ALEX WILLS & CO / GLOBE MILLS / MONTREAL etc.
I am doing this group to put forward a rare jar & that this jar is Canadian made .
I'll start with the jars with similar product names.
The next two jars are British made with the registered on the base . I do not have pic's. If anyone has pictures of these two jars I would appreciate if you could send me them.
Red Book # 624-4 Fresh Ground Choice Coffee & Spices / Montreal ( would have Registered on base )
The neck has slanted lugs like the Hartell Jar , with a ground lip.
NOTE new info as of May , 2019.
New Unlisted Jar ... Comes with Murray , Heron & Co. / Choice Coffee & Spices / Montreal
I had never seen this jar till looking through "glassCo" an auction that was from Ottawa Ont. Auction #7 in 1997.
The neck has slanted lugs like the Hartell Jar , with a ground lip. Registered on the base.
In 1873 they were Murray & Heron .
1874 -1878 they were Murray , Heron & Co.
I take the RB # 624-4 as being the early one and the New listing as being in the 1874-1878 time frame
Red book # 2812 . TRADE MILLS / COFFEE & SPICES / MONTREAL , base has the word REGISTERED
This would be the earlier jar of it and the Ewing , Heron ,& Co
Red book # 955.5 . EWING & HERON /TRADE MILLS / COFFEE & SPICES / MONTREAL , base has the word REGISTERED
The Ewing Heron & Co were from 1892 - 1897.
These jars are British made , no question. The British used Registered instead of trade marked or copyright .
Dates of operation are shown below pictures.
The following are dates taken from the Montreal Directories. ( Sometimes Heron is spelled with two r's.)
1873 - Murray & Heron ( James B Murrary and Robert Heron ) Coffee and Spice Mills , 67 McGill
1874 - Murray , Heron & Co
Trade Coffee and Spice Mills , 67 McGill
1875 - Murray , Heron & Co
Importers and Wholesale dealers in Coffee and Spices , 43 College
1876 - Murray , Heron & Co
Manufacturers and Importers of Coffee , Spices , etc , 43 College cor St Henry
1877 until 1878 still Murray , Heron & Co at same address as above.
In 1879 - the company is now called Bourgeau , Liffiton & Co. Manufacturers and Importers of Coffee and Spices , 43 College and 6 St Henry ( Robert Herron is the Co )
In 1880 , the company becomes Bourgeau , Heron & Liffiton - Manufacturers and Importers of Coffee and Spices , 43 College and 6 St Henry until 1883 ( only at 43 College after first year.)
1884 - 1892 - Bourgeau & Herron
Trade Coffee and Spice Mills , 43 College
In 1886 the address is 43 and 49 College ( very close to Alex Will's address 51 and 53 College)
In 1887 - the address becomes 69 -71 St James. It is also the address (71 St James ) given for Alex Wills & Co , Manufacturing Agent.
In 1888 the address for Bourgeau & Herron is 51 and 53 College.
This is Alex Wills' address for the years 1874-1886 for his Coffee and Spice Mills (Globe Mills ).
This property is owned in 1887 by Michel Lefebvre & Co and belongs to Bourgeau & Herron a year later in 1888.
Bourgeau & Herron have become the Proprietors of these Mills and it is here we find out " Trade Mills " is the name of their mill.
The Trade Millls Coffee & Spice , Montreal jars would be from the time period of Bourgeau & Herron 1884 -1892.
L Electeur - February 26, 1885 - AD
The directory only mentions both Trade and Globe Mills for the years 1888-1889. After , it is called Trade Mills.
In 1891 on June 11 a new partnership is formed between Robert Herron and Samual William Ewing.
The 1892 Montreal Directory now lists the company as Ewing , Herron & Co.
Manufacturers and Importers of Coffee, Spices , Mustard , Cook's Best Baking Powder etc .
Proprietors of Trade Mills.
Sole Manufacturers for Canada of Peterman's Roach Food- Fatal to Cock-Roaches.
579 and 581 St Paul St
Although the address is different in 1892 the directory says College st "is now part of St Paul St".
The company parts ways in 1897.
Robert Herron joins with Henry Hurst -
Robert Herron & Co
Herron Coffee and Spice Mills 555, 554 ,557 St Paul
In the 1898 directory Samual W Ewing is now part of the company S H Ewing & Sons (a relative).
