Passing of the Pioneers

Welcome to November Passing of the Pioneers with a Stawell, Port Fairy and Irish flavour. The pioneers include a licensee, a chemist and an inventive engineer.

If you are new to the monthly Passing of the Pioneers, the obituaries listed here are a summary of the original obituaries, using dates and other information direct from the obituary. I make no attempt to check or correct information contained in the obituary. The original obituaries are found by clicking on the names of the pioneers.

A word of warning, while obituaries often have a wealth of information, that information must be treated with caution.  Naturally, obituaries are written using second-hand information and recall events that occurred many years before the subject’s death, therefore that information can often be incorrect and sometimes even fanciful.   Therefore, information found in an obituary can only used for a guide to find primary sources to qualify the claims of an obituary.

Alexander RUSSELL: Died 27 November 1867 at Port Fairy. When Alexander Russell first arrived in Port Fairy in 1847, he took up his chosen profession as a doctor. However, upon his return to the “old country” he gave away medicine and moved into the field of “mercantile speculation” and upon his return to Port Fairy established the Moyne Mill using machinery he brought back from Scotland. Alexander was also the first Mayor of Belfast (Port Fairy) and was elected to the State parliament as member for Villiers and Heytesbury. He relinquished his seat due to ill-health.

Mary D. KEATING: Died 8 November 1914 at Port Fairy. Mary Keating was born in Port Fairy and before her marriage to William Wall, she worked as a teacher at the local Catholic school. William was the Secretary of the Belfast Shire. During her life, Mary was a tireless worker for the Catholic church. William predeceased Mary by fifteen years and they had four children.

Michael QUINLAN: Died November 1914 at Hawkesdale. Michael Quinlan was born in Tipperary, Ireland around 1835, and travelled to Australia when he was around twenty-four. He settled first around Koroit, before taking up land at Hawkesdale. He was a Minhamite Shire Councillor and enjoyed visiting the winter race meeting at Warrnambool.  Michael left one daughter at the time of his passing.

George KAY:  Died 11 November 1915 at Stawell. George Kay lived his forty-nine years in Stawell, in that relatively short time left his mark. He began work at the Stawell foundry and worked in engineering. He took up a partnership in the Kay & Co. Stawell Foundry and remained there until his death. One of his engineering feats was inventing a judging machine for the Stawell Athletics Club, famous for the Stawell Gift. The machine earned him much praise, including from the Governor of Victoria on a trip to Stawell. He was a member of the Stawell Rifle Club and a member of the Pride of Wimmera Lodge.  He left a widow and two daughters.

William WAREHAM: Died 3 November 1916 at Woolongoon. William Wareham was born at Box Hill in 1844 and at nineteen went to work at Woolongoon Station, near Mortlake. He married and settled in the area.

OBITUARY. (1916, November 8). Mortlake Dispatch (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), p. 3. Retrieved November 29, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article119795904

OBITUARY. (1916, November 8). Mortlake Dispatch (Vic. : 1914 – 1918), p. 3. Retrieved November 29, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article119795904

He left a large family including thirty-two grandchildren.

Mary KELLY: Died 19 November 1916 at Stawell. Mary Kelly was born in Tipperary, Ireland around 1836 and travelled to Australia with her parents when she was a girl. She married John Kay and they settled at Great Western.They later moved to Stawell and ran a wine saloon in Main Street before becoming licensees of the Star Hotel (later known as the Stawell Club) in the late 1890s. Family members continued to run the hotel until 1910 when John Alison took over the licence, but Mary continued to own the building.

Margaret ANDERSON: Died 20 November 1916 at Port Fairy. Margaret Anderson was born in Melbourne in 1844 and moved to the Western District with her family at the age of three, taking up residence at Rosebrook. She married John Wright and they settled at nearby Yambuk. Four years prior to her death, Margaret moved into Port Fairy. She was a devout member of St Patrick’s Catholic Church at Port Fairy. Three sons and one daughter were alive at the time of her death, with son George a parish priest in New Zealand.

ST. PATRICKS CATHOLIC CHURCH, PORT FAIRY.  Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria,  Image no H32492/7521 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/61612

ST. PATRICKS CATHOLIC CHURCH, PORT FAIRY. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria, Image no H32492/7521 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/61612

William DAWSON: Died 30 November 1916 at Stawell. William Dawson was born in Stawell around 1868 and followed his father into the chemist business. After his father’s death, William took over the family chemist shop. William’s passion was sport and he was involved in most of what was on offer in Stawell.  He rode high-wheeled bicycles when they were in vogue and was an official at the Stawell Cycling Club. William was also a cricketer and played with state side, the Victorian Rangers. He was also a founding member of the Stawell Rifle Club and Golf Club and was a keen fisherman. Sport aside, William was a prominent member of the Stawell Brass Band.

Bridget MAHONEY: Died 15 November 1918 at Port Fairy. Bridget Mahoney was born in Ireland in 1823. She arrived in Australia with her husband John Clancy in 1855, travelling from America. Bridget and John settled on a farm at Yambuk.  John passed away around 1895 and Bridget continued to live at Yambuk until seven years prior to her death when she moved to Port Fairy to live with her daughter Lizzie.

William REES: Died 29 November 1918 at Stawell. William Rees was born in South Wales around 1830. He began an apprenticeship as a joiner and for the next five years he travelled to Canada and the United States, arriving in California in 1853. In 1854, he was lured to the goldfields of Victoria, including Ballarat, Carisbrook and Ararat. He married another native of South Wales in Jane Symons in 1855. William and Jane arrived at Stawell in 1857. William  worked as a carpenter for the Oriental and North Cross Mining Company for many years.

