Stanley Merriam Simpson April 15th, 1957
S.M. Simpson was honoured with the Freedom of the City due to his significant role in Kelowna’s growth and development. A well-known and successful businessman in the lumber industry, he established the Stanley M. Simpson Knox Mountain Trust to be used for projects that would help everyone enjoy the park’s raw natural beauty. S. M. also ensured land was available for the Kelowna Yacht Club and civic uses downtown. In addition Mr. Simpson served on the Kelowna School Board and the Gyro Club.
Upon leaving Ontario at age 24 he resided in Penticton for two years, then moved to Kelowna where he worked in millwork. By 1917 he owned his own general millwork company and in 1924 it was incorporated as S.M. Simpson Ltd. That year he also purchased the Kelowna Saw Mill Company Limited which operated a sawmill, a box shook factory and a retail lumber and building supply outlet. He continually expanded his operations and in 1926 he purchased a small sawmill which he moved to different locations depending on the wood supply. In 1930 a veneer container plant was built at Manhattan Point, in 1932 the sawmill was moved next door. In 1948 he consolidated sash and door operations, a millwork plant, showroom and warehouse on a new site on Ellis Street. The company acquired a Peachland mill in 1955, and in 1956 the company constructed a plywood mill. Other mills were acquired in the late 1950s.
By 1962 S.M. Simpson Ltd. employed 700 workers from Kelowna and had an annual payroll in excess of two million dollars.
S.M. Simpson was not active in the company after 1955; he died in 1959.