Samuel Dewhurst was head of company of textile finishers and became a Councillor, then Alderman of Salford Borough Council.
Samuel was born in Salford on 18th June 1826, the son of Samuel and Mary Dewhurst. He was Christened at the Grosvenor Street Chapel, Piccadilly, on 29th November 1826. He married Anne Ainsworth Lee, the sister of Henry Lee MP and at the time of his death, they lived at Sorrel Bank on Eccles Old Road, Pendleton. They had one son, Samuel Sagar, who was born in September 1856, but tragically he died just before his 19th birthday in September 1875. Both were worshippers at Richmond Congregational Church, where Samuel was a Deacon.
Samuel's father established a textile finishing business in the 1820s, which was situated on the River Irwell at Dawson's Croft, Greengate, Salford. They were described as "dressers, dyers, calanderers, finishers and embossers". The 1841 Manchester and Salford Directory records "Samuel Dewhurst, Davison and Co. of Lower Broughton. It is not certain when Samuel took over from his father, but the Post Office directory of 1858 refers to "Dewhurst, Samuel and Co., bleachers, dyers, printers, manufacturers of cloth for book-binders, beetle finishers and cotton spinners and manufacturers, Broughton Dye Works, Adelphi Street, Salford, Dawsons Croft Mills, Salford and 37, King Street, Cheapside, London".
In the 1860s, the company was trading as Dewhurst and Sagar and in 1861, Henry Sagar had taken out patents for improvements in machinery for finishing and for tracing cloth and other woven fabrics. The 1873 Directory refers to Samuel Dewhurst and Co having works at Blackburn Street, Salford and Samuel's residence as 33, Bridgewater Place. In 1881, (the year after Samuel died), Slater's Directory records Samuel Dewhurst and Co. Ltd, as manufacturers of patent vellum tracing cloth (Sagar's patent) and of bookbinders cloth, label cloth and beetled twills, bleachers, dyers and finishers. In 1891 (11 years after he died) the company was still going strong at Broughton Dye Works, Blackburn Street, Salford, with a Manchester office at 21 Dickinson Street, but they had ceased trading by 1900.
The Dawson's Croft Dyeworks suffered from two serious fires, one in March 1831 where damage was estimated at £700 and one in 1873 where damage cost £10,000. In 1888, the Blackburn Street Dyeworks was the subject of an Inquest into the fatality of an employee, *Samuel Hayhurst, who suffered head injuries.
Samuel Dewhurst's connection with Salford Corporation began at the age of 36, in November 1862, when he was elected Liberal Councillor of St. Stephen's Ward. He showed an active interest in the sanitary condition of the Salford District whilst a member of the Salford Improvement Committee and other committees. At the election in 1868 he was defeated and it wasn't until 1875 that he again entered the Council, this time as one of the Aldermen for the Pendleton District. He was elected Chairman of Pendleton Highways Ctee and also Chairman of the Building Ctee. He was nominated for Mayor, but declined. He was a fair and effective speaker and always showed respect for committee members wishes. Samuel was appointed a JP in September 1870. He took a lively interest in many of the charitable institutions and was Chairman of the Governing body of the Hospital for Incurables at Ardwick Green. It was reported that Samuel Dewhurst "presented to Peel Park Museum a bust of Oliver Cromwell, specifically executed by an eminent sculptor".
Two years before he died, Samuel began to suffer from "serious indisposition" and had to allow his Deputy Chairmen to assist him to run his committees. For the last 12 months he spent most of his time at Buxton in an effort to recuperate and it was whilst at Buxton on Wednesday 22nd September 1880, that he died at the age of 54. His wife Anne and two daughters survived him.
The funeral took place on Saturday 25th September. Reverend Robert Craig, Minister at Richmond Congregational Church, conducted the service at Samuel's home, Sorrel Bank, Eccles Old Road. The cortege, headed by Pendleton Lamplighters, proceeded to Pendleton Town Hall where it was joined by many members of Council. There were also 14 carriages of friends and relatives. The coffin was of polished oak with brass fittings and was placed in the family vault in plot A3 of the Dissenters portion of Weaste Cemetery.
* see Samuel Hayhursts's biography 1888