Quebec History Marianopolis College

Date Published:
September 2007

L’Encyclopédie de l’histoire du Québec / The Quebec History Encyclopedia


Ezra Butler Eddy


Eddy, Ezra Butler (1827-1906), manufacturer, was born near Bristol, Vermont, on August 22, 1827, the son of Samuel Eddy and Clarissa Eastman. In 1851 he embarked on the manufacture of friction matches at Burlington, Vermont ; and in 1854 he removed to Hull, Canada East, where he built up one of the largest match factories in the world. In 1886 he reorganized the business as the E. B. Eddy Co., and became its president. From 1871 to 1875 he represented Ottawa county in Legislative Assembly of Quebec. He died at Hull on February 12, 1906.

Source  : W. Stewart WALLACE, ed., The Encyclopedia of Canada, Vol. II, Toronto, University Associates of Canada , 1948, 411p., p. 260.


Ezra Butler Eddy

Founder of the E. B. Eddy Co., one of the Largest Manufacturing Plants in Canada. Hull, Que, Canada.

ALTHOUGH born in the United States, the late 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 Mr. Eddy's veins.  His grandmother, Lois Eastman being a Standish and direct descendant of that New England hero. The late Samuel Eddy (father of Ezra B.) was of Scottish ancestry, and on his farm near Bristol, Vermont, the late Mr. Eddy was born on the 22nd of August, 1827. After an ordinary education in the district schools he went to New York and there commenced his business career that was destined to win for him fame and fortune. In 1850, he returned to Vermont and began (at Burlington) the manufacture of friction matches. In 1851, he moved to Hull, Quebec, in order to be nearer the source of supply of his raw material, and where he utilized part of the vast water power of the great Chaudière Falls, soon having the most extensive match manufacturing plant in British North America. In 1856, he added saw mills and factories for the manufacturing of pails and tubs. In 1868, he pur­chased the property which he had formerly rented and erected other saw mills, sash door, blind and box factories. In 1886, the works were organized into a joint stock company, Mr. Eddy retaining the active management as president of the E. B. Eddy Co., Ltd. During 1889-1890, was erected a large sulphite fibre mill and in 1892, foreseeing the possibilities for the further use of pulp wood, the company abandoned the lumber business almost altogether and went into the manufacture, on a large scale, of pulp and paper, using the most modern and up-to-date machinery and appliances of all kinds; this operation included the manufacturing of pails, tubs and other utensils out of wood pulp. Mr. Eddy, while a very busy man (employing about 2,000 hands), did not neglect his public duties. The city of Hull which owes so much to his enterprise, is also under obligations to its great captain of industry for his public spirit. For thirteen years, at different times he occupied the position of Mayor, while from 1870 to 1875 he represented the County of Ottawa in the Quebec Legislature as a conservative.

Mr. Eddy 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 twice married, first in Bristol, Vermont, on December 29th, 1884, to Zaida Diana Arnold, who died in 1893, and secondly on June 27th, 1894, to Jennie Grahl Shirreff, by the first union there were three children, two sons and one daughter. The boys died in infancy.

Mr. Eddy died at Standish Hall, Hull, Quebec, February 10th, 1906, full of years and honors and much mourned by his hundreds of employees.

The business of E. B. Eddy Company has been carried on since his death by Messrs. W. H. Rowley and George H. Millen, joint managers.

Source: Canadian History Makers. A Volume Containing Accurate and Concise Sketches of Men who have Done Things in The Dominion of Canada Past and Present Together with Photogravures Made from their Latest Photographs, Montreal, Canadian Publication Society, 1913, 159p., p. 157.

© 2007 Claude Bélanger, Marianopolis College