Withers Arthur Ernest

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Fast Facts
Type of person Individual

Principal occupation Shoeing smith
Date of death 1901
Place of decease Gawler

WITHERS Arthur Ernest

A shoeing smith operating on premises located on allotments Part 195 and Part 196 Murray Street, Gawler opposite the Bunyip office. The business, founded by his father, Thomas Edward Withers, was handed on to him in 1900.

Thomas Edward Withers arrived in Gawler in 1866 and for a short time was employed by Messrs Swann & Ivett before going into business on his own account.

Thomas Edward Withers married Julia Summerton in 1871 at her parent’s residence, John Edward and Emily Summerton nee Richardson, Gawler Hills. His occupation was blacksmith, farrier, and gardener. They had 8 children Arthur Ernest 1872, Myra Rhoda 1875, Elsie Annie Helen 1877, Harriet Mary Olive 1879, Florence Amy Myrtle 1881, Hilda Sylvia 1884, Howard Henry Hermon 1886, and Sydney Bertram 1889 all born Gawler and married into local families.

Thomas purchased the allotment part 195 and part 196 from the National Bank (Title V242 P246) in 1892 which was then transferred to Arthur Ernest Withers in 1907. In the Rates Assessment for 1889 Part 195 is listed as shop & residence and part lot 196 as shop & land.

Thomas passed away at Gawler, 1901 and his wife Julia at Gawler, 1936 and both were laid to rest in the St George’s Cemetery, Gawler East.

In 1900 – 7 Blacksmith’s were operating in Gawler – Mr A Stewart, adjacent to the Old Bushman yards; Mr A Withers, opposite the Bunyip Office; Mr August Linke, in the Exchange Hotel yard; Mr G E Skurray, in the Globe Hotel yard; Mr John Bugg, at the rear of the Gawler Arms Hotel; Mr W W Butcher opposite the Baptist Church; and Mr G H Lee near the Victoria Hotel, Willaston.

Arthur Ernest Withers was born at Gawler South in 1872. He married on 13 May 1896 at the residence of the bride’s sister (Mrs F Summerton), Gawler South to Miss Alice Davies born 1874 at Gawler South to John and Louisa Davies nee Teague. There were two sons, Albert Clement “Clem” 1896 and Harry Graham 1905.

Arthur continued to run the forge at Murray Street until 1926 when they removed to Jacob Street. In 1927 A & A Withers made pleasing additions to the architecture of Murray Street utilising their full frontage into three attractive up-dated shops. The manufacture of “Snowflake” ice cream and a Glanfield cool room is built in the premises, and together with the confectionery and cool drinks there has been a fruit section introduced. (A comprehensive article can be read in the Bunyip, Friday 28 January 1927 on page 6)

Snippets from the Bunyip

1902 – Mrs A Withers has a confectionery shop opposite the Bunyip Office.

1904 – Gawler Corporation – Mr Withers seeks permission to lay a pipe drain under the footway from his premises in Murray Street – Granted. (Bunyip, Friday December 30, page 4 “Gawler Corporation”

1908 – The Gawler Male Voice Choir will give an open-air concert from Mr Withers balcony. (Bunyip, Friday, November 13 page 4 “Local Mems)

1909 – Skating Carnival – Judges selected Mr Arthur Withers and Miss D Withers as the best pair of skaters. (Bunyip, Friday October 29, page 2)

1910 – The continuation of the balcony to Mr A E Withers establishment is an improvement in Murray Street. (Bunyip, Friday January 7, page 4 “Wanted to Know”)

1914 – Successful Euchre tournament held in Mrs Withers Fountain Rooms in aid of St George’s Tennis Club. (Bunyip, Friday July 31, page 2 “Social and Personal Items”)

1915 – Alaska ice cream is obtainable from Mrs A Withers soda fountain & cool drinks café, Murray Street opposite the Bunyip Office. (Bunyip, Friday December 24 page 3 “Advertising”)

1916 – Red Cross fete – Ice cream & cool drinks stall manned by Mesdames Rebbeck and Withers, Mr A Withers and Master D & K Martin. (Bunyip, Friday December 15 page 2 “Red Cross Society”)

1917 – Mr A E Withers scored first honours with his pony “Max” in the class 12.1 hands in saddle and second award with the same pony in harness at the Adelaide show. (Bunyip, Friday September 14 page 4 “Local Mems”)

1923 – Mrs A Withers on St George’s Tennis Club committee. (Bunyip, Friday, October 5 page 2 “St Georges Tennis Club)

1931 – Public Notice – 18 December, Arthur Ernest disposed of the business in Jacob Street on account of ill-health to Charles A Cullen (Brother-in-law). (Bunyip, Friday, December 18 page 3 “Advertising”)

1932 – Obituary (Bunyip, Friday 1 April, page 3)

1948 – Charles A Cullen a blacksmith of 52 years commenced his employ on 20 April 1896 at the late Thomas E Withers forge and then with the late Arthur E Withers, for 42 years he shod J J Doyle’s racehorses. (Bunyip, Friday, April 23 page 1 “52 Years a Blacksmith”)

Mr Arthur Ernest Withers was a member of the St George’s choir for more than 30 years, he also belonged to the St George’s Literary Society. He was available to sing at many and varied functions in Gawler over the years. Arthur was a regular exhibitor at the Gawler Show.

Arthur was laid to rest in the St George’s Cemetery, Gawler East.

His wife, Alice, remarried in 1934 to Albert Edward Ellis Gilbert.

Researched and written by the volunteers of the Gawler National Trust Museum, 59 Murray Street.

Please [<https://www.flickr.com/photos/gawler_history/albums/72177720301992500 click here>] to view a photo of Arthur Withers.



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