Fonds - Freeman Hale Todd & Sons fonds

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Freeman Hale Todd & Sons fonds

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  • Textual record

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  • 1832-1921 (Creation)
    Creator
    Freeman Hale Todd & Sons

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5 metres of textual records

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Name of creator

(1844-1918)

Administrative history

Freeman Hale Todd was born at North Yarmouth, near Portland, on the 7 August 1809. He was the youngest son of the 5 surviving children of William Todd and Hannah Worthly. His father had a lucrative business in the Atlantic coast-West Indies trade, but the business was destroyed by the blockade during the Napoleonic Wars, and in 1811 the Todd family sought a new life in the security of British North America and settled in St. Stephen, NB. His father was employed as a teacher, then the family moved back across the border to Calais, Me where William Todd operated a boarding house and was also a merchant. His sons, Robert, William, and Freeman when they began their own careers moved to and settled in St. Stephen.

Freeman was sent to the Gardiner Lyceum, Gardiner, Maine, an institute that was established in 1822 to provide farmers and mechanics a scientific education, the course was for 3 years however, Freeman only attended the first year. He then was employed as a clerk in a country store in Calais. At the age of 24, in 1833 he started his own business in St. Stephen.

On 4 August that year he married to Hezediah Grant, they had a daughter Emeline, but both daughter and mother died in 1836. In 1838 he married Adeline Boardman, the eldest of nine children of William Boardman, a merchant in Calais. Adeline was a schoolmistress in the Calais Public Schools, and she also wrote stories for publication in Boston's Youth Companion. Freeman had purchased his home from Rev. Richard Clarke, the first Anglican Minister of St. Stephen, he renamed the house Dover Hill (although the house was demolished Dover Hill is listed in Canada's Historic Places). She and Freeman had eight children; Emma (1839-1863) married William M. Lowell, from Halifax, NS, 23 April 1863. Emma died in childbirth 1 December 1863, in Halifax, their daughter Emma died in August 1864. Alice (1842-1867) married William Isaac Clewley in 1864; she died 17 September 1866, after giving birth to her son Heber Bishop. Frank (1843-1919) was the eldest son; he married Georgianna [?]. Henry Freeman (1846-1909) married Mary Wyre; they had two children Margaret Adelaide and Truman Hale, he died at the age of eleven, Mary was of the Presbyterian faith and the children were brought up Presbyterians. Caroline (1849-1859), after Carrie's death, Adeline started writing again and many of her children's stories were published by the Universalist Church in Boston. Edwin B. (1852-1902) was first married to Fannie Barnard and they had two children Sarah and Frances Edwina, Fannie died in 1882 and Edwin remarried in 1886 to Annie Smith. William Frederick (1854-1935) married Ethel Bolton, in 1879. They had three daughters, Winifred, Adeline and Mildred. As a young man, like his elder brothers he joined his father's firm of F. H. Todd & Sons. He later attended Harvard University to study law, but left without completing his course. He embarked on an entirely different venture, the breeding and racing of fine horses. His stud farm was at Todd's Point. He then became involved in politics like his uncle William Todd; he represented Charlotte County in the House of Assembly, 1899-1903, and the House of Commons, 1908-1911. He served the Province of New Brunswick as Lieutenant Governor, 1923-1928. Adeline was the last child of Freeman and Adeline (1859-1933), she married Charles Young, a lumberman from Calais, Me. They had five children, two boys Frederick and Kenneth and three daughters Vera, Georgia Emma and Rhoda Alice.

Freeman Todd belonged to the Universalist Church; a church that believed everybody would receive salvation upon dying. It is not certain when he and his wife converted to Universalism, but it is noted in the 1851 New Brunswick census. There was a Universalist church in Milltown and also in Calais both active from 1825. The Milltown church was burnt down in 1856 and although temporary meeting places were found, without a permanent home the membership floundered. The Universalist church in Calais was also lost in the 1870 fire of Calais, so no records from either church remain. The Calais church also had troubles and joined forces with the Unitarian Church under the name of the Union Church Parish. Freeman H. Todd and his family became members of this church. He was a teetotaller, and was active in the temperance organizations for many years. In his will Freeman Todd provided a legacy of $5,000 to his church.

When Freeman Todd opened his first business he was engaged in merchandising, manufacturing lumber and shipping. He owned a large number of ships at that time, and was involved with domestic and West Indies trading. The business continued for some years, with no real success, but he managed to end the business in a solvent condition. His next business was in logging and milling, and he pursued this during his life. He was a large owner of lands in Maine, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, and an operator in all three places. His largest business operations were connected with the lumber industry at St. Margaret's Bay, N.S. and Mount Katahdin, Piscataquis County, Maine. He was a founding member of the incorporated "Digdequash Lake and Stream Driving Company" in 1865, by his death through various bills it was expanded to the "Digdequash, Musquash, Bolton, Palfrey and Lacoot Streams and Lakes Driving Company."

After the death of his elder brother the Hon. William Todd, he became the President of the St. Stephen Bank, of which he was the largest stockholder. His eldest son Frank took over the position of President, after his death. He also became involved with railroading. This began with the St. Stephen Branch Road in 1865, of which he was the largest contributor; he also invested a large amount of money in both Maine and New Brunswick. He was one of the promoters of the St. Stephen and Houlton branch railways, 1867. He was the largest owner of stock of the NB & Canada Rail Road and was its President for many years. In 1870 he was a founding member of the New Brunswick Railway Company. His stocks, bonds and shares at the time of his death were valued at over $640,000.

