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Originally , one article was to be written on the Potters and Potteries of St Johns during the time period of 1854-1876.  However , it  will now be divided into four separate articles .

The Farrar's Pottery 1854-1876 - it will cover Moses , Ebenezer Lawrence , George Whitfield , George Henry and Lucius Farrar. It will also cover  the involvement of Orrin L Ballard and Joseph T Hazen with the Farrars. The  potters working for them will also be included.  
There will also  be three other articles on the lives of  John Gillespie ,Orrin Lawrence Ballard

                                                                                                                                                          and Joseph Theophile Hazen. 

Some of the lives of these people are intertwined so it would be necessary to read all four to have a full scope of this period of pottery in St Johns.
                                                                               JOHN GILLESPIE

               This article will focus on John Gillespie and the timeline of his occupations as a -

                                              Carpenter/Cabinetmaker ,Potter,and Glass Presser.

 It will also be shown he had no working relationship as a Potter with Joseph T. Hazen as suggested in Real Fortin's book " Poterie et Vaisselle -  pg 37 "  which was information implied by Helen H. Lambert's book " Two Centuries in the Richelieu Valley" . At the end of this article , there is a section providing information about the owners of the Lot of land known as the west half of # 274 in the town of St Johns . This is the property on which John Gillespie had his Pottery and  the same property which was later owned by J. T. Hazen. 

As usual L # refers to Land records and N # refers to a notary document. and Familysearch are the sources for Census info , Church records and genealogy information.

  John Gillespie was born  on May 27, 1832. His baptism record on June 10 at the Anglican Cathedral Holy Trinity Church in Quebec city states his father Henry and mother Ann (Nancy Dixon ) were of late from the county of Tyrone , Ireland.

 He was the eldest child and it would seem his parents had just immigrated to Lower Canada.

They established themselves in St Johns (known as Dorchester ) in the early years.

 His father Henry Gillespie was a Master Carpenter and Contractor in St Johns (- note he built the Canada Glass Works buildings in 1844 see under Historical Articles).


Henry had different partners in business in the years before 1860. Thomas Sheridan ( Builder and Wheelwright ) , Daniel Mandigo ( Machinist , Contractor and Inventor ) and Henry Sherry ( Cabinetmaker and Contractor ) were those we discovered through land records and directories.

He not only built many buildings in St Johns but also with Daniel Mandigo worked on the" Military prison " on St Helens Island in 1845 and 1846.  ( L # 2081, 2123 , and 7580 ).

 It will be shown alongside the information on John Gillespie , that Henry Gillespie operated several business simultaneously throughout the years.

He had two places of business after about 1864. He had a furniture store and another premises were he conducted his Contracting business , Carpentry shop and Undertaker affairs.

Although the business's were owned by him , Henry would have involved his son(s) in his affairs.

 In the 1870's the evidence would seem to show John Gillespie was working on Front ( Richelieu ) street in " the Furniture Hall"  or at the carpentry shop on McCummings st ( Champlain st).

In the 1851 Census both Henry Gillespie and his son John, 21 years old are listed as Carpenters.

They are living in the same dwelling.

 However , a year later in 1852  Henry Gillespie forms a partnership with Warren Soule and becomes involved with a Pottery. Moses Farrar is giving up his interest in the firm " Farrar & Soule " . The following documents show the transaction process and we give some background information on the Pottery .

N# 2005 - May 3, 1852 , N # 2013  - May 11, 1852, and L # 5940 - May 11, 1852
Warren Soule and Moses Farrar on May 3, 1852 dissolve the partnership they  had formed on April 12, 1848.

The lot of land the Pottery was built on is # 44. It had originally been purchased by Moses Farrar  on October 17, 1840. Issac  Newton Soule ( his partner )  gave his share of business and land to his son , Warren on April 11, 1848.

On May 11, 1852 , Moses sells his share of half of lot # 44 and  the south half of lot # 58 in Rouville County ( a wood lot ) to Warren Soule and transfers all his interest in the firm of  Farrar & Soule to Warren Soule.

 Moses Farrar is selling for one hundred ninety pounds fifteen shillings and will hold the mortgage .

Warren Soule must advertise that the firm of  Farrar & Soule " is dissolved in newspapers in the district of Montreal.

This property  is described as being known as lot # 44 in St Johns in the county of Chambly , Barony of Longueuil ," west side of Longueuil street containing seventy two feet in front by one hundred forty four feet in depth, bounded in front towards the east by Longueuil street in rear towards the west by lot fifty one belonging to the said Moses Farrar, on the North side by Partion street and the south side by lot # 45 belonging to Virgil Titus " .

It is being sold with all houses , buildings , Pottery , and all the improvements there on erected and being ."

 Six months later is this following document   between Warren Soule and Henry Gillespie.
 N # 5994 - November 11, 1852
It states that Warren H Soule , Potter has borrowed $1000. of current money of this Province from Henry Gillespie , Master Carpenter and Joiner. W H Soule has mortgaged his lot # 44 as security for this payment.

This following Ad ran in the Montreal Herald and Daily Commercial Gazette from December 30, 1852 until about September 1853. Henry Gillespie's occupation as a Contractor and builder seems to have influenced the products made at the pottery. 

gillespie & soule stoneware

                                                   Early  in 1853 there was a fire at the  pottery.

