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


One of the successful farmers, representative citizens and self-made men of the County of Kent is Alexander Julien, who was born on the old Julien homestead on the river Thames on Lot 12, Concession 1, December 10th, 1847, Howard township has been his home all his life.  His family is one of the old honourable ones of the county, and they were among the very first settlers in Howard township.

The parents of Alexander Julien, Stephen and Catherine (McFarlane) Julien, were natives of Canada and Scotland, respectively the former born in 1813 on the same farm and the latter in 1818 at Blairdrummond, Perthshire, Scotland.  Her parents came to Canada in 1826, and located in Botany, Howard township, County of Kent, Mr. McFarlane, however, living only nine days after his arrival in Botany.  Stephen Julien was a son of Joseph and Betsy (Arner) Julien, the former of whom was born in Pennsylvania and came to Canada about the time of the Revolution in the States, in 1776.  He lived to participate in the war of 1812, and his son Stephen took part in the Rebellion of 1836-37.  After the close of the war of 1812 Grandfather Joseph Julien received a grant of land on he river Thames, from he English government, for his services during the war.  He married a lady of English descent, Betsy Arner, who was a native of Windsor or Sandwich, and they settled on his acquired lands and there made the first improvements.  Soon after his settlement came the Arnold family, also from the State of Pennsylvania, and these neighbours also settled on the river, farther down; Mr. Arnold built the first gristmill in this section of the country.  Joseph Julien and his wife both passed away in this old home, his death occurring in 1850.  They had but the one son, Stephen, to inherit their estate and to perpetuate the family name.

Stephen Julien was married first to Matilda Armstrong, of Toronto, and they had a family of five children born to them, as follows:  Joseph, who died in boyhood; Jacob, who was killed at his home by a horse; Stephen who resides at Colchester, County of Essex; Henry, who is a native of the old locality, but lives at Colchester; and Simon, who after marriage moved to Detroit, Michigan.  The second marriage of Stephen Julien was to Catherine McFarlane, and Stephen Julien died in 1849, when their son Alexander was but 16 months old.  Mrs. Julien at a later period was married (second) to John Winter who died May 15th, 1888.  They settled on the Julien homestead, and there reared the following children:  Sarah, deceased, was the wife of Patrick Claffy; Maria, the eldest survivor, is the widow of George Hanley, of Orford; John resides in Detroit; Mary married Henry Gadd, of Detroit; Rebecca married Rev. Leonard Hazzard, a Methodist minister in the State of Michigan; Ellen married Austin Welch, and they live in Detroit; William married and located at Orion, Michigan; and Catherine and Frankie died in childhood.  All were born on the old homestead.  Stephen Julien was a consistent and active member of the Methodist Church, as was also his wife, she having been converted when she was only eleven years old.  Mr. Winter also belonged to that church.  Mrs. Winter finally moved to Davisburg, Michigan where she died August 4th, 1899; her remains were interred in the Julien cemetery.

Alexander Julien was thrown upon his own resources when but a lad, on account of the death of his father, so he obtained only a fair education, assisting his mother as much as he could.  Realizing very early the value and necessity of money, the young man was frugal and saving, so that by the time he reached his majority he had accumulated enough to purchase a tract of 40 acres located on Lot 13, Block Concession, Howard township, and there he made improvements and erected a house and barn.  This was in preparation for his marriage, which took place May 22nd, 1872, to Mary Wrightman, the estimable daughter of Jacob and Jane (Hartwick) Wightman, old residents of the locality.  Mrs. Julien was born October 9th, 1849, and was educated in the Howard schools.  After marriage Mr. and Mrs. Julien settled on this first land purchase and remained there until 1877, when Mr. Julien sold his farm and for the succeeding nine years rented land, in 1885 purchasing his present fine farm of 200 acres, comprising a part of the old Julien homestead, formerly owned by his father and his grandfather, and a part of Lot 13, drawn from the government by his grandfather's brother, John Julien.  The place consists of 50 acres each in Lots 11, 12, 13 and 14, 1st Concession.  Here Mr. Julien has continued to make improvements and his farm is justly classed with the best in the township. 

The six children born to Mr. and Mrs. Julien are:  Mary J., born in Howard in 1873, given excellent educational opportunities there; she married Thomas E. martin, a son of the well-known David Martin, and they have one child, Mary Ethel; they reside on the River road in Howard.  Annie, born in 1876, was also educated in Howard, and in 1899 married William Jewell; they settled at Northwood, where she died in 1900.  John, born in 1878, still resides at home; he married Mary Humphrey, of Zone, County of Kent, and they have a daughter, Mary Agnes.  Henry, born in 1881, was educated in the home schools, and is engaged in railroading; in 1902 he married Jessie Hicks, of Thamesville, where they reside and they have one daughter, Olive May.  Frank, born in 1884, resides at home.  Ethel May, born in 1891, is one of the brightest pupils in the Howard schools.

For the past twenty years, Mr. Julien has been actively identified with the work of the Methodist Church and for several years has been the recording steward of the Thamesville Church.  In this religious work he is assisted by Mrs. Julien, a lady of the most consistent Christian character.  Politically Mr. Julien has mainly supported the Conservative party, although his temperance principles led him to favour the candidate of that party and to act as a delegate to the Conservative convention in 1902.  Fraternally he belongs to the Order of Orangemen.  He is essentially a self-made man, and has lived a life of integrity which has brought him prosperity and the esteem of his fellow citizens.  He is a man of the kindliest nature and a representative of the highest type of the earnest, conscientious and manly element of the citizens of Howard township. 

p. 267, 268.


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