‘R’ surnamesCity of Toronto residents A History of Toronto and County of York

WILLIAM RAWLIN, retired, 54 Elm Street, was born January 24, 1812, in Kirbygrindle, Yorkshire, England, being the second eldest in a family of four sons and four daughters. His father was William Rawlin, and his mother a daughter of John Harper. He came to Canada in 1832, and worked on a farm near Woodstock until 1837, when he came to Toronto and commenced teaming for Charles Cooper, with whom he lived for nine years. For six years he was hostler at the Green Heifer, a hotel kept by Henry Fuljames, at the corner of Queen and Yonge Streets. In 1859 he went to England, and on his return took the contracts for the street crossings. In 1852 Mr. Rawlin married Mary Ann Clayton, who is of English descent. He has no children. He is a reformer in politics, and in religion is a Methodist. He is also a member of the St. George’s Society. (Vol. II, p. 133)

D.B. READ, Q.C., was born on the 13th of June, 1823, in the Township of Augusta, a short distance from Brockville; his grandfather Read was a U.E. Loyalist, and drew land as such; he came to Canada from Connecticut. D.B. Read’s father was John Landon Read, who served in the War of 1812. Mr. Read’s maternal grandfather was David Breakenridge, also a U.E. Loyalist, and an officer in the British Colonial Army during the American Revolution. Mr. Breakenridge resided below Brockville on the St. Lawrence, near Maitland, and was for some time Chairman of the Quarter Sessions at Brockville. The subject of this sketch was in his early youth a pupil of Mr. Elms, a well-known district school teacher of that day, noted as well for his learning as for his school teaching. Mr. Read went to Upper Canada College in 1836 to finish his education; he passed through all the forms in the College, and then entered the law office of the Hon. George Sherwood, at Brockville; in 1842 he removed to Belleville, and entered the law office of the Hon. John Ross; and in 1845 he removed to Toronto, where he completed his studies with John Crawford, afterwards Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario. Mr. Read was called to the Bar in 1845; elected a Bencher of the Law Society in 1855; was created a Queen’s Counsel in 1858; made Mayor of Toronto in 1858; and Commissioner for consolidating the Statutes of Upper Canada. Mr. Read has practised his profession in Toronto from his first entry to the Bar down to the present time. (Vol. II, p. 133)

HON. DAVID REESOR is the descendant of a German family, his great grandfather, Christian Reesor, a Mennonite Minister, emigrated from Mannheim to Pennsylvania about 1737, having under his charge a small colony, and settled in Lancaster County, where some of the family still reside, the original homestead, a splendid farm of three hundred acres, being in their hands. The first settlement of this family in the Township of Markham took place as early in its history as 1801, when the grandfather of our subject, Christian Reesor, jun’r, his father, Abraham Reesor, together with three uncles, located in that section of the country. Here David Reesor was born on the 18th January, 1823. His mother was Anna Dettiwiler, who was also from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania; she died in Markham in 1857, the father having died many years before, in 1832. The early education of Senator Reesor was only that obtained from the common schools; but, previous to being put to any business, he received three years private training under a competent instructor with beneficial results. His father’s farm was the first stage on which he enacted his part in the drama of life, thence from agricultural pursuits he went to those of merchant and manufacturer, conducting business in the last named branches for five years. In 1856 he published the first copy of the Markham Economist, a journal of strong Reform proclivities, which he edited and conducted with considerable skill for several years, selling out about 1868. He has been a Magistrate since 1848; a Notary Public since 1862, and for a long time was Secretary-Treasurer of the Markham Agricultural Society. When York, Ontario and Peel were united in 1850, he became a member of the County Council, and served several years, being Warden in 1860. His career as a school trustee will not soon be forgotten, as it was upon his motion that Markham secured a Grammar School. He has long been connected with the Militia, and has held the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel of the Reserve since 1866. He was appointed Returning-officer for the East Riding of York, July, 1854. In the more extensive region of politics, Senator Reesor has not been less true to his principles, or less active as a general advocate of measures that tend to the public good, than when in the limited sphere of Township Councillor he supported and directed local improvements. He represented Kings Division in the Legislative Council of Canada, from 1860 until the Confederation of the Provinces, when he was called to the Senate by Royal Proclamation, October 23, 1867. At the time when the Confederation measure was under discussion in the Legislative Council he moved a resolution, which had it been passed would have made the office of Senator elective; it was however defeated on a division. He is a Liberal in politics. Our subject is a member of the Methodist Church, and every good cause obtains from him a hearty and willing support; he was for many years President of the Markham Bible Society. In February, 1848, he married Emily, eldest daughter of Daniel McDougall, Esq., of St. Mary’s, Ontario, and sister of the Hon. William McDougall, C.B., M.P.; they have five children, four daughters and one son, two of the former being married. Marion Augusta, the eldest daughter, is the wife of Dr. Colburn of Oshawa, and Jessie Adelaide is the wife of John Holmes of Toronto. The Senator’s residence is at Rosedale, North Toronto, where he has lived since 1876, enjoying that retirement which has been well earned by a long official career. He is highly esteemed by the many friends he has made, both in public and private life, all of whom trust that for years to come he may be spared to remain in our midst. (Vol. II, p. 134)

