Lives Lived Archive

Wilfrid J.R. Fowler
1878 - 1955
Dr. Wilfrid J. R. Fowler was a well-known horse veterinarian and livestock judge who played an instrumental role in developing the Ontario Veterinary College. Throughout his life he had always demonstrated a deep interest in the advancement of the livestock industry. He was born in 1878 on a farm in Seaforth, Huron County. As his community was a centre for high-class Clydesdale breeding, he grew up with a fascination with and admiration for the breed. His childhood love for Clydesdales...
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Morley Weatherall
APRIL 11, 1930 – JULY 17, 2012
Born in 1930, Morley Weatherall was, in many ways, the epitome of a good Canadian farmer. Weatherall ran a symbiotic system of properties. He owned Ontarian farms in Honeywood, Dufferin County as well as Badjeros, Grey County. The latter included a large feedlot that Weatherall supplemented with his third property, a grain farm in Manitoba. But what made Weatherall exceptional was not what he did, but how he did it. In 1975 Weatherall became the Ontario Cattleman’s...
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OCTOBER 15, 1858 - MARCH 20, 1938
Martin Burrell was not the first Federal Minister of Agriculture. But he was, importantly, the first Minister of Agriculture to be a farmer himself. Burrell was born in Faringdon, England and immigrated to Canada in 1883, intending to work as a fruit farmer in the Niagara Peninsula. Burrell lived in the peninsula for a short time and then settled down outside Grand Forks, British Columbia. He did, however, achieve his occupational goal. Burrell’s fruit farming enterprise was quite...
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JUNE 22, 1883 - MARCH 18, 1969
John Bracken led an eventful life in the fields of agriculture and politics which included many high and low points. He was born June of 1883 near Ellisvale Ontario, but is most known for his time spent in the prairie provinces. Before moving west, Bracken attended the Ontario Agricultural College where he demonstrated great academic and athletic success. Upon his graduation Bracken was offered a job in Manitoba as a seed control inspector at the Department of Agriculture which caused him...
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Robert Miller
1857 - 1935
There are few names of more significance to the history of the livestock business in Canada than that of Robert Miller. The famous livestock man was born on July 15, 1857 in Brougham (Pickering), Upper Canada into a Scottish family of immense importance to the livestock community of Ontario. His father, John, had migrated from Scotland to Upper Canada in 1835, bringing livestock with him. His farm, known as Thistle Ha’, was known far and wide, and is currently a National Historic Site....
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James Lockie Wilson
NOVEMBER 12, 1857 - MARCH 4, 1945
James Lockie Wilson was born in Alexandria, Glengarry County, Ontario. Growing up Wilson took a keen interest in athletics and especially, farming. For decades, he owned and expanded a farm in the County, accumulating a significant herd of Ayrshire cattle. Wilson also took on local leadership roles, serving as the County’s Chief Magistrate and, for a short time, the editor of the local paper, The Glengarrian. During the 1890s, Wilson got involved with the Patrons of Industry. The...
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Edward Alexander Partridge
NOVEMBER 5, 1861 - AUGUST 3, 1931
Edward Alexander Partridge was born on a farm in Vespra Township, Simcoe County on November 5, 1861. His Methodist upbringing, though imperilled by an early crisis of faith, imparted in Edward a keen sensitivity towards injustice, and a stubborn belief in the perfectibility of man that would inform his later radicalism. A bright and hard-working young man, Edward attended high school in Barrie and became a schoolteacher upon graduation; but he could not escape his desire to return to the...
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William C. Blackwood
1879 - 1961
William Blackwood was a skilled machinist and agriculturalist, who served as a visionary instructor of agricultural engineering at the Ontario Agricultural College for most of his career. He taught at a time when most farmers were still using horse-drawn machines and rural Ontario was plagued with inefficiencies, making his innovative work and visionary mind all the more important. Blackwood ushered in a transitional era of scientific ingenuity and expansion, during which time steam and...
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Joseph-Octave Arsenault
AUGUST 5, 1828 - DECEMBER 14, 1897
Joseph-Octave Arsenault was born on a farm in Cascumpec, Prince Edward Island on August 5, 1828. Of Acadian origin, Joseph and his family were influential figures among this French-speaking minority on the Island. At the age of four, the family moved to La Roche, and Joseph received a first-rate education from the best Acadian school teacher of his day, Mr. Gaudet. Inspired by his teacher and mentor, Joseph began a career teaching school in 1847 when he was nineteen years old. In 1852 he...
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John Walter Jones
APRIL 14, 1878 - MARCH 31, 1954
Farmer, Premier and Senator, John Walter Jones was born on April 14, 1878 at his family farm in Pownal, Prince Edward Island. Jones spent his formative years working on the family farm and attending the Prince of Wales College. Jones first adult job came as a public-school teacher. He pressed on for further self-education. Jones graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Acadia University in 1905, while there he was captain of the rugby and track-and-field teams, being selected to the...
