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 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/230077

MONIVAE 1966. Image Couresy of the J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria. Image no. H97.250/44 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/230077

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

 

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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.

 

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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

ST STEPHEN’S 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 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5875156&gt;.

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

THE FORMER ALEXANDRA LADIES COLLEGE

THE FORMER ALEXANDRA LADIES’ COLLEGE

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

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 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article84771074

Family Notices. (1842, June 9). Launceston Advertiser (Tas. : 1829 – 1846), p. 3. Retrieved January 27, 2015, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article84771074

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 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article141761090&gt;.

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 –  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article119870490

“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 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/63929

HAMILTON’S SECOND TOWN HALL – Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H32492/2740 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/63929

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

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IVANHOE, HAMILTON. Image courtesy of Google Maps http://tinyurl.com/ot44noa

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.

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“[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 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63401172&gt;.

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 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article72819119&gt;.

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    http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/230342

MUNDARRA Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H95.200/1068 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/230342

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.

fetherstonhaugh1

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 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article71585092&gt;.

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.

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“FIRE IN BROWN STREET.” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1914 – 1918) 20 Feb 1914: 4. Web. 30 Dec 2014 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article119823533&gt;.

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 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63340211

TABLE TALK. (1877, December 19). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953), p. 2 Edition: EVENINGS.. Retrieved December 27, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63340211

MAC'S HOTEL, PORTLAND

MAC’S HOTEL, PORTLAND

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 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63401212&gt;.

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 – http://tinyurl.com/l4o5k5n

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 –  http://www.3squadron.org.au/subpages/AAWRighetti.htm

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 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64295183&gt;.

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 – http://www.swvic.org/merino/mallett.htm

Port Fairy Cemetery – Part One

If you find yourself travelling along Victoria’s south-west coast, don’t miss the Port Fairy Cemetery.

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Last summer, I revisited the cemetery with the aim of photographing as many headstones as possible.  During our four days in Port Fairy, the weather was hot and our days were spent at the beach.  My only chance was to head off early to beat the heat.   I took the dogs, and after a stop at the beach for a run, them not me, we arrived at the cemetery around 7.30am.

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Taking photos and holding two dogs on leads, is not an easy task.  I’m glad they didn’t see the rabbits sitting among the graves but I didn’t count on the burrs.  Soon the dogs were stopping periodically to pick burrs from their paws.  I didn’t get as many photos as I would have liked but I have captured some of the older and more interesting headstones.  I will post the photos in two parts.

On one of my past visits to the Port Fairy Cemetery, I joined a tour run by the Port Fairy Genealogical Society.  It was fantastic and I wished I had our knowledgeable guide Maria Cameron on this visit as I tried to remember the stories behind the graves.

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As sealers and whalers, Charles Mills and his older brother John, first saw Port Fairy in 1826, eight years before the Henty brothers arrived at Portland.  However, their whaling camps were not considered permanent in comparison to the Henty settlement, thus the Hentys take the title of first European settlers in Victoria in most discussions on the topic.  Launceston born Charles Mills passed away in 1855 aged 43 and John in 1877 aged 66.   The biography of the brothers is on this link – John and Charles Mills 

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HEADSTONE OF BROTHERS CHARLES AND JOHN MILLS

“BELFAST.” The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 – 1954) 21 Nov 1855: 6. .

This was the home of John Mills in Gipps Street, Port Fairy just across the road from the port where he was harbour master.

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FORMER HOUSE OF JOHN B. MILLS, GIPPS STREET, PORT FAIRY.

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Port Fairy Harbour

PORT FAIRY HARBOUR

An obituary for John Mills, published September 28, 1877 in the Portland Guardian:

“BELFAST.” Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953) 28 Sep 1877:.

The Portland Guardian published an interesting article about the Mills Brothers on September 21, 1933.  It included their life stories and that of their father Peter Mills who served as secretary to Governor Bligh  – Early Settlers

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GRAVE OF BROTHERS CHARLES AND JOHN MILLS (Foreground)

William and Agnes Laidlaw were early pioneers of the Port Fairy district, arriving from Scotland with their family around 1841.  William was born on January 20, 1785 and died on April 6, 1870 and Agnes was born on September 20, 1790 and died  on February 12, 1867.