WILLIAM REID, was born in the County of Tyrone, Ireland, in 1844, being the youngest of nine children born to Samuel and Sarah (Lackie) Reid. He came to Canada in 1847 with his parents, who located on the lot where Mr. Reid now resides, 147 Elizabeth Street, Toronto. In 1882 he entered the Toronto Custom House, where he is employed in the examining warehouse. In 1865 he married Margaret, second daughter of James Spence, and old resident of Toronto, by whom he has seven children, four sons and three daughters. (Vol. II, p. 135)

WILLIAM REYNOLDS, Yorkville. In the biography of Mr. John Smith, of Toronto, which has a place in these pages, allusion is made to William Peak, the first white settler of York County, Ontario. The subject of this sketch is the grandson of William Peak on the maternal side, and can therefore claim hereditary descent from the original founders of York. His grandfather, on his father’s side, was W.H. Reynolds, who was from the North of Ireland. He emigrated to Canada in 1795 and settled in the 9th concession of Markham Township, York County, where he lived until his death at the age of ninety-seven years. He left a family of four children besides the father of our subject. The latter married a daughter of William Peak. Mr. Peak received from Governor Simcoe, for services rendered, two hundred acres of land at Duffin’s Creek. William Reynolds was born in Toronto, March 9, 1818, and, when he was seven years of age, his parents went to reside at Niagara, and after staying there three years removed to St. Catharines. They subsequently returned to Little York, where William has since remained. Mr. Reynolds may be classed amongst the oldest residents of the city, and few events in connection with its history have escaped his recollection. (Vol. II, p. 135)

DR. RICHARDSON, Professor of Anatomy at the Toronto School of Medicine. His grandfather served in the British Navy under Lord Rodney, and came to Canada in 1785, when he received an appointment in the Canadian Marine. Dr. Richardson’s father was James Richardson, who was born January 29, 1791. He married Rebecca, second daughter of John Dennis, a U.E. Loyalist who came to Canada from Philadelphia, where the family owned considerable property. The subject of this sketch began his studies in 1841, in Rochester, N.Y., with Dr. Rolph, remaining there two years. In 1844 he went to England, where he studied for three years in Guy’s Hospital, London, and about a year in Bristol. He then returned to Canada and took his diploma. He afterwards was appointed Professor of Practical Anatomy at Kingston College, which position he maintained until the abolition of the Medical Faculty in 1853. He then practised his profession until his acceptance of his present position in the Toronto School of Medicine. (Vol. II, p. 136)

JOHN KNIGHT RIDDALL, M.D., now practising at Parkdale, in the City of Toronto, is the eldest son of the late John Riddall, M.D., L.R.C.S., Edinburgh; M.D. University College, L.S.A.I., and nephew of Dr. Alexander Knight, Medical Inspector-General, P.L.B., Ireland. The subject of this memoir was born at Clones, County Monaghan, Ireland, on the 31st October, 1837, and after passing his matriculation examination, was apprenticed to the celebrated Dr. Wyse of Dublin, and at a very early age entered upon the arduous studies of his profession under the able tuition of Professor Graves, Sir W.W. Wylde, Sir Philip Crampton, Sir H. Marsh, William Stokes, Sir D. Corrigan; all eminent physicians and surgeons of the day. The Crimean War breaking out, Dr. Riddall having placed his name for service abroad, was drafted twice, the last time accepting. He was attached to the Army Hospital Corps, on active service in the East, and did duty both at Scutari and Balaclava in 1855, and was present at the evacuation of Sebastapol, seeing much active service, at the age of eighteen. On his return from the East he completed his studies, becoming a Licentiate of the Apothecaries’ Hall, Dublin, in 1854, and Licentiate in Surgery and Midwifery, Dublin, in 1857. Owing to exposure and hard work, he was, for many months, laid up with inflammatory rheumatism, which, by the advice of his medical confreres, necessitated his removal to Canada, where he obtained the degree of M.D., Victoria College, in 1864, and was appointed Coroner for the Counties of Peel and Simcoe. He married Margaret, second daughter of the late Joseph Griffith, Esq., Weston, Ontario. In 1863, the period of the Trent affair, he raised the Caledon Infantry Company, of which he was Captain, doing duty throughout the Campaign of 1866. He was appointed to the Surgeoncy of the 36th Regiment of Peel Infantry in 1867, which post he still retains, and did duty with his regiment at Toronto in camp, during Toronto’s Semi-Centennial Celebration. (Vol. II, p. 136)

