William Buckingham edited here | Back
|This is an edited transcription of a page 1 article of 10 Jun 1915 The Simcoe Reformer|
Buckingham of Stratford
The death took place at Stratford on Friday of William Buckingham, a well known citizen of that place. Deceased was at one time a familiar figure in Canadian journalism and in Canadian politics, and was one of the most forceful writers Canada has produced.
He began his newspaper career as a shorthand writer on the English press, and came to Canada to take a position on the Toronto Globe. In this capacity he reported many of the confederation debates.
In 1859, in company with William Coldwell, another Toronto journalist, he proceeded to the Red River Settlement (now Winnipeg), where they established the Nor'Wester, the first newspaper published in that exposed outpost of civilization, having transmitted press material from St. Paul, Minn., on a six week journey by ox cart.
After returning from the Northwest Mr. Buckingham came to Simcoe and purchased the Erie News from its founder, Dr. William Oliver. His first act of ownership was to change the name of the paper to The Norfolk Reformer.
He lived here from 1861 to 1863, and in that time formed a connection with Hon. M. H. Foley, then a prominent figure in Canadian public life, and when Foley became postmaster-general, young Buckingham was appointed his private secretary and inspector of city post offices.
Resigning these offices and disposing of The Reformer late in 1863, he became proprietor and editor of the Stratford-Beacon, and made of it a journal of wide influence and circulation. He accompanied the delegates from Canada to complete terms of union for the B.N.A. provinces as official reporter.
On the accession of Hon. Alexander Mackenzie to office he became private secretary to that gentleman, and was afterwards appointed deputy minister of the interior, a position of which he was deprived by Sir John A. Macdonald who however, offered him another civil service appointment which he declined.
He also declined an appointment as inspector of prisons and public charities for Ontario. Still later he declined the office of business manager of the Toronto Globe, as well as that of representative in the enterprise of the then virtual publisher, Mr. Nelson of Edinburgh.
Of late years his time had been taken up with the duties of manager of the British Mortgage Loan Co., of Stratford, a position which he held almost up to the time of his death, which occurred at the advanced age of 83.
Deceased was a master of English literature, and of English and Canadian history, and was also one of the most gifted writers. His most noted production was the authorship con-jointly with the late Sir George W. Ross of the Life and Times of Mackenzie.
In politics he was a staunch Liberal, and was a devoted member of the Church of England, while in every relation of life he observed the highest ideals.
He married Miss Martha Phelps of Mt. Pleasant, Brant County, and leaves besides the widow, three sons and three daughters, namely: Walter Buckingham of Guelph; Norman Buckingham of Victoria, B.C.; Gordon Buckingham of Winnipeg; Mrs. (Dr.) J. A. Marquis of Brantford; Mrs. James Riddell of Stratford; and Mrs. Hurlbut of North Battleford. T. H. Preston of the Brantford Expositor is a nephew.
Copyright 2007-2012 John Cardiff