Extract from The Blackpool Times Year Book 1901
COUNCILLOR JOHN DENT HARKER, CHAIRMAN.
Mr. J. D. Harker, Chairman of St. Annes Urban Council, is a
man by birth. He was born in 1860, his father, Mr. Thomas Harker, J.P., being
then, as now, a well-known figure in the commercial life of that city.
Our subject received his education at the Manchester Grammar
School and Owen's College, and completed his course at University College, London.
He then chose the profession of architect, a choice which his subsequently
successful career has justified. Having served his articles with Mr. Henry Littler,
of Manchester, he proceeded to London where he increased his knowledge of, and
developed his skill in, the art which absorbed his talents.
He worked under Mr. Edward Robson, F.S.A., A.R.I.B.A., and in
1881 was admitted an Associate of the Royal Institute of British Architects, by
examination. In the year 1884 Mr. Harker returned to his native heath, and
commenced practice (in Manchester). He had the distinction of the appointment of
architect to the Manchester Assize Courts Committee, a position he still holds. Ten
years ago he opened a branch office in Blackpool, and shortly after chose St. Annes
as his place of residence.
In addition to schools,
dwellings, and churches in Lancashire, Cheshire, and Derbyshire, monuments of
his Design are to be seen in this district in the Pavilion of the Victoria
Pier, Blackpool; the Hippodrome (formerly Empire), Blackpool; the Public Hall,
St. Annes; and the new Pier entrance and offices at St. Annes.
He became a Benedict in 1887, when he took unto wife Miss
McLaine, the daughter of Mr. Peter McLaine, of Manchester; and there are one son
and four daughters of the marriage. His favourite recreation is golf, and last year
he was elected a member of the Council of the Lytham and St. Annes Golf Club.
Five years ago, when the town was
divided into Wards, he gained a seat on the Urban Council for West Ward and in
April, 1900, was elected for the second full term of three years by a large
majority. Prior to his last election he filled the position of Chairman of the
Finance Committee, and was selected as one of the Council's representatives on
the School Management Committee of Lytham Charity.
Mr. Harker is a Liberal-Nonconformist, and worships at the St.
Annes Congregational Church. Since his occupancy of the chair of the Council he has
proved his ability as a lucid and resourceful speaker, and a cool and tactful