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Perley, William Dell (1838–1909)

Perley was born in Gladstone, NB, on February 6, 1838. He finished his education at Sackville Academy and the Baptist Seminary. His father, William Edward Perley, served over twenty years in the New Brunswick House of Assembly, seven of those years in Cabinet. In 1860, Perley moved to Maugerville, NB, to farm and served seven years on the county council. In 1878 and 1882, he ran federally for the Conservatives but lost. In 1883, Perley moved to Wolseley where he established a farm and later the local grain elevator. He took an active part in organizing the first municipal council to which he was elected chairman. In 1885 and 1886 he was elected to the Territorial Council. When the Territories were granted representation in the House of Commons in 1887, Perley was the first member elected in Assiniboia East as a Conservative. When the Minister of the Interior, Thomas White, suddenly died in 1888, Perley resigned his seat to create an opening for Edgar Dewdney, whom John A. Macdonald wanted to fill the vacancy. Later that year Perley became the first senator from the future province of Saskatchewan. Perley remained active in the community, serving as the mayor of Wolseley during much of his time in the Senate and remained there until his death on July 15, 1909.

Brett Quiring

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Further Reading

Thomas, Lewis. 1978. The Struggle for Responsible Government in the North-West Territories. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
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