Biography of John Horsmae

John Horsman, the oldest and leading hardware merchant in the city of Guelph at this writing (Nov., 1879), is a native of Birmingham, England, dating his birth July 18, 1827. His father was John Horsman, senior, many years a miller, and afterwards holding a Government office; and his mother, before her marriage, was Frances Philip. The son received a good English education, sufficient for all practical business purposes; served an apprenticeship at the hardware business in his native town; in 1848 came to Canada, and after halting a short time in Toronto, located in Hamilton, where he remained as a clerk in a hardware store until 1855, when he settled in Guelph. Here he has been in constant trade for nearly a quarter of a century. It is not a long period, and yet, besides him, there are not more than two merchants now in Guelph, who were in mercantile business here in the spring of 1855 a good illustration of the mutations of the time and changes of this changing age.

Mr. Horsman began business on a moderate scale; has expanded it from time to time, until it amounted to $125,000 per annum. He has done a wholesale as well as retail business from the start, and has withstood every financial storm, during all this trying period, commencing with 1857, in which year, and immediately following it, thousands of merchants in Canada and the United States, went down. The last three or four years have been equally as disastrous. There is no more prudent, straightforward, and successful merchant in this city than Mr. Horsman. He has done some public work in the town council, and the board of education, and has been a magistrate for twenty years or more. He is a member of the Church of England, was for some time warden of the same, and is a man of sterling christian standing.

His political affiliations are with the Conservative party, in the welfare of which he takes much interest and has a high position; being president of the Conservative Association for the south riding of Wellington.

The wife of Mr. Horsman was Miss Elizabeth Worsfold, of the township of Eramosa, county of Wellington, their marriage taking place in September, 1860. They have four children: John Edward, Frances Alexandra Whitton, Emma May and Laura Louise.



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