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Provincial Archives of New Brunswick

Dictionary of Miramichi Biography

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LETSON, HENRY FARNHAM (1824-1874)

LETSON, HENRY FARNHAM, fish processor; b. Halifax, 26 Apr 1824, s/o William Letson and Mary Ann Farnham; brother of George Edward Letson and Francis Joshua Letson; m. 1851, Bethia Kelly; d. Chatham, 16 Dec 1874.

H. Farnham Letson was the eldest of the three Letson brothers who were in business on the Miramichi in the middle years of the 19th century. In 1851 he was employed as a clerk in Chatham. In 1862 he was the manager of his brother George E. Letson's salmon canning factory at Stymiest's Settlement. He maintained his home at Chatham and was a fish processor there in 1871. In 1872 his wife, Bethia Kelly, died at age forty-one. He died two years later, at age fifty.

In the 1881 census, the five children of this family, of whom the eldest was twenty-two, were enumerated together in Chatham. James Moore Kelly Letson, then aged twelve, was one of several who later made their homes in Vancouver. A successful businessman, he and his wife, Mary Barbara McIntosh, a native of Chatham Head, raised an outstanding family, which included Harry Letson, an engineering professor who was adjutant general of the Canadian army and Canadian military attaché in Washington during World War II; Gordon M. Letson, head of a Vancouver engineering firm and a colonel on the headquarters staff in Ottawa during the war; and Edith C. Letson, the wife of Sir Beverley Baxter, a Toronto-born journalist who entered politics in Britain in the 1930s.

Sources

[b] Harding research [m] Gleaner 2 Jun 1851 [d] Advocate 23 Dec 1874 / Commercial World 24 Apr 1941; Encycl. Can. (re. Arthur Beverley Baxter); Gleaner 5 Jul 1862; Telegraph 22 May 1872


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