The completion of the railway to Sandgate in 1882 brought great changes to the Nudgee District. Nudgee Railway Station opened on 11 May 1882 and a township soon developed in the streets leading from the station up to Nudgee Cemetery (opened 1867) on St Vincents Road. St Vincents Road ended at St Vincents Orphanage, which had opened in 1869. The area downhill from where St Vincents Road met Tufnell Road and crossed the rail line then became known as Clapham Junction. From 1884, some of the original large land portions were subdivided into housing or small farm estates in order to attract more residents to the area. Clapham Estate, the Toombul and Gympie Junction Estate and Croydon Estate offered blocks for sale on the northern side of the rail line. As a result a small township developed around Royal Parade and Tufnell Road, but the area remained largely a farming district that produced crops of oats, corn, grapes and pineapples.
On 23 November 1888, the Federal Building Land and Investment Society Limited acquired Dickson’s land. This investment business held the land until 29 January 1909 when Charles Richard White took control of Portions 211 and 212. White was a member of a long-established family of fruit growers within the Nudgee District. It is thought that Charles White built the residence at 58 Meredith Street in 1909 soon after he purchased the land, which was added to the family’s fruit farm that was centred around Red Hill Road.
When a railway station was finally built at Clapham Junction in 1912, the area was renamed Banyo, an Aboriginal word for ridge. During World War One, the fruit growers in Banyo benefited from government demands to provide fruit for the canneries that were supplying the troops. After the war, a number of soldier settlements were established in Brisbane’s outer suburbs in order to expand the population of these areas and to provide the soldiers and their families with a healthy semi-rural environment.
In 1918, Charles White subdivided Portions 211 and 212 for the purposes of selling the land as housing allotments. The new subdivisions 235 and 236 contained White’s home. His land sale was popular as Charles White sold the blocks to 12 different buyers, including the War Service Homes Commissioner before his death on 17 August 1927. One of the last buyers was the Federal Deposit Bank Limited. The company bought all 28 subdivisions in the block between Meredith and Paradise Street on 16 November 1920. This purchase included White’s residence and at that time these new streets remained unnamed.
The Federal Deposit Bank began marketing these house blocks as an attractive place to build a home. The streets were given names with Meredith Street initially being known as Margaret Street. The marketing would have been similar to that used for the Robinson’s Paddock Estate that created Walton and Bungunya Streets in 1928. This estate lauded Banyo’s proximity to the beaches of Sandgate, Cribb Island and Nudgee Beach and that the streets were “handy to Station, Schools, Churches and Stores” with “One of the Best Suburban Train Services in Brisbane”. The White Farmhouse in Margaret Street would have had a similar spiel attached to it when the Federal Deposit Bank placed it on the market in 1920. The bank also reduced the size of the block for sale when it split subdivision 236 into two allotments – resubdivisions 1 and 2. Thus the White Farmhouse was to be sold as a standard 32 perch residential block.
On 24 April 1925, Leslie Downey and his wife Doris Downey bought the two subdivisions containing the farmhouse. While they mortgaged the property in 1926, the Downeys did not reside at the farmhouse for long. For on 6 March 1929, they passed the property to William Andrew Cochin Watts. Watts paid for his purchase through a loan obtained on the date of sale from the National Bank. By 1946, there were only 13 scattered houses had been built along both sides of Margaret Street with Watts living in the last house in the street.
William Watts continued to live at the former farmhouse until 3 December 1948 when the property passed to a relative, Victor Hamilton Jolliffe Watts. Victor Watts had little interest in the old house as he sold it to Charles Richard White on 28 July 1950. It is possible that Charles White was related the house’s first owner or may have been that same person. During the interwar period it is known that Charles White lived not far from his farmhouse in Margaret Street. In Pioneers, Picnic and Pineapples it is recorded that “In Tufnell Road, on the corner with Earnshaw, … Tom White’s brother used to live in a shed and grow stone fruit – peaches, nectarines, china flat peaches.” Perhaps in his later years, Charles White decided to return to the home that he had built.
By 1954, Margaret Street had changed its name to Meredith Street. On 1 September 1961 Charles White provided the finance for new owners, Herbert and Jean Galway.