John James Mackenzie 1867-1920

John James Mackenzie in 1914

Arrived at Barre from Dalbeattie Scotland in 1890
married Jane Oswald in 1891 also from Dalbeattie
Had three children; Winnifred, 1893; Mildred, 1895; John James, 1900
Elected as alderman in 1902
Engaged in political affiars till 1906
Moved too Colorado in 1909

John James was the son of Robert Mckenzie and Catherine Conroy. He was born in Cumbernauld some 75 miles north of Dalbeattie in 1867, but his family had lived for many generations in and around Dalbeattie. Dalbeattie's main industry came from the granite quarry called Craignair. Robert Mckenzie worked as a granite polisher. In the 1880's the granite industry in Dalbeattie went into a depression. In 1890 John James moved to Barre and soon thereafter the rest of the family moved to Barre. Just 6 months after arriving, Robert Mckenzie died from consumption. (granite dust particles in the lungs) The granite industry in Barre was just getting started. The railroads were expanding into the quarries. It was trains that brought the huge granite blocks into Barre to be cut, sized and engraved. One year after arriving he married Jane Oswald. Jane's father, James Oswald, was a foreman at a granite quarry in Dalbeattie until 1880. Jane's brother, James, settled in Barre in 1882. Many Dalbeattie granite workers settled in Barre. The Craignair club was created in 1902 in Barre for all those that came from Dalbeattie. It was in 1902 that John James entered into public service. For 5 years we get a glimpse into the life of John James through newspaper accounts. The newspaper accounts often read like a diary. The songs he sang at social gatherings; speeches he gave; dialogue of disputes he had; decisions he made as alderman; all give a vivid account of his life there. He was chosen by his party to run for the legislative seat in Barre. He lost by a few votes in a two ballot contest on September 4, 1906. Much of what we know about his personality comes from these articles.
A newspaper article on Nov 7 1905 that notes the largest polished spire of granite for the Mormons who put it where Joseph Smith was born in 1805
A newspaper article on August 7 1907 that notes the passing and landing of a meteor near Barre, Vermont that cause some damage.

The newspapers are full of interesting articles

Who would have thought that some years after he left Barre that he would be living in Salt Lake City. He did some grantie work on the Utah State Capitol building, and he was a manager at R.W. McKenzie Monument Company in downtown Salt Lake City. He engraved lettering on monuments in cemeteries. In 1920 he knew he was dying. He did not want to be buried in Salt Lake City, so he moved to Denver prior to his death and was buried there. He never embraced the Morrmon faith.

No mention is made in his history of a meteor.