Arthur Meighen
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Arthur Meighen (1874 - 1960)

Arthur Meighen
Born in Anderson, Perth South, Perth, Ontario, Canadamap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married 24 Jun 1904 in Birtle, Manitoba, Canadamap
Descendants descendants
Died in Toronto, Ontario, Canadamap
Profile last modified | Created 30 Mar 2014
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Preceded by
Robert Borden
10th Prime Minister of Canada
10 July 1920 – 29 December 1921
Succeeded by
Mackenzie King
Preceded by
Mackenzie King
12th Prime Minister of Canada
29 June 1926 - 25 September 1926
Succeeded by
Mackenzie King


Arthur Meighen, teacher, lawyer, politician, businessman and office holder, was born June 16, 1874, near Anderson, Ontario. He was the second child and eldest son of Joseph Meighen and Mary Jane Bell. On June 24, 1904, he married Jessie Isabel Cox in Birtle, Manitoba. They had two sons and a daughter. He died August 5, 1960 in Toronto and was buried in St. Marys, Ontario.

Arthur Meighen, professeur, avocat, homme politique, homme d’affaires et fonctionnaire, né le 16 juin 1874 près d’Anderson, Ontario. Il était le deuxième enfant et premier fils de Joseph Meighen et Mary Jane Bell. Le 24 juin 1904, il épousa à Birtle, Manitoba, Jessie Isabel Cox. Ils eurent deux fils et une fille ; décédé le 5 août 1960 à Toronto et inhumé à St Marys, Ontario.[1]

Meighen, the eldest of six children, grew up on his family's farm outside St. Marys, Ontario. After graduating from the local high school, he studied mathematics at the University of Toronto followed by a year at Ontario Normal College to earn his teaching certificate. An unsatisfactory stint of teaching led to the study of law in Manitoba. He was called to the bar in 1903 and set up a law practice in Portage la Prairie. The following year he married Jessie Isabella Cox, a teacher from Granby, Québec.[2]

In 1906 they lived in Portage la Prairie with a servant and Meighen's sister.[3] Always a skilled debater, he entered politics and in 1908 won the Portage la Prairie seat for the Conservatives in the House of Commons.

In 1911 he, Jessie and their two sons, Theodore and Maxwell, and daughter Lillian lived in Portage la Prairie, where Arthur was listed on the census as a barrister.[4]

He was appointed solicitor general in Sir Robert Laird Borden's government in 1913 and in the years following became a leading member of cabinet. He succeeded Borden as prime minister in 1920. His government was defeated in the 1921 election. Four years later the Conservatives made a comeback, although Mackenzie King remained in office until a scandal forced him to resign. Meighen briefly took office again. After his party’s defeat in the next election, he resigned as party leader and moved to Toronto, where he worked at an investment firm. He became a Senator in 1932, reluctantly resigning to take on the Conservative leadership once more in 1941. A failed attempt at re-election ended his political career in 1942.[5]

He died in Toronto in 1960 and was buried at St. Marys Cemetery, St. Marys, Ontario.[6]


  1. Larry A. Glassford, “MEIGHEN, ARTHUR,” in Dictionary of Canadian Biography, Volume 18, University of Toronto/Université Laval, 2005.
  2. Larry A. Glassford, “MEIGHEN, ARTHUR,” in Dictionary of Canadian Biography, Volume 18, University of Toronto/Université Laval, 2005.
  3. "Canada Census, 1906," database, FamilySearch ( : 1 April 2016), Arthur Meighan, 19A, Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, Canada; Public Archives, Ottawa, Ontario.
  4. Census of Canada, 1911
  5. The Canadian Encyclopedia
  6. Find A Grave: Memorial #3798

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