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Aikins, James Cox, 1823-1904
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James Cox Aikins, P.C. (1823-1904) was a farmer, member of the Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council, a Senator, a member of various Federal Cabinets, and a Lieutenant-Governor of Manitoba.
James Aikins was born in Toronto and was educated at local school and Victoria College, Cobourg. He became a farmer in Peel County and in 1854 was elected as a member of the Ontario Legislative Assembly for Peel County, which he held until 1861. In 1862 he was elected to the Home District seat (Peel and Hamilton counties) in the Legislative Council, which he held until confederation. In May of 1867, he was called to the Senate of the new Dominion, and sat until May of 1882. In 1869 he was made a minister without portfolio, and was sworn in as a Privy Councillor and as Secretary of State for Canada. He held the post of Secretary of State until 1873, and was given the post again in 1878. In 1880 he was made Minister of the Interior, and in 1882 he became the Lieutenant-Governor of Manitoba and Keewatin, a term which expired in 1888. He turned to business activities until 1896, when he was recalled to the Senate.
Aikins was also treasurer of the Methodist Missionary Society and President of the Methodist Social Union. He also served as vice- president of the Ontario Prohibition Alliance.
In private business, Aikins held directorships in several companies, including the Freehold Loan and Savings Company, the Ontario Bank, the Loan and Deposit Company, the Manitoba and Northwest Loan Company, and the Trusts Corporation of Ontario.
In 1845, Aikins married Mary Elizabeth Somerset, by whom he had four daughters and three sons. The eldest daughter, Helena, married the Reverend Donald George Sutherland, son of Captain James Sutherland, in 1872.