Halifax businessman of humble origins, he was born on 5 February 1854. He started work at 12 as an errand boy, but by 1872 had opened a small boot and shoe shop. This led to a successful boot-making business occupying the Albert Works, 1894-1931. A staunch members of Ebenezer PM chapel and active at all levels of the Connexion, he declined to stand as Vice-President, but in 1911 was a PM representative at the Methodist Ecumenical Conference in Toronto. An advanced Liberal, he served from 1898 on the Halifax borough council (from 1906 as alderman), was chairman of the Licensing Committee and of the local Liberal Party.