Francis Rae was born at St. John, N. B., July 8th, 1833. His parents moved to Ontario when he was very young and located at Quaker Hill. They afterwards moved to north of Stouffville, when he was about seven years of age. The family has since resided there, a brother still occupying the homestead. The deceased worked on the farm in summer as was the custom in those times, and attended school in winter. In 1852 he attended Normal School, Toronto, and taught school some ten years, first at Bertie, near Niagara, then at Sanford, two years at Stouffville, when he again attended Normal School and took a first class certificate. For six years he taught at Prince Albert. He graduated in medicine in 1865, was married in the fall of the same year to Miss Elizabeth Currie, who with four boys and a little girl survive him. He started practice here the same year that he graduated, with Dr. McGill, and from the first had a large practice.
The doctor was a prominent man in municipal affairs and was Mayor of the town for some ten years, retiring in 1886. He was the Liberal candidate in South Ontario in the election of 1887, and was defeated by Wm. Smith. He was prominent in the Independent Order of Oddfellows and was a member of Corinthian Lodge and their physician. Five times he was representative of the grand encampment to the Supreme Grand Lodge, twice at Baltimore, once at Columbus, San Francisco and Providence, R. I. When the Provincial Board of Health was organized he was one of the members and has remained on the board till his death. For a time he was chairman and was always held in high esteem by his colleagues.
He was a member of both the Masonic Lodges and for a term filled the chair of Lebanon Lodge and last year was the D. D. G. M.
He was a member of the United Workmen and the physician of the local assembly, also charter member of the Sons of Scotland. The R. S. Williams Mutual Benefit Association appointed him their physician. For many years he was member of the Board of Education. In all these bodies he took a prominent place and by his generous, courteous manner attracted everyone to him but repelled no one. For years he had been surgeon in the 34th Batt., and recently was gazetted Surgeon Major and in a few years would have been on the retired list.
In ’65, before he located here, Dr. Rae went to the United States intending to offer as surgeon in the Union army for the sake of the experience he might get but the war was closing and he returned to Canada. In the early days of the Trust and Loan Company he was a director, but retired several years ago. For years he had been license commissioner for the riding and always discharged his duties satisfactorily.