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Photographs supplied by Roger Johnson

The statue commemorates industrialist James Martin (1821-1899) who was several times mayor of Gawler and a leading member and patron of most of the town`s organisations. The statue was originally located at the corner of Murray Street and Calton Road. A plaque detailing a brief history of James Martin was added to the statue in 1998.

Affectionately referred to as the "Father of Gawler", in 1848 he established the empire subsequently known as James Martin and Company Ltd which built railway locomotives, agricultural machinery and mining equipment and at one time had 700 employees.  Martin represented Barossa in the House of Assembly in 1865-68 and North-Eastern Province in the Legislative Council in 1885-99. His greatest parliamentary achievement was to secure the construction of the Barossa reservoir which supplied Gawler with water from 1902.

The contractor for the Martin statue, Mr. G. E. Morgan, of Adelaide, has completed the task of fixing the statue, and today it will be unveiled by Sir Samuel Way.  At a public meeting held at Gawler on January 15, 1900, it was decided that a memorial fund be established, and that the form of the memorial be decided by a plebiscite of the subscribers to the fund. Eventually it was resolved that a statue be erected, and Mr. Morgan's offer to do the work was accepted, the figure itself to be executed by an Italian sculptor.  Mr. T. H. Smeaton, of Adelaide, prepared the specifications gratuitously. The statue is situated at the corner of Murray-street and Calton-road, opposite the offices of Messrs. James Martin & Co.

The pedestal is 9 ft. high, making the total height 16 ft. The base (1 ft. 6 in.) of the pedestal is composed of South Australian granite, and the rest of Carrara marble, the whole resting upon a solid foundation of cement, 3 ft. in depth and 8 ft. square. The figure is in a standing position, with the right hand placed against the side. This was a frequent pose of the late Mr. Martin. The pedestal bears the inscription-"James Martin, 1821 -1899. A Public Tribute to His Worth." The iron fence which encircles the statue was presented by Messrs. James Martin and Co.
The Advertiser (Adelaide), 15 August 1903.


Address:Whitelaw Terrace , Gawler, 5118
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -34.599686
Long: 138.747724
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Statue
Monument Theme:People
Artist:Gustave Henri Marchetti
Monument Manufacturer:Mr G. E. Morgan


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Saturday 15th August, 1903
Front Inscription

James Martin
1821 - 1899

A public tribute to his worth.

Plaque :
James Martin
Born Stithians (Cornwall) 23rd April 1821
Died Gawler 27th December 1899

Affectionately referred to as "The Father of Gawler"

In 1848 established In Gawler the Empire subsequently known as James Martin & Company Ltd which built railway
locomotives, agricultural machinery and mining equipment at one time had 700 employees

Inaugural Alderman of Gawler Council 1857 and subsequently Mayor 1861 - 62 - 63 - 68 ; 1877 - 78 - 87

Member SA House of Assembly 1865 - 68
Member SA Legislative Council 1885-99

Statue unveiled 15th August 1903 by Sir Samuel Way, Chief Justice

A man of the people, proud of the opportunities in his adopted Gawler the Athens of the South

Source: MA,SAM,ADB
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au