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Agriculture in Waterloo Region (Pre 1900)

The Mennonite settlers of the Waterloo Region established a rich farming tradition in the Waterloo Region, which was continued by the European German settlers who arrived soon after. The fertile farmland in Waterloo Region allowed for the cultivation of several important crops, notably flax, wheat, and other important grains. Due to this type of production, grist mills became some of the first businesses in the area, grinding wheat into flour. One of the first grist mills was established by a Mennonite named Abraham Erb in 1816. However, by the 20th century, as the Region developed key industrial centers in Berlin, Waterloo, and Galt,  farmers began to lose their  economic influence in the face of rural depopulation.

(McLaughlin, Kenneth. The Germans in Canada. Ottawa: The Canadian Historical Association, 1985; McLaughlin, Kenneth. Waterloo: An Illustrated History. Waterloo: Windsor Publishing Canada, 1990; Fifth Census of Canada 1911, Volume II and III. C.H.Parmelee: Ottawa, 1912.; Fourth Census of Canada 1901, Volume II and III. Ottawa: S.E.Dawson, 1902.; Third Census of Canada, 1890-91, Volume II and III. S.E.Dawson, 1893.; Second Census of Canada, 1880-81, Volume II and III. Maclean, Roger & Co: Ottawa, 1883.; First Census of Canada, 1870-71 Volume II and III. Ottawa: I.B. Taylor, 1873.)


George Adam Clare (1900)

George Clare was born in Preston, Ontario, on 6 June 1854. He worked for his father’s foundry in Preston, until his father’s death in 1881. After his father’s death, Clare and his brothers founded the Clare Brothers Company Limited. As president of this company, he became involved with several businesses, such as Galt Stove and Furnace Co. Ltd.; Clare and Clare and Brodest Ltd., situated in Winnipeg; Canadian Office and School Furniture Co. Ltd.; Solid Leather Shoe Co. Ltd.; and the Preston Car and Coach Co. Clare served as reeve of the village of Preston from 1886 to 1888, and again in 1891. When Preston was incorporated as a town in 1900, he was elected as the town’s first mayor. Earlier, he ran unsuccessfully as a Conservative candidate for Waterloo South in two federal elections against James Livingston, in 1891 and 1896. However in 1900, when Livingston did not run for another term, Clare was elected to Parliament. Clare was Member of Parliament for Waterloo South from 1900 until his death in office in 1915.

(Cambridge. “Hall of Fame Members.”; PARLINFO. “Clare, The Hon George Adam.”