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Mallala General Store

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Fast Facts
Type of organisation: Business
Also known as: R.F. Williams
Street number: 1
Street name: Wasleys
Street suffix: Road
Town or locality: Mallala
Date established: 1870
Ceased operation: 1987
Established by: Phillip Laffer
Business or purpose: General retail store
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The General Store was built by Phillip Laffer in the 1870s. Mr Loffer was an early shopkeeper.

It was sold to Messrs Edward and Digby Denham, who later became a premier of Queensland, and was then managed by H. Warren until 1885.

From 1885, three generations of the Williams family owned or served in the business until 1970.

Robert Francis Williams arrived from Ireland in 1883 and proceeded almost immediately to Mallala's general store.

The Cyclopedia of South Australia quoted, `by strict attention to the principles of successful commercial dealing, he has built up a thriving trade . . .'

A retired man, he was a loyal Anglican church member for 22 years. His son, Samuel Williams, carried on the business, followed then by his son Beau.

A large and lovely needleworked tapestry of 'Our Lady and the Holy Infant' was executed by Mrs G. Clayton (nee Williams) to commemorate the golden wedding of her parents, Mr and Mrs S. C. Williams, and now graces the wall of St Peters Church, Mallala. Another memorial in this church is the beautiful reredos which is dedicated to the memory of Mr and Mrs R. F. Williams. Some residents would still recall Williams and Little's tenancy.

An employee, Mrs Harry Sowerby, then purchased the store.

Her son, Mr Barry Sowerby, took over the business in 1979, and built a supermarket on the site in 1987.

The original building was demolished and that area is now the car park.

The supermarket is still a thriving business.


  • Mallala Museum Research notes - Mallala Businesses
R.F.Williams - Mallala General Store
R.F.Williams - Mallala General Store
B & S Sowerby's Shop
B & S Sowerby's Shop

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