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Abraham Doras Shadd
MARCH 2, 1801 - FEBRUARY 11, 1882
Abraham Doras Shadd was born in Wilmington, Delaware on March 2, 1802. The son of a free African-American shoemaker, Abraham was acquainted from a very young age with the prejudice and racism that would ultimately drive him from the land of his birth to Canada. Despite these challenges, his father was able to equip him with the education and skills necessary to be a successful tradesman. When his father died in 1819, Abraham took over his shoemaking business. By all accounts, he was...
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Charles W. Nash
AUGUST 15, 1848 – FEBRUARY 13, 1926
Charles William Nash was a distinguished Ontarian scientist who was most well known for his service for the Farmers’ Institute. A man of tremendous knowledge with a lifelong passion for ecology, he was diligently involved in spreading scientific information to farmers for the betterment of agricultural development. Nash was born in Bognor, Sussex, England on August 15, 1848. During his early childhood he developed an acute fascination with the wildlife around his family’s...
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1774 - SEPTEMBER 28, 1864
Peguis was born in 1774 near the St. Mary’s river, close to what would later become the town of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. A prominent member of the Saulteaux Ojibwa people, Peguis was the son of a chief. He inherited his father’s position as a young man. At the age of eighteen in 1792, Peguis led his band west from the Great Lakes region to take advantage of the lucrative fur trade. He and his people settled by Netley Creek on the Red River, in modern-day Manitoba. Peguis was a...
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William Vanstone
FEBRUARY 2, 1833 - MAY 2, 1890
William Vanstone was born on February 2, 1833 in Devonshire, England. As a family, the Vanstones had little money and no property, and so there were few prospects for William but to become one of millions of landless labourers in Britain. However, some of his family had left the mother country and found success in the Empire’s overseas colonies. Some of his cousins went to Australia, but most of them had ended up in British North America, in the province of Upper Canada (modern-day...
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Dr. Clarkson Freeman
FEBRUARY 26, 1827 - MARCH 1, 1895
Clarkson Freeman was born in Trafalgar township, Halton county, Upper Canada on February 26, 1827. His grandfather William was resident of Elizabethtown, New York until the American Revolution, in which he fought for the British and subsequently lost all of his property. The Freeman family emigrated to Canada in 1800 alongside many other United Empire Loyalists, and were granted land outside of Ancaster where they took up farming. Clarkson’s father Isaac fought under General Brock...
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Eliza Jones
1838 - 1903
Credited with being one of the best dairywomen of her time, Eliza Maria Harvey was born in 1838 in Maitland Upper Canada, now Ontario. Her father, a successful miller, sent her to Montreal and Scotland for her education until Eliza’s mother’s early passing forced Eliza to return home to care for her five younger siblings. While caring for her siblings Eliza spent much time on her father’s farm which is where she began to develop her dairying skills. In 1859, after...
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John Sandison
1851 - 1915
John Sandison was a farmer of Scottish descent that was famous for his remarkably successful career in wheat-farming in Manitoba and his eccentric personality. He had the prestigious distinction of being known as the original “Wheat King” of Manitoba. Born on November 26, 1851 in Elgin, Scotland, Sandison emigrated to Ontario in 1881, where he was hired to work on the farm of Simpson Rennie in Agincourt. In 1884, he was on the move again, emigrating westwards to the recently...
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Edgar Spinney Archibald
MAY 12, 1885 - JANUARY 23, 1968
Edgar Spinney Archibald was a distinguished agricultural scientist who headed several key organizations, most notably serving as the Director of Dominion Experimental Farms. His dynamic leadership not only guided Canadian agriculture through the turbulent times of the Depression and the Second World War, but ensured it would flourish. His expertise in applying scientific concepts to improving agricultural methods gained him widespread recognition throughout Canada. Archibald was born on...
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Dr. Egerton Gibson Hood
1890 - 1953
A prolific dairy researcher Doctor Egerton Gibson Hood was born in 1890 in Milliken, York County. Dr. Hood attended the Ontario Agricultural College, graduating with his Bachelor of Science in Agriculture in 1913. Hood would always keep his ties with the O.A.C. eventually becoming the Vice-President of the school’s Alumni Association. Dr. Hood spent the year after his graduation working, first for the Holstien-Friesian Association of Ontario and then for the Laurentian Milk Company...
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George A. Attridge
FEBRUARY 14, 1875 - JUNE 30, 1963
George Attridge was a farmer and community leader of Kent County. He was born on a farm in Orford on February 14, 1875. Throughout his life he liberally dedicated his time and energy for the advancements of agriculture and the needs of farmers in his township. He was right at the forefront of nearly every agricultural movement in Kent, involving himself with several notable organizations. More than this, he also held a deep passion for livestock, being highly involved in fairs and...
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Celebrating 150 Years of Canadian Agriculture