Archives provinciales du Nouveau-Brunswick

Dictionary of Miramichi Biography

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FISH, JAMES ALEXANDER, businessman; b. West Waterville, Me, 1812, s/o William Fish and Sarah Childs; m. 1844, Elizabeth MacAllister, d/o John MacAllister and Isabella Ogilvie; d. Newcastle, 22 Jan 1897.

James A. Fish was brought to New Brunswick at four years of age by his parents, who first settled at The Forks. His father died about 1827, and his mother was remarried soon afterwards to John Burke, a Newcastle merchant who also died prematurely in 1833.

Fish worked in the lumber industry and in the family's general store. In 1851 his mother was enumerated in the census as the proprietor of the store, but he was a general merchant in his own right by 1861. In 1853 he also took over a tannery business previously conducted by his deceased brother Hiram Fish.

While the Intercolonial Railway was being built Fish was in partnership with his son James O. Fish in a lumber and supply business. After the partnership expired in 1876 he continued in business on his own but may have closed shop after holding a "Great Clearing Out Sale" in 1888. For many years he was also the owner of "a fine farm" on the outskirts of Newcastle.

A "quiet and sedate" man, Fish was one of the directors and trustees of the Newcastle Grammar School in the 1850s and 60s, a trustee of St James Presbyterian Church, and a Mason. He and his wife raised a talented and accomplished family of eleven children, which included John Fish (an illegitimate son), James O. Fish, William E. Fish, Hiram A. Fish, Charles E. Fish, Elizabeth J. Fish, the wife of Donald Morrison, and E. Clifford Fish, a physician in Melrose, Mass.


[b/d] Advocate 27 Jan 1897 [m] official records / Advance 20 May 1880; Advocate 3 May 1876, 22 Feb 1882 (ad), 6 Jan 1886 (ad), 4 Jan 1888 (ad); Biog. Review NB (under Charles E. Fish); Gleaner 19 Nov 1833, 16 May 1853