About John Bateman Harcourt
Founder of Harcourts real estate
Councillor J. B. Harcourt was born in Leamington, Warwickshire, and left England when very young, arriving in Australia in 1856. He was educated in Melbourne, and learned the business of a soft goods warehouseman at Messrs. Sargood and Company's establishment in that City. In 1866 Mr. Harcourt came to Wellington, under engagement to Messrs. A. P. Stuart and Co., and acted in the capacity of manager of the warehouse for a period of seven years. He was then admitted into partnership in the business, and in 1879, when the partnership expired, Mr. Harcourt purchased Mr. Stuart's interest, and carried on the business under the style of Harcourt and Co., Importers and Warehousemen, one of the largest businesses at that time in Wellington. In 1888 Messrs. Harcourt and Co. sold both stock and goodwill to Messrs. Sargood, Son and Ewen, and Mr. Harcourt transferred his attention and energy to an entirely new line of business, establishing his present flourishing concern, which is described elsewhere in the Cyclopedia. Councillor Harcourt has occupied many important positions, both public and semi-public, in the city. He has been a member af the Chamber of Commerce for over a quarter of a century, and was one of a sub-committee appointed by the Chamber to assist in the formation of the first Harbour Board in the Empire City. As a member of the council of the Chamber, Mr. Harcourt has done good service with respect to the commercial interests of Wellington, and was elected in 1884 to the presidency of the Chamber. He was a member of the Executive Committee of the Wellington Exhibition in 1885, and was Commissioner for the Melbourne Exhibition in 1888. He has held office as a councillor since 1889, the present being his third term. He is a member of the Finance Committee. Councillor Harcourt is steward of the Wellington Racing Club, Chairman of Directors in New Zealand of the Commercial Union Assurance Company, and of the Colonial Mutual Life Insurance Association of Australasia.