Wellington County, Ontario GenWeb - Pioneer - LAIDLAW, Family, The

Wellington County GenWeb

Pioneer - The LAIDLAW Family

Biographical Sketches of
Early Settlers of Wellington County


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

LAIDLAW, Family, The . From the time when the late Robert Laidlaw, Sr., came to the "Paisley Block" with his family and set. in 1832, this family has been one of the most prominent in the section. The late Robert Laidlaw, Sr., was b. in Roxburghshire, Scot., in 1791, and there m. Elizabeth Irvine in 1820, who d. in 1835. Issue: James, Sr., Thomas, John and Mrs. Joseph Hobson. They purchased from the Canada Co. 400 acres, which is still owned by their descendants, and more beautiful farms and improvements cannot be found in the county of Wellington. These farms, the late Robert Laidlaw and his sons cleared, and here he passed his remaining days, passing away in 1883, at the age of 92 years. James, Sr., was b, in Roxburghshire, Scot., in 1822, and was only ten years old when the family came to the "Paisley Block," where he was brought up. He m. Mary Beattie, dau. of William Beattie, who came out with his family from Langholm, Dumfriesshire, Scot. to Dumfries Township in 1839. Issue: Robert, Jr., James, Jr., William and Thomas, Jr. (d. age 37). The late James Laidlaw, Sr., became one of the most prominent men in S. Wellington. He was early a member of the Guelph Tp. Council, and continued a member of the Township and County Councils for a period of fourteen years, being successively Reeve of Guelph Tp., and Warden of Wellington. He was a member of the Provincial Legislature from 1879 to 1887. He was farm manager of the O.A.C. in 1875 and President of the S. Wellington Agricultural Society for some years. Mingling as he did for half a lifetime with the public men of the country, he enjoyed the true friendship of a wide circle of his fellowmen. In his political life he often found warm contestants arrayed against his views, but even though widely differing, he commanded the respect of every honorable opponent by his frank manner, and the honest motives that prompted his course. Some years before his death he practically retired from active life, but continued to live on the old farm which he turned over to his sons, James, Jr., and William. He passed away in 1905. Of his family: Robert, Jr., educated at Dr. Tassie's Grammar School, Galt, was Asst. Editor of the Brockville Recorder for many years, and is now Deputy Govt. Archivist at Ottawa.

James, Jr., m. Maggie Cleghorn, and owns the old homestead in conjunction with his brother William, where they both reside. He is also a well-known public man in the county, having been fourteen years in the Township and county Council, as Councillor, Reeve of Guelph Tp., and Warden of the county in 1904.

At the death of the late John McCorkindale he received the appointment of Town Clerk and Treasurer, which positions he now holds. He is a Director of the Guelph Fat Stock Club, and Director of the Guelph Central Agricultural Society.

William was for some years in the Federal Bank, Guelph. He has been Sect.-Treas. of the Guelph Central Agricultural Society, and a Director of the Guelph Fat Stock Club, and is very active in both. He has also been Treas. of the S. Wellington Reform Association for ten years and is now President.

James and William Laidlaw are active in politics, school matters, church and Sabbath school.

Thomas, b. Roxburghshire, Scot., 1825, d. Guelph City in 1902, age 77 years. He m. Janet Martin, who d. in 1892, age 69 years. Issue: Elizabeth Irvine, who resides in Guelph City. Thomas Laidlaw came it Canada with his parents in 1831, and purchased and set. on his "Paisley Block" farm of 150 acres, and lived there until he retired to Guelph City in 1885. Aside from attending the Cowan School, he was a self-educated man, and became a writer of some note. Besides contributing extensively to the press, he wrote and published: "Old Concession Road"; "Sprigs of Heather"; and "the Old Cattle Bell, or Days of Long Ago." He was an Elder in the Presbyterian church for years, a Liberal in politics, and of a clever, interesting personality. He was Bard for the Guelph St. Andrew's Society, and at their annual meeting, always contributed a poem on "Old Scotia" or "Scotch Life," with which he was familiar.

John, b. Roxburghshire, Scot., 1827, was raised and has always lived on the old "Paisley Block" farm, containing 200 acres, which he owns. While he has never been in public life, he is a successful farmer, a man of strict integrity, and has the respect and confidence of all who know him. He m. Margaret Maitland in 1857; she died in 1904, age 72. Issue: Frank, John I., James A., Jean M., and Robert T. Of this branch , Frank m. Elizabeth Newstead, and owns the old Thomas Laidlaw farm of 150 acres, lots 12 and 13, con. 3 B., and is one of the prosperous farmers of the section. Issue: George, Irvine, Norman and Robert. John I. m. Annie Newstead, and owns 150 acres lots 21, 22 and 23, con. 4, Guelph Tp. Issue: Gertrude, Irvine, George, John, Archibald, Gordon and Annie M.

James A., m. Maud McCorkindale, set. Waterloo Co. Issue: Margaret, Maud, Agnes and John.

Robert manages the home farm.

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

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