William was born in 1850 at PASTURESIDE FARM in Walsden,
the son of Reuben and Susannah Haigh. He grew up at
the farm and by 1881 he had married Hannah Ratcliffe
of Dog House. They lived at Pastureside and John farmed
50 acres of land. In 1881 they had a son Reuben aged
2 and daughter, but by 1891 the family had moved to
Ruabon in North Wales where John William owned and ran
the Ruabon Brick Company. By then the family had grown
to 4, Reuben 12, and three daughters aged 10, 9 and
7. In the census he is given as a colliery proprietor
and lived at Pen-y-Gardden, Ruabon. They also had two
servants so obviously lived in some comfort.
year that the family moved to Ruabon isn't known precisely,
but his youngest daughter, Edith was born in Walsden
in 1884, so he was still in the town then, unless his
wife had moved back so that the child could be born
the date of an article in "Remembering Ruabon"
by T.W. Pritchard, which states: "The Ruabon
Brick and Terra Cotta Ltd. Gwaith Jinks, 1883, was established
by John William Haigh", it looks likely that
he had set up this business before his daughter's birth
in 1884. A report of his death in July 1901 says that
he left Walsden for Ruabon in February of 1889. Which
of these dates is correct, is to be guessed at. All
we know for certain is that the family moved to Ruabon
between 1881 and 1891.
and why he chose Ruabon to move to, and set up a new
business is not easily explained. There is no evidence
of any other members of his family living in the area
of Ruabon and it seems a strange choice, as Walsden
folk tended to stay in the area. His father died in
1886 and his mother went to live in Keighley with her
married daughter Elizabeth, until she died in 1897.
John William inherited £76,000 from his father,
along with Pastureside Farm and all the collieries that
his father had an interest in. He kept all his interests
in the collieries in Walsden, right up until his death
in 1901, and all the coals under Inchfield, Walsden,
were left by him, for future contingencies. He was also
a director of the Cliviger Coal Company, Burnley.
1901, John William went to Harrogate to convalesce and
on July 9th 1901, he suddenly died there. His death
was reported in the Wrexham Advertiser on the 13th July
of Mr. Haigh
regret to record the death of Mr. J. W. Haigh managing
director of the Ruabon Brick and Terra Cotta Works
which took place after a brief illness at Harrogate
on Tuesday. The deceased who was about fifty years
of age, had suffered from cold for some time, but
undertook the journey to Harrogate with the view of
recruiting his health. The journey however proved
too much for him and he had a relapse soon after his
arrival at Harrogate. Mrs. Haigh, the son and four
daughters were at once sent for, the patient's condition
having become and he succumbed to pneumonia as stated.
He was a native of Todmorden and has been connected
with the brickworks at Ruabon since it's construction,
and when the new company was formed and registered
on March 14th this year, he was appointed the managing
director. The deceased was well known for his kind
and genial disposition and his liberality in all cases
of need. He was much beloved by his workmen and a
host of friends. Much sympathy with the bereaved family
is felt throughout the district. The Parish Church
bells rang muffled peals on Tuesday afternoon and
the news of the lamentable death soon spread throughout
was buried in the family vault in St. Peter's churchyard,
Walsden, with his parents on July 12th 1901.
Memory of JOHN WILLIAM HAIGH of
Ruabon, N. Wales
and Pastureside, Walsden
September 17th 1850
died July 9th 1901.
a stone scroll is the inscription
the employees of the Ruabon and Terra Cotta Co.
affectionate remembrance of their employer
John Wm. Haigh Esq., of
Wrexham Advertiser of 20 July 1901 also carried
a report of his funeral as follows:
Late Mr. J. W. Haigh
interment of the late Mr. Haigh of Gardden
Hall whose lamentable death was recorded last
week, took place at Walsden on Friday. The
officiating clergyman was the Rev. J. Napier,
vicar of the parish. The bells of Walsden
church (the gift of the deceased gentleman's
son Mr. Reuben Haigh) rang muffled peals throughout
the day. The funeral was largely attended
the church being crowded. There were twelve
representitives from the Ruabon Terra Cotta
Works and a similar number from the collieries
at Cliviger, Burnley, of which the deceased
was a director. The service was fully choral
"He rests in the Lord" was played
on the organ as the body was carried into
the church and the hymn "........."
was sung during the service and the Dead March
from Saul was played as the procession left
the church. At the graveside, "Lead Kindly
Light" was sung."
obvious that John was a well-respected member
of the community in his adopted town of Wrexham.
He left the sum of £41,896, which went
to his wife. His son Reuben carried on the brick
business and the collieries. His wife Hannah,
died on March 23 1912 at Pen-y-Gardden, Ruabon.
She was a Ratcliffe before she married and a
Mr. W. Ratcliffe was a mourner at her funeral,
which was held on Wednesday 27th March 1912
at Ruabon Church, where she is buried. She left
the sum of £7,854.