John Egan (Canadian politician)

Aylmer, Quebec Lower Canada Ottawa River
Infinite Construction - STEAM
John Egan
John Egan.png
Member of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada
Personal details
Born(1811-11-11)November 11, 1811
Lissavahaun near Aughrim, County Galway (Republic of Ireland)
DiedJuly 11, 1857(1857-07-11) (aged 45)
Québec, Lower Canada
Occupationbusinessman, politician

John Egan (November 11, 1811 – July 11, 1857) was an Irish-Canadian businessman and political figure in the Ottawa region.

He was born near Aughrim, Ireland, in 1811. He came to Aylmer, Lower Canada, Canada, in 1830. After working with a lumber company on the upper Ottawa River, he entered the business himself near Bytown. He founded the town of Eganville in Ottawa Valley on the Bonnechere River, later expanding his operation to the Quyon, Petawawa and Madawaska Rivers. Egan was one of four men to finance the construction of the first flour and sawmill in Aylmer in 1839, and in partnership with Joseph Aumond, he founded the Union Forwarding Company in 1845. In the late 1840s, he began building a number of sawmills. Together with Ruggles Wright, he also operated a steamship transporting goods on the Ottawa River. Egan also played an important role in the development of railways service to the area, including the Bytown and Prescott Railway.

He bought James Wadsworth’s farm at the ‘Fifth Chute’ on the Bonnechere in 1838, which he later developed into the village of Eganville, Ontario. John Egan is known as the namesake for Eganville. He built dams and timber slides along the Bonnechere River and employed thousands of men through lumber camps and transportation. Thanks to Egan’s interest in red pine and business investments, the surrounding area would become a hub for lumber activity with Eganville at the centre.[1]

By 1850, he was the dominant force in the timber trade along the Ottawa River. He had been elected mayor of Aylmer in 1847. He was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Lower Canada in the riding of Ottawa County in 1848 and was reelected there in 1851. In 1854, he became the first elected representative for the newly formed riding of Pontiac.

A decline in the red pine market forced him into bankruptcy in 1854.

He died in 1857 at Quebec City while still representing Pontiac, after two years of ill health.[2]

In 1864, the Egan Township in Quebec was named in his honour (see: Egan-Sud, Quebec).[3]

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ Reid, Richard (1985). "Egan, John". Dictionary of Canadian Biography. vol. 8. University of Toronto/Université Laval. Retrieved February 13, 2014.
  3. ^ "Egan-Sud (Municipalité)" (in French). Commission de toponymie du Québec. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2008-09-11.