Name: David A. WILLIAMSON
Given Name: David A.
Birth: 5 Mar 1880 in Ayr, Ontario
Christening: 7 Nov 1917 Mindemoya, Manitoulin Island, Ontario
Death: 13 Mar 1967
Burial: 1967 Mindemoya, Manitoulin Island, Ontario
Religion: 1881 Presbytarian
Census: 1881 Carnarvon Township, Manitoulin Island, Ontario
Census: 1891 Carnarvon Township, Manitoulin Island, Ontario
Census: 1911 Carnarvon Census, Algoma East, District 14, Page 3, Household #23
Change Date: 26 Oct 2014 at 15:58
Iconic hardware store celebrates 90 years News
June 29, 2011
MINDEMOYA— As the Williamson family of Mindemoya busies t hemselves with the 90th anniversary celebrations for the ic onic hardware and sporting goods business D.A. Williamson a nd Sons this weekend, they took a moment to stop and reflec t on nine decades of the busy store.
David Williamson was born March 13, 1880 in Ayr (near Cambr idge), the third son of David and Sarah (Lynch) Williamson . He came to Manitoulin at the age of 7 months with his par ents and his two older brothers, James and William. He wa s raised on the family farm on Lake Mindemoya, along with h is eight brothers and two sisters. He married Jessie Mae Fe rguson on November 7, 1917, in Mindemoya and had five child ren: Alden (Si), Lorna Geraldine, Anita, David (Bus), and E loween.
David, or 'Davy' as he was called, started his hardware bus iness in 1921 and called it the D.A. Williamson Store. Davi d Williamson actually only had one name, as many people di d at that time. He chose to add the letter 'A' to his nam e when he opened the store, as he thought it sounded and lo oked better to have the two initials, D.A.
He sold many wood heating stoves, called box stoves, as wel l as wood heating cook stoves plus many washing machines an d a general type of hardware. He also did eavestroughing an d installed lightning rods on barns and houses in many part s of the Island.
Davy had a good hardware business and was handy at doing sm all repair jobs, even putting the soles on people's shoes . His wife Jessie Mae died November 4, 1942.
A grocery section was added after the war, in approximatel y 1948. At that time his son, Bus, had returned from the wa r services, and he worked with his dad in the store. Davi d Orion Williamson was his real name, but everyone knew hi m by his nickname, 'Bus,' including his niece, Sheila Foga l who worked in the store 55 years ago as her first job.
"I worked in the grocery section," she said. "Back them yo u did it all— cashier, pricing, bagging."
Ms. Fogal explained that she boarded upstairs with the fami ly, helping Doris Williamson with the care of the house whe n she wasn't working in the grocery.
"Things were so much different then," she continued. "It wa s much quieter then, there weren't so many people around an d when you bought cheese, it all came in a wheel and it ha d to be cut from it."
Bus married Doris Hutchinson, daughter of Elias and Grace ( Mitchell) Hutchinson, on May 16, 1953 and Davy lived with t hem for the rest of his life. Davy passed away in 1967 at t he age of 87 and had remained active in the store until hi s last years. From about 1956 until 1973, Williamson's sol d all kinds of appliances, electric stoves, wringer washers , Hoover washers, automatic washing machines, freezers, an d fridges and Bus serviced them all.
Business was good. The hardware store was expanded to inclu de another 25 ft. x 50 ft. area and was fully stocked by De cember 1971.
Unfortunately, Bus died on December 12, 1971, before the of ficial opening of the new section. After that, Doris and he r two sons, Blaine and Barry, along with their other employ ees carried on the business. Doris passed away October 28 , 2006.
About three years after Bus passed away, the store disconti nued selling large appliances. The business has continued t o expand.
The Up Top Sports Shop was built over the new hardware par t in 1981 and in 1988, a 50 ft. x 70 ft. addition was buil t on the back of the main floor for more hardware and the s ame size was built over top for more Up Top Sports. This ad dition was completed in 1989.
The grocery section of the store was discontinued in 2000.
Doris' philosophy, which came from her father-in-law and hu sband, was to carry "everyday things that people need." I f people came in wanting an item that they do not have, the y would try to get it for them.
Doris was known to say, "With our good customers and out wo nderful help, we are still carrying on with the business".
The family likes to joke that salesmen who travelled to Man itoulin said that it seemed like they couldn't get away fro m the Williamsons. Everywhere they went they ran into a Wil liamson, or a relative of the Williamsons, who operated a s tore business. For example: Stuart McPhee, who married Davy 's youngest sister, Elizabeth (Lizzie), had the Manitowanin g General Store; Joe Ward, who married Davy's other sister , Molly, had the Tehkummah General Store; Austin Hunt, wh o married Anita Williamson, daughter of Davy, had Hunt's St ore in Kagawong; Andy Watson, who married Dot Williamson , a niece of Molly, Lizzie, and Davy, had the Sandfield Gen eral Store; Lester Williamson, a nephew of Molly, Lizzie, a nd Davy, and who married Rhea Watson (sister of Andy), ha d the Whitefish Falls General Store; Allan Little, who marr ied Marguerite, daughter of Joe and Molly Ward, had the dow ntown grocery store in Little Current; and Tommy Dunn, wh o married Elda Williamson, niece of Molly, Lizzie, and Davy , managed the Crest Hardware store in Little Current.
