John Craig Eaton
|Sir John Craig Eaton|
Portrait around 1911
|Born||April 28, 1876|
|Died||March 30, 1922(aged 45)|
|Cause of death||Pneumonia|
|Resting place||Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Toronto|
|Children||6 (one was adopted)|
Margaret Wilson Beattie Eaton
Life and career
He was born in Toronto and was the youngest son of department store magnate Timothy Eaton and his wife, Margaret Wilson Beattie Eaton. He married Flora McCrea in 1901, and they had six children: Timothy Craig, John David, Edgar Allison, Gilbert McCrea, Florence Mary, and Evlyn (adopted).
Upon the death of his father in 1907, he inherited five million dollars and the T. Eaton Company. He became its president at this time, and the company flourished under his control. He greatly influenced the company and expanded the stores nationally.
He built Ardwold, an enormous residence of 50 rooms in Toronto, beginning in 1909 and finishing in 1911. He also acquired a resort home from his mother in Oakville, Ontario, called the Raymar Estate (the estate has since disappeared).
He was a noted philanthropist. Perhaps his most lavish public contribution was the gift, made together with his mother, of land and funds for a large Methodist church on St Clair Avenue in Toronto. Named Timothy Eaton Memorial Church after his father, it was constructed in 1912–14. He also made many donations to Omemee, Ontario, the home town of his wife Flora. These donations included Coronation Hall (1911), and the manse and organ for Trinity United Church.
He died of pneumonia in 1922 at the age of 45, and his cousin Robert Young Eaton became president of the company until Sir John's son, John David Eaton, reached an appropriate age to take over. Sir John's grandson, John Craig Eaton II, served as chairman of Eaton's in its later years.
- Eatonia, Saskatchewan was named in his honour