John Willson 1776-1860

The dominant politician at the Head-of-the-Lake during the early 19th century, Willson was born in New Jersey. He came to Upper Canada and settled here about 1797. After his election to the Legislative Assembly in 1809, he embarked on a political career that, with only occasional interruptions, spanned over three decades. A passionate advocate of religious and civil liberties and an ardent spokesman for farmers, Willson championed moderate constitutional reform, public support for universal elementary education and economic development. At the height of his influence he served as Speaker of the Assembly (1825-28), presiding over one of Upper Canada's most important parliaments. In 1839 Willson was appointed to the Legislative Council, but he retired within two years to his Saltfleet Township farm.


At his former home, 526 Winona Road North, Stoney Creek

Region: Southwestern Ontario

County/District: City of Hamilton (District)

Municipality: City of Hamilton