February 8 1853 - Montreal Herald and Daily Commercial Gazette

gillespie & soule

 In the fall of 1853 Gillespie & Soule displayed pottery at the Montreal Provincial exhibition

This information is from Elizabeth Collard's book  Nineteenth Century Pottery and Porcelain in Canada pg. 292 .

It is a reporter's account taken from the newspaper Montreal Gazette  - October 3, 1853.

                               " We noticed some pottery by Messrs. Gillespie and Soule , of St Johns; "

Unfortunately  the reporter does not give details as to the type of pottery.

The stoneware pictured below are some examples of the products of the pottery marked Gillespie & Soule.

gillespie & soule st johns stoneware
gillespie & soule stoneware st johns
gillespie & soule stoneware st johns
gillespie & soule stoneware st johns

L # 37 - March 4 ,1854
The firm of Gillespie & Soule ended with the sale of the lot " together with the houses , buildings, Pottery and other improvements there on erected and being including  all the Stone and Earthenware , burnt and unburnt , stoneware kiln, clay , mill , stock of clay, wheels , tools, forms , and implements generally whatsoever in and about the said Pottery and premises and actually there in and in use by the said vendors in carrying on the business of the said Pottery and in any manner connected there with and all the horses , harnesses , wagons ,  carts , sleighs , and a straw cutter and all the moveable property ", to Ebanezer Lawrence Farrar of Burlington, Vermont.

 John Gillespie likely learned the potters trade during the time his father was a partner of the firm  Gillespie & Soule from mid- late 1852 until March  1854 .

 Although we can not say for sure if John Gillespie worked as a potter or a carpenter between the years 1854 -1857 after the Pottery was sold to E L Farrar  , we include the following information .

It will be expanded on in article " The Farrar's Pottery 1854-1876 "  and is referred to here since it would be at these potteries John Gillespie would have continued to work as a potter. 

Moses Farrar  operated a pottery under his own name on  lot #51  which was  next to the Pottery of Gillespie & Soule from about May 24, 1852 until  he sold to G W Farrar on August 17, 1855. This is made evident  in N # 2024 in which he hires Narcisse Maillet.

On October 25, 1854 , Moses buys more land lot # 52 which is connected to his lot # 51 next to lot # 44.
 With the arrival of Ebenezer L Farrar , they formed a partnership and produced stoneware marked E L<> M. Farrar ( at Moses's pottery )  and  E L Farrar  ( at his pottery) at the same time .

 If the mark EL <> M. Farrar , St Johns was the only mark used on stoneware by both Potteries during this time period they would be much more common as two potteries would have produced thousands of pieces.

Following that if E L Farrar was using the E L <> M. Farrar mark it means that the more available E L Farrar ,St Johns  CE  would have all been produced from the 1855- 1857 a year and a half production making it highly unlikely.

 NOTE  for example a few years later in 1861 Census pg.174,   H H Lambert says " 36,000 jugs , 30,000 butter pots , 300 DOZEN teapots , 600 pitchers and 600 spittoons were produced. We found about  six potters working at this time.

 We suggest  it is  possible John Gillespie worked at one of these potteries.

There are some very interesting pieces of stoneware marked  EL & M Farrar ,St Johns (1854-55) pictured below.

Beneath  the E L  <> M. Farrrar , there are initials   - " A M " , " N M "  or " J G ".  Amable and Narcisse Maillet were potters in St Johns at this time.  Narcisse had been hired by Moses Farrar in 1852.  

This explains the initials " A M " and " N M " .

We thought the " J G " must be the  initials of John Gillespie HOWEVER after more research we realized there was another  potter with the same initials in St Johns at this time.

 Jean- Baptiste Gaudette was born in St Antoine sur Richelieu, Verchere county in 1817 . He was in Burlington , Vermont by 1839 as he was married to his first wife there. In 1842  the birth of his child Marie Denise Gaudette is registered in St Johns at the Paroisse de la Cathedrale.

Then he went back to Burlington. In the 1850 Census of Burlington , his occupation was listed as " pottery " and he must have known Moses and Ebanezer Farrar as well as the Ballards .

He returned to St Johns by at least 1854 when his daughter Marie Theodora was baptized there on August 3.

Her godfather was another potter in St Johns - Rapheal Gosselin. 

 The potters had close associations not only at work but also in their private lives. For example a musical band was formed and Amable Maillet and Jean Bte Gaudette were band mates as well as potters Olivier Deslauriers and Joseph Rainville.

 In some of the land records in St Johns he signs his name " John or Jean Gaudette".

Therefore it is possible the stoneware marked with "J G" initials could those of  Jean Bte Gaudette or John Gillespie.

 There will be more information on Jean Gaudette showing his close connection to the Farrars in the article The Farrar's Pottery 1854-1876 - coming soon )

6A -NARCISSE MAlLLET_edited.jpg
6B -NARCISSE MAILLET 2_edited.jpg
5A -AMABLE MAILLET_edited.jpg
5B -AMABLE MAILLET 2_edited.jpg
7A -E L & M Farrar with Initials JG 002_
7B -E L & M Farrar with Initials JG 001

There is also another crock with the initials " J G ". It is a merchant crock which has been attributed to the pottery in Cornwall in the mid 1860's owned by Orrin L Ballard. 

It reads " B T & I G Hitchcock - General Merchants , Cornwall C W (Canada West ) ".

It is a 3 gallon jug with a blue design . It also has beneath the " 3 " the initials " J G ".

