Biographical Sketch of John E. Harding

John Elley Harding, senior member of the firm of Harding, Harding and White, barristers, dates his birth May 29, 1840, in the township of Beverley, county of Wentworth, Ontario. His father, John Harding, a farmer and mill owner, was a native of the county of Tipperary, Ireland, and his mother, whose maiden name was Jane Talbot, was from Queen’s County, in the same country. Our subject commenced his education in a country school, and subsequently spent four years at Caradoc Academy, near London, and two years under the private tuition of Rev. Henry B. Jessop, incumbent of the English church at Port Burwell; studied law four years with Richard Bayly, of London; finished his legal studies with Henry Eccles, Q.C., of Toronto; was admitted as an attorney at Hilary term, 1865; called to the Bar just one year later, and since 1865 has been in practice at St. Mary’s. He is the leading member of the leading firm in the town, his partners being his younger brother, Edward W. Harding, and Henry A. L. White, both having studied their profession with him, and having a
highly respectable standing at the Perth county Bar. Our subject is thoroughly wedded to his profession, studious, and a growing man. He is a clear, logical and strong advocate, and powerfully impresses a jury. His practice is very extensive. He is a solicitor for the Federal Bank, and his brother for the Bank of Montreal.

Mr. Harding was mayor of the town in 1869 and 1870, and a member of the council from the latter date until 1876, when he declined to serve longer, being chosen from year to year by acclamation. His brother took his place in the council. He has been a member of the board of trustees of the Collegiate Institute of St. Mary’s for the last eight or nine years, and chairman since 1876.

In politics Mr. Harding affiliates with the Reform party; is President of the Reform Association for the south riding of Perth, and is a prominent man in the party in this immediate section of the Province. His christian membership he holds in the English church; is a lay delegate to the Synod, and a man of high standing in the community. Evidently he finds nothing in the practice of the law to interfere with the keeping of the precepts of the Gospel.

October 31, 1866, Miss Mary Stevenson, daughter of George Stevenson, deceased, formerly mayor of the town of Sarnia, became the wife of Mr. Harding, and they have five children.



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