Passing of the Pioneers

Robert Laidlaw becomes the fifth member of the Laidlaw family included in the Pioneer Obituary Index.  Others this month include a man who left Portland at an early age but often returned for a visit and another who lived at beautiful Bridgewater all of his life.  And why not?

Lindsay CLARKE – Died 16 October 1891 at Portland.  Lindsay Clarke was born in Ireland in 1818 and at the age of sixteen began training as a surveyor.  He arrived in Sydney some time after 1845 and Portland in 1848.  Lindsay’s role in Portland was Assistant Government Surveyor.  By 1851, he had done much surveying around Portland and further north.

"PORTLAND BAY." The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas. : 1835 - 1880) 15 Jan 1851: 26. .

“PORTLAND BAY.” The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas. : 1835 – 1880) 15 Jan 1851: 26. <;.

Lindsay was promoted to District Surveyor for Portland, Hamilton and Ararat and spent some time residing in Ararat.  In 1873, Lindsay moved to Hamilton after the closure of the Lands Office there, and he remained there for six years until his retirement in 1879.

Lindsay Clarke was on the committee of the Portland Benevolent Asylum and Hospital and was in the role of President for ten consecutive years.  He was also a member of the Portland Borough Council and declined the Mayoral role when it was offered to him.  Another roll, was Justice of the Peace acting as Bailiff for the Western area.  He would attend Portland Court (below) every court day to fulfill his role as bailiff.


PORTLAND COURT HOUSE. Image courtesy of the J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria.

PORTLAND COURT HOUSE. Image courtesy of the J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria.

Lindsay was also Superintendent of the Sabbath School at the Church of England, a member of the Bowling Club; and Horticulture Society.

Mary MARSDEN – Died 9 October 1909 at Cobden.  Mary Marsden was born around 1833 and arrived in Victoria in 1854, living in Ballarat for around thirty years. Around 1887, she and her husband Roger Hirst settled in the Timboon district.  In her last years, Mary and Roger moved to Cobden where Mary died in 1909.

Robert LAIDLAW – Died 28 October 1914 at Beulah.  Born in Scotland in 1831, Robert Laidlaw arrived at Portland in 1851.  He spent time around the diggings before purchasing Lake Roy station near Naracoorte, South Australia.  He sold that property during the 1880s and retired to Geelong.  Two of Robert’s brothers, Thomas and Walter, have been Passing Pioneers in the past.

Richard BARNES – Died October 1915 at Hamilton.  Richard Barnes was born in South Australia around 1852.  He arrived in Penshurst as a child and remained there throughout his life.   Richard was well-known around Penshurst  through his community activities.  He was a founding member of the Penshurst P&A Society, a trustee of the racecourse and the recreation reserve. For six years he was  a Councillor with the Mt Rouse Shire (offices below)

PENSHURST SHIRE HALL. Image courtesy of the J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria.

PENSHURST SHIRE HALL. Image courtesy of the J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria.

Richard was also known as the “father” of the Penshurst Boxing Day Racing Club and was President of the club for fifteen years.

James Frederick HILL – Died October 1935 at Essendon.  James Hill was born in Portland in 1852 where his father was Principal of one of Portland’s National Schools.  As a young man James left Portland and obtained a job with the Chief Secretary’s Department.  Despite leaving Portland, he was a regular back to the town of his birth and was well-known by all.

Henry William OSBORNE – Died 20 October 1936 at Malvern.  Henry Osborne was born in 1865 near Amhurst in Central Victoria.  After a couple of newspaper jobs, Henry moved to Warrnambool working as a junior reporter for the Warrnambool Standard in 1886.  He was appointed Shire of Warrnambool secretary in 1898 and held that role for six years before resigning to take up the roll of General Manager of the Western District Co-operative and Insurance Ltd.  The company grew under the Henry’s management and his job also took him overseas.  In 1920, the Federal Government sent him overseas to negotiate the sale of Australia’s surplus butter.  He was selected to advise the Australian delegation at the Ottawa conference in 1932 and was a member of the Australian Dairy Producers’ Board.   There is an entry for Henry Osborne in the Australian Dictionary of Biography

John James KENNEDY – Died 20 October 1939 at Bridgewater.  The Kennedy family were early settlers at Bridgewater and John Kennedy spent his childhood days roaming the hills surrounding Bridgewater Bay and running on the sandy beach.

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John was born at Bridgewater around 1861 to James Kennedy and Margaret Lennan, and he lived there, following farming pursuits, for his entire seventy-eight years.  In 1939, three family members died at the Kennedy homestead on Blowholes Road overlooking the bay.  Along with John on 20 October, his brother Daniel died on 8 April and an aunt, Frances Ann Kennedy on 21 November.  More information about the Kennedy family and their homestead, now in ruins, is available on the link – Kennedy Family Bridgewater




Passing of the Pioneers

A small group of Western District pioneers join Passing of the Pioneers this month.  Among them are immigrants from Scotland, England and Canada and, as usual, each have an interesting story. Their names have now been added to the Western District Families Pioneer Obituary Index.

Peter DALLIMORE – Died September 1901 at Warrnambool.  Peter Dallimore was born in New Brunswick, Canada around 1842.  His father Captain Joseph Dallimore was born at the Isle of Wight in 1805.  He went to North America and married Mary Smith of Philadelphia.  The settled at St. Andrews in Charlotte county, New Brunswick, Canada where Peter was born in 1842.  In 1850, Mary Smith died.  Peter arrived in Australia and  went to the Warrnambool district in the late 1860s.  He married Marianne Meek on 15 March 1870 at St. James Cathedral in Melbourne.

"Family Notices." The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) 19 Mar 1870: .

“Family Notices.” The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957) 19 Mar 1870: <;.

Peter set up a wool-scouring business on the banks of Lake Gillear near Allansford.


 "[No heading]." Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 - 1873; 1914 - 1918) 21 Dec 1870: 1. .

“[No heading].” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1873; 1914 – 1918) 21 Dec 1870: 1. <;.

In 1876, father  Joseph Dallimore arrived to Victoria aboard the Macduff.  He died at Warrnambool in 1878 and was buried at the Warrnambool Cemetery.

In the 1884, when journalist The Vagabond was touring Victoria, he called in on Peter Dallimore.  I  feel that he  may have crossed his wires, thinking Peter was a “native of the Old Dominian”…Virginia.  Peter was from Charlotte County in New Brunswick in Canada.  There is also a Charlotte County and a Brunswick in Virginia and no doubt Peter had a North American accent further confusing The Vagabond.

