Uleybury was named by Moses Bendle Garlick, a weaver who migrated from the village of Uley in Gloucestershire, England to South Australia in 1837 where he became one of twelve members who founded the first Baptist Church in South Australia in 1838. He would eventually become a Deacon of the Baptist Churches of Kermode Street and Lefevre Terrace.
Garlick who had fought against Napoleon found on his return to England that hand weaving had been replaced by machine made cloth and that he was out of a job. After arriving in South Australia with his family on the 457 ton Katherine Stuart Forbes on 17 October and moving to the Adelaide Hills, he took a liking to the area which reminded him of his native home and after settling named it Uleybury. Uley being after his home village and bury being the name used in Gloucestershire for a tree-covered plateau.
In 1851 John Parker Buttfield and his family also arrived at Uleybury. Born on 28 August 1822 at Maidenhead, England, Buttfield arrived in South Australia on board the Baboo in 1848 from the mission fields in British Honduras. During that voyage, his wife Anna Louisa, whom he had married on 25 October 1844, gave birth to their third child, named Spencer Carey, after his grandfather. The family soon made its way to the Adelaide Hills where Buttfield found work as a missionary at Gumeracha, where he became the first minister to receive a salary.
After some difference of opinion with that congregation, he became the driving force in the building of the Kenton Valley Baptist Church in 1849. Before its completion he had often held services in any hut available for that purpose. His next appointment was in 1851, at Uleybury, near present day Smithfield, where his brother Albert had a store. By this time the Buttfield family had expanded to six. During their stay at Uley, Buttfield became a large landowner and a pioneer for the church.
His pioneering work here not only included the building of the first Baptist Church outside Adelaide together with Moses Garlick at a cost of some £400, but also something of a completely different nature. On one occasion his congregation sent a petition to the Baptist Church in Adelaide, protesting that he had taken part in a cricket match at One Tree Hill, where another one of his brothers, Francis, was the local postmaster and storekeeper! He retained his love for the sport all his life,
Cricket or no cricket, Buttfield continued to work very hard for both the church and the school. By 1855 he had become Honorary Secretary of the Uleybury School Building Committee, and sold to the Committee an acre of his land on which the school was built. After a government grant of £150 plus money raised locally the school and three-roomed teacher residence was finally built at a cost of £400 and opened in August 1856. For nearly five years he was also the headmaster of the Uleybury school. A school inspector after a visit reported that "Owing to the care he displays, and the consequent progress of his pupils, Mr Buttfield is deservedly esteemed as a teacher in the neighbourhood".
During his time at Uley the Rev. Buttfield showed great geographic mobility, which no doubt was caused by the nature of his work. In his capacity as a Marriage Celebrant he married couples at the Uley Chapel but also made lengthy journeys. On 19 March 1857 he married James Watson and Priscilla Martin at Uleybury but on 25 April 1860 he was at Ardgour to perform the wedding ceremony between John Forbes, butcher of Smithfield and Margaret McLean.
On 1 May 1860 he was back at Uleybury to marry Wilmore Clayson and Christina McDougall. However, on 12 July he was on his way to Lower Light for a similar occasion. This time it was between Gilbert McLean and Ellen McGilton. In 1861 he travelled to the Gawler Hills to perform the wedding between John Alexander of Glasgow and Margaret Graham, at Yattlunge, the residence of the bride's father.
While still at Uley, the Minister's wife, Anna Louisa died on 1 July 1862, at the age of 36, after the birth of their eleventh child Percy Algeron. A year later the Buttfield family moved to Port Lincoln where the Rev. Buttfield was to take up his new appointment. Financially he was supported by G.F. Angas.
With both Chapel and school completed residents of Uleybury now made good use of the buildings. On 17 June 1857 an interesting and instructive lecture was given at the school by the Rev. JD Mudie of Salisbury which attracted some 160 people, including children. Its aim was to raise funds for the recently formed Institute.
The Institute had as its object the promotion of education among the adult and juvenile population of the neighbourhood by means of a circulating library and monthly lectures. During the meeting WJ Peterswald of Tyake was nominated President. Later he would also hold that position for the Victoria Hill Institute. Born in the West Indies in 1830 and educated in Scotland, William John Von Peterswald arrived in South Australia on the Charlotte Jane in May 1853 and commenced farming at Munno Para but without much success.
In 1862 he joined the police force. His fortunes improved substantially now and his wife was able to advertise for the services of a ‘Good Laundress, also a Nurse, who is a good Plain Needle woman’. After his stint as Warden of Goldfields he rejoined the police in 1874, eventually gaining the position of Commissioner of Police. Peterswald remained Commissioner until his death in August 1896.
On 2 July 1860 the annual public meeting was held at the Council room Uleybury to elect Councillors and Auditors for Munno Para East. About 30 residents turned up and after appointing JP Buttfield and W Kelly as scrutineers the election resulted in WJ Peterswald, EL Ifould and H McEwen being elected as Councillors and R Butler and J Hogarth as Auditors.
In February 1870 the school children had a little party when their teacher's daughter, Julia Elizabeth Montgomery Kelly married John Campbell at St Andrews Church on 15 February. Campbells had been living in and around Uleybury from the 1850s. In October 1859 Helen, J. and A. Campbell were among the prize winners at the annual examinations as were J. Hamlin, Jane Bowman, Mary MacDonald and J. Scram. In 1861 James Campbell had joined the Munno Para East Rifles while Jemima and Mary Campbell, who attended St George's School at nearby Gawler received prizes for their work on 13 December 1861.