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HEADSTONE OF WILLIAM AND AGNES LAIDLAW

“Family Notices.” Illustrated Australian News for Home Readers (Melbourne, Vic. : 1867 – 1875) 23 Apr 1870 .

At least two of their children had great success.  David Laidlaw went on to serve five times as Mayor of Hamilton and was also a leading businessman in that town.   Robert became well-known in the Heidleberg area as a land owner and sheep breeder.  The following is a family photograph taken at Robert’s 90th birthday.  Robert is at the front with the white beard and brother David to his right.

“A Nonagenarian Birthday Party.” Table Talk (Melbourne, Vic. : 1885 – 1939) 23 May 1907: .

James Andrews (1780-1855) and Elizabeth Andrews (1811-1870) nee O’Brien and their two sons, Michael and Patrick lie in the following grave.

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HEADSTONE OF JAMES AND ELIZABETH ANDREWS AND THEIR SONS MICHAEL AND PATRICK.

The headstone is difficult to read from the photo, so I have transcribed it:

Sacred to the Memory of 

James Andrews

Formally of Ratoath County Meath

Ireland

Died January 1855 aged 55 years

Elizabeth Andrews

His Beloved Wife

Died 26 August 1870, aged 59

Also their two sons

Michael

Died 3rd May 1854 aged 15 years

Patrick

Died 15 March 1863, Aged 23 years

There was little information around about the Andrews family but I thought I would check shipping records.  An Andrews family arrived at Portland during October 1853 aboard the Oithona.  They were from Meath, Ireland, matching the headstone.  The family consisted of James, aged 56, Elizabeth aged 45, Patrick aged 12, Fanny aged 10, James aged nine and Therese aged 2.  On arrival James snr and the family went on to Port Fairy of their own account.  If this is the same Andrews family, James was in Victoria only two years before he died.

After sorting my photos I’m really disappointed with myself.  The following Goldie family grave is one I remember well from the cemetery tour.  Maria pointed out the top of the grave purposely broken off to signify a life cut short. Firstly, I didn’t get a photo of the top of the grave and secondly I didn’t get a photo of the reverse side of the grave

Instead I got the following photo showing John and Elizabeth Goldie epitaphs.

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GOLDIE FAMILY GRAVE

If I had a photo of the reserve side, you would also see three babies. It was their the lives cut short:

Catherine Goldie
Died in Scotland Feb 1859
Aged 21 Months

Margaret
Died Sep 1862 Aged 19 Months

John
Died May 1864 Aged 17 Months

John Goldie and Elizabeth Clarke arrived in Melbourne aboard the Greyhound in 1862.  With them were their children, Elizabeth aged 11, James aged 2 and Margaret aged 1.  John was born in 1862 at Port Fairy and Margaret barely survived the voyage, dying in 1862.

John Goldie snr was a pioneer of the agricultural industry, working with the Agricultural Department planting experimental crops.  Photos of one of his experimental sugar beet crops is below.

JOHN GOLDIE'S SUGAR BEET CROP TRIALS.   Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria.  Image no. IAN01/10/95/20  http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/40232

JOHN GOLDIE’S SUGAR BEET CROP TRIALS. Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. IAN01/10/95/20 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/40232

John died in 1901 after a cow knocked him down.  Elizabeth had passed away 29 years earlier aged 45.

Son of John and Elizabeth, James Goldie. who was two when he arrived at Port Fairy. was a previous Passing Pioneer – James Goldie obituary

The grave of William Kerby goes back to the earliest years of the cemetery.  William was buried in 1847 in a grave with headstone and footstone arranged by his wife Mary.

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GRAVE OF WILLIAM KERBY

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HEADSTONE OF WILLIAM KERBY

Look a little closer at the next headstone and a sad story begins to emerge.  A check of the marriage record of Robert and Annie Grosert sees the story turn sadder still.  Robert Grosert, the son of  a Port Fairy butcher and himself in the trade was born in 1852.  He married Irish immigrant Annie Greer in 1877.  By November 14 of that year Robert was dead and by December 4, so was Annie.

