Biographies of the Early Aldermen

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James W. Abigail

Alderman 1902-November 1907.

Alderman James Abigail was a grocer/butcher with a shop immediately adjoining Alderman Smith’s butchery in Albermarle Street. He lived in Denison Street in the 1860s.

It has not been confirmed, but this James W. Abigail may be the one who married Mary Ann following the Congregationalist faith, arrived in Sydney in 1860 and produced the controversial MP, Francis Abigail (1840-1921), the difficult James William Abigail who preceded him as a Newtown Alderman, and Melinda Abigail (born in 1866 and died in the 1880s).

This James W. Abigail lived at ‘Milenda House’ in Regent Street in the 1870s-80s.

James Abigail built a new shop in September 1880 and owned a terrace of 3 houses in Denison Street, between Kent and Albermarle or between Lennox and Fitzroy Streets that decade. He complained to Council of the “offensive matter which accumulates in the gutter fronting his premises” and of the “incomplete and filthy manner which the nightman had emptied his closet”.

He suggested the building of the Newtown markets in 1905. They were eventually built on Newman Street opposite the school to a design by Morrow and de Putron (the architects who in 1911 won a competition to redesign the Town Hall).

Alderman James Abigail died in office around 29th. October 1907.

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