Passing of the Pioneers

This month seven pioneers join the Pioneers Obituary Index including a banker, a blacksmith, and a man who inadvertently shaped my family history.  As usual, I’ve included links to further information throughout the post so click on the underlined text to learn more.

CHIRNSIDE, Thomas – Died June 1887 at Werribee.  As much as I’d like to look at Thomas Chirnside’s life story in-depth, it would need more space than I can give in this post. There are so many interesting facets of his life such as the many properties he owned, his contribution to thoroughbred breeding and racing in colonial Victoria, and his association with the Victorian Acclimatization Society.  Instead, I’ll give you an overview of his life with links to further information and at the end.

THOMAS CHIRNSIDE (1874). Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/153091

Thomas Chirnside was born in 1815 at Cockburnspath, Berwickshire, Scotland.  He left Scotland in 1838 and his first stop in Australia was at Adelaide in January 1839 before going on to Sydney.  His younger brother Andrew arrived in Melbourne later in 1839 so Thomas travelled to meet him. The brothers then went on to Sydney to buy stock to take overland to Adelaide to sell.  Thomas and Andrew then took up a run on the Loddon River in 1840, passed and named by Major Thomas Mitchell only four years before. From the Lodden, Thomas and Andrew followed the path of Mitchell again towards the Western District and in 1842 they found before them the highest peak in the Grampians named Mount William by Major Mitchell.

VIEW TOWARDS MOUNT WILLIAM

The land appealed to the brothers and they established a station named after the nearby peak.  It was not without its dangers.

“THE GAOL BREAKING CONVICTS.” Geelong Advertiser (Vic. : 1840 – 1845) 27 March 1843

The brothers ran Merino sheep and cattle at Mount William and a large woolshed (below) with twenty stands was built in 1865.

MOUNT WILLLIAM WOOLSHED BUILT c1865. Image courtesy of the State Library of South Australia Image no. B 71655/17 https://collections.slsa.sa.gov.au/resource/B+71655/17

Thomas and Andrew went on to buy Mokanger station on the Wannon River near Cavendish in 1843 and in the years after, acquired properties such as Mount Emu Creek and Carranballac near Skipton (below) and Kenilworth South and Victoria Lagoon near Cavendish.  By 1870 between them, they had acquired around 250,000 acres of land in Victoria.

CARRANBALLAC WOOLSHED. Image courtesy of the J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria. http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/233898

The Chirnside name was soon connected with horse racing in the colony.  It’s amazing to think they were standing thoroughbred stallions at stud in 1845, but while it was the early days of racing in Victoria it was happening decades before in New South Wales and Tasmania.

“Advertising” The Melbourne Courier (Vic. : 1845 – 1846) 27 August 1845: 3. Web. 14 Jun 2018 .

The Chirnsides were soon racing their progeny and it was Mount William station bred Alice Hawthorn in the late 1850s who brought them their first notable success.  It appears Thomas was more interested in the breeding side of the business while Andrew was into racing, with many horses they bred raced in Andrew’s name including 1874  Melbourne Cup winner Haricot.

From 1849, Thomas began acquiring land at Wyndham, west of Melbourne and he soon built up an estate of 80,000 acres known as Werribee Park.  As a member of the Victorian Acclimatisation Society, Thomas began importing animals from the old country, red deer, foxes, hares, pheasants, and partridges. It wasn’t long before “fine old English gentleman” were hunting the new arrivals around the vast expanse of Werribee Park.

“MR. CHIRNSIDE AND THE CAMP AT WERRIBEE PARK. To the Editor of the Geelong Advertiser.” Geelong Advertiser (Vic. : 1859 – 1929) 16 March 1861: 3. Web. 17 Jun 2018 .

Although a homestead and outbuildings were built in the early days at Werribee Park, in 1873 work started on a beautiful mansion.

WERRIBEE MANSION c1880. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/155659

Thomas lived at the mansion but in the years before his death, he moved to another of his properties, Point Cook where much of the Chirnsides’ thoroughbred breeding took place.

POINT COOK HOMESTEAD IN 1971. Image courtesy of J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria. http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/169911

Thomas never married and as he reached old age in the 1880s, he signed all his property over to his brother and nephews except for Point Cook.  Thomas did return to live at Werribee Park and took his own life there in 1887.  He was buried at the Geelong Eastern Cemetery.

You can find more information about Thomas Chirnside on the following links

Obituary of Thomas Chirnside from The Australasian

Obituary of Thomas Chirnside from The Argus

Biography of Thomas Chirnside from the Australian Dictionary of Biography

Alice Hawthorn – The Western Mare

If it was not for Thomas Chirnside and his brother Andrew, my family history may have been very different.  From the 1850s, my ggg grandfathers Charles Hadden and James Mortimer were employed by the Chirnsides.  The Haddens came from Haddington, East Lothian, Scotland just thirty kilometres from Thomas Chirnside’s birthplace. Charles, his wife Agnes and three sons went straight from Melbourne to Mokanger after they arrived on the Marco Polo in September 1852.  They weren’t there long before they went east again to the Chirnside’s Carranballac Station where Margaret was born in 1853. Charles then thought he’d try his luck at the diggings but it wasn’t long before he was back working for the Chirnsides again but at Mount William Station where a daughter Ellen was born in 1861.  In 1863 they arrived back at Mokanger and son John was born there the following year.  After ten years, of moving they finally decided to settle there.

James Mortimer, his wife Rosanna and four children also arrived in Melbourne in September 1852 on the Bombay, and a daughter Mary was born the following year at Mount William Station. Around 1860, the Mortimers moved on to Mokanger.  James Mortimer was a ploughman and later an overseer and Charles Hadden a boundary rider at the Cavendish property.  The Hadden and Mortimer children grew up together and on 17 March 1870, William Hadden by then himself working at Mokanger, married Mary Mortimer at the property.  William was twenty-three and Mary just seventeen.  William continued working at Mokanger into his eighties and saw the property change hands from the Chirnsides.

McEWEN, Peter – Died 9 June 1902 at Hamilton.  Peter McEwen was born in Argyllshire, Scotland and arrived in Victoria in 1863.  He went first to Tullich station near Casterton owned by Miles Fletcher before becoming the manager of Argyle Station. In 1867, Peter took over the running of Dunrobin Station also near Casterton, holding the position of manager until his death.  In 1872, Peter married Jessie Fletcher and they had three sons and three daughters.

In 1901, the Casterton Caledonian Society was formed and Peter was the inaugural chief of the society.  A kind and charitable man, the respect for him was demonstrated when people from across the district attended his funeral to pay their respects.  More than seventy buggies along with horsemen followed the cortège which travelled from Dunrobin station to Casterton reaching a length of almost a kilometre as seen in the photo below.  You can read an article about the funeral on the link – Funeral of Peter McEwen.

THE FUNERAL PROCESSION OF PETER McEWEN MOVING ALONG RACECOURSE ROAD, CASTERTON ON 11 JUNE 1902. Image courtesy of the Museums Victoria Collections https://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/items/774845

HELPMAN, Walter Stephen – Died 24 June 1914 at Warrnambool.  Walter Helpman was born in Fremantle, Western Australia, a son of Captain Benjamin Helpman and Ann Pace, a sister of Mrs Jane Henty. The Helpmans moved to Victoria and settled in Warrnambool.  Walter attended school in Portland before going to a grammar school in South Melbourne.  In 1869, he joined the National Bank at Warrnambool before moving to the Geelong branch as an accountant.  In 1875, he became manager of the Colonial Bank at Koroit and in 1876, started a branch at Port Fairy. In 1877, Walter became the manager of the Warrnambool branch of the Colonial Bank and he married Isabella Murray in the same year. The first of Isabella and Walter’s children was Francis born in Warrnambool in 1878. Then followed twins Isabella Jean and James in 1881 and Gordon born in 1884.

Walter left the Colonial Bank in 1902 and the Helpmans left Warrnambool. Walter had a job as a clerk with the Customs Department in Melbourne and he and Isabella moved to 547 Collins Street, Melbourne, the location of the Federal Hotel.

FEDERAL HOTEL, MELBOURNE. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/247026

In 1907, Isabella and Walter’s son James married May Gardiner at Millicent, South Australia.  A son Robert known as “Bobbie”, was born to James and May at Mt Gambier in 1909.  Walter and Isabella returned to Warrnambool around 1912, but two years later Walter died.  Isabella died at Warrnambool in 1924.  Their grandson “Bobbie” grew up to become Sir Robert Helpman.

ILLINGWORTH, John – Died 11 June 1915 at Casterton.  John was born in Lancashire, England in 1835 and went to London to take up an apprenticeship as a blacksmith and wheelwright.  On completion, he travelled to Dublin, Ireland and while there, he and friend decided to travel to Australia.  They arrived in 1860 and John spent time in Melbourne and Castlemaine before moving on to Ballarat where he remained for twenty years. There he married Sarah Jane Culliford in 1867.  In 1882, John and his family arrived in Casterton and settled on Toorak Hill.  John purchased the blacksmith and wheelwright business of Alexander McBean.

