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William Jaffray


Jaffray, William, Berlin, Ontario, was born on March 6th, 1832, at Shrewsbury, England. He is a son of Peter Jaffray, a native of Stirling, Scotland, and Mary Ann, nee Gittins, of Shrewsbury. Mr. Jaffray, senior, was may say, was a gentleman of excellent literary attainments, and was, for a number of years, editor of the Shrewsbury Chronicle. Our subject, for one year, attended the Diocesan School in his native place. When very young, he entered the sedentary militia, and in 1854 was promoted to a lieutenancy. Our subject, it may be said, comes of a newspaper race, for the "inherited tendency" seems to manifest itself in the matter of the journalistic instinct, as well as in legal, military or ecclesiastical leanings. Some members of the family occupy prominent journalistic positions in Birmingham, England; some in Australia; some, as we see, in Canada, and several in the United States. In 1856 our subject became editor of the Galt Reporter and Berlin Chronicle, and for several years took an energetic, prominent and influential part in the political contests of South Waterloo. He married, on January 26th, 1834, Agnes Jackson, a native of Kilmarnock, Scotland, and the fruit of the union was eight children. Three of the sons are publishers and proprietors of the Canadian-American Journal, another holds an important office in the St. Paul M. & M. R. R., at Des Moines, Iowa, and the fifth is a partner with our subject, both being Grand Trunk R. R. agents in Berlin. Mr. Jaffray's father, we may say, established the Galt Reporter in 1847, and the son became partner with him in 1851. In 1856 the Berlin Chronicle was founded, but the enterprise was sold out in 1861. Mr. Jaffray has always been an unyielding and sturdy Conservative. In 1862, Mr. Jaffray was appointed postmaster for Berlin, and in 1864 he became the express and telegraph agent. In the period extending from 1865 to 1883, our subject has been councillor, deputy reeve, reeve and mayor, and occupied the last named position for two years. He has always been active and interested in municipal affairs, and although and Englishman, has in many contests been victorious, by considerable majorities, in a German town. He is an Episcopalian, and has been a member of church choirs continuously for over forty years. He once went to Scotland and England, and took a three month holiday through the countries. It is scarcely necessary to say that our subject is one of the most popular and respected inhabitants of Berlin.


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