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John Dewar


Dewar, John, of Milton, Ontario, the subject of this sketch, was born in Aberfeldy, Perthshire, Scotland, on the 22nd of August, 1829. His father was Mr. John Dewar, who married, in 1828, Emily Knight, and by this lady he had nine children. In 1830, being then just two years married, he sailed for Canada, and on his arrival settled in the township of Esquesing, County of Halton, where he devoted himself to farming. When the father left for Canada, the subject of our sketch was just nine months old. He was sent at an early age to school, continuing his studies till his fifteenth year, when he began to teach school. A year later he entered the Grammer School in Palerno, in the County of Halton, and Spent four years in teaching, and then he repaired to the United States, and entered Franklin College, in Ohio. He returned to Canada in 1852, and began a study of the law in the respective offices of S. M. Jarvis, John McNab, and Morrison & Lees, concluding under the legal tutorship of the late Angus Morrison. In 1858 he went to Milton and began to practice as an attorney. A year later he was admitted barrister; and in August, 1868, upon the death of Gilbert Tice Bastedo, was appointed Crown Attorney and Clerk of the Peace. Most brilliant and successful had his career been all along, and his achievement was all the result of a quick, keenly-discerning mind, and a tireless energy and application. He has been superintendent of public schools; was several times school trustee, and at the time of writing this sketch is chairman of the school board. He is also, and has for many years been, president of the Mechanics' Institute in the town of his adoption. Mr. Dewar is a gentleman whose exceedingly brilliant natural parts have not alone been improved by an excellent education, but by the advantages of travel. In 1870 he left on a visit to the old country, travelling through the most interesting parts of England, Scotland and Ireland; thence he passed over to France, an extensive tour of which he made, returning again to Canada. He likewise visited the principal cities of the United States. There is no part of the human experience more valuable than travel among the different conditions of men, to those who have the seeing eye and the receptive mind, and it is not at all to be wondered at that Mr. Dewar returned with his mind enriched, and with his eyes opened to the conditions of men and the conduct of affairs, to a degree that renders him a valuable acquisition to the community. In religion he is a staunch Presbyterian, but not a bigot, for he yields to every man the right to worship God in the way that he thinks best. In politics he is a Reformer, and has always lent his voice and his hand to those whom he believed were promoting the cause of good government. Up to the time of his appointment as county crown attorney he was secretary to the Reform Association of the County of Halton. He was married in October, 1874, to Miss Jane W. Somerville, a daughter of Mr. Robert B. Somerville, late M.P. for Huntington, Province of Quebec, and at one time a manager of a branch of the Standard Bank of Canada. Mr. Dewar was a member for some time of the town and county council, and retained this position till receiving his crown appointment, when he resigned. His father died in 1879, beloved and lamented by all who had known him so long as a worthy citizen. But the qualities of the father are exhibited well in the son, to whose career many a young man would do well to look up as a guide and incentive to his justifiable ambition.


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