James Trow, who represents the South Riding of Perth, in the Dominion Parliament, was born in Newtown, Montgomeryshire, North Wales, December 16, 1825. His parents, Thomas and Elizabeth Trow, were natives of the same county. He was educated in the common schools of Welchpool, in his native country; came to Upper Canada in 1841, and followed the profession of school teacher for ten or fifteen years, in the Township of North Easthope, County of Perth, and Blenheim, County of Oxford. He is now a Conveyancer, Broker, &c.
Mr. Trow was first, Assessor, and then Clerk, of the Township of. North Easthope for a long time, and has been Reeve of North Easthope for nineteen consecutive years, being elected every time by acclamation. He has recently left that township, and resides in the Town of Stratford; yet, being a non-resident, he was elected for the twentieth year for the Banner Old Township of North Easthope, and continues to represent them in the County Council. He has been Warden of Perth.
Mr. Trow is President of the Crown Mutual Fire Insurance Company; Vice-President of the British Mortgage Loan Company, and of the Perth Mutual Insurance Company, and Director of the Ontario Mutual Life Insurance Company of Waterloo.
He sat for South Perth, in the Ontario Assembly, from 1867 to 1871, when he was defeated; was first returned to the House of Commons at the general election in 1872, and was re-elected in 1873 and 1878, representing the same constituency in the Local and Dominion legislative bodies, and being an industrious and faithful worker. While a member of the Local Assembly, he caused several amendments of municipal, assessment, and jury laws, his long experience in different township offices, giving him an insight into the actual wants of the people in such matters. In the House of Commons he has drafted several bills, one or two of which have since become laws, notably, a bill changing some of the regulations of railway companies.
He was for three sessions Chairman of the Emigration Committee, and made three long and able reports on the subject of emigration, making that work a specialty.
Mr. Trow has twice visited Manitoba and the North-West, traveled many thousand miles at his own expense, to acquaint himself with the soil, climate, &c., of the country, embodying the fruits of his extensive observation in letters to the Stratford Beacon. Those letters were afterwards compiled and printed in pamphlet form, at the expense of the Government, 55,000 copies being scattered in different parts of the world; also a large edition in French. Probably no man in Ontario has done more than Mr. Trow to acquaint the people with the great resources of the Prairie Province, and the country further west. His letters to the Beacon are entertaining as well as instructive, and deserving of the wide circulation which they have had.
Mr. Trow is a Liberal in politics, and when the Mackenzie administration was in power, gave it an earnest and able support.
In 1847, Miss Mary Moore of Blenheim, Ontario, was married to Mr. Trow, and they have five children.