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Commemorative Biographical Record of the County of Kent, Ontario
William Grant


WILLIAM GRANT, a retired agriculturist of Dover township, has for nearly half a century prominently identified himself with the industrial and public affairs of his township.  Strength in overcoming obstacles, courage in making new ventures, and a persistency in carrying forward each undertaking to a successful issue are among his dominant traits.  Mr. Grant is a thorough Scotchman both by birth and ancestry.
 
William Grant, his grandfather, a shepherd by occupation, passed his life for the most part among the rugged hills of Scotland.  There, as a young man, he married Margaret Halliday, and among their children was a son James.
 
James Grant, father of William, passed his early life in Coldingham, Scotland.  In that country he married Elizabeth Brown, daughter of Thomas Brown, a blacksmith, and his wife, Margaret (Blair).  Mrs. Grant died in 1888, at the age of eighty-two years, and is buried in Maple Leaf Cemetery.  Their union was blessed with seven children:  William, who is mentioned below; Thomas, a retired farmer, now residing in Detroit, Michigan; John (deceased), who was a prominent contractor and builder of Chatham, Ontario; Peter (deceased), who was a farmer in Iowa; Maggie, who married Jonathan Woodall, a shoemaker of Port Dalhousie, Ontario; Jennie, widow of William Breckenridge, now residing with her brother Thomas; and Elizabeth, who married Alexander Robertson, a wagon and carriage manufacturer, of Fletcher, Ontario.
 
Reports of the rapid development of the resources of Canada induced James Grant to leave his native country in 1842, and, coming to County Kent, Ontario, he settled in Chatham township, where, prospering in business, he remained until 1870.  Then he moved to the State of Illinois, and located upon a farm in Will County.  The place proved a most desirable one, yielding good money returns for labor, and he operated it for about twelve years.  At the end of the period, however, it seemed advisable to dispose of the property, and in March, 1882, he returned to his farm in Chatham township, and there he remained for the next ten years, carrying on a flourishing industry.  Having made exceptionally well out of his ventures, in 1892 he retired from active farm work, and moved to Chatham.  He died in 1893, at the age of eighty-six years, and his wife in 1888 at the age of eighty-two years.  Both are buried in the Maple Leaf Cemetery at Chatham.  Mr. Grant was one of those strong men, whose word carried weight in any community.  Far-sighted, energetic and frugal, he was a splendid businessman, and he accumulated considerable property.  Both he and his wife were long active in religious circles, and devout members of the Presbyterian church.
 
William Grant was born in Coldingham, Berwickshire, Scotland, April 24th, 1827, and when fifteen years old came to Ontario, and settled in Chatham township.  Reared to farm work, upon reaching manhood he chose that occupation for his life work.  In Chatham, April 10th, 1856, Mr. Grant married Mary McIntosh, who was born in November, 1831, daughter of Robert and Jane (James) McIntosh, the former a prominent farmer and hotel-keeper of Scotland..  Mrs. Grant died January 29th, 1889, and is buried in Maple Leaf cemetery in Chatham.  To her and her husband were born eight children:  James, born June 4th, 1857, is a farmer in Dover, Kent; Robert died young; John is mentioned elsewhere; Thomas is a blacksmith, residing in Kalamazoo, Michigan; William is a farmer of Northcote, Minnesota; Robert is a farmer of Dover township; Mary, twin to William, married James Jack, a farmer of Dover township; and Maggie married David Barr, a farmer.
 
In 1855, the year prior to his marriage, Mr. Grant settled upon a 100-acre farm in Dover township, where he has since resided.  He has cleared up new tracts, put large areas under cultivation, and has raised almost every product adapted to the soil.  As fast as he has made money he has spared some for improvements, and has equipped the farm with all machinery necessary for economizing labour.  Some years ago he erected a handsome brick house, which is still considered one of the finest residences in the township.  In 1890, having done his share of hard work, he retired from his labours, turning over the management of his farm to his son John.  He still, however, abides at this fine old homestead. 
 
Mr. Grant's many attainments have long commended him to the esteem of the general public and for thirty years he served his township faithfully as justice of the peace, evincing much practical knowledge of legal matters, and sound judgment in discharging his duties.  Zealous for the advancement of education, he acted as school trustee for twenty-five years.  He is a man of marked integrity, of strong religious convictions, and has long been a leader in the Presbyterian Church, of which he is still a member.  Politically he affiliates with the Reformers.
p. 310, 311

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