JOHN ILLINGWORTH’S CARRIAGE FACTORY AND BLACKSMITHS, CASTERTON c1906. Image courtesy of the Museums Victoria Collections https://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/items/766354

“Advertising” Advocate (Melbourne, Vic. : 1868 – 1954) 7 March 1903: 32. Web. 18 Jun 2018 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article169741611&gt;.

Away from work, John attended the Casterton Methodist Church and was a trustee and circuit steward as well as a Sunday School teacher and superintendent.  John was also a member of the Glenelg Lodge of Freemasons. At the time of his death, John left his widow Sarah and two sons and two daughters.

CASTERTON WESLEYAN METHODIST CHURCH c1880. Image courtesy of the Museums Victoria Collections https://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/items/766563

HICKLING, Wyatt Ware – Died 19 June 1916 at Macarthur.  Wyatt Hickling was born in  Warrnambool around 1876.  As a child, he was sent to Dresden, Germany for two years to attend an English school.  On his return, Wyatt attended Geelong Grammar before going to St Peter’s College in Adelaide.  After his schooling, Wyatt went to work for Mr Henry De Little at Caramut North Estate before managing a property in Western Australia. On his return to Victoria, Wyatt became a partner of Caramut North.  He was known throughout Victoria as a good judge of merino sheep and was often called upon to judge at sheep shows.  He was involved with racing, coursing and the arts, taking the lead role in a number of local productions. In 1900, Wyatt married Tessa Ada Ferguson of Adelaide and they had two sons.

On Wednesday 31 May 1916, Wyatt was travelling in a motor car near Macarthur with Mr N. Whitehead when they crashed into a large rock.  Wyatt was thrown from the car and severely injured his spine at the base of his skull.  When help arrived he was unconscious and taken to the nearby Ripponhurst homestead.  Doctors were called from Hamilton and Warrnambool before two doctors from  Melbourne travelled to Macarthur to asses Wyatt’s injuries.  He showed a slight improvement but never regained consciousness and died nineteen days after the accident on 19 June.

DAVIDSON, William – Died June 1917 at Woolsthorpe.  William Davidson was born in Aberdeen, Scotland in 1832.  He married Eliza Ogilvie in 1854 and they travelled to Australia, arriving at Port Fairy in 1855.  William went to work for Joseph Ware at Minjah before opening a store at Woolsthorpe. His store was located on what was known as the Great North Road from Warrnambool to the Ararat diggings.  It was a busy road and Woolsthorpe was a popular overnight stop for travellers. They often stocked up at William’s store and he was known to take up to £100 a day.  William left the store and took up dairy-farming continuing until he suffered a stroke around 1905.  William was well-known in the Woolsthorpe district by his nickname of “The Chaffer” because of his tendency to tease.  Eliza died around 1914 and William lived on for another three years. He left twelve surviving children, forty-three grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

THOMSON, Annie – Died 14 June 1930 at Hamilton.  Annie Thomson was born in 1855 in the Shelford district were her parents James Thomson and Christian Armstrong were living at the time.  Around 1860, the Thomsons moved to the Edenhope district after James purchased an interest in the Ullswater and Maryvale Stations.  In 1870, James Thomson purchased the Monivae estate, just south of Hamilton.  In time, Annie’s father built a new homestead to accommodate his large family and she spent around seven years living there prior to her marriage.

MONIVAE HOMESTEAD OPEN DAY 2017.

When she did marry, Annie was thirty but it could have been earlier.  In 1881, her beau James Allan Learmonth, a son of Hamilton businessman and grazier Peter Learmonth and Mary Jarvey Pearson of Prestonholme left for Mexico to manage a property bought by his father.  Five years passed yet Allan and Annie’s love remained strong and in 1886, Allan returned from Mexico to marry her.  The wedding was a large social occasion and sparked much interest within the Hamilton community.  Celebrated on 1 September 1886, at St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church Hamilton, the marriage was not followed by the usual wedding breakfast.  Instead, two weeks later James Thomson hosted a private ball for two hundred guests in the Hamilton Town Hall for the newlyweds in lieu of a wedding breakfast.   

Soon after, Allan and Annie left for Mexico and they remained there until 1892, arriving back in Australia with four children, all born in Mexico.  Allan then took up the running of Corea near Dunkeld. The following year, Peter Learmonth died and Allan took over Prestonholme.  Allan died in 1928 and Annie in 1930, leaving three sons and three daughters.  She was buried with Allan at the Hamilton Old Cemetery.

GRAVE OF ANNIE THOMSON AND HER HUSBAND JAMES ALLAN LEARMONTH, HAMILTON (OLD) CEMETERY.

Annie’s parents James and Christina Thomson were to the Hamilton Presbyterian Church as James’ parents Peter and Mary Learmonth were to the Methodist Church, each devout supporters of their chosen faith. Of course, when Annie married James she moved to Methodism and she and James showed the same devotion to their faith as their parents before them.  After Annie’s death, a stained glass window was installed in Hamilton’s Methodist Church (now Uniting Church) to memorialise the couple.

MEMORIAL WINDOW FOR ANNIE THOMSON AND HER HUSBAND JAMES ALLAN LEARMONTH, HAMILTON UNITING CHURCH (FORMERLY HAMILTON METHODIST CHURCH)

2019 VAFHO Expo in Hamilton

Great news for family history researchers living in Western Victoria and the South-East of South Australia.  The 2019 VAFHO (Victorian Association of Family History Organisation) Expo will be held in Hamilton on Saturday 25 May 2019.

HAMILTON FROM THE AIR IN 1927.
Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/177671

I’m excited because we rarely get such events in the west of the state and Hamilton is pretty much the centre of my family history universe. Plus, the expo will be held at my old school Monivae College, a great venue for such an event.

MONIVAE COLLEGE, HAMILTON

There will be guest speakers, exhibitors and more.  I attended the VAFHO 2013 conference in Ballarat and it was a well-run event with great speakers.  To get a feel for the range of speakers, topics and exhibitors that may attend the 2019 Expo, follow the link to the program from the 2018 Expo at Sale https://vafho.com/2018-sale-expo/  Of course, the program will be different at Hamilton and I’ll keep you updated on who’ll be there as we move closer to the date.  I can’t wait…

Passing of the Pioneers

Welcome to a double Passing of the Pioneers covering April and May. You’ll find eleven obituaries of Western District pioneers and as always there are some great characters and stories. They include a butcher, a brewer, publicans, and a teacher of young ladies and they have connections to such towns as Camperdown, Coleraine, Branxholme and Byaduk. Remember if you click on the underlined text, you will go to further information about a subject.  This month, some of the links will take you to newspaper articles, cemetery records and the Victorian Heritage Database.

APRIL

McLEOD, John Norman – Died 18 April 1886 at Tyrendarra.  John McLeod arrived at Port Phillip from Tasmania in 1843 aboard the Tamar. He then went on to New South Wales and married Agnes Paterson on 20 August 1844 at Port Macquarie. The newlyweds returned to Port Phillip and John took up Borhoneyghurk station west of Geelong.  Their first child, a daughter was born at Geelong in 1845.

“PORT PHILLIP” The Melbourne Daily News (Vic. : 1848 – 1851) 14 February 1849: 4. Web. 14 May 2018 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article226471840&gt;.

John then took up runs further west in 1850, Tahara and Winninburn located on either side of the Wannon River.  In 1853, he sold the Tahara run and purchased land at Bolwarra near Portland where he built Maretimo (below).

MARETIMO, PORTLAND c1895 Image courtesy of the State Libary of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/266298

John continued to acquire property purchasing Castlemaddie at Tyrendarra and Mt Clay Station near Heywood. On 5 April 1865, he set off to Western Australia from Portland aboard the barque Douglas with five other locals including his brother Magnus. They took 1200 head of sheep, cattle, hay and more, in an expedition to establish grazing interests in there. By 1866, he had returned.  John sold Maretimo in 1873 and based himself at Castlemaddie.   During his life, John was a Magistrate and sat as the Portland representative in the Victorian Legislative Assembly in 1858.  After John’s death, a stained glass window was installed at St James Church, Tyrendarra in his memory.

CUE, George – Died 22 April 1897 at Casterton.  George Cue was born around 1813.  As a young man, he was a midshipman aboard the HMAS Lapwing with his uncle, Sir Thomas Ross as captain.  George then married Maria Theresa Collins and they travelled to America but returned again to London before choosing to travel to Australia.  They arrived at Melbourne aboard the Royal George in November 1850 with their five children.  During the 1850s George Cue and his family moved to Casterton when he was appointed Clerk of Courts.  He also held the role of Lands Officer and in 1872 he was appointed the Receiver of Revenue for the Casterton district.  Maria died in 1883 and George’s eldest son Thomas Cue left for Western Australia where he discovered the Cue goldfields in the early 1890s.  George was eighty-four at the time of his death in 1897 and was buried at the Sandford Cemetery.

