Chief Magistrates and Mayors of Port Hope
(1832-present)

Much of the material was originally presented in an article by Susan Robertson for the Founders' Day Souvenir Issue of the 06 March 1984 Port Hope Evening Guide. Newspaper articles, obituaries, local history books, websites, descendants, cemetery databases, and the Michael Wladyka collection have provided further information and photographs.

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Chief Magistrates of Port Hope

Port Hope became the seventh incorporated town in Upper Canada on 06 Mar 1834. The Chief Magistrate was the President of the Board of Police, a position equivalent to that of a Mayor of today.

1834-1837 Marcus Fayette Whitehead
Marcus Fayette Whitehead (1795:Nova Scotia-27 Apr 1875:Port Hope) is best remembered as being the first president of the Port Hope Board of Police (the predecessor of the Town Council). The son of Thomas Whitehead (first president of the Canada Wesleyan Methodist Conference) settled at Smith's Creek in 1818, beginning his Canadian career as clerk in the post office. When Port Hope was made a port of entry in 1819, he was appointed the first collector of customs, a position he held for more than fifty years. He was the husband of Sophia Ward, the eldest daughter of Thomas' (with whom Marcus studied law) eight children.

1838 John Brown
(c1790:Co. Cavan, Ireland-28 Jan 1842:Port Hope) arrived at Smith's Creek in 1818, along with his wife, Margaret, and two small daughters, Eliza and Rosanne, to make a new home in Upper Canada. By 1823, he was so well-established that he had built the first brick building (the cornerstone of which is housed at the Port Hope Archives) in the village, at the foot of Walton Street, for his family. As a businessman involved in many fields, he owned a cut nail factory, a distillery, a general store, and, one mile north, a complex he called 'Brown Stone Mills', comprised of flouring mills, a saw mill, a blacksmith shop, a cooper shop, store houses, and a granary. In 1829, he was president of the Harbour Company, of which he was the principal owner.

As a supporter of the Tory Party, he was elected to the Upper Canada Legislature in 1830 and 1835 as a Member of Parliament for Durham County. On 07 Apr 1834, John sat on the first elected Board of Police of Port Hope, of which Marcus Whitehead was chosen president. At his death, he left his widow and four daughters: Eliza (w/o William Wallis), Rosanne (w/o James M. Andrews), Margaret (w/o Henry Howard Meredith), and Jane (w/o F.H. Burton).

1839 James Smith
(16 Oct 1811:Port Hope-15 Aug 1874:Lindsay) was the son of John David and Susan (Hawkins) and husband of Mary Ann Henderson. He was a judge of Victoria County and an MPP. In 1853, as president of the Railway Company, he was involved in the development of the railway line from Port Hope to Peterborough. In addition, he presided over the laying of the cornerstone of the Town Hall and Market Square 09 September 1851.

1840-1841 Charles Hughes
There is little known about Charles, other than that he was a druggist in 1843 and the town treasurer in 1851.

The St. John's Anglican Church burial records show a Charles Hughes (58) buried 1868; Charles (5), son of Charles and Ellen buried 1839; and Ellen (25) buried 1843. The 1861 census shows a Charles Hughes (46), widower, living on his own.

1842 William Henderson
and his brother, Thomas, were prominent in village life. The Henderson's 'rented the privilege of running the harbour' and were involved in shipping.

1843 John David Smith
(20 Oct 1786:New York City-30 Mar 1849:Port Hope) was the tenth child of Elias (co-founder of Port Hope) and Catherine (Moulinar). He was a prominent merchant and miller and in public life for more than forty years. He served as a Captain in the Durham Militia during the War of 1812. In 1828, he was elected to the House of Assembly, serving one term.

He married Susan Hawkins in 1806, and, after her death in 1832 married Augusta Louisa Woodworth (for whom he built the Bluestone House) c1834 in Bridgewater, NY.

1844 William Furby
William Furby (05 Sep 1799:Bridlington, Yorkshire, England-04 Apr 1881:Port Hope) left England in 1819, emigrating to the US, where he taught for some years in Vermont. In 1826, he came to Port Hope, where he resided for the rest of his life. His wife, Ann Manning, passed away in 1844 at the age of 39, leaving two sons, George Manning and William, and a daughter, Anna Sophia Scott (w/o Judge Alexander) of Brampton. His journalistic career dates from 1832, when he began publication of the Telegraph and afterwards (c1842) the Port Hope Gazette and finally the Guide in 1850. In politics, he was a consistent Reformer, taking an active interest in the advancement of the party right up to the time of his death.