 Research has shown it was not produced in Cornwall . It was made in St Johns and during the same time period as the stoneware above.

 In the 1857 Canada Directory it lists B T & J G Hitchcock , Storekeepers - Cornwall C W.

The 1851 Census for this area lists them as Buel T and John G , sons of Myron and Mary Hitchcock .

( The " I " is an error on the jug - it should be a J ). They were originally from Fort Covington, Franklin County , New York.  Buel and John are not listed as merchants in the Canadian 1851 or supplement 1853 directory however a Supreme Court case ruling (Soules & Sherman vs Oscar A Burton ) mentions them as merchants in Cornwall , C W in 1855. Buel and John were no longer in Cornwall by 1861. Only their parents are living there and as Cornwall Pottery under O. L. Ballard began in 1864 , this rules out this stoneware having been made in Cornwall. ( see more on this pottery in article on Orrin L Ballard -coming soon ). 

 This puts them  in the  time period of 1854-1855  which coincides with  E L <>M Farrar , St Johns at the smaller pottery of Moses Farrar. Once again as above the " J G " could stand for John Gillespie or Jean Gaudette.

After 1855 when Moses Farrar's pottery was bought  by G W Farrar on August 17, 1855,  John Gillespie could have  worked for his father as a carpenter or as a potter for E. L. or G .W. Farrar. ( more on this in article The Farrar's Pottery 1854 - 1876)

 On January 1,  1857 - John Gillespie marries Mary Ann Foster ( daughter of Joseph Foster, a Glassblower - see Canada Glass Works - St Johns ) . It does not list his occupation at this time.

On February 18 1857 E. L. Farrar places an ad in the News and Frontier Advocate ( From Elizabeth Collard 's book pg. 271 )
Note he says "Potteries" burned on Feb 14, 1857. This seems to say both potteries one on lot # 44 and the other #51 - # 52 are destroyed and the potters are out of a job until early spring.

8 -1857 E L Farrar NFA fire.jpg

It is a month later when John Gillespie and his brother-in-law Thomas Mace buy property for  the purpose of producing pottery. In this document he lists his occupation as Potter.

L # 249 - 1857 March 14
John Gillespie , Potter and Thomas Mace ,Saddler  both of St Johns,  buy a lot of land from E & D MacDonald ( bought on February 5, 1857 from the Sheriff of Montreal)

It is described as front on Partion St, bounded in rear (depth) by Thomas L Dixon, by Joseph Macon on  east side and west side by John Street and " not Longueuil street as mentioned in the ( original ) deed here in after mentioned "- 72 feet  by 72 feet with two wooden houses and other buildings . They will pay four payments of 17 pounds  10 shillings with the first payment due March 14, 1858. ( Later this property is referred to as  West half of lot #  274 and then renumbered # 531.)

The following picture is part of " Plan Officiale de  la ville de St -Jean , 1877 " ( Official plan of town of St Johns , 1877 ) This is a later dated map  with new lot # 's.  It should also be noted where the Farrar's potteries were are know considered one lot and under the ownership of J & H Black.

The green dot is the location of E. L. Farrar's pottery. The yellow dot is Moses Farrar's pottery and the red dot is John Gillespie's pottery.

st johns pottery

1857 April 13 -  An announcement appears in the St Johns Newspaper -News and Frontier Advocate.

( Elizabeth Collard's book pg. 272)

10 -1857 NFA re built potertry E L G W.j

ONE MONTH LATER After purchasing property and a few days after E.L. & G. W. FARRAR's Pottery re-opens

N #3719 -  1857 April 16  
Gillespie & Mace Traders of Pottery in St Johns make a one year contract with Amable Maillet, Potter of St Johns to provide them with pottery starting May 15, 1857. Amable Maillet will devote all his time to the said business and Gillespie & Mace will provide him with all materials and clay he will need.

They will purchase the pottery from him at the rate of $ 80. for $100 worth of pottery.

This explains why Amable Maillet is listed as a Trader and Potter in the 1857 Canada Directory under St Johns.  The address given is his home address. Also listed is Gillespie & Mace and Henry Gillespie.

11 -1857 can dir maillet.jpg
12 -1857 can dir.jpg

This picture is an example of Gillespie & Mace marked stoneware made by Amable Maillet and possibly his brother Narcisse .

st johns gillespie & mace cruche
gillespie & mace st johns stoneware

A few weeks after Amable Maillet 's contract is signed , John Gillespie signs a lease in Montreal and now states his occupation as Cabinetmaker.

N # 3121 - 1857 June 9
Michel Thievge , a master shoe maker  leases to John Gillespie , Cabinetmaker  starting from this day ( June 9 ) for ten months and twenty- one days until May 1, 1858 , the upper part of a two story house on the corner of German and St Catherine street in Montreal. He will not be able  "to sublet any part or portion " to any other person and he can not work his trade in the said premises. The yard is to be shared with the other tenants. 
 In this lease it also mentions Michel Thievge the lessor was living in the place he is now renting to John Gillespie.