WIGGINS, William Henry – Died April 1902 at Camperdown.  William Wiggins was born in Launceston, Tasmania around 1841 and arrived in Victoria as a child with his parents who settled at Portland. When William was older he moved to the Geelong district and completed a carpentry apprenticeship.  In 1863, he and his brother John took up the licence of the Mount Shadwell Hotel at Mortlake. John had earlier hotel experience having purchased the Buck’s Head Hotel at Drysdale with another brother James during the 1850s.  In 1865, John Wiggins purchased the Leura Hotel at Camperdown (below), and William became the manager.

WIGGINS’ LEURA HOTEL, CAMPERDOWN. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/337215

William was a fan of the arts as a member of the Camperdown Dramatic Club but he was also a keen sportsman.  He was a founder of the cricket club and was captain for a time.  He was also a leading player for the Camperdown Football Club and participated in coursing, angling and shooting.  It appears William never married.

BROWN, Thomas – Died 27 April 1903 at Hamilton. Thomas Brown was born in Paisley, Scotland around 1844.  In 1862 at the age of eighteen, Thomas arrived in Victoria with his parents Peter Brown and Margaret McFarlane.  Thomas and his brothers started a butchering business which included a tannery and fellmongery. In 1864, Thomas opened his own shop in Thompson Street next to the Commercial Hotel.

“Advertising” Hamilton Spectator and Grange District Advertiser (South Melbourne, Vic. : 1860 – 1870) 22 April 1864: 3. Web. 20 May 2018 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article194723938&gt;.

In 1867, Thomas married Mary Ann Cameron and their large family began the following year.  By 1888, Thomas had moved his butcher shop into Hamilton’s main street, Gray Street.

THOMAS BROWN’S BUTCHER SHOP Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918) 17 April 1888: 2 (SUPPLEMENT TO THE HAMILTON SPECTATOR).

Outside of business, Thomas was an elder of the Presbyterian Church and superintendent of the Sunday School.  He was associated with the temperance movement as a member of the Sons of Temperance and sat on the Hamilton Hospital committee. He was a charitable man as indicated by his obituary, “The poor of the town have lost a friend”.  Thomas left his widow, Mary Ann and seven children. Three children predeceased him.  Mary Ann died in 1928 at her home Weeroona in McIntyre Street, Hamilton.

CROUCH, Emma – Died 11 April 1904 at Ballarat.  Emma Crouch was born in 1832 in England.  Emma’s brother George left for Australia and her sister Matilda married and moved to the United States where she had three children.  In 1865, Matilda died in California and her children, Kate and Arthur McCann and their younger half-sister Eustasia de Arrayave, travelled to England to live with Emma at Roxeth near Harrow, London. The following year, Emma with Kate, Arthur and Eustasia boarded the Great Britain for Melbourne arriving on 26 December 1866.  They then caught the steamer S.S. Edina to Portland to join Emma’s brother George.  Emma established a Ladies School in Hurd Street, Portland and the Portland Girls Friendly Society. She was also an active member of the St. Stephen’s Anglican Church.

“Advertising” Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953) 5 September 1876: 3 (EVENINGS.). Web. 20 May 2018 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63336246&gt;.

Emma’s niece Kate married James William Trangmar in 1876 and moved to Coleraine and in time, Emma moved also moved to Coleraine.  She was also active in that community, entering flower shows and Coleraine Industrial Exhibition in 1894, winning first prize with her tortoiseshell cat.  Emma also set up a school for girls in Coleraine around 1880 and was an active member of the Holy Trinity Church congregation.

“Advertising” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918) 13 October 1881: 3. Web. 20 May 2018 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article226059479&gt;.

In 1904, Emma fell sick after her return to Coleraine from summer holidays in Portland. To convalesce, Emma travelled with her niece Eustasia to niece Kate’s home in Ballarat but she died on 11 April 1904. Her body was taken by train to Portland and a service was held at St Stephen’s Church before her burial at the Portland Cemetery.  On 20 December 1904, a stained glass window was dedicated to the memory of Emma at the Holy Trinity Church, Coleraine (below).

HOLY TRINITY CHURCH, COLERAINE. Image courtesy of the J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria. http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/216987

REID, Mary – Died 1 April 1912 at Branxholme.  Mary Reid was born around 1819 in Scotland.  She married Thomas Begg and they started a family.  In 1855, Mary, Thomas and their children left for South Australia on the Nashwauk.  After three months at sea, the ship crashed into the coast at the mouth of the Onkaparinga River near Noarlunga just south of Adelaide. Fortunately, the Begg family were rescued safely but they lost all their belongings. Thomas left Mary and the children in Adelaide and went to the Bendigo diggings for around fifteen months but returned no richer for his efforts.   Around 1865, Thomas selected land near Branxholme naming the property Fontus.  Thomas died in 1895 so Mary moved to the home of her daughter Agnes and her husband William Gough at Royston, Branxholme (below).  Mary remained there until her death in 1912.

ROYSTON, BRANXHOLME. Image courtesy of the J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria. http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/215598

MAY

CAMERON, Donald – Died 5 May 1879 at Portland.  Donald Cameron was born around 1810 in Scotland and arrived in Victoria after travelling overland from Sydney in 1835.  He took up the Glenroy Station at Moonee Ponds in partnership with a relative Duncan Cameron.  Donald heard of the good prospects at the Portland Bay settlement and decided to see for himself.  He arrived just in time for the first crown land sales in October 1840.  He purchased a block opposite where Mac’s Hotel now stands and built the Portland Bay Hotel (below).

THE PORTLAND BAY HOTEL. The Australasian Sketcher with Pen and Pencil (Melbourne, Vic. : 1873 – 1889) 17 December 1884: 197. Web. 30 May 2018 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article60620119

While the hotel business made Donald a wealthy man, his obituary alluded to an early land purchase near Harrow of £200 which brought him a profit of between £20,000 and £30,000 when he sold the property soon after buying it. From the profits, Donald bought the Oakbank estate of more than 6000 acres near Heywood in the early 1850s. He built a large homestead (below).

OAKBANK HOMESTEAD Leader (Melbourne, Vic. : 1862 – 1918) 8 September 1906: 6 (“THE LEADER ” ILLUSTRATED SHOW SUPPLEMENT.). Web. 28 May 2018 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article198136017

Donald then purchased the larger Hilgay near Coleraine around 1859. He married Eleanor Mary Jane Hughes on 7 April 1863 at St Mary’s Church, St Kilda and they resided at Oakbank.  Donald took an interest in politics and contributed large sums of money toward electioneering.  In May 1879, Donald travelled to Portland and took a room at Mac’s Hotel. He developed inflammation of the lungs and died at the hotel on 5 May.  His widow Eleanor died the following year on 21 June at the age of sixty-one. They had no children.

WINTER, Arbella – Died 1 May 1892 at Condah.  Arbella Winter was born at around 1821.  She arrived in Tasmania around 1839 with her brother George Winter.  During the voyage, she met fellow passenger Cecil Cooke.  Just a month after they disembarked at Launceston, Cecil and Arbella married at St John’s Church, Launceston.

“Family Notices” Launceston Advertiser (Tas. : 1829 – 1846) 23 May 1839: 2. Web. 13 Sep 2016.

Soon after, the newlyweds boarded a schooner for Victoria arriving at Portland Bay on 10 July 1839 to join Arbella’s brother Samuel Pratt Winter already in the Western District in the vicinity of the Wannon River.  Cecil travelled with his own accommodation, having brought a hut from England which he erected at Portland.  Soon after, Cecil took up a run on the Smokey River, or Crawford River as it more commonly known.  In 1842, a daughter Emily was born but she died the following year. The couple would go on to have five sons. 

Cecil was finding pioneering life tough and things were not going to plan so he went further north to Harrow in 1845 and set up the Pine Hills estate. More bad luck came when a fire went through the property in 1846.  By 1849, Cecil had sold Pine Hills to David Edgar.  He then bought Lake Condah station (below).

LAKE CONDAH HOMESTEAD c1880. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/334482

Arbella was very close to her brother Samuel and from the early 1870s, Arbella and her family spent more time at his property Murndal near Tahara upon Samuel’s insistence. Samuel died in 1878 and Arbella and Cecil’s son Samuel Winter Cooke inherited Murndal. Another son, Cyril Trevor Cooke became Murndal manager from 1883.

MURNDAL c1880. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/334528

Arbella died on 1 May 1892 at the age of seventy-one. Arbella was buried at the private cemetery at Murndal.  Arbella was a strong woman and contrasting in character to the genial Cecil.  Gordon Forth, in his paper “The Winter Cooke Papers: a valuable record of the pastoral age in Western Victoria”. (La Trobe Library Journal. 7.25 1980-04. 1-8), wrote she was “dogmatic and critical to the end”.