THE RIDOUT FAMILY. The first mention made of this family is from “Hutchin’s Visitation of Somerset”, England, in the College of Arms, London, where a Coat of Arms was granted in 1531 to Thomas Ridout, of the Parish of Hensbridge, in Somerset. The Ridouts have been principally located in Blandford and Sherborne, Dorset, England, after which Sherbourne Street (should be Sherborne), Toronto, was named by the Honourable Thomas Ridout, the Surveyor-General, in commemoration of his birthplace. The first mention by Hutchin of the family residing in Bristol, is the marriage, in 1674, of Susannah, daughter and heiress of John Ridout, of Bristol, to Thomas Strangways of Melbury, County of Dorset, whose grand-daughter (Elizabeth), married Stephen Fox who was created Earl of Ilchester in 1741. George Ridout, the father of our subjects, and his wife Mary Ann (Wright) Ridout settled in York in 1826, having come out from England in 1820, to the United States. After residing in Philadelphia a short time, upon the recommendation of his uncle, the Honourable Thomas Ridout (Surveyor-General of Upper Canada), he removed his family to Toronto, with the exception of the eldest sons (George Percival and Joseph D.) who remained at New York and Philadelphia. He subsequently received a Government appointment which he held until the time of his death, September 3, 1835; his wife dying October 3 of the same year. George Ridout was born at Bristol, England, on the 22nd of February, 1783; his father Nicodemus Ridout, being an elder brother of the Honourable Thomas Ridout (the Surveyor-General of Upper Canada.) The two elder sons, Geroge Percival and Joseph D., of the above mentioned George Ridout, have been for the last fifty years intimately connected with the history of Toronto. George Percival Ridout was born at Bristol, England, August 21, 1807. He came to America with his father in 1820 and resided in Philadelphia and New York, where he formed a partnership with his brother and the Messrs. Tarratt, of Wolverhampton, England, in the hardware business in 1832 which he continued in until 1866, when he severed his connection with the firm, his brother continuing to carry on the business. During the Rebellion of 1837, Mr. George Percival Ridout took an active part and was Captain of the 7th Battalion of the Regiment of York Volunteers, from which he retired some years later with the rank of Colonel. He represented Toronto in the Dominion Parliament in 1851-2-3, and was also requested to stand for Toronto in the election of 1844, but fearing a defeat to the Conservative cause, on account of more than two of the party being in the field, he retired, notwithstanding he was first nominated, for which action he received the personal thanks of Sir P. Metcalfe, Governor-General of Canada, as will be seen by the following:

“Government House, Quebec, October 22, 1844.
Dear Sir,
The public spirited and honourable course you pursued during the late election for the City of Toronto has attracted the Governor-General’s attention, and has won his warm admiration. His Excellency considers that you have conferred a signal service upon Her Majesty’s Government and the constitutional cause by voluntarily withdrawing from the contest, rather than create division among the ranks of its supporters, and his Excellency feels that he is in no small degree indebted to your genuine patriotism for the great triumph gained by the issue of the election. I am desired to say that the Governor-General would have hailed your return to Parliament with high satisfaction, and that his Excellency hopes that the country is only temporarily deprived of your services in the Legislature, which, he believes, would be as valuable as your devotion to the public weal has proved sincere.
I have the honour to be, dear sir, your faithful servant,
J.M. Higginson, Secretary.”