1845-1847 James Smith
(See earlier entry)

1848 Nesbitt Kirchhoffer
(1813:Clondrohid, Co. Cork, Ireland-29 Apr 1879:Port Hope) emigrated to Canada in 1835, settling in Port Hope (then a small hamlet named Smith's Creek). He shortly after entered the law office of F. Whitehead, where he studied for several years, and was called to the Canadian Bar in 1840 and subsequently appointed a Q.C. He was involved in the development of the Railway Company, established in the 1850s, was president of the Board of Police and a business partner of James Scott, another Port Hope Mayor. Lieutenant Kirchhoffer served in both the 1st Durham and, under Kingsmill, Queen's Own militia regiments.

In 1856, he and James Cockburn became part of a syndicate formed by David Campbell (who died in 1881 at 'Sidbrook', his Cobourg estate) to develop Campbellford (originally 'Campbell's ford'), part of the 2200 acres granted in 1831 to David and his brother, Robert. It was incorporated as a village in 1876.

In the early 1870s, he ran for the Dominion Parliamentary seat for East Durham in 1872, but was unsuccessful. After his 1872 term as Mayor, he filled the position of Harbour Commissioner for several years. At his death, he left a wife, Julia (Read), with no family.

1849 Robert Armour
(10 Mar 1818:Donne, Perthshire, Scotland-30 Jan 1890:Bowmanville) was the son of Samuel and Margaret (Douglas). He emigrated to Canada in 1820 with his family in company with the father of Sir John Alexander Macdonald, settling at York. The Armours were Huguenots, driven from France in the times of Catholic persecution.

In 1837, on the breaking out of the Rebellion, he volunteered as a private in a Cobourg company, and, in January 1838, aided in cutting out the steamer Caroline and sending her ablaze over Niagara Falls.

Robert was sworn in as an attorney-at-law in 1840, and, after practicing a few years in Cobourg and Port Hope, married Marianne Burton 08 May 1848, eventually fathering eight children. He served as Mayor in 1849 before settling in Bowmanville in 1851.


Mayors elected by Council

1850 John Tucker Williams
John Tucker Williams (1789:Penryn, Cornwall, England-09 Sep 1854:Penryn Homestead, Port Hope) began his military career in England, fighting under Lord Nelson at the Battle of Trafalgar. He arrived in Canada in 1813 with Sir James Lucas Yeo, commander of His Majesty's ships on the Lakes. John fought in Canada in the War of 1812, serving as a lieutenant under Sir James on the Lower Lakes until 1816. On 26 Oct 1816, he was appointed Commander of the schooner, Sunrise. When the navies were dispersed in 1817, Commander Williams returned to England.

He returned to Canada in 1818, bearing a dispatch from the Earl of Bathurst to the Duke of Richmond for a land grant. He rushed the building of his Penryn homestead on the west side of town in order to marry Sarah, daughter of the early Port Hope settler, Thomas Ward, in 1830. They had seven children, the most famous of whom was Lieutenant-Colonel Arthur Trefusis Heneage Williams, the 'hero of Batoche'.

In 1838, he raised a company of militia to fight in the Mackenzie Rebellion of Upper Canada. He became the first Union Parliament member for East Durham in 1840, serving until 1848. One of his first acts as an MPP was to introduce a bill, which became law, granting the first copyright in Canada for a published book. The first two books to receive the copyright were by Port Hope schoolteacher Alexander Davidson - a music book and the Upper Canada Spelling Book. In 1850, Commander Williams was elected by Council as the town's first Mayor.

While documented details of his death have not been found, it would appear that he took his own life, as evidenced by only a brief obituary notice in the 16 Sep 1854 Port Hope Commercial Advertiser to note his passing and a circulated report found in at least two other newspapers of the time.

Williams Port Hope obit Williams US obit

1851 James Smith
(See earlier entry)

1852 John Shuter Smith
(c1813:Port Hope-18 Jan 1871:Port Hope) was the son of John David Smith and a prominent lawyer in Toronto, Cobourg and Port Hope. His brother, Sydney, served as postmaster general for the Province of Canada and was a member of the Legislative Assembly and Legistative Council. As a member of the Board of Harbour Commissioners, he dealt with the repair of Port Hope's deteriorating harbour. Both he and James Smith were descendants of Elias Smith, the United Empire Loyalist patriarch of one of the town's most prominent families.

1853 John Tucker Williams
(See earlier entry)

1854-1855 John Shuter Smith
(See earlier entry)

1856-1857 James L. Scott
(15 May 1831:Ireland-12 Apr 1907:Port Hope) was an attorney of Her Majesty's Court of Queen's Bench at Toronto (1855) and later was a partner of Nesbitt Kirchhoffer, living with wife, Margaret Brown, on King Street. James was Mayor during the visit of the Prince of Wales (later Edward VII) on 07 Sep 1860.