ARBELLA WINTER, c1864 Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria, http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/334479

As a symbol of devotion to his wife and her Christian values, Cecil had a church built in her memory at Spring Creek (below) near Condah with the foundation stone laid on 24 March 1894.  Cecil Cooke died in 1895.

SPRING CREEK CHURCH NEAR CONDAH. Image courtesy of the J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria. http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/233693

SLOANE, Thomas – Died 22 May 1910 at Hamilton.  Thomas Sloane was born in Belfast, Ireland around 1835 and arrived at Portland when he was seventeen with his parents and three younger brothers.  Thomas’ grandfather had already arrived in Victoria and was farming near Tower Hill so Thomas went to work for him.  At the time, Victoria was in the midst of the gold rush and Thomas’ four uncles were going to the Bendigo diggings so he joined them.  He was there only six months and although having some luck he moved on to the new diggings at Mount Ararat around late 1855.  It was at Ararat he met his future wife Susan Sloan and they married in 1856.

Thomas set up a soda water business and ran that until 1867 before he and Susan moved to Portland.  Using the money acquired at the diggings, Thomas built a soda water factory, the White Horse Brewery and a bakery.

“Advertising” Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser (Vic. : 1842 – 1843; 1854 – 1876) 29 March 1866: 1 (EVENING). Web. 29 May 2018 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64636152&gt;.

He sat on the Portland Council for six years and was a member of the local artillery.

Trade was tough and the Sloans moved to Hamilton in 1873 where they saw greater opportunities. Thomas took a position with brewers Younger and Hunter at the Grange Brewery.  After two years, Thomas bought out the owners.  He also purchased the North Hamilton Brewery in Pope Street from his brothers James and Robert.  In 1882, Thomas had a timber building constructed in Cox Street, Hamilton for a cordial factory.

Thomas was a member of the Portland Brass Band as a drummer and when he moved to Hamilton wasted no time in joining the band in that town.  The band practised in the local Lands Office but when it was no longer available to them, Thomas offered his cordial factory as a rehearsal room at no cost.  The band went on to rehearse there for many years.  Later, Thomas took up lawn bowling and had great success at the sport.  He was also a member of the Princess Alice Lodge of the Manchester Unity Independent Order of Oddfellows.  The Sloans lived at Whinhill  (below) in Pope Street. When Thomas died in Hamilton in 1910, Susan was still living as were three sons and four daughters.  Four children pre-deceased him.

WHINHILL, THE HOME OF THE SLOAN FAMILY, POPE STREET, HAMILTON.

CHRISTIE, Alexander – Died 4 May 1914 at Hamilton.  Alexander Christie was born at Garvald, East Lothian, Scotland around 1827.  He arrived in Melbourne in 1852 and worked as a joiner and the following year, he married Janet Fortune. On 18 March 1854, Janet died at St Kilda aged twenty-two. Alexander’s obituary mentioned Janet had died from sunstroke. It also mentioned another marriage after Janet but he again became a widower.

In 1864, Alexander joined his brothers John, Richard, and Peter and selected land at Byaduk. The brothers soon became known for their success in their pastoral pursuits and specialised in breeding Lincoln sheep.  Alexander was on the board of the Dundas Shire from 1872 until 1890 and was President in 1878, 1885 and 1889 (Dundas (Vic. : Shire). Council Dundas Shire Centenary, 1863-1963. Hamilton Spectator for the Dundas Shire Council, [Hamilton], 1963).  Alexander was also a Justice of the Peace, Magistrate and a trustee of the Byaduk North Cemetery. On 14 May 1885,  Alexander married Euphemia Forsyth and in time they moved into South Hamilton just off Digby Road.  Alexander died in 1914 and was buried at the Hamilton (Old) Cemetery.

CRIDLAND, Alice – Died 16 May 1920 at Purrumbete.  Alice Cridland was born in New Zealand around 1866. On 6 August 1886, she married Australian William Thomson Manifold from Purrumbete, Victoria. The wedding was held at St Mary’s Church, Papanui in Christchurch, New Zealand.  After the reception which included a six-tier wedding cake, the newlyweds set off on their honeymoon first to the North Island of New Zealand and then on to Europe.  William took Alice back to the Western District and the home he inherited from his father John’s estate, the Purrumbete Homestead with 10,000 acres. A son, John (below with Alice) was born in 1888.  The couple had a further two sons and two daughters.

ALICE MANIFOLD (nee CRIDLAND) WITH HER SON JOHN MANIFOLD c1890. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria https://trove.nla.gov.au/work/167588503

Alice was very active in the local community.  She was a supporter of St Paul’s Church and Sunday School and Matron of the St Paul’s Boys’ Club. She also supported the local grammar school and the Weerite School.

ALICE MANIFOLD (nee CRIDLAND) FRONT LEFT c1890. ALSO IDENTIFIED IS JANE MACKINNON, WIFE OF DANIEL MACKINNON OF MARIDAYALLOCK, TERANG STANDING BEHIND ALICE. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/85387

During WW1 Alice was active with the Red Cross and other patriotic groups, but she also saw three sons go to war with one not returning.  Edward, John, and William all enlisted with the British Military. Lieutenant William Herbert Manifold was killed on 28 April 1917 in France while with the Royal Field Artillery. He was twenty-seven.  Just over three years to the day of William’s death, Alice died at the age of fifty-four.  She was buried at the Camperdown Cemetery.

Seven Years

Today is a special day because it’s Western District Families’ seventh birthday.  I routinely post on 12 April each year to mark the occasion but this year I didn’t know how I could make this year’s post any different from the past six birthday posts.  Since I’ve been busy finishing more biographies for Hamilton’s WW1 before Anzac Day, I even considered if I would post at all.  But it’s because of Western District Families I find myself writing those biographies which I find most rewarding.  Therefore, I should not only acknowledge Western District Families today but also thank you for supporting me through the past seven years.  I know some of you have been readers almost since the beginning. 

Another reason to write a post today was that I needed to thank Laura Hedgecock and the GeneaBloggersTRIBE for recognising Western District Families’ “blogiversary”.  You can read Laura’s post especially for Western District Families’ 7th Blogiversary on the link – http://geneabloggerstribe.com/happy-blogiversary-to-western-district-families/

Passing of the Pioneers

It’s Women’s History Month and the Passing of the Pioneers of March 2017 featured only women.  Unfortunately, since there are many more newspaper obituaries for men than women, I wasn’t able to keep it up this year.  This March there are eight pioneers with half of them women.  As I find often, the pioneers had things in common. Two of the male pioneers were struck by gold fever in the early 1850s as was the husband of one of the female pioneers.  One lived in a house built by another of the featured pioneers, and two pioneers operated hotels.  If you click on any of the underlined text throughout the post, you will go to further information about a person or subject.

VIALLS, EdmundDied 19 March 1879 at Hamilton.  Edmund Vialls was born in London around 1848.  He studied medicine and did his residency at Poplar Hospital, London.  In 1867, he won the medicinal and surgical gold medals for his work.  Edmund arrived in Victoria in 1870 and by 1872, he was in Richmond at the Melbourne Hospital.  He was appointed surgeon at the Hamilton Hospital but he also set up a private practice.  He engaged Hamilton builders William Holden (see below) and William Dunn in 1876 to build a home and surgery at the corner of Gray and Kennedy Streets,  Hamilton (below) and soon had a thriving practice at the building known as Hewlett House, Hewlett being the maiden name of Edmund’s mother Elizabeth.

HEWLETT HOUSE, HAMILTON

Edmund was also the medical attendant for the Hamilton branches of the Foresters, Hibernian and Oddfellows societies. At the age of thirty-one, Edmund died from epilepsy and congestion of the brain.  He was buried at the Hamilton (Old) Cemetery (below).

GRAVE OF EDMUND VIALLS

QUIGLEY, John – Died 31 March 1898 at Wannon.  John Quigley was born in County Kilkenny, Ireland in 1819.  In 1841, John a surveyor by trade left Ireland for Australia, via Plymouth, England. Arriving at Plymouth, John went to the immigrant depot finding, 

…600 other emigrants were not being fairly treated in the matter of rations, and made it his business to communicate to the commissioner, a Mr James, in London, who personally enquired. into the matter and set it right. Shortly afterwards, notwithstanding that the head scrang of the depot had given orders for the fiery young Irishman not to be admitted there, he found that the immigrants had been mulcted to the extent of 10s 6d per head, kept back from them by the agents. Once more he communicated with Mr. James, who hurried down to Plymouth with £300 in cash wherewith to recoup the defrauded ones. This so annoyed the master of the depot that he took more stringent steps to prohibit Mr.Quigley’s entrance to the place, with the consequence, that he was sued for a breach of the regulations and ordered to pay £15 damages with costs. Mr Quigiey was congratulated by Mr. James on his determination of character, which, subsequently, stood him in good stead, and, needless to add, made him very popular with the six hundred. These, engaging a band, marched through the streets of Plymouth with young Quigley and a companion, McCluskie, at their head, in celebration of the victories he had won for them.  (Hamilton Spectator, 2 April 1898)

Once in Melbourne, John sought work with horses and was employed by Messrs Solomon at Saltwater River Station.  Today Flemington Racecourse stands on land once part of the station which extended as far as Keilor.  After two years working for the Solomons, John decided to go out on his own. He had two failed attempts in the Murray Region and at Kilmore before meeting Acheson Ffrench of Monivae Station, south of the present Hamilton, who offered him a position.  However, John received a better offer at the neighbouring Grange Burn Station arriving during December 1846.  John was in charge of 600 head of cattle at the station where the main homestead was located near what is now Prestonholme HomesteadIn 1848, John married Winifred Tracy.

