Smith, John Freemont

Smith, John Freemont

Photo compliments of the Kamloops Museum

Best-known as the first alderman of black ancestry in B.C., John Freemont Smith was an active promoter of Kamloops and founder of many civic organizations.

Born in 1850 in the Danish West Indies, John Freemont Smith arrived in Victoria, British Columbia in 1872, where he married. In 1884 the Smiths came to Kamloops, opening a shoe store. Soon after they settled at Louis Creek where John spearheaded mineral exploration in the North Thompson Valley.

Back to Kamloops in 1890, Smith became a newspaper editor and helped to found the Kamloops Agricultural Association (1895), the Conservative Association (1898), and the Board of Trade (1902), among other organizations. He was an alderman on Kamloops City Council (1902-1907) and Indian Agent for the Kamloops District (1912-23).

The Freemont (sic) Block in the 200 block Victoria Street was his office where he died at age 84 in1934. (from Ken Favrholdt)

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