Ezra Butler Eddy

Last updated
Ezra Butler Eddy
Member of the Legislative Assembly of Quebec for Ottawa
In office
Preceded by Levi Ruggles Church
Succeeded by Louis Duhamel
Personal details
Born(1827-08-22)August 22, 1827
Near Bristol, Vermont, United States
DiedFebruary 10, 1906(1906-02-10) (aged 78)
Hull, Quebec, Canada
Nationality Canadian
Political party Conservative
Ezra B. Eddy's signature, 10/1854 E-B-Eddy.jpg
Ezra B. Eddy's signature, 10/1854

Ezra Butler Eddy (August 22, 1827 February 10, 1906) was a Canadian businessman and political figure. [1] Born in Vermont, Eddy moved to Canada and founded the E. B. Eddy Company, which produced matches, and related wood products, and later diversified into pulp and paper, growing to a major manufacturer. Eddy later became a politician, serving as mayor of Hull, Quebec and Quebec legislator.

E. B. Eddy Company

The E. B. Eddy Company was a Canadian pulp and paper company, now a division of Domtar Inc. It was originally incorporated in 1886 as The E. B. Eddy Manufacturing Company with Ezra Butler Eddy as its president. Eddy had begun business in 1854 making and selling wooden matches out of his home in Hull, Canada East. The company expanded into pulp and paper. In 1891, it was renamed to the E. B. Eddy Company.

Hull, Quebec Sector within City of Gatineau in Quebec, Canada

Hull is the central business district and oldest neighbourhood of the city of Gatineau, Quebec, Canada. It is located on the west bank of the Gatineau River and the north shore of the Ottawa River, directly opposite Ottawa. As part of the Canadian National Capital Region, it contains offices for over 20,000 civil servants. It is named after Kingston upon Hull in the United Kingdom.


Early life

Although born in the United States, Ezra Butler Eddy who was one of Canada's most progressive manufacturers, became one of its most loyal citizens and few men of his time were more devoted to his Sovereigns institutions and more imbued with the National traditions and aspirations than was he. Descended from the oldest Puritan stock, the blood of Miles Standish flowed in his veins. ois Eastman, his grandmother, being a Standish and direct descendant of that New England hero. He was born near Bristol, Vermont on August 22, 1827, the son of Samuel Eddy and Clarissa Eastman. His father was of Scottish ancestry. With respect to his religious connections, he was brought up a Baptist.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the most populous city is New York City. Most of the country is located contiguously in North America between Canada and Mexico.

Myles Standish English military officer hired by the Pilgrims

Myles Standish was an English military officer hired by the Pilgrims as military adviser for Plymouth Colony. He accompanied them on the Mayflower journey and played a leading role in the administration and defense of Plymouth Colony from its inception. On February 17, 1621, the Plymouth Colony militia elected him as its first commander and continued to re-elect him to that position for the remainder of his life. He served as an agent of Plymouth Colony in England, as assistant governor, and as treasurer of the Colony. He was also one of the first settlers and founders of the town of Duxbury, Massachusetts.

Bristol, Vermont Town in Vermont, United States

Bristol is a town in Addison County, Vermont, United States. The town was chartered on June 26, 1762, by the colonial Governor of New Hampshire, Benning Wentworth. The charter was granted to Samuel Averill and sixty-three associates in the name of Pocock - in honor of a distinguished English admiral of that name. The population was 3,894 at the 2010 census. Main Street is home to most of the businesses of the town. The town is also home to the Lord's Prayer Rock.

He was brought up on the farm until he was about ten and speant some of that time he attended the district school. His father then moved from the farm into the village of Bristol and began hotel-keeping, and young Eddy became his assistant. While here he again had the privilege of attending school for four winters. Not caring for his mode of life, and having a strong inclination for general business, at the age of fifteen, Ezra left home and went to New York City, and here he procured a situation in a mercantile house at three dollars a week, and on that sum had to board himself. He was, however, promoted in three months and received ten dollars per week, and he was soon entrusted with the banking business of the firm. After a year, not enjoying city life, he returned to Vermont, and commenced business for himself, by purchasing butter, cheese, etc., and taking the same to Boston and New York markets.

New York City Largest city in the United States

The City of New York, usually called either New York City (NYC) or simply New York (NY), is the most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2018 population of 8,398,748 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2), New York is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 19,979,477 people in its 2018 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 22,679,948 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, and exerts a significant impact upon commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, fashion, and sports. The city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.


Eddy first began manufacturing wooden matches by hand in Burlington, Vermont in 1851. In 1854, he brought his business to Hull, Canada East (now Gatineau, Quebec) when he was only twenty-four, where he began producing matches using discarded wood from the nearby sawmills. With the help of his first wife, E. B. Eddy produced his matches by hand at his home in Hull. His business grew rapidly, becoming one of the largest match factories in the world. In 1856 he added the manufacture of wooden ware, such as pails, tubs, washboards, clothes-pins, etc., to his business. In 1858 he commenced lumbering in a small way; but all these branches increased in volume from year to year, up to 1868, when the business had reached a magnitude of one million dollars per annum; and at the present time the yearly out-put is upwards of $1,500,000. In 1882 his entire premises were consumed by fire, and this entailed upon him a loss of $250,000, over and above insurance. With characteristic enterprise and courage, in the space of twelve months new premises were erected, and he was able to turn out nearly the same quantity of goods, as during former years. [2] By 1886, he had reorganized and established the E. B. Eddy Company. He set up a factory, acquired timber rights and built his sawmill. At the same time, he expanded into the pulp and paper business.

