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John Lewis (1844–1923)

John Lewis, n.d.

John Lewis, n.d.

from Pastoral Review, 15 September 1923

The Hon. John Lewis, C.M.G., M.L.C., died at Adelaide on 25th August. He was born in the State in 1842, his father being one of the members of the party who surveyed the City of Adelaide, and a member of Sturt's Exploring Expedition in 1914.

John Lewis was in every respect a typical Australian, being at one time or another a bushman, drover, explorer, pastoralist, head of a big stock and station firm, and legislator. He travelled extensively over Australia, having journeyed through Central Australia to the Northern Territory, where he spent five years.

In 1876, in conjunction with the late William Liston and James Shakes he founded the stock and station agency firm of Shakes, Lewis and Liston, which subsequently became Bagot, Shakes and Lewis, of which he was managing director and director for a great number of years. In addition to being active in business, the late Mr. Lewis owned a number of station properties on his own account and in conjunction with others, and advancing age never slackened his interest either in business, or in the promotion of the pastoral industry.

His activities extended beyond these two branches, as for many years he was the President of the Royal Geographical Society and the Royal Agricultural Society, whilst for over a quarter of a century he sat in the Legislative Council. He published his autobiography last year under the title Fought and Won, and the story of his life and work is the romance of a self-made man.

The deceased gentleman was a man of strong convictions and individuality, and retained a keen interest in everything to within a few days of his death. Although he lived an exceptionally busy life, and had wide interests which made a heavy call upon his time, he took a great interest in public affairs, particularly in connection with those relating to exploration.

The late Mr. Lewis, who was twice married, has left a widow. His family consisted of four sons and two daughters—Dr. J. B. Lewis, who was for some years at Narrogin, in Western Australia, and is now in practice in Adelaide; Major Gilbert Lewis, formerly an officer attached to King George's Own Central Indian Horse, and now of Bundaleer, South Australia; Mr. Essington Lewis, general manager of the Broken Hill Proprietary Company, Melbourne; and Major Lance Lewis, managing director of Bagot, Shakes and Lewis Limited, Adelaide; Mrs. A. J. Melrose, of Mintaro; and Mrs. George Cowan, of Mount Lofty.

Original publication

Citation details

'Lewis, John (1844–1923)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 22 June 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

John Lewis, n.d.

John Lewis, n.d.

from Pastoral Review, 15 September 1923

Life Summary [details]


12 February, 1844
Brighton, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia


25 August, 1923 (aged 79)
Glen Osmond, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Cultural Heritage

Includes subject's nationality; their parents' nationality; the countries in which they spent a significant part of their childhood, and their self-identity.