Biographies, Annotations and Other Information
The following brief Biographies and Annotations including additional information such as relevant locations, places, buildings etc were compiled by Reg Butler (Hahndorf Historian) over many years.
The Biographies are divided into alphabetical sections which can be accessed by clicking on the appropriate links below:
Biographies - S to Z
Sabiston, William (c1828-4/7/1911)
Born in the Orkneys, Scotland. To SA 1851 Hydaspes. Did he come out the previous year as well, as captain of the emigrant ship Boyne? dairyman Licensed carrier of 123 Wright St. His wife was Catherine, who died 21/8/1904, aged 71.
Saint John’s Church, Adelaide.
St John’s Anglican Church, Halifax St, opened for public worship on 24 October 1841. The colony’s first Colonial Treasurer, Osmond Gilles, presented portions of several Town Acres to provide room for a church, rectory and day school. Because it was in what was then such an undeveloped area of Adelaide, the building was known as St John’s-in-the-wilderness. Some of the congregation’s prominent pioneer members included William Bartley, the SA Company’s solicitor; Dr Benjamin Kent, who founded the Kent Town brewery; and Alfred Mundy, the colony’s first Colonial Secretary, who married Governor Hindmarsh’s daughter, Jane.
Saint Peters College, Hackney.
This school, the oldest of SAs colleges, began in the schoolroom of Trinity Church, North Tce, Adelaide, principally through the publicity of Dr Short, the first Anglican Bishop of Adelaide, and colonial philanthropist William Allen. Severely interrupted by the exodus of labourers to the Victorian gold diggings, the first of the buildings on the school’s present Hackney Rd site were erected between 1849-1853. From the start, the school organisation proceeded on English public school tradition, though with inevitable colonial modifications. Quickly, the college made a name for itself and old scholars and others continue to support the school in many ways. Old Boys have made significant contributions to state, national and international life.
Semaphore was selected as a signal station and landing place c 1837. The first buildings of the town of Semaphore were not erected until 1850.
Sharrad, Allan Horace (c1834-2/7/1910).
A Surrey labourer, he emigrated SA 1857 Lady Ann, with his wife, Amelia, and three sons. For 9 years, AH Sharrad worked for Sir John Morphett on his farm, Cummins, at Glenelg. Then Allan spent 25 years in the employ of Sir Thomas Elder at Birksgate, Glen Osmond. When Sir Thomas organised an inland expedition across much of SA and WA during 1873 (under Colonel Peter Warburton’s command), A Sharrad brought back 17 camels and supplies of Athol Pine (Tamarisk Aphyla), the animals’ staple food, from Afghanistan for the purpose. Allan also carted the stone for his employer’s new summer home, The Pinnacles (later renamed Carminow by the JL Bonython family), at Mt Lofty. In retirement, AH Sharrad lived at Plympton, on a generous pension supplied by Robert Barr Smith, Sir Thomas Elder’s brother-in-law. Chronicle 9/7/1910 45d.
Sharrad, Gilbert Allan Horace ‘Gill’. (4/2/1894- ?).
Son of Robert Sharrad, gardener, Stirling West. His grandfather, Allan Sharrad, a Surrey labourer, aged 31 emigrated SA 1857 Lady Ann with his wife and three sons. During his 25 years working for Sir Thomas Elder at Birksgate, he brought out the 1st camels for Elder’s expeditions. Athol pines (Tamarisk Aphylla) the staple food for camels in Afghanistan, brought out as well for the camels to eat. Sharrads lived in a cottage on the Birksgate estate, on the corner of Glen Osmond and Cross Rd. Allan Sharrad Senr also carted the stone for Elder’s home, Carminow, on Mt Lofty. Gill Sharrad lived on Woodbury Road. Was he a butcher.
Grocer, of Hindley St, Adelaide. No positive identification at this stage; confusion over exact initials a distinct possibility. A Thomas Shepherd, merchant, signed the June 1838 petition regretting the removal of Governor Hindmarsh from office. Bennett’s 1840 Directory lists a J Shepherd, grocer, Hindley St. Later 1840s Directories feature Thomas Shepherd, draper, Hindley St.
Shepherdson, John (1809-1897).