"PICTURESQUE VICTORIA." The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 - 1946) 10 Jan 1885: 43. .

“PICTURESQUE VICTORIA.” The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 – 1946) 10 Jan 1885: 43. <;.

Peter Dallimore was buried in the Warrnambool Cemetery with his father and wife.  I have the Cemeteries of the S.W. USB that includes the Warrnambool Cemetery and a photo of the Dallimore headstone.  It is very informative and includes a memorial to Peter’s mother and all dates and places of birth.

George MARRINER – Died 7 September 1911 at Colac.  George Marriner was born in Fulham, London around 1833 and arrived in Australia around 1857. George was a nurseryman and established the Fulham Nursery in Colac.  He was also a founding member of the Colac I.O.O.F. In 1908, George’s wife Elizabeth was sitting by the fire in their home when her clothing caught alight.  George, in his mid-seventies, returned to the room and tried to douse the flames but to no avail.  Elizabeth died from her burns.  At the time of George’s death he had three sons and a daughter.

Thomas STAINSBY – Died 26 September 1914 at Warrnambool.  Thomas Stainsby was born in Melbourne in 1848.  He went to Warrnambool and worked as a bootmaker and lived on Raglan Parade.  Thomas took a keen interest in all sports in Warrnambool but cycling and pedestrianism where his preferred sports and was a handicapper for both.  He was also a sergeant in the Volunteer Militia and was involved with the Church of England men’s society.  Thomas had a shop in Fairy Street, Warrnambool and rode his bike each day from his home in Raglan Parade.  On the morning of his death, he rode to work as usual but on his return home around lunchtime, he collapsed off the bike and died soon after.  As two of Thomas’ sons were members of the Warrnambool Brass Band, the band did not play at the Saturday afternoon football or the evening pictures on the day of Thomas’ death.

Ellen MAY – Died 27 September 1914 at Ecklin South.  Ellen May was born in Berkshire in 1834.   She arrived in Australia in 1857 aboard the Sir William Fyre and in 1860 she married George Rodgers at Ballarat.  Their first child was born at Smythesdale in 1861.  During the early years of their marriage, George tried gold mining around the Haddon area and operated a grocers at Speciman Hill.  Eventually, they selected land in the Heytesbury forest, near Cobden and named their property Sunny Banks.  Ellen and George had seven children and one of those, Ellen Matilda Rodgers married my 1st cousin 4 x removed, Arthur John Harman, in 1891.  Arthur was a son of Jonathan Harman.

John Hutchinson MURRAY – Died 23 September 1935 at Glenthompson.  John Murray was born at Brighton in 1873 to William Murray and Harriett Hutchinson.  William Murray was the owner of Brie Brie near Glenthompson and had resided there since 1869, breeding fine Merino sheep.  When John was twenty-two, he built a golf course at Brie Brie, after playing the game in Scotland. It was one of the first private golf courses in Victoria.

John Murray was also a keen student of Australian History and had many books on the subject.  He was also interested in the history of Brie Brie with Sir Thomas Mitchell having passed over the same land while exploring Western Victoria in 1836.  In 1909, when that part of Brie Brie was sold off, John removed a tree that one of  Mitchell’s party had marked.  He was concerned bushfires would eventually destroy the tree and history would be lost.  He donated the trunk to the town of Hamilton as a public memorial.  The trunk was positioned in the Hamilton Botanic Gardens with a pair of whale bones.  The display was removed in 1984.  John was buried on the private cemetery at Brie Brie along with his parents and other owners of the property.  More about the Major Mitchell tree trunk is on the following links:

James Patrick DEVLIN – Died 4 September 1942 at Portland.  James Devlin was born at Cape Bridgewater in 1858.  He first worked for John Thomas Edgar at Kadnook near Harrow, then moved to Edgar’s station Thackaringa near Broken Hill.  At Broken Hill, James caught the mining bug and prospected first at Broken Hill and then Kalgoorlie where he spent thirty years.  He was manager of several different mining ventures while in Kalgoorlie.  James was also associated with Sir Sidney Kidman, possibly during their time in Broken Hill, and was good friends with Thomas Browne aka Rolf Boldrewood, author of “Robbery Under Arms”.  In 1891, James married a Portland girl Kate Duffy and they had two children.  In 1908, James returned to Portland residing in a property at North Portland until his death.

Jane KIRKWOOD – Died 2 September 1944 at Hamilton.  Jane Kirkwood was born at Hamilton in 1856, the daughter of  Scottish immigrants, William Kirkwood and Jane O’May.  The Kirkwoods lived at Buckley Swamp.  In 1885, Jane married William Chadderton and they settled at Glencoe near Bochara.  William was a renown breeder of Jersey cattle.  After William’s death in 1916, Jane moved into Hamilton to live until her death in 1944.  She was buried at the Hamilton Old Cemetery.





Jessie Cairns SPALDING – Died 25 September 1944 at Cobden.  Jessie Spalding was born in Scotland in 1861.  As a baby, she travelled with her parents to Australia, arriving at Geelong.  They then went on to the Ballarat diggings.  From her time at Ballarat, Jessie recalled the visit from the Duke of Edinburgh in 1867 as depicted in the engraving below.

Samuel Calvert, engraver. Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria.

Samuel Calvert, engraver. Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria.

When Jessie was eighteen, she moved to Camperdown where she met Thomas Fletcher.  They married and raised a family of ten children.  One son was killed fighting during WW1.  At the time of her death, Jessie had thirty-five grandchildren and forty great-grandchildren.

Passing of the Pioneers

August Passing of the Pioneers includes a member of the Victorian Parliament, a publican, and a school principal.  All of this month’s pioneers are now on the Western District Families Pioneer Obituary Index.

Robert HEANEY – Died 20 August, 1890 at Melbourne. Robert Heaney was born in Ireland around 1836.  He married Jane Armstrong and soon after they departed for Australia. The Heaneys arrived on the General Hewitt at Portland Harbour on 9 October 1856.  They spent the first ten years in Victoria at Heywood before moving to Condah Swap, later known as Wallacedale.

