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Canadian History
Captain William Bigger Chisholm


Of Oakville, was born 8th September, 1844, at Oakville, Ontario. His father's name was John Alexander, and his mother's maiden name was Sarah Pettit Bigger, who came from U.E. Loyalist stock, the family originally moving here from Pennsylvania. Our subject's great grandfather, George Chisholm, was born near Inverness, Scotland, 1745, and his father (subject's great great grandfather), was James Sutherland Chisholm (or in Gaelic, Chisalick), of Strathnass, the head of the clan. George Chisholm, on coming to Canada, settled in Nova Scotia. He died in 1843, aged 101 years. His son, afterwards Col. William, was lieut. of No.1 Flank Company Lincoln Militia, which company stormed block Fort Detroit during the war of 1812, and he was also present at Queenston Heights. When the war was over, in 1816, he settled in Nelson, Calton county. He traded in general merchandise, and was at this time appointed postmaster, which position he held till 1834, when he settled in Oakville. He represented Calton county for sixteen years in the Liberal Conservative interest, and was appointed collector of Customs for Oakville in 1834. He was one of the commissioners of the Burlington Bay and Welland canals, and built and owned the first vessel that came through this waterway. He also built at Oakville the steamers Constitution, Oakville and Burlington, and several sailing vessels. He married in 1812, and had six sons and four daughters, and he died on May 4th, 1842. Our subject was educated at the Oakville Grammar School, taking the ordinary course. On leaving school, which he did suddenly, and without apparent reason, as it was presumed he would have finished his course, then probably have studied for some profession, he went on the farm for some years. He later commenced fruit growing and packing, etc, he introduced the present improved mode of handling fruit for market, and is now running the largest fruit package and basket factories in Canada. He has taken an exceedingly active part in the volunteer movement, having entered as private and worked himself up to captain. He was connected for fourteen or fifteen years with the volunteers, and put in all the drills, and he retired with rank of captain. He has been a member of the Town Council since 1872, and reeve of Oakville since 1878. He is a Freemason of Oakville Lodge, No. 400, and an Oddfellow of Oakville Lodge, No.132, and belonged to the Orange Order for some time. Mr Chisholm has travelled through the United States and Canada. In religion, he professes the faith of the Church of England. In politics, he is an uncompromising Conservative, and has been so from the beginning, and intends to die such. He married, on the 27th November, 1872, mary Rebecca Howse, daughter of William Howse, who carried on business on Toronto. By this lady he has had four boys, only two of whom are living. Mr. Chisholm was one of the first candidates to pass at the first Military School of Toronto.


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