Honorable John Willson

Honorable John Willson (Hugh Willson's brother) was born August 5, 1776 in Sussex County, New Jersey and died May 26, 1860 in Grimsby, Ontario. John married Elizabeth Bowlsby (also know as Betsy), a native of Long Island, by whom he had a large family of children. They were married on Feb 28, 1799 in Saltfleet Township, Ontario, Canada.

The earliest mention of "Betsy" is found in the will of Thomas Bowlsby, Morris County, New Jersey, in 1798, when she was around fifteen years old. She was next mentioned in her husband's obituary found in LOYALIST NARRATIVE FROM UPPER CANADA by James J. Talman, PH.D.

There is a plaque- #34 at his former home now Liuna Gardens, 526 Winona Rd. N., Stoney Creek

It reads:
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.

Erected by the Ontario Heritage Foundation,
Ministry of Citizenship and Culture