Mary Ann COUGHLAN – Died August 1917 at Caramut. Margaret Coughlan was born around 1833 and arrived at Portland on 21 January 1848 aboard the Sir Edward Parry with her siblings to meet up with their parents Jonathan Gordon Coughlan and Jane Richmond who settled in that town.  After some years, during a trip to Caramut, she met John Bendall and they married in 1864.  John was the manager of Hopkins Hill and The Gums, near Caramut for John Moffatt.  After the sale of The Gums, John Bendall operated a store and post office in Caramut until his death in 1887.  Mary Ann remained living at Caramut and was eighty-four at the time of her death.  She left two sons and two daughters.

John THOMSON – Died 3 August 1917 at Melbourne.  John Thomson was born at Warrambine Station near Shelford in 1853.  His parents were James Thomson and Christian Armstrong.  In 1870,  James Thomson purchased Monivae near Hamilton from the deceased estate of former Police Magistrate Acheson Ffrench.  The family resided in the original homestead built for Acheson Ffrench but a new homestead was completed in 1877.

MONIVAE 1966. Image Couresy of the J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria. Image no. H97.250/44

MONIVAE 1966. Image Couresy of the J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria. Image no. H97.250/44

John attended Scotch College in Melbourne where he was one of the college’s finest athletes.  After he completed his schooling, John returned to Monivae. Soon after he entered public life, first as a Dundas Shire Councillor.  In 1892 he contested the seat of Dundas in the Victorian State Parliament.  He held the seat from 1892 to 1900 and from 1902 to 1914.  At the age of fifty-six, in 1909 John married Christina Robertson.

Aside from his political life, John was on the management committee of the St Andrews Presbyterian Church and member and onetime president of the Hamilton Racing Club.  He was also a supporter of many of Hamilton’s community and sporting groups, including the P&A Society, the Hamilton Pipe Band and the fire brigade.  John Thomson was attending a public school football match in Melbourne on 3 August 1917, when he died suddenly.  He was buried at the Hamilton Old Cemetery.

In 1919, a fountain was unveiled in the Hamilton Botanic Gardens by the then Victorian Premier, Harry Lawson in memory of John Thomson




William DERHAM – Died 16 August 1918 at Port Fairy.  William Derharm was born in County Tyrone, Ireland and arrived in Victoria around 1863.  He first worked at Korongah Station at Rosebrook for Messers Lydiard and Knight. He then turned to onion growing and resided at Korongah Lodge. William left four daughters and two sons.

Robert FRASER – Died 4 August 1918 at Strathkellar.  Robert Fraser was born in Scotland in 1841 and arrived in Adelaide in 1854 on the Joseph Rowan with his parents Archibald and Helen Fraser and his four sisters.  They soon headed for Victoria and resided at Bochara.  In 1865, Robert married Jane Mason and they settled and farmed at Muddy Creek.  Robert died at the home of his daughter at Strathkellar and was buried at the Hamilton Old Cemetery.  Jane died only a few weeks before.

Francis Hazel WRIGHT – Died 18 August 1918 at Hamilton. Francis Wright was born at Broadwater around 1865.  He took up the running of the Grange Hotel (later called George Hotel) in Hamilton around 1914. He was involved with many Hamilton sporting clubs and the gun club.  For thirty years he was part of the Victorian Land’s Department rabbit extirpation branch and served as an inspector for the last five years of his life.  Three weeks before his death, Frank broke his kneecap while climbing into his buggy.  He then contracted pneumonia and died.

Christina Ross LINTON – Died August 1926 at Hamilton.  Born at Inverness, Scotland in 1848, Christina came to Victoria with her parents William Linton and Jean Sinclair and her younger brother John around 1851 aboard the Statesman.  William gave his occupation as shepherd.  In 1868, Christina married Thomas Laidlaw at Wickliffe.  Christina and Thomas moved around between properties, Thomas had interests in and their first stop was Lake Roy in South Australia.  They also lived at Glenburnie, Macarthur, South Wonwondah Station and finally Glencairn just south of Hamilton.

Christina was buried in the Laidlaw family plot at the Hamilton Old Cemetery.




Rose Hannah HANN – Died 18 August 1935 at Portland.  Rose Hann was born in Somersetshire in 1850 to Paul Hann and Asenath Pitman.  The family arrived at Melbourne in 1852 aboard the Priam and stayed in the area for a time, before travelling to Portland to settle.  Around 1871, Rose married John Marshall.  Early in their marriage, they spent some time at the Bendigo diggings but most of their lives, Rose and John lived at Portland.  They raised a family of eleven  children.

Clara Jex EDRICH – Died August 1937 at Portland.  Clara Edrich was born at Portland in 1855 to Richard Jex Edrich and Eliza Martin and was baptised at St Stephens Church.  In 1877, Clara married John Guy at St Stephens Church, Portland by the Reverend Allnutt.

St Stephens Church, Portland


After a year of marriage they took up residence in Barclay Street, Portland, the birthplace of eight of Clara and John’s nine children and where Clara died in 1937.  John passed away four years before Clara.

Mary Arabella “Minnie” HISCOCK – Died 29 August 1941 at Hotspur.  Mary Hiscock, born in 1859 at Hotspur, was the daughter of James Hiscock and Mary Cobb and was known as Minnie. After her birth, the Hiscocks moved to Lower Crawford and Minnie remained there until she was fifty-eight in 1917 when she returned to Hotspur.   In her younger years, Minnie was known as a fine horsewoman and would ride around the countryside to attend balls and other social gatherings.  When she was seven, she rode with her father from Hotspur to Birregurra east of Colac, a distance of around 235 kilometers which took three days. Minnie never married.

Florence Helena LAIDLAW – Died 26 August 1944 at Malvern.  Florence Laidlaw was born at Port Fairy in  1858 to David Laidlaw and Eliza Fraser.  Although Florence was born at Port Fairy, where her grandparents William and Agnes Laidlaw lived, David and Eliza Laidlaw resided in Hamilton where David was a saddler.  David Laidlaw quickly rose to prominence in the Hamilton district and went on to serve five terms as Mayor of the town.  In 1873, David laid the foundation stone for the Alexandra Ladies’ College in Hamilton, of which he was one of the founders.

"TELEGRAPHIC DESPATCHES." The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) 11 Nov .

“TELEGRAPHIC DESPATCHES.” The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957) 11 Nov <;.

Florence Laidlaw attended Alexandra Ladies’ College and later became the headmistress.



