Biography of Hugh Finlayson

Hugh Finlayson, late member of the Ontario Legislature, is a native of Edinburgh, Scotland, a son of Hugh and Isabella (Black) Finlay son, and was born December 12, 1810. He received a parish school education; learned the trade of a saddle and harness maker in the old country; and emigrated to the new world in 1832, reaching New York city on the 4th of July. The cholera was just paying its first visit to the Western Continent; people were dying at a fearful rate in the city, and in about a month Mr. Finlayson pushed westward as far as Cleveland, Ohio, where he worked at his trade between two and three years, removing to Brantford, Upper Canada., in 1835. The next year he settled in Paris, and has been a resident of this place for thirty-three years.

Mr. Finlayson had a harness and saddlery shop until 1855, adding a tannery in 1843, being in partnership in this branch with other parties. His partner since 1854 has been Samuel Qua; the firm name being Hugh Finlayson and Co. They usually do from $25,000 to $30,000 a year, and are ranked among the leaders in local enterprise.
Mr. Finlayson has held nearly every office in the municipality of Paris, from pathmaster to mayor, holding the latter office first in 1858, being the first chief magistrate of the town; and sat for East Brant in the Canadian Assembly from 1858 to 1861, taking the place of Hon. David Christie, who, after serving one year in that Parliament, was elected to the Legislative Council. On the Federation of the Provinces in 1867, Mr. Finlayson was elected to represent North Brant in the Local Assembly, and was re-elected in 1871 and 1875, his third term expiring in 1879. He is a Liberal, gave a firm support to the Mowat administration, and was a faithful worker for the interests of his constituents.

Mr. Finlayson holds his church connection with the Presbyterians. He brought his religion with him, and we cannot learn that it suffered by emigration.

He has been twice married; first in Scotland, to Miss Elizabeth Russell, in 1831, she dying in 1845. His second marriage was in 1846, to Miss Johanna Miller, of Paris, she dying in 1865. Two children by each wife are living, and he lost several by each.



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