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  http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/274274

OLD LAMB INN c1858 by George McRae, Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H36480 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/274274

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 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article129451701.  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 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/195620

SS CASINO. Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H92.302/23 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/195620

 

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.

mundara

MUNDARRA WOOLSHED. Image courtesy of the J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria. Image no. H95.200/1079 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/230709

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   http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/53807

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. http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/216810

EDDINGTON HOMESTEAD, Image courtesy of the J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria. http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/216810

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. <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page13616253&gt;.

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 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/216509

ST. PAULS CHURCH OF ENGLAND, CAMPERDOWN. Image Courtesy of the J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/216509

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.

 

 

Misadventures, Deaths and Near Misses

Transport is important to us in one form or another. If nothing else it sure beats walking.   However, the subjects of this installment of Misadventures, Deaths and Near Misses should have stuck to Shank’s pony.

Click on the links to read each article in full.

HORSES

Described as an “energetic” gentleman, Fred Heathcote, having just displayed his cricketing prowess on the field, gave a display of his riding prowess.  Unfortunately, his mount was  freshly broken and reared, falling onto Fred.  Despite an operation in excess of four hours, Fred was expected to make a full recovery

“Look what I’ve done, I’ve broken both my wrists” were the words uttered by Frank Millard upon seeking help after a horse accident.  Frank’s horse had taken him under a low branch.

In 1896,the horse of William Lucas shied at two dogs and somersaulted.  William received concussion, the horse was shaken.

A witness description of the accident involving John Beglin in 1894, suggested the horse “danced on the man while on the ground”  This sounds like it was rather a spectacular fall in which John sustained possible internal injuries.

HORSE DRAWN VEHICLES

Add a wooden attachment to horse, laden with people,  and accidents are bound to happen.  Take, for example, Patrick Power of Byaduk in 1889. The Port Fairy Cobb & Co coach was not far from Koroit when it broke an axle and tipped.  The coach driver fell on top of Patrick leaving him in need of medical attention

Not so lucky was  Oliver Filmer also of Byaduk. In early January 1900, Oliver and six others were returning from an outing to the Byaduk Caves when the horses bolted down a hill.  The buggy went over an embankment and capsized.  All the occupants were thrown out, including Oliver who sustained head injuries and later died.  Oliver was father-in-law to Absalom Harman, the son of Reuben.

In 1901, Mr H. J. Thompson was standing on the back board of a buggy as it went up a steep hill near Wickliffe.  The buggy wheel fell into a rut, Mr Thompson fell forward and hit the wheel with his leg.  Suffering lacerations and a dislocated knee, he was still able to catch the train home from the Wickliffe station.

Thursday April 20, 1876 was a day of accidents and  Mr & Mrs Webley  and their daughter, all of Byaduk, were caught up in the dramas.  While returning from Hamilton to Branxholme in the darkness, a pin holding the buggy shaft fell out and Mr Webley turned the horse across the road to stop it, but the horse went up an embankment, dropping Miss Webley out the back.  The horse then continued on down a cutting and Mr & Mrs Webley tumbled out.  Mr Webley received cuts, Mrs Webley, a broken arm and Miss Webley was not injured.

Similarly, on the same day, Alfred Bennett had a hair-raising experience when his horse, pulling a dog-cart, bolted.

Lucky Hector McDougall had “no dangerous consequences” after his accident when he tangled with a dray’s wheel.

Table Talk. (1864, December 5). Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser (Vic. : 1842 – 1876), p. 2 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved October 16, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64632822

Mr Blackney, was left with cake on his face after an incident in Hamilton in 1942.  While his back was turned, his horse bolted, pulling a cart laden with cakes.

CAKES FLEW WHEN HORSE BOLTED. (1942, September 15). The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 – 1954), p. 2. Retrieved October 16, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article72705327

I’m sure a piece of cake helped residents recover from their “mild shock” at finding cakes at their front gates.

After a fun day at the Byaduk Coronation Celebrations in 1911, which included a fancy dress football match, the Smith Familyof Warrabkook met with disaster while travelling home.

SERIOUS ACCIDENT AT BYADUK. (1911, June 27). The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 – 1954), p. 5. Retrieved October 16, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article73162971

CARS & MOTORCYCLES

If horses and carts weren’t bad enough, throw cars and motorcycles into the mix, and disaster was almost ensured, especially if they all came together at once.  It also appears that with only a lucky few having a motor vehicle in the early days, it was not unusual to pile as many people into the car as possible.

Driving a Damlier home from a day’s shooting at Kirkstall in 1914, George Lock and his four passengers came to grief on the Port Fairy Road on the outskirts of Warrnambool.  It was 7.15pm and the road was dark and narrow.  George, having moved aside for an oncoming car, failed to see the unlit cart of a Chinese market gardener following behind the car.  His car hit the cart sending vegetables across the road.  Debris hit the car’s steering wheel sending the car out of control and into a fence and embankment, throwing the occupants from the car.  George Robinson received the most serious injuries, a ruptured liver.  The Chinese gentleman was lucky to avoid injury and was last seen chasing his horse, also very lucky, down the road.

T.S.A Laidlaw had a scary experience in his new Oldsmobile after leaving Byaduk bound for Macarthur.  The car got into the gravel, crossed the road, went over a prostrate telegraph pole, up an embankment and then overturned.  The car was extensively damaged, Mr Laidlaw wasn’t.

Robert Rymill, a 38-year-old grazier from Penola met a tragic end in a very early motoring accident.  In 1906, he was driving his 15hp Darracq from Melbourne home to Penola when he failed to take a sharp turn at the bottom of a hill, taken while travelling at 12mph.  The car’s wheels slipped and it overturned.  Robert’s passenger, his young gardener was thrown clear, but Robert was pinned underneath the car.  While initially conscious, Robert had passed away by the time help arrived.  This was despite the best attempts of his passenger.

If you are wondering what a Darracq looks like, this clip shows a much more powerful 1905 model travelling a lot faster than 12mph, but you get the idea.

Mr Dotzauer, in 1904, was riding his motorcycle between Terang and Noorat when a horse ran across his path. Mr Doutzauer broke his collar-bone, damage to the motorcycle and horse unknown.

Mrs Living got more than she bargained for when she hitched a ride in Mr E.J.Coopers sidecar one Friday night in 1932.

HORSE JUMPS INTO SIDE-CAR. (1932, April 19). The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 – 1954), p. 4. Retrieved October 18, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article72600659

Len Austin’s accident was caused by a truck tyre, but no, it didn’t run over him.  While working as a road contractor, he noticed a bulge in the truck’s tyre.  The tyre suddenly blew and the expelled air caught him the eye.

Messrs. W Smith and Michael Hickey’s day took a turn for the worse in 1923 while driving a gig with a saddle horse tied to the shafts.  A car with five occupants approached and the saddle horse, obviously not used to the mechanical beasts, shied and found itself on top of the car.  The car rolled, but with plenty of help on hand, it was righted and the driver and his passengers continued on to Horsham.  The horse’s journey ended at the scene.