1858 Duncan McLeod
(c1822:Upper Canada-1933:Montana, USA) Of the firm of Duncan McLeod & Co., importers of and dealers in hardware, located on Walton Street. Husband of Sarah Jane Gilchrist.
13 Dec 1909 EG


Mayors elected by the people

1859 William Fraser
(c1821:Inverness, Scotland-24 Jun 1894:Toronto) emigrated to Port Hope in 1846. He was the first Mayor to be elected directly by the people. In 1889 he held a reception for Sir John A. Macdonald at 'Dunain' - the property on Lakeshore Road given to him when he married Augusta Matilda, the eldest daughter of John Tucker Williams, as a wedding present by his father-in-law - when the Prime Minister came to unveil the statue of Lt.-Col. Arthur Trefusis Heneage Williams in front of the town hall.

1860 James L. Scott
(See earlier entry)

1861-1865 Cornelius Quinlan
Cornelius Quinlan (1821:Waterford, Ireland-18 Aug 1883) came to Canada 1831, settling in Hamilton, Ontario, before moving to Port Hope in 1841, where he operated a tin shop. He married Eliza Quay, daughter of Thomas of Quay's Corners.

1866-1867 William Craig
William Craig (27 Feb 1819:Yorkshire, England-29 May 1891:Port Hope) married Hannah Dixon in Newcastle-upon-Tyne before coming to Canada. He began a tannery business on Cavan Street at the foot of Bedford (William Craig & Son) in 1852, operating it for thirty-nine years until his death, when his son took over the business. As well as Mayor for two terms, his career included a number of years as a councillor, harbour commissioner, high school trustee and trustee of the harbour bonds.

He was also charter president of the Port Hope Benevolent Society when it was formed in 1862, a prominent member of the Baptist Church - for which he provided the land in 1867 - and an active supporter of the YMCA when it was first established on John Street. One of his lasting gifts as Mayor was the stone fountain located behind the Town Hall and unveiled in 1878.

He had four sons and two daughters: T.D., who became the MPP for Durham; William and assisted his father in the tannery business; Joseph, a resident of Minneapolis, Minnesota; a fourth son, a missionary at Akuda, India; Mrs. D. Chisholm; & Mrs. Dr. Clemence.

1868 John Shuter Smith
(See earlier entry)

1868-1871 Francis Beamish
(11 Feb 1814:Skibbereen, Co. Cork, Ireland-18 Dec 1900:Port Hope) was one of thirteen children of William and Nancy, who emigrated with his family to Hamilton Township in June 1817. After attending the Church of England school, he studied medicine with his brother, William Moore Beamish, in the early 1830s. As there were no medical schools in Upper Canada, he studied in New York at Fairfield College and Bellevue Hospital. He quit the practice in 1839, coming to Port Hope where he started a general store, which he carried on until he closed out in 1854.

In that year, he purchased a water-power from the Smith estate and began the erection of an extensive flour mill, followed in 1855 by a plaster mill. He also built or purchased eight sawmills in Hope Township (also at Lindsay and Lakefield), had lumber yards at Rochester, NY, and Syracuse, NY, and in 1868 induced some Americans to come over, for whom he erected a 2 1/2 story building at Garden Hill which was used as a hat factory. He also built the first steamboat which sailed the waters north of Lakefield and was involved in the merchantile marine of Lake Ontario, owning six schooners. He was Director of the Port Hope, Lindsay and Beaverton Railway, and an original shareholder of the Montreal Telegraph Company, being the first telegraph line operated in Canada.

As Mayor, he had the honour of receiving Prince Arthur, later the Duke of Connaught, when he visited. Politically, in addition to being Mayor, he contested the Conservative seat for East Durham but was unsuccessful. In 1882 he retired to Manitoba, becoming one of the pioneers of the Elva district.

In early life, he married Eliza Jane, the eldest daughter of Major George Elliott who was a local district representative in the Parliament of Upper Canada. They had seven children before Eliza died ten days after the birth of their youngest son. He did not remarry.

1872 Nesbitt Kirchhoffer
(See earlier entry)

1873-1876 John Wright
(1834:England-17 Oct 1891:Toronto) was an officer at the Port Hope Bicycle Club, which by 1887 had become an important part of the town's activities. He was the husband of Jane (d1879) and Elizabeth Budge.

1877-1878 William Craig
(See earlier entry)

1879-1882 Peter Rice Randall
(07 Jul 1822:Hamilton Twp.-07 Feb 1906) was the grandson of Highland Scot, Robert Randall, and son of John Peros Randall (born in the US, later an officer in the Royal Navy, emigrating to Northumberland County c1811) and Nancy Ferguson, daughter of Israel Ferguson (a Vermont UE). The family moved to Port Hope in 1848.

