Biography of Ellis Walton Hyman

Ellis Walton Hyman, one of the most successful merchants and best businessmen who ever traded in London, was born in Williamsport, Pa., December 2, 1815, he being a son of Jacob Hyman, an architect. He received a business education in his native town, learned the trade of a tanner and currier, and in 1834 came to Canada and settled in London. He went into business for himself at the old Morrill tannery on Ridout street, three or four years later removing to Talbot street. Shortly afterwards he added a large tannery at Tilsonburg, and at the same time enlisted in various manufacturing and other enterprises, shoe factories, leather store, pork packing houses, &c. His business talents were splendid, and he made a success of every branch in which he engaged. Everything he touched, seemed to turn to gold. Yet he was fair in his dealings, doing everything on strict and honorable business principles.

Mr. Hyman was prominent in more than one monetary institution, being president many years of the Huron and Erie Loan and Savings Society. In public enterprises for the benefit of the city of London, he was never backward; was one of the commissioners of the Water Works, and one of the foremost men in establishing the Protestant Orphans Asylum, and securing its liberal endowment. His heart seemed to be in all such noble undertakings.

He was rather retiring in disposition, and seemed to have a distaste for public offices, serving one term in the town council, and then leaving it.

Mr. Hyman had two wives, the first being Miss Frances L. Kingsley, of New York. She died in 1848, leaving one son, Walton F. Hyman. He was married the second time, October 15, 1850, to Miss Annie Maria Niles, daughter of William Niles, for whom Nilestown, Middle-sex county, Ont., was named, and who was at one time a member of the Canadian Parliament. Mr. Hyman died April 12, 1878, leaving two sons by his second wife, Charles Smythe and Jesse Willett Hyman, who assumed their father’s entire business on his demise, managing the tannery, and having a large wholesale shoe and leather trade. The “London Daily Advertiser” thus spoke of Mr. Hyman at the time of his death:
“Mr. Hyman made many friends during his long stay in London, and his name will long be remembered as that of a well esteemed and popular citizen. In his death the city loses an upright, conscientious man, and the sad news will be received everywhere with universal regret. Few if any have done more to build up the city of which we are all so proud; and it is seldom we find in one man the financial ability to carry on an immense business, combined with the requisite degree of enterprise and commercial skill. These qualities were found in Mr. Hyman in an eminent degree.”



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