Timothy Eaton had a dream to become a great department store merchant. Born in 1834 in the Townland of Clogher, County Antrim, in Northern Ireland, he would eventually cross the ocean to Upper Canada to achieve his goals.
The youngest of nine children born to John Eaton and his wife, Margaret Craig, Timothy was born only two months following the death of his father.
As a young boy, Timothy was apprenticed to a relative by the name of Smith. The man had a draper’s shop in the village of Portglenone, ten miles distant from the Eaton home. There Timothy resided six days a week. He had many duties to perform. Each day, up at the break of dawn, he opened the store at five in the morning to catch early market goers. He closed near midnight and went to his bed, a small sleeping space beneath one of the counters. On Sunday, Timothy returned to his family home in Clogher, walking the entire distance of ten miles. There he changed into his Sunday clothes to attend church with the family. Monday morning he was back at work.