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GROSERT FAMILY GRAVE

George Best was born in Port Fairy in 1853, a son of  George Best and Lucy Weston.  He married Emilie Melina Jenkins in 1877 at Wagga Wagga, NSW and they settled at Port Fairy.  George enjoyed sailing and it was while competing in a regatta on the Moyne River at Port Fairy in March, 1891, he was knocked overboard and drowned.

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BEST FAMILY GRAVE

A diver recovered George’s body from the river floor.  A team of townspeople worked on George for two hours trying to revive him.  An  account of the drowning appeared in the Portland Guardian on March 13, 1891 and described the incident and the preparations of the diver which makes interesting reading.

An inquest was held into the accident.

“THE BOATING FATALITY AT PORT FAIRY.” The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957) 10 Mar 1891: 5. Web.<http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article8482214&gt;.

Coincidentally, George’s father, George Best snr a Port Fairy saddler, drowned in almost the same place 30 years before.  His body was never located.

“THE EDUCATION DIFFICULTY SOLVED.” The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 – 1954) 23 Apr 1861: <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article154888852&gt;.

George and Emilie’s daughter, Elsie May Best was buried with her parents.  She died on October 10 1897 at Port Fairy aged 20 years and 10 months.

“Family Notices.” The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 – 1946) 23 Oct 1897: 55. <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article138629574&gt;.

George’s wife  Emilie Melina Jenkins died in a private hospital “Somerset House” in East Melbourne on April 10, 1924.

“Family Notices.” The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957) 12 Apr 1924: <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article1903476&gt;.

When you walk through a country cemetery and see dozens of unfamiliar names, then later research those names, it’s amazing what you can dig up, so to speak.  Francis Alexander Corbett is one such name. Francis born in 1818, was buried in the Port Fairy cemetery with his wife Ellen Louisa Lane.

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GRAVE OF FRANCIS ALEXANDER CORBETT AND HIS WIFE ELLEN LOUISA LANE

After searching Trove newspapers, I discovered that Francis arrived in Australia in search of gold and after some time on the diggings went to Melbourne and worked as a reporter for the Argus. Not fond of the work, he moved to the Census Commission conducting the 1854, 1857 and 1861 census as Census Secretary.  He was also a life member of the Royal Society of Victoria.

corbett1

In 1857 he wrote a book Railway Economy in Victoria and in the same year married Ellen Louise Lane born c1829.  During the 1860s, Francis and Ellen moved to Port Fairy and Francis managed the estate of James Atkinson.  They later moved to Kirkstall near Warrnambool.  In 1889, the following article appeared about Francis Corbett in the Australian Town and Country Journal:

“Western Seaports of Victoria.” Australian Town and Country Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1870 – 1907) 5 Jan 1889 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article71113608&gt;.

Francis was visiting Port Fairy when he died suddenly at the Commercial Hotel (now Royal Oak Hotel) on June 10, 1893.

ROYAL OAK HOTEL, PORT FAIRY (FORMALLY THE COMMERCIAL HOTEL)

ROYAL OAK HOTEL, PORT FAIRY (FORMALLY THE COMMERCIAL HOTEL)

“Family Notices.” The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 – 1946) 17 Jun 1893: 42. <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article138656519&gt;.

An obituary appeared in the Argus:

“COUNTRY NEWS.” The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957) 12 Jun 1893: <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article8563251&gt;.

The information contained in Francis’ will was even more enlightening especially that about his brother John Corbett.

“Wills and Bequests.” Table Talk (Melbourne, Vic. : 1885 – 1939) 28 Jul 1893: <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article145711319&gt;.

I tracked down John Corbett or rather,  Admiral Sir John Corbett born 1822 and died 1893, five months after Francis.

“[No heading].” South Australian Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1889 – 1895) 16 Dec 1893: 4. <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page8442835&gt;.

