hastings, was born in Augusta, County of Leeds, Ontario, May 29, 1811, his parents being Levius P. and Charlotte (Jones) Sherwood. His father was a Judge of the Court of Queen’s Bench, Ontario, and a prominent man, dying May 19, 1850. His grandsires on both sides were United Empire Loyalists, and settled in the township of Augusta. He was educated at the Johnstown Grammar School; studied law at Brockville and Toronto; was called to the Bar at Michaelmas term in 1833; opened a law office at Prescott; was in partnership a year with the late Hon. Henry Sherwood, Q. C., and from 1847 to 1860 with the late Judge Richard F. Steele of Brockville; was elected a Bencher of the Law Society in 1849, and created a Queen’s Counsel in 1856. Judge Sherwood was appointed a commissioner to enquire into the management of the Public Works, September 5, 1845; was a member of the Executive Council of Canada from August 6, 1858, to May 23, 1862, during which time he also filled in succession the offices of Receiver General and Commissioner of Crown Lands; sat for Brockville in the Canadian Assembly from 1841 to 1851, and from 1858 to 1863, and was an unsuccessful candidate for the same seat in 1851 and 1854. He was appointed Judge of the County Court...

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Biography of Tecumseh K. Holmes, M.D.

Tecumseh Kingsley Holmes, one of the leading physicians and surgeons of Kent County, Ontario, is a son of Abraham and Jane Louisa (Gibson) Holmes, and was born at Euphemia, County of Kent, January 17, 1839. His father, many years a farmer, is still living, being in his 84th year. The family is of Irish descent, the great grandfather of our subject coming over when the father of Abraham Holmes was a child, and settling at Montreal. The grandfather of our subject, on reaching manhood, removed to Sandwich, Upper Canada, and was there Principal of an Academy many years. The Gibsons were United Empire Loyalists. The mother of Tecumseh was a granddaughter of General Gates, who fought on the side of the colonies. In his younger years our subject prepared himself in the public schools of his native country, and by private study, for an instructor, and taught five years. He studied medicine with Drs. Wallen and Askin of Chatham; attended lectures in the Medical Department of the Michigan State University, Ann Arbor, in 1864; the next year was graduated M. D. at Long Island College Hospital, Brooklyn; a year later at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, and at Victoria University, Ontario,1867. While in New York, Dr. Holmes also took private lessons in surgery of Dr. Frank Hastings Hamilton, of Bellevue Hospital Medical College, one of the...

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Biography of William Buck

William Buck, one of the leading manufacturers in Brantford, and President of the Board of Trade of this city, dates his birth at the old town of Ancaster, August 22, 1828, his parents being Peter and Hannah (Yager) Buck. Both are still living, and they reside in Brantford, the father in his 88th year, and the mother in her 76th. Mrs. Buck, as her name would indicate, is of German pedigree. Peter Buck was a soldier in the rebellion of 1837-1838, and was wounded at the battle of Chippawa, still carrying a ball received on that occasion. Both parents of our subject are descendants of United Empire Loyalists. In 1833 the family settled in the little village of Brantford, then containing perhaps 500 inhabitants, and here William received such mental drill as an ordinary common school could furnish. At an early age he became an apprentice to the tinsmith trade; learned it thoroughly, and worked for his old master as a journeyman, until twenty four years of age, at which time the savings of his earnings amounted to one thousand dollars. With that capital, in 1852, Mr. Buck started in the tin ware and stove business for himself; in 1856, purchased a foundry and commenced the manufacture of stoves and farming implements, since making stoves a more especial article, and enlarging his premises from time to time, until they...

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