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 Alexander Keith

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Alexander Keith

  • Birth 5 Oct 1795 Halkirk, Highland, Scotland
  • Death 14 Dec 1873 Halifax, Halifax County, Nova Scotia, Canada
  • Burial Halifax, Halifax County, Nova Scotia, Canada
  • Memorial ID 10945

Businessman, Politician. He was the founder of Alexander Keith's Brewery in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. He was born at Halkirk, Caithness Highland, Scotland and at the age of 17, his father sent him to an uncle in northern England to learn the brewery business. Around 1817 he relocated to Halifax where he became the sole brewer and business manager for a Charles Boggs, and in 1820 he bought out his brewery and named it after himself. Two years later he moved the brewery to a larger facility and in 1836 he expanded again by building a new brewery. The following year he was appointed a director of the Bank of Nova Scotia and later served in other business capacities, like one of the founders of the Halifax Marine Insurance Association, a manager of the Colonial Life Assurance Corporation, a director of the Halifax Gas, Light, and Water Company (incorporated in 1840) and in 1844 he helped to incorporate the Halifax Water Company, becoming one of its directors in 1856. In 1864 he became a director of the Provincial Permanent Building and Investment Society. As a politician he was unsuccessful as a Conservative candidate in the 1840 Halifax general election, but did get elected to the first city council in 1841 and was elected as mayor of Halifax in 1843. He continued as a member of the city council until he again served as mayor, by election, in 1853 and 1854. In December 1843 he was appointed to the Legislative Council and in June 1867 he accepted the appointment of president of the Council, declining a seat in the Canadian Senate. Throughout his career he was connected with several charitable and fraternal societies, serving as president of the North British Society from 1831 and as chief of the Highland Society from 1868 until his death. In 1838 he was connected with the Halifax Mechanics Library and in the early 1840s with the Nova Scotia Auxiliary Colonial Society. He was probably best known to the Halifax citizens as a leader of the freemasons, becoming the provincial grand master for the Maritimes under the English authority in 1840 and under the Scottish lodge in 1845. Following a reorganization of the various freemason divisions in 1869, he became grand master of Nova Scotia. He died in Halifax at the age of 78.

Bio by: William Bjornstad


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 15 Jul 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 10945
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Alexander Keith (5 Oct 1795–14 Dec 1873), Find A Grave Memorial no. 10945, citing Camp Hill Cemetery, Halifax, Halifax County, Nova Scotia, Canada ; Maintained by Find A Grave .