Lt. Col. Alexander Emerson Belcher
The Sash Our Forefathers Wore
Alexander Emerson Belcher was born January 30th, 1844 near Toronto, Ontario to parents John Belcher and Elizabeth Grafton.
Alexander obtained a first class certificate for teaching at age 15. At age 20 he passed for a first class certificate at the Military School in Toronto.
He married to Augusta Lucinda Barnes and they had one child, Emerson and four Grandchildren; Eva Ann, George, Digby and Britton.
He began his military activities early, training with a small company of boys and young soldiers in Southampton. At age 21 he was a Military School cadet for 30 days in La Prarie (south of Montreal, Quebec). He was bugler to General Welsely at Thorold camp and in 1866 headed a company from the Bruce Peninsula against the Fenians at Goderich.
He taught for a short time in Michigan, was granted Trunk Station Master in Rockwood, Ontario at age 19. He later worked at Empire Newspaper and also engaged in banking and commercial activities. He was a commercial traveler, one of the founders of the Commercial Travellers' Association, and a private banker through Belcher & Co. Bankers in Southampton, Ontario.
He was elected as councilor for the Village of Southampton for two years in 1864. He served as Reeve of Southampton from 1894-1896 and 1898, and as Southampton's first Mayor from 1905-1908. He was also active in Conservative politics in Bruce County. He also wrote poetry and was active in fraternal organizations.
Alexander was also Orange County Grandmaster of North Bruce and a member of Tara Royal Black Preceptory No. 436 in Southampton, Ontario. He was Grand Master of the Provincial Grand Black Chapter of Western Ontario from 1908 to 1910.
He was organiser and President of the Historical Society of Bruce; Vice President of the Defense League; Honourary President of the Army and Navy veterans and the Bruce Old Boys; vice president of the Peoples Life Insurance Co.; and superintendent of the Home Life.
Alexander was granted a medal and land for his services during the Fenian Raids in1866. In 1896 Sir Charles Tupper's government made him Lieutenant Colonel, which was confirmed by Sir Fredrick Borden (minister of militia) under Sir Wilfrid Laurier.
Alexander passed away in Toronto on November 26th, 1926. He was laid to rest at Southampton Pioneer Cemetery in Southampton, Ontario.
With information from the Bruce County Museum and the Provincial Grand Black Chapter of Western Ontario.
Source: Bruce County Museum.
Source: Grand Black Chapter of Western Ontario.
Source: Bruce Remembers.
Source: Billion Graves.