Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Voices from the Past: William Jamison (1927)

Noted Michigan fishing historian Gary Miller sent in this nifty obituary for Bill Jamison. It was published from the January 1927 Outdoor Life.

W.J. Jamison Passes Away

by John A. McGuire

The sportsman world was saddened on November 9 by the death of a great fisherman and fishing tackle manufacturer, W.J. Jamison of Chicago.

"Smiling Bill" Jamison was a character-figure wherever and whenever he mingled with angling hosts. A man whose nature was as warm as the sunshine in which he lived, there was no wonder he was automatically, consistently and constantly happy. He was one man whom we knew well who never had an enemy, who valued close companionship with his fellow men higher than gold--who hadn't a mean trick in his make-up, but only sunshine and joy. When such men pass away they leave behind a heritage greater than monetary riches, more valuable than kingly fame. Such a man was Bill Jamison.

I knew him thirty-five years ago in Denver when he worked as a journeyman printer, and while I was employed on America's first monthly sportsman's magazine. And he was just as good a printer in those days as he was a fishing tackle maker in later life. Over thirty years ago he removed to Chicago and it was not long afterward that announcement came of his embarking in the fishing tackle business. He achieved fair success to begin with, which increased rapidly as the years rolled by. Finally, a few years ago, he began the manufacture of the only barbless hook which ever attracted much notice. Owing to the conservation feature of this hook its sale has been steadily increasing, both in this and in other countries, up to the time of his death, and undoubtedly it will continue to increase in the future.

Mr. Jamison was a member of the Izaak Walton League, the National Association of Scientific Angling Clubs, Chicago Fly Casting Club and Illinois Casting Club. He was a national casting champion in 1916 and has won many trophies and loving cups in national casting championships. It was at a recent casting tournament in Garfield Park, Chicago, that he received the set-back which resulted in his death.

It is good news to learn that the business will be carried on as heretofore, following the same business policies adhered to by Mr. Jamison, under the management of O.F Cullerton.

He leaves a most lovable wife and daughter and an estimable son-in-law.

The conservationists of this country have lost a valuable friend thru Mr. Jamison's death.

-- Dr. Todd

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