Born at East Heslerton, nr Scarborough, Yorks, England. Trained as a schoolteacher, JB Shepherdson arrived SA 1837 Hartley, with his wife and family. Grandly appointed Director of Schools in SA, John organised the first classroom around a wooden building formerly used by the Bank of SA in North Tce, Adelaide, opposite Trinity Church. Heat and worry caused Shepherson’s health to give way and he renounced teaching for the post as Manager of the SA Joint Stock Cattle Co between Echunga and Hahndorf in the Adelaide Hills. When this venture failed momentarily during 1840, JB Shepherdson farmed at Nairne until 1847. Then he acted as Clerk of the Mt Barker Local Court until 1861, when he became Stipendiary Magistrate at Wallaroo. Here Mr Shepherdson stayed until his death in active old age, respected throughout the region.
Appointed SAs first sheriff on 18 May 1837. A solicitor, he owned a farm at what is now Cowandilla, but later died in Melbourne. One evening, a Van Diemen’s Land ex-convict named Michael Magee tried to shoot the sheriff dead in his tent. After Magee’s trial and conviction, his bungled execution took place on 2 May 1838 under a tree in the Park Lands near the Colonial Store.
Smith, James (?-23/5/1900)
At Esplanade North, Semaphore, husband of Elizabeth Hooper Santo, aged 58,
Smith, Matthew (c1793-1858).
A solicitor from Co. Durham, England, who arrived in SA aboard the Africaine in 1836. He had his offices in Gawler Place, Adelaide. Later, Smith was a squatter for a time on Poonindie Station, near Pt Lincoln. Besides Glenelg, M Smith also had important links with the foundation of Pt Lincoln and Pt Pirie.
Solomon, Emanuel (c1800-1873).
London-born brothers, Emanuel and Vaiben Solomon, were transported to NSW in 1818, as youthful clothes stealers. During 1838, Emanuel arrived in Adelaide, where he became a Currie St merchant and financed the colony's first theatre - the Queen - in 1841. During these early colonial days, Emanuel traded a great deal with his brother, Vaiben, still in Sydney. The brothers were in business together in Adelaide from the beginnings of the 1840s. In 1847, Emanuel established an auctioneering firm, which specialised in city and metropolitan properties. From the early 1860s, until shortly before his death in 1873, E Solomon belonged to one or other of the two colonial Houses of Parliament.
South Australian Commissioners.
The 1834 SA Act provided for a division of power between a Board of Commissioners and the Governor (representing the Colonial Office) in the new province; the Commissioners would preserve a continuity of policy against all the changes in the Colonial Office. Unfortunately, the two sets of responsibility were not made clear and the Commissioners’ representative, JH Fisher, and Governor Hindmarsh quarrelled constantly, into which trouble the leading colonists got themselves involved as well. The nine Commissioners, under Chairman Col Torrens and Secretary Rowland Hill, operated from rooms in Adelphi Tce, in the City of London. Those august gentlemen, seated in their armchairs in a snug board-room, made too many careless decisions. As part of a package to clear SA's huge debt, the British Government abolished the Commission in 1841 and took over the province as a regular Crown Colony.
South Australian Company.
GF Angas was the prime mover in establishing the SA Company on 22 January 1836, with a subscribed capital of £200,000. The firm pledged to provide the comprehensive commercial infrastructure required to make the new colony of SA succeed. By the 1850s, the company had lost most of its commercial power after a decade and more of vital assistance to the pioneering province. At the turn of the century, the firm began to sell off its considerable tenant farm lands in the Adelaide Hills and the nearby Adelaide Plains. In 1949, all the Company owned was some twenty-one Adelaide town acres between East Terrace and Pulteney Street, out of an original city holding of over 1,000 acres, or one-sixth of the total city area. The SA Company went out of existence on 17 March 1949.
Southern Cross Hotel, Adelaide.
Fred Allen took over the Southern Cross Hotel in 1838. A very popular innkeeper, he quickly made his premises the gathering place for businessmen in the vicinity of Gilles Arcade both for business deals and convivial chat. Several passenger and mail carts bound to and from Pt Adelaide and Glenelg used the Southern Cross as their city terminus.
South Terrace, Adelaide.
The southern-most street of Adelaide, the city which Colonel Light laid out during late 1836-early 1837. In colonial times, the district was mostly a fashionable residential area.
Stakemann, Hermann Conrad (c1806-1/11/1890).
Born Bremen . To SA 1843 Davidsons. For some time in Thebarton. A merchant in Hindley St. Bremen Consul. Agent for the Goddefroy Line. Director of the Glen Osmond Silver Mine. Lived with his son-in-law and daughter, the Diedrich Mahnkes, Gover St, North Adelaide. Wife - Maria Juliana Wilhelmine (c1819-31/12/1851). - Observer 8/11/1890 p 894 b.
