James Fariar Smythe

James Fariar Smythe was a Windsor politician, merchant, and mayor of the City of Windsor.

J.F. Smythe was elected as the fifth mayor of the City of Windsor in 1902. He established the grocery store as J. F. Smyth & Company, and was the first president of the London Old Boys’ Association of Windsor.

Smythe was born December 22, 1857, in London, Ontario. In 1874 he began working as a clerk under Edward Adams, a merchant in London. He would work with Adams for more James Fariar Smythethan fifteen years. In 1889 Smythe relocated to Windsor and purchased the interest of D. T. Smith in the grocery house of Smith & Duck, remaining a member of the firm for five years. He would later establish the Windsor-based wholesale grocery store known as J. F. Smyth & Company. In 1880, Smythe was married to Elsie Matheson, with whom he had four children. He was a member of the Presbyterian Church, and a member of its official board in Windsor. In 1901 Smythe was elected a member of the city council and on January 2, 1902, he was elected mayor of Windsor. Smythe’s other notable achievements include becoming the first president of the London Old Boys’ Association of Windsor, acting as paymaster of the 21st Regiment of Essex Fusiliers, and being an active member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He passed away on September 18, 1926.


“J.F Smyth.” Commemorative biographical record County of Essex, Ontario. Toronto : J.H Beers & Co. 1905. P. 155-156.

“James Fariar Smythe”. Ontario, Canada, Deaths and Deaths Overseas, 1869-1946. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. Web. Accessed April 17, 2018. [Ancestry.com available through WPL databases]