John Molson, brewer, banker, steamship builder. Orphaned as a child, he attended private boarding schools, immigrated to Canada in 1782, and in 1786 used his parents' legacy to become sole owner of a small brewery in Montréal. He had the business sense to exploit Montréal's growth as entrepôt in the fur trade and commercial base for developing the hinterland of Upper Canada. In 1816 he took his 3 sons into partnership, including John Molson, Jr, as John Molson and Sons. He used cash payments from brewing to finance banking activities and build a steamboat line operating between Montréal and Québec City. In 1809 he had his own steamboat, The Accommodation, built at Montréal with an engine constructed at the Forges St-Maurice.
He also entered the lumber business during the building boom of the early 1800s, built a hotel and in 1821 established the colony's first distillery and financed the Champlain and Saint Lawrence Railroad, the first railway in Canada. Molson introduced the early steam engine to Montréal industry. He sat in the House of Assembly of Lower Canada 1816-20, became president of the Bank of Montreal in 1826, and in 1832 was appointed a member of the Legislative Council of Lower Canada, where he upheld the interests of English-speaking businessmen amid the emerging discontent of French Canadians. Molson must be counted among the most prominent entrepreneurs in Canada during the first third of the 19th century. (Canadian Encyclopedia)
Interment InfoThe funeral took place at Christ Church in Montreal on 14 January 1836, and he was buried in the old cemetery of the faubourg Saint-Laurent. Later his remains were transported with his wife’s to Mount Royal Cemetery, to rest in the impressive mausoleum that their sons put up in 1860.
Mount Royal Section C2