The 1856 Montreal directory lists the address as 97 German.  ( it is an error as later  it is listed as  87 German ) 

                                                   1857 - Canada Directory  in Montreal        

john gillespie potier st jean

Seventeen days later on  June 26, 1857  E. L. Farrar and Stephen Farrar drown. They had been on a business trip to agents John C Watson Lemoine street in Montreal and Thomas Bickell in Quebec City. On the return journey on the steamboat "MONTREAL it's boilers caught fire ( exploded?) and sank. Legal problems occur for G. W. Farrar as his brother died without a will . ( Elizabeth Collard -Nineteenth Century Pottery and Porcelainin Canada pg. 273)

John Gillespie is at present working in Montreal as a cabinetmaker while Thomas Mace , a saddle maker lives  in St Johns. Amable Maillet is making the pottery for " Gillespie & Mace " in St Johns.

On September 7, 1857 a Promissory note is made by Gillespie & Mace  to Mr O. Deuel for $ 69. to be paid in six months. ( N # 4163 )

 Early in 1858 , one month before  the first payment  is due on the property to E & D MacDonald 
N # 4124 - 1858 February 9 
Dissolution of Co-Partnership between  Thomas Mace and John Gillespie as "Manufactures of Pottery" in St Johns as of February 4, 1858.
John Gillespie will be solely responsible  for the mortgage payments on the property and be sole owner of the shop, stock and utensils and fixtures belonging to the shop. The property has a dwelling house, Pottery, and other buildings erected. He will pay Thomas Mace $150. in 3 payments in nine months and $50. worth of pottery at 33% of the going rate.

1858  February 10 News and Frontier Advocate.

Ad announcing  the CANADA STONE WARE Establishment  by John Gillespie 

john gillespie st johns stoneware
john gillespie st johns stoneware
john gillespie st johns cruche

 Now the  business belongs to John Gillespie who has taken over all debts . A month later notice is given on a past due prommisory note.
N # 4163 - 1858 March 10 - Protest of non - payment on a promissory note Gillespie & Mace made September 7, 1857
At the request of E & D MacDonald ( who presented the original promissory note  due to Mr O. Deuel now in New York  ) to the notary Thomas Robert Jobson , the notary went to Gillespie & Mace (now John Gillespie's ) place of business to claim the money.  
When the notary went to claim the money , he spoke to "   Louis Boyer  ( a potter ), one of their establishment.   He answered Je n'en connais rien. " (I know nothing about it ). So the following day T. R. Jobson notary made an official Protest of non- payment and sent a letter to Mr O. Deuel in New York.

1858 March 14 - John Gillespie's first payment on property is due to E & D MacDonald.

John Gillespie's Montreal lease ends June 1, 1858.

 He is back living in St Johns and working at his pottery and is not listed in the 1858 Montreal Directory.
 However he is listed in the Montreal Directories for 1859 and 1860 at the same place he leased in 1857 -

John Gillespie cabinetmaker , 87 German.

This seemed odd since he was not listed in 1858 and it is clear he was in St Johns in 1858 . Notary records #'s 4150 - October 25, 1858  , 4424 - February 12, 1859 , 4635  - April 6, 1859 , and March 14, 1860 are leases  by Michel Thievge for the same  upper story of a two story brick house on the corner of St Catherines and German - the same property John Gillespie had leased in 1857 .   The leases for those years show John Gillespie was not leasing there at this time. The directory had reprinted old information concerning this property.

John Gillespie was living in St Johns in 1859 and 1860.

July 10, 1858 - Birth of daughter , Ida May Gillespie.

Two years later, in 1860 John Gillespie 's pottery comes to an end. 
N # 4968 - 1860 February 29
Sale and Conveyance by RETROCESSION from John Gillespie to E & D MacDonald
 In liquidation the property that John Gillespie's pottery was on is returned back to  original owners E & D MacDonald.
John Gillespie is mentioned as being from St Johns and a "CARPENTER and JOINER".

However , this is CROSSED OUT and on the side of the page it is noted " POTTER " and initialed.

The property has on it "two wooden houses, shed and other buildings there erected and being " and including all other buildings and Improvements they the said John Gillespie and Thomas Mace may have made" .
The MacDonalds are getting back their property for the 70 pounds , the original "price of sale".

 John's second child Albert Gillespie is born in 1860.

Although his pottery is closed , John Gillespie stays in St Johns. He is not listed in the Montreal Directory for 1861.
He is listed in the 1861 Census - John Gillespie in St Johns , POTTER.

He would have been working for George W. Farrar at his Pottery on Partion Street.

His father Henry is listed as a Carpenter. Brother's Farnham is listed as an Engineer and William H.   ( died in 1863 ) as a Tinsmith. Both John and Henry live in a frame house . They are listed as  living next to one another.

STARTING in 1862 and until 1870 , John Gillespie is listed in the Montreal Directories as a Cabinetmaker.

It is important to note St Johns was a simple twenty -one mile journey by train to Montreal. He leased places to live in and the addresses given in the Montreal directories match with the leases found. The addresses are not where he worked. We were unable to find any documentation showing who he was working for or with. It was also common among the leases of workers in tenent houses that the  leasee often subleted their accommodations for  part of the year. This was also done by John Gillespie. 

In October 1862 , Annie Gillespie their third child was born. ( she was baptised in St Johns in 1863 - her mother Mary Ann was the only witness - John is not present but is noted as  a Carpenter )


1862 - Montreal Directory

1863 - Montreal Directory

1864 - Montreal Directory

john gillespie st jean sur richelieu
st jean sur le richelieu cruche
john gillespie st johns

Meanwhile in St Johns , John's father  Henry Gillespie has an ad in the St Johns Newspaper 

                                                     News and Frontier Advocate  - June 4, 1864

henry gillespie st jean sur le richelieu

Although we do not know for sure who John Gillespie was working for or with in Montreal the following document shows he did have a position in which he would order the necessary materials.

