Pierre St. Jean, a native of Bytown (Ottawa), and now one of the oldest residents of this City, was born September 22, 1834, his parents being Sylvain St. Jean and Elizabeth, nee Causabon. His father, who settled in Bytown in about 1832, was from St. Sulpice, L’Assomption, Province of Quebec, and died at Ottawa in 1867. His maternal great grand-father was a French military officer.
The subject of this biographical notice was educated at the Ottawa College; commenced the study of medicine in 1850; obtained his degree of M. D. from the College of Physicians and Surgeons (New Victoria College), Montreal, in 1855; practiced a few months at Ottawa, in company with Dr. J. C. T. Beaubien; three years at St. Denis, Canada East; in July, 1858 returned to Ottawa, and has here been in steady practice for twenty-one years. He does a general business medicine, surgery, midwifery, &c., making a specialty of the last named branch, and having a good reputation in all departments.
Dr. St. Jean is Surgeon to the Nunnery General Hospital; has been a Director of the French Canadian Institute for twenty-one years and President five times, and of the Ottawa St. Jean Baptiste Societe four times. He is Vice-President of the Ottawa Musical Union; and is alive to the welfare of Ottawa in all its phases.
Dr. St. Jean was returned to the House of Commons, to represent the City of Ottawa in 1874, and sat five years, being the first French Canadian ever elected to Parliament from Upper Canada or in the Province of Ontario. He is a Liberal or Reformer, and gave a hearty support to the Mackenzie administration. Among the measures which he favors are the protection of the rights of minorities irrespective of religious belief; a fair reciprocity treaty; the completion of the Pacific Railway on Canadian soil, and all enterprises tending to encourage settlement in the Dominion and the development of its agricultural, mineral and other wealth. He could probably have been returned to Parliament on an independent ticket; but he declined to be a candidate again. During the years he was a member of the House, he was indefatigable in his efforts to assist the poor, whose untiring friend he still remains.
The Doctor has a second wife. The first was Rose Delima, daughter of Levi LaRue, of St. Denis, married in January, 1856. She lived one year, leaving a daughter, Alphonsine, the wife of L. Laframboise, son of Hon. Judge M. Laframboise, of Montreal. His present wife was Louise, daughter of Antoine Frechette, Esq., of Quebec, married in November, 1862. She has had seven children of whom one died in infancy, and another, Alixina, died when she was nine years old. The five living are Velleda, Delia, Honorine, Alizia and Marie Louise.