Samuel Jacob Jackson
1848 - 1942
My great-grandfather was born
in Stradbally, Co. Laois, Ireland, son of Samuel Jackson and Elizabeth
Sutcliffe. His parents emigrated in 1850 and settled in Brampton, and later
in Brantford, in both of which towns
his father opened dry goods stores.
In 1871 S.J.Jackson joined the
first organised party to leave Ontario for the Red River country. (The
other members were John H Bell and his wife, James, William, and Jack Harrower,
John Bryce, Andy Palmer, Harry
Jickling, William McDougal, R. Dent and son,
Roger Bell and his wife, John Hedley, James Penrose, and John Scott and
his wife.) The group travelled by train from Port Huron to Benson, Minnesota,
and from there
walked the 400 long miles to Winnipeg.
Sam Jackson found a job in Higgins'
dry goods store and soon became a partner of what then became Higgins,
Young, and Jackson. He served as alderman of Winnipeg between 1877 and
1880 and was at various times Chairman of the Board of Works, Director
of the Dufferin Park Association, and President of the Rockwood Agricultural
Society. He is the founder of the town of Stonewall, having bought the
1873, divided it into 1,000 lots - many of
which he gave away to encourage the town's growth - donated four lots for
the churches, and planted over 800 elm and maple trees.
In 1878 he married Ida Isabel
Clark, daughter of Albert Clark and Isabella Sifton. As Winnipeg's
population had soared from about 250 to about 25,000 in ten years, the
dry goods business was very profitable.
Mr Jackson retired from business at the age
of 33 and in 1881 he and his wife moved into the house he had built in
S.J.Jackson represented Rockwood
in the Manitoba Legislature from 1883 to 1899, and was twice Speaker of
the House. In 1904 he was elected to the Laurier government as Member of
Parliament for the Selkirk
Riding. He also served as Inspector
of Indian Agencies for many years.