Admired and respected, the Lauriers were viewed as intellectuals interested in ideas, philosophy and politics. They were among the minority who knew how to read and write. In 1855, Carolus Laurier became the first mayor of Saint-Lin. A surveyor by profession, he was also a justice of the peace and a lieutenant in the 3rd Battalion of the Militia. Although a Francophone by birth, Carolus spoke English fluently. He was educated and remained very much abreast of current affairs.
Born during the turbulent times following the rebellions of the Patriots, Wilfrid Laurier was immersed in politics from a very young age. His father and grandfather, Charles Laurier, were fervent Liberal and Patriot militants. Politics was a common topic at home.
Wilfrid’s mother, Marcelle Martineau, was a well-educated woman who loved art and literature. Wilfrid’s name was inspired by a novel written by Walter Scott.