Stephens, Samuel (1809-1840).
Son of a London clergyman, Samuel Stephens came to SA aboard the Duke of York in 1836, as the first Resident Manager of the SA Company. After the voyage out, he married Charlotte Beare, a fellow passenger, whose father (Thomas Beare) was the Company’s Assistant Manager. Extremely energetic and popular, the young executive was buried in the West Tce Cemetery, alongside the colony’s first Anglican (Rev’d CB Howard) and Methodist (Rev’d W Longbottom) ministers. Samuel belonged to Mr Longbottom’s congregation.
Stow, Thomas Q (1801-1862).
A native of Hadleigh, Suffolk, England, TQ emigrated to SA 1837 Hartley, with his wife and family. A Congregational minister (the second minister of any denomination in the province), immediately he held well-attended services in a large field officers’ army tent. Soon afterwards, Stow helped labourers cut down and cart pines and reeds to build a Congregational Chapel in North Tce, Adelaide, somewhat to the west of Morphett St. Later, Thomas took charge of the Freeman St (Gawler Pce) Chapel, where he exerted a tremendous influence throughout a long ministry. Following TQ Stow’s death, a new Congregational Church in Flinders St, Adelaide, was named the Stow Memorial Church. Several of Stow’s sons became explorers, judges and politicians, prominent in SA public life.
Colonel William Light was SAs first Surveyor-General, the person in charge of Government surveying in the colony. The post still exists.
About the size of Ireland, Tasmania was long believed to be part of the Australian mainland. During 1803, the first European inhabitants arrived - convicts and their guards, who made Tasmania part of the NSW penal settlement system. From the early 1830s, free colonists came in increasing numbers to cultivate barley, oats, potatoes and fruit and establish prosperous sheep and cattle properties. Sheltered harbours became bases for diverse fishing and whaling fleets. Until its own farms began to flourish in the early 1840s, SA relied heavily on Tasmanian foodstuffs to survive and regular shipping services quickly began to ply between Pt Adelaide and Hobart and Launceston. Numbers of energetic British pastoralists re-emigrated from Tasmania to help found SAs sheep industry, and the colony also unwillingly hosted runaway convicts from across the Tasman, whose various continued crimes made greater headlines than the men’s honest work as useful timber splitters.
Taylor, John & Joseph
Fellmongers Thebarton. Lease from 31/10/1863 (Robert Torrens Senr) six acres of Section 46 30 years at £15 pa. Portion of Section 46. John had previously leased five acres of land against the main road and Torrens River from 8/9/1851 for 31 years at £15. By 1862, Taylor was bankrupt and EJ Spence of Adelaide seized the estate and sold it (Taylor owed him £1,000). Green & Wadham auctioned the land on 21/5/1862 to Richard Hicks gent Adelaide.
Explorers G and J Williams were the first white people to climb Teetulpa Hill (several kilometres north of Yunta), in 1853. John Chewings gave the Aboriginal name Teetulpa to his 1863 pastoral lease in the area. During 1886, fossickers found alluvial gold on the hill, whereupon some 10,000 excited miners converged on the site in the coming months. Press interest remained intense for a time, but lack of constant returns, together with the high cost of living and almost no water, caused most adventurers to leave again. Fitful gold mining continued until after the turn of the 19th century. The old Teetulpa fields are north-west of Yunta on the Barrier Highway to Broken Hill.
Named after Colonel Light’s nearby farm, Theberton Cottage, which in turn commemorated an farming estate in Suffolk, where he spent much of his boyhood. The SA suburb was laid out in 1839, but in the naming, the word Theberton was transcribed inaccurately as Thebarton. Included in the area is the first section of land surveyed outside of the city of Adelaide.
Thomas, Robert (1781-1860).
A Welshman, R Thomas prospered as a London law stationer in Fleet St, before bringing his family to SA in 1836, aboard the Africaine. The printing press he brought with him published the Proclamation of SA, read on 28 December 1836. Thomas established the colony’s first newspaper, the South Australian Gazette and Colonial Register, which combined government notices with general news; despite equipment and staffing shortages, the newspaper became a weekly publication. colonists also appreciated the 1838 SA Church Hymn Book.