George Percival Ridout was one of the original founders and President, for the years 1850-51 of the Toronto Board of Trade, and President of St. George’s Society, 1845-6-7; was Governor of the British American Assurance Company from the 2nd August, 1853, until the time of his death which occurred on June 28, 1873. He was never married. Joseph D. Ridout, the second son, was born at Bristol, England, 9th of June, 1809, and came to America with his parents in 1820. His first start in business was in the New York branch of the Messrs. Tarratt, of Wolverhampton, England, from which place he was shortly afterwards sent to Boston, to open a branch for the same firm. At this time he was only nineteen years of age, and the confidence placed in him by his employers, who at that time were one of the leading iron firms of England, was only the forerunner of the trust and confidence placed in him during the rest of his business career. He came to Little York in 1831, and one year later entered into partnership with his brother and the Messrs. Tarratt. After his brother’s retirement he took into the partnership James Aikenhead and Alexander Crombie. Both of these gentlemen had been connected with the firm for many years. Joseph D. Ridout retired from the firm in 1876, leaving the business in the hands of the present firm, Messrs. Aikenhead & Crombie, in whom he has always had the greatest confidence. Joseph D. Ridout was one of the founders of the Toronto Board of Trade, which was established in 1834 in Toronto. He was one of the founders of the St. George’s Society and was four times honoured with the Presidency (1851-2-3-4). He was the Vice-President of the Farmers’ and Mechanics’ Building Society, which successfully closed its business in 1853, and from which originated the present Canada Permanent Loan and Savings Company, of which he was President from its organization, until January, 1884, when he resigned on account of failing health. His skillful management and constant, laborious supervision helped materially in bringing that great financial institution to the high point of credit and prosperity which it now enjoys, it being one of the foremost institutions of the kind in America. He was also for some time Grand Master of the Independent Order of Oddfellows, and was one of the original founders, and President for some time, of the Mechanics’ Institute. He was an officer in the East York Militia from 1833 until it was disbanded under new legislation in 1867, when he retired with the rank of Major. He was in active service during the Rebellion of 1837 and 1838. He was twice married, first to Julia Elizabeth Gold (widow), sister of Mrs. F.W. Cumberland and the late Mrs. T.G. Ridout; and secondly to Caroline Cumberland, sister of the late Colonel F.W. Cumberland, by whom he had two sons, Percival F. and Walter, both residents of Toronto. Mr. Joseph D. Ridout died on the 4th of June, 1884. (Vol. II, p. 137)

RIGGS & IVORY, dentists, South-east corner of King and Yonge Streets, established themselves on Queen Street West in 1882, from which place they moved to their present rooms in the early part of 1885, and are now doing an extensive practice in plate-work, gold-filling, and extensive use of anaesthetics, including vitalized air specialties. The establishment is large, light, commodious, handsomely furnished, and situated on the most prominent corner in the city. (Vol. II, p. 139)

ISAAC ROBINSON, retired, was born in Yorkshire, England, in 1809. His father was John Robinson, who had three daughters and two sons; Isaac being the eldest of the family. He learned the tailoring trade in England, and came to Canada in 1831. He worked in Little York for William Lawson, a tailor, until 1833, when he commenced business for himself on Yonge Street. In about two years he removed to King Street near Yonge, where he remained two years. His next location was further east on King Street; he was there for eleven years. Then he bought a farm four miles out of town on Yonge Street, and resided there for fifteen years, when he returned to the city to live. At the time of the Rebellion he was taken prisoner by Dr. Rolph. He is a Methodist and a Conservative. In September, 1882, (sic) he married Ruth Walker, who is still living. By his marriage he had the following children, viz.: Mary Ann, died in infancy; Margaret, married E. Snider, and living in Manitoba; Mary Jane, married Rev. W. Hunter; Sarah Ann, married Irving Walker; Eliza, married B. Fitch; Edgerton W., living in London; Clara, married Rev. W.J. Joliffe; Hannah, dead; and Amelia. (Vol. II, p. 140)

ROBERT HUNTER ROBINSON, M.D., was born in West Gwillimbury, Simcoe County, being the youngest son of Gilbert Robinson, Esq., J.P., who was born in 1807, and emigrated from King’s County, Ireland, in 1829. His mother came from County Antrim, Ireland, in 1834. Dr. Robinson is one of a family of seven children. He received his preliminary education in Bradford High School, afterwards attending the Toronto School of Medicine, and graduated at Toronto University in 1873, and in 1874 as M.C.P.S.O. In 1872 Dr. Robinson was assistant-physician at the Toronto General Hospital, and to the Small-pox Hospital in 1873. He married on May 20, 1874, Nellie Van Allen, a native of Detroit. There is no issue. Dr. Robinson is a Conservative in politics, and in religion a member of the Methodist Church. Gilbert Robinson, J.P., the father of Dr. Robinson, may be classed as among the first settlers of the Township of West Gwillimbury. He came to this country in 1829, and arrived at Little York, now Toronto, from which place he walked next day to West Gwillimbury, where his father, William Robinson, then lived, whose house was at that time the only one on the Penetanguishene Road. William Robinson married a daughter of the Rev. John Connell, an Episcopal Minister of King’s County, Ireland; he was a brother to the late Captain Gilbert Robinson of the 4th Battallion, Royal Artillery, Woolwich, England. Gilbert Robinson and his wife are still living, and have recently celebrated their golden wedding, surrounded by their family and friends. (Vol. II, p. 140)

