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Fonds Level Description

Accession Number: 86-009


Northway family fonds. Additions. -- 1900-1962. -- 30 cm of textual records.

Biography / History

John Northway was born on August 17, 1848, at Leat, near Lifton, England, the eldest son of Thomas Neathern Northway and Grace Doidge. In 1868, John left England for New York, where he was soon relieved of his watch and money. Disenchanted, he made his way to Canada, and went to work for a tailor in Embro, Ontario. From this inauspicious beginning, Northway, using his sound business judgement, became, not just a tailor "on the floor" of a shop, but, by 1901, a merchant, manufacturer and financier with partnerships throughout the province and investments throughout the continent. Having achieved success, Northway sent his children to the best schools, and provided for them the formal education he had never received. This "handicap" did not prevent him from appreciating Egypt's pyramids, grappling with the social gospel and higher criticism, and supporting McMaster University. John Northway founded two main companies: The Northway Company Limited, and John Northway and Son Limited. Upon his death in 1926, leadership of these two firms fell to his sons, A. Garfield and John A. respectively, under whose direction expansion and later retraction was carried out. The factory, begun in 1896 to supply the companies, was closed down in 1930. John Northway and Sons Limited came to have three stores in Toronto, and one each in Hamilton and Stratford. In 1957, this company bought the Brantford outlet of the Northway Company Limited, which A.G. Norhtway, who foresaw no successor, had been gradually disposing of. In January 1960, A.G. Northway died, and The Northway Company Limited was put into voluntary liquidation by its directors. In November 1960, the directors of John Northway and Sons Limited sold the company to outside interests. It has since disappeared.

Custodial History

This fonds was in the custody of Dr. Mary Northway until it was donated to the Trent University Archives.

Scope and Content

This addition to the fonds consists of correspondence and financial records of various members of the Northway family.


Title based on subject of fonds.

This fonds was donated by Mary L. Northway.

Restrictions: N

Finding aids: Y

This fonds along with 80-022 and 90-016 are additions to 70-003.

Finding Aid

Box 1


1: -A.G. Northway's Wills 1955, 1958 -schedule re: Succession Duty Act Probate 11 Mar 1960 -Mrs Jessie Stewart Northway's Will 25 June 1953 -John Northway's Will 10 July 1947 -2 copies -"Estate of the Late John Northway" 1 July 1937 to 28 Feb 1949 -1 copy

2: -correspondence and agreements between Garfield Northway and Llewellyn Veale

3: -Mr A.G. Northway -Income Tax Returns 1945-1953

4: -The Northway Company Ltd. -Financial statements 1944-1948

5: -Financial statements 1931-1932 -Income Tax 1920-1943

6: -Income Tax and Corporate Income Returns

7: -Standard Profits Claim 1945; 1949; 1950; 1958 -plus related correspondence

8: -Corporation Returns, Province of Ontario 1948-1952 plus related correspondence

9: -Common Stock Certificates No.1 to 30 -16 Jan 1951

10: -Stock Certificates 1947-1960

11: -Minute Book -shareholders meetings - begins 1900 -lists shareholders

12: -Photos -3 8X10 black and white - newspaper clippings for 75th anniversary of John Northway and Sons

13: -Correspondence to and from Mary Northway concerning "The Enchanted Garden" a gift to Society of Crippled Children from the Garden Club of Toronto -1962

14: -correspondence from 1961 Mary Northway "Personal File" -personal, legal, financial

On top in box: National Retail Merchants Association framed memorial to the memory of Arthur Garfield Northway