|J. A. Charlton|
|First name||J. A.|
Interview with Mrs. J. A. Charlton conducted on 1-4 June 1978.
Mrs. Charlton now lives in Paris on Bayly Dr. She and her late husband, Dr. J.A. Charlton, formerly resided at Kosehall Farm on 24 highway. Dr. Charlton was a veterinarian as well as a Member of Parliament for Brant, Mrs. Charlton has always been very active in the community including the Blue Lake and Auburn Women’s Institute.
Interviewer: Where did Dr. Charlton receive his education?
Mrs. Charlton: It was S.S. no 6, Germans School; St. George Continuation School; Brantford Collegiate Institute; Robinson’s Business College; The Ontario Agricultural College, Guelph, graduated in 1929 and the Ontario Veternary College, Guelph, graduated in 1937.
Interviewer: Which church did Dr. Charlton belong to?
Mrs. Charlton: He went to the St. George Methodist Church, and then at the ST. George United Church he was an elder. He received the fiftieth anniversary United Church medal in 1975.
Interviewer: What organizations did Dr. Charlton belong to?
Mrs. Charlton: He belonged to the St. George Masonic Lodge starting in 1929- He was in the Royal Archmasons, Brant Chapter, Paris, in 1947; the Scottish Right, Hamilton in 1944; 33rd degree, Hamilton, 1952; The Noble of Mystics Shrine, London, 1952; and the Shriner’s Hospital for Crippled Children, 1972. He was a charter member of the St. George Lions.
Interviewer: Was Dr. Charlton ever involved in any of the musical activities in the village?
Mrs. Charlton: He was involved in music. He played the piano saxaphone and the Conn organ. He belonged to the St. George Band, the Ontario Agricultural College Orchestra.
Interviewer: What did Dr. Charlton do after he graduated?
Mrs. Charlton: He graduated in 1929 from the O.A.S., Guelph, and he served as assistant Agricultural Representative in Elgin County from 1929 to 1932. In 1937 he went back to the O.V.C. Guelph graduation, and because he was a graduate of the O.A.C. he did the course in three years. While there, he received the Helen Duncan Magilvrie honorarium, presented as an incentive to the earnest study, associated with manliness a sense of honour, and a strong moral character, as a testimonial to his earnestness and unselfishness, in promoting the best interests of the College and his fellow students in the sessions of 1936 to 1937. He graduated third in his class in 1937- He apprenticed for two summers in Washington, D.C., with Dr. Ray Currie. He toured England, Scotland, and Ireland and the continent with Dr. Jim Pinkney after graduating in 1937. In 1937 he was assistant to Dr. Mark Morris, small animal hospital, New Brunswick, New Jersey. And he returned to Rose Hall Farm in January, 1938, after the death of his father. In 19^0, as a specialized crop of his farm, he was president until he sold it in 1967.
Interviewer: Could you expand on the crop and the types of things that he grew, please?
Mrs. Charlton: He had Rosehall Nurseries, Brantford. He started with two hundred rose bushes and it eventually got to the Nurseries. He was president of the Brant County Federation of Agriculture from 1943-1944. He organized German’s Farm Forum in 1942. He was Vice President of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture in 1944 and resigned to accept the nomination for the Progressive Conservative Party for Brant. He was elected to the House of Commons in 1945 for Brant, 1949 for Brant-Wentworth, and 1952-1962 for Brant-Haldimand when he was defeated.
