Harwood was born in Otterville, Oxford Co., ON. His second middle name came from Rev. Joseph Odery, who had performed his parents' marriage. He lost two younger siblings as a child, and when he was 10 years old his mother died. As a young man, he decided to leave Canada and find his fortune in New York City.
According to his naturalization papers, he arrived in New York on 15 July 1896, then aged 20. He worked for Mr. Kilner, who also gave him a place to sleep in his shop. On 22 June 1898, he married Florence A. More in Brooklyn, Kings Co., NY. Two children were born to them in Brooklyn (Theodore Kilner, named for Theodore Roosevelt and Harwood's employer; and Myrtle, named for Harwood's little sister who had died young).
The family moved to Roselle Park, Union Co., NJ, by April 1902. Two more children were born there: Harwood E. C. and Gertrude E. M. Fish. Daughter Gertrude's name was chosen to give her the initials G.E.M., since Harwood was then engaged in a gem-mining business in South America.
He was naturalized in Union Co., NJ, 27 July 1904. From 1912 to 1916, he served as mayor of Roselle Park, NJ. He was the first Progressive Party mayor elected in the United States and corresponded with President Theodore Roosevelt, whom he admired greatly.
Harwood established and was director of the Roselle Park Building and Loan Association. He also held a seat on the New York Stock Exchange. He served as district governor of the New Jersey Building and Loan League, 1933-34.
Florence Adeline More Mitchell
1879–1961 (m. 1898)
HARWOOD E. FISH
1875 - 1934