In 1851, many in the west of the colony were travelling east to the newly discovered goldfields and John joined them.  He went to Fryer’s Creek, south of Castlemaine where gold was discovered around October 1851.  Life on the diggings wasn’t for John and he returned to Hamilton in 1853. But that time, the first township blocks were for sale. John managed to buy the first lot offered on the site of the Bank of Victoria, for the £50 and was Hamilton’s first ratepayer. John also bought the first farm offered in the district, sixty-six acres across the creek from Peter Learmonth at Prestonholme.  Another first, John was reportedly the first man to win a steeplechase in the district held on the flat near the Digby Road bridge at Hamilton.

In 1854,  John purchased the Wannon Inn on the Wannon River at Redruth near the Wannon Falls. His licence was granted in 1855 and John set about improving the business.  

“Advertising” Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser (Vic. : 1842 – 1843; 1854 – 1876) 5 October 1854: 1 (EVENING). Web. 16 Mar 2018 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article71571022&gt;.

In 1860, he sold the Inn for £4,000 and acquired 5000 acres at the Wannon which became the Falls View Estate.

WANNON FALLS c1860s Photographer Thomas Washbourne. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/361595

 The photo below was taken very close to the northern border of John’s property.

VIEW TOWARD WANNON FALLS

“REDRUTH.” Hamilton Spectator and Grange District Advertiser (South Melbourne, Vic. : 1860 – 1870) 31 August 1861: 2. Web. 13 Mar 2018.

John also bought the Bochara Estate and selected land on the Merri Creek near Warrnambool among other places.  He was often asked to enter politics but he liked to keep his political interests at a local level and was one of the first men on the Dundas Roads Board in 1858. It later became the Dundas Shire Council and John was President from 1863 to 1866. By 1870, John was feeling the strain of overextending himself financially.  He retired from public life and lived out his life quietly at the Wannon until his death in 1898. John was buried at the Hamilton (Old) Cemetery.

KILPATRICK, Ann – Died March 1903 at Sandford.  Ann Kilpatrick was born around 1826 in Edinburgh, Scotland.  She married John Grant and they left for Victoria arriving in 1841 aboard the Grindlay. With a man named William Murray, John and Ann headed west.  John first found work at the property of the Whyte brothers near Coleraine before moving on to the Henty’s Merino Downs. The Grants then took up a run near Penola, South Australia where two children were born, however, by the early 1850s, John was off to the diggings. On his return, the Grants sold up at  Penola and they bought the Woodford Inn at Dartmoor by 1853.  They stayed there for around three years and in that time another son was born. 

In 1856, the Grants purchased land at Sandford and built the Caledonian Union Hotel in the town and operated it from 1857.  It was considered a pretentious building considering the size of the town. A fire broke out at the hotel in 1871, damaging the second storey of the building.  The Grants rebuilt but did not reinstate the second storey.

THE CALEDONIAN UNION HOTEL, SANDFORD. Image courtesy of the J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria. http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/234008

After John Grant died in 1879, Ann continued operating the hotel up until her death.  She left two sons and two daughters.

HOLDEN, William – Died 18 March 1910 at Hamilton. William Holden was born at New Brighton, Lancashire in 1832.  He arrived at Adelaide in 1852 and headed east to the Victorian diggings.  After some time in search of gold, he returned to Adelaide but was back in Victoria by 1860. On 19 May 1863, William started out from Dunkeld to travel to Hamilton, the place he would finally settle after ten years of a nomadic life. He left Dunkeld at 11.30am and arrived in Hamilton at 7.30pm.  He found the people of the town out in the streets celebrating the marriage of the Prince of Wales. 

A mason by trade, William got work on a new stone Post Office in Gray Street built in the year of his arrival and then worked on a two storey bluestone building in Kennedy Street for use as a grain store.  In time, it became Hamilton’s Temperance Hall. It is seen to the left of the photo below.

KENNEDY STREET, HAMILTON. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria

In the 1870s, William entered a partnership with builder William Dunn and together they set about “building” Hamilton. They built some of Hamilton’s grandest buildings, most still standing today. They included the banks, the Bank of Australasia, Bank of Victoria and Colonial Bank, and the residences of doctors including Hewlett House and  Roxburgh HouseThere was also the Hamilton Academy completed in 1875, the St Mary’s Hall in Lonsdale Street and the Hamilton goal.  In addition, they built several shops in the CBD of Hamilton including a strip of shops running from the corner of Gray and Thompson streets.

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In 1876, William married Elizabeth Pearson, a daughter of William Pearson and Ann Routledge. John and his family were part of the Hamilton Baptist Church congregation with the devotion to his faith in the naming of his first son, William Joseph Baptist Holden.  William Jr was born on 17 April 1977 at Brighton Cottage, in Lonsdale Street, Hamilton.  The property is now known as Tavistock.  In 1887, Ralph the two-month-old son of William and Elizabeth died and in 1891, Thomas aged two weeks died. The two boys are buried at the Hamilton (Old) Cemetery below.   

GRAVE OF THE CHILDREN OF WILLIAM AND ELIZABETH HOLDEN, HAMILTON (OLD) CEMETERY

William later had a business in Thompson Street operating as a bakery, grocer and chaff merchant.  He retired from work around 1895 and in 1901, he put up for sale a house on the corner of Lonsdale and McIntyre Street and his shop in Thompson Street up for sale.   In 1905, Elizabeth died at fifty-seven.   

William, a democratic man, was interested in politics and the development of the political parties.  He was keen to know the winner of the 1910 Federal election but died before there was a result.  William died on 18 March 1910 leaving a family of five sons and one daughter.  He was buried with Elizabeth at the Hamilton (Old) Cemetery.  William’s home Brighton Cottage was sold in August 1910.

HEADSTONE OF WILLIAM AND ELIZABETH HOLDEN, HAMILTON (OLD) CEMETERY

WHITTAKER, Eliza – Died 13 March 1918 at Warrabkook. Eliza Whittaker was born in Ireland around 1823, a daughter of a Battle of Waterloo soldier. The Whittaker family moved to Somersetshire, England where Eliza met Samuel Trigger.  The couple had one child Emily in Somersetshire before moving to Ball Street Avening, Gloucestershire (1851 UK Census) where Christina was born.  Samuel was working as a miller but after the birth of a third child, the family boarded the Eliza sailing to Australia. By then there was also a baby Henry. 

The Triggers arrived at Portland on 9 April 1853 and made their way to Mount Taurus, north of Warrnambool. Eliza had a further five children, including twins at Penshurst in 1858.  Samuel selected land near Macarthur in the early 1860s and they moved to the area. In 1863, baby Mary Ann died at Macarthur.  After more than seventy years together, on 6 March 1918, the partnership ended when Eliza died at the age of ninety-seven. Just three weeks later, Samuel also died aged ninety-eight.  At the time of their deaths, the Triggers had four sons, two daughters, thirty-one grandchildren and thirty-eight great-grandchildren still living.

“A VENERABLE COUPLE.” Weekly Times (Vic. : 1914 – 1918) 14 Apr 1917: 10. Web. 15 Aug 2015.

BOWKER, John Thomas – Died 23 March 1928 at Princetown.  John Bowker was born in King Street, Melbourne around 1848.  During the 1860s, John went to the Camperdown district.

In the late 1860s, and while still a young man, John was part of the founding committee member of the Hampden and Heytesbury Pastoral and Agricultural Society. After an inaugural P&A Show at Camperdown, it was decided a new showground site was needed. There were two sites on offer and John was among those who pushed for the selected site, mainly due to the picturesque views it offered.

CAMPERDOWN SHOWGROUND. Image courtesy of the State Library or Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/386059

…for situation and the beauty of its surrounding, the Camperdown showground is unequalled in the colony. In its natural state, it is a beautiful spot, with the green slopes of Mount Leura and its more stately companion. Sugarloaf, rising up immediately behind it; whilst northwards is the township, looking prettier in the distance with its grass clothed streets, and its incomparable avenue of trees now almost in their complete spring attire: beyond the town, Lake Culongulac from the shores of which spread away to Mount Elephant and other distant hills, the verdure-clad plains. (Camperdown Chronicle, 25 October 1884 )

CAMPERDOWN SHOWGROUND. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria

In February 1874, John married Eliza “Lissie” Lord at Geelong.  John was a butcher by trade and operated his shop in Camperdown.