While there he was Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Agriculture from 1957 to 1959, and parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration from 1959 to 1962. He received the Coronation Medal of Her Majesty the Queen in 1953. He was a passenger on the lead ship to enter the newly completed St. Lawrence Seaway in the opening of navigation in April of 1959. He was the Canadian Veternary Association president in 1953 and 1954 when the American Veternary Association held its meeting in Toronto. In Hansard, Government of Canada, page 3051 if you want a reference, April 1948, a private member's bill, no. 150, to incorporate the Canadian Veternary Medical Association. Now, they did not have one before this, and it was one of the few Private Member’s bills to go through the House of Commons. And he presented the gavil to the first President of the C.V.M.A. In Winnipeg, Manitoba that was, and it was Dr. Ernie Johnson, from Carp, Ontario. In 1975, he was the only early president attending the convention in Halifax and he also attended the convention in Vancouver in 1976. He was a life member of the Ontario Veternary College Alumni Association and the Ontario Veternary Association made him a life member in 1975. He joined the Veternary Services Branch of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food and was head of the Canadian Sales Barns for Ontario, from 1962-75. He received a recognition of a fifteen-year period of working for them when he retired. He was the first person appointed to the Board of Governors of Mowhawk College in Hamilton and he remained there until 1977. He received the Robertson Association token of merit in 1958 for the Canadian Feed Grovers Association, he had grown seed for 20 years. He received the Agricultural Service Diploma from the Paris Agricultural Society in 1962. He was made an Honorary Chief of the Six Nations in 1958; Ona Degawa, or Tall Pine he was called. He was interested in music, as I mentioned, and he refinished family antiques, did woodworking with wood from Rosehall Farms. We have pieces that he made. He enjoyed photography, and he had a collection of coins, license plates, stamps and matchboxes.
Interviewer: When did you come here?
Mrs. Charlton: I came in 1941. I had been a teacher in Toronto. We were originally from Canfield, Ontario. Mr. and Mrs. James Campbell were my parents there. I had gone to High School in St. Seorge, with John, at B.C.I.
Interviewer: What brought you to St. George?
Mrs. Charlton: I came to St. George when Mrs. Salem Kitchen’s husband died and my mother's older sister was living with her. I went to high school for three years here, and I sat across the aisle from John. Then vie both went our own ways for years, you see, and then I finally came back here.
Interviewer: When you first got married did you live in the stone house?
Mrs. Charlton: In the front part. We fixed the front part for ourselves, and John's mother had the middle part, and the L-Shape we finally fixed for the hired man. Now, I'm going to be writing about the house, I just haven't gotten to it yet, You see, it’s bigger than the barns. The Charltons were the first people to have anindoor silo in the Barn. And then there's the one that's there now.
Interviewer: Has the house always been in the Charlton family?
Mrs. Charlton: It goes back in the family. When they first came from England, they bought 50 acres by Blue Lake Creek. Now that goes from the German's pond right back to our place. There was a log house back there and lots of woods. They were i storekeepers before they came here. Then they started on this land. They had to cut the trees to get a place to grow wheat. But I read an article somewhere that wheat was $1.00 a bushel, so it would be worth their while to clear the land, you see, to get the wheat. They gradually got the land there until they got three hundred and eighty four acres. And they built from the log house aroughcast house and the next generation of children were all brought up in that house. Then they built the present house of stone, much like the Nixon homestead.
Interviewer: When Dr. Charlton went into Politics, the riding had previously been Liberal for ten years with G.E.Wood. Why would all the people change all of a sudden?
Mrs. Charlton: I don't know. I think the Liberals changed for Conservatives and voted for John. John and I have always said that if it weren't for the Liberal friends who voted Conservative, he may not have gotten in. Perhaps they voted for the man.
Interviewer: What did Dr. Charlton do after he got out of Politics?
Mrs. Charlton: Well, he worked with the Ontario Government. He had worked with them when he came out of College as Assistant to the Minister of Agriculture in Elgin Bounty, and then they came to him for the Veternary Services. He was then with the Canadian Sales Barns for Ontario, and he worked there until his retirement in 1975. They gave him a retirement present of a Royal Doulton Veternary Figurine. They did a story of his life in slides, and had him back to the convention. It was a while before we knew what to do with the rest of the money, and eventually we had this picture of the figurine made by Maryjane Stewart.
Interviewer: Do you recall any of the big problems that people around here came to Dr. Charlton with?
Mrs. Charlton: There were many, but I forget them. One I recall was the big strike at Penmans, which was bad, but we didn't have too much to do with it.