On 29 December 1917, the Weekly Times reported on a trip Florence was making to Sydney to stay with her sister and mentioned she was the headmistress at Alexandra College.  However, she appears to have retired soon after.  On 25 July 1919, the Horsham Times reported that Florence was intending to visit Japan with Edith Lansell, daughter of George Lansell of Fortuna, Bendigo. After her return from overseas, Florence moved to South Yarra.

Passing of the Pioneers

It’s four years this month since Passing of the Pioneers began.  Starting out with the Portland Guardian, Horsham Times and the Camperdown Chronicle, the number of newspapers at Trove from which I can now draw obituaries has increased considerably.  This month, it is with great pleasure that I am able to post my first obituary from the newly digitised Hamilton Spectator (1870-1879).  It wasn’t a Hamilton person, rather Thomas Anderson of Portland, with his death reported on by the Spec correspondent.  It’s also the first Passing of the Pioneers with the blog’s new layout.

There are a further fifteen pioneer obituaries included in this post and once again, the stories that come with them are good reading.  The July pioneers have been added to the Western District Families Pioneer Obituary Index taking the total number to 566.

Thomas ANDERSON:  Died 12 July 1870 at Portland.  Thomas Anderson, born about 1805, was an early arrival in the colony with the Hamilton Spectator correspondent believing in 1870 he was the oldest colonist in Portland other than the Hentys.  Thomas was a publican and ran the Old Lamb Inn Collins Street Melbourne around 1840 to 1843 as reported in the Spectator of 13 July 1870. That is also recorded on the Port Phillip Pioneers website.  Once in Portland, Thomas was for a time the owner of the Union Inn in Julia Street.  He lived at Clinton Cottage in Portland.   The funeral procession was described by the Spectator correspondent on 16 July 1870, as “one of the largest…which has been witnessed in this district”.  Present were magistrates, bankers, the President of the local shire, the Mayor of the Borough of Portland and “…every class of the community, in carriages, on horseback and on foot, from every part of the district…”.

OLD LAMB INN c1858 by George McRae, Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria.  Image no. H36480

OLD LAMB INN c1858 by George McRae, Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H36480

Jane LAMB:  Died 1 July 1890 at Heywood.   Jane Lamb’s obituary brings together three generations of pioneer obituaries for the Steven family, with Jane joining her daughter Johanna Steven and granddaughter Isabella Reid on the Western District Family Pioneer Obituary Index. I have found with this family they were often listed as both Steven and Stevens. In Jane’s obituary, it was Stevens, however, I do think it is Steven.  Jane married Robert Steven/s in Scotland and they travelled to Victoria with their family.  Robert ran a bakery and confectionary shop in Julia Street and later owned “Wee Station”, as it was known locally, a small property at South Portland.  Robert passed away seven years before Jane.

Robert DONELAN:  Died 25 July 1901 at Karabeal.  Robert Donelan was born in Galway, Ireland around 1833.  He arrived in Victoria to live with his uncle, Hamilton’s first Police Magistrate, Acheson Ffrench of Monivae Estate near Hamilton.  Robert’s obituary said his family appeared in Burke’s Landed Gentry of Ireland.  Indeed, they did, the 1912 edition, for example, sees the Donelan family of Killagh, Galway on page 196.  More information about Killagh with photos is on the following link – Killagh House.

Robert married Bridget Lalley in 1863 and around 1870 they started the Karabeal Inn on the Cavendish/Dunkeld Road.  The couple had ten children, however, not all survived. There is a sad reminder, a couple of kilometres south of Cavendish.  It is the site of the lone graves of two of Robert and Bridget’s children, Eliza and Viola, both dying at age one, Eliza in 1875 and Viola in 1886. A photo of the grave is on the Victorian Heritage Database website.  Robert also sat on the Shire of Dundas and at one stage put his name up for candidature in the Victorian Parliament but later withdrew it.

James SMITH: Died 5 July 1914 at Bringlebert South.  Born in Wiltshire, England around 1833,  James Smith arrived in Victoria aboard the Ugiauah and apparently was one of the last of the early Henty employees to pass.  James spent time at the diggings and then carrying goods along the Portland Road. Then he lived at Sandford before eventually settling at Apsley.  A further obituary is available on the link  More about the Smith family is available on theGlenelg & Wannon Settlers & Settlement website 

William Grange HEAZLEWOOD:  Died 10 July 1914 at Portland.  William Heazlewood, it was said, was the first European child born at The Grange (Hamilton) at the time of his birth in 1844.  His father Robert Heazlewood had a blacksmith shop by the banks of the Grange Burn, that ran through the settlement of The Grange.  The map, below, from the interpretative sign at the site of The Grange in Digby Road Hamilton, shows the “Smithy” shop next to Blastock’s Grange Inn to the right.

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MAP OF THE GRANGE. Interpretive board, Digby Road Hamilton.


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After a few years, the Heazlewood family moved to Portland.  When old enough,  William began a printing apprenticeship with the Portland Guardian.  In 1864, he married Miss G.M.Richards who arrived in Portland ten years earlier aboard the Nestor. William was for a time the Portland pound keeper and was a member of the Sons of Temperance.  He purchased a property, Cherry Grove, in North Portland a planted a large orchard.  He remained on the property until around 1910.  William passed away after collapsing while walking along Henty Street, Portland.

Francis Thomas BEGLIN:  Died 11 July 1914 at Portland.  Frances Beglin died after collapsing while helping to unload the cargo from the SS Casino.   Born about 1849 in Portland, Francis was a cornet player with the Portland Band and was a member of the Portland Battery Garrison Artillery.

SS CASINO.  Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria.  Image no. H92.302/23

SS CASINO. Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H92.302/23


James William PASCOE: Died July 1917 at Terang.  James Pascoe was ninety-eight years and six months old when he passed away in 1917 and he did a lot during that time.  Born in Cornwall in 1819, he worked as a farm hand as a boy then in the Cornish mines.  Word of gold discoveries in Victoria reached Cornwall, and James and a group of other men travelled to the Victorian goldfields, landing at Geelong in 1852 and then travelling on to Castlemaine. James then went on to Ballarat and was there at the time of the Eureka uprising in 1854.

James discovered work as a carrier was more lucrative than looking for gold, and he starting carrying goods from Melbourne to the Bendigo goldfields.  He then settled at Creswick long enough to operate a store there, Pascoe and Thomas.  Next he returned home to Cornwall before going back to the Creswick district and operating a hotel and general store at Newlyn. Around 1887, James moved south to a bush block at Glenfyne, until the early 1890s when he moved to Terang for the last twenty-five years of his life.  That was the most settled period of his life.

