Mariah Jane, daughter of
Parr and Jane Whiting, was born 5 April 1858 at Mosa Township, Middlesex
William Henry, son of John Colborne and Mary Gould, was born 24 September 1851 at Dorchester, Ontario. Jane and William were married 7 December 1881 at Brigden, Ontario48. Jane and William had seven children; Maude Ann, Mabel Beatrice, Clara Belle, Harriett Jane, Alta Geraldine, Ralph Stonehouse and William Henry Earl. When the five girls would get together, it was well known that they would all talk at once, with no one listening to the other, and all having a grand time!
Jane's brother Robert, married William's sister Susan with both families living at Brigden and quite close. By “quite close”, if Jane was missing a child or two at her table, she wasn't worried because she knew they would be at Susie's dinner table, for she had one or two of Susie's children at her table!
Shortly after Maude and Mabel moved to Blenheim, Ontario the family followed suit. There William continued his trade as a painter and paper hanger, except this time in partnership. After three years, the family moved to London, Ontario where William’s sister lived. They opened up a corner store in 1907 on Wilson Street at London, and the first day it was opened they knew they had a success - all cash sales! Jane was the business head, as William gave credit to anyone who would ask. So William did the deliveries and Jane stayed in the store.
After three of their children had moved to Fort William, Ontario (now Thunder Bay) mom and dad followed suit because dad just didn't want to be away from his girls; that was 1912. In Fort William they ran a store on Norah and Cummings Streets until they retired 28 March 1936. Grandson Everett Langford then took over their store.
A grandson Jack Morton said, "He was a personable character. He had curly hair, 6'2", really handsome, and a delightful person." Jack continued with a story of the first time William Henry tasted something new. “William was about 10 years old and he was going down the lane to get the cows at daybreak. As he went by a neighbour’s new crop, it looked good! Big red fruits lying all over on the ground! He'd never seen anything like it before. He looked around in all directions, climbed under the fence, grabbed one, and ran back to the lane. He bit into one, and spit it out.” Tomatoes aren't indigenous to Ontario, and this was about 1860.
Granddaughter Jane Gardner said, "William would keep peppermints in his pockets. He would slowly move up to one of the grandchildren and secretly pass one on!"
Jane loved to read. Since she couldn't leave the store, her grandson Jack Morton would go to the library and pick up her books. Jack also added that Jane was a proud lady. William died on 30 March 1942. Jane died on 21 October 1947 and both were buried in the Mountainview Cemetery at Fort William.
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