Mr. Wm. H. Kennedy of 275 Florence street, harness maker, like his father David began life early, as it were. In the year 1868, when he was fourteen years of age, his mother died. After that the old home at Springtown, in Renfrew county, did not seem the same. The boy soon left home and went to the shanties where he drove a team.
When he was 20 he decided to get himself an occupation. At that time harness-making was a fine occupation. No good harness-maker need be out of a job. Somebody told the youth that John Jamieson of Lanark village wanted an apprentice. He went to Lanark and got the Job. Mr. Kennedy says that in the early seventies Lanark was a thriving village.
At that period (1876) Lanark had a population of 650, boasted sawmills and a woollen mill. The woollen factory employed about 50 hands. The woollen mill was run by Caldwell and Watchorn. The Caldwell family dominated Lanark at that time. They were large operators In lumber and also ran a large general store. Boyd Caldwell looked after the store. William and Alexander were chiefly concerned in the lumber operations.
Lanark, as Mr. Kennedy recalls was a pretty place. It was situated on both sides of the river Clyde and was only about 12 miles northeast of Perth, Lanark even In the early seventies had a dally mall.
Among the chief business men in Lanark were:
Robert Pollock, general store
Mair Holmes, general store
Wm. A. Field, cabinet maker and furniture
Andrew G. Craig, butcher
James Bowes, livery
Wm. Robertson, grocer and postmaster
Finley Sinclair, grocer
Wm. Smith, tanner
Robert Stead, photographer
Daniel Robertson, moulder
R. Pook, tailor
Robert Pringle, warper
Alex. Mclnnes, wagon maker
Hugh Johnson, sawmill
John Jamieson, harness maker
The school teachers of the village were:
Robert Peddit (grammar school),
Miss Jessie McLean,
Mrs. Allen Cullen.
The ministers were:
Rev. James Wilson, Church of Scotland;
Rev. Richard Lewis, Congregationalist;
Rev. Andrew Fisher, Anglican.
Soon after Mr. Kennedy had learned his trade, Mr. Jamieson, his boss, sold out and went to Dakota, Back to Ottawa Mr. Kennedy drifted to western Ontario but soon returned to Brockville and eventually to Smiths Falls where he took employ with M. J. Wilson, the harness maker. In 1905 Mr. Wilson moved to Ottawa and went into business here. Mr. Kennedy came with him. He stayed with the Wilson firm till it went out of business. He is now on the staff of the Hugh Carson Limited. It will thus be seen that while young David Kennedy’s cry was “Back to Bytown,” W. H. Kennedy’s was “Back to Ottawa.”