James DOWNEY:  Died 13 July 1918 at Koroit. James Downey was born in Tipperary, Ireland around 1822 and arrived in Victoria in 1853.  He settled  in Koroit where he remained for the next sixty-five years.  During his life, James went from a farm labourer to a rich landowner, but he never forgot where he came from.  He enjoyed mixing with his employees and lending a hand when needed.  James married Margaret Moloney in 1864 and they had seven children.  James was a devout Catholic and was a charitable community member.

John FLETCHER:  Died 31 July 1918 at Branxholme.  John Fletcher was born around 1842 in Scotland and arrived in Portland as a child of eleven.  He married in 1867 and he and his wife had eleven children.  John worked as a station manager, managing well-known properties including Ardachy, Mundarra and Straun and was considered a fine judge of livestock and an expert on Merino sheep.


MUNDARRA WOOLSHED. Image courtesy of the J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria. Image no. H95.200/1079

William WILSON: Died July 1924 at Geelong.  William Wilson was born in Somersetshire in 1833.  He married in the early 1850s to Jane Clements and in 1855 they sailed to Australia arriving in Geelong.  The couple’s eldest three children were born in Geelong before the family moved to Ballarat hoping for some luck with gold prospecting.  A further eight children were born during their time in Ballarat.  By 1874, William had a selected land in the Heytesbury Forest at Scott’s Creek.  In the early 1880s, William moved into Camperdown, although he did keep his property at Scott’s Creek.  While in Camperdown, he ran a business in Manifold Street.  William was ninety-one at the time of his death.  Jane passed away around twenty-five years before him.

John CROMRIE:  Died 16 July 1927 at Warrnambool.  John Cromrie was born in Northern Ireland and first lived in Melbourne when he arrived in Victoria around 1860.  After about six years, he moved to Warrnambool and remained there sixty years until his death.  He first ran a saddlery business and then moved into coachbuilding.  He was in partnership with Mr A. Purcell and they operated from a large premises in Liebig Street.  John was also the oldest member of the St. John’s Presbyterian Church committee.  He was a widower of around forty years and had a family of five children still remaining at the time of his death.

WARRNAMBOOL PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH 1903.  Photographer Joseph Jordan.  Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria.  Image no. H96.160/837

WARRNAMBOOL PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH 1903. Photographer Joseph Jordan. Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H96.160/837

Jane WILSON:  Died 15 July 1934 at Ascot Vale.  Jane Wilson was born in Ballarat in 1860 and was the daughter of William Wilson (above).  After her marriage, Jane lived in Terang for around forty years before moving to Melbourne about 1920.  In 1885, Jane married John George Boyes.  John died in 1902 and Jane raised their three children alone.

Matthew Charles RHOOK:  Died July 1936 at Hamilton.  Matthew Rhook was born at Narrawong in 1854.  His first job was for George Lamb, a Portland butcher and he then worked at various large properties around the Portland and Port Fairy district.  He also spent time gold prospecting in Northern Victoria.  Matthew married Elizabeth Jane Quick in 1878.  They eventually made their way to Hamilton, settling in Eversley Street.  At the time of WW1, two of Matthew and Elizabeth’s sons, Archie and Harry, enlisted.  Harry was killed overseas while Archie returned home.  A profile for Archie Rhook is available on the Hamilton’s WW1 pages.

Angus Stuart REID:  Died 22 July 1937 at Camperdown.  Angus Reid was the son of Stuart Reid and Jessie Craig and was born at Eddington in 1878.  He attended school at Geelong Grammar before working in the mercantile business in Melbourne.  He returned to Eddington to take up the running of the station

EDDINGTON HOMESTEAD, Image courtesy of the J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria.

EDDINGTON HOMESTEAD, Image courtesy of the J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria.

In 1916, Angus married Irene Thomson of Hawthorn.

 Weekly Times (Vic. : 1914 - 1918) 8 Jul 1916: 10.  .

Weekly Times (Vic. : 1914 – 1918) 8 Jul 1916: 10. <;.

In 1918, Stuart Reid and in 1923, Angus’ mother Jessie died.  After the death of his mother, Angus bought out the beneficiaries of her estate, thus owning Eddington outright.  He sold the property in 1931.  Angus’ obituary has a lot of information about the lives of his parents.

Henry HAMMOND: Died 4 July 1941 at Cobden.  Henry Hammond was born in Dandenong around 1859 and during his life he travelled widely throughout Australia from Queensland to Western Australia.  However, in the early 1890s, Henry settled down at Cobden.  He carried timber using his bullock team for construction of the Cobden Pioneer Butter Factory.  He also did fencing for the Heytesbury Shire and ran a butcher shop.  Henry’s wife died around twelve years before him.

Fanny Lea PICKEN: Died 9 July 1941 at Camperdown. Fanny Picken was born in Geelong around 1856 and was the last remaining child of James Picken, a Camperdown legal practitioner.  Fanny never married and devoted much of her time to the St. Paul’s Church of England choir.  Fanny and her sister were members of the choir for many years.

ST. PAULS CHURCH OF ENGLAND, CAMPERDOWN.  Image Courtesy of the  J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria

ST. PAULS CHURCH OF ENGLAND, CAMPERDOWN. Image Courtesy of the J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria

Thomas WEBB: Died  19 July 1943 at Cobden.  Thomas Webb took his first steps while sailing with his parents from England to Australia.  He was born in Birmingham around 1869. Thomas was the local Cobden undertaker for forty-four years as well as blacksmith and wheelwright.  In addition to his role as secretary of the Cemetery for many years, he was also a Justice of the Peace and a past Master of the Cobden Freemason’s Lodge.  He also was a regular at the local football.  Thomas’ wife died only a month before him.  They had no children, although there was an adopted son who was missing in action while serving during WW2.



New Pioneer Index

Now it’s even easier to find your Western District pioneer’s “Passing of the Pioneers” entry and obituary.  

The 550 pioneers that have been included in the “Passing of the Pioneers” posts over the last four years are now indexed.  If you navigate to the menu at the top of this page, you will notice a new tab, Pioneer Obituary Index.  Click directly there or navigate straight to the alphabetical listing of your pioneer.  Where possible, I have matched up husbands, wives, children and other relatives.

