Joseph Heard [ 1846 - 1911 ]

Joseph Heard was born in Barnstaple, England, and came to Canada about 1868, moving first to Bowmanville and later to Oshawa, where he spent nine years as a foreman in the tin shop of Mr. G.H. Pedlar [FFG 9 April 1880; 3]. He moved to Fenelon Falls in 1880 and opened a stove and tin-shop in the store lately occupied by W.F. Burley [CP 2 April 1880; 3]. The 1881 Census lists him as a 35 year-old English born Methodist.

By July 1883 Heard was making preparations to build a two-storey brick store on the east side of Colborne Street; the building was completed by November [FFG 10 Nov 1883; 2]. He now began to deal in hardware in addition to stoves and tinware. Heard purchased the stock of Bertram & Co. in April of 1886 [CP 9 April 1886; 1], and by 1889 was making another large addition to his premises [FFG 14 June 1889; 5]. The 1890’s marked a series of expansions to Heard’s business with the addition of a “stove and implement warehouse” (1890), a new storehouse (1894) in his back yard (there were already three [FFG 24 Aug 1894; 5]), and an additional “stove-room” (1896) “flush with the front of his store” on the north side [FFG 20 March 1896; 5].

By 1897, when both store fronts were “twinned” with new windows and the brickwork freshly painted white with olive green woodwork, the other stores in town looked “dull and dingy by comparison” [FFG 14 May 1897; 5]. Heard was one of the principal businessmen in the town by 1904, when his photograph and that of his store were featured prominently in the Souvenir of FF1. His business held a prominent place on the main street well into the 20th century. Heard died on the 8th of January 1911, and was buried in the village cemetery. The business was taken over by his son, William John (1875-1936), who continued to operate the store under the family name.

Variant spelling: Hurd "Joseph Heard is one of the principal business men of Fenelon Falls, having been actively engaged for 24 years. He was a member of the School Board for 16 years, 8 years of which he held the position of chairman. He is an Englishman by birth. The stock of hardware carried by Mr. Heard is the largest and most complete in every line to be found east of Toronto. The two large stores in which the business is carried on are filled on both flats with hardware, stoves, tinware, oils, paints, brushes, lamp goods, house furnishings in every possible ware, cutlery, washing machines, separators, builder's supplies, and everything in sporting goods, guns, fishing tackle, etc. During the 24 years Mr. Heard has been in business he has placed between 200 and 300 furnaces in private residences, stores, halls, schools, and other buildings throughout the County. He makes a specialty of eaves troughing and keeps three men employed in his workshop. Mr. Heard's outside trade extends from Ontario to Haliburton Counties."

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