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People and organizations
Business and commerce

Kingsmill's Ltd.

  • Corporate body
  • 1865 - 2014

The iconic Kingsmill department store was founded as a dry goods store in London, Ontario in 1865 by Thomas Frazer Kingsmill (1840-1915). He and his wife, Anne immigrated from County Tipperary, Ireland in 1858. Kingsmill's department store was successfully run by Thomas Frazer Kingsmill's direct descendants until it closed in 2014. The history of the family is inextricably linked with that of the store.

The store at 130 Dundas street, London, Ontario operated from 1876-2014. It survived two fires (1911 and 1932) and expanded over the years to include at times: a carpet warehouse, a Chatham location and a kitchen store (2001 -2014). The Kingsmill family also operated a real estate business in London and surrounding areas in Southwestern Ontario in the early 20th century. The first family farm, Bellevue was sold to Western University for their new campus in 1916. The family later owned and operated a dairy at Bellevue Park Farm off of Sarnia Road. The store continued to operate successfully in the same location at until its closing.

The Kingsmill family has contributed significantly to the social, political and religious life of the city of London. Family members were well-known in many different local circles, acting as chairs, presidents and committee members for a number of commercial, academic, religious, political and charitable organizations. Thomas Ford Kingsmill served as Mayor of London from 1936-1938 George Frederick Kingsmill was a board member at Huron College, and as the bell-ringer and clock maintenance worker at St. Paul's Cathedral for most of his life. Thomas Frazer Kingsmill, Thomas Frazer Kingsmill Jr, Thomas Ford Kingsmill, George Frederick Kingsmill and T. Fred Kingsmill were all actively involved in London's Masonic community. Thomas Frederick Kingsmill was a major member of London's Downtown Business Association, as well as the Ad and Sales Club. Henry Ardagh Kingsmill and George Frederick Kingsmill.were active in the military, serving in WWI.

When the store closed, it had grown to 73,000 square feet on five floors and had operated successfully for 148 years. Tim Kingsmill, the last store president, closed Kingsmill's Department Store on August 10, 2014.

Kingsmill, George Frederick

  • Person
  • 1892 - 1973

George Frederick Kingsmill (1892-1973). Son of Thomas Frazer Kingsmill Jr. and Kate Isabel (Ford) Kingsmill. He and Netta May Nixon (June 1, 1888 - August 30, 1976) were married on October 11, 1918. They had three children: Mary Netta, Doris, and Thomas Frederick.

He held a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture and majored in beekeeping at the O.A.C. Upon graduation, he was appointed Assistant Dominion Apiarist.

During WWI he enlisted as a gunner and served in France with “E” Battery. He was decorated as an M.B.E (Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) and for Civilian Service in WWII.

He was involved in the London community including: as a member of Huron College Council; Chairman, Dependents Board of Trustees, London District, 1940-45; a member of the Canadian Consistory Club; Advertising and Sales Club; Camera Club and was Deputy for Ontario Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite. He was also active in the local Anglican community serving for 43 years as bell-ringer and clock maintainer at St. Paul's Cathedral.

Active in Bellevue Park Farms, Bellevue Park Farms Dairy. He served as Secretary-Treasurer for Kingsmill's Limited from 1920 - 1923.

Kingsmill, Thomas Ford

  • Person
  • 1891 - 1970

Born April 24, 1891. Died March 29, 1970. Son of Thomas Frazer Kingsmill (Jr.) and Kate Isabel (Ford) Kingsmill. Brother of George Frederick Kingsmill and Alice Ruth (Kingsmill) Hodgins. He married Margaret Campbell (October 10, 1889 - June 25, 1968) on October 27, 1917. They had one child, Katherine Elizabeth.

Thomas Ford Kingsmill was heavily involved in the London community. He was elected to the Victoria Hospital Trust 3 times, and resigned to run for mayor. He was elected Mayor of London in 1936, 1937 and 1938. He then returned to the Victoria Hospital Trust. Appointed provincial representative on the Hospital Trust in 1948, serving until 1960. He was a member of: Kiwanis Club, St Paul's Cathedral's Men's Club, St. John's Lodge No. 209a, Mocha Shrine, Knights Templars and the Orange Order. Was a 32nd degree Mason in the Scottish Rite.

He became managing director of Kingsmill's Limited in 1915 when his father Thomas Frazer Jr. became head of the business. He was subsequently elected president and general manager of Kingsmill's Ltd in 1939 upon the death of his father. Remained as such until 1968, when he relinquished the position but remained as director until his death. He held a directorship in the Ontario branch of the Retail Merchants Association, and was active in the London Chamber of Commerce.

O'Connor and Lancaster, Photographers

  • Corporate body
  • [1870 - 1879]

O'Connor and Lancaster, Photographers, operated in London, Ontario during the 1870s. They also went by the name "Popular Photo Studio".