AGNEW, JOHN, clerk, fish and meat packer, produce exporter, and fox breeder; b. 22 August ca. 1853 in Glasgow, Scotland, son of John Agnew and Jean McCulloch or McCullogh; m. 12 December 1882 Agnes St. Clair Ireland, and they had at least 10 children, Annie Florence, Alexander, William, John, George, Amy, Belle, Daisy Irene, Helen, and Effle Jean; Presbyterian; d. 26 October 1928 in Charlottetown.
Agnew, a Liberal, was first elected to the Legislative Assembly in the general election of 1904 in 1st Prince. He was re-elected in the general election of 1908. Agnew was defeated in the general election of 1912. Appointed Speaker in 1909, Agnew held this position until the termination of the Liberal government of that period. In 1908 he moved a resolution to prohibit the use of automobiles on Island roads. Agnew was the first Mayor of Alberton, serving from 1913 to 1917. A strong proponent of temperance, he was appointed Chairman of the Prohibition Commission in June 1927.
Agnew lived in Scotland until about 1876, and attended the Free Church School in Glasgow. He first emigrated to Richibucto, New Brunswick, and lived there for one or two years. Agnew resided in Alberton from 1877 to 1916, when he moved to Charlottetown. Upon his move to Alberton from Richibucto, Agnew clerked for Robert Bell at his store and in his lobster factory. Soon he bought the factory, and later opened others at North Cape and Miminegash. Agnew had a meat cannery in Alberton, canned mackerel as well, and owned a shop where cans and boxes were made. He had schooners trading with the West Indies, and to support his shipping endeavours bought and exported produce. A fox breeder, Agnew was president of the Provincial S. B. Fox Co. Ltd., John Agnew Fur Farms Ltd., and the Prince Edward Island Black Fox Co. He had fox ranches in Ontario and British Columbia, as well as on the Island. In 1903 Agnew was elected as the first president of the Alberton and West Prince Board of Trade.
His social activities included membership in the Independent Order of Oddfellows and the Independent Order of Foresters. While in Alberton, Agnew was an elder and chairman of the Board of Trustees in the Presbyterian Church. Upon his move to Charlottetown, he was elected elder of St. James Presbyterian Church, where he taught bible class. John Agnew died 26 October 1928.
Agnes Agnew, the daughter of Capt. James Ireland, an Islander, and Ann McLeod, died in Orangeville, Ontario, 7 January 1938.
References: CPG 1910, 1912; Canada's Smallest Province p. 350; Green, pp. 13,
225; Past and Present p. 328; Prominent Men p. 410; Guardian Jul) 1915 (Supplement), 21 October 1928; Maple Leaf Magazine Decermer 1928 p. 374, February 1938 p. 34; Patriot 26 October 1928; PARO: MNI-Census 1881; Marriage Register. Guide to abbreviations
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