Crosby (Cr) Henry Burgess

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Fast Facts
Type of person Individual
Date of birth 9 March 1870
Place of birth Two Wells
Principal occupation General Store owner in Murray Street Gawler
Date of death 24 June 1946
Place of decease Unley, South Australia

CROSBY, Henry Burgess

The proprietor of the Gawler Cash Stores, is a native of South Australia having been born in Two Wells on March 9, 1870, and the eldest son of the late William and Agnes Crosby nee Burgess, a well-known merchant of this State. He received his education at the Glenelg Grammar School and upon the conclusion of his studies gained an excellent commercial experience in the employ of Matthew Goode & Co., warehousemen of Adelaide. Mr Crosby first opened in business on his own account at Kadina in 1897.

After five years he purchased the general storekeeping business (Pile Building) in Gawler formerly carried on by Mr R J Lavis (now the proprietor of Hooper’s Furniture Warehouse in Hindley Street, Adelaide), and has been prominently identified with the business life of the town.

His fine premises, situated at the business end of Murray Street, consist of a handsome, two-storied, brick building, covering a whole block and occupying a frontage of 87 feet to the street. It is elaborately fitted up with five distinct departments – boots, grocery, drapery, millinery showroom, and a large clothing store, the stock carried in each department being large and thoroughly up to date. The firm is acknowledged to be the principal house of its kind in Gawler and gives employment to twenty hands.

Mr Crosby is also interested in the business of Crosby & Co., merchants and drapers of Gouger Street, Adelaide in which growing centre large business premises were recently acquired (circa 1908).

He has made his influence felt in various ways for the good of the district in which he resides. He is prominent in Literary Society work and is ex-President of the Gawler Institute Societies Union and has been Premier of the Gawler Union Parliament. Mr Crosby is a deacon of the Congregational Church of Gawler; President of “Old School Masters” Literary Society of South Australia; member of the Adelaide Y.M.C.A. interstate debating team (1906); Chairman of Directors of Gawler Implement manufacturing Co; Committeeman of Gawler Agricultural Society; President of various cricket, football and tennis clubs; for several years Secretary of the Holdfast Bay Yacht Club and winner of many races with his yacht “Cooraka” including the 20 guinea Plympton Cup (perpetual) in 1884. A foot runner of merit in his early days he took part in various State events with considerable success.

In 1930 purchased the business of Alfred Sheard thus removing his business from the Pile Building to the Essex House Building in Murray Street, Gawler.

He was first elected to Parliament, a L.C.L. member for Barossa in 1917 serving continually until 1933 and again for 8 years from 1933. He was their Chairman of Committees in the House of Assembly.

In about 1941 his health was failing and in 1947 the business was formed into a Limited Company.

Mr Henry Burgess Crosby married on 15 April 1897 at Congregational Church, Glenelg to Gertrude Hooper, born 23 February 1871 Adelaide (parents – William Hooper and Elizabeth nee Way) Gertrude’s father, William, was a well-known businessman of Adelaide. There were four children born to the union.

Wilfred Alan CROSBY – 2 December 1898 at Kadina, died 28 July 1987 at Resthaven, Marion. He married 4 February 1923 at “Otalinti”, Kingswood to Vera Maude Vardon (1900 – 1982)

Elma Way CROSBY – 12 February 1901 at Kadina, died 23 Jan 1965 at North Adelaide, late of Collinswood, unmarried.

Eleanor Elizabeth CROSBY – 14 August 1906 at Gawler, died 29 September 1907 at Gawler.

Mary Burgess CROSBY – 15 December 1908 at Gawler, died 12 June 1987 at Mary Potter Hospice, North Adelaide

Death of Gertrude CROSBY – 6 June 1946 at Grove Street, Unley Park

Death of Henry Burgess CROSBY – 24 June 1949 at Grove Street, Unley Park

Both Henry and Gertrude are buried in the St Jude’s Anglican Cemetery, Brighton.

Research provided by the National Trust Gawler Branch Volunteers

Henry Burgess Crosby was elected as Gawler Councillor for North Ward in 1909 for one year.

Please <click here> to view photos of Henry Burgess.



  • “The Cyclopdia of South Australia”
  • Trove – Obituary
Ozone Theatre H B Crosby
Ozone Theatre H B Crosby
Murray Street 146 to 154
Murray Street 146 to 154
Murray Street 98 Crosbys
Murray Street 98 Crosbys
Gawler businesses 015
Gawler businesses 015
Crosby's Float 1939 Ivan and Dawn Noack in front
Crosby's Float 1939 Ivan and Dawn Noack in front
Gawler businesses 1940 006
Gawler businesses 1940 006

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