Street Talk – Button Street, Mowbray

August 21, 2020 | MowbrayStreet & Suburb HistoryStreet Talk

Button Street has been stated to have been named after the first Mayor of the City of Launceston, Alderman William Stammers Button, who arrived in Launceston in 1833 and was very involved in many activities and organisations in the city.

However, it seems much more likely that the street was named after Henry Button (1829-1914) who built the large house, “Poimena”, which stands at the end of the street, overlooking Stephensons Bend of the Tamar River (“Poimena” is a Tasmanian Aboriginal word meaning “a little hill”).

Henry Button was also Mayor of Launceston in 1885. He had arrived in Launceston in 1837, his father and part of his family having arrived four years earlier. For a year he attended Revd Charles Price’s School in Tamar Street and the area which is now the City Park was the school’s playground. He became an apprentice printer and later a reporter to The Examiner and in 1887 he eventually became sole proprietor. Button gave a great party for the staff of The Examiner at his home on 12 March 1892 to celebrate the 50th Jubilee of the newspaper. In 1909 he published his book ‘Flotsam and Jetsam’ which is one of the important sources of information about life and people in Launceston in the latter part of the last century and the early years of this century.

In 1852 he married Emma Glover of “Patterdale”, granddaughter of the artist John Glover. They were both very devoted Christians, closely connected with the Congregational Church and for 30 years from 1866, Henty Button was Secretary of the northern Branch of its union.

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