John Rochester (politician)

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For other men with the same name, see John Rochester (disambiguation)
John Rochester
John Rochester.jpg
John Rochester
Mayor of Ottawa
In office
Preceded byHenry J. Friel
Succeeded byEugène Martineau
Member of the Canadian Parliament for Carleton
In office
Preceded byJohn Holmes
Succeeded byJohn A. Macdonald
Personal details
BornMay 22, 1822
Rouses Point, New York
DiedSeptember 19, 1894
Political partyConservative Party of Canada
Spouse(s)Elizabeth Ann Bevitt

John Rochester (May 22, 1822 – September 19, 1894) was a Canadian industrialist, mayor of Ottawa, Ontario from 1870 to 1871, and a member of the House of Commons of Canada representing Carleton from 1872 to 1882.[1]

He was born at Rouses Point, New York in 1822[1] and first came to Bytown with his family in 1827, he was the son of John Rochester Sr.,[2] born in Berwick on Tweed, England[3] in 1786, and his wife Barbara Young, born 1790 in Sunderland, Northumbria, England. There were nine offspring: Susanah (James Anderson), James (Ann Frost), Elizabeth (McLaughlin), George (Marion Baillie), John Jr. (Elizabeth Bevitt), Mary Ann (George Honey Preston), Emily (Cressle, Norman), William (Helen Baillie), Margaret (William Bunting). The Rochesters were a pioneer family in early Bytown that branched out into timber and mining enterprise across the Canadian shield. Many Rochesters had distinguished military careers.

Other early Ottawa Valley names, besides marriages listed above, connected to the Rochester family include: Cole, McDougal, Church, McLaren, and Bryson, to name but a few.

He and elder brother James established a brewery (which he took over in 1856 and sold to James in 1870) and he also opened a tannery at that time and operated two sawmills at Chaudière Falls on the shore of the Ottawa River in the Lebreton Flats area of Ottawa;[2] the area, south of Lebreton and bounded today by Bronson, Booth, Rochester and Preston Streets was once Rochesterville before amalgamation with Ottawa.[4]

John Rochester Jr. was for 11 years a member of Ottawa City Council.[1] He was a staunch Wesleyan Methodist and helped establish a local order of the Orange Lodge and was also a Freemason,[2] he co-founded the Ottawa Free Press,[4] was vice-president of the Ottawa Agricultural Insurance Company[3] and was a partner with former Ottawa Mayor John Bower Lewis in the Metropolitan Trust and Loan Company.[4]

In 1845, he married Elizabeth Ann Bevitt, he served as president of the Ottawa Saint George's Society and the Ottawa Ladies' College.[2] Rochester died in Ottawa at the age of 72[5] after suffering for several weeks from a kidney ailment.[4]


  1. ^ a b c John Rochester – Parliament of Canada biography
  2. ^ a b c d Prominent men of Canada: a collection of persons distinguished ..., GM Adam (1892) pp.177-80
  3. ^ a b Mackintosh, Charles H (1879). The Canadian parliamentary companion and annual register, 1879. p. 214. Retrieved 2009-09-18.
  4. ^ a b c d Mullington, Dave (2005). Chain of office: biographical sketches of the early mayors of Ottawa (1847-1948). pp. 41–43. ISBN 1-897113-17-X. Retrieved 2009-09-18.
  5. ^ Johnson, J.K. (1968). The Canadian Directory of Parliament 1867-1967. Public Archives of Canada.