Hon. Olivier Maximin Melanson
Served : 1916
Olivier Maximin Melanson was born July 2, 1854, at Aboujagane, Shediac Parish, Westmorland County, New Brunswick, the son of Maximin and Julie LeBlanc Melanson, both of Acadian ancestry.
He was educated at the Shediac parish school and he located at Shediac, N.B., where he engaged in business as a general merchant. He established the firm of O.M. Melanson Company Limited, a leading commercial firm of Shediac for many years. He was a member of the Shediac town council for many years. He also served on the Westmorland County Council.
On February 12, 1878, he married Miss Marguerite Boudreau, daughter of Jude Boudreau, Cap-Pelé. By this marriage there was a large family.
He was first elected to the House of Assembly of New Brunswick as one of the members for Westmorland County at the general election of January 20, 1890, and sat in that Legislature until its dissolution in 1892. At the general election of October 22, 1892, he was defeated and remained out of active politics for several years. He was again elected as a member at the general election of February 18, 1899 and sat as a member until the dissolution in 1903. He was defeated at the general elections of February 28, 1903, and March 3, 1908, but re-elected at the general election of June 20, 1912, and sat as a member until the dissolution of the Legislature in 1917 when he declined renomination and retired.
At the session of 1914, he was chosen Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly, during the illness of the Speaker, Hon. Walter B. Dickson. On March 9, 1916, he was appointed Speaker following the death of Hon. Mr. Dickson.
He died July 7, 1926, in the Moncton City Hospital.
The Daily Times of July 8, 1926 describes Hon. Mr. Melanson:
He was recognized as not only one of the leading French Acadians in the Province of New Brunswick, but he was known and highly regarded in the business and political world throughout the Dominion.
Source - Speakers of the Legislative Assembly, Province of New Brunswick, 1786-1985. 1985, Legislative Assembly, Province of New Brunswick, Office of the Clerk, Fredericton, N.B.