A carpenter, Peter married Elizabeth Webster of Hamilton Township 12 May 1849. He then spent ten years in Toronto in the book publishing business before returning to Port Hope in 1866.

In January 1879, he was made Chief Magistrate and presided over the visit of Princess Louise, daughter of Queen Victoria, on 20 Sep 1879. He also presided over the civic excursion by A.T.H. Williams and Baron Adoph von Hugel down Rice Lake and the Trent River to Hastings.

He was for some time a member of the Public School Board, the Harbor Board, and Gas Company as well as a director of the Cemetery Company.

1883-1884 Adolphe von Hugel
Adolphe von Hugel (1831:Heidelberg, Germany-20 Dec 1899:Royal Victoria Hospital, Montreal) came to Canada c1864 as a wealthy man of a titled family, via Philadelphia and New York c1865, and soon afterward became identified as President of the Midland Railway, which connected at Port Hope with the Grand Trunk Railway. He made arrangements with bondholders in Europe for money to advance the improvement of the roadbed. He appears to have been a less-than-successful businessman, his lavish expenditures and too-generous management resulting in the railway being taken over by the Grand Trunk Railway. As a result, he spent his latter years in relative poverty.

Von Hugel was also chairman of the 'Committee of 40' which was set up to make the arrangements for Lt.-Col. Williams' funeral. He was vice-president of the Port Hope Cricket Club, and introduced the first typewriter to Port Hope in 1876.

1885 Henry Alfred Ward
Henry Ward (20 Aug 1849:Port Hope-11 May 1934:Port Hope) was the grandson of Thomas Ward, another patriarch of one of Port Hope's most prominent families, and the son of George C. Ward and Harriet Amelia Brent. Henry was called to the Bar in 1872, beginning practice in Port Hope. He was a Conservative Member of Parliament for East Durham in 1885 and 1887, a county court judge, commanding officer of the Durham Regiment (46th Battalion) and a member of Port Hope's Bicyle Club. He married Annie Booth Goodwin of Savannah, Georgia, on 16 Jul 1895.

1886 John Pope Clemes
John Clemes (24 May 1847:Cornwall, England-23 Mar 1898:Toronto) was the son of Charles Clemes, who emigrated with the family to Canada in 1856. He married Anna E. Smith in Toronto c1876. He was a Quarter-master of the famous Midland Battalion and the first officer to return to Port Hope from the front at Batoche, where the Battalion fought against Louis Riel. In addition to serving as Mayor, he was a member of Council in 1884 and 1885. He also served on the Harbour Board.

1887 Seth Soper Smith
(1843:Port Hope-12 Oct 1922:Port Hope) was the son of Elias Peter and Sophia (Soper). A lawyer, he married Susan Frances Fuller in Port Hope in 1869 (died 1871) and Theresa Ella Smith in Wisconsin in 1880, with whom he had three daughters: Kathleen Edith, Stella Sophia, and Phyllis Margaret.

1888 Peter Rice Randall
(See earlier entry)

1889 Edward Peplow
(30 Jan 1839:England-30 Jul 1911:Kent, Washington, US) was the son of Edward and Mary (Tomlins). The family emigrated in 1849. A miller, he married Janet Johnstone Renfrew 25 Dec 1862 in Peterborough. They had four children. Census returns show the family to be in Port Hope from 1861-1881 and then in Rapid City, Manitoba by 1901. Following Janet's death in 1904, he married widow Cynthia Johnson 1905 in Washington, US.

1890-1893 Henry Hamilton Burnham
(03 Nov 1842:Port Hope-27 Dec 1911:'Dunbarton Hall', Port Hope) was the son of Mark Burnham (of the illustrious Burnham family of Cobourg and Port Hope) and Sophronia Gilchrist, both of Loyalist descendancy. Henry's brothers, Zacheus and Asa, were members of the first Legislative Council when that body sat alternatively in Quebec and Ontario. He was Mayor when the notorious fire broke out at Trinity College School in Apr 1893. At the time of his death he was chairman of the Harbour Board and president of the Midland Loan and Savings Company, with head office in Port Hope. At one time, he, too, was a member of the Port Hope Bicycle Club. He was the husband of Agnes Johanna Amey.

1894-1895 Henry Alfred Ward
(See earlier entry)

The rare photograph below, from the Michael Wladyka collection, shows Mayor Ward at the rear desk, presiding over the 1895 Council. The room is located in the southeast corner of Town Hall, and the furniture is still in use today.

