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Dictionary of Miramichi Biography

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FALCONER, JAMES (1843-1934)

FALCONER, JAMES, farmer and contractor; b. Newcastle, 18 Apr 1843, s/o William Falconer and Elizabeth Johnstone; brother of Robert Falconer; m. 1869, Janet Caldwell, of Margate, P.E.I.; d. Newcastle, 24 May 1934.

James Falconer studied at the Newcastle Grammar School under his older brother Robert Falconer and his brother's successor, John Hardie. Except for two years which he spent in Ontario as a young man he made his home in Newcastle. In 1881 he was raising beef cattle and had a butcher's shop on the town wharf. His farm was located at the end of the lane which is now Falconer Street.

Falconer later did contract and other work in connection with the lumber and construction industries. In 1894 he had a contract to supply white birch logs to Clark, Skillings & Co., under which he had twenty-two men employed. Two years later he supplied 1600 cords of wood to a new Clark, Skillings mill near Beaverbrook Station and then became manager of the mill. In 1898 he was in charge of a Clark, Skillings mill at Boiestown. In 1902-03 he was given the contract to build a retirement residence in Newcastle for the Rev. William Aitken. In 1905 he took over a carriage manufacturing and sales business in the town, possibly for the purpose of selling off the stock and closing it down. The business had been founded by his son J. Mitchell Falconer in the early 1890s.

Falconer was a mason and was worshipful master of Northumberland Lodge in 1891. He was a failed candidate for the first Newcastle Town Council in 1899, when he ran on the "People's and Temperance" ticket, but he later occupied a council seat. In 1909 he was chairman of the board of trustees of St James Presbyterian Church.

Falconer and his wife, Janet ("Nettie") Caldwell, had four sons and three daughters who survived childhood. Their son Harry W. Falconer was co-editor in 1896 with J. DeVeber Neales of the short-lived Northumberland News. He was on the Union Advocate staff in 1900 and with the Daily News in Nelson, B.C., in 1913. Another son, Charles C. Falconer, was a hardware merchant in Winnipeg at that time, and a daughter, Mary Falconer, was a professional nurse there. J. Mitchell Falconer, who started the carriage business in Newcastle, eventually settled in Hamilton, Ont., where he was an employee of the Hamilton Street Car Co.

Sources

[b] church records [m] Advocate 19 Aug 1869 [d] Advocate 30 May 1934 / Advance 11 Oct 1894, 10 Dec 1896, 24 Aug 1899; Advocate 30 Mar 1881, 2 Dec 1896, 9 Aug 1898, 14 Nov 1900, 11 Oct 1905; Aitken; Commercial World 29 Jul 1948; Leader 29 Jan 1909, 14 Mar 1913; Manny Collection (F182)


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