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James_Skead

James Skead

James Skead (December 31 1817July 5 1884) was an Ontario businessman and politician. He was a Conservative member of the Senate of Canada for Rideau division from 1867 to 1881 and from 1881 until his death in 1884.

He was born near Moresby, Cumbria, England in 1817 and studied there, coming to Jesus Island, Lower Canada with his father and two siblings in 1829. The family later settled in Bytown, Upper Canada in 1832. Skead entered the lumber business, setting up operations on the Madawaska River. As a result of his experience in building timber slides along that river, he was contracted to build a slide on the Ottawa River at Bytown. His lumber operations expanded to include forests along the Mississippi River in Ontario. He was elected to the city council of Ottawa in 1861; he was elected to the Legislative Council of the Province of Canada in 1862. After Confederation, he was named to the Senate.

In 1871, he built a large steam-powered sawmill on the Ottawa River at Kitchissippi Lookout; a community sprang up around it known as Skead's Mills which later became the Westboro neighborhood of Ottawa. Among extensive business interests he helped promote the Upper Ottawa Steamboat Company, later becoming its president. Skead was also an investor in several railway companies as well as vice-president of the Canada Central Railway and the Montreal and City of Ottawa Junction Railway. On his farm, he raised Ayrshire and Durham cattle; Skead was president of the Ottawa Agricultural Insurance Company and the Ontario Fruit Growers' Association. He was also a member and later president of the Ottawa Board of Trade and the Dominion Board of Trade.

Skead resigned from the Senate in January 1881 because he was suffering financial difficulties at the time; he was called again to the Senate later that same year and served until his death in Ottawa in 1884. He had suffered damage to his lungs when he fell from his carriage in 1882; this eventually led to his death two years later.

The community of Skead in Greater Sudbury was also named for James Skead. The community was established by lumber baron W. J. Bell, who was married to Skead's daughter Katherine.

In memory of Mr. Skead the Canadian government named a street located off the Ottawa river parkway in Westboro. Skead street is famous for being a nightly meeting spot of Ottawa's finest young minds to partake in raucous conversation and philosophical arguements.

References

In memory of Mr. Skead the Canadian government named a street located off the Ottawa river parkway in Westboro. Skead street is famous for being a nightly meeting spot of Ottawa's finest young minds to partake in raucous conversation and philosophical arguements.

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