JACKSON, EDWARD, merchant, prominent Methodist layman, and philanthropist; b. 20 April 1799 at Redding, Conn.; d. 14 July 1872, at Hamilton, Ont.
Edward Jackson received his elementary schooling at Redding and was then apprenticed in the trade of tinsmith. After his marriage in 1826 to Lydia Ann Sanford of Redding he emigrated to Niagara, Upper Canada, moving shortly after to Ancaster, and, in 1830, to Hamilton. There he sold tinware and set up a tin factory which employed his nephew William Eli Sanford* and four other men, all of whom in time became partners in various branches of the business. Jackson held the controlling interest in these but preferred to remain anonymous. Thus, the Hamilton firm, under Dennis Moore*, was D. Moore and Company, and a foundry in London, Anderson, Sanford and Company. With industry and sound investment, Jackson eventually amassed a considerable fortune.
Jackson’s parents were members of the Episcopal Church but his wife was a Methodist. He was converted to Methodism during revival services in 1832 and became a life-long class leader and Sunday school worker. Of his three children, only a daughter, Emmeline, survived infancy. She married her cousin, William Sanford, in 1856, but died 18 months later, only briefly survived by an infant daughter.
The effect of this double bereavement was to direct Edward Jackson’s energies to religious and philanthropic works. He supported Methodist missions on the Pacific coast, was the main contributor to the founding of Wesleyan Female College in Hamilton, and served as president of the board of the college. He was also founder and principal supporter of Centenary Methodist Church, the corner-stone of which was laid by Mrs Jackson, 28 May 1866. He took an active part in the campaign to provide an endowment for Victoria College, Cobourg, and personally endowed the chair in theology in 1871. A year later, aged 72, he died at family prayer.
Edward Jackson was a man of handsome bearing and unimpeachable character, and was noted for his wit. He was highly respected as a public-spirited citizen, a successful businessman, and a sincere Christian.
A biography by Nathaniel Burwash in the Canadian Methodist Magazine (Toronto), III (1876), 7–10, 97–104, was later issued as Memorials of the life of Edward and Lydia Ann Jackson (Toronto, 1876). Christian Guardian (Toronto), 17, 24 July 1872. Herald (Hamilton), 11 Nov. 1910. W. H. Poole, A sermon occasioned by the death of Edward Jackson, Esq., of Hamilton (Toronto, 1872). Can. biog. dict., I, 708–9. J. E. Middleton and Fred Landon, The province of Ontario: a history, 1615–1927 (5v., Toronto, [1927–28]), III, 126. Mabel Burkholder, “Out of the storied past,” Spectator (Hamilton), 8 Dec. 1956.