 

Passing of the Pioneers

A small but interesting band of pioneers join the August Passing of the Pioneers.

Stephen Rowan ROBERTSON: – Died 19 August 1900 at Portland. Stephen Rowan Robertson was a she, not he, a sister of John G. Robertson, owner of Wando Vale station. Stephen arrived in Victoria in 1842 around the age of thirty-four and in 1846 she married William Corney (below) who took up the lease of Wando Vale. After some time back in England, William and Stephen made their home at South Portland. One of the stained glass windows at St Stephen’s Church, Portland was dedicated to William Corney (below) by his son Robert.

WILLIAM CORNEY (1872).  Photographer Thomas Foster Chuck.  Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria.  Image no. H5056/211 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/17942

WILLIAM CORNEY (1872). Photographer Thomas Foster Chuck. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H5056/211 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/17942

Peter MacKINNON: Died 5 August 1902 at Hamilton. Peter MacKinnon was born in Sterlingshire, Scotland around 1825 and arrived in Victoria around 1852. His first job in the colony was at Coleraine as a bookkeeper and then later at Hamilton as a bookkeeper for the timber yard of Mr Collins in Gray Street. He then worked for many years at the Hamilton Spectator as a machinist. In his later years, he returned to bookkeeping with the Collins timber yard.

Thomas REES: Died 7 August 1918 at Hamilton. This is one of the first obituaries I have posted from the Hamilton Spectator and it has one of the best openings to an obituary (only a genealogist could/would say that). The reference to the early colonist encapsulates the spirit of the monthly Passing of the Pioneer posts.

THE PASSING OF THE PIONEERS. (1918, August 15). Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), p. 4. Retrieved August 30, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article119505339

THE PASSING OF THE PIONEERS. (1918, August 15). Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1914 – 1918), p. 4. Retrieved August 30, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article119505339

Basil McConochie LYON: Died 7 August 1916 at Coleraine. Basil Lyon was born in Glasgow, Scotland around 1850.  When he arrived in Victoria he went to the Konongwootong Creek Estate the property of his maternal uncle. John McConochie. He later took up land with his brother at Balmoral.  Basil was  a member of the Kowree Shire Council for several years and was also a Justice of the Peace.  He was a founding member of the Coleraine branch of the Australian People’s Party.

Arthur BALLMENT: Died 26 August 1916 at Perth, Western Australia. Arthur Ballment was from Plymouth, England where his father Hugh was a well-known shipbuilder and merchant.  Arthur left England in 1865 aboard the Roxburgh Castle to Melbourne aged twenty-one. He gave New Zealand a try before returning to Victoria and Ararat where he ran a tannery business. He had a strong interest in politics, at a local level while in Ararat and upon retirement to Western Australia, thirteen years before his death, he followed both Australian and British politics. Arthur was described as a “typical Englishman”. One of Arthur’s sisters married British political cartoonist, Sir Francis Carruthers Gould while his daughter  Marion was a Western Australian based artist of some note.

William ROBERTSON: Died 6 August 1918 at East Melbourne. William Robertson, a son of Duncan Robertson and Ann Fraser, was born in New South Wales in 1839 and went to the Western District with his family aged four. Duncan took up Straun. He later moved to Gringegalgona  where William remained, unmarried, for the rest of his life. William was keen on horse racing and over a forty-year period his horses won the Casterton Cup on two occasions, the Warrnambool Cup, and the Great Western Steeple. His trainer was James Agnew, also a Passing Pioneer this month (below).

Bridget HASSETT: Died 14 August 1919 at Dundindin, Western Australia.

Obituary. (1919, September 9). The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 - 1954), p. 5. Retrieved August 28, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article73052506

Obituary. (1919, September 9). The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 – 1954), p. 5. Retrieved August 28, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article73052506

Bridget Hassett and her husband Patrick Mullan raised a family of thirteen children, five of whom were still living at the time of her death, as was Patrick then aged ninety.

Letitia BEST: Died  7 August 1941 at Melbourne. Born around 1848 in County Caven, Ireland, Letitia Best arrived at Portland in 1856 aboard the General Hewitt with her parents William and Letitia Best and six siblings (NB: the date of arrival in Letita’s obituary is 1853). The family settled at Heywood where Letitia later married Donald Rankin. Donald and Letitia spent some years at Harrow before moving to Western Australia for 30 years. When Donald passed away, Letitia returned to Victoria.

James AGNEW: Died 10 August 1942 at Hamilton. James Agnew was born at Cowie’s Creek near Geelong around 1857 and as a boy moved with his parents to the Wimmera. In his  teen years, James moved to the NSW Riverina working at Yanco Station where his career with horses began. A meeting with the trainer of Carbine, Walter Hickenbotham spurred him on to become a racehorse trainer.

James eventually settled in Hamilton as a trainer and took on horses for owners such as George Robertson (above) and John Kirby. The racing career of Kirby’s horse The Parisian was all but over when he arrived with Agnew with the horse failing over short distances . James saw the staying potential in the horse and trained him accordingly.  As a result he won the Warrnambool and Hamilton Cups. Kirby then too saw The Parisian’s potential to win a Melbourne Cup and moved the horse to a Melbourne trainer, thus robbing James Agnew of a chance to win a Melbourne Cup, as The Parisian saluted in 1911.  If it wasn’t for James Agnew, James Kirby is unlikely to have held the Melbourne Cup in 1911.

Charles BRADSHAW: Died 13 August 1944 at Portland. Charles Bradshaw lived his entire eighty-nine years at Portland, the son of William Bradshaw, operator of a wool washing business. Charles worked in several industries including bone crushing, tomato growing and like his father, wool washing.  He married local girl Eileen Robins and they raised two sons and two daughters.