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William Patrick Innes


Innes, William Patrick, Simcoe, was born at Inverdruie, Rothiemurchus, Inverness-shire, Scotland, on the 6th of November, 1832. His parents were Robert and Amelia, the maiden-name of his mother being Patterson. Mr. Innes, senior, was a mechanical engineer and draughtsman, and was very noted in his profession. He died in 1853, in the town of Inverness, Scotland, leaving a family of seven children, of which William Patrick was the third. Mr. Innes is descended of one of the oldest families in Scotland. The family line is traced back to the reign of Malcolm IV, of Scotland (1157). At this time a charter was granted to one Beroaldns de Flandemsis, who came from Flanders. Upon settling in Scotland this person took the local name of Innes, which means island or peninsula. Part of his property was situated in Morayshire. The subject of this sketch received a fair education, and after leaving school went to Glasgow, where he entered the employ of J. & P. Stewart, iron merchants and manufacturers, where he remained for one year, and on the failure of this firm he went to Dalkeith, near Edinburgh, where entered the employ of David Pursell, of the Elmfield Iron Works, situated at Dalkeith, near Edinburgh. His employment here at first was that of cashier, but subsequently he became manager. He resolved, however, to go to Canada, and in September, 1857, landed in Quebec. From Quebec he proceeded to Dundas, where he engaged as managed in the employ of J. M. Kirby, of West Flamboro', who carried on an extensive milling and distillery business conjointly. He remained here for about a year, and then returned to the town of Dundas, entering the employ of Billington & Forsythe, manufacturers of agriculture implements. Two years later he entered into partnership with John Walton, brewer and distiller, at Chatham, Ontario, the firm being knows as Walton & Innes. Although a partner in this concern, he still retained his position with Billington & Forsythe. In 1860 he purchased his partner's interest, and removing to Chatham, he carried on this business there for about two years. He then sold the premises and removed to Fergus, where he entered into partnership in the foundary business with the late James Grindley. Four years later he retired from this firm, and then took charge of the business of James Coleman, a large manufacturer and grain merchant in Dundas. For two years he remained in the establishment, and during this time was the principal grain buyer as well as general manager. Before separating himself from this firm he purchased the business of Cameron & INnes, steamboat owners and forwarders, of Dundas, carrying on the enterprise till 1873. In this year he retired from business, selling all his property. In 1874 he removed to the town of Simcoe, where he entered into partnership with George Jackson, of that place, in the manufacture of furniture and contracting. Two years later Mr. Innes retired from the firm. During his connection with Mr. Jackson he was also connected with a large fish-freezing establishment at Port Ryerse, Lake Erie, where an American company was engaged in pound-net fishing. The company failed, and Mr. Innes purchased the entire fishing interest in that locality, carrying on the business there for about four years. He likewise purchased the grocery establishment of John Curtis, of Simcoe, and took his nephew, William Brander, into partnership. This business was carried on until 1881, when, his nephew coming of age, Mr. Innes handed the establishment over to him, and retired from the firm. While connected with the grocery business, he, in connection with Dr. James Hayes, at present mayor of Simcoe; R. T. Livingston, barrister, and now Judge Livingston; Joseph Jackson, lumber merchant, now member of the Dominion Parliament for South Norfolk, established the Simcoe Canning Company, which business continued until 1881, when Mr. Jackson and the subject of this sketch purchased the interest of the other members of the firm. The newly-organized business was conducted under the name of Simcoe Canning Company. The business, which still continues, and is attended with abundant success, consits in the canning and preserving of all kinds of fruits, vegetables, poultry, etc. The firm have also in connection with the canning department, extensive evaporators for drying fruits and vegetables. The establishment employs about one hundred hands, during the busy season. They purchase all the surplus stock of fruits and vegetables in the surrounding country, besides importing large quantities from other sections of Canada and the United States. The trade of this enterprising house now extends through all of Canada, and there are occasional shipments to Great Britain and South America. Mr. Innes was a member of the Dundas artillery company, under Colonel William Notman; and has been a member of the Simcoe school board for a number of years. He has been connected with almost every great enterprise near him in a prominent way; and has always given his support to the Conservative party when political questions arose. He has been an elder of St. Paul's (Presbyterian) church for several years. In 1868, he married Marion Livingstone, daughter of the Rev. M. W. Livingstone, Presbyterian minister, Sincoe. The fruit of this union is a family of six children, four boys and two girls. Altogether our subject's career has been one of unusual energy, enterprise, and business pluck.


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