Joseph E. Seagram

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Joseph E. Seagram
Joseph Emm Seagram

April 15, 1841
DiedAugust 18, 1919(1919-08-18) (aged 78)
Resting placeMount Hope Cemetery, Waterloo
Distiller, Politician, Racehorse owner/breeder
Known for Seagram Distilleries
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s)Stephanie Urbs
Children1) Alexandrine (1871–1919)
2) Edward Frowde (1873–1937)
3) Joseph Hamilton (1875–1956)
4) Norman (1879–1963)
5) Thomas William (1887–1965)
Parent(s)Octavius Augustus Seagram
and Amelia Stiles
Awards Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame (1976)

Joseph Emm Seagram (April 15, 1841 – August 18, 1919) was a Canadian distillery founder, politician, philanthropist, and major owner of thoroughbred racehorses.

Canadians citizens of Canada

Canadians are people identified with the country of Canada. This connection may be residential, legal, historical or cultural. For most Canadians, several of these connections exist and are collectively the source of their being Canadian.

A politician is a person active in party politics, or a person holding or seeking office in government. Politicians propose, support and create laws or policies that govern the land and, by extension, its people. Broadly speaking, a "politician" can be anyone who seeks to achieve political power in any bureaucratic institution.

Thoroughbred Horse breed developed for racing

The Thoroughbred is a horse breed best known for its use in horse racing. Although the word thoroughbred is sometimes used to refer to any breed of purebred horse, it technically refers only to the Thoroughbred breed. Thoroughbreds are considered "hot-blooded" horses that are known for their agility, speed, and spirit.



Early life

Son of Octavius Augustus Seagram and Amelia Stiles, who emigrated to Canada from Wiltshire, England in 1837, Joseph was born at Fisher's Mills, now part of Cambridge, Ontario. His parents died when he was in his teens and for several years, Joseph lived at William Tassie's boarding school (now Galt Collegiate Institute and Vocational School) in the city of Galt (also now part of Cambridge). He studied for a year at Bryant & Stratton College business college in Buffalo, New York.

Cambridge, Ontario City in Ontario, Canada

Cambridge is a city located in Southern Ontario at the confluence of the Grand and Speed rivers in the Regional Municipality of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. It was formed in 1973 by the amalgamation of Galt, Preston, Hespeler, the settlement of Blair and a small portion of surrounding townships.

Galt Collegiate Institute and Vocational School

Galt Collegiate Institute and Vocational School (GCI) is one of sixteen secondary schools in the Waterloo Region District School Board, located in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada.

Galt is a community in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada, in the Regional Municipality of Waterloo, Ontario on the Grand River. Prior to 1973 it was an independent city, incorporated in 1915, but amalgamation with the town of Hespeler, Ontario, the town of Preston, Ontario and the village of Blair formed the new municipality of Cambridge. Parts of the surrounding townships were also included. The first mayor of Cambridge was Claudette Millar.


He returned home where he worked for a time as a bookkeeper at a grist mill.

Later, offered the opportunity to manage a flour mill (Granite Mills) in Waterloo, Ontario, he learned about the distilling process at Waterloo Distillery, a small aside to the George Randall Company's flour business, using extra grain stocks to make alcoholic beverages. In 1869, five years after joining the company, Joseph Seagram bought out one of the firm's three partners (George Randall [1] ) to become Seagram and Roos, then in 1883 became the one hundred percent owner(buying out William Hespeler and William Roos)and renamed it Seagram. Making whisky became the most important part of the business and Seagram built it into one of the country's most successful of its kind. His 1907 creation, Seagram's VO whisky, became the largest-selling Canadian whisky in the world.

Waterloo, Ontario City in Ontario, Canada

Waterloo is a city in Ontario, Canada. It is the smallest of three cities in the Regional Municipality of Waterloo, and is adjacent to the city of Kitchener.

George Randall was an American-born business owner and politician in Ontario, Canada. He served as reeve of Waterloo from 1870 to 1872 and as mayor in 1878.

William Hespeler Canadian politician

William Hespeler was a German - Canadian businessman and immigration agent and a member of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba. He served as Speaker of the Legislature and as honorary consul of Germany to Winnipeg and the Northwest Territories. He was awarded the Order of the Red Eagle for his services to Germany.

Thoroughbred horse racing

A lover of racehorses, he founded Seagram Stables in 1888, building its bloodlines by importing mares in foal from English sires. Between 1891 and 1898, his stables won eight consecutive Queen's Plates, Canada's most prestigious horse racing event. In total, during his lifetime Joseph Seagram won the race fifteen times, plus his heirs who took over the stable won it another five times. Joseph Seagram also served as president of the Ontario Jockey Club from 1906 to 1917 and in 1908 helped found the Canadian Racing Association.

Seagram Stables was a Canadian Thoroughbred horse racing operation founded in 1888 by the wealthy distiller, Joseph E. Seagram. Located in Seagram's hometown of Waterloo, Ontario, the stables and large training facilities were built along Lincoln Road.

England Country in north-west Europe, part of the United Kingdom

England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to the west and Scotland to the north-northwest. The Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.

Queens Plate first Leg of the Canadian Triple Crown

The Queen's Plate is Canada's oldest Thoroughbred horse race, having been founded in 1860. It is also the oldest continuously run race in North America. It is run at a distance of ​1 14 miles for a maximum of 17 three-year-old Thoroughbred horses foaled in Canada. The race takes place each summer, in June or July, at Woodbine Racetrack, Etobicoke, Ontario, and is the first race in the Canadian Triple Crown.

On its formation in 1976, the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame inducted Joseph E. Seagram as part of its inaugural class in the builders category.

Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame

The Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame was established in 1976 to honor those who have made a significant contribution to the sport of harness and thoroughbred horse racing in Canada. It is located at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, Ontario.

Political life

He served as a Waterloo town councilor from 1879 to 1886. In the Canadian federal election, 1896, he was elected to the House of Commons of Canada as the Conservative Party member for Waterloo North. In the 1900 election he was acclaimed and was reelected in 1904, serving until September 1908 when he chose not to seek another term.

He was a benefactor to the City of Waterloo. Among his donations to the community was a 13-acre (53,000 m2) parcel of land occupied today by the Grand River Hospital. His gift specified that the property was to be used solely for hospital services and open to everyone regardless of race, colour or creed. [2]


He died in Waterloo in 1919. His heirs sold the company to Samuel Bronfman in 1928.

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Canadian whisky type of whisky produced in Canada

Canadian whisky is a type of whisky produced in Canada. Most Canadian whiskies are blended multi-grain liquors containing a large percentage of corn spirits, and are typically lighter and smoother than other whisky styles. When Canadian distillers began adding small amounts of highly-flavourful rye grain to their mashes, people began demanding this new rye-flavoured whisky, referring to it simply as "rye". Today, as for the past two centuries, the terms "rye whisky" and "Canadian whisky" are used interchangeably in Canada and refer to exactly the same product, which generally is made with only a small amount of rye grain.

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Parliament of Canada
Preceded by
Isaac Erb Bowman
Member of Parliament for Waterloo North
Succeeded by
William Lyon Mackenzie King