Archives provinciales du Nouveau-Brunswick

Dictionary of Miramichi Biography

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FISH, JAMES OGILVIE, businessman, sportsman, and high sheriff, 1897; b. Newcastle, 18 Dec 1846, s/o James Alexander Fish and Elizabeth MacAllister; brother of William Ellis Fish, Hiram Alexander Fish, and Charles Elijah Fish; half-brother of John Fish; m. 1893, Rachel Sinclair, sister of Edward Sinclair; d. Newcastle, 9 Sep 1908.

After studying at the Newcastle Grammar School under Robert Falconer and John Hardie, James O. Fish worked with his father. For several years he was his father's partner in the lumber and building supply firm of James Fish & Son. When the business relationship came to an end in 1876 he joined with a brother-in-law, Charles C. Hamilton, in the construction and operation of a steam-powered sawmill in Newcastle. The business appeared to be prospering, and in 1877 he built a luxurious residence for himself at a cost of more than $10,000. Differences developed within the partnership, however, and Hamilton & Fish shut down the sawmill in 1880. At that time, Hamilton's share was said to have been acquired by "the Messrs. Fish," but William D. Richards was later a co-owner. In 1886 Fish sold his remaining interest in the mill to William A. Hickson, and in 1887 he also sold Hickson his residence.

Meanwhile, in 1879, Fish was appointed to the part-time position of county game warden. He was enumerated in the 1881 census as a "general dealer." In 1887 he was awarded the contract to rebuild the burned out railway wharf at Newcastle. Later he was a lumber buyer and farmer. He lived alone for many years prior to his marriage in 1893, at age forty-six. In 1897 he was appointed high sheriff of the county, but he resigned for unstated reasons less than six weeks later.

Fish was a dedicated salmon angler and was sometimes a guest at Camp Adams, the fishing lodge which Michael Adams owned on the upper waters of the Northwest. He was an adherent of the Presbyterian church. His death in 1908, at age sixty-two, was stated to have been the result of an accident, but few particulars were revealed in the local newspapers. His widow, Rachel Sinclair, died in 1924 in Hamilton, Ont.


[b] census [m] Advocate 14 Jun 1893 [d] Advocate 16 Sep 1908 / Advance 13 May 1880, 10 Jun 1880, 21 Jul 1892; Advocate 25 Apr 1877, 20 Apr 1887, 10 Mar 1897, 21 Apr 1897, 5 Feb 1924; Leader 11 Sep 1908; Royal Gazette 15 Jan 1879; Weeks; World 8 May 1886, 17 Apr 1887