Wellington Province


THOMPSON, Mr. John Smiley McDewell

Page 295

Mr. John Smiley McDewell Thompson, who represented Lambton Ward on the City Council from September, 1878, to September, 1884, was born near Belfast, Ireland, in 1841. Mr. Thompson came to the colonies in 1864 in the S. S. Great Britain, landing in Melbourne. After spending some time with his brother in Castlemaine, Mr. Thompson crossed over to New Zealand and purchased, in conjunction with his cousin, Mr. James Barkley, the drapery business established in Greymouth by Messrs. H. and L. J. Sherrard, of Melbourne. The firm of Thompson and Barkley soon after bought the business of Smith and McDowell, of Greymouth. Mr. George Smith being admitted as a partner in the new firm, which was carried on under the style of Thompson, Smith and Barkley. This firm established branches at Reefton, Charlestown, and Westport, which were carried on with success. In 1874 Mr. Thompson withdrew from the firm, and joined Mr. G. V. Shannon in establishing the wholesale importing and manufacturing soft goods business of Thompson, Shannon and Co., Panama Street, Wellington, with branches at Christchurch, Auckland and Napier. In 1877 Mr. Thompson made a trip to England, and prior to his departure was entertained at a dinner by leading citizens at the Empire Hotel, Sir. W. Fitzherbert in the chair. He was complimented on the public spiritedness shown during his residence in Wellington. At the same time the employees of the firm presented a handsome piece of silver plate. In 1887 Mr. Shannon retired from the firm, and in 1889 Mr. Thompson sold the business to Messrs. Hallenstein Brothers. Mr. Thompson then left for Victoria, where he purchased with his nephew the large foundry which had been established by his brothers, and from which they desired to retire. In 1884 Mr. Thompson was married to Miss Lottie, eldest daughter of Mr. F. A. Krull, German Consul of Wellington, and has three daughters. While resident in Wellington, Mr. Thompson was a steward of the Wellington Racing Club, of which he was a vice-president for some [end of article]

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