“Advertising” Camperdown Chronicle (Vic. : 1877 – 1954) 30 January 1877: 3 (TRI-WEEKLY.). Web. 26 Mar 2018 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64010246&gt;.

John and his family moved to a property at Princetown called Kangaroobie by 1884.  Eliza was a teacher and since there wasn’t a school at Princetown she started classes there in that year.  John was active within the Princetown community including as secretary of the Princetown Farmers’ Union.

In 1915,  John’s son Alwynne was killed at Gallipoli on 7 August 1915 while serving with the 8th Light Horse Regiment.  By 1926, John was the last surviving member of the founding committee of the Camperdown P&A and that year he travelled from Princetown to Camperdown for the show.  Two years later, John died at Princetown. He left his widow Eliza and three sons and one daughter.  He was buried at Port Campbell Cemetery.  Eliza died in 1935 at Princetown.

MOORE, Eliza – Died 24 March 1939 at Colac. Eliza Moore was born in the north of Ireland on  20 May 1954.  At the age of four, Eliza left Ireland with her parents and travelled to Australia aboard Chance, arriving at Port Fairy, in September 1857.  After some time in Port Fairy, the Moore family moved to Hilder’s Bridge near Grassdale.  Eliza, known as a “splendid horsewoman”, married Alexander Russell in 1874 at Warrnambool and they resided at Dennington. 

From around 1904, Eliza and Alexander lived in Colac and for the last fifteen years of their lives, they resided in Manners-Sutton Street, Colac.  Alexander died in 1938 and Eliza went to live at Lismore but was only there five months before she was hospitalised at Colac where she died two weeks later at the age of eighty-five.  Eliza was a keen worker for the church and went to services when possible. After her death, Eliza was remembered at St Andrews Church, Colac (below), the following Sunday during the service. Eliza was buried at the Colac Cemetery and left four daughters and five sons.  

ST ANDREWS CHURCH, COLAC c1945 Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/384952

SCOULLER, Ann – Died 21 March 1952 at Stonyford.  Ann was born at Birregurra in 1863 but when she was a small child, the Scouller family moved to Carpendeit. Ann had to walk six miles to school through the bush to the Catholic chapel at South Purrumbete for school.  She later attended a school built on the property of Peter Morrison.  Ann was a devout worker for the Methodist Church and the Sunday School.  Services were then held in the barn of Mr Anson at  Lightwood Vale and the Minister would ride from Camperdown.  Ann was a good horsewoman and rode sidesaddle. She was also an expert needleworker, excelling in dressmaking, fancy work and crochet. 

On 5 May 1897 at her mother’s home at Carpendeit, Ann married William Horace Lucas of Pomberneit.  They first lived at South Purrumbete before moving to Rocky Ridge, Stonyford around 1910 and were dairy farmers.  Around 1926, William retired and he and Ann decided to move to South Yarra.  A send-off was held on 3 December 1926 at Stonyford with many turning out to farewell the couple.  City life wasn’t for them and Ann and William returned around 1931 and remained at Stonyford for the rest of their lives. William died in 1943.  In 1950, Ann celebrated her eightieth birthday. Two years later she died aged eighty-eight.  Ann was buried at the Camperdown Cemetery and left two sons and one daughter.

 

Wonderful Western District Women Part 4

Wonderful Western District Women is a series looking at some of the great women I’ve come across while compiling Passing of the Pioneer posts.  All posted during Women’s History Month, each part examines the women’s lives a little more than in the Passing of the Pioneers entries.  This is the fourth part and you will find the links to the previous three at the bottom of this post.  The three women featured this time have contrasting lives and for two, there are the twists of fate bringing them to the Western District.  As usual, if you click on any underlined text, you will go to further information about a person or subject.

GRADY, Catherine (c1832-1916) Also known as Catherine Hamilton

Catherine Grady was born in County Wexford, Ireland around 1832.  The Ireland Catholic Parish Registers show the baptism record of a Catherine Grady from the St Mullins Catholic Parish, Wexford, Ireland during June 1832, a daughter of Michael and Catherine Grady.  When Catherine was thirteen, Ireland went into a period of famine, often called the Irish Potato Famine. Around one million people and another one million people left Ireland.  Catherine Grady found herself in the New Ross Workhouse.  The Earl Grey Scheme running between 1848 and 1850 saw 4000 Irish girls sent to Australia. They came from various workhouses across Ireland and New Ross Workhouse was part of the scheme. Seventeen-year-old Catherine was taken to Plymouth, England and with around 200 other girls she left for Melbourne on the New Liverpool.

“THE EXECUTION. OF RUSH.” Port Phillip Gazette and Settler’s Journal (Vic. : 1845 – 1850) 11 August 1849: 4. Web. 13 Mar 2018 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article223156756&gt;.

After more than three months Catherine arrived at Melbourne on 9 August 1849.

“Shipping Intelligence.” The Melbourne Daily News (Vic. : 1848 – 1851) 10 August 1849: 2. Web. 13 Mar 2018 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article226472872&gt;.

The Geelong Advertiser reported on 30 August 1849, “The girls appear to be clean and healthy, and female labour being scarce, their opportune arrival will prove a great acquisition to the district.” Advertisements ran in newspapers with potential employers invited to the Immigration Depot, a collection of tents off what is now King Street, Melbourne.

“Advertising” Port Phillip Gazette and Settler’s Journal (Vic. : 1845 – 1850) 28 August 1849: 3. Web. 13 Mar 2018 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article223155586&gt;.

Catherine could read and write and her calling was a nursemaid. However, a month later she was still waiting at the immigration depot.  In September 1849, it was reported, “Only 57 adult emigrants by the Courier, could be prevailed upon going to Portland per Raven; about sixty-four orphan girls from the depot are to be sent to make up the number for which the vessel was chartered”.  (Geelong Advertiser 22 September 1849).  Catherine was one of the girls selected to sail on the Raven, a voyage which provoked a response from the Portland Guardian, criticising then Superintendent of the Port Phillip district Charles La Trobe.  The Port Phillip Gazette and Settler’s Journal published the Guardian‘s article with a disclaimer from the paper’s own editor.

THE HUMANITY OF MR. LA TROBE EXEMPLIFIED – In the midst of occurring wrecks at Belfast, Mr. Latrobe despatches a vessel with a lot of Irish orphans! Just at the very nick of time when Insurance Companies and Underwriters, as with one consent, refuse to take risks on property proceeding to Port Fairy, Mr. Latrobe chooses that moment, above all others, to send immigrants to such a port! Scarcely have the local newspapers, (detailing the accounts of mountainous seas, the loss of anchors and chains, the drifting of vessels to sea, the total wreck of fine large vessels, and the melancholy loss of life at Port Fairy) been laid down, than the next paper greets the eye with an account of the despatch of a vessel with immigrants to the identical port where these appalling occurrences ere succeeding each other in rapid succession. Has Mr Latrobe lost the feelings of or common humanity, that he wantonly risks a number of innocent lives? Are Irish orphans and immigrants families of less value than bags of wheat and bales of wool, puncheons of rum and the timber and planks of which vessels are composed? Has Mr. Latrobe the inhuman nerve to risk the lives of immigrants, at the very instant when men of wealth dare not risk their property! If the Raven should happen to meet with favourable weather, while lying at Port Fairy and disembarking her immigrants at this time of the year, when the equinoctial gales are prevalent. it will have been a merciful Providence, which had interposed in screening the innocent from the appalling dangers into which they had launched, by the ignorance, wilfulness, or selfishness of beings in the form, but wanting the essential attributes of man – Portland Guardian. (We are very much surprised at such remarks, as nothing is more necessary than the distribution of emigrants amongst the settlers at the out ports — E.P.P.G.)  Port Phillip Gazette and Settler’s Journal 11 October 1849 

Despite the Guardian’s gloomy prediction, the girls arrived safely at Portland on 4 October 1849.  It wasn’t long before Catherine was employed by Port Fairy solicitor George Barber. George had married Charlotte Meare on 2 July 1849 at Port Fairy and Catherine may have been employed Catherine for her nursemaid skills.  Her pay was £12 for a twelve month term.

Around 1852, Catherine married Archibald Hamilton at Port Fairy.  The following year, the couple’s first child was born in that town. Her name was Catherine Grady Hamilton.  Catherine and Archibald raised a family of twelve children born from 1853 to 1877. Archibald got a job as an overseer for Donald McKinnon at Kangaroo Station, Hotspur. By 1857, Archibald was overseer at Mt Napier Station for Mr Phillips.  In 1873, Archibald applied for a ten-acre allotment at Macarthur.  

On 23 June 1884, Archibald died at Macarthur aged sixty-three.  At the time, the youngest of the children was seven and Catherine needed to provide for her family.  She offered her services as a nurse and midwife and it was said she attended over 300 maternity cases over the following years.  Almost seventy-seven years after Cathrine arrived from Ireland, she died at Macarthur on 3 January 1916. Her age at the time was given as eighty but Catherine could have been as old as eighty-four. Her obituary read, “her quiet unassuming manner and readiness to render assistance and advice to anyone in need…had endeared herself to the whole community”.

