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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.

trademills coffee & spices montreal jar
ewing herron & co trademills montreal jar

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 

1885 ad BOURgeau herron-l'electeur.jpg

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


Alex alone.jpg

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.

globemills montreal jar alex wills


 In the Montreal Directories  ALEX WILLS & CO - Coffee and Spice Mills , 51 and 53 College from 1874 until 1886.



                                                             First Directory listing 1874.

1874 directory - first.jpg

  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

lefebvre jar.jpg

                                                            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

1886 dir.jpg

      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 & 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.

Le Pricx Courant 1888 feb 3.jpg
1888 feb 21 fire bourgeau -1.jpg
1888 feb 21 fire bourgeau -2.jpg
1888 feb 21 fire bourgeau -3.jpg

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

1856 directory.jpg

 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.

1861  census clip.jpg
1865 - canada dir smith & Wills.jpg

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.

1866 directory smith wills.jpg
1866 directory  g s a.jpg


                                          On February 14, 1867 Alex Wills  weds Frances Letitia Millard.

                                                                   In the 1868, Toronto Directory 

1868 wills.jpg
1868 wiils 2.jpg

  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.

1870 dir.jpg
tcd 1870 adsjpg.jpg

 In the 1871 Toronto Directory is some information on the two companies.

toronto 1871coffee and biscuits.jpg

In the 1871 Census , Alex Wills jr is listed with his wife Fanny and daughters Charlotte and Annie Louisa in Toronto.

1871 census clip.jpg

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.

1871 census father.jpg

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.

1873 dir toronto.jpg

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.

1874 directory - first.jpg

 Starting on January 26, 1874 is this following ad is found in the Montreal Star

april 9 1874 montrea.jpg

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). 

1876 diectory.jpg

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

heading report coffee.jpg
coffee report.jpg

In Toronto they drank the great coffee! - note should be Wils &  Watson - No Wilson& Watson exsits

toronto coffee.jpg



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

1879 mercantile.jpg

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

1881 gazette sept 20 1881.jpg

This ad was in the Morning Chronicle - Quebec (city) March 9, 1884

 Broker James Hossack is selling Alex Wills & co . products

1884 ad alex wills - quebec.jpg

This ad was placed in the Montreal Star- September 6, 1884

1884 montreal star sept 6.jpg

                         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.

1887 directory.jpg

In 1888 he is now listed as the following

1888 directory.jpg

                                             In the 1891 Census - Alex - Manufacturing Agent

                          His daughter Edith is no longer listed- he does have another daughter Gwendolyn.

1891 census clip.jpg

In 1893 Alex Wills attends the British America Insurance company 's annual meeting.

1893 insurance meeting.jpg

In the 1893 Quebec Official Gazette Alexander Wills is part of the  Thomas McDonald Manufacturing Company

1893 QOG- thomas McDonald.jpg

Montreal Directory 1895

1895 directory thomas.jpg
1895 directory.jpg

           In 1896 Alex Wills's daughter Annie Louise marries George E. Burns

                       MONTREAL DIRECTORY LISTING 1901

1901 dirc.jpg

                                                               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.

1903 montreal star 1903 j.jpg

Montreal Star - December 16, 1907

1907 montreal star dec 16.jpg

                             Quebec Official Gazette - 1910

Besides his job, Alex Wills has other responsibilities.

1900 appointment -1.jpg
1900 appointment -2.jpg

Quebec Official Gazette - January 2, 1911

1911 gazette jan 2 1911- .jpg

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.

1915 directory.jpg
1915 gazette- june 14 - f.jpg


1921 directory.jpg

GAZETTE - May 20, 1922

(address is same 11)

For sale or rent

1922 Gazette may 20 1922.jpg


      Alex Wills is 82 years old.

1925 directory.jpg
1925 directory dent.jpg

                                                      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.

On it is listed -Alexander Wills (senior ) 1815- 1898

        his wife - Susan Smith 1814-1897

 their children- Eliza -1855-1907

                        -Wilhemina-1852- 1920

                       - 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.

gazette march 17 1924.jpg

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

gazette 1943 graham .jpg

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

1921 dir ida -2.jpg
1921 dir ida.jpg
1921 dir ida clerk.jpg

                         Ida May Wills died in 1931 and is also buried in Huntington, Quebec at the St John's Anglican Cemetery.


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