There hasn’t been a new “Passing of the Pioneers” post since January while I took time to prepare the index, but after reading back through the stories I can’t wait to get back to scanning the Western District newspapers at Trove for obituaries. Look out for a new post in July when “Passing of the Pioneers” will celebrate a fourth birthday, so expect a bumper edition.

While you’re in at the top of this page, why not check out “Hamilton’s WW1” tab.  There are now twenty-six Hamilton soldiers profiled in that section. I will continue to add profiles with an aim to add about three new profiles each week. Maybe by the centenary of the armistice, I will have come close to recording the hundreds of soldiers from Hamilton who volunteered their services.

Happy reading…

Passing of the Pioneers

Writing Passing of the Pioneers is becoming a longer process each month as I get drawn into the stories. I think it all began when I started searching for photos to compliment the obituaries, making the posts more visually appealing. That sometimes takes some extra searching and other information arises that is just too good to let pass.

For the January Passing Pioneers, there is Sarah McDonald one of those pioneering women I read about and think “Wow.” Also another member of the Laidlaw family, a Hamilton publican and a man who had the unenviable task of being called as a witness in a Casterton murder case.

David Wemyss GALLIE: Died 12 January 1868 at Portland. From the first reading of his obituary, David Gallie was simply the long-time bank manager of The Bank of Australasia in Portland. But digging up a bit more about him unearthed some interesting family links.

From the Australian Death Index at Ancestry I discovered David was the son of Hugh and Robina Gallie and was born around 1813. The earliest record I could find of him in Australia was again at Ancestry and the  New South Wales, Australia, Returns of the Colony, 1822-1857.  David was working as a clerk in the Surveyor General’s office.

In 1840, David’s sister, Anna Maria married Edward Henty of Portland at St James Church in Melbourne.

“Family Notices.” The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas. : 1835 – 1880) 14 Nov 1840: 2. Web. 27 Jan 2015 .

David Wemyss Gallie himself married in 1842 to Elizabeth Francis Gordon in Launceston.  Elizabeth was the daughter of Captain Donald McArthur.

Family Notices. (1842, June 9). Launceston Advertiser (Tas. : 1829 - 1846), p. 3. Retrieved January 27, 2015, from

Family Notices. (1842, June 9). Launceston Advertiser (Tas. : 1829 – 1846), p. 3. Retrieved January 27, 2015, from

Just for interests sake, I Googled the said Captain and found a great site called the Telford Family of Ellinbank. The site includes the McArthur family and from there I discovered Elizabeth’s mother. Elizabeth Wemyss. That name was familiar. Of course, Wemyss was David Gallie’s middle name.  What?  Yes, David was related to his new bride. In fact, David and Elizabeth were cousins with their mothers Elizabeth and Robina sisters.

At some point, David began working for the Bank of Australasia and in 1846, he and Elizabeth travelled to Portland on the Minverva accompanied by David’s brother-in-law Edward Henty. This was possibly the time David took up his position as the manager of Portland’s Bank of Australasia.

“Shipping Intelligence.” Colonial Times (Hobart, Tas. : 1828 – 1857) 2 Jun 1846: 2. Web. 27 Jan 2015 .

The Minerva was owned by the Henty Brothers and Captain Fawthrop her master. The Henty’s used the schooner to transport goods and sheep between the two colonies.

“Advertising.” Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser (Vic. : 1842 – 1876) 24 Sep 1842: 1. Web. 5 Feb 2015 .

The funeral of David Gallie was well attended with “most of the principal gentlemen of the town and district” there to pay their respects. They included brother-in-law Edward Henty and his brother Stephen Henty.

“Family Notices.” Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser (Vic. : 1842 – 1876) 30 Jan 1868: 6 Edition: EVENINGS. Web. 24 Jan 2015 .

William FOSTER: Died 12 January 1896 at Branxholme. William Foster was not as old as the usual pioneers listed here, but his sudden death at thirty-three years of age made headlines around the country. On Sunday 12 January 1896 William, a carpenter by trade, attended his local Church of England along with his wife and elderly parents. During a hymn, William appeared to have fainted, but upon removing him from the church he died.

George BAXTER: Died 8 January 1900 at Hamilton. George Baxter has links to two different branches of my family tree. The first was his role as a witness in the murder of the Hunts of Casterton in 1860.  My ggg grandmother Mrs Margaret Diwell was also a witness in the trial.  George’s second link was via the Holmes family.  His daughter, Elizabeth Jane married William Tyers Holmes a brother of George Holmes, husband of my ggg aunt Julia Harman. Julia and Elizabeth both signed the Victorian Women’s Suffrage Petition at Casterton in 1891. For more information on George’s and his family, see the SW Pioneers site.

Adam TURNBULL: Died January 1905 at Coleraine. Adam Turnbull’s parents, Dr Adam Turnbull and Margaret Young travelled to Tasmania from Scotland in 1825 and Adam junior was born around 1827. In 1845, Adam’s father sent him to Victoria to oversee the purchase of the Mt Koroite and Dundas runs. Who accompanied him on that trip varies between the article below and Adam’s obituary but it was either William Young, Adam’s uncle or another member of the Young family, George.

“PASTORAL PIONEERS.” The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 – 1946) 17 Aug 1935: 4. Web. 25 Jan 2015 <;.

The company of Turnbull and Son’s also purchased the Winninburn run where Adam died in 1905. During his time in the district, Adam Turnbull jnr was the first president of the Shire of Wannon and was on the first committee of the St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church at Coleraine. His grandson, Sir Winton George Turnbull of the Country Party, was a member of the House of Representatives as the Federal member for the Wimmera.

Edward WHITE: Died 20 January 1910 at Coleraine. Edward was born around 1837 and arrived in South Australia from Ireland around 1851. In the early 1860s, he moved to Victoria when the family took up the Den Hills run near Coleraine. Edward served on the roads board and was a worthy athlete during his younger years. His wife predeceased him and they had one son. There is more information about the White family on the SW Pioneers site.

Thomas LAIDLAW: Died 12 January 1915 at  Macarthur. Thomas Laidlaw was born in Scotland in 1833 and arrived with his brother Robert to Victoria around 1851. He headed to Newlands Station near Harrow to work with his brother Walter Laidlaw,  a Passing of the Pioneers subject last month.  A description of Thomas’ arrival was in his obituary and that of this son Thomas Haliburton Laidlaw, a Passing Pioneer in September 2011.

