WILLIAM DOUW LIGHTHALL*
1857-1954

From: "National Encyclopedia of Canadian Biography"
By Jesse Edgar Middleton and W. Scott Downs, editors,  The Dominion Publishing Company, Toronto 1935


William Douw Lighthall, K.C., LL.D., F.R.S.C., F.R.S.L., etc., distinguished member of the Quebec bar and for many years a well known figure in the life of the Dominion, was born in Hamilton, Ontario, December 27, 1857, a son of  William Francis Schuyler Lighthall and Margaret Wright McIntryre. His father, who was born in 1827 and died in 1920, was a notaire and long dean of his profession in Montreal and the Province of Quebec.

William Douw Lighthall was educated at the High School of Montreal (Dux., 1874) and McGill University, from which he was graduated with honours in 1879, taking the degree of Bachelor of Arts. Although he had already completed one year in medicine, he now determined upon a legal career and pursued studies at McGill University leading to the degree of Bachelor of Civil Laws, which he received in 1881. Two years he took the further degree of Master of Arts and in 1921, in recognition of his notable career, received the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws.

In 1881 Dr. Lighthall was called to the Quebec Bar and has since been engaged in practice at Montreal as a barrister and solicitor. He is now a member of the firm of Cahan, Lighthall, Lighthall and Henry, and counsel for many well known estates and corporations. His interests, however, have
extended to many other fields, ranging from the pursuits of scholarship to the activites of public life. From 1900 to 1903 he served as Mayor of Westmount, Montreal, and from 1908 to 1909 was chairman of the School Commission of Westmount. He originated and, with Mayor Howland, of Toronto, founded the Union of Canadian Municipalities in 1901, of which he is now honorary president; originated the Society of Canadian Literature and the Château Ramezay Historical Museum; was a member of  the Royal Historical Monuments Commission in 1922 and is now serving a s member of  the Royal Metropolitan Parks Commission, a city planning commission for Greater Montreal. He was Representative Fellow in Arts at McGill University from 1911 to 1913 and had kept in close touch with the work of  the university,  holding at present the office of chairman of the McCord Historical Museum. He was formerly vice-president of the National Municipal League of America.

Dr. Lighthall is also the author of many published volumes, including "Thoughts, Moods and Ideals" (verse, 1887); "The Young Seigneur, or Nation Making" (1888); "Montreal After 250 Years" (1892); "The False Chevalier" (a romance, 1898); "The Glorious Enterprise" (1902); "Canada, A Modern Nation" (1904); "The Master of Life" (a romance, 1907); "The Person of Evolution" (philosophy); "Old Measures" (collected verse, 1922); and many other writings, literary, historical and philosophical. He originated and edited "Songs of the Great Dominion" (Windsor Series, 1891); and "Canadian Poems" (Canterbury Poets, 1891). Dr. Lighthall is a Fellow of the Royal Society of
Literature, a member and ex-president of the Canadian Authors' Association; a Fellow and ex-president of the Royal Society of Canada; a member of the Art Association of Montreal and the International Congress of Philosophy; vice-president of the Canadian Historical Association; and a member and honorary president of the Antiquarian Society of Montreal. He is also a member of the Order of Colonial Lords of Manors, the Free and Accepted Masons, the Independent Order of Foresters and several clubs, including the Canadian Club, the University Club, the Montreal Club; and formerly was a member of the Royal Societies Club of London, England. Dr. Lighthall severd
with the College Company, Prince of Wales Regiment, Montreal, in 1877-1878 and subsequently with the Victoria Rifles of Montreal. In 1915 he founded the Canadian Association of Returned Soldiers, which was the original Great War Veterans' Association, and wrote its constitution. Dr. Lighthall is a member of the United Church of Canada. His children, however, continue as
members of the Anglican communion, the old church of the family.

On October 1, 1890, at Montreal, William Douw Lighthall married Cybel Charlotte Wilkes, daughter of John Aston Wilkes, eldest son of the Rev. Dr. Henry Wilkes, and Alice Sabine. Dr. and Mrs. Lighthall are the parents of three children: 1. Alice Margaret Schuyler Lighthall, born in
1891, V.A.D. in France, 1916-18. 2. Cybel Katharine Schuyler Lighthall, born in 1893, V.A.D. in Canada, 1916-18. 3. Captain William Wilkes Schuyler Lighthall, D.F.C., born in 1896, served during the Great War from 1914 to 1918 in France, Mesopotamia, Egypt, Salonica and Palestine. He is now a barrister at Montreal.


Notes: 
In 1893 W.D. Lighthall carried through the necessary legal formalities, gratuitously, for the incorporation of the Montreal Women's club.
see also: 
Canadian Who's Who 1936-1937 and Who's Who Among North American Authors 1927-1928

*Researching William Douw Lighthall.................Neal Smith (4th cousin, twice removed)

Return to Notable Montrealers

Back to the homepage

Questions, Comments or Suggestions?
contact
Patty Brown
coordinator of the MontréalGenWeb