Importers of corks , Coffee , Spices , Mustard , World's Best Baking Powder and Prop. of Trade Mills.
Sole Manufacturers for Canada of Peterman's Roach Food- Fatal to Cock-Roaches.
Mill and Factory 98 , 100, 102 King St Office 27 St Sacrament
Now we have the Red book 3017.5 ALEX WILLS & CO / GLOBE MILLS / MONTREAL
While the Trade Mills jars are drums, this one is a barrel , there is no REGISTERED on the base.
There is no question in my mind this one is Canadian made . The color matches many of the EGCo jars .
The design is like several American fruit jars and is much like the small mustard barrel/ or coffee jars made by most Canadian glass houses.
NOW TO THE NEW JAR , I have only seen a few.
It is from the same mould as the Alex Wills & Co jar , but that name is ground out and replaced by M. LEFEBRVRE & Co on the raised band where Wills was ground away , also the applied collar lip for the stopper has been changed to a threaded neck for a screw band .
It has a ground lip and likely came with a tin lid but I use a band with an underseal rayed lid .
The color matches the green of the NAGCo and my Darling Imp. Quart with the single line logo made by NAGCo.
This matches the colors of the original Wills mould to the Excelsior Glass Co. , and later NAGCo reworking it to the M. Lefebvre & Co.
In the Montreal Directories ALEX WILLS & CO - Coffee and Spice Mills , 51 and 53 College from 1874 until 1886.
First Directory listing 1874.
1886 is the last year Alex Wills operates these mills. In 1887 he is listed as an agent.
Wills Alex., & Co., coffee and spice mills, 51 and 53
Wills Alex., & Co. .manufacturers' agents, 71 St James,
This provides the time period in which these embossed Alex Wills were produced. Excelsior Glass Co started in 1879 in St Johns and then moved to Montreal. ( see Historical Article - St Johns and Excelsior Glass Company)
BELOW I WILL PROVIDE INFORMATION ON ALEX WILLS.
First a little information on the other jar embossed MICHEL LEFEBVRE & CO/ GLOBE MILLS/ MONTREAL
This jar was produced for the year 1887.
Michel Lefebvre & Co were producers of vinegar. They later also produced pickles and jam.
However, for a brief period of time they owned the Globe Mills which was previously owned by Alex Wills.
In the Addenda section of the 1887 Montreal Directory,
Their listing in the 1887 Montreal Directory
Early in the next year Michel Lefebvre & Co sold the mills.
The following is from LE PRIX COURANT - February 3, 1888
Bourgeau and Herron have bought the coffee mills of Michel Lefebvre & Co. on College street.
Below this it continues -Bourgeau & Herron whose stock was destroyed by a fire on St Jacques street have not been inactive for long. They have just acquired the stock and coffee mill machinery from Michel Lefebvre & Co.at 51 and 53 College street. Their large clientele can continue to give their orders to their new address and they will be served with the same exactitude and excellent merchandise as in the past.
L'Etendard - January 21, 1888
The fire took place on this date and was still in progress when the newspaper went to press.
It started at the manufactory of Azaire Lavigne - artistic furniture on St Jacques st.
The extreme cold was freezing the water coming out of the hoses and the fire spread to Mr Bourgeau & Herron's coffee and spice mills . They had only been their since last spring. The fire continued to spread. It burnt the roof off of S. U (W) & A. S. Ewing's coffee and spices steam mills, and had spread also to the Canada Coffee & spice steam mills owned by J. J. Duffy. Building # 79 occupied by M. Akerman - printers - Mr's Little & Lane - engravers and house # 81 occupied by wine merchants. As this is being written at 4 am Mr's Bushnall &cie oil mrechants and manufacturers of Cheeseborough place is on fire.It is continuing to spread and reaches from St Jacques street to ruelle de Fortification.The damage is mostly by fire and not by smoke and water. It is estimated so far as being about $400,000
As this goes to press the fire is not under control.
The later edition will have more details
I will be adding a page on Michel Lefebvre & Co below Alex Wills under fruit jars.
They had a long interesting history as a company. Started by their father Michel Lefebvre , his two sons Michel Theodule and Michel Theodore took over the operations in about 1882. As mentioned early, they also later made pickles and jams.
This jar represents a very brief period in the companies history which may have been missed without it.