“THE LATE MR. T. H. LAIDLAW.” Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953) 25 Sep 1941: 2 Edition: EVENING. Web. 5 Feb 2015 .

In 1857, Thomas married Grace McLeod of Wallan however Grace passed away in 1864 but not before five sons were born, including Thomas Haliburton. In 1868, Thomas married Christina Linton and they had a son and a daughter.   Thomas moved to South Australia to farm with his brother Robert before moving to Dunkeld and then Glenburnie at Macarthur. He then purchased South Wonwondah south of Horsham, living there for eighteen years before moving closer to Hamilton, residing at Glencairn.

Daniel Michael SCULLION: – Died 27 January 1915 at Hamilton. Daniel Scullion was born at Garvoc in 1868 to John Scullion and Janet McKeller. He appears to have ventured into the hotel business in his hometown as licensee of the Yallock Inn which he still owned at the time of his death.  By then, Daniel had been in Hamilton around ten years, first operating the Hamilton Inn and then the Caledonian Hotel that still exists today.  In 1909, Daniel moved to Horsham and took on the license of the Wimmera Hotel. Within a couple of years, he had returned to Hamilton, resuming as licensee at the Caledonian Hotel.

In 1914, Daniel’s sister, Lilias Scullion, a nursing sister, purchased one of Hamilton’s most well-known buildings, St. Ronans,  just up the hill from the Caledonian Hotel and previously owned by former Mayor David Laidlaw. Interestingly, the Victorian Heritage Database entry on St Ronans, a report prepared by the Southern Grampians Shire, does not list Sr. Scullion as a former owner. There is an interesting article about the opening of the Sr. Scullion’s hospital, and the work that was required to make that possible, on the following link –

“HAMILTON.” The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 – 1946) 2 May 1903: 27. Web. 25 Jan 2015 .

Daniel was a keen supporter of sport in Hamilton particularly the North Hamilton Football Club and donated many trophies to the club.

Margaret MEAGHER: Died January 1918 at Port Fairy. A colonist of fifty-eight years, Margaret Meagher arrived in Melbourne with her husband James Prior in 1859 aboard the Sarah Dixon. Originally from Tipperary, Ireland, the Priors moved to Port Fairy the following year and remained there until their deaths. James died around 1911 and when she died, Margaret had two sons and three daughters remaining. Margaret was buried at the Port Fairy cemetery.

John COGHLAN: Died 8 January 1918 at Garvoc.  John Coghlan was an early native of the Colony of Victoria, born at Eastern Hill, Melbourne around 1841. His father, William Coghlan was a landholder in Melbourne but sold his properties and moved to the Western District, taking up land at Port Fairy. The family next moved to Warrnambool, living at a property on the Merri River, and John’s father continued to farm. After his marriage to Miss Patton, John and his wife moved to Cooramook near Grassmere and then later on to Garvoc around 1878, purchasing the property Pine Hills  where he engaged in dairy farming. According to the obituary, John did not live as long as his parents. His father William lived to ninety-seven while his mother apparently lived to 107. John was buried at the Terang Cemetery.

“BREVITIES.” Clarence and Richmond Examiner (Grafton, NSW : 1889 – 1915) 5 Nov 1907: .

John PETTINGILL: Died 23 January 1923 at Yambuk. John Pettingill was born in Suffolk, England around 1843.  When he was nine, he travelled with his parents to Portland aboard the Eliza. John’s father first worked at Castlemaddie Station at Narrawong owned by Andrew Suter. Mr Suter moved to Yambuk Station and the Pettingill family went along.  When nearby St. Helens was surveyed around 1863, John and his father purchased 200 acres. John remained on that farm for the rest of  his life. Around 1870, John married a Port Fairy girl, Miss Bowyer who was still living at the time of John’s death along with five sons and four daughters.

James YOUNG: Died 6 January 1925 at Hamilton. James Young was born around 1851 in Scotland and arrived in Victoria as an infant. The Young family settled in Ballarat and James attended school there before farming at Tatyoon, west of Ballarat. He then joined his brothers in the Wimmera to work with them in their stock and station business. When a branch opened in Hamilton in 1888, James moved south to manage affairs. A successful businessman, James soon built up the trade, also moving into public office as a town councillor for a several years. In 1909, he served as Mayor and laid the foundation stone for Hamilton’s new Town Hall in Brown Street (below). Unfortunately, the front section of the Town Hall was demolished in the 1960s and a “modern” façade added.

HAMILTON'S SECOND TOWN HALL - Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria.  Image no. H32492/2740

HAMILTON’S SECOND TOWN HALL – Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H32492/2740

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James Young passed away at his home Ivanhoe in Chaucer Street, Hamilton.


IVANHOE, HAMILTON. Image courtesy of Google Maps

Sarah McDONALD: Died 25 January 1941 at Hamilton. Born about 1855 in Inverness, Scotland, Sarah McDonald was a true pioneering woman. She travelled to Tasmania as a child in 1857 with her family aboard the Persia. Unfortunately, her father and brother died during the voyage but after a short break in Tasmania, the family continued on to Portland.  Around 1877, while still a single woman, Sarah rode from Branxholme to Horsham, with an overnight stop, to buy 320 acres at Scotchman’s Creek (Telangatuk) at the land sales. It was in that district Sarah met Lachlan Cameron and they married in 1876. Lachlan passed away in 1901 and Sarah stayed on the farm for a further twelve years before moving to Hamilton.

Passing of the Pioneers

The last Passing of the Pioneers for 2014 includes some characters from the early days of Portland, a wealthy grazier and a Swiss born gold-seeker who settled at Heywood.

William CHARTER: Died December 1888 at Portland. “The relentless reaper death has sought another addition to his uninterrupted harvest from amongst the ranks of our oldest residents.” And so began the obituary of William Charter, a Portland resident from the 1850s and one time Portland police sergeant.  He did have some time away from Portland when he operated the Rising Sun Hotel at Hotspur.


“[No heading].” Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser (Vic. : 1842 – 1876) 20 Jun 1864: 3 Edition: EVENING. Web. 26 Dec 2014 .

William returned to Portland and operated a cordial and soda water factory.

“Advertising.” Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953) 8 Jun 1880: 3 Edition: MORNINGS.. Web. 26 Dec 2014 <;.

