, (March 16, 1844 - February 10, 1915) was a Canadian businessman and founder of William Neilson Limited
. He was born in the Ramsey township, Lanark County
His working life began as a farmer in Rochester
, New York
, then moved on to being a machinist's apprentice in Almonte, Ontario. In 1873 journeyman Neilson worked in Brockville
, Ontario, moving on in 1889 to retail store. Afterward he sold his store in 1890 and moved to Toronto
and began a grocery store that eventually failed. Leaving his family behind, he moved to North Dakota
to work as a farmer with his brother Jessie.
Returning to Toronto, still in debt, he purchased some cows and began the sale of milk. Neilson then obtained ice-cream
manufacturing equipment. In 1893 the firm, William Neilson Limited, was started. Ice-cream and mincemeat
were the first products, and these fueled the growth of the company.
Expansion and modernization started in 1904 with a new location and the addition of new equipment. By 1905 production was at two thousand gallons of ice-cream per day, and mincemeat production was discontinued. Chocolate
was added to the product mix in 1908. This required further expansion and a new building was added, and by 1915 a new site was required and the production moved to Beachville, Ontario
By 1928, the company employed a thousand people in all departments and production was at one thousand gallons of ice-cream per hour, and the company opened branches in South America, South Africa,... Read More