N # 25006 1865 January 11
This Protest document  for non - payment of a promissory note drawn by John Gillespie endorsed by A H Adams of Boston  It is dated for December 8 ,1864 and is  for $ 212.42 -

The Boston Directory lists A. H. Adams profession as " Leather " ( a product used when upholstering furniture )

N # 2479 - February 14, 1865 -

Lease from Ferdinard Audet dit Lapointe , a Carpenter and Joiner to John Gillespie, a Cabinet maker .
It will start on May 1, 1865 for one year. It is for the first story  on the north west side of a  four tenements two story brick house situated on St Charles Barromee in the St Lawrence ward of the city of Montreal.

However in , N # 2510 - March 24 1865  , he cancels this lease before it has begun. 

John Gillespie finds new lodgings as he is listed in the 1865 Montreal Directory at the following address.

john gillespie st johns

His father Henry Gillespie is listed under Cabinetmaker and Furniture Dealer in St Johns in the 1865 Canada Directory.

                                         John Gillespie in the 1866 - Montreal Directory 

john gillespie st johns

At the end of the year 1866 , John Gillespie is leasing the premises he was living in .
N # 528 - December 11, 1866

 Lease to Henry Gallway for four months and twenty one days ( lease must end May 1, 1867 ) It is the upper story of 247 St Urbain - a tenement or dwelling of a two story brick house . It is lately occupied by Reverend O Labelle.

This sublet shows John Gillespie was working  in both Montreal  and in St Johns throughout the year. 
In 1867  he is listed  in the Eastern Townships Gazetteer ( on left )  in St Johns on St James st and in the Montreal Directory as a foreman.

john gillespie st johns stoneware
22 -1867 east town john.jpg

                  The 1867 Eastern Townships Gazetteer has this  Ad for his father's businesses in St Johns.

henry gillespie st johns

                                          In 1868 in the Montreal Directory John Gillespie  is at the same address 1867

 john gillespie st johns

By the end of 1868 , on  November 3 in the St Johns newspaper Franco - Canadien is an ad by  Henry Gillespie .

"He is announcing  moving his furniture store to M Coote's building in another location in St Johns. The ad also says he has just received a new shipment of a large assortment of furniture from MONTREAL. Beds made of iron and wood of all sizes , bedroom sets , and living room furniture all at the lowest prices in Montreal . He has also received  " little beds " for furnishing schools like the ones he has sold in the past to establishments in St Johns and elsewhere. Coffins made of wood and cast iron are also available. He has also a hearse available to all parishes on demand ."


henry gillespie st johns

N # 5358 is a later document on August 10, 1869 however it gives the the location of William Coote's property .

He is borrowing money from Henry Gillespie and mortgaging his property on Front Street with house, shops and other buildings. To the east of the property are the grounds of the Chambly canal  , north side is Basil Larocque ( General Merchant ) and south side is James Harrison ( blacksmith ).

Although we do not know which company or companies John and Henry Gillespie were working and dealing with in the 1860's ,  early in  1869 John Gillespie formed a partnership with John D. Bennett in Montreal.
N # 4502 - March 2 ,1869 
This document is a Co-partnership agreement between John Gillespie , Cabinet maker and Upholsterer, and John D. Bennett ,  Plate Chest Maker.

They will combine their skills for seven years and the company name will be  Bennett & Gillespie. Their place of business is the leased property at 562 Craig street, Montreal which will also be J. Bennett's place of abode. The capital for the business is $ 880. currency , part in money , part in inventory " made amicably " by the said parties but to be entirely entered in the books as credit to Bennett. Gillespie will give 5% of the profit to Bennett until they are equal in capital. Both are to devote all their time to the said firm and if they do other business it must be with consent of the other and for benefit of the said firm. Each can take out fifteen dollars per week .

                                                     The 1869 Montreal Directory

john gillespie potter st jean sur richelieu
28 -1869 mtl dir john.jpg

Although he has just started  a partnership with John Bennett , by mid summer John Gillespie places this ad in the french St Johns newspaper.

 July 23 1869 Franco-Canadien

John Gillespie  starts selling  headstones and funeral monuments  of all sizes and styles at low prices.

He has samples  at his Furniture shop on Front st in St Johns.

john gillespie st jean sur le richelieu

A couple weeks later is  this notary document.
N # 1379 August 3, 1869
John Gillespie subleting  the lower part of a three story British home in the St Antoine Ward, Montreal to Thomas A. Lemesurier. The house  number is 33 on Latour Street. The lease is for nine months and starts August 1, 1869.

This is  his address listed in 1869 Montreal directory.

 The partnership did not last the seven years as planned. Less than a year later the partnership is dissolved.
N # 4846 - January 5, 1870
By mutual consent this is a dissolution of partnership document for  Bennett & Gillespie. John Gillespie's personnel tools will remain his but  John Bennett will make take over all credits and debits. This business will become his alone.

 John Gillespie is not found in the Montreal Directories for all the years during the 1870's. He is back in St Johns.

Meanwhile , Henry Gillespie places some ads in the January 21, 1870  (2 ads on left ) edition of The News and Frontier Advocate in St Johns. One is advertising furniture , the other funeral monuments. In April 1870 , another furniture ad.

henry gillespie st ean sur le richelieu
henry gillespie st jean sur le richelieu
31A -1870 aril ad.jpg
henry gillespie st johns

June 5 ,1870 - Henry Arthur Gillespie is born to John and Mary Ann Gillespie.

