AS RECORDED IN:
COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD OF
TOLLAND AND WINDHAM COUNTIES CONNECTICUT.
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF PROMINENT AND
REPRESENTATIVE CITIZENS AND OF MANY OF THE EARLY SETTLED FAMILIES
PUBLISHER: J.H.BEERS & CO., CHICAGO; 1903 P. 763
JOHN G. CAMERON, the subject of this sketch, is one of the highly respected citizens of Rockville, Tolland Co., Conn., and was one of the most valued employees of the great firm of Belding Bros., where he held an important position for twenty-five years.
Mr. Cameron is a native of Paisly, Renfrewshire, Scotland, which town has long been celebrated on account of the well-known Paisly shawl, and in one of the great weaving establishments of that town his father was employed, following that occupation until his death, at the age of seventy-two. The elder Mr. Cameron married Jean Baird, the mother of John G., very many years ago, and twelve children resulted from this union and two from a later marriage, only two of the family coming to America. John G. and his sister Rachel were the members who crossed the ocean, the latter dying in Quincy, Mass., having resided both in Willimantic and Rockville.
John G. Cameron was born Dec. 14, 1829, and his early education was all he ever obtained in the schools, as at the tender age of eight he was put into the factory, to assist his father by attending to a loom. The family was large and the wages of eighteen pence a week was small, but it was needed, and as he grew older his salary increased. At the age of fifteen, Mr. Cameron chose the trade of dyer, learning it in a public dye house of his native city, where many men were employed, hiring there for four shillings a week with board, contracting to remain five years, this being the time required to master the business, but he remained nine years, or until he became a finished workman in his line.
The United States was the hoped-for goal for many of the ambitions young men of that locality, and as soon as Mr. Cameron had saved a sufficient amount, he bought a ticket for New York, sailed from Glasgow on the steamship “Clyde,” of the Anchor line, was eleven days en route and reached the great city of his hopes with very little money, but with high hopes of future wealth, which have in a great measure been realized. The first work he obtained was in Providence, R.I., in a public-dye house and there he remained for one and one-half years. Friends had settled in Lawrence, Mass., and he then went there and was employed in the Pemberton cotton mill, remaining for several years, being one of the fortunate ones to escape when this mill fell down and caught fire, an appalling loss of life resulting. The mill was rebuilt and he returned there and resumed work.
In 1864 Mr. Cameron went to Salmon Falls, N.H., where he was employed as a dyer in a cotton factory and there was again among the fortunate, as this mill caught fire and was burned to the ground. Going then to Willimantic, Conn., he entered a cotton and silk thread factory, and then to Mansfield, Conn., where he remained six years as the head of the dyeing department in the factory of the Paisly Silk & Thread Co. Resigning this position in September, 1873, he accepted the offer made by the Belding Bros., of Rockville, and entered into a connection as head of the dye works, which lasted many years, to the mutual benefit of both parties. Mr. Cameron resigned his position with Belding Bros. & Co., Jan. 1, 1903, after a period of thirty years, being desirous of taking a well earned rest after his labor of sixty-five years. Upon severing his connection with Belding Bros. & Co., he was the recipient of a handsome gold headed cane from the firm as a token of their regard and esteem.
On Nov. 22, 1860, John G. Cameron was married in Lowell, Mass., to Annie Craig, born June 17, 1827, also a native of Paisly. Mrs. Cameron had come to the United States in 1860, a bonny daughter of James and Elizabeth (Thompson) Craig, and these children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Cameron: (1) Elizabeth, born Jan. 9, 1862, who died at the age of twenty-four; (2) Jeanie B., born March 9, 1864, who married John Russell, died in Quincy, Mass., March 20, 1896, and was buried in that city, leaving children: George C., Annie A., Marion E., and Jeanie C.; and (3) John P., born Nov. 3, 1867, who married Annie S. Thompson, of Rockville and has two children, - Beatrice M., and Audrey T.
Although Mr. Cameron is a Republican, he takes only a voting interest in politics, and is a quiet, hardworking citizen who succeeded in his business life because of his industry and thorough comprehension of what he was engaged to do. This thoroughness gained him the confidence of those by whom he was employed and his work has been of the utmost importance in the great business in which he was for so long a very necessary factor. For the past twenty-five years he has resided at No. 88 Union street, although he owns a desirable residence on Lawrence street. He, his wife and son are among the valued members of the Union Congregational Church, and in the community are respected by all.
Reproduced by: Linda D. Pingel
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