JOHN T. DANIELS, the oldest merchant in Toronto, O., is engaged in the mercantile business on River Avenue, in the same building in which he started more than thirty years ago, and which is by far the oldest stand in this city. Mr. Daniels was born April 29, 1841, near Hollow Rock Camp Ground, Jefferson County, Ohio, and is a son of Abraham and Sarah (Myers) Daniels.
Abraham Daniels was engaged in furnishing steamboats with wood for fuel, and shortly after the birth of John T. Daniels the family moved to Port Homer, where the father died at the age of twenty-eight years. His widow was later married again, and the son was reared by an uncle, Thomas Grumley, of Hancock County, West Virginia. Being ambitious, the lad struck out for himself as soon as he was old enough, his first work being in the New Cumberland brick yards, where he was employed ten years, during which time he ran down the river to Cincinnati on a brick boat, and also made two trips to New Orleans. About 1868 he started in the mercantile line at New Cumberland, where he continued until July, 1879, when, with his brother Thomas M. Daniels and R.M. Francy, he purchased from Hill & Stewart the business which he now conducts, the firm name taken being Daniels, Francy & Company. This association continued for a few years, when John T. Daniels purchased his partners' interests and since that time he has continued to operate the business alone, with gratifying success. In addition to this business, Mr. Daniels owns five dwellings in this city, which he rents out, and he lives in one of the finest homes in Toronto, surrounded by a yard covering about an acre of ground, which in the summer months is covered with beautiful flowers.
At New Cumberland, W. Va., on May 3, 1864, by Rev. Hall, Mr. Daniels was married to Artimissia R. Grafton, of Wellsville, O., and they have six children, namely: George W., who resides in Little Falls, Wash.; John J., who is assistant trainmaster of the Western Pennsylvania Railrod at Freeport, Pa.; Samuel V., who is assistant train director of the Pennsylvania Railroad System at Pittsburgh; Thomas M., who is a telegrapher; Emma E., who is deceased, was the wife of Charles I. Eakin, and Mary E., who is the wife of U.G. Arthurs. Mr. Daniels is a member of the Christian Church of Toronto in which he was treasurer for ten years. He joined the Masonic fraternity at New Cumberland, W. Va., in 1866, and he is also a member of the Odd Fellows.
Contributed by Kitty Kutchmark