Thomas Staniforth & Co. Sickle works at Hackenthorpe.
John Hibbard was the son of John Hibbard (1819-1886) and Hannah Hibbard. Father son of Rowland Hibbard and mother daughter of George Hibbard. This family of Hibbards owned and lived at Lamb Hill Farm, Woodhouse.
On July 27, 1871 John married Louisa Staniforth, the daughter of Thomas Staniforth and Mary Jane Hardy, at Scarborough. Louisa's brother Walter Staniforth married Harriet Hibbard daughter of George Hibbard, who was son of George Hibbard (same as above), George had sister Ann Hibbard who married Thomas Staniforth and are Grandparents of Walter and Louisa, John Hibbard also had a brother Rowland Hibbard who married their sister Harriet Ann Staniforth.
In the 1870s Thomas Staniforth IV of Hackenthorpe decided to turn his Sickle & Scythe Manufacturing business, that had been in the family for four generations, into a company. He named his son William Staniforth, his then son-in-laws John Hibbard and Rowland Hibbard as partners.Rowland Hibbard passed away in 1874, and by the time of Thomas' death on September 24th, 1873, his son William Staniforth and John Hibbard were the only partners left to take over.
Rather than repeat the same story, I suggest reading our article on William Staniforth, found here for details on the events related to the operations of the business.
In letters between Staniforth family members during the late 19th Century, we get the impression that John was, for lack of a better word, a bully.
In a letter dated 8th December 1886, Mark Staniforth, William's uncle writes to his brother Henry:
'I am very glad that William’s affairs are not so bad as it was thought they would be at the first, if he had only a little more spirit to stick up for himself and not let that D—d young Hibbard have so much of his own way it would be a great deal better for him, for more he gives way and worse it will be for him—it was not right of Hibbard to refuse to renew the lease after promising he would and causing William unnecessary expense—it is a pity the Hibbards have got such a hold—I saw the announcement of the sale of Wm’s Waggonette.'
In March 1893, an announcement was made in the London Gazette announcing the dissolution of William Staniforth and John Hibbards partnership. The notice proclaims that all debts due and owed were to be paid by John Hibbard, and from that point forward all business would be carried on by him.
William Staniforth passes away in 1900, by this point he has moved from Hackenthorpe to Albert Rd, Sheffield.
By the end of March 1908, the company had an overdraft of £3000 and John Hibbard was forced to take out a bank mortgage. He incorporated the business into a Limited Company, making himself Chairman and Managing Director and his two sons John (Jack) and Rowland were named Directors. John Hibbard Jr. passed away two years later at the age of thirty seven.
It seems that the family decision to form this company was a curse, as a year later on December 19th, 1911 a meeting was held.
A resolution was passed:
‘That it has been proved to the satisfaction of the Company that this Company cannot by reason of its liabilities continue in business and that it is desirable that the same should be wound up voluntarily and that the Company be would up accordingly’
Within months of this resolution the running of Thomas Staniforth & Co was in the hands of a new partnership that consisted of Alderman W.R. Fox, Alderman E. Peat, Councilor A.E. Hall, Mr. John Jermyn Hutton (Member of the same Ridgeway Sickle Smithing family that competed with the Staniforth's for centuries) and Mr. Charles Helliwell. This marked the end of the Hibbards association with Thomas Staniforth & Co.
In 1912, Greenside House was sold to a dealer named Isaac Friend, he sold the house back to the Staniforth’s the following year. It remained in the family’s possession until 1937. John Hibbard and Louisa moved to Crookes, Sheffield. Louisa died in 1920 and John followed three years later, the cause of death was Tuberculosis.
On Monday, May 28th 1923, the following Death notice is given:
Death of Mr. John Hibbard - The death has occurred in a nursing home of Mr. John Hibbard of 125 Whithan Road, Sheffield, in his 78th year. Mr. Hibbard has been connected with the firm of Mssrs. Thomas Staniforth and Company, makers of agricultural implements of Hackenthorpe where he lived at Greenside House until about eleven years ago. Since then he has been interested in the engineering industry. He was a Freemason and was interested in the Reform Club in addition to being a member of the Iron and Steel Institute he was associated with the Chamber of Commerce. A widower, he leaves a son and daughter. He will be buried in the family vault at Beighton.
We also find a further notice regarding his estate:
The Hibbard/Staniforth Grave
Mr. John Hibbard - Pursuant to the Act of Parliament of the 22nd and 23rd Vict e. 35. Notice is hereby given that all Creditors and other persons having any debts claims or demands against the estate of John Hibbard late of 125 Whitham Road in the city of Sheffield in the county of York Merchant deceased (who died on the 25th day of May 1923 and whose will was proved in the principal registry of the probate division of His Majesty's High Court of Justice on the 24th October 1923 by Rowland Hibbard and Edward William Leopold Thomas the Executors therein named and hereby required to send in the particulars of their debts, claims or demands to us the undersigned, the 20th day of June 1924, after which date the said executors will proceed to distribute the assets of the said deceased amongst the persons entitled thereto having regard only to the claims and demands of which they shall then have had notice: and they will not be liable for the assets of the said deceased or any part thereof, so distributed to any person or persons of whose debts, claims or demands they shall not then have had notice. Dated 14th day of May 1924 Rodgers & Co 30, Bank Street, Sheffield
His son Rowland Hibbard passes away in 1939, his death is reported Thursday, 25 May 1939
Hibbard - On the 23rd inst, in a nursing home, Rowland, younger son of the late John and Louisa Hibbard late of Hackenthorpe, funeral, Beighton Church, Friday May 26th at 3P.M. Flowers to Reuben Thompson Ltd. Glossop Road.
John also had a second son named John "Jack" Hibbard, he passed away in 1910, he had married Ethel Jermyn Hounsfield, she lived till 1965. The daughter mentioned in his death notice, Beatrice Annie Hibbard lived till 1939, she is buried in the family grave with her parents and brother.