James H. Blackburn


JAMES H. BLACKBURN, a prominent contractor and builder of Toronto, was born in Jefferson county, October 19, 1845. He is a son of Henry Blackburn, a native of this county. The latter was long prominently connected with the milling interest of the upper Ohio valley. His first employment in youth was as an apprentice for three years, in the flouring mill of G. B. Bayliss, of Portland, Ohio, and subsequently he purchased a mill on Wells Creek, which he conducted for twenty years. In 1874 he removed this mill to Toronto, it being the first one erected in the town, and he enjoyed a flourishing custom until in 1877, the establishment was destroyed by fire. It was rebuilt by John L., a brother of the subject of this mention, who operated it three years, when fire again wiped out the enterprise. Henry Blacksburn was married in 1844 to Margaret Maden, a native of Ireland, by whom he had four sons and six daughters, of whom one is deceased. The mother died in 1876. James H. Blackburn in youth applied himself tot he carpenter's trade, and also that of stairmaker, and became thoroughly skilled in those crafts. Toward the close of the war, though still under age, he enlisted in the Union army, and served four months in COmpany H, One Hundred and Fifty-seventh Ohio infantry. Returning to Toronto he engaged in this trade, and subsequently embarked in contracting in which he has met with decided success. Among other notable undertakings it may be mentioned that he is the architect and builder of the first terra cotta houses in the valley, those owned by E. E. and W. B. Francy. Mr. Blackburn was married May 22, 1869, to ALice S., daughter of Joseph Matchett, of Burgettstown, Penn. TO them have been born six children: Theodore L., Harry J., Gertrude, Cora, Emma and James. He and wife are members of the United Presbyterian church, and he is a comrade of the G. A. R.

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