Subfonds - McQuesten papers

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McQuesten papers

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  • 1832-1948 (Creation)

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25 cm of textual records

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Name of creator


Biographical history

Isaac Baldwin, son of Dr. Calvin McQuesten, studied law and was admitted to the firm of Proudfoot & Jones. When Proudfoot was elevated to the bench, the firm became Jones & McQuesten until they formed a partnership with Chisholm in 1882. Jones retired in 1886 and the firm became known as McQuesten & Chisholm. Isaac Baldwin was married to Mary Jane Baker (ca. 1848-1934) and they had six children: Mary Baldwin (1874-1964), Calvin (1876-1968), Hilda Belle (1877-1967), Ruby Baker (1879-1911), Thomas Baker (1882–1948) and Margarette Edna (1885-1935). None of their children married. In 1885, Isaac and his family moved to Whiterhern, the McQuesten's family home.

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Biographical history

Dr. Calvin McQuesten was born in New Hampshire in 1801. He graduated from medical school in 1830 and set up his practice in Brockport, New York in 1832. In 1835, McQuesten partnered with his cousin John Fisher, as well as Priam B. Hill and Joseph S. Jones to establish an iron foundry in Hamilton, thus becoming one of the forerunners of “heavy industry” in the city. Dr. Calvin McQuesten moved to Hamilton in 1839 to take an active role in managing the foundry, known as McQuesten and Co. In 1853, he sold a portion of the firm to his nephews, Luther and Payson Sawyer, and cousin William McQuesten. In 1856, partner John Fisher sold his portion of the foundry business and moved to Batavia, N.Y., leaving Dr. McQuesten sole owner. In 1857, Dr. McQuesten retired and handed the company over to the Sawyer brothers, including another nephew, Samuel Sawyer, an engineer for the foundry. They operated the company under the name of L. D. Sawyer and Co. In 1889, they went into partnership with H.A. Massey of Massey-Harris Co. Ltd. forming Sawyer-Massey Co.

Dr. Calvin McQuesten was on the Board of Directors of the Gore Bank, had shares in Hamilton Water Company, donated to the Wesleyan Ladies College and helped finance the construction of the MacNab Street Presbyterian Church. In 1852, he purchased a house which was first known as Willow Bank. The name was later changed to Whitehern by Isaac and Mary McQuesten. Dr. McQuesten was married three times and he had two children who survived: Calvin Brooks (1837-1912) and Isaac Baldwin (1847–1888). Calvin Brooks graduated from medical school and set up practice in New York. Isaac Baldwin studied law and joined a practice in Hamilton.

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Subfonds consists of textual records mostly pertaining to Dr. Calvin McQuesten and his son, lawyer Isaac Baldwin McQuesten, arranged in the following series: business transactions, legal records and correspondence.

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