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Canadian History
George Alexander Drew


of the village of Elora, in the county of Wellington, Ontario, judge of the County Court of Wellington, local judge for the High Court of Justice for Ontario, chairman of the General Sessions of the Peace, and judge for the Surrogate Court for the County of Wellington, was born on the 28th February, 1827, near the village of Williamstown, County of Glengarry, Ontario. He is a son of John Drew and Margaret, nee McKay, and is a great grandson of a United Empire loyalist, who was a Highland Scotchman. Our subject received his education at the grammar schools in Williamstown and Cornwall. He first married on the 6th May, 1856, Elizabeth Mary, eldest daughter of the late John Jacob, of Porte de Grave, Newfoundland. She died, and he married again on the 6th July, 1865, Maria Louise, second daughter of the said John Jacob. By the last marriage there are three children, one son, John Jacob Drew, and two daughters, Elizabeth Mary Drew and Hannah Bennet Garland Drew. There were no children by the first marriage. To look back now for a period, it may be stated that our subject having completed his education, resolved to adopt the legal profession, and therefore began the study of law under the late Hon. John Sandfield Macdonald, at the town of Cornwall. He was called to the bar of Ontario in 1854, and in June of 1855 settled in the said village of Elora, where he always continued to reside and practice his profession. It soon became apparent that the young barrister was possessed of much more than ordinary legal attainments; his business grew apace, and he soon acquired lucrative employment. On the 18th December, 1872, he was appointed Queen's Counsel. He had not long practised his profession before he began to take interest in public questions, and when in 1867 he came before his riding for election there were few men better informed than he upon the questions of the day, and it hardly needs to be said that there were few who could discuss these questions with more vigour and readiness. He was elected for the North Riding of Wellington, and was re-elected for the same constituency in 1878. Throughout his public career our subject has been a steadfast Liberal Conservative, always gave a hearty support to Sir John Macdonald and his government. He was an ardent supporter of the national policy, and warmly advocated the early completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway. He retired from politics on the dissolution of Parliament in 1882, and was on the 23rd day of May, 1882, appointed Judge of the County of Wellington, and on the 27th day of June, 1882, was appointed local Judge of the High Court of Justice.


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