Archives provinciales du Nouveau-Brunswick

Dictionary of Miramichi Biography

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BETTS, JOHN W. (1848-1929)

BETTS, JOHN W., farmer, and fish processor and shipper; b. Derby, 28 Sep 1848 (bap. 17 Dec 1848), s/o Jared Betts and Ann Clouston; m. 1895, Susan Emma Flett, d/o Enoch Flett and Mary Wilson, of Nelson parish; d. 22 Oct 1929.

John W. Betts spent a portion of his young adulthood in Massachusetts but had returned to the Miramichi by March 1878, when he was at work erecting an ice house and packing establishment in preparation for the salmon season. He was successful as a fish merchant and later owned the steamer Twilight in connection with his business. He also conducted a farm and took an interest in agricultural practices. In 1901 he was president of the Derby Agricultural Society.

Betts served as a school trustee from an early date. He was a county councillor for Derby parish for many years and county warden in 1888. He was active in party politics, being president for a time of the County Conservative Association. He was a candidate in the provincial election of 1912 but did not win a seat.

Betts was a well-informed person who "could discourse about anything with anybody." He was much admired for this ability, as well as for his charity and generosity, which "knew no bounds." He and his wife, S. Emma Flett, had one son, J. Leroi Betts, who was a familiar figure in political and sporting circles on the Miramichi.


[b/d] Advocate 23 Oct 1929 [m] official records / Advance 27 Sep 1894, 31 Oct 1901; Advocate 20 Mar 1878, 7 Jan 1880; NB Elections