From: "Montreal History and Gazeteer to the year 1892"
By Rev. J. Douglas Borthwick, John Lovell & Son, Montreal 1892
" IN every branch of business and in every profession throughout the
world there are always some men who, by natural force of character, conspicuous
ability, or marked individuality, reach and maintain a commanding position.
Foremost among. the
merchant princes of Canada stands the name of A. F. Gault, senior member of the firm of Gault Bros. & Co., wholesale dry goods, Montreal. Few men in this country are more widely known, or exercise a more powerful influence in commercial circles than Mr. Gault. He was born in a village near Strabane, Ireland, in 1833 and arrived in Montreal when in his boyhood. There he attended the High School for a short while and afterwards was employed in a wholesale clothing house. In 1854,
when comparatively a young man, he started in the wholesale dry goods business in partnership with the late
Mr. J. B. Stevenson, under the name of Gault, Stevenson & Co. After a few years the firm dissolved partnership and Mr. Gault was joined by his brother, Robert L. Gault, the firm's name being changed to Gault Brothers. Shortly after
Mr. Samuel Finley, a brother-in-law, was admitted to partnership, and the name was changed to Gault Bros. & Co., under which it has been in existence for about thirty years. Mr. Finley retired about five years ago, and Messrs. R. W. MacDougall and Leslie H. Gault were admitted. Such in brief is a history of the firm from its inception to the present time.
Mr. Gault has been practically the leading spirit in promoting the cotton
industries of this country, and the present advanced stage of our cotton
manufacturing is very largely due to his business enterprise, energy and
sagacity. He has always taken a lively interest in that industry,
believing that a great future is in store for it. He is, at present, probably
the largest holder of cotton stock in the country, and during the last
few years his attention has naturally been more devoted to that branch
of his business. He is President of tile Dominion
Cotton Mills Company which has a capital stock of $5,000,000.
The mills owned by this company are the Hochelaga
Mills and St. Anne's Mills, Montreal;
the Cotton Mills at Magog, Coaticook, and Chambly, P.Q.,
the Craven Cotton Company of Brantford, Ont.; Kingston Cotton Company, Kingston, Ont.; Moncton Cotton Company, Moncton, N.B.; Nova Scotia Cotton Company, Halifax, N.S.; and the Windsor Cotton Company, Windsor, N.S.
Besides this he is President of the Montreal Cotton Company of Valleyfield, Que.; of the Stormont Cotton Company of Cornwall; of the Montmorenci Cotton Manufacturing Company Que.; of the Globe Woollen Mills Company, Montreal; of
the Trent Valley Woollen Manufacturing Company at Campbellford. Ont.
Notwithstanding this tremendous responsibility his restless activity
and unceasing energy enable him to give a portion of his time to other
matters. He is a Director of the City and District
Savings Bank, and the Liverpool, London
and Globe Insurance Company, and is also connected with all the
leading benevolent societies, in which he has always taken a deep and practical
interest. In educational matters he has always taken a prominent
part, being one of the Governors of McGill College.
It is largely due to his beneficence that the Montreal Diocesan College owes its existence, as the college building was presented by him to the Lord Bishop of Montreal some years ago. He is one of the leading members, if not admittedly the leading member, of the Church of England in Montreal, and was once treasurer of the Synod. He has never sought municipal or political honors, but was more than once been the choice of the Liberal Conservative Party as their standard bearer for
Montreal West, but has always declined the honor. He has also been the unanimous choice of the cititens for Mayor, but declined that honor also. His residence on Sherbrooke street is one of the finest in the city, and is looked upon as one of the
principal sights of Canada's commercial centre. Perhaps one olthe most prominent features of his character, and which has in no small degree contributed to his exceptionally marked success, is a capacity for viewing the most complicated or most
exciting of business matters with a calm and philosophic spirit. His callers are numerous, and although; owing to the multiplicity of his duties, his time is most valuable, he is always the genial and courteous gentleman, ready to listen but quick to decide. It is unnecessary to say that he is esteemed by all classes in his adopted city, and no man occupies a more honored place in the regard of Canadian business men than he does."
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