On December 4, 1904, 11 years after Francis, Ellen passed away at St Kilda.

“Family Notices.” The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957) 5 Dec 1908: <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article10188785&gt;.

Five members of the Finn family lie in the following grave.  The first to pass was John Finn in 1879.  John was the owner of the Belfast Brewery and the Belfast Inn with his licence issued in 1841. He was also one of the trustees of the old cemetery which possibly refers to the Sandhills Cemetery although the Port Fairy cemetery website says. at times both cemeteries were referred to as the “old cemetery.”

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FINN FAMILY GRAVE

The next death in the Finn, family was John’s daughter-in-law Ellen, wife of Laurence Finn.  In 1896, Laurence and Ellen’s youngest son, George passed away aged 25.

“Family Notices.” The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 – 1946) 21 Mar 1896: 45. <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article139723181&gt;.

Another son, William Henry passed away in 1902.  That left just Laurence who died on May 24, 1914 aged 81 years.  His obituary appeared in the May 2013 Passing of the Pioneers.  Laurence died a wealthy man having inherited land from his father, however his will was contested.  A hearing in 1916 saw many witnesses called to assess the soundness of Laurence’s mind when his will was drawn up.  The article is available on the following link – http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article73880024

Just a handful of graves, yet so many interesting characters and stories.

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For more information about the Port Fairy Cemetery, check out the website –  Port Fairy Public Cemetery.   Also ABC Local Radio did a great story on the cemetery including an interview with Maria Cameron and you too can listen to Maria talk passionately about the cemetery.  There are also photos with the story which are so much better than mine.  It is available on the following link  – Radio Interview.  The Find A Grave entry for Port Fairy has had some great work done on it with hundreds of headstones photographed.

PORT FAIRY CEMETERY PART 2

The Victorian Heritage Database

On May 5, I attended Day 2 of the Victorian Association of Family History Organisation (VAFHO) conference in Ballarat.  It was a great day with some wonderful speakers and I regret I couldn’t make the first day.

The first keynote speaker was Lisa Gervasoni, a town planner dedicated to Heritage conservation and a member of the Daylesford & District  Historical Society, among other things.  She gave a great talk about using Google Maps to help with family history research and then showed us the usefulness of the Victorian Heritage Database (VHD).  Timely, as I had considered a post about the VHD as I think it is a valuable resource for those researching families from Victoria.

The Victorian Heritage Database is a collection of Heritage places and precincts in Victoria including Heritage studies completed by local councils around the state.

While writing Passing of the Pioneer posts, if I see a property name in an obituary, I head straight to the VHD.  If the property is on the database, most times I can find more about the obit’s subject.  There is always a history of the building, property etc offering a wealth of information

In May Passing of the Pioneers, one obituary belonged to Mary Laidlaw (nee Learmonth).  She and her husband David lived at “Eildon” in Hamilton.  A search found information about the house, the architects Ussher and Kemp and the Napier Club that purchased the building in 1939, the year of Mary’s death.  Not only was I able to expand on the obituary, I learnt something of a house that it is a Hamilton landmark and has intrigued me since childhood.

"EILDON", HAMILTON

“EILDON”, HAMILTON

The VHD was useful when I researched The Parisian, the 1911 Melbourne Cup winner, because his owner John Kirby lived at “Mt Koroite Station” opposite Coleraine Racecourse .  On the VHD entry for “Mt Koroite” I found out more about John and even what he did with his winnings from the Melbourne Cup.

The VHD  is useful when researching a cemetery and I have used it for cemetery related posts.  There are photos of headstones and the Byaduk Cemetery entry even has a photo of Jonathon Harman’s headstone.  A short history of the town is given and a history of the cemetery, early burials and notable “residents” and more.

I have searched property names and  town names, but not surnames and Lisa’s talk made me realise I should.  Individuals may be listed as builders of a property or a labourer on a station.  My search of towns had found some references to my family members but I thought for the purpose of this post I would search specific family names.

None of my family were owners of large holdings or houses but the Diwell family were bricklayers and George Jelly was a builder, so maybe there was a chance.

