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William Joseph Thompson (c1824-1903), Contractor
Mr. William Joseph Thompson, the well known contractor, died at Sheffield on the 6th inst. aged seventy nine.
Mr. Thompson was a native of Leeds, where he was articled to Mr. J. W. Leather, the well known civil engineer, with whom Sir John Fowler had served previously. Mr. Thompson was engaged on behalf of Mr. Leather on various large undertakings.
He had much to do in the way of taking levels and preparing plans and sections for the Leeds Water works in the neighbourhood of Silsden. Although a qualified surveyor and civil engineer, he never practised in that profession on his own account, but, on leaving Mr. Leather, he devoted himself to the work of contracting, in which he had a very successful career. He had an appointment as contractor's agent on the Liverpool Waterworks, laid a service of supply pipes through Lord Derby's estate, and was employed for a long time on the Bradford Waterworks.
He established a business of his own forty-two years ago at Nottingham, where he carried out drainage contracts; similar work followed at Chesterfield, where he also constructed gas mains and tanks.
In 1867 he came to Sheffield, and carried out the first complete scheme for the sewerage of the borough. He was largely engaged in the construction of tanks for the Sheffield Gas Company, and was recently engaged in the widening of the Midland Railway at Brightside. Amongst his other activities was the laying out of building estates in the Sheffield district, and he was the chief advisor of the Wakefield Corporation in their attempt to obtain the land in the Langsett Valley for waterworks purposes, appearing as one of the principal witnesses before the Parliamentary Committee. The scheme was opposed by the Sheffield Corporation and others, and after a contest costing some £60,000 was defeated.
Mr. Thompson, who retired from business some two years ago, is survived by one married daughter.
N.B. Contrary to the above, Sir John Fowler served his time with John Towlerton Leather, hydraulic engineer of Leeds, but later worked for George Leather and Son of Leeds of which company John Wignall Leather was a principal