Wellington County, Ontario GenWeb - CRAIG, James J., MAJOR

Wellington County GenWeb

Pioneer - CRAIG, James J., MAJOR

Biographical Sketches of
Early Settlers of Wellington County


Information from: Historical Atlas of the County of Wellington, Ontario.
Toronto: Historical Atlas Publishing Co., 1906

CRAIG, James J., MAJOR. Major Craig is the eldest son of James Craig, native of Ayrshire, Scot., and Flora Craig (nee McLeod), native of Inverness-shire, Scot., both of whom came to Canada in their early days, and were among the first settlers in Glengarry Co. The late James Craig became a prominent public man, and was, at the time of his death, in 1871, serving his second term as member for his constituency in the Provincial Legislature.

The subject of this sketch was born in Glengarry Co. and received his primary education in the local school. After attending the district grammar school at Williamstown, he entered at Upper Canada College under G. R. R. Cockburn, ex-M. P. for Centre Toronto. In 1862 he enrolled at Queen's University, and after a very satisfactory college course, during which he won different scholarships, he graduated with honors in 1866, receiving his degree of Bachelor of Arts, having specialized in English, and Science and History. After graduation he taught in the public schools of Arnprior, and High School, Orangeville, leaving the profession then to take up the study of law, which he pursued for two years, but, not finding it congenial, returned to the teaching, being engaged at Goderich and Mount Forest High Schools. In recognition of his ability as an educationalist Mr. Craig was in 1881 appointed Public School Inspector for South Wellington, his inspectorate covering 86 schools. For some time he lived at Guelph, but in 1882 he moved to Fergus, where he now resides. Mr. Craig still holds this office.

He is, and has been for years, a member of the Legislative Committee of the Ontario Educational Association, and has filled the offices of President and Secretary for his section. He was for a number of years a member of the Fergus Library Board. Mr. Craig has always taken an active interest in military affairs, having joined the 30th Wellington Rifles at Arthur as Lieutenant, being later transferred to Fergus and gazetted Captain, and is now Senior Major of his regiment. In municipal matters he has also been prominent, having served four years as Councillor, and four years as Reeve of Fergus. From the time of his residence in the county he has been a very active Conservative in Federal politics, and at the earnest solicitation of his many friends he accepted the nomination for the local house, defeating by a handsome majority, in January, 1905, the Liberal candidate, then Attorney-General Col. J. M. Gibson, whose prestige as a Minister of the Crown could not save him from defeat. Mr. Craig's long experience in educational matters has proven invaluable in the house, as he is invariably consulted in all legislation pertaining to education.

He has always taken an active interest in amateur sport, especially lacrosse, having organized the first clubs in Orangeville and Mount Forest, and resuscitated in 1882 the famous Thistle Club of Fergus. Major Craig's election to the Presidency of the Canadian Lacrosse Association in 1898, when he defeated T. Herbert Lennox (now M.L.A. for North York), testifies most eloquently to his standing in lacrosse circles. Apart from his other interests, he is Deputy District Grand Master, A. F. & A. M., Guelph District, also Grand Overseer, Grand Lodge A. 0. U. W., and has been for eleven years Secy-Treas. of Centre W. Agr. Society.

In 1891 he m. Margaret, eldest dau. of James Argo, of Fergus, elsewhere mentioned in this work.

From: Historical Atlas of the County of Wellington, Ontario. Toronto: Historical Atlas Publishing Co., 1906

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