George Shenton was born in Perth on 4 March 1844.
He was sent to England to finish his education, then returned to the colony of Western Australia to enter his father's mercantile business in Perth. When his father died in 1867 he assumed control of the family business. He was a shrewd businessman, and succeeded in increasing the business throughout the colony. With the discovery of gold in Kalgoorlie he also became involved with the mining industry.
Shenton was interested in public affairs from an early age, and his public duties eventually forced him to hand over management of the business to his brother, E.C. Shenton.
Shenton was Chairman of the Perth City Council from 1875-1877 and became the first Mayor of Perth in 1880. His first term of office ended in 1884 and he completed a second term during 1886-1888. He accepted a knighthood from Queen Victoria in 1887. He was also named as Mayor on a medal issued in 1900 to commemorate the Transvaal War, Hero of Mafeking (NU 18983).
Shenton was also a member of the Legislative Council, and when responsible government was granted in 1890 he became the first Colonial Secretary. In 1892 he was appointed President of the Legislative Council, continuing in this position for 14 years. Shenton was knighted in 1893, at the age of 51.
After his death on 29 June 1909 the State Government purchased his estate at Crawley Park, now part of the site of the University of Western Australia.
City of Perth website http://www.perth.wa.gov.au/html/vis10_june.php, accessed 9/2/2004.
Australian Dictionary of Biography Online Edition http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A020398b.htm, accessed 9/2/2004.