​Edith May LAVER

Also known as: née Parker

Special Achievements:

Edith May Parker married Jack Laver after World War I.  They later took up the Stuart Arms Hotel licence, and with their son Robert (Bob), travelled on the train from South Australia to Oodnadatta.  The trip from Adelaide to Stuart took several weeks as there were floods along the way.
At Oodnadatta, Edith refused to travel by camel to Stuart.  They purchased a buggy and horses for the rest of the trip.
The Stuart Arms was a rough outback pub, providing beer to the mainly male population.  It was a place where workers and drovers frequented when they came to town, sometimes having been ‘bush’ for more than a year.
Edith was not impressed with the hotel and set about to make it more habitable.  She had furniture made and supplied bed linen instead of only grey blankets.
As well as serving in the bar and looking after the horses and goats, Edith tended a successful vegatable garden.  She irrigated the garden with water from a well, using channels to divert the flow.  Picnics and race days were important social events for the small community of Stuart.

Additional Information:

Pioneer of Alice Springs and wife of Licensee of Stuart Arms Hotel when the township was named Stuart (1921).


  • Image - Mrs J. Laver, wife of the proprietor of Stuart Arms Hotel at Alice Springs.

    State Library of South Australia.

    This image has no known copyright restrictions.

  • Image - Mrs Laver, Bob Laver and Edith and Elsie Bohning

    Mrs Laver, Bob Laver and Edith and Elsie Bohning of Helen Springs Station in the steward’s box at the racetrack, which was near where the showgrounds are located today.

    from NPWHF Edith LAVER file

  • Image - Edith May Laver and Bob Laver near Emily Gap

    Photos courtesy Gaie Betts-Laver, Laver Collection

    from NPWHF Edith LAVER file

  • References

    (1984, July). Turning Back the Clock. SAM, 16.

    Isaacs, Jennifer. (2009). Pioneer Women of the Bush and Outback. Willoughby, NSW: Lansdowne Press, pp. 165-7.

    The Jesty Family Tree. "John Laver (1881-1940)".