Missionary and evangelist William Hugo came up with the idea of a bushmen's club after worrying about pastoralists visiting the city and "leaving their money on the counter till it was all spent" in the pubs and hotels.
He was supported by prominent South Australian pastoralists, including George Fife Angas and John Howard Angas. On 30 December 1868, the Bushmen's Club was set up to provide rural members with a reputable place to stay while in Adelaide.
The club purchased the former 1840s home of Judge Cooper for its new premises in 1869. The Whitmore Square property was carefully selected. Members were semi-isolated from the salacious activities in the many hotels and pubs located in places like Light Square.
Club membership grew, reaching 355 by May 1871. The two bluestone wings which you can see today were added in 1871-1872. In 1878, a two-storey house was built facing towards Gilbert Street.
The Salvation Army bought the club buildings and land in 1899. The Bushmen's Club's membership dwindled and it moved to a much smaller building at 83 Gover Street, North Adelaide.
The Salvation Army used the buildings as the Prison Gate Brigade Home until 1910. It demolished Judge Cooper's original home and built the William Booth Memorial Home in its place.
The 1878 two-storey house was also eventually demolished in 1979, leaving only the two original bluestone wings from the Bushmen's Club.