Hammel Madden Deroche was born at the village of Newburgh, in the County of Lennox and Addington, on the 27th day of August, 1840, and died at his residence in Napanee on March 10th 1916. He was a son of Paschal Deroche, who was born in the Province of Quebec, and settled in Newburgh in 1835, and his mother was Elizabeth Jane Madden, daughter of Hammel Madden, a U. E. Loyalist, and a sister of the late Robert Madden, Esq., of Camden.
Mr. Deroche was educated at Newburgh Grammar School, and at Toronto University, where he graduated with first-class honors and the Silver Medal in Modern Languages in 1868, having also taken first prize as public speaker at the Literary Society. He taught as Second Master in Newburgh Academy, under Rev. Wm. Lewin, B.A., for four years, and as Principal of the Napanee High School for two years. He began the study of Law with D. H. Preston, K. C., of Napanee, in 1870, and afterwards with the late James Bethune, K. C. of Toronto, and was called to the Bar in 1874, and since then has been practising law in Napanee – from 1877 to 1903 in partnership with Jas. H. Madden, Esq., now Judge of the County Court. He was made a Queen’s Counsel in 1890, and for many years was Crown Counsel at the Assizes in Eastern Ontario.
While attending the University of Toronto, Mr. Deroche joined the University Company of the Queen’s Own Rifles and fought at the Battle of Ridgeway against the Fenians on June 2nd 1866. He was a member of the Legislature of Ontario for twelve years, having been first elected for the Riding of Addington in 1871, and was re-elected in 1875 and 1879, but was defeated in 1883, and was Chairman of the Standing Orders and Printing Committee for several years. Mr. Deroche was a Liberal in politics and a supporter of the late Sir Oliver Mowat, and took a prominent part in all the political campaigns in these Counties and in many other Ontario Ridings until he was appointed County Attorney and Clerk of the Peace of the County. He was a member of the Council of Public Instruction for Ontario from 1873 until the office was abolished and the late Adam Crooks was appointed Minister of Education, and was one of the last, if not the last, surviving member of that Council.
Mr. Deroche was Chairman of the Local Board of Examiners for Teachers from 1871 until the law was changed a few years ago, and was chairman of the Napanee Board of Education for ten years, and also President of the Mechanics Institute for four years. The cause of public instruction found in him, a stalwart champion and one whose labors were effective and far reaching.
Mr. Deroche was married in December 1872 to Sarah Ann Christian Pile, daughter of T. G. Pile Esq., for many years a planter in Barbadoes and afterwards Collector of Customs at Deseronto. His wife died in August, 1905.
Mr. Deroche is survived by four children: Eleanor E. Deroche, B.A., of Rossland, B. C.; Sarah A., C. P. Costigan, widow of the late Rev. Edward Costigan; H. M. P. Deroche, Barrister, of Melville, Sask., and Col. Alex. P. Deroche, Director of Works and Buildings in the Militia Department at Ottawa.
W. P. Deroche, Local Registrar, is a brother, and Judge Deroche, of Belleville, a nephew. Mrs. John S. C. Shorey, of Newburgh; Mrs. Geo. Watts, of Odessa, and Mrs. John A McKay of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, are sisters.
The funeral took place at St. Mary Magdalene Church, Napanee, on Monday last. Rev. J. H. H. Coleman officiating, and was largely attended. Out of respect to the deceased being a Fenian Raid Veteran, ‘C’ Company of the 80th Battalion, to the number of one hundred and fifty, marched in the procession.