William Howard Hearst

William Howard Hearst

Infobox President
name = William Howard Hearst

caption = The Hon. Sir William Hearst
birth_date = birth date|1864|2|15|mf=y
birth_place = Arran Township, Canada West
residence =
death_date = death date and age |1941|09|29|1864|02|15
death_place = Toronto, Ontario
order= 7th Premier of Ontario
term_start = October 2, 1914
term_end = November 14, 1919
predecessor = James Whitney
successor = Ernest Charles Drury
party = Ontario PC Party
religion = Methodist, United Church
spouse = Isabella Jane Duncan

Sir William Howard Hearst, K.C.M.G. (February 15, 1864–September 29, 1941) was the Conservative premier of the Canadian province of Ontario from 1914 to 1919.

His government passed legislation to permit women to vote in provincial elections, and held a plebiscite on prohibition. The plebiscite was held the same day as the 1919 general election. While prohibition was approved by the voters, the Hearst government was unexpectedly defeated by the United Farmers of Ontario party in their first election.

Sir William Howard Hearst was born in the township of Arran in Bruce County, Ontario. He studied law at Osgoode Hall, Toronto, and became a lawyer in 1888. Hearst practiced law in Sault Ste. Marie, where he became prominent in municipal affairs. He was an unsuccessful candidate in Algoma East in 1894. In 1902 he organized support in Northern Ontario for James P. Whitney.

In 1908 Hearst was elected member for the riding of Sault Ste. Marie. In 1911 he became Minister of Forests and Mines. On the death of James P. Whitney in 1914, Hearst became his successor and was sworn in as Premier on October 2, 1914.

In 1916, the Ontario Temperance Act (OTA) was introduced as a temporary wartime measure by Hearst, a temperance advocate and pillar of the Methodist church. It made possession of liquor and beer outside one's home illegal. Although one could retain a 'cellar supply' for personal consumption, it was illegal to sell a drink. As a result, the government closed bars, taverns, clubs and liquor stores.

Under his administration a comprehensive measure to provide compensation to workers for injuries was put into operation. He took steps to deal with housing problems and provide loans to settlers. Municipal acts were passed. School fairs and teaching of agriculture were inaugurated. Measures were taken to increase war production. Reforestation and fire prevention services were established. And the Orpington Hospital in England was built as a gift of the people of Ontario.

Hearst served as a member of the International Joint Commission formed to settle international boundary waters disputes between the United States and Canada.

He resumed his law practice in Toronto after his term as premier.

The town of Hearst, in Northern Ontario, is named for William Hearst.


*Middletown, Jesse Edgar," The Municipality of Toronto - A History", Dominion Publishing, 1923, Volume 3, page 67
*Oliver, Peter. "Sir William Hearst and the collapse of the Ontario Conservative Party", in his Private & Public Persons. Toronto: Clarke Irwin, 1975, pp. 16-43. OCLC|2525531.
*King of the Mob: Rocco Perri and the women who ran his rackets" by James Dubro & Robin F. Rowland (Toronto)-1987
*Rocco Perri Scrapbook (Hamilton Herald Newspaper articles) 12 April 1927, 14, 16, 18 August 1930

External links

* [http://ontarioplaques.com/Plaques_ABC/Plaque_Bruce17.html Ontario Plaque for Hearst in Tara, Ontario .]
* [http://www.ontla.on.ca/web/members/members_all_detail.do?locale=en&ID=460 Member's parliamentary history for the Legislative Assembly of Ontario]

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