Etc. -- James D. Allan's 1923 obituary
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An edited transcript from page 1 of the 15 Feb 1923 SWaterford Star newspaper.

Former Norfolk Resident died in Toronto  

Toronto, Feb. 8. -- James D. Allan, one of the city's prominent businessmen, past vice-president, director, and co-founder of the firm of A. A. Allan and Company, fur dealers and manufacturers, of 51-53 Bay Street, who died on Wednesday, was born in Port Rowan, Ontario.

He came to Toronto in 1875. For some time after living in Toronto, he and his brother, A. A. Allan, who died last Fall, represented various Scotch and English mercantile houses, and then started into business for themselves, forming the firm known as A. A. Allan and Company.

This business was a successful one, owing to the unusual manner in which the brothers carried on their affairs. One of the late Mr. Allan's hobbies in business was to eliminate the middlemen. In order to do this in the fur business he made an annual trip to Russia, where he visited the great fair at Nijni Novgorod. Ordinarily the town of Nijni Novgorod has a population of 5,000, but during the fair session, which lasted for six weeks, the population swelled to 300,000 or 350,000.

It was to this fair that all the Oriental traders went to carry on their barter in furs, leather and spires in particular, and in a great number of other commodities. Here Mr. Allan come into direct touch with the dealers in the finest of Russian furs, and since it was a case of doing business strictly for cash, he was able to further his business hobby.

Mr. Allan made fourteen trips to Russia this capacity, and was doubtless the most closely in touch with Russian affairs of any living Canadian. His last trip was made just before the outbreak of the Great War, which was responsible for breaking up the annual fair.

In order to conduct his business in Russia, Mr. Allan found it necessary to learn the Russian language, which he did after the age of fifty. He was a linguist to a marked degree, as in addition to knowing Russian he could converse in French and German and knew Italian fairly well. All these languages were learned after he started his trips to Europe.

Mr. Allan, who was 74 years of age, died quite suddenly, as on Monday he addressed a meeting in Toledo, Ohio, and at that time seemed to be in his customary health. It was Mr. Allan's interest in the affairs of the day which was largely responsible for his death, as, in spite of his advanced years, he was keenly interested in public matters and had travelled to the American city to lecture on the topic "Russia as I knew it." He left Toledo on Tuesday morning, reached home the same night and seemed to be suffering from an acute chill. The immediate cause of death was heart failure due to an attack of influenza.

Mr. Allan was active in the promotion of the work of the Toronto Board of Trade, in which organization he became President. He was also deeply interested in the Deep Waterways project, having delivered many addresses on this scheme. In his early days he was active in politics, having contested West Toronto as a Liberal with Wm. Briggs against E. F. Clark and E. B. Orler. Another of his interest was technical education and it was largely owning to his early activity in this direction that technical education was introduced in Toronto.

Mr. Allan was one of the oldest members of Old St. Andrews Church. He is survived by the widow, one son, J. C. Allan, and one daughter, Mrs. M. Robinson of Water-ford. Another son, Colonel William Allan, of the Queen's Own Rifles, was killed overseas. J. C. Allan also served in the forces.

Copyright 2013 John Cardiff