Ketchum, JesseJesse Ketchum, businessman, politician (b at Spencertown, NY 31 Mar 1782; d at Buffalo, NY 7 Sept 1867). Ketchum moved to Upper Canada as a youth and became a leading merchant and landowner in York [Toronto]. A noted philanthropist, he is most often remembered for his dedicated work to establish common schools, though he himself had little formal education. However, he generously donated time and money to set up benevolent and relief societies, to construct churches, Sunday schools and Bible societies, and the York Mechanics' Institute.
In politics Ketchum opposed the FAMILY COMPACT, and helped organize numerous Reform committees and associations. He held office once - from 1828 to 1834 he was in the House of Assembly. He did not participate in the REBELLIONS OF 1837 but following its collapse moved his business to Buffalo. There, Ketchum was soon similarly successful, becoming a leading merchant and a generous philanthropist.