Biography of David Stirton

David Stirton, Postmaster at Guelph, and son of James and Janet (Crichton) Stirton, pioneers in the Township of Guelph, County of Wellington, was born in Forfarshire, Scotland, June 13, 1816. His parents were both natives of that county, and in 1827 emigrated to Upper Canada, and settled on a bush farm five miles from where the City of Guelph now stands. At that time, fifty-three years ago, there was not an acre of the present site of Guelph cleared, nor a finished house, nor a road formed. It was simply a dense forest of hardwood timber.

The father of our subject took up 100 acres of land in the Township of Guelph, opened a farm, and there lived for some time. When he settled here, there were no public schools established no schools, in fact, of any kind. David had gained some knowledge of the elementary branches before leaving the old country, and here finished by educating himself, acquiring a good knowledge of the several English branches most useful to a business man. He farmed in Guelph and Puslinch for forty-five years, including his boyhood labors, in chopping, logging and preparing the soil for the reception of seed. He early developed a liberal share of muscle, and was never, we believe, reluctant to use it in cultivating the fruits of the earth, or in any other honorable manner.

Mr. Stirton was connected officially with educational and municipal institutions as soon as they were organized in his township; was Reeve of Puslinch a long time, a magistrate for about thirty years, and represented South Wellington for nineteen consecutive years, under the old Union of Upper and Lower Canada, from 1857 to 1867, and under the union of all the provinces from 1867 to 1876. In May, of the latter year, he was appointed Postmaster, to the duties of which office he addresses himself with all the industry of his earlier years.

Mr. Stirton is a member of the Chalmers Presbyterian Church, was an elder at one time, many years ago, and is now a manager.

He was first married in 1842, to Miss Mary Beattie, of Puslinch, she dying three years later, leaving two daughters, Ann, the wife of Peter McGregor, farmer in the Township of Eramosa, and Mary, the wife of James Barday, of the City of Guelph; and the second time in 1847 to Miss Henrietta McGregor, a lineal descendant of Rob Roy McGregor. She died in February, 1879, leaving two children, others preceding her, in their infancy, to the spirit world. James, her eldest born son, Manager of the Model Stock and Field Farm at Guelph, for some time, now resides in Manitoba, and Agnes is living at home. William Stirton, a brother of the Postmaster, was the first male child born in Guelph.
Our subject is as well acquainted with the rise and progress of Guelph as any man in the county. He saw it start in the dense woods over fifty years ago, and has lived to aid in, adjusting its city robes. He has been identified, more or less, with its public improvements, and has a right to take pride in its growth and prosperity.



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