However , he dies soon after on August 18, 1870. John Gillespie , a Carpenter in St Johns and brother- in -law ,George W Foster are the witnesses to his burial in St Johns.

On November 8, 1870 John Gillespie is mentioned as an agent in an ad in the Franco- Canadien.

It is a little bit more than a year since his last ad for funeral headstones and almost a year since his father's ad.

The french ad ran until about September 1872.

 In the News and Frontier Advocate  a similar ad but it does not mention him as an agent in April 1870.

  A later ad on March 10, 1871 , another agent is listed.

It should be noted John Gillespie may have used pieces of marble on his cabinets.

john gillespie potier
H L Jacquays marble
john gillespie potter

The 1871 CENSUS -John Gillespie is in St Johns  and his occupation is listed as CARPENTER.

His father , Henry 's occupation is listed as Undertaker and his brother's James , a Painter and Alexander ( died 1874 ) , a Cabinet maker. John and Henry are listed as living in the same dwelling.

The 1871 Canada Directory lists Henry Gillespie and John Gillespie ( no other siblings )

john gillespie st johns potter

November 2 1871 - Franco -Canadien is a ad for Henry Gillespie.

He is selling different types of wood

Henry gillespie st johns

August 1872 - the News and Frontier Advocate  

Another Henry Gillespie Ad

Henry gillespie st johns


By the mid 1870's , John Gillespie is still in St Johns working as a cabinet maker.


L # 8843 - October 28, 1875 
This document lists John Gillespie as a Cabinet Maker in St Johns. His father is selling him the southern half of lot 318. Later in 1877  it was given to him. It is described as having a house and other buildings on it.

  On St George ( Partion ), bounded in front east by St Johns street , west side by William Mace, south side by property owned by the Montreal Champlain Railway Company and north by other half of lot 318.

Henry acquired this property in 1873. It was next to lot 319 which Henry Gillespie bought in 1855.

 These properties are across the street from lot 274 where John Gillespie had his pottery in 1857-1860

In December of 1875 the St Johns Glass Company started in St Johns.

Henry Gillespie was one of the directors and investors in this firm . Charles Foster ( brother of John Gillespie's wife Mary Ann )  returned to St Johns  ( see Article Canada Glass Works ) and was also an investor and the Superintendent of the glass works .

John Gillespie's son Albert ( about 15 years old ) received his apprenticeship here as a glass blower. ( see Article St Johns Glass Company and Excelsior )

On June 18, 1876 was the disastrous fire in St Johns. ( see more under Historical Article - St Johns PQ Fire 1876 )

The property above was not in the fire zone however the business  premises on Front  ( Richelieu ) street was.

The other place of business on lot # 60 on Champlain ( once called McCumming ) seems to have survived the fire


In the June 20  - Courrier de St Hyacinthe listed among the people whos places were burnt is John Gillespie. In the Morning Chronicle ( Quebec ) June 24, 1876, they list the loses  for H. Gillespie , cabinetmaker.

In the  amount of $ 2500. or more

On August 10, 1876 - John Gillespie's mother passes away.

In the 1876 Directory of St Johns - (corrected to Nov 1, 1876)

 John Gillespie , Carpenter 36 St Jean (or St John st. )  This is his home address .

A former potter , Amable Maillet is also listed as a carpenter and most likely worked with or for John Gillespie.

John's brother Farnham is listed as a clerk and Thomas as a Carpenter . Henry Gillespie is listed under both Furniture and as a Joiner Turner.

However , he very soon after sells his merchandise . It is not John Gillespie who purchases his father's furniture business.

john gillespie potier st jean

N # 4031 -  November  4, 1876

Henry Gillespie sells his stock in Trade Goods and and Merchandise in his storehouse in St Johns to  Gillespie  &  Carson. Henry Gillespie is referred to as a General Dealer in Household furniture , ornamental articles, coffins and funeral furnishings. Included in this document is the inventory list made on November 1, 1876.

It lists 7 pages of items valued at $ 2614.56 .

 Besides coffins and furnishings for them , a hearse , a sleigh , lumber, tools , brushes , cradles,  child carriages , high chairs , rocking chairs (Cane , Wicker and Boston ) , McGarvey chairs , stools , shelves, book racks , refrigerators , wash stands , beds , mattresses , side boards, tables etc..

November 26, 1876- News and frontier Advocate
This Ad shows that John Gillespie's father , Henry Gillespie , has retired and it is John's brother Farnham and their future brother in law Joseph Carson who are taking over the furniture business .

The address is for the lot # 60 ( on Mc Cumming st now called Champlain ) purchased on February 28, 1868.

On December 9, 1876, this property with building ( house , shop and other buildings ) is transferred to Henry ' s daughter Isabella Gillespie. She marries Joseph Hugh Carson on January 4 ,1877. ( L # ' s -4644 ,  9537 )

John gillespie st johns potter

The town is rebuilding after the fire and now John Gillespie is sole agent for a fire resisting paint.

He also " personally superintends its application ".  

This ad first appears in the Franco- Canadien on February 2 ,1877.

It runs in the french newspaper for a more than a year and is still found until December 31, 1878.

