Isaac Waterman, of the Atlantic Petroleum Works, is a native of Bavaria, Germany, a son of Jacob Waterman, and was born August 16, 1844. He was educated in a common school till eleven years old; then spent two years in a mercantile college in the city of Fuerth, and in October, 1858, reached London, Ontario, his present home. Here, after clerking in a store for one year and attending a night school, he was sent by his employer to take charge of a store in Kingston. In 1864, after spending a few weeks in Watertown, N. Y., Mr. Waterman returned to London and engaged in the oil business, with his brother Herman Waterman, the firm of Waterman Brothers being one of the leading houses in the Province engaged in refining petroleum, and manufacturing paraffin wax candles. They are doing a very large and extensive business, and the “Atlantic Petroleum Works are known far and wide.” Our subject attends particularly to the manufacturing department, and has made many very important improvements in the methods of making oil and its products, for which improvements the firm has received a number of gold medals.
In 1876 he was a member of the Advisory Board for the Province of Ontario for the International Exhibition at Philadelphia.
In 1878 Mr. Waterman attended the International Exposition held at Paris, and rendered important services during the progress of that grand exhibition of the world’s industries. That service was thoroughly appreciated by the French Government, which, as a token of its appreciation, bestowed upon him the decoration, and made him a chevalier of the Legion of Honor.
Mr. Waterman has been Vice-President and is now President of the London Board of Trade, and for five years has represented that body in the Dominion Board of Trade. In 1875 he took a very important part in getting London East incorporated, and has served two years in its council and three years as reeve, being elected in the latter office for the third term by acclamation. Largely through his efforts, gas and other improvements have been introduced into that town, where, taxes being low and the corporation out of debt, many mechanics and persons of moderate means have secured themselves homes. The Atlantic Petroleum Works and some other large manufactories are located at London East, and Mr. Waterman has made especial efforts to have his workmen and others provide themselves with comfortable homes while land can be had at a moderate price. The result is that the town has about 4,000 inhabitants, with its school houses, churches, mercantile houses, mechanic shops, street cars, railroad station, and every facility for doing business, and only one short mile from the city of London.
As reeve and member of the county council, Mr. Waterman used his best endeavors with others, to get a poor house, together with the present splendid new Court House and beautiful common. In various ways his great energies and public spirit have been shown. As a member and president of the Thames Navigation Company, he was one of the foremost men in building steamers and putting them on this stream, which is a great source of pleasure to the citizens of London. He is a director of the London Street Railway Company, the London Life Association, and the London Real Estate Association, and is counted among the energetic live men of Middlesex.
Mr. Waterman is a mason, and Past Grand Lodge Officer of the Order in the Province; also a director of the London Masonic Mutual Benefit Association. Whatever tends to promote the material, social, and the general interests of the public, seems to have his hearty sympathy and cooperation.
His wife is Carrie N., daughter of Dr. Cattermole, of London, whose sketch appears on another page. They were married on the 20th May 1879.