1895 Council

1896-1900 James Walker Quinlan
James Walker Quinlan (c1847:Port Hope-24 Apr 1905:Port Hope) was the only son of former Mayor Cornelius Quinn (1861-1865) & Eliza Quay. He remained unmarried. Owner of the first electric light plant in Port Hope, he wrote Council in July 1885 that he was prepared to supply the Town with electric light. An agreement was made between the two parties and the lights were placed in service on Saturday night, 21 November 1885.

1901-1903 Henry Rumford White
Henry Rumford White (1849:Hull, England-1921:Port Hope), son of Henry and Margaret (Rumford), came to Canada in 1875 and married Annie Craig Manson 07 March 1882 in Port Hope. He was admitted to the bar in 1894 and was the presiding Mayor during the 1901 Old Boys' and Girls' Celebration, when Port Hope's sons and daughters returned to the area for a reunion.

1904 James Walker Quinlan
(See earlier entry)

1905-1906 Thomas Butterfield Chalk
Thomas Butterfield Chalk (12 Apr 1859-19 Jul 1931:52 Bloomsgrove Ave., Port Hope) was the son of Robert Chalk (founder of the Chalk Carriage Works on Cavan Street, in business from 1842-1934) and Mary Cruse. Thomas carried on the business until his death. He married Florence Louisa Rosevear 07 April 1886 and had two daughters: Adelaide May (1890) & Florence R. (1893; died in infancy).

He was a strong Conservative and president of the East Durham Liberal-Conservative Association. He was also chairman of the public school board and a member of the Methodist Church. He was an avid sportsman and owned race horses. During his second term as Mayor in 1925-'27, the streets of Port Hope were paved and sewers laid. In the provincial election of 1926, he was the Conservative candidate in Durham, but defeated by W.J. Bragg.

In 1927, he was appointed to the government's Liquor Control Board. The original Port Hope liquor store (No. 79) opened on the north side of Walton Street between Ontario and Queen. Mayor Chalk was the first vendor.

1907-1909 William Henry Giddy
William Henry Giddy (05 Mar 1847:Kingston-07 May 1924:Port Hope), the son of William, was a butcher by trade, operating a meat stall at the Town Hall Market before omving into cattle droving. He married Isabella May Johnston 1877 in Bowmanville.

In addition to his term as Mayor, he was also involved in local politics as Reeve, Deputy Reeve, and Councillor. [From his 07 May 1924 Daily Times obituary]

1910-1912 Robert Alexander Mulholland
Robert Mulholland (16 Aug 1860:Alderville, Ontario-01 Oct 1927:London, England), son of Robert, after receiving his early education in Cobourg, came to Port Hope as a young man and entered into partnership with Peter Brown in the firm of Mulholland & Brown, hardware merchants whose establishment was in the Robertson block. He retired from the business around 1907, devoting himself largely to public affairs.

During his term as Mayor, the town's Lakeview Park and Memorial Park (which necessitated the removal of the ice rink) came into being and he was given credit to the development of Pine Street from an impassable road. In addition to his five years as Mayor, he was for many years chairman of the Port Hope Harbour Commission, president of the Port Hope Gas Company and a director of the Midland Loan and Savings Company. During the war, he acted as treasurer of the Port Hope branch of the Patriotic Fund and was gazetted as Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel of the 136th Battalion, which was organized at Port Hope.

In politics, he was a life-long Conservative. In 1918 he was called as a Senator of the Upper House, where he remained until his death. It was reported in the 04 June 1924 Daily Times that, had it not been for him, there would have been no Parks Commission and the resulting 'beauty spots we have'.

He left a widow, Mary Juliet (Craick), and two sons - Percy C.of Toronto and Arthur R. of Pasadena, California.

1913-1915 Hiram Thomas Bush
Hiram Bush (c1853:Prescott-13 Mar 1927:Waterloo, Ontario), on coming to Port Hope from Detroit, Michigan where he was manager of the Ideal Manufacturing Company, he established the Standard Ideal Company - later known as the Port Hope Sanitary Company. As an authority on clay products and chinaware, he commenced to organize the Bush English China Company Limited in Port Hope, but was unable to raise the necessary capital. He was President of the Port Hope Board of Trade for two years and at the time of his death was a member of the Harbour Board. He was also a prime factor in the early organization of the hospital. He was the husband of Pauline Lee (born Texas; died Port Hope 21 Apr 1947) and the father of one daughter, Virginia Lee Bush (Mrs. George Cruickshank) of Waterloo.

