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William Paterson


Paterson, William, M. P., Brantford, Ontario, one of the most brilliant of our public men, was born in Hamilton, Ontario, on the 19th September, 1839. He is a son of James and Martha Paterson, who came to Canada from Aberdeen, Scotland. He received his education at the schools of Hamilton and Caledonia, and his studies embraced, besides the ordinary branches, English, French, Latin and general classics. He entered public life as deputy reeve of Brantford, which position he occupied from 1869 to 1871 inclusive, and was likewise mayor of Brantford in 1872. He was elected member of the House of Commons for South Brant in 1872, and again in 1874, in 1878, and in 1882. His opponent in the first contest was Sir Francis Hincks, then Finance Minister, and his opponent in the last three contests was Alfred Watts, of Brantford. he has been  connected in his time with most of the public enterprises of Brantford, and has always shown a genuine and unselfish concern for the interests of the people. In religion he is a member of the Independent church, but his parents were strict Presbyterians. He married on September 10th, 1864, Lucy Clive Davies, daughter of T. C. Davies, of Brantford township, and by this union there are 5 children, three whom are alive. Our subject lived with his parents in Hamilton till they died in 1849. It is strange to remark that they died on the same day in August, his mother being in Hamilton and his father in Port Dover, where he had gone a day or two before on business. The cause of death was cholera. Two days after his parents' death, young Paterson was adopted by Rev. Andrew Ferrier, D. D., of Caledonia, a Presbyterian minister and an old friend of his parents. He lived with this worthy man as his son till he was nearly fifteen years of age, when he became a clerk in a large grocery store in Brantford, in which situation he remained for about nine years, leaving it to enter business for himself in 1863. In this year he formed a partnership with Henry B. Leeming, of Brantford, under the firm name of Leeming & Paterson, and began the manufacture of biscuits and confectionery. Mr. Leeming retired in 1876, and since that time Paterson has been sole proprietor of the factory. The business has grown steadily under his management, and is now one of the most thriving industries in the Dominion. Mr. Paterson has always been a champion of the Reform cause; and we may now, in summing up, add that in the entire Liberal ranks there is not a more worthy man to be found than Mr. William Paterson. His ability is of the very highest order, and he has no peer in the House of Commons as a flashing, witty pithy speaker. A warm, sunny humour pervades many of his speeches, and though he can be and often is severe, there is never any malice in his utterances. We believe that we should be justified in saying that in the House of Commons Mr. Paterson has not the ill will of any man, and this, notwithstanding that not other member upon his side of the House, has more frequently or more effectively arraigned the occupants of the Treasury benches. The write, speaking for himself, would rather listen to a speech from Mr. Paterson, when at his best, than from any other member of the legislature.


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