William John Blair


William John Blair

William John Blair (born: October 13, 1875 Embro, Ontario died: April 24, 1943 Ingersoll, Ontario) was an Engineer, farmer, teacher, soldier surveyor and Canadian federal politician.

Early life

Blair was born in Embro, Ontario on October 13, 1875. Blair took his post secondary education at Woodstock College and later the University of Toronto where he completed a Bachelors Degree in Civil Engineering. He began surveying in 1904 in Ontario and using his knowledge to Steak mining property which he later sold.

He married his wife Lottie May Nethercott in 1906 and they had one daughter and one son. He moved his family west to Alberta in 1910 and continued his survey work.

Early political work

Blair first served in public office on the municipal level, for one term he served as Mayor of New Liskeard, Ontario from 1907 to 1908.

After Blair moved out west he attempted a career at Alberta provincial politics. He ran for a seat in the Alberta Legislature by running as the Conservative candidate in the ministerial by-election held on May 27, 1912 in the Sedgewick district. He was soundly defeated by incumbent Minister of Municipal Affairs Charles Stewart.

Military service

Blair joined the war effort in 1916 and became a Canadian Forces recruiter for the 151st Battalion (Alberta) of the Canadian Expeditionary Force. He worked as a military recruiter until 1917.

Federal politics

Blair would try his hand at federal politics running as the Unionist candidate in the 1917 Canadian federal election. He was successfully elected defeating Laurier Liberal candidate and future Member of Parliament Daniel Webster Warner in a hotly contested election. Blair would serve in the House of Commons for 1 term before retiring from Federal politics.

Late life and death

In 1925 Blair became very ill and moved his family to Barrie, Ontario he would spend the next 5 years recovering his health, moving back to Alberta in 1930. In 1937 he contracted Thrombosis and his family moved back to Ontario once again. He withdrew himself from public life and died April 24, 1943

External links

* [http://www.landsurveyinghistory.ab.ca/Characters/Blair_WJ.htm Alberta Land Surveying History William John Blair biography]
* [http://www2.parl.gc.ca/Parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=6d299419-6bef-4ae5-98cc-6af0881abf01&Language=E&MenuID=Lists.Members.aspx&MenuQuery=http%3A%2F%2Fwww2.parl.gc.ca%2FParlinfo%2FLists%2FMembers.aspx%3FParliament%3D%26Riding%3D%26Name%3DBlair%26Party%3D%26Province%3D%26Gender%3D%26New%3DFalse%26Current%3DFalse%26Picture%3DFalse&Section=ALL William John Blair Federal Political Experience]

s-ttl|title=Member of Parliament Battle River
years=1917—1921


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