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S.A. Northern Pioneers: Hon. J. Lewis
Title : S.A. Northern Pioneers: Hon. J. Lewis S.A. Northern Pioneers: Hon. J. Lewis
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Source : B 6912/E3
Date of creation : ca. 1870
Format : Photograph
Dimensions : 50 x 33 mm
Contributor : State Library catalogue
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Description :

Portrait of the Hon. J. Lewis from Potapa from the S.A. Northern Pioneers' composite, 1850-1859 (shown in position on B 6912/1).

John Lewis was born at Brighton, South Australia on 12 February 1842 and was the son of James Lewis who arrived at Glenelg in 1836.

John ran away from the family farm when he was 14: he quickly apprenticed himself to a blacksmith and also paid for some night schooling. From here he moved on to work for John Haimes at Potapa and later on the Coorong for James Dodd, and subsequently found employment as a drover in many parts of the colony. He was later appointed manager of Philip Levi's Oulnina station. In 1872, with his brother James and others, Lewis went overland to the Northern Territory. En route, the government commissioned him as a courier between the construction parties on the north and south ends of the Overland Telegraph Line. At Palmerston (Darwin) he equipped and ran the Telegraph Prospecting and Goldmining Co. Next year he formed the Coburg Cattle Co. near Port Essington and conducted pastoral, exploration, gold-mining and trading operations.

In 1876 he returned to South Australia intending to go overseas. Instead, on 18 September he married Martha Anne Brook and settled at Burra Burra where he joined William Liston and James Shakes in a stock and station agency.

Pastoral properties in which he had an interest other than in South Australia, included Newcastle Waters, Dalhousie Springs in the Northern Territory, Qinyambie and Nappamerrie in Queensland. Several of these properties were held jointly with Sidney Kidman. He moved to Adelaide in 1906 and established premises for the company in King William Street: Bagot, Shakes and Lewis eventually merged into the business of Goldsborough, Mort and Company. He bought a large home at benacre at Glen Osmond. He was President of the Royal Geographical Society of Australasia (South Australian Branch) and a Member of the Legislative Council. Lewis was also made a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG).

John Lewis died at Benacre, Glen Osmond on 25 August 1923. His biography Fought and Won was published in 1922, and is full of his wide experiences and frequently quoted.

Period : 1836-1851,1852-1883
Place : Potapa Station, Oulnina Station
Region : Mid North,Flinders Ranges and Far North - Outback,Northern Territory
Further reading :

Lewis, John Fought and won Adelaide: W.K. Thomas & Co., 1922

Death of Hon. John Lewis, C.M.G Adelaide stock & station journal, 29 August 1923, p. 3

Obituary of Hon John Lewis: Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society of Australasia (South Australian Branch) vol. 24, 1922/23 p. 22-25

Lewis family PRG 247

Internet links :

Australian dictionary of biography online: Lewis, John (1844 - 1923)

Flinders Ranges Research : John Lewis

Cockburn, R Pastoral pioneers of South Australia 2 v. (207; 263 p.) Adelaide : Publishers Limited, 1925-1927 ("Reprinted from the Adelaide Stock and Station Journal.") vol. 2 pp. 254-55



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