SHENTON, Sir George (1842-1909)


SHENTON, Sir George (1842-1909)
politician and public man
the son of George Shenton, merchant, was born at Perth on 4 March 1842. He was educated in England at Queen's College, Taunton, and, returning to Western Australia in 1858, entered his father's business at Perth. In 1867, on the death of his father, he took control of this, business. In 1870 he was elected a member of the old legislative council and in 1871 became a member of the Perth city council. He visited England in 1874 and in the following year was elected to the legislative council for Toodyay and remained its member until 1890. He was elected chairman of the Perth city council in 1875, 1876 and 1877 and, when the title was altered to mayor, held that office from 1880-4 and 1886-8. In 1890, he was elected a member of the new legislative council and was colonial secretary in Forrest's (q.v.) ministry from December 1890 to October 1892, when he resigned to become president of the legislative council. He held this office until he retired in 1906. Early in 1909 he went to England hoping that a voyage would benefit his health but died at London on 29 June. He married in 1868 Miss J. T. Eichbaum who died in 1897 leaving children. He was knighted in 1909.
Shenton was a man of many interests. He was a member of the committee of the Perth public library and museum and the first chairman of the Perth hospital board of management. He also did much work in connexion with the founding of the children's hospital and became its first president. In business he was a leader in developing the mining industry and was a director of several companies, including the Western Australian bank. He was on its board for 30 years and was chairman for most of the period. He was mayor of Perth on 11 occasions and was in parliament for 35 years. In spite of these many activities Shenton found time to be organist and choirmaster of a city church, and to be a liberal supporter of the Methodist Church generally. His life was spent in constant service.
The West Australian, 1 July 1909; Who's Who, 1909; Burke's Peerage, etc., 1909.

Dictionary of Australian Biography by PERCIVAL SERLE. . 1949.

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