When searching the VHD, use the “Advanced Search” form (below). It  will give you more results than the “Simple” search.

There are plenty of options to narrow down a search, but I only used the field “with all of the words“.

An entry on the database will include the location, statement of significance, history and description of the building or otherwise.  There is a Google Maps link with both the aerial view and Street View and most times there is a photo or photos.

Now for my results.  I did find entries I had seen before when searching towns,  but there were some new things.  What all the results show is the different ways your family members can be found at the Victorian Heritage Database.

HADDEN

My search started with the Haddens on my mother’s maternal line.  I had two relevant matches.  The first was about a Bills Horse Trough, in the Lions Park on the Glenelg Highway at Glenthompson installed in the 1920s.

A BILLS HORSE TROUGH (Portland Gardens)

A BILLS HORSE TROUGH (Portland Gardens)

While the horse trough had nothing to do with a Hadden, the entry has a history of the site, previously a blacksmith shop run by Donald Ross.  The other blacksmiths that operated in the town are named including the shop of  Harold James Hadden, my 2nd cousin 1 x removed.

Buggies outside blacksmith's shop.  Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria -  Elliot collection.  http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/42869

Buggies outside blacksmith’s shop. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria – Elliot collection. http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/42869

I knew Harold was a blacksmith and that he lived in Glenthompson during that time period, but I didn’t know he ran his own blacksmith shop.

Another entry under “Hadden” was found on a previous search of “Cavendish” and is about gg uncle William Hadden, son of William Hadden and Mary Mortimer.  In 1913, he purchased the Cavendish Cobb & Co Depot and Stables (below) and the adjacent property on the corner of the Hamilton Road and Scott Street, Cavendish.  The 1914 Electoral Roll lists William’s occupation as blacksmith, useful with a Cobb & Co depot.  However, in 1915, the train came to Cavendish taking passengers away from Cobb & Co.

By 1919, William was living at Kiata near Nhill in the Mallee, running the Kiata Hotel.  I am not sure if he had sold the Cobb & Co depot by that time but he never returned to Cavendish and died in Geelong in 1927.

HARMAN

A “Harman” search brought up not a building but a roadside Memorial plantation at Byaduk, sadly in poor condition.  The trees, planted in memory of the Byaduk soldiers that served during WW2, have not been maintained over the years.  My 1st cousin 3 x removed and grandson of James and Susan Harman, Leonard Roy Harman, was killed during the war as was another Byaduk man A.R.McNair.   The Southern Grampians Shire Heritage study on this site reported that much of the significance and integrity of the site had been lost.

The Memorial planting was the only “Harman” reference found until I did a “Byaduk” search.  Then I discovered that a search of “Harman” did not bring up any references to “Harman’s”.  This was after I read the report about the Byaduk General Store ruins.  The general store is thought to have opened around 1863 when another early shop opened,  Joseph Harman’s, bootmaking shop.

DIWELL

I then turned to Mum’s paternal side and searched the Diwells.

Surprisingly the result took me back to Cavendish, a town I never thought they had links to.  However, I found my gg uncle William Diwell, a bricklayer, was the contractor that built the Cavendish Memorial Hall in 1920.

It was no surprise William Diwell was a bricklayer.  The following entries are about his father and grandfathers, all bricklayers or builders.

Firstly, St. Andrews Presbyterian Church in Merino.  Builders Northcott and Diwell built the church in 1868.  That would be ggg grandfather William Diwell and I am assuming Northcott is George Northcott of Merino.  George owned Merino’s Commercial Hotel (below) and the Cobb & Co Station.  From the VHD I  discovered they received  £126/15/- for the job and that they had also built the Merino Free Library and the Mechanics Institute.