THE FOLLOWING IS INFORMATION ON ALEX WILLS
Alexander Wills was born on April 4, 1843 in Scotland. His father was Alexander Wills and his mother was Susan Smith.
He immigrated to Canada with his family in 1854.
The earliest listing for his father, Alexander is in the Toronto City Directory.
He is a manufacturing Confectioner - in partnership with a Smith.
The following is from the 1856 Toronto Directory
Although it does not mention his name directly, in the 1861 Census he is listed as a Confectioner and in the 1865 Toronto Directory lists both his name and his partners name.
In the 1866 Directory , Alexander Wills Senior is still working with George Smith.
This is also the first year of brothers - G.S. Wills and Alex jr Wills Biscuit Manufactory.
On February 14, 1867 Alex Wills weds Frances Letitia Millard.
In the 1868, Toronto Directory
On Alex Wills daughter's Annie Louisa - December 22, 1869 birth record, he is listed as a Biscuit Maker.
In 1870 the SMITH & WILLS is no longer listed.
A new company called WILLS & WATSON Coffee and Spice Mills has begun.
Brothers George Smith Wills and Alex Wills are partnered with James Watson.
The two companies also have ad's placed together in the Toronto directory.
In the 1871 Toronto Directory is some information on the two companies.
In the 1871 Census , Alex Wills jr is listed with his wife Fanny and daughters Charlotte and Annie Louisa in Toronto.
In this following 1871 Census record for father Alexander , it is interesting to note he lives next door to George Smith his partner in the time of Smith & Wills - Confectioners.
Since Smith is his wife Susan's maiden name and there eldest son was named George Smith Wills , it is most likely George Smith is Susan's older brother.
In the 1873 Toronto Directory , G.S. & A. Wills- Biscuit Manufactory is no longer listed.
The remaining company WILLS & WILSON - Coffee and spice manufacturers now consists of James Watson and Alex sen. and Alex jr.
G.S. Wills is not listed as part of the company.
Although the 1874 Toronto directory lists Alex Wills jr in Toronto, he is now in Montreal, Quebec and listed there.
It is not uncommon to find mistakes in years when people have left partnerships or town in the directories)
Alexander Wills is listed in the Montreal Directory
His daughter Ida May was born on September 17,1874 and baptized at the Easkine Presbyterian in Montreal on March 7,1875.
Starting on January 26, 1874 is this following ad is found in the Montreal Star
By 1876 in the Toronto Directory, for Wills & Watson - is Alex sen, James Watson and (probably his son )Alex Watson.
G.S is a commercial traveler.
In Montreal it doe not say in the directory who is the " Co". of Alex Wills & Co. and there are no notary documents on this.
He may have been affiliated with Wills & Watson or his brother George S. (died in 1884).
In 1876 there is a report by the Department of Inland revenues -REPORT ON ADULTERATION OF FOOD
Below are the results for different companies. Wills & Watson is listed in Toronto and Alex Wills & Co in Montreal
In Toronto they drank the great coffee! - note should be Wils & Watson - No Wilson& Watson exsits
In the Mercantile for the year 1879, Alex Wills estimated pecuniary strength is an F - 10,000-20,000 and his general credit is High
In the 1881 Census Alex Wills is listed as a merchant.
- wife Fanny, and daughters Lottie ( Charlotte)- 12, (Annie) Louise -11, (Ida) May - 6 and Edith who was born in March.
The following clip is from the Gazette - September 20, 1881
Alex Wills has won a prize for his MUSTARD at the Exhibition
This ad was in the Morning Chronicle - Quebec (city) March 9, 1884
Broker James Hossack is selling Alex Wills & co . products
This ad was placed in the Montreal Star- September 6, 1884
1886 is the last year Alex Wills is listed in the Montreal Directory at this 51 & 53 College address.
The Mercantile - January 1887 lists Alex Wills - manufacturer of coffee and spices now with an estimated Pecuniary strength- E- -20,000 to 40,000 and a High General credit. This would reflect his last year of owning the mills.
In 1887 he is listed at the same address as Bourgeau & Herron. This place burnt down on January 21, 1888.
In 1888 he is now listed as the following
In the 1891 Census - Alex - Manufacturing Agent
His daughter Edith is no longer listed- he does have another daughter Gwendolyn.
In 1893 Alex Wills attends the British America Insurance company 's annual meeting.
