John Henry Seamer

Timber Merchant

Terms served on Council

Title Council From To
Alderman Glebe 1871 1878
Alderman Glebe 1885 1894
Mayor Glebe 1878 1878
  • Glebe Council logo 1896 (City of Sydney Archives A-00333228)

Family background

John Henry Seamer was born at London England in 1826, son of Thomas Seamer. In 1847 at Shoreditch Middlesex he married Emma Catherine Coomer who died on 18 February 1904 aged 91 years. They arrived Sydney on ship Blenheim on 5 July 1855.There were no children of the marriage. In 1907 he married Sarah Anne Brewer at Newtown. He died at Islington Terrace, 33 Parramatta Road, Forest Lodge on 12 December 1914, 88 years. Sarah Seamer died on 6 June 1926.

Occupation & interests

John Seamer told a meeting in 1882 he arrived in Sydney ’27 years ago with only my head and hands to make a living’. He began trading as a timber merchant in Parramatta Road, Glebe in 1864.

Community activity

Seamer in a deputation to the Minister for Works for making a footpath and lighting along Parramatta Road between the junction of Glebe Road and Ross Street through the cutting known as Cut Hill. Seamer was superintendent of Glebe Volunteer Fire Brigade 1875-78, Director of Starr Bowkett Building, President of the Protestant Hall Company and a founding member of Glebe Masonic Lodge in 1881.

Local government service

John Seamer served twice as an alderman on Glebe Council, in 1871-78 and 1885-94, and was mayor in 1878. He gave evidence to the select committee on Glebe Borough Bill in 1878 regarding sale of land originally intended for a town hall. In seeking re-election in 1879 supporters of Seamer urged Forest Lodge ward residents to ‘rally round your friend, J H Seamer, the working man’s friend. Who obtained the ground for the Council Chambers on Forest Lodge? Why Seamer. Then vote for him.’


Select Committee on the Glebe Borough Bill, NSW Legislative Assembly V & P 1878-79, 7, pp. 801-02

Biographical sketch in Aldine Centennial History of NSW 1888

A History of Glebe Fire Brigade 1875-2006

Sydney Morning Herald, 10 February 1871, p. 1

Sydney Morning Herald, 4 August 1876, p. 2

Sydney Morning Herald, 22 March 1878, p. 6

Sydney Morning Herald, 11 February 1879, p. 3

Sydney Morning Herald, 16 December 1914, p. 12,




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