COMMERCIAL HOTEL, MERINO 1880 Image Courtesy of the State Library of South Australia http://images.slsa.sa.gov.au/mpcimg/22000/B21766_112.htm

COMMERCIAL HOTEL, MERINO 1880 Image Courtesy of the State Library of South Australia http://images.slsa.sa.gov.au/mpcimg/22000/B21766_112.htm

The next Diwell match was for the Sandford Mechanics Hall (below).  I knew from a transcript of the booklet, Back to Sandford Centenary: 1957  on the Glenelg and Wannon Pioneers site, William Diwell senior had a link to the building of the Mechanics Hall but only that he suggested that it be made of brick and not wood.  The VHD shed a little more light on a conversation that took place between William and the committee secretary J.S. Anderson in 1864, but in doing so, it leaves me questioning the entry

From the Back to Sandford booklet ,I knew that William ran into Mr Anderson on the Casterton Road.  Anderson told William of the plans to call for a tender for the building of a wooden hall.  William suggested a brick building and that Mr Anderson should take the idea to the committee before advertising.  The committee thought it was a great idea and they called for tenders for a brick hall.

Turning to the VHD, the report continues on from the above story but cites rate book entries from 1863 that Richard Diwell of Casterton was a brickmaker or bricklayer.  Richard was my gg grandfather and he was nine in 1863 . It continued with the story that William suggested Anderson go back to the committee, but added that William had a proposal , maybe an offer of funding.  The committee agreed to the unknown proposal and the tender process began.   The tender was won by James McCormack.

The thing is, the hall was not built until 1885, 19 years after William Diwell met Mr Anderson on the Casterton Road.  William had been dead 14 years.  So he could hardly be credited for a brick hall,  surely.  Also, why is Richard Diwell mentioned?  Did they mean William or was Richard involved later when the hall was built when, as a 30-year-old bricklayer, it was more realistic?

JELLY

I found entries for George Jelly, my ggg grandfather, and father-in-law of Richard Diwell.  George built the Anglican Rectory in Henty Street Casterton in 1887.

What particularly interested me came from a spontaneous search I did for “George Jellie”.  It brought up the Coleraine Anglican Church.  The history of the church referred to the original structure built in 1853 by Casterton contractor, George Jellie.  My George Jelly did not arrive in Victoria until 1855 aboard the Athelate with his wife Jane and daughter, Mary.  According to his obituary, they first went to Murndal at Tahara, run by Samuel Pratt Winter and then on to Casterton.  George and Jane’s first born child in Australia was my gg grandmother, Elizabeth Ann Jelly at Casterton in 1856.

That beggars the questions, was there a George Jellie, contractor of Casterton in 1853 or did the first building at the Coleraine Anglican Church not get constructed until around 1856 by which time George Jelly had arrived in the town?  More research is needed on that one.

George’s obituary credits him for building the Casterton Mechanics Institute also, however that building is not on the VHD.

——————————————————–

While the Victorian Heritage Database is full of useful information, I do wrestle with it on occasions as it takes on a mind of its own.  I use a Firefox browser and I think it doesn’t agree with the database. I have tested Chrome and it seems a lot happier.  Another problem I occasionally have is when clicking on a link to VHD from Google or Western District Families.  I get a message that my session has ended.  If that happens, page back and click again and it will come up.

More on Lisa Gervasoni.  Lisa  has over 300,000 photos on Flickr and they are also found with a Trove search.  Lisa’s photos of landmarks and war memorials, often come up in my searches of Western Victorian towns.  When I have wanted to see what something in the Western District looks like, Lisa’s great photos have been there.  Thank you Lisa.

More on the VAFHO conference.  It was great to finally meet in person, Liz Pidgeon from the Yarra Plenty Regional Library and Infolass blog, who I have known on social media for some time.   I also met Craige from the Mortlake Historical Society.  You should check out the great Facebook page he is running for the society.

Passing of the Pioneers

April Passing of the Pioneers includes members of some of Western Victoria’s well-known pioneering families including Bell, Learmonth, Trigger, Kittson and Coulson. There is also the great character of Thomas Tattersall of Ararat, a train driving pioneer.

Edwin CUMMINGS:  Died 2 April 1892 at Portland. Edwin Cummings, originally from Tasmania, had only been in Portland around sixteen years but in that time he worked hard to improve his lot. On his arrival in Portland, he ran a successful saw-milling/cabinet making business. Edwin then moved to farming pursuits. Using modern farming methods, he was able to improve his holding. Edwin also lost several adult children to consumption.