1916-1918 Robert Alexander Mulholland
(See earlier entry)

1918-1920 Stanley Bastedo Burnham
Stanley Burnham (06 Mar 1845:Port Hope-19 Apr 1928:Port Hope) was the son of William and Susan (Bastedo) and grandson of United Empire Loyalist, John Burnham. He served as councillor for eight years: 1898, 1901-1902, 1904-1905, 1907, and 1916-1917, while holding the Reeveship in 1908 and 1913. He was the husband of Annie McCammon and father of William, Stanley, Mark, Ethel, and Mrs. W.F. Ireland.
[From his obituary in the 20 Apr 1928 Evening Guide]

1921-1923 Frederick Laurie Curtis
Fred Curtis (30 Jun 1875:Ontario-02 Jul 1942:Toronto) was the son of John and Sarah Ann (Oke). A retail grocer with a store in the St. Lawrence Hotel, he married Louise Jordan, whose family owned a shoe store in Port Hope, in Toronto in 1911. They had two daughters: Mary and Helen. Fred was a Rotarian, known as "Mr. Interlocutor" at local minstrel shows.

1924 George Arthur Smith
George Arthur Smith (11 Sep 1869:Ontario-19 Feb 1946:Port Hope) was the son of John and Margaret (Wainwright). Shortly after the official visit in November of His Excellency Baron Byng of Vimy, Governor-General of the Dominion of Canada, Smith announced that he would not seek re-election.

On the death of his first wife, Alma Florence Braund, in 1924, he married her sister, Eva Millicent Braund in 1925.

1925-1927 Thomas Butterfield Chalk
(See earlier entry)

1928-1929 Richard James Edmunds
Richard Edmunds (04 Jun 1858:Ontario-16 Nov 1947:Port Hope) was the third of three sons of James Edmunds and Sarah Gamble. From a family of lake captains, he had his master's papers at age 21. His service in local politics included Council (1921), Reeve (1927), and Mayor.

He married Sarah Louisa Chinn in 1883, and, following her drowning suicide in 1917, married her younger sister, Rosa, in 1919. Neither marriage produced children.

1930-1931 James Frederick Fletcher Rosevear
James Rosevear (28 Dec 1862:Port Hope-02 Aug 1943:Port Hope) was the son of John and Elizabeth (McCarthy). He married Edith Louise Fike 14 Jan 1897 in Port Hope. He was a distant relative of John Rosevear, who served as an MP for East Durham in 1879.

1931-1934 Walter James Crowhurst
W.J. Crowhurst (10 May 1868:Medway, Kent, England-07 Dec 1942:Port Hope), son of David and Maria (Earle), emigrated in 1890. He was a brick maker when he married an American, Clara Jane Chestnut, in 1899.

1935-1939 George Bennett
George Bennett (c1873:Port Hope-28 Nov 1957:Newcastle), the son of George and Elizabeth Robinson) and husband of Margaret Maria O'Connell (married 24 Jul 1895 in Haldimand Twp.), was elected by acclamation. He spent five years on Council: two as Mayor and three as councillor.

1940 Harold Robert Stuart Ryan
H.R.Stuart Ryan (30 Aug 1910:Newburgh, Ontario-Apr 2004:Kingston) was the eldest child of Harold Matthew and Grace Evelyn (Beaman). As a councillor before becoming Mayor, he was instrumental in prodding the federal and provincial governments into doing something about Port Hope's flooding problems. As a result of his efforts, the Ganaraska Report was commissioned, which formed the basis of the foundation of conservation authorities across Ontario, of which the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority was among the first formed. An historian and writer, he was the author of Echoes from the Minute Books, a brief summary of interesting details of municipal activities from 1834-1849, when Port Hope was still a police village.

In 1979, he received the rarely-granted honorary degree of Doctor of Sacred Letters from the University of Trinity College for his long service in many capacities in the Anglican Church of Canada. A graduate of Trinity College, he practised law until joining the Queen's University law faculty in 1957. He was one of the original founding members of that law school.
[26 June 1979 & 07 May 2004 Evening Guides]

1941-1942 Sherman Gifford
Sherman Gifford (1880-15 Jun 1962:Port Hope), son of Charles and Ann (Blowers), was a member of the Port Hope Hydro Electric Commission from 1954-1960. He was also a member of the Chidren's Aid Society Board. As a member of the Lions Club, he did a great deal toward the Lions Recreation Centre. He also had connections with the Citizens' Band, the Port Hope Male Chorus and the Presbyterian Church choir.

Sherman was married twice. He married Mabel Little in 1910 in Port Hope, and, following her death in 1922, married Florence Ethel May Grimison in 1925 in Toronto. He is the father of Kenneth, Wallace, and Alene Hewson.

