John McLean is my 1st cousin 4x removed on my mother's maternal line.
St. Thomas Daily Times newspaper –Ontario, Canada Thursday Sept 16, 1909 – page 1
John McLean, Veteran Barrister, is Dead
Respected Citizen Succumbs to Attack of Paralysis; Had been City Treasurer, School Inspector, Deputy Judge and School Trustee; Taught School Here Half a Century Ago; Reached Age of 81 Years.
John McLean, one of the best known and oldest barristers in Ontario, passed away at his home, No. 32 St. George St. at 2 o’clock this morning, as the result of an attack of paralysis. All the members of his family were present at the bedside at the time of his death. He was 81 years of age.
Mr. McLean suffered his first stroke of paralysis some time ago and a second one while staying at the summer home of his son-in-law W. K Cameron, New Orchard Beach, Port Stanley, two weeks ago. He recovered sufficiently to be removed to his home here, and for a time it looked as if he would recover. A trained nurse was procured from Guelph and everything possible done to relieve his suffering. Tuesday night, however, he suffered a relapse and his death resulted as above stated.
Descendent of Pioneers
The late John McLean was born in Kilmarnock, Scotland in 1828, and came to Canada in 1842, along with his parents, the late Mr. and Mrs John McLean, eight brothers and two sisters. He was the fourth child. They arrived at Port Stanley, but went to Aldborough and afterwards settled on a farm on the Thames opposite Wardsville. Mr. McLean remained on the farm with his father until he was 23 years of age. He met with an accident while helping to erect the first church at Wardsville and this prevented him from performing any manual labor and necessitated his retirement from the farm. He went to school two winters in Wardsville, his teacher being the late Archibald McLachlin, so well remembered in this city. Then he taught school in Mosa for two years, after which he took a term in the Normal School, Toronto where he secured a first-class certificate.
Taught School Here in 1855
Mr. McLean came to St. Thomas in January 1855 and was engaged to teach the public school. There was only one school in the city at that time. For the first quarter Mr. Mclean did all the work himself; after that he got a helper. After two years as teacher he entered the employ of the Bank of the county of Elgin, with which he remained until it was wound up. He was also with the Bank of Montreal for a time.
Shortly after leaving teaching he entered into business in company with the late Edward Ermatinger. Mr. McLean was treasurer of the city for about twelve years and was one of the trustees on the consolidation and re-adjustment of the debt of the town of St. Thomas.
City Treasurer and School Inspector
On the 25th day of December 1855, Christmas Day, he was married to Jane Ann Ward, granddaughter of the founder of Wardsville and daughter of the late William Ward who predeceased him in March 1908.
The late Rev Mr. Ames of Woodstock performed the marriage ceremony. The reverend gentleman was present at the golden wedding anniversary of Mr. and Mrs. McLean, Christmas, 1906, and also conducted services at the funeral of Mrs. McLean a year and a half ago.
Mr. McLean took up the study of law in 1862, under the present Chancellor Sir John Boyd, and was certificated as attorney in 1867, and called to the bar in 1868. He opened an office here and continued active practice until quite recently. He took a keen interest in educational affairs and sat on the School Board for six years. He was also inspector of public schools for eighteen years, at the expiration of which time he recommended the appointment of an inspector, whose whole time would be devoted to the work. He was succeeded by Dr. S. Silcox.
Deputy Judge for a Time
Mr. McLean was for some years deputy judge of the county of Elgin, occupying this position until the appointment of the present junior judge, Judge Ermatinger.
Several years ago he formed a partnership with his son, James McLean, and his son-in-law, W. K. Cameron, which was continued until the death of James McLean. Since this, the firm as been known as McLean & Cameron, although Mr. McLean has not of late years, owing to declining health, taken a very active part in business matters.
Mr. McLean was the oldest living member of Knox church, having become a member in 1855 and was during those years and up to within a few weeks ago, when he was taken ill, a regular attendant. He has held many official positions in the church during his more than fifty years of membership.
His surviving Relatives
Mr. McLean is survived by one son, Dr. Hugh C. McLean of Guelph, and one daughter, Mrs. W. K Cameron of this city. His mother died in 1904 at the age of 99 years and six months.
Of the brothers, four are still living as follows: William in London, Andrew at Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., Robert in Wardsville, and Matthew in Aldborough. The two sisters are also still living. They are Mrs. Roger Miller of Ingersoll, Mr. Miller being of the well-known contracting firm of Haney & Miller; and Mrs. Duncan Gillies of Highgate.
The funeral will take place on Saturday at 1:30 o’clock to the St. Thomas cemetery.