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Dictionary of Miramichi Biography

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HECKBERT, SYDNEY DUNCAN (1868-1953)

HECKBERT, SYDNEY DUNCAN, merchant tailor and MLA; b. Summerside, P.E.I., 9 Feb 1868, s/o Joseph Edward Heckbert and Nancy Duggan; m. 1887, Estella Maria Bowser, of Sackville, N.B.; d. Chatham, 5 Aug 1953.

Sydney D. Heckbert, who is thought to have been born in Summerside, was raised by relatives on the Island after his parents' marriage failed. He lived at Sackville, N.B., for a short time as a young man and came to the Miramichi around 1890. In 1900 he was in a tailoring partnership with F. O. Petterson, an immigrant from Sweden who had been in business in Chatham for more than twenty-five years. He was later the senior partner in Heckbert & Jones, merchant tailors, of Chatham.

Heckbert was one of the founding directors of the Miramichi Exhibition Association in 1902 and was president of that body from 1927 to 1930. He took an interest in civic affairs and served for a time on the Chatham Town Council. Conservative in politics, he made a successful bid for a seat in the Legislative Assembly in 1925 and sat until 1930. After he was defeated in the general elections of 1930 and 1939 he retired from politics. In 1932 he was elected president of the Chatham Board of Trade. He also served a term as president of the Chatham Curling Club. He was a member of the Masonic order and the Methodist-United Church.

Heckbert's wife, Estella M. Bowser, was active in the IODE, the Women's Missionary Society, and other organizations. There were nine children in the family, including Frederick P. Heckbert, who went overseas with the 24th Battalion (Victoria Rifles) in World War I and lost his left arm in battle at Courcelette in 1916. In 1922 he joined the staff of the national revenue office in Chatham and, upon the death of Michael F. Haley in 1930, was appointed collector of national revenue. In his later years he conducted a small tailoring and dry cleaning establishment in Chatham.

Sources

[b/d] Graves [m] Heckbert family data / Advance 26 Jun 1902; Can. Album (re. F.O. Petterson); Commercial World 6 Mar 1947, 18 Aug 1949; Leader 17 Feb 1939, 9 Feb 1994; MacMillan; NB Elections; PPNB (re. Frederick P. Heckbert); World 15 Sep 1900


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