Publication Date: 1965
John Hogg, the Wonderful Man. Obituary, November 15, 1888 – [Guelph] Mercury:
"In the death of Mr. John Hogg, there removed from our midst one of our best known, enterprising, and successful merchants. For about 35 years closely identified with Guelph, he came to it when it was a small and insignificant town. His business grew with the town, and he did much to make Guelph known, especially to the north."
John Hogg was born April 25, 1825, in the town of Perth. His father, David Hogg, was barrack master and ordinance storekeeper. John was educated at Perth Grammar School and for two years studied law with the late Judge Malloch of Perth.
Thinking the mercantile business a more lucrative calling, John Hogg was sent to learn the dry goods trade with Matthew Easson of Brockville, then one of the most thriving towns in Canada. Having served his time there, he came west to Hamilton where he worked in the wholesale firm of D. Innes and Co. He started for himself in Dundas, but soon was burned out.
John Hogg came to Guelph in 1853 and began a dry goods business in the old Gore Bank Building, on the Market Square, where now stands (1888) the old portion of Bell and Company’s stone factory. A partnership with Charles Overfield lasted two years. From this store he moved to one built for him by the late Edward Carroll, now Cole Bros, occupied by E. R. Bollert, until 1862, when he built and occupied a store at the corner of Macdonnell and Wyndham Streets, then and now known as the Golden Lion or Macdonald Building.
His business grew steadily with the growth of the town and surrounding country. When Guelph was the only market for the people north of it, hundreds of farmers came every winter with their grain to the town and carried away their supply of dry goods. Mr. Hogg’s enterprise was equal to the growth of his business, and he thus gained a most extensive connection which he continued to retain as long as he was in the trade.
While in this lower store he was successively in partnership with the late J. D. Williamson, the late R. Chance and George Jeffrey, but eventually sold out and retired for a time from active business. He engaged in two or three enterprises, none of which were successful, and he lost a large sum of money in the collapse of the Guelph Lumber Company.
Some 10 or 12 years ago, having built his stores on Upper Wyndham Street, he re-entered business with all his old energy and perseverance and again took his place among our foremost merchants. Not long after, he took his son David into partnership, which was continued until his business was finally sold nearly three years ago to Ryan and Berkinshaw, now G. B. Ryan and Company. From that time, Mr. Hogg may be said to have retired from active life. Yet he possessed all his old vigor, both in body and mind, and scarcely a day passed but he was upon our streets, or about, looking after his own affairs.
Two years ago this month, he took a very active part in getting the Guelph Junction Railway debenture by-law passed by the ratepayers. To his exertions on that occasion was due his first attack of illness in the shape of a slight shock of paralysis, which affected his arm and his speech somewhat. He continued fairly well - until after the death of Mrs. Hogg, which he never entirely got over. He closed his house and moved into the General Hospital where he had every care and was watched with assiduous devotion by his unmarried daughter, Katie. In spite of all which medical skill could do, he grew worse and passed away.
He leaves behind him a family of two sons and three daughters: - David N., John, Mrs. Grasett, Mrs. Conolly and Katie, who have the sympathy of the public in heir bereavement. He also leaves a brother, Hugh, and three sisters: Mrs. Ross, Mrs. Tolton, and Mrs. Sterling.
Mr. Hogg was a man of more than ordinary force of character, and much of his success in life is due to this. He gave the closest attention to his business, threw all his energies into it and made others who were under him do the same thing. He was free, frank and outspoken, and, as the saying is, had an excellent turn for the public, as he could adapt himself to every class. While he was making an independence for himself, he took an interest in every movement for the benefit of the city. He had no special love for public life, and while he was once or twice on Council, he was not every well suited to it, owing to his impulsive temperament. Outside of his business, he was thoroughly domestic and took particular pleasure in the comforts and enjoyments of his home and family, to which he had a rare attachment. But, to the circle of his friends who were intimate with him, he was a most cheerful host, companion and friend. He leaves behind him a record of more than ordinary success as a merchant, as a man of enterprise and spirit, who owed all his success to his own efforts and indomitable perseverance.