In the 1893 Quebec Official Gazette Alexander Wills is part of the Thomas McDonald Manufacturing Company
Montreal Directory 1895
In 1896 Alex Wills's daughter Annie Louise marries George E. Burns
MONTREAL DIRECTORY LISTING 1901
1903 - Montreal Star
Alex Wills's sisters names are Annie, Susan , Wilhemina and Eliza.
( not sure which ones are being referred to in this newspaper)
His daughter Louise is the Burns referred to. Her son is named George.
Montreal Star - December 16, 1907
Quebec Official Gazette - 1910
Besides his job, Alex Wills has other responsibilities.
Quebec Official Gazette - January 2, 1911
In 1911, Alex Wills's forty-one year old daughter Charlotte marries Hugh Reginald Graham .
He is a farmer from Huntington, Quebec. She has been living in Toronto since January 1, 1900.
The following Montreal Directory listing is from 1915.. This is also the year he and a Miss Wills give to the Government Tobacco Fund - to send tobacco to the troops. It is listed in Gazette on June 14, 1915.
MONTREAL DIRECTORY - 1921
GAZETTE - May 20, 1922
(address is same 11)
For sale or rent
MONTREAL DIRECTORY - 1925
Alex Wills is 82 years old.
On January 15, 1929 Alex Wills age 85 passes away in Toronto.
He is buried in the Necropolis Cemetery in Toronto.
This following section is some family information.
There is a memorial tombstone in the Necropolis Cemetery Toronto. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/64101557/alexander-wills
On it is listed -Alexander Wills (senior ) 1815- 1898
his wife - Susan Smith 1814-1897
their children- Eliza -1855-1907
- Annie 1847 -1928
- Alexander -1844-1929
- Susan -1951-1934
The date for Alexander ( senior )' birth is most likely 1816
The date for Alexander ( junior )'s birth is April 1843 ( birth apparently says 1st - census says 4th).
Also George Smith Wills born on December 11, 1836 - died April 17, 1884 is not included on this stone.
A family tree on ancestry well documented including pictures of him includes him in this family.
He married Ellen Forrester Brown on March 20, 1862. They had eight children. - Joanna King, George, Ellen Frances, Agnes, Alexander William, Georgina Beatrice, Suzannah and Edwin Gordon.
He lived in Toronto and was involved with his brother Alex and father Alexander in business.
Some of the other births may be off by a year or so.
Alex Wills ( senior ) ' four daughter seemed to all remain unmarried.
( in the 1891 census they are all still living at home and in future directories Annie was the one owning the home.
Her sisters would have lived with her )
As for Alex Wills and Frances Millard Wills - these are their children - all girls.
Annie Louisa - 1869 ( born in Toronto ) - ?---- known in most records as Louise. She married George E. Burns in 1896. They had a son named George. Her husband passed away in 1924.
Charlotte born in Toronto in 1872 was a stenographer in Toronto in the 1911 Census. She is living with her mother and sister Ida May. On her marriage certificate she states she has been living in Toronto since 1900.
Charlotte marries Hugh Reginald Graham in 1911. He is a farmer in Huntington , Quebec. ( near Valleyfield )
He passes away in 1943 - Gazette March 24, 1943
Starting about 1900's Alex Wills lived in Montreal.
His wife Frances lived in Toronto with her daughters Charlotte and Ida May
Their daughter Edith Millard Wills was born on March 14, 1881. She does not appear in the 1895 Census and so must have passed away.
Their daughter Gwendolyn was born in 1885 and died on May 26,1894 in Huntington.. She is buried there at the St John's Anglican cemetery.
Frances died in 1935 at her son in law's Hugh Reginald Grahams home in Meadowplace, Huntington , Quebec.
She is also buried in this cemetery. She is 91 years of age.
Daughter Ida May Wills was born on September17, 1874 in Montreal. She died in 1931 and is also buried in Huntington, Quebec at the St John's Anglican Cemetery. She never married.
In the 1911 Census she lives in Toronto with her mother and sister Charlotte.
She is 36 years old and her occupation is broker.
In the 1921Census , she lives with her mother and her occupation is Customs Broker. They live at 677 Dupont.
The following are from the 1921 Toronto Directory.
A clerk is listed as working for her. - Neille Rowarth
Ida May Wills died in 1931 and is also buried in Huntington, Quebec at the St John's Anglican Cemetery.