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Mayor John Albert Oliver

Portrait of Mayor John Albert OliverJohn Albert Oliver attended law school and sat on the Toronto Board of Education for two years before working as a claims agent in Minneapolis. Oliver moved to Fort William circa 1894, where he worked as a manager and accountant for lumber camps.

Oliver was known as being both a devoted Conservative and an excellent speaker, both of which helped him gain a strong reputation as an organizer in public and political affairs. He began his political career in 1895, working as an organizer for J. G. King in the Algoma by-election.

Oliver moved to Port Arthur in 1906 after being designated Crown Timber Agent for the district the previous year, and after serving several years on Council was acclaimed as Mayor in 1913. During his two years in office, Oliver saw to the development of a new waterworks system, the construction of Lyon Boulevard Park in Current River, and moved the location of the intake pipe for the City’s drinking water supply as he was very concerned with public health issues. Oliver also advocated acceptance of the Oriental population of Canada, which was faced with much discrimination at the time.

During the 1915 Mayoral campaign, fellow candidate James Patrick Mooney criticized him heavily, and Oliver lost the election by a vote of 937 to 547. He ran for Mayor once more in 1919, and was again defeated, but by a very slim margin of 87 votes.

Born: Sept. 3, 1871 in North Elmsley Township near Perth, Lanark County, Ontario
Died: April 3, 1924 in Port Arthur, Ontario at the age of 52
Councillor: 1910, 1912
Mayor: 1913-1914
Mayoral Candidate: 1915, 1919


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