William Robert Burton was born in Norwood South Australia in 1866. He arrived in Esperance in 1895 to open an office for Harold Brothers of Adelaide.

On 11th December 1896, William Burton was elected Mayor of Esperance and served again in 1897. He was committed to advocating for the railway line to Esperance Bay. From 1896 – 98 he served as a Justice of the peace. He was Manager for George Wills & Co, at Lot 64 Hicks Street but due to the decline of the town the business closed.

During the 1896 Esperance Sports Week, there were two teams of cricketers, Esperance and Norseman, William Burton was an Esperance team member. The Esperance Cricket Association was formed in 1896.

During the years 1897/8, Robert Burton was a member on the Esperance Bay Turf Club committee. William Burton left Esperance after it was declared that there would be no railway line for Esperance.

Reverend Alfred Burton

The reverend Alfred Burton and committee members Thrukle and J.R.Sinclair helped organize the arrangements for the Church of England to hold the Aboriginal Sports Day, on the 2nd June 1897. The day’s events included a ‘Corroboree’ in which the public was invited. The Aboriginal Sports day the following year was held on the Queen’s birthday holiday 24th May 1898, clothes and blankets were donated by parishioners for the Aboriginals.


William Burton

Group Left to right: S.B.Castine, F.J. Daw, J.R. Sinclair, W.W. Goodhart, J.R. Rushton, Bishop Owen
Leaver Riley, Rev. Alfred Burton Minister Church of England Church Esperance.
Photographer ex J. Rushton Courtesy P, Rushton


On the 5th July 1896, Reverend Burton married Mr Hales and Miss Poole at a ceremony held at 8.30 a.m., Mr Stewart was the best man and Miss Gibson was the bridesmaid.

Esperance Times 7th October 1896
A report of the death of Reverend A. Burton’s 17 month old daughter, Eva Rosalind, was reported.



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