It starts in the english newspaper on August 31, 1877- News and Frontier Advocate.


john gillespie st johns
john gillespie potter st johns

This is a difficult time in St Johns and early in 1877  he borrows money.
L # 9869 - April 24 ,1877 
John Gillespie Cabinet Maker of St Johns is borrowing $150. Mrs Marrion Ward and puting up for collateral the property given to him by his father ( south half of Lot 318 - now known as lot number 557)

The address is 36 St Jean (or John street).

March  4 ,1878 - Birth of John and Mary Ann 's son Austin Gillespie

By October 1, 1878 , the firm of Gillespie & Carson is bankrupt.

However it is restructured and in the 1879 Missiquoi and St Johns directory below is this ad.

We do not know who the "Co" is .

johngillepie potter st jean sur richelieu

John Gillespie returns to his old profession as a Potter in the 1879 Missiquoi and St Johns directory.

He would have been working for another potter , not in his name.

42-1879 dir st johns gillespie johnetc.j

 In 1880 ( July ) The Excelsior Glass Company moves from St Johns to Montreal.

John's son Albert , a glassblower marries Phoebe Ann Dukeson  September 18, 1880 in Montreal.

On November 30, 1880 , John's daughter Annie marries William N Gillespie ( born in Conneticut ) also a glassblower in Montreal.

In the 1881 Census,  John Gillespie is living in MONTREAL , St Mary's Ward, LABOURER

 He is listed on the same Census record page as other employee's of the Excelsior Glass Company.


 L # 12386 - April 2, 1881
 In this document, John Gillespie is selling his property south half of lot 318 ( # 557 ) to his brother Farnham who owns the north half of the lot 318.

John is now said to be living in Montreal and working as a Glass Presser.

 In the Montreal Directory   for 1881-  John Gillespie is listed as working at the Glass Factory ( Excelsior )
 He is listed until 1884 as a glass presser  at the Glass Factory .

The following are the listings for  1881 , 1882 , 1883 and 1884

1881Montreal Directory

1882 - Montreal Directory

1883 - Montreal Directory

1884 - Montreal Directory

john gillespie st johns stoneware
john gillespie st johns stoneware
john gillespie st johns stoneware
john gillspie s jean sur le richelieu

John and Mary Ann's eldest child Ida May Foster Gillespie marries William A. Campbell of St Johns on January 2, 1882.

In our Article on the St Johns and Excelsior Glass Company , at the end of it we show a pair of goblets made by John Gillespie and  tell the story behind it.

After 1884 he is no longer listed in the Montreal Directories.

This following document finds him to be back in St Johns .
March 1, 1885 - Baptism of Ida May Gillespie Campbell-St Johns Methodist Church
Although born on July 10, 1858, she is being baptized in 1885. It says her father John Gillespie of St Johns is a Potter.

June 25, 1886 - Death of Henry Gillespie (about 82 years of age )
In his burial record , he is said to be a Merchant and was living in Montreal.

In the 1881 Census he was living in Montreal with his daughter , Isabella and son in law Joseph Hugh Carson.

He was buried in St Johns at the Methodist Church . His two sons Farnham of Montreal and James B. of St Johns were present at the burial. 

John Gillespie left Canada in the same year , 1886. 

 It is in the 1900 Military and Navel Census record of his youngest son Austin in which we found this information.

Austin was born in Canada in March  1878. In this document , he is a Coal Passer on the M SS Albany stationed in Tyre , England. He lives in Boston , Massachusetts.

He immigrated to the United States in 1886 and has been in the US for 14 years. He was 8 years old in 1886 and would have been with his parents  John and Mary Ann Gillespie when he immigrated.

But where in the United States did John Gillespie move to?

To answer this question we used another factual document - John Gillespie's death record .

 John Gillespie died on April 26, 1893 in Lyndebourgh , New Hampshire.

Although we can not be sure he spent the entire seven years from 1886 until 1893  in Lyndebourgh , New Hampshire, we found a family connection.

 Charles W. Foster , John Gillespie's brother in law was involved with the Lyndebourgh Glass Company ( 1866- 1886 ).

He was the Superintendent in the early years.

He had worked in the Canada Glass Works in St Johns in the mid to late 1850's and had also been the Superintendent for the St Johns Glass Company December 1875-  mid 1877 and the Foreman for the Excelsior Glass Company while in St Johns from March 1879- until July 1880.

Charles W. Foster was back in Lyndebourgh , New Hampshire in 1885.

A year later starting in January 1886 , a new corporation  , the Crystal Glass Company was formed and produced glass products starting in April 1886.

Charles W Foster was the President of the Crystal Glass Company. The company folded in 1888 when one of the members  Jacob D Putnam died. ( info on Lyndebourgh and Crystal Glass Companys from site )

It is possible John Gillespie worked at this glass company between 1886 -1888.  

Unfortunately, after 1888 we can not say where he was working.  

 He can not be found on the Canadian Census for 1891 and so must have stayed in the United States.

He died on April 26, 1893 , and it is possible he was visiting family in Lyndebourgh , New Hampshire at the time of his death or he was living there.

As his occupation is listed as a Potter on his death certificate , he may well have been working as one at this time. No matter what his final occupation , throughout his life he played many roles and did leave us with some scarce  and beautiful pieces of pottery marked with his name. 

stoneware st johns gillespie
john gillespie stoneware
john gillespie cruche



                                   THE WEST HALF OF LOT # 274 ( later called # 531 ) IN ST JOHNS

This property is where John Gillespie & Thomas Mace first opened their Pottery in 1857 in the town of St Johns .

