Skip to main content


Community Libraries Local Family History Events John Harvey

People of Salisbury

John Harvey

John Harvey was born in 1820 in Caithness in Scotland. He immigrated to South Australia in 1839. John became involved in several occupations, including farming, being a publican, and delivering goods by horse and cart.

In 1847 John bought land in the Hundred of Yatala. After careful thought he decided to use section 2191 as the beginning of a settlement, which he named Salisbury. The first lots of land went on sale in June 1848.

John Harvey actively promoted Salisbury and the surrounding district. In later years John became a farmer, a Justice of the Peace, a Magistrate and a Member of Parliament.

Further reading: I called it Salisbury: A biography of John Harvey founder of Salisbury

Len Beadell

Len Beadell was born at West Pennant Hills, N.S.W. in 1923. He moved to Salisbury to work for the Government after World War II, and was responsible for surveying and selecting sites for:

  • Woomera Rocket Range 1947
  • Emu Atomic Test Site 1952
  • Maralinga Atomic Test Site 1953

Len achieved national recognition for his work in developing over 6,000 kilometres of roads through 2.5 million square kilometres of some of Australia's harshest deserts. One of the best known of these roads is The Gun Barrel Highway.

Further reading: Search our online catalogue for references to Len Beadell.

Dr. Ruby Claudia Emily Davy

Dr Ruby Claudia Emily Davy was born in Salisbury in 1883. She was the first female doctorate of Music in Australia (1918). Her memorabilia cabinet presented to her by the people of Salisbury, can be seen on the first floor of the Salisbury Community Hub.

Further reading: Ruby Davy, academic and artiste: a biography of Australia's first woman Doctor of Music

More notable residents

For more information on the these and other early Salisbury pioneers, visit the Local History Room at the Len Beadell Library or search our online catalogue.