Match device for lighting fires

A match is a tool for starting a fire. Typically, matches are made of small wooden sticks or stiff paper. One end is coated with a material that can be ignited by frictional heat generated by striking the match against a suitable surface. Wooden matches are packaged in matchboxes, and paper matches are partially cut into rows and stapled into matchbooks. The coated end of a match, known as the match "head", consists of a bead of active ingredients and binder; often colored for easier inspection. There are two main types of matches: safety matches, which can be struck only against a specially prepared surface, and strike-anywhere matches, for which any suitably frictional surface can be used.

Burlington, Vermont Largest city in Vermont

Burlington is the most populous city in the U.S. state of Vermont and the seat of Chittenden County. It is located 45 miles (72 km) south of the Canada–United States border and 94 miles (151 km) south of Montreal. The city's population was 42,452 according to a 2015 U.S. census estimate. It is the least populous municipality in the United States to be the most populous incorporated area in a state.

Canada East eastern portion of the Province of Canada

Canada East was the northeastern portion of the United Province of Canada. Lord Durham's Report investigating the causes of the Upper and Lower Canada Rebellions recommended merging those two colonies. The new colony, known as the Province of Canada was created by the Act of Union 1840 passed by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, having effect in 1841. For administrative purposes, the new Province was subdivided into Canada West and Canada East. The former name of "Lower Canada" came back into official use in 1849, and as of the Canadian Confederation of 1867, it formed the newly created province of Quebec.


For thirteen years, at different times he occupied the position of Mayor of Hull. He represented Ottawa electoral district in the Legislative Assembly of Quebec from 1871 to 1875. He was a member of the municipal council for Hull from 1878 to 1888 and mayor from 1881 to 1885, from 1887 to 1888 and from 1891 to 1892. He tabled the bill creating the City of Hull in 1875. Besides running his factories, he was an administrator of the Canada Central Railway Company.

Ottawa was the name of a former provincial electoral district in the Outaouais region of Quebec, Canada. It was located in the part of Quebec across the Ottawa River from the city of Ottawa, Ontario.

The Legislative Assembly of Quebec was the name of the lower house of Quebec's legislature until December 31, 1968, when it was renamed the National Assembly of Quebec. At the same time, the upper house of the legislature, the Legislative Council, was abolished. Both were initially created by the Constitution Act of 1867.

1900 fire

After the great fire on April 26, 1900, Eddy was able to re-establish operation in less than a year in spite of the fact that he had suffered an estimated loss of 3 million dollars in the fire. In spite of the fires that repeatedly ravaged his factories and his house, Eddy persevered. He was an astute and canny industrialist whose success during this era of industrial capitalist expansion was due, in part, to his involvement in politics.

Personal life

He was highly esteemed, not only in Hull but throughout Canada. He founded the Eddy Lodge, A. F. & A. M. of the Grand Lodge of Quebec, and was also a Knight Templar. He was married twice, first in Bristol, Vermont, on December 29, 1884, to Zaida Diana Arnold, daughter of Uriah Fields Arnold and John Arnold, of Frankfort-on-the-Main, Germany. She bore him three children, two sons and one daughter. The boys, Rollin and Samuel [3] [ citation needed ] [4] [5] , died in infancy, but his daughter, Ella Clarissa, survived him. She died in 1893. He wed his second wife, Jennie Grahl Shirreff, in Halifax on June 27, 1894. Upon his death, she became his principal heir.


He died at Standish Hall, Hull, Quebec, on February 10, 1906, and his body was taken to Bristol, Vermont where he was buried at the Bristol Board Cemetery. Eddy's company was one of the major employers in the region for over a hundred years. The pulp and paper business is now a division of Domtar and Eddy Match Company is now a brand name of Atlas Matches of Euless, Texas.

In 1976, a plaque was dedicated to Ezra Butler Eddy in Hull, Quebec. [6]

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  1. "Canadian Encyclopedia". Historica Foundation, Toronto. 2011. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04< Retrieved 31 Jan 2011>
  2. A Cyclopedia of Canadian biography
  3. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-03-24. Retrieved 2011-04-16.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  4. "Biography – EDDY, EZRA BUTLER – Volume XIII (1901-1910) – Dictionary of Canadian Biography" . Retrieved 2018-05-30.
  5. "Eddy, Ezra Butler – Eddy Family Genealogy". www.eddyfamily.com. Retrieved 2018-05-30.
  6. "The Eddy Family Association". www.eddyfamilyassociation.com. Archived from the original on 2011-04-23.