From: "The Storied Province of Quebec Past and Present"
Ed. Col. William Wood, Dominion Publishing Company, Limited, Toronto 1931
For many years prominent in the business life of Montreal and of the whole Dominion of Canada, the house of Henry Morgan and Company, Ltd., has had much to do with the advancement of Montreal and this Province. The company, as it exists today, is an outgrowth of an enterprise established in 1843 on Notre Dame Street, a few doors from McGill Street, going east, by Henry Morgan and David Smith, who conducted it under the firm name of Smith and Morgan. From a small dry goods firm, handling a limited number of lines, it has developed, in the years since that time, into a large department store which is widely known throughout Canada.
Henry Morgan, the founder, was born in Fifeshire, Scotland, in 1819, and when he was in his early twenties he came to Montreal and entered the dry goods business. The first site of the Smith and Morgan store soon became inadequate, so that they removed to McGill Street, just south of St. Joseph Street, now Notre Dame, in a building occupied by Latineer. In 1860 an addition was made, extending to Notre Dame Street; and when the old American Presbyterian Church, at the corner of Victoria Square and St. James Street, was removed, the business was transferred to that site, where it had more commodious quarters.
In 1852, Mr. Smith retired, and that same year the firm of Henry Morgan and Company was established, James Morgan, of Scotlnnd, a brother, becoming a member at that time. This James Morgan, born in Saline, Fifeshire, Scotland, had entered the dry goods business early in life, and for many years had been a member of the firm of Muirhead and Morgan, of Glasgow. The personnel of the firm practically remained unchanged until 1876, when James Morgan and Colin D. Morgan, nephews of Henry Morgan, the former a son of James Morgan, became members. Upon them most of the burdens of business fell through the next generation. In 1891, this firm completed, on St. Catherine Street, opposite Phillips Square, one ot the finest business blocks in America, to which its mercantile business was removed. The removal became necessary in order to meet the requirements of a constantly growing business, and a shift in the retail section to that part of the city.
When Henry Morgan, the founder
of the business, died on December 12, 1893, the Montreal
“Gazette” paid high tribute to him.
The death of James Morgan had preceded that of his brother by only a few months, having occurred on March 28, 1893, when the “Gazette” saw fit to commemorate his life in the following terms:
With the lives of each of
these men, the business of Henry Morgan and Company continued to grow,
bringing success always to those who were participating in its affairs.
In 1906 it was incorporated as a limited liability company under the present
title of Henry Morgan and Company, Ltd., with
James Morgan as president and Colin D. Morgan as vice-president. The firm’s
interests have still further broadened and expanded since that time. The
management of the business is now in the hands of the third generation.
The company has several large factories, which it owns and operates, among
them being the foremost high-class woodworking plant in the Dominion; and
it builds homes, decorates and furnishes them in every detail through its
work in these different factories. For its work in this connection the
company has become widely known throughout Canada, and its successful undertakings
include decorative schemes and interior furnishings of some of the finest
homes in practically every Province in the Dominion. Its business policy
has at all times been one of absolute integrity, a factor that has exerted
a strong influence upon the commercial life of Montreal. The public who
come in daily contact with the different branches of the company readily
feel that spirit of industry and enterprise that has made possible the
achievement of great things.