1943-1945 Charles Elwood Stephenson
Charles E. Stephenson (11 Oct 1896:Toronto-30 Mar 1965:Port Hope), son of John and Margaret (Archibald), entered federal politics as a Progressive Conservative member (1945-1949). In 1958, he was appointed to the Port Hope Waterworks Commission, becoming vice-chairman until his death. His wife, Hazel Iwilla Anguish, predeceased him in 1947.
[From his obituary in the 31 Mar 1965 Evening Guide]

1946-1947 William E. Thompson

1948-1949 William Roland Jex Roland W. Jex (11 Mar 1897:Port Hope-25 Jul 1960:Port Hope) was the son of Stephen and Elizabeth (Rowland). He was drafted into WWI service with the Eastern Ontario Regiment 04 May 1918 at Kingston. While he embarked in England, he didn't make it to France due to a fracured forearm from a pre-enlistment fall in Jul 1917 from the Port Hope CNR viaduct. Following arrival in England, he had another fall that left him unable to do heavy work. He was discharged from the 6th Canadian Reserve Battalion 08 Jul 1919 as 'medically unfit for General Service'. William married Marion Irene Beatty 18 Oct 1919 in Port Hope. They had at least one child: Olive.

1950-1959 Wilbur Norman Moore
Wilbur Moore (25 Aug 1886:Napanee-05 Jun 1960:Peterborough), son of William Samuel and Annie Maria (Moss), held the longest term as Mayor up until 1960. He presided over a period of great expansion in Port Hope and even took to the streets with Council when there were complaints about the dirt! He married Ethel Coral Simpson 11 Jun 1908 in Brantford.

1960-1962 Michael Wladyka
Michael Wladyka (01 Aug 1918:Oshawa-15 Aug 2002:Port Hope), was the son of Ilko (Alex) and Doris, who arrived in Port Hope from the Ukraine in 1911 and 1912 respectively. They were married three years later and moved to Oshawa in 1916. The family moved to Port Hope when Mike was a young boy.

He married Mary Mucha c1940, prior to serving five years overseas with the Brockville Rifles (1941-'46).

He was a town Councillor (1955-'56), Deputy Reeve (1957-'59) and Mayor for thirteen of the years between 1960 and 1979. He was a founder of the Port Hope branch of the Ontario Architectural Conservancy.
[Additional information from the 30 Nov 1978 Evening Guide, with photo]

1963-1964 James Ramage Carr
James R. Carr (17 May 1889:Sarnia-23 Dec 1973:Midland), son of James and Amelia (Ramage), came to Port Hope c1920 as manager of the Royal Bank, having previously been manager of the bank in King, Ontario. He eventually left banking to begin his own insurance business. He married Florence Jane Elizabeth Walker 25 Dec 1913:Port Hope. They had one daughter, Helen.

James was elected to Council in 1951 and served for three years, being defeated in 1954. In 1956, he ran unsuccessfully for Mayor, advocating a strict economy programme. He was elected again to council in 1961, and elected Mayor two years later.
[27 Dec 1973 Evening Guide obituary]

1965-1966 Benson Lawrence Spicer
Benson Lawrence Spicer (1919-06 Apr 1966:Port Hope) was the son of Richard and Edith (Yates), husband of Isabel Mary Nelson, and father of Dalton.

He was first elected to Council in December 1961. Serving as Deputy Reeve (1963-1964), he was elected Mayor in December 1964 by one of the largest majorities ever achieved in Port Hope. Following a 1964 business trip accident in Montreal, resulting in phlebitis, he was dogged by ill-health.

Outside public life, he was an employee of Crane of Canada Limited, joining the shipping room staff in 1949 and, finally, as chief inspector of finished products, trouble-shooting production problems in eastern Canada.

He was a Past Master of Ontario Lodge No. 26, A.F. & A.M.; First Principal of the Victoria Chapter, Royal Arch-Masons; and a Past Patron of the Order of the Eastern Star. He was also president of the Port Hope association of the Conservative party; a member of the Kiwanis Club; and a member of St. John's Anglican Church.
[06 Apr 1966 Evening Guide obituary]

1966 Robert Clinton Everson
Robert Clinton Everson (06 Jun 1911:Brantford-31 Dec 1983:Brantford), son of Herbert William and Ethel Bertha (Black). Following his involvement in WWII as a Flying Officer with the RCAF, he settled in Port Hope where he operated Everson's Grocery at the corner of Bloomsgrove and Ontario streets for a number of years. He was a town Councillor for 1951-1960 and Reeve for 1961-1965 before becoming Mayor. During his short term of office, he was a solid participant in the development of Jocelyn Street and the town's forst sewage treatment plant.

