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Suffered Fatal Heart Attach After Evening Meal on Saturday
Was Resident Here Nearly 50 Years and Mayor for 13 Years
- Interested in Municipal and Public Affairs Since 1904 -
Came to Meaford in 1890
MEAFORD EXPRESS (1939) -- The death of John Wesley Horsley Mayor of Meaford, occurred at his home after the evening meal on Saturday and his passing occasioned widespread regret throughout the entire district. Few people were better known in this section. Coming here late in 1890 he purchased the harness making business of Mr. H.A. Sidey and took possession on January 1st, 1891, and for some 26 years he carried on a successful business and numbered among his customers nearly every farmer in Meaford's trading area. In 1904 Mr. Horsley was elected to the Meaford Town Council and served three years in that capacity. In 1907 he was elected Mayor and since that time he served thirteen years as head of the corporation. He probably had the longest municipal recored of any man in Meaford and served his fellow rate payers without a single defeat at the polls. During his term of office the new town hall was built and the Cemetery Managing Board was established. Few men had given more attention to the cemetery improvement plan than did the late Mayor and its splendid appearance is the result of his ....... and close co-operation.
   The late Mr. Horlsey was born near Woodbridge nearly 69 years ago. He came to Meaford and entered business as a young man. After relinquishing the harness business he spent some time in the furniture and undertaking business, and late as local representative for the Essex Motors.
   Forty years ago he was married to Miss Retta Agnew, daughter of the late Robert Agnew, a former Reeve of Meaford, who survives. He also leaves one brother, Wm. Horsley, retired railway man in Montreal, and two sisters, Mrs. W.K. Westlake and Mrs. J.H. Westlake of Bolton.
   Deceased was a Mason, an Odd Fellow and a member of Meaford United Church. He was a good citizen and outstanding in many ways. No person would do one a favor quicker and with more grace than J.W. Horsley, and many a man has he quietly helped with good advice and financial support, that no person knew a thing about. As Police Magistrate of Meaford for many years he strongly favored giving every wrongdoer a chance but if the culprit did not respond and came before the tribunal too often, he was as stern as most men and would make the aggressor pay full penalty. Any person in trouble was always sure to be offered his car and assistance if needed.
   The funeral was held from his late residence, Sykes Street, on Tuesday afternoon with a public service in the Meaford United Church by Rev. F.A. Crighton at 2:30 o'clock. The service, under Masonic auspices, was very largely attended. Besides the lodge, the Town Council, Public Utilities Commission, Fire Brigade and School Boards attended in a body. Pall bearers were fellow Masons as follows: Messrs. W.V. Brown, C.J. Erskine, F.J. Mutrie, F.L. Hamley, C.E. Bennett and J.R. Dobie. Honorary pall bearers were Messrs. G.G. Albery, Homer Reid, F.A. Maples, C.M. Culbertson, Dr. H.N. Hartman and W.W. Stephen.
   Flags were flown at half mast about town in respect to the excellent service rendered the town in all its capacities. No man will be more greatly missed by the town at large. His main object was to serve and he place service about self in his various pursuits. For some time he suffered a heart condition and despite many warnings, he carried out his duties at much personal sacrifice. John Wesley Horsley will be remembered as one of the town's best benefactors and servants. He was a good and valuable man in Meaford. May his crown be on of peace and just reward.
   On Tuesday afternoon the Meaford stores closed their places of business for the funeral in respect for the deceased.
   Among those who attended the funeral from a distance were his brother, Wm. Horsley, of Montreal; his two sister, Mrs. W.K. Westlake and Mr. and Mrs. J.H. Westlake, Bolton; Mr. and Mrs. John Harries, Mr. Chas. Natters, Mrs. Albert Robinson all of Woodbridge; Mr. Jas Woods, Weston; Mr and Mrs. Wm. Tompkins, Mrs. Bradshaw and Mr. Clare Agnew, Toronto.
   The floral tributes were numerous and beautiful and testifies to mingling feelings of sorrow and esteem.

Lakeview Cemetery, Meaford, Ontario tombstone inscription, from BGOGS :

Robert 1844 - 1918 his wife Mary NOBLE 1845 - 1932
Robert J 1875 - 1909
William N 1884 - 1902
Earl C 1890 - 1955
J.W.P. TOMPKINS 1878 - 1957 his wife Edith AGNEW 1881 - 1971
J.W. HORSLEY 1870 - 1939 Rhetta ........ Agnew
WILLIAM - SON 1871 - 1956

For complete cemetery transcriptions, please contact the
Bruce Grey Ontario Genealogical Society

Obituary Source: Meaford Express

Obit & tombstone data submitted by: Donna Binsted

Contact : dbinsted at

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