Williamson's continues to be a thriving business in downtow n Mindemoya. People are always surprised at the variety o f items that are carried in their store. "You can likely ge t it at Williamson's" is the general comment.
Blaine and Barry have continued to carry on the family busi ness ever since. All four of their daughters, Brittany, Jad e, Jenna, and Nikki Williamson, also work there. Because o f this, some say that the business is going to have to be r enamed to 'D.A. Williamson & Daughters.'
"My 3-year-old brother Wyatt, another member of the 4th gen eration of Williamsons, also stops in when his play and sle ep schedule allow a visit," Brittany Williamson said. "I th ink celebrating 90 years is also important, because in an a ge of big box stores and chains, it's heartwarming to see t hat a family business can still survive."
"I also think it is important to celebrate 90 years becaus e it would have meant the world to my Grandma Doris," she c ontinued. "She was one of the most hardworking women I hav e ever known, working here right up until she passed. I a m planning this event, in part, as a thank you to her for a ll that she did for the store. Grandma cared deeply about t he store, everyone who ever worked here, and anyone who wal ked through the doors. She put her heart into this place. T he celebration that I have planned for the 90th anniversar y of Williamson's Hardware is a tribute to her hard work an d dedication. If she were here today, she would be runnin g around in her moccasins to help me prepare this event, an d baking up a storm. It is to her that I dedicate this cele bration."
"This celebration is also a big thank you to our amazing cu stomers, who have been so loyal over the years," Ms. Willia mson said. "Without their dedication, Williamson's Hardwar e wouldn't be here, celebrating almost a century of busines s. One customer recently told me that his grandfather bough t from Blaine and Barry's grandfather, his father bought fr om Blaine and Barry's father, and now he buys from Blaine a nd Barry. It is customers like him and his family that supp ort Williamson's Hardware."
D.A.Williamson started the Hardware store in Mindemoya
A relative Pat Williamson gave a interesting story about Da vid Williamiam - when he started his hardward store in Mind emoya, he didn't have a middle name and thought it would be tter if he added the initial "A" to his name - so it became , David A. Williamson's Hardware Store.
Obituary- The Recorder, June 8, 1967
DAVID A. WILLIAMSON
Funeral services were held at St. Francis of Assisi Anglica n Church in Mindemoya on March 15, 1967 for David A. Willia mson, who passed away March 13 at the age of 87 years. Fath er Konig officiated at the funeral service.
David Williamson was born at Ayr, Ontario March 5, 1880, an d came to Manitoulin Island at the age of seven months wit h his parents, the late David and Sarah Williamson and hi s two older brothers James and William. They settled on a f arm in Mindemoya.
He was married on November 7, 1917, to Jessie May Ferguson , who predeceased him on Nov. 4, 1942. He built his own sto re and went into the "Hardware Business" in the early twent ies. Later he added a grocery business in 1946. He had an a ctive interest in the business until his death.
He is survived by two sons, Alden and Bus, both of Mindemoy a, and three daughters Mrs. Geraldine Haner of Providence B ay; Mrs. Anita Hunt of Kagawong, and Mrs. Elloween Wilson o f Sudbury; also eighteen grandchildren.
He was one of a family of nine brothers and two sisters.
Brothers who predeceased him were James, William, Tom, Andy , Walter. He is survived by brothers, Harry, John and Pete r sisters, Mary (Mrs. J. A. Ward) of Tehkummah and Elizabet h (Mrs. Stewart McPhee) of Manitowaning.
Pallbearers were Harold Williamson, Lester Williamson, Owe n Williamson, Ivan Williamson, Rex Ward and Bruce Wyman.
Ushers were Ab. Ferguson and Peter McAllister. Interment wa s in the Mindemoya Cemetery.
Obituary - The Recorder, March 16, 1967
Williamson-At the Red Cross Hospital, Mindemoya, on Monday , March 13th, 1967, David A. Williamson, beloved husband o f the late Jessie Mae Ferguson, aged 87 years. Rested at th e Church of St. Francis of Assisi, Mindemoya, until servic e there on Wednesday, March 15th at 2 p.m. Interment in Min demoya cemetery.
MINDEMOYA CEMETERY, Lot 16 Concession 3, Carnarvon Township , #35.
WILLIAMSON / JESSIE MAE / 1890 - 1942 / DAVID A. / 1880 - 1 967 / fs FATHER fs MOTHER
Father: David WILLIAMSON b: 22 Dec 1853 in Oneida Township, Haldimand County, Ontario
Mother: Sarah LYNCH b: 9 Jan 1855 in Ayr, Ontario
Jessie Mae FERGUSON b: 30 Jun 1890 in Carnarvon Township, Manitoulin Island, Ontario c: 7 Nov 1917 in Mindemoya, Manitoulin Island, Ontario
7 Nov 1917
in Mindemoya, Manitoulin Island, Ontario
- Note: 2 _PREF Y
- Change Date:
16 Mar 2012
- Charles Alden WILLIAMSON b: 1919 in Mindemoya c: 1 Jan 1942
- Geraldine Lorna WILLIAMSON b: 18 Nov 1923 in Manitoulin
- Mary 'Nite' Catherine Anita WILLIAMSON b: 1924 in Mindemoya
- David Orion "Bus" WILLIAMSON b: 12 Sep 1925 c: 16 May 1953
- Eloween Agnes WILLIAMSON b: 4 Mar 1928 in Mindemoya
- Abbrev: MFT