At his death, he was buried in the family plot at Brantford's Farrington Burial Ground, leaving a widow, Yvonne Salsbury. Port Hope's Ontario Street bridge was dedicated in his honour. [02 Jan 1983 Evening Guide obituary]

1967-1974 Michael Wladyka
(See earlier entry)

1975-1976 Cyril Arthur "Bus" Hewson
Cyril A. Hewson (17 Aug 1913:Port Hope-05 Apr 1984:Peterborough), son of Mossum Melborne and Ruby May (Giblin), married Alene Pearl Gifford (daughter of former Mayor, Sherman Gifford) in 1934. Bus began his career in local politics in 1966, when he was elected a town councillor. He served four years as Deputy Reeve and two as the Port Hope representative to the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority, before being elected Mayor in 1974. According to long-time friend and Mayor, Mike Wladyka, Hewson's major achievement was as chairman of the coordinating committee of Port Hope's Urban Programming Study of 1970-1979, which paved the way for all of the road programming in the town. [06 Apr 1984 Evening Guide obituary]

1977-1978 Michael Wladyka
(See earlier entry)

1979-1988 William Arthur Wyatt
William Wyatt (20 Mar 1940:Cornwall-23 Jul 2012:Cobourg), son of Walter and Vera. He and his wife, Donna Wormington, lived in Port Hope from 1968-1989 before moving to Cobourg.

Working as a Chartered Accountant with an office on Walton Street, he was also actively involved in the community, coaching minor baseball for a number of years. He continued his accounting practice and coaching after being elected to Council in 1973. After serving a term as Deputy Reeve, he took office as Mayor in December 1978. He was particularly proud of being elected to the Board of the Organization of Small Urban Municipalities (of Ontario) and served a year as Chair.

Mayor Wyatt was in office during the infamous Port Hope flood in 1980. He was responsible for declaring an emergency and coordinating support and assistance from the Provincial and Federal governments. Following the flood, he oversaw the rebuilding of the Ontario and Walton streets bridges, and worked closely with the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority in developing the channelization of the Ganaraska River to mitigate against further flooding.

1988-1992 Donald Percy Chalmers
Donald Chalmers (01 Mar 1922:Mountain, Ontario-17 Mar 1992:Port Hope), son of William and Susan, served with the Toronto Scottish Regiment overseas from 1940-1945, completing his service as a sergeant. For the next twenty-three years, he was with the Toronto Fire Department, retiring as Captain. He and his wife, Alice Frances (Waring), and two youngest children moved to Port Hope in 1974. Although having never run for political office, he beat Bill Wyatt for the position of Mayor in 1988.

In May 1987, he received a recently-issued medal for his participation in the 1944 invasion of Normandy. [Evening Guide, 18 Mar 1992; 28 May 1987]

1992-1994 Elizabeth Ann "Betty" Collins
Betty Collins (1932:Millbrook-03 Jun 2020:Port Hope) was first elected as a Councillor in 1988. She was acclaimed Reeve in 1991, becoming the first female Mayor at the time of Donald Chalmers' sudden death. She was also the Chairperson of the Port Hope Police Services Board. She obtained the old Registry Office on Mill Street from the Province, to be used as housing for a local archives.

Betty graduated nursing from The Hospital for Sick Children in 1953 and spent her career caring for others in both hospital and public health settings, working as the Director of Nursing for the Haliburton Kawartha Pine Ridge District Health Unit for many years.

Betty Wright grew up in Millbrook, Ontario, and lived most of her adult life in Port Hope. She was predeceased by her husband, Jim, whom she married in 1955. They had two children: Cyndi and Mark.

1994-2000 Ronald Robert Smith
Ron Smith (Born 19 Nov 1952:Port Hope) is a former Canadian hockey defenceman, working his way up from the local minors to playing eleven games with the New York Islanders during the 1972-1973 National Hockey League season before serving two terms as Mayor. On 21 Nov 2019, he had an inaugural plaque unveiled on the local Jack Burger Sports Complex Wall of Honour, along with locals Jim Roberts, Paul Quantrill, Dennis O’Brien, Shane O’Brien, Stan Crossett, and Paul Terbenche.
Click here for a tribute in the 30 November 2000 Evening Guide.
(1997-2000) Richard G. Austin, Deputy-Mayor

2000-2006 Richard G. Austin
Rick Austin (2000-2003) Aldo D'Agostino, Deputy-Mayor
(2003-2006) Linda Thompson, Deputy-Mayor

2006-2014 Linda Thompson
Linda Thompson (2006-2010) Jeff Lees, Deputy-Mayor
(2010-2014) Jeff Gilmer, Deputy-Mayor

2014-2022 Dr. Robert Sanderson (DVM)
Bob Sanderson (2014-2018) Greg Burns, Deputy-Mayor
(2018-2022) Les Andrews, Deputy-Mayor

2022 Olena Hankivsky
Olen Hankivsky (2023-present) Todd Attridge, Deputy-Mayor


Peter and Barbara Bolton - Port Hope, Ontario
www.alivingpast.ca