William Alston Hutchinson was born on 26 March 1839 at Garigill, Cumberland, England, son of Thomas Hutchinson and Jane nee Phillipson. In 1861 he married Barbara Telena Steel at Newcastle. There were five daughters and three sons of the marriage. He died at Alston, Glebe Road on 20 June 1897, aged 58 years. Barbara Hutchinson died 5 May 1920.
Occupation & interests
Educated at Alston Grammar School, Garigill, Hutchinson arrived at Melbourne in 1857, and moved to Sydney in 1872 where he founded Alston Soap & Candle factory in Abattoir Road, Balmain in 1876. He developed a range of business interests and managing director of the Hetton Colliery. A great supporter of the building society movement, and a director of the NSW Institution for the deaf & Dumb & the Blind.He left an estate of 36,000 pounds sworn for probate purposes.
Hutchinson left a bequest in 1897 towards the building of Hutchinson Memorial School-Hall in Toxteth Road. Barbara Hutchinson laid its foundation on 11 June 1898; the hall was used in association with Toxteth Wesleyan Church, and for decades as a polling booth. Hutchinson was an alderman of Balmain Council from 1878 to 1883 and its mayor in 1881, and was MLA for Balmain 1882-85.
William Alston Hutchinson was MLA for Balmain from 1882 to 1885.
Local government service
Mayor Hutchinson in February 1895 reported ‘The year has been a very severe one, owing to the continued and ever-deepening depression….The bank has been pressing for payment of the overdraft, and creditors of the borough were as clamorous as they could be for the payment of their accounts so that the first four months of the yearr were beset with difficulty’.
Harry Harper, ‘Hutchinson, William Alston (1839–1897)’, Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/hutchinson-william-alston-3830/text6079, accessed 21 October 2013
Australian Men of Mark 1889. Charles F Maxwell, Sydney pp. 414-17
Australian Town and Country Journal, 24 September 1892 p. 24
Sydney Morning Herald, 14 February 1893, p. 2
Sydney Morning Herald, 12 February 1895, p. 6
Sydney Morning Herald, 21 June 1897, p. 5
Sydney Morning Herald, 13 June 1898, p. 3