upload image

Williams, WA - History Tree

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Date: 1829 [unknown]
Location: Western Australiamap
Surnames/tags: Swan_River_Colony History Districts
This page has been accessed 58 times.

History of : Willams : Latitude 33° 01' S Longitude 116° 54' E

  • Frederick followed the pearl-fishing industry in Shark's Bay. [1] For five years from 1875 he worked in government service as a postmaster and telegraphist at Williams, a village south of Perth on the Albany road. On 18 October 1877 at Kojonup, he married Mary Jane Elizabeth Chipper, telegraphist and sister of mail-coach drivers; they had four sons and a daughter.
    Williams lacked a general store and trading post for kangaroo skins and sandalwood. In 1880 Frederick resigned (his successor being his brother Augustus William) and, with his brother Charles, launched at Williams the firm F. & C. Piesse. Next year a branch was opened at Arthur River, which Charles managed after he married Minnie Chipper, Frederick's sister-in-law.

The townsite of Williams is located in the great southern agricultural region, 160 km south east of Perth and 32 km west south west of Narrogin. Land in the vicinity of Williams was settled in the 1830's, but the area only slowly developed in the 1830's and 40's. In the early 1850's the arrival of convicts in WA resulted in the road from Kelmscott to Albany being developed, and a bridge built over the Williams River. An Inn was built near the bridge, and in 1869 a Police Station was built on the south side of the river.

As most of the land in the area was privately owned, settlers in the area petitioned the government in 1894 to purchase private land on the north side of the Williams River adjacent to the Albany Road Bridge to create a townsite. After negotiations 140 acres were purchased from Mr E Hamersley, survey of lots made, and the townsite of Williams gazetted in 1897. Although only costing 5 pounds per acre, attempts to recover the cost by selling blocks was unsuccessful, and the costs had to be reduced in 1899 before blocks would sell.

In 1902 farm land south of Williams was subdivided by the government and sold as Marjidin Estate. Portion of the land was reserved for government purposes, and when the route of the new Narrogin to Darkan railway was decided in 1905, a subdivisional scheme of 1/4 acre blocks was surveyed and in 1906 was gazetted as the townsite of Marjidin. The Williams railway station was in the townsite, and December 1906 the name of the station was altered to Marjidin. This action so upset the Williams community that 6 months later the name was changed back to Williams, and soon after the Marjidin townsite was renamed as an extension of Williams.

Williams derives its name from the Williams River which flows through the townsite. The river was discovered by the explorer Thomas Bannister in 1831, and first shown named on an 1833 map. It is believed named by Governor Stirling in 1832, most likely after King William IV who ascended the throne in 1831. The name has been shown on maps as William's River and William River.

People – LifeTree

Williams photos via mingor.net © 2011 |
Williams, Western Australia from Wikipedia®
The Williams Heritage Trail was established in 1988 - via District of Williams


  1. Merle Bignell, Piesse, Frederick Henry' (1853–1912), Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, published first in hardcopy 1988, accessed online 21 February 2021.

  • Login to edit this profile and add images.
  • Private Messages: Send a private message to the Profile Manager. (Best when privacy is an issue.)
  • Public Comments: Login to post. (Best for messages specifically directed to those editing this profile. Limit 20 per day.)

Leave a message for others who see this profile.
There are no comments yet.
Login to post a comment.