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Victoria County, Ontario Canada Biographies

Biographies From Past and Present.

Victoria county is as large as ancient Judea and larger than Attica. Remembrance of that fact and of the marvelous achievements of the Jews and Athenians should give us a non-parochial perspective in which to view the modest record of our own race and locality.

There follows below, a list of 146 brief biographies representative of the county's citizens during the past century. There are doubtless flagrant errors of omission and judgment. For the former, lack of time is responsible; for the latter, the author. None of the persons sketched has been approached in any way, and the record (based on press and similar sources) therefore lacks the invalidation of cash subscription, on which all modern manuals of current biography are based.

The first impression given by the list is that the native born are few but eminent. Fewer than one-fifth have been born in Victoria county, but most of that minority have been far more distinguished, on the whole, than nearly all of those who removed here from else where. In the academic world, we have the records of Edward Kylie, Frederick Smale, John F. McLaughlin, and R. J. McLaughlin. Dr. Alexander Ferguson and Dr. Robert Curts reached the very foremost rank in surgery. Pat Burns and Sir William McKenzie have excelled in the world of finance. John Campbell and Samuel Corneil have left their record in scientific husbandry. W. A. Sherwood was an artist of note. And F. P. McEvay and Michael Spratt became Roman Catholic Archbishops. Few of the counties "foreign born" citizens measure up to these "native born."

The second impression is that these native born have had to leave their home county in order to secure recognition and distinction. Out of 52 federal and provincial members elected between 1867 and 1917, for example, only 2 (George McHugh and John Carew) were born in Victoria. The professional, industrial, and municipal life of Victoria shows a similar dearth of the county born. The county's best individual records have been made abroad. Honor at home is traditionally non-existent.


Victoria County, Ontario Canada Centennial History, Watson Kirkconnell M.A., 1921

Victoria County

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