This is also the same property on which J. T. Hazen paid the taxes in 1865 and 1868 and then purchased it in 1869.

In the articles on  John Gillespie and Joseph Theophile Hazen it has been shown , the stoneware made for the merchant Joseph T. Hazen and marked  "J. T. Hazen , St Johns " were not made by John Gillespie .

The timeline of when J. Gillespie was potting and the financial connection between J. T. Hazen and George W. and George H. Farrar establishes the stoneware  was made at the Farrar's pottery.

After John Gillespie closed his pottery this property was not used for the manufacturing of stoneware.

The following information traces the ownership of this property the west half of lot # 274 ( later called # 531 ).

  On April 14, 1845 , William Nicol sold this property to Daniel Mandigo. ( L # 185 ). It is described as such " a lot of land or emplacement situate in the said town of St Johns in the Baronnie of Longueuil in the said district , containing  seventy - two feet front in width   by seventy - two feet long in depth , bounded in front by Partition street , in depth by Thomas L. Dixon , on one side to the east by Joseph Macon and on the other side to the west by John Street ( and not Longueuil street as mentioned in the deed hereafter mentioned),"together with two wooden houses , shed and other buildings hereon erected "  ( L # 249 )

Daniel Mandigo was at one time a partner of Henry Gillespie in the firm Mandigo & Gillespie - Contractors .

 In the Canada Gazette  on February 6, 1855  , Robert Scott , a Merchant from Montreal , was owed money by Mandigo & Gillespie and the property owned by D. Mandigo was to be put up for public auction in payment.

 However , the debt must have been paid as  Daniel Mandigo  still owned the property a few years later when it once again was put up for public auction.  

On September 26, 1856 , the Canada Gazette states Mary Dunn wife of the late William Nicols ( the original owner of the lot )  is still owed 14 pounds 7 shillings and 8 pence from Daniel Mandigo and so the property will be sold by Sheriff's sale on February 5, 1857.

It was sold on this date to Edward  and Duncan MacDonald ( E & D MacDonald -Merchants and Bankers in St Johns ).

Five weeks later on March 14, 1857 they sold this property to John Gillespie - Potter and Thomas Mace - Saddler . ( L # 249 )

A year later on February 9, 1858 ( # 4124 )  Gillespie & Mace dissolve their partnership and John Gillespie becomes the sole owner  of the property.

 It is now described as having " a dwelling house , Pottery ,and other buildings ".

It would seem they turned one of the wooden buildings mentioned in the Sheriff sale into a Pottery.

Two years later on February 29 ,1860 ( # 4968 ), E & D MacDonald reacquired the property in foreclosure from John Gillespie. In this notary record  " together with two wooden houses , shed and other buildings hereon erected  and including also all other buildings and improvements they the said John Gillespie and Thomas Mace may have made. "


E & D MacDonald now owned this property again and until it was sold  to Joseph T. Hazen on April 10, 1869 .

 From 1860 until 1869 , it is unclear how  this property was used by the MacDonalds.

 They owned many properties which they would acquire  from Sheriff sales and unpaid mortgages.

There are no leases or other notary records or land records in connection with this property.

 We know John Gillespie no longer owned or operated the pottery .

He was listed as a potter in the 1861 Census for St Johns but most likely worked for G. W. Farrar who had  been given back the ownership of his pottery in 1860 ( see articles The Farrar's Pottery 1854-1876 and Orrin L. Ballard ).

We also know J. T. Hazen was a merchant and not a potter.

 It was stated by Helen H. Lambert in her book Two Centuries of Ceramics in the Richelieu Valley ( pg 5 ) , J. T. Hazen paid the taxes on this property in 1865 and 1868 before he owned it.

 We wrote to the Ville de Saint Jean -sur - le Richelieu to see these records as well as the years previous for ourselves.  They did not have any records before 1936 and suggested the BANQ. We were told by them their had been a fire and the records were destroyed.

We can only assume since J. T. Hazen moved to a new store in 1865 perhaps he had a gentlemans agreement with E & D MacDonald and he and his family lived on this property and not in the store on Front street or perhaps he was paying the taxes for a client .

The most likely reason was J. T. Hazen was using the property for storage of surplus merchandise.

J .T. Hazen did not own any other property in St Johns until  1869 when he bought  this property.

He was also was leaving St Johns at this  time. He gave up his store as of May 1, 1869 and moved to Montreal .

There he was part of the firm DeBeaufort & Hazen - Merchants for Wines and Liquors.

The property may have been to store his wares as his family were living with him in Montreal. ( Census 1871 ).

 A few years later , he sold this lot of land back to E & D Macdonald on April 23, 1872. ( N # 5216 )

 Six years later on May 15, 1878 , E & D MacDonald dissolved their partnership and  this property became the sole ownership of Duncan MacDonald. ( N # 10708 ) 

The following map is from the 1880 Atlas of St Johns. The red dot is lot # 531 previously called west half of lot # 274.

st johns stone & chinaware company

It can be noted that the MacDonald  brothers owned the St Johns Stone & ChinaWare Company which was on property south of St Georges Lot # 533 ( opposite side of the Street ) in the early years and in this same block lot # 524 in 1880. Duncan MacDonald had acquired lot 533 , 532 and 531 in the dissolution of partnership.


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