Walter LAIDLAW: Died December 1906 at Apsley. Walter Laidlaw was born in Scotland around 1825. He arrived in Victoria in 1850 and with the discovery of gold, he tried his luck on the Bendigo diggings. He then farmed at Broadmeadows before moving to the Western District, farming on the land that became known as Skene at Strathkellar.  He was then appointed overseer of Newland Station at Apsley for James Gordon and in time, married his employer’s sister.  At the time of his death, he owned Ardachy Estate and Melville Forest Estate.

“OBITUARY.” The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 – 1954) 29 Dec 1905: 3. Web. 30 Dec 2014 <;.

Around the time of his marriage, Walter purchased Mundarra (below) near Edenhope.

MUNDARRA Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria.  Image no. H95.200/1068

MUNDARRA Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H95.200/1068

He was buried at the Newland Station Cemetery with other members of his family.

Theobald FETHERSTONHAUGH: Died 24 December 1909 at Hamilton. Theobald Fetherstonhaugh was the son of Cuthbert Fetherstonhaugh snr an early police magistrate at Hamilton and brother of Cuthbert jnr, the author of “After Many Days” which I have previously posted about.  Cuthbert snr resided at Corragh at Strathkellar and Theobald continued to live there after his father’s death.  Unlike his brother Cuthbert, Theobald seems to have lived a quiet life at Corragh.  While Cuthbert mentions “my brother” many times throughout “After Many Days”, he does not name Theobald as he does his other brother Robert.  Theobald was buried at the Old Hamilton Cemetery with a headstone (below) that gives nothing away about his life.


Mary RYAN: Died 11 December 1914 at Hamilton. When Mary Ryan passed away in 1914, the names of her parents were not recorded and it’s unlikely she left anyone behind to pass that information on or even to remember her, so let us remember Mary Ryan of Hamilton.

Mary Ryan ran a registry office for servants in Hamilton for many years, first in Gray Street and later in Brown Street.

“Advertising.” Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953) 17 Apr 1883: 3 Edition: MORNING. Web. 17 Dec 2014 <;.

Determined to stay independent in old age despite becoming very decrepit, she remained in her home.  Early in the year of her passing, Mary had a fire in her house, the third time she had endured a house fire, herself suffering burns on one occasion.  She wasn’t injured in the 1914 fire, but it may have taken some toll as she passed away eight months later.


“FIRE IN BROWN STREET.” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1914 – 1918) 20 Feb 1914: 4. Web. 30 Dec 2014 <;.

After checking the headstones of the Old Hamilton Cemetery recorded by Cemeteries of the South-West, there was no record of Mary, so if she was buried there, her grave is without a headstone.

William Gordon JENKINS: Died 28 December 1916 at Hawkesdale. William Jenkins was born in Scotland, a son of a Church of England clergyman. On arrival in Victoria, he worked at flour mills around Hamilton, then went to New Zealand with a survey party. He returned to Victoria and worked in the sawmilling industry. In 1883, he married widow, Jane Walshe (nee Donnelly).  At the time, Jane was operating the Forester Hotel at Myamyn.   After their marriage, William and Jane moved to Portland and operated the Victoria Hotel from 1884 until 1886. William had no family of his own but was living with his step-daughter at the time of his death.

Charles FARR: Died 15 December 1917 at Portland. Born in Wiltshire, England around 1833, Charles Farr, an interesting character, was the proprietor of livery stables in Portland having arrived in the mid-1850s.

“Advertising.” Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser (Vic. : 1842 – 1876) 1 Jan 1875: 1 Edition: EVENING., Supplement: Supplement to the “Portland Guardian”. Web. 24 Dec 2014 .

Charles also ran cabs in Portland, taking parties from Mac’s Hotel to the railway station.

TABLE TALK. (1877, December 19). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 - 1953), p. 2 Edition: EVENINGS.. Retrieved December 27, 2014, from

TABLE TALK. (1877, December 19). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953), p. 2 Edition: EVENINGS.. Retrieved December 27, 2014, from



Although his obituary stated Charles Farr did not involve himself in public affairs, he was often in the public eye especially in the papers, whether advertising his stables or involved in some type of dispute. His following “Letter to the Editor” was either damage control or cashing-in on another stable’s misfortune. Charles’ letter was in response to an article in the Portland Guardian of 10 June 1880.

“Over – charging by a Portland Livery Stable Keeper.” Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953) 12 Jun 1880: 3 Edition: MORNINGS.. Web. 27 Dec 2014 <;.

Serafino RIGHETTI:  Died 21 December 1917 at Heywood. I first “met” the Righettis of Heywood when I wrote the Trove Tuesday post “Accidental Tourist”. I didn’t realise then that the family was one of the Swiss/Italian families that settled at Hepburn near Daylesford after arriving in Victoria during the 1850s. Serafino was born in Switzerland and arrived in Melbourne in 1854. His brother Battista arrived the following year. A photo of Serafino and Battista appears on the following link –

After time operating the American Hotel at Hepburn, Serafino moved to the Heywood district in the late 1870s establishing the merchant business Righetti & Co. He was a shire councillor for twenty years and served as Shire President several times.

“Groups at Swinburne College, Glenferrie.” Punch (Melbourne, Vic. : 1900 – 1918) 10 Jan 1918: 17. Web. 24 Dec 2014 .

An interview with Serafino’s grandson Alan Righetti, with details of the family’s early days, is on the following link –

Eliza Sarah SEABORNE: Died 9 December 1932 at Portland. Eliza Seaborne was born in Adelaide in 1838 and arrived in Portland with her parent three years later. In 1856 aged eighteen, Eliza married bootmaker James Mallett in the first wedding conducted at St. Stephen’s Church at Portland.  They settled at Merino around 1866 and James ran a bootmaking business in the town.  He died in 1901 and Eliza continued to live at Merino until around 1928 when she moved back to Portland to live with her daughter Mrs Martha Sutchbery.

In May 1931, Eliza celebrated her 93rd birthday and she spent the day with family and friends.

“Birthday Celebration.” Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953) 25 May 1931: 2 Edition: EVENING. Web. 30 Dec 2014 <;.

Eliza was ninety-four years and seven months old when she passed away in 1932. She left three daughters and three sons with four children having predeceased her. Eliza was buried at the Merino Cemetery. More information about the Mallett family is available on the South-West Pioneers site –