John Craig Eaton

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For the later John Craig Eaton, see John Craig Eaton II.
Sir John Craig Eaton
Sir John Craig Eaton.jpg
Portrait around 1911
Born (1876-04-28)April 28, 1876
Died March 30, 1922(1922-03-30) (aged 45)
Cause of death Pneumonia
Resting place Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Toronto
Spouse(s) Flora McCrea
Children 6 (one was adopted)
Parent(s) Timothy Eaton
Margaret Wilson Beattie Eaton

Sir John Craig Eaton (April 28, 1876 – March 30, 1922) was a Canadian businessman and member of the prominent Eaton family.

Life and career[edit]

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).

Eaton was made a Knight Bachelor in 1915 in recognition of his participation in the war effort. He thus became Sir John Craig Eaton, and his wife was known as Lady Eaton.

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.

See also[edit]