Biography of John Peter Featherston

John Peter Featherston, Mayor of the City of Ottawa in 1874 and 1875, is a native of Durham, England, and’ was born at Mewbus Grange, November 28, 1830. His parents were Jonathan Featherston, M.D., of Her Majesty’s 24th Foot, and of Blackhall, Northumberland, and Janet Dunbar Nicolson, daughter of Rev. Patrick Nicolson, of Thurso, and niece of Sir Benjamin Dunbar, of Hempriggs, Caithness.

He was educated at Richmond School, Yorkshire; in 1858 he came to Canada and settled in Ottawa, where for ‘sixteen years he was engaged in the drug business. He was elected Alderman of St. George’s ward in 1867, and by repeated re-elections served seven or eight consecutive years, being also Water Commissioner during the same period. While in the City Council he held, for several years, the Chairmanship of the Civic Board of Works, and also that of the Finance Committee.

In January, 1874, after having served the city faithfully and efficiently in lower positions, Mr. Featherston was elected Mayor, and at the end of the year had given such unqualified satisfaction, that he was re-elected by acclamation. During his entire official connection with the municipality of the city, Mr. Featherston was untiring in his efforts to further its interests, being especially active in securing the excellent water works, the drainage system, and other important improvements. For some time Mr. Featherston was Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Ottawa Collegiate Institute, and when the County Hospital was built, 1875-76, he was Chairman of the Building Committee. His energetic hand has aided in pushing forward a number of local enterprises to completion.

Mr. Featherston is a Freemason, being a Past District Deputy Grand Master. He has always been identified with the Reform party; is President of the City Reform Association; and at the election held in March, 1875, was candidate to represent Ottawa in the Provincial Legislature.

In August, 1879, Mr. Featherston was appointed by the Ontario Government, Deputy Clerk of the Crown, Clerk of the County Court, and Registrar of the Surrogate Court for the County of Carleton, which position he now holds.


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