Various business difficulties caused Thomas to declare bankruptcy during 1842. For a time in the 1840s-1850s, he worked as a government inspector of weights & measures and initiated various private enterprises of his own. From 1852, Robert had the pleasure of seeing his second son, William, become chief shareholder in a company which acquired the Register and continued to publish until 1931. Robert Thomas took a great interest in the growth of SA. His wife, Mary, kept a detailed diary of her activities, which, in published form, have become a valuable resource for SAs colonial beginnings.
Three Brothers Special Survey.
Quaker entrepreneur JB Hack took out the Three Brothers Survey on 23 January 1839, after he had endured the disappointment of not securing the Mt Barker Special Survey immediately to the north. Sometimes thought to be named after three of the sons of George Sanders (JB Hack’s overseer), it is more likely that the survey commemorates three well-rounded hills on Section 3531, Hundred of Kuitpo, adjacent to the main road between Echunga and Meadows. Popularly, colonists referred to the survey as the Echunga Survey. Hack lost title to his share of the Special Survey after he went bankrupt during 1840.
The old name given to the western slopes of the Mt Lofty Ranges particularly around Mt Lofty itself. Here, the ridges rose in distinct rows covered with dark, silent stringybark forests. Soon, the area rang to the sound of log cutters, many of them Tasmanian ex-convicts, who felled masses of timber for building and fencing. During the 1840s-1850s, it became customary to speak of the Old and New Tiers. The Old Tiers stretched from Glen Osmond eastward to Cox Creek; the New Tiers sloped east from the ridges between Mount Lofty and Norton Summit. A further set of Tiers, the Company Tiers (after the SA Company), fell westward from these same ridges.
This river rises in the watershed between the Hundreds of South Rhine and Talunga behind Mt Pleasant. Confusion about the river’s source caused Mt Torrens further to the south to gain its name incorrectly. GS Kingston’s thirsty dog reputedly led its master and Messrs WG Field and John Morphett to discover the stream, possibly near its mouth on 6 November 1836. During colonial times, the Torrens often flooded during winter, causing tremendous damage at various places along its course. Col William Light chose an elevated site along the Torrens to establish SAs capital city, Adelaide. The river takes its name from Colonel Robert Torrens, Chairman of the SA Colonisation Commission.
In 1838, the Torrens was Adelaide’s main water supply. People washed themselves and their clothes in the river, as well as using its water elsewhere for drinking and cooking purposes.
Trinity Church, Adelaide.
When the Adelaide Town Acres were ready for selection in 1837, the colonists agreed that the Anglican Church should have first choice of the sites. Mr P St Leger Grenfell, an English philanthropist, had given enough money to buy the city land, plus forty acres of glebe on which the suburb of Trinity Gardens now stands. Col W Light chose a central position near the Torrens ford on North Tce, which led to Pt Adelaide. The temporary wooden building immediately put into place gave way by mid-1838 to a stone church dedicated to the Holy Trinity, but familiarly known as Trinity Church. A year later, the SA Commissioners gave the landmark clock still keeping time in the church tower. Many notable events and famous people are connected with the history of this, SAs oldest church.
After purchasing some 400 acres near Adelaide, as an absentee landbuyer, Thomas Whistler emigrated in 1840. He decided to lay out his property as a village, called Unley, after Undley Hall, an estate near his former home in Suffolk.
Van Diemen's Land.
The name which Abel Tasman, the discoverer of Tasmania, gave to the island when he landed there on 24 November 1642. Tasman thus honoured his patron, Anthony van Diemen, Governor of the Dutch East Indies, who had sponsored his voyage. During 1798, the journey of Bass and Flinders though Bass Strait proved that Van Diemen’s Land was not part of the continent of Australia. Because Van Diemen’s Land developed some of the worst excesses of penal settlement cruelty, the new free colony after 1851 petitioned the British government successfully for a name change to Tasmania, which came into effect on 1 January 1856. Until the Australian colonists campaigned for the transportation system to stop, SA despatched its own convicts to Van Diemen’s Land.
A former British naval officer and East India merchant, John Walker arrived in South Australia during 1838. Soon afterwards, he joined a syndicate which bought the site of the present suburb of Walkerville from Governor Hindmarsh, who left the colony in mid-1838. J Walker became the Treasurer for the syndicate, which named the new sub-division after him at a meeting more numerously than respectably attended. Walker lost all his assets during the hard times that overwhelmed SA in the early 1840s and moved to Van Diemen’s Land, where he found a job as Harbourmaster at Launceston.
