Obituary of John William Wilson

The Barnsley Chronicle [Saturday 22 February 1896] announced


The public of Barnsley and district have received with regret, though it can hardly be said with surprise, the announcement of the death of Mr John William Wilson, head of firm of Wilson & Co. Limited, Beevor Saw Mills & Bobbin Works, which took place at his residence, Victoria-road, on Monday last.

Deceased has been invalid, suffering from paralysis, for long series of years, and as a consequence has been unable to take an active part in the management of the business of the firm.

He, however, was able to get about down to within some ten days of bis death, being driven to and from the works daily. Deceased was in his 64th year, having been born in May, 1832. He was son of the late Mr Lawrence Wilson, of Cornholme, near Todmorden, his mother being daughter of Mr Joshua Fielden, one of the earliest Methodists in the Vale of Todmorden. Over seventy years ago Mr Lawrence Wilson established tho business from which that at Beevor is an offshoot, at Hough Stone, Todmorden. From there it was transferred to Pudsey Mill in the Burnley Valley, and in 1831 and 1832 there was further removal to Cornholme, which place received its name from Mr Wilson, senior.

The establishment here, which is carried on by members of the family, is of very extensive character. The works at Beevor, near Barnsley, were established some forty years ago or over in premises which had been formerly used In connection with Beevor Bleach Works. Of this establishment deceased was the head, and while his health continued he proved a most energetic and capable man of business. The designation of the firm has undergone various modifications, being successively Wilson & Newman, J. W. & S. Wilson, Wilson Brothers, Wilson & Co. & Wilson & Co. Limited.

Notwithstanding several serious fires at the works-two of a very extensive character in 1868-the establishment has gradually extended and gives employment to a large number of workers both male and female. Deceased leaves a widow, with an only son – Mr W. B. Wilson – and two daughters.

One of the daughters the wife of the Rev. E. J. Saxton, pastor of Regent Street Congregational Church, with which the family have been connected ever since their settlement in Barnsley.

The funeral took place on Thursday, at noon. The preliminary portion of the service was held in Regent Street Church. There was very large attendance of the workpeople in the employ of the firm, with others. The Rev J. F. T. Hallowes, M.A., Principal of Cliff College, Curbar, near Sheffield, formerly of Barnsley, conducted the service both in the church and is the cemetery. Miss Brook, organist, and several members of the choir were in attendance, and appropriate music was rendered, concluding with the Dead March as the mourners were leaving.

The workpeople walked in front of the hearse, and there were in addition several of deceased's fellow townsmen in attendance to pay the last mark of respect to his memory.

The coffin was of massive unpolished oak, with moulded and panelled lid and heavy brass mountings. The inscription was:

John Wm.Wilson
Born May 3rd 1832
Died February 17th 1896

Workmen in the employ of the firm acted as bearers


© Malcolm Bull 2022
Revised 13:13 / 19th January 2022 / 5466

Page Ref: X369

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