Apart from his own business he often went into other partnerships with members of his family, or other lumber barons of the St. Croix. He went into partnership with his son Frank and his son in law William Clewley, they operated a general grocery and a lumber manufacturing business; the company owned at least one schooner, the Georgie Todd, its loss off Seals Island was reported in the St. Croix Courier, 29 December 1870. The partnership was dissolved on 5 March 1873 and the following year Clewley moved to Woburn, Mass. In 1878 he went into partnership with James and Gilbert Ganong to build the St. Croix Soap Manufacturing Company. He was the company's first President, that partnership was dissolved in 1884. In the early eighties, with James Murchie and Zechariah Chipman he helped establish the St. Croix Cotton Manufacturing Co and opened the St. Croix Mill, the second largest in Canada in 1881. He was President of the St. Stephen Rural Cemetery and the Loydds St. Croix Insurance Co.

He also became a co-partner with his cousin Ninian Todd, in Nova Scotia in 1883. On 1 May 1871, the Daily Morning News of Saint John stated that Frank Todd, N. Lindsay Todd and John Polleys had purchased 15 or 20,000 acres near St. Margaret's Bay about 20 miles west of Halifax and are now erecting a steam mill. The firm of Todd and Polleys consisted of Ninian L. Todd, Frank Todd his nephew and John Polleys. The three men became interested in real estate in Nova Scotia, and they acquired considerable holdings of land in the counties of Halifax, Hants, and to a lesser degree in Lunenburg. In 1876 they acquired a further four hundred acres of Crown land, through a loan of $7,257.76 from Freeman Todd. On the 23 December 1880, John Polleys agreed to convey all his interest in this property to Freeman H. Todd and then on 25 April 1881, Frank Todd conveyed his interest to his father, Freeman H. Todd. In 1883 Ninian L. Todd and Freeman Todd became co-partners, and the company was registered in the name of Ninian L. Todd & Co. Then on 23 December 1885, after Freeman Todd's death, John Polleys and Ninian L. Todd conveyed all their interest to the five children and heirs at law of Freeman H. Todd, this was recorded at Windsor NS on February 1891. Freeman Todd had supplied most of the capital for the business, and Ninian L. Todd's family came out of the business with less than $1,000. The business was put up for sale and there was obviously some negotiation of the lands and mills in NS with James Bellman, however the heirs of F. H. Todd terminated that option and the property was sold to Addie (Todd) Young's husband Charles Young and his brother Frank Daniel and it was incorporated as the firm of Young Brothers & Company.

He was a charter member and President of the St. Stephen Rural Cemetery and left a legacy of $5,000 for its upkeep.

He died at the age of 76 on the 9 September 1885, of congestion of the lungs. He left a very large estate stated by Frank and Henry F. Todd, his executors to be one million and sixty five hundred dollars. In his will, written on the day he died, 9 September 1885, Freeman Todd appointed his sons Frank and Henry as his executors. He left his grandson Heber Clewley, 10,000 acres of land, and a trust fund of $20,000 to be paid to him when he was 21 years of age. The remainder was to be divided between his 5 surviving children. In his codicil, written the same day, he bequeathed monies to his friends and servants, $5,000 to the St. Stephen Rural Cemetery and the Union Church in Calais and $5,000 to the City of Calais for the building of a library. When Judge B. Stevenson attested Freeman Todd's will, Frank and Henry Todd stated that the estate was valued at $1,000,650. All his sons, Frank, Henry F., Edwin B. and William F. were all involved in the family business at one time, William went his own way and began raising and breeding race horses. Frank and Henry stayed with the company in St. Stephen and Edwin in Calais Me. Frank and Henry also owned a grocers, and a hardware company in St. Stephen, which was eventually sold.

Because the estate of Freeman Todd was large and could not be beneficially divided by the executors, the other heirs, Edwin, William and Addie decided it would be best of the undivided properties should be kept intact and worked for the common benefit of them all until such time as it might be beneficially divided in 1890. Three years later, 13 November 1893, William discharged all interest in his late father's estate, whether real estate, or banking or securities and transferred his interest to his sister and three brothers. So F. H. Todd & Sons continued in business with Frank, Henry and Edwin in their previous roles, and they continued to look for potential buyers. After Edwin's death in 1902 his two daughters Sarah and Francis took over their father's share in the business. In 1904 Frank and Henry produced a final statement, which discharged the Executors of F. H. Todd's estate from any further claim against the estate, and from the necessity of passing the same in the Probate Court. It was also decided on 30 May 1904 that $150,000 of shares be held in trust for William F. Todd. When Henry died in 1909, his wife Mary and daughter Margaret took over his share in the business. When Frank died in 1919, and the estate was not settled, William went before the Probate Court, May 1919, and was appointed executor of his father's estate.

Custodial history

Scope and content

This collection contains documents pertaining to Freeman Hale Todd's business ventures, including his logging and lumber business along the St Croix River Region, as well as his merchant and grocery businesses. These include account books, promissory notes, receipts and documents related to shipping as well as deeds, indentures, mortgages, assignments of land and insurance policies. There are also wills, family papers and matters relating to Probate that pertain to Freeman Hale Todd's estate after his death on 9 September 1885. Documents involving a co-partnership between Ninian Lindsay Todd and F. H. Todd & Sons are also included. Freeman Hale Todd's election address from when he was elected in 1865 as a candidate opposing the Confederation of New Brunswick with Canada also fall under the scope of this collection. There are also some documents related to his eldest son Frank Todd which include promissory notes, receipts, correspondences, and mortgages related to his business ventures and investments in Maine and New Brunswick.

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