Charles Clarke 1826-1909

A leader in the radical reform movement in 19th century Ontario, Clarke was born in Lincoln, England. In his youth, he developed a keen interest in politics and, after emigrating to Upper Canada and settling in Elora in 1848, he joined the ranks of the province's radical reformers. In 1851, Clarke played a prominent role in drafting the "Clear Grit" platform, which included such policies as representation by population, universal male suffrage and the secret ballot. Although he devoted his energies primarily to local affairs for the next two decades, he represented this area in the provincial legislature from 1871-91 and then served as Clerk of the Assembly before finally retiring to his home here in 1907. Clarke saw most of the policies he had advocated enacted into law.


In front of his former home, now the Graham A. Giddy Funeral Home, Geddes and Church Streets, Elora

Region: Southwestern Ontario

County/District: County of Wellington

Municipality: Township of Centre Wellington