John Neill, founder of Fredericton Curling Club

Neill

John Neill died Feb. 19, 1893, in the 73rd year of his age. His wife Jane died May 3rd 1912, in the 83rd year of her age.

John E. died May 29th, 1873, ae 21 years. Charlie W. died July 16th, 1870 ae 8 years. Sons of John and Jane Neill.

Thomas A., born July 1859, ae 3 months.

Robert Neill died June 19, 1892, ae 32 years.

Lot #120 was once enclosed with strong posts, rod and chains. The stone is engraved on four sides, with John Neill’s inscription facing west.

John Neill came from Scotland and began a hardware business, Fredericton’s Big Hardware Store, that continued for many years into the third generation. He was the secretary of the Fredericton Society of St. Andrews from 1847 to 1852, and it was he who introduced curling into Fredericton. He founded the Fredericton Curling Club in 1854, and the curling stones were bought at his store. The club originally consisted of eight members: John Neill, Alexander McKilligan, Robert Fulton, Robert Thorburn, John F. Taylor, Barry Phair, William A. McLean, and Thomas Moore. John Neill was the last survivor.

His wife, Jane, was a daughter of Samuel D. MacPherson. The Neills had a large family, which in 1871 consisted of James S., 21; Annie, 19; Frances, 17; Mary, 15; John, 14; Robert, 10; Alice, 5; and Albert and Albertina, twins, 3 years old. James and Albert continued to operate the family business after the death of their father.

John Neill claims a lot in the New Part of the Burial Ground, size about 12 x 16 feet. Bounded south by the late Archdeacon Coster’s lot and on the North by the late James Agnew’s lot. Enclosed by stone posts and chains and is marked by a monument to the claimer’s son John E. Neill. Claimer purchased this lot from Geo Botsford in 1859.

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