Joseph Fleury, the principal manufacturer in Aurora, and warden of the county of York, is a native of the same county, being born in the township of King, December 7, 1832. His father, Joseph Fleury, senior, a farmer of French descent, was also a native of Canada. His mother, who was Mary, Sipes, before her marriage, was likewise born in Canada. Joseph received an ordinary district school education; learned the blacksmith’s trade, and followed it about fifteen years, including a few years of the time that he was manufacturing plows, which business he commenced at Aurora, in 1859. The first rude plow which he made, presented a striking contrast with the elegant implements which he now makes regarded as second to nothing of the kind manufactured in the Province. He began with one hired man, and continued to add one improvement after another, increasing his force from year to year, and also the size of his shops, until, when burnt out in 1876, he was giving employment to seventy men, and doing a business of about $120,000. He immediately rebuilt, and his shops and yards occupy between two and three acres of ground. Among the implements and machines which he manufactures are, reapers and mowers, single and combined, plows, grain drills, cultivators, horse rakes, clover hullers, horse powers, road scrapers, etc. His specialties are the ” Meadow Lark Reapers and Meadow Mowers” (Hubbard’s patent), so popular in the United States as well as in Canada. Probably they have no superior in excellence made any where. They find a market in France and Italy, as well as all over the Dominion. Mr. Fleury evidently works for a good reputation as well as for fair profits, and he would gain nothing by turning out an inferior article of any kind. From the numerous strong testimonials of farmers who have used his implements and machines, it is evident that they are giving unequalled satisfaction. Prior to the fire of 1876, Mr. Fleury manufactured sewing machines, but none since.
He has been and still is, in many ways, a very useful citizen. He did at one period excellent work as a school trustee; was a member of the council a few years; reeve from 1873 to 1879, and is now warden of the county.
In politics Mr. Fleury is a Reformer, and is usually quite active during a political canvass, but at no other time. The work he does for his party he no doubt thinks is for the good of the country, and whatever cause he espouses he maintains with earnestness while he thinks he can be of any service, then drops it.
He is a third degree Mason, an adherent of the Canada Methodist Church, a generous contributor to church building and religious and benevolent causes, and a man of probity and eminent trustworthiness.
Mr. Fleury has been twice married, first on July 7, 1859 to Miss Ann W. Hughes, of Aurora, she dying October, 18, 1871, and the second time to her younger sister, Sarah. W. Hughes, March 18, 1874. He has three children by the first wife, and two by the second.