Deceased Brethren

James Atkinson Abrams (born 1844) was Worshipful Master of Ashlar Lodge, No.3 in 1891.

Here is some basic information about him from Ashlar Lodge, No.3 records:

W.B. James Abrams, circa 1900
W.B. James Abrams, circa 1894

We found the following short biographical article about James Atkinson Abrams in the Nanaimo Community Archives collection. It was originally published in J.B. Kerr, Biographical Dictionary, 1890:

James Atkinson Abrams (Nanaimo) – was born at Napanee, Lennox county, Ontario on the 11th of November, 1844. He is the second son on Isaiah Abrams, factor of the Sir Richard Cartwright estate. He was educated at the Napanee academy and after leaving school was apprenticed to Stants, Sager & Madden, a firm of tanners at his native place. He remained five years with this firm and in 1862 left Napanee and went to New York where he spent two years working at his trade. In 1864 he came to the Pacific coast by way of Panama and landed in San Francisco after a thirty-seven days’ voyage. he lived for three years in California, working in tanning establishments in San Francisco, Santa Cruz and other towns. In 1867 he came to British Columbia landing in Victoria with thirty-seven cents in his pocket. He remained in Victoria till 1876 during which period he was foreman of the Rock Bay tannery and afterwards the Belmont tannery. In 1876 he went to nanaimo where he started a general store on Commercial street and where he has lived continuously since. In 1878 Mr. Abrams stood as a candidate for the Nanaimo district for the local legislature in the interests of the Walkem Government against Mr. D.W. Gordon, the present member for the Commons. Mr. Abrams was elected by fifteen of a majority. In 1882 he was urged to stand again but refused to do so as he found that his large business made too great demands on his time to permit of his attending to public affairs. In March 1886, he opened a business in Vancouver in partnership with Mr. McLean, under the firm name Abrams & McLean, still continuing his business in Nanaimo. In June of the same year the great fire which destroyed the town swept this store and stock out of existence and left them poorer by $16,000. In 1888 Mr. Abrams sold his business in Nanaimo and in the same year his Vancouver partner bought out his share of the business in Vancouver. Mr. Abrams thus had time to interest himself once more in politics and in 1889 he served the city in the council. He refused, however, to stand for the mayorality. Mr. Abrams is a Justice of the Peace for British Columbia and is President of the Nanaimo tanning company. He has large interests both on the Island and the Mainland and is anxious for the development of the province. He is a member of the Masonic body and has occupied the position of Senior Warden in that order; he is also a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen. He was married on December 11th, 1878 to Miss Georgina Wenborn.”

We will add more information about W.B. James A. Abrams as we discover it through additional research.

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