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Dictionary of Miramichi Biography

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DAVIDSON, WILLIAM HAROLD (1896-1958)

DAVIDSON, WILLIAM HAROLD, teacher, lawyer, military officer, and Miramichi historian; b. Newcastle, 29 May 1896, s/o James Warren Davidson and Mary Louise Hunt; m. 1925, Daisy May Stephenson, of Saint John; d. Newcastle, 19 Mar 1958.

W. Harold Davidson graduated from Harkins Academy in 1912 at the top of his class and enrolled that fall at the Provincial Normal School in Fredericton. After he received his license he taught in Newcastle until he enlisted for service in World War I. He joined the 26th Battalion as a private soldier and had spent a year and a half at the front by May 1917, when he was granted a lieutenancy. After his discharge in 1919 he took up the study of law in Saint John and obtained his BCL from King's College, Windsor, in 1922.

Admitted to the bar in 1923 at age twenty-seven, Davidson practiced his profession in Newcastle. He was town solicitor for a time and successor to his uncle Allan A. Davidson Jr as clerk of the County Court. He was named QC in 1950. He sat on the town council and was a member and secretary of the Newcastle School Board. He was a longtime warden of St Andrew's Anglican Church in Newcastle. He played an active part in the Masonic order, the Canadian Legion, and the Highland Society, of which he was president in 1951.

Davidson has a special claim to remembrance as the author of the book William Davidson (1947). This contains an analytical account of the life of his great-great grandfather who, as noted elsewhere, was the founder of the modern settlement of Miramichi. Louise Manny stated in the introduction to a new edition of the book in 1966 that it was "by all odds, the most important piece of historical writing the Miramichi has yet produced."

Davidson was survived in 1958 by his wife, Daisy M. Stephenson, a son, and a daughter.

Sources

[b] official records [m] PPNB [d] Commercial World 20 Mar 1958 / Bell/Rosevear #18; Hist. Highland Soc.; Leader 23 May 1995; World 14 Aug 1912, 30 Sep 1914, 19 May 1917


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