James Dyson was a convict who came to WA in 1841 after serving seven years in Tasmania. He was a representative of the West Ward of the city from 1867 until 1875, and was heavily involved in the council opening of the Perth Town Hall, which celebrates its 150th anniversary next year. He also supplied building materials such as bricks and timber for heritage buildings, including the Wesley Church in the city and the Quod prison on Rottnest Island. He sold timber kerbing to the Council when not being prosecuted by them for cutting trees on council land without a licence. Before the era of pensions and health insurance for workers, he was Chairman and Treasurer for early friendly societies such as The Sons of Australia Benefit Society and the International Order of Oddfellows.
James was the original owner of what is now Lake Jualbup in Shenton Park. It was known as Dyson's Swamp until he sold it to George Shenton, when it became known as Shenton Park Lake. James died on his son Joseph's property on the corner of William & Murray Streets, Perth, on 19 July 1888.
James's grave is in the heritage-listed Old East Perth Cemetery and the headstone is in poor condition. Some of the Dyson descendants are keen to have it restored, and the National Trust has quoted about $3,000 to restore the headstone, now lying on the ground, and another $3,000 to restore the original iron fence. See http://www.warpedtime.com.au/encyclopedia/grave-matters/
for more information about this project.
Dyson family historian Alan Thompson has compiled a comprehensive website about James Dyson and his descendants, and a basic family tree of those of his children who had families of their own. See http://bit.ly/dyson-genealogy
and from here explore more of James's story.
We are trying to contact descendants directly, but would appreciate any donation to help raise the funds for this project.