Thomas TATTERSALL: Died 24 April 1894 at Ararat. Lancashire born Thomas Tattersall died from fish poisoning on his birthday. He was a pioneering engine driver and his death was recognised by the  Governor of Victoria who sent a telegram of condolence to the Ararat railway station. Thomas drove the first train from Melbourne to Bendigo and was one of the first drivers to Portland. He had also driven the train for many dignitaries including the Governor and the Premier of Victoria.

Thomas BROWN: Died April 1903 at Hamilton. Thomas Brown went to Hamilton with his parents, after their arrival in Victoria from Scotland in 1852.  Thomas was an elder of the Hamilton Presbyterian Church and a long time member of the Sons of Temperance and was also involved with other temperance movements. Active in many charities, his obituary noted that the poor of Hamilton had lost a friend in Thomas Brown.

Alfred COWLAND:  Died 27 April 1908 at Casterton. Alfred Cowland was born in Kent, England and arrived in Victoria around 1858 aged twenty-two  He travelled with his parents, and Alfred and his father began farming at Greenwalde.  Alfred married the widow of Fred Spencer, but they did not have any children.

Sophia Styche COLBY: Died 8 April 1915 at Port Fairy. Sophia Colby’s husband Harry Osmond was a partner in Osmond Bros., hotel keepers and butchers. Sophia was the hostess at the Market Hotel, Port Fairy and considered a most popular landlady in the Western District and if the races were on, she was there.

Thomas Ferry PEARSON:  Died 24 April 1915 at Port Fairy. Thomas Pearson was born at Newcastle-on-Tyne, England and arrived in Portland in 1852. He married Jane Strachan there before moving to Port Fairy in 1855.  He went to work on the pilot boats under Captain Mills and then for 13 years was keeper of the Griffiths Island lighthouse.

GRIFFITHS ISLAND, PORT FAIRY.

GRIFFITHS ISLAND LIGHTHOUSE, PORT FAIRY.

Francis Stubbs COULSON: Died 10 April 1916 at Hamilton. Francis Coulson was the husband of my gg aunt Harriet Martha Diwell. He was the son of Christopher Coulson and Mary Frances Stubbs and was born in Yorkshire, England in 1842.  He married Harriet in 1873 and they had thirteen children. Francis ran a carrying business between Portland and the inland towns. He also farmed at Rosebank Dwyers Creek and hard work saw him turn it into a “nice property”.

Mary Ann ANDREWS: Died 23 April 1918 at Port Fairy. Mary Ann Andrews was born in Somersetshire, England and arrived in Victoria in 1852. Soon after she married Joseph Digby.  They had a large family of nine sons and daughters.  She was eighty-eight at the time of her death.

Kate CUE: Died 23 April 1917 at Port Fairy. Kate Cue was from the Casterton district. Her brother  Tom Cue, a miner, had the town Cue, Western Australia named after him. Kate married William Sutherland McPherson of Nangeela station, Casterton. They took up residence in Port Fairy and had seven children.

James MAHONEY: Died 27 April 1918 at Port Fairy. James Mahoney of Killarney was a member of one of the oldest families in the district. He was the son of Mrs Quirk and had three brothers and a sister living at the time of his death aged sixty-nine. James had travelled extensively throughout Australia and never married.

James BELL: Died April 1923 at Mt. Eckersley. James Bell was a member of the well known Bell family of Mt Eckersley near Heywood. James, his parents and siblings arrived in Victoria in 1841 and they settled at Mt Eckersley. He was the last surviving member of the original family known for their longevity. James was ninety-seven at the time of his death and his father John Bell lived to 101.

Jonathan HARMAN:  Died April 1930 at Heywood. Jonathan Harman, my ggg uncle was also from a family known for longevity. He died at the home of his daughter, Amelia, wife of the nephew of James Bell (above). Jonathan was ninety-two years old and a colonist of seventy-six years.