SOURCES

Catholic Parish Registers, The National Library of Ireland; Dublin, Ireland 

Famine Orphan Girl Database

Irish Famine Memorial (Sydney)

New Ross Workhouse 

MURRAY, Isabella (c1852-1924) Also known as Isabella Helpman

Isabella Murray was born around 1852 at Summer Hill, Allansfordthe property of her parents James Murray and Isabella Gordon.  Her parents had arrived from Scotland around 1839 and arrived at Allansford after time at Glenample at Port Campbell.  Isabella married Walter Stephen Helpman in 1877.  Walter was a son of Captain Benjamin Helpman and Ann Pace, a sister of Jane Henty.

“Family Notices” The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957) 22 August 1877: 1. Web. 9 Mar 2018 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5934405&gt;.

Walter was a banker, having worked with the National Bank at Warrnambool and Geelong and as manager of the Colonial Bank at Koroit from 1875 and in 1876, started a branch at Port Fairy. In 1877 he became manager of the Warrnambool Colonial Bank. The first of Isabella and Walter’s children was Francis born in Warrnambool in 1878. Then followed twins Isabella Jean and James in 1881 and Gordon was born in 1884.

It was in 1884, Isabella’s brother John Murray entered state politics, becoming Member of the Legislative Assembly in the seat of Warrnambool.  Isabella shared his interest in politics and campaigned at State and Federal level.  A cause John was passionate about, one not popular among politicians, was the welfare of  Aboriginals, in particular, those at the Framlingham Reserve.  John and his sisters Isabella and Mary came to know many of them personally and fought for their rights.  In 1890, when the government attempted to move the Aboriginals on the reserve, John fought to save part of the land for them.  In 1909, John became Premier of Victoria and chair of the Board for the Protection of Aborigines.

Isabella was active in the Warrnambool community helping the less fortunate.  She was a member of the Ladies Benevolent Society for thirty years, including time as President.  She also fundraised for the hospital and served as treasurer of the Red Cross for five years.

Walter left the Colonial Bank in 1902 and the Helpmans left Warrnambool. Walter had a job as a clerk with the Customs Department in Melbourne and the couple moved to 547 Collins Street, Melbourne, the location of the Federal Hotel (below).

THE FEDERAL HOTEL, MELBOURNE. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/247026

Meanwhile, grandchildren were arriving with Theo born in 1904 to Jean Helpman and her husband Boer War veteran Albert Duka In 1907, Isabella and Walter’s son James married May Gardiner at Millicent, South Australia.  A son Robert known as “Bobbie”, was born to James and May at Mt Gambier in 1909.  They are pictured below.

JAMES, MAY AND ROBERT HELPMANc1911 Image courtesy of the State Library of South Australia Image no B 21404 https://collections.slsa.sa.gov.au/resource/B+21404

Walter and Isabella returned to Warrnambool around 1912, but two years later Walter died on 24 June 1914.  More sadness came in 1916 when Isabella’s brother John, the former Premier also died. She had added concern with her son Gordon serving with the King Edward Horse from 1914, and the Royal Flying Corp from 1916.  Daughter Jean was also at the front in a nursing role with her husband Albert Duka, a surgeon.  During that time grandson, Theo Duka came into Isabella’s care and he was enrolled at Hamilton College.

By that time, Isabella was renting The Hutte at 21 Banyan Street, Warrnambool.  She continued her community work and was also active socially. On one occasion in 1919, she was the hostess of a tea given by the President of the Warrnambool Racing Club over the May Carnival.  It was in the same year, Isabella had a lucky escape in December when a rag with flammable liquid was lit at her home during the night. Fortunately, Isabella’s maid woke and found the fire before there was too much damage.  Although the fire was suspicious, there was no motive.  After that incident, Isabella moved to Waikato in Waikato Court, Warrnambool, home of her brother James.  Isabella died at Waikato on 27 January 1924.

The Helpman name became a household name from the 1920s when Isabella’s grandson Bobbie made his stage debut in Adelaide as a ballet dancer.  He went on to become one of the world’s leading dancers and Shakespearean actors, Sir Robert Murray Helpmann.  He is pictured below with the great Kathryn Hepburn in 1955.

“NO SUBTLETIES IN OLD VIC’S SHREW” Tribune (Sydney, NSW : 1939 – 1976) 1 June 1955: 7. Web. 16 Mar 2018 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article236256137&gt;.

McCANN, Kate St George (c1849-1929)  Also known as Kate Trangmar

Kate McCann was born on the ship St George off the coast of San Francisco, California on 15 September 1849, a daughter of Robert James McCann and Matilda Jane Crouch. Robert and Matilda had married in 1834 in London.  The law at the time meant since Kate was born on a British ship, her birth was registered in the Parish of Stepney, London. The same year the McCanns arrived in California, Robert died.  Matilda remarried to Eustace de Arroyave.  Kate grew up playing on the family ranch Lone Pine in the Rocky Mountains, California but Matilda died in 1865 when Kate was sixteen.  Kate,  her brother Arthur and a half-sister Eustasia travelled to London to live with their aunt Emma Crouch. In 1866, Emma with Kate, Arthur then aged twenty and Eustasia aged eight boarded the ship Great Britain for Melbourne arriving on 26 December 1866.  They then caught the steamer S.S. Edina to Portland.

In 1876, Kate married James Trangmar at St.Stephen’s Church, Portland.  She had a connection to the Trangmar family as her uncle George Crouch was in business with James Trangmar and he married James’ sister Mary Ann Trangmar.

“Family Notices” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918) 22 March 1876: 2. Web. 10 Mar 2018 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article226036873&gt;.

ST STEPHEN’S CHURCH, PORTLAND

Kate moved from Portland to Coleraine where James had worked from around 1866 in a store owned by his father and managed by his uncle George Trangmar.  On 3 February 1878, Kate had a son. They went on to have eight children. In 1880, Mary Ann was born on 24 June 1880 and died the following day.

In time, George Trangmar moved on and James took over the running of the Coleraine store (below)

J.W.TRANGMAR & CO. COLERAINE. Image courtesy of the Museums Victoria Collections https://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/items/767465

By 1904, Kate was living at Coma Villa, Sturt Street, Ballarat while James was still at Coleraine.  In 1904, her then elderly aunt Emma Crouch took sick and travelled with Kate’s sister Eustasia to be with her in Ballarat.   Emma died on 11 April 1904 at Kate’s home. The following year there was a burglary at Coma Villa while Kate was out at the South Street Competitions.

“No title” The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 – 1924) 2 October 1905: 2. Web. 19 Mar 2018 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article209029432&gt;.

In time, Kate was back in residence at Coleraine and in 1906, James opened a new store on the same site as the original building.

THE OPENING OF TRANGMAR’S STORE, COLERAINE 1906. Image courtesy of the Museums Victoria Collections https://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/items/766933

During WW1, Kate and James’ married son Arthur enlisted on 28 February 1916. He served as a Lieutenant with the 39th Battalion and was killed on 21 February 1918 at Messines, Belgium.  Another son, Herbert enlisted on 1 April 1915 and served with the 17th and 22nd Battalions and was awarded a Military Cross. During 1916, Kate and James celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary with celebrations in the Coleraine Hall before travelling to Portland for a service at the place of their marriage, St Stephen’s Church followed by dinner at the Richmond Hotel. When they arrived at the hotel, they were showered with rose petals

Kate died on 27 July 1929 at Coleraine.  James and six of her children were still alive at the time of her death.  James died in 1938 at Coleraine. Trangmar’s store was run by members of the Trangmar family until 1969, first under the charge of Kate and James’ sons Herbert and Edmund.

WONDERFUL WESTERN DISTRICT WOMEN

PART 1

PART 2

PART 3

 

Wonderful Western District Women Part 3

On International Women’s Day 2017, I posted the first Wonderful Western District Women post followed by a second later in March, Women’s History Month.  Today is International Women’s Day 2018 so it’s time for another edition.  Each post looks further into the lives of Western District women I’ve come across while writing the Passing of the Pioneers posts.  This time there are three women featured, Eliza Malseed, Edith Davey and Mary Learmonth. Eliza lived in an isolated area of Victoria’s far south-west coast while Edith lived in another isolated area, further east on the coast near the Twelve Apostles. Both endured the hardships of living in such places and displayed independence enabling them to endure. Mary Learmonth’s life was more comfortable, but not only was she a great sportswoman she was a champion of causes, a dedicated worker for those less fortunate than herself.  Remember to click on any of the underlined text for further information.

