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Hugh McKinnon


McKinnon, Hugh, Chief of Police of Belleville, was born in the township of Vaughan, York, on the 4th May, 1843. He is a son of Martin McKinnon, and Flora Lamont, daughter of Mr. Larnont, of Argyleshire, Scotland. Martin McKinnon was born in the Island of Mull, Argyleshire, Scotland, and came to this country in 1819, settling in the County of York. Here he engaged in the business of general merchant, at the place now known as Maple, and retired to the more quiet life of a farmer about 1834. He died in 1858. We may add that Mr. McKinnon figured prominently in the well known "Vaughan Rectory case," now a matter of. history. There was a family of eleven children, the subject of this sketch being the youngest son. Hugh McKinnon received a thorough education, concluding his studies in the City of Hamilton. At the age of nineteen, he entered the law office of Thomson & McKinnon, Hamilton, where he remained for three years. In 1865, however, he decided to relinquish this occupation, and in the same year received the appointment of Provincial and Dominion detective, having his head-quarters at Hamilton. Since that time his name has been pretty constantly and prorninently before the public, he having had charge for the Crown of some very notable cases. Among these may be mentioned the celebrated Caledonian murder case; the Lucan and Biddulph outrages committed by the Donnelly gang, who subsequently were so ruthlessly murdered; and recently the Lazier murder, in the County of Prince Edward. In connection with his official position, Mr. McKinnon can relate many startling and interesting stories. In 1877, he received the appointment of chief of the police of the City of Belleville, and resigned the position of Dominion detective. He has since resided in Belleville, holding the office mentioned, besides being high Constable for the County of Hastings. Mr. McKinnon is a Freemason, and belongs to Belleville lodge, No 123; is an Oddfellow; a member of the Caledonian Society of Hamilton, and was president of SL Andrew’s Society of BelIeville for two years. Mr. McKinnon has always taken a lively interest in athletics, and has occupied a prominent place in the arena for several years. At the International games held in Toronto in 1875, he succeeded in winning the medal given to the "best general athlete." He then visited all the prominent cities in the United States, including Buffalo, Troy, Providence, Boston and New York, victory following him wherever be competed. On the third day of August, 1876 he competed at Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, for, the heavy weight championship of North America, and was successful, he having won the championship, two handsome medals and $400. The presentation was made by His Excellency Lieutenant Governor Sir Robert Hodgins. His next and crowning victory was at the International games, held in Philadelphia on the 14th and 15th days of August following, when he succeeded in winning the International medal in the finest cornpetition ever seen in the United States. He then extended his tour to Baltimore, Washington, Brooklyn, Troy, New Haven, Providence, Boston, and finally to New York, in all of which places he was successful in retaining his laurels. In the these competitions the most noted athletes in the world took part. Mr. McKinnon now possesses no fewer than forty-three gold and silver medals, won by himself in his most remarkable and prominent career as an athlete. In politics he is a Reformer, and in religion a Presbyterian. He married, in 1873, Jennie, daughter of John Lamont, of Chatham.


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