Biography of Alexander D. Ferrier

Alexander David Ferrier, member of the first Ontario Parliament, and a pioneer in that part of the Township of Nichol on which the village of Fergus now stands, was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, November 13, 1813. His parents were Lewis Henry and Charlotte (Monro) Ferrier. His paternal grandfather was a Major-General in the British Army, and had a brother (who took the name of Hamilton), a Lieutenant in the Navy, and had command of the men who drew the cannon from the river bank to the plains of Abraham, at the time that General Wolfe won his great victory. His maternal grandfather, Alexander Monro, was Professor of Anatomy in the University of Edinburgh.

Mr. Ferrier was educated at the Edinburgh Academy and University, spending three winters in the latter institution; in 1830 came with the family to Quebec, where his father was Collector of Customs, and who died in 1833. Alexander, after being in a large Commission house in Quebec four years, came, in 1834, to the place where Fergus now stands, bought a little more than 200 acres of land; improved it from 1835 to 1845; then kept books three years at Elora; was appointed Clerk of the County Council in 1849, and held that office more than twenty years, living the first three at Guelph, and then returning to Fergus.

During the latter part of the period that Mr. Ferrier was farming, and while clerking at Elora, he was a member for four years of the District Council; was a private during the Rebellion of 1837-38; was subsequently promoted to Captain and Major, and in 1856 formed the 6th Battalion Wellington Militia, and was appointed Lieutenant-Colonel.

Mr. Ferrier was Clerk of the County Council until 1871, when he resigned. During the last four years that he was in that office he represented the Centre Riding of Wellington in the Local Assembly. Immediately afterwards he went to Scotland, spent three years in that country, and then returned to Fergus, where he now resides.
In 1850 he married Magdalene Dingwall Fordyce, of Fergus, who died without issue in September, 1872. He has a small but well selected library, and finds comfort and profit in his books. Among them is an edition of the poems of Robert Burns, dedicated by the author to the members of the Caledonian Hunt, and published in 1787, which was the property of his mother. Mr. Ferrier was appointed J. P. for the County of Wellington, in 1842; and was ordained an elder in Melville Church, Fergus, in 1844.



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