Kate Isabella HILL: Died April 1934 at Wodonga. Kate Hill was the daughter of John and Isabella Hill of West Portland.  She was better known as “Kitty Hill” and her and sister Lizzie were household names in their early days. John Hill was a local school teacher. Kitty married William Smith of Wodonga and was seventy-five years old when she died.

Alexander MOTT:  Died 12 April 1934 at Casterton. Alexander was born in Millicent, South Australia and went to the Casterton district in the early 1900s. He farmed at Carapook and Bahgallah before settling in the Casterton township. His wife predeceased him and he left seven sons and daughters.

Mary Simpson LEARMONTH: Died 2 April 1939 at Hamilton. Mary Learmonth was from one well-known Hamilton family and married into another when she wed David Fraser Laidlaw in 1899. Mary was the daughter of Peter Learmonth of Prestonholme Hamilton. David’s father was David Laidlaw, a saddler who arrived in Hamilton with no money and become one of the town’s most prominent citizens.

Mary was quite the sportswoman and was seventeen times female champion of the Hamilton Golf Club. This was according to her obituary in the Portland Guardian, however, her obituary in The Argus of April 4, 1939 states she was club champion thirty-nine times.  She was also a talented tennis and croquet player. Other than sport, Mary was president of the Australian Women’s National League prior to her death and was a member of the Hamilton Horticulture Society.

Mary died at her home Eildon on the corner of Thompson and French Street Hamilton. Everyone who has lived in Hamilton will know the Laidlaw’s former home, just on the edge of the CBD and overlooking the Hamilton Botanic Gardens.  The house, designed by Ussher and Kemp, was sold after Mary’s death to the Napier Club, a club formed by the female counterparts of the Hamilton Club.  The club, formed around 1931, still occupies Eildon today.

“Eildon”, Hamilton

Alice Maria WYATT:  Died 23 April 1940 at Hamilton. Alice Wyatt, the daughter of Mr and Mrs Thomas Lewis Wyatt, spent her childhood in Portland before moving to Hamilton around 1878 when she was twenty. She did spend some time in Melbourne working for Sir Edward Miller and his wife Lady Mary Miller. Sir Edward was a politician who made his money in finance and pastoral pursuits.  Alice spent the last twenty-five years of her life in Hamilton.

Irwin BELL: Died April 1940 at Hamilton. Irwin Bell of Dartmoor was a son of James Bell (above). Irwin was born in Portland around 1874 and lived at Mt Eckersley until the Bell family property was sold. He married Ann Letts of Heywood and together they led a life dedicated to the Church of England. They established the first Sunday School at Dartmoor and prepared parishioners for their first communion. Irwin also worked for the Department of Forestry and in later years was a Justice of the Peace. He died at KiaOra Hospital in Hamilton and was buried at Heywood cemetery.

James TRIGGER:  Died 25 April 1945 at Macarthur. James Trigger was the son of Samuel and Eliza Trigger of Warrabkook near Macarthur. Born in 1859, James selected land at Mt Eccles at a young age and he farmed there for the duration of his life.

OBITUARY. (1945, May 24). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 - 1953), p. 3 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved April 27, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64404393

OBITUARY. (1945, May 24). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953), p. 3 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved April 27, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64404393

James was interested in horse racing and was an owner of a number of horses. He left a widow and a son and daughter.

Robert Steven KITTSON: Died 8 April 1948 at Lower Cape Bridgewater. Robert Stephen Kittson was the son of James Kittson and Catherine Trotter and the last surviving member of the first family of Kittsons to arrive at Cape Bridgewater. A deeply religious man, he was involved in many church activities. Having had two sons serve in WW1, Robert showed an interest in returned servicemen and with his passing “ex-servicemen have lost a loyal friend”

Mary Ann ALLSOP:  Died 10 April 1953 at Port Campbell. Mary Ann was the daughter of Mr and Mrs Samuel Allsop, pioneers of the Port Campbell district. She married Thomas Wiggens at Purrumbete. After the death of Thomas, Mary Ann moved to Camperdown.  She left one son and three daughters and was buried at the Camperdown cemetery.

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.