CHISHOLM, GEORGE KING, politician, militia officer, and farmer; b. 4 Sept. 1814 in Nelson Township, U.C., eldest son of William Chisholm*, founder of Oakville, and his wife Rebecca Silverthorn; d. 14 April 1874, Oakville, Ont.
George King Chisholm was educated at the Nelson common school, at Gore District grammar school in Hamilton, and at Upper Canada College in York. He married Isabella Land, granddaughter of Robert Land*, the founder of Hamilton, in 1840. They lived in Hamilton for nine years before moving to Oakville; they had several children.
On 21 June 1841 Chisholm was appointed serjeant-at-arms in the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada. His duties were mainly ceremonial, especially to attend the speaker with the mace, but they also required him to expel disorderly and irregularly admitted persons from the house. While performing these functions in April 1849 in Montreal, he was injured in the riots over the rebellion losses bill. In 1854 he resigned his post and successfully contested an election in Halton County as the Conservative candidate.
Chisholm was instrumental in organizing Trafalgar Township and the town of Oakville. He helped found the White Oak Chapter of freemasons at Oakville and for years headed the town’s school board. When the town of Oakville was incorporated in 1857, he was chosen as its first mayor. Chisholm was equally active in the militia. Commissioned captain in the 2nd Regiment of Gore militia in 1830, he saw active service during the 1837 rebellion. When the Gore District was abolished in 1849 and the militia of Halton County was organized into battalions, Chisholm was gazetted major of the 1st Battalion of Halton (formerly the 2nd Gore). He was promoted on 11 Dec. 1857 to the rank of lieutenant-colonel and was placed in command of the 1st Halton. During the period of the Fenian raids, he stationed companies to guard the shore of Lake Ontario; in 1866 he proceeded to Fort Erie with 52 men but arrived too late to participate in the battle.
Four years later Chisholm retired from public life; he died at Oakville on 14 April 1874. A copy of a photograph of Chisholm can be seen at the Old Post Office Museum in Oakville.
PAO, Misc. 1850, letter of G. K. Chisholm to J. S. Macdonald, 16 March 1850. Can. biog. dict., I, 408–10. H. C. Mathews, Oakville and the Sixteen: the history of an Ontario port (Toronto, 1953).