THOMAS ROBINSON, deceased, was born in Yorkshire, England, in 1815, and came to Toronto in 1830. He married Ann, the eldest daughter of William Jackson, who had settled in Toronto in 1831. His wife attended the Central School which was taught at one time by Bishop Strachan. During the Cholera of 1832 Mr. Robinson attended the death-beds of several neighbours. Mr. Robinson continued the tailoring business after his father-in-law removed to Eglinton. In 1850 he was burnt out by the great fire, after which he opened a temporary shop on Yonge Street, opposite Edward Street, until he rebuilt on the old site 127 Yonge Street, and carried on business there until 1871, when he retired and built 616 Yonge Street, to which place he removed. He died in 1877. (Vol. II, p. 141)

SAMUEL ROGERS, deceased, was born in Coleraine, Ireland, in 1809, being the sixth of a family of eight children. His parents were William and Mary (Rodden) Rogers. In 1830 he came to Canada with John Duncan, with whom he had learned his trade. In 1831 he opened a shop on the north-east corner of King and Bay Streets, and in 1838 he removed to his late premises, which he bought. Mr. Rogers was a member of the old fire brigade, and represented St. Andrew’s Ward in the City Council for one year. He was a Reformer in politics, and in religion a member of the Methodist Church. In 1833 he married Elizabeth Knott. He died 7th October, 1884. (Vol. II, p. 141)

WILLIAM ROMAIN was born in Quebec, July 15, 1818, and is one of a family of eight children born of Pere and Elizabeth (McDonald) Romain. His father was born in Quebec in 1777, and his mother was the eldest daughter of Major McDonald, who was on active service in 1812. Pere Romain also served in that war as lieutenant. William Francis Romain came to Little York in May, 1830, and entered the service of Sir W.P. Howland & Brother, of Toronto Township, as clerk. Two years later he became manager for the pioneer store and grain dealer in the present town of Brampton, and was the first post-master of that place. He married Ann, eldest daughter of the late Colonel Wm. Chisholm, and settled in Oakville, Halton County, where he at present resides. Mr. Romain was Reeve of the Township of Trafalgar for two years; and when Oakville was incorporated as a town he served for many years as Councillor, and was twice elected unanimously as Mayor. The Romain Buildings on King Street West were built by himself and brother. (Vol. II, p. 141)

DR. JAMES ROSS was born in York Township in 1832. His father, James Ross, sen’r, was born at sea in the Cove of Cork, off the coast of Ireland, January 26, 1786, and in 1796 came to Canada with his parents, and brothers and sister, John, Mary, Robert, George and Thomas. James Ross, sen’r, began business as a tailor, which he continued until the War of 1812. He was taken prisoner at the capitulation of York. He afterwards settled on a farm in York Township, where he remained until 1858, and then moved into the city. He died at Newmarket in 1868. Until he was seventeen, the subject of this sketch spent his life on his father’s farm. In 1847, he ploughed at Hamilton, Ont., in the Junior Class (under sixteen years) and won the first prize (a purse and a diploma); the latter now adorns the wall of his study. In 1848 he entered the Toronto School of Medicine under Dr. Rolph. In 1851 he obtained his license from the Provincial Board, and subsequently graduated at Jefferson College, Philadelphia, in 1852. The same year he returned to Toronto, where he has since carried on the practice of his profession. In 1854 he married Ann Jane, second daughter of John McIntosh, of Toronto. Dr. Ross does not take an active part in politics; in religion he is a Presbyterian. He is now President of the Ontario branch of the Caledonian Curling Club. (Vol. II, p. 141)

GEORGE G. ROWE, M.D. The subject of this sketch was born in 1854, at Churchville, Peel County, in which place he commenced his education, attending Public Schools until his removal to Georgetown Academy, and subsequently to the Canadian Literary Institute at Woodstock, where he finished his elementary studies. He matriculated in Toronto University in 1875, graduating four years after, and has been in the active practice of his profession since. He took up his residence in Parkdale in 1881, and since his advent there has gathered together a large and profitable practice. Dr. Rowe holds numerous offices, being medical attendant for the Grand Trunk Railway Company, as well as for several benevolent societies. He is the Medical Health Officer for the municipality of Parkdale, and is on the staff of physicians attached to the Home for Incurables. Dr. Rowe married, in 1880, Jeanie E., eldest daughter of Thos. Clark, of Georgetown. (Vol. II, p. 142)