Samuel Hughes

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Samuel Hughes

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Sir Samuel Hughes was born January 8, 1853 at Solina near Bowmanville, Canada West. He was educated at the Toronto Model and Normal School and also attend the University of Toronto. He received honour certificates in English, French, German and History. While he was still in his teens he took part in the second Fenian Raid and from this battle he received a medal. He had 3 brothers and 7 sisters. His father and one brother were school teachers and with their encouragement he became a teacher in Belleville, Lifford and Bowmanville. He also taught at the Old King's Grammar School in Toronto as English and History Master from 1875 to 1885. He was the author of a school geography and a County and Railway Map of Ontario. In 1872 he married his first wife, Caroline J. Preston, at Lifford, Ontario. She died a year later. In 1875 Sam married again. He married Mary E. Burk, daughter of Harvey W. Burk who was liberal M.P. of West Durham, Ontario. Samuel started the Millbrook lacrosse team. Throughout this time he participated in the militia and politics in which he had a long career. At age 32 he moved his family to Lindsay where he had bought the newspaper The Victoria Warder. He was publisher from 1885 to 1897. He was a Member of Parliament for Victoria North in 1892 and in 1899 went to the Boer War in South Africa from which he was dismissed for military indiscipline. In 1911 he won the militia portfolio of the Borden government. He foresaw the World War I and he helped Canada prepare for it by building armouries across Canada. He stepped up the training program for the Canadian Militia and he was able to place in the field four divisions, complete with artillery, and all details. In August 1915 he was knighted by King George V. After the Ross Rifle fiasco he was forced to leave the Borden government in 1919. He stayed in politics for the Victoria/Haliburton Region until his death on October 24, 1921 in Lindsay, Ontario. (Taken from: Capon, Alan R. His Faults Lie Gently. The Incredible Sam Hughes. Lindsay, Ontario: Floyd W. Hall, 1969.)


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