Cecil E. Jackson

Key facts:

– Born: November 29, 1872 ( Port Burwell, Ontario)

– First elected to city council: 1904

– Elected Mayor: 1926; served 1927 to 1930

– Died:  January 22, 1956

Cecil Egermont Jackson was one of five children born to George and Phoebe Jackson in Cecil E. JacksonHoughton Township, Norfolk County.  In 1886, Jackson’s widowed mother moved the family to our border city. The boy left school early to help support his family; later setting up his own business. A 1918 newspaper article described Alderman Jackson’s private business as “a barber parlor and billard [sic] hall on Sandwich street, where the tonsorial and recreations needs of the male element are catered to.” (Border Cities Star. Oct. 3, 1918)

Jackson was first elected to city council as an alderman in 1904, then re-elected in 1905.  Later he was again successful, gaining and holding public office for the period 1917 to 1926.  In 1927 Jackson ran for the position of mayor. He was awarded the position following an outcome contested by rival Archibald Hooper.

Cecil Jackson’s early years in office coincided with the boom times experienced by Windsor and surrounding municipalities during the 1920s.  In Ontario, the number of building permits issued in the border cities was second only to Toronto. The Ambassador Bridge and Detroit Tunnel were constructed and opened. A new Chrysler plant began production in Walkerville, and a new hospital was erected.

Mayor Jackson wanted Windsor to become a major industrial city. He promoted the establishment of a joint industrial board for the border cities of Windsor and East Windsor, and he lobbied the federal government for a new post office and CNR train depot. He called for the creation of a new city hall, claiming 17 buckets were needed to catch the drips when it rained on the old building. After the stock market crash, the effects of the Depression made governing the city more challenging, but Jackson remained as mayor until the elections of 1930. Later he was one of three commissioners for the Sandwich,Windsor and Amherstburg Railway.

Cecil Jackson lived to be 83 years old, dying after a lengthy illness. A writer for the WINDSOR STAR suggested in an obituary that Jackson had few interests outside of his family and civic affairs, although he was a member of the Masons and was one of the first members of the Windsor Kiwanis Club.

The achievement for which Mayor Jackson may be best remembered is his efforts to create a major civic space. A plebiscite in December 1927 gave majority approval to a bylaw to acquire from the Jockey Club nearly 70 acres of land (located at Tecumseh Road and Ouellette Avenue) for the purpose of creating a city owned park, sports field and education centre.  In 1929, council voted to name the new park in Jackson’s honour.

Sources:

Chauvin, Francis X. “Jackson, Cecil Egermont.” Men of achievement, Essex County. Vol. II. (Tecumseh, Ont. : s.n., 1929)

Harper, Bruce. A History of Windsor’s Parks. rev. 2006. (Windsor, Ont. : City of Windsor. Dept. Of Parks and Recreation, 2006)

“Ex-Mayor C.E. Jackson Dies at 83”. WINDSOR DAILY STAR. (January 23, 1956).

Plus assorted other articles, BORDER CITIES STAR (1927-1929)