Lennox and Addington Historical Society

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Copying is permitted. Please credit the Lennox and Addington County Museum, Napanee, Address: Postal Bag 1000, 97 Thomas Street East, Napanee K7R 3S9

Archibald T. Harshaw, of Napanee

When 'Archie' Harshaw died at his house on Dundas Street, Napanee on June 29, 1922, The Napanee Express lamented the passing of one of its most influential citizens, with a long association with the town.

Archibald Thomas Harshaw was born on the 30th of January, 1847, in the city of Leeds, England. He was the son of James Harshaw and his wife, Jane Boyne. In 1866, at the age of 19, he came to Canada. He spent time elsewhere before moving to Napanee sometime in about 1880.

The maiden name of his first wife is not known, but her given names were Georgiana Matilda, and she was 10 years older than the groom, having been born in Quebec in 1837. The difference in their ages cannot have been apparent, as on the 1891 census, she gave her age as the same as her husband's -- 44. Matilda Harshaw was the mother of at least three children: Boyne Harshaw, the oldest son, was born in Quebec in about 1876, and Constance Harshaw, the oldest daughter, in Quebec in about 1879. A second daughter, Florence Harshaw, was born in Ontario on 31 October, 1880. (Although she always gave her birthdate as 1881, the birth announcement appears in the Beaver in 1880.)

Napanee at this time was just emerging from a period of recession. A number of solid, sizable brick residences had been built in the town for retiring farmers, and local merchants, and these were now increased as new manufacturers arrived to make use of the excellent waterpower afforded by the Napanee River. Napanee was now entering its brief "industrial" period, and for the next ten years it seemed that manufacturing would become the main employer. Harshaw settled in as an insurance agent. There was plenty of demand for insurance and money to pay for it, and the Harshaws became well-established as upper-middle class. They attended St. Mary Magdalene Anglican Church, and were staunch supporters of all its activities.

In 1892, Matilda Harshaw died. She was buried in the new, Napanee Riverside Cemetery

Two years later, in about 1894, Archibald Harshaw married again, Alice Lineau, daughter of Eliza and Johannes Lineau. Alice's parents were German, but she had been born in the United States on 7 May, 1859. (Alice's mother came to Napanee with her. She died in 1903 and is also buried in Riverside Cemetery.) Alice Harshaw survived her husband by over twenty years. Following his death in 1922, she became very active with the Imperial Order of Daughters of the Empire. She later moved to Toronto to be near some of her children, but at her death in 1944 was brought back to Napanee for burial. Although her mother's headstone and obituary give Alice's maiden name as "Lineau", her own headstone is inscribed, "Alice Lydia Trenau Harshaw, 1859-1944"

Alice was the mother of a large family. A son, Archibald C. Harshaw, was born on 22 August, 1895. Further children followed. The Lennox and Addington County Museum does not know the full story of the Harshaw children, but the files contain the following:

William Boyne Harshaw, born Quebec, c1876, lived briefly in Napanee, moved to Owen Sound, married July 2, 1898, Annie Farley, daughter of John Farley of St. Thomas

Constance Harshaw, born Quebec, c1879 - fate unknown

Florence Harshaw, born Napanee 31 October, 1880 - fate unknown (birth announced in Napanee Beaver, Nov. 6, 1880)

Archibald T. Harshaw, born Aug. 22, 1895, married Helen Agnes Edward. He died in 1975.

Alice Louise Harshaw, born Napanee 20 January, 1897. Moved to Toronto.

Jane Boyne Harshaw, born Napanee 4 May, 1899 - died Oct. 27, 1967

Harold L. Harshaw, born Napanee 8 July, 1900

In 1969, a stained glass window inscribed to the memory of Miss Alice Louise Harshaw (then still living) and the late Miss Jane Boyne Harshaw was dedicated by Bishop Evans at St. Mary Magdalene's Church, Napanee. The subject of the window is St. Cecilia, patroness of music. The Napanee Beaver said: "The Harshaw sisters were members of a prominent Napanee family and their window was donated by a brother, Archibald Harshaw, of Montreal. Their mother was one of the pioneers of the Imperial Order of Daughers of the Empire movement, both here and in Toronto where the family later lived and a branch of the IODE which existed here [Napanee] at one time was named after her." No members of the Harshaw family were present when this last Napanee connection with the family was unveiled.

22 July 1998

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