William Jose (1819-1875) built in 1862 the heritage shop and house still standing at 26-28 Norfolk St, on the corner of Norfolk Lane.
He was born 7 June 1819 in Truro, and came to Fremantle on board the Anna Robertson, arriving 18 December 1851 in the RE 20th foot. Until his discharge in 1861 he worked as Instructing Warder at the Convict Establishment, meaning that he was in charge of prisoners working on roads and bridges (including the Causeway). He bought Town Lot 168 (26-28 Norfolk St) in 1862 and built a grocer's shop, warehouse and dwelling for his family, including five children. He died prematurely as a result of an accident which injured his spine, and his sons continued the business.
Hitchcock writes (88) that William Jose was one of the ratepayers who met at the Oddfellows Hall in William Street 27 February 1867 for the purpose of electing a chairman and councillors for the first Town Council. Jose was subsequently elected to the Council as one of the representatives from South Ward. That Council met for the first time at the Albert Hotel 10 March 1871.
Hitchcock, JK 1929, The History of Fremantle, The Front Gate of Australia 1829-1929, Fremantle City Council: 88.
Website for Royal Sappers and Miners in Western Australia: thanks to Diane Oldman for most of the information above.
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