Mayor of the town of Sarnia, and son of James and Ann (Williams) Leys, is a native of Cushnie, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, dating his birth, August 12,1830. He received a thorough parish school education; learned his father’s trade, that of a tailor, and worked at it in the old country until 1853, when he emigrated to Canada West, and settled in Sarnia, the county town of Lambton, where he has resided since that date. Here at first he had charge of the merchant tailor’s shop of his uncle, Alexander Leys, Esq., J. P., buying him out in 1858, and carrying on the business for himself. In 1872 he took into partnership his cousins, William and George Williams, and the firm of Geo. Leys and Co., does, on an average, a business of about $30,000. It is the leading tailoring and gentlemen’s furnishing house in the town, and its standing is second to none here.
Mr. Leys is a first-class business man, and his services have often been required in the municipality of Sarnia, and in other positions of trust. He has been councilor and deputy reeve two or three terms, a member of the School Board a period of years; Treasurer of the West Lambton Agricultural Society the last seven or eight years; ex-President of the St. Andrew’s society, and is a Provisional Director of the Sarnia and Petrolia Railway, and mayor of the town for 1880.
Mr. Leys is a conscientious man, having scrupulous regard to his duties, in whatever position he is placed, and, as chief magistrate of the town, looks well to its various interests.
In politics he is a Reformer; he is Secretary of the West Riding Reform Association, and a man of decided influence in the party.
Mr. Leys is a member of St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church; has been Treasurer and a Trustee of the same for fourteen or fifteen years, and is a man of sterling character.
In 1855, he was joined in marriage with Miss Jane Skeen, third daughter of the late John Skeen, Esq., merchant, Sheriff Clerk Depute, Tarland, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, and she has had six children, only four of them now living. The eldest daughter, Annie Isabella, is the wife of Alexander Watson, of the “Detroit Seed Company,” Mich.; the others are single.