William Henry Ruby, merchant and grain dealer, is a son of Adam and Elizabeth (Stein) Ruby, and was born in Essex county, New Jersey, September 20, 1830. Both parents were from Bavaria, Germany, and his father is yet living. When William was nine years old the family came to Canada, and settled on a farm in the county of Waterloo, the son receiving a common school education, and the literary advantage of three years’ work, from twelve to fifteen years of age, in a printing office at Berlin, attending school two years after leaving the office. He taught public schools until of age; then clerked two years in a store at Conestoga, county of Waterloo, and in the spring of 1855 settled in Port Elgin. Here he has been in the mercantile business for nearly twenty-five years, of the firm of Lehnen and Ruby until 1864, and since that date of the firm of Ruby and Hilker. They are doing a business of $60,000 a year in general merchandise, and handling about 100,000 bushels of grain; they are the leading business men in the village, and are known far and wide for their good business habits, integrity, and solid financial standing. In 1878 they put up what is known as the Commercial Buildings, a double store 50 by 107 feet, and three stories high. It is built of brick, with hewn stone front, and is the handsomest commercial block in the county. They occupy one half of it and Thomas Dunlop, general merchant, the other half. Ruby and Hilker have a branch store at Underwood, ten miles south.
Mr. Ruby was in the township council at an early day; was reeve a number of years, and is now a member of the village school board, justice of the peace, and Commissioner of the Queen’s Bench. The interests of the place he makes identical with his own, and takes great pleasure in trying to advance them. He is President of the Conservative Association for the north riding of Bruce, and a prominent man in the party, gladly helping his friends, if worthy, to office, but asking nothing of the kind for himself. lie is living a quiet, yet busy life, and is successful as a merchant and produce dealer. In religious belief Mr. Ruby is a Swedenborgian, but there is no church of that order in the village or township. He is an upright and true man. He has been married a second time: first, December, 17, 1857 to Miss Mary Gregory, of Port Elgin, she dying, May 1, 1867, leaving three children, two of them still living; and the second time, August 4, 1868, to Miss Catharine McKellar, of the township of Bruce. He has four children by her.