MALSEED, Eliza Ann  (c1836-1920)

Eliza Ann Malseed was born in Donegal, Ireland around 1836 to James Malseed and Ann Thompson.  In 1855, Eliza and her brother James and her cousin, also James Malseed arrived at Portland aboard the Blanche Moore. An older brother John had arrived in Portland in 1849. Eliza lived in Gawler Street until she married her cousin James around 1859 and they settled at Glenorchy at the foot of Mount Richmond an extinct volcano in an isolated about twenty kilometres to the west of Portland. Their first child was born in 1860. Eliza had a further nine children.

It was a harsh life and Eliza and her young children were often left alone while James was away in Portland.  She had many travellers pass her door looking for food on their way to Mount Gambier giving her many tales to recount.  When remembering those days she would say,”The Lord was my shepherd”.  Bushfires were frequent and the family were lucky not to lose their home in 1864. There were other dangers too. At different times in December 1878, James and one his daughters received snake bites. On each occasion, James cut out the flesh around the wound and sucked the venom out. Both somehow survived.  James wrote a letter to the Portland Guardian to tell the story, published on 7 January 1879.

Eliza was a Wesleyan Methodist and attended the Mount Richmond Methodist Church which opened in 1876 and she was very active within the church community.  In 1902, James fell ill and on his doctor’s advice, he moved to Portland closer to medical care.  James died there on 26 July 1902.  Several years later, Eliza went to live at Rose Villa, Myamyn, the home of her daughter. Eliza died there on 11 August 1920 aged eighty-four and was remembered in her obituary below.

“Obituary.” Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953) 26 August 1920: 3 (EVENING.). Web. 6 Mar 2017.

DAVEY, Edith  (1861-1939)

Edith Davey was born at Port Fairy in 1861 a daughter of  Robert Davey and Ann Phillips.  Edith had a sister, Annie five years older than herself.  Another sister Emily was born in 1858 but she died a year after Edith’s birth.  The Davey family left Port Fairy and made their way to the Port Campbell/Princetown district.  They selected land on the Great Ocean Road, between the Loch Ard Gorge and the current Twelve Apostles Viewing area.  They also had the use of the land down to the cliff tops below.

THE TWELVE APOSTLES, PORT CAMPBELL.

The Daveys named their property Edgecombe.  Their neighbour to the west was Hugh Gibson of Glenample, co-owned by Peter MacArthur of Merringoort.  It was at Glenample in 1878 Tom Pearson arrived to raise the alarm of the wreck of the Loch Ard. Fellow survivor Eva Carmichael stayed at Glenample for several weeks while recovering.  Robert Davey was a trustee of the Loch Ard Gorge Cemetery, the burial place of the victims of the wreck. It was an isolated area but from around the end of the 1800s, the mail-coach passed via Edgecombe as it travelled between Princetown and Port Campbell and continued to do so for around twenty years. 

Each of the Davey’s acquired more land in the Port Campbell/Princetown district. In 1888, Edith applied for a grant to buy land in the Princetown township and was successful and in 1889, she applied to lease 720 acres.  It was tough times though with a drought and impending depression.  By 1892, the rent for Edith’s lease was in arrears.  Her worries continued through the decade and in 1897, the local Land Board ruled she must pay five rent instalments at once and the balance in three months.

The Davey’s attended  St Luke’s Church of England at Princetown where Edith was the organist. She played the piano and sang at many concerts in the district over the years. Sometimes she sang duets with her sister Annie.  In 1896, at a concert at the Presbyterian Church in Princetown, Edith played a piano duet with a local boy and she later sang “The Holy City” in “her usual pleasing manner”. During May 1904, Edith was presented with a gold and pearl brooch set and a book “Sanctuary Series of Voluntaries” for her many years of service as the organist of St Luke’s Church, Princetown.

Like her sister Edith, Annie Davey never married and like Edith acquired several properties.  When she reached her fifties, Annie began experiencing some ill-health and in 1910, the once active woman was described as “despondent”.  Annie planned a holiday but on the day she was due to leave in August 1910,  her body was found in a waterhole at the back of the property.  She was forty-seven at the time. Annie died intestate and that prompted her father Robert to write a will, leaving everything to Edith. Robert Davey died the following year at the age of ninety.

Edith and her mother Ann continued on at Edgecombe.  By the time of her father’s death, she was fifty-five.  In 1912, wild dogs were killing Edith’s lambs. In order to protect her flock, she was staying out overnight.  In 1915, her mother Ann died aged eighty.  Edith remained alone at Edgecombe for the next twenty-four years, her five-roomed cottage falling into disrepair. She died at the Cobden Hospital in 1939 aged seventy-six. Edith’s obituary in the Camperdown Chronicle described her as one of the “grand pioneer women of Australia”.

“MISS EDITH DAVEY” Camperdown Chronicle (Vic. : 1877 – 1954) 26 September 1939: 5. Web. 6 Mar 2018.

Soon after Edith’s death, Edgecombe was sold as was the stock, plant, and furniture.

“Advertising” Camperdown Chronicle (Vic. : 1877 – 1954) 28 November 1939: 6. Web. 7 Mar 2018 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article27400636&gt;.

LEARMONTH, Mary Simpson  (1863-1939) Also known as Mary Laidlaw

Mary Learmonth was born in 1863 at Hamilton the daughter of Peter Learmonth and Mary Jarvey Pearson of Prestonholme Hamilton.   Mary was a sporty young woman, with a talent for tennis and a champion croquet player.  She also enjoyed golf but doesn’t seem to have played competitively until she was in her thirties during the 1890s.  She married Hamilton doctor David Fraser Laidlaw on 30 November 1899 at Prestonholme at the age of thirty-six. Her brother Allan gave her away and she wore a gown of white satin with lace and chiffon trim. Fifty guests enjoyed the wedding breakfast in a marquee on the property.  As Mary and David left for nearby Mountajup to catch the afternoon train, they were showered with rose petals by the guests.

Mary and David Learmonth lived at Eildon on the corner of French and Thompson Streets Hamilton, overlooking the Hamilton Botanic Gardens.  The house was designed by Ussher and Kemp in 1904.

“Advertising” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918) 27 October 1904: 3. Web. 23 Feb 2018 .’

David was the Chief Medical Officer at the Hamilton Hospital but he also had a surgery at Eildon.  Mary set about establishing a garden on the property and became one of the finest in the town.

EILDON, HAMILTON

Marriage didn’t put an end to Mary’s sporting activities, in fact, her involvement in golf increased and she even had time to act as the inaugural captain of the Hamilton Ladies Miniature Rifle Club formed in 1908.  As well as local golf tournaments, Mary played further afield including the 1904 National Championships in 1904 where she won the Bogey Handicap with a score of 88 and hit the second longest drive.   She played in the Victorian Championships in September 1909 and won the longest drive at a length of 186 yards (170 metres).  In 1930, at the age of sixty-seven, Mary won the Mount Gambier Ladies Championship at the club’s annual tournament.  At Hamilton Golf Club, Mary was the undisputed ladies champion for many years winning the ladies’ championship an amazing seventeen times.  Her first win was as Miss Learmonth and the rest as Mrs Laidlaw.

“Ladies’ Australian Golf Championship.” The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1871 – 1912) 31 August 1904: 541. Web. 7 Mar 2017 .

Other than sport, Mary was president of the Hamilton branch of the Australian Women’s National League (AWNL) and chair of the Wannon Electorate of the AWNL covering an area from Horsham to Portland.  She was also a member of the Hamilton Horticulture Society, the Hamilton branch of the Red Cross Society, and the Hamilton Ladies’ Benevolent Society. Mary eventually becoming an officer of the latter organisation.  In 1935, after sixty-nine years the decision was reached to finish up the Hamilton Ladies’ Benevolent Society due to decreasing demand for their services.  Mary and fellow officer Mary Ann Strachan presented a petition to the Practice Court, requesting the surplus funds of the society, totalling £600, be donated to the Hamilton Hospital maternity ward.  Their request was granted on 11 June 1935.

As if that wasn’t enough, Mary showed Airedale Terriers with success.  She collected books for the British and Foreign Bible Society and she was a devout member of the Hamilton Methodist Church (below) as were he parents before her.

HAMILTON WESLEYAN METHODIST CHURCH c1930. Image courtesy of the Museums Victoria Collections http://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/items/769323

A slight hiccup in Mary’s life came in 1916 when charged with driving a motor car in a dangerous manner.  The charges arose from a collision with a horse-drawn wagon. Fortunately, they were dismissed when it was found the accident was not caused by Mary’s speed, but the wagon driver who was turning at the time.  In the same year, Mary decorated her car and drove it in a procession through Hamilton.

David Laidlaw died in October 1925 aged fifty-six.  Mary’s widowed brother Stanley Learmonth moved in with her at Eildon.  Mary died at Eildon on 2 April 1939 at the age of seventy-one. Eildon was sold after her death to the Napier Club, the female equivalent of the Hamilton Club. The club, formed around 1931, still occupies Eildon today.

 

WONDERFUL WESTERN DISTRICT WOMEN PART 1

WONDERFUL WESTERN DISTRICT WOMEN PART 2