An area beside the Murray River, some ten kilometres south of Mannum. John Baker, a prominent pastoralist and politician, leased the property as a sheep station from 1853, until his death in 1872. The name itself is of uncertain origin.
Watts, Captain Alfred (1814-1884).
Born in Bristol, England, Alfred Watts came to SA, aboard the Hartley, in 1837, as accountant to the SA Company. Watts married Jane Giles, daughter of a later Manager of the South Australian Company, who, with his family, also arrived on the Hartley. Alfred became a respected businessman and in time entered the colonial Parliament. Prominent organisations and individuals often sought his advice concerning financial matters.
High riding boots said to have been brought back to England by the Duke of Wellington, who wore them in his military campaigns against Napoleon.
West Terrace Cemetery.
Colonel William Light allowed for a public cemetery on West Terrace in the original Adelaide plan published in March 1837. Soon afterwards, burials took place, but none appeared in an official register until 1840, when up to 500 graves had been dug already. Officially, the site was named the Adelaide Public Cemetery, but soon, the popular title West Terrace Cemetery took over. Before the Government established the West Terrace Cemetery, interments had occurred in a very haphazard fashion. Many notable colonial South Australians are buried here.
White, John (cc1790-/12/1860)
Born in Fulham, London. Married Barbara Willingale (c1800-/8/1899). Builder and ornithologist; later also pastoralist. To SA 1836 Tam O’Shanter. Established a large farm, Fulham Farm, at the Reedbeds, later called Fulham, a suburb, which his eldest son William, laid out in 1877. He named the main street Willingale after his mother. Fulham Farm Bricks from England formed the walls and reeds from the Reedbeds formed the thatch. Also erected a chapel and a family vault facing Henley Beach Road. Chapel knocked down when road widened. Bought 19 Adelaide Town Acres, as well as many Country Sections. Wife Barbara and two sons William 1834-?, Samuel 1835-1880 arrived on Taglione. Charles 1845-1900 and Eliza c1846-7/12/1919 married John Fox Mellor. Eliza had the 19 Town Acres settled upon her for life. Then her son John White Mellor inherited and broke entail. Sold off most of the TA. Charles White farmed at The Oaks at Fulham. Samuel had his farm Weetunga, on Weetunga St, Fulham. Eliza lived at Holmfrith, Henley Beach Road, a large mansion with a conservatory. William inherited Fulham Farm.
Cornfactor Rundle St leased 50 acres and 38 acres adjoining + 32 acres against the Torrens, separated by a small road from the larger two pieces of land, of Section 46 (District B) from Robert Torrens (Pall Mall) on 9/7/1853. The Torrens land had been divided into 4 strips. Whitford took the biggest of the 4.
Wicksteed, Frederic (c1814-1877).
To SA 1838 Lord Goderich. Shropshire-born Wicksteed became clerk to Messrs Smith & Shaen in Pt Lincoln, but on the failure of that business, he returned to Adelaide to become confidential clerk to JB Neales the auctioneer. When Neales retired, Frederic bought the business and operated it with W Samson. In 1856, Mr Wicksteed went into partnership with Messrs Neales, Botting & Townsend and became Government Auctioneer. He was Secretary to the Anglican Synod and the Leigh Trust, and also belonged to several Lodges. F Wicksteed was noted for his cheerful conduct of meetings and ability to be a good mixer on social occasions.
Wigley, Henry (1794-1876).
Landed with his wife and children in SA aboard the Shah in 1837. He almost immediately became Stipendiary Magistrate for the District of Adelaide and held several other important legal appointments. Henry also had the luck to be one of the syndicate which applied to found Glenelg. However, H Wigley died in obscurity at Grünthal (now Verdun), near Hahndorf. JW Bull and many others confused the father with the much more prominent son, WR Wigley, who became a Member of Parliament and Mayor of Glenelg. WR Wigley was only ten years old when the family arrived in SA.
Winter, Benjamin Pratt.
Left an estate of £600. Executor Arthur Hardy, of SA.
Built in 1818 for JN Dede, a merchant from Altona, in Schleswig-Holstein, Denmark. By the 1830s, ownership had passed to F Nicolaus Dede, a ship-building materials merchant, who engaged a fellow Dane, Dirk Hahn, to captain the vessel between 1836-1840. GF Angas chartered the boat in 1838 to take portion of the Prussian religious refugees he had sponsored to settle in SA. It was these people who founded Hahndorf.