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Nov 22 1944


Col. James Chisholm, K.C., E.D., lawyer, soldier, church worker and an outstanding citizen, died early yesterday afternoon at the Hamilton General Hospital, where he had been for the last few weeks. He resided at 77 Claremont drive.

His death removes from the life of this community a man whose influence was felt in many spheres, but notably in legal, military, civic, church and fraternal circles, and one whose tenacity of purpose and integrity have been characteristics throughout a lengthy life.

Born in Hamilton, April 1, 1858, he was the second son and the third child of William Chisholm, lumber merchant, who was born in Caithness-shire, and Janet Robertson, born in Renfrewshire, Scotland. He never forgot his Scottish ancestry and many times during his life his love of Scottish customs and practices was evidenced.

Educated at St. Andrew's Ward School, Central School and Hamilton Grammar School, later the Collegiate Institute, he had a notable career at the University of Toronto. In 1874 he took a double scholarship but dropping his classics in his third year, he graduated in 1879, taking the gold medal in modern languages. He obtained an LL.B. degree from Queen's University, Kingston in 1892 [sic?].

With Old Firm

Admitted to practice in 1882 after being articled in law to the late I.B. McQuesten, he was taken into the firm of Jones, McQuesten & Chisholm the same year. On the retirement of Mr. Jones in 1886, he continued with Mr. McQuesten until his death in 1888, and afterwards alone until 1891, when W.A. Logie, afterwards Major-General Logie, and later Mr. Justice Logie until his death in 1933, became a partner in the firm of Chisholm and Logie.

In 1911 he took as a junior partner Thomas B. McQuesten, younger son of his former principal partner, who in 1934 was elected a member of the Ontario Legislature and became Minister of Highways.

Member of Board

The late Colonel Chisholm retained a lifetime interest in educational matters. He was a member of the Hamilton Board of Education from 1895 to 1905 and chairman of the board in 1903. He was an elected member of the senate of the University of Toronto for the 20 years from 1900 to 1920. In 1903 he endowed a gold medal, known as the John M. Buchan gold Medal, for proficiency in classics and English at the leaving examinations in the Central Collegiate Institute.

At the time of his death Col. Chisholm was president of the Central Old Boys' Association in which he always took a lively interest, and was honorary president of the Hamilton Alumni Association of graduates of the University of Toronto.

A Presbyterian, baptized in MacNab Street Presbyterian Church, Col. Chisholm was elected to the board of management in 1883 and retired in 1938. He had a deep and abiding interest in all church matters, but was particularly interested in the financing and management of the church. His record of service 28 years as treasurer and 21 years chairman of the board during his 55 years' service was recognized by the elders and managers in February 1938. At that time he was the guest of honour at a dinner when a silver bowl and walking cane were presented to him.

Began as Private

His association with military matters, which extended over most of his long life, began as a private in the Queen's Rifles, while a student of the University of Toronto. When the 91st Highlanders, the forerunner of the present Argylls, was organized in 1903 by Col. Logie, his legal partner, Major Chisholm became paymaster and treasurer of that unit.

When the 173rd Overseas Battalion was organized December 1915, he offered his services and proceeded overseas as paymaster in 1916, with the rank of major. After a few months at head pay office, London, he returned in April 1917. He maintain and active interest in military matters through the years, becoming honorary lieutenant-colonel of the A. & S. Highlanders on December 19th, 1924 which appointment he held until May, 1936, when he succeeded his friend, the late Col. Moodie, as honorary colonel of the unit. In May, 1932, with Col. Moodie, he received the first officers' Efficiency Decorations presented in Hamilton.

The observation made by Lt.-Col. J.H. Vincent O.C., when Col. Chisholm was appointed honorary colonel, was a fitting one. "The colonel has his heart in everything Scottish and the Kilties are delighted with his appointment," he said.

This was true in many ways and was evidenced once more when in December 1937 he spoke to officers of this unit and related some of his experiences on a trip overseas, not the least interesting being that of his audience with the regiment's colonel-in-chief, H.R.H. the Princess Louise, to whom he presented a silver "quaich" or Highland cup, on behalf of the Kilties.

Admitted to Masonry in September 1882, in St. John's Lodge, No. 40, B.R. canada, he became master in 1896. He was also a member of Temple Lodge, A.F. & A.M., and later entered the Ancient and Accepted Order of the Scottish Rite, in 1928 becoming an honorary member of the Supreme Council of 33rd degree Masons for Canada. Col. Chisholm belonged to Murton Lodge of Perfection, Rose Croix Chapter and Moore Consistory. He became a member of the Provincial Grand Lodge of the Royal Order of Scotland, Ontario, in 1893 and at the time of his death was the oldest living member.

Held Office 35 Years

His interests included membership in the St. Andrew's Benevolent Society which he joined in 1884, becoming its secretary shortly after and president in 1892 and 1893. For the last 35 years he was treasurer.

Col. Chisholm had the faculty of interesting others in many of the things in which he took a leading part and among the things he took pride in was that a client without near heirs left his estate of about $90,000 equally to MacNab Street Church and St. Andrew's Society, in one case to remodel the church and in the other to buildf a hall for the society. The latter has not yet been undertaken.

The late Colonel Chisholm took an active interest in politics for may years and from 1903 to 1907 was president of the Hamilton Reform Association and for three years was president of the Hamilton Law Association.

On October 19, 1889, he was married to Annie M. Stewart, daughter of William Stewart of Hamilton, a well-known architect. She died July 31, 1890, leaving no issue and Colonel Chisholm did not remarry.

A sister, Miss Elizabeth Chisholm, at home, survives, along with a number of nieces and nephews including: Miss Marjorie Lee, of Hamilton; Mrs. Alice Freel of Hamilton Mrs. Hilda Johnson Hig- [line cut off] Creek, and Thomas, James, Stewart, John, Janet, and Jean Chisholm, all in the U.S.

The body will rest at the Blachford and Wray Funeral Home, West avenue and Main street, until Friday morning when it will be conveyed to his late residence, 77 Claremont drive. On Saturday the body will be taken to MacNab Street Presbyterian Church for military service at 3 o'clock. Interment will be at Hamilton Cemetery.

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The development of this website was directed by Mary Anderson, Ph.D. and Janelle Baldwin, M.A.
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