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John Flesher (June 8, 1833 – ? ) was an Ontario merchant and political figure.


Early Life

Flesher was born in Duffield, Derbyshire, England in 1833,[1] the son of Rev. John Flesher, a Methodist preacher and Jane (née Cawood) Flesher. He was educated in a collegiate institute at Ramsgate.[1]

Settler and businessman

Flesher emigrated to Canada West in 1847 at the age of 14 with his brother William, who was to become a prominent figure in the settlement of Grey County and an MP.[2]. John first settled in Flesherton, the village that his brother had founded, where he helped his brother operate a grist mill and saw mill. In 1855, he married Mary Ann Fowler, the only daughter of Rev. William Fowler of New York City,[1] and together they would raise twelve children, nine of whom survived infancy.[1]

In 1857, he became the Flesherton post master, a post his brother had also held,[3] but after six months, he resigned and moved his family to Albion, Ontario to open a store.[1] He returned almost immediately to Grey County, then the following year, he purchased a mill property owned by his brother in Adjala Township,[1] where for the next ten years he manufactured flour and lumber. He also started his political career, serving as a school trustee.[1]

In 1868, he moved to the village of Orangeville, Ontario, where he operated a store for a few years before switching to brokerage and conveyancing.[1] He also became a Master Mason.


When Orangeville was incorporated as a town in 1874, he was elected to the first town council, and served as councillor for several terms.[4]

Flesher was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, representing the Cardwell district as a Conservative from 1875 to 1879,[5] and was lauded as "a conscientous and earnest advocate of the principles of that party..."[1]




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