Joseph Seagram
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Joseph Emm Seagram (1841 - 1919)

Joseph Emm Seagram
Born in Fisher's Mills, Cambridge, Canada Westmap
Husband of — married 1869 in Ontario, Canadamap
Descendants descendants
Died in Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canadamap
Profile last modified | Created 5 Mar 2014 | Last significant change: 6 Jan 2022
03:16: [Living McAusland] answered a question about Joseph Emm Seagram (1841-1919) [Thank [unlisted] for this | 1 thank-you received]
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Notables Project
Joseph Seagram is Notable.
Joseph Seagram is/was a significant Ontarian .

Joseph Emm Seagram, Canadian-born (British descendant) distillery founder, owner of thoroughbred racehorses, politician, and philanthropist.

Joseph was born April 15, 1841 to Octavius Augustus Seagram and Amelia (Stiles) Seagram, who had recently immigrated to Cambridge, Ontario from Wiltshire, England in 1837.

Joseph and brother, Edward, were orphaned in their teens, and lived at Dr. Tassie's boarding school in Galt for six years. Joseph then spent a year at business college in Buffalo, New York, before returning to Canada, where he worked as a bookkeeper and manager at various mills in Galt and Stratford. In 1864, he went to work for William Hespeler at the Granite Mills in Waterloo, which was to be the foundation of his career as a distiller.

While he was managing a flour mill in Waterloo, Ontario, he learned about the distilling process. This was a small side-venture to the company's flour business, using the extra grain stocks to make alcoholic beverages. In 1869, he bought out one of the firm's three partners, then in 1883 became the 100% owner and renamed it Seagram. Making whisky became the major role of the business and he built it into one of the country's most successful. His 1907 creation, Seagram's VO whisky, became the largest-selling Canadian whisky in the world.

Joseph had a passion for horse racing and advanced horse racing in Canada. As a wealthy man, he imported high-quality breeding stock from England and the US. Horses from the Seagram stables were Queen's Plate winners for eight consecutive years, beginning in 1891. All totaled, his horses achieved fifteen Plate wins in all. His son, Edward Frowde, and grandson, Joseph Edward Frowde, shared his enthusiasm and continued the family tradition into the 1970's.

Throughout his life, Joseph Emm Seagram was known in "social, political and business circles in Waterloo." He was politically active and he served on Waterloo Town Council from 1879-1886 and was Conservative Member of Parliament for Waterloo North from 1896-1908. He founded the Globe Furniture Company, was a founder of the Waterloo County Loan and Saving Co., and donated land for the Kitchener-Waterloo Hospital. His descendants continued the tradition of local participation in business and civic life. The family also had a keen interest in and support of sports, ranging from golf to football to cycling.


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Hello Profile Managers!

We are featuring this profile in the Connection Finder this week. Between now and Wednesday is a good time to take a look at the sources and biography to see if there are updates and improvements that need made, especially those that will bring it up to WikiTree Style Guide standards. We know it's short notice, so don't fret too much. Just do what you can.



posted by Abby (Brown) Glann