Lemont family

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Lemont family

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Branch begins in 1807


Merchant, Martin Lemont was born about 1807 at Bath, Maine, of French ancestry. He moved to New Brunswick, possibly in the 1830s, settling at Fredericton about 1843. In 1839 he married his cousin, Elizabeth (Eliza) Lemont (ca. 1820), the daughter of William Lemont (1787-1881), of Gagetown, Queens County, and they had no fewer than 7 children, namely, William J. (1840-1918), Robert J. (1843-[1929?]), Sarah E. (b. ca. 1847, Flewelling), Frances E. (b. ca. 1850), Martin (1854-1904), Henry (b. ca. 1856), and Mabel R. ([ca. 1863]-1890).

In 1844 Martin Lemont, Sr. went into business with Samuel A. Akerley [Akerly], who operated a shop on Queen Street. By 1846, Martin Lemont had established his own business, Lemont’s Variety Store, possibly one of the first variety stores in the province. Fire destroyed the business in 1850, but he opened again on Phoenix Square, only to suffer the same fate in 1854. He moved his business to Coy’s block, but saw his store destroyed again in 1859. Following this setback, he rebuilt his business at 338 Queen Street. Here he operated his store, later renamed Lemont & Sons, for more than 30 years. Lemont’s & Sons sold furniture, crockery and china, glassware, silverware and cutlery, lamps, fancy goods, and sundries. For many years, Martin Lemont, Sr. lived on St. John Street, in Fredericton. He was an active member of the Methodist Church. Martin Lemont, Sr. died at Fredericton, on 16 October 1881, and was buried in the Fredericton Rural Cemetery.

Two of Martin Lemont, Sr.’s sons, followed him into the business. William J. Lemont became a partner in the firm in April 1862, and Martin Lemont, Jr., entered the business in April 1874. Martin Lemont, Jr., never married. William Lemont married Eliza Johnston Hogg (1840-1904), the daughter of James Hogg, the founder of the “New Brunswick Reporter,” on 17 August 1864, and they had 6 children – Fanny Sarah (b. ca. 1868, Johnston), James Martin (b. 1865), Eliza J. (ca. 1869-1875), William Brunswick (1871-1958), Thomas Henry (b. ca. 1875-1878), and L. A. Wilmot (b. 1879). As well, in 1871, he took in, at least briefly, 12-year-old Harriet Mair / Mayer, as an apprentice. She had arrived from England, in 1870, as a ward of the philanthropist, Miss Maria S. Rye. In addition to working in the store, William Lemont was acting as an agent for the Imperial Life Assurance Co. of Canada by the first decade of the 20th century.

Martin and William Lemont’s eldest and youngest brothers followed different career paths. Robert J. Lemont studied medicine in New York, receiving his M.D. degree in 1864. Eventually, he made his home in Hampton, Kings County, where he married Julia Flewelling, the daughter of John Flewelling, in 1866. He practiced medicine at Hampton for about 10 years, before moving to Tremont, Hancock County, Maine. By 1881 Henry (Harry) Lemont had left New Brunswick. In that year, he was living in Houston, Texas, where he was employed with the Galveston, Harrisburg, and San Antonio Railway. Ten years later Henry Lemont was working as a real estate broker in Duluth, Minnesota. He was also employed, at various times, as a private secretary, a court commissioner, a clerk, and a court reporter,

At home in Fredericton, Martin Lemont, Sr. managed the family business until his death, in 1881, when his sons William and Martin Lemont Jr. took over the firm. Martin Lemont, Jr. died on 10 October 1904, and at that time William’s son James M. Lemont became involved with the business. James was also was known for his musical knowledge and had studied in Germany and the United States after graduating from UNB in 1884.

In 1910 James Lemont married Annie Godsoe Segee and lived until 1927. He was involved on City Council and the Fredericton Board of Health, Fredericton School Board, and the Victoria Public Hospital Board. The business was incorporated as Lemont & Sons Limited in 1905. William left the business in 1911 due to health reasons and died while living with his daughter Fanny in Fowl River, Mobile County, Alabama 15 November 1917.

James Lemont's brothers were also accomplished in their own fields. Lemuel Allan Wilmot (Cedric) Lemont became a well-known composer, organist, and music teacher in various places in the United States including the Chicago Institute of Music, the Columbus Institute of Music in Columbus, Ohio, and at Ohio Wesleyan University. He had married Woodstock native Anna Beardsley Taylor in 1914 and they had three daughters. He died in New York in 1954. He also published widely in astrology periodicals. William Brunswick Lemont was a civil engineer for the Department of Highways in Saint John and married Ida Bessie Pinder, February 21, 1907. They died without children in 1958.

Subsequent to James Lemont's death, the business was sold to William R. Evans, but it continued to operate under the Lemont name. In 1932, the letters patent were surrendered; however, in 1956, the business was reincorporated under the name Lemont’s Limited. By that date, two of Evans sons were working with him. William Evans sold Lemont’s Limited in 1964.

Sources: RS141 Vital Statistics from Government records; Daniel F. Johnson's Vital Statistics from New Brunswick Newspapers on-line; Census of Canada, 1851, 1871, 1881, 1901, and 1911; conversation with George Evans, and familysearch.org.; Daily Gleaner obituaries, RS71 and RS75 probate, and conversation with Barbara Roberts, granddaughter of Cedric Lemont.


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