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Dictionary of Miramichi Biography

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LOGGIE, WILLIAM STUART (1850-1944)

LOGGIE, WILLIAM STUART, company head; MLA and MP; mayor of Chatham, 1900-01; b. Burnt Church, 10 Aug 1850, s/o George Loggie and Ann Morrison; m. 1874, Elspeth Burnett Kerr, d/o James Kerr and Elspeth Burnett Johnstone; d. Chatham 14 Mar 1944.

William S. Loggie's father was an original partner in the Burnt Church firm of Loggie & Anderson. He later settled his family at Ferry Road, opposite the town, where he died in 1869, at age forty-eight.

Loggie attended school at Burnt Church, Moorfield, and Chatham and went to work at about age fourteen in the retail grocery and dry-goods business of Macdougall & Snowball. In 1873 he opened a dry-goods store in the Commercial Block in Chatham. In 1878 he added a grocery department, and at a later date, a hardware department. He operated with partners for a few years and was then the sole owner of the business.

From the beginning, Loggie took an interest in the fishery and other resource industries, and it was in the exploitation of the natural resources of the region that the W. S. Loggie Co. excelled, both before and after its incorporation in 1894. The firm operated the former Flett brickyard at Nelson and sawmills at Pokemouche and elsewhere, but its success rested largely on the exporting of fresh and frozen salmon and other fish, and the canning and shipping of lobster and blueberries.

At the height of its activity in the first decades of the 20th century the company had a dozen canneries in operation in Northumberland, Gloucester, and Kent counties and as many as three dozen smaller seasonal operations in New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Quebec. It had thirty-six vessels on the water in 1915. Branch stores were conducted at a dozen locations on the North Shore of New Brunswick, and there were sometimes as many as 700 employees on the company payroll. Loggie remained head of the firm until his death in 1944, when the presidency passed to his son J. Kerr Loggie.

Loggie was a member of the first Chatham Town Council in 1896 and served a one-year term as mayor. In 1903 he won a seat in the Legislative Assembly, which he resigned after one session in order to run on the Liberal ticket for the Northumberland County seat in the House of Commons. He took the seat and was successful also in three subsequent elections. He remained an MP until his retirement from politics in 1921, but having broken ranks with Sir Wilfrid Laurier over the conscription issue during World War I, he served his last term as a member of the Unionist party.

Loggie was elected as the first president of the Chatham Board of Trade in 1895, and he was president of the Maritime Board of Trade in 1900. He was an elder for sixty years and a longtime superintendent of the Sunday school of St Andrew's Presbyterian-United Church in Chatham. He was also a strong supporter of the temperance movement. His wife, Elspeth B. Kerr, died in 1927. At his death in 1944, at age ninety-three, he left five daughters and three sons. His son William Stuart Loggie Jr predeceased him. A son not mentioned above was Warren P. Loggie, the youngest child of the family, who was awarded the Military Cross for bravery in action in World War I and was later a successful merchant in Fairview, Alta.

A hundred and one years after it was built by the contractor George Cassady the Loggie family home became a town museum in 1980: the W. S. Loggie Cultural Centre, at 222 Wellington Street, Chatham.

Sources

[b] Fraser (WSL) [m] Advocate 11 Nov 1874 [d] Commercial World 16 Mar 1944 / Advance 17 Jan 1895; Advocate 4 Jun 1873, 8 May 1878; Fraser (C); Graves; Leader 17 Mar 1944; MacMillan; News 26 Nov 1980, 30 Jun 1982; PPNB


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