Thomas Whistler was one of 15 land holders in Unley in the late 1830s and is credited with giving Unley its name.
On 19 February, 1839, Thomas Whistler, a colonial agent of Fenchurch Street, London, was issued land orders by the colonisation commissioners for three town acres in Adelaide and three country sections each consisting 134 acres which became known as Unley and Unley Park.
On 4 April, 1840, Whistler boarded the ship the Fairliee and set sale for life as a gentleman farmer and land speculator. After spending a short time living in Adelaide and Mitcham, Whistler settled in a two roomed wooden cottage on Section 236 which was located on the bank of Brownhill Creek. This area is now called Heywood Park.
Whistler's first recorded land sale was to the Chigwedden brothers, Charles and Alexander, who purchased allotments 67 and 68 on Arthur Street in the Village of Unley.
In 1855 Thomas Whistler wishing to return to England sold 'slips, pieces or parcels of land situate in and forming the roads and streets of Unley' to the Mitcham District Council for five pounds an amount he believed to be 'well below the actual value of the land in question'.