John James (JJ) O'Hara
- Born: 27 Aug 1886, March Corners, Ontario, Canada
- Marriage: Elizabeth Marbach in 1909
- Died: 24 Sep 1966, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan aged 80
J.J. as he was commonly called, moved west in 1908 to homestead in the O'Malley district, with his parents and brothers and sisters, and in 1910 opened an International Harvester Company agency in Swanson, which he still held at the time of his death in 1966. They lived on the NW, SW and NE 1/4 36-31-7-W3 along the river. He was known as Uncle Jim to nieces and nephews.
The cyclone of 1912 stripped the O'Hara's of their first home and personal belongings, many of which were lost to the Saskatchewan River. Some of these were retrieved from the fields and river banks with rakes.
After moving to Swanson to open a business, J.J. branched out into many successful ventures such as I.H.C. agency, auctioneer, Post Master, hardware and general store with garage and filling station, cattle buyer and farm service deliverer of fuel and twine. He also served as Overseer of the village of Swanson. These ventures into many fields were necessary and possible with eight children to raise and educate without the benefit of Medicare and during the depression of the dirty thirties.
Besides supplying 24-hour service in their business career, the O'Hara's welcomed friends, travellers and strangers into their home and were instrumental in the upkeep of their church, supplying board and lodgings for the missionary clergy. They acquired many friends and acquaintances which still keep in touch with some of the succeeding generations of children.
The one memory the children have of the night of horror when "Swanson burned" was the house full of people throughout the night and into the next day. The adults had very vivid memories of that fateful occurrence.
In 1943-45 J.J. opened an I.H.C. outlet in Conquest, assisted by his two youngest sons, John and George until 1945 when Roy came back from the war. J.J. moved to Saskatoon in 1965. The Swanson and Conquest businesses were operated as a unit under the same name of J.J. O'Hara and Sons until the Swanson business was phased out and J.J. retired to reside in Saskatoon until his death. George and John commuted daily to Conquest until George married and moved to Conquest. They were partners in the I.H.C. John resided in the family home in Swanson until his death.
The children enjoyed their childhood in Swanson. Being sports minded, they participated in hockey, baseball and fastball. They promoted and participated in sports in their various communities.
They competed with friends in the surrounding areas such as Delisle, Donavon, Ardath and Conquest.
The O'Hara family house was originally the home of William Hill, then J. Norton. The machine and auto sales building was next to the livery farm. They lived at the rear of this building until they moved into the Hill/Norton house. Thomas O'Hara ran the general store, next to another General Store and Post Office.
The Dutton Wall Lunder co. building was purchased by J.J. in the early thirties. It was moved to their property to replace the Warner building. In later years this store handled groceries as well as hardware.
John married Elizabeth Marbach in 1909. (Elizabeth Marbach was born in 1891 in Germany and died on 28 Sep 1951 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.)