Mary Mayfield was the Mayoress of the City of Adelaide (sister of the Mayor) from 1907-1909.

Mary Emily Mayfield nee Johnson was born on  17 March 1861. Her Father was the Honourable Thomas Johnson who represented the district of West Torrens in the Legislative Assembly. Her siblings were Frank Johnson, born 27 April 1855, Frederick, born 7 October 1857, and Bertha Lockley, born 1864.

At the age of 21 she married Edwin Arthur Mayfield aged 31 years at the Wesleyan Church Archer Street North Adelaide on 9 March 1886. The couple had two children; Edwin Thomas who was born 15 May 1887 and died 4 December 1909 aged 22 years, and Mary Louisa born 13 March 1888.


Mary was the sister of Mayor Frank Johnson and as he was a bachelor, it was agreed that she would perform the duties usually associated with the Mayoress.

In 1917 she was appointed as a Justice of the Peace. She took an active part in the National Council of Women representing South Australia while she was abroad at a conference in Holland.

Personal Note

Her husband died on 2 April 1920 aged 65 years at Glenelg. Mary Emily died on 1 June 1926 aged 65 years at the home of her sister Mrs Craven of Strangways Terrace North Adelaide.

By Steven Page, HerStory Project

The HerStory project came about to recognise and celebrate the lives and the achievements of Women’s work in South Australia and was initiated in 2015 on the 175th anniversary of the City of Adelaide, by Genevieve Theseira-Haese, Lady Mayoress of Adelaide. The stories collected offer a unique perspective of Adelaide and South Australia that form a different history to what is often heard. This community built initiative is supported by the City of Adelaide and the History Trust of South Australia.

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