Elliott, Joshua 1885-1963
See also: Elliott's Saw Mill
Joshua Elliott was a prominent and respected figure in the
industrial life of Navan for nearly half a century, and was one of those
chiefly responsible for the establishment and development of the
furniture industry in the town.
He was the proprietor of the Blackwater Sawmills Navan, a director of John Hogg and Co. Ltd Furniture Manufactures and the Nash Manufacturing Co.(a foundry) which was mostly involved with making forks and other iron implements.
Joshua Elliott was born in Crumlin Co. Antrim, coming to Navan in the early years of the 20th century. He was originally employed in Navan Sawmills and Furniture Co. in Athlumney which was owned by the Mortimer family.
When Thomas Mortimer established the Blackwater Saw Mills, Joshua Elliott worked for him in the new company, and on the death of Thomas Mortimer in 1914, Joshua became owner of the sawmill. He married Edith Mortimer, daughter of Thomas and Alice Mortimer, and they had six children together.
Mortimer's Mill (later Elliott's Mill) on the Blackwater c. 1914
Photo courtesy Elliott family
The sawmill expanded and prospered under his guidance, and over the years was a major source of employment in the town.
The installation of an electricity generator in the town in 1924 prompted his co-option to Navan UDC, and he remained a member of the UDC until 1936, being Chairman from 1930-32.
(above ) James Sheils in Elliotts's Mill
The letter above published in the Meath Chronicle on the 10th Oct. 1942 gives a flavour of the man who was Joshua Elliott.
Up to the time of his death in October 1963, he was a member of the Committee of Management of Meath County Infirmary Navan, a Peace Commissioner, and a member of the Select Vestry of St. Mary's Church of Ireland. He did not drink, and his only indulgences were cigarettes and a good car. He is pictured below in the driving seat of his Belsize car in the 1930s.
(above) Joshua Elliott at the wheel of his Belsize car down Mill Lane near Elliott's (previously Mortimer's) Mill c.1930s. To the left is Percy Hogg and to the right is George Mortimer. Photo courtesy Elliott family.
Joshua died in 1963 aged 79, leaving the business to his sons Alan and Wilfrid.
His obituary in the Meath Chronicle 19th Oct. 1963 included the following tribute from a friend identified simply as R.D.A.
"Joshua Elliott's friends, and they were many, heard of his sudden passing this week with a deep sense of personal loss.
It is hard to put into words his many qualities which so endeared him to people of all ages. He was blessed with that healthy simplicity of outlook which finds friends and happiness everywhere. In a world of rapidly changing values, his life was an example of integrity and steadfastness, and to the end he maintained that high standard of loyalty to all that was best in the world, loyalty to his principles, his Church, his family and his friends, and in so doing won the respect, admiration and affection of all who came in contact with him.
He took no part in politics, but he was the type of citizen of which any country might be proud, and his loss can be ill afforded.
Timber and machinery were his chief interests in the business world, and many of the complicated machines in his factories were designed by him and made with his own hands. In spite of his own busy life, he always found time to give his services and helpful advice in various other capacities, and his tact, patience and courtesy made him in great demand as chairman of committees.
He was a rock of commonsense at all times; yet through all life's vicissitudes, he preserved his tremendous sense of humour, which kept him young in spirit to the end of his days."
Meath Chronicle Archives
"Elliott's Sawmill on the Blackwater", Richard Farrelly pub. in Navan -Its People and Its Past vol.2 Journal of the Navan & District Historical Society 2013