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Commemorative Biographical Record of the County of Kent, Ontario
Alexander Cuthbert


ALEXANDER CUTHBERT, a harness manufacturer and bailiff of the Third District court, at Dresden, County of Kent, came hither in 1873, from Glencoe, Ontario.  He was born in Elginshire, Scotland, June 10th, 1852, a son of Andrew and Margerie (Anderson) Cuthbert, the former of whom was born in Banffshire and the latter in Elginshire, Scotland.  They came to London, Ontario, in 1856, and there the mother died in 1865, aged thirty-three years.  The father came to the County of Kent in 1874 and located at Dresden, where he followed shoemaking and died in January, 1893, aged sixty-four years.  Both were buried in the Dresden cemetery.  Andrew and Margerie Cuthbert had two children.  The paternal grandparents were Alexander and Betsey (Lannum) Cuthbert, the former a shoemaker and hotel-keeper in Scotland.

Alexander Cuthbert remained with his parents until his marriage, and during this time served an apprenticeship to the harness-maker’s trade.  In 1873he came to Dresden and engaged in his present business and has become one of the town’s best citizens.  For the past eight years he has served in the city council, for three years has been school trustee, and in 1890 was appointed bailiff.

In 1873 Mr. Cuthbert was married (first) in Glencoe to Lydia A. Currie, who was born at Glencoe, Ontario, and died at Dresden, in January, 1876, aged twenty years.  She left one son, Hugh, a brick mason, contractor and builder at Neepawa, Manitoba, who married Ella Wortman.  Mrs. Cuthbert was a daughter of Hugh and Mary (Ontwine) Currie, of Detroit, Michigan, who came to Dresden in 1864.  Mr. Currie was a lumber merchant and owner and operator of tugboats.  He died in 1892, aged sixty-five years, and his wife in 1872, aged thirty-five years.

In 1878 Mr. Cuthbert married, at Dawn Mills, Kent County, Mary J. Prangley, and the children born to this are:  William P., Alice M., Andrew, Violet, MaryJ., Eva, Stewart, Janet, John A. and Charles P.  Mrs. Cuthbert was born in 1853, at Dawn Mills, a daughter of Charles and Alice Ann (Taylor) Prangley, the former of England and the latter of Canada.  The late Charles Prangley was born April 14th, 1815, in England, and died at Dawn Mills February 1, 1874.  His parents came to the County of Kent in 1837 and settled near Bothwell, where they engaged in farming and reared these children:  Moses, George, Charles and Eliza.  On March 30th, 1843, at Dawn Mills, Charles Prangley married Alice Ann Taylor, and they reared the following family:  Sarah E., who is the wife of H.S. Hughes, of Dresden; William T., who is a farmer of Camden township; Eliza J., wife of David Gibson, a hardware merchant at Elgin, Manitoba; Charles, a farmer in Camden township, on the old homestead; Mary J., wife of Alexander Cuthbert, of Dresden; Alice M., wife of J.H. McVean, a hardware merchant at Dresden; and Miss Ella M., at home.  Mrs. Prangley was born February 16, 1819, in New York City, and is a sister-in-law of Mrs. T.H. Taylor of Chatham.  She still resides at Dresden.  Mr. Prangley remained with his parents on the farm until the age of fourteen and then learned the tailor trade.  He went into the milling business at Dawn Mills, and until his marriage worked for his father-in-law, afterward beginning farming, although he retained possession of both gristmill and lumber-mill, having them operated for him.  In politics Mr. Prangley belonged to the Conservative party.  Both he and his wife belonged to the English Church.  He was a very prominent and highly esteemed citizen of the County of Kent.

Mr. Cuthbert has most efficiently discharged the duties of bailiff ever since he entered upon the work of his incumbency.  In politics he belongs to the Liberal wing and has always taken an active part in party deliberations.  For the past fifteen years he has been agent for the insurance feature of the I.O.O.F., and in 1903 was elected Deputy District Grand Master of Kent district, No. 2, I.O.O.F.; he belongs also to the Masonic Blue Lodge.  He is a consistent member and a very liberal supporter of the Presbyterian Church, in which he has reared his family.

Mr. Cuthbert has been an interested witness of the wonderful development of his locality and has been very prominently identified with the growth of many of its industries.  He is very highly respected for his many sterling qualities and his election to and retention in his present responsible offices give sufficient evidence as to his ability and fidelity to public trusts.  He is one of the thoroughly posted men of the place and is considered one of the most reliable and representative men of Dresden.

p.127, 128


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