By Cathy Jones
43-45 Homebush Road is located on the original 1793 Thomas Rose land grant. This land came into the ownership of James R. Powell, a descendent of an original liberty Plains land grantee Edward Powell. Part of Powell’s land, fronting Homebush Road, was acquired by tobacco merchant George Todman, who built the mansion ‘Milroy’, With frontages on Albert Road and parts of Homebush Road.
Following Todman’s death in 1932, his estate was subdivided, creating the lots that houses 37, 39 and 41 are built upon. The gradual sale of land by Powell and later subdivision particularly the ‘Milroy’ estate is responsible for the inconsistent subdivision pattern, in terms of lot size and building styles, on this side of Homebush Road.
‘Tarry Hie-Hie’ at 43-44 Homebush Road was built by c.1880 by James Richard Powell (d.1890). The house has the appearance of an early Federation styled house, the house had been built earlier.
Powell is the grandson of Edward Powell, one of the original 1793 Liberty Plains settlers. ‘Terry Hie Hie’ is built on part of the 1793 Thomas Rose grant, which had been acquired by the Powell family. Members of the Powell family, including James Richard Powell, disputed the boundaries and administration of the Underwood Estate, resulting in the NSW Underwood Estate Act 1882 and Underwood Estate Distribution Bill 1878. The eventual result was the subdivision and sale of the ‘Underwood Estate’ commencing in 1878 with the ‘Village of Homebush’.
James R Powell was a signatory to the counter-petition to incorporate Strathfield Council in 1884 and recorded in the NSW Parliamentary Return of 1885 as the owner of 50 acres of land in Homebush. The southern boundary of his land appears to be Redmyre Road, where the Powell land meets the boundary of the Redmire Estate. Over time, Powell sold land from his estate, which parts of Albert Road, Oxford Road, Homebush Road and Redmyre Road [north-west] are now built. In 1886, Powell sold land to Strathfield Council to build the Council Chambers, cnr Homebush and Redmyre Roads.
Following Powell’s death in 1890, ownership passed to his widow, Emma and then to his children William Stanley Powell and his sisters Blanche and Elva Powell. Blanche and Elva Powell died in the early 1940’s and the property passed to William Stanley Powell. It was sold to Wilfred and Enid Wade, stud cattle breeders in mid-1940’s.
Commonwealth of Australia Electoral Rolls 1903, 1909 and 1915
Fletcher, B ‘Edward Powell’, Australian Dictionary of Biography 1788-1850, Pike, D [ed]., Melbourne Uni Press, pps 347-348, 1967
NSW Parliamentary Return of Landholders, 1885.
Proposed Municipal District of Strathfield Counter-Petition, NSW Government Gazette no.56, 1885
Parkinson, L., The Underwoods: Lock, Stock and Barrel, 1989
Strathfield Council Building Records
Strathfield Council Valuation Lists
Wise’s Post Office Directory