Lowensteyn Family

The Mail and Empire, Christmas 1897

John Riordon (2)Age: 50 years18341884

John Riordon (2)
Birth about 1834 48
Birth of a brotherJeremiah Riordon (2)
1838 (Age 4 years)

Birth of a brotherAugustus Callaghan Riordon
about 1843 (Age 9 years)

Birth of a sisterElizabeth “Elisa” Riordon
about 1845 (Age 11 years)

Birth of a brotherCharles Albert Riordon
November 28, 1847 (Age 13 years)
MarriageElizabeth Matilda BeasleyView this family
July 31, 1862 (Age 28 years)
Note: by the REV. Dr. Blackman
Birth of a son
John George “Jack” Riordon
1864 (Age 30 years)

Birth of a son
Charles Riordon (2)
1866 (Age 32 years)

Death of a fatherJeremiah Riordon
October 17, 1868 (Age 34 years)

Death of a motherAmelia Eames
May 30, 1880 (Age 46 years)

Cause: Heart Disease

Death of a brotherJeremiah Riordon (2)
1882 (Age 48 years)

Paper manufacturer and newspaper publisher

Corporation: Riordon Paper Mills & Mail and News newspapers
Note: For detailed information see the Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online at:
Death September 21, 1884 (Age 50 years)
Note: At some point in 1882 John Riordon sustained a serious head injury after falling from a horse. He de…
Family with parents - View this family
Marriage: 1832London, England
5 years
younger brother
6 years
younger brother
3 years
younger sister
3 years
younger brother
Family with Elizabeth Matilda Beasley - View this family
Marriage: July 31, 1862Hamilton
2 years
3 years


by the REV. Dr. Blackman


For detailed information see the Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online at: http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/riordon_john_11E.html


At some point in 1882 John Riordon sustained a serious head injury after falling from a horse. He decided it would be best if he retired and transferred control of both his paper mill and the Mail to his brother Charles (although Charles did not officially become the president of the Mail until John Riordon died on September 21, 1884). An intelligent and industrious merchant, Charles Riordon enjoyed the finer things in life and frequently travelled to Europe to seek out the latest technology for his paper company. And while he was a staunch Conservative, his desire for higher profits was stronger than his party affiliation. He believed, as Macdonald quickly found out, that the Mail would be more prosperous if it was more independent.... (From Scrum Wars - The Prime Ministers and the Media by Allan Gerarld Levine)


1849/50 - John moved with family from Ballybunion to Weston, Ont. When the rest of the family moved to Rochester, NY, he moved to Brantford and dealt in dry goods. 1857 - owned a general store in Brantford. Dabbled in paper making. 1858 - moved to St. Louis, Missouri where he opened a store. 1861 - with the outbreak of the American Civil War, John moved back Canada 1862 - Hamilton, Ont. 1863 - census lists him living on Yates St., near Saline St., in St.Catherines, Ont. with occupation of paper maker. He constructed a papermaking factory and started manufacture on 31 July, 1863. He then asked brother Charles Albert to join him from Rochester, NY and become factory manager, leaving John to sell the products. Charles moved to Yates St. at the corner of Cherry Alley. 1866 - Charles went to England to purchase modern equipment for a mill in Merritton which soon began producing paper from rags and straw. 1868 - mill now using wood pulp for newsprint. 1869 - main supplier of paper to The Globe and other Eastern papers 1871 Census - gives John as 37, manufacturer of paper. 1874 - made brother Carles Albert a partner. John lived at 17 Geneva St., now the site of the Garden City Arena. 1877 - Toronto Mail was unable to pay the Merritton Paper Mill Approx.$26,000. it owed. As the main creditor, John took over the Mail newspaper in lieu of the debt and became the publisher. He also purchased shares in the Hamilton Spectator. 1879 - as a Conservative Party supporter, John sought a Senate seat but was refused by the Prime Minister, Sir John A. Macdonald. 1882 - an accident with with his horse resulted in a serious head injury and John retired from business. He transferred control of the mills and newspapers to brother Charles. He, his wife and son, John, left St.Catherines to travel in the Near East and Europe. 1883 - in May, while in Venice, John took a turn for the worse and the family moved to St Leonard's, East Sussex, England where John died on Sunday, 21September, 1884 at the age of 51 years, a self made millionaire. One half of the mill property at Merritton was left to brother Charles Albert and the other half to his only child, John (when he reaches 25 years of age).

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Note: This photo is taken from a view point behind the Riordon Mill. The second Welland Canal is seen on this side of the mill. The digester tower is seen on the right hand side of the mill has since been torn down by the current tenants of the building.
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Note: The second photo shows a snapshot with flash James Riordon took inside one of the runs, still with some of the white tiles.