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John David Eaton is Born

Today in Masonic History John David Eaton is born in 1909.

John David Eaton was a Canadian businessman.

Eaton was born on October 4th, 1909. He was raised in Toronto. At the age of 13 his father, who ran the family business Eaton Company department store, passed away. Since John David nor his siblings were old enough to take over the company, the presidency of the company fell to Eaton's cousin. Over the next 10 years John David's mother groomed him and his brother to take over the family business. Eaton attended Cambridge University.

Eaton began working in the family business as an apprentice in the men's department of the Toronto store. He became a director in 1934 and a vice president in 1937. Due to a codicil in his father's will Eaton and his brother were entered into a contest to see who would take control of the family business. Each were given a single store to manage. After one year each store was evaluated and the winner would take over the presidency of the business. Eaton took over a store in Montreal, Quebec. By the end of the year Eaton had won the competition easily and took over the presidency of the company in 1942.

As the president of the family business, Eaton worked to expand the business to the north and to the west. In 1948 he created a contributory medical insurance plan for employees as well as a retirement plan. Eaton put $50 million dollars into the retirement plan for employees which raised speculation that Eaton was the wealthiest man in the country.

Eaton passed away on August 4th, 1973. On his passing the presidency of the company moved to his son who ran it until 1999 when bankruptcy casued the stores to close.

Eaton was a member of Assiniboine No. 114 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

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