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National Trust of South Australia


Butterworth, Eli

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Fast Facts
Type of person Individual
Date of birth 1828
Place of birth Saddleworth, Yorkshire, England
Date of arrival 1840
Principal occupation Miller and farmer
Date of departure c. 1852
Date of death 1886
Place of decease Yankalilla

Eli (or Ely) Butterworth was born on 11 November 1828 at Saddleworth, Yorkshire, England. He was the third son of Joseph Butterworth (1802-1875) and his first wife, Alice (née Broadbent) (1803-1855). He was Anglican. Aged 12 years, Eli arrived in South Australia with his parents on 9 March 1840 aboard Baboo from Liverpool, England.

Eli, aged 24 years, married Sarah Clover Leonard (1832-1898), aged 20 years, at Holy Trinity Church, Adelaide on 23 December 1852. They had nine children:

  • Emma Alice (1853-1934) was born at Yankalilla and married her first husband, William Oliver (1849-1895) of Port Pirie, on 12 August 1874 at the residence of Eli Butterworth, Yankalilla. They had four children. Her second husband was Claude Johnson Samuel Shuttleworth (1848-1921) who she married on 20 May 1908 at St. Saviour’s Chruch Glen Osmond. Emma died at Brighton, SA.
  • Walter Joseph (1855-1939) was born at Willunga. He was a fitter and lived at Petersburg (Peterborough). He died in South Australia.
  • Alfred (1857- 1927) was born at Yankalilla. He was a bank clerk and lived in North Adelaide. Alfred died in South Australia.
  • Mary (1860-1904) was born at Yankalilla and married Claude Johnson Samuel Shuttleworth (1848-1921) on 10 March 1880 at Christ Church, Yankalilla. Claude later married Mary's older sister, Emma, in 1908. Mary died at Upper Kensington, SA.
  • Kate (1861-1939) was born at Yankalilla and married Sidney Wellington Herbert (1852-1933) on 6 January 1886 at Christ Church, Yankalilla. She died in South Australia.
  • William (1861-1912) was born at Yankalilla and died in South Australia.
  • Ellen (1867-1944) was born at Yankalilla and married James Stapleton Crabb (1859-1933) on 7 May 1890 at the Wesleyan Parsonage, Crystal Brook, SA. They had three children. Ellen died at Rockdale, NSW.
  • Jane (1868-1868) was born and died at Yankalilla. She is buried in Yankalilla Public Cemetery.
  • Frederick Broadbent (1871-1959) was born at Yankalilla and married Grace Bryant (1874-1954) on 17 December 1896 at Christ Church, Kapunda. They had one daughter. Frederick was a locomotive fireman. The family lived at Glenelg and Murray Bridge. Frederick died in South Australia.

From the early 1850s, Eli Butterworth and his family lived at Yankalilla where he was a farmer. With his brother John. Eli erected a flourmill at Yankalilla in 1854 and, by the late 1860s, this was one of three flourmills in the district. It operated at least into the late 1880s. This flourmill was later used as a bark-processing mill but was destroyed in a fire in 1910. Eli was active in the community, being elected as one of the auditors for the Yankalilla District Council elections in 1859 and, in 1860, elected to the Council. At the time of his death in 1886, he owned and lived at Bungala House, situated on 100 acres of section 1171 and part of section 1168. He also owned the Aberdeen Flour Mill at Burra which was built in 1874. Both flourmills, Bungala House and the residence of John Butterworth at Normanville were all sold at auction after the death of Eli Butterworth.

Eli Butterworth, aged 58 years, died at Yankalilla on 12 May 1886 and is buried in the Yankalilla Public Cemetery.


  • Passengers in History Database – South Australian Maritime Museum
  • South Australian Births – Index of Registrations 1842-1906
  • South Australian Marriages – Index of Registrations 1842-1937
  • South Australian Deaths – Index of Registrations 1842-1972
  • SA Census 1841
  • South Australian Register 11 July 1859:3
  • South Australian Advertiser 6 July 1860:3
  • South Australian Advertiser 15 Aug 1874:2
  • Adelaide Observer 12 June 1886:23

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